Conjure Oils – Starman + GC Reviews

If you are anything like me, looking at Conjure Oils‘ website makes your head spin (and maybe strains the eyes a bit).  But I powered through (and even got a few decants of Starman from Ajevie), and found a set of samples I wanted to try.  I’ve always heard great things about Conjure Oils so I’ve been quite curious for a while.

My only complaint, so far, is the wax.  I’ve already broken a nail trying to get enough off to be able to open the vial.  Rocking the top seems to help, but then I noticed there’s oil under the wax so I’m worried that it will leak now that the wax is off.

IMG_5492
photo by smellallthethings

Starting with the Starman scents, which were a tribute to the late and beautiful David Bowie, I have Anisocoria.  That is the medical term for the condition of his eye which was permanently dilated.  It’s notes are listed as Dried tobacco, willow, Parma violet, Egyptian Sandalwood, aged oak, blood cedar, marionberry and persimmon.

In the vial I get a lovely soft violet with a hint of oak and something watery.  On my skin the tobacco comes out and is brown yet slightly brittle.  The sandalwood is freshly harvested and still alive, yet fragrant enough to give off scent.  I get a bit of sweetness from the marionberry and persimmon, but nothing overwhelming and it does well to enhance the blend rather than detract.

This dries into a very soft floral scent with a touch of berry-like sweetness.  The oak, cedar, and sandalwood give a fragrant base for the sweet florals to rest upon.  I get a very feminine feel from this blend, but not old-lady type feminine, more a modern feminine with an edge of something … different.  I really like it much more than I thought I would when I first put it on.  It’s developed into a beautiful fragrance and while the throw isn’t huge, I do get the occasional hint waft up to me.

Longevity wise, this particular blend is wonderful.  I’m going on about 3 hours now and it’s showing no signs of fading.

pagebreak

The other Starman scent I chose is China Girl with notes of: Obsessions and moodiness are balanced by night blooming jasmine tea, China musk, notes of rain beating loud as thunder, yuzu, hinoki, rose geranium, clary sage, osmanthus and tender bamboo leaves with Neptune influenced gem and flower essences of Labradorite and Grass Widow.

I may or may not have China Girl and Major Tom memorized. And shame on you if you don’t!  (Kidding)

Jasmine is a loved note of mine, and somehow with the tea it’s just beautiful.  I also get a touch of bamboo and rain from the vial.  On my skin the China musk is very apparent, though soft and slightly powdery.  There is no mistaking this for anything other than a deeply Oriental perfume, soft, floral, and flowing.  While still slightly wet the throw on this blend is crazy.  It is not a shy blend for sure.

Unfortunately, as this has dried it has become something of a soapy scent.  Not a bad one, rather a very nice Oriental floral type soap scent that I wouldn’t mind having in my guest bathroom (or even my own).  But it’s not particularly something I like wearing on my skin.  Also, the throw is massive and it’s a tad overwhelming.

pagebreak

Samia is part of the Conjure Caravan and contains notes of: playful and flirty lilac and sassy dianthus bask in the sensual glow of golden sandalwood, white opium and amber.

This is the vial that began leaking as soon as I removed some of the wax and honestly, the scent that transferred to my fingers is awesome and I want to put some on.  The vials for the general collection (I guess that’s what it is, hard to tell) are about 1.5 ml’s but only filled about 1ml.

Sniffing the vial I get this intoxicating scent of opium, amber, and sandalwood.  No wonder I was drawn to this blend!  I love opium.  On my skin I get those gorgeous florals as they float and flutter around the base.  This isn’t a dark blend, far from it.  It’s light and gossamer.

I could really see myself using this as a sleep blend.  It has that drowsy quality to it and almost smells like something out of a dream.  I’m kind of sad though, that the longevity on this one is somewhat lacking.  Though, for a sleep blend I suppose having it only last a few hours is okay.

pagebreak

Venomenon, which is fun to say, contains notes of: Sugared Victorian tea rose, candied violet petals and sweet pink strawberry tea with cream obscure a dark heart of subtle red peppercorn and blackest amber.

It appears I bought these while I was on a violet kick. In the vial I get creamy violets with a hint of something darker, likely the black amber.

The violets are soft, powdery, and not really candied to me.  I’m not getting any strawberry really, but a bit of a sweet cream with tea.  The peppercorn is adding just a touch of spiciness while the amber gives a sense of a darker tea and has a hint of resin in it.

