Saturday, March 30, 2013

arcana bonfires at dusk

Woodsmoke, sweet beeswax, Oregon lavender, sandalwood, charred juniper, and the scent of swiftly appearing stars.

Bonfires at Dusk is one of those scents that I wanted as soon as I heard the name. Bonfires at Dusk. How lovely and evocative is that? And the description - beeswax, lavender, sandalwood, and swiftly appearing stars? Yes please. Give it. Give it now.

But the smoke. Smoke is always iffy on me. So instead of requesting a full bottle of it unsniffed, as I was originally tempted to do, I asked Julia for a sample instead.

In the imp, Bonfires at Dusk smells like herbal lavender and juniper. It's strong and just very, very slightly sweet. Once it's on skin, the smoke and beeswax become much more prominent, especially the smoke. The hint of sweetness is almost completely gone, but the herbal lavender and juniper persist under the smokiness.

Once it's fully dry, the lavender and sandalwood both get stronger, vying for second place after woodsmoke for the honor of Most Prominent Note. 
Lucky for me, the smoke in this doesn't go acrid on me at all - it's quite strong but I like it, because it really does evoke a bonfire in the woods, all crackling twigs, charred greenery, and little red embers floating through the air. It's really wonderful.

Would I buy it again? YES. Oh man, I love it when perfumes I want to like actually work out for me. This is a very rare find - a smoky scent that works with my skin chemistry - and I will absolutely be picking up a bottle in the near future. I believe this one was just made a part of Arcana's general catalog, too, and I couldn't be happier about it. If you like smoky, woody, herbal scents, I definitely recommend giving Bonfires at Dusk a try.

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - Magical Omaha and The Soap Box Co among other places, or you can order direct from Julia using the contact info at Arcana Soaps.

Friday, March 29, 2013

arcana namaka

Mighty Hawaiian sea goddess Namaka-o-Kahai'i rules ocean currents, tidal waves, and thundering waterfalls. Coconut, vanilla bean, rice milk, golden amber, watermelon, banana leaf, aged patchouli, and lemongrass.

The first of many reviews from my recent Arcana haul! LET'S DO THIS THING.

In the imp, Namaka smells like sweet coconut milk and fruity watermelon. On skin I start to get a bit of amber, but it doesn't go bad on me, it just kind of grounds the sweet and fruity notes. It smells warm and tropical but not in an umbrella drinks kind of way. It just reminds me of summer. The patchouli doesn't assert itself much, if at all, which I am totally cool with.

Would I buy it again? Yes. I'm planning to pick up a bottle with my next Arcana order for sure.

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - Magical Omaha and The Soap Box Co among other places, or you can order direct from Julia using the contact info at Arcana Soaps.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

first sniff impressions: arcana overload

Yeah, so. SO. It's time. I've finally emptied the sample bowl I keep on my desk, and though it is only the first of many, I'm going to take a break between bowls to talk about some stuff I've gotten recently (ish). Because if I don't I won't get around to reviewing any of it until 2014.

The huge Arcana order I talked about in my last (and thus far only) State of the Blog post arrived a while ago - and it was even huger than I expected! Julia asked me if there were any scents I wanted to sample along with my bottles, so I sent her a list of suggestions, expecting that she'd pick one or two - never did I expect to get samples of almost ALL of them, and more! Holy crap. In total I received 7 5 ml bottles and 12 samples. So there will be a lot of Arcana reviews coming down the pipe, obviously. If there's anything in particular you'd like to see first, definitely let me know!

But for now, first sniff impressions! The bottles:

Venus Callipyge: Musky apricot. This one has my illustration on the label! <3

Venus Libertina: Flowery and very strong. Also has my illo on the label! <3 <3

CakeLust: Oh my god I want to eat it. It smells like butterscotch cake.

Amorini: Cherry lollipops. (Reviewed!)

Star Light: Soft vanilla and something fruity. Smells a little like oatmeal cookies.

Murder Ballad Blues: Slightly sour berries.

Quim: Boozy banana creamsicle. Already reviewed!

And the samples:

Keel: Fresh pineapple.

Drool: Sweet and tropical.

Queen Crossbones: Resin-y honey. (Reviewed!)

Eros: Chocolate and patchouli, maybe. (Reviewed!)

BloodLust: Black licorice. Very sharp and medicinal. (Reviewed!)

The Huntress: Very herbal and minty.

Soft Hearted: The softest grapefruit I've ever smelled. (Reviewed!)

