Arcana – The Righteous Uterus

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photo by smellallthethings

The name, the label art, the cause … it’s all wonderful!  For the unawares, The Righteous Uterus is part of Arcana’s bid to help Planned Parenthood40% of proceeds from this scent are automatically transferred from each sale to Planned Parenthood.  Julia, bless her hedonistic heart, is very transparent in how much has been sent thus far.  Curious?  Visit her company’s Facebook page or the fan page.

Like I said, the cause is wonderful.  Even if the notes are not “your thing”, this is another way to donate to a worthy cause.

But that label art!  And the notes!  And the name!  It’s the complete package really.

The Righteous Uterus – A power blend of fresh ginger root, bergamot peel, black vanilla, spruce branches, balsam of Peru, and sparkling water rests on a base of unbreakable sandalwood and corporeal amber.

In the bottle this is a huge, freshly peeled blast of ginger root.  I’ve peeled and grated enough and I enjoy that scent (mostly because I enjoy the food I’m cooking it in as well).  And on the skin that fresh ginger root is there, it’s strong and flowing.  It’s so strong that it’s overtaking everything else at the moment.

As this dries down I get that citrus-y bergamot peel and something that is reminding me of Arcana’s “fir jam” which might be the spruce branches (maybe a bit of the balsam as well) coming through.  Eventually I get that dark, caramel-y vanilla scent and it pulls the sandalwood and amber with it as it makes its way through the brighter notes.

It takes a while, but fear not, the ginger and bergamot falls to the back of the line and lets the other notes come to the fore.  The throw is not as large as it was when wet, but it’s still nice and I get a waft of it whenever I move my hand.

I really like this.  It wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  I’d seen it compared to ginger ale, and I don’t like ginger ale.  I don’t think it’s like ginger ale.

Once this has had time to settle it is a gorgeous, soft scent with an edge.  It has that feel that is quintessentially Arcana.  Soft, slightly sweet, with a brightness that lifts you up and a base to keep you grounded.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 2 – My Magnolia by The Porcelain Tub

I think I was on the IndieMakeupandMore subreddit when I saw someone mention The Porcelain Tub.  And since it was new to me, I had to get a sample pack.  As with all my samples, they kind of get tossed into a cool dark spot to relax after their travels and it is from this box I pulled My Magnolia.

My MagnoliaLime, Magnolia, Gardenia, Vanilla, Sandalwood 

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photo by smellallthethings

In the vial I get a sweet gardenia scent backed by a touch of bright and citrus-y lime and a touch of vanilla.  It smells clean, fresh, and vibrant.  As soon as it touches my skin that sandalwood comes out and warms up immediately.  It gives a soft golden and slightly woody feel to the overall blend.

The magnolia’s are in full bloom, heady but not in your face about it.  Normally gardenia likes to scream on my skin, but here it seems to be tempered by either the vanilla or the sandalwood (as they both are wrapped around the gardenia).  And over all of this you get a perky and zesty lime scent.

This blend reminds me of spring heading to summer with the sun high in the skin and golden.  There are blooms everywhere and the sky is scented with each breath.

I’m finding this to be soft and very much a skin scent.  There is little to no throw on this, but maybe that’s the allure?  Something like that, I’m sure because even without sniffing I can perfectly bring up the scent memory of this blend and it matches exactly when I smell the spot.

For some reason I am finding this scent to be almost familiar, but I’m quite certain I have nothing in my current collection like it.  Either way, familiar or not, this blend makes me smile.  Unfortunately, I’m not finding the scent to be very long lasting.

If the other blends are as gorgeous as this one is, I may forgive the longevity or even use them in oil warmers.

 

Siberie Perfumes – General Catalog Reviews

Those samples I reviewed earlier were not the only things to make their way to me from the lovely ladies over at Siberie Perfumes.  They were also kind enough to send me a few 5ml’s (their regular bottle sizes are 15ml!).

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photo by smellallthethings

Cordelia – Blended with the aroma of crisp cucumbers, juicy honeydew melon, marine notes of ocean air & fresh green tea.

In the bottle I get a nice crisp green scent with a hint of something watery and a little musky.  On my skin the ocean air is strong, as though it is the morning after a storm.  The cucumbers are lending a nice green scent while the honeydew is juicy and sweet.  I’m finding that the tea is there, but not prominent.

