30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 12 – Alkemia’s Ishq

So I approached today’s scent a little differently in that … I slathered and ran out the door.  I had to.  Errands don’t run themselves (yet).  While running my errands, I made mental notes of how this particular scent

Today I grabbed Alkemia‘s Ishq which was created to help TapRoots music by being a perk of donating.

Ishqdark oud, opium infused tobacco, smoked black amber, Arabian ambergris, a rare animalistic dark musk, and heavy bakhour incense.

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photo by smellallthethings

There is no doubt at all when smelling this that it has that super funky oudh, or that it’s musk is dark.  You get a real funky scent coming from the wet stages – it’s animalic, dark, and just plain weird, to be quite honest.

The throw, while wet and drying, was kind of intense.  I found the scent followed me everywhere, which was very interesting because I got to smell it while it shifted and morphed and settled into this warm, golden, and kind of funky scent.

I’ll be honest, that funky animalistic scent never really went away.  It stayed, though it never really got to be too much.  Nothing about this scent was ever really too much – it was just skirting the edge of too funky, too animal-like, too musky, but it never crossed that line.  Instead it toed it and left me rather enjoying the overall scent and it’s phases.

A few hours later, when all my errands had been accomplished, the scent only wafted lazily, barely having the energy to make itself known.  On my skin it was musky, a touch golden from the oudh, and slightly narcotic from the opium.  And then, for as loud as it started, it just … faded away.

I really enjoyed experiencing this blend.  You can feel the thickness of the blend, like molasses (not the oil, just the scent perception).  Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s something I could wear very often, but this sample will most definitely be kept around when I need an extra oomph of oudh.

Sixteen92 – Fall 2016 Samples

As if a Halloween release tease isn’t enough, I also bring Sixteen92‘s Fall release samples!

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photo by smellallthethings

I think everyone remembers the witch trials, especially if you read The Crucible in school.  Some delved in deeper, I’m sure.  Unfortunately growing up Catholic, this sort of thing was highly glossed over.  I think I have a new personal goal to learn more about the witch trials.

Starting with Bridget Bishop (link to wikipedia) I’ve learned she was the first person to be executed for being a witch.  Her perfume notes are – Night-blooming flowers, belladonna, bergamot peel, resinous oudh, nutmeg, ambroxan, and scarlet musk.

This is one of the premium fragrances.  In the vial this is all heady florals, still warm from the heat of the day.  On my skin I get a little funkiness from the oudh before it smooths out.  There is a hint of bitter greenness from the belladonna and the bergamot adds its touch of spiciness.  I’m not really getting any nutmeg.

Looking up ambroxan I found out it is a synthetic representation of ambergris which explains that sort of salty aquatic feel I’m getting.

The throw on this is gorgeous and the florals are deep and heady, almost like hot-house florals in their intensity.  This blend is not shy.  It is strong, almost commanding, and not for the faint of heart.

Unfortunately, about 30 min into the drydown I ended up having a sneezing fit and had to wash it off and take a few minutes to sniff some coffee and reset myself – which is disappointing because I was really, really liking this blend.

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Cotton Mather is a rather well known figure from the Salem Witch Trials.  He was a very vocal supporter of the trials as well as an author of numerous publications regarding the trials, demons, witches, and the like.  His perfume contains notes of blackened patchouli, woodland mosses, sweet herbs, dried helichrysum, woodsmoke, lamplight, ink, ash, and flame.

Fire and brimstone would not be a wholly inaccurate way to describe this scent.  There is a lot of smoke and charred woods in the vial.  On my skin the patchouli is dirty, sooty and dark while the woodsmoke and ash cling to everything while a fire burns in the distance.  This is not a soft nor gentle scent.

It feels dangerously dark, yet almost alluring.  I find myself catching hints of smoke and fire and following it down to sniff at my wrist.  The moss is dark and ashy.  To be fair, there is the feeling of a fine layer of ash over the whole scent.  You catch a bit of the oil burning for the lamplight, yet it mixes in with the flame as well.  There is a touch of a hay-like scent as well, as though there are stables not far away.

This blend leans heavily masculine and I believe it has more throw than it’s showing me.  I have a feeling others would get a sense of it and maybe even steer clear without really understanding why.

So about an hour or so later and I was right about the throw.  It’s now wafting about as strong as a … (don’t hate me) Hollister store.  Not the same scent!  Just the strength!  This is actually extremely wearable.  The wet stage is a touch overwhelming, but dry this is really quite something.  Very much in the cologne territory, but not horribly so.  It reminds me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on.  And it’s turning out to be another one that I can’t stop smelling.

