30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 19 – Soothsayer by Spectral Spirits

For a few months I’d been watching Spectral Spirits prepare to open shop and the moment Daisy announced it on the Indie Perfume Lovers Facebook Page, I had to place an order.  The shipping was super fast and packaging was adorable.  I love the cracked porcelain doll face and the stripes used in the logo.  It all adds to the atmosphere of the company.

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photo by smellallthethings

Today Soothsayer was pulled from the sample bucket to get a run.  I will say, the one thing I dislike is the wax seal.  These were easier to remove than Conjure Oils’ seal, but still a mess to clean up.

SoothsayerRitual Smoke, Aromatic Spices, Nag Champa, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense, Labdanum, Black Patchouli, Black Amber, Musk

In the vial is this soft and almost fizzy frankincense scent with just a touch of labdanum.  It smells soft and floating – yet it truly blossoms on the skin.  Wet on my skin and I’m already in love with this scent.

This is dark, smoky (but not in your face about it), incense heavy, and almost a touch sweet.  Totally, completely, and utterly up my alley.  It’s like this was made for me (it wasn’t, but man it feels like ME so much).  You get a touch of everything and it’s all so lovely together.  At first it’s all about this incensy smoky scent with a touch of something peppery or spicy.  Under that you get this incredibly smooth nag champa, the likes of which I’ve only smelled once before.  Nag Champa can sometimes be too hippy for me -but this is quite lovley.  The dragon’s blood is softly sweet with a touch of spice to it.  It’s not the floral dragon’s blood that you sometimes get, this is resinous and almost has a carnation-like spice to it.  And that frankincense and labdanum is to die for.  They are almost narcotic in their scent and make me swoon just sniffing them.  The patchouli, amber, and musk seem to be melded together in that you get like a rubbing of a sooty dark amber along your skin.  It’s deep and slightly woody with a rounded softness to it.

If you can’t tell, I’m slightly in love with this scent.  I’m a bit bummed the smoke and spices don’t last longer.  They burn off it seems as the scent dries on my skin.

The throw on this is wonderful.  I get soft sweet incense wafts as I move around.  The longevity is okay at about 3 hours before I need to reapply.

Conjure Oils – Starman + GC Reviews

If you are anything like me, looking at Conjure Oils‘ website makes your head spin (and maybe strains the eyes a bit).  But I powered through (and even got a few decants of Starman from Ajevie), and found a set of samples I wanted to try.  I’ve always heard great things about Conjure Oils so I’ve been quite curious for a while.

My only complaint, so far, is the wax.  I’ve already broken a nail trying to get enough off to be able to open the vial.  Rocking the top seems to help, but then I noticed there’s oil under the wax so I’m worried that it will leak now that the wax is off.

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photo by smellallthethings

Starting with the Starman scents, which were a tribute to the late and beautiful David Bowie, I have Anisocoria.  That is the medical term for the condition of his eye which was permanently dilated.  It’s notes are listed as Dried tobacco, willow, Parma violet, Egyptian Sandalwood, aged oak, blood cedar, marionberry and persimmon.

In the vial I get a lovely soft violet with a hint of oak and something watery.  On my skin the tobacco comes out and is brown yet slightly brittle.  The sandalwood is freshly harvested and still alive, yet fragrant enough to give off scent.  I get a bit of sweetness from the marionberry and persimmon, but nothing overwhelming and it does well to enhance the blend rather than detract.

This dries into a very soft floral scent with a touch of berry-like sweetness.  The oak, cedar, and sandalwood give a fragrant base for the sweet florals to rest upon.  I get a very feminine feel from this blend, but not old-lady type feminine, more a modern feminine with an edge of something … different.  I really like it much more than I thought I would when I first put it on.  It’s developed into a beautiful fragrance and while the throw isn’t huge, I do get the occasional hint waft up to me.

Longevity wise, this particular blend is wonderful.  I’m going on about 3 hours now and it’s showing no signs of fading.