This blend doesn’t particularly call to me as I seem to be over my violet stage, but I can’t deny it’s beautiful and soft.  Definately Victorian in feel and extremely feminine.  It almost feels … chaste, if that feeling can be brought out in a scent.  The throw on this is very good and wafts up around me nicely.

pagebreak

Guardian Angel proves I have some foresight!  It’s notes are: Thirteen vanillas, butter cream, angel food cake and layers of heavenly coconut cream – and that is what I’ve been craving lately (though minus coconut but we’ll see how that goes).

CAKE!  Glorious, sweet, and slightly spongy cake!  You CAN have your cake with 0 calories!  This is a gorgeous spongy angel food cake heavy on vanilla with a dollop of sugary cream that in no way gives me that coconut I so dislike (and so dislikes me).  There’s nothing here to detract – no spices, no berries, no flowers.  This is straight up midnight feasting guiltily on as much cake as you can grab before someone wakes up and hears you.  Only there’s no real need to worry see.  They can search that kitchen top to bottom and not find that cake they swear you had because it’s perfume!

I only have one real complaint … I wish there was more throw to this.  I know, it’s vanilla and cake and making that have a throw can be hard, but a girl can wish, right?  Luckily the longevity is nice.  I got about 4 hours before I felt the need to slather on some more.

pagebreak

The Dark Mother sounds perfectly dashing with notes of: white narcissus, black orchid, aged neroli, Indian patchouli, red roses, the darkest of sandalwoods and the blood of the heart of an innocent, er, I mean bloodroot.

In the vial I get the most glorious of dark woods, likely the patchouli, sandalwood, and perhaps bloodroot.  I love narcissus for the almost narcotic quality it adds.  The orchid is dark and lovely, soft and velvety while adding it’s beautiful fragrance.  I get roses, and they are heady and full in bloom, but they don’t overwhelm the other florals in the blend like they sometimes can do.  Neroli is hugged against that narcissus and giving it a little bit of a kick.

This isn’t quite that dirty and gritty patchouli, but it sure isn’t a softie either.  This patch is dark, yet smooth, sleek, and refined.  It does a lot to enhance and add to the dark sandalwood.  There’s almost a smoky quality to the blend, but it’s not smoky at all.

You get a true sense of something dark yet beautiful with this blend.  The throw is fairly good, but isn’t overwhelming – it floats like a feather on the wind to tickle your nose instead of punching you in it like some roses can do to me.

Every now and then I find a blend that draws my wrist to my nose and I find myself almost unconsciously huffing.  This blend has done that.  I can’t stop smelling it!

The longevity on this blend is to die for as well.  Working on about 3 hours now and it’s still softly wafting about.  It’s smoothed out a lot but not lost any of what I love about it.

pagebreak

Wolf Moon (February) is said to be A fragrance fit for the young love of Lupercalia – Ethiopian frankincense, violet, bay laurel and a soft heart of Indian sandalwood.

Wolf Moon in the vial is, to put it bluntly, simply overwhelming and hit me with a blast of violet and bay laurel.  Enough so that I jerked back and almost dropped the vial!  Oops!  Maybe that’ll teach me not to take a smaller test sniff first.

On my skin this is mostly violets with a touch of bay laurel.  I’m not getting any sandalwood or frankincense.  Unfortunately it seems this blend is not going to give anything other than violets and bay laurel.  I would’ve loved some resins or smokiness from the frankincense and that smooth wood from sandalwood and I think it would’ve helped the blend, but it’s just not working on my skin for some reason.

Win some, lose some.

pagebreak

The Shadowy Shawl has some intriguing notes: sweet patchouli, amber incense, ginger musk, moonflowers and black sandalwood.

In the vial I was greeted with the soft gossamer sweetness of moonflowers with a backdrop of dusky sandalwood.  On my skin the patchouli comes out and combines with the resinous amber.  There’s a definite ginger undertone, but nothing strong, just enough to give it a bit of oomph.

This blend is quite enjoyable, almost cozy, and makes me smile to myself.  There is a definite sweetness about it without there being anything sugary or vanilla-like.  I love how smooth the patchouli is.  Shadowy Shawl is an apt name for this blend.

There is not much of a throw to this as it stays fairly close to the skin.  It’s very dusky and comforting and the longer it wears the more I sniff it and find another aspect I enjoy.

I think this blend is all about that unique ginger musk!  It’s very different.  The longevity is on par with most of the other blends so far, though it has a very low throw.

pagebreak

Rounding out this set of reviews I have The Befuddling Fan with notes of: white opium, ginger lily, Eastern temple sandalwood and a gentle haze of violet fog.

Just looking at the notes I wonder how this will relate to Samia.  Another blend that is heavy violets in the vial.

Wet on my skin it is still heavily violets and I’m not getting any of that beautiful opium, lily, or sandalwood.  Even after this has dried on my skin I’m not getting anything other than the violets.