After about 2 hours the scent on my skin is fading, but the throw isn’t!  Well, kind of.  It’s no longer at Hollister-strength (really, please don’t hate me).

While after oh … 6 hours or so the throw isn’t much there, I still get nice whiffs when I wave the spot towards my nose.  Also, the scent is still very much there on my skin, though much faded.

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Mercy Lewis became caught up in the hysteria that began surrounding the witch trials.  Not only was she accused of being a witch, but she had accused others as well.  Her perfume notes are heliotrope, honeyed tea, rosehips, sugared almond, creamy sandalwood, and milky vanilla.

In the vial I get an unmistakable creamy, almost an almond cookie dough type scent and it’s really quite delicious.  On my skin this is all about that smooth and creamy sandalwood supported with a soft and delicate vanilla.  I get a touch of the almond, almost more like a marzipan than a whole almond.  The rosehips and heliotrope are gorgeous and silky soft.

Overall this is a very … naive scent.  It is innocence and ignorance and just trying to survive.

For as light as this scent is, I do get a faint throw from the florals.  They are pinkish white and the tea is more tasted than smelled.  I truly adore this scent for how utterly girlish it is.

After a few hours this has become a sweetly soft honey with a small hint of tea.  It’s now a very close skin scent, clean and very nice.

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Sarah Good was found guilty of witchcraft, likely erroneously, because two young girls pointed fingers at her.  Her perfume notes are charred maple leaves, black pitch, fresh-baked bread, dried black tea leaves, sweet orange, and chimney smoke.

The first thing I smell out of the vial is bread and strong black tea.  On my skin the charred maple leaves overtake and I get a strong sense of burning bread and ashes.  The black pitch is pine-like and very thick tar while the orange attempts to add something bright into the mix.

Another blend with another good throw, I’m gobsmacked, truly, by how many of these lately have a good throw.  This blend leans unisex, and thankfully, like Cotton Mather, the “smoke” aspect isn’t overwhelming and floats off to the distance as it dries.

I am yet again drawn to the spot on my wrist to huff happily.  This is a very woodsy almost cabin-like scent.  Very gorgeous and soft.

Three hours after, I still get a sense of bread and something verging on being a spice, perhaps the dried black tea leaves.  It’s not a yeasty bread at all, very nice and soft.

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Tituba, who was accused along with Sarah Good, was a slave and was also the first to confess to witchcraft.  Her perfume contains hawthorn, gingerbread biscuits, tobacco leaf, burning resins, rye, sweet woods, and beeswax candles.

In the vial I get a strong tobacco scent along with a creamy beeswax.  On my skin the beeswax is sweetened somehow, perhaps by the woods, and the resins are sticky and not yet burning.  I don’t get much rye or gingerbread from this, though the hawthorn is there, it is adding a touch of greenness.

This blend is sweet and homey – as though you are standing in someone’s kitchen that they love, care for, and enjoy thoroughly.  I really get a sense of love, and home, and all things that make you feel as though you are in a warm embrace.  If Tituba truly was a witch, I do not believe she was evil.

While this blend doesn’t have a huge throw, it is beautiful and long lasting on my skin.

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I think the fall release, more so than the Halloween release, will doom me.  I believe the only one I haven’t fallen fore is Bridget Bishop, and that’s only because I couldn’t stop sneezing.

And if you, like others, are wondering when these lovely’s will be released, there is a time table!  Per Claire:

“The season of RELEASE ALL THE THINGS” has begun!

Just posting a quick overview of all of the upcoming releases, since there’s a lot to keep track of:

AUGUST:

Bath & Body (whipped soaps, scrubs) will launch very soon — expect an email from us in the next day or two with details and official release date. Soon, very soon.

Fall will happen at the very end of August this year, instead of early September. If you’re a Circle member expect your pre-sale access link to land in your inboxes within the next 2 weeks.

Fall/Winter bath & body will launch with the fall collection (which means Toasted Marshmallow is returning along with some other favorites and new offerings)

SEPTEMBER:

Fall part 2 will launch with the Halloween collection in late September this year. Last year Halloween ran Oct 1-31 but we are pushing everything up by just a bit this year, due to the busy season. We will also have a Halloween mini bath & body collection like last year.

