I’ve been stumbling on, pointed to, and just searching for new companies to try and HagRoot is one that popped up and I just had to try them.
Their TAT was fast, their site/scent descriptions nice, and their packaging was on point (as my picture can show – that’s what the samples came in.
There were so many scents that caught my eye, but I limited my initial order to just 5 samples. I typically do that with any new company because you never know. Though, I’ve yet to find a dud.
Book of Shadows – Vanilla, Black Tea Leaves, Dirt, Guaiac Wood, Wormwood, Leather, Verbena, Juniper Berry, Pine, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Oak
Not sure if it’s my lack of muscle today (slept wrong) or these are some super tight vials, but I’m having a heck of a time opening it. I ended up getting plyers, spilling a bit, but at least it smells wonderful!
There’s something berry-like in this but not what I normally associate with juniper berry scent. Neat! I definitely get the black tea, the woods, the oakmoss, and a touch of leather. The leather is oiled, but soft, slightly black, but not that shiny black faux leather you sometimes get. It’s a very … herbal blend, but not really? This is very unique.
As it’s drying it keeps waffling between being soapy and being woodsy. It’s teetering like it can’t make up it’s mind.
But oh my goodness – I have my windows open, it’s cool and slightly breezy with just a hint of rain on the air. As the breeze flows across my wrist I get the most glorious earthy scent. It’s the earth in its rawest form – dirty, green, woody, and moist (likely from the rain we’re about to get).
After a while I get something kind of spicy, but it’s still very much a nature scent. This brings to mind a woodland cottage – just the serene peacefulness you can sometimes only get from being in the thick of nature. It’s all there around you and the scent of it just permeates everything, from the wood of the cottage to the covers on your bed. And that little hint of vanilla just kind of seals it all together.
The throw is mild – not strong but you can smell it sometimes. The longevity is really nice so far – lasting up to about 4 hours.
I swear oakmoss is like my comfort scent or something, I don’t know what it is but if it has oakmoss, I want it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Werewolf –Tahitian Spiced Vanilla, aged Apple cider, Wood notes of Cedar, Pine, Oak, Redwood and Teak, Leather accord and Oudh extract.
Pure spice in the bottle, but as it hits my skin I get a hint of apple cider. I get a familiar tingle on my skin from cinnamon, so though it’s not listed it (or something else that can irritate skin) is in this blend. There’s something that is reading as “cardboard cookie” on my skin and I’m not entirely sure what it could be. Teak maybe? Oak? I’m sure it’s one of the wood notes. This blend is heavy, lots of deep notes in it. I’m not particularly enjoying the wet/drydown phase of this blend. It’s … too much. All the notes seem to be screaming for attention at once.
It’s now twenty minutes later and I still feel slightly overwhelmed by this blend. I absolutely adore the spiced vanilla + apple cider combo and kind of wish it had been left at that with maybe just one wood. I get absolutely no leather from this blend, and I adore NAVA’s leathers.
Overall I think this blend needs more time to age, but I’m not sure if that will intensify the wood notes or smooth them out. I do hope they smooth out as that would be lovely. I can smell the potential for a glorious blend in there, but I think it’s too fresh to really do itself justice.
There it is … about 30 min – 45 min into the drydown and I am greeted with a glorious cozy scent that makes me want to snuggle with myself. It has become sweet, slightly spiced, and just downright fuzzy. You get a sense of something animalistic in there and I’m finally getting that comforting soft and supple leather, which is wonderful. I know my knee-jerk reaction was to scrub it, but I’m glad I gave this a chance to keep going. Hopefully with some age to it that screaming phase will go away and I can enjoy the blend as I believe it was meant to be enjoyed.
Hours later and each time I put my chin in my hand I get a whiff of this and it’s almost eye-rolling gorgeous. Such a transformation from wet-stage to complete dry down. Is the wet stage worth wading through? Maybe. I’ll see what a little age does and hopefully it’ll make it all worthwhile.
Mummy –English Bergamot and Earl Grey Tea, Redwood Absolute, Amber Resin, Papyrus extract, ICON: Leviathan Amber-Oudh, Australian Black Tea leaf, Pear essence, SL Crimson absolute and Baltic Teak.