Breakfast in Hollywood: Also grapefruit, but a more usual kind of grapefruit plus a bit of fruity sweetness.

Namaka: Sweet coconut milk and something a bit fruity. (Reviewed!)

Death in the Afternoon: A much sweeter anise with a bit of citrus.

Freyja: More grapefruit. Very very grapefruit with no sugary sweetness to it.

Bonfires at Dusk: Smoke and lavender. (Reviewed!)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

delightful rot sonic screwdriver

Sweeter than it's partner TARDIS, this scent is based in the same blue tone, but much more vibrant, with hints of heat and light in the form of mandarin and passion flower.

So yesterday we got TARDIS, and today we have Sonic Screwdriver. It also has the distinction of being the last Delightful Rot scent I currently have to review! I'll probably pick up samples of the rest of the line in the near future, because I am a hoarder.

Oh, Nine. You might just be my favorite. You're tied for the lead, at the very least. P.S. ROSE, I miss yoooouuuu. Oh god, excuse me while I go sob into a napkin.

ANYWAY. Sonic Screwdriver.

In the imp, it smells fresh and fruity, mostly like mandarin orange and a bit like passionfruit to my nose. On skin it stays that way, thankfully displaying none of the generic perfuminess of TARDIS. That's the thing - even though the description states that these two are based on the same "blue tone," they smell nothing alike to me. One doesn't even vaguely remind me of the other on some kind of Silurian lizard-brain level (see what I did there?). This is a good thing, because I really disliked TARDIS but I quite enjoy Sonic Screwdriver. It's not complex or hugely unique, but it's a nice, tart, fruity scent that would be perfect for warm weather. 

Would I buy it again? Maybe. I do like it, but it reminds me of a few things I have in my stash already (without checking to confirm, Passionfruit from I Smell Good, Raspberry Gingerale and Polynesian Punch from OHWTO, Grapefruit Ginger from Firebird - not dupes or anything, just similarly tart, fizzy, fruity scents), and even if it didn't I'm not sure it would go on my Full Bottle List simply because it doesn't blow me away in any sense. If I bought it, I'd mostly be buying it because it's called Sonic Screwdriver.

Available From: Delightful Rot

Monday, March 25, 2013

delightful rot TARDIS

Inspired by the famous blue police box, this scent is the interpretation of a blueberry steeped English breakfast tea.

Mmm, okay. So I am a total Doctor Who nerd. TARDIS and Sonic Screwdriver are the scents that prompted me to order samples from Delightful Rot in the first place. I had high hopes, too, because blueberry? Tea? Sign me up! So did I end up loving it as much as I love the glorious blue box it's named after?

Forget Calgon. Doctor, take me away!

Unfortunately, not so much. In the imp, TARDIS smells like blueberry and perfume. On skin I smell the tea more - the blueberry gets very faint - but still, that generic perfume note is overpowering anything I might otherwise like about this scent. As you may have noticed, I don't like things that smell like perfume. I don't want to smell like a bottle of something fell on me at CVS, or like I got assaulted by department store employees with whatever celebrity fragrance just came out. I like perfume oils because, among other things, they tend to smell more unique. TARDIS, sadly, does not. It smells like generic perfume with sad little punches of tea and blueberry.

Sad ON ME, of course. That's always worth saying again. This might smell wonderful on you, but on me? No me gusta.

Since I played this game when Leaf on the Wind disappointed me, what would my TARDIS perfume smell like? Old, old weathered wood, dust, dark, damp alien soil, black and mint teas, tart blueberry, bright white vanilla and vibrant satsuma orange (for the blinding light of the time vortex at the heart of the TARDIS), and a touch of warm cinnamon. IT'S A NOTE PARTY, EVERYONE'S INVITED.

Would I buy it again? No. Sorry, Doctor.

Available from: Delightful Rot

Sunday, March 24, 2013

arcana ooomph

For those late afternoons when eyelids begin to inexorably droop. Coffee, coffee, more coffee, cream, and a brew of stimulative herbs which combine to bear a strange olfactory resemblance to rich cheesecake.

The full, proper name of this perfume is "Professor T. S. Goodfellow's Winter Correctives: Ooomph." It's mostly empty because received it as a free sniffie when I purchased something in an LJ sale. Enough to test out, though!