OCTOBER:

Fall LE time! Details TBA, it’s a secret 😉

And that should take us through the winter release and into Black Friday

Nocturne Alchemy – July Limited Collection

Nocturne Alchemy recently released it’s NAValloween in July along with more Dinosaur blends!  I received my bottles over a week ago and they’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels.

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photo by smellallthethings

WerewolfTahitian 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.


MummyEnglish 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.


VelociraptorResinous 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.


ProtoceratopsResinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Crystalline, Kobalt, Crystal Absolute, Vanilla Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream Accord, Vanilla Caramel, Bastet Amber and Egyptian Sugar accord.

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.

Deep Midnight Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

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

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

Alkemia Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

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.

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photo by smellallthethings

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!

Deep Midnight Perfumes – Game of Thrones Inspired Samples

Another review for the lovely shop Deep Midnight Perfumes!  This time I am reviewing the Game of Thrones Inspired set of samples.  I have to preface this by saying I’ve only read 2 of the books and watched the first episode of the show.  In my defense, I have small children and some things are not appropriate for their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  I do, however, hear regular updates from my husband who has both read the books and watched the show, so I have some idea of these concepts.

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photo by smellallthethings

Raven Boy was inspired by Bran Stark and has notes of Oakmoss, earthy musk, tobacco leaf, sage, dark vanilla sugar, amber, aged oak and background florals notes of iris and damask rose.  Ooh, this is deep and dark, beautifully done.  On my skin the dark vanilla sugar and the aged oak have melded into one.  The sage is not very noticeable – I only get a hint here and there.  Tobacco leaf and oakmoss and that beautiful earthy musk is giving this a greenish-brown feel.  The iris and damask rose are not prominent and only serve to lift a little and give a hint of sweetness that’s been rounded out.  This is dark, like a dream where the edges are fuzzy and the only thing in sharp relief is what you have your inner eye turned upon.  This blend is unisex, but with a slight masculine lean.  Overall the scent stays close to the skin, like a dream fog.

Little Dove is a olfactory representation of Sansa Stark with notes of linden blossoms, lilac, and lily, are mixed with delicious arctic berries, and nuances of violet, apple, and soft, creamy musk then wrapped up in sweet green notes of willow and bamboo.  You don’t see bamboo too often in notes but it’s one I love and I am drawn to it when I find it.  Doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun in the mean time!  In the vial you get that wet and green bamboo, some of the apple, and a lot of floral.  On my skin this is softly sweet, slightly green, and a touch dewy.  There is something that keeps wanting to go a bit “sex” on my skin.  Ahh, it’s mellowed in the last 5 minutes.  The arctic berries have a touch of frost on them, but are otherwise red and juicy.  This is a beautiful fragile yet fragrant scent – soft, beguiling, sweet, and innocent.

Faceless Girl is inspired by Arya Stark with notes of cedarwood, black amber, lavender, cassis, olive leaf, cassia bark, and patchouli are softened up with notes of tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose otto and violet.  In the vial this is a deep dark lavender with some gorgeous patchouli.  On my skin the cedarwood and cassis/cassia bark come out with a touch of sandalwood and ylang ylang.  The rose otto is fighting for attention but that calms down after a bit thankfully.  There is a definite oriental vibe about this blend with a hint of something reminding me of a darker fougère.  The notes are so well blended now that I’m having a hard time picking them out.  Overall I get a very shadowed vibe, strong yet feminine, only slightly floral and this is reminding more of early Arya when she was still being forced into being proper and feminine and her life hadn’t been touched by so much death.

Snow Wolf is meant as a representation of Jon Snow with notes of Cedarwood, leather, rosemary, dark woods, black amber, and a touch of cool, frosty mint.  In the vial this is leather and mint.  On my skin I still get some of that cool and crisp peppermint, but it isn’t strong or overpowering.  It takes a little bit but the woods come out with a hint of leather.  I’m not really getting any rosemary.  This is masculine and almost gritty in feel.  I know there’s no steel or metal in the blend, but the combination of the mint and the leather is giving off that feeling.  You can almost feel the heavy leather on your back keeping you warm in the bitter cold.

Stormborn has the pleasure of being inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (yes I copy/pasted because I would’ve butchered the spelling) whose notes include Dragons blood, oud wood, patchouli, jasmine, desert earth, cardamom, and moss.  The dragon’s blood is very strong and is unlike any dragon’s blood from any company I’ve ever tried before.  Instead of being either floral, or super spicy floral, this is a soft and gentle floral with just a touch of spice, which could actually be coming from the cardamom.  You get the jasmine and the oudh.  The patchouli is mixing with the desert earth to give a golden yet dry feel to the blend.  Overall this is powerful and comanding – more unisex than feminine, and keeps trying to tip to something kind of boozy.

