Nocturne Alchemy – July Limited Collection

Nocturne Alchemy recently released it’s NAValloween in July along with more Dinosaur blends!  I received my bottles over a week ago and they’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels.

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photo by smellallthethings

WerewolfTahitian Spiced Vanilla, aged Apple cider, Wood notes of Cedar, Pine, Oak, Redwood and Teak, Leather accord and Oudh extract.

Pure spice in the bottle, but as it hits my skin I get a hint of apple cider.  I get a familiar tingle on my skin from cinnamon, so though it’s not listed it (or something else that can irritate skin) is in this blend.  There’s something that is reading as “cardboard cookie” on my skin and I’m not entirely sure what it could be.  Teak maybe?  Oak?  I’m sure it’s one of the wood notes.  This blend is heavy, lots of deep notes in it.  I’m not particularly enjoying the wet/drydown phase of this blend.  It’s … too much.  All the notes seem to be screaming for attention at once.

It’s now twenty minutes later and I still feel slightly overwhelmed by this blend.  I absolutely adore the spiced vanilla + apple cider combo and kind of wish it had been left at that with maybe just one wood.  I get absolutely no leather from this blend, and I adore NAVA’s leathers.

Overall I think this blend needs more time to age, but I’m not sure if that will intensify the wood notes or smooth them out.  I do hope they smooth out as that would be lovely.  I can smell the potential for a glorious blend in there, but I think it’s too fresh to really do itself justice.

There it is … about 30 min – 45 min into the drydown and I am greeted with a glorious cozy scent that makes me want to snuggle with myself.  It has become sweet, slightly spiced, and just downright fuzzy.  You get a sense of something animalistic in there and I’m finally getting that comforting soft and supple leather, which is wonderful.  I know my knee-jerk reaction was to scrub it, but I’m glad I gave this a chance to keep going.  Hopefully with some age to it that screaming phase will go away and I can enjoy the blend as I believe it was meant to be enjoyed.

Hours later and each time I put my chin in my hand I get a whiff of this and it’s almost eye-rolling gorgeous.  Such a transformation from wet-stage to complete dry down.  Is the wet stage worth wading through?  Maybe.  I’ll see what a little age does and hopefully it’ll make it all worthwhile.


MummyEnglish Bergamot and Earl Grey Tea, Redwood Absolute, Amber Resin, Papyrus extract, ICON: Leviathan Amber-Oudh, Australian Black Tea leaf, Pear essence, SL Crimson absolute and Baltic Teak.

In the bottle I get a lovely bergamot tea scent with a touch of amber.  On my skin is much of the same but with a hint of spiciness from that bergamot.  The amber from both the resin and the Leviathan Oudh is gorgeous and deeply orange with a hint of that familiar powdery amber.  The pear isn’t apparent, though it’s likely adding just a touch of sweetness to the blend.  The crimson is musky and deeply red and as it dries the papyrus begins to come out and give an almost brittle feel.

I was honestly expecting something a bit more … dusty, moldering, and old.  Instead what I’m getting is more along the lines of their Egyptology release.  I get the impression of prim and proper Englishmen sitting around a recently opened crypt sipping tea and being fanned in an attempt to beat the harsh Egyptian heat.  Eventually that image fades and it begins to give an impression that I was hoping for – the inside of a crypt, objects, smells, and things that had not been touched or viewed for hundreds of years.

You do get a sense of something old and possibly ancient.  Something a bit mysterious.

There is a good amount of throw to this blend and I can smell it wafting up to my nose which is nice.  Also, the longevity on this is pretty awesome.  Hitting 2+ hours and no sign of slowing.  Bonus points for lasting through a hand washing.


VelociraptorResinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Black Musk Absolute, Black Amber and a drop of aged viscous Velociraptor Kashmir red musk.

NAVA makes my absolute favorite scent – Kashmir red musk.  If I could only smell like one thing for the rest of my life, Kashmir would be it.

With that being said, I get a lovely whiff of my beloved Kashmir out of the bottle.  On my skin that Kashmir mixes with the deeper and darker black musk.  This is not a light blend, it is shaded, veiled, and shadowy.  With this much musk it seems to be going a bit on the powdery side.  It’s a fuzzy powder, if that makes any kind of sense.

The ambers are there giving a resinous undertone, but this blend seems to be all about those musks.

It is recommended to “hatch” your dino’s with another NAVA blend.  I won’t be doing that right now as I want to get a feel for the blend on its own, but I’m already plotting a bit of Tibetian Crystalline to go along with this.  I think the Nag Champa + Vanilla would go a long way to giving this some depth and cutting some of the powdery feel from the blend.

