Continuing my celebration of Fabienne’s life, I chose Gingerbread Whorehouse. It is the perfect example of her tongue-in-cheek scent names, in my opinion, and one that has been suggested to so many over the years, myself included.
Gingerbread Whorehouse – This is European Gingerbread given an American Cajun jolt with the spices: ginger, black pepper (!), clove, cinnamon, coriander, and a kiss of pink pepper.
In the vial I get a lot (and I mean a lot – have you ever made gingerbread cookies?) of molassass. It’s thick, sweet but verging on bitter, and dark. On my skin I very much get a warm gingerbread cookie scent. Simple, warm, inviting, and delicious. There’s very little sweetness in this blend.
The peppers and the coriander give this a whole other dimension and I think is what is keeping this from going full out foodie on my skin. I’m not amping any one scent, rather they seem to be melded quite seamlessly.
As this dries, I can’t say that it really morphs at all. It stays very true to the wet stage, maybe it warms up a tad more, but beyond that it is the perfect ginger bread cookie. I have to confess, around this time of year I start stalking Panera Bread for their Gingerbread Muffins. They are the perfect moist little muffins of gingery perfection and this is what it reminds me of as well. I know, I know, I said it’s not foodie and it’s not … but it is … but it’s not. Simple, right?
There is a little bit of a throw to this scent, but mostly it stays close to the skin. Every now and then I get a hint of something almost buttery in there.
I will give it this – 6 hours later and I still get the softest hint of gingerbread with a vanilla base. It’s still this soft, warm, and cozy little scent that occasionally wafts up to me. It lasted through a hand washing or two also.
This would be one, should I ever get the chance, that I would love to upgrade to a full size bottle.
Those samples I reviewed earlier were not the only things to make their way to me from the lovely ladies over at Siberie Perfumes. They were also kind enough to send me a few 5ml’s (their regular bottle sizes are 15ml!).
Cordelia – Blended with the aroma of crisp cucumbers, juicy honeydew melon, marine notes of ocean air & fresh green tea.
In the bottle I get a nice crisp green scent with a hint of something watery and a little musky. On my skin the ocean air is strong, as though it is the morning after a storm. The cucumbers are lending a nice green scent while the honeydew is juicy and sweet. I’m finding that the tea is there, but not prominent.
I swear I’m getting something musky and I’m wondering if there’s not something of an ambergris-type note – or grey amber being used for the ocean scent. There’s also something almost cottony in here, soft and fuzzy.
After about 20 minutes this has become soft and flowing, yet still freshly green and slightly watery. It has a decent throw to it in that I can smell it if I move my wrist around. This blend leans unisex with an undercurrent of a masculine feel. I’m about 2 hours in and I still get wafts and it still smells wonderful on my skin.
Sang Des Dragons – Deeply seductive notes of pure aged dragon’s blood resin, sandalwood, gardenia & orris ( violet note) with teases of cassia ( light warm cinnamon note), woodsmoke, bourbon vanilla & earthy patchouli. A dark fragrance that is hauntingly beautiful.
In the bottle I get the loveliest deepest dragon’s blood note with this softly spicy underground. This is deep, red, and resinous.
On my skin this only deepens. I’m stuck huffing at my wrist and I get an almost hippy-shop type smell. Not in a bad way either, this is beautiful and deep. The dragon’s blood is the spicier version, not the more floral, which is just perfect for this blend.
I love how resinous this is! The sandalwood is fresh and just harvested while the gardenia is doing it’s heady gardenia thing. The cassia is not as light as the note list says, at least not on me, but it is by no means overwhelming (so maybe that is light!). You can definitely smell the woodsmoke in this but it’s off in the distance and not at all in your face. There’s a touch of vanilla – just a touch and that earthy patchouli is deep and brown and grounding.
Confession – after 15 minutes of having this on, I slathered. Flat out had to have more. The throw is beautiful, the longevity went for about 4 hours until I went on a long walk then it exploded and disappeared within 15 minutes of 100 degree weather. Which is fine, I didn’t want to have it blasting because it is a warm scent on its own.
