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Posts Tagged ‘adventures in smelling good’

The Advent of Scent, Week 11

Now begins the Kurayami Hime Citrus Collection! My sister’s favorite perfume has been discontinued, and while she has enough to keep her going for a while, she’ll eventually want a replacement. We’ve been testing a whole lot of things. Therefore, the theme for this post and the next is going to be “citrus” — a category I haven’t really tried so far!

Lavender Lemonade (Haus of Gloi)
Described as what it says on the tin, “lavender and fresh tart lemonade.” Pretty straightforward, the only variation being that it smells more strongly of lavender early on, then more evenly of both notes later. It’s nice, but on me it also fades unfortunately fast.

Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom, and Lemon Peel
No description, but these trios obviously don’t need it. Peppery in the bottle, and lemon with a pepper edge when it goes on, but as it dries this just turns into pepper and floral. Bah.

Tweedledee
Described as “kumquat, white pepper, white tea and orange blossom.” Wow does this smell like orange Starburst at the outset — it’s exactly that juicy, sugar scent. It acquires a floral tinge over time and keeps the orange (more mellowed, less candy), but the pepper and tea never really come through. It’s not bad, but it isn’t for me.

Falling Into the Sea (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, lychee, tropical flowers, warm sand.” This is definitely citrus, but on the bitter rather than the sweet end. Too bitter for me, honestly, especially since its other aspect is floral, and as usual I’m very meh about that.

Lemondrops (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “freshly squeezed lemon juice with a touch of lemongrass and little hint of honey.” In the bottle it’s very sugary, but it gets a little more tart when it’s applied. After it’s applied, it’s a nice, mellow, smooth lemon that I can only describe as sitting “on a cushion of honey,” so I guess I know why perfumers wind up writing ridiculous metaphorical descriptions for their products. 😛 Not bad!

Soleil d’Italie (Mancera)
My sister ordered a “citrus sampler” from LuckyScent.com, so you’ll see a few random companies appearing in here. This one is described as “pink pepper, cardamom, bergamot, bitter orange, mandarin, lime, aquatic notes, patchouli, rose, vetiver, cedar, ambergris, white musk, and gaiac,” which between you and me I think is waaaaay more notes than a single scent needs. Not that I can really pick them out: it really just smells to me like . . . perfume. Very, very generic perfume. I guess as it dried there was a brief patch where I could maybe pick out something aquatic, and then later something warmer that might have been the musk and/or cardamom, but . . . yeah, it just wound up as slightly warmer perfume. Very boring, and not to my taste.

Shanghai
Described as “green tea touched with lemon verbena and honeysuckle.” Goes pretty straightforwardly from “citrus tea” to “tea and honeysuckle.” I love honeysuckles in real life, but I have yet to find a perfume with that note which I like, so, meh.

Sundrunk (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “neroli, rhubarb, honeysuckle, rose water, orange zest, and first kiss” (because the final listed ingredient in their perfumes is always something randomly metaphorical). Like Falling Into the Sea, we’re firmly on the bitter end here, the zest of the orange rather than its juice. It also is too floral for my taste.

The . . . Abvent of Scent?

I had this thought that when I was done going through perfume tests, I would offer up my unwanted samples to the general public, free to a good home.

. . . yeah, “done” has proven to be an ever-receding mirage. Not just because friends keep sending me things (thank you, friends!), but because I’ve now started ordering some random samples myself. At present I have enough to keep me busy through mid-March, and since I know of two people planning to mail me more, we’re probably good until some time in April. And by the time I get there, more may have shown up. Rather than waiting until this mythical “end” to the process, I’m just going to post my current list here, and let people start claiming things if they want.

Most of these are little sample vials; some are 5ml bottles. There are too many for me to want to link to their descriptions individually, but if you go to this tag you can search for specific perfumes, or just browse for things that sound good to you and then check back to see if I’m unloading them. (There’s a very small pile of “I love this!” and a much larger pile of “I would like to try this again” that are not up for grabs — not yet, anyway. Once I try that second pile again, I’m sure some of them will go on offer.) People who have sent me samples will get first dibs on anything here.

