30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 16 – Possets The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon

Continuing the celebration of Fabienne’s life – which will culminate tomorrow the 15th of October which will be a grand celebration – I chose The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon.  Honestly, it gives me the giggles whenever I read the name and thing about what that would have been like.  Could you imagine?

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photo by smellallthethings

The Great Psychiatrist of BabylonBack in the day, before a formal id, ego, and super-ego early psychiatrists roamed the land looking for loonies upon whom they could practice their trade. Babylon was a veritable hot bed of psychiatric investigation, and practiced by the female inhabitants of the city. The hypnotic base of the finest Bourbon vanilla shot through with incense smoke and the auxiliary smoke from “punk” fire, caramel, incense, and a small shot of whiskey on the side (for medicinal purposes only). There, now don’t you feel better?

Just imagine all the juicy gossip they were privy to!  Gossip is my guilty pleasure – not spreading, starting, or repeating – but I’ll admit I like hearing it second or third hand.

I had a lot of running around to do this morning (new glasses yay!) so I swiped this on and got ready.  Then, upon sniffing it on my skin, immediately slathered in it before I walked out the door.  It was so good!  Instantly I regretted never getting a bottle.

You get the vanilla and a gooey, smooth, and buttery caramel scent, but it’s juxtaposed with this incense.  It’s not like burning incense, though the notes state “smoke” I didn’t get any of that.  More it seemed like the scent was residual of years of burning incense so just the scent of it permeated everything around it.  This is really just a sweet incense when you get right down to it and one of my favorites.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get much whiskey, if any, from this blend, which is just fine.  Whiskey haven’t got along since my 21st birthday.  So … I have bad scent memories with it, needless to say.

About 4 hours later and I get just a sweet incense type scent, though it’s all but gone from my skin.  I wish this lasted longer as I just love it!  Though I suppose I should be happy that I get a nice wafting scent every now and then from my pulse points.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 13 – Possets Gelato: Vaniglia

As I’m sure many of you know a great mind, a wonderful human, and a perfumer of immense skill was lost earlier this month.  Fabienne Christiansen of Possets was a kind and gentle soul who was always a joy to communicate with.  Her tongue-in-cheek scent names never failed to bring a smile to my face.  I only wish I had discovered her world sooner.

Please, join me and countless others at the Indie Perfume Lovers facebook group in a Celebration of Life from now until October 15th in honor of dear Fabienne.  May she live on in our hearts and memories.

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photo by smellallthethings

Today I chose Gelato: Vaniglia – mostly because Fabienne chose it for me when I went in search of vanilla’s after having fell in love with Queen of Sheba.  I’d purchased a vanilla pack and explained I wanted to explore it all and she sent more than I’d ordered with a note on why she chose the extras.  It was sweet, touching, and a perfect example of the type of human she was.

In the vial this is that buttery vanilla, almost like a cake batter.  Such a bakery-type smell, but not?  There’s also something spicy like a cinnamon and nutmeg in there.  (I’m actually going about this blind – no notes until the end.)  Now that it’s dry, it’s like the cake/bread has been baked and is still warm from the oven.

This never leaves that comforting and warm stage,  I always feel as though it is surrounding me in comfort.  It gives a little bit of a throw and maybe it gives more than I’m realizing because I’m constantly feeling as though I’m comforted.  And slightly hungry.

It almost smells deep into the dry down that there’s something nutty in there, almost like an almond extract.  Maybe even something woody.  Hours and hours go by and this is still a buttery, sweet, and warm vanilla.  I will admit, this was very gourmand to me and on a few occasions it made my stomach growl.

Fabienne listed the description as: It is possible to have vanilla as a top, middle, and bottom note. I just did it. It is just a halo of vanilla as I have tasted it among the best of gelatos. Mmmmm. Vanilla was never so concentrated and so pure.

This really could explain why I was drooling over the ice cream at the store earlier.

