Sugar & Spite and everything smelly!

Bringing a new house to everyone, and one that has bowled me over with not only their scent catalog, but their customer service as well as their over the top and on point packaging!  Sugar & Spite everyone – get on and enjoy the ride! (Not paid advertising, I just really dig everything about this perfume house.)

Bonus they are having a sale from now until Saturday July 9th.  Check out their Facebook page for sale details.  Because of the sale, this is going to be a rather quick and dirty review of 11 different scents.

These scents have been in my possession for almost 3 weeks now and I could already tell taking them out of their packaging that they’d rested and even gotten a little aging while they sat in a cool dark box.

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photo by smellallthethings

Let’s kick this off with the rollerball.  10ml of delicious Apple Sugar goodness. (Delicious, juicy apples and a heaping spoonful of pure sugar. Wonderfully sweet, yet somehow all grown up.)  I have to admit I’ve worn this quite frequently since receiving it and it was also part of my moving scents that stayed with me in my purse for comfort and use while my world was briefly turned upside down.  It is a beautiful crisp, freshly peeled, apple scent with just this smooth sugar scent that comes very close, initially, to making you feel like you have just put a spoonful of table sugar in your mouth.  Somehow while wet this manages to be an extremely accurate representation of apples and sugar, separate but preparing to come together in a most wonderful way.  As this dries the two scents come together and the tartness of the apple tempers the sweetness of the sugar so that it doesn’t become overly sweet.  This is gourmand, but not?  So hard to describe the dry down.  It’s almost like walking through an apple orchard with a bag of sugar and freshly cut apples.  This works in the heat and I’m going to bet this will work in the fall as well.  I am already planning on some body spray, body wash, and lotion in this scent.  The longevity of this blend has varied wildly but I think that’s more to do with my activities and just the extreme stress I was putting my body under and not necessarily to do with the scent itself.

Three Shades of White (Every fine vanilla in my arsenal, smoky white musk, white amber, grounded with a tiny bit of patchouli, bourbon and oak leaves.) smells of patchouli in the vial and on my skin.  It’s not quite a smooth patchouli, but it’s not that gritty and dirty patchouli either.  It’s a happy medium, brownish in scent to me.  The oak marries with the patchouli and as it tries the vanillas begin to come out.  After this has sat on the skin it ends up being this beautiful smoky, vanilla, and patchouli blend.  Overall it’s soft, slightly sweet, and a touch woody.

Strangefellow isn’t all that strange (tonka, amber, musk and pepper, with a sugar cookie base) … well, actually, it smells like vanilla popcorn in the vial, but it quickly smooths out into this beautiful amber, tonka, musk blend with a hint of sugar cookie.  The pepper gives just a hint of spice, but nothing overwhelming.  The tonka is soft and brown, the cookie leans a bit gourmand, but the amber and musk keep it from falling over that edge.  This is a sweet blend, unisex, and very beautiful.

Dionysus, the god of wine (Mahogany, amber, sandalwood, and barely perceptible red wine.) deserves attention sometimes.  Oh wow, in the vial the mahogany is deep, rich, and red.  On my skin it is dark and decadent, smooth and red and just luxurious!  Totally brings to mind much lounging with a glass of wine in hand.  It’s blended very well and the sandalwood is more of a fresh-off-the-tree scent rather than that of the smoother more aged sandalwood.  The amber just enhances the overall smoothness of the blend.

Tell it to the Moon sounds like a nice chill song to relax with and look up at the moon. (Precious woods, cashmere vanilla, resin, spice, and a swirl of bright mandarin.)  In the vial I get mandarin and I’ll be damned if cashmere wasn’t the most apt description for that vanilla.  On my skin the woods come out more with a touch of spice (generic melody of spices, but nothing I can pick out with absolute certainty).  But man, that cashmere vanilla is where it’s at, let me tell you.  If tonka is fuzzy brown, this is a fuzzy cream or taupe.  And on top of it all is that beautiful mandarin.  The woods sit to the back with the resins and it really is all about that vanilla and mandarin!

