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.