30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 15 – Possets Cygnus the Swan

I can’t even begin to tell you just how many times I looked at this scent on Possets website.  It came up time and time again searching for scents and I really should’ve listened to Fabienne’s words (they’re right there on the site) and just sprung for a bottle.  But I didn’t, however she was kind enough to send me a sample, and so I will at last get to try the scent that so haunted me on the website.

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photo by smellallthethings

Cygnus the SwanCygnus (the Swan) is a very very very very sexy blend of the scent of real vanilla, rose, golden musk, sugar concentrate (do not eat this), an accord which smells a lot like fondant, and a pink musk which I have not used before. Very strong and very long lasting. Very. It is gorgeous, and I would say an instant classic.

In the vial I get a very dry vanilla with a hint of something ambery or golden, and a touch of something verging on bitter (the fondant I’d suppose – I’m not always good with wearing almond).  Oh my skin it’s very much the same except the vanilla goes from dry to slightly buttery and sticky.  I have this jar of vanilla bean seeds I use for baking and they are sticky – it reminds me of this – super concentrated true to life vanilla.

The rose is pink, or maybe combined with the rose musk it’s super pink.  Almost too pink, overwhelming pink.  Pink everywhere!  (And I know about pink – I have two young girls.)  Pink is a smell, let me just tell you.  It’s bright and cheerful and bouncy.  Like Pinkie Pie from My Little Ponies (remember, two girls).

Thankfully the super-duper-pink-power-hour really only lasts while wet.  As it dries down the musk part of the scent comes out and tones it down, though the rose is still fairly prominent in it’s pinkness.  It’s reminding me of this toothpaste I bought my daughter one time.  I can’t remember what the name of it was but this is eerily similar – and of course she loved it and I have no idea what it was.  Don’t cringe at the toothpaste reference, it’s not as bad as it sounds!

Fabienne stating this is very strong is not an overstatement in the least.  It has a great throw and I have to only wave my wrist in my nose’s (possessive nose, not plural) general direction to get a good waft of the scent.  It’s very pretty, delicate actually, and quite musky – but not anything like an animalic musk, but a sweet and soft, almost powdery musk.  You still get some of that sticky sweet vanilla with a dollop of that sugar that’s almost like marshmallows.

To be quite honest, if it had stayed in the super pink mode, I wouldn’t have liked it.  But this dry down, this is glorious and has me sniffing for more.  Which is weird because this is just such a girly scent and that’s not usually my modus operandi.  I would say my daughters would love it, but one is a patchouli head and the other likes black musks so … who knows.

Such a unique scent!  I’m enthralled.

 

Sixteen92 – Halloween 2016 Samples

Sixteen92‘s subscription, The Circle, has got to be the best thing since … sample packs!  I love this little bit of “sneak peek” I, and others, get!

I also got the Fall samples in this pack, but I’ve been itching for Halloween scents so I’m doing the Halloween reviews first.

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photo by smellallthethings

The Bell Witch with sweet cider barrels, orchard wood, blond tobacco leaf, cave and forest moss, glowing pumpkin, dry leaves, and turned earth is up first and I don’t think I can properly convey just how excited I am to try these scents.  I think this is the first time where every description pulls at me.

In the vial I get a definite spiced apple scent, likely from the cider barrels.  On my skin this just blossoms and opens up and without even sniffing my skin I can smell the soft flesh of the pumpkin, dry leaves crunching under foot, a hint of tobacco, and the soft velveteen texture of the moss.

What I’m saying is this baby has some throw on it and I’m in love.  You get it all in here, every nuanced aspect of this blend is perfectly represented and comes together to form the most accurate representation of a crisp fall day that I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.

This blend seems to lean a little masculine as it dries, giving it a cologne type feel to it, likely from the earth and moss, but it’s not something that will deter me from wearing it.  I want to bathe in this scent.

With the amount of throw on this blend, I do find it somewhat overwhelming to sniff directly on my skin and I much prefer the scent I get as it wafts as opposed to the spicier version on my skin.  After about an hour the scent against the skin isn’t so overwhelming and is just as gorgeous as the scent that wafts up to me still.

You would think after a few hours I’d have nothing to add to this, but alas, that is not true.  Not only is this scent still giving a decent throw, and still beautiful, it seems that now I’m getting more apple, as though a glass of cider was poured and they cut up a fresh apple to mix into it.  Magic.  Pure and simple.

