Continuing the celebration of Fabienne’s life – which will culminate tomorrow the 15th of October which will be a grand celebration – I chose The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon. Honestly, it gives me the giggles whenever I read the name and thing about what that would have been like. Could you imagine?
The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon – Back in the day, before a formal id, ego, and super-ego early psychiatrists roamed the land looking for loonies upon whom they could practice their trade. Babylon was a veritable hot bed of psychiatric investigation, and practiced by the female inhabitants of the city. The hypnotic base of the finest Bourbon vanilla shot through with incense smoke and the auxiliary smoke from “punk” fire, caramel, incense, and a small shot of whiskey on the side (for medicinal purposes only). There, now don’t you feel better?
Just imagine all the juicy gossip they were privy to! Gossip is my guilty pleasure – not spreading, starting, or repeating – but I’ll admit I like hearing it second or third hand.
I had a lot of running around to do this morning (new glasses yay!) so I swiped this on and got ready. Then, upon sniffing it on my skin, immediately slathered in it before I walked out the door. It was so good! Instantly I regretted never getting a bottle.
You get the vanilla and a gooey, smooth, and buttery caramel scent, but it’s juxtaposed with this incense. It’s not like burning incense, though the notes state “smoke” I didn’t get any of that. More it seemed like the scent was residual of years of burning incense so just the scent of it permeated everything around it. This is really just a sweet incense when you get right down to it and one of my favorites.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t get much whiskey, if any, from this blend, which is just fine. Whiskey haven’t got along since my 21st birthday. So … I have bad scent memories with it, needless to say.
About 4 hours later and I get just a sweet incense type scent, though it’s all but gone from my skin. I wish this lasted longer as I just love it! Though I suppose I should be happy that I get a nice wafting scent every now and then from my pulse points.
The owner of Twisted Wonderland Perfumery is a self-purported Horror Genre Fanatic. So, it should come as no surprise that she crafted scents after Chucky and The Bride of Chucky. Personally, those movies scared the crap out of me. However, my fear of the movies aside, I’ll be brave and delve into this scent and see what’s the what.
This blend is part of a duo that can only be purchased with it’s counterpart (not reviewing today) Barbie, Eat Your Heart Out.
Hi! I’m Chucky! Wanna Play? – Dark spices, deadly candy apple, and hints of fire smoke.
Doesn’t sound to bad, eh? Nothing like the knife-welding doll of horror. In the vial this is all spices and apples – deep, spicy, and sweet. On my skin the smoke comes out, as though there is a fire somewhere close by and the smoke is creeping up the hallway to greet you. It’s a tad unsettling.
As this dries the smoke and spices mix together – but that smoke … it’s not like a woodsmoke or a campfire smoke. This is a dangerous smoke. Rafters of a house on fire. Things burning that shouldn’t burn, or that if they are burning you’re in some deep shi… trouble. And under all of that is apple – tart like a Granny Smith variety and with that smoke I get the feeling it is being cooked inside its skin.
Okay, if you can’t tell there is definitely a creepy factor to this blend. It’s not bad, it’s actually very good, but I can’t shake the association I keep having with it. This may be silly, but I had to check the water heater downstairs to make sure the pilot light was lit and nothing odd was happening. (This is why I can’t watch scary movies.)
This doesn’t waft as much as you think it would, but you don’t have to put nose to skin either to smell it. While this isn’t my kind of scent (I’d always be worried the smoke was my house and not my perfume), I really dig the creepy factor and thought that was put into it. Way to freak me out for nothing Twisted Wonderland!
Almost an hour later and the smoke has mostly dissipated and I’m left with that apple/spice scent and just a hint of smoke – as though its permeated the apple. This is a scent I could totally feel myself wearing. But that first hour of heavy smoke … I’ll have to think on it.
In the end I got about 6 hours of wear from this blend before it completely disappeared!
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!
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 & Loaded – A 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: RED – Vanilla, 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 Lady – A 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 Flowers – The 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 Rain – Dry 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.
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.
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.
These are gorgeously packed Solid Scent Samples from the beautiful perfumery, For Strange Women. The packaging is so elegant I almost don’t want to ruin it by opening it! But open it I must!