Arcana Soaps – Flowers & Stars Samples

So excited for more Arcana scents!  Julia’s been doing some wonderful things over there lately, so if you’re curious, check out the Arcana Addicts facebook page to get sneak peeks at some exciting things!  Once again, these decants were courtesy of the wonderful Ajevie!  Now, on to the real reason you’re here …

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photo by smellallthethings

Adhara has notes that include, Vanilla cream, tangerine, clementine, Nagami peel, black coconut, and a touch of sweet violet.  In the vial this is super citus-y and almost creamsicle-like!  On my skin this is a lot of citrus peel with a dark coconut meat.  The violet and vanilla cream add some much needed sweetness to the blend.  I’m trying to wrap my head around this scent as it’s so completely different from anything I normally go for (that was actually on purpose for this group) that I can’t seem to pull together the right words to describe this.  Eventually the sharp acidic peel-like scent smooths out and I get more of the creaminess from the coconut and vanilla with a touch of that purple violet.  The citrus takes a chill pill and calms down and starts playing nicely with everyone.  This is a bright and sweet scent, yellow-ish orange in feel and scent (and apparently oil now that I look at it).  Unfortunately this is fading rather fast on my skin, though that could be an issue of the heat today rather than the blend itself.

Oh man, 10 minutes later and that faded feeling goes away and I get the full force of the beautiful creamy citrusy scent!  It’s like an orange dreamsicle, but only if it took on a more tropical vibe.  The coconut has come out more, but not overwhelmingly so.  This has turned out absolutely beautiful and this girl who used to be iffy on citrus notes before has been converted to a citrus lover!

Belatrix is up next touting notes of Sweet, jammy fir absolute with 3 honeys, honeysuckle, tiny strawberries, and blood orange.  Jammy fir sounds like my kind of jam!  Oh man this smells like heaven in the vial!  On my skin that jammy fir certainly is sweet with those honeys and bright honeysuckle.  The strawberries are tart and the blood orange is deep and red.  Man, I kind of thought I would like this – I did not expect to love it!  This does lean a tad masculine but can teeter on that unisex border.  And if you amp anything other than the fir, then it would likely be leaning feminine.  But, lucky me, I amp conifer scents!  Oh wow, I just keep huffing!  This is just full of sweet woods, beautifully fragrant and unmistakably addicting.  I need this in my life.

Betelgeuse boasts notes of Atlas cedarwood and blood cedar with smoldering oudh, osmanthus, brown musk, bacon, and vetiver.  Bacon?  Yes, bacon.  Crispy fried bacon.  No, it’s not super prominent, but it’s in there mixing with the brown musk and the vetiver.  You bet it’s odd too.  I think my chemistry is amping the brown musk as it’s almost overwhelming right now.  Ya’ll, I want to keep this on and review it but I can’t.  I just … I can’t.  I do hope someone finds this and loves it.  It’s unique and different, salty and brown to the extreme, but just too much for this girl to handle.

Electra is up next to relieve my palate of the aforementioned bacon with its notes of Pink carnation petal ice cream, Mexican bakery vanilla, eggnog, sweet cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In the vial this is all vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg – almost holiday-like.  On my skin it’s much of the same, except now I get that pink carnation petal ice cream (who knew?!) coming out and it’s delicious!  There’s even a hint of “coolness” to it to really give it that ice cream feel.  This is soft, pink, and frilly.  The holiday-likeness goes away after a while and instead everything seems to be in support of that unique pink carnation petal ice cream (I may need to find some).  For some reason this is just bringing memories of Jem and the Holograms to mind.  Rockin’!

Miaplacidus may be hard to say, but it’s notes of Sea air, spring water, cucumber, juniper, hyacinth, lavender, China musk, and 1 drop of hyssop aren’t.  In the vial this is very watery and lavendery (that’s totally a word, okay?).  On my skin the sea air thankfully isn’t coming across as super salty (like the bacon was … wtf bacon … yes I’m still hung up on it), and the cucumber is giving a nice refreshing and clean aspect.  The juniper is soft, but the lavender isn’t, at least not on me.  On me it is almost screaming along with the china musk.  Very odd.  It’s almost as though everything in the blend is vying for attention at once.  Okay, it took a few minutes but the screaming and fighting stopped (listens better than my kids) and now it’s soft and watery and flowing.  This blend becomes gentle and beautiful despite the beginning oddness.  Very pretty, clear blue in color and feel.