List behind the cut!

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The Advent of Scent, Week 10

* 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.

The Advent of Scent, Week 9

Belated post this time, though the perfume-testing continues apace.

* Phantasm
Described as “green tea, lemon verbena, jasmine and neroli.” That sounded very promising, and I picked up the lemon verbena in the bottle, the neroli as it started to dry. But like so many perfumes with floral elements, it wound up just being . . . generically floral. Which is not a category I like.

* Pumpkin Latte
Described as “espresso, pumpkin syrup, smoky vanilla bean, milk, raw sugar, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.” This is quite nice for what it is; it starts out very strongly coffee, with the smoky vanilla coming out in the wet stages; later on the coffee steps back to allow the cinnamon through quite powerfully. But I’m coming to the conclusion that many of the “foody” scents don’t appeal to me: fruit is okay, but other stuff on the edible side of the perfume spectrum is just not what I want to smell like.

* Midwinter Eve
Described as “the perfume of sugared plums over a breeze of winter flowers.” This is quite nicely balanced! Early on it’s fruity, but a tart fruity rather than sugary-sweet (despite the description); later on the florals of unknown variety show up, but for once they don’t overpower everything else.

* Samhain
Described as “damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, green cardamom, sweet red apple and mullein.” I have no idea what mullein is supposed to smell like, and searching did not enlighten me. Possibly it’s the sort of “middle” note I picked up here during the drydown (she said, making vague gestures as if “middle” is anything resembling a meaningful description). Like many of BPAL’s apple scents, that part shows up quite well when this is wet; unlike some of them, it sticks around later. As does the woodiness and the spice. I’d call this one “interestingly autumnal,” and I’m keeping it for now in the “try again later” pile.

* Good
Described as “shimmering celestial musk with vanilla, white honey, acacia, and sugar cane.” Blech. Hella floral, which I guess is coming from the acacia; it even strong-arms the musk into submission, when that’s usually the part that sticks around on me after everything else is gone. (God only knows what “celestial musk” is, though. I’ve now seen celestial, white, black, red, pink, amber, peach, Egyptian, Chinese, bear, skin, body, and blood musks mentioned in various perfume descriptions, and I have no idea if those terms mean anything at all.)

* Golden Priapus
Described as “vanilla and amber with juniper, rosewood and white pine.” I may at last be starting to get a handle on what is meant by “amber” in perfumery, as this starts out with a warm scent that isn’t the usual things like sandalwood or musk. The evergreen elements cut that a bit, which I find quite nice.

* Hay Moon
I cannot possibly replicate in text format the tone of voice in which my sister and I keep saying “haaaaaay mooooon!” to each other. 😛 Described as “hay absolute, tall grasses, dry honey, mallow, cardamom, amber, oat cakes, and wheat.” Based on comparison to a couple of other perfumes, I think I Do Not Like mallow; something in here and a few other mallow-containing scents starts out hideously cloying and . . . all I can think to do is call it “buttery” or “creamy” even that’s not quite what I mean. Now, in this instance that went away as the perfume dried, leaving behind the amber and the cardamom, followed by the vanilla and the honey. But I can get nice scents in that category without first going through the part that makes me almost sick to my stomach.

* Pomegranates and Date Palm
Described as “pomegranate, dates, and cypress infused with ketoret smoke.” Like some others, this does a swap from bottle to wrist: it starts out tartly fruity, with overtones of woody smoke, then becomes sharpy woody with overtones of fruit. It mellows and balances out as it dries, but my ultimate thought was “I want this as an incense, not as a perfume.”

The Advent of Scent, Week 8

* Drops of Amontillado
I don’t have a description for this one, but that’s fine, because it is clearly GRAPE. Like, high-end grape gummy grape to start with. While it’s drying it gets less cloying — there’s a woody element that comes through, and some whiskey — but I swear it gets grapier again after that. I do not like grape well enough to want to reek of it, even if it’s generally a pleasant reek.

