So I have a lot of samples. I’d estimate over 100 right now. To say I’m slightly overwhelmed by this would be something of an understatement. Hence the bright idea of 30 scents in 30 days! I just stick my hand in the box and blindly pick out a scent. The idea of it actually has me a tad giddy!
First day we start with a house I’ve not reviewed here yet even though it was my first company I delved into – Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. The reason I don’t really review them? They have a wonderful forum full of review page after review page and I didn’t feel the need to really add on unnecessarily when there’s such a comprehensive review system in place. However, they are a favorite of mine – I have lots of samples of things I keep meaning to test and so it’s in my testing box and fair game for this little challenge of mine!
Zombi – Dried roses, rose leaf, Spanish moss, oakmoss and deep brown earth.
My initial sniff from the vial is deep, moist earth – brown and fertile, perfect for worms. On my skin the moss and oakmoss come out and give it some greenness along with that rose leaf. I now have a rose bush in my yard and so I can say with confidence that this rose leaf is so very, very true to life. The rose leaf doesn’t hold much of an actual rose scent in it, but when you rub it you get a softer greenness from the leaf than you would from something like a blade of grass. So, I kind of hope I’m not the only one that finds things like rose leaves and sniffs them to compare to perfume notes. But if I am, oh well! I just find it fascinating!
Over everything you get those dried roses, crunchy and yet somehow they still retain a trace of the fragrance they had in life.
The earthiness is strong and at times almost overpowering all the other scents. This is more like being in a forest and over-turning a moss covered rock. Your senses are immediately assaulted with the musky earth that hasn’t seen the light of day in who knows how long. On your fingers you get a touch of the mossy scent from disturbing it. Over everything there is this soft, dry floral fluttering about.
After the wet stage, and after that drydown phase where it’s still wondering what it wants to be, you get to the full dry down, where the scent has warmed on your skin and melded with your own personal scent and it does what it will do – and I love it.
On my skin it is this softly brown scent, earthy and musky. Over that is that luscious green scent that can only be oakmoss. It gives it a cologne feel, but I love it. And over all of that is this gorgeous and soft rose scent. It is brown, green, and pink all wrapped into one. This does not overpower as the dry down did. If I could just go from wet to this glorious scent I would be all over it. Perhaps setting this one back to do a bit of aging will do it some good.
The throw on this blend is fleeting – sometimes it comes to greet you, other times I find I have to sniff around the spot I put it to really get a sense of the blend. When it does choose to waft around it’s mostly a mossy scent with a hint of floral, whereas on my skin I get more of that earthiness. Overall though I’m quite happy with this scent and it will most likely be added to my “eventually get a full bottle” list. For now I’ll enjoy this little sample.
Sixteen92‘s subscription, The Circle, has got to be the best thing since … sample packs! I love this little bit of “sneak peek” I, and others, get!
I also got the Fall samples in this pack, but I’ve been itching for Halloween scents so I’m doing the Halloween reviews first.
The Bell Witch with sweet cider barrels, orchard wood, blond tobacco leaf, cave and forest moss, glowing pumpkin, dry leaves, and turned earth is up first and I don’t think I can properly convey just how excited I am to try these scents. I think this is the first time where every description pulls at me.
In the vial I get a definite spiced apple scent, likely from the cider barrels. On my skin this just blossoms and opens up and without even sniffing my skin I can smell the soft flesh of the pumpkin, dry leaves crunching under foot, a hint of tobacco, and the soft velveteen texture of the moss.
What I’m saying is this baby has some throw on it and I’m in love. You get it all in here, every nuanced aspect of this blend is perfectly represented and comes together to form the most accurate representation of a crisp fall day that I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.
This blend seems to lean a little masculine as it dries, giving it a cologne type feel to it, likely from the earth and moss, but it’s not something that will deter me from wearing it. I want to bathe in this scent.
With the amount of throw on this blend, I do find it somewhat overwhelming to sniff directly on my skin and I much prefer the scent I get as it wafts as opposed to the spicier version on my skin. After about an hour the scent against the skin isn’t so overwhelming and is just as gorgeous as the scent that wafts up to me still.