Cake & Eat It – Dreamy notes of vanilla birthday cake frosted with rich buttercream icing, french coconut macaroons, a pinch of orchid & a soft warm base of white musk.
Who doesn’t want to have their cake and eat it too? In the bottle I get a very musky vanilla scent with just a hint of cake. On my skin it’s very much a single note white musk. It takes a few minutes, but finally the cake and frosting comes out with just a hint of coconut-y macaroons.
The scent wafting up to me is more orchid and musk with a hint of buttercream icing and it’s not nearly as gourmand as I thought it would be. I’m finding it to be quite soft and comforting with a dollop of sweetness.
Throw-wise, this is fairly decent – not strong, but I do get whiffs of it here and there. I’m really enjoying this one more than I’d expected to. I do love a good orchid.
Ma Contessa – Sultry, sweet and spicy this decadent elixir has notes of the most delicious aged bourbon vanilla, caramelized marshmallows with a piquant swirl of dark clove, cardamom & cinnamon. The soft dry down eludes femininity with a caress of golden amber & sensuous Australian sandalwood.
In the bottle I get a lot of caramelized marshmallow, a good helping of clove, and fragrant sandalwood. On my skin, however, most of the sweet notes are gone almost immediately and what is left is just a very slightly caramel sweetness that gives a nice undercurrent to the clove, cardamom, and sandalwood.
Admittedly, I’m not really a fan of cardamom, even in cooking. It’s not bad, just not really my thing. I also dislike cilantro. And olives. That being said this is somewhat spicy and has a very good throw to it and wafts up of its own accord – no hand-waving needed here!
I’d really love more vanilla and amber in this blend, personally, but with the cardamom it’s probably not something I would reach for anyway.
Candice – Blended with the sweet temptation of juicy dewberries, fluffy pink cotton candy, whipped marshmallows & pink sugar captured in a soft base of white musk & a tease of French vanilla.
Berries and cotton candy on a base of white and ethereal musk in the bottle. On my skin the berries become very juicy, almost fresh squeezed into a delightful drink.
You would think with the cotton candy, marshmallows, and pink sugar this would be tooth-achingly sweet but it’s not! Somehow that white musk tempers it and keeps it from becoming just too much to handle. I adore this sugar scent as well. It’s mixed with the cotton candy, as thought it was dusted in pink sugar.
As this dries I’m finding to to be more a lighter skin scent. It does not have much of a throw, though I do not need to press my nose to skin in order to get a sniff either.
The french vanilla is a tad boozy, making the berries seem to lean to an almost wine-like scent but without the bitterness you can sometimes get with wine. This perfume is very feminine, slightly girly even, and just super sweet.
I really am becoming quite smitten with Siberie Perfumes!
Keep an eye out on my blog for a Siberie and Sweet Potion Perfume giveaway in the coming weeks! Click the Follow button on the side bar to get e-mail notifications of posts!
Bringing a new house to everyone, and one that has bowled me over with not only their scent catalog, but their customer service as well as their over the top and on point packaging! Sugar & Spite everyone – get on and enjoy the ride! (Not paid advertising, I just really dig everything about this perfume house.)
Bonus they are having a sale from now until Saturday July 9th. Check out their Facebook page for sale details. Because of the sale, this is going to be a rather quick and dirty review of 11 different scents.
These scents have been in my possession for almost 3 weeks now and I could already tell taking them out of their packaging that they’d rested and even gotten a little aging while they sat in a cool dark box.
