Sixteen92 – EDP and oils

Another wonderful order from the fabulous Sixteen92!  They had something of a flash sale for the oils, a return of past favorites, and having only recently begun dipping my toes in the proverbial water and being smitten, I had to grab them!

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photo by smellallthethings

You may also notice that EDP is from their Spring 2016 Collection that I reviewed here.  I couldn’t pass it up!  The Primrose Path is just like spring and the earth in a bottle it’s so lovely.  The notes are Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms.  Not much of a difference between the oil and the EDP.  I get so much of that lovely moist earth on initial spray.  And stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  It’s all greenery, soft and warm, with the earth underneath and the breeze gently blowing.  The longer this sits the more you get the old oak tree and the lichen.  It’s almost like being in an ancient forest surrounded by plants and trees that you just know have been around for centuries.  For some reason the EDP feels older than the oil, whereas the oil is more fresh.

And of course I have to follow that beauty up with The Orchard Keeper whose notes include night blooming jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood.  This scent opens with a beautiful jasmine and peach combination that is sweet and almost sultry.  It doesn’t take long for that sandalwood to come into the picture.  The apricot adds a bright, but not juicy, sweetness to the blend and the pink pepper gives a touch of perky spice.  I could see this being the perfect scent for a peach orchard.  Beautifully soft, slightly decadent, and sinfully sweet.

Finally I grabbed a 6ml of The Sound and the Fury and its notes include southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam.  Oh wow, now I wish I hadn’t chickened out of the big bottle.  The jessamine is soft and velvety, perfect for those relaxing days.  The tea isn’t strong, like I had feared it would be.  The balsam, fern, and loam give a wonderful greenness to the blend that isn’t overdone.  I have quite a few ferns growing in my front garden and I recognized the scent!  The skin musk gives that warm glow you can only get from sun warmed skin.

Overall I am super pleased with my blind purchases!  It means I’m finally learning how Sixteen92 works for me and my skin chemistry!

Alkemia Samples

I’ve got more samples from Alkemia to review!  So far I’ve been super impressed with all their scents, even the ones that don’t work on me.

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photo by smellallthethings

Gaea symbolizes Earth and Mother – so perfect for Mother’s Day (May 8th if you’ve forgotten!) and it has notes of sun-warmed loam, decaying leaves, moss, lichen, & wet stones.  First sniff in the vial is all earth and dampness.  On my skin however I get the sun-speckled loam, the decaying leaves of the forest floor, damp scent that is exclusive to forests, and I also get stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  The moss and lichen add to the overall greenness and dampness of the blend.  This is a beautiful earthy scent – different from Hexennacht and entirely it’s own, but if you enjoy the earthiness of that blend, you’ll probably dig this one too!

Bohème is described on the site as an intoxicatingly free-spirited unisex blend of earthy patchouli and blood-red roses. Erotically radiant.  In the vial I get earthy red roses – just big ‘ole bunches of them.  On my skin is much of the same.  I’ve had a rather rocky history with roses – it’s taken nearly 8 years of my perfume wearing to actually wear them.  Initially on my skin the roses almost scream but that settles rather quickly.  It is a very earthy patchouli – almost dirt-like  (apparently I had a theme) with roses, deep and sultry, bringing up the top.  This has a rather large throw on me and I can smell this without really putting my nose to the skin at all.

So maybe there were two theme’s running through my scent choices that I was completely unaware of.  Next is Vanille Patchouli with a scent described as purest vanilla seduced and despoiled by wild, dirty patchouli.  Another simplistic yet well done blend.  This isn’t like any patchouli I’ve tried from Alkemia yet (amazing how that happens).  No, this is that dirty nitty-gritty patchouli that gets described as “hippy shop” or “head shop”.  But with it is this absolutely sweet, almost floral, and beautiful vanilla.  It cuts through the grit and smooths it out.  Again, another blend done best when done simply.

New Orleans Love Spell sounds like it’s in for a good time!  It’s notes include a lascivious blend of night-flowering New Orleans jasmine and fiery spices igniting a base of red sandalwood and skin musk.  Ooh, the vial has this nice soft spice scent about it.  On my skin I get the jasmine and sandalwood under that beautiful spicy scent!  I get something like cassia or cinnamon, but it’s more than just that – there’s other scents (most likely florals and a pepper) that round out that spicy note and make it complex.  This is a warm and sexy blend, one that would need to be used sparingly as it has a beautiful throw and a little goes a long way.  As time went on this definitely put a spell on me.  I couldn’t stop sniffing that spot and kept catching beautiful whiffs of it floating around me.

