14 & 15: arcana venus callipyge and libertina

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Today I’ve got a double dose of Venus scents! These little beauties have been kicking around my collection for quite a while without getting any sort of proper try-out. I picked up Venus Callipyge intentionally, and was gifted Venus Libertina by Julia as well, since these bottles both feature the first illustration I did for Arcana.

Venus Callipyge: Ripe, luscious peach halves and soft skin musk with amber, lime, frankincense, blackberry, sea salt, and white cognac.

In the bottle, I smell amber and lime… it’s deep and reminds me of DC Ballyhoo and Harpy a bit. Not much peach to speak of on cold sniff.

Wet on skin, it’s musky and a little incense-y, with sharp fruity notes. Still not a ton of peach. It’s more amber, lime, blackberry, and frankincense with a salty, musky base. Just a tiny whiff of peach in the background.

On dry down, the peach comes out a bit more, sweet with a floral edge. The sharp berry/lime combo softens and this one ends up smelling sweet and musky. It’s not heavily peachy, but you can tell it’s there. It’s a rather soft scent in general, wearing pretty close to the skin. It’s an intimate distance sort of scent, which seems fitting.

Elevator Pitch: A warm, musky scent, vaguely fruity but not heavily peachy per se. Lots of amber and lime at first, everything softens and blends into a sweet, fuzzy musk on dry down.

Venus Libertina: Night-blooming tuberose, pink gardenia, wax myrtle, tiare, bay rum, sandalwood, cucumber, iris, and a teensy spill of champagne.

In the bottle – hello, flowers. Waxy white florals, a little something herbal and green, and a touch of cucumber.

Wet on skin, it’s a white floral explosion. The floral notes are heady and loud and just a touch sweet, with that cool green cucumber floating in the background.

On dry down, the floral notes are tamed a bit, and I can detect a slight champagne fizziness floating over everything. Sandalwood and bay rum come out to play here too, adding a warm, powdery earthiness and a greenish sort of spice, respectively. Farther into dry down, I’d say it gets to be about 40/60 floral and warmly herbal, which is a nice shift. And it keeps shifting as it wears.

Here’s the thing. I’ve had this scent for a looooong time, since it first came out, and I haven’t tried it until now. It scared me. Notes I do not really like in perfume: florals in general but especially white florals, cucumber, fizzy/bubbly things. So I don’t love this one. I didn’t expect to. It’s not something I’d pick out myself. But you know what? I don’t hate it. At first I was like, NOPE, but the dry down is really interesting and I can’t say I rushed to scrub it off. I actually couldn’t stop myself from sniffing at it pretty frequently. I’m don’t think I’ll keep it, but I’m kind of fascinated by it as a scent. It’s much different than I expected.

As an aside, I shoved this one under my fiance’s nose and he said it smelled like dryer sheets. I didn’t get that at all before he said it, but after… it’s all I could smell. It does smell like dryer sheets. Not in a bad way, though. It’s sort of clean and fuzzy, like fresh linens according to Bath & Body Works.

Elevator Pitch: A white floral with cucumber and a heavy dose of warm, earthy herbal elements and a slight fizz of champagne floating over top. Much more heavily floral at first; skews toward the other notes as it dries. Eventually smells like dryer sheets.

Overall Thoughts: Obviously I like Venus Callipyge better, but I can’t say I’m madly in love with either. Callipyge is nice, though, and Libertina is interesting, if not my style.

Tomorrow: TBD. Possibly Arctic Bear, since it’s been cold and miserable around here for weeks and I need something to convince myself that there are upsides to it being below freezing constantly. (There aren’t.) Magical season, rosy cheeks, sweaters, etc, etc.

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