Apothescary Scents came on my radar from the Indie Makeup and More page on Reddit. I ordered a sampler pack and it was shipped fast and packaged nicely. Very impressed. These have been sitting for almost two weeks now so they’ve had their rest from their travels and then some.
Autumn People – the perfect October night with a heady blend of blood orange, wood smoke, fallen leaves, oakmoss, and more.
In the vial this is sharp, almost acidic, and very pine-sap-like. This is not for the faint of heart. This is raw, dirty, and gritty. This is vegetal and desiccated leaves on a forest floor with pine sap and oakmoss, a hint of orange and just a faint touch of smoke off in the distance.
As this dries, so does the “wet and dew covered” type of over all scent that this seems to have. The throw is decent, not too strong (except right in the beginning), and floats around you giving the impression that you are actually nestled into the deep of a forest. It actually reminds me of walking through some of the less traveled trails here in North Carolina … it’s just missing that red clay scent that permeates (and stains) everything.
Dry this is beautiful. The smoke comes out more and that fresh wood tossed on a fire scent before the log actually catches. You also get a lot of that oakmoss and dried crunchy leaf scent.
If you’re looking for a raw forest scent, this is it. I admit, I’m in love with this one.
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.
So I have a lot of samples. I’d estimate over 100 right now. To say I’m slightly overwhelmed by this would be something of an understatement. Hence the bright idea of 30 scents in 30 days! I just stick my hand in the box and blindly pick out a scent. The idea of it actually has me a tad giddy!
First day we start with a house I’ve not reviewed here yet even though it was my first company I delved into – Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. The reason I don’t really review them? They have a wonderful forum full of review page after review page and I didn’t feel the need to really add on unnecessarily when there’s such a comprehensive review system in place. However, they are a favorite of mine – I have lots of samples of things I keep meaning to test and so it’s in my testing box and fair game for this little challenge of mine!
Zombi – Dried roses, rose leaf, Spanish moss, oakmoss and deep brown earth.
My initial sniff from the vial is deep, moist earth – brown and fertile, perfect for worms. On my skin the moss and oakmoss come out and give it some greenness along with that rose leaf. I now have a rose bush in my yard and so I can say with confidence that this rose leaf is so very, very true to life. The rose leaf doesn’t hold much of an actual rose scent in it, but when you rub it you get a softer greenness from the leaf than you would from something like a blade of grass. So, I kind of hope I’m not the only one that finds things like rose leaves and sniffs them to compare to perfume notes. But if I am, oh well! I just find it fascinating!
Over everything you get those dried roses, crunchy and yet somehow they still retain a trace of the fragrance they had in life.
The earthiness is strong and at times almost overpowering all the other scents. This is more like being in a forest and over-turning a moss covered rock. Your senses are immediately assaulted with the musky earth that hasn’t seen the light of day in who knows how long. On your fingers you get a touch of the mossy scent from disturbing it. Over everything there is this soft, dry floral fluttering about.
After the wet stage, and after that drydown phase where it’s still wondering what it wants to be, you get to the full dry down, where the scent has warmed on your skin and melded with your own personal scent and it does what it will do – and I love it.
On my skin it is this softly brown scent, earthy and musky. Over that is that luscious green scent that can only be oakmoss. It gives it a cologne feel, but I love it. And over all of that is this gorgeous and soft rose scent. It is brown, green, and pink all wrapped into one. This does not overpower as the dry down did. If I could just go from wet to this glorious scent I would be all over it. Perhaps setting this one back to do a bit of aging will do it some good.
The throw on this blend is fleeting – sometimes it comes to greet you, other times I find I have to sniff around the spot I put it to really get a sense of the blend. When it does choose to waft around it’s mostly a mossy scent with a hint of floral, whereas on my skin I get more of that earthiness. Overall though I’m quite happy with this scent and it will most likely be added to my “eventually get a full bottle” list. For now I’ll enjoy this little sample.
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.
More goodies from Alkemia Perfumes! This is the last of the samples I currently have, though make no mistake, I’ll be getting more just as soon as I get over this small issue of moving states. Always something hindering the perfume buying.
