Sixteen92 – Fall 2016 Samples

As if a Halloween release tease isn’t enough, I also bring Sixteen92‘s Fall release samples!

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photo by smellallthethings

I think everyone remembers the witch trials, especially if you read The Crucible in school.  Some delved in deeper, I’m sure.  Unfortunately growing up Catholic, this sort of thing was highly glossed over.  I think I have a new personal goal to learn more about the witch trials.

Starting with Bridget Bishop (link to wikipedia) I’ve learned she was the first person to be executed for being a witch.  Her perfume notes are – Night-blooming flowers, belladonna, bergamot peel, resinous oudh, nutmeg, ambroxan, and scarlet musk.

This is one of the premium fragrances.  In the vial this is all heady florals, still warm from the heat of the day.  On my skin I get a little funkiness from the oudh before it smooths out.  There is a hint of bitter greenness from the belladonna and the bergamot adds its touch of spiciness.  I’m not really getting any nutmeg.

Looking up ambroxan I found out it is a synthetic representation of ambergris which explains that sort of salty aquatic feel I’m getting.

The throw on this is gorgeous and the florals are deep and heady, almost like hot-house florals in their intensity.  This blend is not shy.  It is strong, almost commanding, and not for the faint of heart.

Unfortunately, about 30 min into the drydown I ended up having a sneezing fit and had to wash it off and take a few minutes to sniff some coffee and reset myself – which is disappointing because I was really, really liking this blend.

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Cotton Mather is a rather well known figure from the Salem Witch Trials.  He was a very vocal supporter of the trials as well as an author of numerous publications regarding the trials, demons, witches, and the like.  His perfume contains notes of blackened patchouli, woodland mosses, sweet herbs, dried helichrysum, woodsmoke, lamplight, ink, ash, and flame.

Fire and brimstone would not be a wholly inaccurate way to describe this scent.  There is a lot of smoke and charred woods in the vial.  On my skin the patchouli is dirty, sooty and dark while the woodsmoke and ash cling to everything while a fire burns in the distance.  This is not a soft nor gentle scent.

It feels dangerously dark, yet almost alluring.  I find myself catching hints of smoke and fire and following it down to sniff at my wrist.  The moss is dark and ashy.  To be fair, there is the feeling of a fine layer of ash over the whole scent.  You catch a bit of the oil burning for the lamplight, yet it mixes in with the flame as well.  There is a touch of a hay-like scent as well, as though there are stables not far away.

This blend leans heavily masculine and I believe it has more throw than it’s showing me.  I have a feeling others would get a sense of it and maybe even steer clear without really understanding why.

So about an hour or so later and I was right about the throw.  It’s now wafting about as strong as a … (don’t hate me) Hollister store.  Not the same scent!  Just the strength!  This is actually extremely wearable.  The wet stage is a touch overwhelming, but dry this is really quite something.  Very much in the cologne territory, but not horribly so.  It reminds me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  And it’s turning out to be another one that I can’t stop smelling.

After about 2 hours the scent on my skin is fading, but the throw isn’t!  Well, kind of.  It’s no longer at Hollister-strength (really, please don’t hate me).

While after oh … 6 hours or so the throw isn’t much there, I still get nice whiffs when I wave the spot towards my nose.  Also, the scent is still very much there on my skin, though much faded.

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Mercy Lewis became caught up in the hysteria that began surrounding the witch trials.  Not only was she accused of being a witch, but she had accused others as well.  Her perfume notes are heliotrope, honeyed tea, rosehips, sugared almond, creamy sandalwood, and milky vanilla.

In the vial I get an unmistakable creamy, almost an almond cookie dough type scent and it’s really quite delicious.  On my skin this is all about that smooth and creamy sandalwood supported with a soft and delicate vanilla.  I get a touch of the almond, almost more like a marzipan than a whole almond.  The rosehips and heliotrope are gorgeous and silky soft.

Overall this is a very … naive scent.  It is innocence and ignorance and just trying to survive.

For as light as this scent is, I do get a faint throw from the florals.  They are pinkish white and the tea is more tasted than smelled.  I truly adore this scent for how utterly girlish it is.

