The liquid has a slightly purple tint (on the site it’s much more noticeable) and it was the first one when browsing their site that caught my eye so I’m super excited to try it!
Without even opening the vial I can smell the florals as they wheedle their way out, intent on being sniffed. Good thing? Bad thing? Guess I’ll find out!
Jasmine! Gardenia! Ylang ylang! The orchid is just sitting back like “‘sup?” knowing it’s awesome without all the yelling, jumping, and screaming “me! me! me!”. Thankfully that initial period is short lived. Like it took me longer to write that then the actual phase lasted. Which is cool.
Now it’s like this funky floral incense. Funky in a good way. Funky like that dress you want that is kind of like a hippy-type dress but modernized and you know you could rock the hell out of it but you’re like kind of afraid to go for it on the off chance that your family just doesn’t get it. Yeah, that kind of funky. That cool funky, laid back funky, the kind of funky you like having around even though you might not pull it out all the time, but it is great for those moments when its down-right needed.
The vanilla is strong in this. Stronger than other vanilla’s I’ve smelled when supported and surrounded by this many other strong scents. There’s also something a touch spicy in here – one of the florals with that edge to it.
Small bit of a soap phase going on here. Gardenia’s can sometimes go soapy on me so I’m thinking that is the culprit. Going to walk away and do something else and let this meld with my skin and settle for a bit.
… 5 hours later …
To say this became something wholly different than it was initially would be an understatement. Oh. My. Gosh. This became a super sexy, slinky, black cocktail dress and f–k me shoes of a scent. Little red lipstick smeared on a napkin with your number as you tuck it into a hot guys back pocket of a scent.
What I’m saying is … it’s sexy. Ahem.
On my skin it’s warm and a touch spicy. Reminds me of those classic gems Shalimar and Opium. The florals are soft and skin close. The muskiness of the Olibnaum and patchouli sneek out and rope you in further. The vanilla is there but intertwined with the amber so that it’s a golden sweetness.
Seriously an addicting scent. BRB going to slather!
After years of looking, reading, and stalking the Villainess site, I have finally purchased a set of samples from them. I love their site, their theme, all of it – so I’m excited to delve into these samples. They’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels and they got some rest if they needed a bit of aging.
Might as well start this off with a scent from their namesake, Villainess. Its notes are listed as: Our signature scent – all ball gowns and combat boots. Raw, smokey leather and sweet vanilla musk engulfed in a sheer haze of exotic florals – ylang, neroli, jasmine, lilac and tuberose. Sleek black leather jumps out from the vial as I take a sniff. Thankfully that backs off almost the moment it touches my skin. I get the smoky part of the leather along with a light touch of vanilla musk. The florals are soft and ylang, jasmine, and lilac seem to be the most prominent. This is strong, assertive, unisex almost verging on masculine. This kind of morphs between strong leather and soft florals. Finally it begins to settle down into this rough, raw leather scent with just a hint of those white florals. It’s strong and the throw is mighty.
Vale has notes of Musky warmed saddle leather, rich notes of espresso and clove, and a coconut-sweetened masala. Seems Villainess likes the leather. Who can blame them? This is espresso with a shot of chocolate – I think it’s a cocoa note I’m smelling. The coconut is more like a milk. Horchata I believe is the drink this is reminding me of, but with a hint of leather. This is certainly a blend all its own!
Decadence comes with notes of: an indulgent vanilla – alcoholic, buttery and bittersweet with delightful undertones of tonka and coconut. Our favourite vice. I’ve been dying for more vanilla scents so I’m super excited about this! In the vial I get the boozy vanilla with a hint of coconut. The coconut comes out more on my skin and it’s that juicy, watery coconut milk and not the flesh. The tonka also gives this a beautiful brown fuzzy feel and keeps the vanilla from going too boozy. This certainly is decadent and oh my goodness I want to bathe in this … and I can!!!
Jai Mahal is another vanilla blend (woot!) with notes of: 4 rich vanillas and tonka, Mysore sandalwood, bourbon and coconut. Expensive woods, incense and imported spices – cedar, amber, myrrh, cardamom and nutmeg. Woods, incense, nutmeg, and vanilla is wafting so deliciously around me. There isn’t as much vanilla in this one as there was in Decadence, and it’s different despite it sharing notes. This warms on the skin and gives a sun soaking, spicy feeling. It’s soft and beautiful and alluring.
