30 Scents in 30 days – Day 22 – Arcana Last Judgement

Forgive me for being slack in updating!  I got busy, then got sick, then got busy again.  Then I worry it has been so long does it matter anymore?  And the answer is of course it matters!

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photo by smellallthethings

So today, as I go through my stash, I pulled out Arcana’s Last Judgement (which is unfortunately not longer available) and will spout the wonderfulness of this blend that I’ve not worn since I bought it last year.

Last JudgementHoly resins of frankincense and myrrh with smudgy, tobacco-laced vanilla, amber, and labdanum absolute.

In the bottle I get the most heady waft of frank and myrrh with a healthy dose of labdanum.  Now you might be thinking this is similar to Holy Terror (an unsettling, austere blend of burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles) and it is … but not really.  It’s got the same resinous frankincense and myrrh, but that’s really where the similarities end.

With Last Judgement you get this narcotic feeling that makes me want to roll my eyes in the back of my head and just sniff this all day long.  I honestly cannot express just how much I love this scent.  You get that golden bit of amber, slightly powdery and slightly sweet.  And then the touch of the tobacco with the vanilla which adds another layer of sweetness on it.

However, with all this seeming sweetness, it is still extremely resinous and quite flowing.  The throw on this is decent – not too much, not too little – and I get the loveliest wafts of incense around me as I wear it.

This blend is one where a little goes a long way.  I’m typically a slatherer, but not with this blend.  This one I can dab on pulse points and be done for most of the day.  The longevity is also wonderful and I typically get anywhere from 6 to 8 hours or more depending on other factors.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 4 – Nereid by Fabled Fragrances

I’m so excited that chance has deemed I review another new-to-me perfume house!  I stumbled upon Fabled Fragrances when someone had linked to their eye shadow.  I was over the moon to see they had scents as well, so of course I had to try a bit of everything.  The eye shadow has been wonderful and now I get to try their scents!

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photo by smellallthethings

Nereid fresh water (synthetic), sweet grass (synthetic), heather (synthetic), tuberose (natural), ocean water (synthetic), myrrh (natural)

In the vial it smells like water and greenness with a hint of florals.  On my skin the tuberose seems to take over and it’s almost overwhelming.  The throw on this is, already, fairly strong and I barely need to point my nose in its direction to get a good bead on the scent.

I very much prefer the scent that wafts up to me versus the one I find when I sniff closer to my skin.  It’s an extremely aquatic blend (yeah, duh for me) with soft bits of floral floating around and in and out.

Under everything is this golden myrrh scent, almost like the sun glinting on the water.  It’s warm and comforting – and it grounds this scent so it does not feel like it has no bottom.  The water isn’t salty despite ocean water being an ingredient.  This is fresh water to me, which is fine as I prefer fresh water scents over oceanic scents.

As this dries down I’m finding it to be quite a bit more musky than I think I’d expected (or that the wet stage had shown).  The sun has set on the horizon and the deep things in the ocean come out.

Hours later and this is still lingering, softly wafting around.  It went through a very brief soapy stage, but even that was a nice floral soap.  I get a soft musk, a touch of floral, and a heavy dollop of aquatics.  This is beautiful and almost haunting.

Siberie Perfumes – Samples

I am stoked to bring you a new (to me) perfume house – Siberie Perfumes!  This company has been on my radar for a while, but I hadn’t yet taken the plunge into purchasing from this company due to … who knows why really.  Probably something shiny caught my attention.  However, the lovely owner was kind enough to send me some stuff to sample!  These were not purchased by me.  I cheated and had a sneak sniff at some of the bottles (yes!  bottles!) I’ll be reviewing later this week.  Let me just say, I’m even more excited!

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photo by smellallthethings

Odette – Enchanting notes of sweet wildflower honey & delicate honeysuckle flowers hugged in a sensual & soft base of tranquil fresh fallen rain & jasmine sambac.

You can see from the picture that these are not the “typical” 1ml sample vials you see most places.  This is a larger 2ml vial with a smaller neck area but a long enough wand that you can reach all that precious liquid!  It is a little harder to open than the 1ml’s or the larger necked 2ml’s.