After a few hours this has become a sweetly soft honey with a small hint of tea.  It’s now a very close skin scent, clean and very nice.

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Sarah Good was found guilty of witchcraft, likely erroneously, because two young girls pointed fingers at her.  Her perfume notes are charred maple leaves, black pitch, fresh-baked bread, dried black tea leaves, sweet orange, and chimney smoke.

The first thing I smell out of the vial is bread and strong black tea.  On my skin the charred maple leaves overtake and I get a strong sense of burning bread and ashes.  The black pitch is pine-like and very thick tar while the orange attempts to add something bright into the mix.

Another blend with another good throw, I’m gobsmacked, truly, by how many of these lately have a good throw.  This blend leans unisex, and thankfully, like Cotton Mather, the “smoke” aspect isn’t overwhelming and floats off to the distance as it dries.

I am yet again drawn to the spot on my wrist to huff happily.  This is a very woodsy almost cabin-like scent.  Very gorgeous and soft.

Three hours after, I still get a sense of bread and something verging on being a spice, perhaps the dried black tea leaves.  It’s not a yeasty bread at all, very nice and soft.

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Tituba, who was accused along with Sarah Good, was a slave and was also the first to confess to witchcraft.  Her perfume contains hawthorn, gingerbread biscuits, tobacco leaf, burning resins, rye, sweet woods, and beeswax candles.

In the vial I get a strong tobacco scent along with a creamy beeswax.  On my skin the beeswax is sweetened somehow, perhaps by the woods, and the resins are sticky and not yet burning.  I don’t get much rye or gingerbread from this, though the hawthorn is there, it is adding a touch of greenness.

This blend is sweet and homey – as though you are standing in someone’s kitchen that they love, care for, and enjoy thoroughly.  I really get a sense of love, and home, and all things that make you feel as though you are in a warm embrace.  If Tituba truly was a witch, I do not believe she was evil.

While this blend doesn’t have a huge throw, it is beautiful and long lasting on my skin.

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I think the fall release, more so than the Halloween release, will doom me.  I believe the only one I haven’t fallen fore is Bridget Bishop, and that’s only because I couldn’t stop sneezing.

And if you, like others, are wondering when these lovely’s will be released, there is a time table!  Per Claire:

“The season of RELEASE ALL THE THINGS” has begun!

Just posting a quick overview of all of the upcoming releases, since there’s a lot to keep track of:

AUGUST:

Bath & Body (whipped soaps, scrubs) will launch very soon — expect an email from us in the next day or two with details and official release date. Soon, very soon.

Fall will happen at the very end of August this year, instead of early September. If you’re a Circle member expect your pre-sale access link to land in your inboxes within the next 2 weeks.

Fall/Winter bath & body will launch with the fall collection (which means Toasted Marshmallow is returning along with some other favorites and new offerings)

SEPTEMBER:

Fall part 2 will launch with the Halloween collection in late September this year. Last year Halloween ran Oct 1-31 but we are pushing everything up by just a bit this year, due to the busy season. We will also have a Halloween mini bath & body collection like last year.

OCTOBER:

Fall LE time! Details TBA, it’s a secret 😉

And that should take us through the winter release and into Black Friday

Sixteen92 – Halloween 2016 Samples

Sixteen92‘s subscription, The Circle, has got to be the best thing since … sample packs!  I love this little bit of “sneak peek” I, and others, get!

I also got the Fall samples in this pack, but I’ve been itching for Halloween scents so I’m doing the Halloween reviews first.

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photo by smellallthethings

The Bell Witch with sweet cider barrels, orchard wood, blond tobacco leaf, cave and forest moss, glowing pumpkin, dry leaves, and turned earth is up first and I don’t think I can properly convey just how excited I am to try these scents.  I think this is the first time where every description pulls at me.

In the vial I get a definite spiced apple scent, likely from the cider barrels.  On my skin this just blossoms and opens up and without even sniffing my skin I can smell the soft flesh of the pumpkin, dry leaves crunching under foot, a hint of tobacco, and the soft velveteen texture of the moss.

