Arcana – The Righteous Uterus

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photo by smellallthethings

The name, the label art, the cause … it’s all wonderful!  For the unawares, The Righteous Uterus is part of Arcana’s bid to help Planned Parenthood40% of proceeds from this scent are automatically transferred from each sale to Planned Parenthood.  Julia, bless her hedonistic heart, is very transparent in how much has been sent thus far.  Curious?  Visit her company’s Facebook page or the fan page.

Like I said, the cause is wonderful.  Even if the notes are not “your thing”, this is another way to donate to a worthy cause.

But that label art!  And the notes!  And the name!  It’s the complete package really.

The Righteous Uterus – A power blend of fresh ginger root, bergamot peel, black vanilla, spruce branches, balsam of Peru, and sparkling water rests on a base of unbreakable sandalwood and corporeal amber.

In the bottle this is a huge, freshly peeled blast of ginger root.  I’ve peeled and grated enough and I enjoy that scent (mostly because I enjoy the food I’m cooking it in as well).  And on the skin that fresh ginger root is there, it’s strong and flowing.  It’s so strong that it’s overtaking everything else at the moment.

As this dries down I get that citrus-y bergamot peel and something that is reminding me of Arcana’s “fir jam” which might be the spruce branches (maybe a bit of the balsam as well) coming through.  Eventually I get that dark, caramel-y vanilla scent and it pulls the sandalwood and amber with it as it makes its way through the brighter notes.

It takes a while, but fear not, the ginger and bergamot falls to the back of the line and lets the other notes come to the fore.  The throw is not as large as it was when wet, but it’s still nice and I get a waft of it whenever I move my hand.

I really like this.  It wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  I’d seen it compared to ginger ale, and I don’t like ginger ale.  I don’t think it’s like ginger ale.

Once this has had time to settle it is a gorgeous, soft scent with an edge.  It has that feel that is quintessentially Arcana.  Soft, slightly sweet, with a brightness that lifts you up and a base to keep you grounded.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 5 – Deep Midnight’s Prairie Gothic

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m so very excited for fall and all the scents that come with it.  I’ve already rearranged my bottle collection so that my “fall” scents are most accessible.  Add to that everyone is starting to release their fall/autumn/halloween collections and you have me sitting here like a kid in a candy store!

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photo by smellallthethings

Just the other day I received my Deep Midnight fall collection sample sets in the mail and I’ve been itching to try them.  I may have cheated and not reached in my box-o-samples, but I still blindly chose from these … so that counts right?

Prairie Gothic is from their Haunted Inn‘s collection.

Prairie GothicAbsinthe, Anise, Amber, Soft Patchouli, Tumbleweed, Wet Concrete, and of course a healthy dose of mysterious spring water, along with a little touch of the Spirit Accord.

I think this is the first time I’ve been truly perplexed by the initial vial sniff.  It at once smelled familiar but also there is absolutely no way I can pick out what I’m smelling other than … petrichor.  So maybe it is the water and concrete?  That was a very unique sniff.

On my skin I get a large dose of anise.  It actually reminds me of my Chinese Five Spice I use when cooking.  Under that I get a splash of almost bitter absinthe and then the petrichor.  I get the sense of warm concrete cooled by a recent rain.  There’s almost something a touch desolate about this blend.

Honestly, had I been able to choose what went into this pack, I would not have picked Prairie Gothic because it’s so far removed from any of my typical (though rather large) range of scents.  And yet I can’t stop sniffing.

About 20 minutes into the dry down and it’s verging on soap.  A very clean, very beautiful smelling soap.

Now about an hour into it and it’s still rather soapy on my skin but the scent that wafts up is … different.  It’s warm, wet, and haunting.  This is so weird.  It’s like fog but warmer?  I know that doesn’t make sense.

Two hours in and its starting to fade.  The anise has gone, as has the absinthe.  I’m left with a light amber and watery scent with a touch of what, I assume, is the Spirit Accord.  Hopefully I run across her Spirit Accord in other blends as it is something quite beautiful.

30 Scents in 30 Days – Day 4 – Nereid by Fabled Fragrances

I’m so excited that chance has deemed I review another new-to-me perfume house!  I stumbled upon Fabled Fragrances when someone had linked to their eye shadow.  I was over the moon to see they had scents as well, so of course I had to try a bit of everything.  The eye shadow has been wonderful and now I get to try their scents!

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photo by smellallthethings

Nereid fresh water (synthetic), sweet grass (synthetic), heather (synthetic), tuberose (natural), ocean water (synthetic), myrrh (natural)

In the vial it smells like water and greenness with a hint of florals.  On my skin the tuberose seems to take over and it’s almost overwhelming.  The throw on this is, already, fairly strong and I barely need to point my nose in its direction to get a good bead on the scent.

I very much prefer the scent that wafts up to me versus the one I find when I sniff closer to my skin.  It’s an extremely aquatic blend (yeah, duh for me) with soft bits of floral floating around and in and out.

Under everything is this golden myrrh scent, almost like the sun glinting on the water.  It’s warm and comforting – and it grounds this scent so it does not feel like it has no bottom.  The water isn’t salty despite ocean water being an ingredient.  This is fresh water to me, which is fine as I prefer fresh water scents over oceanic scents.