In the vial this actually smells like it has vanilla in it – so much so I had to triple check the notes.  I think it might be a combo of the rain and the wildflower honey.  On my skin this is actually creamy in a way – more like raw honey.  The jasmine is heady and fragrant as is that golden honeysuckle.  The rain is adding a touch of a dewy-like freshness to the blend.

The throw on this is not overpowering, but I imagine were I to walk outside in this 100 degree + 90% humidity we have it would become too much.  I think this would be the perfect pre-spring scent – when you can’t wait for spring to come and you just want that golden sunshine to reflect off of anything other than the snow-turned-grey.  (You can take the girl out of Winter, but you can’t take the Winter out of the girl … or something like that.)

I can’t lie … I’m kind of in love with this scent.  There’s something about it that just makes me think of new beginnings and fresh starts and sometimes you need to inhale the thought to solidify it in your mind.  (Laugh now, but you’ll be thinking about it seriously later.)

After a while I still get a good sweet and golden throw from this, but the scent isn’t prominent on my skin.  That’s kind of neat!  Sometimes I don’t really want to go around constantly lifting my wrist to my nose.  I’ve gotten more than my fair share of odd looks from doing that.

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Serena – A bewitching blend of woodsy & earthy bohemian patchouli with notes of decadent chocolate & a sensuous warm amber base.

In the vial this is super patchouli and chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.  Melty, gooey, milk chocolate that never quite comes off your hands no matter how much you lick them.  I mean wash them.  I would never lick my hands free of chocolate.  Yeah, never.

The patchouli is gritty and very earthy, as the notes mention.  It takes a while, but the chocolate is starting to smooth out into a memory instead of covering you.  After about 010 minutes I can finally smell the amber, warm and golden under the patchouli and bits of chocolate still clinging to my skin.

You wouldn’t know it, but this is not actually a blend I like.  Not because it’s not good, but because it’s just not my jam.  I don’t enjoy wearing chocolate I can’t eat.

However, if you enjoy patchouli, chocolate, and amber – definitely give this a try!  It has a good throw, not overwhelming but I get more chocolate scent from the throw than from what’s on my skin.

So while the first half hour isn’t really my thing, it’s now kind of really intriguing.  It’s more woody than it was at first and the chocolate is almost all gone.  There’s something verging on the edge of being spicy.  Another decent throw as well.

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Emmeline – fresh notes of green tea, Moroccan mint, romantic petals of white orchid and freesia all balanced by fruity notes of juicy pear and apple.

I had to make an emergency run to the store (we needed more supplies to make carnitas, obviously) and I put this on just before leaving about an hour ago.

In the beginning this was all tea and somewhat sharp mint with the lovely orchid and freesia but none of that apple or pear.  After about 5 of so minutes (long enough in the heat to convince my daughter she should climb into her seat and then further convince her its in her best interest to buckle up and stay buckled) the apple came out.  I’m not sure if the pear was so entwined in the apple, or if I missed it.

For a while this was wafting up nicely, juicy and sweet, softly floral with just a hint of greenness from the tea and mint … and then it disappeared.  I get a faint memory of pear when I sniff the spot, but other than that it’s just gone.

Now it could’ve had something to do with it being crazy hot and humid out, but that’s what it is here and I need my scents to last through those conditions sometimes.  Maybe I’ll set it back and try it when it’s cooler – late fall or early spring.

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Angelica – Night blooming violets,wild orchids, southern magnolias, hyacinth & oriental jasmine hugged with sweet vanilla & wildflower honey. It finishes off in a sexy base of rum, sandalwood, myrrh & labdanum resins.

In the vial this is vanilla and violets – soft and fluttering and sweet.  On my skin the flowers bloom and there is a creaminess to the whole blend.

Admittedly, this was nearly overwhelming for about … 2 minutes.  After that, it really morphed and became an almost sultry scent.  It is very alluring.  The labdanum is fog-like, lending a hazy blanket over everything.  The myrrh and sandalwood with that touch of rum is very grounding.

Nearly 20 minutes later most of the florals are more in the distance, though they waft through every now and then, and I am left with a sweet, woody, and gossamer scent.  It’s dark, not like a white fluffy scent, but more like incense smoke, dark and twisting.