What I’m saying is this baby has some throw on it and I’m in love.  You get it all in here, every nuanced aspect of this blend is perfectly represented and comes together to form the most accurate representation of a crisp fall day that I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.

This blend seems to lean a little masculine as it dries, giving it a cologne type feel to it, likely from the earth and moss, but it’s not something that will deter me from wearing it.  I want to bathe in this scent.

With the amount of throw on this blend, I do find it somewhat overwhelming to sniff directly on my skin and I much prefer the scent I get as it wafts as opposed to the spicier version on my skin.  After about an hour the scent against the skin isn’t so overwhelming and is just as gorgeous as the scent that wafts up to me still.

You would think after a few hours I’d have nothing to add to this, but alas, that is not true.  Not only is this scent still giving a decent throw, and still beautiful, it seems that now I’m getting more apple, as though a glass of cider was poured and they cut up a fresh apple to mix into it.  Magic.  Pure and simple.

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Borley Rectory has notes of Italian Bergamot, cocao pod, smoked black tea, decayed woods, faded parchment, shadowy musk.

In the vial I get musk and bergamot with a strong helping of black tea.  This is another blend that, quite literally, blossoms on the skin immediately.  The bergamot is beautiful, and it’s a note that is becoming a fast favorite of mine and I’ve been seeking it out lately.  The tea has somewhat backed down to a half drunk cup instead of a full blown pot.  The parchment is well worn, touched and used, and has oil from skin along the edges.

That shadowy musk though, that is what makes this blend.  I don’t get much cocao pod, or if I do it’s blended and so light that I can’t pick it out.  However, that musk is almost sinister and it combines with the smokiness of the black tea and the heat of woods that this is just a dark and almost foreboding scent.

I did notice there are flecks of cocao in the vial, so I’m sure that’s in there, but I can’t pick it out, which is fine.  Also this is leaning masculine as well, but I still love it.

There is a throw to this, though not as prominent as The Bell Witch was, but it still wafts up gently.  It’s longevity is really awesome as well.

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The Island of the Dolls contains notes of Mexican vanilla, dry bergamot, somber rose, dark chocolate, black plum, dense woods, and porcelain musk.  If you’ve ever seen a documentary on this place, it’s super creepy.

There is a deep chocolate scent in the vial as well as on my skin.  At first that’s about all I can smell (which is why I don’t wear chocolate – it overwhelms everything else on me).  After a few minutes I get some of that slightly spicy dry bergamot.  I’ve concluded dry is not how I like my bergamot.  The rose is also coming across as being a dried rose instead of fresh.

I’m having a hard time smelling around the chocolate.  Thankfully after letting it sit for about 20 minutes or so, most of the chocolate scent is gone.  Now I am getting a sense of that dark plum and some deep dark woods.  The porcelain musk is soft and powdery.

Unfortunately, this one does not have a good throw on me and I have to really sniff the spot to get a good sense of the blend.  It is nice once dried, again leaning masculine, but I don’t think its for me, especially because of the chocolate.  That’s just not my thing.

Man, after about an hour I adore the scent I’m getting from this.  I just wish I didn’t have that issue with the chocolate!  Because what’s left is woodsy and slightly sweet, soft and almost alluring.

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Myrtles Plantation‘s notes consist of oleander leaf and bloom, labdanum, white sage, fig leaf, blood orange, and suede musk.

This seems to be the brightest of the bunch with blood orange taking the lead in the vial with a touch of oleander.  On my skin the suede musk immediately asserts itself and lays out as a soft smooth base, brown and almost fuzzy.  You really get a hint of greenness from the fig leaf, and the sage is very apparent.  The blood orange is now, almost completely gone or pushed out of the way by the other scents.

There is something almost bitter in this blend.  I’m afraid sage has taken another blend from under me.  My skin reacts poorly to sage.  Which makes me sad because I love labdanum and wanted so much to like this blend!

