Sunday, April 28, 2013
Spring Collection 2013
Oak, White Carnation, Oakmoss, Egyptian Musk and Vanilla
I expected to like this one - I'm usually pretty fond of a musk/vanilla combo, I adore Solstice Scents' vanilla note, and I like carnation in perfumes a lot. But... no. There is something weirdly synthetic about this and I can't figure out what it is. The oak is overpoweringly strong when sniffing in the vial; it smells like wood polish rather than actual wood. That transfers to the skin too, which is not pleasant. The dry down is a little better, as the oak retreats to the background and the scent becomes a floral musk, but it's not distinctly carnation - there's none of that spiciness you usually get. Surprisingly, it didn't last very long either - it was gone in a couple of hours.
2/5 No matter what stage this was going through, that synthetic note was there to some degree all the way, and it really put me off this one.
This is a very full bodied perfume! If you don't like sweet creamy scents or strong florals then please run, don't walk away from this scent. If you do, prepare to be eveloped in the richest, most femininely decadent fragrance you've ever come across. This perfume is not for little girls, it's sensual and sumptuous and not the least bit shy about it. A blend of buttery rich bourbon vanilla and redolent English rose, this fragrance smells like a posh patisserie and florist smooshed together. I've grounded this fragrance with a lavish red musk, and embellished it with a flirty hint of powder. This oil will warm with your body heat, adding to the freshly-made-dessert effect. Be careful someone doesn't try to take a bite out of you (unless you're into that)! ;-)
The other day I was poking around in a handbag I hadn't used for a really long time when I felt something in the lining, and after investigating found Noodles' lost house keys and this bottle of Buxom perfume, both of which have been missing for well over a year. As it was always one of my favourites, the first thing I did was slather it all over myself.
Nani isn't exaggerating when she calls this 'sweet creamy... strong floral'. Oh man, this is not for the faint-hearted. In the bottle it smells heavily of a sweet, powdery rose. Once applied the powdery note subsides, which is good as 'powder' is not something I'm overly fond of. The vanilla is there, and adds a sweetness and creaminess to the musk that stops it from going too crazy (though it's borderline). The dry down is a strong floral musk, very deep and potent. This perfume lasts FOREVER. I applied it about 2ish in the afternoon, and the next day at around the same time of day I could still smell it on myself. The sillage is high too - I wore this to work once and the lady next to me complained that it gave her a headache. I love it, but it's definitely not for everyone. This is very much in the realm of 'head kicker'.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Yes. It's a fragrance inspired by the Boondock Saints. Smoke and blood and whiskey and damp alleys and leather and steel and gunpowder and sweat and denim and sweet wooden rosary beads and a bit of clover struggling up through concrete cracks. It is unisex and so, so, so sexy.
Aequitas contains highly concentrated German chamomile, so it's got a bit o' the green. And since it also contains real whiskey, the dark resins and lovely insanely green oil-bubbles tend to separate and settle at the bottom. Just give the bottle a shake, and the perfume turns the color of a luna moth. :)
I wore this for three days in a row trying to get my head around it and I'm still baffled. I can't really pick out any notes, it smells like... green. In the bottle I think I can smell the steel note and also the whiskey, but to be honest I could only pick out those notes once I knew they were there. It's very masculine - slightly too masculine for my tastes. Once applied it stays that way for quite a long time, but then a couple of hours later there's something floral about it - no particular flower, not particularly girly, but definitely floral. It's weird. I have no idea whether or not I like it. Sillage is medium, longevity is about 10 hours.
Undecided. I'm going to try it again in a month or so and see if I can make more sense of it.
Spring Collection 2013
Vanilla, White Amber, White Musk & Lemon Myrtle EO
I almost bought a full size of this unsniffed, and I'm glad I didn't because I don't like it nearly as much as I thought I would. I've come to realise that I have pretty much outgrown gourmand perfumes, which I'm slightly devo about because a) I so want to love them, and b) I have a million of the damn things.