Morpho contains notes of: Sheer blue musk and a breath of old books, delicate touches of blackberry and juniper, and a whisper of plumeria. In the vial I get the softest bluest musk that smells powdery. On my skin I get the blackberry and the plumeria is more than just a whisper. After a minute the juniper comes out with that worn and antique feeling it gives me. In the beginning this can be slightly overwhelming, after about 10 minutes this has a huge throw and is almost candy-like. Something along the lines of SweetTarts or that powdered candy. It’s making my jaw hurt (you know that sensation when you taste something sour) and my mouth water! It takes about 30 minutes or so before that sour sweettart like scent morphs into this blue, soft, and powdery scent. Very feminine and soft.
Byzantium will round this review series out with notes of: Precious woods and resins – cedar, pine and sandalwood, frankincense, amber and myrrh – at play against a sheer base of Egyptian musk, barely spiked with imported spices, and lightly veiled in smoke. This is very soft when it first goes on with soft, golden Egyptian musk and a soft smattering of spices. As this dries and warms on my skin the woods and resins come out and this is just so beautiful. Golden and warm, this is standing out in the sun, sand beneath your feet, and a lean-to for when you’re in need of some shade.
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.
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.
There are times in your life when you’re the only one of your friends with a car, high school is close to being over, and you just need that one perfect mix tape to blast. The windows are rolled down, the sun is shinning, and you’re just driving with no particular destination. Maybe you’re singing along, maybe you’re thumping the steering wheel, maybe you’re just letting it flow over you as you contemplate the life, much like the road, in front of you.
This new collection by Sixteen92 – without even sniffing it – is nostalgia in a pretty box for me. Lots of good and bad things happened during the time this is reminding me of – but I’ve survived and now I get to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses and a heavy dollop of knowledge and just shake my head at my younger self.
Bells For Her (sweet basil, dandelion, star jasmine, green vines, mandarin, ozone, green tea, crushed mint) is a song by Tori Amos that came out in 1994. Here’s a link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing this scent. In the vial this is green, both in color and in scent. On my skin this is almost bitter sweet, like the song. Basil is prominent – I loved my herb garden and the smell I would get on my hands when I would pick what I needed for dinner. The dandelion is yellow and glowing while the jasmine is fragrant and sweet drifting on the summer wind. Mint isn’t very noticeable other than to give a slight cool breeze-like feeling to the scent. The mandarin adds a touch of sweetness and rounds out with the green tea, as though the two are mixed like a cool drink. The ozone is simply the wind and the sky and the sun all combining to add their unique scent to the mix. This is the height of summer when you are awkward – not quite a teenager – yet you’re almost too old to go out and simply enjoy yourself in your back yard. Closing your eyes, walking aimlessly, headphones on and cares brushed off, this is like walking to walk. Walking to get away. Walking to find yourself. The route nor the destination mean much, just the journey itself is what you crave.
Bruise Violet (red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, damascus & bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest) is a song by Babes in Toyland, released in 1992. This is the video I listened to while reviewing this scent. In the vial this is powder and lipstick. On my skin the iris and rose come blasting out ready to rock. This is like getting your first bit of makeup and playing dress-up in front of your mirror with adult clothes. After a while all the scents of the make up, the perfume your Mom let you take (or maybe you snuck) and those high heels that your friend let you borrow … it all mixes together while you blast your music. Got the house to yourself because the siblings had a soccer game and you convinced your ‘rents to let you stay home alone. This is a scent for red lipstick and stuffing your training bra with socks – ya know, just to see. Man this scent stays strong – like you sprayed too much of your Mom’s favorite perfume and you just know she will find out because there’s no amount of scrubbing in the next 10 minutes that’s going to take that scent away.
Shadowboxer (jasmine fleur, may rose, blond sandalwood, mango flower, praline) is a song by Fiona Apple which was released in 1996. Fiona Apple was a guilty pleasure of mine since I was into the grunge/goth scene in high school and she was so very not grunge or goth. This is the video I listened to while reviewing. In the vial it’s all sandalwood and praline – strong and almost overpowering. On my skin the jasmine comes out. I’m not entirely sure what mango flower smells like but there is something almost tropical about this scent. This is floaty and flowing – moving and changing and shifting with each scent. The praline isn’t nutty, at least not that I can tell – and my skin tends to do weird things to almond scents, so maybe it’s only almond and not all nuts. It is very hard to describe this scent it’s at once dark and bright. After a while the sandalwood takes the lead, the flowers sit back and relax, and the praline just adds a touch of sweetness. This is a beautiful scent and one I hope they release in EDP format.