Well into the dry down the sage is no longer bitter, thankfully, and the labdanum gets to come out and do it’s narcotic dance.  This is soft and more brown than green, and very close to the skin.

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Lastly we have Waverly Hills whose notes are listed as dense fern, frost, wild moss, raw honey & propolis vegan, black labdanum, overgrown vines, late blooming Southern florals, and spectral musk.

In the vial the ferns feel crushed and give off that unique green scent and its almost overpowering.  On my skin that sharp greenness is still there, but the other notes are attempting to temper it.

After about 10 minutes the sharpness of the fern has subsided and I’m left with this unmistakable garden – soft florals and sweet greens with a hint of that labdanum and a touch of honey.  That spectral musk acts like fog, and the frost helps to enhance that feeling.  This is early pre-dawn in a slightly overgrown garden when the fog has rolled in and created this gorgeous, slightly spooky, scene.

The throw on this isn’t huge, but I do get it wafting up to me on occasion.  Being even more Southern than Kentucky, I really appreciate and understand the late blooming florals.  They are showcased here beautifully.  (I still have a magnolia tree in my backyard that throws out a new bloom about once a week.)

I get a very ethreal feel about this blend, and I think this, minus the sharp fern scent, would be best as an EDP.

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For me, personally, The Bell Witch and Borley Rectory have stolen my Halloween loving heart!  Both of these I could slather in every format offered and still want more.

Sixteen92 – Heliophobia Limited Edition

Sixteen92 is doing something awesome where they are releasing scents for Friday the 13th’s.  And each consecutive Friday the 13th all previous releases will be available.  Heliophobia is the first one which is the fear of sunlight.  Unfortunately (?) 2016 has seen it’s last Friday the 13th and the next one won’t be until January 2017.

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photo by smellallthethings

Notes are: Climbing ivy, faded magnolia blooms, moonlit vines, cracked solarium glass, splintered wood, peeling wallpaper, humid air, fog & shadow, feral musk

In the vial this reminds me of the house from Doctor Who’s Blink.  On my skin it is much of the same.  An old house long ago taken back by the vegetation and wilderness around it.

This picture perfectly encapsulates the feeling of this blend.

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photo from doctorwholocations.net

The magnolia is heady and blooming, white and fresh and clean yet somehow melancholy as only magnolia can be.  There is so much greenness to this scent, but it’s not like fresh cut grass or anything quite so in-your-face, instead it is calm, unassuming, but you know it’s there from the first breath.  The wallpaper is on the verge of crumbling under your fingertips as you run your hand across it.  Both the wallpaper and the wood have seen many years of neglect and abuse at the hands of nature and so mold and other fungi have taken hold and add to the overall moldering scent that permeates the blend.  It’s not offensive, but it adds to the atmospheric nature of this blend.

You can almost feel the shade and shadows creeping around this blend, as though it is purposefully hiding the light.  This is creepy, but only if you’ve been to places like this, where you can feel the history in the house and it almost speaks to you.

It takes about an hour, but it becomes a super masculine blend and it is reminding me of some cologne that I can’t quite remember.  But whatever it is, I love it!

Overall this is the perfect blend for those who enjoy old, possibly haunted, buildings, green scents, or atmospheric scents.

Sixteen92 – Summer 2016 Mix Tape

There are times in your life when you’re the only one of your friends with a car, high school is close to being over, and you just need that one perfect mix tape to blast.  The windows are rolled down, the sun is shinning, and you’re just driving with no particular destination.  Maybe you’re singing along, maybe you’re thumping the steering wheel, maybe you’re just letting it flow over you as you contemplate the life, much like the road, in front of you.

