Valhalla Soap Co. – Sample Sets

With my last order, I nabbed two more pixie packs full of more wonderful scents!  Valhalla Soap Co. has also recently released their Spring scents and a new cocoa body butter lotion that can be shipping during those pesky summer months, and Sif’s leave-in conditioner and de-tangling spray.

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photo by smellallthethings

I’m kicking this off with one of the scents that soooo many have raved about on the facebook page – Oak, Ash & Thorne.  Its notes include barrel aged Bourbon Vanilla, embodied by ancient cedarwood resin and dark Indonesian patchouli, softened by rich, warm amber and a touch of exotic sandalwood. Warm, golden, and resinous describes this perfectly.  The patchouli isn’t overwhelming as it sits in the back giving some support.  Amber and the barrel aged bourbon vanilla are the stars of this blend with the sandalwood and cedarwood rounding it out nicely.  This almost has an ancient feel to it, as though this scent has weathered the ages and stood the test of time.  There is the barest hint of sweetness but this is all about the amber and woods.  After a while, this is still very true to the initial impressions I had.  This has very little morphing as it dries.

Pendragon’s Passion has some passionate followers and its notes comprise of deep, sultry and fiery notes of dragon’s blood slither around warm amber and sweet blood orange while resting on an earthen floor of dark patchouli.  This magical blend opens with a sweet blast of blood orange, freshly peeled and just being squeezed as you inhale.  Dragon’s blood is a note that some people love or hate or even love to hate.  Personally, I enjoy the floral version, but not so much the spicy version.  This blend uses the more floral version – but it’s that deeply red floral that almost feels resinous along with that amber.  The patchouli is the same from Hedonistic – the non-hippy slightly orange feeling patchouli and by far my favorite patchouli I’ve had the pleasure of smelling.  The longer this sits on my skin the more it warms up into this slinky and almost seductive scent.  Blood orange is still apparent, but it’s more the after effects and less the super fresh and juicy bit like it was in the beginning.

Norseman has notes that include Balsam Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Clove and Blood Orange.  From my first order I’d received a small soap sample and my kids and I all enjoyed the scent and the soap so I had to get the oil too!  First sniff I get lots of fir and juniper with a touch of cedar.  The fir has a huge throw and I can smell it just typing this out.  As it dries I get a touch of the clove with its signature spice scent and just a hint of blood orange, but it seems it’s more of a dried orange scent than fresh.  The juniper gives that antique scent I associate with it.  Overall this is a very masculine coniferous forest – strong and lasting.  In the soap I got more of the cedar, clove, and blood orange whereas the oil has more fir and juniper.

Rain Dance (also known as Ice Giant) lists notes of an earthy all natural blend of citrus and mint. Peppermint comes to the fore front of the blend – but not the sharp kind – that good peppermint that is equal parts melty vanilla and minty peppermint.  This blend is cool and it really does have an hint of something earthy in it.  Unfortunately I’m not a fan of mints in general unless they are not the star of a blend, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an awesome blend in its own right.

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photo by smellallthethings

7 Sins From Sunday is another (there’s a lot) fan favorite over at Valhalla with notes of jasmine and lavender tangled around exotic amber,vanilla and sandalwood with a whisper of earthy patchouli. Finishing with sweet lingering notes of dark cocoa bean.  Not sure if I’m having a bad skin chemistry day or what, but in the vial I got some nice jasmine and lavender with a touch of vanilla but on my skin … dryer sheets.  And it’s not strong or anything, more of a used dryer sheet where there’s barely any smell left.  And now it’s gone.  Either I have a blind spot or my skin eats it.  So weird.  I’m sure it’s quite lovely though from the hint I got from the vial!  I think I need to see about getting this in a wax melt or soap or something.

Okay, so that was weird.  It took about 15 minutes (and me walking outside in the warm sun) for any real scent to show up.  But now … wow!  7 Sins is soft, snuggly, and warm.  It’s close to the skin and the florals aren’t overwhelming at all, but are rather like their scent is floating in the window on a warm breeze.  The sandalwood and vanilla are soft and sweet and I wouldn’t have guessed there was patchouli in there either.  I’m not getting any cocoa, thankfully, as I’m not a chocolate scent lover.