In the bottle I get a lovely bergamot tea scent with a touch of amber. On my skin is much of the same but with a hint of spiciness from that bergamot. The amber from both the resin and the Leviathan Oudh is gorgeous and deeply orange with a hint of that familiar powdery amber. The pear isn’t apparent, though it’s likely adding just a touch of sweetness to the blend. The crimson is musky and deeply red and as it dries the papyrus begins to come out and give an almost brittle feel.
I was honestly expecting something a bit more … dusty, moldering, and old. Instead what I’m getting is more along the lines of their Egyptology release. I get the impression of prim and proper Englishmen sitting around a recently opened crypt sipping tea and being fanned in an attempt to beat the harsh Egyptian heat. Eventually that image fades and it begins to give an impression that I was hoping for – the inside of a crypt, objects, smells, and things that had not been touched or viewed for hundreds of years.
You do get a sense of something old and possibly ancient. Something a bit mysterious.
There is a good amount of throw to this blend and I can smell it wafting up to my nose which is nice. Also, the longevity on this is pretty awesome. Hitting 2+ hours and no sign of slowing. Bonus points for lasting through a hand washing.
Velociraptor – Resinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Black Musk Absolute, Black Amber and a drop of aged viscous Velociraptor Kashmir red musk.
NAVA makes my absolute favorite scent – Kashmir red musk. If I could only smell like one thing for the rest of my life, Kashmir would be it.
With that being said, I get a lovely whiff of my beloved Kashmir out of the bottle. On my skin that Kashmir mixes with the deeper and darker black musk. This is not a light blend, it is shaded, veiled, and shadowy. With this much musk it seems to be going a bit on the powdery side. It’s a fuzzy powder, if that makes any kind of sense.
The ambers are there giving a resinous undertone, but this blend seems to be all about those musks.
It is recommended to “hatch” your dino’s with another NAVA blend. I won’t be doing that right now as I want to get a feel for the blend on its own, but I’m already plotting a bit of Tibetian Crystalline to go along with this. I think the Nag Champa + Vanilla would go a long way to giving this some depth and cutting some of the powdery feel from the blend.
I like that despite this being heavy, the throw isn’t overwhelming. It is a soft, gentle throw and as I move my hand I can smell it. The longer it dries the more gentle it becomes.
This is the outlier of the bunch and completely different from any of the blends I’ve tried today.
In the bottle I get a creamy vanilla scent that isn’t quite gourmand, but you can tell it wants to push over that edge. On my skin I get this beautiful sugar accord. It’s almost like putting a sugar cube in your mouth. I also get the Crystalline, Kobalt and Crystal vanilla wafting around in there. (I have smelled/owned each of those and believe it or not there are differences between the three, though sometimes subtle. I prefer Crystalline typically and it’s in most of my favorite blends.)
Now, I’m sure ya’ll can guess how amazing this smells, but truly it is gorgeous. It’s creamy, sweet, with a hint of resin and this sugary note that rounds it all out.
If you are into NAVA and you haven’t had an opportunity yet to try Bastet Amber (while listed as a note, it is actually found here as a blend all its own) you really should. This blend is different from anything else I’ve ever experienced before. Some people get absolutely no scent from it, some get some vague soapish scent (that’s me) and others are slightly put-off by it. But you’re not supposed to actually smell the spot you placed it on. You are supposed to apply it and forget it and let this blend do it’s thing, which is to waft up and greet you. It’s a softly sweet and resinous amber, simple yet beautiful, and in this blend you get that. I could see layering this with more Bastet Amber to enhance that effect or perhaps a bit of another Vanilla. Or, if you’re lucky and got a sample of Bastet’s Ice Cream accord, maybe a touch of that.
The throw on this is soft, but it has its moments.
Overall, I found that once Werewolf sat it was definitely worth waiting for, and having it waft around with Mummy is something quite wonderful.
While on my other hand, the dino’s are opposites and I prefer each for what they are separately.
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!
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 & Loaded – A 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: RED – Vanilla, 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 Lady – A 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 Flowers – The 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 Rain – Dry 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.