You would think after a few hours I’d have nothing to add to this, but alas, that is not true. Not only is this scent still giving a decent throw, and still beautiful, it seems that now I’m getting more apple, as though a glass of cider was poured and they cut up a fresh apple to mix into it. Magic. Pure and simple.
Borley Rectory has notes of Italian Bergamot, cocao pod, smoked black tea, decayed woods, faded parchment, shadowy musk.
In the vial I get musk and bergamot with a strong helping of black tea. This is another blend that, quite literally, blossoms on the skin immediately. The bergamot is beautiful, and it’s a note that is becoming a fast favorite of mine and I’ve been seeking it out lately. The tea has somewhat backed down to a half drunk cup instead of a full blown pot. The parchment is well worn, touched and used, and has oil from skin along the edges.
That shadowy musk though, that is what makes this blend. I don’t get much cocao pod, or if I do it’s blended and so light that I can’t pick it out. However, that musk is almost sinister and it combines with the smokiness of the black tea and the heat of woods that this is just a dark and almost foreboding scent.
I did notice there are flecks of cocao in the vial, so I’m sure that’s in there, but I can’t pick it out, which is fine. Also this is leaning masculine as well, but I still love it.
There is a throw to this, though not as prominent as The Bell Witch was, but it still wafts up gently. It’s longevity is really awesome as well.
The Island of the Dolls contains notes of Mexican vanilla, dry bergamot, somber rose, dark chocolate, black plum, dense woods, and porcelain musk. If you’ve ever seen a documentary on this place, it’s super creepy.
There is a deep chocolate scent in the vial as well as on my skin. At first that’s about all I can smell (which is why I don’t wear chocolate – it overwhelms everything else on me). After a few minutes I get some of that slightly spicy dry bergamot. I’ve concluded dry is not how I like my bergamot. The rose is also coming across as being a dried rose instead of fresh.
I’m having a hard time smelling around the chocolate. Thankfully after letting it sit for about 20 minutes or so, most of the chocolate scent is gone. Now I am getting a sense of that dark plum and some deep dark woods. The porcelain musk is soft and powdery.
Unfortunately, this one does not have a good throw on me and I have to really sniff the spot to get a good sense of the blend. It is nice once dried, again leaning masculine, but I don’t think its for me, especially because of the chocolate. That’s just not my thing.
Man, after about an hour I adore the scent I’m getting from this. I just wish I didn’t have that issue with the chocolate! Because what’s left is woodsy and slightly sweet, soft and almost alluring.
Myrtles Plantation‘s notes consist of oleander leaf and bloom, labdanum, white sage, fig leaf, blood orange, and suede musk.
This seems to be the brightest of the bunch with blood orange taking the lead in the vial with a touch of oleander. On my skin the suede musk immediately asserts itself and lays out as a soft smooth base, brown and almost fuzzy. You really get a hint of greenness from the fig leaf, and the sage is very apparent. The blood orange is now, almost completely gone or pushed out of the way by the other scents.
There is something almost bitter in this blend. I’m afraid sage has taken another blend from under me. My skin reacts poorly to sage. Which makes me sad because I love labdanum and wanted so much to like this blend!
Well into the dry down the sage is no longer bitter, thankfully, and the labdanum gets to come out and do it’s narcotic dance. This is soft and more brown than green, and very close to the skin.
Lastly we have Waverly Hills whose notes are listed as dense fern, frost, wild moss, raw honey & propolis vegan, black labdanum, overgrown vines, late blooming Southern florals, and spectral musk.
In the vial the ferns feel crushed and give off that unique green scent and its almost overpowering. On my skin that sharp greenness is still there, but the other notes are attempting to temper it.
After about 10 minutes the sharpness of the fern has subsided and I’m left with this unmistakable garden – soft florals and sweet greens with a hint of that labdanum and a touch of honey. That spectral musk acts like fog, and the frost helps to enhance that feeling. This is early pre-dawn in a slightly overgrown garden when the fog has rolled in and created this gorgeous, slightly spooky, scene.
The throw on this isn’t huge, but I do get it wafting up to me on occasion. Being even more Southern than Kentucky, I really appreciate and understand the late blooming florals. They are showcased here beautifully. (I still have a magnolia tree in my backyard that throws out a new bloom about once a week.)