In the vial and when first applied this smells like a delicious sweet lemon custard - the kind of scent I like a lot, but also the kind of scent I have several more of stashed around somewhere. It's when it begins to dry on my skin that the trouble starts - the amber and musk come out and just party like it's 1999. The amber in particular is SO strong on me that it gave me a bit of a headache. I could still smell the sweet lemon fluffiness in there and I was clinging to that, but in the end I had to concede that this perfume was not for me. The headache went away just before I got to the point where I was about to scrub it off, and the scent hung around forever (of course). 12 hours at least - with reasonably high sillage. This is not one for the faint-hearted.
Let me say up front this is not a bad perfume by any means - I just did not react well to it. If you like lemony gourmands and amber doesn't tend to amp on you, you will probably love this. I think it would also be much better as a body lotion or a shower gel than as a perfume.
Monday, April 22, 2013
A sexy, romantic bath with a vampire. Crisp water soaked with rose petals and a trickle of blood and musk. NOTE: No actual blood was used in the creation of this perfume, I promise.
In the vial and when first applied this is mega rose, and that's ALL it is. It's not a bad perfume, but man am I over rose - I seem to have acquired eleventy million rose perfumes lately. After a few minutes it did seem to smell a bit watery, which was quite an odd combination as rose is usually more of a creamy floral - on me, at least. It was kind of interesting, but watery florals don't do it for me. The musk did come out a little in the dry down, but mostly this is just a honking big slap in the face with R.O.S.E. Sillage was pretty high at first, but calmed down after the watery element came out. It lasted a good 7 hours or so and then I had a shower, so who knows how long it might have gone on for?
2/5 Sorry rose, welcome to Dumpville. Population: you.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Born in the shadows of a Temple to Set, this corrupted Egyptian scent evokes images of black pyramids, river demons, and bleak, deadly desert sands. Black lotus flower, amber, myrrh and sandalwood.
Well, for me this doesn't evoke images of river demons so much as old ladies wearing waaaay too much perfume. This is an extremely strong, cloying, sweet floral. In the imp it's candy-like, very sweet and a bit sickly. I thought I could smell something faintly almond in the background but if that was ever there it was gone once I applied it. This is an old lady perfume, but not in the good way (I do love me some classic old lady fragrances). It's that nightmare one you don't want to get stuck next to someone wearing on a long bus trip or you'll be sneezing and headachey all day. As for the smell itself, lotus always smells a bit like rose to me so I find it similar to any number of cloying rose-ish floral scents. And yet another of those BPAL mish-mash perfumes that just seems like a bunch of things randomly thrown together. Eugh. Longevity and sillage are pretty high - this one screams that it's coming in the room.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Chocolate perfume?...yes you bet! I can find few things in life more fabulous than Chocolate, and smelling like Chocolate all day? What could be nicer! You'll find I do quite a bit of Chocolate blends in my perfumes, and that's because it makes a truly excellent base. This one really smells so much like a fudgey milk chocolate bar that it just might ward off the munchies! Scrumptious!
Well, sometimes things just are what they say they are. This smells like chocolate. In the vial, on the skin, 6 hours later, 12 hours later. It's chocolate. I love the smell of chocolate, so I am not objecting, but because I love it so much I have way too many chocolate perfumes already. If I didn't, I'd buy a full bottle of this - it's a pretty true chocolate scent. And it REALLY made me want to eat chocolate. Sillage was medium, longevity was excellent - lasted all day after applying at about 6am, and I could still smell traces of it the next morning.
Literary Ingenues - Spring Collection 2013
Lucy - from C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" books. Valiant, down-to-earth and loyal - Lucy never wavers in her simple honesty and conviction, bravely facing dangers head-on with a dignity beyond her years. Bulgarian lavender, honey, sweet vanilla, neroli, pine and oak moss.