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Borley Rectory has notes of Italian Bergamot, cocao pod, smoked black tea, decayed woods, faded parchment, shadowy musk.

In the vial I get musk and bergamot with a strong helping of black tea.  This is another blend that, quite literally, blossoms on the skin immediately.  The bergamot is beautiful, and it’s a note that is becoming a fast favorite of mine and I’ve been seeking it out lately.  The tea has somewhat backed down to a half drunk cup instead of a full blown pot.  The parchment is well worn, touched and used, and has oil from skin along the edges.

That shadowy musk though, that is what makes this blend.  I don’t get much cocao pod, or if I do it’s blended and so light that I can’t pick it out.  However, that musk is almost sinister and it combines with the smokiness of the black tea and the heat of woods that this is just a dark and almost foreboding scent.

I did notice there are flecks of cocao in the vial, so I’m sure that’s in there, but I can’t pick it out, which is fine.  Also this is leaning masculine as well, but I still love it.

There is a throw to this, though not as prominent as The Bell Witch was, but it still wafts up gently.  It’s longevity is really awesome as well.

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The Island of the Dolls contains notes of Mexican vanilla, dry bergamot, somber rose, dark chocolate, black plum, dense woods, and porcelain musk.  If you’ve ever seen a documentary on this place, it’s super creepy.

There is a deep chocolate scent in the vial as well as on my skin.  At first that’s about all I can smell (which is why I don’t wear chocolate – it overwhelms everything else on me).  After a few minutes I get some of that slightly spicy dry bergamot.  I’ve concluded dry is not how I like my bergamot.  The rose is also coming across as being a dried rose instead of fresh.

I’m having a hard time smelling around the chocolate.  Thankfully after letting it sit for about 20 minutes or so, most of the chocolate scent is gone.  Now I am getting a sense of that dark plum and some deep dark woods.  The porcelain musk is soft and powdery.

Unfortunately, this one does not have a good throw on me and I have to really sniff the spot to get a good sense of the blend.  It is nice once dried, again leaning masculine, but I don’t think its for me, especially because of the chocolate.  That’s just not my thing.

Man, after about an hour I adore the scent I’m getting from this.  I just wish I didn’t have that issue with the chocolate!  Because what’s left is woodsy and slightly sweet, soft and almost alluring.

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Myrtles Plantation‘s notes consist of oleander leaf and bloom, labdanum, white sage, fig leaf, blood orange, and suede musk.

This seems to be the brightest of the bunch with blood orange taking the lead in the vial with a touch of oleander.  On my skin the suede musk immediately asserts itself and lays out as a soft smooth base, brown and almost fuzzy.  You really get a hint of greenness from the fig leaf, and the sage is very apparent.  The blood orange is now, almost completely gone or pushed out of the way by the other scents.

There is something almost bitter in this blend.  I’m afraid sage has taken another blend from under me.  My skin reacts poorly to sage.  Which makes me sad because I love labdanum and wanted so much to like this blend!

Well into the dry down the sage is no longer bitter, thankfully, and the labdanum gets to come out and do it’s narcotic dance.  This is soft and more brown than green, and very close to the skin.

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Lastly we have Waverly Hills whose notes are listed as dense fern, frost, wild moss, raw honey & propolis vegan, black labdanum, overgrown vines, late blooming Southern florals, and spectral musk.

In the vial the ferns feel crushed and give off that unique green scent and its almost overpowering.  On my skin that sharp greenness is still there, but the other notes are attempting to temper it.

After about 10 minutes the sharpness of the fern has subsided and I’m left with this unmistakable garden – soft florals and sweet greens with a hint of that labdanum and a touch of honey.  That spectral musk acts like fog, and the frost helps to enhance that feeling.  This is early pre-dawn in a slightly overgrown garden when the fog has rolled in and created this gorgeous, slightly spooky, scene.

The throw on this isn’t huge, but I do get it wafting up to me on occasion.  Being even more Southern than Kentucky, I really appreciate and understand the late blooming florals.  They are showcased here beautifully.  (I still have a magnolia tree in my backyard that throws out a new bloom about once a week.)

I get a very ethreal feel about this blend, and I think this, minus the sharp fern scent, would be best as an EDP.