* Dirty
BPAL goes for irony with the name of this one, since its description is “a fresh, crisp white linen scent: perfectly clean, perfectly breezy.” In the bottle it’s green and slightly floral; wet, it takes on a quality I’ve encountered in one or two other scents, where it smells cold to me (and yes, I’m aware “cold” isn’t a smell). I have no idea what gives rise to that! Overall it’s slightly green and very pleasantly fresh. On me it fades fast, though, and even when it’s there, I’m not sure it’s my kind of thing.

* Squirting Cucumber
What an unfortunate name. Described as “wet, grassy greenness;” in the bottle and wet it is very clearly cucumber, and manages to be sweet without being sugary. As it dries, the grassiness comes through. It’s another fresh-smelling scent, and I think I like this one better than Dirty.

* Sanguinem Menstruum
Also an unfortunate name, heh. Described as “the copper tang of blood musk, swept by a cloud of dying bees and red poppies of madness.” It’s almost a buttery musk in the bottle, with maybe a honey note; once applied, that gets sharper and cleaner — maybe that’s the poppies cutting it. Dries down to musk and honey, which for me is a meh result.

* Velvet
Described as “gentle sandalwood warmed by cocoa vanilla and a veil of deep myrrh.” Like Bliss, this one launches itself at you as CHOCOLATE. Later on the sandalwood and myrrh are kind of there in the CHOCOLATE . . . but when all is said and done, I do not wish to smell like chocolate.

* The Red Queen
I purchased this one because the description sounded good: “Deep mahogany and rich, velvety woods lacquered with sweet, black-red cherries and currant.” As with Drops of Amontillado, this starts out extremely juicy and fruity — mostly cherry, maybe a little currant. But then the wood starts to come up, and it balances out really nicely with the two fruits, for a result I really really like!

* Irish Buttercream
Described as “Irish whiskey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipped cream, buttercream and coffee.” This is exactly what it bills itself as: starts out smelling like Bailey’s, then develops a coffee note as it dries. I’m on the fence about this one, because I like those scents; I’m just not sure if I like to smell like them.

* A Whiff of Waffle Cone
Described as “vanilla, heavy cream, salted caramel, amyris, orgeat, Saigon cinnamon, ice cream shoppe.” It’s a sugary caramel at first, like you might expect from the name, but then . . . I’m going to assume it’s the amyris I wound up smelling, because when I looked that up online it got described as “balsamic, rich and warming.” And while I’m still not clear on what “balsamic” means in a fragrance, this definitely got rich and warming, with maybe just a hint of vanilla. Much, much later, it started to smell like cream. So, not much like the name, and not really my thing, either.

The Advent of Scent, Week 7

I have now tried over fifty perfumes (because these “weeks” are eight days long, for silly reasons). That’s . . . kind of boggling? And I’m nowhere near done yet! People keep offering me more samples, hah.

* Beeswax & Sweetgrass (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “the golden glow of beeswax mingled with dry sweetgrass.” It . . . basically just smells like honey on me, with maybe some underlying musk at the end. It’s not bad, but it’s also pretty simplistic.

* Burial
Described as “deep, brooding forest scents, including juniper and patchouli. The scent of upturned cemetery loam mingling with floral offerings to the dead.” In the bottle, it is VERY sharply juniper, taking on a bit of an herbal tone when applied. As it dries, the “floral offerings” emerge as a distinct rose — but I like how the evergreen helps to restrain that note. It achieves a nice balance; I’m just not sure it’s a me balance.

* Pink Grapefruit and Egyptian Musk (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “pink grapefruit, green tea, bergamot, and Egyptian musk.” Surprisingly (and counter to how it normally seems to behave), the musk only comes through faintly at the end; mostly this has a nice fresh green scent from the tea and maybe the bergamot.

