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!

Nocturne Alchemy – July Limited Collection

Nocturne Alchemy recently released it’s NAValloween in July along with more Dinosaur blends!  I received my bottles over a week ago and they’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels.

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photo by smellallthethings

WerewolfTahitian Spiced Vanilla, aged Apple cider, Wood notes of Cedar, Pine, Oak, Redwood and Teak, Leather accord and Oudh extract.

Pure spice in the bottle, but as it hits my skin I get a hint of apple cider.  I get a familiar tingle on my skin from cinnamon, so though it’s not listed it (or something else that can irritate skin) is in this blend.  There’s something that is reading as “cardboard cookie” on my skin and I’m not entirely sure what it could be.  Teak maybe?  Oak?  I’m sure it’s one of the wood notes.  This blend is heavy, lots of deep notes in it.  I’m not particularly enjoying the wet/drydown phase of this blend.  It’s … too much.  All the notes seem to be screaming for attention at once.

It’s now twenty minutes later and I still feel slightly overwhelmed by this blend.  I absolutely adore the spiced vanilla + apple cider combo and kind of wish it had been left at that with maybe just one wood.  I get absolutely no leather from this blend, and I adore NAVA’s leathers.

Overall I think this blend needs more time to age, but I’m not sure if that will intensify the wood notes or smooth them out.  I do hope they smooth out as that would be lovely.  I can smell the potential for a glorious blend in there, but I think it’s too fresh to really do itself justice.

There it is … about 30 min – 45 min into the drydown and I am greeted with a glorious cozy scent that makes me want to snuggle with myself.  It has become sweet, slightly spiced, and just downright fuzzy.  You get a sense of something animalistic in there and I’m finally getting that comforting soft and supple leather, which is wonderful.  I know my knee-jerk reaction was to scrub it, but I’m glad I gave this a chance to keep going.  Hopefully with some age to it that screaming phase will go away and I can enjoy the blend as I believe it was meant to be enjoyed.

Hours later and each time I put my chin in my hand I get a whiff of this and it’s almost eye-rolling gorgeous.  Such a transformation from wet-stage to complete dry down.  Is the wet stage worth wading through?  Maybe.  I’ll see what a little age does and hopefully it’ll make it all worthwhile.


MummyEnglish Bergamot and Earl Grey Tea, Redwood Absolute, Amber Resin, Papyrus extract, ICON: Leviathan Amber-Oudh, Australian Black Tea leaf, Pear essence, SL Crimson absolute and Baltic Teak.

In the bottle I get a lovely bergamot tea scent with a touch of amber.  On my skin is much of the same but with a hint of spiciness from that bergamot.  The amber from both the resin and the Leviathan Oudh is gorgeous and deeply orange with a hint of that familiar powdery amber.  The pear isn’t apparent, though it’s likely adding just a touch of sweetness to the blend.  The crimson is musky and deeply red and as it dries the papyrus begins to come out and give an almost brittle feel.

I was honestly expecting something a bit more … dusty, moldering, and old.  Instead what I’m getting is more along the lines of their Egyptology release.  I get the impression of prim and proper Englishmen sitting around a recently opened crypt sipping tea and being fanned in an attempt to beat the harsh Egyptian heat.  Eventually that image fades and it begins to give an impression that I was hoping for – the inside of a crypt, objects, smells, and things that had not been touched or viewed for hundreds of years.

You do get a sense of something old and possibly ancient.  Something a bit mysterious.

There is a good amount of throw to this blend and I can smell it wafting up to my nose which is nice.  Also, the longevity on this is pretty awesome.  Hitting 2+ hours and no sign of slowing.  Bonus points for lasting through a hand washing.


VelociraptorResinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Black Musk Absolute, Black Amber and a drop of aged viscous Velociraptor Kashmir red musk.

NAVA makes my absolute favorite scent – Kashmir red musk.  If I could only smell like one thing for the rest of my life, Kashmir would be it.

With that being said, I get a lovely whiff of my beloved Kashmir out of the bottle.  On my skin that Kashmir mixes with the deeper and darker black musk.  This is not a light blend, it is shaded, veiled, and shadowy.  With this much musk it seems to be going a bit on the powdery side.  It’s a fuzzy powder, if that makes any kind of sense.

The ambers are there giving a resinous undertone, but this blend seems to be all about those musks.

It is recommended to “hatch” your dino’s with another NAVA blend.  I won’t be doing that right now as I want to get a feel for the blend on its own, but I’m already plotting a bit of Tibetian Crystalline to go along with this.  I think the Nag Champa + Vanilla would go a long way to giving this some depth and cutting some of the powdery feel from the blend.

I like that despite this being heavy, the throw isn’t overwhelming.  It is a soft, gentle throw and as I move my hand I can smell it.  The longer it dries the more gentle it becomes.


ProtoceratopsResinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Crystalline, Kobalt, Crystal Absolute, Vanilla Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream Accord, Vanilla Caramel, Bastet Amber and Egyptian Sugar accord.

This is the outlier of the bunch and completely different from any of the blends I’ve tried today.

In the bottle I get a creamy vanilla scent that isn’t quite gourmand, but you can tell it wants to push over that edge.  On my skin I get this beautiful sugar accord.  It’s almost like putting a sugar cube in your mouth.  I also get the Crystalline, Kobalt and Crystal vanilla wafting around in there.  (I have smelled/owned each of those and believe it or not there are differences between the three, though sometimes subtle.  I prefer Crystalline typically and it’s in most of my favorite blends.)

Now, I’m sure ya’ll can guess how amazing this smells, but truly it is gorgeous.  It’s creamy, sweet, with a hint of resin and this sugary note that rounds it all out.

If you are into NAVA and you haven’t had an opportunity yet to try Bastet Amber (while listed as a note, it is actually found here as a blend all its own) you really should.  This blend is different from anything else I’ve ever experienced before.  Some people get absolutely no scent from it, some get some vague soapish scent (that’s me) and others are slightly put-off by it.  But you’re not supposed to actually smell the spot you placed it on.  You are supposed to apply it and forget it and let this blend do it’s thing, which is to waft up and greet you.  It’s a softly sweet and resinous amber, simple yet beautiful, and in this blend you get that.  I could see layering this with more Bastet Amber to enhance that effect or perhaps a bit of another Vanilla.  Or, if you’re lucky and got a sample of Bastet’s Ice Cream accord, maybe a touch of that.

The throw on this is soft, but it has its moments.


Overall, I found that once Werewolf sat it was definitely worth waiting for, and having it waft around with Mummy is something quite wonderful.

While on my other hand, the dino’s are opposites and I prefer each for what they are separately.

Villianess – Scent Samples

After years of looking, reading, and stalking the Villainess site, I have finally purchased a set of samples from them.  I love their site, their theme, all of it – so I’m excited to delve into these samples.  They’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels and they got some rest if they needed a bit of aging.

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photo by smellallthethings

Might as well start this off with a scent from their namesake, Villainess.  Its notes are listed as: Our signature scent – all ball gowns and combat boots. Raw, smokey leather and sweet vanilla musk engulfed in a sheer haze of exotic florals – ylang, neroli, jasmine, lilac and tuberose.  Sleek black leather jumps out from the vial as I take a sniff.  Thankfully that backs off almost the moment it touches my skin.  I get the smoky part of the leather along with a light touch of vanilla musk.  The florals are soft and ylang, jasmine, and lilac seem to be the most prominent.  This is strong, assertive, unisex almost verging on masculine.  This kind of morphs between strong leather and soft florals.  Finally it begins to settle down into this rough, raw leather scent with just a hint of those white florals.  It’s strong and the throw is mighty.

Vale has notes of Musky warmed saddle leather, rich notes of espresso and clove, and a coconut-sweetened masala.  Seems Villainess likes the leather.  Who can blame them?  This is espresso with a shot of chocolate – I think it’s a cocoa note I’m smelling.  The coconut is more like a milk.  Horchata I believe is the drink this is reminding me of, but with a hint of leather.  This is certainly a blend all its own!

Decadence comes with notes of: an indulgent vanilla – alcoholic, buttery and bittersweet with delightful undertones of tonka and coconut. Our favourite vice.  I’ve been dying for more vanilla scents so I’m super excited about this!  In the vial I get the boozy vanilla with a hint of coconut.  The coconut comes out more on my skin and it’s that juicy, watery coconut milk and not the flesh.  The tonka also gives this a beautiful brown fuzzy feel and keeps the vanilla from going too boozy.  This certainly is decadent and oh my goodness I want to bathe in this … and I can!!!

Jai Mahal is another vanilla blend (woot!) with notes of: 4 rich vanillas and tonka, Mysore sandalwood, bourbon and coconut. Expensive woods, incense and imported spices – cedar, amber, myrrh, cardamom and nutmeg.  Woods, incense, nutmeg, and vanilla is wafting so deliciously around me.  There isn’t as much vanilla in this one as there was in Decadence, and it’s different despite it sharing notes.  This warms on the skin and gives a sun soaking, spicy feeling.  It’s soft and beautiful and alluring.

Morpho contains notes of: Sheer blue musk and a breath of old books, delicate touches of blackberry and juniper, and a whisper of plumeria. In the vial I get the softest bluest musk that smells powdery.  On my skin I get the blackberry and the plumeria is more than just a whisper.  After a minute the juniper comes out with that worn and antique feeling it gives me.  In the beginning this can be slightly overwhelming, after about 10 minutes this has a huge throw and is almost candy-like.  Something along the lines of SweetTarts or that powdered candy.  It’s making my jaw hurt (you know that sensation when you taste something sour) and my mouth water!  It takes about 30 minutes or so before that sour sweettart like scent morphs into this blue, soft, and powdery scent.  Very feminine and soft.

