february 2015 favorites


Among other things, yesterday’s very snowy snow day gave me the opportunity to finish up the February favorites post I’ve had sitting in draft form for like two weeks. Progress!


Excuse the shitty photo, I forgot to adjust my f-stop and then the battery died so I had to make it work.

First up is the smelly and smelly-adjacent stuff. Lots of Haus of Gloi this time around.

Haus of Gloi First Blush Pumpkin Butter: I wasn’t 100% into First Blush when I reviewed it, but man, I’ve since fallen head over heels – especially for the pumpkin butter. I originally just ordered this mini, but went back for a full size during one of the restocks (and a hair oil in a subsequent restock, can’t stop won’t stop), and I have no regrets. I have literal mountains of lotion in my hall closet, including pumpkin butters from 2012, if not earlier, because I go through lotion at a glacial pace. But not this guy. I’m almost finished with the mini in question, so now I’m extra glad I have that full size waiting in the wings.

The formula is fantastic, of course, but mostly it’s the scent I’m loving – soft and fruity and girly, it’s been bringing a bit of springtime joy to the icy winter hellscape from which I’m increasingly convinced we will never emerge.

Haus of Gloi Come Hither Perfume and Hair Oil: I looooove Come Hither. Love. It smells like sexy honey vanilla roses and I look forward to its return every Valentine’s day. I have a bottle of the perfume already, and a pumpkin butter too, so this year I just picked up a hair oil to round out the set. I really like HoG’s hair oils, though I use them more on my hands than my hair. (Review.)

Haus of Gloi Lip Balms: Hazelnut Mocha Latte just happened to be the nearest HoG balm when I was taking pictures – I have three of these open right now. This one lives on my dresser, Caramel Apple lives in my purse, and Rose lives on my desk at work. I also have four more waiting on deck… you know, for when I finish these three in 2016. I’ve noticed that the texture of these balms varies a bit from batch to batch – Caramel Apple feels thicker and more emollient than the other two I have going at the moment, so it’s my favorite of the bunch.

Darling Clandestine Reddit Hug of Death: Smells like grown up gummi bears. Get on me. Plus the bottle is so fancy. I generally prefer tinted glass bottles for extra light protection, but this thing is just pretty. It looks like something Princess Jasmine would dab on before climbing out the castle window and going for a magic carpet ride with that dreamy hobo Aladdin. (Review.)

Solstice Scents White Fox: Musky vanilla goodness with serious throw. I wore this out to dinner with some friends and I was almost a little self-conscious about how strong it was, which is rare with perfume oils, although SS scents do tend to have more sillage than most. This is just a cozy, comforting scent, like the perfume equivalent of an oversized cable knit sweater. (Review.)



Next up, makeup and also a scrub because it didn’t fit anywhere else.

Pumpkin and Poppy Oak Bark Contour Powder: Perpetual favorite status. I use this every single day and it’s the perfect contour for fair skin. I’m not tempted by anything else. Oak Bark is all I want or need. If it’s ever discontinued, I will buy 115 backups and also cry.

Pumpkin and Poppy Aphrodite Inner Glow Powder: Second verse, same as the first. I use this every single day and love it to death. One day I’ll get around to doing a review, maybe? Maybe. I am like the wind, lazy and irresponsible, so I make no promises. I did recently make another P&P order that included the Celestial shade of this same powder, so if/when I do finally get that review together, I can do a comparison of the two.

Blackbird Cosmetics Thirteen, Dog Days, and Beau Eyeshadows: I’m a broken record on the indie makeup front! I love these. These three plus the next item on the list make up my perfect everyday matte neutral eye look. I really need to pick up a full size of Beau. (Review.)

Notoriously Morbid So Goes My Nation Eyeshadow: The missing piece in my perfect matte quad, So Goes My Nation is my matte highlight of choice. It’s similar to Blackbird’s Half Full, but I think a bit softer and creamier in tone, which is why I generally use it in place of Half Full. The fact that it’s Buffy-themed is just a bonus! (Review.)

Paintbox Soapworks Buttercup Facial Scrub: Described as a moisturizing scrub for dry, delicate skin, I picked this up in an attempt to help soothe my gross, flaky winter skin. I never used to have dry skin, but as I’ve gotten older it’s gotten increasingly drier, and this winter is the worst yet. This scrub hasn’t worked any miracles, but it does exfoliate while providing a little moisture boost. It doesn’t break me out (though I’m not particularly breakout prone, so ymmv) and as a bonus it kind of smells like chocolate oranges. I’ve been using it 2-3 times a week for over a month and have barely made a dent in the tub, so it’s definitely worth the price and will last quite a long time.