In the vial there is a bright, green fresh note. It might be the pine, but that's a note that usually makes me feel a bit sick and this one doesn't at all. Applied it's more piney and sweet, not enough to induce nausea, but enough to know straight away I'm not going to love this. I can detect the lavender, but it's subtle. The dry down is mossy and slightly sweet, probably the honey. Ehhhhhnnn, I can think of a few people who would probably love this, but it's not for me. Longevity was good - I could still smell it 8 hours later. Sillage was quite strong when first applied, but subsided within an hour.
Literary Ingenues - Spring Collection 2013
Alice Liddell - from the Wonderland/Looking Glass books by Lewis Carroll. When i was little, these books helped to form my already rather overactive imagination. Alice was the epitome of the Ingenue - sweet yet quick-witted, brave and with a sense of the absurd, and totally uncorrupted by the pedestrian world in which she lived...
A sweet, proper English scent with a bit of a silly twist, Alice is sweet, floral, quirky and the epitome of innocence. Apple blossom, carnation, rose alba, lilac, bergamot, and roobios tea with milk and honey.
In the vial, this smells like sweet floral tea. Applied to my skin it goes a little soapy, which I don't think I've ever had happen with a Twyla scent. I wonder if it's the apple blossom? I get spice from the carnation, and the tea is still there, along with the honey. The honey really comes out in the dry down, but that soapiness is still there and never goes away. Although I don't hate this one, it just isn't me. It doesn't seem to work with my skin chemistry at all. Sillage and longevity were medium, it lasted about 6 or so hours.
2/5 Not my cup of tea. (See what I did there!)
Literary Ingenues - Spring Collection 2013
Lyra - from Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series. This one in particular is very close to my heart - it was my son Jamie's favourite book - we must have read it together 5 times in the space of 3 years. I dedicate this one to him.
Mandarin, jasmine, lily, cedarwood, copiaba, soft musk, madagascar vanilla and pink pepper.
In the vial I get a musky sweet white floral with a teensy bit of pepper that made my nose twitch. Applied to skin the pepper comes out more. At first I wasn't sure about it, I didn't want to sit here all afternoon sneezing my head off. It's not that kind of pepper though - it adds a really interesting spicy kick to what could have just been a pretty floral musk. There's a slight woodiness too - I looked up copiaba because I'd never heard of it, and apparently that can be a bit woody, plus the cedarwood adds that sweet resiny kind of note. The vanilla didn't really come out on me at all as a distinct note - more just adding a bit of depth and sweetness in the background. It was all quite light and bright at first (I never did detect the mandarin, but I suspect that is what was making it so bright), but although the scent itself didn't change a whole lot, it deepened considerably as it dried down. Although it seems quite feminine, I think this one would actually work really nicely on a man. Sillage was medium, and it stuck around for about 6 hours or so before fading right down. I could still smell traces of it at the end of the day, but only with my nose up close.
4/5 I really like this one, and yet again I'm tempted to get a full bottle, but ehhhhhn. How many full bottles of perfume can one person get through? I'm still considering whether to make a last minute dash before this collection comes down.
Literary Ingenues - Spring Collection 2013
Clara - from the Nutcracker ballet. She inspired the little aspiring ballerina in me to many hours of practicing arabesques in the basement - leaving me with visions of flowers, dolls and sugar plum fairies dancing in my head! This lovely perfume is deeply sweet, wistful and dreamy, laden with sugared plums, a faint breath of Christmas roses and the sweet scent of sandalwood. Plummy, fruity and smooth - like the Christmas dessert wine I was allowed a little glass as a child - with just a touch of sparkle and spice.
Plum accord, gardenia, sandalwood, bourbon vanilla, apricot, grapefruit, rose absolute, pink pepper and a teensy drop of sweet patchouli.
In the vial this is indeed a rich, fruity sweet wine - it makes me think of a particularly boozy Christmas fruit cake. Despite the fact that none of us liked fruit cake, my mum would still make one every year at Christmas, and this is what it smelled like while it was cooking. On my skin though, something very weird happened - I get a slightly orange-scented liquorice. I had not looked at the notes before testing (I rarely do, as I'm the highly suggestible type and I want to see what I can smell before being led down the path), and I just assumed there would be anise and orange in there, so I was pretty surprised to find they weren't listed. I was so confused I wrote to Twyla and asked her if they were there but not listed; she said there was a natural isolate with hawthorne that can be anise-ish, but was largely blackcurrant. Apparently not on me! Not complaining, because I love the smell of liquorice, and had I looked at the notes before trying I would have expected some sweet fruity concoction I probably wouldn't like.
