Deep Midnight Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

I love that I can either select my free sample(s) or have it selected for me from Deep Midnight Perfumes.  I, not being super familiar with the catalog, let Cat over there select my samples for me!  So far I’ve been super impressed with this company!

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photo by smellallthethings

Dome of Stars sounds fascinating as someone who loves looking up at the night sky.  Its notes include Sandalwood, orris root, lavender, myrrh, amber, soft evergreen, and light nuances of cinnamon and citron.  Bonus this was inspired by Elrond!  In the vial this is softly green and fragrant woods with just a light hint of lavender.  On my skin you can almost smell the moonlit night.  The evergreens are not overpowering but they lend a grand stillness to the scent – things come and go, but evergreens seem eternal.  The cinnamon and citron, like the notes describe, are not prominent, but I can smell where they are adding their little touches to the blend.  The sandalwood, orris, and myrrh mix together to give this a lovely bed of wood for the scent to lay upon while the lavender and amber seem to float around.  This is simply stunning, unisex leaning feminine, and would be a perfect (for me) scent to wear at night.  There is a bit of a throw to this, not a big one mind you but enough of one that I can smell it coming up to greet me.

Black Wings  – and now for something completely different –Black leather, decayed black roses, dark aged patchouli, guggal incense, dark woods, and musk.  I’m very picky about my leather notes.  As of right now there are only two companies that make a leather note I like and can wear.  In the vial this is straight up dirty hippy patchouli (I mean that in the best possible way!).  On my skin this is super dark yet almost floaty.  I’m not actually getting that sharp almost acidic scent from the black leather (sometimes it comes across as that pleather – fake leather – grossness) so that’s a bonus.  But this is very dark, very dirty, very hippy-like.  So if you’re into that sort of thing, then this is right up your alley!  There is no sweetness to this scent – it’s dark and it wants you to know.

Ishtar Gate has notes of deep rose, oud, myrrh, lotus blossoms, and frankincense combine with other sacred attars and subtle spices. In the vial this is a deeply red rose scent, full in bloom and heady.  On my skin this rose then mixes with lotus to enhance the sweetness and add a touch of dewiness to the rose.  The oud, myrrh, and frankincense give a nice woody base, as though you are smelling the plant as a whole and not just the flower itself.  This has a really good through and is a strong feminine scent (not strong like overpowering, but strong as in a emotionally/personality strong).  Overall this is a beautiful heady perfume that takes full advantage of the largest, deepest, reddest rose around and highlights everything about it that makes it a rose.

Aloysius will round out these scents with notes of decadent old wood, rum, rich dark leather, and soft touches of sugar, citrus and mint.  Another leather blend!  Just initial sniff from the vial and my mind was filled with visions of Captain Jack Sparrow and musings about why the rum is gone.  My husband is a lover of spiced rum so I know the smell very well.  It’s in here and this very much smells like barrels and barrels in a wooden storage barn attached to their holdings by leather straps, each one filled with rum (though the rum note itself isn’t prominent, but it’s there and noticeable).    This is a super masculine blend and I’m on my way to wanting to sing sea shantys!  The citrus and mint are in there and I can detect them and they do so much to uplift this blend and really make it stand out without allowing all the other notes to overpower one another.  Yeah, this is totally what Jack Sparrow would smell like (after a bath, mind you).

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.

Deconstructing Eden Samples – Part 1

I have been hording several Deconstructing Eden samples and I am finally able to do some testing!  Opening them up, as they are wrapped in plastic, was wonderful as each new scent peeked its way out.  A few are from the now gone Valentine’s Day release.  I apologize for being late on those and will endeavor in the future to give reviews prior to the scents end date.

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photo by smellallthethings

I adore Deconstructing Eden.  Their silage and longevity is beyond what you normally expect from an EDP.  The scents are wonderful and you get only a bare hint of any alcohol – it’s all about the beauty in the bottle.  Their Type O Negative inspired scents are what drew me to them, and Burnt Flowers Fallen is what kept me coming back.

