Note: If you’ve read this blog at all, you know this is going to be a long, fangirly, gif-heavy post, right? Because yeah. Yeah. Strap in and grab yourself a snack, we’re going to be here for a while.
YOU GUYS. Many moons ago – or, okay, a couple of months maybe? – a lovely Redditor (hey /u/normalcypolice!) was talking about working on opening her own perfume shop. I perked up like a prairie dog. New perfumes, you say? And then later on she was talking about Buffy perfumes, and we got to discussing them in PMs, and then about a week ago it actually happened: Smelly Yeti Perfumery flung wide its (internet) doors and revealed not one Buffy perfume… not two… but a whole collection with more to come.
Needless to say, I threw caution (and my bank balance) to the wind and ordered immediately. I did show some restraint in only ordering samples, at least – so today I have the entire Smelly Yeti lineup for review, which includes 7 Buffy scents and 4 others, which for the purpose of this post we will call “non-Buffy scents” with the disdain we normally reserve for stepping on dog poo or people who claim to “not like dessert.” (J/k! The other four are based on Back to the Future, Hitchhiker’s Guide the Galaxy, an anime I’m not familiar with called Ouran High School Host Club, and my nemesis Nicholas Cage’s hilari-bad remake of The Wicker Man. But seriously if you don’t like dessert, I don’t trust you.)
Non-smelly details first: I ordered on Saturday, October 11th, received my shipping confirmation on Monday, October 13th (but stupid Columbus day ruined all our lives by delaying shipping, and also being a holiday that honors a straight-up jackhole of a human being), and received my order on Thursday, October 16th. Everything was packaged really well, with the samples – which are the tiny screw-top ones that stand up on their own – tucked into little boxes that were decorated with stickers (a special Giles one just for me!) and cute twine bows. In addition to what I ordered, I also received: two Airheads (vegan! also, gone), two little plastic dinosaurs which immediately joined my shelf o’ dinosaurs, two dinosaur fake tattoos, 6 mini pipettes for decanting oil (which will come in very handy since the other night I decanted some DC Ballyhoo out of a full-size bottle and into a 1 ml sample vial just by pouring it reeeeeeally slowly and it was terrifying), and not one but two awesome Yeti drawings. Overall this package gets a super thumbs up, totally made my day A++.
Bonus: all of Smelly Yeti’s products are vegan! And all future products will be vegan as well. Swoon.
Now onto the reviews! As always, reviews were done as blindly as possible, with notes and descriptions added after the fact.
THE HELLMOUTH COLLECTION
Beauty Queen: Ah, Cordelia. A sorbet sundae that’s fruity sour, and above all, cool, this perfume features pomegranate, lemon, lime, blackcurrant, raspberry, and rich vanilla with a hint of ice cream sweetness. Juicy, fresh, and bright- perfect for the cheerleader everyone loves to hate.
Queen C, you fabulously tactless and eminently lovable bitch.
In the vial, Beauty Queen is extremely fruity – tart and sweet and fresh, I definitely get lime and raspberry, but it’s a little creamy, too. It smells awesome and not at all like chewable vitamins, which is what I would expect raspberry and lime to smell like.. (Raspberry tends to go very medicinal on me for some reason.) On skin it starts out very tartly fruity, but sweetens up quickly, with that creamy vanilla base coming up to soften everything out.
It’s a very sweet, girly scent with a citrus tang. It almost smells like some delicious fruity drink… maybe the kind Cordelia would have some panting freshman fetch for her at the Bronze. Either way, this is totally something she would wear, especially in her Rich Bitch early high school days.
Buffybot: With slightly singed wire, motor oil, ozone, and a smooth metallic finish, this perfume calls to mind warm electronics. Subtle and slightly sweet, this perfume is just strong enough to get people slightly worried that the robot uprising is upon us. Just slightly worried. And, you know, sometimes you just want to smell like a robot. A slightly malfunctioning, overly peppy robot.