Mira is taking me out of my comfort zone again with notes of Tiare blossoms dipped in milk chocolate with coconut, sugared rum, French cocoa absolute, marshmallows, and white chocolate.  So rum and I don’t get a long every since my husband decided that while I was pregnant with my first to get me to eat Häagen Dazs Rum Raisin Ice Cream and that begun my decent into morning sickness – or every time I smelled rum sickness.  There are definite bits of cocoa in the vial so if you do get this, remember to shake gently or roll gently before applying to get it to mix in with the rest of the blend.  This is pure chocolate in the vial.  That creamy and rich milk chocolate that the rest of the world swears isn’t actually chocolate but us American’s just don’t care – we’re addicted to it.  (Unless you’re not, in which case … SHAME ON YOU!  Kidding.)  On my skin it’s chocolate and rum and chocolate and some cocoa.  And it’s way too overwhelming.  I can’t – it’s too much for me.  Some chocolate wearing lover is going to go gaga for this blend, I know it, but that person is not me.

Sirius rounds these scents out with its notes of Bright white grapefruit, golden amber, linden flowers, tart red currant, cassis, and pomegranate.  Lots of favorite notes in here!  I almost bought Sirius blindly without testing, but I wanted to try them all so here we are. In the vial this is bright grapefruit, tart and tangy and super juicy.  On my skin that stays very true but now the linden flowers come out with a touch of cassis.  The pomegranate is red as are the currants, but the grapefruit is making them really work to be smelled.  I think I amp citrus notes in the beginning so I’ll stop sniffing it for a few minutes and see what it does when it settles.  Hmm, even after a few minutes the grapefruit is still super strong and almost over powering the blend.  It takes about 30 minutes but eventually the grapefruit stops overwhelming the blend and the rest gets to showcase themselves.  I enjoy the bit of spiciness cassis brings to the group.  This is only slightly sweet, completely juicy and tart, and a hint of spice.

And thus concludes the Arcana Flowers & Stars collection reviews.  Hope it was helpful!

Possets Perfumaplooza – Part 4

Here we are back again with more Possets loveliness!  If you missed the previous parts here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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photo by smellallthethings

Dangerous Oil will open this group of scents with notes of 6 musks from blackest black up through a rare and gorgeous in itself purple/blue musk hybrid. A good jolt of labdenum and an edge of cognac. The heart note is an entire chypre made only for this project and used for no other.  In the vial I get that purple/blue musk and it’s so different and wonderful – you can actually smell the colors.  On my skin the chypre comes out and a touch of the cognac with that lovely floaty labdanum.  I’ve just recently (within the last year) fallen in love with chypre’s.  This blend is not dark, but definitely not light – it’s shadowy.  This floats around and the musks blend so well and the chypre is gorgeous.  I’d expected this to be almost in-your-face strong, but it’s not, it’s almost a skin scent that occasionally wafts up to you.

Next up we have lil-ole’ Betsy with notes of very deep bass notes of patchouli, labdenum, vetiver, and oud   All the spices of Arabia, Africa, and the Orient blended together with a huge shot of the sweetest and most high keyed musk.  Lots of labdanum!  Not that I mind.  In the vial it is all patchouli and vetiver – so much so as to be overwhelming when sniffing.  On my skin those calm down a touch and the spices come out.  This blend when wet morphs as it settles and I get hints and blasts of each note.  The musk is giving a slight bit of sweetness which is tempering the vetiver and patchouli from screaming.  This blend is dark and sultry – very seductive and not shy at all.

Queen of the Night is described by Fabienne as a deeply perfumy blend with a deeply foody core. It is dry and then again there is a dry sweetness to it. In the vial I get a bit of citrus and a flower that goes soapy – though there’s about three that do that to me, I don’t think it’s dragon’s blood but one of the others.  On my skin that soapy scent stays.  I don’t get food at all – not even a little bit.  This is all floral sweetness, soft and gentle.  As it dries the soapy scent floats away and I’m left with clean and gentle floral perfume with just a hint of sweetness.  The citrus was only in the vial apparently.  This is just a beautiful clean scent.