Let’s kick this off with the rollerball. 10ml of delicious Apple Sugar goodness. (Delicious, juicy apples and a heaping spoonful of pure sugar. Wonderfully sweet, yet somehow all grown up.) I have to admit I’ve worn this quite frequently since receiving it and it was also part of my moving scents that stayed with me in my purse for comfort and use while my world was briefly turned upside down. It is a beautiful crisp, freshly peeled, apple scent with just this smooth sugar scent that comes very close, initially, to making you feel like you have just put a spoonful of table sugar in your mouth. Somehow while wet this manages to be an extremely accurate representation of apples and sugar, separate but preparing to come together in a most wonderful way. As this dries the two scents come together and the tartness of the apple tempers the sweetness of the sugar so that it doesn’t become overly sweet. This is gourmand, but not? So hard to describe the dry down. It’s almost like walking through an apple orchard with a bag of sugar and freshly cut apples. This works in the heat and I’m going to bet this will work in the fall as well. I am already planning on some body spray, body wash, and lotion in this scent. The longevity of this blend has varied wildly but I think that’s more to do with my activities and just the extreme stress I was putting my body under and not necessarily to do with the scent itself.
Three Shades of White (Every fine vanilla in my arsenal, smoky white musk, white amber, grounded with a tiny bit of patchouli, bourbon and oak leaves.) smells of patchouli in the vial and on my skin. It’s not quite a smooth patchouli, but it’s not that gritty and dirty patchouli either. It’s a happy medium, brownish in scent to me. The oak marries with the patchouli and as it tries the vanillas begin to come out. After this has sat on the skin it ends up being this beautiful smoky, vanilla, and patchouli blend. Overall it’s soft, slightly sweet, and a touch woody.
Strangefellow isn’t all that strange (tonka, amber, musk and pepper, with a sugar cookie base) … well, actually, it smells like vanilla popcorn in the vial, but it quickly smooths out into this beautiful amber, tonka, musk blend with a hint of sugar cookie. The pepper gives just a hint of spice, but nothing overwhelming. The tonka is soft and brown, the cookie leans a bit gourmand, but the amber and musk keep it from falling over that edge. This is a sweet blend, unisex, and very beautiful.
Dionysus, the god of wine (Mahogany, amber, sandalwood, and barely perceptible red wine.) deserves attention sometimes. Oh wow, in the vial the mahogany is deep, rich, and red. On my skin it is dark and decadent, smooth and red and just luxurious! Totally brings to mind much lounging with a glass of wine in hand. It’s blended very well and the sandalwood is more of a fresh-off-the-tree scent rather than that of the smoother more aged sandalwood. The amber just enhances the overall smoothness of the blend.
Tell it to the Moon sounds like a nice chill song to relax with and look up at the moon. (Precious woods, cashmere vanilla, resin, spice, and a swirl of bright mandarin.) In the vial I get mandarin and I’ll be damned if cashmere wasn’t the most apt description for that vanilla. On my skin the woods come out more with a touch of spice (generic melody of spices, but nothing I can pick out with absolute certainty). But man, that cashmere vanilla is where it’s at, let me tell you. If tonka is fuzzy brown, this is a fuzzy cream or taupe. And on top of it all is that beautiful mandarin. The woods sit to the back with the resins and it really is all about that vanilla and mandarin!
The Whispering Woods don’t talk behind your back (Crunchy leaves, damp soil, Incense smoke, a bitter snap of clove, and caramelized brown sugar), they speak sweet nothings into your ear. In the vial I get that smoky incense which is just about all I can smell, even on my skin. It’s a beautiful smoky scent. Ah, it takes a moment but the leaves come out with a touch of soil. After a bit the clove comes out but it’s just barely a hint. Enough to get a whiff and know what it is, but not enough to overwhelm the blend.
Mothman (Black and green teas, clove, black orchid) is not your average superhero! But that’s to be expected because it’s a perfume and not a person at all. So there’s that. Tea and clove come out in the vial as well as on my skin. It’s reminding me a lot of walking into Teavana. I’m not a tea person, like at all, which is kind of funny considering I moved to the south. But this is making me wrinkle my nose as the orchid, clove, and teas aren’t meshing very well on my skin. YMMV – so try it if you’re curious!