As this dries down I’m finding it to be quite a bit more musky than I think I’d expected (or that the wet stage had shown).  The sun has set on the horizon and the deep things in the ocean come out.

Hours later and this is still lingering, softly wafting around.  It went through a very brief soapy stage, but even that was a nice floral soap.  I get a soft musk, a touch of floral, and a heavy dollop of aquatics.  This is beautiful and almost haunting.

Sixteen92 General Catalog Samples

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photo by smellallthethings

I just had to go and get some more samples from Sixteen92‘s general catalog after having such a good experience with their Spring Collection.  There has been discussion on their Facebook Page about discontinuing a few scents and making room for others, possibly A Thousand Times More Fair from their Spring Collection as well as three others.  Two of the scents I’m reviewing (The Awakening and La Llorona) are on the chopping block!  Eek!  Discontinuations are expected and understandable, but they are still sad.  I always get this knee jerk reaction of OMG I NEED IT (even if I’ve never liked the scent before) because what if it gets better with age and then it’s all gone and you can’t find it anywhere because everyone else knew it was awesome and then you missed it and can never have the awesome again and …. *deep breath*  Yeah, so, I got those two specifically to see if I truly want them or if I’m just having discontinuation anxiety.

The Awakening has notes of: Ocean air, dark water, damp mosses, gulf mud, saltwater taffy.  Now normally I’m not one for ocean types as it usually means ambergris and I’m not a fan of ambergris.  However, I really enjoyed Storm of Fortunes which has ambergirs so I decided to give this a try.  Plus it’s on the chopping block (eek!) and I’m going to the beach on vacation soon and I like “water” scents to wear when I’m at the actual water.

In the vial it is mostly the dark water, a bit of mud, and moss.  As soon as it hits my skin the water deepens even more and the ocean air starts blowing.  There’s a small hint of sweet saltwater taffy.  The mosses are wet from a recent storm and the mud has been churned by the waves.  This morphs and moves through phases as it dries, letting each note come to the fore like the coming and going of the ocean waves.  There’s also something cold in here.  Not physically cold, but it smells cold.  This is a very interesting blend, but a bit more salty than I care for.

Paper Moon is a Premium perfume and contains: Soft vanilla musk, benzoin, oakmoss, trailing ivy, peach blossom, rose.  Paper Moon isn’t awe inspiring in the vial and is mostly benzoin.  On my skin it blooms though.  The rose and benzoin are initially the strongest notes.  The vanilla musk is at the base, soft and light and barely there while the ivy and peach blossoms weave through the rose and benzoin.  This is a soft skin scent with very light silage (throw).  Pretty, but I like things with a little more oomph to them.  It does end up having a paper-like quality to the scent which is neat.  Eventually the benzoin calms down, the oakmoss comes out and all the other notes blend and play nicely together.

This is growing on me the more I wear it.  Soft, slightly sweet, with a nice green base and a hint of flowers.

La Llarona (the other one on the chopping block) consists of: Bulgarian and Egyptian rose absolute, pink and white pepper, pink grapefruit, wisteria, cashmere wood, pale amber. At first this is all wood, soft and brown with a hint of pink grapefruit and a whisper of wisteria.  This was one I put on right when I got it a few days ago and fell in love.  Which is sad because it’s going away so I’ll have to jump on a bottle of it! This is not only a golden blend in the vial, but also on my skin.  The rose is soft and velvety, the pepper adds just the barest touch of spice while the grapefruit burns off as it dries.  Now the wisteria is coming out stronger with that beautiful base of wood and amber.  Truly a warm blend that just makes me think of snuggling up and being cozy.

Southern Gothic has notes of: Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood. In the vial I get all the high notes: orange, apple, magnolia, and jasmine.  I’m a sucker for jasmine sambac.  On my skin the mandarin orange comes and goes fairly quickly leaving behind just a golden bright sweetness in its wake.  The coconut pulp comes out and gives a creamy almost tropical feel without going completely tropical.  It’s a nice balance.  The sandalwood and balsam are the base on which everything settles on.  This blend reminds me of Georgia, sitting out on my Mom’s porch when she lived down there.  It’s a languid, sweet, and comforting blend meant for porch sitting and tea drinking.

And last, but not least, Wicked with its notes of: Three vanillas, dark aged patchouli, almond buttercream. In the vial this just SCREAMS almond buttercream.  Unfortunately that intensifies on my skin.  Normally my skin chemistry turns almond into this sour mash smell and unfortunately it’s doing the same thing, only now it’s surrounded by moldy buttercream and off smelling vanilla.  I’m not even getting any patchouli as my own chemistry is amping that almond.  (Because I wanted to point out chemistry, I did not wash this off as fast as I’d intended and now …) Now, after a while the patchouli has come out and the almond, while still this weird mash thing, isn’t screaming at me.  It’s a bit on the foodie side and not my cup of tea, but others may enjoy it.

Not sure if this needs said or not, but my experiences may or may not be what you would experience in a blend.  If you notice with Wicked I mention my own skin chemistry.  Everyone is different.  Hormones, hydration, medications, diet, and even the water in your house and the lotion you use can effect how a scent smells on your skin.  Please bear that in mind and take all reviews with a grain of salt (or a sniff of perfume …).