30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 7 – HagRoot’s Book of Shadows

I’ve been stumbling on, pointed to, and just searching for new companies to try and HagRoot is one that popped up and I just had to try them.

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photo by smellallthethings

Their TAT was fast, their site/scent descriptions nice, and their packaging was on point (as my picture can show – that’s what the samples came in.

There were so many scents that caught my eye, but I limited my initial order to just 5 samples.  I typically do that with any new company because you never know.  Though, I’ve yet to find a dud.

Book of ShadowsVanilla, Black Tea Leaves, Dirt, Guaiac Wood, Wormwood, Leather, Verbena, Juniper Berry, Pine, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Oak

Not sure if it’s my lack of muscle today (slept wrong) or these are some super tight vials, but I’m having a heck of a time opening it.  I ended up getting plyers, spilling a bit, but at least it smells wonderful!

There’s something berry-like in this but not what I normally associate with juniper berry scent.  Neat!  I definitely get the black tea, the woods, the oakmoss, and a touch of leather.  The leather is oiled, but soft, slightly black, but not that shiny black faux leather you sometimes get.  It’s a very … herbal blend, but not really?  This is very unique.

As it’s drying it keeps waffling between being soapy and being woodsy.  It’s teetering like it can’t make up it’s mind.

But oh my goodness – I have my windows open, it’s cool and slightly breezy with just a hint of rain on the air.  As the breeze flows across my wrist I get the most glorious earthy scent.  It’s the earth in its rawest form – dirty, green, woody, and moist (likely from the rain we’re about to get).

After a while I get something kind of spicy, but it’s still very much a nature scent.  This brings to mind a woodland cottage – just the serene peacefulness you can sometimes only get from being in the thick of nature.  It’s all there around you and the scent of it just permeates everything, from the wood of the cottage to the covers on your bed.  And that little hint of vanilla just kind of seals it all together.

The throw is mild – not strong but you can smell it sometimes.  The longevity is really nice so far – lasting up to about 4 hours.

I swear oakmoss is like my comfort scent or something, I don’t know what it is but if it has oakmoss, I want it.

Cocoa Pink – Scent Reviews Part 1

I have somehow (yeah, like it happened on accident) amassed quite the collection of Cocoa Pink drams!  I’ve been letting them sit in a cool dark box for a while and I decided now would be the perfect time while I have my mini-no-buy period to explore all. the. things. in my rather large, and rather full samples box.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bendel Vanilla Bean (type) begins this round of Cocoa Pink madness!  I believe the (type) refers to this scent being a dupe for a mainstream brand.  The notes for this blend are listed as aromatic vanilla bean sensually blended with warm patchouli and sweet jasmine.  In the vial is it this soft floral-like patchouli.  On my skin, however, the jasmine comes to the front with support of a beautiful vanilla bean scent.  It’s not that bakery vanilla, but a subtle, softly sweet, and almost ethereal vanilla scent.  The patchouli is, as promised, warm and golden in feel.  This is not a dirty, gritty patchouli – instead this is smooth, light in feel, and has an almost orange-y citrus like edge to it.  As this melds with my skin chemistry this is becoming an antique-like scent.  Something aged, beautiful, and precious.  Almost luxuriously antique.  I’m kind of in love with this scent something fierce.  After a few hours it’s just so soft and comforting.

Exotic Fig has notes of ripe fig, white tea, bamboo, olive leaves, lemon, peppermint leaf, violet, thyme, champaca and vetiver.  In the dram I get that beautiful watery bamboo note with a touch of violet.  On my skin there is now a touch of that white tea, soft and soothing.  Not really getting much of the other notes.  It takes a few minutes but that bright lemon comes out.  This is soft, sweet, bright and uplifting.  However I am getting no fig, no peppermint, no champaca or vetiver, and just the barest hints of thyme (I love the smell freshly crushed from the garden).  Not quite what I was expecting out of this blend but it’s very beautiful in its own right and seems like it would pair very well with their other scent, Country Picnic.  After about a half hour I start getting some of that golden champaca and earthy vetiver.  The scent deepens overall.  It verges on being almost too perfume-y (funny when talking about perfume, eh?) but that bamboo and white tea seem to keep it from tipping over the department store feeling.  The fig has finally come out as well and is sweet and juicy.  This would be good for lotion or a hair/body spray.