I like that despite this being heavy, the throw isn’t overwhelming.  It is a soft, gentle throw and as I move my hand I can smell it.  The longer it dries the more gentle it becomes.


ProtoceratopsResinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Crystalline, Kobalt, Crystal Absolute, Vanilla Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream Accord, Vanilla Caramel, Bastet Amber and Egyptian Sugar accord.

This is the outlier of the bunch and completely different from any of the blends I’ve tried today.

In the bottle I get a creamy vanilla scent that isn’t quite gourmand, but you can tell it wants to push over that edge.  On my skin I get this beautiful sugar accord.  It’s almost like putting a sugar cube in your mouth.  I also get the Crystalline, Kobalt and Crystal vanilla wafting around in there.  (I have smelled/owned each of those and believe it or not there are differences between the three, though sometimes subtle.  I prefer Crystalline typically and it’s in most of my favorite blends.)

Now, I’m sure ya’ll can guess how amazing this smells, but truly it is gorgeous.  It’s creamy, sweet, with a hint of resin and this sugary note that rounds it all out.

If you are into NAVA and you haven’t had an opportunity yet to try Bastet Amber (while listed as a note, it is actually found here as a blend all its own) you really should.  This blend is different from anything else I’ve ever experienced before.  Some people get absolutely no scent from it, some get some vague soapish scent (that’s me) and others are slightly put-off by it.  But you’re not supposed to actually smell the spot you placed it on.  You are supposed to apply it and forget it and let this blend do it’s thing, which is to waft up and greet you.  It’s a softly sweet and resinous amber, simple yet beautiful, and in this blend you get that.  I could see layering this with more Bastet Amber to enhance that effect or perhaps a bit of another Vanilla.  Or, if you’re lucky and got a sample of Bastet’s Ice Cream accord, maybe a touch of that.

The throw on this is soft, but it has its moments.


Overall, I found that once Werewolf sat it was definitely worth waiting for, and having it waft around with Mummy is something quite wonderful.

While on my other hand, the dino’s are opposites and I prefer each for what they are separately.

Nocturne Alchemy – Spring 2016 Samples & Seth’s Super Secret Scent

Man that’s a lot of S’s in that title.  Say it 10 times fast!

Anyway, what we have today are scents from Nocturne Alchemy/VApothecary. or NAVA for short.  They are a wonderful company with lovely owners who enjoy all things Egypt … and cookies.

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photo by smellallthethings

So I may have already sniffed and purchased full size bottles of Evening Star and Mysteries of Udolpho (which came with cute scarab beads and the sample of Seth’s Super Secret Scent) because I had a mini-freak out that the scents were coming down today.  They aren’t, but that didn’t stop me from ordering them!  Decants were purchased via Ajevie, again.  She’s awesome!

Evening Star is first up, since you know I already bought one, with notes of Crushed Jasmine and Crushed Violet, Egyptian Rose de Mai Absolute, Nutmeg, California Redwood, Raw Papaya Seed, Arabian Cedarwood, Bastet’s White Amber, Champagne Musk and Chrysanthemum star petals.  In the vial it’s all jasmine and violet with a touch of rose.  On my skin, however, the scents blossom.  The redwood and cedarwood give this blend a nice grounding place to layer on top of.  The nutmeg is almost undetectable but I believe it is what is giving a “warm” glow to this.  Bastet’s (one of the perfumers at NAVA) White Amber gives a feeling of the sky to me – it’s ethereal and floating.  The champagne musk is soft and almost fuzzy in feel.  Overall this is a soft, sweet, and flowing blend that makes me think of laying in the grass looking up at the night sky.

The Mysteries of Udolpho is next and this one blew me away with its notes of Venice Violet infused Bergamot Tea, Castle Oakmoss, White Amber, Vanilla Crystal Musk and a drop of Italian Galbanum Incense accord.  So, so, so good.  Warm and spicy with a hint of sweetness.  Normally I don’t compare or mention a scent smelling like one from a different perfumery because I don’t think its fair to the perfume house I’m currently reviewing.  However, what this smells like is a discontinued scent from another house that will not be brought back.  It’s not an exact match (I did test my samples side by side), but it’s similar enough in feel that those that missed out (like me) on the other scent might be able to find something similar and possibly a new perfumery at the same time!  Win-Win right?  Enough already, I’m talking about Black Phoenix’s Fruminous Bandersnatch – so if you missed it and are hording your little stash, like me, get this – it’s awesome.  Udolpho is, as the name indicates, mysterious.  I honestly can’t go through and pick out the notes because if I hadn’t seen the note list I would’ve sworn there was carnation, amber, and maybe galbanum.  Oakmoss?  Bergamot tea?  Violet?  I can’t find those it’s so well blended.  This is warm and cozy and just amazing.  After a few hours this is a soft amber and vanilla scent with just a whisper of spice.