De La Forêt contains notes of dry amber, golden musk, orris root, tonka, bergamot, rosewood, oud, sandalwood, paper, oakmoss, birch tar, and vetivert. Oooh a paper note! In the vial I get a nice amber and musk scent rounded out with lots of beautiful and fragrant woods. On my skin this is so golden and soft. The tonka is that beautiful brown fuzzy scent with a hint of the floral bergamot. Some people have issues with orris root and/or vetiver … I am so happy I’m not one of those people (though it did take a few years for me to fully appreciate vetiver). The birch tar gives this an almost sticky like feeling … you know when you get tree sap on your hand and it just never. goes. away. In this case this is a good thing. Oh wow, I get the paper too. It’s soft, freshly pressed and almost papyrus like. It’s homemade paper which was lovingly made by hand, not the college ruled paper from the store. The oakmoss is soft and slightly green. Overall I’m in love with this blend. It’s perfect for a beautiful soft forest-like scent. I could totally see this representing someone in the middle of a forest of tall trees looking up and soaking up the filtered sunlight.
Caveau des Innocents is all about the underground Parisian nightlife with notes of Tabac, dark coffee, piquant cloves, rum soaked pears, candied citron, dark caramel, and star anise bathed in intoxicating swirls of opoponax, labdanum, hashish, benzoin resinoid, vanilla incense, and guaiac wood. In the vial this was mostly candied citron and a touch of vanilla incense. Very soft and subdued – not at all what I was expecting. On my skin this is still soft, but it’s got that slinky feel, as though softly traveling just above the skin. There is almost a masculine quality about the blend, but it’s unisex too in a way. No one note is really jumping out. It’s all so very well blended and very intoxicating. As this dries and warms on my skin it becomes almost overtly sexy – there’s no come hither finger wave but more of a grab them by their shirt and yank them to you. Carnal is a good word to describe this scent.
Fumé Oud à la Vanille boasts notes of crushed tonka beans, woodsmoked amber, and bourbon vanilla aged with oud wood. The woodsmoke is prominent both in the vial and on my skin. There’s that wonderfully fuzzy tonka again and the oud is very fragrant. Overall this isn’t heavy vanilla, but it’s not a bad woodsmoke scent either. I would love it if the vanilla had come out more. This is very masculine in my opinion, woody, a little smoky (not enough to overwhelm) and slightly resinous.
Aphrodesia will round out this set with notes of deep eastern spices warmed with creamy vanilla and a few drops of golden frankincense. I have to confess I put this on yesterday when I was craving vanilla scents and fell completely and utterly in love with this. In the vial there are these beautiful warm spices from an eastern market. On my skin the frankincense comes out and you can smell those fragrant large resins being slowly and expertly burned in an incense burner. Their fragrant cloud wafts up to caress your skin and that vanilla with those spices just makes for this intoxicating scent. Sweet, a little spicy, and that lovely incense wafting in and out. This is a very unisex blend – not overtly one scent or another, but all the scents melding in together. It stays close to the skin and makes it a very personal scent. Oh man, I still can’t stop huffing. This is what I wanted another scent from another brand to smell like but it just never did for me. Beautiful!
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.
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.
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.
Man that’s a lot of S’s in that title. Say it 10 times fast!
Anyway, what we have today are scents from Nocturne Alchemy/VApothecary. or NAVA for short. They are a wonderful company with lovely owners who enjoy all things Egypt … and cookies.
So I may have already sniffed and purchased full size bottles of Evening Star and Mysteries of Udolpho (which came with cute scarab beads and the sample of Seth’s Super Secret Scent) because I had a mini-freak out that the scents were coming down today. They aren’t, but that didn’t stop me from ordering them! Decants were purchased via Ajevie, again. She’s awesome!