Finally, all the miscellaneous shit I’ve been loving lately. Some indie things, some not.

Upping my Torso Game: I’ve purchased a bunch of new tops from various Etsy sellers in the last couple of weeks, and am super happy with all of them.

The Pizza pullover from Xenotees was my first purchase, because I love pizza with an affection only rivaled by the love I have for my fiance, my cats, and my parents. Plus Xenotees is based here in Philly, and supporting local small businesses is always nice. The shirt itself is a bit short for my taste thanks to American Apparel and its obsession with weird, unflattering proportions, but the print is great and it’s really loose and comfy layered over a tank top.

Next was the Full Moon sweatshirt from Blackbird Tees, which is possibly the coziest sweatshirt I have ever owned. It’s got a wide scoop neck instead of a boob-strangling crew neck nightmare, and the inside is soft like bunny fluff. A++, will purchase from again. In fact, I’m already eyeing another top from this shop for next payday.

Finally (for now), the super rad “Ask Me About My Cat” sweatshirt from Kinship Goods. I have two cats. They rule. Ernie is a fluffy-as-fuck Maine Coon, and Lily is a rotund short hair who has zero shits to give about anything that isn’t lounging in her special chair in our sun room. So you know, this sweatshirt called to me. It’s another super cozy top, and yes, it’s a crew neck, but it’s not a boob-strangler. It’s also really long, pretty much tunic-length, so it’s excellent with leggings for the ultimate comfy cat lady outfit.

Contigo Purity Glass Water Bottle: I’ve been wanting a glass water bottle for a while. I have an obnoxiously bright yellow plastic Nalgene that I use in the gym (go bright or go home, bitches) and around the house, but I wanted something a little nicer to use at work. I got this one from Contigo about 3 weeks ago and really enjoy it. It’s simple but attractive – multiple people have told me that it’s pretty completely unprompted – and I love the turquoise sleeve (there are other colors, too, but if given the choice I’ll always go with something in this family).

Also water just kind of tastes better out of a glass bottle? Or maybe I’m making that up. But I think it does. I originally found this on Amazon, but it’s cheaper direct from the manufacturer, even with shipping. Two thumbs up, will definitely buy again if I find myself needing another bottle.

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham: I’m a huge Veronica Mars fan, and while it’s a totally different format than the show or the movie, I’ve really enjoyed the two VM novels that have come out so far. This is the latest one, and while it’s hardly an American classic, the mystery is suitably creepy and engaging. The VM voiceover translates well to the page, and it’s just nice to keep getting new stories set in this universe.

My Brother, My Brother, and Me: “An advice show for the modern era,” as the tagline goes, from brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. Straight up: MBMBAM is fucking hilarious. If you’ve never listened, do it now. Right now. And then do what I’ve been doing, and go listen to the entire back catalogue obsessively and laugh to yourself like a weirdo. I’m also a fan of some of the brothers’ other podcasts: Sawbones (a podcast about medical history from one doctor and one guy who has no idea what’s going on) and The Adventure Zone (in which they play D&D with their dad).

Dusted: An episode-by-episode discussion about Buffy from the folks at StoryWonk, Dusted is hands down the best Buffy podcast I’ve ever listened to. These two are huge fans of the show, but are still able to discuss the good and the not-so-good critically. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up, and very much worth a listen if you’re a big nerd like me who enjoys listening to people talk about shows you love for hours on end. The same duo also has another podcast I’ve been enjoying, The Light Bulb, where they discuss all manner of pop culture-y topics.

Fantasies by Metric: This album isn’t new (it came out in 2009), nor is it new to me, but it’s been getting a ton of play lately so it seemed worth mentioning. “Gimme Sympathy” is probably my favorite track, but I like the whole album, and several – “Sick Muse,” “Gold Guns Girls,” and “Stadium Love” – have made it onto my workout playlist. Honorable Metic mention goes to “Monster Hospital” from 2005’s “Live It Out.”

So that’s it for last month! Is there anything you were loving particularly hard in February? Let me know in the comments!


