12: black maria

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Abandoned remedies, emptied tobacco tins, and the intangible essence of impending trouble. Ginger syrup, apothecary honey, golden Cavendish, vanilla, tonka, and Dutch caraway.

In the bottle Black Maria smells like molasses, thick and dark and syrupy, a little spicy. A few sniffs later, there’s a vague creamy fruitiness.

Wet on skin it’s like extra-gingery gingerbread, warm and sweet and spicy.

A while into the dry down, some golden honey starts to come out. Honey is a note that Arcana does extremely well; I almost always find Julia’s honey scents to be rich, sweet, and golden rather than powdery. The honey here is no exception.

Further into dry down, the honey is stronger and the spiciness mellows out a bit. It’s still pretty gingery, but sweeter.

I really like Black Maria. I didn’t think I would; I got an empty of it from a blog sale ages ago and sniffed the bottle, but didn’t try it on skin until last month. As soon as I did, I went hunting for a full bottle. I found one at Pretty Indulgent, so I made my first order from them to get this baby, and picked up a few others while I was at it… you know, to make shipping worthwhile. (Estella, Pretty Lollies, and the Cheesecake layering note, if you’re curious.) What I love about this scent is that it’s spicy but not overpoweringly so – my skin tends to amp spice like crazy, so I figured this one would be a no go for me. But instead it’s this warm, cozy, spicy-sweet scent that’s perfect for the holiday season, and cold weather in general. A+, do recommend.

Elevator Pitch: Sweet, thick ginger, molasses, and honey with a generous amount of spice. Like extra-gingery gingerbread. Rich, sticky, and warm.

Tomorrow: Breakfast in Hollywood, maybe? Frozen Heart? I’m undecided.

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