In the imp and on skin, Ooomph smells like Kahlua. Specifically, it smells like a White Russian. You could also make a case for coffee ice cream. It's very strongly coffee, but a creamy, milky coffee. I can see where the cheesecake description comes from, but honestly, I can't think of anything more bang-on than a White Russian.

The Dude approves.

Misc. Notes: Mike thinks this smells like fruitcake.

Would I buy it again? Yes, especially if I caught a bottle of it on sale. I do really like it, so it's on my Full Bottle List, but it's not near the top.

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - Magical Omaha and The Soap Box Co among other places, or you can order direct from Julia using the contact info at Arcana Soaps.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

haus of gloi valentine's butterbombs

Butterbombs! Even the name is adorable. The product itself - little scoops that look like ice cream or cookie dough - are even more adorable. So much so that even though I am not, historically, a bath person (a traumatic bath time roach incident in my gross college apartment left me with no desire to ever soak in a tub of water ever again THANK YOU IT CAME OUT OF THE DRAIN), I picked up a few of these anyway, because... cute! And I want to be a bath person, really. They seem so relaxing. Plus, again, cute.

I have four from the initial release around Valentine's Day and two from the recent Spring release. I've gone back and forth about whether I should review them all at once or by scent, and I eventually decided to just do a sort of collection overview each time new ones are released. This review will cover the butterbombs I purchased from the Valentine's Day collection: Toasted, Sea Salt Brownies, White Bluberry, and A Simple Rose.

In the order they appear above, left to right:

A Simple Rose: “Bulgarian rose absolute supported by Egyptian geranium in a base of amyris wood.” Gorgeous, fresh rose. Love this one, it's my favorite.

Toasted: "Reminiscent of warm milk, aromatic rice and burnt sugar." Smelled creamy and toasty through the wrapper but once I sniffed the actual butterbomb I smelled basmati rice, burnt sugar, and milk. It's warm and a little bitter.

Sea Salt Brownies: “Dark chocolate brownie accord with supporting notes of cocoa c02, a gentle touch of coffee co2 and speckled with sea salt.” Semi-sweet chocolatey scent. Not overpowering or fake.

White Blueberry: Blueberries awash with white vanilla sugar, cream and a sprig of white thyme.” This also smelled creamier through the wrapper, but the bomb itself smells fresh, herbal, and a bit tangy. This is my second favorite.

And here's what Haus of Gloi has to say about these little guys:

Toss these little scoops in hot bath water for a fizzy, slightly foamy and decadently moisturizing bath. Crumble under running bath water for best results! Please be cautious when moving around or standing in the tub, these little bombs can make things slippery!

I've only used one butterbomb so far, in my inaugural bid to take a bath without having a panic attack. I picked Toasted, since it's my least favorite of the scents I picked up from this collection, and I always like to save my favorite things for last.

(I finished An Abundance of Katherines during my bath, fyi.)

This is what my bathtub looked like after I crumbed the Toasted butterbomb under the faucet. It creates a thin layer of milky, foamy bubbles that lasted until about halfway through my bath. After that I was left with slightly milky water that smelled really nice, which isn't nothing. The smell is quite strong and it does linger, since the butterbombs leave a kind of moisturizing film on the skin throughout and after the bath.

I found the overall Butterbomb Experience very pleasant, but there are a few downsides. The moisturizing goo that the bomb deposits in the bath water and on skin clogged my razor like crazy when I tried to shave. That's easily remedied by, well, not shaving in the bath, I guess. I don't (in theory, in the future, if I ever take a bath again, which I probably will) take baths to get clean, but to relax, so that's not a huge deal to me, although it is a little annoying. The only other thing is that I wish it created more bubbles, but since it's not advertised to do so, it's certainly not a knock against the product itself, just against my expectations. The bombs do exactly what they say on the tin, so as long as you go in knowing that I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely. While they're not going to produce a mass amount of bubbles, they add a nice amount of moisture and scent to the bath water and really make the whole process more luxurious. Which, in my mind, is the whole point of a bath.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

Friday, March 22, 2013

haus of gloi sanctum

A welcome respite: Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime,  polished ho wood and sticky benzoin.

Sanctum is one of Haus of Gloi's recurring summer scents. I picked this mini sugar scrub up during the last release in 2012. In theory I loooove this scent so I very nearly ordered a full-size perfume, smell unsniffed, when the summer stuff went up last year. Turns out I'm super glad I didn't!

In the tub Sanctum smells like watermelon candy, but not sickly sweet watermelon candy - not jolly rancher territory or anything. More like a fresh, crisp watermelon gummy or something. It's really nice.