Black Orchid & Vanilla lists its notes as exotic orchids with hints of fresh floral greens mingled with a sweet vanilla base.  In the vial it is this softly sweet orchid, but on my skin it just blooms!  I love orchids.  I love how they look, how they smell, and just everything about them … and this scent just highlights all that beatiful-ness.  The vanilla is sweet, almost candy-like which gives the orchids a candied feel.  Yet there’s just this barest hint of greenery to keep this from being too sickly sweet.  And that gorgeous musky orchid scent permeates everything and it’s just everything I could want from an orchid scent, yet so different than other orchid scents I own.  I think I need to own this in everything Cocoa Pink makes!  I feel so pretty wearing this!

Zombie fans, here’s your scent: Zombie Apocalypse with notes of dark empty musk infected with lashes of black vanilla, petitgrain essential oil, magnolia flowers, jasmine sambac with the empty remains of vanilla sandalwood.  This smells … abandoned, deserted, and almost moldering.  Very eerie, slightly woody, and beginning to be overtaken by nature.  This is post war when most of the zombie’s have died off for whatever reason and there are only pockets of humans left and the rest of the world has been left to its own devices.  It started off a little rotted – or rather on the verge of rotting … but over time it has grown on me and now I can’t stop sniffing it!

Finally I have a suggestive little dram called Come Hither with notes of intoxicating vanillas with a hint of myrrh.  Sounds like my kind of scent!  In the vial this is a very buttery vanilla, despite the site saying this is not a gourmand scent.  As it warms and dries on my skin that buttery aspect smooths out and that sweet, yet woody myrrh comes out tempering what could’ve gone into foodie territory.  This is a beautiful, golden, soft and sweet vanilla with a touch of myrrh giving it a beautiful bit of darkness.  I was craving vanillas exactly like this last week (and still am to some extent) so this is a need for sure!  Perfect way to round out this set of reviews, on a sweet note.

On average I noticed I get roughly 2-4 hours worth of wear out of these scents.  That might be a turn off to some, but, as someone who sometimes has scent commitment issues, this kind of works out perfectly for me.

 

Alkemia Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

More goodies from Alkemia Perfumes!  This is the last of the samples I currently have, though make no mistake, I’ll be getting more just as soon as I get over this small issue of moving states.  Always something hindering the perfume buying.

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photo by smellallthethings

De La Forêt contains notes of dry amber, golden musk, orris root, tonka, bergamot, rosewood, oud, sandalwood, paper, oakmoss, birch tar, and vetivert.  Oooh a paper note!  In the vial I get a nice amber and musk scent rounded out with lots of beautiful and fragrant woods.  On my skin this is so golden and soft.  The tonka is that beautiful brown fuzzy scent with a hint of the floral bergamot.  Some people have issues with orris root and/or vetiver … I am so happy I’m not one of those people (though it did take a few years for me to fully appreciate vetiver).  The birch tar gives this an almost sticky like feeling … you know when you get tree sap on your hand and it just never. goes. away.  In this case this is a good thing.  Oh wow, I get the paper too.  It’s soft, freshly pressed and almost papyrus like.  It’s homemade paper which was lovingly made by hand, not the college ruled paper from the store.   The oakmoss is soft and slightly green.  Overall I’m in love with this blend.  It’s perfect for a beautiful soft forest-like scent.  I could totally see this representing someone in the middle of a forest of tall trees looking up and soaking up the filtered sunlight.

