For those that know me, it’s no surprise I’m a huge fan of Solstice Scents and especially their EDP’s. It’s also no surprise I love red musk. So of course Gehenna was an absolute need to have!
Unfortunately, I never smelled Gehenna prior to last years reformulation, so I cannot offer comparisons to any previous incarnations of this scent.
Gehenna – Red Musk, Dragon’s Blood Resin, Burning Wood, Somalian Myrrh, Egyptian Musk
On initial spray this is a healthy dose of a dry, almost fruity red musk. It explodes and then almost immediately settles. Like the way a flame is huge just as its lit, then settles into itself. The dragon’s blood resin is only slightly spicy, but it has an amber-like quality to it – but instead of golden, it’s fiery red.
As this melds into my shirt I get a hint of burning wood. But it’s not like an active fire, more of a soft smoldering off in the distance. It’s not intrusive and not really smoky at all. Just this lovely fragrant incense-type scent. And around that is a beautiful myrrh – sweet but not in a vanilla or sugary type way – more of just a natural sweetness that some woods have. And rounding it all out is a beautiful skin-close musk that is just barely detectable.
The wear time on this scent is amazing and every time I move I get a hint of it. It’s not obtrusive and it sits in the background giving just this subtle hint of itself as you go about your day.
For me, it’s a very meditative scent. It inspires introspection which is typically what gets my creative juices flowing.
I have the oil as well and there is very little difference between the two. I think with the oil I get a little bit more of the red musk and dragon’s blood resin, but not enough to overwhelm. As always, the EDP just seems to be so much more. Though I love putting the oil and EDP on together. They last throughout the day with no real need for reapplication.
Werewolf –Tahitian Spiced Vanilla, aged Apple cider, Wood notes of Cedar, Pine, Oak, Redwood and Teak, Leather accord and Oudh extract.
Pure spice in the bottle, but as it hits my skin I get a hint of apple cider. I get a familiar tingle on my skin from cinnamon, so though it’s not listed it (or something else that can irritate skin) is in this blend. There’s something that is reading as “cardboard cookie” on my skin and I’m not entirely sure what it could be. Teak maybe? Oak? I’m sure it’s one of the wood notes. This blend is heavy, lots of deep notes in it. I’m not particularly enjoying the wet/drydown phase of this blend. It’s … too much. All the notes seem to be screaming for attention at once.
It’s now twenty minutes later and I still feel slightly overwhelmed by this blend. I absolutely adore the spiced vanilla + apple cider combo and kind of wish it had been left at that with maybe just one wood. I get absolutely no leather from this blend, and I adore NAVA’s leathers.
Overall I think this blend needs more time to age, but I’m not sure if that will intensify the wood notes or smooth them out. I do hope they smooth out as that would be lovely. I can smell the potential for a glorious blend in there, but I think it’s too fresh to really do itself justice.
There it is … about 30 min – 45 min into the drydown and I am greeted with a glorious cozy scent that makes me want to snuggle with myself. It has become sweet, slightly spiced, and just downright fuzzy. You get a sense of something animalistic in there and I’m finally getting that comforting soft and supple leather, which is wonderful. I know my knee-jerk reaction was to scrub it, but I’m glad I gave this a chance to keep going. Hopefully with some age to it that screaming phase will go away and I can enjoy the blend as I believe it was meant to be enjoyed.
Hours later and each time I put my chin in my hand I get a whiff of this and it’s almost eye-rolling gorgeous. Such a transformation from wet-stage to complete dry down. Is the wet stage worth wading through? Maybe. I’ll see what a little age does and hopefully it’ll make it all worthwhile.
Mummy –English Bergamot and Earl Grey Tea, Redwood Absolute, Amber Resin, Papyrus extract, ICON: Leviathan Amber-Oudh, Australian Black Tea leaf, Pear essence, SL Crimson absolute and Baltic Teak.
