common brimstone review, part 2



Let’s step away from drawing sharks for a minute (Idon’twannait’sfun) and review some perfume, shall we? It’s been several weeks since I reviewed the first half of this order, and it wasn’t exactly a spectacular success. Which I guess is why I’ve been putting the rest of it off for so long. Also because I get easily distracted by shiny new things. But no more!

Rose Jam: A bright start of raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry and a mouth-watering slather of white chocolate. A vibrant rose note rounds everything out beautifully.

Sweet rose and chocolate. I remember getting more berry from this when I did my first cold sniff. Hmm. On skin it’s rose and chocolate, but with a berry tartness. It’s not a deep, dark chocolate. It’s very light and creamy. It’s not quite as sweet as the notes make it sound, and the rose isn’t perfumey. It’s nice. Unfortunately it follows the same path as the last batch of CB scents I tested and becomes nigh undetectable within a few minutes.

Honey Badger: Beeswax and cocoa absolute, brightened with honeycomb and given just a bite of dark chocolate. It all fades down to a honey-sweetened base of black and white musk.

Sweet, strong dark chocolate, or chocolate liquor. It’s got a bit of a boozy edge to it. On skin it’s chocolate liquor with a bit of honey sweetness. The chocolate fades and the waxy honey gets stronger after a minute or two, but again, this was basically gone before the oil was even dry.

Capua: Luscious rose and iris, sweet green apples, and earthy marjoram and spikenard. They’re held together with a pinch of luxurious saffron and just a touch of almond.

Almond and apple. Really nice. On skin it’s tart apple with that cherry-like amaretto kind of almond. There’s something a bit powdery at the base, and just a hint of spice. After a minute or so I get some faint floral elements. This one started out a little stronger than the others, so I hoped maybe it would stick around – alas.

Mellona: Lashings of honey are coupled with earthy hop and cool notes of sweet grass. Juicy nectarine and clear, bright sweet gale give this feminine scent a bold twist, and a finishing touch of lemon blossom adds a sunny glow.

I remember my fiance saying that this one smelled like cola, and now that’s all I can think about. It really does, somehow. On skin it’s sweet, honeyed citrus and something earthy, but not dirt-y. It still kind of smells like cola, but it’s really nice. It’s got a syrupy quality to it.

This is one of the longer-lasting Common Brimstones that I’ve tried so far, by which I mean that it made it past the 10 minute mark. Not long past, however.

Melody Gloucester Pegasus: Iced tea and fresh strawberries with a sprig of basil from the garden, laid over an ancient base of oakmoss and ivy.

Herbal and fruity. On skin the herbs are dominant, fresh and green and a little spicy (what up basil?), with just a bit of strawberry sweetness in the background. It’s a very crisp scent.

This is another one that made it past the 10-minute mark (maybe even 20!) though what was left was very light. Nothing you’d smell unless your nose was within 2 inches of your wrist.

Avalon: Gentle apple blossom and pear blossom with juicy grapes, fresh grass, and ozone-like touches of fresh water and stormy air. 

Floral with a bit of green. I’m guessing some kind of fruit blossom – apple or peach – because it’s a bit sweet. On skin it’s all fruity-floral, heavy on the floral. It’s a little watery, but not nearly so much as Lady of the Lake. It doesn’t have that kind of crispness.

Of course this would be the strongest and longest-lasting CB out of the bunch. Isn’t that always the way? The one you don’t like is the one that sticks around. MEH.

Alkemia’s Sniffer Sticker + Rose Jam: It was suggested after my last review that I could possibly use some kind of perfume fixative to improve the longevity of these, so I was pretty stoked when I got a sample of Alchemia’s Sniffer Sticker in my last order. I tried it out with Rose Jam – the oil itself on one hand and the oil + Sniffer Sticker on the other. I will say that it had SOME effect – the oil by itself was gone within 5 minutes or so, while the oil + SS remained faintly detectable for 20-30 minutes. That is certainly something! But I’m not really any more interested in a perfume oil that lasts 20 minutes than I am in one that lasts 5, so in the end it’s not an appreciable difference in any practical sense.