New Radio (vanilla milkshake accord, maraschino cherry, pink lemonade, grass clippings, waffle cone) is by Bikini Kill released in 1993. The video I listened to while reviewing can be found here. In the vial this is all vanilla milkshake. Oh wow, this scent is like the first time your Mom let you go to a festival with your friends. No parents, no rules, all fun! You ate yourself silly, spent all your money and had so little to show for it but you had a freakin’ blast! The waffle cone is soft from the vanilla ice cream while the cherry is eaten first. The pink lemonade is such a contrast to the vanilla but it just makes it that much better. Somehow this blend is not foodie at all, despite all the notes and even my description mentioning food over and over again. This is just the aftermath of a summer festival spent with your friends.
Doll Parts (rhubarb, white cake, white peach, cassis, osmanthus, ginger flower) by Hole was released in 1994 and is such an iconic song from my teenage years. Here is the link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing. I am, doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs. This is all peach in the vial while on my skin the cake, cassis, and ginger come out to smooth that out. This is so different. Juicy, fruity, almost like bubble gum this scent is almost innocent to an extreme. I want to take Doll Parts and New Radio and rub them all over. This keeps from going too innocent, or rather, it backs that innocent bus up a bit and realizes it’s supposed to be heading in a different direction. Another one that just gets better as it sits. The bubble gum association never completely goes away, but it’s more like a memory.
Finally, to round out this mix tape, we have Rid of Me (magnolia, sambac jasmine, ylang, white pepper, grapefruit blossom, ambrette, satin musk, oudh) by PJ Harvey which was released in 1993. This is the video I watched while reviewing this scent. PJ Harvey was my best friend’s favorite singer. I only ever listened to PJ Harvey while I was at her house so it has a strong association to her. In the vial I get a bit of pepper, some of the oudh and a touch of musk. On my skin the musk comes out more as does the magnolia. The ylang and the jasmine give this a heady and southern feel to the blend. The oudh (love oudh) is a wonderful woody and sweet base to this scent. There’s almost an incense quality to the blend. It’s light flowing skin scent that quietly sneaks up on you to steal your heart.
This is a wonderful collection and I’m so glad I was able to get samples and try them out! They should be released on Sixteen92’s site soon! Now to decide what I can’t live without …
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.
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!
This is a two part review (because I can only test so much at one time before it overwhelms or I can no longer distinguish scents). Today I am reviewing from a lovely little company out in the Pacific Northwest United States called Valhalla Soap Company. If you’ve an itch to be a Viking, if only for a day, this is who you need to see. Check out the Clan on their Facebook page as well! The owners, Donna and Matt, are extremely active, friendly, and helpful.
That little 2oz jar in the middle is their Botanical Face & Body Cream scented in Valkyrie (notes: peach brandy, pralines, brown sugar, amber, vanilla musk, violet, and black currant). I have to admit – this is by far my favorite lotion! Especially for my face! As I’ve gotten older, my face has gone from oily to dry, but it doesn’t actually stay one or the other – it varies day to day. This Botanical Face & Body Cream has done wonders to help keep my face smooth and soft to the touch. The cream itself is rather stiff compared to all their other body butters and lotions, but I like that. And a little goes a long, long way. I’ve had this little jar since the end of February.
I have missed days using it, but only because I only use it on the days my face is dried out. As you can see, there’s still a lot left in this little jar. And, with the Botanical Face & Body Cream, it’s only lightly scented – that then allows for some wonderful layering options. This does have cocoa butter in it, so you get that slight scent from it, but it isn’t strong.