Desiderata looks like a wonderful spring to summer transition scent with notes of fresh honeysuckle blooming under a rising full moon, ivy vines, dew dampened grass, riverbed clay, old barnwood, and earthy vetivert root.  In the vial is a beautiful green scent – like crushes leaves or grass.  On my skin I actually get a moon-like scent – white and crystalline.  Oh wow, this is like sitting next to a babbling creek bed looking up at the full moon and checking out the Milky Way.  Somehow this is calming, soothing, and almost meditative.

Deconstructing Eden Samples – Part 1

I have been hording several Deconstructing Eden samples and I am finally able to do some testing!  Opening them up, as they are wrapped in plastic, was wonderful as each new scent peeked its way out.  A few are from the now gone Valentine’s Day release.  I apologize for being late on those and will endeavor in the future to give reviews prior to the scents end date.

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photo by smellallthethings

I adore Deconstructing Eden.  Their silage and longevity is beyond what you normally expect from an EDP.  The scents are wonderful and you get only a bare hint of any alcohol – it’s all about the beauty in the bottle.  Their Type O Negative inspired scents are what drew me to them, and Burnt Flowers Fallen is what kept me coming back.

Besotted is first in the line up and its notes are spun pink candy floss, vanilla, pink grapefruit, sweet amber, black and red currants, honey drenched figs, a trace of tuberose, apricot, guava and apples.  This note list just sounds like preteen puppy love!  The pink grapefruit is in the forefront at first with figs and a touch of sweet amber backs it up.  This is pink to the max but isn’t overwhelmingly sweet.  The apricot and apples are soft as are the currants, but they lend some much needed non-pinkness to the blend.  This is that heart flutter when you lock eyes with that cute boy in the hall who you swear doesn’t know your name and you feel like you could at once fly and melt into the floor.  It’s your first stolen kiss at once too short and not short enough.  It’s all the things that you love, even briefly.  As this dries, it’s almost like growing up and that puppy love phase becomes a sweet memory.

Next up is Halo with its notes of moonlight, sea water, lilacs, wisteria, honeysuckle and moonflower. This opens with a touch of salty sea water and moonflower.  I adore moonflower for its slightly watery and white scent.  It’s soft, inviting, and alluring all at once.  As this dries the honeysuckle comes out and the lilacs join the party.  It’s a soft moonlit floral bouquet with soft white and purple flowers with just a hint of the golden honeysuckle.  Very pretty, genteel, and glowing.  This one ended up being a hit with my two daughters!

Éros, much like the god, is fiery in color with notes of deep, dark amber, gardenia, lily of the valley, velvet red roses, cinnamon and Egyptian jasmine.  Normally I shy away from blends with cinnamon in them because other companies tend to burn my nose with it.  However, Toni’s Cinnamon Girl (which I got to complete my Type O Negative scent set) showed me that her cinnamon is not to be feared and even being the center of a blend doesn’t mean it has to overwhelm.

However, Éros starts out as … dill pickle?!  That’s … well … different.  Oh good, that only lasted 30 seconds.  Second sniff gives some dark amber, almost black with gardenia and cinnamon coming up right behind it.  This is an exotic blend.  The Egyptian jasmine is soft and fleeting and the roses seem to be clinging to the cinnamon.  It’s not bakers cinnamon either – it’s … this is like walking into a greenhouse that specializes in exotic and hard to grow flowers.  I’ve been in a greenhouse that smells exactly like this, but for the life of me I can’t remember where.  In those situations every scent seems amplified yet it meshes so well together.  To me this leans slightly masculine but not so much that I wouldn’t/couldn’t wear it and pull it off – though I tend to enjoy more masculine leaning scents.  I can’t get over this scent association I have with it – it’s so evocative.

In keeping with the love fest going on, next I have a sample of Adore with notes of violets, citrus, jasmine, ylang ylang, lily of the valley, magnolia, tuberose, lotus, iris, bourbon vanilla, white musk and rose. Hmm, this is super soft, almost too soft to detect.  There is definitely some tuberose and bright citrus.  Ooh there’s the jasmine and iris.  The vanilla is almost non-existent – but bourbon vanilla is usually too soft for me to pick up.  I’m getting something of a “soap” quality.  Nice soap, mind you, but soap just the same.  Overall this is a nice blend, but too soft for my tastes.

Jacqueline leaked a little into the cap but that allowed an early glimpse at her scent.  The notes include base notes of a clean skin musk and mahogany, dry amber accord and heart and top notes of sambac jasmine and jasmine officianale.  It isn’t often DE lists base, heart, and top notes for her blends.  Not sure if this is a new thing or an old thing.  I kind of like guessing myself.  Oh man this was love at first sniff when opening and now that I’ve a spritz of it I love it even more.  It’s soft and woody with lovely bursts of jasmine.  Simple, sweet, and utterly perfect.  Jacqueline will be a large bottle purchase for sure.  I just want to wrap myself in it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Deconstructing Eden reviews!

 

Alkemia Perfume Sample Set

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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