34: haus of gloi first blush


Apologies for a few days without posting, guys! I came down with a nasty stomach bug late Tuesday, and while the worst of it has thankfully passed, I’m still not feeling entirely up to snuff. But the headache I’ve had since Tuesday has finally faded enough that smelling perfume doesn’t literally make me want to throw up and cry simultaneously, so let’s jump back in – with a non-Arcana review!

WHUT. Yes, it’s true. I do own stuff from other brands. This little gem is from Haus of Gloi’s recent Valentine’s Day release – one of two new scents, and the only one that appealed to me.

Tahitian vanilla bean, white tea, lavender and peach.

In the bottle, First Blush is delicate and sweet – fresh peach, vanilla, and lavender.

Wet on skin, it’s quite a bit more floral – I credit/blame the white tea for this, though it could be the peach, which sometimes does lean floral – but the peach is definitely still dominant. The combination smells, appropriately, like a light peach iced tea. I don’t get much lavender or vanilla at this stage at all.

Later on, the floral elements tone down a bit and I can pick up a little more creamy vanilla and some sweet, herbal lavender. The vanilla continues to come out as it wears, and I like this stage the best, but it never quite approaches the sweetness it has on cold sniff, and that’s a very slight bummer. I also wish the peach and/or white tea leaned less floral in general, but that could very well be a skin chemistry issue – and it’s not really an issue during wear, just on first application.

Sillage is low, but it has decent longevity for such a light scent.

So, I like it a lot – enough that I’m cool with having blind-bought a bottle – but I’m not head-over-heels like I expected to be on first sniff. Come Hither remains the undefeated Champion of My Heart from the Haus’ Valentine’s Day offerings, but First Blush is #2.

I’d like to note that I also picked up a mini pumpkin butter and a whipped soap in this scent, and while I haven’t tried the whipped soap yet (working on an Olde Cider Haus whip at the moment), the lavender is more prominent in the pumpkin butter, but it layers very well with the perfume and definitely increases sillage. I like it, and if I didn’t have an entire closet shelf full of lotions that I could never get through if I moisturized continuously every moment for the rest of my life, I might try to snag a full size tub during the restock. But I do. So I won’t. Probably.

Elevator Pitch: A delicate, girly mix of slightly floral peach tea, sweet lavender, and mild vanilla. Heavier on the floral elements at first, and never super sweet. A light scent that wears close to the skin but lingers.

october 2014 favorites


I’ve had a nasty head cold for about a week now – a fate worse than death for a perfume-o-phile! Okay, not really, but the prolonged sniffles and generally non-functioning nose region have largely tanked my planned perfume reviews. So instead I’ve got a slightly belated October favorites list for you! With illustrated representations, naturally.

Just the indies this time around… no real reason except that I didn’t feel like drawing anymore stuff.

Blackbird Cosmetics: Both of my reviews (v1, v2) of Blackbird’s matte shadows have basically been love letters, so it’s no surprise that they’d turn up on my favorites list. The four shades I’ve been loving the most are Thirteen, Dog Days, Beau, and Half Full. All brownish colors, because I am boring. Thirteen is a great soft lid color, Dog Days is literally perfect in the crease, Beau gets smudged in as a subtle liner, and Half Full is a great browbone/inner corner highlight. Soft, neutral, easy. All the hearts.

Haus of Gloi Olde Cider Haus: Smells like apple picking! My bottle of Olde Cider Haus has been kicking around since 2011, so it’s aged a bit, and I think it’s much better for it. The vanilla is deeper, the woods and hay are smoother, and the whole scent just smells a little richer. This is one that I get the urge to reach for every fall, right when the leaves start to turn. (Also, I have apparently never reviewed this? What? That needs to be remedied.)

Solstice Scents Manor and Foxcroft: Smells like a formerly grand/currently ramshackle estate and a chilly fall day, respectively. Manor is deep, smooth woods and rich vanilla, and Foxcroft literally smells like you bottled the essence of a damp, chilly fall afternoon. It’s dirt and leaves and cold wind and the last bits of golden sunshine, and I just want to roll around and bathe in it. The Dude doesn’t like it; he thinks it smells like a damp basement. It’s okay, he’s allowed to be wrong. Cellar smells like a damp basement.

(And here are two more that I’ve never reviewed! I am seriously terrible about reviewing stuff that I’ve owned for a while. If I don’t do it when it first crosses my desk, I’ll put it in my perfume drawer and never give it another thought, even if I use it all the time. For shame.)

