Siberie Perfumes – Samples

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

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photo by smellallthethings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love Potion Perfumes – Sample Reviews

I ran across mention of Love Potion Perfumes in a forum for another company and even there, they seemed to have some die-hard fans.  So, of course, I had to try it out!  I have to confess I’ve been sitting on these samples for a few months now, though I had tested one shortly after it had arrived and loved it.  With perfume, I seem to have a problem keeping attention on something and end up chasing shiny things instead of focusing on what I have.  Shame on me!

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photo by smellallthethings

As you can see, these come in the 2ml sizes and I was given two 1ml’s free with my order!  They appear to be like single notes, so that’s cool.

And if you want, for added oomph to your magical blend, you can add pheromones to, I believe, any blend.

Cocked & LoadedA manly-man earthy sexy violet heart crafted of violet fragrance oil and violet leaf absolute then rounded out with balsamic amber, powdery oakmoss and two types of smooth golden sandalwood.

Love Potions not only lists the notes, but lists any magical, healing, or historical meanings for the notes used.  Which is kind of cool.  In the vial this smells like violets, but a version that has a soapy quality to it.  On my skin most of the soapiness goes away and I’m left with just … violets.  I’m really not getting anything else out of it at the moment.  Even after letting it dry down the violets are strong but I do get a hint of something like sandalwood and a touch of amber.  No oakmoss, no earthiness, just mostly florals.  Nearly a half hour later I finally get some greenness from the oakmoss.  This is a close to the skin scent with very little throw.


Love Potion: REDVanilla, Amber, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Dark Sugars, Woods, Resins.

In the vial I get a nice bit of resin and wood.  On my skin I get a hint of cinnamon, but nothing overwhelming and it seems to be sitting close to the patchouli.  I get a little bit of a tingly sensation on my skin where I applied, but no burning or anything harsh like that.  This reminds me of walking into those kitschy country stores, but more refined.  I kind of like that smell, a mixture of cinnamon, wood, and vanilla.  The sugar has an almost molasses feel to it, which is comforting.  This to me isn’t an overtly sexy blend, but more of a comforting kitchen blend.  It smells like home, and love, and baking.  Again, this is a scent that stays very close to the skin.  I would love to have this in an oil warmer in my home (and that may be exactly what I do).


Always a LadyA soft bouquet featuring five types of roses, scattered with dewy droplets of sweet strawberry, mango, raspberry and tangerine, all resting upon a base of oak and chypre.

In the vial this is super fruity!  Lots of mango and tangerine with a hint of strawberry.  On my skin that fruit is vying with the roses and it’s causing quite the ruckus on my skin.  Eventually they work it out and it becomes a huge bouquet of roses.  You can smell the dew and greenness with a hint of the oak.  The only prominent fruit now is tangerine and strawberry, the rest sort of hang and add either sweetness or depth to the blend.  The chypre comes and goes as you sniff.  The throw on this blend is much more than the others, but still nothing that would overwhelm.  It’s strong against the skin than it is when it wafts up to you.


Feed the FlowersThe beautiful melancholy of a funereal mood…a hint of smoke in the air, dried dusty flowers and the freshly-turned earth of an open grave…a bouquet of deep dark roses, geranium and stargazer lily mingled with earth, dry leaves and a drop of hay and dusted with mysterious resinous notes of myrrh, sandalwood, storax and benzoin. Finished with woodsmoke, powdery musk and a final kiss of white and powdered sugars.

This was the blend I had tried when they’d first arrived and I remember it being beautiful, earthy, and reminded me a lot of Samhain and all things Autumn.

In the vial I get a scent that is reminiscent of decaying leaves.  On my skin that scent is still there, but on top of it is smoke and crackling twigs under foot.  The dried flowers are hauntingly beautiful and hay graces the floor.  This scent reminds me of an old, forgotten house in the woods whose bouquet on the table is long forgotten and the lace drapes are moth eaten and molding.  Perhaps it was the home of a maiden waiting for her love to return from a war – but he never did and so she waited until they could be together again.  It’s a melancholic scent and I love it.  Another close to the skin scent.  Really wish this one had some throw to it.  Maybe I should put this one in an oil burner too.