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The other Starman scent I chose is China Girl with notes of: Obsessions and moodiness are balanced by night blooming jasmine tea, China musk, notes of rain beating loud as thunder, yuzu, hinoki, rose geranium, clary sage, osmanthus and tender bamboo leaves with Neptune influenced gem and flower essences of Labradorite and Grass Widow.

I may or may not have China Girl and Major Tom memorized. And shame on you if you don’t!  (Kidding)

Jasmine is a loved note of mine, and somehow with the tea it’s just beautiful.  I also get a touch of bamboo and rain from the vial.  On my skin the China musk is very apparent, though soft and slightly powdery.  There is no mistaking this for anything other than a deeply Oriental perfume, soft, floral, and flowing.  While still slightly wet the throw on this blend is crazy.  It is not a shy blend for sure.

Unfortunately, as this has dried it has become something of a soapy scent.  Not a bad one, rather a very nice Oriental floral type soap scent that I wouldn’t mind having in my guest bathroom (or even my own).  But it’s not particularly something I like wearing on my skin.  Also, the throw is massive and it’s a tad overwhelming.

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Samia is part of the Conjure Caravan and contains notes of: playful and flirty lilac and sassy dianthus bask in the sensual glow of golden sandalwood, white opium and amber.

This is the vial that began leaking as soon as I removed some of the wax and honestly, the scent that transferred to my fingers is awesome and I want to put some on.  The vials for the general collection (I guess that’s what it is, hard to tell) are about 1.5 ml’s but only filled about 1ml.

Sniffing the vial I get this intoxicating scent of opium, amber, and sandalwood.  No wonder I was drawn to this blend!  I love opium.  On my skin I get those gorgeous florals as they float and flutter around the base.  This isn’t a dark blend, far from it.  It’s light and gossamer.

I could really see myself using this as a sleep blend.  It has that drowsy quality to it and almost smells like something out of a dream.  I’m kind of sad though, that the longevity on this one is somewhat lacking.  Though, for a sleep blend I suppose having it only last a few hours is okay.

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Venomenon, which is fun to say, contains notes of: Sugared Victorian tea rose, candied violet petals and sweet pink strawberry tea with cream obscure a dark heart of subtle red peppercorn and blackest amber.

It appears I bought these while I was on a violet kick. In the vial I get creamy violets with a hint of something darker, likely the black amber.

The violets are soft, powdery, and not really candied to me.  I’m not getting any strawberry really, but a bit of a sweet cream with tea.  The peppercorn is adding just a touch of spiciness while the amber gives a sense of a darker tea and has a hint of resin in it.

This blend doesn’t particularly call to me as I seem to be over my violet stage, but I can’t deny it’s beautiful and soft.  Definately Victorian in feel and extremely feminine.  It almost feels … chaste, if that feeling can be brought out in a scent.  The throw on this is very good and wafts up around me nicely.

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Guardian Angel proves I have some foresight!  It’s notes are: Thirteen vanillas, butter cream, angel food cake and layers of heavenly coconut cream – and that is what I’ve been craving lately (though minus coconut but we’ll see how that goes).

CAKE!  Glorious, sweet, and slightly spongy cake!  You CAN have your cake with 0 calories!  This is a gorgeous spongy angel food cake heavy on vanilla with a dollop of sugary cream that in no way gives me that coconut I so dislike (and so dislikes me).  There’s nothing here to detract – no spices, no berries, no flowers.  This is straight up midnight feasting guiltily on as much cake as you can grab before someone wakes up and hears you.  Only there’s no real need to worry see.  They can search that kitchen top to bottom and not find that cake they swear you had because it’s perfume!

I only have one real complaint … I wish there was more throw to this.  I know, it’s vanilla and cake and making that have a throw can be hard, but a girl can wish, right?  Luckily the longevity is nice.  I got about 4 hours before I felt the need to slather on some more.

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The Dark Mother sounds perfectly dashing with notes of: white narcissus, black orchid, aged neroli, Indian patchouli, red roses, the darkest of sandalwoods and the blood of the heart of an innocent, er, I mean bloodroot.