The Whispering Woods don’t talk behind your back (Crunchy leaves, damp soil, Incense smoke, a bitter snap of clove, and caramelized brown sugar), they speak sweet nothings into your ear.  In the vial I get that smoky incense which is just about all I can smell, even on my skin.  It’s a beautiful smoky scent.  Ah, it takes a moment but the leaves come out with a touch of soil.  After a bit the clove comes out but it’s just barely a hint.  Enough to get a whiff and know what it is, but not enough to overwhelm the blend.

Mothman (Black and green teas, clove, black orchid) is not your average superhero!  But that’s to be expected because it’s a perfume and not a person at all.  So there’s that.  Tea and clove come out in the vial as well as on my skin.  It’s reminding me a lot of walking into Teavana.  I’m not a tea person, like at all, which is kind of funny considering I moved to the south.  But this is making me wrinkle my nose as the orchid, clove, and teas aren’t meshing very well on my skin.  YMMV – so try it if you’re curious!

Barnum and Bailey?  No, just Barnum (Curiously sweet and dark. Tobacco leaf, a trio of rich musks, new mown hay, and a drizzle of creamy vanilla bourbon.) but half a circus can still be a good time … right?  Hay, musk, a touch of tobacco, and just a drop of bourbon.  So rich and decadent.  Masculine, don’t get me wrong, but I love that.  Oh wow, I could melt into this.  This is fairly straightforward on me which is just fine.  The vanilla comes out, but it’s that soft barely there vanilla that adds more creaminess to a blend than actual sweetness.

Meadow(s) are for enjoying (Fields of green, green grass, and a hint of sweet soil.).  And so is perfume.  Win-win!  In the vial this is just grass.  Super green, crunched underfoot so it releases it’s scent, with just a hint of soil underneath.  This is like taking a handful of dew covered grass and rubbing your face in it.  Not to say the perfume is overwhelming, it’s just … GRASS when you sniff it.  And hey, some people like that.  So here ya go … this grass’ for you!

Grim Bastard is not one to be trifled with (vanilla, sandalwood, black patchouli and leather).  But I don’t listen so well.  Shh.  In the vial I get leather.  It’s that mix between shiny black and well worn brown.  On my skin however, it morphs to that beautiful worn brown leather that I love so much.  The patchouli isn’t super prominent but blends with the sandalwood to give an overall woody feel to the blend.  The vanilla is there but hidden, just barely lending itself to the blend.  Very masculine, very leathery.

Leopold not to be undone (A sweet blend of vanilla bean, amber, musk, and white pepper.) is here to sweep others off their feet.  In the vial I get all the lovely notes and they translate almost seamlessly to my skin.  The vanilla lays overtop, lending it’s sweetness to the entirety of the blend while the musk and amber provide a golden base and the pepper adds just a touch of spiciness to the blend.  Very beautiful and another I would consider getting in body spray, wash, and lotion!

I think overall there were only two blends I would not consider purchasing full bottles of, and only because they’re not really my thing.  Hopefully this helps those on the fence about some blends.  Now, off to get some new smellies with their wonderful sale!

 

 

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.

Sucreabeille Samples

Sucreabeille is a new, to me, company that I’ve heard some wonderful things about so of course I just had to give them a try!  Not only to they boast a rather prolific scent list themselves, they are also known for some really well done designer duplicates, so I’ve heard.

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photo by smellallthethings

First up is Oud Wood – which oddly I can’t find in their Scent List – though a quick googling shows it’s a Tom Ford scent so this might be a dupe that was either discontinued or my searching skills are just horrible today (just as an aside – I’ve never smelled any Tom Ford scents).  In the vial this is a soft, slightly sweet wood scent.  On my skin I get something almost citrus-y, like a mix between a lemon or a not-quite-ripe orange.  As it dries more of the smooth oudh scent comes out.  It’s a light brown scent, not strong, not overwhelming, more serene and calming.  It just is.  This stays fairly light, even after a few hours wear and doesn’t have much throw to it.  It’s a close skin scent but beautiful nonetheless.