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 5

Rounding out the last of my Possets Perfumapalooza posts is a trio of scents that I’m excited to try.  (Not that I haven’t been excited this whole time, but, you know, semantics.)  If you missed the previous parts they are here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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photo by smellallthethings

Eve begins the end of my journey with whose description is a heavy oriental, resplendent with musks, earthy sweetnesses, lingering and sexy as only that first lady could have been.  In the vial it is woody and slightly resinous with a touch of incense – deep and earthy almost.  On my skin there’s a touch of vetiver with an almost animalistic musk (castoreum blend?).  This is the earth and dirt and the sun beating down beautifully on a naked body.  I keep getting an animal-like association – though I suppose that is somewhat appropriate.  It’s dark and musky with a hint of animal and a touch of earth with only the barest bit of sweetness.

Ouija is next with notes of calming cedar and rosewood, black vanilla, fat vanilla, and a touch of rose to give it a sweet side, black silk scent, and a touch of coriander.  Oooh, in the vial I get a nice whiff of rosewood and cedar.  On my skin those are still apparent, though muted, and the vanilla and that intriguing black silk scent takes the forefront.  This is flowing and haunting blend with bits of rose rising and flowing through all the notes.  Black but almost gossamer in feel.  It’s not a skin scent and is making itself known.  Very nice!  This is just throwing itself all over the place!  I kind of like that.

Rounding out this wonderful ride through some of Possets catalog is Wings of an Angel with notes of hawthorn, white musk, a touch of ethereal mintiness, gorgeous regal vanilla Bourbon.  In the vial is hawthorn and vanilla, and while those notes persist through applying to skin, they seem to warm up.  The mint is soft and sweet, perhaps because of the vanilla bourbon.  This is gentle, comforting and soft.  Sweetly gorgeous and almost hauntingly beautiful.  I could see myself wearing this to bed and drifting off to the soft fluttering of wings of an angel.

This has been a blast!  So many bottle wants out of these 5 parts!  I’ll get to those and hopefully have some more samples to test out!

Possets Perfumaplooza – Part 4

Here we are back again with more Possets loveliness!  If you missed the previous parts here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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photo by smellallthethings

Dangerous Oil will open this group of scents with notes of 6 musks from blackest black up through a rare and gorgeous in itself purple/blue musk hybrid. A good jolt of labdenum and an edge of cognac. The heart note is an entire chypre made only for this project and used for no other.  In the vial I get that purple/blue musk and it’s so different and wonderful – you can actually smell the colors.  On my skin the chypre comes out and a touch of the cognac with that lovely floaty labdanum.  I’ve just recently (within the last year) fallen in love with chypre’s.  This blend is not dark, but definitely not light – it’s shadowy.  This floats around and the musks blend so well and the chypre is gorgeous.  I’d expected this to be almost in-your-face strong, but it’s not, it’s almost a skin scent that occasionally wafts up to you.

Next up we have lil-ole’ Betsy with notes of very deep bass notes of patchouli, labdenum, vetiver, and oud   All the spices of Arabia, Africa, and the Orient blended together with a huge shot of the sweetest and most high keyed musk.  Lots of labdanum!  Not that I mind.  In the vial it is all patchouli and vetiver – so much so as to be overwhelming when sniffing.  On my skin those calm down a touch and the spices come out.  This blend when wet morphs as it settles and I get hints and blasts of each note.  The musk is giving a slight bit of sweetness which is tempering the vetiver and patchouli from screaming.  This blend is dark and sultry – very seductive and not shy at all.

Queen of the Night is described by Fabienne as a deeply perfumy blend with a deeply foody core. It is dry and then again there is a dry sweetness to it. In the vial I get a bit of citrus and a flower that goes soapy – though there’s about three that do that to me, I don’t think it’s dragon’s blood but one of the others.  On my skin that soapy scent stays.  I don’t get food at all – not even a little bit.  This is all floral sweetness, soft and gentle.  As it dries the soapy scent floats away and I’m left with clean and gentle floral perfume with just a hint of sweetness.  The citrus was only in the vial apparently.  This is just a beautiful clean scent.