Byzantium will round this review series out with notes of: Precious woods and resins – cedar, pine and sandalwood, frankincense, amber and myrrh – at play against a sheer base of Egyptian musk, barely spiked with imported spices, and lightly veiled in smoke.  This is very soft when it first goes on with soft, golden Egyptian musk and a soft smattering of spices. As this dries and warms on my skin the woods and resins come out and this is just so beautiful.  Golden and warm, this is standing out in the sun, sand beneath your feet, and a lean-to for when you’re in need of some shade.

 

 

 

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.

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 5

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

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

Possets 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.

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.

Blooddrop – The Musk Collection

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photo by smellallthethings

Today’s reviews are brought to you by Blooddrop‘s Musk Collection!  They are currently still available on the websiteAjevie was kind enough to run a decant circle for these scents.

It was very difficult to choose just a few from the Musk Collection because they all looked so wonderful!  I’m still interested in the Book Store Musk, but that will have to wait, unfortunately.

First I chose Poetic Musk with notes of vanilla, lotus, amber, cream, soft mandarin, and a touch of cocoa absolute.  In the vial it is a sweet amber-y floral.  The cocoa absolute is visible in the perfume and the bottle would likely need to be rolled and combined before worn.  However, on my skin I cannot smell any of the cocoa (which is good because I’m not typically a chocolate fan though I have a few exceptions).  Ooh, the mandarin gives a bright feel to this scent.  It’s very vanilla and cream with mandarin to brighten and lotus and amber to soften.  Very pretty, almost languid.  Unfortunately, it’s fading fast from my skin. How sad because it’s really pretty!

Baroque is one I was excited about!  Its notes consist of a showy white musk with heliotrope, vanilla, citrus, amber and wood. The oil is beautiful with a pink hue.  In the vial I get the citrus and heliotrope.  On my skin the vanilla comes in to sweeten the edges of the citrus.  The white musk and amber make this blend glow while the wood gives it a good base to settle on.  There is something of a classical feel to this, but updated.  It’s bright, clean, and very nice.  Where Poetic Musk disappeared, Baroque is lingering softly and warmly.

Orchid is one of my favorite flowers so it’s no surprise I picked up Vanilla Orchid Musk whose notes are exotic vanilla musk with notes of orchid and stephanotis.  In the vial this is soft and powdery, on my skin the vanilla isn’t overly sweet, but more of a woody vanilla.  The orchid is sweet and soft.  The longer the orchid is on my skin, the more of that hot house scent comes to the fore.  There’s something bright and almost citrusy without that slightly acidic note that citrus can get – I think this is the stephanotis.  This is a beautiful scent.  Definitely unique and summery.

Next up is Sugared Musk whose notes are warm musk with sugar and a touch of vanilla.  If you’ve ever walked into a candy store, then you know that scent of pure sugar on the air – that’s what this smells like in the vial.  On my skin the musk comes out and somehow gives a white chocolate feeling.  Smooth, creamy sugar is all this is.  I’m getting a toothache just from sniffing it!  It’s so different from my usual fare that I kinda like it just for being different.  However, the longer this sat the more the warm musk came out and made this just a sweet and cozy little scent.

Librarian Musk!  The book lover in me may have let out a little squeal of excitement as, I’m sure, actual librarians did when they saw this scent.  The notes are as follows: bookish, sexy warm musk with black tea, cedar, and sandalwood.  I’m not a tea fan, like at for drinking of smelling, but maybe it’s really well blended!  In the vial it’s a blast of cedar, however, on my skin it warms up and I get a definite bookish feel about it and a touch of leather, without any actual leather in the blend.  It’s got a touch of that almost bitter smell so many books in one place can get, but it’s in the background and only adds to the reality of the scent.  So evocative!

One Hand Washes The Other – Oil and Solid Perfumes

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photo by smellallthethings

I heard about One Hand Washes The Other through the Solstice Scents Facebook Group because of the scent Spellbound Woods.  Unfortunately, OHWTO didn’t have Spellbound Woods stocked in oil form, so I got the solid scent – which may not actually be a bad thing, mind you.  I’ve never used a solid scent before!