I swear I’m getting something musky and I’m wondering if there’s not something of an ambergris-type note – or grey amber being used for the ocean scent.  There’s also something almost cottony in here, soft and fuzzy.

After about 20 minutes this has become soft and flowing, yet still freshly green and slightly watery.  It has a decent throw to it in that I can smell it if I move my wrist around.  This blend leans unisex with an undercurrent of a masculine feel.  I’m about 2 hours in and I still get wafts and it still smells wonderful on my skin.

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Sang Des Dragons – Deeply seductive notes of pure aged dragon’s blood resin, sandalwood, gardenia & orris ( violet note) with teases of cassia ( light warm cinnamon note), woodsmoke, bourbon vanilla & earthy patchouli. A dark fragrance that is hauntingly beautiful.

In the bottle I get the loveliest deepest dragon’s blood note with this softly spicy underground.  This is deep, red, and resinous.

On my skin this only deepens.  I’m stuck huffing at my wrist and I get an almost hippy-shop type smell.  Not in a bad way either, this is beautiful and deep.  The dragon’s blood is the spicier version, not the more floral, which is just perfect for this blend.

I love how resinous this is!  The sandalwood is fresh and just harvested while the gardenia is doing it’s heady gardenia thing.  The cassia is not as light as the note list says, at least not on me, but it is by no means overwhelming (so maybe that is light!).  You can definitely smell the woodsmoke in this but it’s off in the distance and not at all in your face.  There’s a touch of vanilla – just a touch and that earthy patchouli is deep and brown and grounding.

Confession – after 15 minutes of having this on, I slathered.  Flat out had to have more.  The throw is beautiful, the longevity went for about 4 hours until I went on a long walk then it exploded and disappeared within 15 minutes of 100 degree weather.  Which is fine, I didn’t want to have it blasting because it is a warm scent on its own.

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Cake & Eat It – Dreamy notes of vanilla birthday cake frosted with rich buttercream icing, french coconut macaroons, a pinch of orchid & a soft warm base of white musk.

Who doesn’t want to have their cake and eat it too?  In the bottle I get a very musky vanilla scent with just a hint of cake.  On my skin it’s very much a single note white musk.  It takes a few minutes, but finally the cake and frosting comes out with just a hint of coconut-y macaroons.

The scent wafting up to me is more orchid and musk with a hint of buttercream icing and it’s not nearly as gourmand as I thought it would be.  I’m finding it to be quite soft and comforting with a dollop of sweetness.

Throw-wise, this is fairly decent – not strong, but I do get whiffs of it here and there.  I’m really enjoying this one more than I’d expected to.  I do love a good orchid.

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Ma Contessa – Sultry, sweet and spicy this decadent elixir has notes of the most delicious aged bourbon vanilla, caramelized marshmallows with a piquant swirl of dark clove, cardamom & cinnamon. The soft dry down eludes femininity with a caress of golden amber & sensuous Australian sandalwood.

In the bottle I get a lot of caramelized marshmallow, a good helping of clove, and fragrant sandalwood.  On my skin, however, most of the sweet notes are gone almost immediately and what is left is just a very slightly caramel sweetness that gives a nice undercurrent to the clove, cardamom, and sandalwood.

Admittedly, I’m not really a fan of cardamom, even in cooking.  It’s not bad, just not really my thing.  I also dislike cilantro.  And olives.  That being said this is somewhat spicy and has a very good throw to it and wafts up of its own accord – no hand-waving needed here!

I’d really love more vanilla and amber in this blend, personally, but with the cardamom it’s probably not something I would reach for anyway.

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Candice – Blended with the sweet temptation of juicy dewberries, fluffy pink cotton candy, whipped marshmallows &  pink sugar captured in a soft base of white musk & a tease of French vanilla.

Berries and cotton candy on a base of white and ethereal musk in the bottle.  On my skin the berries become very juicy, almost fresh squeezed into a delightful drink.

You would think with the cotton candy, marshmallows, and pink sugar this would be tooth-achingly sweet but it’s not!  Somehow that white musk tempers it and keeps it from becoming just too much to handle.  I adore this sugar scent as well.  It’s mixed with the cotton candy, as thought it was dusted in pink sugar.