Barnum and Bailey? No, just Barnum (Curiously sweet and dark. Tobacco leaf, a trio of rich musks, new mown hay, and a drizzle of creamy vanilla bourbon.) but half a circus can still be a good time … right? Hay, musk, a touch of tobacco, and just a drop of bourbon. So rich and decadent. Masculine, don’t get me wrong, but I love that. Oh wow, I could melt into this. This is fairly straightforward on me which is just fine. The vanilla comes out, but it’s that soft barely there vanilla that adds more creaminess to a blend than actual sweetness.
Meadow(s) are for enjoying (Fields of green, green grass, and a hint of sweet soil.). And so is perfume. Win-win! In the vial this is just grass. Super green, crunched underfoot so it releases it’s scent, with just a hint of soil underneath. This is like taking a handful of dew covered grass and rubbing your face in it. Not to say the perfume is overwhelming, it’s just … GRASS when you sniff it. And hey, some people like that. So here ya go … this grass’ for you!
Grim Bastard is not one to be trifled with (vanilla, sandalwood, black patchouli and leather). But I don’t listen so well. Shh. In the vial I get leather. It’s that mix between shiny black and well worn brown. On my skin however, it morphs to that beautiful worn brown leather that I love so much. The patchouli isn’t super prominent but blends with the sandalwood to give an overall woody feel to the blend. The vanilla is there but hidden, just barely lending itself to the blend. Very masculine, very leathery.
Leopold not to be undone (A sweet blend of vanilla bean, amber, musk, and white pepper.) is here to sweep others off their feet. In the vial I get all the lovely notes and they translate almost seamlessly to my skin. The vanilla lays overtop, lending it’s sweetness to the entirety of the blend while the musk and amber provide a golden base and the pepper adds just a touch of spiciness to the blend. Very beautiful and another I would consider getting in body spray, wash, and lotion!
I think overall there were only two blends I would not consider purchasing full bottles of, and only because they’re not really my thing. Hopefully this helps those on the fence about some blends. Now, off to get some new smellies with their wonderful sale!
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.
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.
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.
Found this gorgeous perfumer on Etsy and heard some great things about them from Indie Perfume Lovers facebook group. Deep Midnight Perfumes has a ton of sample options either singly or by collection. I got sample packs of Steampunk Girls and Wicked Girls along with a free sample per collection set and one for being a new customer! You can either choose your own, or let them choose. I wanted to be surprised so I let them choose!
First up is Seven Veils whose notes include madagascar vanilla, velvety orchids, white florals, the softest musk, sweet golden amber, spices and exotic resins. In the vial I get orchids and a touch of those spices and resins! On my skin this is so smooth. The vanilla is beautiful and full, the musk is gentle, and the amber is glorious. There is something exotic (oh yeah, resins) about this blend – gentle and sweet, alluring and mysterious, and just almost purple in feel. I could see myself wearing this to bed, or on a sexy night out (yes, it works for both). Despite how soft this scent is it does have a really good throw on it. I keep getting beautiful whiffs of purple orchids and gentle musk with sweet vanilla. This has some excellent lasting power to it, really amazing.
King Cake is described as: Based on the traditional and scrumptious Mardi Gras King Cake, which is made with a yeasty bread and Danish type dough, braided and filled with cinnamon and sometimes various fruits jams or nuts and then topped with sugary or cream cheese frosting. I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never had a King Cake – but I’m not big into Mardi Gras either, so it shouldn’t be too surprising. That being said this is CAKE and cream cheese frosting in the vial. There’s a touch of cinnamon, a bit of a nutty quality, and something almost bready. It’s this weird cake/bread mix. Like a dense cake. The more it sits the more the cinnamon comes out. Unfortunately this kicks my gourmand button and I can’t stomach much more. But cake lovers will definitely enjoy this!
Selene by Night has notes of black orchids, deep dark exotic woods, enigmatic cypress, dragon’s blood and the faintest kiss of spice. Cypress is prominent in the vial as well as on my skin. However as it touches my skin the woods and spice come out. The orchids give a hot-house feel to the blend. This is inky blackness, expansive and almost oppressive, yet stunning. The dragon’s blood is commanding and rich. This has a great throw, excellent longevity. This might need a touch of aging because the dragon’s blood tries to go to soap with my chemistry.