Unfortunately it all goes south once I actually use it. HoG emulsifying scrubs leave quite a bit of scent on the skin, which is great if you like the smell... not so much if you don't. Something about this scent, once it's on my skin, is, in a word, repulsive. I don't know what part of it I'm smelling - the coconut water? -  but the only way I can describe it is milky vomit. I've never experienced this with any HoG scent before so I'm assuming it's some reaction with my particular skin chemistry, but man is it terrible. I'll use up my sample because I hate to waste things, but only on my legs. Because they are the farthest from my nose.

Would I buy it again? Nooooo no no. Ye gods no. Back, foul creature! RETREAT.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

Thursday, March 21, 2013

delightful rot leaf on the wind

I am a leaf on the wind - watch how I soar. This quote ushered in one of the most triumphant and then suddenly tragic moments in cinematic history. The scent reflects both the triumphant, with a bright and sweet green top note, and the tragic, with a gentle, aquatic undercurrent of tears drying in the wind.

I left the introductory info in there instead of just cutting it down to the notes list because WASH. Oh god. Just thinking about that scene makes me cry and cry and cry some more like a sad little heartbroken baby.

But let me put aside my snot-covered feelings for a second and talk about the actual scent based on dear, sweet, hilarious Wash. Unfortunately I do not like it much. Sorry, Wash.

In the imp and on skin, Leaf on the Wind smells like an extremely strong, generic green floral perfume. It's slightly less oppressively perfumey on skin than when sniffed straight, but the whole thing just makes me think of being spritzed by an overzealous perfume counter employee in a department store. It may sound odd to criticize a perfume for smelling perfumey, but I think most people know what I mean by that. It's strong in a bad way, and instead of smelling like any individual notes, it just smells like perfume.

While I don't deny that this may be someone's olfactory idea of the character, it's not mine. If I were to make a perfume based on Wash, it would be clean and green and slightly fruity, with notes of airy ozone or something similar (for the vast openness of space), sweet grass or maybe basil, lemon, pineapple (for his hawaiian shirts of course), and warm, worn leather to represent the the pilot's seat at the front of Serenity. Hmm. I really want that perfume now.

Would I buy it again? Sadly, no. I wanted to like this because I love Wash and Firefly and Serenity, but I really hate it. I actually scrubbed it off right after reviewing it, which I rarely ever do.

Available from: Delightful Rot

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

firebird tobacco honey

A gentlemanly blend of sweet pipe tobacco, golden honey and black tea.

Notes that I like in perfume: tobacco, honey, tea. Percent chance that I will love a scent containing only those notes: 98% if not higher. So you'd think that I would've just splashed out for a large bottle of this without even trying it first, but NO. I was trying to be good! And I've had mixed luck with Firebird/Flourish. So a sample it was. Let's see how that worked out. Spoilers: REALLY WELL.

In the imp, Tobacco Honey smells very sweet and golden. There's a slight woody/smokiness to it that really communicates the tobacco scent well. On skin it's the mostly same, though I can smell the tea a bit more. It's sweet but not dessert-sweet, more like golden, oozing honey, and the tobacco note comes through in the most appealing way. Some tobacco scents smell way too much like cherry for my taste, but this smells just like the pipe tobacco my dad used to smoke, sweet and damp and woody and slightly smoky. It doesn't turn acrid on me at all. It's really wonderful and brings up a lot of pleasantly nostalgic scent memories for me. I want to wrap myself up in a blanket that smells like this forever.

Would I buy it again? Yes, definitely. I grew up with the scents of my dad smoking a pipe and drinking steamy Earl Grey tea, so this scent hits a lot of warm, fuzzy memory buttons for me. I love it and will be picking up a full bottle ASAP.

Available from: Firebird Bath & Body

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

delightful rot boba

A sweet fragrance, reminiscent of your favorite bubble tea! With notes of sweet milk, cinnamon and spice tea, and a touch of black coconut, this is a definite foodie scent, with a mild and sweet dry down.

Bubble tea! I don't like bubble tea, actually, but I wish I did because it has maybe the most fun name ever.

In the imp, Boba smells like sweet milk and cinnamon. It's a touch plasticky. On skin it smells like a strong chai latte, all cinnamon and cardamom and black tea with warm milk. There's coconut too, lending a bit of rich fruitiness. By all accounts I should really like this, and while I do like it, there's something about it that's off for me - that plasticky note is still there, and my best guess is that it's the combination of milk and cinnamon. Milk notes can easily go sour and gross, and my skin in particular can amp cinnamon to oppressive scented candle levels. The combination lends Boba a slightly sour, synthetic smell that kind of ruins is for me.