Autumn RainDry leaves and wet woods form the heart of our forest, with dewy notes of fern and fresh cut stems, and autumnal accents of apple and hay blended with the ambiance of earth and smoky frankincense.

In the vial this is a deep aquatic with a hint of apple.  On my skin it is much of the same with an added touch of greenness.  Beautiful petrichor scent with the leaves and forest floor.  The apples are green and slightly bitter, the hay which was warmed by the sun is getting wet and is super fragrant.  Once dried the frankincense comes out and wafts around this blend and gives it another dimension.  Somehow this blend is dark, as though the rain has come on the heels of dusk.  Unlike Feed the Flowers, this blend has a bit of a throw to it and wafts beautifully around.


The two free samples are Sugared Geranium and Sugared Bonfire.

Sugared Geranium is a deep and heady floral in the vial but it relaxes on my skin and becomes soft and pink with just a hint of sweetness.

Sugared Bonfire has an almost cotton candy like scent in the vial, but on my skin the wood and smokiness comes out and mixes with the sugar and creates the oddest combination of sweet woodsmoke, or cotton candy flavored in woodsmoke.  It’s not bad, and not off putting really, just very different.

 

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.

 

Deep Midnight Perfumes – Game of Thrones Inspired Samples

Another review for the lovely shop Deep Midnight Perfumes!  This time I am reviewing the Game of Thrones Inspired set of samples.  I have to preface this by saying I’ve only read 2 of the books and watched the first episode of the show.  In my defense, I have small children and some things are not appropriate for their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  I do, however, hear regular updates from my husband who has both read the books and watched the show, so I have some idea of these concepts.

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photo by smellallthethings

Raven Boy was inspired by Bran Stark and has notes of Oakmoss, earthy musk, tobacco leaf, sage, dark vanilla sugar, amber, aged oak and background florals notes of iris and damask rose.  Ooh, this is deep and dark, beautifully done.  On my skin the dark vanilla sugar and the aged oak have melded into one.  The sage is not very noticeable – I only get a hint here and there.  Tobacco leaf and oakmoss and that beautiful earthy musk is giving this a greenish-brown feel.  The iris and damask rose are not prominent and only serve to lift a little and give a hint of sweetness that’s been rounded out.  This is dark, like a dream where the edges are fuzzy and the only thing in sharp relief is what you have your inner eye turned upon.  This blend is unisex, but with a slight masculine lean.  Overall the scent stays close to the skin, like a dream fog.

Little Dove is a olfactory representation of Sansa Stark with notes of linden blossoms, lilac, and lily, are mixed with delicious arctic berries, and nuances of violet, apple, and soft, creamy musk then wrapped up in sweet green notes of willow and bamboo.  You don’t see bamboo too often in notes but it’s one I love and I am drawn to it when I find it.  Doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun in the mean time!  In the vial you get that wet and green bamboo, some of the apple, and a lot of floral.  On my skin this is softly sweet, slightly green, and a touch dewy.  There is something that keeps wanting to go a bit “sex” on my skin.  Ahh, it’s mellowed in the last 5 minutes.  The arctic berries have a touch of frost on them, but are otherwise red and juicy.  This is a beautiful fragile yet fragrant scent – soft, beguiling, sweet, and innocent.

Faceless Girl is inspired by Arya Stark with notes of cedarwood, black amber, lavender, cassis, olive leaf, cassia bark, and patchouli are softened up with notes of tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose otto and violet.  In the vial this is a deep dark lavender with some gorgeous patchouli.  On my skin the cedarwood and cassis/cassia bark come out with a touch of sandalwood and ylang ylang.  The rose otto is fighting for attention but that calms down after a bit thankfully.  There is a definite oriental vibe about this blend with a hint of something reminding me of a darker fougère.  The notes are so well blended now that I’m having a hard time picking them out.  Overall I get a very shadowed vibe, strong yet feminine, only slightly floral and this is reminding more of early Arya when she was still being forced into being proper and feminine and her life hadn’t been touched by so much death.

Snow Wolf is meant as a representation of Jon Snow with notes of Cedarwood, leather, rosemary, dark woods, black amber, and a touch of cool, frosty mint.  In the vial this is leather and mint.  On my skin I still get some of that cool and crisp peppermint, but it isn’t strong or overpowering.  It takes a little bit but the woods come out with a hint of leather.  I’m not really getting any rosemary.  This is masculine and almost gritty in feel.  I know there’s no steel or metal in the blend, but the combination of the mint and the leather is giving off that feeling.  You can almost feel the heavy leather on your back keeping you warm in the bitter cold.