There’s not too much throw on this, but I do get lovely wafts as I move my arm around

Love Potion Perfumes – Sample Reviews

I ran across mention of Love Potion Perfumes in a forum for another company and even there, they seemed to have some die-hard fans.  So, of course, I had to try it out!  I have to confess I’ve been sitting on these samples for a few months now, though I had tested one shortly after it had arrived and loved it.  With perfume, I seem to have a problem keeping attention on something and end up chasing shiny things instead of focusing on what I have.  Shame on me!

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photo by smellallthethings

As you can see, these come in the 2ml sizes and I was given two 1ml’s free with my order!  They appear to be like single notes, so that’s cool.

And if you want, for added oomph to your magical blend, you can add pheromones to, I believe, any blend.

Cocked & LoadedA manly-man earthy sexy violet heart crafted of violet fragrance oil and violet leaf absolute then rounded out with balsamic amber, powdery oakmoss and two types of smooth golden sandalwood.

Love Potions not only lists the notes, but lists any magical, healing, or historical meanings for the notes used.  Which is kind of cool.  In the vial this smells like violets, but a version that has a soapy quality to it.  On my skin most of the soapiness goes away and I’m left with just … violets.  I’m really not getting anything else out of it at the moment.  Even after letting it dry down the violets are strong but I do get a hint of something like sandalwood and a touch of amber.  No oakmoss, no earthiness, just mostly florals.  Nearly a half hour later I finally get some greenness from the oakmoss.  This is a close to the skin scent with very little throw.


Love Potion: REDVanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Dark Sugars, Woods, Resins.

In the vial I get a nice bit of resin and wood.  On my skin I get a hint of cinnamon, but nothing overwhelming and it seems to be sitting close to the patchouli.  I get a little bit of a tingly sensation on my skin where I applied, but no burning or anything harsh like that.  This reminds me of walking into those kitschy country stores, but more refined.  I kind of like that smell, a mixture of cinnamon, wood, and vanilla.  The sugar has an almost molasses feel to it, which is comforting.  This to me isn’t an overtly sexy blend, but more of a comforting kitchen blend.  It smells like home, and love, and baking.  Again, this is a scent that stays very close to the skin.  I would love to have this in an oil warmer in my home (and that may be exactly what I do).


Always a LadyA soft bouquet featuring five types of roses, scattered with dewy droplets of sweet strawberry, mango, raspberry and tangerine, all resting upon a base of oak and chypre.

In the vial this is super fruity!  Lots of mango and tangerine with a hint of strawberry.  On my skin that fruit is vying with the roses and it’s causing quite the ruckus on my skin.  Eventually they work it out and it becomes a huge bouquet of roses.  You can smell the dew and greenness with a hint of the oak.  The only prominent fruit now is tangerine and strawberry, the rest sort of hang and add either sweetness or depth to the blend.  The chypre comes and goes as you sniff.  The throw on this blend is much more than the others, but still nothing that would overwhelm.  It’s strong against the skin than it is when it wafts up to you.


Feed the FlowersThe beautiful melancholy of a funereal mood…a hint of smoke in the air, dried dusty flowers and the freshly-turned earth of an open grave…a bouquet of deep dark roses, geranium and stargazer lily mingled with earth, dry leaves and a drop of hay and dusted with mysterious resinous notes of myrrh, sandalwood, storax and benzoin. Finished with woodsmoke, powdery musk and a final kiss of white and powdered sugars.

This was the blend I had tried when they’d first arrived and I remember it being beautiful, earthy, and reminded me a lot of Samhain and all things Autumn.

In the vial I get a scent that is reminiscent of decaying leaves.  On my skin that scent is still there, but on top of it is smoke and crackling twigs under foot.  The dried flowers are hauntingly beautiful and hay graces the floor.  This scent reminds me of an old, forgotten house in the woods whose bouquet on the table is long forgotten and the lace drapes are moth eaten and molding.  Perhaps it was the home of a maiden waiting for her love to return from a war – but he never did and so she waited until they could be together again.  It’s a melancholic scent and I love it.  Another close to the skin scent.  Really wish this one had some throw to it.  Maybe I should put this one in an oil burner too.


Autumn RainDry leaves and wet woods form the heart of our forest, with dewy notes of fern and fresh cut stems, and autumnal accents of apple and hay blended with the ambiance of earth and smoky frankincense.

