Sixteen92 – Fall 2016 Samples

As if a Halloween release tease isn’t enough, I also bring Sixteen92‘s Fall release samples!

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photo by smellallthethings

I think everyone remembers the witch trials, especially if you read The Crucible in school.  Some delved in deeper, I’m sure.  Unfortunately growing up Catholic, this sort of thing was highly glossed over.  I think I have a new personal goal to learn more about the witch trials.

Starting with Bridget Bishop (link to wikipedia) I’ve learned she was the first person to be executed for being a witch.  Her perfume notes are – Night-blooming flowers, belladonna, bergamot peel, resinous oudh, nutmeg, ambroxan, and scarlet musk.

This is one of the premium fragrances.  In the vial this is all heady florals, still warm from the heat of the day.  On my skin I get a little funkiness from the oudh before it smooths out.  There is a hint of bitter greenness from the belladonna and the bergamot adds its touch of spiciness.  I’m not really getting any nutmeg.

Looking up ambroxan I found out it is a synthetic representation of ambergris which explains that sort of salty aquatic feel I’m getting.

The throw on this is gorgeous and the florals are deep and heady, almost like hot-house florals in their intensity.  This blend is not shy.  It is strong, almost commanding, and not for the faint of heart.

Unfortunately, about 30 min into the drydown I ended up having a sneezing fit and had to wash it off and take a few minutes to sniff some coffee and reset myself – which is disappointing because I was really, really liking this blend.

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Cotton Mather is a rather well known figure from the Salem Witch Trials.  He was a very vocal supporter of the trials as well as an author of numerous publications regarding the trials, demons, witches, and the like.  His perfume contains notes of blackened patchouli, woodland mosses, sweet herbs, dried helichrysum, woodsmoke, lamplight, ink, ash, and flame.

Fire and brimstone would not be a wholly inaccurate way to describe this scent.  There is a lot of smoke and charred woods in the vial.  On my skin the patchouli is dirty, sooty and dark while the woodsmoke and ash cling to everything while a fire burns in the distance.  This is not a soft nor gentle scent.

It feels dangerously dark, yet almost alluring.  I find myself catching hints of smoke and fire and following it down to sniff at my wrist.  The moss is dark and ashy.  To be fair, there is the feeling of a fine layer of ash over the whole scent.  You catch a bit of the oil burning for the lamplight, yet it mixes in with the flame as well.  There is a touch of a hay-like scent as well, as though there are stables not far away.

This blend leans heavily masculine and I believe it has more throw than it’s showing me.  I have a feeling others would get a sense of it and maybe even steer clear without really understanding why.

So about an hour or so later and I was right about the throw.  It’s now wafting about as strong as a … (don’t hate me) Hollister store.  Not the same scent!  Just the strength!  This is actually extremely wearable.  The wet stage is a touch overwhelming, but dry this is really quite something.  Very much in the cologne territory, but not horribly so.  It reminds me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  And it’s turning out to be another one that I can’t stop smelling.

After about 2 hours the scent on my skin is fading, but the throw isn’t!  Well, kind of.  It’s no longer at Hollister-strength (really, please don’t hate me).

While after oh … 6 hours or so the throw isn’t much there, I still get nice whiffs when I wave the spot towards my nose.  Also, the scent is still very much there on my skin, though much faded.

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Mercy Lewis became caught up in the hysteria that began surrounding the witch trials.  Not only was she accused of being a witch, but she had accused others as well.  Her perfume notes are heliotrope, honeyed tea, rosehips, sugared almond, creamy sandalwood, and milky vanilla.

In the vial I get an unmistakable creamy, almost an almond cookie dough type scent and it’s really quite delicious.  On my skin this is all about that smooth and creamy sandalwood supported with a soft and delicate vanilla.  I get a touch of the almond, almost more like a marzipan than a whole almond.  The rosehips and heliotrope are gorgeous and silky soft.

Overall this is a very … naive scent.  It is innocence and ignorance and just trying to survive.

For as light as this scent is, I do get a faint throw from the florals.  They are pinkish white and the tea is more tasted than smelled.  I truly adore this scent for how utterly girlish it is.

After a few hours this has become a sweetly soft honey with a small hint of tea.  It’s now a very close skin scent, clean and very nice.

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Sarah Good was found guilty of witchcraft, likely erroneously, because two young girls pointed fingers at her.  Her perfume notes are charred maple leaves, black pitch, fresh-baked bread, dried black tea leaves, sweet orange, and chimney smoke.

The first thing I smell out of the vial is bread and strong black tea.  On my skin the charred maple leaves overtake and I get a strong sense of burning bread and ashes.  The black pitch is pine-like and very thick tar while the orange attempts to add something bright into the mix.