Battle Kry is comprised of sea spray, the familiar smell of leather breast guards and polished steel. In the vial this is soft and worn leather while on my skin that salty sea spray takes over.  It is a briny scent, oceanic to the extreme, with hints of leather and that metallic tang of steel.  All the notes ebb and flow so that not one takes the lead for long, just like the waves of an ocean.  Eventually the super saltiness melts away and you’re left with the memory of the sea clinging to your blade and clothes.

Sandalwood has no notes listed, but it’s been in a lot of blends I’ve loved from Valhalla so I’m excited to have this to use alone or layer.  I love how simple yet complex this scent is.  It is golden and warm, woody yet it has a sweet undertone to it that is unique.  This is raw and untouched sandalwood, freshly harvested, still a little moist, but it dries as the oil dries on your skin so that you’re left with the beautiful fragrant wood.  Definitely a must and one I could wear all by itself or it would layer very well with other blends.

Shieldmaiden has notes of citrus and florals on a woody background. Top notes of orange, and watery greens with a middle of jasmine and rose on a bed of juniper, patchouli and vanilla.  This is a very fresh and clean scent in the vial however my skin chemistry is turning this into fabric softener (and actually the exact scent of the brand I use … so that’s good?  at least I like it?) and I’m not sure what is doing it.  It might be the rose.   Rose and I have had quite a few years to work with each other and only a few types of rose work on my skin and if a company changes where they source their rose EO I can usually tell because my skin will react different.  Yeah I think the rose is doing it – it’s screaming at me and it’s only getting louder the longer I wear it.  Oh well, can’t have them all I suppose.

Valhalla Soap Co. – Samples Part 2

This is a continuation of Part 1 of the Valhalla Soap Co. reviews.  If you missed it, check it out here!

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photo by smellallthethings

You’ll see these aren’t all samples.  I did splurge on a 5ml of Victoria & Albert because it was part of their Limited Edition Creepy Couples Collection and I was worried it would sell out before I could try it.  It hasn’t, but it’s gotten some rave reviews on the FB page.  Valhalla Soap Co. has this to say about the scent:

It was love at first sight for these cousins. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were nearly inseparable during their 17 years together. After Albert’s untimely death at only age 42, Queen Victoria went into mourning, wearing black from head to toe for the remainder of her life. During those remaining 4 decades she employed a personal medium to hold regular seances so that she could speak to and remain close to the departed Albert, the one and only love of her life.

Delicate and green. Pure, unadulterated English violet. Creamy coconut milk spiked with fresh coriander and infused with warm tonka bean, musk and sandalwood. No suntan lotion, no buttery bakery notes to muck things up. This is one of the most beautiful blends we’ve ever done. We are totally smitten with it and think you will be too.

So, it has violet, tonka, musk, and sandalwood … some of my favorite notes!  Only thing making me hesitate is the coconut milk.  Not a big coconut fan, and I don’t cook much with coriander because I don’t like the smell.  However, I trust perfumers to know what they’re doing in the mixing department!  In the bottle it’s straight up coconut.  But I’m not giving up!  I put it on and most of the coconut smell dissipates almost immediately and I’m left with just the suggestion of it.  Delicate and green is a very apt description for this scent.  The violets are not overpowering, but sit atop the musk and sandalwood while the tonka bean gives that brown fuzzy feeling I enjoy out of that note.  The longer this sits the more it smooths out into this creamy, dreamy, and fuzzy scent.  Very pretty!

Alter Smoke boasts notes of ancient amber and precious myrrh entangled with hints of relaxing spikenard and spicy clove leaf, rise from a base of sweet vanilla, earthy patchouli, exotic sandalwood and sultry musk. In the vial it is soft, sweet, with a slight wood smell.  On my skin this bursts with beautiful myrrh and vanilla tinted amber.  There is no burning smell, there is no spice, there is no off-putting incense blasting away … it is just peaceful, content, glorious, and personal.  Meditative is a good description for this scent.  I could close my eyes, inhale, and be at peace with everything.