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For me, personally, The Bell Witch and Borley Rectory have stolen my Halloween loving heart!  Both of these I could slather in every format offered and still want more.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Love Potion Perfumes – Sample Reviews

I ran across mention of Love Potion Perfumes in a forum for another company and even there, they seemed to have some die-hard fans.  So, of course, I had to try it out!  I have to confess I’ve been sitting on these samples for a few months now, though I had tested one shortly after it had arrived and loved it.  With perfume, I seem to have a problem keeping attention on something and end up chasing shiny things instead of focusing on what I have.  Shame on me!

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photo by smellallthethings

As you can see, these come in the 2ml sizes and I was given two 1ml’s free with my order!  They appear to be like single notes, so that’s cool.

And if you want, for added oomph to your magical blend, you can add pheromones to, I believe, any blend.

Cocked & LoadedA manly-man earthy sexy violet heart crafted of violet fragrance oil and violet leaf absolute then rounded out with balsamic amber, powdery oakmoss and two types of smooth golden sandalwood.

Love Potions not only lists the notes, but lists any magical, healing, or historical meanings for the notes used.  Which is kind of cool.  In the vial this smells like violets, but a version that has a soapy quality to it.  On my skin most of the soapiness goes away and I’m left with just … violets.  I’m really not getting anything else out of it at the moment.  Even after letting it dry down the violets are strong but I do get a hint of something like sandalwood and a touch of amber.  No oakmoss, no earthiness, just mostly florals.  Nearly a half hour later I finally get some greenness from the oakmoss.  This is a close to the skin scent with very little throw.


Love Potion: REDVanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Dark Sugars, Woods, Resins.

In the vial I get a nice bit of resin and wood.  On my skin I get a hint of cinnamon, but nothing overwhelming and it seems to be sitting close to the patchouli.  I get a little bit of a tingly sensation on my skin where I applied, but no burning or anything harsh like that.  This reminds me of walking into those kitschy country stores, but more refined.  I kind of like that smell, a mixture of cinnamon, wood, and vanilla.  The sugar has an almost molasses feel to it, which is comforting.  This to me isn’t an overtly sexy blend, but more of a comforting kitchen blend.  It smells like home, and love, and baking.  Again, this is a scent that stays very close to the skin.  I would love to have this in an oil warmer in my home (and that may be exactly what I do).


Always a LadyA soft bouquet featuring five types of roses, scattered with dewy droplets of sweet strawberry, mango, raspberry and tangerine, all resting upon a base of oak and chypre.

In the vial this is super fruity!  Lots of mango and tangerine with a hint of strawberry.  On my skin that fruit is vying with the roses and it’s causing quite the ruckus on my skin.  Eventually they work it out and it becomes a huge bouquet of roses.  You can smell the dew and greenness with a hint of the oak.  The only prominent fruit now is tangerine and strawberry, the rest sort of hang and add either sweetness or depth to the blend.  The chypre comes and goes as you sniff.  The throw on this blend is much more than the others, but still nothing that would overwhelm.  It’s strong against the skin than it is when it wafts up to you.


Feed the FlowersThe beautiful melancholy of a funereal mood…a hint of smoke in the air, dried dusty flowers and the freshly-turned earth of an open grave…a bouquet of deep dark roses, geranium and stargazer lily mingled with earth, dry leaves and a drop of hay and dusted with mysterious resinous notes of myrrh, sandalwood, storax and benzoin. Finished with woodsmoke, powdery musk and a final kiss of white and powdered sugars.

This was the blend I had tried when they’d first arrived and I remember it being beautiful, earthy, and reminded me a lot of Samhain and all things Autumn.

In the vial I get a scent that is reminiscent of decaying leaves.  On my skin that scent is still there, but on top of it is smoke and crackling twigs under foot.  The dried flowers are hauntingly beautiful and hay graces the floor.  This scent reminds me of an old, forgotten house in the woods whose bouquet on the table is long forgotten and the lace drapes are moth eaten and molding.  Perhaps it was the home of a maiden waiting for her love to return from a war – but he never did and so she waited until they could be together again.  It’s a melancholic scent and I love it.  Another close to the skin scent.  Really wish this one had some throw to it.  Maybe I should put this one in an oil burner too.


Autumn RainDry leaves and wet woods form the heart of our forest, with dewy notes of fern and fresh cut stems, and autumnal accents of apple and hay blended with the ambiance of earth and smoky frankincense.