I’d heard about For Strange Women due to their Perfume Enhancing Fixative Base ™. So many people swear by it. It is another thing I want to try so will likely purchase with more samples! I can already tell I want to explore her unique catalog!
Not shown is my sample of Rockrose & Oakmoss that broke in transit. USPS was harsh on packages that day and several of my packages and letters looked like they’d been put the the wringer. Jill, the owner, was sweet and kind when I spoke to her about it. I am planning on a large bottle purchase of Rockrose & Oakmoss just from the scent that greeted me when I opened the package. Woody, a little spicy, and comforting.
The packaging is just so beautiful that I have to display each. On the back of the included card is a detailed description of the scent. Very victorian and classical – just the attention to detail and the elegance of everything, from the packaging to the scents, will most likely push For Strange Women to the top of my Indie favorites!
First I selected Satin Corset. As stated above, the description of the scent is on the back of the card and is as follows:
Satin Corset is sweet, uplifting and seductive. A floral bouquet in a bed of vanilla bourbon interprets the scent of a line-dried ivory corset worn by a classic Victorian woman. This fragrance is very similar to oriental lilies, their sweetness grounded with an intoxicating floral musk.
Sounds lovely. And it’s been sitting next to me on the desk waiting patiently to be applied.
The texture of the solid scent is creamy and soft. There is a matte sheen to it instead of a glossy shine. It goes on smooth and rubs into my skin without leaving any residue or sticky feeling.
But this scent … it’s woody – like an armoire – as though you are pulling this freshly laundered, hand sewn corset out for something special. There is a hint of sweetness and as time goes on that armoire scent fades leaving you with the scent of cotton, a touch of silk, and a hint of flowers. It’s classical and sophisticated. I feel like this scent is that first breath you take when putting on a favored piece of clothing.
Next I chose Fireside Story and I’m so glad it’s not that overwhelming burning scent you can sometimes get. This too has a lovely description on the back.
Fireside Story opens with a flash of dark smoke that fades to allow a bouquet of woods to emerge. Traces of leaves, pine cones, and dried resins crackle in this smooth, muted incense that remains close to the body. Three varieties of vanilla create a lingering finish and the perfect setting for a ghost story.
For me this opens with a blast of conifers, as though I’m walking from a forest into a log cabin that has a roaring fire just waiting for me to sit down near. As it dries the vanilla comes out and sweetens the base while giving the resins (amber? frankincense? it has that warm golden feel to it) something to use to glow as they should. This is comforting to the extreme. I just see myself curling up on a old, loved chair with a cup of steaming hot cocoa in one hand, a blanket on my lap, and a good book in the other hand.
You would think this is a simple amber, resinous, golden, and maybe a little sweet. Well, you’d be wrong.
This dark amber is resinous, leathery, and smoky. A sultry, dry wood aroma lingers on your skin like a fine incense.
Elegant, woody, and smooth would describe this amber. It’s soft and a dark golden brown, like a well worn and loved amulet. I can see wearing this alone or layering for an extra bit of oomph to some other blends.
All three of these blends are gorgeous in their own right, yet they meld seamlessly together as though they are meant to be.
The first spray of this you get a strong vetiver that comes out initially. It is almost sharp in its beginnings. Slowly, as your body warms the blend, the vetiver slips back and becomes brown and earthy. I happen to adore vetiver, though not everyone finds it appealing.
Dried rose petals are noticeable also at first. They are deep, yet fragile in their scent, lending almost a paper-like quality to the blend which is enhanced, I believe, by the woods and sandalwood. These roses were once red or purple in their color.
Soon the vanilla and sweet incense comes out to mingle with everything, lending a lifting quality to everything, giving it that sweet edge to soften the sharpness of the frankincense and vetiver. The oud adds it’s own warmth into the mix.
This calls forth visions of summer night rituals, wafting cauldron smoke, and fervent invocations. This blend is not soft, nor sweet and girly, but powerful and commanding. It is dark, as the name suggests, and wafts around you. The longevity on this blend is wonderful and lasting. The throw is medium – it will proceed you at times, but not often, though it is not a skin scent.
One cannot deny the absolute quality of this blend. It comes in a 60ml frosted glass bottle with beautiful artwork adorning it along with hand written name.