Would I buy it again? No, but only because it goes a bit off on my skin. It's entirely possible that this is lovely and warm and spicy and delicious on other people.

Available from: Delightful Rot 

Monday, March 18, 2013

ohwto beach bum

Salt air, tuberose blooms, coconut, sweetgrass, tanning lotion, sand, sea, and sun.

The lighting was so weird when I took pictures of this sample (and Dandelion Wine). Ugh. ANYWAY. Beach Bum is part of One Hand Washes The Other's Spring/Summer 2013 release. I received it as a sample with my Valentine's order.

In the pod, Beach Bum smells coconutty and slightly floral. On skin I smell fruity coconut and something a little citrusy, I think it's the sweetgrass. The tuberose is there, and while it's slightly more prominent than my floral-hating self would prefer, it's not an overpowering element and it fits well with the tropical vibe going on here. The scent as a whole is slightly sweet and sunny, perfect for summer.

Would I buy it again? Maybe. I do like it, but I'm not in the market for summer scents just yet. (It's still about 30 degrees here. I weep.) Plus it is a bit more floral than I'd like. So I'll see how I feel when I place my Spring/Summer order. I'm not 100% for sure getting it, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it ended up in my cart.

Available from: OHWTO

Sunday, March 17, 2013

alkemia county fair

The nostalgic scent of an old-fashioned American carnival midway — pink cotton candy, hot kettle corn, freshly fried dough, candied apples, and saltwater taffy.

County Fair was a limited edition release in 2012. I received it as a freebie with my sample order last year.

In the imp it smells like popcorn and funnel cakes and, though it's not in the notes, chocolate. On skin the pink cotton candy really comes to the front, all bright spun sugar, and I get the salty, buttery sweet popcorn, and yep, still chocolate.

It's really sweet. Like, really, really sweet. This is not a negative for me - I love sweet, foody scents - but it's something to be aware of. It's borderline diabetes-inducing. It's also very true to concept - it really is just a riot of sweets and candy and crunchy fried, sugar-dusted goodness.

Would I buy it again? Probably, but it's not available anymore, so I can't! Alas.

Available from: Alkemia Perfumes

Saturday, March 16, 2013

ohwto dandelion wine

Sweet green grass, Dandelions, Tobacco, a hint of Smoke, Atlas Cedarwood, Heliotrope, and a wee touch of Patchouli to ground it.

Dandelion Wine is one of One Hand Washes The Other's new Spring/Summer 2013 scents. Which are available NOW UGH WHY I CAN'T BUY MORE STUFF STOP IT. I received this one as a sample when I picked up Apple of My Eye after Valentine's Day.

Dandelion Wine smells exactly like lying on fresh, vibrant green grass on a warm spring day. Sweet grass and dandelions, with a hint of damp soil. It's really lovely and perfect for the warmer weather that I cannot WAIT for.

Would I buy it again? Yes. I'll probably be picking up a full-size tube of this when I place my Spring/Summer order with OHWTO.

Available From: OHWTO

Friday, March 15, 2013

delightful rot thor

The scent of a thunderstorm. Rain, wet and heavy in the air, soaking through earth and trees alike, with a crackling note of ozone.

I missed a day! Almost two, but I'm going to get this one in juuuuust under the wire.

In the imp, Thor smells like ozone and earth. It's very wet and manly. On skin it's the same while wet, but as it dries it smells less dirt-y (as opposed to dirty) and takes on a clean, woodsy, almost very very slightly floral tone on top of the crackling ozone. It really does smell like a thunderstorm, or at least the air before a thunderstorm, and then petrichor, rain soaking dry soil. I bought it because come on, "the scent of a thunderstorm?" SIGN ME UP. And you know? It delivers.

It's described as being quite masculine while wet but more unisex when it dries down, and I'd say that's correct, although I'd still like it and wear it even if it kept its wet scent throughout.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely. It's exactly as described, and I really like it. This is one I'll consider picking up a bottle of at some point.

Available from: Delightful Rot

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

arcana burlesque

The sweet, smoky decadence of a bawdy dance hall, with bold amber, spicy chocolate and the warm wood of a well-traveled stage. Turn your daily grind into a bump and grind.