In the bottle I get a lovely bergamot tea scent with a touch of amber. On my skin is much of the same but with a hint of spiciness from that bergamot. The amber from both the resin and the Leviathan Oudh is gorgeous and deeply orange with a hint of that familiar powdery amber. The pear isn’t apparent, though it’s likely adding just a touch of sweetness to the blend. The crimson is musky and deeply red and as it dries the papyrus begins to come out and give an almost brittle feel.
I was honestly expecting something a bit more … dusty, moldering, and old. Instead what I’m getting is more along the lines of their Egyptology release. I get the impression of prim and proper Englishmen sitting around a recently opened crypt sipping tea and being fanned in an attempt to beat the harsh Egyptian heat. Eventually that image fades and it begins to give an impression that I was hoping for – the inside of a crypt, objects, smells, and things that had not been touched or viewed for hundreds of years.
You do get a sense of something old and possibly ancient. Something a bit mysterious.
There is a good amount of throw to this blend and I can smell it wafting up to my nose which is nice. Also, the longevity on this is pretty awesome. Hitting 2+ hours and no sign of slowing. Bonus points for lasting through a hand washing.
Velociraptor – Resinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, Black Musk Absolute, Black Amber and a drop of aged viscous Velociraptor Kashmir red musk.
NAVA makes my absolute favorite scent – Kashmir red musk. If I could only smell like one thing for the rest of my life, Kashmir would be it.
With that being said, I get a lovely whiff of my beloved Kashmir out of the bottle. On my skin that Kashmir mixes with the deeper and darker black musk. This is not a light blend, it is shaded, veiled, and shadowy. With this much musk it seems to be going a bit on the powdery side. It’s a fuzzy powder, if that makes any kind of sense.
The ambers are there giving a resinous undertone, but this blend seems to be all about those musks.
It is recommended to “hatch” your dino’s with another NAVA blend. I won’t be doing that right now as I want to get a feel for the blend on its own, but I’m already plotting a bit of Tibetian Crystalline to go along with this. I think the Nag Champa + Vanilla would go a long way to giving this some depth and cutting some of the powdery feel from the blend.
I like that despite this being heavy, the throw isn’t overwhelming. It is a soft, gentle throw and as I move my hand I can smell it. The longer it dries the more gentle it becomes.
This is the outlier of the bunch and completely different from any of the blends I’ve tried today.
In the bottle I get a creamy vanilla scent that isn’t quite gourmand, but you can tell it wants to push over that edge. On my skin I get this beautiful sugar accord. It’s almost like putting a sugar cube in your mouth. I also get the Crystalline, Kobalt and Crystal vanilla wafting around in there. (I have smelled/owned each of those and believe it or not there are differences between the three, though sometimes subtle. I prefer Crystalline typically and it’s in most of my favorite blends.)
Now, I’m sure ya’ll can guess how amazing this smells, but truly it is gorgeous. It’s creamy, sweet, with a hint of resin and this sugary note that rounds it all out.
If you are into NAVA and you haven’t had an opportunity yet to try Bastet Amber (while listed as a note, it is actually found here as a blend all its own) you really should. This blend is different from anything else I’ve ever experienced before. Some people get absolutely no scent from it, some get some vague soapish scent (that’s me) and others are slightly put-off by it. But you’re not supposed to actually smell the spot you placed it on. You are supposed to apply it and forget it and let this blend do it’s thing, which is to waft up and greet you. It’s a softly sweet and resinous amber, simple yet beautiful, and in this blend you get that. I could see layering this with more Bastet Amber to enhance that effect or perhaps a bit of another Vanilla. Or, if you’re lucky and got a sample of Bastet’s Ice Cream accord, maybe a touch of that.
The throw on this is soft, but it has its moments.
Overall, I found that once Werewolf sat it was definitely worth waiting for, and having it waft around with Mummy is something quite wonderful.
While on my other hand, the dino’s are opposites and I prefer each for what they are separately.
Welcome back for another Perfumapalooza with Possets! I’m putting another small dent in my rather large collection of samples. Wee! If you missed Part 1 it’s right over here.