Another blend with another good throw, I’m gobsmacked, truly, by how many of these lately have a good throw.  This blend leans unisex, and thankfully, like Cotton Mather, the “smoke” aspect isn’t overwhelming and floats off to the distance as it dries.

I am yet again drawn to the spot on my wrist to huff happily.  This is a very woodsy almost cabin-like scent.  Very gorgeous and soft.

Three hours after, I still get a sense of bread and something verging on being a spice, perhaps the dried black tea leaves.  It’s not a yeasty bread at all, very nice and soft.

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Tituba, who was accused along with Sarah Good, was a slave and was also the first to confess to witchcraft.  Her perfume contains hawthorn, gingerbread biscuits, tobacco leaf, burning resins, rye, sweet woods, and beeswax candles.

In the vial I get a strong tobacco scent along with a creamy beeswax.  On my skin the beeswax is sweetened somehow, perhaps by the woods, and the resins are sticky and not yet burning.  I don’t get much rye or gingerbread from this, though the hawthorn is there, it is adding a touch of greenness.

This blend is sweet and homey – as though you are standing in someone’s kitchen that they love, care for, and enjoy thoroughly.  I really get a sense of love, and home, and all things that make you feel as though you are in a warm embrace.  If Tituba truly was a witch, I do not believe she was evil.

While this blend doesn’t have a huge throw, it is beautiful and long lasting on my skin.

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I think the fall release, more so than the Halloween release, will doom me.  I believe the only one I haven’t fallen fore is Bridget Bishop, and that’s only because I couldn’t stop sneezing.

And if you, like others, are wondering when these lovely’s will be released, there is a time table!  Per Claire:

“The season of RELEASE ALL THE THINGS” has begun!

Just posting a quick overview of all of the upcoming releases, since there’s a lot to keep track of:

AUGUST:

Bath & Body (whipped soaps, scrubs) will launch very soon — expect an email from us in the next day or two with details and official release date. Soon, very soon.

Fall will happen at the very end of August this year, instead of early September. If you’re a Circle member expect your pre-sale access link to land in your inboxes within the next 2 weeks.

Fall/Winter bath & body will launch with the fall collection (which means Toasted Marshmallow is returning along with some other favorites and new offerings)

SEPTEMBER:

Fall part 2 will launch with the Halloween collection in late September this year. Last year Halloween ran Oct 1-31 but we are pushing everything up by just a bit this year, due to the busy season. We will also have a Halloween mini bath & body collection like last year.

OCTOBER:

Fall LE time! Details TBA, it’s a secret 😉

And that should take us through the winter release and into Black Friday

Nocturne Alchemy – Spring 2016 Samples & Seth’s Super Secret Scent

Man that’s a lot of S’s in that title.  Say it 10 times fast!

Anyway, what we have today are scents from Nocturne Alchemy/VApothecary. or NAVA for short.  They are a wonderful company with lovely owners who enjoy all things Egypt … and cookies.

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photo by smellallthethings

So I may have already sniffed and purchased full size bottles of Evening Star and Mysteries of Udolpho (which came with cute scarab beads and the sample of Seth’s Super Secret Scent) because I had a mini-freak out that the scents were coming down today.  They aren’t, but that didn’t stop me from ordering them!  Decants were purchased via Ajevie, again.  She’s awesome!

Evening Star is first up, since you know I already bought one, with notes of Crushed Jasmine and Crushed Violet, Egyptian Rose de Mai Absolute, Nutmeg, California Redwood, Raw Papaya Seed, Arabian Cedarwood, Bastet’s White Amber, Champagne Musk and Chrysanthemum star petals.  In the vial it’s all jasmine and violet with a touch of rose.  On my skin, however, the scents blossom.  The redwood and cedarwood give this blend a nice grounding place to layer on top of.  The nutmeg is almost undetectable but I believe it is what is giving a “warm” glow to this.  Bastet’s (one of the perfumers at NAVA) White Amber gives a feeling of the sky to me – it’s ethereal and floating.  The champagne musk is soft and almost fuzzy in feel.  Overall this is a soft, sweet, and flowing blend that makes me think of laying in the grass looking up at the night sky.

The Mysteries of Udolpho is next and this one blew me away with its notes of Venice Violet infused Bergamot Tea, Castle Oakmoss, White Amber, Vanilla Crystal Musk and a drop of Italian Galbanum Incense accord.  So, so, so good.  Warm and spicy with a hint of sweetness.  Normally I don’t compare or mention a scent smelling like one from a different perfumery because I don’t think its fair to the perfume house I’m currently reviewing.  However, what this smells like is a discontinued scent from another house that will not be brought back.  It’s not an exact match (I did test my samples side by side), but it’s similar enough in feel that those that missed out (like me) on the other scent might be able to find something similar and possibly a new perfumery at the same time!  Win-Win right?  Enough already, I’m talking about Black Phoenix’s Fruminous Bandersnatch – so if you missed it and are hording your little stash, like me, get this – it’s awesome.  Udolpho is, as the name indicates, mysterious.  I honestly can’t go through and pick out the notes because if I hadn’t seen the note list I would’ve sworn there was carnation, amber, and maybe galbanum.  Oakmoss?  Bergamot tea?  Violet?  I can’t find those it’s so well blended.  This is warm and cozy and just amazing.  After a few hours this is a soft amber and vanilla scent with just a whisper of spice.