Warm, sweet, plasticky, slightly metallic. Smelly Yeti’s evil genius mastermind talked about doing a “warm electronics” scent, and here it is! On skin it starts out warm and sweet with a distinctly metallic note, which gets stronger as it dries down. There’s something sharp and buzzing about it, almost ozone-y, but dark, black. The only thing I’ve smelled that’s even remotely similar is DC’s Supernova Sway, but Buffybot is warmer, sweeter and less sharp. Also lacking the slight floral-ness of Supernova Sway.
I had no idea what to think about this one going in, but I actually really like it. Not only is it incredibly unique, it just… smells really good. And like warm electronics. Which is weird. But awesome.
Captain Peroxide: Spike. Dirty leather coat, smoky tobacco, bleached hair, with a soft spot for a certain slayer. He may act tough, but at the heart of it all he’s a marshmallow. Red Egyptian musk gives it a smooth finish and a distinctive bloody coloring. This is the scent that has it all. Sweet but dingy. Smoky and sexy. This perfume is practically bottled pheromones.
In the vial this one smells… like bacon. Or this vegan’s recollection of bacon, anyway (it’s been… 18 years). Smoky, salty, a little sweet. Bacony. On skin it’s still bacon, alternatively smoky and sweet, dirty and musky, and it would be sexy if it didn’t make me think of… bacon. The thing is that I know there’s no “bacon” in this, but honestly, it’s all I can smell and if I liked that kind of thing I’d probably love it, but I do not, so… I do not. The bacon-ness fades a little as it wears, but not enough for me to want to keep it on my person.
Of course, looking at the notes, I’m cursing my skin for turning leather, smoky tobacco, and red musk into bacon, because it sounds like it should be dead sexy. Just like Spike. Literally. (I’m not sorry.)
Demon Magnet: Cedarwood, dirt, sweet and salty musks, and a trace hint of that lumberyard je ne sais quois. No wonder Anya can’t resist him. Maybe the demons will flock to you too, once you smell like a hot carpenter.
In the vial: cologne-y! Woodsy and musky and manly. On skin it smells, yep, like really nice cologne. Spicy and woody, musky, a tiny bit dirty but also kind of clean. I like manly scents like this, so I’m into it for myself, but I bet it would smell amazing on a guy. If I recall from my conversations with Abby, Xander’s scent was meant to be based on his grown up carpenter job… and I would call it a rousing success.
However, I remain slightly disappointed that my suggestion of Xander’s scent being jelly donuts and Drakkar Noir didn’t come to fruition. (Not really. This is why no one lets me run a perfume shop.)
Pipsqueak: A funky and fruity and extremely tweeny blend of mulberry, strawberry, and sparkling lime. Initially created as a joke, (to include as a surprise with other orders, a la her reveal in season five) it ended up actually being good. Too good, in fact, to keep secret. I was going to make some sort of “key” joke here but I couldn’t think of one.
Oh, Dawnie. You’re kind of the worst, but it’s not your fault, I guess. Blame the monks. In the vial, Pipsqueak smells bubbly and intensely fruity. On skin it’s a sparkling explosion of fruitiness – red fruits, I’m thinking, because it smells like fruit punch. Fancy fruit punch, made with sparkling water and with bits of fruit floating in it and stuff, but still – it’s got that concentrated super syrupy sweetness going on. Citrus cuts the sweet a bit and adds a little zing.
This is so incredibly sweet and girly, it’s perfect for Dawn. It’s like Beauty Queen’s younger, sweeter, fizzier sister. I also have to note a few things here – 1) this is a fizzy/bubbly scent that I actually like, and 2) this is TWO scents now with both berries and lime that didn’t turn to Flintstones vitamins on my skin. Bravo.
Queen of the Damned: Drusilla, Spike’s sometimes-paramour, wanderer of graveyards, makes for an enchanting and unconventional floral scent. Among the more traditional bouquet of roses is a mélange of darker, cooler notes of cabbage, cedarwood, tuberose moss, dewy grass, and damp earth. The overall effect is one of flowers in a graveyard. Feminine.