As this dries I’m finding to to be more a lighter skin scent.  It does not have much of a throw, though I do not need to press my nose to skin in order to get a sniff either.

The french vanilla is a tad boozy, making the berries seem to lean to an almost wine-like scent but without the bitterness you can sometimes get with wine.  This perfume is very feminine, slightly girly even, and just super sweet.

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I really am becoming quite smitten with Siberie Perfumes!

Keep an eye out on my blog for a Siberie and Sweet Potion Perfume giveaway in the coming weeks!  Click the Follow button on the side bar to get e-mail notifications of posts!

Siberie Perfumes – Samples

I am stoked to bring you a new (to me) perfume house – Siberie Perfumes!  This company has been on my radar for a while, but I hadn’t yet taken the plunge into purchasing from this company due to … who knows why really.  Probably something shiny caught my attention.  However, the lovely owner was kind enough to send me some stuff to sample!  These were not purchased by me.  I cheated and had a sneak sniff at some of the bottles (yes!  bottles!) I’ll be reviewing later this week.  Let me just say, I’m even more excited!

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photo by smellallthethings

Odette – Enchanting notes of sweet wildflower honey & delicate honeysuckle flowers hugged in a sensual & soft base of tranquil fresh fallen rain & jasmine sambac.

You can see from the picture that these are not the “typical” 1ml sample vials you see most places.  This is a larger 2ml vial with a smaller neck area but a long enough wand that you can reach all that precious liquid!  It is a little harder to open than the 1ml’s or the larger necked 2ml’s.

In the vial this actually smells like it has vanilla in it – so much so I had to triple check the notes.  I think it might be a combo of the rain and the wildflower honey.  On my skin this is actually creamy in a way – more like raw honey.  The jasmine is heady and fragrant as is that golden honeysuckle.  The rain is adding a touch of a dewy-like freshness to the blend.

The throw on this is not overpowering, but I imagine were I to walk outside in this 100 degree + 90% humidity we have it would become too much.  I think this would be the perfect pre-spring scent – when you can’t wait for spring to come and you just want that golden sunshine to reflect off of anything other than the snow-turned-grey.  (You can take the girl out of Winter, but you can’t take the Winter out of the girl … or something like that.)

I can’t lie … I’m kind of in love with this scent.  There’s something about it that just makes me think of new beginnings and fresh starts and sometimes you need to inhale the thought to solidify it in your mind.  (Laugh now, but you’ll be thinking about it seriously later.)

After a while I still get a good sweet and golden throw from this, but the scent isn’t prominent on my skin.  That’s kind of neat!  Sometimes I don’t really want to go around constantly lifting my wrist to my nose.  I’ve gotten more than my fair share of odd looks from doing that.

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Serena – A bewitching blend of woodsy & earthy bohemian patchouli with notes of decadent chocolate & a sensuous warm amber base.

In the vial this is super patchouli and chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.  Melty, gooey, milk chocolate that never quite comes off your hands no matter how much you lick them.  I mean wash them.  I would never lick my hands free of chocolate.  Yeah, never.

The patchouli is gritty and very earthy, as the notes mention.  It takes a while, but the chocolate is starting to smooth out into a memory instead of covering you.  After about 010 minutes I can finally smell the amber, warm and golden under the patchouli and bits of chocolate still clinging to my skin.

You wouldn’t know it, but this is not actually a blend I like.  Not because it’s not good, but because it’s just not my jam.  I don’t enjoy wearing chocolate I can’t eat.

However, if you enjoy patchouli, chocolate, and amber – definitely give this a try!  It has a good throw, not overwhelming but I get more chocolate scent from the throw than from what’s on my skin.

So while the first half hour isn’t really my thing, it’s now kind of really intriguing.  It’s more woody than it was at first and the chocolate is almost all gone.  There’s something verging on the edge of being spicy.  Another decent throw as well.

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Emmeline – fresh notes of green tea, Moroccan mint, romantic petals of white orchid and freesia all balanced by fruity notes of juicy pear and apple.

I had to make an emergency run to the store (we needed more supplies to make carnitas, obviously) and I put this on just before leaving about an hour ago.