Caveau des Innocents is all about the underground Parisian nightlife with notes of Tabac, dark coffee, piquant cloves, rum soaked pears, candied citron, dark caramel, and star anise bathed in intoxicating swirls of opoponax, labdanum, hashish, benzoin resinoid, vanilla incense, and guaiac wood.  In the vial this was mostly candied citron and a touch of vanilla incense.  Very soft and subdued – not at all what I was expecting.  On my skin this is still soft, but it’s got that slinky feel, as though softly traveling just above the skin.  There is almost a masculine quality about the blend, but it’s unisex too in a way.  No one note is really jumping out.  It’s all so very well blended and very intoxicating.  As this dries and warms on my skin it becomes almost overtly sexy – there’s no come hither finger wave but more of a grab them by their shirt and yank them to you.  Carnal is a good word to describe this scent.

Fumé Oud à la Vanille boasts notes of crushed tonka beans, woodsmoked amber, and bourbon vanilla aged with oud wood.  The woodsmoke is prominent both in the vial and on my skin.  There’s that wonderfully fuzzy tonka again and the oud is very fragrant.  Overall this isn’t heavy vanilla, but it’s not a bad woodsmoke scent either.  I would love it if the vanilla had come out more.  This is very masculine in my opinion, woody, a little smoky (not enough to overwhelm) and slightly resinous.

Aphrodesia will round out this set with notes of deep eastern spices warmed with creamy vanilla and a few drops of golden frankincense.  I have to confess I put this on yesterday when I was craving vanilla scents and fell completely and utterly in love with this.  In the vial there are these beautiful warm spices from an eastern market.  On my skin the frankincense comes out and you can smell those fragrant large resins being slowly and expertly burned in an incense burner.  Their fragrant cloud wafts up to caress your skin and that vanilla with those spices just makes for this intoxicating scent.  Sweet, a little spicy, and that lovely incense wafting in and out.  This is a very unisex blend – not overtly one scent or another, but all the scents melding in together.  It stays close to the skin and makes it a very personal scent.  Oh man, I still can’t stop huffing.  This is what I wanted another scent from another brand to smell like but it just never did for me.  Beautiful!

Arcana Soaps – Flowers & Stars Samples

So excited for more Arcana scents!  Julia’s been doing some wonderful things over there lately, so if you’re curious, check out the Arcana Addicts facebook page to get sneak peeks at some exciting things!  Once again, these decants were courtesy of the wonderful Ajevie!  Now, on to the real reason you’re here …

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photo by smellallthethings

Adhara has notes that include, Vanilla cream, tangerine, clementine, Nagami peel, black coconut, and a touch of sweet violet.  In the vial this is super citus-y and almost creamsicle-like!  On my skin this is a lot of citrus peel with a dark coconut meat.  The violet and vanilla cream add some much needed sweetness to the blend.  I’m trying to wrap my head around this scent as it’s so completely different from anything I normally go for (that was actually on purpose for this group) that I can’t seem to pull together the right words to describe this.  Eventually the sharp acidic peel-like scent smooths out and I get more of the creaminess from the coconut and vanilla with a touch of that purple violet.  The citrus takes a chill pill and calms down and starts playing nicely with everyone.  This is a bright and sweet scent, yellow-ish orange in feel and scent (and apparently oil now that I look at it).  Unfortunately this is fading rather fast on my skin, though that could be an issue of the heat today rather than the blend itself.

Oh man, 10 minutes later and that faded feeling goes away and I get the full force of the beautiful creamy citrusy scent!  It’s like an orange dreamsicle, but only if it took on a more tropical vibe.  The coconut has come out more, but not overwhelmingly so.  This has turned out absolutely beautiful and this girl who used to be iffy on citrus notes before has been converted to a citrus lover!