Vixen Venom entices with its notes of a blend of rich amber, sweet musk, the sweetest vanilla, and a dash of patchouli for that extra bite! This is a lovely patchouli vanilla in the vial. On my skin that amber and musk come out. Man I can’t believe the awesome. This is seductive, tantalizing, and down right sexy. The amber is darkly golden while the vanilla is sweet, but not foodie and with the barest touch of patchouli this blend just out does itself.
Next up is Ladies of London whose notes are sensual florals highlighted with lily of the Valley, spicy indulgent opium, a bowlful of the deepest sensual red berries, and caresses of frankincense and patchouli for added mystery. In the vial this is all red berries and opium. On my skin it is much of the same though it takes on a bit of a fizzy feeling, as though there is champagne in the blend. The flowers are strong, the opium wafting, and the berries mashed into a delightful drink. The frankincense and patchouli are more of the incense type instead of a resin and it’s like they are being burnt on opposite sides of the room and making their way towards you. These ladies of London may look innocent at first, however, they are anything but.
I decided to go on and combine these reviews instead of doing it in two parts. So this is Clockwork Cutie! YAY! Its notes are fresh wild berries, concord grapes on the vine, a whisper of dark flowers from a secret Victorian garden, and a soft vanilla accord. In the vial I get a beautiful juicy blast of berries and grapes, and that stays true on my skin, however there are now flowers wafting around. It’s a very sweet blend, very juicy and fun! The flowers are doing a good job at keeping the fruit from going too crazy and now as it dries the vanilla is coming out. Oh wow, once this dries completely it’s a beautiful floral and fruit blend – fun and fancy free, yet somehow there’s a sophistication to this perfume!
Flights of Fancy gives way to notes of mahogany wood, amber, lavender, brown sugar, oak, with faint and fresh background notes of peach and pear. In the vial this is wood and sugar – sweet and warm. There is a bit of lavender and it’s not making me cringe with pain! The peach and pear are juicy but they are under everything else. The woods are beautiful, golden, and fragrant. I really like how wonderful this is – it’s like floaty and flowing – beautifully constructed and makes me want to close my eyes and inhale deeply. Also, I’m so trilled to find another company whose lavender doesn’t make my sinus scream in pain! The brown sugar is only adding a hint of sweetness and that beautiful touch of darkness from molasses.
Agent of Chaos! Sounds like a good book eh? No book, but it has notes that include an exotic Chypre accord, rich leather, bergamot, lemon, sweet sugars, cardamon and clove, followed up with softer backgrounds notes of mahogany, oakmoss, and a faint touch of jasmine. In the vial it’s all sweet spices, like a good foodie fall scent. On my skin it still has that association, but the leather and chypre pull it back from that foodie edge. The clove is not overpowering at all, actually none of the spices are overpowering. This is really well blended, dark and mysterious! Perfect for an Agent of Chaos! I’m really digging this blend! It’s leaning a touch masculine but there’s enough jasmine to keep it on the feminine side. Actually this reminds me a lot of what I think Zoë from Firefly would smell like (which is who I named my youngest after). Oh man, any association Firefly means I need it!
Rounding this out is Chocolate Earth, one of the freebie’s, and it has notes of Dark Chocolate, Plump Fresh Raspberries, Dark Five Year Aged Patchouli, and a touch of Sweet Cream. So … I typically dislike chocolate and cocoa scents – they just don’t sit well with me and that is a personal preference and nothing against any perfumer that uses chocolate in their blends because there are plenty of other people who crave it. To each their own. In the vial it is dark chocolate and patchouli – a bit different to be sure. On my skin I … am not sure what I’m smelling. I know there’s a patchouli but that’s about all I can smell. It takes 5-10 minutes but eventually I get raspberries, soft and juicy, with a touch of cream. There’s no discernible chocolate to my nose. I double checked the vial to make sure there wasn’t any cocoa or something sitting and I needed to roll it and there’s nothing. Maybe the chocolate and patchouli are so well intertwined that I just can’t pull it apart. This is like leaning against a fragrant tree while eating raspberries and cream.