Besotted is first in the line up and its notes are spun pink candy floss, vanilla, pink grapefruit, sweet amber, black and red currants, honey drenched figs, a trace of tuberose, apricot, guava and apples.  This note list just sounds like preteen puppy love!  The pink grapefruit is in the forefront at first with figs and a touch of sweet amber backs it up.  This is pink to the max but isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.  The apricot and apples are soft as are the currants, but they lend some much needed non-pinkness to the blend.  This is that heart flutter when you lock eyes with that cute boy in the hall who you swear doesn’t know your name and you feel like you could at once fly and melt into the floor.  It’s your first stolen kiss at once too short and not short enough.  It’s all the things that you love, even briefly.  As this dries, it’s almost like growing up and that puppy love phase becomes a sweet memory.

Next up is Halo with its notes of moonlight, sea water, lilacs, wisteria, honeysuckle and moonflower. This opens with a touch of salty sea water and moonflower.  I adore moonflower for its slightly watery and white scent.  It’s soft, inviting, and alluring all at once.  As this dries the honeysuckle comes out and the lilacs join the party.  It’s a soft moonlit floral bouquet with soft white and purple flowers with just a hint of the golden honeysuckle.  Very pretty, genteel, and glowing.  This one ended up being a hit with my two daughters!

Éros, much like the god, is fiery in color with notes of deep, dark amber, gardenia, lily of the valley, velvet red roses, cinnamon and Egyptian jasmine.  Normally I shy away from blends with cinnamon in them because other companies tend to burn my nose with it.  However, Toni’s Cinnamon Girl (which I got to complete my Type O Negative scent set) showed me that her cinnamon is not to be feared and even being the center of a blend doesn’t mean it has to overwhelm.

However, Éros starts out as … dill pickle?!  That’s … well … different.  Oh good, that only lasted 30 seconds.  Second sniff gives some dark amber, almost black with gardenia and cinnamon coming up right behind it.  This is an exotic blend.  The Egyptian jasmine is soft and fleeting and the roses seem to be clinging to the cinnamon.  It’s not bakers cinnamon either – it’s … this is like walking into a greenhouse that specializes in exotic and hard to grow flowers.  I’ve been in a greenhouse that smells exactly like this, but for the life of me I can’t remember where.  In those situations every scent seems amplified yet it meshes so well together.  To me this leans slightly masculine but not so much that I wouldn’t/couldn’t wear it and pull it off – though I tend to enjoy more masculine leaning scents.  I can’t get over this scent association I have with it – it’s so evocative.

In keeping with the love fest going on, next I have a sample of Adore with notes of violets, citrus, jasmine, ylang ylang, lily of the valley, magnolia, tuberose, lotus, iris, bourbon vanilla, white musk and rose. Hmm, this is super soft, almost too soft to detect.  There is definitely some tuberose and bright citrus.  Ooh there’s the jasmine and iris.  The vanilla is almost non-existent – but bourbon vanilla is usually too soft for me to pick up.  I’m getting something of a “soap” quality.  Nice soap, mind you, but soap just the same.  Overall this is a nice blend, but too soft for my tastes.

Jacqueline leaked a little into the cap but that allowed an early glimpse at her scent.  The notes include base notes of a clean skin musk and mahogany, dry amber accord and heart and top notes of sambac jasmine and jasmine officianale.  It isn’t often DE lists base, heart, and top notes for her blends.  Not sure if this is a new thing or an old thing.  I kind of like guessing myself.  Oh man this was love at first sniff when opening and now that I’ve a spritz of it I love it even more.  It’s soft and woody with lovely bursts of jasmine.  Simple, sweet, and utterly perfect.  Jacqueline will be a large bottle purchase for sure.  I just want to wrap myself in it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Deconstructing Eden reviews!

 

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!