Finally a scent close to my own home in Ohio – Over-the-Rhine!  It is described as spicy, warm, unisex, resinous, oriental.  I’ve been meaning to get this blend since I saw it over a year ago on their website.  However, I have this thing where I get distracted by shiny things.  It happens, okay?  Anyway, in the vial I get a beautiful spicy resinous scent – like spices and frankincense tears.  On my skin there is a touch of wood, maybe oudh, it’s warm and comforting – there is something almost smoky in the quality of it, but not a burning smell.  This feels very classic and high class – as though it would be worn by anyone.  It almost smells … familiar.  Not like it smells like something I know, just that the scent combination has that familiarity to it – just like “oh yeah, I totally know you” even if you don’t.  I am not describing it very well.  So wonderful!  I, of course, must get this – because Ohio won’t be my home much longer.

Sucreabeille Samples

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

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 3

Here we are, back again for more Possets Perfume Perfection!  If you missed them, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2!

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photo by smellallthethings

To start us off with this round of scents we have Dance With Me whose notes consist of: coumarin-laced lavender combines with fizzy pink grapefruit, and it all rests on a bed of white musk.  So exciting a new note!  No idea what coumarin smells like!  (I worked in a doctor’s office, so all I know is the medicine – which has no smell.)  And lavender … let’s see if Possets works for me – I so want to be able to wear it!  In the vial it’s a pretty perfect pink grapefruit!  On my skin it’s much of the same, super happy and uplifting.  The white musk is under it giving it something to rest on.  As the grapefruit calms down into just a hint of that juicy sweet perfection the lavender comes out soft and gentle.  So far none of that sharp nose-hurting smell that I have gotten from other lavender’s.  There is something kind of green wafting around.  Maybe coumarin?  (Need to google!)  Well, that was interesting – and hard to describe but what I read from several sources was that it typically has a tonka-like smell (which for me tends to be brown and fuzzy).  However, it can also have a hay-like association.  Either way Dance With Me is a beautiful scent with lavender that I can wear!  It’s super bright and soft – perfect for summer and dancing with my girls.  The citrus never really goes away, which sometimes can happen.  This scent is so far from anything I would normally pick for myself that I am over the moon happy!  Usually you hear of citrus scents not having much lasting power, but this isn’t the case here.  It’s over an hour later and still going strong!

Next up we have Dies Irae with notes of three BLACK musks, one fog-like musk to disburse the whole, bitter galbanum, smooth hawthorne, the scent of rotting leaves, a small amount of orris, and smoky oude, finally frankincense and black amber. Well talk about opposite end of the spectrum!  In the vial it’s all leaves and orris – and it’s that lovely wet, decomposing leaf smell you can only get from a forest floor.  On my skin that decomposing leaf smell stays (I actually love that smell – but I’m weird so …) but the orris does this cute thing where it plays peek-a-boo.  The musks are there but they aren’t assertive, just keeping things nice and dark so the leaves can rot in peace and the ground can be rejuvenated by the natural process.  To me this is just a big dense forest doing the things that forests do best – death, rebirth, and renewal.  This has a great throw to it and just a wonderful fall-like scent.

Evita Peron, part of the Femme Fatales collection, boasts notes of Egyptian musk, followed by a very unusual leather component which conjures up the scent of violets (!). This is accompanied by a dry white amber, and a kiss of ginger. In the vial this is white amber and … violets!  Fabienne is right about that leather, how cool!  On my skin this is soft, sweet violets with a touch of musk and just a hint of ginger.  It is soft, somewhat sweet, and just classic.  This isn’t a super complex scent, but I can’t stop sniffing the spot on my hand.  It’s just so sweet and comforting, yet it’s also elegant and almost commanding at the same time.

Salome is the last scent for this round and is also part of the Femme Fatales collection.  It’s notes are comprised of Black and African, myrrh, frankincense, cedar, ivory musk, green coffee pulp extract, and a very light light misting of black Mexican vanilla.  In the vial I get green coffee.  This may be seen as blasphemous to some – but I dislike coffee with a passion.  I don’t drink it, I don’t like to smell it, I’m just not a coffee person.  Please take my preferences with a grain of salt.  I will try to be objective, but sometimes you just can’t help what you can’t help.  On my skin, thankfully, the super prominent green coffee note is almost completely gone.  In its wake I am left with beautiful myrrh and resinous frankincense.  The cedar forms a beautiful base while the musk just gently presents itself.  The vanilla isn’t apparent, but I’m sure it’s in there.  This is dark, beguiling, and a little off base.