Sixteen92‘s subscription, The Circle, has got to be the best thing since … sample packs! I love this little bit of “sneak peek” I, and others, get!
I also got the Fall samples in this pack, but I’ve been itching for Halloween scents so I’m doing the Halloween reviews first.
The Bell Witch with sweet cider barrels, orchard wood, blond tobacco leaf, cave and forest moss, glowing pumpkin, dry leaves, and turned earth is up first and I don’t think I can properly convey just how excited I am to try these scents. I think this is the first time where every description pulls at me.
In the vial I get a definite spiced apple scent, likely from the cider barrels. On my skin this just blossoms and opens up and without even sniffing my skin I can smell the soft flesh of the pumpkin, dry leaves crunching under foot, a hint of tobacco, and the soft velveteen texture of the moss.
What I’m saying is this baby has some throw on it and I’m in love. You get it all in here, every nuanced aspect of this blend is perfectly represented and comes together to form the most accurate representation of a crisp fall day that I’ve ever had the pleasure of smelling.
This blend seems to lean a little masculine as it dries, giving it a cologne type feel to it, likely from the earth and moss, but it’s not something that will deter me from wearing it. I want to bathe in this scent.
With the amount of throw on this blend, I do find it somewhat overwhelming to sniff directly on my skin and I much prefer the scent I get as it wafts as opposed to the spicier version on my skin. After about an hour the scent against the skin isn’t so overwhelming and is just as gorgeous as the scent that wafts up to me still.
You would think after a few hours I’d have nothing to add to this, but alas, that is not true. Not only is this scent still giving a decent throw, and still beautiful, it seems that now I’m getting more apple, as though a glass of cider was poured and they cut up a fresh apple to mix into it. Magic. Pure and simple.
Borley Rectory has notes of Italian Bergamot, cocao pod, smoked black tea, decayed woods, faded parchment, shadowy musk.
In the vial I get musk and bergamot with a strong helping of black tea. This is another blend that, quite literally, blossoms on the skin immediately. The bergamot is beautiful, and it’s a note that is becoming a fast favorite of mine and I’ve been seeking it out lately. The tea has somewhat backed down to a half drunk cup instead of a full blown pot. The parchment is well worn, touched and used, and has oil from skin along the edges.
That shadowy musk though, that is what makes this blend. I don’t get much cocao pod, or if I do it’s blended and so light that I can’t pick it out. However, that musk is almost sinister and it combines with the smokiness of the black tea and the heat of woods that this is just a dark and almost foreboding scent.
I did notice there are flecks of cocao in the vial, so I’m sure that’s in there, but I can’t pick it out, which is fine. Also this is leaning masculine as well, but I still love it.
There is a throw to this, though not as prominent as The Bell Witch was, but it still wafts up gently. It’s longevity is really awesome as well.
The Island of the Dolls contains notes of Mexican vanilla, dry bergamot, somber rose, dark chocolate, black plum, dense woods, and porcelain musk. If you’ve ever seen a documentary on this place, it’s super creepy.
There is a deep chocolate scent in the vial as well as on my skin. At first that’s about all I can smell (which is why I don’t wear chocolate – it overwhelms everything else on me). After a few minutes I get some of that slightly spicy dry bergamot. I’ve concluded dry is not how I like my bergamot. The rose is also coming across as being a dried rose instead of fresh.
I’m having a hard time smelling around the chocolate. Thankfully after letting it sit for about 20 minutes or so, most of the chocolate scent is gone. Now I am getting a sense of that dark plum and some deep dark woods. The porcelain musk is soft and powdery.
Unfortunately, this one does not have a good throw on me and I have to really sniff the spot to get a good sense of the blend. It is nice once dried, again leaning masculine, but I don’t think its for me, especially because of the chocolate. That’s just not my thing.
Man, after about an hour I adore the scent I’m getting from this. I just wish I didn’t have that issue with the chocolate! Because what’s left is woodsy and slightly sweet, soft and almost alluring.
Myrtles Plantation‘s notes consist of oleander leaf and bloom, labdanum, white sage, fig leaf, blood orange, and suede musk.
This seems to be the brightest of the bunch with blood orange taking the lead in the vial with a touch of oleander. On my skin the suede musk immediately asserts itself and lays out as a soft smooth base, brown and almost fuzzy. You really get a hint of greenness from the fig leaf, and the sage is very apparent. The blood orange is now, almost completely gone or pushed out of the way by the other scents.
There is something almost bitter in this blend. I’m afraid sage has taken another blend from under me. My skin reacts poorly to sage. Which makes me sad because I love labdanum and wanted so much to like this blend!
Well into the dry down the sage is no longer bitter, thankfully, and the labdanum gets to come out and do it’s narcotic dance. This is soft and more brown than green, and very close to the skin.
Lastly we have Waverly Hills whose notes are listed as dense fern, frost, wild moss, raw honey & propolis vegan, black labdanum, overgrown vines, late blooming Southern florals, and spectral musk.
In the vial the ferns feel crushed and give off that unique green scent and its almost overpowering. On my skin that sharp greenness is still there, but the other notes are attempting to temper it.
After about 10 minutes the sharpness of the fern has subsided and I’m left with this unmistakable garden – soft florals and sweet greens with a hint of that labdanum and a touch of honey. That spectral musk acts like fog, and the frost helps to enhance that feeling. This is early pre-dawn in a slightly overgrown garden when the fog has rolled in and created this gorgeous, slightly spooky, scene.
The throw on this isn’t huge, but I do get it wafting up to me on occasion. Being even more Southern than Kentucky, I really appreciate and understand the late blooming florals. They are showcased here beautifully. (I still have a magnolia tree in my backyard that throws out a new bloom about once a week.)
I get a very ethreal feel about this blend, and I think this, minus the sharp fern scent, would be best as an EDP.
For me, personally, The Bell Witch and Borley Rectory have stolen my Halloween loving heart! Both of these I could slather in every format offered and still want more.