In the beginning this was all tea and somewhat sharp mint with the lovely orchid and freesia but none of that apple or pear.  After about 5 of so minutes (long enough in the heat to convince my daughter she should climb into her seat and then further convince her its in her best interest to buckle up and stay buckled) the apple came out.  I’m not sure if the pear was so entwined in the apple, or if I missed it.

For a while this was wafting up nicely, juicy and sweet, softly floral with just a hint of greenness from the tea and mint … and then it disappeared.  I get a faint memory of pear when I sniff the spot, but other than that it’s just gone.

Now it could’ve had something to do with it being crazy hot and humid out, but that’s what it is here and I need my scents to last through those conditions sometimes.  Maybe I’ll set it back and try it when it’s cooler – late fall or early spring.

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Angelica – Night blooming violets,wild orchids, southern magnolias, hyacinth & oriental jasmine hugged with sweet vanilla & wildflower honey. It finishes off in a sexy base of rum, sandalwood, myrrh & labdanum resins.

In the vial this is vanilla and violets – soft and fluttering and sweet.  On my skin the flowers bloom and there is a creaminess to the whole blend.

Admittedly, this was nearly overwhelming for about … 2 minutes.  After that, it really morphed and became an almost sultry scent.  It is very alluring.  The labdanum is fog-like, lending a hazy blanket over everything.  The myrrh and sandalwood with that touch of rum is very grounding.

Nearly 20 minutes later most of the florals are more in the distance, though they waft through every now and then, and I am left with a sweet, woody, and gossamer scent.  It’s dark, not like a white fluffy scent, but more like incense smoke, dark and twisting.

There’s not too much throw on this, but I do get lovely wafts as I move my arm around

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

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.

 

Sugar & Spite and everything smelly!

Bringing a new house to everyone, and one that has bowled me over with not only their scent catalog, but their customer service as well as their over the top and on point packaging!  Sugar & Spite everyone – get on and enjoy the ride! (Not paid advertising, I just really dig everything about this perfume house.)

Bonus they are having a sale from now until Saturday July 9th.  Check out their Facebook page for sale details.  Because of the sale, this is going to be a rather quick and dirty review of 11 different scents.

These scents have been in my possession for almost 3 weeks now and I could already tell taking them out of their packaging that they’d rested and even gotten a little aging while they sat in a cool dark box.

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photo by smellallthethings

Let’s kick this off with the rollerball.  10ml of delicious Apple Sugar goodness. (Delicious, juicy apples and a heaping spoonful of pure sugar. Wonderfully sweet, yet somehow all grown up.)  I have to admit I’ve worn this quite frequently since receiving it and it was also part of my moving scents that stayed with me in my purse for comfort and use while my world was briefly turned upside down.  It is a beautiful crisp, freshly peeled, apple scent with just this smooth sugar scent that comes very close, initially, to making you feel like you have just put a spoonful of table sugar in your mouth.  Somehow while wet this manages to be an extremely accurate representation of apples and sugar, separate but preparing to come together in a most wonderful way.  As this dries the two scents come together and the tartness of the apple tempers the sweetness of the sugar so that it doesn’t become overly sweet.  This is gourmand, but not?  So hard to describe the dry down.  It’s almost like walking through an apple orchard with a bag of sugar and freshly cut apples.  This works in the heat and I’m going to bet this will work in the fall as well.  I am already planning on some body spray, body wash, and lotion in this scent.  The longevity of this blend has varied wildly but I think that’s more to do with my activities and just the extreme stress I was putting my body under and not necessarily to do with the scent itself.

Three Shades of White (Every fine vanilla in my arsenal, smoky white musk, white amber, grounded with a tiny bit of patchouli, bourbon and oak leaves.) smells of patchouli in the vial and on my skin.  It’s not quite a smooth patchouli, but it’s not that gritty and dirty patchouli either.  It’s a happy medium, brownish in scent to me.  The oak marries with the patchouli and as it tries the vanillas begin to come out.  After this has sat on the skin it ends up being this beautiful smoky, vanilla, and patchouli blend.  Overall it’s soft, slightly sweet, and a touch woody.