Finally a scent close to my own home in Ohio – Over-the-Rhine!  It is described as spicy, warm, unisex, resinous, oriental.  I’ve been meaning to get this blend since I saw it over a year ago on their website.  However, I have this thing where I get distracted by shiny things.  It happens, okay?  Anyway, in the vial I get a beautiful spicy resinous scent – like spices and frankincense tears.  On my skin there is a touch of wood, maybe oudh, it’s warm and comforting – there is something almost smoky in the quality of it, but not a burning smell.  This feels very classic and high class – as though it would be worn by anyone.  It almost smells … familiar.  Not like it smells like something I know, just that the scent combination has that familiarity to it – just like “oh yeah, I totally know you” even if you don’t.  I am not describing it very well.  So wonderful!  I, of course, must get this – because Ohio won’t be my home much longer.

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 3

Here we are, back again for more Possets Perfume Perfection!  If you missed them, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2!

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photo by smellallthethings

To start us off with this round of scents we have Dance With Me whose notes consist of: coumarin-laced lavender combines with fizzy pink grapefruit, and it all rests on a bed of white musk.  So exciting a new note!  No idea what coumarin smells like!  (I worked in a doctor’s office, so all I know is the medicine – which has no smell.)  And lavender … let’s see if Possets works for me – I so want to be able to wear it!  In the vial it’s a pretty perfect pink grapefruit!  On my skin it’s much of the same, super happy and uplifting.  The white musk is under it giving it something to rest on.  As the grapefruit calms down into just a hint of that juicy sweet perfection the lavender comes out soft and gentle.  So far none of that sharp nose-hurting smell that I have gotten from other lavender’s.  There is something kind of green wafting around.  Maybe coumarin?  (Need to google!)  Well, that was interesting – and hard to describe but what I read from several sources was that it typically has a tonka-like smell (which for me tends to be brown and fuzzy).  However, it can also have a hay-like association.  Either way Dance With Me is a beautiful scent with lavender that I can wear!  It’s super bright and soft – perfect for summer and dancing with my girls.  The citrus never really goes away, which sometimes can happen.  This scent is so far from anything I would normally pick for myself that I am over the moon happy!  Usually you hear of citrus scents not having much lasting power, but this isn’t the case here.  It’s over an hour later and still going strong!

Next up we have Dies Irae with notes of three BLACK musks, one fog-like musk to disburse the whole, bitter galbanum, smooth hawthorne, the scent of rotting leaves, a small amount of orris, and smoky oude, finally frankincense and black amber. Well talk about opposite end of the spectrum!  In the vial it’s all leaves and orris – and it’s that lovely wet, decomposing leaf smell you can only get from a forest floor.  On my skin that decomposing leaf smell stays (I actually love that smell – but I’m weird so …) but the orris does this cute thing where it plays peek-a-boo.  The musks are there but they aren’t assertive, just keeping things nice and dark so the leaves can rot in peace and the ground can be rejuvenated by the natural process.  To me this is just a big dense forest doing the things that forests do best – death, rebirth, and renewal.  This has a great throw to it and just a wonderful fall-like scent.

Evita Peron, part of the Femme Fatales collection, boasts notes of Egyptian musk, followed by a very unusual leather component which conjures up the scent of violets (!). This is accompanied by a dry white amber, and a kiss of ginger. In the vial this is white amber and … violets!  Fabienne is right about that leather, how cool!  On my skin this is soft, sweet violets with a touch of musk and just a hint of ginger.  It is soft, somewhat sweet, and just classic.  This isn’t a super complex scent, but I can’t stop sniffing the spot on my hand.  It’s just so sweet and comforting, yet it’s also elegant and almost commanding at the same time.

