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.

For Strange Women – Solid Scent Samples

IMG_4953
photo by smellallthethings

These are gorgeously packed Solid Scent Samples from the beautiful perfumery, For Strange Women.  The packaging is so elegant I almost don’t want to ruin it by opening it!  But open it I must!

I’d heard about For Strange Women due to their Perfume Enhancing Fixative Base ™.  So many people swear by it.  It is another thing I want to try so will likely purchase with more samples!  I can already tell I want to explore her unique catalog!

Not shown is my sample of Rockrose & Oakmoss that broke in transit.  USPS was harsh on packages that day and several of my packages and letters looked like they’d been put the the wringer.  Jill, the owner, was sweet and kind when I spoke to her about it.  I am planning on a large bottle purchase of Rockrose & Oakmoss just from the scent that greeted me when I opened the package.  Woody, a little spicy, and comforting.

The packaging is just so beautiful that I have to display each.  On the back of the included card is a detailed description of the scent.  Very victorian and classical – just the attention to detail and the elegance of everything, from the packaging to the scents, will most likely push For Strange Women to the top of my Indie favorites!


 

IMG_4957
photo by smellallthethings

First I selected Satin Corset.  As stated above, the description of the scent is on the back of the card and is as follows:

Satin Corset is sweet, uplifting and seductive.  A floral bouquet in a bed of vanilla bourbon interprets the scent of a line-dried ivory corset worn by a classic Victorian woman.  This fragrance is very similar to oriental lilies, their sweetness grounded with an intoxicating floral musk.

Sounds lovely.  And it’s been sitting next to me on the desk waiting patiently to be applied.

The texture of the solid scent is creamy and soft.  There is a matte sheen to it instead of a glossy shine.  It goes on smooth and rubs into my skin without leaving any residue or sticky feeling.

But this scent … it’s woody – like an armoire – as though you are pulling this freshly laundered, hand sewn corset out for something special.  There is a hint of sweetness and as time goes on that armoire scent fades leaving you with the scent of cotton, a touch of silk, and a hint of flowers.  It’s classical and sophisticated.  I feel like this scent is that first breath you take when putting on a favored piece of clothing.


 

IMG_4959
photo by smellallthethings

Next I chose Fireside Story and I’m so glad it’s not that overwhelming burning scent you can sometimes get.  This too has a lovely description on the back.

Fireside Story opens with a flash of dark smoke that fades to allow a bouquet of woods to emerge.  Traces of leaves, pine cones, and dried resins crackle in this smooth, muted incense that remains close to the body.  Three varieties of vanilla create a lingering finish and the perfect setting for a ghost story.

For me this opens with a blast of conifers, as though I’m walking from a forest into a log cabin that has a roaring fire just waiting for me to sit down near.  As it dries the vanilla comes out and sweetens the base while giving the resins (amber?  frankincense? it has that warm golden feel to it) something to use to glow as they should.  This is comforting to the extreme.  I just see myself curling up on a old, loved chair with a cup of steaming hot cocoa in one hand, a blanket on my lap, and a good book in the other hand.


 

IMG_4961
photo by smellallthethings

You would think this is a simple amber, resinous, golden, and maybe a little sweet.  Well, you’d be wrong.

This dark amber is resinous, leathery, and smoky.  A sultry, dry wood aroma lingers on your skin like a fine incense.

Elegant, woody, and smooth would describe this amber.  It’s soft and a dark golden brown, like a well worn and loved amulet.  I can see wearing this alone or layering for an extra bit of oomph to some other blends.

 

All three of these blends are gorgeous in their own right, yet they meld seamlessly together as though they are meant to be.

Alkemia Perfume Sample Set

IMG_4775
photo by smellallthethings

I purchased a set of 6 samples from Alkemia Perfume about a week ago.  They shipped quickly and I’ve let them sit for a day to rest after their journey.  This is my first time purchasing from this perfumery and I’m excited to try something completely new to me!

First up is Midnight Garden whose notes consist of: A lunar intoxication of night-flowering white flowers – tuberose (flower of dangerous pleasures), lily (flower of majestic beauty), honeysuckle (flower of binding love), gardenia (flower of secret passions) and moonflower (flower that inspires dreams of love).  This opens with a lovely lush blast of soft and sweet flowers.  However, this isn’t an “in your face” blast, this is a gentle breeze bringing you the scent with a hint of fresh and clean dew.  You can smell each flower individually if you go “hunting” for them, yet they meld seamlessly together at times as well.  I can totally see myself sitting on a concrete bench in a beautiful garden at night and letting the warm summer breeze flit around me while inhaling the intoxicating scent around me.  I’m not normally a floral person, but this has most of my favorite floral notes all in one … and it works!  The longer it sits, the more you can smell the greenery around the flowers to.  It’s a very true-to-life scent in my opinion.

Now, for something completely different … Autumn.  (Notes include: Sun warmed fallen leaves, golden amber, light wool warmed with skin musk.) You can smell the sun as it beats down on the Earth in this blend!  How neat!  The wool has a freshly cleaned scent as though you are hanging your laundry out to dry on one of the last warm nights of the year.  The leaves are golden, dew covered and newly fallen.  This is a skin scent as it stays close.  It is clean smelling, warm, and reminds me very much of that first warm but breezy day when you decide it might just be time to bring out your winter clothes and get them ready.

I ordered Deadly Nightshade because it has most of my favorite notes in it, such as: deep purple violets, dark leather, patchouli, black amber, and a narcotic swirl of opium.  In the vial it’s all leather and violets which makes for a rather unique scent.  The leather is black and sleek.  Once on my skin, it does this weird meld that isn’t gelling totally.  It’s like walking into the leather store at the mall – slapped in the face with leather, and not in the good way.  This may need a bit more time to itself to figure out what it wants to do.  I will set this aside for a week and check on it again later then update this if anything has changed.

Madam X is up next and she touts a note list of: An homage to unsettling, eccentric, irresistable beauty – bergamot, mandarin, dark violet, Italian iris, black orchid, Japanese incense, orris root, sueded musk, white sandalwood, Tahitian vanilla, and pale patchouli. In the vial I get a pleasant Oriental vibe from the oil.  On my skin it goes on close and I’m finding it hard to pick up anything, but what I do get is soft, purple in color, and sweet.  This is a scent that stays close to the skin.  The bergamot and mandarin seem to burn off quite quickly and the patchouli is so, so soft.  Mostly I get violet, orchid and a touch of vanilla.  Almost everything else gets lost.  This might be another blend that needs a bit of time and age to come into its own.

Sol Invictus is a specially aged blend of fine frankincenses drenched with a slightly woody, luminously golden trio of ambers. I adore resins and sometimes they are done best when done simply.  And this is one of those times.  This starts off with a glorious whiff of golden amber. The frankincense comes up and gives it a beautiful resinous boost.  This is simple, beautiful, golden, and perfect.

Finally I have a vial of Vamp whose notes include: a darkly erotic blend of opium, labdanum, Tonka, balsam, sueded leather, and black musk.  This is a dusky scent, shadowed yet soft.  The opium and labdanum give it a gossamer feel while the tonka, leather and musk keep it grounded.  It’s that scent that hides in the shadows and comes out when you least expect it.  I find I’m drawn to sniffing the spot I put it more than I thought I would be.  The scent has snuck up and laid it’s spell on me in the best possible way!

Sixteen92 – Spring 2016 Collection

IMG_4754
photo by smellallthethings

I ordered a sample pack of Sixteen92’s Spring 2016 Collection.  They are all Shakespearean inspired scents.

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!

Check out Sixteen92 for yourself.