30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 26 – Alkemia – As Dark Things are Meant to be Loved

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year!  Hopefully Santa brought everyone what they wished for.  And if not, well, get it yourself, you deserve it!  (Totally what I am telling myself.)

To ring in the New Year, I’ve pulled out Alkemia’s As Dark Things are Meant to be Loved.  It’s been sitting for a little over three months in a cool dark spot to get its groove on.  And groove it did.

img_5716
photo by smellallthethings

As Dark Things are Meant to be LovedLapsang souchong tea, dark Russian leather, aloeswood, smoked black amber, aged dark patchouli, tonka, Amazonian breuzinho, Moroccan bhakoor, labdanum, temple incense, caramelized opium, black coffee, black coconut, and tabac leaf.

I remember when I got this it was funky, and not in a good way.  The leather was sharp, the tea over powering, and the patchouli was screaming in the background like a banshee.  All in all, it was not a good first impression.  But, there were so many notes that just called to me that I had to give it a chance.  So I tucked it away, safe and sound, and just now pulled it back out.

This blend has completely blossomed.  It has changed and settled and smoothed out into this gorgeous smoky, incensy goodness that just begs to be worn and worn proudly.  Now I love it and it has turned into something different than I thought it would be, but loved nonetheless.

As this goes on wet, the leather screeches just a bit but almost immediately backs down.  The lapsang souchong tea is strong in the wet stage but slowly makes its way to the background as the blend dries.  There is a heavy dollop of smoke that weaves its way through this blend.  It’s strong at first before it dissipates – though it never truly leaves.

Once it begins to dry down, the scent stays strong and has a heavy throw to it.  The patchouli is heavy as is the opium and the incense.  They get their turn in the limelight before calming down and becoming one with everything else.  The leather is dark, well loved and well oiled, and slick but not that shiny black leather that can be sharp and overwhelming – this is soft and pliable and heavily scented with the oil used to care for it.

Now that it is dry and has sat for a bit most of the individual notes are nearly indecipherable from each other.  What I am left with is a gorgeous incense blend that swirls around me and makes me feel strong and confident.  It makes me think of inner peace and outer strength.  The throw is still good, though not as strong as the dry down phase.

I’m so glad I kept this.  It is something I want to bring out again and again to experience.

Conjure Oils – Starman + GC Reviews

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

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

IMG_5492
photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

Win some, lose some.

pagebreak

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

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

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

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

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

pagebreak

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

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

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

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

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

Deep Midnight Perfumes Samples

Found this gorgeous perfumer on Etsy and heard some great things about them from Indie Perfume Lovers facebook groupDeep 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!

IMG_5093
photo by smellallthethings

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.

IMG_5096
photo by smellallthethings

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.

Arcana Soaps – Spring and Other Sundries

IMG_4940
photo by smellallthethings

Julia over at Arcana was kind enough to run a little sale where, if you purchased 3 or more scents from the Ebay page, you got a free 5ml of Vanilla Craves Spring!  Couldn’t pass that up, ya know.  Oh, and not shown is the backup bottle of Phoebus I got.  That’s one sexy blend right there.

First up, lets try the bottle that was so generously gifted, Vanilla Craves Spring.  It’s notes include: two gourmand vanillas, young honeysuckle, pink bubblegum, white amber, a hint of galbanum, and a single drop of sweet mint. Now, let me preface this review by stating I’m emphatically NOT a “foodie” or gourmand scent person.  I don’t enjoy smelling like food.  However, my skin seems to have a rather arbitrary line as to what crosses that “foodie” edge for me.  Sometimes I get surprised.  Vanilla Craves Terror was a surprise considering all the reviews I’d seen saying it leaned gourmand because it didn’t for me.

In the bottle Vanilla Craves Spring is all vanilla – beautiful, rich, and buttery.  It doesn’t hit that food edge … yet.  On my skin the galbanum comes out with a touch (and I do mean a touch – I wouldn’t have placed it if I didn’t know the notes) of the sweet mint and together they seem to reign in the overly foodie aspect of the vanilla.  The bubblegum is almost non-existent, which I think I saw on another review the same thing.  The honeysuckle is that beautiful and bright yellow scent that you associate with the onset of spring.  This blend is innocent to the extreme!  I can just see my daughter out playing in our yard, ice cream cone in hand, as she runs her hands over the honeysuckle.  Pure, unadulterated innocence tucked into a little 5ml brown apothecary bottle.  This … This scent just makes me happy, plain and simple.

(As an aside – I take hours if not days to write reviews sometimes so as to not go “nose-blind” to scents.  That being said, it’s now about 4 hours since I put on VCS and I’m like a little addicted I think.  I keep huffing the small spot and sighing happily.  I want to slather, but Yurt is on the other hand … I’ll likely wash Yurt off before too long and cuddle into some comforting Vanilla Craves Spring!  It taunts me with glorious whiffs as I move my hand.)

