Apothescary Scents came on my radar from the Indie Makeup and More page on Reddit. I ordered a sampler pack and it was shipped fast and packaged nicely. Very impressed. These have been sitting for almost two weeks now so they’ve had their rest from their travels and then some.
Autumn People – the perfect October night with a heady blend of blood orange, wood smoke, fallen leaves, oakmoss, and more.
In the vial this is sharp, almost acidic, and very pine-sap-like. This is not for the faint of heart. This is raw, dirty, and gritty. This is vegetal and desiccated leaves on a forest floor with pine sap and oakmoss, a hint of orange and just a faint touch of smoke off in the distance.
As this dries, so does the “wet and dew covered” type of over all scent that this seems to have. The throw is decent, not too strong (except right in the beginning), and floats around you giving the impression that you are actually nestled into the deep of a forest. It actually reminds me of walking through some of the less traveled trails here in North Carolina … it’s just missing that red clay scent that permeates (and stains) everything.
Dry this is beautiful. The smoke comes out more and that fresh wood tossed on a fire scent before the log actually catches. You also get a lot of that oakmoss and dried crunchy leaf scent.
If you’re looking for a raw forest scent, this is it. I admit, I’m in love with this one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m back from my adventures in moving!! It was an epic journey, but we made it! Almost all settled in now, and I’m confident that the perfumes have had adequate time to rest from their hot and bumpy car ride.
Along with getting a new house, I have new scenery to take photo’s with. So, please bear with me as I experiment with photo set ups and by all means, if you find/see one you really like, let me know!
Now, onto the perfumes! Cocoa Pink still has my attention and I’m super curious to try more of their catalog. Just as a side note, none of these samples came after the move. I’ve had these for a month or more so they have not only rested but aged a little as well.
April Sun Showers seems appropriate for as much as it’s rained since we got here last Wednesday. We were initially greeted by a severe thunderstorm complete with hail. Not only that, but it seems to have rained at least once a day/night since then. New places, new experiences! Now, April Sun Showers has notes of purple Adonis Tulips, prickly pear cactus, morning dew, ripe kiwifruit, white peach extract swimming in steeped matcha tea. In the vial is a greenish wet scent with a hint of slightly sweet fruits. On my skin the florals bloom and this is very heady and almost overwhelming at times. After just a few minutes this settles into a beautifully soft and slightly sweet aquatic. There is a greeness to this scent, but it not overdone. Peach sits lightly on top, lending that juicy sweetness without being too assertive. Overall this is gorgeous, soft, and aquatic without a hint of that saltiness you sometimes get with some aquatics. I might have to wear this on rainy days to see if it’ll go well into my rotation.
Watermelon Kiwi Pops sounds like a delicious summer treat with notes of luscious watermelon and Kiwi juices frozen into yummy popsicles. In the dram I get an overly sweet almost acidic scent. Watermelon is hard to synthesize, if you look at foods/sweets that try to do it it’s always overdone, too much, and just not right compared to the real thing. Unfortunately, that is the same vibe I am getting here. I love watermelon, but it’s scent is so very hard to capture. There is a hint of it in there, but mostly it’s making my nose and head hurt to smell it. It could be part of the “frozen” aspect that is knocking it off kilter, but either way, I can’t seem to wear this one. Hopefully it works for someone!
Sunkissed Clouds sounds heavenly with notes of blood orange and Satsuma juice raining atop fluffy marshmallow clouds. In the dram I get that beautiful fragrant blood orange with the satsuma juice. On my skin it is much of the same, very citrus-y with that gorgeous and sweet marshmallow adding a bit of sweetness to cut the acidity of the citrus. This is a simple blend, but it is bright and happy, just makes you want to smile.
Next up is Autumn Splendor because my daughter insisted I try it. Who could say no? It’s notes consist of the gorgeous fragrance of bright red autumn leaves swirling around sweet white birch trees, whispers of golden sage, warm amber, rosewood and a drop of honey. In the dram I get an almost apple-like scent, crisp, red, and soft. On my skin it is still there, but it is flanked by a beautiful amber, golden and sunny and a touch of wine. This is a gorgeous blend meant for warm days and cool nights. The honey is clean and just a touch sweet. Nothing in this blend overwhelms and it is perfectly blended. Definitely a scent I want to get to wear and probably in a lotion as well.
Spring Fever will round out this set of reviews with its notes of hummingbird tulip, newly sprouted grass, white moondance rose petals, purple hyacinth, bergamot, juicy red apple and white oak. In the dram this is fresh and dewy grass, green and lush. On my skin the florals bloom with tulips, roses, and a touch of hyacinth. The apple is fresh and just barely ripe. This is a very green scent and reminiscent of new growth, new beginnings, and new adventures. Thankfully the green notes don’t overwhelm, like they can sometimes do and instead just give everything a nice base to work from. As it dries the oak comes out as the first leaves begin to bloom on its branches. Perfectly depicted!
So excited for more Arcana scents! Julia’s been doing some wonderful things over there lately, so if you’re curious, check out the Arcana Addicts facebook page to get sneak peeks at some exciting things! Once again, these decants were courtesy of the wonderful Ajevie! Now, on to the real reason you’re here …
Adhara has notes that include, Vanilla cream, tangerine, clementine, Nagami peel, black coconut, and a touch of sweet violet. In the vial this is super citus-y and almost creamsicle-like! On my skin this is a lot of citrus peel with a dark coconut meat. The violet and vanilla cream add some much needed sweetness to the blend. I’m trying to wrap my head around this scent as it’s so completely different from anything I normally go for (that was actually on purpose for this group) that I can’t seem to pull together the right words to describe this. Eventually the sharp acidic peel-like scent smooths out and I get more of the creaminess from the coconut and vanilla with a touch of that purple violet. The citrus takes a chill pill and calms down and starts playing nicely with everyone. This is a bright and sweet scent, yellow-ish orange in feel and scent (and apparently oil now that I look at it). Unfortunately this is fading rather fast on my skin, though that could be an issue of the heat today rather than the blend itself.