In the vial I get the most glorious of dark woods, likely the patchouli, sandalwood, and perhaps bloodroot.  I love narcissus for the almost narcotic quality it adds.  The orchid is dark and lovely, soft and velvety while adding it’s beautiful fragrance.  I get roses, and they are heady and full in bloom, but they don’t overwhelm the other florals in the blend like they sometimes can do.  Neroli is hugged against that narcissus and giving it a little bit of a kick.

This isn’t quite that dirty and gritty patchouli, but it sure isn’t a softie either.  This patch is dark, yet smooth, sleek, and refined.  It does a lot to enhance and add to the dark sandalwood.  There’s almost a smoky quality to the blend, but it’s not smoky at all.

You get a true sense of something dark yet beautiful with this blend.  The throw is fairly good, but isn’t overwhelming – it floats like a feather on the wind to tickle your nose instead of punching you in it like some roses can do to me.

Every now and then I find a blend that draws my wrist to my nose and I find myself almost unconsciously huffing.  This blend has done that.  I can’t stop smelling it!

The longevity on this blend is to die for as well.  Working on about 3 hours now and it’s still softly wafting about.  It’s smoothed out a lot but not lost any of what I love about it.

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Wolf Moon (February) is said to be A fragrance fit for the young love of Lupercalia – Ethiopian frankincense, violet, bay laurel and a soft heart of Indian sandalwood.

Wolf Moon in the vial is, to put it bluntly, simply overwhelming and hit me with a blast of violet and bay laurel.  Enough so that I jerked back and almost dropped the vial!  Oops!  Maybe that’ll teach me not to take a smaller test sniff first.

On my skin this is mostly violets with a touch of bay laurel.  I’m not getting any sandalwood or frankincense.  Unfortunately it seems this blend is not going to give anything other than violets and bay laurel.  I would’ve loved some resins or smokiness from the frankincense and that smooth wood from sandalwood and I think it would’ve helped the blend, but it’s just not working on my skin for some reason.

Win some, lose some.

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The Shadowy Shawl has some intriguing notes: sweet patchouli, amber incense, ginger musk, moonflowers and black sandalwood.

In the vial I was greeted with the soft gossamer sweetness of moonflowers with a backdrop of dusky sandalwood.  On my skin the patchouli comes out and combines with the resinous amber.  There’s a definite ginger undertone, but nothing strong, just enough to give it a bit of oomph.

This blend is quite enjoyable, almost cozy, and makes me smile to myself.  There is a definite sweetness about it without there being anything sugary or vanilla-like.  I love how smooth the patchouli is.  Shadowy Shawl is an apt name for this blend.

There is not much of a throw to this as it stays fairly close to the skin.  It’s very dusky and comforting and the longer it wears the more I sniff it and find another aspect I enjoy.

I think this blend is all about that unique ginger musk!  It’s very different.  The longevity is on par with most of the other blends so far, though it has a very low throw.

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Rounding out this set of reviews I have The Befuddling Fan with notes of: white opium, ginger lily, Eastern temple sandalwood and a gentle haze of violet fog.

Just looking at the notes I wonder how this will relate to Samia.  Another blend that is heavy violets in the vial.

Wet on my skin it is still heavily violets and I’m not getting any of that beautiful opium, lily, or sandalwood.  Even after this has dried on my skin I’m not getting anything other than the violets.

Even as this dried down and I wore it for a few hours I, sadly, did not get anything other than those violets.  Mind you, they were nice violets – soft, velvety, and slightly powdery – but it was not the full spectrum of the perfume.

Overall I’m enjoying Conjure Oils and I look forward to exploring more of the catalog in the future!  I definitely plan on getting  at least a bottle of The Dark Mother, if not Guardian Angel and Samia as well.  And of course, no order is complete without a few samples to ride along!