Another wonderful order from the fabulous Sixteen92! They had something of a flash sale for the oils, a return of past favorites, and having only recently begun dipping my toes in the proverbial water and being smitten, I had to grab them!
You may also notice that EDP is from their Spring 2016 Collection that I reviewed here. I couldn’t pass it up! The Primrose Path is just like spring and the earth in a bottle it’s so lovely. The notes are Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms. Not much of a difference between the oil and the EDP. I get so much of that lovely moist earth on initial spray. And stone! Who knew stones had a scent? It’s all greenery, soft and warm, with the earth underneath and the breeze gently blowing. The longer this sits the more you get the old oak tree and the lichen. It’s almost like being in an ancient forest surrounded by plants and trees that you just know have been around for centuries. For some reason the EDP feels older than the oil, whereas the oil is more fresh.
And of course I have to follow that beauty up with The Orchard Keeper whose notes include night blooming jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood. This scent opens with a beautiful jasmine and peach combination that is sweet and almost sultry. It doesn’t take long for that sandalwood to come into the picture. The apricot adds a bright, but not juicy, sweetness to the blend and the pink pepper gives a touch of perky spice. I could see this being the perfect scent for a peach orchard. Beautifully soft, slightly decadent, and sinfully sweet.
Finally I grabbed a 6ml of The Sound and the Fury and its notes include southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam. Oh wow, now I wish I hadn’t chickened out of the big bottle. The jessamine is soft and velvety, perfect for those relaxing days. The tea isn’t strong, like I had feared it would be. The balsam, fern, and loam give a wonderful greenness to the blend that isn’t overdone. I have quite a few ferns growing in my front garden and I recognized the scent! The skin musk gives that warm glow you can only get from sun warmed skin.
Overall I am super pleased with my blind purchases! It means I’m finally learning how Sixteen92 works for me and my skin chemistry!
Found this gorgeous perfumer on Etsy and heard some great things about them from Indie Perfume Lovers facebook group. Deep Midnight Perfumes has a ton of sample options either singly or by collection. I got sample packs of Steampunk Girls and Wicked Girls along with a free sample per collection set and one for being a new customer! You can either choose your own, or let them choose. I wanted to be surprised so I let them choose!
First up is Seven Veils whose notes include madagascar vanilla, velvety orchids, white florals, the softest musk, sweet golden amber, spices and exotic resins. In the vial I get orchids and a touch of those spices and resins! On my skin this is so smooth. The vanilla is beautiful and full, the musk is gentle, and the amber is glorious. There is something exotic (oh yeah, resins) about this blend – gentle and sweet, alluring and mysterious, and just almost purple in feel. I could see myself wearing this to bed, or on a sexy night out (yes, it works for both). Despite how soft this scent is it does have a really good throw on it. I keep getting beautiful whiffs of purple orchids and gentle musk with sweet vanilla. This has some excellent lasting power to it, really amazing.
King Cake is described as: Based on the traditional and scrumptious Mardi Gras King Cake, which is made with a yeasty bread and Danish type dough, braided and filled with cinnamon and sometimes various fruits jams or nuts and then topped with sugary or cream cheese frosting. I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never had a King Cake – but I’m not big into Mardi Gras either, so it shouldn’t be too surprising. That being said this is CAKE and cream cheese frosting in the vial. There’s a touch of cinnamon, a bit of a nutty quality, and something almost bready. It’s this weird cake/bread mix. Like a dense cake. The more it sits the more the cinnamon comes out. Unfortunately this kicks my gourmand button and I can’t stomach much more. But cake lovers will definitely enjoy this!
Selene by Night has notes of black orchids, deep dark exotic woods, enigmatic cypress, dragon’s blood and the faintest kiss of spice. Cypress is prominent in the vial as well as on my skin. However as it touches my skin the woods and spice come out. The orchids give a hot-house feel to the blend. This is inky blackness, expansive and almost oppressive, yet stunning. The dragon’s blood is commanding and rich. This has a great throw, excellent longevity. This might need a touch of aging because the dragon’s blood tries to go to soap with my chemistry.