In the vial, Queen of the Damned is a dark floral, with lots of green. On skin I get mostly the green parts – it reminds me a bit of DC’s Limerence, lush and green and thorny, like crushed and dripping dark leaves and stems. It’s floral in the sense that it smells like, say, a greenhouse or a flower shop – or more accurately for Dru, a night-blooming garden in the courtyard of Angel’s mansion – not in the usual sense of smelling like a particular flower.
This is good. I like it. I’m not a floral person, usually, but this a whole other kind of floral, and very appropriate for mad, dark, damaged but deadly Drusilla.
Unicorn Collector: Oh, Harmony. You try so hard to be bad. Bubbly and bright tangerine strawberries nestled in creamy tahitian vanilla and tonka bean. Pretty much the fruitiest, girliest scent to ever exist.
Holy sweetness, Batman. In the vial, this is sweet and it is PINK. Like somehow even sweeter and pinker than Pipsqueak. On skin it’s actually not quite as sweet – still super fruity, but a little musky and creamy as well, with something almost slightly grassy underneath. It’s interesting. I expected a fruit-splosion for Harmony, but it’s not that predictable. Sweet and girly, yes, and I would still call it pink if I were assigning it a color, but there’s some dimension to it.
It’s nice. Very wearable. It’s also very subtle, with probably the lowest sillage of all the Hellmouth scents. (At least until we get to Riley. HEYO.) And contrary to the description, I think Pipsqueak is both fruitier and girlier.
Thoughts on the collection as a whole: As if I’m going to have anything negative to say about a goddamn line of Buffy perfumes. PLEASE. I really like all but one of the scents – I just can’t with Captain Peroxide, sorry Spike – and I’m super stoked to see what Abby comes up with next. In addition to more Buffy perfumes, she mentioned (after I begged for a Veronica Mars collection) that she has a VM scent in the works. THIS WOMAN IS MAKING ALL OF MY DREAMS COME TRUE. For reals, yo.
I’m going to try to fight the urge to collect all of these in full-size just to have them, but I make no promises. Buffybot, Beauty Queen, Queen of the Damned, and Pipsqueak are likely bottle purchases, with Demon Magnet and Unicorn Collector being maybes and Captain Peroxide, sadly, being a bacony no-go.
Okay, take a breath. Maybe a bathroom break? Fresh snack? Beverage re-fill? I’ll wait.
EVERYTHING ELSE (AKA NOT THE HELLMOUTH COLLECTION, AKA FINE I GUESS I WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF THINGS THAT AREN’T BUFFY, GOD)
I’ll spare you the gif-storm for the rest because I’m not emotionally invested in these entertainment properties.
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster: According to Douglas Adams, this drink feels a bit like getting your head smashed by a slice of lemon wrapped around a gold brick. While it doesn’t have Fallian marsh gas going through it, our version is a striking citrus mint cocktail with a powerful sparkling punch. Unisex.
In the vial: lemon, then mint. It smells good but also a little like sweet toothpaste. On skin it’s a very strong lemon and mint, pretty equally dominant, like some kind of sweet lemon cocktail with a metric ton of mint muddled at the bottom. It’s definitely sweet, and reads alternately like toothpaste, candy, and booze. (Not in a bad way!) It smells exactly like something I can’t put my finger on… like one of those lemon-flavored butter mints! That’s a thing, right? I’m not making that up? Because that’s what it smells like.
As such it puts me in mind of two scents that also smell like butter mints to me: Solstice Scents Snowmint Mallow, which is much sweeter, heavier on the vanilla and butter, and completely lemon-free, and Arcana Puppy Kisses, which is more of a melty coconut butter mint, very creamy, and again, no lemon. PGGB is an entirely different scent, but if you like either of those and also like lemon, you’d probably love this one.
There is a bit of fizziness in the background, like seltzer, and after a while the lemon does go a teeny bit cleaner-y on me (citrus + fizz, it’s nearly unavoidable), but overall I like it. The description calls it unisex, and I suppose it could be, but on my skin it’s distinctly sweet.