This new collection by Sixteen92 – without even sniffing it – is nostalgia in a pretty box for me.  Lots of good and bad things happened during the time this is reminding me of – but I’ve survived and now I get to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses and a heavy dollop of knowledge and just shake my head at my younger self.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bells For Her (sweet basil, dandelion, star jasmine, green vines, mandarin, ozone, green tea, crushed mint) is a song by Tori Amos that came out in 1994.  Here’s a link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is green, both in color and in scent.  On my skin this is almost bitter sweet, like the song.  Basil is prominent – I loved my herb garden and the smell I would get on my hands when I would pick what I needed for dinner.  The dandelion is yellow and glowing while the jasmine is fragrant and sweet drifting on the summer wind.  Mint isn’t very noticeable other than to give a slight cool breeze-like feeling to the scent.  The mandarin adds a touch of sweetness and rounds out with the green tea, as though the two are mixed like a cool drink.  The ozone is simply the wind and the sky and the sun all combining to add their unique scent to the mix.  This is the height of summer when you are awkward – not quite a teenager – yet you’re almost too old to go out and simply enjoy yourself in your back yard.  Closing your eyes, walking aimlessly, headphones on and cares brushed off, this is like walking to walk.  Walking to get away.  Walking to find yourself.  The route nor the destination mean much, just the journey itself is what you crave.

Bruise Violet (red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, damascus & bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest) is a song by Babes in Toyland, released in 1992.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is powder and lipstick.  On my skin the iris and rose come blasting out ready to rock.  This is like getting your first bit of makeup and playing dress-up in front of your mirror with adult clothes.  After a while all the scents of the make up, the perfume your Mom let you take (or maybe you snuck) and those high heels that your friend let you borrow … it all mixes together while you blast your music.  Got the house to yourself because the siblings had a soccer game and you convinced your ‘rents to let you stay home alone.  This is a scent for red lipstick and stuffing your training bra with socks – ya know, just to see.  Man this scent stays strong – like you sprayed too much of your Mom’s favorite perfume and you just know she will find out because there’s no amount of scrubbing in the next 10 minutes that’s going to take that scent away.

Shadowboxer (jasmine fleur, may rose, blond sandalwood, mango flower, praline) is a song by Fiona Apple which was released in 1996.  Fiona Apple was a guilty pleasure of mine since I was into the grunge/goth scene in high school and she was so very not grunge or goth.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing.  In the vial it’s all sandalwood and praline – strong and almost overpowering.  On my skin the jasmine comes out.  I’m not entirely sure what mango flower smells like but there is something almost tropical about this scent.  This is floaty and flowing – moving and changing and shifting with each scent.  The praline isn’t nutty, at least not that I can tell – and my skin tends to do weird things to almond scents, so maybe it’s only almond and not all nuts.  It is very hard to describe this scent  it’s at once dark and bright. After a while the sandalwood takes the lead, the flowers sit back and relax, and the praline just adds a touch of sweetness.  This is a beautiful scent and one I hope they release in EDP format.

New Radio (vanilla milkshake accord, maraschino cherry, pink lemonade, grass clippings, waffle cone) is by Bikini Kill released in 1993.  The video I listened to while reviewing can be found here.   In the vial this is all vanilla milkshake.  Oh wow, this scent is like the first time your Mom let you go to a festival with your friends.  No parents, no rules, all fun!  You ate yourself silly, spent all your money and had so little to show for it but you had a freakin’ blast!  The waffle cone is soft from the vanilla ice cream while the cherry is eaten first.  The pink lemonade is such a contrast to the vanilla but it just makes it that much better.  Somehow this blend is not foodie at all, despite all the notes and even my description mentioning food over and over again.  This is just the aftermath of a summer festival spent with your friends.

Doll Parts (rhubarb, white cake, white peach, cassis, osmanthus, ginger flower) by Hole was released in 1994 and is such an iconic song from my teenage years.  Here is the link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing.  I am, doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs.  This is all peach in the vial while on my skin the cake, cassis, and ginger come out to smooth that out.  This is so different.  Juicy, fruity, almost like bubble gum this scent is almost innocent to an extreme.  I want to take Doll Parts and New Radio and rub them all over. This keeps from going too innocent, or rather, it backs that innocent bus up a bit and realizes it’s supposed to be heading in a different direction.  Another one that just gets better as it sits.  The bubble gum association never completely goes away, but it’s more like a memory.