In the vial this is a deep aquatic with a hint of apple.  On my skin it is much of the same with an added touch of greenness.  Beautiful petrichor scent with the leaves and forest floor.  The apples are green and slightly bitter, the hay which was warmed by the sun is getting wet and is super fragrant.  Once dried the frankincense comes out and wafts around this blend and gives it another dimension.  Somehow this blend is dark, as though the rain has come on the heels of dusk.  Unlike Feed the Flowers, this blend has a bit of a throw to it and wafts beautifully around.


The two free samples are Sugared Geranium and Sugared Bonfire.

Sugared Geranium is a deep and heady floral in the vial but it relaxes on my skin and becomes soft and pink with just a hint of sweetness.

Sugared Bonfire has an almost cotton candy like scent in the vial, but on my skin the wood and smokiness comes out and mixes with the sugar and creates the oddest combination of sweet woodsmoke, or cotton candy flavored in woodsmoke.  It’s not bad, and not off putting really, just very different.

 

Cocoa Pink Samples

I’m back from my adventures in moving!!  It was an epic journey, but we made it!  Almost all settled in now, and I’m confident that the perfumes have had adequate time to rest from their hot and bumpy car ride.

Along with getting a new house, I have new scenery to take photo’s with.  So, please bear with me as I experiment with photo set ups and by all means, if you find/see one you really like, let me know!

Now, onto the perfumes!  Cocoa Pink still has my attention and I’m super curious to try more of their catalog.  Just as a side note, none of these samples came after the move.  I’ve had these for a month or more so they have not only rested but aged a little as well.

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photo by smellallthethings

April Sun Showers seems appropriate for as much as it’s rained since we got here last Wednesday.  We were initially greeted by a severe thunderstorm complete with hail.  Not only that, but it seems to have rained at least once a day/night since then.  New places, new experiences!  Now, April Sun Showers has notes of purple Adonis Tulips, prickly pear cactus, morning dew, ripe kiwifruit, white peach extract swimming in steeped matcha tea.  In the vial is a greenish wet scent with a hint of slightly sweet fruits.  On my skin the florals bloom and this is very heady and almost overwhelming at times.  After just a few minutes this settles into a beautifully soft and slightly sweet aquatic.  There is a greeness to this scent, but it not overdone.  Peach sits lightly on top, lending that juicy sweetness without being too assertive.  Overall this is gorgeous, soft, and aquatic without a hint of that saltiness you sometimes get with some aquatics.  I might have to wear this on rainy days to see if it’ll go well into my rotation.

Watermelon Kiwi Pops sounds like a delicious summer treat with notes of luscious watermelon and Kiwi juices frozen into yummy popsicles.  In the dram I get an overly sweet almost acidic scent.  Watermelon is hard to synthesize, if you look at foods/sweets that try to do it it’s always overdone, too much, and just not right compared to the real thing.  Unfortunately, that is the same vibe I am getting here.  I love watermelon, but it’s scent is so very hard to capture.  There is a hint of it in there, but mostly it’s making my nose and head hurt to smell it.  It could be part of the “frozen” aspect that is knocking it off kilter, but either way, I can’t seem to wear this one.  Hopefully it works for someone!

Sunkissed Clouds sounds heavenly with notes of blood orange and Satsuma juice raining atop fluffy marshmallow clouds.  In the dram I get that beautiful fragrant blood orange with the satsuma juice.  On my skin it is much of the same, very citrus-y with that gorgeous and sweet marshmallow adding a bit of sweetness to cut the acidity of the citrus.  This is a simple blend, but it is bright and happy, just makes you want to smile.

Next up is Autumn Splendor because my daughter insisted I try it.  Who could say no?  It’s notes consist of the gorgeous fragrance of bright red autumn leaves swirling around sweet white birch trees, whispers of golden sage, warm amber, rosewood and a drop of honey.  In the dram I get an almost apple-like scent, crisp, red, and soft.  On my skin it is still there, but it is flanked by a beautiful amber, golden and sunny and a touch of wine.  This is a gorgeous blend meant for warm days and cool nights.  The honey is clean and just a touch sweet.  Nothing in this blend overwhelms and it is perfectly blended.  Definitely a scent I want to get to wear and probably in a lotion as well.