In all, as I’m sure you can tell, I’m underwhelmed. Some of these (and the ones I tried before) are really nice scents, but they just do not last on my skin, and they have little to no throw. The best of the bunch in that regard were Avalon and, surprisingly, Melody Gloucester Pegasus, but both are still very weak and short-lived compared to what I’m used to from other brands. I think I’m forced to come to the conclusion that Common Brimstone is just not for me. I’ll probably re-home my whole order.

These are all available from Common Brimstone, if you think you might have better luck!

common brimstone review, part 1


5 ml + adorable 1 ml sample bottles.

Last week I received my first Common Brimstone order, and first impressions were positive! I really liked almost all of them in the bottles, and I was already starting to plot my next order. Well, this week I’m finally getting around to skin-testing them, and unfortunately the results have been a bit of a let down. The scents themselves are quite nice, but they just don’t last! It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve never had perfume oils vanish as quickly as these do on my skin. At first I thought it was a fluke, maybe specific to one scent, but no – as you’ll see, it’s a theme that ran throughout my experience with this first half of my order.

I’ll continue to test out the second half of my order, of course, and maybe some of those will fare better, but right now I have a feeling that Common Brimstone just may not be a brand that works for me. And that sucks, because a lot of her scents sound great and I was really looking forward to exploring the rest of the catalogue.

Anyway, let’s get to it. All reviews were done without looking at the notes. Descriptions were added after the fact.

Lady of the Lake: Fresh green apples with warm red clover, and a hint of briney lavender with fresh, cool notes of water and spring rain.

Watery and fresh, with lots of green apple. On skin it’s a bit less sweet and I get a strong dose of herbal lavender. It plays very well with the green apple. I’d like to tell you how this dried down, but I can’t – it disappeared literally minutes after application. Before the oil was even dry the scent disappeared completely. I put my nose directly over the spot on my hand where I was testing it out and all I can smell is a vague ghost of lavender that reminds me a bit of dyer sheets. I really, really liked this one in the bottle and for the 20 seconds it lasted, so this is incredibly disappointing.

September Bride: Peach and blackcurrant will peek through playfully every now and then, but the star attraction here is the luscious blend of pumpkin and honey-lavender absolute. And it’s all given depth and warmth with just a smidge of hay and nutmeg.

Juicy harvest fruits – peach and plum, maybe. On skin it’s sweet and fruity – in addition to peach I’m getting some berries. But it’s that kind of warm, golden fruitiness of a fall scent rather than the bright, zingy fruitiness of a spring scent – all stone fruits and honey. After a few minutes the fruitiness has quieted down and it takes on an almost resiny tone. There’s something very lightly spicy in there, too. This one is really lovely, but unfortunately it also falls into the “little throw, disappears quickly” category.

Bonfire Night: …hints of baked apples and marshmallows spiked with warm cinnamon. There’s a dollop of sticky toffee and orange peel on top, and a whisper of woodsmoke underneath.

In the bottle, this is a sweet, spicy fall scent. Fruity and a little smoky. On skin it starts out quite a bit smokier (my skin has a tendency to amp smoke), but not unpleasant. Underneath the smokiness I get a bit of apple and orange and sweet, sticky things. As it dries down I get a bit of spice – hello, cinnamon – but it’s not going crazy. This one doesn’t change much on dry down – it’s sweet, smoky, and fruity with a bit of spice. Very autumnal. This one lasted slightly longer than the rest, but the throw was still very weak.

Second Breakfast: A tangy start of apples gives way to porridge with just a hint of almond and nutmeg before finishing with a herby base of basil, thyme and fresh grass.