Next I have a sample of 540 Doors whose notes are green florals and mosses, woodsy fir and balsam, spruce, teakwood and fresh cut cedar mingle with a rich, earthy base of amber, musk, patchouli and mysore sandalwood.  I feel like I’m a broken record with the notes on the scents I choose, but I swear, they may look similar but they are not at all.  540 Doors is green and fresh in the vial.  On my skin the moss, balsam, and spruce come to the fore with hints of cedar and sandalwood.  There seems to be a touch of fresh turned and moist earth.  The amber shines through here and there while the musk and patchouli lend a nice base to this.  Another wonderful blend!  I love how fresh and green this smells.

To round out this batch of scents is Crone Magick whose notes consist of a deep, dark yet gorgeous blend of frankincense, myrrh, amber and sandalwood.  Seems almost simple compared to the last two blends but I’m willing to bet it’s anything but simple.  In the vial it is sharp and almost acrid.  There is something coming across as vaguely burnt citrus, as though a orange was tossed on a dying embers of a forgotten fire.  This blend feels languid, acerbic, and unchanging.  It is dark, indeed, yet it mellows slowly as it dries.  The sharp barbs of scent slowly smooth out to something more pleasant to the palate.  I get the feeling of needing to just … leave it alone, yet I can’t stop sniffing.  Something is pulling me back in even when I want to walk away.  How odd.  After a few hours I’ve noticed this is one of those scents that is better when appreciated from afar – meaning I don’t like the scent up close and personal when I put my nose close to the spot on my skin, but as I move my arm around and the scent comes to me, I find myself enjoying it immensely.  Some scents are like that, and Crone Magick happens to be one of them.

Valhalla Soap Co. – Botanical Cream and Scent Samples Part 1

This is a two part review (because I can only test so much at one time before it overwhelms or I can no longer distinguish scents).  Today I am reviewing from a lovely little company out in the Pacific Northwest United States called Valhalla Soap Company.  If you’ve an itch to be a Viking, if only for a day, this is who you need to see.  Check out the Clan on their Facebook page as well!  The owners, Donna and Matt, are extremely active, friendly, and helpful.

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photo by smellallthethings

That little 2oz jar in the middle is their Botanical Face & Body Cream scented in Valkyrie (notes: peach brandy, pralines, brown sugar, amber, vanilla musk, violet, and black currant).  I have to admit – this is by far my favorite lotion!  Especially for my face!  As I’ve gotten older, my face has gone from oily to dry, but it doesn’t actually stay one or the other – it varies day to day.  This Botanical Face & Body Cream has done wonders to help keep my face smooth and soft to the touch.  The cream itself is rather stiff compared to all their other body butters and lotions, but I like that.  And a little goes a long, long way.  I’ve had this little jar since the end of February.

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photo by smellallthethings

I have missed days using it, but only because I only use it on the days my face is dried out.  As you can see, there’s still a lot left in this little jar.  And, with the Botanical Face & Body Cream, it’s only lightly scented – that then allows for some wonderful layering options.  This does have cocoa butter in it, so you get that slight scent from it, but it isn’t strong.

Valkyrie itself isn’t foodie as the notes would have you think.  This scent is beautifully soft and golden.  The vanilla and amber are prominent while the peach brandy gives it a golden slightly boozy feel.  The black currant adds a touch of bitter to balance out the sweet in here and all together it makes for a rather hauntingly beautiful scent.  I do hope that Donna and Matt will be able to find a way to keep this scent around as it is currently endangered.  As this dries and melds with your skin chemistry this scent warms up and the gold darkens with the brown sugar (I love the smell of brown sugar).  Still never even ventures into foodie territory, and I used the Botanical Face & Body Cream on my hands.  The cream is providing a nice base for the scent to sit on.