Spring Fever will round out this set of reviews with its notes of hummingbird tulip, newly sprouted grass, white moondance rose petals, purple hyacinth, bergamot, juicy red apple and white oak.  In the dram this is fresh and dewy grass, green and lush.  On my skin the florals bloom with tulips, roses, and a touch of hyacinth.  The apple is fresh and just barely ripe.  This is a very green scent and reminiscent of new growth, new beginnings, and new adventures.  Thankfully the green notes don’t overwhelm, like they can sometimes do and instead just give everything a nice base to work from.  As it dries the oak comes out as the first leaves begin to bloom on its branches.  Perfectly depicted!

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).

Valhalla Soap Co. – Sample Sets

With my last order, I nabbed two more pixie packs full of more wonderful scents!  Valhalla Soap Co. has also recently released their Spring scents and a new cocoa body butter lotion that can be shipping during those pesky summer months, and Sif’s leave-in conditioner and de-tangling spray.

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photo by smellallthethings

I’m kicking this off with one of the scents that soooo many have raved about on the facebook page – Oak, Ash & Thorne.  Its notes include barrel aged Bourbon Vanilla, embodied by ancient cedarwood resin and dark Indonesian patchouli, softened by rich, warm amber and a touch of exotic sandalwood. Warm, golden, and resinous describes this perfectly.  The patchouli isn’t overwhelming as it sits in the back giving some support.  Amber and the barrel aged bourbon vanilla are the stars of this blend with the sandalwood and cedarwood rounding it out nicely.  This almost has an ancient feel to it, as though this scent has weathered the ages and stood the test of time.  There is the barest hint of sweetness but this is all about the amber and woods.  After a while, this is still very true to the initial impressions I had.  This has very little morphing as it dries.

Pendragon’s Passion has some passionate followers and its notes comprise of deep, sultry and fiery notes of dragon’s blood slither around warm amber and sweet blood orange while resting on an earthen floor of dark patchouli.  This magical blend opens with a sweet blast of blood orange, freshly peeled and just being squeezed as you inhale.  Dragon’s blood is a note that some people love or hate or even love to hate.  Personally, I enjoy the floral version, but not so much the spicy version.  This blend uses the more floral version – but it’s that deeply red floral that almost feels resinous along with that amber.  The patchouli is the same from Hedonistic – the non-hippy slightly orange feeling patchouli and by far my favorite patchouli I’ve had the pleasure of smelling.  The longer this sits on my skin the more it warms up into this slinky and almost seductive scent.  Blood orange is still apparent, but it’s more the after effects and less the super fresh and juicy bit like it was in the beginning.

Norseman has notes that include Balsam Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Clove and Blood Orange.  From my first order I’d received a small soap sample and my kids and I all enjoyed the scent and the soap so I had to get the oil too!  First sniff I get lots of fir and juniper with a touch of cedar.  The fir has a huge throw and I can smell it just typing this out.  As it dries I get a touch of the clove with its signature spice scent and just a hint of blood orange, but it seems it’s more of a dried orange scent than fresh.  The juniper gives that antique scent I associate with it.  Overall this is a very masculine coniferous forest – strong and lasting.  In the soap I got more of the cedar, clove, and blood orange whereas the oil has more fir and juniper.

Rain Dance (also known as Ice Giant) lists notes of an earthy all natural blend of citrus and mint. Peppermint comes to the fore front of the blend – but not the sharp kind – that good peppermint that is equal parts melty vanilla and minty peppermint.  This blend is cool and it really does have an hint of something earthy in it.  Unfortunately I’m not a fan of mints in general unless they are not the star of a blend, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an awesome blend in its own right.

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photo by smellallthethings

7 Sins From Sunday is another (there’s a lot) fan favorite over at Valhalla with notes of jasmine and lavender tangled around exotic amber,vanilla and sandalwood with a whisper of earthy patchouli. Finishing with sweet lingering notes of dark cocoa bean.  Not sure if I’m having a bad skin chemistry day or what, but in the vial I got some nice jasmine and lavender with a touch of vanilla but on my skin … dryer sheets.  And it’s not strong or anything, more of a used dryer sheet where there’s barely any smell left.  And now it’s gone.  Either I have a blind spot or my skin eats it.  So weird.  I’m sure it’s quite lovely though from the hint I got from the vial!  I think I need to see about getting this in a wax melt or soap or something.

Okay, so that was weird.  It took about 15 minutes (and me walking outside in the warm sun) for any real scent to show up.  But now … wow!  7 Sins is soft, snuggly, and warm.  It’s close to the skin and the florals aren’t overwhelming at all, but are rather like their scent is floating in the window on a warm breeze.  The sandalwood and vanilla are soft and sweet and I wouldn’t have guessed there was patchouli in there either.  I’m not getting any cocoa, thankfully, as I’m not a chocolate scent lover.