The dry down is still pretty much liquorice on me for quite a long time - it never goes away, but it does retreat to the background eventually and then I mostly get the boozy vanilla and plum with a touch of the florals. There is a spicy note as well that I assume is the pepper. The patchouli is in the background, but very slight. It doesn't dominate at all and really just serves to add some depth to the base.
The sillage on Clara is medium, and lasting power is excellent (yay for the new strength blend!) - I could still smell it at the end of the day, though on a non-testing day I'd have reapplied in the middle of the day just to zing it up.
4/5 I don't know if the anise would come out on anyone else but it's something to be aware of if you're interested in this perfume but really hate that note, as many do. I'm undecided about whether to get a full bottle of this - I'm really tempted and it's only around for another week or two (until May 1**), but I'm trying to be restrained. *sigh*
**I'm going to review all the Twyla Spring perfumes consecutively as there are only 4 of them and they're not around for much longer. However, if any grab your attention and you try a sample and like it, she does have some dealio where you can buy a bottle up to a month (I think) after it comes down. You'd have to ask her for the actual details as I can't recall, but she's lovely and very approachable.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Snow on Bare Skin
Sweet but not foody, sexy but not crude this would be a perfect scent for a midnight Yuletide wedding with the bride dressed in winter white carrying a bouquet of blue flowers, the church lit only by tapers, and a handsome groom in breathtaking blue-black. Romantic as it can be. Midnight blue and purple. Strong smell of snow in the air, your nose is cold but you can feel your hand on your breast and it's warm and soon all of you will be cozy. One of the most sexy scents I have ever made. So good, it's even perfect in the summer! Musky, spicy, perfumy.
In the vial this is a really faint, cold vanilla. It smells like almost nothing. Applied, it’s a sweet vanilla with a light minty note. Pretty much your generic ‘snow’ smell. Is this what snow actually smells like? The last time I was anywhere near snow was when I was a little kid and as soon as my feet got wet and cold I sulked and sat in the care reading a Laura Ingalls Wilder book while my family enjoyed toboganning. Crazy people.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Well, dramas are still drama-ing so yet again I'm forced to do a catch up post as I'm testing but struggling to keep up with writing the actual reviews. I hope to get all this sorted and get back on track very soon - I don't want to lose my momentum entirely. :-/
Solstice Scents Violet Mallow: Dark chocolate, violet, violet leaf and vanilla absolute.
I'm undecided on this one - I've worn it a few times but I can't work out whether I like it or not. The violet is strong at first and it smells very floral. Once applied and it starts to dry down the chocolate and vanilla come out - it's essentially a floral gourmand, but it's very rich and quite strong. Lasted quite a while - about 6 hours before I felt I had to reapply. 3/5
Alchemic Muse Cloud Nine: Victorian lilac, fresh cream, white raspberry, sweet jasmine, white rose, white violet, cherry heliotrope.
This is a Spring limited edition, but mine is from last year's Spring collection. It's a gentle floral, with the rose quite dominant on the skin for a little while. There's a zingy green note in it, and once the rose settles, the lilac and jasmine come out, making it very much a 'country garden' perfume - I don't really get the food notes at all. I haven't had much luck with heliotrope in general, and particularly in Alchemic Muse perfumes, but here is doesn't seem to come out on me, thankfully. There's nothing remarkable about this perfume, but it's very pretty. Doesn't last long - it was gone in a couple of hours. 3/5
Black Baccara Carnival of Ghosts: Pumpkin, kettle corn, apple, licorice, freshly turned soil.