Vanilla Luxe is up next.  I purchased a wax tart of this as well, but haven’t had a chance to melt it yet.  I love that I can find so many things in one place.  The notes for this blend are as follows: Smokey notes of vanilla-tobacco, aged oak barrels filled with bourbon, bulging trade sacks of rare frankincense, spicy pepper and tangy bergamot. Grass baskets spilling over with Bulgarian roses and ylang ylang. This is all buttery vanilla in the vial!  Then, as I put it on my skin it … disappears?  What?!  No!!  Do I have a scent blind spot when it comes to this combo?  Did my skin eat it?  So weird.  Normally I do well with all those notes.  I’m putting more on, maybe a dab won’t do ya.  Ahhhh … there it is.  It’s still very soft but I’m getting a bit of the vanilla and some rose.  It’s still way lighter than I would expect with all those notes in it.  Found the bourbon, but still no frankincense (one of my favorite notes), bergamot, or ylang ylang.  I’m going to blame my chemistry on this one.

I’ve been dying to try Floki’s Fetish!  I am a bad Viking and have not seen the show, however.  Shame on me!  Floki’s Fetish comprises of deep forests and pungent oakmoss covered earth call the boat builder. While exotic spices, vanilla, incense, sandalwood and amber whisper to his spirit and his yearning to discover and conquer new lands.  In the vial I get a nice green oakmoss and crumbling dirt.  On my skin this is masculine, woodsy, and empowering.  I can totally see this as a commanding scent.  The spices and incense are a bit much more than I like to wear, but it is still an evocative scent for sure.

So many wonderful things have been said about Hedonistic!  It boasts notes of hints of warm amber, moody incense, and light notes of smooth, and sweet patchouli.  I’d actually bought a wax melt in this too and got to melt it before putting my house on the market and having to stop using wax melts (SAD!).  It was one of those scents that you think will be one thing, then it turns out its something else, something better, and you’re chasing the scent all over the house trying to figure it out.  Took me hours to realize it was the Hedonistic in my wax tart melter that was making that luscious and beautiful scent.  While I haven’t turned on the melter in over a month, I can still get whiffs of the wax when I pass by.

The oil, now that’s a glorious thing too.  In the vial I’d swear that it had a big juicy orange in it.  Perhaps it is the sweet patchouli giving off that citrus vibe.  This is a warm, beautiful scent and the oil matches perfectly the scent from the wax melt and I couldn’t be happier!  It’s a magical little blend that just brings a smile to my face.  Not only is the oil golden in color, but it also gives off that glowing golden vibe when you wear it.  The incense is soft and unobtrusive and the amber is just hanging out.  That patchouli is the star of this blend (a patch I can wear that is also in the forefront of a blend?! Awesome!).  This isn’t your hippie’s patchouli – so if you have that “bad” association with it, you should try this and maybe it’ll turn you around on the patchouli hate wagon.  I totally need this in the Botanical Face & Body Cream!

Rune Caster will round out this batch of reviews for Valhalla Soap Co.  It’s notes include sweet notes of cotton candy and caramel drizzled over heady florals of rose, jasmine, sweet heliotrope and geranium with resinous juniper and amber on a heavy base of vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli.  Seems like a lot going on in here … but so many loved notes I have to try it!  In the vial this is a perplexing blend of sandalwood and cotton candy – but it smells divine!  On my skin that cotton candy note wafts out and it is just so realistic, like I’m at a fair smelling the cotton candy as it’s being made.  Eventually that drifts off and the florals begin their dance to the forefront, like you’re walking away from the cotton candy booth to a beautiful planted garden.  The rose, jasmine, heliotrope, and geranium all waft around you in a sweet breeze of vanilla and cotton candy.  For me the amber is there just adding a golden glow over everything, like the sun.  Patchouli is not really noticeable, but the sandalwood drifts in and out of the blend.  With juniper, I always get a sort of well loved antique scent association with it, and I get it here.  Like the booths at the fair are well loved and maintained so they have lasted for many generations.  I am blown away by this scent, I can’t believe it.  I need Rune Caster in every format!