* Yesterday Haze (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “fig, iris, cream, tonka, tree bark, walnut bitters, and orchard dust.” Like a number of their scents, this one hits me as VERY strongly woody — alcoholically so early on, for long enough that I don’t think it’s just the evaporation of the spray; my guess is that’s the “walnut bitters” part. Underwhelming result.
* Moonlight in Chiangmai (Dusita)
Described as “yuzu, jasmine, nutmeg, benzoin, myrrh, patchouli, vetiver, teak.” In the bottle it’s slightly floral, brightened a bit by the yuzu. Wet, it’s kind of green; I think that might be the vetiver? (That’s a note I’m still trying to learn to identify.) As it dries down it gets sort of resinous with a touch of nutmeg and, uh, benzoin is another note I’m still trying to learn to pick out. Interesting enough for me to keep to try again.
* Hollywood Babylon
Described as “glittering Egyptian amber and heliotrope, infused with the sweetness of strawberry and vanilla – dragged into debauch by lusty red musk and a dribble of black cherry.” WOW CHERRY to start, but as it dries . . . I think the only real description I can give this one is “confused.” It’s kind of generically perfume-y with whiffs of fruit.
* Pecan Pie Oud
I couldn’t find a description for this one, but based on my previous experience of oud — by which I presume they mean the perfume component, not the musical instrument, but then again who knows — I was not optimistic. However! It’s got a bit of that cloying note right after I apply it, over a kind of woody/nutty scent, but as it dries it develops more into nutmeg and other spices. At no point did I pick up the sharp, medicinal, chemical note I think was oud in Liquid Gold Is in the Air (which I definitely did not like). I’ll keep this one for now!
* A City on Fire (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “cade oil, spikenard, cardamom, clearwood, dark berries, labdanum, a burnt match.” After applying it I learned that cade is a kind of cypress, which explained why my wrist smelled so much like my hinoki incense. 🙂 Definitely smoky, too. It mellows as it goes, but this is in the same camp for me as BPAL’s Pomegranate and Date Palms — I think I prefer it as a room scent rather than a bodily one? (Though since IA’s perfume samples are all in spray bottles, I could spritz it around as an air freshener, I suppose.)
* Apple Milk (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “apple pulp, hot milk, and cardamom.” Hits that nasal-passage-coating cloying note in the bottle, which I’m going to guess is from whatever they used to create the “milk” note. On, however, it’s mostly apple, eventually bowing to the cardamom. This kept its apple note much longer than many others I’ve tried, but I prefer BPAL’s Honeyed Apple.
* Slow Explosions (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “saffron, rose absolute, leather, apple, benzoin, cashmeran, and Arpora Night Market.” Like Hollywood Babylon, this one just felt confused to me, never quite cohering into something where I could say, “ah, this is the target we were aiming for.” At first it was sort of leathery with some rose and apple maybe; the sort of green and woody note it took on later might have been the cashmeran; I still don’t really get what I’m sniffing for where benzoin is concerned. Not a winner.
* Bull’s Bloood (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “patchouli, rose, costus root, tobacco, black musk, and bull’s blood.” I don’t know whether it’s the fact that IA samples are spray bottles or something to do with how they formulate their perfumes, but wow are they frequently overpowering on me. This one was mostly overpoweringly tobacco — not necessarily in an outright unpleasant way, but it’s not what I want to smell like.