Today’s scent is a Rhinestone Housewife exclusive. Its companion is Vulgar, which I don’t have and don’t plan to get, because while it has some lovely-sounding notes, it also contains pepper, patchouli, and smoky bacon, none of which are my particular jam, especially in large quantities. BUT I DO HAVE GENTEEL SO LET’S DO THIS.
Made exclusively for The Rhinestone Housewife by Arcana, Genteel is the well-bred housewife who pens perfect thank you notes and always matches her carpet to her drapes. Aniseed, 2 vanillas, dry amber, sugar, and cashmere musk with wisps of fine sandalwood and cedarwood.
In the bottle, Genteel is all anise at first, but then it gets sweeter and creamy and kind of soft and fuzzy-smelling. It’s really nice. On skin I get a heavy blast of anise – very black licorice-y, it literally smells like black jelly beans or black Twizzlers. There’s no sweet creaminess or lovely fuzzy musk. It’s disappointing. This stage lasts longer than I’d like.
About 10 minutes into the dry-down, I start to get little whiffs of all the things I love about this one in the bottle, plus some dry, woody notes – and later still, maybe 25-30 minutes in, it finally settles into what I wanted it to be from the start. Sweeter, creamier, fuzzier, not so anise-heavy. The sugary musk comes out. It’s beautiful. So in the end I love what it turns into, I just wish it got there a bit faster.
To indicate to you how drastic a shift this one made on my skin, I had The Dude smell it when it was freshly applied: “I know there’s other stuff in there, but all I can smell is anise. Even I can’t mess this one up.”
And then later on, when it finally reached its full and glorious potential: “Mmm… wait, is that the same one?? What?”
Also, I didn’t try it because I got distracted watching Gilmore Girls and eating vegan white cheddar popcorn (BURY ME WITH A HUNDRED BAGS SO THAT I MAY FEAST IN THE AFTERLIFE), but I bet this would be perfection layered with a simple vanilla oil. I’ll definitely be experimenting.
Elevator Pitch: Intensely anise-heavy in the beginning, Genteel softens into a lush, velvety, spicy-sweet beauty of a scent that’s really quite sexy.
Tomorrow’s chosen one: Avalon!