I have a huge pile of Possets samples that I’ve purchased straight from Possets, or from Ajevie, and some I acquired via freebies from purchases or swaps from other members of the Indie Perfume community. It is their time to shine!
Zombie is one of the blends I hear so much about! It’s always described as marshmallow oudh – what’s not to love about that?! The “official” notes are listed as: toasted marshmallow and oude, a bit of burnt stick, and the unmistakable fragrance of the crisp autumn air. (There are many different spellings for oudh, oud, oude, and I’m sure there’s more.) In the vial I get a bit of oudh and a touch of that crisp autumn air. On my skin it just … wow, it’s so unique! It’s marshmallow all right, that ooey gooey melted marshmallow that you only get from a stick and a fire. There’s no burning smell, just this lush woody scent topped with marshmallow. I get the hype! It’s very soft overall, however, the longer this sits the more the marshmallow fades to just a hint of sweetness and you’re left with this smooth and fragrant oudh.
I have to admit this next one I’ve tested already as I’ve been eyeing it fiercely for months and I’m happy it made the permanent collection! That scent is Min-Min (Ghost Lights) and it boasts notes of Sandalwoods, three of them, combined with the rich enticing scent of leather, a strong and classic patchouli. In the vial it’s almost all leather (it’s a cross between new shiny leather and that soft, well-worn leather I prefer). As it dries the sandalwood comes as does the patchouli. It’s a warm patchouli, almost golden in its scent. Despite the notes in this not typically being seen as ethereal, somehow it is just that – floating and ethereal, yet grounded. As this sits on my skin longer the leather goes from the forefront to somewhere in the back where it just gives hints as to its existence in the blend. Very beautiful and almost haunting blend.
Jeanne duVal is part of the Femme Fatales 2016 collection with notes of 5 ambers (two golden, one dry, one sweet, and one which is what I call Black Amber), add to that African Musk, a drop of aged sweet patchouli, a nice swath of labdanum, a large part of a very very dry and somewhat woody Bourbon vanilla, a bit of sandalwood, and just the right amount of Haitian vetiver. I get a nice sweet blast of bourbon vanilla in the vial and … chocolate? On my skin the vetiver takes over and for some reason there is something reminding me of chocolate. Or rather, more of a cocoa than a sweet milk chocolate. The ambers begin to make their appearance which pushes that weird cocoa note further away. I wonder if one of the ambers is a grey amber because I get just a hint of saltiness. The bourbon vanilla begins it’s ascent to the top with some of the sandalwood. I’m not getting a hint of labdanum which usually gives me a floaty feeling in a blend. This is a very grounded scent … but something is still giving me wafts of cocoa! So weird! If it weren’t for the cocoa I think I would really like it! Huh, it took a while, but the cocoa scent finally went away and now the labdanum has come out with it’s floaty essence.
The Mistress of Power will round out Part 1 of this review with notes of an incense and musk scent, a great oriental. Black, grey, and golden musks at the base, a good part of aged patchouli (which has gone from a thin light yellow to a thick dark brown over the years in the curing cabinet) there is absolutely nothing coy about this blend. Backdrop of a non foody and more brandy-like chocolate liquor, a small amount of clove, all finished off with an ambergris-like musk for a shadow-like staying power. The scent in the vial is boozy, but that goes away almost as soon as it touches my skin. Wow the patchouli is strong in this one with a good bit of a golden scent to it. The incense is strong, but not overwhelming. This is a resinous and incense blend, not for the faint of heart. It is commanding and powerful making itself known. There is a bit of subtle shifting between the notes as they vie for power and dominance. It takes a while, but eventually they settle into a golden resin and incense blend with just a hint of sweetness. This actually reminds me of the Lotus Spa I went to on the Outer Banks! Such a lovely and relaxing place. But that’s quite the dichotomy isn’t it?