Belatrix is up next touting notes of Sweet, jammy fir absolute with 3 honeys, honeysuckle, tiny strawberries, and blood orange.  Jammy fir sounds like my kind of jam!  Oh man this smells like heaven in the vial!  On my skin that jammy fir certainly is sweet with those honeys and bright honeysuckle.  The strawberries are tart and the blood orange is deep and red.  Man, I kind of thought I would like this – I did not expect to love it!  This does lean a tad masculine but can teeter on that unisex border.  And if you amp anything other than the fir, then it would likely be leaning feminine.  But, lucky me, I amp conifer scents!  Oh wow, I just keep huffing!  This is just full of sweet woods, beautifully fragrant and unmistakably addicting.  I need this in my life.

Betelgeuse boasts notes of Atlas cedarwood and blood cedar with smoldering oudh, osmanthus, brown musk, bacon, and vetiver.  Bacon?  Yes, bacon.  Crispy fried bacon.  No, it’s not super prominent, but it’s in there mixing with the brown musk and the vetiver.  You bet it’s odd too.  I think my chemistry is amping the brown musk as it’s almost overwhelming right now.  Ya’ll, I want to keep this on and review it but I can’t.  I just … I can’t.  I do hope someone finds this and loves it.  It’s unique and different, salty and brown to the extreme, but just too much for this girl to handle.

Electra is up next to relieve my palate of the aforementioned bacon with its notes of Pink carnation petal ice cream, Mexican bakery vanilla, eggnog, sweet cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In the vial this is all vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg – almost holiday-like.  On my skin it’s much of the same, except now I get that pink carnation petal ice cream (who knew?!) coming out and it’s delicious!  There’s even a hint of “coolness” to it to really give it that ice cream feel.  This is soft, pink, and frilly.  The holiday-likeness goes away after a while and instead everything seems to be in support of that unique pink carnation petal ice cream (I may need to find some).  For some reason this is just bringing memories of Jem and the Holograms to mind.  Rockin’!

Miaplacidus may be hard to say, but it’s notes of Sea air, spring water, cucumber, juniper, hyacinth, lavender, China musk, and 1 drop of hyssop aren’t.  In the vial this is very watery and lavendery (that’s totally a word, okay?).  On my skin the sea air thankfully isn’t coming across as super salty (like the bacon was … wtf bacon … yes I’m still hung up on it), and the cucumber is giving a nice refreshing and clean aspect.  The juniper is soft, but the lavender isn’t, at least not on me.  On me it is almost screaming along with the china musk.  Very odd.  It’s almost as though everything in the blend is vying for attention at once.  Okay, it took a few minutes but the screaming and fighting stopped (listens better than my kids) and now it’s soft and watery and flowing.  This blend becomes gentle and beautiful despite the beginning oddness.  Very pretty, clear blue in color and feel.

Mira is taking me out of my comfort zone again with notes of Tiare blossoms dipped in milk chocolate with coconut, sugared rum, French cocoa absolute, marshmallows, and white chocolate.  So rum and I don’t get a long every since my husband decided that while I was pregnant with my first to get me to eat Häagen Dazs Rum Raisin Ice Cream and that begun my decent into morning sickness – or every time I smelled rum sickness.  There are definite bits of cocoa in the vial so if you do get this, remember to shake gently or roll gently before applying to get it to mix in with the rest of the blend.  This is pure chocolate in the vial.  That creamy and rich milk chocolate that the rest of the world swears isn’t actually chocolate but us American’s just don’t care – we’re addicted to it.  (Unless you’re not, in which case … SHAME ON YOU!  Kidding.)  On my skin it’s chocolate and rum and chocolate and some cocoa.  And it’s way too overwhelming.  I can’t – it’s too much for me.  Some chocolate wearing lover is going to go gaga for this blend, I know it, but that person is not me.