In the vial this is a deep aquatic with a hint of apple.  On my skin it is much of the same with an added touch of greenness.  Beautiful petrichor scent with the leaves and forest floor.  The apples are green and slightly bitter, the hay which was warmed by the sun is getting wet and is super fragrant.  Once dried the frankincense comes out and wafts around this blend and gives it another dimension.  Somehow this blend is dark, as though the rain has come on the heels of dusk.  Unlike Feed the Flowers, this blend has a bit of a throw to it and wafts beautifully around.


The two free samples are Sugared Geranium and Sugared Bonfire.

Sugared Geranium is a deep and heady floral in the vial but it relaxes on my skin and becomes soft and pink with just a hint of sweetness.

Sugared Bonfire has an almost cotton candy like scent in the vial, but on my skin the wood and smokiness comes out and mixes with the sugar and creates the oddest combination of sweet woodsmoke, or cotton candy flavored in woodsmoke.  It’s not bad, and not off putting really, just very different.

 

Deep Midnight Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

I love that I can either select my free sample(s) or have it selected for me from Deep Midnight Perfumes.  I, not being super familiar with the catalog, let Cat over there select my samples for me!  So far I’ve been super impressed with this company!

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photo by smellallthethings

Dome of Stars sounds fascinating as someone who loves looking up at the night sky.  Its notes include Sandalwood, orris root, lavender, myrrh, amber, soft evergreen, and light nuances of cinnamon and citron.  Bonus this was inspired by Elrond!  In the vial this is softly green and fragrant woods with just a light hint of lavender.  On my skin you can almost smell the moonlit night.  The evergreens are not overpowering but they lend a grand stillness to the scent – things come and go, but evergreens seem eternal.  The cinnamon and citron, like the notes describe, are not prominent, but I can smell where they are adding their little touches to the blend.  The sandalwood, orris, and myrrh mix together to give this a lovely bed of wood for the scent to lay upon while the lavender and amber seem to float around.  This is simply stunning, unisex leaning feminine, and would be a perfect (for me) scent to wear at night.  There is a bit of a throw to this, not a big one mind you but enough of one that I can smell it coming up to greet me.

Black Wings  – and now for something completely different –Black leather, decayed black roses, dark aged patchouli, guggal incense, dark woods, and musk.  I’m very picky about my leather notes.  As of right now there are only two companies that make a leather note I like and can wear.  In the vial this is straight up dirty hippy patchouli (I mean that in the best possible way!).  On my skin this is super dark yet almost floaty.  I’m not actually getting that sharp almost acidic scent from the black leather (sometimes it comes across as that pleather – fake leather – grossness) so that’s a bonus.  But this is very dark, very dirty, very hippy-like.  So if you’re into that sort of thing, then this is right up your alley!  There is no sweetness to this scent – it’s dark and it wants you to know.

Ishtar Gate has notes of deep rose, oud, myrrh, lotus blossoms, and frankincense combine with other sacred attars and subtle spices. In the vial this is a deeply red rose scent, full in bloom and heady.  On my skin this rose then mixes with lotus to enhance the sweetness and add a touch of dewiness to the rose.  The oud, myrrh, and frankincense give a nice woody base, as though you are smelling the plant as a whole and not just the flower itself.  This has a really good through and is a strong feminine scent (not strong like overpowering, but strong as in a emotionally/personality strong).  Overall this is a beautiful heady perfume that takes full advantage of the largest, deepest, reddest rose around and highlights everything about it that makes it a rose.

Aloysius will round out these scents with notes of decadent old wood, rum, rich dark leather, and soft touches of sugar, citrus and mint.  Another leather blend!  Just initial sniff from the vial and my mind was filled with visions of Captain Jack Sparrow and musings about why the rum is gone.  My husband is a lover of spiced rum so I know the smell very well.  It’s in here and this very much smells like barrels and barrels in a wooden storage barn attached to their holdings by leather straps, each one filled with rum (though the rum note itself isn’t prominent, but it’s there and noticeable).    This is a super masculine blend and I’m on my way to wanting to sing sea shantys!  The citrus and mint are in there and I can detect them and they do so much to uplift this blend and really make it stand out without allowing all the other notes to overpower one another.  Yeah, this is totally what Jack Sparrow would smell like (after a bath, mind you).

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.