* Winter Divinity (Haus of Gloi)
PEPPERMINT. HI, THIS HAS PEPPERMINT IN IT. CAN YOU TELL THERE IS PEPPERMINT? Eventually vanilla comes out to play. It made me smell like Christmas candy. I may hold onto this until next Christmas, and then if I decide I don’t really want to wear it in that season (it would have to beat out BPAL’s Thieves’ Rosin), I’ll unload it.

[Here endeth the batch of samples Yoon sent me. The next bunch are a combination of some from a different friend, a couple I bought, and random freebies BPAL included with my order.]

* In Omnibus Caritas
This is one I bought, because I liked the sound of it. Described as “honey and mallow flower, sugar cane, white sandalwood, orris, and vanilla bean.” Started out buttery, which fortunately it lost over time, but on me it’s just kind of uninterestingly warm and sweet.

* Kabuki
Described as “cherry, red musk, and star anise.” I . . . really don’t understand this one, because at no point did I smell cherry or red musk (even though musk more often takes over anything it’s in). And I guess star anise in perfume doesn’t smell like licorice the way I assumed it would, because I don’t get that, either. It’s sharp and medicinal, almost like cleaning fluid, though not unpleasant. Not for me, though.

* The Arrival at the Sabbath and Homage to the Devil
Described as “bourbon vanilla, benzoin, caramel, Mysore sandalwood, aged black patchouli, carnation, and iris florentina.” This one was hard for me to parse, because I’m still not sure several of its element smell like (benzoin in particular). People on the BPAL forum described it as a very foody scent, but it wasn’t at all like that; I’m not even sure how to describe what it was like.

* Fae
Described as “white musk, bergamot, heliotrope, peach and oakmoss.” So today I learned what heliotrope smells like! In the bottle it came across as, like, really high-end artisanal bubblegum; then it turned into marzipan. Sadly, though, the musk did what it usually does, retaining only maybe a faint trace of peach.

The Advent of Scent, Week 6

I am almost through the gift of perfume samples from Yoon! . . . with more on the way, and also another friend sent some, and my sister and I ordered a few from BPAL which showed up with random additional samples tossed into the package, and uh basically I will probably be continuing to try perfumes through the end of February at least.

* Dandelion Dreams (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “sunny yellow dandelion flowers, dewy green grass and rich soil.” This one starts out extremely green — that’s really the only way I can describe it. In drying down it takes on an ever so faintly soapy tinge, and it also fades kind of fast overall, but I’m keeping it for now.

* Beating the Tatami Shunga
If you go looking for this one, be warned that the image on the bottle is EXTREMELY not safe for work. (My bottle leaves off the word “shunga,” but it’s named that way on their site, and if you know what shunga are — yeah. NSFW to the max.) Described as “strawberry pulp, ti leaf, and candied fruits,” and this is most definitely not one of those perfumes that advertises itself as fruity and then doesn’t deliver. It is HELLO STRAWBERRY, with an element coming through in late drydown that I am going to assume is the ti leaf, because whatever it is cuts the sweetness quite nicely. I like this one!

* Sed Non Satiata
Described as “myrrh, red patchouli, cognac, honey, and tuberose and geranium in a breathy, panting veil over the darkest body musk.” Surprisingly, I don’t think the floral elements ever really became noticeable in this one. It starts out resinous and kind of like caramel in the bottle, with the latter aspect becoming stronger on application; I presume that’s the honey note at work. Later the myrrh rises up, and it balances out into that, honey, and musk, quite pleasantly.

* Kathmandu
Described as “saffron, blessed sandalwood, Himalayan cedar and the miraculous lotus of the Buddha with chiuri bark and Nepalese spices.” This one is quite nice! It’s interestingly spicy and warm, but sort of . . . cleaner than usual, if that makes sense. I think at one point I said it was “more transparent, less opaque” than that combo usually feels to me. As it dries, the lotus starts to come through. Definitely keeping this for now!