Strangefellow isn’t all that strange (tonka, amber, musk and pepper, with a sugar cookie base) … well, actually, it smells like vanilla popcorn in the vial, but it quickly smooths out into this beautiful amber, tonka, musk blend with a hint of sugar cookie.  The pepper gives just a hint of spice, but nothing overwhelming.  The tonka is soft and brown, the cookie leans a bit gourmand, but the amber and musk keep it from falling over that edge.  This is a sweet blend, unisex, and very beautiful.

Dionysus, the god of wine (Mahogany, amber, sandalwood, and barely perceptible red wine.) deserves attention sometimes.  Oh wow, in the vial the mahogany is deep, rich, and red.  On my skin it is dark and decadent, smooth and red and just luxurious!  Totally brings to mind much lounging with a glass of wine in hand.  It’s blended very well and the sandalwood is more of a fresh-off-the-tree scent rather than that of the smoother more aged sandalwood.  The amber just enhances the overall smoothness of the blend.

Tell it to the Moon sounds like a nice chill song to relax with and look up at the moon. (Precious woods, cashmere vanilla, resin, spice, and a swirl of bright mandarin.)  In the vial I get mandarin and I’ll be damned if cashmere wasn’t the most apt description for that vanilla.  On my skin the woods come out more with a touch of spice (generic melody of spices, but nothing I can pick out with absolute certainty).  But man, that cashmere vanilla is where it’s at, let me tell you.  If tonka is fuzzy brown, this is a fuzzy cream or taupe.  And on top of it all is that beautiful mandarin.  The woods sit to the back with the resins and it really is all about that vanilla and mandarin!

The Whispering Woods don’t talk behind your back (Crunchy leaves, damp soil, Incense smoke, a bitter snap of clove, and caramelized brown sugar), they speak sweet nothings into your ear.  In the vial I get that smoky incense which is just about all I can smell, even on my skin.  It’s a beautiful smoky scent.  Ah, it takes a moment but the leaves come out with a touch of soil.  After a bit the clove comes out but it’s just barely a hint.  Enough to get a whiff and know what it is, but not enough to overwhelm the blend.

Mothman (Black and green teas, clove, black orchid) is not your average superhero!  But that’s to be expected because it’s a perfume and not a person at all.  So there’s that.  Tea and clove come out in the vial as well as on my skin.  It’s reminding me a lot of walking into Teavana.  I’m not a tea person, like at all, which is kind of funny considering I moved to the south.  But this is making me wrinkle my nose as the orchid, clove, and teas aren’t meshing very well on my skin.  YMMV – so try it if you’re curious!

Barnum and Bailey?  No, just Barnum (Curiously sweet and dark. Tobacco leaf, a trio of rich musks, new mown hay, and a drizzle of creamy vanilla bourbon.) but half a circus can still be a good time … right?  Hay, musk, a touch of tobacco, and just a drop of bourbon.  So rich and decadent.  Masculine, don’t get me wrong, but I love that.  Oh wow, I could melt into this.  This is fairly straightforward on me which is just fine.  The vanilla comes out, but it’s that soft barely there vanilla that adds more creaminess to a blend than actual sweetness.

Meadow(s) are for enjoying (Fields of green, green grass, and a hint of sweet soil.).  And so is perfume.  Win-win!  In the vial this is just grass.  Super green, crunched underfoot so it releases it’s scent, with just a hint of soil underneath.  This is like taking a handful of dew covered grass and rubbing your face in it.  Not to say the perfume is overwhelming, it’s just … GRASS when you sniff it.  And hey, some people like that.  So here ya go … this grass’ for you!

Grim Bastard is not one to be trifled with (vanilla, sandalwood, black patchouli and leather).  But I don’t listen so well.  Shh.  In the vial I get leather.  It’s that mix between shiny black and well worn brown.  On my skin however, it morphs to that beautiful worn brown leather that I love so much.  The patchouli isn’t super prominent but blends with the sandalwood to give an overall woody feel to the blend.  The vanilla is there but hidden, just barely lending itself to the blend.  Very masculine, very leathery.

