eternalsojourn: Legs (Legs)
[personal profile] eternalsojourn
I used to work in a perfume shop and sniffed my way around all of the inventory. I don’t love a lot of what’s out there, and I find a lot of it quite samey. I’ve been on the hunt for something unique and magical, and had nearly given up. Then I smelled Byredo’s scents and realized that there are some truly unique scents out there.

Of course, I can’t afford Byredo, so I turned to indie scents just to see what they were about. The price was attractive (Haus of Gloi has sample sizes for $2.50-3.00 and int’l shipping flat rate $5). Most of the companies appear to have a standard line plus an ever-changing seasonal selection. This appeals to me because I get bored easily.

I’ve been going nuts reading up on all the different scent profiles and placing orders when I can afford to. I imagine I’ll write up some more reviews when my next order comes in (Haus of Gloi’s Valentine’s stuff) and continually as I explore indie perfumes. I like chatting about scents but I don’t actually know anyone in real life who cares even remotely. So I’m dumping my thoughts here.

The list below doesn’t represent all I’ve ordered, but close to it.

Haus of Gloi

Apothecary - “Old books, bubbling concoctions, herbs and creaking floor boards! A pure essential oil blend of: Lemongrass, rosemary, blood cedar, sweet basil, lavender and the tiniest drop of vetiver.” Love. This is love. It actually smells like the best sort of library to me: leather, paper, solid wooden shelves, a hint of your grandfather’s spicy musk, and perhaps a spiced candle burning in the corner. (I’m ordering the full size of this.)

Madcap Garden - “A lively blend, pure black tea chilled with peppermint and the tiniest spike of sweet honey.” Also love (I’m ordering this in the full size.) This is exactly what it says. In the bottle and on the skin I get tea, a bit of peppermint, and just enough sweetness off the honey to soften the dryness of the tea. This is a perfectly balanced, perfectly elegant scent I want to wear every day.

Wintervale (Seasonal Winter Collection) - “Snow covered blue spruce boughs, frozen woods, crystalline sugared violets and sharp wintery air, all wrapped around a minty mug of hot cocoa.” Oh my god, I wasn’t going to choose this one but they put a free sample in with my first order and I immediately ordered the full size. This is exactly as it sounds. It’s wintery with that hint of mint, and there’s more than a whisper of cocoa, but not much. Those sugared violets come through loud and clear, and hang around making this scent soft and feminine, lightly sweet, and oh so cozy.

Elevenses - “Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, it’s the little sip and nibble in between! Bring out the old cracked china! Tiny, little, fluffy orange cakes, sugar coated toasty almonds and a wee steaming cup of black tea.” I ordered this in full size for my niece, thinking it would be sweet and fun. It isn’t, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t love it and keep it for myself. This is a strong tea scent, quite dry with orange peel, a hint of almonds, and that sugar stays in the background like a good coffee cake should. Lovely.

Troika - “A trinity of soft milks, almond, oat and coconut, lashed with sweet agave nectar and the ethereal scent of clean white.” This is the softest of soft, feminine scents. It’s light, powdery, and milky. It feels like the sort of scent that should be accompanied by billowy dressing robes in a bedroom with a billion pillows and a pretty vintage white dressing table.

Picaroon - “Sun scorched mahogany bough crusted with a crystalline sea spray! Faint plundered spices, lemongrass, coconuts, expressed Mexican lime, and Haitian bay rum.” I have this in a sample perfume and a hair oil. It’s quite incensey, spicy and potent, and that lime keeps it sharp. I see this scent as quite masculine. It’s not my favourite, but I kind of like it in my hair. I always think of it as my pirate scent, mostly because of HoG’s description.

Moon Dog - “Solar storm erupt: pure cracked coconut, dry sandalwood essence, heated with nutmeg and clove.” This one is odd to me, and I rarely wear it. It’s strong coconut, but dry rather than sweet, and that incensey sandalwood is quite strong as well. I find it hard to put my finger on what this one is like, which is why I never wear it.

Horseman (Seasonal Autumn Collection) - I don’t have the description of this one from the site because it’s no longer available. But it’s smoky, leathery, musky, and intensely masculine. But for all of that, I get the impression it’s clean and refined. I picture a very capable man on horseback, one with authority and gravitas. Aragorn all scrubbed clean and ready to set out on an adventure (not Aragorn after 80 days of wandering the wilderness.)

Persephone’s Descent (Seasonal Autumn Collection) - Again, I don’t have the description but WOW is this a feminine, grown-up, elegant scent. I don’t even know the notes in it but it’s not foody, not too sweet, not too floral

Eggnoggin’ (Seasonal Winter Collection) - “The Haus ‘nog! Cream, sugar and a shot of dark rum topped with fresh grated nutmeg.” I don’t get much rum from this, but it definitely smells exactly like eggnog on first application. Wonderful. The dry down softens it so something less aggressively sweet and into something more just creamy and nutmeggy. This is definitely a seasonal scent but I loved wearing it in the run up to Christmas.

Glog (Seasonal Winter Collection) - “Cheerful red wine, spiked with Yule spices and fermented berry juice!” Yup, this is boozy, winy, spicy, and boozy. So boozy. It dries down to something softer and warmer with the spices, and I don’t say “boozy” without fondness, so yeah. Love this one for making me feel like I’m wandering around a Christmas market in a glog-fuelled haze.