Pharaoh Anniversary is not part of the Spring Collection, but is instead part of the Studio Limited Collection, which has a chance to stick around a bit longer and even, sometimes, be re-stocked.  It’s notes are comprised of Water Lily, Heliotrope, Mimosa, Bergamot, Alexandrian Sea Salt, Amber and Musk. Anniversary blend brings the smokiness of NAVA ICONIC Arabian Oudh, NAVA Amber Resin Absolute, Frankincense Pure and White Myrrh of Aswan grown especially for our perfume company. Oh wow, this is gorgeous!  The water lily, heliotrope, and mimosa give this such a fragrant opening, soft and flowing.  And ICONIC!!  (No longer available notes are: Our Rose and Jasmine Oudh, more notably Rose Oudh. NAVA Oudh blend with Egyptian and Arabian White, Pink and Blood Rose Petals, Spanish Jasmine Grandiflorum, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute and Indian Jasmine Sambac. The Jasmine is a stabilizer for the rose and both botanica are the heart of this Oudh.)  NAVA does Oudh like no one else does Oudh.  This blend is at once flowing and resinous and truly a work of art.  I can smell the Nile, the floral gardens in the palace, the sand under my feet and the sun on my face.  It smells like a celebration on my skin.  The salt is barely there as to be non-existent.  Well, I know what’s going in my next order!  Mmm the longer this sits the more the ICONIC Oudh comes out.

Next is A Room With A View from the Spring Collection and it boasts notes of Florentine Frangipani, Essence of Florentine Violet, Italian White Musk, Plumeria Cream, Santalum, Italian Bergamot Tea Light Essence and Italian Cyprus infused Balsam wood. In the vile it’s all violet and plumeria cream (in the best way!) and on my skin the fragipani and white musk come out. It takes a minute but the santalum begins to warm up with a hint of cyprus and a soft touch of balsam.  The bergamot tea is giving it just the barest of hints of spice.  It always blows me away with how delicate and gentle some of these scents are when NAVA also does super good heavy incense and resin blends.  This is gorgeous.  It’s like an open window to the most lush of floral gardens.

Last, but most certainly not least, is Seth’s Super Secret Scent – Very Vanilla Crystalline Angel Cake!  No notes listed for this as it’s Seth’s own secret blend.  Sometimes he makes enough for full size bottles, sometimes just little teaser samples go out.  Typically these secret scents are sent out with update orders that were placed within a few days of a new update going live on the site.  Sometimes they are sent out until gone.  Just remember, I’m not a gourmand lover, and Seth is known for his gourmands.  In the vile I get a super buttery blast of vanilla cake.  On my skin it almost disappears!  I can barely get a hint of something resembling cake.  There’s a slight buttery vanilla note, but it’s so soft.  Boo!  It might be that I’ve gone nose-blind to it after the two stronger scents.  I’ll try again later and edit if it changes!

 

Valhalla Soap Co. – Botanical Cream and Scent Samples Part 1

This is a two part review (because I can only test so much at one time before it overwhelms or I can no longer distinguish scents).  Today I am reviewing from a lovely little company out in the Pacific Northwest United States called Valhalla Soap Company.  If you’ve an itch to be a Viking, if only for a day, this is who you need to see.  Check out the Clan on their Facebook page as well!  The owners, Donna and Matt, are extremely active, friendly, and helpful.

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photo by smellallthethings

That little 2oz jar in the middle is their Botanical Face & Body Cream scented in Valkyrie (notes: peach brandy, pralines, brown sugar, amber, vanilla musk, violet, and black currant).  I have to admit – this is by far my favorite lotion!  Especially for my face!  As I’ve gotten older, my face has gone from oily to dry, but it doesn’t actually stay one or the other – it varies day to day.  This Botanical Face & Body Cream has done wonders to help keep my face smooth and soft to the touch.  The cream itself is rather stiff compared to all their other body butters and lotions, but I like that.  And a little goes a long, long way.  I’ve had this little jar since the end of February.

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photo by smellallthethings

I have missed days using it, but only because I only use it on the days my face is dried out.  As you can see, there’s still a lot left in this little jar.  And, with the Botanical Face & Body Cream, it’s only lightly scented – that then allows for some wonderful layering options.  This does have cocoa butter in it, so you get that slight scent from it, but it isn’t strong.