* Alleviate the Frenzy
Described as “heady peach musk aglow with sugared amber.” In this bottle this is a super sugared peach, with the amber and musk starting to appear as it dries. The peach manages to last, though, which hasn’t been my experience of a lot of the fruit/musk combos (they usually turn into just flat musk), so I’m holding onto this for the moment.

* Paradise Is Full of Coconuts (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “Tahitian vanilla, all the coconuts you can carry, and a handful of tropical blossoms.” I have no idea what in here is coming across as pineapple (one of the flowers, I presume), but I started out smelling vaguely like a pina colada, heh. Over time that fades and instead the floral comes through, balancing pretty nicely with the coconut; if I could have a vacation in Hawaii right now, I could totally see myself wearing this.

* Flor de Muerto
Not sure what’s in this one apart from marigold. It’s got early wisps that smell a bit spicy and/or green, before eventually drying down to a sweet floral. Not bad, but not my cuppa.

* Narcosa (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “a thick haze of tonka and black vanilla, three jasmines, tuberose and ylang ylang.” In the bottle, heavy and sweet, with some floral notes floating over it. Wet, it takes on an oddly medicinal edge for a little while, before going straight to hippie smell — not sure whether that’s the tonka or the ylang ylang, as neither of those is something I’ve encountered enough to pick them out specifically.

The Advent of Scent, Week 5

Slightly late in posting this — but the explorations continue!

* Bubblegum & Rose (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “big round bubblegum bubbles with fruity tuberose blossoms.” Smells like exactly what it says on the tin . . . and much to my surprise, I think I kinda like it? It’s a little odd, because it’s sort of a rose perfume that intermittently gives off gusts of bubblegum smell (though those quiet down after a while), but I think whatever’s going on with the gum helps tamp down on the aspect of the rose that I usually find unappealing.

* Mama’s Porridge (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “brown sugar sweetened oatmeal with a spash of milk and a piece of buttery cinnamon sugar dusted toast.” I’m becoming fairly certain that I loathe the buttery/creamy corner of the scent spectrum. I’m fine with those things as food, but not on me. Eventually this fades to a decent cinnamon, but I do. not. like how it starts.

* Gnome
Described as “an explosive blend of effervescent golden ginger and black peppercorn with sarsaparilla, gurjum balsam, nutmeg, gear lubricant, and smoke.” Points for originality! And early on, there was a fresh, green scent I kind of liked. But then as it dried . . . they’re not joking about “gear lubricant.” I do not particularly want to smell like machine oil, thank you.

* Bliss
Described as “the serotonin-slathered scent of pure milk chocolate.” They aren’t kidding. And I presume there are people who want to smell like they spilled melted chocolate on themselves; I, however, am not one of them.

* Satyr (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “blood orange and vanilla.” Somehow those components manage to smell kind of like licorice early on. That fades, and this again wins some points for being different from most of what I have — but those points don’t make me like it.

* Old Cider Haus (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “old oak, sweet drying hay fields, crushed apple pulp and vanilla husks.” I think the vanilla might be what makes this come across initially as butterscotch. I don’t think I ever really picked up on the oak/hay elements, though; this was mostly just apple, and that faded.

* Horchata (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “vanilla kissed rice milk with a touch of cinnamon.” Further evidence that I do not like milky notes. But this one isn’t as off-putting as Mama’s Porridge was, and it mellows to quite a pleasant cinnamon vanilla. It’s going in the keeper pile for now.

* The Soft Lawn (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “linden blossom, laurel & ivy leaves, vetiver, oakmoss, fresh tennis balls, clay court.” My sister idiosyncratically declared this one “salad dressing,” apparently because it gave her a flashback to some kind of hoity-toity salad she had in the past; we wound up in the kitchen sniffing bottles from the spice cabinet to see if we could figure out what herb it was reminding her of. It’s very sharp and green and I’m not sure I actually like it . . . but I’m keeping it anyway, just because it’s very different from the majority of what I’ve tried, and if I come across anything else with one or more of those components, I’d like to be able to use this one for comparison.

