30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 26 – Alkemia – As Dark Things are Meant to be Loved

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!  Hopefully Santa brought everyone what they wished for.  And if not, well, get it yourself, you deserve it!  (Totally what I am telling myself.)

To ring in the New Year, I’ve pulled out Alkemia’s As Dark Things are Meant to be Loved.  It’s been sitting for a little over three months in a cool dark spot to get its groove on.  And groove it did.

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photo by smellallthethings

As Dark Things are Meant to be LovedLapsang souchong tea, dark Russian leather, aloeswood, smoked black amber, aged dark patchouli, tonka, Amazonian breuzinho, Moroccan bhakoor, labdanum, temple incense, caramelized opium, black coffee, black coconut, and tabac leaf.

I remember when I got this it was funky, and not in a good way.  The leather was sharp, the tea over powering, and the patchouli was screaming in the background like a banshee.  All in all, it was not a good first impression.  But, there were so many notes that just called to me that I had to give it a chance.  So I tucked it away, safe and sound, and just now pulled it back out.

This blend has completely blossomed.  It has changed and settled and smoothed out into this gorgeous smoky, incensy goodness that just begs to be worn and worn proudly.  Now I love it and it has turned into something different than I thought it would be, but loved nonetheless.

As this goes on wet, the leather screeches just a bit but almost immediately backs down.  The lapsang souchong tea is strong in the wet stage but slowly makes its way to the background as the blend dries.  There is a heavy dollop of smoke that weaves its way through this blend.  It’s strong at first before it dissipates – though it never truly leaves.

Once it begins to dry down, the scent stays strong and has a heavy throw to it.  The patchouli is heavy as is the opium and the incense.  They get their turn in the limelight before calming down and becoming one with everything else.  The leather is dark, well loved and well oiled, and slick but not that shiny black leather that can be sharp and overwhelming – this is soft and pliable and heavily scented with the oil used to care for it.

Now that it is dry and has sat for a bit most of the individual notes are nearly indecipherable from each other.  What I am left with is a gorgeous incense blend that swirls around me and makes me feel strong and confident.  It makes me think of inner peace and outer strength.  The throw is still good, though not as strong as the dry down phase.

I’m so glad I kept this.  It is something I want to bring out again and again to experience.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 16 – Possets The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon

Continuing the celebration of Fabienne’s life – which will culminate tomorrow the 15th of October which will be a grand celebration – I chose The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon.  Honestly, it gives me the giggles whenever I read the name and thing about what that would have been like.  Could you imagine?

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photo by smellallthethings

The Great Psychiatrist of BabylonBack in the day, before a formal id, ego, and super-ego early psychiatrists roamed the land looking for loonies upon whom they could practice their trade. Babylon was a veritable hot bed of psychiatric investigation, and practiced by the female inhabitants of the city. The hypnotic base of the finest Bourbon vanilla shot through with incense smoke and the auxiliary smoke from “punk” fire, caramel, incense, and a small shot of whiskey on the side (for medicinal purposes only). There, now don’t you feel better?

Just imagine all the juicy gossip they were privy to!  Gossip is my guilty pleasure – not spreading, starting, or repeating – but I’ll admit I like hearing it second or third hand.

I had a lot of running around to do this morning (new glasses yay!) so I swiped this on and got ready.  Then, upon sniffing it on my skin, immediately slathered in it before I walked out the door.  It was so good!  Instantly I regretted never getting a bottle.

You get the vanilla and a gooey, smooth, and buttery caramel scent, but it’s juxtaposed with this incense.  It’s not like burning incense, though the notes state “smoke” I didn’t get any of that.  More it seemed like the scent was residual of years of burning incense so just the scent of it permeated everything around it.  This is really just a sweet incense when you get right down to it and one of my favorites.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get much whiskey, if any, from this blend, which is just fine.  Whiskey haven’t got along since my 21st birthday.  So … I have bad scent memories with it, needless to say.

About 4 hours later and I get just a sweet incense type scent, though it’s all but gone from my skin.  I wish this lasted longer as I just love it!  Though I suppose I should be happy that I get a nice wafting scent every now and then from my pulse points.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 12 – Alkemia’s Ishq

So I approached today’s scent a little differently in that … I slathered and ran out the door.  I had to.  Errands don’t run themselves (yet).  While running my errands, I made mental notes of how this particular scent

Today I grabbed Alkemia‘s Ishq which was created to help TapRoots music by being a perk of donating.

Ishqdark oud, opium infused tobacco, smoked black amber, Arabian ambergris, a rare animalistic dark musk, and heavy bakhour incense.

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photo by smellallthethings

There is no doubt at all when smelling this that it has that super funky oudh, or that it’s musk is dark.  You get a real funky scent coming from the wet stages – it’s animalic, dark, and just plain weird, to be quite honest.

The throw, while wet and drying, was kind of intense.  I found the scent followed me everywhere, which was very interesting because I got to smell it while it shifted and morphed and settled into this warm, golden, and kind of funky scent.