 

 

 

Cocoa Pink – Scent Reviews Part 1

I have somehow (yeah, like it happened on accident) amassed quite the collection of Cocoa Pink drams!  I’ve been letting them sit in a cool dark box for a while and I decided now would be the perfect time while I have my mini-no-buy period to explore all. the. things. in my rather large, and rather full samples box.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bendel Vanilla Bean (type) begins this round of Cocoa Pink madness!  I believe the (type) refers to this scent being a dupe for a mainstream brand.  The notes for this blend are listed as aromatic vanilla bean sensually blended with warm patchouli and sweet jasmine.  In the vial is it this soft floral-like patchouli.  On my skin, however, the jasmine comes to the front with support of a beautiful vanilla bean scent.  It’s not that bakery vanilla, but a subtle, softly sweet, and almost ethereal vanilla scent.  The patchouli is, as promised, warm and golden in feel.  This is not a dirty, gritty patchouli – instead this is smooth, light in feel, and has an almost orange-y citrus like edge to it.  As this melds with my skin chemistry this is becoming an antique-like scent.  Something aged, beautiful, and precious.  Almost luxuriously antique.  I’m kind of in love with this scent something fierce.  After a few hours it’s just so soft and comforting.

Exotic Fig has notes of ripe fig, white tea, bamboo, olive leaves, lemon, peppermint leaf, violet, thyme, champaca and vetiver.  In the dram I get that beautiful watery bamboo note with a touch of violet.  On my skin there is now a touch of that white tea, soft and soothing.  Not really getting much of the other notes.  It takes a few minutes but that bright lemon comes out.  This is soft, sweet, bright and uplifting.  However I am getting no fig, no peppermint, no champaca or vetiver, and just the barest hints of thyme (I love the smell freshly crushed from the garden).  Not quite what I was expecting out of this blend but it’s very beautiful in its own right and seems like it would pair very well with their other scent, Country Picnic.  After about a half hour I start getting some of that golden champaca and earthy vetiver.  The scent deepens overall.  It verges on being almost too perfume-y (funny when talking about perfume, eh?) but that bamboo and white tea seem to keep it from tipping over the department store feeling.  The fig has finally come out as well and is sweet and juicy.  This would be good for lotion or a hair/body spray.

Black Orchid & Vanilla lists its notes as exotic orchids with hints of fresh floral greens mingled with a sweet vanilla base.  In the vial it is this softly sweet orchid, but on my skin it just blooms!  I love orchids.  I love how they look, how they smell, and just everything about them … and this scent just highlights all that beatiful-ness.  The vanilla is sweet, almost candy-like which gives the orchids a candied feel.  Yet there’s just this barest hint of greenery to keep this from being too sickly sweet.  And that gorgeous musky orchid scent permeates everything and it’s just everything I could want from an orchid scent, yet so different than other orchid scents I own.  I think I need to own this in everything Cocoa Pink makes!  I feel so pretty wearing this!

Zombie fans, here’s your scent: Zombie Apocalypse with notes of dark empty musk infected with lashes of black vanilla, petitgrain essential oil, magnolia flowers, jasmine sambac with the empty remains of vanilla sandalwood.  This smells … abandoned, deserted, and almost moldering.  Very eerie, slightly woody, and beginning to be overtaken by nature.  This is post war when most of the zombie’s have died off for whatever reason and there are only pockets of humans left and the rest of the world has been left to its own devices.  It started off a little rotted – or rather on the verge of rotting … but over time it has grown on me and now I can’t stop sniffing it!

Finally I have a suggestive little dram called Come Hither with notes of intoxicating vanillas with a hint of myrrh.  Sounds like my kind of scent!  In the vial this is a very buttery vanilla, despite the site saying this is not a gourmand scent.  As it warms and dries on my skin that buttery aspect smooths out and that sweet, yet woody myrrh comes out tempering what could’ve gone into foodie territory.  This is a beautiful, golden, soft and sweet vanilla with a touch of myrrh giving it a beautiful bit of darkness.  I was craving vanillas exactly like this last week (and still am to some extent) so this is a need for sure!  Perfect way to round out this set of reviews, on a sweet note.

On average I noticed I get roughly 2-4 hours worth of wear out of these scents.  That might be a turn off to some, but, as someone who sometimes has scent commitment issues, this kind of works out perfectly for me.