Finally, to round out this mix tape, we have Rid of Me (magnolia, sambac jasmine, ylang, white pepper, grapefruit blossom, ambrette, satin musk, oudh) by PJ Harvey which was released in 1993.  This is the video I watched while reviewing this scent.  PJ Harvey was my best friend’s favorite singer.  I only ever listened to PJ Harvey while I was at her house so it has a strong association to her.  In the vial I get a bit of pepper, some of the oudh and a touch of musk.  On my skin the musk comes out more as does the magnolia.  The ylang and the jasmine give this a heady and southern feel to the blend.  The oudh (love oudh) is a wonderful woody and sweet base to this scent.  There’s almost an incense quality to the blend.  It’s light flowing skin scent that quietly sneaks up on you to steal your heart.

This is a wonderful collection and I’m so glad I was able to get samples and try them out!  They should be released on Sixteen92’s site soon!  Now to decide what I can’t live without …

 

Sixteen92 – EDP and oils

Another wonderful order from the fabulous Sixteen92!  They had something of a flash sale for the oils, a return of past favorites, and having only recently begun dipping my toes in the proverbial water and being smitten, I had to grab them!

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photo by smellallthethings

You may also notice that EDP is from their Spring 2016 Collection that I reviewed here.  I couldn’t pass it up!  The Primrose Path is just like spring and the earth in a bottle it’s so lovely.  The notes are Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms.  Not much of a difference between the oil and the EDP.  I get so much of that lovely moist earth on initial spray.  And stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  It’s all greenery, soft and warm, with the earth underneath and the breeze gently blowing.  The longer this sits the more you get the old oak tree and the lichen.  It’s almost like being in an ancient forest surrounded by plants and trees that you just know have been around for centuries.  For some reason the EDP feels older than the oil, whereas the oil is more fresh.

And of course I have to follow that beauty up with The Orchard Keeper whose notes include night blooming jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood.  This scent opens with a beautiful jasmine and peach combination that is sweet and almost sultry.  It doesn’t take long for that sandalwood to come into the picture.  The apricot adds a bright, but not juicy, sweetness to the blend and the pink pepper gives a touch of perky spice.  I could see this being the perfect scent for a peach orchard.  Beautifully soft, slightly decadent, and sinfully sweet.

Finally I grabbed a 6ml of The Sound and the Fury and its notes include southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam.  Oh wow, now I wish I hadn’t chickened out of the big bottle.  The jessamine is soft and velvety, perfect for those relaxing days.  The tea isn’t strong, like I had feared it would be.  The balsam, fern, and loam give a wonderful greenness to the blend that isn’t overdone.  I have quite a few ferns growing in my front garden and I recognized the scent!  The skin musk gives that warm glow you can only get from sun warmed skin.

Overall I am super pleased with my blind purchases!  It means I’m finally learning how Sixteen92 works for me and my skin chemistry!

Sixteen92 – Merely a Madness

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photo by smellallthethings

Previously I had reviewed a sample of Sixteen92‘s Merely a Madness with all the other spring collection scents.  As you can see, that led to a purchase of the 10ml roll on oil and a 1oz EDP bottle.

I can’t help but think of Muse’s song Madness every time I use this scent.

Everyone applies scents differently.  I tend to put oils on my wrist, back of my hand, crook of my elbow, and pulse point on my neck – sometimes behind my ear.  With EDP’s, I tend to spray them on my clothes and some of it gets on my neck.

The notes for Merely a Madness are white sandalwood, clover honey (vegan), sweet orange, rosewater, blond patchouli, cedar heart.

The EDP and the oil are slightly different but they are close.  With the oil the patchouli and sandalwood stand out while the EDP lets the sweet orange and cedar heart be the star.  They are both golden in their feel, but the oil feels slightly darker.  And it’s a honey I can wear!  I have such awful luck with honey most of the time that I totally didn’t realize it was in here (my chemistry makes it SCREAM most of the time).

Some EDP’s you get a huge blast of alcohol at first before it burns off, but with Sixteen92 that alcohol phase is almost non-existent.  It’s merely moments instead of minutes.