I believe I received Burlesque as a frimp when I purchased a bottle of something or other from someone in an LJ sale months ago. It's one I'd been interested in trying, but not sure enough on the notes to pick it up myself - so that worked out well.

In the imp I smell spicy chocolate and lots of amber. LOTS OF AMBER. When I first sniffed it, I actually "OOF" out loud. Amber is not my favorite note. (Understatement.) We don't usually get along very well. (Understatement.)

On skin it's almost all amber. The wood note is there as well, smelling to my nose like a scuffed and well-used hardwood. The chocolate is very mild once it's on, definitely taking a backseat to the amber (driving the car) and wood (passenger, but a little one, like a puppy or something). I can see why people like this, but since I don't care for amber (understatement!) and amber is mainly what I get from this, it's a no-go for me.

Would I buy it again? No. I'm glad I got to try it (even gladder that I didn't actually buy it), but it's definitely not for me.

Available from: Wherever Arcana oils are sold - Scent Addict and The Soap Box Co among other places.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

delightful rot poison apple

An apple that bites back. With notes of green apple, lime and crisp, aquatic musk, this scent brings about the image of the poisoned apple that plagued the princesses of so many childhood fairy tales.

In the imp, Poison Apple (now Poisoned Apple) smells like lime, musk, and a hint of sour apple. On skin the lime is a bit less assertive, but it's a pretty citrus-heavy scent either way. At first. But then it dries down to something I can't even really identify - I can smell apple, but it's... not good. And I love apple. But it's like rotten apples and some kind of lime cleaning spray. Just super unpleasant.

Would I buy it again? No. Nooooooo. I'm going to assume this is a skin chemistry issue, because I can't imagine a scent being purposely made to smell this way. In any case, it's not for me.

Available from: Delightful Rot

Monday, March 11, 2013

ohwto corinne

Pink lady apples, creamy white chocolate, fresh flowers, a whiff of musky worn leather and a hint of dried hay. She's a tomboyish scent, for sure, but most definitely still a lady.

You know I love me an apple scent, and hay too, so I was happy to get a sample of this with an OHWTO order way back when. Sadly neither of those notes is very prominent on me. It's not apple-y at all, which is surprising since apples are the first note listed. It smells slightly fruity but mostly flowery and then I get a little sharpness from the leather. The white chocolate is creamy and mellow but it's a very minor note.

Ultimately this one smells mostly like flowers and leather. It's not bad, but it's not something I would wear, either - and as ever, I want more apple. Come on, apple. Don't be like that.

Would I buy it again? Nope. Leathery florals are not for me.

Available from: OHWTO (I think this was discontinued, though.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

delightful rot persinette

Before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. A beautiful, alluring woman, blessed by the fairy, this scent reflects an entirely girly and sexy combination of pink grapefruit and sweet ginger, with sassy hints of pink peppercorn and a light musk.

In the imp and on skin, Persinette smells sweet and pink. Grapefruit is the most prominent note, but the ginger is in there, lending a bit of spice to the grapefruit's zing. It's a bit less sweet on skin than it smells straight from the imp, but the overall impression really is pink. This would be a nice scent to put on in the morning when you're feeling sleepy and blah, or a good spring/summer scent in general. It's fresh and pretty. I have something similar to this - Flourish's Grapefruit Ginger - but I like Persinette better.

Would I buy it again? Mm, I'm not sure. I have nothing bad to say about it, but it's not something I feel like I desperately need more of, you know? If I ever use up my imp I might consider springing for a larger bottle, but the chances of that happening are slim.

Available from: Delightful Rot

Saturday, March 9, 2013

violette market mr. morgan's cidermill

Autumn apple cider, pressed black apples, amber wood, orchard pear, aged cedar wood, vintage patchouli leaf, blood cedar wood, and sweet vetiver.

My second Violette Market scent! Also received as an extra. Let's see how it is!

In the imp it's - whoa. Intense. I smell cedar and amber and patchouli, lot of wood, with a bit of sourness and sweetness of the cider and pear. On skin I actually smell the apple and pear a bit less, but it's also less intense in general. I mostly smell cedar (but it's not hamster-cagey) and dry pear. Sort of like hard pear cider as opposed to a fresh pear. As it dries it gets a bit sweeter but it's still very woody and dry. It's interesting. I didn't think I'd like it at all when I sniffed it in the imp, and I'm not super crazy about it on, but I don't hate it either, and I keep going back for more. So that says something.

