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.

first sniff impressions: alchimia apothecary



My first order from Alchimia Apothecary came! First sniff impressions – no notes, no skin tests, just initial reactions straight out of the vial.

Ambassador: Spicy and creamy. I smell tea. I like this more than I expected.

Warrior Slink: Whoa, leather. Leather and wood and spice.

Apple Bits: Fresh green apple. Slightly sweet. Honey?

Layer Cake: Sweet sweet sweet. Vanilla, cake, and fruit – peach? Strawberry.

Native: Grass and cranberry. Smells very crisp, like early fall.

Dangeous Dream: Peach crisp. This is amazing.

Flowering Meadow: Just mowed grass. Really strong. Florals in the background, but mostly grass.

Mountain Mud: Dirt. Damp, dark, fresh dirt and leaves. This smells like the woods after it rains. I need a bottle immediately.

Jersey Devil: Pine trees. Very green and sappy.

Red Rover: Clover and honey. Mostly clover. Fresh and springy, lightly sweet. I love this, I’m glad I got a 5 ml unsniffed.

first sniff impressions: OHWTO spring 2014


Form a single-file line, please.

A few weeks ago I ordered solids of most of the new OHWTO spring scents – all but Silk Road, since it sounded a bit too floral for my taste, and Gerbera, because… I don’t know, after Haus of Gloi’s Ruth the combination of strawberry and violet terrifies me. Another time, perhaps. I just got them today so I haven’t had a chance to really test any of them out yet, but here are some first sniff impressions!

(Meaning: no peeking at notes, no skin testing, just cold sniffs out of the bottle/tube/whatever!)

Blackberry Buckle: Sweet, juicy blackberry. There is a warm cakiness (cakey-ness? a cake-like quality) to it, but the cake isn’t as strong as in The Cake is a Lie. I almost smell a hint of lemon? But I think it’s just that tart edge that berries can sometimes have.

Lanai: Tart citrus and a hint of pineapple. Kind of smells like Sour Patch Kids.

Bluebell: (Not gonna lie, I mostly ordered this because the notes contained clover.) Lightly sweet, grassy, and slightly floral. I do smell the clover, which means I need a bottle. (Reviewed! My feelings, they have changed.)

Maura Mae: (I have a bottle of this oil from the first time it was released, two years ago I think? Anyway, I love it so I wanted a solid too. This isn’t really a first sniff anything.) Sweet apricot, clover, and a nip of whisky. I love this a lot.

Lucky: Apples and grass! Yes! It smells like a combination of two of my favorite OHWTO scents, Bitten and Fresh. It’s got the tart apple of Bitten (but no honey or pepper) and the dewy grass of Fresh (but it’s less sweet). Apple anything is a hit with me, so… yep. Another bottle purchase.

Rose Lemonade: Ooh. When I first popped the top, the rose hit me hard. But when I actually sniff the tube, the lemon is much more prominent. It’s a bit fizzy and effervescent. I find that zingy or tart lemon scents can easily cross over into Pine Sol territory, and this one does skirt right up to the line for me – I think it’s whatever is making it smell “fizzy,” because I get a bit of the same feeling from Raspberry Gingerale. But then I smell the rose again and I reconsider… this is a puzzler for me. I do like it but I find it kind of confusing.

Dude: (Free sample.) Usually I love “man scents” (I love Big Daddy and Lumberjack from OHWTO, the latter especially), but this one is a no. It’s very leathery with a hint of cologne. Like my face is being pushed into a new leather sofa, and not in a dirty sexy way.

I Am a Banana: (Free sample.) BANANA LAFFY TAFFY. And banana Runts! This is straight-up artificial banana. I love it. I don’t really want to SMELL like it, though.

All in all, I’m very happy with my purchases! I already know I’ll need oil versions of a few (Bluebell, Lucky), and there’s not one among them that I don’t at least like. Full reviews to come once I get around to wearing them!

Visit OHWTO on Etsy if anything piqued your interest!

first sniff impressions: solstice scents spring #1

Note the cute little bird’s nest – Solstice Scents’ package decorations are the best.
Another seasonal release, another First Sniff Impressions post! This time it’s from Solstice Scents, whose spring scents are, again, a completely mystery to me. Somehow I seem to have missed everyone’s spring releases for the last few years. But that just means NEW STUFF, even if it’s just new to me, which is always more exciting than restocking familiar stuff.Let’s get to it!

Blossom Jam Tea Cakes: Fruity cake. I love this. (Reviewed!)

Chantilly Cream: Peaches and cream. Very soft and delicate. (Reviewed!)

Chiffon: Sweet lemon. Lemon meringue pie, kind of. (Reviewed!)

Courtyard: VERY strong. Green, lavender, and woods.

Devil’s Millhopper: Really, really green. Like a thick carpet of damp moss.

Banana Nut Bread: At first this smelled exactly like banana bread, but the more I sniff, the more I get this rummy note that comes off really plasticky. Might be different in use.