I get a very ethreal feel about this blend, and I think this, minus the sharp fern scent, would be best as an EDP.
For me, personally, The Bell Witch and Borley Rectory have stolen my Halloween loving heart! Both of these I could slather in every format offered and still want more.
I ran across mention of Love Potion Perfumes in a forum for another company and even there, they seemed to have some die-hard fans. So, of course, I had to try it out! I have to confess I’ve been sitting on these samples for a few months now, though I had tested one shortly after it had arrived and loved it. With perfume, I seem to have a problem keeping attention on something and end up chasing shiny things instead of focusing on what I have. Shame on me!
As you can see, these come in the 2ml sizes and I was given two 1ml’s free with my order! They appear to be like single notes, so that’s cool.
And if you want, for added oomph to your magical blend, you can add pheromones to, I believe, any blend.
Cocked & Loaded – A manly-man earthy sexy violet heart crafted of violet fragrance oil and violet leaf absolute then rounded out with balsamic amber, powdery oakmoss and two types of smooth golden sandalwood.
Love Potions not only lists the notes, but lists any magical, healing, or historical meanings for the notes used. Which is kind of cool. In the vial this smells like violets, but a version that has a soapy quality to it. On my skin most of the soapiness goes away and I’m left with just … violets. I’m really not getting anything else out of it at the moment. Even after letting it dry down the violets are strong but I do get a hint of something like sandalwood and a touch of amber. No oakmoss, no earthiness, just mostly florals. Nearly a half hour later I finally get some greenness from the oakmoss. This is a close to the skin scent with very little throw.
Love Potion: RED – Vanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Dark Sugars, Woods, Resins.
In the vial I get a nice bit of resin and wood. On my skin I get a hint of cinnamon, but nothing overwhelming and it seems to be sitting close to the patchouli. I get a little bit of a tingly sensation on my skin where I applied, but no burning or anything harsh like that. This reminds me of walking into those kitschy country stores, but more refined. I kind of like that smell, a mixture of cinnamon, wood, and vanilla. The sugar has an almost molasses feel to it, which is comforting. This to me isn’t an overtly sexy blend, but more of a comforting kitchen blend. It smells like home, and love, and baking. Again, this is a scent that stays very close to the skin. I would love to have this in an oil warmer in my home (and that may be exactly what I do).
Always a Lady – A soft bouquet featuring five types of roses, scattered with dewy droplets of sweet strawberry, mango, raspberry and tangerine, all resting upon a base of oak and chypre.
In the vial this is super fruity! Lots of mango and tangerine with a hint of strawberry. On my skin that fruit is vying with the roses and it’s causing quite the ruckus on my skin. Eventually they work it out and it becomes a huge bouquet of roses. You can smell the dew and greenness with a hint of the oak. The only prominent fruit now is tangerine and strawberry, the rest sort of hang and add either sweetness or depth to the blend. The chypre comes and goes as you sniff. The throw on this blend is much more than the others, but still nothing that would overwhelm. It’s strong against the skin than it is when it wafts up to you.
Feed the Flowers – The beautiful melancholy of a funereal mood…a hint of smoke in the air, dried dusty flowers and the freshly-turned earth of an open grave…a bouquet of deep dark roses, geranium and stargazer lily mingled with earth, dry leaves and a drop of hay and dusted with mysterious resinous notes of myrrh, sandalwood, storax and benzoin. Finished with woodsmoke, powdery musk and a final kiss of white and powdered sugars.
This was the blend I had tried when they’d first arrived and I remember it being beautiful, earthy, and reminded me a lot of Samhain and all things Autumn.
In the vial I get a scent that is reminiscent of decaying leaves. On my skin that scent is still there, but on top of it is smoke and crackling twigs under foot. The dried flowers are hauntingly beautiful and hay graces the floor. This scent reminds me of an old, forgotten house in the woods whose bouquet on the table is long forgotten and the lace drapes are moth eaten and molding. Perhaps it was the home of a maiden waiting for her love to return from a war – but he never did and so she waited until they could be together again. It’s a melancholic scent and I love it. Another close to the skin scent. Really wish this one had some throw to it. Maybe I should put this one in an oil burner too.