Battle Kry is comprised of sea spray, the familiar smell of leather breast guards and polished steel. In the vial this is soft and worn leather while on my skin that salty sea spray takes over.  It is a briny scent, oceanic to the extreme, with hints of leather and that metallic tang of steel.  All the notes ebb and flow so that not one takes the lead for long, just like the waves of an ocean.  Eventually the super saltiness melts away and you’re left with the memory of the sea clinging to your blade and clothes.

Sandalwood has no notes listed, but it’s been in a lot of blends I’ve loved from Valhalla so I’m excited to have this to use alone or layer.  I love how simple yet complex this scent is.  It is golden and warm, woody yet it has a sweet undertone to it that is unique.  This is raw and untouched sandalwood, freshly harvested, still a little moist, but it dries as the oil dries on your skin so that you’re left with the beautiful fragrant wood.  Definitely a must and one I could wear all by itself or it would layer very well with other blends.

Shieldmaiden has notes of citrus and florals on a woody background. Top notes of orange, and watery greens with a middle of jasmine and rose on a bed of juniper, patchouli and vanilla.  This is a very fresh and clean scent in the vial however my skin chemistry is turning this into fabric softener (and actually the exact scent of the brand I use … so that’s good?  at least I like it?) and I’m not sure what is doing it.  It might be the rose.   Rose and I have had quite a few years to work with each other and only a few types of rose work on my skin and if a company changes where they source their rose EO I can usually tell because my skin will react different.  Yeah I think the rose is doing it – it’s screaming at me and it’s only getting louder the longer I wear it.  Oh well, can’t have them all I suppose.

Sixteen92 – Summer 2016 Mix Tape

There are times in your life when you’re the only one of your friends with a car, high school is close to being over, and you just need that one perfect mix tape to blast.  The windows are rolled down, the sun is shinning, and you’re just driving with no particular destination.  Maybe you’re singing along, maybe you’re thumping the steering wheel, maybe you’re just letting it flow over you as you contemplate the life, much like the road, in front of you.

This new collection by Sixteen92 – without even sniffing it – is nostalgia in a pretty box for me.  Lots of good and bad things happened during the time this is reminding me of – but I’ve survived and now I get to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses and a heavy dollop of knowledge and just shake my head at my younger self.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bells For Her (sweet basil, dandelion, star jasmine, green vines, mandarin, ozone, green tea, crushed mint) is a song by Tori Amos that came out in 1994.  Here’s a link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is green, both in color and in scent.  On my skin this is almost bitter sweet, like the song.  Basil is prominent – I loved my herb garden and the smell I would get on my hands when I would pick what I needed for dinner.  The dandelion is yellow and glowing while the jasmine is fragrant and sweet drifting on the summer wind.  Mint isn’t very noticeable other than to give a slight cool breeze-like feeling to the scent.  The mandarin adds a touch of sweetness and rounds out with the green tea, as though the two are mixed like a cool drink.  The ozone is simply the wind and the sky and the sun all combining to add their unique scent to the mix.  This is the height of summer when you are awkward – not quite a teenager – yet you’re almost too old to go out and simply enjoy yourself in your back yard.  Closing your eyes, walking aimlessly, headphones on and cares brushed off, this is like walking to walk.  Walking to get away.  Walking to find yourself.  The route nor the destination mean much, just the journey itself is what you crave.

Bruise Violet (red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, damascus & bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest) is a song by Babes in Toyland, released in 1992.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is powder and lipstick.  On my skin the iris and rose come blasting out ready to rock.  This is like getting your first bit of makeup and playing dress-up in front of your mirror with adult clothes.  After a while all the scents of the make up, the perfume your Mom let you take (or maybe you snuck) and those high heels that your friend let you borrow … it all mixes together while you blast your music.  Got the house to yourself because the siblings had a soccer game and you convinced your ‘rents to let you stay home alone.  This is a scent for red lipstick and stuffing your training bra with socks – ya know, just to see.  Man this scent stays strong – like you sprayed too much of your Mom’s favorite perfume and you just know she will find out because there’s no amount of scrubbing in the next 10 minutes that’s going to take that scent away.

