No longer actually an advent calendar, unless I’m counting down to . . . some random time in February? But I might as well continue with that name for these posts.
* Cape Heartache (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “Douglas fir, pine resin, western hemlock, vanilla leaf, strawberry, old growth, and mountain fog.” Late in the process I get maaaaaybe a hint of vanilla leaf, but mostly I smell like HI I’M A FOREST. Which isn’t all that bad! (Though my nose misidentified that mix of trees as cedar, which I guess is nowhere in here.) Like O! Unknown, this has a very strong throw — I think I am using my new perfume terminology correctly? the tendency of the scent to kind of leap out and grab you? — which I’m starting to think is characteristic of Imaginary Authors’ woody scents in general, possibly aided and abetted by these being spray bottles instead of dipper sticks. I sort of wish I could just dab it on, rather than getting a big gust.
* Unmasking the Sambaso Dancer
Described as “king mandarin, passionfruit, Moroccan rose absolute, labdanum, and amber musk.” Sadly, the orange in this comes on strong, but fades very fast. When it was wet, I picked up something kind of . . . sharp? . . . which might have been the labdanum? (I haven’t encountered labdanum often enough to really know; it just doesn’t seem like it’s any of the other ingredients.) For a little while there was a floral overtone, but the whole thing didn’t really last.
* Liquid Gold Is [in] the Air
BPAL’s site and my bottle disagree on the exact name of this one. 😛 Described as “liquid gold cascading over parched earth: three glittering ambers, golden oud, golden apple, saffron, and orange blossom honey with vanilla husk and gilded cedar.” It’s deliciously apple-y in the bottle and wet, like you got the skins in there as well as the flesh, but as it started to dry the apples faded and I mostly got something sharp and kind of chemical-smelling that I think might be the oud (which I’ve seen described as “medicinal”). Not a fan.
* Pumpkin Peach [Patch? Queen?] (Haus of Gloi)
Haus of Gloi’s site does not list an oil called “Pumpkin Peach.” It has Pumpkin Patch, which is described as “dried leaves, twisted vines, orange pumpkins, golden amber and earth;” it also has Pumpkin Queen, described as “gentle hay pillows, pumpkin, ripe peaches dusted with clove and nutmeg, dried summer herbs and lastly, a lovely crown of amber.” Although Patch -> Peach is the more plausible typo, based on what I smelled, I’m more inclined to guess Queen: it started off as very buttery pumpkin, but as the butter note faded the spices came up, and something warm that I’m inclined to call amber. But what it really is doesn’t matter so much, because my reaction was, eh.
* HR2 Prototype
Still not sure what’s up with the bottles labeled “prototype,” as they are nowhere to be found on BPAL’s site or forum. This started off pretty nice, with eucalyptus and lemon and an undertone of what I suspect is champak, and for a little while the eucalyptus and champak balanced each other nicely . . . but as often happens with musk, the champak won that race, and left me with a fairly boring scent.
* Whispered Myths (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “natural Cambodian oud, cantaloupe, cedarwood, muskdana, honey, and salvaged shipwreck.” My notes for it start with “cantalOH THERE’S THE CEDAR.” Yeah, cedar pretty much beat up every other note in this perfume; it had a kind of spicy note for a while in the middle, but not for long. And again, this one was quite strong.
Described as “a swirling, lightless, effervescent scent: the deepest marine notes with bergamot, eucalyptus and foamy ambergris.” Dear god, in the bottle this straight-up smelled like soap. Interestingly — and in contrast with “A Cozy Sweater & an Apple Cider” — the soapiness actually faded with time; I started to pick up something else that might be the ambergris if I kind of sneaked up on it from the side. That lasted after the soap was gone, but only faintly, and not for long.
Described as “Arabian spices wind through a blend of warm musk, carnation, red sandalwood and cassia.” I think I quite enjoy this one! It had too much carnation for my sister’s taste, but I like how that lightens the sandalwood and spices. It’s going in the keeper pile.