Friday, April 11, 2014

I've moved!

I've moved my blog over to its own domain and hosting, so you can now find me at:

Hopefully I will get everything redirected, so no one will even see this, but until then - click on over!

Friday, May 24, 2013

arcana blood lust

Rich red anise and animalic musk with fermented apples, burnt sugar, iron-distilled patchouli, Bourbon vanilla, and the merest whiff of peppermint.

(OH MY GOD it's been forever since I posted. I am the worst. This month has been weird and really busy and I just haven't had the time to sit and sniff things. I haven't even been wearing perfume! Which is nuts considering how much I have. But anyway, I do have a review today, so let's get on with it.)

Apples. I cannot resist them. If a scent has apple as one of its notes, I will at least try it, no matter what else is in there with it. I actually like most of the notes here - anise, apple, burnt sugar, bourbon vanilla, peppermint. It's just the patchouli and musk that made me wary and prompted me to get a sample rather than a bottle straight off. (Which is a terrible habit, really, buying bottles unsniffed, and I really need to stop doing it.)

In the imp Blood Lust smells sharp and licorice-y with a hint of sweet apple. On skin it's less sweet but the apple actually seems more present, only it's like hard cider instead of apple juice. The main note I'm getting is still the anise/licorice, but it's less sharp. I smell a bit of vanilla and a faint wafting minty note, like a pot of peppermint tea that was brewed hours ago and still lingers in the kitchen. I don't get a ton of patchouli, and what there is isn't the cheap head shop patchouli that puts me off the note in the first place - it's spicy and smells like incense that I wouldn't immediately throw away. (That's saying a lot. I hate incense. It makes me gag.)

On the whole this scent is much more mild and even sweet than I expected from cold sniff. It's very anise-y, moreso than any other scent I own, but I actually really like it. It's also got a nostalgia factor going for it that I never would've anticipated - it reminds me a lot of a licorice-flavored gum called Black Jack that my dad chewed when I was growing up. I hated the taste of it (I still hate the taste of black licorice) but I loved the smell and associate it strongly with my dad and pleasant childhood memories.
That's the stuff. 

Would I buy it again? A full bottle, probably not. I do like it quite a bit and it has happy scent memory associations, but I doubt I'd wear it often enough to warrant 5 ml of it. But I think I will hold onto my sample, which I wasn't planning to do before trying it out. File this one under "pleasant surprises."

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - The Rhinestone Housewife and The Soap Box Co among other places, or you can order direct from Julia using the contact info at Arcana Soaps. Blood Lust was part of Arcana's 2013 Valentine's Day release.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

arcana the darling buds

The fresh essence of the darling buds of May. Baby cucumber, strawberry, petitgrain, grapefruit, pomegranate, basil, and a splash of pink rosewater.

What better perfume to review on the first of May than Arcana's The Darling Buds?

In the bottle, The Darling Buds smells like strawberry, grapefruit, and cucumber. It's sweet, fresh, and very Springy. On skin it's less sweet and the basil, cucumber, and petitgrain are the most prominent notes - herby, green, woody and citrusy, a bit watery. The fruity pink notes of strawberry, grapefruit, pomegranate, and rosewater are almost undetectable, just providing a faint sweetness in the background.

I really love this one, and it's pretty much the definition of a Spring scent for me. It's funny, because while searching around for an image to convey this scent, the first thing that came to mind was some of the visuals from the show Pushing Daisies, which if you haven't seen you should watch immediately. In addition to being a wonderful story and well acted and all that, the visuals are just stunning. It's one of the most attractive shows I've ever seen and I will forever cherish my DVDs. So I don't know why exactly, but to me The Darling Buds smells like Pushing Daisies looks.

Pretty! Also, Lee Pace and his eyebrows. Be still my loins.

Would I buy it again?  Yes! Absolutely yes. I love this and I know I'll be wearing it a lot this Spring.

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - The Rhinestone Housewife and The Soap Box Co among other places, or you can order direct from Julia using the contact info at Arcana Soaps. Eros was part of Arcana's Valentine's release, and is still available as of this posting.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

arcana amorini

With their chubby knees and wings, these tiny creatures are like particularly naughty cherubs. A playful mix of cherry candy, three vanillas, pink musk, guava, sugar, and a warm rush of cinnamon hearts.

Amorini was part of Arcana's Valentine's Day release. When I did my first sniff impressions post, I said it smelled like cherry lollipops. In the bottle it really does - cherry candy and a bit of pink musk. I'd say it's vaguely cough syrupy, but it smells just as much like cherry popsicles or cherry hard candy as it does cough syrup, so it's just got that intense, sweet, artificial cherry thing going on.

On skin it smells distinctly more like real cherries, and there's a rush of warmth from the cinnamon. My skin has a tendency to amp cinnamon, but it's not with this, which I'm really happy about. Too much cinnamon and this would smell like Red Hots or Warheads - but it doesn't. I get a bit of the more cleanly fruity guava and the musk is still present, but there's decidedly less vanilla than I expected from the description. It's sweet, don't get me wrong, but with the inclusion of three vanillas I kind of expected it to smell like cherry cheesecake or cherry vanilla ice cream (which I LOVE SO MUCH). It doesn't.

As it dries the cinnamon gets a little stronger, but it never takes over. It provides more of an impression of heat than actual spice. The vanilla also comes out a bit more, lending a creamy sweetness. And after a few hours, the pink musk is quite a bit more noticeable. But after all is said and done I'm sticking with my original assessment: cherry lollipops.