Next up we have Yurt – which, admittedly, is fun to say.  (Go on, say it out loud – you know you want to!).  Yurt’s notes consist of: glowing dragonsblood resin and cedarwood with hemlock, fir needle, juniper, and bonfire smoke.  Wowee – this is so different from the a fore mentioned VCS – where VCS is light and happy, Yurt is dark green, shadowed and maybe just a bit fierce. In the bottle this is all fir needle.  On my skin the bonfire smoke alights and the night is now glowing with the fierceness of fire.  There is a spiciness to this blend (dragonsblood maybe?  some companies are spicy, some are floral – this is my first foray into Arcana’s dragonsblood) and the wood is scorched (but not in a bad way? is there a good scorching?) the juniper gives the feeling of being in a coniferous forest.  The hemlock is bitter but it doesn’t overwhelm the blend like it can sometimes do.  Yurt is fire.  Yurt is forest.  Yurt is … the complete opposite of Vanilla Craves Spring.  Yurt is becoming slightly overwhelming.  Yurt is fun to say, but don’t use too much – a little goes a very, very long way.

Necklace Made of Tears  isn’t one of the spring scents, but the frankincense tears called my name.  Its notes consist of: Sticky spun sugar with frankincense tears, peach nectar, violets, lacrima water, and cardamom.  I have no idea what lacrima water is … and a google search turned up only one description from Scent for Thought that describes it as saline and slightly metallic.  I guess we’ll see what it does.  In the bottle it is water, peach and violets.  On my skin this lets the sugar and violets come out.  Normally I don’t “smell” a metallic note, instead I feel it or taste it on my tongue – and I’m getting that sensation.  The frankincense tears give a nice resinous base to this and the peach nectar has a juicy quality that almost makes my mouth water.  With each sniff I go back and forth on whether or not I like it.  One sniff gives an aquatic feel, and I typically don’t go for aquatic scents.  On the next sniff I get the frankincense tears, the violets, and a nice comforting sweetness which I adore.  Such a morpher!

And bringing up the end is Two Finger Ballet.  I’m really a 12 year old boy at heart and snort-laughed at the name.  The notes for this blend include: A delicate blend of French vanilla creme, white amber, sugared vanilla beans, caramel, and the smallest dab of opium.  Have I mentioned before I love opium?  And all that vanilla?  And amber?  Well, I do.

Just like with Vanilla Craves Spring, Two Finger Ballet smells like a rich, buttery vanilla in the bottle.  On my skin it smooths out and looses some of that buttery scent and the creme makes it more languid.  The opium adds to that sweet and languid feel.  Two Finger Ballet verges on being foodie, but doesn’t cross that line for me.  The caramel isn’t apparent, but seems to be adding a slightly smoky quality.  Oh man, this is an addicting scent as well.  I can see why it is so popular!

Alkemia Perfume Sample Set

IMG_4775
photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arcana Soaps – The Prynne Collection 2016

IMG_4764
photo by smellallthethings

I’m so excited to dig into Arcana’s Valentine’s Day Prynne Collection from this year (purchased via The Rhinestone Housewife).

Odalisque is from Part I of The Prynne Collection (notesThick vanilla syrup, golden musk, black musk, kyphi, and spikenard.) In the bottle it mostly smells like golden amber musk.  However, once on my skin it blossoms.  The black musk leans in the back, supporting the other notes.  The kyphi is nice and spicy and sweetened by the vanilla syrup.  Arcana’s vanilla is wonderful, and this is no exception.  The golden musk and spikenard give the blend a slightly lighter feel.  Overall, despite the black musk, thick vanilla and kyphi this is not a heavy blend.  It smells light and flowing.  More like a veil of scent than a blanket.  The throw is light to medium at times.

Tramp, from Part II of The Prynne Collection, contains: Red roses, worn leather, blood cedar, oudh, and 3 trampy musks. In the bottle is smells of beautiful full red roses.  On my skin the roses bloom with a hint of the blood cedar underneath.  As it dries the oudh comes out and it is a beautiful brownish-gold smell, deep and intoxicating.  The musks start to come out – perhaps one is a red musk?  When it is completely dry the leather comes out to layer along with everything.  At first this was almost boozy – but as it dried it’s become sexier with the leather, oudh, and musks coming out.  The rose is still apparent, but it becomes more like petals strewn across leather instead of full blooms.  Very beautiful and only slightly trampy.  This has a rather large throw.

Floozy, the last purchase from Part II of The Prynne Collection (notesSilky opium smoked with boozy amber, dark vanilla, and sandalwood.) In the bottle it smells strongly of smoky opium.  Wet on my skin it’s a bit more smoky, but not overwhelmingly so.  The sandalwood is fragrant and bright which contrasts nicely with the dark vanilla and the boozy amber.  This is gorgeous, flouncy and flowing, and so soft. Floozy is sweet, smoky, and woody – darkly golden with sweet opium smoke. It has a wonderful throw – not too much, not a skin scent – that nice in-between.