Hey, McFly!: Inspired by old 50s ice cream parlors, this scent mixes fizzy cola and root beer with sweetshop vanilla to create a surprisingly unisex/masculine end result. Slather some on, go to the big dance. It’s your density.
In the vial I get sweet, syrupy cola. On skin the cola is the most prominent note at first, but then I get something a little woodsy and spicy, like men’s cologne. It goes surprisingly well with the sweet cola. It’s sharp and a little fizzy, but also sweet and smooth. It smells like a root beer float, but like… manly. Sexy root beer float? (Halloween costume!)
Looking at the notes, it is indeed root beer that’s giving me the cologne vibe. Not that root beer smells like cologne, but root beer has that sharp spiciness to it. The description is spot on in calling it surprisingly masculine, considering what’s in it.
This one is a big hit for me. I like that it smells like a soda fountain without just smelling like a soda fountain. It has pretty strong sillage, too.
Not the Bees: It might actually be more accurate to call this “Yes The Bees” because this perfume is a lovely sweet confection of candied honey and honeysuckle, punctuated by citrus and underscored with smooth vanilla. Nicholas Cage screams not included.
Goddamn fucking Nicholas Cage. YES THE BEES. YOU GO, BEES. FOUR FOR YOU, BEES.
Ahem. In the vial, it smells like creamy delicious honey. On skin it’s honey and vanilla, smooth and sweet and creamy and yum. There’s a hint of a floral note to it, but mostly it just smells like something I want to drizzle on ice cream and shove into my face hole. Nicholas Cage does not deserve this.
After peeking at the notes, I see that the hint of floral is honeysuckle, which makes sense. It’s a nice honeysuckle. I love the smell in real life, but often perfume versions smell way too flowery or heady or strong, which isn’t honeysuckle to me – it’s a delicate scent. But I really like it here. This whole scent gets two thumbs up. It smells goddamn amazing.
Ouran: Roses. Bulgarian roses. English roses. Rosehip jasmine, pikake flower, and yuzu. Basically, FLOWERS. Plus, a hint of the tropical flavor that signifies the mark of a true silly anime – the token beach episode.
I have no idea what Ouran is. An anime, I gather, but beyond that? Nope. I’ll talk your face off about Buffy (OBVIOUSLY) and Firefly and Veronica Mars and Doctor Who and Hannibal and the goddamn delicious drama of Pretty Little Liars (someone please make a PLL perfume collection, btw. Please?), but anime is not my are of pop culture interest. So I have no frame of reference for this, is what I’m saying. It was my free sample, which is awesome because it’s the only one I didn’t order. Thanks Abby!
In the vial, I get… pink flowers. Roses, but also something a little citrusy. On skin it’s a rose-a-palooza, a whole bouquet of the suckers. I like rose, but not always – I prefer my rose quite sweet, and not perfumey. This rose is not sweet, but it’s also not too perfumey – it smells almost but not quite like real roses. Like some very fancy French hand cream made with the individually plucked and hand-crushed petals of the roses from the gardens at Versailles or something. It’s definitely the most floral of all the scents, and the most traditional.
I’m a bit on the fence about it for myself, but it does smell nice. I like it, but it will require more testing. I might like it better as a candle or a shower gel than as a perfume. However, if you like rose scents, particularly of the more traditional variety, I recommend giving this one a try. It’s a quiet floral, soft and sophisticated and decidedly feminine.
Non-Hellmouth Favorites: Hey, McFly! and Not the Bees. Hey, McFly! is probably my #1 favorite out of all of the scents, surprisingly.
Overall thoughts about Smelly Yeti: An emphastic YES. I’m really happy with everything about my initial experience with this brand, from the inspiration (Someone’s finally giving Buffy its due! Marry me?) to the cute and thoughtful packaging to the hilarious and easy-to-navigate website to the scents themselves, and I can’t wait to see what Abby cooks up in the future.
If you actually made it to the end of this post, congratulations! And thank you! Because jesus this was long. Reward yourself by checking out Smelly Yeti maybe?