Pharaoh Anniversary is not part of the Spring Collection, but is instead part of the Studio Limited Collection, which has a chance to stick around a bit longer and even, sometimes, be re-stocked.  It’s notes are comprised of Water Lily, Heliotrope, Mimosa, Bergamot, Alexandrian Sea Salt, Amber and Musk. Anniversary blend brings the smokiness of NAVA ICONIC Arabian Oudh, NAVA Amber Resin Absolute, Frankincense Pure and White Myrrh of Aswan grown especially for our perfume company. Oh wow, this is gorgeous!  The water lily, heliotrope, and mimosa give this such a fragrant opening, soft and flowing.  And ICONIC!!  (No longer available notes are: Our Rose and Jasmine Oudh, more notably Rose Oudh. NAVA Oudh blend with Egyptian and Arabian White, Pink and Blood Rose Petals, Spanish Jasmine Grandiflorum, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute and Indian Jasmine Sambac. The Jasmine is a stabilizer for the rose and both botanica are the heart of this Oudh.)  NAVA does Oudh like no one else does Oudh.  This blend is at once flowing and resinous and truly a work of art.  I can smell the Nile, the floral gardens in the palace, the sand under my feet and the sun on my face.  It smells like a celebration on my skin.  The salt is barely there as to be non-existent.  Well, I know what’s going in my next order!  Mmm the longer this sits the more the ICONIC Oudh comes out.

Next is A Room With A View from the Spring Collection and it boasts notes of Florentine Frangipani, Essence of Florentine Violet, Italian White Musk, Plumeria Cream, Santalum, Italian Bergamot Tea Light Essence and Italian Cyprus infused Balsam wood. In the vile it’s all violet and plumeria cream (in the best way!) and on my skin the fragipani and white musk come out. It takes a minute but the santalum begins to warm up with a hint of cyprus and a soft touch of balsam.  The bergamot tea is giving it just the barest of hints of spice.  It always blows me away with how delicate and gentle some of these scents are when NAVA also does super good heavy incense and resin blends.  This is gorgeous.  It’s like an open window to the most lush of floral gardens.

Last, but most certainly not least, is Seth’s Super Secret Scent – Very Vanilla Crystalline Angel Cake!  No notes listed for this as it’s Seth’s own secret blend.  Sometimes he makes enough for full size bottles, sometimes just little teaser samples go out.  Typically these secret scents are sent out with update orders that were placed within a few days of a new update going live on the site.  Sometimes they are sent out until gone.  Just remember, I’m not a gourmand lover, and Seth is known for his gourmands.  In the vile I get a super buttery blast of vanilla cake.  On my skin it almost disappears!  I can barely get a hint of something resembling cake.  There’s a slight buttery vanilla note, but it’s so soft.  Boo!  It might be that I’ve gone nose-blind to it after the two stronger scents.  I’ll try again later and edit if it changes!

 

Nocturne Alchemy – Alyssum Champagne Crystalline

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photo by smellallthethings

When the sun begins to shine, the clouds are sparse and white, the temperature begins to rise, and the sky is blue – there’s really only one thing to do and that is to break into your Spring scent collection.  Today, I pulled out Alyssum Champagne Crystalline by Nocturne Alchemy.

This beloved soft violet scent is part of their Bastet’s Garden collection, and rightly so.  The violets are soft and powdery, almost silky in their scent.  This is a lush scent, blooming and blossoming on the skin until it’s full potential is released and you truly feel as though you are standing in a beautiful garden, surrounded by these sweet and fragrant flowers sipping on a glass of bubbling champagne.  The crystalline is soft and just lends a base sweetness.  There is a feeling of being uplifted when wearing this scent.  One cannot sniff this and not smile, even a little (allergies not withstanding).

Crystalline is one of their Studio Limited scents and according to Nocturne Alchemy it is “A thick viscous Vanilla that comes on soft and subtle then creates a cacophony of a beautiful cloud of vanilla purity. It is not a food vanilla, but a vanilla that makes you feel at peace, tranquil and right with the world.

Personally, I tend to lean more towards musks, incense, resins and the like, but apparently I’m a violet girl at heart.