Autumn Rain – Dry leaves and wet woods form the heart of our forest, with dewy notes of fern and fresh cut stems, and autumnal accents of apple and hay blended with the ambiance of earth and smoky frankincense.
In the vial this is a deep aquatic with a hint of apple. On my skin it is much of the same with an added touch of greenness. Beautiful petrichor scent with the leaves and forest floor. The apples are green and slightly bitter, the hay which was warmed by the sun is getting wet and is super fragrant. Once dried the frankincense comes out and wafts around this blend and gives it another dimension. Somehow this blend is dark, as though the rain has come on the heels of dusk. Unlike Feed the Flowers, this blend has a bit of a throw to it and wafts beautifully around.
The two free samples are Sugared Geranium and Sugared Bonfire.
Sugared Geranium is a deep and heady floral in the vial but it relaxes on my skin and becomes soft and pink with just a hint of sweetness.
Sugared Bonfire has an almost cotton candy like scent in the vial, but on my skin the wood and smokiness comes out and mixes with the sugar and creates the oddest combination of sweet woodsmoke, or cotton candy flavored in woodsmoke. It’s not bad, and not off putting really, just very different.
Another wonderful order from the fabulous Sixteen92! They had something of a flash sale for the oils, a return of past favorites, and having only recently begun dipping my toes in the proverbial water and being smitten, I had to grab them!
You may also notice that EDP is from their Spring 2016 Collection that I reviewed here. I couldn’t pass it up! The Primrose Path is just like spring and the earth in a bottle it’s so lovely. The notes are Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms. Not much of a difference between the oil and the EDP. I get so much of that lovely moist earth on initial spray. And stone! Who knew stones had a scent? It’s all greenery, soft and warm, with the earth underneath and the breeze gently blowing. The longer this sits the more you get the old oak tree and the lichen. It’s almost like being in an ancient forest surrounded by plants and trees that you just know have been around for centuries. For some reason the EDP feels older than the oil, whereas the oil is more fresh.
And of course I have to follow that beauty up with The Orchard Keeper whose notes include night blooming jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood. This scent opens with a beautiful jasmine and peach combination that is sweet and almost sultry. It doesn’t take long for that sandalwood to come into the picture. The apricot adds a bright, but not juicy, sweetness to the blend and the pink pepper gives a touch of perky spice. I could see this being the perfect scent for a peach orchard. Beautifully soft, slightly decadent, and sinfully sweet.
Finally I grabbed a 6ml of The Sound and the Fury and its notes include southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam. Oh wow, now I wish I hadn’t chickened out of the big bottle. The jessamine is soft and velvety, perfect for those relaxing days. The tea isn’t strong, like I had feared it would be. The balsam, fern, and loam give a wonderful greenness to the blend that isn’t overdone. I have quite a few ferns growing in my front garden and I recognized the scent! The skin musk gives that warm glow you can only get from sun warmed skin.
Overall I am super pleased with my blind purchases! It means I’m finally learning how Sixteen92 works for me and my skin chemistry!
Yipee my Deconstructing Eden Spring scents are here! I just love the beautiful blue of Jardin Botanique and I’m so excited to try all the scents.
Sun in Splendor describes today perfectly! Beautiful and sunny. This has notes of dark amber, agarwood CO2, calendula blooms, a drop of honey, clover, rich wood and bergamot. Oh wow this is a beautiful and bright scent! The agarwood and amber are deep and fragrant giving the most golden of glows to the blend. Honey keeps it sweet nad the clover gives it a nice greenness. There’s a touch of floral in the blend that doesn’t overwhelm but gives it that lovely out door feeling. It’s crisp, clean, golden and gleaming – just a perfect blend for that perfect Spring day.
Dans Le Jardin has notes of freshly turned earth, hyacinths, tulips, lily of the valley, tender green leaves, ivy, unripe strawberries and the very first buds of lavender not yet bloomed. Oh nice – this is a fresh blast of beautiful moist earth with a lovely dew covered greenness surrounding it. The florals are new and soft, just starting to release their scent. This scent is the perfect scent for Spring and that week or two where you are planting your garden at the beginning of the season (which in Ohio is just after Mother’s Day) and you get the lovely scents of the earth and plants. You can really feel the sun and the earth and the life flowing around you.