I’ll be honest, that funky animalistic scent never really went away.  It stayed, though it never really got to be too much.  Nothing about this scent was ever really too much – it was just skirting the edge of too funky, too animal-like, too musky, but it never crossed that line.  Instead it toed it and left me rather enjoying the overall scent and it’s phases.

A few hours later, when all my errands had been accomplished, the scent only wafted lazily, barely having the energy to make itself known.  On my skin it was musky, a touch golden from the oudh, and slightly narcotic from the opium.  And then, for as loud as it started, it just … faded away.

I really enjoyed experiencing this blend.  You can feel the thickness of the blend, like molasses (not the oil, just the scent perception).  Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s something I could wear very often, but this sample will most definitely be kept around when I need an extra oomph of oudh.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 9 – October Rust by Deconstructing Eden

True confession time – I specifically chose this blend it was not by chance. I had to share the love. Also I’m writing this purely via my WordPress app on my phone to see how it goes.

photo by smellallthethings

I adore Deconstructing Eden. Their scent Burnt Flowers Fallen is in my top 5 perfumes, and October Rust is going to weedle it’s way onto that short list.

October RustCool rusting metal, the last of the maple leaves, black agarwood, crisp air, incense, bonfire smoke, blonde woods and dark amber.

At first this is strong iron, wet and cool, but it’s only prominent for the first 5 minutes before it floats to the background. What comes next is leaves and woods and a sweet incense.

To me this feels just like the beginning of winter, where the mornings and evenings are cool verging on cold and the days are warmer. But it’s a deceptive warmth. The sun is bright, but the wind comes in from the North and there’s that unmistakable bite of snow on the breeze.

There is also this incense. It’s sweet and familiar yet at the same time I can’t quite place it.

While the throw on this isn’t crazy, it just enough that you get tantalizing whiffs of it throughout the day.

At about 7 hours there is little left of the scent except that slightly smoky incense. It’s not as long lasting as some of their other scents but 7 hours is pretty good in my book. As someone who has scent commitment issues this is actually a good thing. It lasts long enough to get you through the day when you have more to worry about than needing to reapply, but it still allows you the freedom to apply something else when you get some you time without worrying if it will clash.

Sugar & Spite and everything smelly!

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.

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photo by smellallthethings

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!

 

 

Villianess – Scent Samples

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

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Alkemia Samples

More lovely samples from Alkemia!  I’m really enjoying exploring their catalog.  There’s so many to choose from.  I’m getting curious about their pheromone blends too, but that’s for another day.

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photo by smellallthethings

Who doesn’t enjoy vanilla?  (I know there are some out there that don’t, and don’t worry, the rest of us don’t really hold it against you … much.)  L’Encens à la Vanille has notes of madagascar vanilla, golden amber, and resinous incense swirled together with a selection of beautifully aged incense woods and a dusting of aphrodisiac Silk Road spices.  It is also suggested to layer this with Smoke & Mirrors (which I have!) so I’ll do that as well wen I get to Smoke & Mirrors.  In the vial it’s this beautiful incensy-vanilla scent.  On my skin it just amplifies that while adding a touch of spices.  This is gorgeous!  Sweet, slinky, sexy … just beautiful … wow. This reminds me of sand and sun and a spice market.  Exotic is a good descriptor.

Smoke & Mirrors is of course next.  It has notes of a smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka.  Simple, but I’m sure glorious.  In the vial it’s a softly burning wood scent, but not that acrid burning scent.  On my skin it’s smokey, slightly sweet, and just a touch fuzzy.  Don’t let the idea of smoke and burning wood turn you away – this is not an active and wild fire … instead this is just a smoldering scent.  It’s like those charcoal burners used to just smolder pieces of fragrant wood and release their scent into the air.  Under that is a touch of sweet and smooth vanilla with a hint of that fuzzy tonka.

I get it now why they suggest layering L’Encens à la Vanille with Smoke & Mirrors.  Together is it the perfect outdoor spice market next to a textile and goods market at the height of the day.  Soft, sweet, and sexy these are, and together it just amplifies it.  Oh yeah, I need these two.

Amour Conjure with notes that include an erotic, exotic blend of amber aged with Bourbon vanilla pods, Ceylon cinnamon infused flirtatious aldehydes, Bulgarian roses, rose geranium and vetivert roots, copper distilled patchouli, and a scattering of incense resins.  The Bulgarian rose is front and foremost in this blend on initial application.  The cinnamon is very, very slight, yet the bourbon vanilla is boozy.  There’s a touch of incense with a bit of vetiver.  There’s a lot going on, and it swirls and twists around itself.  Unfortunately my chemistry isn’t enjoying this and it’s really trying to give me a headache.

Lettre d’Amour because who doesn’t enjoy a good love letter?  It’s notes include a billet–doux of night blooming Star Jasmine, Neroli blossoms, white roses, aged parchment paper, white amber, and perfumed ink.  Jasmine and white amber are most apparent in the vial and on my skin it is much of the same.  It takes a minute but the neroli comes out with a hint of an almost powdery rose.  The paper is soft and spritzed with perfume and the ink is deep and fragrant.  This is soft and gentle, innocent yet not at the same time.  Beautiful and luxurious.