Pumpkin & Poppy Oak Bark Contouring Powder and Aphrodite Inner Glow Powder: Oh, these two products. I cannot adequately express my love. Honestly, I am way overdue in reviewing these. I’ve had them both for a few months now, and I’m not lying when I say that I’ve used them every single day that I’ve put on makeup since then. I haven’t found a single indie makeup product that’s made more of an impact on my daily routine.

Oak Bark really is the perfect contour powder for pale people. And it’s extra super perfect for pale, warm-ish or yellowy/olive folks like myself, because it’s a pretty neutral-toned brownish-taupe – it doesn’t lean too grey or too orange. It’s pigmented but not too pigmented, blendable but long-lasting, and just generally my holy grail of contouring products.

Aphrodite is one of P&P’s Inner Glow Powders, finishing powders meant to mimic Hourglass’ super-spendy Ambient Lighting Powders. I haven’t tried those, so I can’t compare, but Aphrodite is intended to be a dupe for Diffused Light, and it is amazing. It’s a very pale cream sort of shade, so I doubt it would work for those with darker skin, but it doesn’t seem to deposit much actual color on my skin in any case. I apply it all over after foundation with a big fluffy brush, and it just makes my skin look better – a little brighter, more awake, and yes, glowy without being shimmery. I adore it. I never buy backups, but you best believe that as soon as I make a decent dent in this jar, I’ll be going back for another. It’ll probably take a while, though – I’ve been using it nearly every day for several months and it pretty much looks brand new. (Same goes for Oak Bark.)

Smelly Yeti Perfumery: Just, in general. Smelly Yeti is a brand new baby perfumery that just opened about a month ago – you can see my review of the whole opening lineup here. I really enjoyed almost everything I tried, but of course my favorite thing is that there’s a Buffy collection. And plans for more Buffy scents, and a Veronica Mars scent! Be still my heart, you guys. I’m all a-twitter. My eyes, they are as large and limpid as the moon, and full of love. What I’m saying is: I just can’t.

My favorites, and on the top of my list to buy when I have some cash, are Buffybot, Beauty Queen, Pipsqueak, Queen of the Damned, Hey, McFly!, and Not The Bees.

So that’s what I’ve been loving lately! Now it’s your turn, gentle reader, if you care to comment – do you have any favorites at the moment? Enable me.

haus of gloi spring 2014


hog_spring14Spring goodies from Haus of Gloi!

I’ve reviewed most of the recurring Spring scents before, so I won’t bother breaking these up into individual reviews. Short (…ish) thoughts on the new scents are below.

Splendiferous: “White cake, lemon zest glaze and sugared violets.”

Very tart lemon and powdery violet. The cake isn’t really discernable on cold sniff, which is disappointing. It’s like a candy dish with Lemon Heads and those soapy-tasting French violet candies mixed up together. On my skin it’s pretty much the same. It’s got a very acidic quality. I expected this to be much softer. I think if the cake were more present I might like it better.

Honeybelle: “A blooming orange orchard, orange blossom honey, soft white tea and creamy white amber.”

Amber and honeysuckle. Just a hint of orange. I know honeysuckle isn’t actually a note here, so I’m pretty sure it’s the orange blossom I’m smelling, but my brain reads it as honeysuckle. On my skin I get a hint of orange and white florals (not particularly honeysuckle anymore), but mostly the amber takes over. It’s very strong and perfumey, to the point of being headache-inducing. Amber is always iffy, but white amber in particular is quickly becoming a death note for me. Pass.

Tonic #4: “Yuzu, basil, cilantro, lemongrass and raw sugar cane accord.”

Fresh cilantro. Some citrus too, bright and clean, but mostly cilantro. It stays the same on skin – fresh, crisp cilantro and citrus. It smells very salad-y. I love love love cilantro, so this one was an automatic winner for me. When I made my boyfriend smell it, he thought it smelled like fresh carrots with the greens still attached. I think it would probably be awesome layered with Ploughman.

Passionfruit Custard Lip Balm: “Passionfruit blended into a rich baked custard.”

Sweet, creamy tropical fruit. Yum.

Rosemilk & Caramel Lip Balm: “Our lovely rose flavor met with caramel.”

Rose and caramel. Simple, light, and very nice. I’d buy either of these lip balm flavors in a hearbeat if they were offered as perfume oils.

And the recurring scents…

Ploughman (and mislabeled Imp): This was my favorite scent from last year, hands down, so I ordered a full-sized pumpkin butter and a hair oil. (I already have a bottle of the perfume oil and a bubbling scrub. All the Ploughman, I must have it.)