Frankincense & Myrrh is a common theme in my preferred scents, if you haven’t noticed.  Sucreabeille lists notes of frankincense & myrrh,deep, smoky, & rich, warmed with amber & vanilla.  Hmm, another hint of citrus.  I wonder if it’s something in their carrier oil.  On my skin I get a strong sense of lemon peel.  It takes a while but the lemon peel begins to fade away and I am left with a smoky frank and myrrh combo with just a hint of vanilla.  This has a heavy feel to it but I can’t seem to shake the lemon peel.  A quick google is telling me that frankincense can smell like lemon – huh I’ve never really gotten that association before.  Could be because there isn’t a lot to the blend and so the frankincense is able to do it’s thing and not be hindered by anything else.  It takes a few hours, but the lemon association goes away and I’m left with the hint of burning frank and myrrh with a touch of golden amber and just a bit of vanilla.

Champanilla sounds like a party animal eh?  It’s notes are nag champa, softened with vanilla bean pods & musk.  Nag Champa is like a roller coaster scent for me – it has it’s highs and lows depending on how prominent it is in the blend.  I prefer my nag champa to be less of a key player and more of a supporting actor (because nag champa is totally a dude ya know).  In the vial it’s all vanilla and musk, beautiful and almost foody with a touch of a crystalline aspect to it.  On my skin the nag champa is soft, like a pillow that is supporting the vanilla and musk.  Every now and then it gets something close to an animalic quality to it, but then it backs down and starts heading towards gourmand.  See?  Roller Coaster of emotions over here!  I don’t know whether to drown myself in it or wash it off.  Now I’m getting something akin to a freshly cleaned dog warming in the sun – that soft, warm, and almost golden feeling that you only get from a dog’s natural clean scent.  It reminds me of the dog my Dad had when I was younger – a beautiful black chow, lab, and German shepherd mix.  Abby was the best dog ever and so loyal and sweet.  It reminds me of her.  Eventually this looses that animal quality and settles into a very prominent vanilla with a hint of musk and nag champa.  The throw on this is decent for how soft it is.  It’s still wafting around me a few hours later.

Mourning Wood (again, I’m really a 12 year old boy *snicker*) with notes of Amber, Madagascar vanilla, rich musk, sandalwood, & oud wood.  In the vial I get a nice golden amber with a touch of musk and some sandalwood.  On my skin it almost disappears for a moment but as my skin warms it I can smell it more with each sniff.  The vanilla is almost floral in nature and the musk seems golden and almost skin-like in nature.  The oudh and sandalwood are a nice golden wood base to the scent.  Overall this is a close skin scent that is golden and slightly sweet.  It’s a delicious (not in a food way) blend that just brings to mind relaxing on a hammock with the sun shining and the birds chirping while the sun filters through the trees.

Last we have Corpse Bride with notes of black roses, white amber, damp earth, vanilla, tonka bean, & musk.  Oh this one is beautiful.  I love black roses!  The amber and roses come together for a truly beautiful scent – it’s heady, slightly sweet, and just a touch powdery.  I’m not getting much damp earth, which is a bummer, though I do get some vanilla and the fuzzy tonka.  This is beautiful and almost haunting.

I purchased their dry-oil sample set – unfortunately, either due to my own lack of hydration or other skin chemistry related issues, or their formulations, none of the scents lasted longer than 2 hours – except for Champanilla which is still faintly discernible after about 4 hours.  I cannot say how the longevity of their other products will compare.

 

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.

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!

 

Arcana Soaps – Spring and Other Sundries

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photo by smellallthethings

Julia over at Arcana was kind enough to run a little sale where, if you purchased 3 or more scents from the Ebay page, you got a free 5ml of Vanilla Craves Spring!  Couldn’t pass that up, ya know.  Oh, and not shown is the backup bottle of Phoebus I got.  That’s one sexy blend right there.

First up, lets try the bottle that was so generously gifted, Vanilla Craves Spring.  It’s notes include: two gourmand vanillas, young honeysuckle, pink bubblegum, white amber, a hint of galbanum, and a single drop of sweet mint. Now, let me preface this review by stating I’m emphatically NOT a “foodie” or gourmand scent person.  I don’t enjoy smelling like food.  However, my skin seems to have a rather arbitrary line as to what crosses that “foodie” edge for me.  Sometimes I get surprised.  Vanilla Craves Terror was a surprise considering all the reviews I’d seen saying it leaned gourmand because it didn’t for me.