Evening Star is first up, since you know I already bought one, with notes of Crushed Jasmine and Crushed Violet, Egyptian Rose de Mai Absolute, Nutmeg, California Redwood, Raw Papaya Seed, Arabian Cedarwood, Bastet’s White Amber, Champagne Musk and Chrysanthemum star petals. In the vial it’s all jasmine and violet with a touch of rose. On my skin, however, the scents blossom. The redwood and cedarwood give this blend a nice grounding place to layer on top of. The nutmeg is almost undetectable but I believe it is what is giving a “warm” glow to this. Bastet’s (one of the perfumers at NAVA) White Amber gives a feeling of the sky to me – it’s ethereal and floating. The champagne musk is soft and almost fuzzy in feel. Overall this is a soft, sweet, and flowing blend that makes me think of laying in the grass looking up at the night sky.
The Mysteries of Udolpho is next and this one blew me away with its notes of Venice Violet infused Bergamot Tea, Castle Oakmoss, White Amber, Vanilla Crystal Musk and a drop of Italian Galbanum Incense accord. So, so, so good. Warm and spicy with a hint of sweetness. Normally I don’t compare or mention a scent smelling like one from a different perfumery because I don’t think its fair to the perfume house I’m currently reviewing. However, what this smells like is a discontinued scent from another house that will not be brought back. It’s not an exact match (I did test my samples side by side), but it’s similar enough in feel that those that missed out (like me) on the other scent might be able to find something similar and possibly a new perfumery at the same time! Win-Win right? Enough already, I’m talking about Black Phoenix’s Fruminous Bandersnatch – so if you missed it and are hording your little stash, like me, get this – it’s awesome. Udolpho is, as the name indicates, mysterious. I honestly can’t go through and pick out the notes because if I hadn’t seen the note list I would’ve sworn there was carnation, amber, and maybe galbanum. Oakmoss? Bergamot tea? Violet? I can’t find those it’s so well blended. This is warm and cozy and just amazing. After a few hours this is a soft amber and vanilla scent with just a whisper of spice.
Pharaoh Anniversary is not part of the Spring Collection, but is instead part of the Studio Limited Collection, which has a chance to stick around a bit longer and even, sometimes, be re-stocked. It’s notes are comprised of Water Lily, Heliotrope, Mimosa, Bergamot, Alexandrian Sea Salt, Amber and Musk. Anniversary blend brings the smokiness of NAVA ICONIC Arabian Oudh, NAVA Amber Resin Absolute, Frankincense Pure and White Myrrh of Aswan grown especially for our perfume company. Oh wow, this is gorgeous! The water lily, heliotrope, and mimosa give this such a fragrant opening, soft and flowing. And ICONIC!! (No longer available notes are: Our Rose and Jasmine Oudh, more notably Rose Oudh. NAVA Oudh blend with Egyptian and Arabian White, Pink and Blood Rose Petals, Spanish Jasmine Grandiflorum, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute and Indian Jasmine Sambac. The Jasmine is a stabilizer for the rose and both botanica are the heart of this Oudh.) NAVA does Oudh like no one else does Oudh. This blend is at once flowing and resinous and truly a work of art. I can smell the Nile, the floral gardens in the palace, the sand under my feet and the sun on my face. It smells like a celebration on my skin. The salt is barely there as to be non-existent. Well, I know what’s going in my next order! Mmm the longer this sits the more the ICONIC Oudh comes out.
Next is A Room With A View from the Spring Collection and it boasts notes of Florentine Frangipani, Essence of Florentine Violet, Italian White Musk, Plumeria Cream, Santalum, Italian Bergamot Tea Light Essence and Italian Cyprus infused Balsam wood. In the vile it’s all violet and plumeria cream (in the best way!) and on my skin the fragipani and white musk come out. It takes a minute but the santalum begins to warm up with a hint of cyprus and a soft touch of balsam. The bergamot tea is giving it just the barest of hints of spice. It always blows me away with how delicate and gentle some of these scents are when NAVA also does super good heavy incense and resin blends. This is gorgeous. It’s like an open window to the most lush of floral gardens.
Last, but most certainly not least, is Seth’s Super Secret Scent – Very Vanilla Crystalline Angel Cake! No notes listed for this as it’s Seth’s own secret blend. Sometimes he makes enough for full size bottles, sometimes just little teaser samples go out. Typically these secret scents are sent out with update orders that were placed within a few days of a new update going live on the site. Sometimes they are sent out until gone. Just remember, I’m not a gourmand lover, and Seth is known for his gourmands. In the vile I get a super buttery blast of vanilla cake. On my skin it almost disappears! I can barely get a hint of something resembling cake. There’s a slight buttery vanilla note, but it’s so soft. Boo! It might be that I’ve gone nose-blind to it after the two stronger scents. I’ll try again later and edit if it changes!