The hair oil is my first from HoG, and it really threw me for a loop because then I opened it it smelled extremely fruity – nothing at all like Ploughman. So I emailed HoG and it turns out that my bottle was mislabeled – what I have is actually Imp! Which is a happy accident, since that scent was on my short list when I was deciding which hair oil to order. And my for real Ploughman oil has already shipped out, because Haus of Gloi’s customer service is just fantastic.

In any case, the texture is lovely and silky and it’s a really good-sized bottle for the price. I love the dropper for convenience. I have very fine, fairly thin hair, so I only use oil on the very ends of my hair, lest I look like I dipped my head in a vat of Crisco. Which means that this bottle will probably last me a year, easy. Which SHOULD stop me from getting more scents, particularly since I will soon have two bottles, but I’m already anticipating getting one in The Briar Path when summer scents reappear. Because I have Problems.

Selkie: I got a sample of this last year and loved it, so I ordered a bottle and a mini pumpkin butter straight away this year. It’s a great, spicy aquatic with a touch of sage. I’m not a huge fan of aquatics as a scent category, so this is one of the very few I have in my collection.

Ruth: This was my free sample. I reviewed Ruth last year and my feelings haven’t changed.  It’s the worst.

The other scents from last year that came back are Milkmaid and Lassi.

The Spring collection is still up on Haus of Gloi for purchase as of this posting, though some items are sold out. (Including Maedwe, which appeared for a brief and glorious instant and then was gone for good. I think there were like four bottles for sale, honestly. It really bummed me out because I ordered within about 10 minutes of the collection going live, and I had a bottle in my cart, but when I went to check out it was already sold out. Super disappointing. I hope they bring it back for real next year.)

haus of gloi ruth


Fresh strawberry, green patchouli, rose geranium and crushed violet leaf.

Oh, Ruth. Usually, I save my favorite things for last – but not here. Oh no. I just kept putting Ruth off, because honestly? I didn’t want to smell it again. But now her time has come, so let’s do this thing.

In the imp, Ruth smells vaguely like strawberries and something musty and rotten, like flowers that have been sitting around for too long and have started to get soft and mushy. On skin it’s less rotten-smelling, and now I’m getting strawberry and loads of green patchouli, which I really don’t like. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled it before, but it’s just… nope. Not for me.

This one’s a scrubber. OUT, OUT DAMN SPOT.

Would I buy it again? NO. Oh god, no. I’m sure this is either a skin chemistry issue or a personal preference one, since I’ve seen a few other reviews of Ruth that are rather positive. It just really, really does not work on me.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi lassi


Cool, fresh mango cream, Tunisian orange blossom absolute, black ginger to ground, splash of green tea and a soft squeeze of lime juice.

In the imp, Lassi smells like gummy bears. If I tried to parse it I’d say it’s lime and orange blossom, but honestly? I can’t smell anything but gummy bears. So many gummy bears. On skin it’s still pretty much gummy bears – sweet and tart, very fruity, mostly orange and lime. It’s a very Pixie Stix orange, powdery and slightly sour. (Literally all of my points of reference for this scents are candies.) I feel like I should be smelling more mango, and maybe it’s the tartness that’s making me think orange, but yeah – orange.

As it dries the tartness fades a bit and I get a little of the mango cream, but this never really comes across as creamy, if that makes sense. It pretty much just always smells like gummy bears.

Would I buy it again? Maybe? Probably not as a perfume oil though. I like Lassi, because I like the way gummy bears smell (and taste, when I can find vegan ones). (Also because bears are my favorite animal.) But I think it’s better suited to a pumpkin butter (which I have and which also smells like gummy bears, just slightly creamier) or a whipped soap, even for sugar-loving me.
Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi milkmaid


Flushed, but demure. Fresh milk, clean linens, pale musk and pink sweet pea blossom.

Milkmaid is one of Haus of Gloi’s recurring Spring scents. It’s not really my kind of scent, but I’ve wanted to try it for a while regardless. Milkmaid paints such a lovely picture – a fresh, rosy-cheeked girl who smells of cream and clean sheets and pink flowers. It’s very quintessentially Spring.