Yet another in my large collection of Carnival/Fair perfumes that I buy compulsively but never wear. This one smells like Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs - is that what kettle corn is? On the skin there is a slightly astringent sweetness, like lemon sherbet lollies. This was quite strong at first but didn't last more than a couple of hours. 2/5
Firebird Bath and Body Brown Sugar: Brown sugar, coconut, vanilla bean.
This is just a very simple burnt sugar scent. If you like the smell of those kinds of perfumes, you'll like this one. It's not bad, but it's definitely not my cup of tea - I don't find sugar scents interesting at all. Lasted about 5 hours or so but sillage is quite low. 2/5
Enchanticals Mysteire Noir: Blood orange, raspberry, dark chocolate, black labdanum, vanilla.
Fruity top notes, once applied the chocolate comes out but the fruit stays around and it's too much for me. This perfume is similar to Alize, except that one is more chocolate and this one is more fruit. Lasted quite a long time - I put it on at night and could still smell it on my wrist the next morning. 2/5
Deep Midnight Perfumes Charis: Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk.
This starts off as a boozy vanilla but goes dusty on me within minutes and stays that way. It was gone entirely within a couple of hours.I don't know what happened but I tried it a couple of times and the same thing happened - something in it just doesn't work on my skin at all. 1/5
Twyla Perfumes Gun Street Girl: Bourbon vanilla, tobacco absolute, musk, leather accord, Russian rose absolute, blackcurrant, green cognac.
Another Twyla winner for me - I adored this one. It's a boozy, smokey, leathery, masculine vanilla with a dab of soft rose. This is one of her newer formulas and the lasting power has definitely improved - sillage was medium and I got about 6 hours before reapplying just because I wanted to keep smelling it. Gorgeous, definite full bottle. 5/5
Sunday, April 7, 2013
The RPG Series
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A flawless skin musk.
We all know that some perfumes can evoke strong feelings. In the vial, Neutral almost smells like nothing. It's well-named, actually. On the skin it's kind of like a really mild soap, but as soon as I applied it I started to feel weirdly uncomfortable and creeped out. It was the strangest thing. The scent doesn't change at all from wet to dry. It smelled clean and soapy and should have been completely inoffensive and a bit dull, but I just kept having this weird urge to get it off me. After a couple of hours I was tired and wanted to go to bed but I couldn't bring myself to go with this perfume still on me so I scrubbed it off. And then I felt shuddery and strange, like I'd just barely missed walking into a massive spider web or found out a plane I'd missed had crashed.
It occurred to me later what made me feel uneasy about this perfume - to me, it smells exactly how I'd imagine a serial killer to smell.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
I have had some family dramas going on lately - nothing major or out of control, but it's sapping a lot of my time and energy so I've fallen behind on reviews and comments (and reading other blogs!). I'll catch up with comments in the next day or so but I have decided to do a quick montage of the perfumes I've tested in the last week to get up to date. I'm just going to put a few brief words about each - really just the impressions I write down as I am testing them. Sorry to do this, but I feel like I'm just going to keep falling behind otherwise, and I'm really into this project and don't want to abandon it. Hopefully I can resume normal daily reviews in a couple of days. I'm linking to the creator's description of each scent.
Twyla Lirrit - Sweet and candyish but not sickly. A fruity floral I don't hate - a very rare thing. Doesn't last long.
Twyla Honekakala - Honeysuckle and tropical flowers. It's very pretty, normally honeysuckle makes me think of the American south, but this one reminds of somewhere like Hawaii. I imagine this is what a lei smells like. Again, didn't last more than about 2 hours, but most of my Twylas are the old formula and these have since been strengthened so hopefully longevity is no longer an issue.
Twyla Bohemian Baby - This is one of the new formula perfumes, and it certainly lasted a while on me. Unfortunately it's mega patchouli so not really to my taste. If you're a patchouli fan it's definitely worth checking out.