 

Sucreabeille Samples

Sucreabeille is a new, to me, company that I’ve heard some wonderful things about so of course I just had to give them a try!  Not only to they boast a rather prolific scent list themselves, they are also known for some really well done designer duplicates, so I’ve heard.

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photo by smellallthethings

First up is Oud Wood – which oddly I can’t find in their Scent List – though a quick googling shows it’s a Tom Ford scent so this might be a dupe that was either discontinued or my searching skills are just horrible today (just as an aside – I’ve never smelled any Tom Ford scents).  In the vial this is a soft, slightly sweet wood scent.  On my skin I get something almost citrus-y, like a mix between a lemon or a not-quite-ripe orange.  As it dries more of the smooth oudh scent comes out.  It’s a light brown scent, not strong, not overwhelming, more serene and calming.  It just is.  This stays fairly light, even after a few hours wear and doesn’t have much throw to it.  It’s a close skin scent but beautiful nonetheless.

Frankincense & Myrrh is a common theme in my preferred scents, if you haven’t noticed.  Sucreabeille lists notes of frankincense & myrrh,deep, smoky, & rich, warmed with amber & vanilla.  Hmm, another hint of citrus.  I wonder if it’s something in their carrier oil.  On my skin I get a strong sense of lemon peel.  It takes a while but the lemon peel begins to fade away and I am left with a smoky frank and myrrh combo with just a hint of vanilla.  This has a heavy feel to it but I can’t seem to shake the lemon peel.  A quick google is telling me that frankincense can smell like lemon – huh I’ve never really gotten that association before.  Could be because there isn’t a lot to the blend and so the frankincense is able to do it’s thing and not be hindered by anything else.  It takes a few hours, but the lemon association goes away and I’m left with the hint of burning frank and myrrh with a touch of golden amber and just a bit of vanilla.

Champanilla sounds like a party animal eh?  It’s notes are nag champa, softened with vanilla bean pods & musk.  Nag Champa is like a roller coaster scent for me – it has it’s highs and lows depending on how prominent it is in the blend.  I prefer my nag champa to be less of a key player and more of a supporting actor (because nag champa is totally a dude ya know).  In the vial it’s all vanilla and musk, beautiful and almost foody with a touch of a crystalline aspect to it.  On my skin the nag champa is soft, like a pillow that is supporting the vanilla and musk.  Every now and then it gets something close to an animalic quality to it, but then it backs down and starts heading towards gourmand.  See?  Roller Coaster of emotions over here!  I don’t know whether to drown myself in it or wash it off.  Now I’m getting something akin to a freshly cleaned dog warming in the sun – that soft, warm, and almost golden feeling that you only get from a dog’s natural clean scent.  It reminds me of the dog my Dad had when I was younger – a beautiful black chow, lab, and German shepherd mix.  Abby was the best dog ever and so loyal and sweet.  It reminds me of her.  Eventually this looses that animal quality and settles into a very prominent vanilla with a hint of musk and nag champa.  The throw on this is decent for how soft it is.  It’s still wafting around me a few hours later.

Mourning Wood (again, I’m really a 12 year old boy *snicker*) with notes of Amber, Madagascar vanilla, rich musk, sandalwood, & oud wood.  In the vial I get a nice golden amber with a touch of musk and some sandalwood.  On my skin it almost disappears for a moment but as my skin warms it I can smell it more with each sniff.  The vanilla is almost floral in nature and the musk seems golden and almost skin-like in nature.  The oudh and sandalwood are a nice golden wood base to the scent.  Overall this is a close skin scent that is golden and slightly sweet.  It’s a delicious (not in a food way) blend that just brings to mind relaxing on a hammock with the sun shining and the birds chirping while the sun filters through the trees.

Last we have Corpse Bride with notes of black roses, white amber, damp earth, vanilla, tonka bean, & musk.  Oh this one is beautiful.  I love black roses!  The amber and roses come together for a truly beautiful scent – it’s heady, slightly sweet, and just a touch powdery.  I’m not getting much damp earth, which is a bummer, though I do get some vanilla and the fuzzy tonka.  This is beautiful and almost haunting.