In the bottle Vanilla Craves Spring is all vanilla – beautiful, rich, and buttery.  It doesn’t hit that food edge … yet.  On my skin the galbanum comes out with a touch (and I do mean a touch – I wouldn’t have placed it if I didn’t know the notes) of the sweet mint and together they seem to reign in the overly foodie aspect of the vanilla.  The bubblegum is almost non-existent, which I think I saw on another review the same thing.  The honeysuckle is that beautiful and bright yellow scent that you associate with the onset of spring.  This blend is innocent to the extreme!  I can just see my daughter out playing in our yard, ice cream cone in hand, as she runs her hands over the honeysuckle.  Pure, unadulterated innocence tucked into a little 5ml brown apothecary bottle.  This … This scent just makes me happy, plain and simple.

(As an aside – I take hours if not days to write reviews sometimes so as to not go “nose-blind” to scents.  That being said, it’s now about 4 hours since I put on VCS and I’m like a little addicted I think.  I keep huffing the small spot and sighing happily.  I want to slather, but Yurt is on the other hand … I’ll likely wash Yurt off before too long and cuddle into some comforting Vanilla Craves Spring!  It taunts me with glorious whiffs as I move my hand.)

Next up we have Yurt – which, admittedly, is fun to say.  (Go on, say it out loud – you know you want to!).  Yurt’s notes consist of: glowing dragonsblood resin and cedarwood with hemlock, fir needle, juniper, and bonfire smoke.  Wowee – this is so different from the a fore mentioned VCS – where VCS is light and happy, Yurt is dark green, shadowed and maybe just a bit fierce. In the bottle this is all fir needle.  On my skin the bonfire smoke alights and the night is now glowing with the fierceness of fire.  There is a spiciness to this blend (dragonsblood maybe?  some companies are spicy, some are floral – this is my first foray into Arcana’s dragonsblood) and the wood is scorched (but not in a bad way? is there a good scorching?) the juniper gives the feeling of being in a coniferous forest.  The hemlock is bitter but it doesn’t overwhelm the blend like it can sometimes do.  Yurt is fire.  Yurt is forest.  Yurt is … the complete opposite of Vanilla Craves Spring.  Yurt is becoming slightly overwhelming.  Yurt is fun to say, but don’t use too much – a little goes a very, very long way.

Necklace Made of Tears  isn’t one of the spring scents, but the frankincense tears called my name.  Its notes consist of: Sticky spun sugar with frankincense tears, peach nectar, violets, lacrima water, and cardamom.  I have no idea what lacrima water is … and a google search turned up only one description from Scent for Thought that describes it as saline and slightly metallic.  I guess we’ll see what it does.  In the bottle it is water, peach and violets.  On my skin this lets the sugar and violets come out.  Normally I don’t “smell” a metallic note, instead I feel it or taste it on my tongue – and I’m getting that sensation.  The frankincense tears give a nice resinous base to this and the peach nectar has a juicy quality that almost makes my mouth water.  With each sniff I go back and forth on whether or not I like it.  One sniff gives an aquatic feel, and I typically don’t go for aquatic scents.  On the next sniff I get the frankincense tears, the violets, and a nice comforting sweetness which I adore.  Such a morpher!

And bringing up the end is Two Finger Ballet.  I’m really a 12 year old boy at heart and snort-laughed at the name.  The notes for this blend include: A delicate blend of French vanilla creme, white amber, sugared vanilla beans, caramel, and the smallest dab of opium.  Have I mentioned before I love opium?  And all that vanilla?  And amber?  Well, I do.

Just like with Vanilla Craves Spring, Two Finger Ballet smells like a rich, buttery vanilla in the bottle.  On my skin it smooths out and looses some of that buttery scent and the creme makes it more languid.  The opium adds to that sweet and languid feel.  Two Finger Ballet verges on being foodie, but doesn’t cross that line for me.  The caramel isn’t apparent, but seems to be adding a slightly smoky quality.  Oh man, this is an addicting scent as well.  I can see why it is so popular!