First up is Howl. It has notes listed as black, red and amber musks wrestle furiously with sandalwood and opium tar resin. There is nothing light, sweet, or gentle about this scent. A burning incense backs it up, black patchouli stands in the forefront. In the vial it’s burnt opium tar and dark patchouli. On my skin the musks seem to be fighting each other though the red musk is at the forefront with a base of opium tar. This is dark and resinous, but it fights with itself – the notes all trying to figure out how they will meld together. It takes a while but the musks finally come together and take the lead with the rest of the notes hanging out in the back. It’s a rough scent with nothing soft or frilly about it. But man, once this dries down this is gorgeous! It’s incense and woody! It leans a touch masculine. Oh man, I honestly wasn’t sure I would like this at all, and for a bit I could take it or leave it, but after it’s sat for about 10 minutes this is just beyond beautiful!
I actually have a bottle of Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, it was my first bottle purchase from Possets. It has notes of Mysore sandalwood, suede, frankincense, patchouli, 4 vanillas. This is all vanilla in the vial, but it’s not that super buttery gourmand vanilla, it’s softer and gentler. On my skin the sandalwood and frankincense comes out with just a touch of the patchouli to tamper a bit of the vanilla. The suede is soft and touchable (that’s totally a thing ya know). Overall it has a soft almost fuzzy brown and sweet scent around it. It’s comforting and cozy.
And, because I have a bottle that has been aged nearly a year, lets see what aged Arrival of the Queen of Sheba smells like shall we? (The date I put on the lid is July 2015!) In the bottle the vanilla has an almost boozy quality to it, like one of the vanillas is a bourbon vanilla. The sandalwood and frankincense is super smooth and the suede is super soft and only a touch fuzzy. The patchouli has smoothed out as well. As if fresh isn’t comforting and cozy enough, the aged just keeps going, like sinking into the most luxurious seat imaginable. However, once both have completely dried down, there’s not too much difference. Aged is just slightly smoother overall and it starts smooth instead of the somewhat bumpy start the new vial had.
Nocturne is up next with the simple notes of balsam fir and a thick crust of sugar. So … different. I get the evergreen scent from the balsam fir and it is truly coated in sugar. This is so unique! I went to a museum of natural history yesterday and there was a display of different forests and this reminds me of what the display of coniferous forests smelled like. Solitary and steadfast are two words that come to mind when I sniff this. I think this would be a beautiful scent for an oil warmer. I’d love my house to smell like this. Unfortunately my skin eats this scent after a few minutes so I think putting this in the oil warmer will be best.
Lady and a Baby Unicorn will round out this batch of reviews and her notes are: using the right type and right amount and right dilution, vetiver (that sultry, earthy, wild, and dominant part) becomes positively docile, sweet, and innocent…almost fruity in the presence of three vanillas (dry, fat, and sweet). Vetiver and I … we have a love/hate relationship. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. In the vial it smells like … jello? Ha! On my skin I still get the jello association. Eventually it evens out and I get a touch of earthy sweetness. This scent is another unique one! Fabienne sure does know how to do unique scents!
Smoked vanilla, sweet resins, red musk, marshmallow, and fiery woodsmoke.
I adore blends with red musk in them and with my current track record with Arcana, I figured this was a sure win.
Wet this is a strong red musk (yay!) with a smoky undertone and a hint of sweetness. As this dries the notes begin to meld and the red musk tones it down a bit to allow the resins, vanilla and woodsmoke to come out and do their thing. The woodsmoke isn’t quite as in your face as you would think – more like it is way in the background. Also the wood is fragrant and beautiful smelling. The marshmallow gives a bit of a fluffy feel and a hint of that powder you find on the outside of marshmallows. It doesn’t overwhelm the blend and adds just the right amount of sweetness to combat the woodsmoke and smoked vanilla.
It reminds me of Holy Terror (another wonderful blend by Arcana) – but just a bit different. Perhaps it is the resins and vanilla that put it in the same vein. They are not the same, but in that same type of scent family.
The throw on this is low to moderate but it wafts around as I move my hand and I get gentle little blasts of red musk sweetness.