June Jardin is next and it boasts notes of Gardenia, Orange blossoms, white wisteria, osmanthus, muguet and moonflower. This blend opens with a blast of muget and orange blossoms. There’s something almost spicy about this and the moonflower gives a beautiful sweet and dewy scent. After it’s sat for a while the florals float and shift in the breeze. It remains with a touch of spice and heady florals.
Le Verger has notes that include old growth trees, a field of clover, peaches, pears, nectarines, citrus blossoms, ripe apples, apple blossoms, unripe figs and fig leaves. Oh wow this is fruity and juicy! There’s just a hint of greenness to cut through the fruit so it isn’t too overwhelming. I love the way this makes me think of picnics with fruit salads! Also, there’s a touch of wood from those old growth trees. Very pretty, sweet, and uplifting!
Jardin Botanique is the one with the pretty blue liquid! It’s notes include Blue Cypress, blue yarrow, lavender maillette, juniper berries, petit grain, bergamot and clary sage, rosewood and just a bit of peppermint. This is peppermint! That fresh, sweet, and minty candy that is usually found during Christmas time! After that initial blast of peppermint I get that nice blue cypress and some juniper with a touch of sage. After the initial blast of peppermint it calms down and gives you the feeling of a deep conifer forest at the height of spring rains.
Legare has notes of mahogany, magnolias, spanish moss, gardenias, iced black tea, petit grain, and warm breezes from the ocean. Oooh more mahogany! I really enjoy it in Jaqueline. I immediately get a blast of sea salt from the ocean. The magnolia’s are heady and the spanish moss hangs from the trees like a soft and soothing blanket. Black tea waits for you on the porch while the breeze flows. This is deep and beautiful.
Sucreabeille is a new, to me, company that I’ve heard some wonderful things about so of course I just had to give them a try! Not only to they boast a rather prolific scent list themselves, they are also known for some really well done designer duplicates, so I’ve heard.
First up is Oud Wood – which oddly I can’t find in their Scent List – though a quick googling shows it’s a Tom Ford scent so this might be a dupe that was either discontinued or my searching skills are just horrible today (just as an aside – I’ve never smelled any Tom Ford scents). In the vial this is a soft, slightly sweet wood scent. On my skin I get something almost citrus-y, like a mix between a lemon or a not-quite-ripe orange. As it dries more of the smooth oudh scent comes out. It’s a light brown scent, not strong, not overwhelming, more serene and calming. It just is. This stays fairly light, even after a few hours wear and doesn’t have much throw to it. It’s a close skin scent but beautiful nonetheless.
Frankincense & Myrrh is a common theme in my preferred scents, if you haven’t noticed. Sucreabeille lists notes of frankincense & myrrh,deep, smoky, & rich, warmed with amber & vanilla. Hmm, another hint of citrus. I wonder if it’s something in their carrier oil. On my skin I get a strong sense of lemon peel. It takes a while but the lemon peel begins to fade away and I am left with a smoky frank and myrrh combo with just a hint of vanilla. This has a heavy feel to it but I can’t seem to shake the lemon peel. A quick google is telling me that frankincense can smell like lemon – huh I’ve never really gotten that association before. Could be because there isn’t a lot to the blend and so the frankincense is able to do it’s thing and not be hindered by anything else. It takes a few hours, but the lemon association goes away and I’m left with the hint of burning frank and myrrh with a touch of golden amber and just a bit of vanilla.
Champanilla sounds like a party animal eh? It’s notes are nag champa, softened with vanilla bean pods & musk. Nag Champa is like a roller coaster scent for me – it has it’s highs and lows depending on how prominent it is in the blend. I prefer my nag champa to be less of a key player and more of a supporting actor (because nag champa is totally a dude ya know). In the vial it’s all vanilla and musk, beautiful and almost foody with a touch of a crystalline aspect to it. On my skin the nag champa is soft, like a pillow that is supporting the vanilla and musk. Every now and then it gets something close to an animalic quality to it, but then it backs down and starts heading towards gourmand. See? Roller Coaster of emotions over here! I don’t know whether to drown myself in it or wash it off. Now I’m getting something akin to a freshly cleaned dog warming in the sun – that soft, warm, and almost golden feeling that you only get from a dog’s natural clean scent. It reminds me of the dog my Dad had when I was younger – a beautiful black chow, lab, and German shepherd mix. Abby was the best dog ever and so loyal and sweet. It reminds me of her. Eventually this looses that animal quality and settles into a very prominent vanilla with a hint of musk and nag champa. The throw on this is decent for how soft it is. It’s still wafting around me a few hours later.