Valkyrie itself isn’t foodie as the notes would have you think. This scent is beautifully soft and golden. The vanilla and amber are prominent while the peach brandy gives it a golden slightly boozy feel. The black currant adds a touch of bitter to balance out the sweet in here and all together it makes for a rather hauntingly beautiful scent. I do hope that Donna and Matt will be able to find a way to keep this scent around as it is currently endangered. As this dries and melds with your skin chemistry this scent warms up and the gold darkens with the brown sugar (I love the smell of brown sugar). Still never even ventures into foodie territory, and I used the Botanical Face & Body Cream on my hands. The cream is providing a nice base for the scent to sit on.
Vanilla Luxe is up next. I purchased a wax tart of this as well, but haven’t had a chance to melt it yet. I love that I can find so many things in one place. The notes for this blend are as follows: Smokey notes of vanilla-tobacco, aged oak barrels filled with bourbon, bulging trade sacks of rare frankincense, spicy pepper and tangy bergamot. Grass baskets spilling over with Bulgarian roses and ylang ylang. This is all buttery vanilla in the vial! Then, as I put it on my skin it … disappears? What?! No!! Do I have a scent blind spot when it comes to this combo? Did my skin eat it? So weird. Normally I do well with all those notes. I’m putting more on, maybe a dab won’t do ya. Ahhhh … there it is. It’s still very soft but I’m getting a bit of the vanilla and some rose. It’s still way lighter than I would expect with all those notes in it. Found the bourbon, but still no frankincense (one of my favorite notes), bergamot, or ylang ylang. I’m going to blame my chemistry on this one.
I’ve been dying to try Floki’s Fetish! I am a bad Viking and have not seen the show, however. Shame on me! Floki’s Fetish comprises of deep forests and pungent oakmoss covered earth call the boat builder. While exotic spices, vanilla, incense, sandalwood and amber whisper to his spirit and his yearning to discover and conquer new lands. In the vial I get a nice green oakmoss and crumbling dirt. On my skin this is masculine, woodsy, and empowering. I can totally see this as a commanding scent. The spices and incense are a bit much more than I like to wear, but it is still an evocative scent for sure.
So many wonderful things have been said about Hedonistic! It boasts notes of hints of warm amber, moody incense, and light notes of smooth, and sweet patchouli. I’d actually bought a wax melt in this too and got to melt it before putting my house on the market and having to stop using wax melts (SAD!). It was one of those scents that you think will be one thing, then it turns out its something else, something better, and you’re chasing the scent all over the house trying to figure it out. Took me hours to realize it was the Hedonistic in my wax tart melter that was making that luscious and beautiful scent. While I haven’t turned on the melter in over a month, I can still get whiffs of the wax when I pass by.
The oil, now that’s a glorious thing too. In the vial I’d swear that it had a big juicy orange in it. Perhaps it is the sweet patchouli giving off that citrus vibe. This is a warm, beautiful scent and the oil matches perfectly the scent from the wax melt and I couldn’t be happier! It’s a magical little blend that just brings a smile to my face. Not only is the oil golden in color, but it also gives off that glowing golden vibe when you wear it. The incense is soft and unobtrusive and the amber is just hanging out. That patchouli is the star of this blend (a patch I can wear that is also in the forefront of a blend?! Awesome!). This isn’t your hippie’s patchouli – so if you have that “bad” association with it, you should try this and maybe it’ll turn you around on the patchouli hate wagon. I totally need this in the Botanical Face & Body Cream!
Rune Caster will round out this batch of reviews for Valhalla Soap Co. It’s notes include sweet notes of cotton candy and caramel drizzled over heady florals of rose, jasmine, sweet heliotrope and geranium with resinous juniper and amber on a heavy base of vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli. Seems like a lot going on in here … but so many loved notes I have to try it! In the vial this is a perplexing blend of sandalwood and cotton candy – but it smells divine! On my skin that cotton candy note wafts out and it is just so realistic, like I’m at a fair smelling the cotton candy as it’s being made. Eventually that drifts off and the florals begin their dance to the forefront, like you’re walking away from the cotton candy booth to a beautiful planted garden. The rose, jasmine, heliotrope, and geranium all waft around you in a sweet breeze of vanilla and cotton candy. For me the amber is there just adding a golden glow over everything, like the sun. Patchouli is not really noticeable, but the sandalwood drifts in and out of the blend. With juniper, I always get a sort of well loved antique scent association with it, and I get it here. Like the booths at the fair are well loved and maintained so they have lasted for many generations. I am blown away by this scent, I can’t believe it. I need Rune Caster in every format!