Shadowboxer (jasmine fleur, may rose, blond sandalwood, mango flower, praline) is a song by Fiona Apple which was released in 1996.  Fiona Apple was a guilty pleasure of mine since I was into the grunge/goth scene in high school and she was so very not grunge or goth.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing.  In the vial it’s all sandalwood and praline – strong and almost overpowering.  On my skin the jasmine comes out.  I’m not entirely sure what mango flower smells like but there is something almost tropical about this scent.  This is floaty and flowing – moving and changing and shifting with each scent.  The praline isn’t nutty, at least not that I can tell – and my skin tends to do weird things to almond scents, so maybe it’s only almond and not all nuts.  It is very hard to describe this scent  it’s at once dark and bright. After a while the sandalwood takes the lead, the flowers sit back and relax, and the praline just adds a touch of sweetness.  This is a beautiful scent and one I hope they release in EDP format.

New Radio (vanilla milkshake accord, maraschino cherry, pink lemonade, grass clippings, waffle cone) is by Bikini Kill released in 1993.  The video I listened to while reviewing can be found here.   In the vial this is all vanilla milkshake.  Oh wow, this scent is like the first time your Mom let you go to a festival with your friends.  No parents, no rules, all fun!  You ate yourself silly, spent all your money and had so little to show for it but you had a freakin’ blast!  The waffle cone is soft from the vanilla ice cream while the cherry is eaten first.  The pink lemonade is such a contrast to the vanilla but it just makes it that much better.  Somehow this blend is not foodie at all, despite all the notes and even my description mentioning food over and over again.  This is just the aftermath of a summer festival spent with your friends.

Doll Parts (rhubarb, white cake, white peach, cassis, osmanthus, ginger flower) by Hole was released in 1994 and is such an iconic song from my teenage years.  Here is the link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing.  I am, doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs.  This is all peach in the vial while on my skin the cake, cassis, and ginger come out to smooth that out.  This is so different.  Juicy, fruity, almost like bubble gum this scent is almost innocent to an extreme.  I want to take Doll Parts and New Radio and rub them all over. This keeps from going too innocent, or rather, it backs that innocent bus up a bit and realizes it’s supposed to be heading in a different direction.  Another one that just gets better as it sits.  The bubble gum association never completely goes away, but it’s more like a memory.

Finally, to round out this mix tape, we have Rid of Me (magnolia, sambac jasmine, ylang, white pepper, grapefruit blossom, ambrette, satin musk, oudh) by PJ Harvey which was released in 1993.  This is the video I watched while reviewing this scent.  PJ Harvey was my best friend’s favorite singer.  I only ever listened to PJ Harvey while I was at her house so it has a strong association to her.  In the vial I get a bit of pepper, some of the oudh and a touch of musk.  On my skin the musk comes out more as does the magnolia.  The ylang and the jasmine give this a heady and southern feel to the blend.  The oudh (love oudh) is a wonderful woody and sweet base to this scent.  There’s almost an incense quality to the blend.  It’s light flowing skin scent that quietly sneaks up on you to steal your heart.

This is a wonderful collection and I’m so glad I was able to get samples and try them out!  They should be released on Sixteen92’s site soon!  Now to decide what I can’t live without …

 

Alkemia Samples

More lovely samples from Alkemia!  I’m really enjoying exploring their catalog.  There’s so many to choose from.  I’m getting curious about their pheromone blends too, but that’s for another day.

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photo by smellallthethings

Who doesn’t enjoy vanilla?  (I know there are some out there that don’t, and don’t worry, the rest of us don’t really hold it against you … much.)  L’Encens à la Vanille has notes of madagascar vanilla, golden amber, and resinous incense swirled together with a selection of beautifully aged incense woods and a dusting of aphrodisiac Silk Road spices.  It is also suggested to layer this with Smoke & Mirrors (which I have!) so I’ll do that as well wen I get to Smoke & Mirrors.  In the vial it’s this beautiful incensy-vanilla scent.  On my skin it just amplifies that while adding a touch of spices.  This is gorgeous!  Sweet, slinky, sexy … just beautiful … wow. This reminds me of sand and sun and a spice market.  Exotic is a good descriptor.