Sirius rounds these scents out with its notes of Bright white grapefruit, golden amber, linden flowers, tart red currant, cassis, and pomegranate.  Lots of favorite notes in here!  I almost bought Sirius blindly without testing, but I wanted to try them all so here we are. In the vial this is bright grapefruit, tart and tangy and super juicy.  On my skin that stays very true but now the linden flowers come out with a touch of cassis.  The pomegranate is red as are the currants, but the grapefruit is making them really work to be smelled.  I think I amp citrus notes in the beginning so I’ll stop sniffing it for a few minutes and see what it does when it settles.  Hmm, even after a few minutes the grapefruit is still super strong and almost over powering the blend.  It takes about 30 minutes but eventually the grapefruit stops overwhelming the blend and the rest gets to showcase themselves.  I enjoy the bit of spiciness cassis brings to the group.  This is only slightly sweet, completely juicy and tart, and a hint of spice.

And thus concludes the Arcana Flowers & Stars collection reviews.  Hope it was helpful!

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.

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 2

Welcome back for another Perfumapalooza with Possets!  I’m putting another small dent in my rather large collection of samples.  Wee!  If you missed Part 1 it’s right over here.

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photo by smellallthethings

First up is Howl.  It has notes listed as black, red and amber musks wrestle furiously with sandalwood and opium tar resin. There is nothing light, sweet, or gentle about this scent. A burning incense backs it up, black patchouli stands in the forefront.  In the vial it’s burnt opium tar and dark patchouli.  On my skin the musks seem to be fighting each other though the red musk is at the forefront with a base of opium tar.  This is dark and resinous, but it fights with itself – the notes all trying to figure out how they will meld together.  It takes a while but the musks finally come together and take the lead with the rest of the notes hanging out in the back.  It’s a rough scent with nothing soft or frilly about it.  But man, once this dries down this is gorgeous!  It’s incense and woody!  It leans a touch masculine.  Oh man, I honestly wasn’t sure I would like this at all, and for a bit I could take it or leave it, but after it’s sat for about 10 minutes this is just beyond beautiful!

I actually have a bottle of Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, it was my first bottle purchase from Possets.  It has notes of Mysore sandalwood, suede, frankincense, patchouli, 4 vanillas.  This is all vanilla in the vial, but it’s not that super buttery gourmand vanilla, it’s softer and gentler.  On my skin the sandalwood and frankincense comes out with just a touch of the patchouli to tamper a bit of the vanilla.  The suede is soft and touchable (that’s totally a thing ya know).  Overall it has a soft almost fuzzy brown and sweet scent around it.  It’s comforting and cozy.

And, because I have a bottle that has been aged nearly a year, lets see what aged Arrival of the Queen of Sheba smells like shall we?  (The date I put on the lid is July 2015!)  In the bottle the vanilla has an almost boozy quality to it, like one of the vanillas is a bourbon vanilla.  The sandalwood and frankincense is super smooth and the suede is super soft and only a touch fuzzy.  The patchouli has smoothed out as well.  As if fresh isn’t comforting and cozy enough, the aged just keeps going, like sinking into the most luxurious seat imaginable.  However, once both have completely dried down, there’s not too much difference.  Aged is just slightly smoother overall and it starts smooth instead of the somewhat bumpy start the new vial had.

Nocturne is up next with the simple notes of balsam fir and a thick crust of sugar.  So … different.  I get the evergreen scent from the balsam fir and it is truly coated in sugar.  This is so unique!  I went to a museum of natural history yesterday and there was a display of different forests and this reminds me of what the display of coniferous forests smelled like.  Solitary and steadfast are two words that come to mind when I sniff this.  I think this would be a beautiful scent for an oil warmer.  I’d love my house to smell like this.  Unfortunately my skin eats this scent after a few minutes so I think putting this in the oil warmer will be best.

Lady and a Baby Unicorn will round out this batch of reviews and her notes are: using the right type and right amount and right dilution, vetiver (that sultry, earthy, wild, and dominant part) becomes positively docile, sweet, and innocent…almost fruity in the presence of three vanillas (dry, fat, and sweet).  Vetiver and I … we have a love/hate relationship.  Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it.  In the vial it smells like … jello?  Ha!  On my skin I still get the jello association.  Eventually it evens out  and I get a touch of earthy sweetness.  This scent is another unique one!  Fabienne sure does know how to do unique scents!