As this wears through the day, it gets softer and cozier.  Like a warm sweater or blanket that you like to cuddle up into after a long and hard day.  It started off almost hyper with the orange, rosewater, and patchouli all vying for attention and shifting between themselves.  But, after a few hours, Merely a Madness calms down into this luscious golden scent.  It is this time that the oil and EDP meld into one scent and match each other beautifully.

Merely a Madness may start out crazy and wild, but, like all creatures, it enjoys a good cozy cuddle at the end of a hectic day.

Sixteen92 General Catalog Samples

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photo by smellallthethings

I just had to go and get some more samples from Sixteen92‘s general catalog after having such a good experience with their Spring Collection.  There has been discussion on their Facebook Page about discontinuing a few scents and making room for others, possibly A Thousand Times More Fair from their Spring Collection as well as three others.  Two of the scents I’m reviewing (The Awakening and La Llorona) are on the chopping block!  Eek!  Discontinuations are expected and understandable, but they are still sad.  I always get this knee jerk reaction of OMG I NEED IT (even if I’ve never liked the scent before) because what if it gets better with age and then it’s all gone and you can’t find it anywhere because everyone else knew it was awesome and then you missed it and can never have the awesome again and …. *deep breath*  Yeah, so, I got those two specifically to see if I truly want them or if I’m just having discontinuation anxiety.

The Awakening has notes of: Ocean air, dark water, damp mosses, gulf mud, saltwater taffy.  Now normally I’m not one for ocean types as it usually means ambergris and I’m not a fan of ambergris.  However, I really enjoyed Storm of Fortunes which has ambergirs so I decided to give this a try.  Plus it’s on the chopping block (eek!) and I’m going to the beach on vacation soon and I like “water” scents to wear when I’m at the actual water.

In the vial it is mostly the dark water, a bit of mud, and moss.  As soon as it hits my skin the water deepens even more and the ocean air starts blowing.  There’s a small hint of sweet saltwater taffy.  The mosses are wet from a recent storm and the mud has been churned by the waves.  This morphs and moves through phases as it dries, letting each note come to the fore like the coming and going of the ocean waves.  There’s also something cold in here.  Not physically cold, but it smells cold.  This is a very interesting blend, but a bit more salty than I care for.

Paper Moon is a Premium perfume and contains: Soft vanilla musk, benzoin, oakmoss, trailing ivy, peach blossom, rose.  Paper Moon isn’t awe inspiring in the vial and is mostly benzoin.  On my skin it blooms though.  The rose and benzoin are initially the strongest notes.  The vanilla musk is at the base, soft and light and barely there while the ivy and peach blossoms weave through the rose and benzoin.  This is a soft skin scent with very light silage (throw).  Pretty, but I like things with a little more oomph to them.  It does end up having a paper-like quality to the scent which is neat.  Eventually the benzoin calms down, the oakmoss comes out and all the other notes blend and play nicely together.

This is growing on me the more I wear it.  Soft, slightly sweet, with a nice green base and a hint of flowers.

La Llarona (the other one on the chopping block) consists of: Bulgarian and Egyptian rose absolute, pink and white pepper, pink grapefruit, wisteria, cashmere wood, pale amber. At first this is all wood, soft and brown with a hint of pink grapefruit and a whisper of wisteria.  This was one I put on right when I got it a few days ago and fell in love.  Which is sad because it’s going away so I’ll have to jump on a bottle of it! This is not only a golden blend in the vial, but also on my skin.  The rose is soft and velvety, the pepper adds just the barest touch of spice while the grapefruit burns off as it dries.  Now the wisteria is coming out stronger with that beautiful base of wood and amber.  Truly a warm blend that just makes me think of snuggling up and being cozy.

Southern Gothic has notes of: Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood. In the vial I get all the high notes: orange, apple, magnolia, and jasmine.  I’m a sucker for jasmine sambac.  On my skin the mandarin orange comes and goes fairly quickly leaving behind just a golden bright sweetness in its wake.  The coconut pulp comes out and gives a creamy almost tropical feel without going completely tropical.  It’s a nice balance.  The sandalwood and balsam are the base on which everything settles on.  This blend reminds me of Georgia, sitting out on my Mom’s porch when she lived down there.  It’s a languid, sweet, and comforting blend meant for porch sitting and tea drinking.