Would I buy it again? No. While I'm glad I got to try it (I am, after all, inexorably drawn to any scent with apple in the notes list), it's not fruity enough for my liking. But I do think I'll wear the imp I have, especially in the fall.

Available from: Violette Market

Friday, March 8, 2013

ohwto apple of my eye

Bushels of apples, bouquets of lilies and carnations and sweet peas, green clover, sensual and exotic musks, a splash of champagne and a little candy, to boot.

Apple of My Eye was part of One Hand Washes the Other's 2013 Valentine's Day release. I ordered it because I am forever and endlessly drawn to any scent with apple in the notes. And clover. Let's not forget about the clover. I think my perfect Spring scent would be one that smells like crisp, fresh apples, clover flowers, rose, peach, and honey. (Note to self: see if Haus of Gloi offers these notes for their custom perfumes.)

In the tube Apple of My Eye smells fresh and green and slightly floral. The apple isn't super prominent. On skin it actually becomes less fruity and I smell mostly sweet pea and clover. There's a slight tickle from the champagne, but I can't identify any candy or musk, and compared to sniffing it in the tube, the apple is very, very mild, bordering on unnoticeable.

It's a perfectly nice scent - it's fresh and reminds me sitting in the park in early spring. But I was promised apple! And I'm not getting apple. So that's disappointing. I usually find OHWTO scents fairly true to their descriptions, so this is most likely a skin chemistry issue.

Misc. Notes: "It's more flowery than what you usually wear, but I actually really like it." -Mike

Would I buy it again? I don't think so. I'm not upset that I bought it, and I'll wear it, but if I knew it was going to be so lacking in apple, I wouldn't have bought it.

Available from: OHWTO

Thursday, March 7, 2013

delightful rot djinni

Be careful what you wish for. What seems sugary and charming at first, with notes of lychee, black coconut and yuzu, soon reveals to have a sinister and smoky interior, curls of copal and dark musks floating out of what seemed to be nothing but sweet.

In the imp, Djinni is sweet and citrusy with a hint of something darker. On skin it's less sweet but still quite citrusy, and I can smell the coconut more. It's got a dark, warm (literally - something about this smells "hot" to me, like minty things always smell "cold"), musky undertone, but I don't really get any smoke. Which is, as ever, fine by me.

This is really interesting - it's at once bright and sweet and dark and musky. I don't quite know how I feel about it, but I couldn't stop sniffing at my wrist, so that says something. The description and idea behind it are very fitting, and although I don't believe it's intentional, this one reminds me of the djinn episode of Supernatural. Bright and shiny on the surface, but underneath everyone's chained up in a dirty warehouse getting tortured by a creepy guy with an excess of facial tattoos.

Would I buy it again? I'm not sure. As of right this moment I don't think it's something I need to own a full bottle of, but I'll have to wear it a few more times and see if my opinion changes.

Available from: Delightful Rot

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

alkemia vanille vert

The innocence of fresh ferns, sweet green grass, and tender new leaves juxtaposed against seduction of white amber, Madagascar vanilla orchids, and vanilla musk.

In the imp, Vanille Vert smells like vanilla and fresh, sweet grass. Wet on skin the vanilla is somewhat less prominent - it's mostly just sweet grass with a hint of sweetness. It's very fresh and springy. As it dries the white amber and a whiff of something floral come out, and something about it doesn't agree with my head. The smell itself is really nice, but something about it - I'd blame the amber - makes me headachey.

I love the way this one smells in the vial, and I love the fresh, sweet green scent when I first but it on, but unfortunately this one doesn't work for me once it gets past that stage. And it's funny, I recall sniffing this sample when I first got it (at least a year ago, probably) and thinking it smelled insanely strong and green. It's aged into a very soft, mellow scent. If you like fresh, green scents you'd probably love this. It brings to mind a bright green field of grass in the spring, wet with dew and slightly sweet-smelling. It's really lovely... I wish it worked for me. Alas.

Would I buy it again? Unfortunately not. It's a lovely scent but it gives me a headache. Wah wah.

Available from: Alkemia Perfumes

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

haus of gloi hearth

The warm glowing center of home. Autumns last apple pickings, warm bread, orange rind, various fire roasted nuts, cracked black pepper all nailed down by an oozing sticking benzoin.

Hearth is part of Haus of Gloi's recurring Winter collection. I picked this mini up from the most recent release in 2012.