That’s that! Just from cold sniff, Blossom Jam Tea Cakes is my favorite, and I really wish it came in a glace or a ganache, but alas, it does not. So unless Chiffon or Devil’s Millhopper really grab me when I test them out this will probably be the extent of my haulage from this release.

As always, everything is available from Solstice Scents.

first sniff impressions: haus of gloi spring

Somehow I’ve managed to almost completely miss Haus of Gloi’s spring releases for the past few years – I’ve literally never smelled a single one of these scents. So since I couldn’t just pick up products in a few scents that I knew I liked, I decided to get samples of the whole line, as well as a few minis (2 pumpkin butters and a bubbling scrub), a whipped soap, and two butterbombs.After sniffing the whole line, the only ones I plan to buy full bottles of are Komodo and Selkie. I also really like Ploughman, but I’m on the fence about getting a bottle – it’s kind of like the spring twin of Samhain, which I love, but don’t actually wear that often. We shall see.

An odd little note is that this is the first order I’ve ever made from Haus of Gloi that didn’t include an extra perfume sample. I was a little bummed! I mean, obviously free samples are just a bonus, but it made me wonder if I just somehow got skipped over this time or if they’re going to stop including them altogether. While I hope it’s not the latter, it won’t really affect my purchasing habits either way.

Anyway! Onto the mini-reviews.

Komodo: Sweet, tangy, and tropical. (Reviewed!)

Ruth: Strawberry and green awfulness. It kind of smells like horseradish. (Reviewed!)

Milkmaid: Creamy, powdery pink floral. (Reviewed!)

Ploughman: Damp spring soil. This is very fresh for a dirt scent. (Reviewed!)

Lassi: Gummy bears. The pumpkin butter is less tart than the perfume oil. (Reviewed!)

Selkie: Smells like the ocean, in the best way. (Reviewed!)

Orange Blossom Bee Hive: Orange cream candy.

Strawberries & Cream: Just as described, except less creamy than I expected. Orange Blossom Bee Hive actually smells creamier to me than this one does.

As always, all of this is available from Haus of Gloi.

first sniff impressions: arcana overload



Yeah, so. SO. It’s time. I’ve finally emptied the sample bowl I keep on my desk, and though it is only the first of many, I’m going to take a break between bowls to talk about some stuff I’ve gotten recently (ish). Because if I don’t I won’t get around to reviewing any of it until 2014.

The huge Arcana order I talked about in my last (and thus far only) State of the Blog post arrived a while ago – and it was even huger than I expected! Julia asked me if there were any scents I wanted to sample along with my bottles, so I sent her a list of suggestions, expecting that she’d pick one or two – never did I expect to get samples of almost ALL of them, and more! Holy crap. In total I received 7 5 ml bottles and 12 samples. So there will be a lot of Arcana reviews coming down the pipe, obviously. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to see first, definitely let me know!

But for now, first sniff impressions! The bottles:

Venus Callipyge: Musky apricot. This one has my illustration on the label! <3

Venus Libertina: Flowery and very strong. Also has my illo on the label! <3 <3

CakeLust: Oh my god I want to eat it. It smells like butterscotch cake.

Amorini: Cherry lollipops. (Reviewed!)

Star Light: Soft vanilla and something fruity. Smells a little like oatmeal cookies.

Murder Ballad Blues: Slightly sour berries.

Quim: Boozy banana creamsicle. Already reviewed!

And the samples:

Keel: Fresh pineapple.

Drool: Sweet and tropical.

Queen Crossbones: Resin-y honey. (Reviewed!)

Eros: Chocolate and patchouli, maybe. (Reviewed!)

BloodLust: Black licorice. Very sharp and medicinal. (Reviewed!)

The Huntress: Very herbal and minty.

Soft Hearted: The softest grapefruit I’ve ever smelled. (Reviewed!)

Breakfast in Hollywood: Also grapefruit, but a more usual kind of grapefruit plus a bit of fruity sweetness.

Namaka: Sweet coconut milk and something a bit fruity. (Reviewed!)

Death in the Afternoon: A much sweeter anise with a bit of citrus.

Freyja: More grapefruit. Very very grapefruit with no sugary sweetness to it.

Bonfires at Dusk: Smoke and lavender. (Reviewed!)

first sniff impressions: ohwto


Last week I noticed that One Hand Washes The Other’s TAT had gone down dramatically – from 18-20 days to 5-7 days. I was also poking around in the clearance section and found some goodies I wanted – Summer and Halloween scents that I regretted not getting but thought were long gone. Sold! Of course I placed an order. I placed it on January 29th and it arrived yesterday on February 8th, which is awesome and will definitely encourage me to place more small, “just a few things” orders in the future. In fact I’m eyeing up the new Valentine’s Day scent right now…

BUT ANYWAY. On to the impressions!