Vixen Venom entices with its notes of a blend of rich amber, sweet musk, the sweetest vanilla, and a dash of patchouli for that extra bite! This is a lovely patchouli vanilla in the vial. On my skin that amber and musk come out. Man I can’t believe the awesome. This is seductive, tantalizing, and down right sexy. The amber is darkly golden while the vanilla is sweet, but not foodie and with the barest touch of patchouli this blend just out does itself.
Next up is Ladies of London whose notes are sensual florals highlighted with lily of the Valley, spicy indulgent opium, a bowlful of the deepest sensual red berries, and caresses of frankincense and patchouli for added mystery. In the vial this is all red berries and opium. On my skin it is much of the same though it takes on a bit of a fizzy feeling, as though there is champagne in the blend. The flowers are strong, the opium wafting, and the berries mashed into a delightful drink. The frankincense and patchouli are more of the incense type instead of a resin and it’s like they are being burnt on opposite sides of the room and making their way towards you. These ladies of London may look innocent at first, however, they are anything but.
I decided to go on and combine these reviews instead of doing it in two parts. So this is Clockwork Cutie! YAY! Its notes are fresh wild berries, concord grapes on the vine, a whisper of dark flowers from a secret Victorian garden, and a soft vanilla accord. In the vial I get a beautiful juicy blast of berries and grapes, and that stays true on my skin, however there are now flowers wafting around. It’s a very sweet blend, very juicy and fun! The flowers are doing a good job at keeping the fruit from going too crazy and now as it dries the vanilla is coming out. Oh wow, once this dries completely it’s a beautiful floral and fruit blend – fun and fancy free, yet somehow there’s a sophistication to this perfume!
Flights of Fancy gives way to notes of mahogany wood, amber, lavender, brown sugar, oak, with faint and fresh background notes of peach and pear. In the vial this is wood and sugar – sweet and warm. There is a bit of lavender and it’s not making me cringe with pain! The peach and pear are juicy but they are under everything else. The woods are beautiful, golden, and fragrant. I really like how wonderful this is – it’s like floaty and flowing – beautifully constructed and makes me want to close my eyes and inhale deeply. Also, I’m so trilled to find another company whose lavender doesn’t make my sinus scream in pain! The brown sugar is only adding a hint of sweetness and that beautiful touch of darkness from molasses.
Agent of Chaos! Sounds like a good book eh? No book, but it has notes that include an exotic Chypre accord, rich leather, bergamot, lemon, sweet sugars, cardamon and clove, followed up with softer backgrounds notes of mahogany, oakmoss, and a faint touch of jasmine. In the vial it’s all sweet spices, like a good foodie fall scent. On my skin it still has that association, but the leather and chypre pull it back from that foodie edge. The clove is not overpowering at all, actually none of the spices are overpowering. This is really well blended, dark and mysterious! Perfect for an Agent of Chaos! I’m really digging this blend! It’s leaning a touch masculine but there’s enough jasmine to keep it on the feminine side. Actually this reminds me a lot of what I think Zoë from Firefly would smell like (which is who I named my youngest after). Oh man, any association Firefly means I need it!
Rounding this out is Chocolate Earth, one of the freebie’s, and it has notes of Dark Chocolate, Plump Fresh Raspberries, Dark Five Year Aged Patchouli, and a touch of Sweet Cream. So … I typically dislike chocolate and cocoa scents – they just don’t sit well with me and that is a personal preference and nothing against any perfumer that uses chocolate in their blends because there are plenty of other people who crave it. To each their own. In the vial it is dark chocolate and patchouli – a bit different to be sure. On my skin I … am not sure what I’m smelling. I know there’s a patchouli but that’s about all I can smell. It takes 5-10 minutes but eventually I get raspberries, soft and juicy, with a touch of cream. There’s no discernible chocolate to my nose. I double checked the vial to make sure there wasn’t any cocoa or something sitting and I needed to roll it and there’s nothing. Maybe the chocolate and patchouli are so well intertwined that I just can’t pull it apart. This is like leaning against a fragrant tree while eating raspberries and cream.
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!