Finally we have Miel de Sauvage et Tabac who has a note list of sweet, spicy pipe tobacco flecked with wild honey, freshly crushed honeycomb, the pollen of forest blossoms, and smoked black amber.  In the vial this is all honeyed tobacco!  On my skin the tobacco is still prominent.  There’s a good dollop of honey with just a touch of honeycomb.  The amber is dark and dusky.  The tobacco smells like it’s still drying and is chewy and malleable to the touch.  Tobacco and honey lovers (and this is a honey I can wear that doesn’t go all weird on me!) would enjoy this one!  This perfume is thick and gloriously golden.

Alkemia – Hexennacht Limited Edition

Recently Alkemia released Hexennacht – a limited edition release that will only be available until April 30th.  I, of course, got my hot little hands on a bottle.

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photo by smellallthethings

Alkemia lists the notes for Hexennacht as:

Freshly turned spring earth, new grasses, and an incantation of thirty-seven incense elements that have been aged for thirteen lunar cycles.

So intriguing!  In the bottle this is a really familiar smelling men’s cologne.  Polo?  That association goes away pretty quickly as the fresh turned earth makes itself known.  Just sniffing the bottle still – not a drop on my skin, I get some familiar incenses as well – nag champa for sure, patchouli, something with a blue tint, and there’s almost a “rain” quality.

Okay, now for the skin test!  Oh wow.  This is morphing so quickly it’s hard to capture everything.  There is definitely a earthy dirt smell at the base with a bit of dew covered grasses.  Over that however, is where the dance begins.  The incense is wafting about as though it is pushed along by a breeze.  It shifts and twists and turns so you get a different incense at the forefront at each sniff.  I got a hint of something minty there for a moment.  The nag champa and patchouli aren’t as prominent but get their turn in the dance.

This is a wonderful late Spring early Summer evening scent.  It smells like the Earth.  It smells like the joy you have as a teenager being able to stay up late on a summer night and enjoy the grass, the earth, the stars, the bonfires, and the scents of everything around you.

Edited to add: My husband came down stairs and stood next to me and asked if that was the “new stuff”.  He says it smells like forests and pine.

Personally, this is one of the best “dirt” scents I’ve had the pleasure of sniffing.  I like that there’s no florals – just this beautiful wet dirt scent with the incense wafting around it.  I’m in a cloud of dirt and incense heaven!

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 1

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!

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photo by smellallthethings

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?

Deconstructing Eden Samples – Part 2

Here we are back for more wonderful Deconstructing Eden sample reviews!  This is the batch that has some of the Valentine scents now discontinued for now.  If you missed the previous review thread – here is Part 1.

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photo by smellallthethings

Stung, from the Valentine release, boasted notes of three types of honey, beeswax absolute, sweet amber, green pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg. Oh wow.  Amber is what presents itself first to me.  With all the pepper and cinnamon you’d be thinking SPICE, but it’s not overpowering at all.  The honey is sweet and the beeswax a little smoky.  As this dries the spiciness does amplify, but it never crosses the too much mark.  This is very well blended and I’m sorry I missed out on a bigger bottle of it.  Maybe next year!  I’d love to have a bottle of this!

Another from the Valentine release is Song of Solomon whose notes consist of Rich myrrh essential oil, tolu balsam, aged honey, incense, cedar wood, sandalwood, wine, vanilla, and coconut milk. I hate to say this … it starts out as a public bathroom scent.  A clean one, but … yeah.  It might be that I traveled recently and stopped in a lot of rest area’s along the highway and I just can’t shake that smell yet.  Other than that, like I said, it smells clean.  I can’t really pick one thing or another out unfortunately, so I may put this to the side and come back to it with a clearer nose.  I get honey and wine.  It’s a very beautiful scent, I just can’t shake the association I have with it.

Silver Moon is a general collection scent and its notes are listed as moonflower, white amber, musk, jasmine, white ginger, feral, silver moon.  Her listing says it was a custom blend for a dear friend who allowed Toni to sell it.  Huh, there’s almost a peach or apricot quality at first sniff.  Oh … that’s the ginger.  There is something animalic about this blend.  Brings to mind the phrase “pale moon light”.  It is soft and glittering white with a hint of a bite to it.  That ginger is very prominent in the blend.  Different and intriguing, I like it.

Little lost Alice in Wonderland whose notes are candied lemon peel that mellows into violet and rose with vanilla rounding out the entire blend will bring this scent adventure to a close … for now.  Mmm … violet candies!  The lemon isn’t strong at all, like I feared it would be.  Instead it is soft and understated but gives a nice brightness to the blend.  Vanilla, violet, and a touch of rose are the stars in this blend.  So sweet it’s making my teeth ache though!  This leans on the foodie side to me, oddly enough and unfortunately it makes my stomach queasy.  Think this might be one for the lovers of all things gourmand.  Annnnnd it’s making me sneeze so much. =(  Can’t have ’em all I suppose.