Stormborn has the pleasure of being inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (yes I copy/pasted because I would’ve butchered the spelling) whose notes include Dragons blood, oud wood, patchouli, jasmine, desert earth, cardamom, and moss.  The dragon’s blood is very strong and is unlike any dragon’s blood from any company I’ve ever tried before.  Instead of being either floral, or super spicy floral, this is a soft and gentle floral with just a touch of spice, which could actually be coming from the cardamom.  You get the jasmine and the oudh.  The patchouli is mixing with the desert earth to give a golden yet dry feel to the blend.  Overall this is powerful and comanding – more unisex than feminine, and keeps trying to tip to something kind of boozy.

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!

Possets Perfumapalooza – Part 3

Here we are, back again for more Possets Perfume Perfection!  If you missed them, here are links to Part 1 and Part 2!

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photo by smellallthethings

To start us off with this round of scents we have Dance With Me whose notes consist of: coumarin-laced lavender combines with fizzy pink grapefruit, and it all rests on a bed of white musk.  So exciting a new note!  No idea what coumarin smells like!  (I worked in a doctor’s office, so all I know is the medicine – which has no smell.)  And lavender … let’s see if Possets works for me – I so want to be able to wear it!  In the vial it’s a pretty perfect pink grapefruit!  On my skin it’s much of the same, super happy and uplifting.  The white musk is under it giving it something to rest on.  As the grapefruit calms down into just a hint of that juicy sweet perfection the lavender comes out soft and gentle.  So far none of that sharp nose-hurting smell that I have gotten from other lavender’s.  There is something kind of green wafting around.  Maybe coumarin?  (Need to google!)  Well, that was interesting – and hard to describe but what I read from several sources was that it typically has a tonka-like smell (which for me tends to be brown and fuzzy).  However, it can also have a hay-like association.  Either way Dance With Me is a beautiful scent with lavender that I can wear!  It’s super bright and soft – perfect for summer and dancing with my girls.  The citrus never really goes away, which sometimes can happen.  This scent is so far from anything I would normally pick for myself that I am over the moon happy!  Usually you hear of citrus scents not having much lasting power, but this isn’t the case here.  It’s over an hour later and still going strong!

Next up we have Dies Irae with notes of three BLACK musks, one fog-like musk to disburse the whole, bitter galbanum, smooth hawthorne, the scent of rotting leaves, a small amount of orris, and smoky oude, finally frankincense and black amber. Well talk about opposite end of the spectrum!  In the vial it’s all leaves and orris – and it’s that lovely wet, decomposing leaf smell you can only get from a forest floor.  On my skin that decomposing leaf smell stays (I actually love that smell – but I’m weird so …) but the orris does this cute thing where it plays peek-a-boo.  The musks are there but they aren’t assertive, just keeping things nice and dark so the leaves can rot in peace and the ground can be rejuvenated by the natural process.  To me this is just a big dense forest doing the things that forests do best – death, rebirth, and renewal.  This has a great throw to it and just a wonderful fall-like scent.

Evita Peron, part of the Femme Fatales collection, boasts notes of Egyptian musk, followed by a very unusual leather component which conjures up the scent of violets (!). This is accompanied by a dry white amber, and a kiss of ginger. In the vial this is white amber and … violets!  Fabienne is right about that leather, how cool!  On my skin this is soft, sweet violets with a touch of musk and just a hint of ginger.  It is soft, somewhat sweet, and just classic.  This isn’t a super complex scent, but I can’t stop sniffing the spot on my hand.  It’s just so sweet and comforting, yet it’s also elegant and almost commanding at the same time.