In the jar Hearth smells like spiced apples and oranges. On skin I smell more of the nuts and bread and pepper. It's much less sweet than I expected from the cold sniff, and the fruitiness is subtle. Once it settles I get mostly very peppery orange and I don't love it. Given the notes, I should like this, but it just doesn't work with my skin chemistry.

Would I buy it again? No. In fact, this little guy is being sent off in a swap to someone who will hopefully love it more than I do. Godspeed, Hearth.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

Monday, March 4, 2013

ohwto cascadia

A scent for a country that never was. At least, not yet. Dense evergreen forests, endless waterfalls, pine boughs, woodland paths littered with dried leaves, ambergris washed ashore the rocky coastline, driftwood, midday showers, oakmoss, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

In the pod Cascadia smells very clean - it reminds me of all those "clean laundry" scents for some reason. The woodsiness is also there, but it's mild. But then! On skin the evergreen and pine comes out like WHOA at first, to the point where I can't smell anything else. Thankfully it softens pretty quickly and I start to get a bit of the other notes, most notably the sandalwood and a tiny hint of sweetness from the oakmoss. It's quite pretty once you get past the initial blast of HEY CHRISTMAS TREE. I am a big fan of any kind of "this smells like being in the middle of woods" scents, and this falls into that category - it's something I'd want to wear while hiking or exploring outside.

Would I buy it again? Maybe. I like it but it reminds me a bit of OHWTO's Lumberjack, which by contrast I love, so I'll have to compare the two before I decide whether or not to put it on my "to buy" list.

Available from: OHWTO

Sunday, March 3, 2013

haus of gloi coconut bon bon

White chocolate and coconut flake.

Coconut Bon Bon was released as part of Haus of Gloi's 2012 Halloween Candy Bowl collection. I don't recall there being samples available of these, which is a bummer because I ended up just ordering a full bottle of this, and spoilers: I don't really like it very much.

In the bottle and on skin, Coconut Bon Bon smells like artificial coconut. It's cloyingly sweet. It smells like store-bought coconut macaroons or strong coconut extract. The white chocolate is there, but to me it smells terribly fake and a bit waxy. I love me some Haus of Gloi and I generally trust them to make lovely-smelling things, but in this case I am really not a fan.

Would I buy it again? No, obviously. In fact I'm reviewing this now because I'm about to send it off in a swap - hopefully the receiver will like it more than I do.

Available from: Haus of Gloi (but not currently)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

ohwto o holy night

A gorgeous blend reminiscent of a Christmas Eve church service - Roses, Beeswax candles, Moroccan Cedarwood, Lavender, Labdanum, Vetiver, and Honey.

O Holy Night was part of One Hand Washes the Other's 2012 Winter release.

O Holy night smells, appropriately, like church. I smell incense, but really lovely, deep incense, and roses and beeswax. It's not a scent I'd pick out (hence why I only have a sample), but it's quite pretty in a Christmas Eve Mass sort of way. I am not a church-going person, but it's the smell that matches up with the image of a grand old church in my mind - all dark wood and candles and stained-glass windows under an impossibly high, domed ceiling with glinting gold accents.

Would I buy it again? No. I like the idea of it quite a lot but it's not a scent I would wear with any regularity.

Available from: OHWTO (still up for purchase as of this posting)

Friday, March 1, 2013

delightful rot sherlock

Elementary. Based on the famous detective in literature, this scent includes a helping of pipe tobacco, spice cognac, 19th century cologne and stacks of dusty papers on old bookshelves.

Pipe tobacco, cognac, and old books? Yes please.

In the imp, Sherlock smells like booze, cologne, and for some reason I'm getting a tiny bit of tea. On skin it's a bit less sharp and boozy - it pretty much just smells like a nice cologne. It's spicy in an Old Spice kind of way and just a tiny tiny bit sweet, which my brain is still interpreting as tea. Maybe just because it's called "Sherlock." There is also a very slight mustiness representing the dusty papers portion of the description. At first I didn't think the pipe tobacco made an appearance in this one, but after wearing for a while I did start to notice faint whiffs of it. It's nice, but I wish it were more prevalent. My dad smoked a pipe when I was little so it's a scent I find very comforting and nostalgic.

Would I buy it again? No. It's a perfectly lovely scent, but while I do like manly scents, this one isn't quite special enough to warrant an entry into my collection. I do think it would smell super sexy on an actual human male though. I may "spill it" onto my boyfriend to test this theory.

 Available from: Delightful Rot