Leopold not to be undone (A sweet blend of vanilla bean, amber, musk, and white pepper.) is here to sweep others off their feet.  In the vial I get all the lovely notes and they translate almost seamlessly to my skin.  The vanilla lays overtop, lending it’s sweetness to the entirety of the blend while the musk and amber provide a golden base and the pepper adds just a touch of spiciness to the blend.  Very beautiful and another I would consider getting in body spray, wash, and lotion!

I think overall there were only two blends I would not consider purchasing full bottles of, and only because they’re not really my thing.  Hopefully this helps those on the fence about some blends.  Now, off to get some new smellies with their wonderful sale!

 

 

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).

Villianess – Scent Samples

After years of looking, reading, and stalking the Villainess site, I have finally purchased a set of samples from them.  I love their site, their theme, all of it – so I’m excited to delve into these samples.  They’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels and they got some rest if they needed a bit of aging.

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photo by smellallthethings

Might as well start this off with a scent from their namesake, Villainess.  Its notes are listed as: Our signature scent – all ball gowns and combat boots. Raw, smokey leather and sweet vanilla musk engulfed in a sheer haze of exotic florals – ylang, neroli, jasmine, lilac and tuberose.  Sleek black leather jumps out from the vial as I take a sniff.  Thankfully that backs off almost the moment it touches my skin.  I get the smoky part of the leather along with a light touch of vanilla musk.  The florals are soft and ylang, jasmine, and lilac seem to be the most prominent.  This is strong, assertive, unisex almost verging on masculine.  This kind of morphs between strong leather and soft florals.  Finally it begins to settle down into this rough, raw leather scent with just a hint of those white florals.  It’s strong and the throw is mighty.

Vale has notes of Musky warmed saddle leather, rich notes of espresso and clove, and a coconut-sweetened masala.  Seems Villainess likes the leather.  Who can blame them?  This is espresso with a shot of chocolate – I think it’s a cocoa note I’m smelling.  The coconut is more like a milk.  Horchata I believe is the drink this is reminding me of, but with a hint of leather.  This is certainly a blend all its own!

Decadence comes with notes of: an indulgent vanilla – alcoholic, buttery and bittersweet with delightful undertones of tonka and coconut. Our favourite vice.  I’ve been dying for more vanilla scents so I’m super excited about this!  In the vial I get the boozy vanilla with a hint of coconut.  The coconut comes out more on my skin and it’s that juicy, watery coconut milk and not the flesh.  The tonka also gives this a beautiful brown fuzzy feel and keeps the vanilla from going too boozy.  This certainly is decadent and oh my goodness I want to bathe in this … and I can!!!

Jai Mahal is another vanilla blend (woot!) with notes of: 4 rich vanillas and tonka, Mysore sandalwood, bourbon and coconut. Expensive woods, incense and imported spices – cedar, amber, myrrh, cardamom and nutmeg.  Woods, incense, nutmeg, and vanilla is wafting so deliciously around me.  There isn’t as much vanilla in this one as there was in Decadence, and it’s different despite it sharing notes.  This warms on the skin and gives a sun soaking, spicy feeling.  It’s soft and beautiful and alluring.

Morpho contains notes of: Sheer blue musk and a breath of old books, delicate touches of blackberry and juniper, and a whisper of plumeria. In the vial I get the softest bluest musk that smells powdery.  On my skin I get the blackberry and the plumeria is more than just a whisper.  After a minute the juniper comes out with that worn and antique feeling it gives me.  In the beginning this can be slightly overwhelming, after about 10 minutes this has a huge throw and is almost candy-like.  Something along the lines of SweetTarts or that powdered candy.  It’s making my jaw hurt (you know that sensation when you taste something sour) and my mouth water!  It takes about 30 minutes or so before that sour sweettart like scent morphs into this blue, soft, and powdery scent.  Very feminine and soft.

Byzantium will round this review series out with notes of: Precious woods and resins – cedar, pine and sandalwood, frankincense, amber and myrrh – at play against a sheer base of Egyptian musk, barely spiked with imported spices, and lightly veiled in smoke.  This is very soft when it first goes on with soft, golden Egyptian musk and a soft smattering of spices. As this dries and warms on my skin the woods and resins come out and this is just so beautiful.  Golden and warm, this is standing out in the sun, sand beneath your feet, and a lean-to for when you’re in need of some shade.