Even as this dried down and I wore it for a few hours I, sadly, did not get anything other than those violets.  Mind you, they were nice violets – soft, velvety, and slightly powdery – but it was not the full spectrum of the perfume.

Overall I’m enjoying Conjure Oils and I look forward to exploring more of the catalog in the future!  I definitely plan on getting  at least a bottle of The Dark Mother, if not Guardian Angel and Samia as well.  And of course, no order is complete without a few samples to ride along!

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.

IMG_5213
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.

 

 

 

Deep Midnight Perfumes – Game of Thrones Inspired Samples

Another review for the lovely shop Deep Midnight Perfumes!  This time I am reviewing the Game of Thrones Inspired set of samples.  I have to preface this by saying I’ve only read 2 of the books and watched the first episode of the show.  In my defense, I have small children and some things are not appropriate for their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  I do, however, hear regular updates from my husband who has both read the books and watched the show, so I have some idea of these concepts.

IMG_5172
photo by smellallthethings

Raven Boy was inspired by Bran Stark and has notes of Oakmoss, earthy musk, tobacco leaf, sage, dark vanilla sugar, amber, aged oak and background florals notes of iris and damask rose.  Ooh, this is deep and dark, beautifully done.  On my skin the dark vanilla sugar and the aged oak have melded into one.  The sage is not very noticeable – I only get a hint here and there.  Tobacco leaf and oakmoss and that beautiful earthy musk is giving this a greenish-brown feel.  The iris and damask rose are not prominent and only serve to lift a little and give a hint of sweetness that’s been rounded out.  This is dark, like a dream where the edges are fuzzy and the only thing in sharp relief is what you have your inner eye turned upon.  This blend is unisex, but with a slight masculine lean.  Overall the scent stays close to the skin, like a dream fog.

Little Dove is a olfactory representation of Sansa Stark with notes of linden blossoms, lilac, and lily, are mixed with delicious arctic berries, and nuances of violet, apple, and soft, creamy musk then wrapped up in sweet green notes of willow and bamboo.  You don’t see bamboo too often in notes but it’s one I love and I am drawn to it when I find it.  Doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun in the mean time!  In the vial you get that wet and green bamboo, some of the apple, and a lot of floral.  On my skin this is softly sweet, slightly green, and a touch dewy.  There is something that keeps wanting to go a bit “sex” on my skin.  Ahh, it’s mellowed in the last 5 minutes.  The arctic berries have a touch of frost on them, but are otherwise red and juicy.  This is a beautiful fragile yet fragrant scent – soft, beguiling, sweet, and innocent.

Faceless Girl is inspired by Arya Stark with notes of cedarwood, black amber, lavender, cassis, olive leaf, cassia bark, and patchouli are softened up with notes of tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose otto and violet.  In the vial this is a deep dark lavender with some gorgeous patchouli.  On my skin the cedarwood and cassis/cassia bark come out with a touch of sandalwood and ylang ylang.  The rose otto is fighting for attention but that calms down after a bit thankfully.  There is a definite oriental vibe about this blend with a hint of something reminding me of a darker fougère.  The notes are so well blended now that I’m having a hard time picking them out.  Overall I get a very shadowed vibe, strong yet feminine, only slightly floral and this is reminding more of early Arya when she was still being forced into being proper and feminine and her life hadn’t been touched by so much death.

Snow Wolf is meant as a representation of Jon Snow with notes of Cedarwood, leather, rosemary, dark woods, black amber, and a touch of cool, frosty mint.  In the vial this is leather and mint.  On my skin I still get some of that cool and crisp peppermint, but it isn’t strong or overpowering.  It takes a little bit but the woods come out with a hint of leather.  I’m not really getting any rosemary.  This is masculine and almost gritty in feel.  I know there’s no steel or metal in the blend, but the combination of the mint and the leather is giving off that feeling.  You can almost feel the heavy leather on your back keeping you warm in the bitter cold.

Stormborn has the pleasure of being inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (yes I copy/pasted because I would’ve butchered the spelling) whose notes include Dragons blood, oud wood, patchouli, jasmine, desert earth, cardamom, and moss.  The dragon’s blood is very strong and is unlike any dragon’s blood from any company I’ve ever tried before.  Instead of being either floral, or super spicy floral, this is a soft and gentle floral with just a touch of spice, which could actually be coming from the cardamom.  You get the jasmine and the oudh.  The patchouli is mixing with the desert earth to give a golden yet dry feel to the blend.  Overall this is powerful and comanding – more unisex than feminine, and keeps trying to tip to something kind of boozy.

Deconstructing Eden Samples – Part 1

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

IMG_4985
photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Deconstructing Eden reviews!