And last, but not least, Wicked with its notes of: Three vanillas, dark aged patchouli, almond buttercream. In the vial this just SCREAMS almond buttercream.  Unfortunately that intensifies on my skin.  Normally my skin chemistry turns almond into this sour mash smell and unfortunately it’s doing the same thing, only now it’s surrounded by moldy buttercream and off smelling vanilla.  I’m not even getting any patchouli as my own chemistry is amping that almond.  (Because I wanted to point out chemistry, I did not wash this off as fast as I’d intended and now …) Now, after a while the patchouli has come out and the almond, while still this weird mash thing, isn’t screaming at me.  It’s a bit on the foodie side and not my cup of tea, but others may enjoy it.

Not sure if this needs said or not, but my experiences may or may not be what you would experience in a blend.  If you notice with Wicked I mention my own skin chemistry.  Everyone is different.  Hormones, hydration, medications, diet, and even the water in your house and the lotion you use can effect how a scent smells on your skin.  Please bear that in mind and take all reviews with a grain of salt (or a sniff of perfume …).

 

Sixteen92 – Spring 2016 Collection

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photo by smellallthethings

I ordered a sample pack of Sixteen92’s Spring 2016 Collection.  They are all Shakespearean inspired scents.

A Thousand Times More Fair (notes – Honeysuckle nectar, magnolia blossom, passion flower, white peach skin, ripe plum, bright vanilla bean, delicate musk): This opens with bright yellow florals that immediately begin floating down to the other scents.  Peach and plum are most noticeable and are super juicy.  The musk lends a nice base.  This is sweet, soft, bright, and makes me think about running through fields in a forest.  Very pretty and delicate and super reminiscent of spring.  The throw is light to moderate, but so far the longevity is nice.

Merely a Madness (notes – White sandalwood, clover honey (vegan), sweet orange, rosewater, blond patchouli, cedar heart):  The woods – sandalwood, patchouli, and cedar – give this a very earthy yet homey feel to the blend.  The clover honey is adding a touch of sweetness while the orange brightens it all up.  This blend has a rather large throw – definitely one where a little goes a long way.  The longer it settles the more the notes blend and intertwine so it just lends this golden almost homey attic feel.  I could totally see getting this in their lotion then layering one of the other lighter scents in the oil on top.  This is a nice base scent – like a foundation.

The Primrose Path (notes – Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms): What I would expect from a cobblestone path leading up to a bubbling brook.  Clean, green, and refreshing.  The earth is loose and moist, the oak old and knobbly while the grass bends under your feet.  There are little blue and white flowers popping up from around the lichen covered stone you sit on as you take a drink of the brook’s fresh sparkling water.  All of that is represented in this scent.  It’s trans-formative, soft and sweet, and just a delightful scent so perfect for heralding the end of spring.

Storm of Fortunes (notes – Star jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose absolute, hyacinth, ambergris, Mysore sandalwood):  What’s Spring without a few storms? You can smell the floral notes as they give a nice overall sweetness to the blend.  It is a “grey” scent, possibly due to the ambergris as it gives just a hint of salt to the greyness.  The sandalwood is the perfect woody base for this scent.

Blanket of the Dark (notes –  Narcissus absolute, two jasmines, yellow champaca blossom, coffee bean, bergamot, oakmoss, benzoin): I normally don’t do coffee blends, so upon initial sniff of this I was completely thrown off guard and couldn’t place what I was smelling.  Somehow I am reminded of fresh hay in a clean barn (no fecal smell from animals, just the wood, the hay, and the natural muskiness of such a place).  It is brown, almost smells like some of the “hay” is desiccated and forgotten in a corner.  This is just pure clean barn smelling to me, I can’t explain it any other way.  Very interesting and kind of cool.  If you’re into that kind of thing.

Overall I’m quite impressed with the scents and would love to check out more of their catalog!

Check out Sixteen92 for yourself.