Vice - “Steam billows rolling off a vessel of fresh made Turkish coffee, marshmallow goo tainted by graham cracker crumbs, toasted hazelnuts and blanketed in black chocolate.” Out of the bottle I get strong black coffee and dark chocolate. For 15 minutes on my skin, I feel like a decadent coffee house treat, but then it dries down to something quite synthetic, chocolate and marshmallow with very little of that coffee left. A bit disappointing but not a deal breaker, and perhaps it’s just my body chemistry.

I didn’t keep these but I’ll review them anyway

Satyr - “Absolutely fiendish creature! And quite frolicsome: Italian blood orange drizzled with blackened vanilla.” Out of the bottle I get nothing but incense from this one, patchouli or something. On the skin I get big, juicy blood orange and definitely that complex vanilla, but underneath and lingering is a patchouli scent. I gave this to my mom, who loves it. I can’t with patchouli.

Twice is Nice - “Sweetest offerings of opulence! Buttery sugar cookie, with shavings of creamy coconut and topped with toasted almond slivers!” This is what I bought my niece to replace the Elevenses that didn’t work for her. It’s PERFECT. Sweet almond, sugar cookie, just like it says. Except it dries down to something slightly less sweet and the almond sticks around. My niece is 12 and this is youthful but not candy-like. I might have to buy myself one now.

Pumpkin Cake Pops (Candy Bowl Autmn Collection) - I bought this for my 9 year old niece and she loves it. It really smells like pumpkin cake, very sweet. On the skin the sweetness gives way a little to the pumpkin and spice, which is great. I probably wouldn’t wear this myself but it was a great choice for her or anyone else who likes to smell sweetly of cakes.

One Hand Washes the Other (OHWTO)

I wanted to like these. I’ll overlook waiting ages (longer than the stated TAT), but after my experience with Haus of Gloi, I was so excited for this order. But even though I expected sweet scents, I really can’t shake the impression that I’m wearing a scented candle: waxy, sort of generically sweet, and everything sort of smells like vanilla. I don’t mind vanilla but I prefer the complex scent, not the almost synthetic smell of vanilla, if that makes sense.

After 5 Somewhere - “Bourbon Whiskey, Fresh grated Ginger Root, and Vanilla combine for a delightfully relaxing cocktail.” From the bottle I get the whisky and vanilla. On application it’s actually quite pleasant, with the whisky prominent and vanilla close behind. I get virtually no ginger from this, which is disappointing because I was really hoping for the sharpness of it to cut the whisky/vanilla mix. Dry down just smells like vanilla. Even the whisky scent isn’t quite what I was hoping. I get a bit of the alcohol on initial application, but I do actually drink whisky and there’s more wood and/or smoke in whisky than just alcohol. That would have been nice to add some depth to this scent.

Fevrier - “Winter fruits and the bite of a deep Arctic freeze. Berries, Currants, Pomegranate, Cranberry, Black pepper, Amber, Sandalwood, and a touch of spicy musk.” Out of the bottle, on first application, and after dry down, I get berries from this. No pepper, no sandalwood, no musk. Just a bunch of berries, similar to a berry-scented candle. I’m not impressed with this one. I like foody scents but I prefer something more complex in there. The description gave me high hopes, but didn’t live up, imo.

Pasticceria - “An Italian pastry shop, the pasticceria has all the best dessert smells in the world. Marzipan, hazelnut, almonds, vanilla, cased, assorted pastries, frosting, and or course, pure sugar.” Now this one I was expecting to be vanillary and sweet, and it is. I also get a strong whiff of the almonds and hazelnut out of the bottle and first on the skin. It’s lovely. But on dry down I pretty much just have vanilla, which would be just that little bit nicer with less of a waxy vanilla scent. Other than that, this is my favourite of the 3 from OHWTO. Still, between this and Haus of Gloi’s Twice is Nice, I’d go for HoG.

Solstice Scents

Solstice Scents is ridiculously good at describing their scents, and as far as I can tell, they’re also spot on. I hardly feel it necessary to add to what they say, but I love them so here are the ones I’ve tried.

Outpost - “A beacon of light amidst cold, desolate wilderness. Pass through a copse of young evergreens into a warm cedar cabin and thaw out under a soft Afghan blanket by a blazing fire while sugared treats from the kitchen fill the air. Notes include sugar crystals, spruce, fir, a medley of soft woods including sandalwood, agar, cedar, aloeswood, patchouli, guaiacwood, bayberry, mistletoe and a touch of amber.” This scent is exactly as described in the bottle and first on the skin. I get evergreens, Christmas-tree like but without all the other trappings of Christmas. On dry-down, I get something softer, backed by that amber which keeps it smelling quite classic but dry and woodsy. I’m reminded of Tolkien’s Wood Elves with this one: earthy but refined.

Kitchen - ”Autumn at the Manor features a bustling kitchen alive with the sweet scents of fresh baked seasonal treats. Large windows bathe the kitchen and its vast array of copper and cast iron cookery with light. A basket of fresh-picked orchard fruits sits near the scullery, awaiting a quick rinse before being sliced for rich lattice-topped pies. Warm sugar-dusted sweets, pumpkin, flaky pastries filled with peach preserves, sugar cookies, caramel and vanilla combine with a touch of hay absolute, all embraced by a generous dose of sweet wood smoke to bring you the Manor's fall kitchen experience. “ Ahhhh! This is a wonderful scent, complex and comforting. First on the skin I get baked goods and spices, perhaps a bit of fresh baked bread to round it out and keep it from being too desserty. As it dries down, it settles down to more of a warm baking spice blend and that hint of wood smoke. The sweetness is there but not overpowering. I love this scent and this makes me want to try a whole bunch more out of Solstice Scents.
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eternalsojourn: Legs (Default)

February 2015


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