Harvest Moon: Tart and fresh and fruity. I have a solid in this scent so I already know it’s lychee and berries and yum.

Gracie: Sweet and rich, but not completely foodie. I wasn’t too interested in this one, but then I received a sample of it when I placed my Halloween order and immediately regretted not getting it, so I’m glad I got the chance to snag it on clearance. I loved the sample so much I picked up both the oil and the solid, because I am a crazy person.

Queen Bea: Juicy apricots and honey. I missed the Summer release completely, and this is the one that I wanted most from it. Score! (Full review)

Be True 2013: Chocolatey floral. A little fruit. I have the 2012 version to do a comparison later. I think this one is stronger.

Cascadia: This smells kind of clean, like those fresh linen/laundry scents? Also a little floral. (Full review)

first sniff impressions: haus of gloi



Haus of Gloi Valentine’s goodies!

My (first) order from Haus of Gloi’s Valentine’s release arrived on Friday, less than a week after I placed it! One of the things I love about HoG is that they have a crazy fast TAT, even with newly released and very popular collections. Their new Butterbombs were out of stock when I ordered (they sold out SUPER fast), but I snagged a few of them when they came back into stock a couple days later, and I’ll review those when I receive them.

Anyway, let’s get to it! Full reviews of everything I haven’t already talked about are forthcoming.

Come Hither: My preciousss. This new, reformulated version smell slightly more rosy in the bottle than the original, I think, and maybe a bit more buttery sweet, but it’s still amazing and I love it. I hope the pumpkin butter gets restocked because I reeeally want a backup. Because I am a crazy person. But this is literally one of the only scents I’ve ever thought, “hmm. if I were a signature scent person, this could be it” about. I don’t want to run out ever. I would fill a hidden wall safe with it if I had a hidden wall safe. For the record the pumpkin butter smells more like the original Come Hither. (Full review)

Who Needs Love: This has also been reformulated, but since I never smelled the original that means nothing to me. Nothing! It smells like raspberry truffles. (Full review)

Spring Tonic 1: Lemon-limey and very very fresh. Might snag this in a whipped soap. (Full review)

Something Hopeful: This was my free sample. As before I smell the mandarin and plum in the vial and it’s nice, but I know it’ll go all jasmine and horror on my skin. (Full review)

Vice: Like eating a gooey s’more inside of a Starbucks. Yum. I had a mini scrub in this scent from forever ago and I always meant to order the perfume, but just got around to it.

first sniff impressions: ohwto



My Winter goodies from OHWTO arrived a few days ago! Huzzah. I have to admit I was a little worried, my order didn’t ship until a good while after the stated TAT, but now I’ve got my grubby mitts on it just the same so in the end I’m satisfied. Plus there was an extra full-sized bottle of perfume oil included in my order, I guess just because Becca is amazing and super generous? It’s happened before, actually – I’ve gotten extra goodies in my orders a few times, and while I would never expect it it’s certainly a wonderful surprise. This time I got a full bottle of a scent called “Stuffed Stockings,” which I can’t find a description of to save my life – it’s not in the winter listings on the OHWTO website or anywhere. So I don’t know anything about it, except that it smells AMAZING. Like it might be my favorite thing in the whole order and I didn’t even order it. Ridiculous.

Here’s what I got, and initial “first sniff” impressions. Full reviews to come!

It’s Just Fruit: Buttery fruit. This one is so yummy. (Full review)

Samovar: Tea and something herbal and a little sweet. (Full review)

Holiday Cheer: Sweet and spicy. (Full review)

Not Your Grandma’s Fruitcake: Light and fruity. Very fresh for a winter scent. I smell banana. (Full review)

Orenjipai: Creamsicle. (Full review)

The Cake is a Lie: Delicious lemon cake. (Full review)

Winter Vacation: Spicy cocoa and something minty. This one is kind of chilly. (Full review)

Stuffed Stockings: Rich and sweet and almost a little fizzy? I definitely get orange, and maybe chocolate. It smells incredible.

O Holy Night: Church.

White Lily: Inoffensive floral.

first sniff impressions: sarawen perfume art

sarawen1I’ve been wanting to try out Sarawen’s perfume oils for a while now, but just recently got around to it. I picked up full-sized 5 ml roller balls of Girl on Fire, The Baker’s Boy, and Beer n’ Butter. I loooved The Hunger Games in case you couldn’t guess. Also Harry Potter. Also strawberries, cake, and butterscotch. I am weak. And a huge dork. Who likes cake.

ANYWAY. They arrived yesterday, so it’s time for another round of…

First sniff impressions! Full reviews to come.

Girl on Fire: I’m getting mostly herbs with a bit of sweetness and tang from the strawberry.

The Baker’s Boy: This doesn’t smell like cake. Okay, there’s a little cake, but it’s not very sweet at all. I’m getting lots of amber. Amber, why must you ruin things for me? Hopefully this is different on.

Beer n’ Butter: Smoky butterscotch. (Full review)