30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 19 – Soothsayer by Spectral Spirits

For a few months I’d been watching Spectral Spirits prepare to open shop and the moment Daisy announced it on the Indie Perfume Lovers Facebook Page, I had to place an order.  The shipping was super fast and packaging was adorable.  I love the cracked porcelain doll face and the stripes used in the logo.  It all adds to the atmosphere of the company.

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photo by smellallthethings

Today Soothsayer was pulled from the sample bucket to get a run.  I will say, the one thing I dislike is the wax seal.  These were easier to remove than Conjure Oils’ seal, but still a mess to clean up.

SoothsayerRitual Smoke, Aromatic Spices, Nag Champa, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense, Labdanum, Black Patchouli, Black Amber, Musk

In the vial is this soft and almost fizzy frankincense scent with just a touch of labdanum.  It smells soft and floating – yet it truly blossoms on the skin.  Wet on my skin and I’m already in love with this scent.

This is dark, smoky (but not in your face about it), incense heavy, and almost a touch sweet.  Totally, completely, and utterly up my alley.  It’s like this was made for me (it wasn’t, but man it feels like ME so much).  You get a touch of everything and it’s all so lovely together.  At first it’s all about this incensy smoky scent with a touch of something peppery or spicy.  Under that you get this incredibly smooth nag champa, the likes of which I’ve only smelled once before.  Nag Champa can sometimes be too hippy for me -but this is quite lovley.  The dragon’s blood is softly sweet with a touch of spice to it.  It’s not the floral dragon’s blood that you sometimes get, this is resinous and almost has a carnation-like spice to it.  And that frankincense and labdanum is to die for.  They are almost narcotic in their scent and make me swoon just sniffing them.  The patchouli, amber, and musk seem to be melded together in that you get like a rubbing of a sooty dark amber along your skin.  It’s deep and slightly woody with a rounded softness to it.

If you can’t tell, I’m slightly in love with this scent.  I’m a bit bummed the smoke and spices don’t last longer.  They burn off it seems as the scent dries on my skin.

The throw on this is wonderful.  I get soft sweet incense wafts as I move around.  The longevity is okay at about 3 hours before I need to reapply.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 3 – Twisted Wonderland – Hi! I’m Chucky! Wanna Play?

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.

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photo by smellallthethings

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!

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.

 

 

 

Alkemia Samples

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

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Possets Perfumaplooza – Part 4

Here we are back again with more Possets loveliness!  If you missed the previous parts here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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photo by smellallthethings

Dangerous Oil will open this group of scents with notes of 6 musks from blackest black up through a rare and gorgeous in itself purple/blue musk hybrid. A good jolt of labdenum and an edge of cognac. The heart note is an entire chypre made only for this project and used for no other.  In the vial I get that purple/blue musk and it’s so different and wonderful – you can actually smell the colors.  On my skin the chypre comes out and a touch of the cognac with that lovely floaty labdanum.  I’ve just recently (within the last year) fallen in love with chypre’s.  This blend is not dark, but definitely not light – it’s shadowy.  This floats around and the musks blend so well and the chypre is gorgeous.  I’d expected this to be almost in-your-face strong, but it’s not, it’s almost a skin scent that occasionally wafts up to you.

Next up we have lil-ole’ Betsy with notes of very deep bass notes of patchouli, labdenum, vetiver, and oud   All the spices of Arabia, Africa, and the Orient blended together with a huge shot of the sweetest and most high keyed musk.  Lots of labdanum!  Not that I mind.  In the vial it is all patchouli and vetiver – so much so as to be overwhelming when sniffing.  On my skin those calm down a touch and the spices come out.  This blend when wet morphs as it settles and I get hints and blasts of each note.  The musk is giving a slight bit of sweetness which is tempering the vetiver and patchouli from screaming.  This blend is dark and sultry – very seductive and not shy at all.

Queen of the Night is described by Fabienne as a deeply perfumy blend with a deeply foody core. It is dry and then again there is a dry sweetness to it. In the vial I get a bit of citrus and a flower that goes soapy – though there’s about three that do that to me, I don’t think it’s dragon’s blood but one of the others.  On my skin that soapy scent stays.  I don’t get food at all – not even a little bit.  This is all floral sweetness, soft and gentle.  As it dries the soapy scent floats away and I’m left with clean and gentle floral perfume with just a hint of sweetness.  The citrus was only in the vial apparently.  This is just a beautiful clean scent.

Finally a scent close to my own home in Ohio – Over-the-Rhine!  It is described as spicy, warm, unisex, resinous, oriental.  I’ve been meaning to get this blend since I saw it over a year ago on their website.  However, I have this thing where I get distracted by shiny things.  It happens, okay?  Anyway, in the vial I get a beautiful spicy resinous scent – like spices and frankincense tears.  On my skin there is a touch of wood, maybe oudh, it’s warm and comforting – there is something almost smoky in the quality of it, but not a burning smell.  This feels very classic and high class – as though it would be worn by anyone.  It almost smells … familiar.  Not like it smells like something I know, just that the scent combination has that familiarity to it – just like “oh yeah, I totally know you” even if you don’t.  I am not describing it very well.  So wonderful!  I, of course, must get this – because Ohio won’t be my home much longer.