Deep Midnight Perfumes – Game of Thrones Inspired Samples

Another review for the lovely shop Deep Midnight Perfumes!  This time I am reviewing the Game of Thrones Inspired set of samples.  I have to preface this by saying I’ve only read 2 of the books and watched the first episode of the show.  In my defense, I have small children and some things are not appropriate for their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  I do, however, hear regular updates from my husband who has both read the books and watched the show, so I have some idea of these concepts.

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photo by smellallthethings

Raven Boy was inspired by Bran Stark and has notes of Oakmoss, earthy musk, tobacco leaf, sage, dark vanilla sugar, amber, aged oak and background florals notes of iris and damask rose.  Ooh, this is deep and dark, beautifully done.  On my skin the dark vanilla sugar and the aged oak have melded into one.  The sage is not very noticeable – I only get a hint here and there.  Tobacco leaf and oakmoss and that beautiful earthy musk is giving this a greenish-brown feel.  The iris and damask rose are not prominent and only serve to lift a little and give a hint of sweetness that’s been rounded out.  This is dark, like a dream where the edges are fuzzy and the only thing in sharp relief is what you have your inner eye turned upon.  This blend is unisex, but with a slight masculine lean.  Overall the scent stays close to the skin, like a dream fog.

Little Dove is a olfactory representation of Sansa Stark with notes of linden blossoms, lilac, and lily, are mixed with delicious arctic berries, and nuances of violet, apple, and soft, creamy musk then wrapped up in sweet green notes of willow and bamboo.  You don’t see bamboo too often in notes but it’s one I love and I am drawn to it when I find it.  Doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun in the mean time!  In the vial you get that wet and green bamboo, some of the apple, and a lot of floral.  On my skin this is softly sweet, slightly green, and a touch dewy.  There is something that keeps wanting to go a bit “sex” on my skin.  Ahh, it’s mellowed in the last 5 minutes.  The arctic berries have a touch of frost on them, but are otherwise red and juicy.  This is a beautiful fragile yet fragrant scent – soft, beguiling, sweet, and innocent.

Faceless Girl is inspired by Arya Stark with notes of cedarwood, black amber, lavender, cassis, olive leaf, cassia bark, and patchouli are softened up with notes of tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose otto and violet.  In the vial this is a deep dark lavender with some gorgeous patchouli.  On my skin the cedarwood and cassis/cassia bark come out with a touch of sandalwood and ylang ylang.  The rose otto is fighting for attention but that calms down after a bit thankfully.  There is a definite oriental vibe about this blend with a hint of something reminding me of a darker fougère.  The notes are so well blended now that I’m having a hard time picking them out.  Overall I get a very shadowed vibe, strong yet feminine, only slightly floral and this is reminding more of early Arya when she was still being forced into being proper and feminine and her life hadn’t been touched by so much death.

Snow Wolf is meant as a representation of Jon Snow with notes of Cedarwood, leather, rosemary, dark woods, black amber, and a touch of cool, frosty mint.  In the vial this is leather and mint.  On my skin I still get some of that cool and crisp peppermint, but it isn’t strong or overpowering.  It takes a little bit but the woods come out with a hint of leather.  I’m not really getting any rosemary.  This is masculine and almost gritty in feel.  I know there’s no steel or metal in the blend, but the combination of the mint and the leather is giving off that feeling.  You can almost feel the heavy leather on your back keeping you warm in the bitter cold.

Stormborn has the pleasure of being inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (yes I copy/pasted because I would’ve butchered the spelling) whose notes include Dragons blood, oud wood, patchouli, jasmine, desert earth, cardamom, and moss.  The dragon’s blood is very strong and is unlike any dragon’s blood from any company I’ve ever tried before.  Instead of being either floral, or super spicy floral, this is a soft and gentle floral with just a touch of spice, which could actually be coming from the cardamom.  You get the jasmine and the oudh.  The patchouli is mixing with the desert earth to give a golden yet dry feel to the blend.  Overall this is powerful and comanding – more unisex than feminine, and keeps trying to tip to something kind of boozy.

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 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?