Of course I’m going to start with Spellbound Woods!  I’ve heard so many great things about Angela’s version (which is discontinued), that I just have to try!  The notes are listed as: A blend of Vanilla, Sandalwood, Amber, Cedarwood and the barest hint of a light Floral on the dry down. This is a solid scent in an oval tube and it raises and lowers just like chapstick.  The formula is creamy, soft and silky.  It rubs in nicely and leaves just this wonderful soft scent in its wake!  Amazing!  I put it on my pulse point on the inside of my wrists, then rubbed them together.  Seriously, this scent is super swoon-worthy!  It’s soft, slightly sweet, with a wonderful woody base to it.  The florals add to some of the sweetness and lift it up a touch, but it’s all about that vanilla, amber, and wood!  Truly beautiful!  I get the hype now – and I need more!

The Doctor Who fan in me wouldn’t let me pass up the scent Time Lord (notes: Aged Cedar and Sandalwood, Spiced Vanilla, Teak, Petitgrain, and Cardamom, with whispers of Rose, Oud, and Ginger.)  This smells like the 11th doctor to me.  Though I know very little of old Who (I know bad me!), so I could be wrong.  This is … well … timeless.  It’s old, very old, like 900 years old.  It has an antique smell to it.  But not that dusty attic antique, but one that has been polished and loved and displayed through the ages.  This does lean masculine in my opinion.  The spices in this are soft and not overpowering.  This scent is very, very well blended and really awesome in that it captures the timelessness of Time Lords.

And because I’ve been on a violet kick lately, I picked up a dram of Violette with notes of: Wood Violets, Leather, and Honeycomb. Hmm in the dram I get that new leather smell and I don’t usually dig new leather.  Whew!  On my skin it goes to a softer, more supple leather scent.  The violets are soft, silky, and on the edge of being powdery.  The honeycomb isn’t extremely noticeable.  I was hoping more for a beeswax, dusty type scent out of it, but it doesn’t detract.  It might be adding a touch of sweetness to the mix.  It’s a very nice scent, and I never would’ve thought to put violets and leather together, however I don’t believe this one is for me.

Lastly, I received two samples of solid scents.  One is Mermaid (Salt water, linden blossoms, muguet, carnation, white musk, with a base of driftwood and oakmoss) and the other is Beach Bum (Salt air, tuberose blooms, coconut, sweetgrass, tanning lotion, sand, sea, and sun).

Mermaid is up first and initial sniff gives a sweet blast of linden blossoms and white musk.  Very clean and bright!  On my skin the salt water comes out as does the muguet.  It honestly smells like there is a citrus note, like a bright yellow lemon, but that could be something else.  This is bright and clean and fresh smelling!

Beach Bum is different, still clean but the tuberrose is prominent on first sniff.  That tanning lotion … LOL!  It’s so true to life.  Hawaiian Life that is!  The coconut isn’t very strong, more like it’s in your drink next to you instead of on your skin.  This is bright, yet lazy.  Perfect for lounging on the sand and soaking up the sun!

Arcana Soaps – The Prynne Collection 2016

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photo by smellallthethings

I’m so excited to dig into Arcana’s Valentine’s Day Prynne Collection from this year (purchased via The Rhinestone Housewife).

Odalisque is from Part I of The Prynne Collection (notesThick vanilla syrup, golden musk, black musk, kyphi, and spikenard.) In the bottle it mostly smells like golden amber musk.  However, once on my skin it blossoms.  The black musk leans in the back, supporting the other notes.  The kyphi is nice and spicy and sweetened by the vanilla syrup.  Arcana’s vanilla is wonderful, and this is no exception.  The golden musk and spikenard give the blend a slightly lighter feel.  Overall, despite the black musk, thick vanilla and kyphi this is not a heavy blend.  It smells light and flowing.  More like a veil of scent than a blanket.  The throw is light to medium at times.

Tramp, from Part II of The Prynne Collection, contains: Red roses, worn leather, blood cedar, oudh, and 3 trampy musks. In the bottle is smells of beautiful full red roses.  On my skin the roses bloom with a hint of the blood cedar underneath.  As it dries the oudh comes out and it is a beautiful brownish-gold smell, deep and intoxicating.  The musks start to come out – perhaps one is a red musk?  When it is completely dry the leather comes out to layer along with everything.  At first this was almost boozy – but as it dried it’s become sexier with the leather, oudh, and musks coming out.  The rose is still apparent, but it becomes more like petals strewn across leather instead of full blooms.  Very beautiful and only slightly trampy.  This has a rather large throw.

Floozy, the last purchase from Part II of The Prynne Collection (notesSilky opium smoked with boozy amber, dark vanilla, and sandalwood.) In the bottle it smells strongly of smoky opium.  Wet on my skin it’s a bit more smoky, but not overwhelmingly so.  The sandalwood is fragrant and bright which contrasts nicely with the dark vanilla and the boozy amber.  This is gorgeous, flouncy and flowing, and so soft. Floozy is sweet, smoky, and woody – darkly golden with sweet opium smoke. It has a wonderful throw – not too much, not a skin scent – that nice in-between.