Salome is the last scent for this round and is also part of the Femme Fatales collection.  It’s notes are comprised of Black and African, myrrh, frankincense, cedar, ivory musk, green coffee pulp extract, and a very light light misting of black Mexican vanilla.  In the vial I get green coffee.  This may be seen as blasphemous to some – but I dislike coffee with a passion.  I don’t drink it, I don’t like to smell it, I’m just not a coffee person.  Please take my preferences with a grain of salt.  I will try to be objective, but sometimes you just can’t help what you can’t help.  On my skin, thankfully, the super prominent green coffee note is almost completely gone.  In its wake I am left with beautiful myrrh and resinous frankincense.  The cedar forms a beautiful base while the musk just gently presents itself.  The vanilla isn’t apparent, but I’m sure it’s in there.  This is dark, beguiling, and a little off base.

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 2

Welcome back for another Perfumapalooza with Possets!  I’m putting another small dent in my rather large collection of samples.  Wee!  If you missed Part 1 it’s right over here.

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photo by smellallthethings

First up is Howl.  It has notes listed as black, red and amber musks wrestle furiously with sandalwood and opium tar resin. There is nothing light, sweet, or gentle about this scent. A burning incense backs it up, black patchouli stands in the forefront.  In the vial it’s burnt opium tar and dark patchouli.  On my skin the musks seem to be fighting each other though the red musk is at the forefront with a base of opium tar.  This is dark and resinous, but it fights with itself – the notes all trying to figure out how they will meld together.  It takes a while but the musks finally come together and take the lead with the rest of the notes hanging out in the back.  It’s a rough scent with nothing soft or frilly about it.  But man, once this dries down this is gorgeous!  It’s incense and woody!  It leans a touch masculine.  Oh man, I honestly wasn’t sure I would like this at all, and for a bit I could take it or leave it, but after it’s sat for about 10 minutes this is just beyond beautiful!

I actually have a bottle of Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, it was my first bottle purchase from Possets.  It has notes of Mysore sandalwood, suede, frankincense, patchouli, 4 vanillas.  This is all vanilla in the vial, but it’s not that super buttery gourmand vanilla, it’s softer and gentler.  On my skin the sandalwood and frankincense comes out with just a touch of the patchouli to tamper a bit of the vanilla.  The suede is soft and touchable (that’s totally a thing ya know).  Overall it has a soft almost fuzzy brown and sweet scent around it.  It’s comforting and cozy.

And, because I have a bottle that has been aged nearly a year, lets see what aged Arrival of the Queen of Sheba smells like shall we?  (The date I put on the lid is July 2015!)  In the bottle the vanilla has an almost boozy quality to it, like one of the vanillas is a bourbon vanilla.  The sandalwood and frankincense is super smooth and the suede is super soft and only a touch fuzzy.  The patchouli has smoothed out as well.  As if fresh isn’t comforting and cozy enough, the aged just keeps going, like sinking into the most luxurious seat imaginable.  However, once both have completely dried down, there’s not too much difference.  Aged is just slightly smoother overall and it starts smooth instead of the somewhat bumpy start the new vial had.

Nocturne is up next with the simple notes of balsam fir and a thick crust of sugar.  So … different.  I get the evergreen scent from the balsam fir and it is truly coated in sugar.  This is so unique!  I went to a museum of natural history yesterday and there was a display of different forests and this reminds me of what the display of coniferous forests smelled like.  Solitary and steadfast are two words that come to mind when I sniff this.  I think this would be a beautiful scent for an oil warmer.  I’d love my house to smell like this.  Unfortunately my skin eats this scent after a few minutes so I think putting this in the oil warmer will be best.

Lady and a Baby Unicorn will round out this batch of reviews and her notes are: using the right type and right amount and right dilution, vetiver (that sultry, earthy, wild, and dominant part) becomes positively docile, sweet, and innocent…almost fruity in the presence of three vanillas (dry, fat, and sweet).  Vetiver and I … we have a love/hate relationship.  Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it.  In the vial it smells like … jello?  Ha!  On my skin I still get the jello association.  Eventually it evens out  and I get a touch of earthy sweetness.  This scent is another unique one!  Fabienne sure does know how to do unique scents!