Smoke & Mirrors is of course next.  It has notes of a smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka.  Simple, but I’m sure glorious.  In the vial it’s a softly burning wood scent, but not that acrid burning scent.  On my skin it’s smokey, slightly sweet, and just a touch fuzzy.  Don’t let the idea of smoke and burning wood turn you away – this is not an active and wild fire … instead this is just a smoldering scent.  It’s like those charcoal burners used to just smolder pieces of fragrant wood and release their scent into the air.  Under that is a touch of sweet and smooth vanilla with a hint of that fuzzy tonka.

I get it now why they suggest layering L’Encens à la Vanille with Smoke & Mirrors.  Together is it the perfect outdoor spice market next to a textile and goods market at the height of the day.  Soft, sweet, and sexy these are, and together it just amplifies it.  Oh yeah, I need these two.

Amour Conjure with notes that include an erotic, exotic blend of amber aged with Bourbon vanilla pods, Ceylon cinnamon infused flirtatious aldehydes, Bulgarian roses, rose geranium and vetivert roots, copper distilled patchouli, and a scattering of incense resins.  The Bulgarian rose is front and foremost in this blend on initial application.  The cinnamon is very, very slight, yet the bourbon vanilla is boozy.  There’s a touch of incense with a bit of vetiver.  There’s a lot going on, and it swirls and twists around itself.  Unfortunately my chemistry isn’t enjoying this and it’s really trying to give me a headache.

Lettre d’Amour because who doesn’t enjoy a good love letter?  It’s notes include a billet–doux of night blooming Star Jasmine, Neroli blossoms, white roses, aged parchment paper, white amber, and perfumed ink.  Jasmine and white amber are most apparent in the vial and on my skin it is much of the same.  It takes a minute but the neroli comes out with a hint of an almost powdery rose.  The paper is soft and spritzed with perfume and the ink is deep and fragrant.  This is soft and gentle, innocent yet not at the same time.  Beautiful and luxurious.

Finally we have Miel de Sauvage et Tabac who has a note list of sweet, spicy pipe tobacco flecked with wild honey, freshly crushed honeycomb, the pollen of forest blossoms, and smoked black amber.  In the vial this is all honeyed tobacco!  On my skin the tobacco is still prominent.  There’s a good dollop of honey with just a touch of honeycomb.  The amber is dark and dusky.  The tobacco smells like it’s still drying and is chewy and malleable to the touch.  Tobacco and honey lovers (and this is a honey I can wear that doesn’t go all weird on me!) would enjoy this one!  This perfume is thick and gloriously golden.

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 5

Rounding out the last of my Possets Perfumapalooza posts is a trio of scents that I’m excited to try.  (Not that I haven’t been excited this whole time, but, you know, semantics.)  If you missed the previous parts they are here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

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photo by smellallthethings

Eve begins the end of my journey with whose description is a heavy oriental, resplendent with musks, earthy sweetnesses, lingering and sexy as only that first lady could have been.  In the vial it is woody and slightly resinous with a touch of incense – deep and earthy almost.  On my skin there’s a touch of vetiver with an almost animalistic musk (castoreum blend?).  This is the earth and dirt and the sun beating down beautifully on a naked body.  I keep getting an animal-like association – though I suppose that is somewhat appropriate.  It’s dark and musky with a hint of animal and a touch of earth with only the barest bit of sweetness.

Ouija is next with notes of calming cedar and rosewood, black vanilla, fat vanilla, and a touch of rose to give it a sweet side, black silk scent, and a touch of coriander.  Oooh, in the vial I get a nice whiff of rosewood and cedar.  On my skin those are still apparent, though muted, and the vanilla and that intriguing black silk scent takes the forefront.  This is flowing and haunting blend with bits of rose rising and flowing through all the notes.  Black but almost gossamer in feel.  It’s not a skin scent and is making itself known.  Very nice!  This is just throwing itself all over the place!  I kind of like that.

Rounding out this wonderful ride through some of Possets catalog is Wings of an Angel with notes of hawthorn, white musk, a touch of ethereal mintiness, gorgeous regal vanilla Bourbon.  In the vial is hawthorn and vanilla, and while those notes persist through applying to skin, they seem to warm up.  The mint is soft and sweet, perhaps because of the vanilla bourbon.  This is gentle, comforting and soft.  Sweetly gorgeous and almost hauntingly beautiful.  I could see myself wearing this to bed and drifting off to the soft fluttering of wings of an angel.

This has been a blast!  So many bottle wants out of these 5 parts!  I’ll get to those and hopefully have some more samples to test out!