alkemia review-a-thon, part 1

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alkemia1Round 1 of 3 (for now) of Alkemia reviews! I have a total of 18 scents to review, a handful of which I swapped for and the rest I ordered.

A general note about my ordering experience – it was perfect. I placed my order on Friday May 23rd, it was shipped on Saturday May 24th, and I received it on Tuesday May 27th. Four days from placing the order to having it in hand,with a postal holiday (Memorial Day) AND a weekend in the middle? That’s some next-level TAT. I ordered two sample packs (10 total) and received two free samples, which is very generous considering how reasonably priced the samples are ($10 for 5 samples, with free shipping).

Alkemia’s honey scents are not vegan (alas!), but everything else is, and I left a note asking that any free samples be vegan scents, which was honored.

Anyway! Let’s get to it.

(As always, reviews were done without looking at the scent notes. Descriptions were added after the fact.)

Irrésistible: An irresistibly sweet temptation of french macaroon accord, bourbon vanilla beans, piquant nutmeg, sweet almonds, golden caramel, dulce de leche, blended with a sexy confection of intoxicatingly sugared ambers. 

UGH SO GOOD. It smells like buttery vanilla and almond and caramel. It’s delicious. On skin it’s the same – very sweet, very foodie. There’s a bit more of a milkiness to the vanilla but otherwise it’s very close to the bottle sniff. It’s amazing. Definite bottle purchase.

I will say that this dries down a bit differently – it loses that intense sweetness and becomes a soft, milky vanilla amber kind of scent. Still good but quite different.

Trick or Treat: A grownup confection of black licorice, mandarin orange peel, caramelized brown sugar, bourbon vanilla, candied ginger, tonka bean, blonde patchouli, cedar tips, oakmoss, and sandalwood. 

Sweet vanilla and licorice. It smells like Halloween. On skin the licorice is the strongest note, with some sweetness in the background, but it does get a bit sweeter as it wears. I had The Dude smell it and he said it smelled “orange-y” and “like fall.” I do smell a tiny bit of orange, but to me it’s mostly sweet licorice. I like licorice and anise scents, and I like this, but not enough to need more. It’s a bit one-note on my skin.

Vanille Tropicale: As seductive as a tropical breeze through a bedroom window. A sexy elixir of Tahitian vanilla, frangipani, vanilla orchid, freshly split green coconut, white ginger blossoms, an effervescent splash of pineapple.

A very summery vanilla. Vanilla, coconut, pineapple, and some strong tropical floral tones. On skin it’s a little less sweet, with the fruit and floral notes being strongest. I like it – it’s a non-foodie vanilla, a non-heady floral. I initially thought I didn’t need a bottle of this, but I kept coming back to sniff it, so I think I actually might.

When I had The Dude sniff the sample, he said it smelled like sticking your face in a bag of gummy bears.

Corsair: An aromatic fougère based on an 18th century men’s cologne – a blend of spiced bay rum, amber, tonka, and french lavender with a splash of fresh oceanic breeze.

The sexiest man smell ever. It smells like Old Spice with some sweet lavender. On skin it’s different, deeper – it’s got a salty, oceanic quality that I didn’t smell in the vial. The lavender is still there, and that spicy bay rum cologne scent, but the ocean smell is very prominent on me, and I like it somewhat less for it. Something about it – whatever is making it smell salty – kind of makes me think of sweat and it’s not working for me. That salty ocean aspect does fade as it wears, but it never goes away completely. The Dude likes it more than I do on skin, which I guess is appropriate. It gave me a bit of a headache.

Paradise: An heavenly blend of fresh young coconut and Madagascar vanilla with hints of Monoi Tiare. 

Soft vanilla and coconut. A little plasticky and candle-esque. On skin it’s even softer – it’s very much a sweet skin scent, if that makes sense. Like warm skin with a bit of coconut suntan oil on it. It doesn’t have that plasticky candle note anymore. It’s nice. A very “cuddly” scent, close to the skin. Alkemia notes that this scent is designed to be worn in temps above 80 degrees, and it’s been warm here lately, but not quite 80 at night yet so I’ll have to pull it out again in a month or so and see how it fares.

As it stands I do like it, it smells really good, but it’s very subtle. Not much in the way of sillage here. So I’m kind of torn of whether I’d like a bottle of it or not. I don’t need to knock people over with my perfume, but I do want to be able to smell it on myself without having to shove my wrist directly under my nose.

Summer Dandelion: An exuberant exultation of sun warmed dandelions and meadow grasses lightly dampened by fleeting summer rain showers. 

In the vial it’s all sweet grass, fresh and very green. There’s a slight floral tone to it but it’s not heady. On skin it’s very similar. It reminds me quite a bit of OHWTO’s Dandelion Wine, but less sweet. It’s a more straightforward grass scent. It’s a little sharp for the first few minutes, but it softens as it dries down. It’s quite nice. I have similar scents that I like better, though (see above re: Dandelion Wine), so I’m not sure I need a bottle.

All of these scents are available from Alkemia on Etsy.

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