In the bitty bottle, I get green apple and herbs. It’s very fresh-smelling. On skin the herbs really come out – thyme and basil? it’s a bit spicy – and the tart, sweet green apple floats behind them. As it dries down I get a little nutmeg, and something a bit milky and sweet. The dry down is significantly warmer than how it started. By this point the apple is, alas, well in the background.

While I wish the apple stayed more prominent, I do like this one. I enjoy herbal scents, and this is a good one. My only reservation is that it – again – disappeared very quickly on my skin. It was nearly gone by the time I finished this review, which is a damn shame since otherwise this one would be a full bottle purchase.

Noir: Coffee. Lots of coffee, with a dash of whiskey for good measure, a touch of sandalwood, and a helping of nectarines and apricots to finish.

Coffee and whiskey, heavy on the whiskey. A bit of fruitiness. On skin the coffee is stronger, and the fruitiness is definitely apricot or peach or some other fuzzy stone fruit. The combination of coffee, booze, and fruit is very strange to my nose, but it’s not bad. It’s really interesting. The fruit gets a bit stronger as it dries, but as is a clear trend with CB on my skin, it’s basically gone before it’s even fully dry.

Goldilocks: Warm, golden notes of oatmeal and honey, lightly fragranced with almond. It winds down to a woodsy experience of amber, copal, pine, and beautifully lingering copaiba balsam.

Almond extract. On skin almond is still the dominant scent, but it’s sweeter and less sharp. After a few minutes it gets warmer and muskier with a good dose of amber. A few more minutes and it’s gotten a bit woody or resiny, and I smell oatmeal – unsweetened. The almond is mostly a background note at this point. It’s a very mild, fuzzy kind of scent.

This one is nice enough, but nothing I need more of. And again, the lasting power and sillage were very poor on my skin.

I have six more Common Brimstone scents to review – will any of them break the cycle of mysteriously vanishing scents? WE SHALL SEE. In the meantime, if any of these sound interesting, they can all be procured from Common Brimstone’s etsy shop.

first sniff impressions: common brimstone


Two 5 mls in the center + ten adorable sample bottles.

My Common Brimstone order arrived!! I’ll be reviewing all of these in due time, but since I’m not sure I’ll be able to get to them for the rest of the week, I wanted to at least bang out a first sniff impressions post.

These are all cold sniff reviews – no skin tests!

Rose Jam: Sweet, fruity rose. I’m definitely getting berries.

Lady of the Lake: This smells so good.  It’s watery, with crisp apple and something sweet and herbal. I really, really like this and am glad I risked a full bottle.

September Bride: Sweet and lightly spicy. Juicy harvest fruits (peach?) and honey.

Bonfire Night: Sweet, spicy, and smoky. I’m definitely getting some apple. This is a very fall/Halloween-y scent.

Second Breakfast: Herbs and apples, maybe something a little spicy? This one is really nice.

Noir: Whisky and coffee and something kind of fruity? This one was a wildcard pick and it’s really weird and interesting.

Goldilocks: Almond extract. But whatever else is in there makes it soft and sweet and warm instead of sharp.

Honey Badger: Waxy, golden honeycomb and something dark and sweet.

Capua: Holy crap, this smells amazing. I’m getting almond and apple and soft, sweet floral notes.

Mellona: Sweet and citrusy and a little herbal. I like it. When I asked my boyfriend to smell this one, he said “it kind of smells like cola,” and you know what? I can see it. It kind of does, for some reason.

Melody Gloucester Pegasus: Sweet strawberry (but not candy-like, foodie strawberry) and herbs. This one is really interesting.

Avalon: Very floral. First sniff actually made me recoil a little. There’s something a little watery and green in there, and it’s slightly sweet, but mostly it smells floral.

This was my first experience with Common Brimstone, and overall I’m really happy with it! There a few that are immediate bottle candidates (September Bride, Capua, Second Breakfast) and several others that may join them once I try them out on skin.