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 1

I have a huge pile of Possets samples that I’ve purchased straight from Possets, or from Ajevie, and some I acquired via freebies from purchases or swaps from other members of the Indie Perfume community.  It is their time to shine!

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photo by smellallthethings

Zombie is one of the blends I hear so much about!  It’s always described as marshmallow oudh – what’s not to love about that?!  The “official” notes are listed as: toasted marshmallow and oude, a bit of burnt stick, and the unmistakable fragrance of the crisp autumn air.  (There are many different spellings for oudh, oud, oude, and I’m sure there’s more.)  In the vial I get a bit of oudh and a touch of that crisp autumn air.  On my skin it just … wow, it’s so unique!  It’s marshmallow all right, that ooey gooey melted marshmallow that you only get from a stick and a fire.  There’s no burning smell, just this lush woody scent topped with marshmallow.  I get the hype!  It’s very soft overall, however, the longer this sits the more the marshmallow fades to just a hint of sweetness and you’re left with this smooth and fragrant oudh.

I have to admit this next one I’ve tested already as I’ve been eyeing it fiercely for months and I’m happy it made the permanent collection!  That scent is Min-Min (Ghost Lights) and it boasts notes of Sandalwoods, three of them, combined with the rich enticing scent of leather, a strong and classic patchouli. In the vial it’s almost all leather (it’s a cross between new shiny leather and that soft, well-worn leather I prefer).  As it dries the sandalwood comes as does the patchouli.  It’s a warm patchouli, almost golden in its scent.  Despite the notes in this not typically being seen as ethereal, somehow it is just that – floating and ethereal, yet grounded.  As this sits on my skin longer the leather goes from the forefront to somewhere in the back where it just gives hints as to its existence in the blend.  Very beautiful and almost haunting blend.

Jeanne duVal is part of the Femme Fatales 2016 collection with notes of 5 ambers (two golden, one dry, one sweet, and one which is what I call Black Amber), add to that African Musk, a drop of aged sweet patchouli, a nice swath of labdanum, a large part of a very very dry and somewhat woody Bourbon vanilla, a bit of sandalwood, and just the right amount of Haitian vetiver.  I get a nice sweet blast of bourbon vanilla in the vial and … chocolate?  On my skin the vetiver takes over and for some reason there is something reminding me of chocolate.  Or rather, more of a cocoa than a sweet milk chocolate.  The ambers begin to make their appearance which pushes that weird cocoa note further away.  I wonder if one of the ambers is a grey amber because I get just a hint of saltiness.  The bourbon vanilla begins it’s ascent to the top with some of the sandalwood.  I’m not getting a hint of labdanum which usually gives me a floaty feeling in a blend.  This is a very grounded scent … but something is still giving me wafts of cocoa!  So weird!  If it weren’t for the cocoa I think I would really like it!  Huh, it took a while, but the cocoa scent finally went away and now the labdanum has come out with it’s floaty essence.

The Mistress of Power will round out Part 1 of this review with notes of an incense and musk scent, a great oriental. Black, grey, and golden musks at the base, a good part of aged patchouli (which has gone from a thin light yellow to a thick dark brown over the years in the curing cabinet) there is absolutely nothing coy about this blend. Backdrop of a non foody and more brandy-like chocolate liquor, a small amount of clove, all finished off with an ambergris-like musk for a shadow-like staying power.  The scent in the vial is boozy, but that goes away almost as soon as it touches my skin.  Wow the patchouli is strong in this one with a good bit of a golden scent to it.  The incense is strong, but not overwhelming.  This is a resinous and incense blend, not for the faint of heart.  It is commanding and powerful making itself known.  There is a bit of subtle shifting between the notes as they vie for power and dominance.  It takes a while, but eventually they settle into a golden resin and incense blend with just a hint of sweetness.  This actually reminds me of the Lotus Spa I went to on the Outer Banks!  Such a lovely and relaxing place.  But that’s quite the dichotomy isn’t it?