The Advent of Scent, Week 4

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.

* Y’Ha-Nthlei
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.

* Morocco
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.

The Advent of Scent, Week 3

This goes up through the 23rd. I decided not to test perfumes on the 24th and the 25th, because 1) BPAL’s Thieves’ Rosin smells like Christmas to me (pine resin, cinnamon, and other stuff I can’t ID), so I wanted to wear that instead, and 2) I really didn’t feel like playing roulette on the holidays, lest I wind up with something awful on me. <lol>

Lots of Haus of Gloi this time, but since my pattern has been to leave BPAL unmarked and mention the others, I’ll maintain that pattern.

* Black Fig, Oak Bark, and Brown Sugar
In the wet and early drydown stages this smelled distinctly like some kind of Yankee Candle — as in, I swear there was some kind of waxy element to it, like I was sniffing a candle with these scents in them. It eventually settled into fruity sweetness, but it’s not for me.

* Scarecrow (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “Dried corn husks, dust, straw, weathered wood and a ruffle of inky black feathers.” This actually legit smells like corn husks! There was briefly a delicate floral overtone, and later something that smelled like sandalwood to me, but the corn part stayed. It was unusual, and unlike a lot of the “unusual” combinations I’ve tried it wasn’t terrible, but I have a hard time imagining when I might say “this is what I want to smell like.”

* Kumbaya (Haus of Gloi)
The description says “Round the campfire with friends singing silly songs and making smores: chocolate, graham cracker, marshmallow, sandalwood, and woodsmoke.” I didn’t get pretty much any of that. It started out almost nauseatingly buttery, and resembled butterscotch quite strongly when the sugariness started to rise up. Very late in the game I could maaaaaaybe sniff out graham cracker and marshmallow, but on the whole, nope.

* ICD 17 Prototype
I have no idea what’s up with these “prototype” bottles, as I can’t find them listed on BPAL’s site, nor on the forum a friend linked me to. Anyhoo, this one launched very medicinally — my sister compared it to Vicks VapoRub — and while some resin came through later, it felt more like resin and cherries were having a duel on my wrist rather than anything particularly harmonious. Another nope.

* Garden of Earthly Delights (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “Soft amber bear musk, playful porcupine spike of pineapple, and crumbled leaves.” This one was sweet and fruity in the bottle, but with a bit of a sharpness that kept it from being cloying; on my wrist, the green “leaf” scent took prominence over the pineapple. Unfortunately, it faded rapidly to a boring musk. That seems to happen to me a lot . . .

* Springwater (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “Cool water, mossy river stones, and mineral rich silt.” This one actually worked fairly nicely! It was the second of three perfumes in a row to basically swap their balance from bottle to wet; it was floral and cucumber, then cucumber and floral. The balance of the two wound up being very nice and fresh, quite unlike what I expect of florals. This one I can imagine wearing as a spring or early summer kind of thing; I will certainly try it again, and possibly keep it.

* Sanctum (Haus of Gloi)
Described as “Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime, polished ho wood and sticky benzoin.” I don’t know what ho wood smells like, and I haven’t tried enough perfumes with benzoin to pick that one out either, so I don’t know what brought in the warmer scent along the way. But this did the same initial swap as the previous two, this time with melon and lime; then the lime sort of faded out, but the melon struck a nice balance with the coconut. (My sister, who hates the smell of coconut, didn’t make faces like she wanted to cut my arm off to make it go away.) I could see wearing this one at the beach! . . . as if I ever go to the beach, but you know what I mean.

* Fair Maiden Side-Eye
Can’t find this one on BPAL’s site, either, but the forum had people agreeing that it smells very . . . pink. In a bubblegum-ish way, at least to my nose, with some kind of spice like cinnamon early on. It very rapidly dried to vanilla musk, though, which is ever so slightly less boring than plain musk, but still not interesting.