I heard about One Hand Washes The Other through the Solstice Scents Facebook Group because of the scent Spellbound Woods. Unfortunately, OHWTO didn’t have Spellbound Woods stocked in oil form, so I got the solid scent – which may not actually be a bad thing, mind you. I’ve never used a solid scent before!
Of course I’m going to start with Spellbound Woods! I’ve heard so many great things about Angela’s version (which is discontinued), that I just have to try! The notes are listed as: A blend of Vanilla, Sandalwood, Amber, Cedarwood and the barest hint of a light Floral on the dry down. This is a solid scent in an oval tube and it raises and lowers just like chapstick. The formula is creamy, soft and silky. It rubs in nicely and leaves just this wonderful soft scent in its wake! Amazing! I put it on my pulse point on the inside of my wrists, then rubbed them together. Seriously, this scent is super swoon-worthy! It’s soft, slightly sweet, with a wonderful woody base to it. The florals add to some of the sweetness and lift it up a touch, but it’s all about that vanilla, amber, and wood! Truly beautiful! I get the hype now – and I need more!
The Doctor Who fan in me wouldn’t let me pass up the scent Time Lord (notes: Aged Cedar and Sandalwood, Spiced Vanilla, Teak, Petitgrain, and Cardamom, with whispers of Rose, Oud, and Ginger.) This smells like the 11th doctor to me. Though I know very little of old Who (I know bad me!), so I could be wrong. This is … well … timeless. It’s old, very old, like 900 years old. It has an antique smell to it. But not that dusty attic antique, but one that has been polished and loved and displayed through the ages. This does lean masculine in my opinion. The spices in this are soft and not overpowering. This scent is very, very well blended and really awesome in that it captures the timelessness of Time Lords.
And because I’ve been on a violet kick lately, I picked up a dram of Violette with notes of: Wood Violets, Leather, and Honeycomb. Hmm in the dram I get that new leather smell and I don’t usually dig new leather. Whew! On my skin it goes to a softer, more supple leather scent. The violets are soft, silky, and on the edge of being powdery. The honeycomb isn’t extremely noticeable. I was hoping more for a beeswax, dusty type scent out of it, but it doesn’t detract. It might be adding a touch of sweetness to the mix. It’s a very nice scent, and I never would’ve thought to put violets and leather together, however I don’t believe this one is for me.
Lastly, I received two samples of solid scents. One is Mermaid (Salt water, linden blossoms, muguet, carnation, white musk, with a base of driftwood and oakmoss) and the other is Beach Bum (Salt air, tuberose blooms, coconut, sweetgrass, tanning lotion, sand, sea, and sun).
Mermaid is up first and initial sniff gives a sweet blast of linden blossoms and white musk. Very clean and bright! On my skin the salt water comes out as does the muguet. It honestly smells like there is a citrus note, like a bright yellow lemon, but that could be something else. This is bright and clean and fresh smelling!
Beach Bum is different, still clean but the tuberrose is prominent on first sniff. That tanning lotion … LOL! It’s so true to life. Hawaiian Life that is! The coconut isn’t very strong, more like it’s in your drink next to you instead of on your skin. This is bright, yet lazy. Perfect for lounging on the sand and soaking up the sun!
I just had to go and get some more samples from Sixteen92‘s general catalog after having such a good experience with their Spring Collection. There has been discussion on their Facebook Page about discontinuing a few scents and making room for others, possibly A Thousand Times More Fair from their Spring Collection as well as three others. Two of the scents I’m reviewing (The Awakening and La Llorona) are on the chopping block! Eek! Discontinuations are expected and understandable, but they are still sad. I always get this knee jerk reaction of OMG I NEED IT (even if I’ve never liked the scent before) because what if it gets better with age and then it’s all gone and you can’t find it anywhere because everyone else knew it was awesome and then you missed it and can never have the awesome again and …. *deep breath* Yeah, so, I got those two specifically to see if I truly want them or if I’m just having discontinuation anxiety.