Oh man, 10 minutes later and that faded feeling goes away and I get the full force of the beautiful creamy citrusy scent! It’s like an orange dreamsicle, but only if it took on a more tropical vibe. The coconut has come out more, but not overwhelmingly so. This has turned out absolutely beautiful and this girl who used to be iffy on citrus notes before has been converted to a citrus lover!
Belatrix is up next touting notes of Sweet, jammy fir absolute with 3 honeys, honeysuckle, tiny strawberries, and blood orange. Jammy fir sounds like my kind of jam! Oh man this smells like heaven in the vial! On my skin that jammy fir certainly is sweet with those honeys and bright honeysuckle. The strawberries are tart and the blood orange is deep and red. Man, I kind of thought I would like this – I did not expect to love it! This does lean a tad masculine but can teeter on that unisex border. And if you amp anything other than the fir, then it would likely be leaning feminine. But, lucky me, I amp conifer scents! Oh wow, I just keep huffing! This is just full of sweet woods, beautifully fragrant and unmistakably addicting. I need this in my life.
Betelgeuse boasts notes of Atlas cedarwood and blood cedar with smoldering oudh, osmanthus, brown musk, bacon, and vetiver. Bacon? Yes, bacon. Crispy fried bacon. No, it’s not super prominent, but it’s in there mixing with the brown musk and the vetiver. You bet it’s odd too. I think my chemistry is amping the brown musk as it’s almost overwhelming right now. Ya’ll, I want to keep this on and review it but I can’t. I just … I can’t. I do hope someone finds this and loves it. It’s unique and different, salty and brown to the extreme, but just too much for this girl to handle.
Electra is up next to relieve my palate of the aforementioned bacon with its notes of Pink carnation petal ice cream, Mexican bakery vanilla, eggnog, sweet cinnamon, and nutmeg. In the vial this is all vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg – almost holiday-like. On my skin it’s much of the same, except now I get that pink carnation petal ice cream (who knew?!) coming out and it’s delicious! There’s even a hint of “coolness” to it to really give it that ice cream feel. This is soft, pink, and frilly. The holiday-likeness goes away after a while and instead everything seems to be in support of that unique pink carnation petal ice cream (I may need to find some). For some reason this is just bringing memories of Jem and the Holograms to mind. Rockin’!
Miaplacidus may be hard to say, but it’s notes of Sea air, spring water, cucumber, juniper, hyacinth, lavender, China musk, and 1 drop of hyssop aren’t. In the vial this is very watery and lavendery (that’s totally a word, okay?). On my skin the sea air thankfully isn’t coming across as super salty (like the bacon was … wtf bacon … yes I’m still hung up on it), and the cucumber is giving a nice refreshing and clean aspect. The juniper is soft, but the lavender isn’t, at least not on me. On me it is almost screaming along with the china musk. Very odd. It’s almost as though everything in the blend is vying for attention at once. Okay, it took a few minutes but the screaming and fighting stopped (listens better than my kids) and now it’s soft and watery and flowing. This blend becomes gentle and beautiful despite the beginning oddness. Very pretty, clear blue in color and feel.
Mira is taking me out of my comfort zone again with notes of Tiare blossoms dipped in milk chocolate with coconut, sugared rum, French cocoa absolute, marshmallows, and white chocolate. So rum and I don’t get a long every since my husband decided that while I was pregnant with my first to get me to eat Häagen Dazs Rum Raisin Ice Cream and that begun my decent into morning sickness – or every time I smelled rum sickness. There are definite bits of cocoa in the vial so if you do get this, remember to shake gently or roll gently before applying to get it to mix in with the rest of the blend. This is pure chocolate in the vial. That creamy and rich milk chocolate that the rest of the world swears isn’t actually chocolate but us American’s just don’t care – we’re addicted to it. (Unless you’re not, in which case … SHAME ON YOU! Kidding.) On my skin it’s chocolate and rum and chocolate and some cocoa. And it’s way too overwhelming. I can’t – it’s too much for me. Some chocolate wearing lover is going to go gaga for this blend, I know it, but that person is not me.
Sirius rounds these scents out with its notes of Bright white grapefruit, golden amber, linden flowers, tart red currant, cassis, and pomegranate. Lots of favorite notes in here! I almost bought Sirius blindly without testing, but I wanted to try them all so here we are. In the vial this is bright grapefruit, tart and tangy and super juicy. On my skin that stays very true but now the linden flowers come out with a touch of cassis. The pomegranate is red as are the currants, but the grapefruit is making them really work to be smelled. I think I amp citrus notes in the beginning so I’ll stop sniffing it for a few minutes and see what it does when it settles. Hmm, even after a few minutes the grapefruit is still super strong and almost over powering the blend. It takes about 30 minutes but eventually the grapefruit stops overwhelming the blend and the rest gets to showcase themselves. I enjoy the bit of spiciness cassis brings to the group. This is only slightly sweet, completely juicy and tart, and a hint of spice.
And thus concludes the Arcana Flowers & Stars collection reviews. Hope it was helpful!
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.
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.