Salome is the last scent for this round and is also part of the Femme Fatales collection.  It’s notes are comprised of Black and African, myrrh, frankincense, cedar, ivory musk, green coffee pulp extract, and a very light light misting of black Mexican vanilla.  In the vial I get green coffee.  This may be seen as blasphemous to some – but I dislike coffee with a passion.  I don’t drink it, I don’t like to smell it, I’m just not a coffee person.  Please take my preferences with a grain of salt.  I will try to be objective, but sometimes you just can’t help what you can’t help.  On my skin, thankfully, the super prominent green coffee note is almost completely gone.  In its wake I am left with beautiful myrrh and resinous frankincense.  The cedar forms a beautiful base while the musk just gently presents itself.  The vanilla isn’t apparent, but I’m sure it’s in there.  This is dark, beguiling, and a little off base.

Deconstructing Eden Samples – Part 2

Here we are back for more wonderful Deconstructing Eden sample reviews!  This is the batch that has some of the Valentine scents now discontinued for now.  If you missed the previous review thread – here is Part 1.

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photo by smellallthethings

Stung, from the Valentine release, boasted notes of three types of honey, beeswax absolute, sweet amber, green pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg. Oh wow.  Amber is what presents itself first to me.  With all the pepper and cinnamon you’d be thinking SPICE, but it’s not overpowering at all.  The honey is sweet and the beeswax a little smoky.  As this dries the spiciness does amplify, but it never crosses the too much mark.  This is very well blended and I’m sorry I missed out on a bigger bottle of it.  Maybe next year!  I’d love to have a bottle of this!

Another from the Valentine release is Song of Solomon whose notes consist of Rich myrrh essential oil, tolu balsam, aged honey, incense, cedar wood, sandalwood, wine, vanilla, and coconut milk. I hate to say this … it starts out as a public bathroom scent.  A clean one, but … yeah.  It might be that I traveled recently and stopped in a lot of rest area’s along the highway and I just can’t shake that smell yet.  Other than that, like I said, it smells clean.  I can’t really pick one thing or another out unfortunately, so I may put this to the side and come back to it with a clearer nose.  I get honey and wine.  It’s a very beautiful scent, I just can’t shake the association I have with it.

Silver Moon is a general collection scent and its notes are listed as moonflower, white amber, musk, jasmine, white ginger, feral, silver moon.  Her listing says it was a custom blend for a dear friend who allowed Toni to sell it.  Huh, there’s almost a peach or apricot quality at first sniff.  Oh … that’s the ginger.  There is something animalic about this blend.  Brings to mind the phrase “pale moon light”.  It is soft and glittering white with a hint of a bite to it.  That ginger is very prominent in the blend.  Different and intriguing, I like it.

Little lost Alice in Wonderland whose notes are candied lemon peel that mellows into violet and rose with vanilla rounding out the entire blend will bring this scent adventure to a close … for now.  Mmm … violet candies!  The lemon isn’t strong at all, like I feared it would be.  Instead it is soft and understated but gives a nice brightness to the blend.  Vanilla, violet, and a touch of rose are the stars in this blend.  So sweet it’s making my teeth ache though!  This leans on the foodie side to me, oddly enough and unfortunately it makes my stomach queasy.  Think this might be one for the lovers of all things gourmand.  Annnnnd it’s making me sneeze so much. =(  Can’t have ’em all I suppose.

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!

 

Nocturne Alchemy – Spring 2016 Samples & Seth’s Super Secret Scent

Man that’s a lot of S’s in that title.  Say it 10 times fast!

Anyway, what we have today are scents from Nocturne Alchemy/VApothecary. or NAVA for short.  They are a wonderful company with lovely owners who enjoy all things Egypt … and cookies.

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photo by smellallthethings

So I may have already sniffed and purchased full size bottles of Evening Star and Mysteries of Udolpho (which came with cute scarab beads and the sample of Seth’s Super Secret Scent) because I had a mini-freak out that the scents were coming down today.  They aren’t, but that didn’t stop me from ordering them!  Decants were purchased via Ajevie, again.  She’s awesome!

Evening Star is first up, since you know I already bought one, with notes of Crushed Jasmine and Crushed Violet, Egyptian Rose de Mai Absolute, Nutmeg, California Redwood, Raw Papaya Seed, Arabian Cedarwood, Bastet’s White Amber, Champagne Musk and Chrysanthemum star petals.  In the vial it’s all jasmine and violet with a touch of rose.  On my skin, however, the scents blossom.  The redwood and cedarwood give this blend a nice grounding place to layer on top of.  The nutmeg is almost undetectable but I believe it is what is giving a “warm” glow to this.  Bastet’s (one of the perfumers at NAVA) White Amber gives a feeling of the sky to me – it’s ethereal and floating.  The champagne musk is soft and almost fuzzy in feel.  Overall this is a soft, sweet, and flowing blend that makes me think of laying in the grass looking up at the night sky.