The Awakening has notes of: Ocean air, dark water, damp mosses, gulf mud, saltwater taffy. Now normally I’m not one for ocean types as it usually means ambergris and I’m not a fan of ambergris. However, I really enjoyed Storm of Fortunes which has ambergirs so I decided to give this a try. Plus it’s on the chopping block (eek!) and I’m going to the beach on vacation soon and I like “water” scents to wear when I’m at the actual water.
In the vial it is mostly the dark water, a bit of mud, and moss. As soon as it hits my skin the water deepens even more and the ocean air starts blowing. There’s a small hint of sweet saltwater taffy. The mosses are wet from a recent storm and the mud has been churned by the waves. This morphs and moves through phases as it dries, letting each note come to the fore like the coming and going of the ocean waves. There’s also something cold in here. Not physically cold, but it smells cold. This is a very interesting blend, but a bit more salty than I care for.
Paper Moon is a Premium perfume and contains: Soft vanilla musk, benzoin, oakmoss, trailing ivy, peach blossom, rose. Paper Moon isn’t awe inspiring in the vial and is mostly benzoin. On my skin it blooms though. The rose and benzoin are initially the strongest notes. The vanilla musk is at the base, soft and light and barely there while the ivy and peach blossoms weave through the rose and benzoin. This is a soft skin scent with very light silage (throw). Pretty, but I like things with a little more oomph to them. It does end up having a paper-like quality to the scent which is neat. Eventually the benzoin calms down, the oakmoss comes out and all the other notes blend and play nicely together.
This is growing on me the more I wear it. Soft, slightly sweet, with a nice green base and a hint of flowers.
La Llarona (the other one on the chopping block) consists of: Bulgarian and Egyptian rose absolute, pink and white pepper, pink grapefruit, wisteria, cashmere wood, pale amber. At first this is all wood, soft and brown with a hint of pink grapefruit and a whisper of wisteria. This was one I put on right when I got it a few days ago and fell in love. Which is sad because it’s going away so I’ll have to jump on a bottle of it! This is not only a golden blend in the vial, but also on my skin. The rose is soft and velvety, the pepper adds just the barest touch of spice while the grapefruit burns off as it dries. Now the wisteria is coming out stronger with that beautiful base of wood and amber. Truly a warm blend that just makes me think of snuggling up and being cozy.
Southern Gothic has notes of: Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood. In the vial I get all the high notes: orange, apple, magnolia, and jasmine. I’m a sucker for jasmine sambac. On my skin the mandarin orange comes and goes fairly quickly leaving behind just a golden bright sweetness in its wake. The coconut pulp comes out and gives a creamy almost tropical feel without going completely tropical. It’s a nice balance. The sandalwood and balsam are the base on which everything settles on. This blend reminds me of Georgia, sitting out on my Mom’s porch when she lived down there. It’s a languid, sweet, and comforting blend meant for porch sitting and tea drinking.
And last, but not least, Wicked with its notes of: Three vanillas, dark aged patchouli, almond buttercream. In the vial this just SCREAMS almond buttercream. Unfortunately that intensifies on my skin. Normally my skin chemistry turns almond into this sour mash smell and unfortunately it’s doing the same thing, only now it’s surrounded by moldy buttercream and off smelling vanilla. I’m not even getting any patchouli as my own chemistry is amping that almond. (Because I wanted to point out chemistry, I did not wash this off as fast as I’d intended and now …) Now, after a while the patchouli has come out and the almond, while still this weird mash thing, isn’t screaming at me. It’s a bit on the foodie side and not my cup of tea, but others may enjoy it.
Not sure if this needs said or not, but my experiences may or may not be what you would experience in a blend. If you notice with Wicked I mention my own skin chemistry. Everyone is different. Hormones, hydration, medications, diet, and even the water in your house and the lotion you use can effect how a scent smells on your skin. Please bear that in mind and take all reviews with a grain of salt (or a sniff of perfume …).