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 1

I have a huge pile of Possets samples that I’ve purchased straight from Possets, or from Ajevie, and some I acquired via freebies from purchases or swaps from other members of the Indie Perfume community.  It is their time to shine!

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photo by smellallthethings

Zombie is one of the blends I hear so much about!  It’s always described as marshmallow oudh – what’s not to love about that?!  The “official” notes are listed as: toasted marshmallow and oude, a bit of burnt stick, and the unmistakable fragrance of the crisp autumn air.  (There are many different spellings for oudh, oud, oude, and I’m sure there’s more.)  In the vial I get a bit of oudh and a touch of that crisp autumn air.  On my skin it just … wow, it’s so unique!  It’s marshmallow all right, that ooey gooey melted marshmallow that you only get from a stick and a fire.  There’s no burning smell, just this lush woody scent topped with marshmallow.  I get the hype!  It’s very soft overall, however, the longer this sits the more the marshmallow fades to just a hint of sweetness and you’re left with this smooth and fragrant oudh.

I have to admit this next one I’ve tested already as I’ve been eyeing it fiercely for months and I’m happy it made the permanent collection!  That scent is Min-Min (Ghost Lights) and it boasts notes of Sandalwoods, three of them, combined with the rich enticing scent of leather, a strong and classic patchouli. In the vial it’s almost all leather (it’s a cross between new shiny leather and that soft, well-worn leather I prefer).  As it dries the sandalwood comes as does the patchouli.  It’s a warm patchouli, almost golden in its scent.  Despite the notes in this not typically being seen as ethereal, somehow it is just that – floating and ethereal, yet grounded.  As this sits on my skin longer the leather goes from the forefront to somewhere in the back where it just gives hints as to its existence in the blend.  Very beautiful and almost haunting blend.

Jeanne duVal is part of the Femme Fatales 2016 collection with notes of 5 ambers (two golden, one dry, one sweet, and one which is what I call Black Amber), add to that African Musk, a drop of aged sweet patchouli, a nice swath of labdanum, a large part of a very very dry and somewhat woody Bourbon vanilla, a bit of sandalwood, and just the right amount of Haitian vetiver.  I get a nice sweet blast of bourbon vanilla in the vial and … chocolate?  On my skin the vetiver takes over and for some reason there is something reminding me of chocolate.  Or rather, more of a cocoa than a sweet milk chocolate.  The ambers begin to make their appearance which pushes that weird cocoa note further away.  I wonder if one of the ambers is a grey amber because I get just a hint of saltiness.  The bourbon vanilla begins it’s ascent to the top with some of the sandalwood.  I’m not getting a hint of labdanum which usually gives me a floaty feeling in a blend.  This is a very grounded scent … but something is still giving me wafts of cocoa!  So weird!  If it weren’t for the cocoa I think I would really like it!  Huh, it took a while, but the cocoa scent finally went away and now the labdanum has come out with it’s floaty essence.

The Mistress of Power will round out Part 1 of this review with notes of an incense and musk scent, a great oriental. Black, grey, and golden musks at the base, a good part of aged patchouli (which has gone from a thin light yellow to a thick dark brown over the years in the curing cabinet) there is absolutely nothing coy about this blend. Backdrop of a non foody and more brandy-like chocolate liquor, a small amount of clove, all finished off with an ambergris-like musk for a shadow-like staying power.  The scent in the vial is boozy, but that goes away almost as soon as it touches my skin.  Wow the patchouli is strong in this one with a good bit of a golden scent to it.  The incense is strong, but not overwhelming.  This is a resinous and incense blend, not for the faint of heart.  It is commanding and powerful making itself known.  There is a bit of subtle shifting between the notes as they vie for power and dominance.  It takes a while, but eventually they settle into a golden resin and incense blend with just a hint of sweetness.  This actually reminds me of the Lotus Spa I went to on the Outer Banks!  Such a lovely and relaxing place.  But that’s quite the dichotomy isn’t it?