Valkyrie itself isn’t foodie as the notes would have you think.  This scent is beautifully soft and golden.  The vanilla and amber are prominent while the peach brandy gives it a golden slightly boozy feel.  The black currant adds a touch of bitter to balance out the sweet in here and all together it makes for a rather hauntingly beautiful scent.  I do hope that Donna and Matt will be able to find a way to keep this scent around as it is currently endangered.  As this dries and melds with your skin chemistry this scent warms up and the gold darkens with the brown sugar (I love the smell of brown sugar).  Still never even ventures into foodie territory, and I used the Botanical Face & Body Cream on my hands.  The cream is providing a nice base for the scent to sit on.

Vanilla Luxe is up next.  I purchased a wax tart of this as well, but haven’t had a chance to melt it yet.  I love that I can find so many things in one place.  The notes for this blend are as follows: Smokey notes of vanilla-tobacco, aged oak barrels filled with bourbon, bulging trade sacks of rare frankincense, spicy pepper and tangy bergamot. Grass baskets spilling over with Bulgarian roses and ylang ylang. This is all buttery vanilla in the vial!  Then, as I put it on my skin it … disappears?  What?!  No!!  Do I have a scent blind spot when it comes to this combo?  Did my skin eat it?  So weird.  Normally I do well with all those notes.  I’m putting more on, maybe a dab won’t do ya.  Ahhhh … there it is.  It’s still very soft but I’m getting a bit of the vanilla and some rose.  It’s still way lighter than I would expect with all those notes in it.  Found the bourbon, but still no frankincense (one of my favorite notes), bergamot, or ylang ylang.  I’m going to blame my chemistry on this one.

I’ve been dying to try Floki’s Fetish!  I am a bad Viking and have not seen the show, however.  Shame on me!  Floki’s Fetish comprises of deep forests and pungent oakmoss covered earth call the boat builder. While exotic spices, vanilla, incense, sandalwood and amber whisper to his spirit and his yearning to discover and conquer new lands.  In the vial I get a nice green oakmoss and crumbling dirt.  On my skin this is masculine, woodsy, and empowering.  I can totally see this as a commanding scent.  The spices and incense are a bit much more than I like to wear, but it is still an evocative scent for sure.

So many wonderful things have been said about Hedonistic!  It boasts notes of hints of warm amber, moody incense, and light notes of smooth, and sweet patchouli.  I’d actually bought a wax melt in this too and got to melt it before putting my house on the market and having to stop using wax melts (SAD!).  It was one of those scents that you think will be one thing, then it turns out its something else, something better, and you’re chasing the scent all over the house trying to figure it out.  Took me hours to realize it was the Hedonistic in my wax tart melter that was making that luscious and beautiful scent.  While I haven’t turned on the melter in over a month, I can still get whiffs of the wax when I pass by.

The oil, now that’s a glorious thing too.  In the vial I’d swear that it had a big juicy orange in it.  Perhaps it is the sweet patchouli giving off that citrus vibe.  This is a warm, beautiful scent and the oil matches perfectly the scent from the wax melt and I couldn’t be happier!  It’s a magical little blend that just brings a smile to my face.  Not only is the oil golden in color, but it also gives off that glowing golden vibe when you wear it.  The incense is soft and unobtrusive and the amber is just hanging out.  That patchouli is the star of this blend (a patch I can wear that is also in the forefront of a blend?! Awesome!).  This isn’t your hippie’s patchouli – so if you have that “bad” association with it, you should try this and maybe it’ll turn you around on the patchouli hate wagon.  I totally need this in the Botanical Face & Body Cream!

Rune Caster will round out this batch of reviews for Valhalla Soap Co.  It’s notes include sweet notes of cotton candy and caramel drizzled over heady florals of rose, jasmine, sweet heliotrope and geranium with resinous juniper and amber on a heavy base of vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli.  Seems like a lot going on in here … but so many loved notes I have to try it!  In the vial this is a perplexing blend of sandalwood and cotton candy – but it smells divine!  On my skin that cotton candy note wafts out and it is just so realistic, like I’m at a fair smelling the cotton candy as it’s being made.  Eventually that drifts off and the florals begin their dance to the forefront, like you’re walking away from the cotton candy booth to a beautiful planted garden.  The rose, jasmine, heliotrope, and geranium all waft around you in a sweet breeze of vanilla and cotton candy.  For me the amber is there just adding a golden glow over everything, like the sun.  Patchouli is not really noticeable, but the sandalwood drifts in and out of the blend.  With juniper, I always get a sort of well loved antique scent association with it, and I get it here.  Like the booths at the fair are well loved and maintained so they have lasted for many generations.  I am blown away by this scent, I can’t believe it.  I need Rune Caster in every format!

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!