Mourning Wood (again, I’m really a 12 year old boy *snicker*) with notes of Amber, Madagascar vanilla, rich musk, sandalwood, & oud wood. In the vial I get a nice golden amber with a touch of musk and some sandalwood. On my skin it almost disappears for a moment but as my skin warms it I can smell it more with each sniff. The vanilla is almost floral in nature and the musk seems golden and almost skin-like in nature. The oudh and sandalwood are a nice golden wood base to the scent. Overall this is a close skin scent that is golden and slightly sweet. It’s a delicious (not in a food way) blend that just brings to mind relaxing on a hammock with the sun shining and the birds chirping while the sun filters through the trees.
Last we have Corpse Bride with notes of black roses, white amber, damp earth, vanilla, tonka bean, & musk. Oh this one is beautiful. I love black roses! The amber and roses come together for a truly beautiful scent – it’s heady, slightly sweet, and just a touch powdery. I’m not getting much damp earth, which is a bummer, though I do get some vanilla and the fuzzy tonka. This is beautiful and almost haunting.
I purchased their dry-oil sample set – unfortunately, either due to my own lack of hydration or other skin chemistry related issues, or their formulations, none of the scents lasted longer than 2 hours – except for Champanilla which is still faintly discernible after about 4 hours. I cannot say how the longevity of their other products will compare.
A Thousand Times More Fair (notes – Honeysuckle nectar, magnolia blossom, passion flower, white peach skin, ripe plum, bright vanilla bean, delicate musk): This opens with bright yellow florals that immediately begin floating down to the other scents. Peach and plum are most noticeable and are super juicy. The musk lends a nice base. This is sweet, soft, bright, and makes me think about running through fields in a forest. Very pretty and delicate and super reminiscent of spring. The throw is light to moderate, but so far the longevity is nice.
Merely a Madness (notes – White sandalwood, clover honey (vegan), sweet orange, rosewater, blond patchouli, cedar heart): The woods – sandalwood, patchouli, and cedar – give this a very earthy yet homey feel to the blend. The clover honey is adding a touch of sweetness while the orange brightens it all up. This blend has a rather large throw – definitely one where a little goes a long way. The longer it settles the more the notes blend and intertwine so it just lends this golden almost homey attic feel. I could totally see getting this in their lotion then layering one of the other lighter scents in the oil on top. This is a nice base scent – like a foundation.
The Primrose Path (notes – Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms): What I would expect from a cobblestone path leading up to a bubbling brook. Clean, green, and refreshing. The earth is loose and moist, the oak old and knobbly while the grass bends under your feet. There are little blue and white flowers popping up from around the lichen covered stone you sit on as you take a drink of the brook’s fresh sparkling water. All of that is represented in this scent. It’s trans-formative, soft and sweet, and just a delightful scent so perfect for heralding the end of spring.
Storm of Fortunes (notes – Star jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose absolute, hyacinth, ambergris, Mysore sandalwood): What’s Spring without a few storms? You can smell the floral notes as they give a nice overall sweetness to the blend. It is a “grey” scent, possibly due to the ambergris as it gives just a hint of salt to the greyness. The sandalwood is the perfect woody base for this scent.
Blanket of the Dark (notes – Narcissus absolute, two jasmines, yellow champaca blossom, coffee bean, bergamot, oakmoss, benzoin): I normally don’t do coffee blends, so upon initial sniff of this I was completely thrown off guard and couldn’t place what I was smelling. Somehow I am reminded of fresh hay in a clean barn (no fecal smell from animals, just the wood, the hay, and the natural muskiness of such a place). It is brown, almost smells like some of the “hay” is desiccated and forgotten in a corner. This is just pure clean barn smelling to me, I can’t explain it any other way. Very interesting and kind of cool. If you’re into that kind of thing.
Overall I’m quite impressed with the scents and would love to check out more of their catalog!