Possets Theodora - Resin, resin, resin. Very exotic and vampy, but totally not my thing at all. I’m not a big fan of frankincense and it amps on me like crazy with this perfume. The dry down is a strong, slightly masculine musk, but there’s something vaguely cheap-smelling about it. It makes me think of a men’s musk cologne that would be in a stack near the front counter of Chemist Warehouse and cost about $15 for a 100ml bottle. Sillage and longevity are fairly low – it lasted about 3 hours and I wasn’t sorry to see the back of it.
Possets Gingerbread Whorehouse - In the vial, this smells like sweet cake with a dab of ginger. AGAIN WITH THE CAKE SCENTS. In my defence, this was a freebie – not one I chose even though I already have eleventy million cake scents. The ginger comes out a lot more when it’s applied to skin – I like the smell of ginger, but there’s something else in here that’s not very nice, a note of something that smells like turned cream. Thankfully, about 20 minutes later at the point where I was seriously considering scrubbing this off, that note disappeared and the perfume dried to a cakey, sweet vanilla. Oddly, given the name, the ginger doesn’t hang around. Sillage is medium, as is longevity.
BoondockG Vanilla Vanilla - Really strong, sickly vanilla toilet spray.
Delightful Rot Ravenclaw - One for the Harry Potter fans (I'm not). I like this but I don't love it. The pear is vaguely alcoholic - as pear always is to me, and the amberwood is soft and doesn't dominate. I don't get more than a flash of tea every now and then. It works well. It's just... not my thing.
Black Baccara Old Fashioned Holiday Candy - I asked Noodles what this smelled like to her and she said pineapple and pina coladas. To me it smells exactly like Wonka Nerds, so I guess it lives up to its name.
Again, apologies for the half-arse catch ups, and if you want more information about any of these, please feel free to ask and I'll say more in comments.
Days 89 - 96!
Monday, April 1, 2013
The Cake Is A Lie
Winter 2011 (now permanent)
One Hand Washes The Other
But it smells so REAL! Lemon-filled butter cake with thick, fluffy frosting. Lemon, sugar, cake batter and frosting.
This perfume came in my recent package from Rachel, and having never tried any perfumes from One Hand Washes The Other, I was a bit excited to get in and try it. The Cake Is A Lie is one of those weird phrases that I have heard a million times but don't know the etymology of - I assume it's from some fandom or other. Regardless, I've had at least a couple of other perfumes of that name in the past. In the vial, this one smells like sweet lemon cake. I like it, but I feel like I've smelled the exact same perfume 10 times in the last few months. It doesn't change a lot on application - perhaps a bit more sugary. About 20 minutes in it goes a bit dusty and stays that way for a half hour or so. The dry down is sugary vanilla custard. The sillage and longevity are both fairly low - it was gone in a couple of hours.
3/5 As I said, I liked it, but I feel a bit caked out these days.
A Victorian, Gothic Mourning fragrance straight from the halls of the finest Funeral Parlors draped in velvet curtains, lace doilies under fine crystal vases of floral arrangements, and perfumed handkerchiefs dampened by tears of love lost. Soft powdery vanillas, a bouquet of funeral wreaths with Attar of Rose, Lilies, and Jasmine, with black Amber and a few other dark secrets.
In the vial Lucretia is a sweet vanilla floral, the kind of perfume I am always guaranteed to like - it's my jam. Application to my wrist brings out a pastry/cake note and a very faint hint of something lemony. The amber is present right from the beginning but it's quite soft. I can smell the jasmine and lilies in a beautiful blend of white floral, but the rose is not distinct - that's a good thing in this kind of perfume, it could easily take over. There's nothing much unique going on here - I've smelled many versions of this kind of perfume, but this is a particularly lovely blend. The dry down is a really pretty floral musk. Sillage was medium for a couple of hours, but even when it faded, the scent itself lasted for ages. I applied it early evening and I could still smell it on my wrist the following afternoon (for the record, I would normally have had a shower in that time but I'm on holidays so I'm skanking around the house).
5/5 Loved it, couldn't stop sniffing it. Definitely going on the full bottle list for my next Enchanticals purchase.