I purchased their dry-oil sample set – unfortunately, either due to my own lack of hydration or other skin chemistry related issues, or their formulations, none of the scents lasted longer than 2 hours – except for Champanilla which is still faintly discernible after about 4 hours.  I cannot say how the longevity of their other products will compare.

 

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.

Valhalla Soap Co. – Samples Part 2

This is a continuation of Part 1 of the Valhalla Soap Co. reviews.  If you missed it, check it out here!

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photo by smellallthethings

You’ll see these aren’t all samples.  I did splurge on a 5ml of Victoria & Albert because it was part of their Limited Edition Creepy Couples Collection and I was worried it would sell out before I could try it.  It hasn’t, but it’s gotten some rave reviews on the FB page.  Valhalla Soap Co. has this to say about the scent:

It was love at first sight for these cousins. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were nearly inseparable during their 17 years together. After Albert’s untimely death at only age 42, Queen Victoria went into mourning, wearing black from head to toe for the remainder of her life. During those remaining 4 decades she employed a personal medium to hold regular seances so that she could speak to and remain close to the departed Albert, the one and only love of her life.

Delicate and green. Pure, unadulterated English violet. Creamy coconut milk spiked with fresh coriander and infused with warm tonka bean, musk and sandalwood. No suntan lotion, no buttery bakery notes to muck things up. This is one of the most beautiful blends we’ve ever done. We are totally smitten with it and think you will be too.

So, it has violet, tonka, musk, and sandalwood … some of my favorite notes!  Only thing making me hesitate is the coconut milk.  Not a big coconut fan, and I don’t cook much with coriander because I don’t like the smell.  However, I trust perfumers to know what they’re doing in the mixing department!  In the bottle it’s straight up coconut.  But I’m not giving up!  I put it on and most of the coconut smell dissipates almost immediately and I’m left with just the suggestion of it.  Delicate and green is a very apt description for this scent.  The violets are not overpowering, but sit atop the musk and sandalwood while the tonka bean gives that brown fuzzy feeling I enjoy out of that note.  The longer this sits the more it smooths out into this creamy, dreamy, and fuzzy scent.  Very pretty!

Alter Smoke boasts notes of ancient amber and precious myrrh entangled with hints of relaxing spikenard and spicy clove leaf, rise from a base of sweet vanilla, earthy patchouli, exotic sandalwood and sultry musk. In the vial it is soft, sweet, with a slight wood smell.  On my skin this bursts with beautiful myrrh and vanilla tinted amber.  There is no burning smell, there is no spice, there is no off-putting incense blasting away … it is just peaceful, content, glorious, and personal.  Meditative is a good description for this scent.  I could close my eyes, inhale, and be at peace with everything.

Next I have a sample of 540 Doors whose notes are green florals and mosses, woodsy fir and balsam, spruce, teakwood and fresh cut cedar mingle with a rich, earthy base of amber, musk, patchouli and mysore sandalwood.  I feel like I’m a broken record with the notes on the scents I choose, but I swear, they may look similar but they are not at all.  540 Doors is green and fresh in the vial.  On my skin the moss, balsam, and spruce come to the fore with hints of cedar and sandalwood.  There seems to be a touch of fresh turned and moist earth.  The amber shines through here and there while the musk and patchouli lend a nice base to this.  Another wonderful blend!  I love how fresh and green this smells.

To round out this batch of scents is Crone Magick whose notes consist of a deep, dark yet gorgeous blend of frankincense, myrrh, amber and sandalwood.  Seems almost simple compared to the last two blends but I’m willing to bet it’s anything but simple.  In the vial it is sharp and almost acrid.  There is something coming across as vaguely burnt citrus, as though a orange was tossed on a dying embers of a forgotten fire.  This blend feels languid, acerbic, and unchanging.  It is dark, indeed, yet it mellows slowly as it dries.  The sharp barbs of scent slowly smooth out to something more pleasant to the palate.  I get the feeling of needing to just … leave it alone, yet I can’t stop sniffing.  Something is pulling me back in even when I want to walk away.  How odd.  After a few hours I’ve noticed this is one of those scents that is better when appreciated from afar – meaning I don’t like the scent up close and personal when I put my nose close to the spot on my skin, but as I move my arm around and the scent comes to me, I find myself enjoying it immensely.  Some scents are like that, and Crone Magick happens to be one of them.