In the imp it smells pink and milky. On skin it’s sweet, a bit tangy, and powdery, smelling to me like baby powder and sweet peas and clean skin. It’s not nearly as floral as I was expecting, nor is it as creamy and milky as it smelled on cold sniff. As it dries, the tanginess softens a bit and I’m left with a powdery pink scent with just a slight dairy edge. It’s not something I would wear, really, but it’s very pretty.

The Milkmaid by Myles Birket Foster

Maybe it’s because I’m an illustrator and used to thinking visually, but I find that sometimes images can convey what a scent smells like or feels like to me better than words can. In this case, Milkmaid smells very much like the appropriately-named painting above. It’s a very pastel, pastoral scent.

Would I buy it again? No. While I love the concept and think the execution is on point, it’s not a scent I would wear. Also it started to give me a headache after a while, as florals tend to do.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi ploughman


ploughmanWell worn leather, dirt n’ dandelions, carrot, a pinch of tobacco and a light sheen of feral skin musk.

In the imp, Ploughman smells like dirt and leather. But it’s not dirty – it’s clean and fresh. On skin it starts out the same, but with a bit of that grassy dandelion element in there too. After a while the carrot peeks out, very slightly sweet, and I don’t smell the leather quite as much, and the end result is a scent that smells like nothing so much as a vegetable garden on a spring day.


As it dries further, I get a little hit of tobacco, spicy and warm. It gets less damp and the leather comes out again. Ultimately that’s how it stays – dark, damp dirt, leather, green, and slightly sweet with a touch of warm spiciness. It smells like you’ve been running around outside all day (but not in a sweaty way) and I pretty much just want to bathe in it.

If you like HoG’s Samhain, you will like this – they’re similar scents, all dirt and atmosphere, but Ploughman is fresh and green where Samhain is chilly and herbal.

Would I buy it again? Yes. I didn’t expect to want a full bottle of this, but I really  should’ve known better since I love Samhain. I’m a sucker for these kinds of evocative outdoorsy scents. On the list it goes.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi selkie


The break of waves, gurgling sea foam, kelp, rain tinged air, sand smoothed driftwood and wild sage.

In the imp, Selkie is a slightly spicy, ozoney scent. On skin the spiciness and the sage are really present – it smells a bit masculine, even. The ozone isn’t nearly as strong as it is on cold sniff. And what there is of it isn’t your typical ozone – it doesn’t have that airy, blue, beach house bathroom kind of scent that’s common of oceanic or beachy blends.

As it dries down it starts to smell a bit woody and salty in addition to the spicy sage notes. It does very much remind me of the ocean, but more of a rocky, driftwood-strewn beach than a warm, tropical beach. The former is actually my preferred kind of beach, so this one is a hit with me.


Photo by Flickr user pencrush

This. This is what Selkie smells like.

Misc. Notes: The boyfriend says, “smells very summery.”

Would I buy it again? Yes. I’m planning to pick up a bottle of this, because I really love it and it’s pretty unique to my collection. The only reason I haven’t already is because I want a mini pumpkin butter in this scent too and it’s currently out of stock. Boooooooo-urns. Come back, Selkie, I need you on me.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi komodo


Mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragons blood resin and faded tropical blooms.

Taking a break from the Arcana-fest, today we’re going to talk about one of Haus of Gloi’s new spring scents: Komodo.

In the imp, Komodo smells sweet and tropical, like mango juice, vanilla cream, and faint island flowers. On skin the floral notes are stronger, almost eclipsing the sweet/tart mangosteen. There is a bit of an incensey vibe from the dragon’s blood resin, but it’s not overpowering – it just kind of grounds the whole thing. I honestly don’t smell much vanilla at all once it’s on, which is disappointing.

The main notes here, at least to my nose, are the tropical blooms and the mangosteen, in that order. I didn’t expect it to be so floral, and the cold sniff from the bottle wasn’t. It’s not bad – the floral notes work very well with the mangosteen – it’s just not what I was hoping for. After a few hours it’s less floral and the vanilla peeks out a bit, which is nice. At that point I like it quite a bit more, but it takes too long to get to that point for me to want a bottle of it.

Misc. Notes: The boyfriend says, “it smells very clean. A little citrusy.”

Would I buy it again? Probably not. On cold sniff I was sure I’d be getting a bottle of this. Now that I’ve tried it out, I’m thinking not so much. I don’t dislike it at all, and I will certainly use the mini pumpkin butter and whipped soap I picked up in this scent, but ultimately it’s just more floral than I prefer.

Available from: Haus of Gloi