The Mysteries of Udolpho is next and this one blew me away with its notes of Venice Violet infused Bergamot Tea, Castle Oakmoss, White Amber, Vanilla Crystal Musk and a drop of Italian Galbanum Incense accord.  So, so, so good.  Warm and spicy with a hint of sweetness.  Normally I don’t compare or mention a scent smelling like one from a different perfumery because I don’t think its fair to the perfume house I’m currently reviewing.  However, what this smells like is a discontinued scent from another house that will not be brought back.  It’s not an exact match (I did test my samples side by side), but it’s similar enough in feel that those that missed out (like me) on the other scent might be able to find something similar and possibly a new perfumery at the same time!  Win-Win right?  Enough already, I’m talking about Black Phoenix’s Fruminous Bandersnatch – so if you missed it and are hording your little stash, like me, get this – it’s awesome.  Udolpho is, as the name indicates, mysterious.  I honestly can’t go through and pick out the notes because if I hadn’t seen the note list I would’ve sworn there was carnation, amber, and maybe galbanum.  Oakmoss?  Bergamot tea?  Violet?  I can’t find those it’s so well blended.  This is warm and cozy and just amazing.  After a few hours this is a soft amber and vanilla scent with just a whisper of spice.

Pharaoh Anniversary is not part of the Spring Collection, but is instead part of the Studio Limited Collection, which has a chance to stick around a bit longer and even, sometimes, be re-stocked.  It’s notes are comprised of Water Lily, Heliotrope, Mimosa, Bergamot, Alexandrian Sea Salt, Amber and Musk. Anniversary blend brings the smokiness of NAVA ICONIC Arabian Oudh, NAVA Amber Resin Absolute, Frankincense Pure and White Myrrh of Aswan grown especially for our perfume company. Oh wow, this is gorgeous!  The water lily, heliotrope, and mimosa give this such a fragrant opening, soft and flowing.  And ICONIC!!  (No longer available notes are: Our Rose and Jasmine Oudh, more notably Rose Oudh. NAVA Oudh blend with Egyptian and Arabian White, Pink and Blood Rose Petals, Spanish Jasmine Grandiflorum, Egyptian Jasmine Absolute and Indian Jasmine Sambac. The Jasmine is a stabilizer for the rose and both botanica are the heart of this Oudh.)  NAVA does Oudh like no one else does Oudh.  This blend is at once flowing and resinous and truly a work of art.  I can smell the Nile, the floral gardens in the palace, the sand under my feet and the sun on my face.  It smells like a celebration on my skin.  The salt is barely there as to be non-existent.  Well, I know what’s going in my next order!  Mmm the longer this sits the more the ICONIC Oudh comes out.

Next is A Room With A View from the Spring Collection and it boasts notes of Florentine Frangipani, Essence of Florentine Violet, Italian White Musk, Plumeria Cream, Santalum, Italian Bergamot Tea Light Essence and Italian Cyprus infused Balsam wood. In the vile it’s all violet and plumeria cream (in the best way!) and on my skin the fragipani and white musk come out. It takes a minute but the santalum begins to warm up with a hint of cyprus and a soft touch of balsam.  The bergamot tea is giving it just the barest of hints of spice.  It always blows me away with how delicate and gentle some of these scents are when NAVA also does super good heavy incense and resin blends.  This is gorgeous.  It’s like an open window to the most lush of floral gardens.

Last, but most certainly not least, is Seth’s Super Secret Scent – Very Vanilla Crystalline Angel Cake!  No notes listed for this as it’s Seth’s own secret blend.  Sometimes he makes enough for full size bottles, sometimes just little teaser samples go out.  Typically these secret scents are sent out with update orders that were placed within a few days of a new update going live on the site.  Sometimes they are sent out until gone.  Just remember, I’m not a gourmand lover, and Seth is known for his gourmands.  In the vile I get a super buttery blast of vanilla cake.  On my skin it almost disappears!  I can barely get a hint of something resembling cake.  There’s a slight buttery vanilla note, but it’s so soft.  Boo!  It might be that I’ve gone nose-blind to it after the two stronger scents.  I’ll try again later and edit if it changes!