Photo by anaulin on Flickr

Would I buy it again? Yes. It's not a complex scent journey or anything, but it's interesting in that I don't have anything like it in my collection. It's candy sweet, so if you don't like that sort of thing I'd stay far away from this one, but I like it a lot. It's a very fitting scent for a Valentine's release - it's almost a literal interpretation of the holiday, all glossy red candy and cut paper hearts.

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - The Rhinestone Housewife and The Soap Box Co among other places, or you can order direct from Julia using the contact info at Arcana Soaps. Eros was part of Arcana's Valentine's release, and is still available as of this posting.

Monday, April 22, 2013

solstice scents chiffon

Vanilla, White Amber, White Musk & Lemon Myrtle EO

Chiffon is a scent that I've heard quite a bit of raving about and always wanted to try, because I love sweet lemony scents. I was all set to just order a full bottle right off the bat, until I read in the description that it had similar elements to and would appeal to fans of Snowshoe Pass. I don't think I've reviewed Snowshoe Pass on the blog yet, but spoilers: I hated it. Or, it hated me. The white amber and white musk absolutely took over and destroyed it for me, so seeing those same notes in this made me wary enough to just order a sample. (Which I should always do anyway, but I don't, because I'm dumb and bad with money. SO.)


Chiffon smells like lemon meringue pie. It's a soft lemon, not at all Pledge-y. It's sweet, but not overly so - it's not sickening or cloying. After a while I do get hints of that dreaded white amber/white musk combo, but it's not overpowering and it doesn't ruin it for me the way it ruined Snowshoe Pass. From first application to dry-down, Chiffon is just a soft, sweet lemon.

I'm on the fence about whether it's bottle-worthy, but only because I have similar things. It reminds me a bit of OHWTO's Carnivale and The Cake is a Lie, the main difference being that Carnivale is more fruity and The Cake is a Lie is more, well, cakey. I also have Maggie from Wiggle (muskier from what I recall) and Ambrosia from Arcana (way sweeter, and a bit creamy), a sample and a pumpkin butter in Honeysuckle Lemon Curd from Haus of Gloi (tangier and more flowery), and probably a few others that I'm forgetting - I mentioned that I love lemon scents, right? Yeah. While none of these are exactly the same as Chiffon, I don't know that I can warrant adding yet another sweet lemon scent to my collection at the moment, especially since this one, while lovely, doesn't knock my socks off in any particular way.

Would I buy it again? See above. I do like it, but probably not.

Available from: Solstice Scents

Friday, April 19, 2013

solstice scents blossom jam tea cakes

Southern Tea Cakes, Petit Fours, Floral Infused Jams & Preserves and a Delicate Aroma of Tea.

I have such mixed feelings about this one. When I did my first-sniff impressions, Blossom Jam Tea Cakes was hands down my favorite. It smelled like cake and jam and I loved it. Once I put it on, however...

On my skin the tea and florals are the strongest notes. I love me some tea scents, but we all know I don't like florals. It's a white sort of floral - gardenia is coming to mind. It's slanted a bit more toward the fruity side of the fruity-floral spectrum, and I suppose it does compliment the tea nicely if you're into that kind of thing. The sweet cake is sort of the background scent, not nearly as strong as I expected from cold sniff.

As it wears the jammy fruits come out a bit more, but not as much as I'd like. The tea stays on top throughout and the floral note keeps second billing. It does soften after a few hours, but it started to give me a headache long before that point. So. 

I don't hate it, but I don't like it as much as I thought I would - it's just too flowery. And unexpectedly so, given the description - Solstice Scents' descriptions are usually quite accurate so I can only assume this is a skin chemistry thing. In general I wish I got more jam or cake - more of the stuff that doesn't give me a thundering headache, basically. Sad.

 Would I buy it again? Surprisingly, no. I love the way this smells in the bottle but it goes flower crazy on my skin and makes my head hurt. Boo, hiss. Very disappointing. I can't say that's the fault of the perfume, though - it's a lovely scent, and if it stays true-to-bottle on you I'm very jealous. I have a bottle now, though, so I'm going to try layering it. Liber Vix commented that it layers well with Chantilly Cream, so maybe that'll save it for me.

Available from: Solstice Scents

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

solstice scents chantilly cream

Whipped Cream, Peach Nectar, Vanilla & Yellow Mandarin EO.

Chantilly Cream is one of Solstice Scents' recurring Spring releases. I missed the Spring release for the last few years so this one was new to me. Despite that, I ordered a full-sized perfume and a burnishing glace straight off because I was 99.9% sure I would love this.

And unlike many other adventures in foolishly ordering full-sized stuff that I was so sure I would love and then didn't, I was actually right this time.

Chantilly cream is, obviously, sweet, fruity, and creamy. I get mainly peaches and a touch of zesty mandarin - just a tiny bit. It doesn't smell orangey at all, really, there's just that slight tartness. The vanilla is creamy, more like a french vanilla than vanilla extract. It's not boozy or sharp at all. The whole shebang smells delicious and edible yet light, like a bowl of ripe peaches topped with rich vanilla bean-flecked ice cream and just a dollop of airy whipped cream.

Overall it's a very delicate kind of scent - it's sweet, for sure, but it's not cloyingly sweet or pastry-like. The peach note is similar to the one in Kitchen, but where that's buttery peach pie, this is just fresh, fuzzy, perfectly ripe fruit. It doesn't have massive throw, staying fairly close to the skin. The glace smells like a slight milder version of a perfume, and layering them does help the scent to last longer and be more noticeable. Even layered, though, it's not going to knock anyone over.

Would I buy it again? YUP. Did it, would do it again if I ever ran out, which I won't, because I have more body products and perfume than I could ever feasibly use up in my lifetime even if I had 14 arms. But still - yes, love this one.

Available from: Solstice Scents