 

Valhalla Soap Co. – Samples Part 2

This is a continuation of Part 1 of the Valhalla Soap Co. reviews.  If you missed it, check it out here!

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photo by smellallthethings

You’ll see these aren’t all samples.  I did splurge on a 5ml of Victoria & Albert because it was part of their Limited Edition Creepy Couples Collection and I was worried it would sell out before I could try it.  It hasn’t, but it’s gotten some rave reviews on the FB page.  Valhalla Soap Co. has this to say about the scent:

It was love at first sight for these cousins. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were nearly inseparable during their 17 years together. After Albert’s untimely death at only age 42, Queen Victoria went into mourning, wearing black from head to toe for the remainder of her life. During those remaining 4 decades she employed a personal medium to hold regular seances so that she could speak to and remain close to the departed Albert, the one and only love of her life.

Delicate and green. Pure, unadulterated English violet. Creamy coconut milk spiked with fresh coriander and infused with warm tonka bean, musk and sandalwood. No suntan lotion, no buttery bakery notes to muck things up. This is one of the most beautiful blends we’ve ever done. We are totally smitten with it and think you will be too.

So, it has violet, tonka, musk, and sandalwood … some of my favorite notes!  Only thing making me hesitate is the coconut milk.  Not a big coconut fan, and I don’t cook much with coriander because I don’t like the smell.  However, I trust perfumers to know what they’re doing in the mixing department!  In the bottle it’s straight up coconut.  But I’m not giving up!  I put it on and most of the coconut smell dissipates almost immediately and I’m left with just the suggestion of it.  Delicate and green is a very apt description for this scent.  The violets are not overpowering, but sit atop the musk and sandalwood while the tonka bean gives that brown fuzzy feeling I enjoy out of that note.  The longer this sits the more it smooths out into this creamy, dreamy, and fuzzy scent.  Very pretty!

Alter Smoke boasts notes of ancient amber and precious myrrh entangled with hints of relaxing spikenard and spicy clove leaf, rise from a base of sweet vanilla, earthy patchouli, exotic sandalwood and sultry musk. In the vial it is soft, sweet, with a slight wood smell.  On my skin this bursts with beautiful myrrh and vanilla tinted amber.  There is no burning smell, there is no spice, there is no off-putting incense blasting away … it is just peaceful, content, glorious, and personal.  Meditative is a good description for this scent.  I could close my eyes, inhale, and be at peace with everything.

Next I have a sample of 540 Doors whose notes are green florals and mosses, woodsy fir and balsam, spruce, teakwood and fresh cut cedar mingle with a rich, earthy base of amber, musk, patchouli and mysore sandalwood.  I feel like I’m a broken record with the notes on the scents I choose, but I swear, they may look similar but they are not at all.  540 Doors is green and fresh in the vial.  On my skin the moss, balsam, and spruce come to the fore with hints of cedar and sandalwood.  There seems to be a touch of fresh turned and moist earth.  The amber shines through here and there while the musk and patchouli lend a nice base to this.  Another wonderful blend!  I love how fresh and green this smells.

To round out this batch of scents is Crone Magick whose notes consist of a deep, dark yet gorgeous blend of frankincense, myrrh, amber and sandalwood.  Seems almost simple compared to the last two blends but I’m willing to bet it’s anything but simple.  In the vial it is sharp and almost acrid.  There is something coming across as vaguely burnt citrus, as though a orange was tossed on a dying embers of a forgotten fire.  This blend feels languid, acerbic, and unchanging.  It is dark, indeed, yet it mellows slowly as it dries.  The sharp barbs of scent slowly smooth out to something more pleasant to the palate.  I get the feeling of needing to just … leave it alone, yet I can’t stop sniffing.  Something is pulling me back in even when I want to walk away.  How odd.  After a few hours I’ve noticed this is one of those scents that is better when appreciated from afar – meaning I don’t like the scent up close and personal when I put my nose close to the spot on my skin, but as I move my arm around and the scent comes to me, I find myself enjoying it immensely.  Some scents are like that, and Crone Magick happens to be one of them.