solstice scents estate vanilla & rose mallow cream eau de parfums


Sample size 3.3 ml EDPs come in wee little sprayer bottles. Small but sturdy!

A little while ago, Solstice Scents debuted a line of eau de parfums (henceforth abbreviated as EDPs because I’m lazy) that includes several existed scents from their catalog as well as two new scents available only in EDP format: Estate Vanilla and White Feather. I haven’t tried White Feather, but I did pick up samples of Estate Vanilla and Rose Mallow Cream. Today I’ll talk mostly about Estate Vanilla, with just a quick note about how RMC compares to the oil version at the end.

Estate Vanilla: Raw Vanilla Pods, Vanilla Infused Sugar, Cream & Vanilla Extract. Our Rich House Vanilla

Estate Vanilla is a warm, floaty vanilla scent with a distinct creamy sugary-ness to it, like homemade vanilla bean sugar. It’s a light vanilla, not heavy or cloying or overly sweet. There’s a very slight alcoholic edge on initial application, but it disappears quickly and isn’t even close to the alcoholic astringency I get from commercial EDPs.

I find Estate Vanilla more or less linear on my skin – once the initial whiff of alcohol burns off, I’m left with a wonderful soft vanilla scent with great sillage and longevity.

On my initial testing day (the one where I took notes like a nerd), I applied 3 spritzes (wrist, wrist, neck) at 8 am. Around 3 pm I noted that it was slightly fainter but still very noticeable; at 7 pm I noted that it was wearing substantially closer to the skin, but was still perfectly detectable if I sniffed my wrists. I stopped taking notes at that point, but I’ve worn it many times since and can say that it routinely lasts 12+ hours on my skin. The throw gets fainter as the day wears on, of course, but even at the end of the day it’s still lingering close to my skin.

I’m sure a lot of people are curious how this compares to Solstice Scents’ old star vanilla fragrance, Cenobite, which was sadly discontinued a few months ago. I have Cenobite and on my skin they’re really not very similar at all. Cenobite is sweeter and thicker, with a distinctly boozy french vanilla vibe, and it’s just a heavier scent in general. Estate Vanilla is much lighter and airier, and less heavily sweetened. Both are wonderful vanillas, but they’re very different.


The full size 60 ml EDPs come in a gorgeous, thick frosted glass bottle.

As I’m sure you can tell, I love this scent. I’ve worn it nearly every day since I got my sample, so frequently that I actually felt justified in ordering a full size EDP, which just arrived and is beautiful (as you can see above). It’s just a fantastic, wearable, everyday kind of scent. It’s not too heavy or sweet to wear in warm weather (it’s still in the 90’s here and halloween candy is already out, what’s up fall?), but I can already see all my cozy sweaters smelling like Estate Vanilla once the heat breaks. It would also be great for layering with any scent you’d like to sweeten up a little, though I haven’t tried that yet as I’ve been too enamored of it all on its own.

Short & Sweet: A warm, airy, sugary vanilla. Light and not too sweet, with just a touch of creaminess. A++, highly recommend if you like vanilla at all. Like, at all.

And now for Rose Mallow Cream: save for the fleeting whiff of alcohol on initial application, RMC smells spot-on like the oil on my skin. No differences large enough to stand out to me when I wore it. If you’ve never tried RMC in any format, my review is here.

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!


solstice scents woodlands collection


On January 17th, Solstice Scents released a small collection of brand new scents called the Woodland Collection. It’s perfume only and consists of six scents, all of which I picked up to try out. As usual, Solstice Scents’ TAT was incredible – I ordered on Saturday the 17th, got a shipping notice on Sunday the 18th, and had it in my mailbox on Friday the 23rd. That’s actually a little longer for delivery than usual for SS, but since Monday the 19th was a holiday, nothing actually moved through USPS until the 20th.

So yeah – incredibly speedy, especially considering that SS is a two-person operation. I really don’t know how they manage it, but they’re pretty much the gold standard of customer service and TAT in my eyes, the high water mark against which all others are judged.

Anyway – on to the scents!

White Fox: Vanilla Musk, White Fur, Wood Blend, Frozen Dirt, Snow

In the bottle, White Fox is all woody vanilla musk.

Wet on skin, the vanilla musk is most prominent, laid over a base of cold woods. It’s got a fuzzy vibe – I definitely see what Angela was going for with the “white fur” description. The vanilla isn’t a warm bakery vanilla, and it’s not overly sweet – it’s cool and velvety. I can’t really pick out the dirt, but there’s a sort of earthy groundedness that it’s probably responsible for.

This one doesn’t really morph much as it dries, and wears fairly close to the skin. It reminds me a bit of Spellbound Woods, but softer and less wood-heavy.

I picked up a full size of this one unsniffed, and I have no regrets.

Elevator Pitch: A cool, fuzzy vanilla musk over a base of pale woods. A soft, velvety skin scent.

Winter Dove: Vanilla Crystals, Spicy Carnation, Nutmeg, Cream

In the vial, Winter Dove smells almost like eggnog – nutmeg and creamy vanilla, with a bit of spice.

Wet on skin, it’s a spicy carnation party. The creamy vanilla and nutmeg are there, but they’re buried under one hundred million carnation. Every single carnation on Earth.

The carnation stays prominent note as it dries, but it does mellow out, and the vanilla gets stronger the longer it wears. It’s creamy and girly, and really quite pretty. I’m surprised to be saying that, because I really didn’t like it when I first put it on. The carnation was just too much. But I have to say that I actually like the dry down. The carnation is there, but it loses most of that waxy, mushy quality that I really dislike about it when it’s center stage. Because things can smell mushy, obviously.

The carnation in this is the reason I ordered a sample instead of a bottle. I just wasn’t sure. And when I first put it on, I was like, NOPE, NOT GONNA NEED THIS ONE. But I’m rethinking that. I like it.

Elevator Pitch: A million carnations drizzled with eggnog to start, this one softens into a creamy vanilla with just a hint of spicy carnation. Very pretty and girly.

Night Watcher: Forest Floor, Tree Tops, Bark, Mountain Air, Fir Balsam, Juniper, Moss, Oud, Dried Herbs, Cedar Tips

In the vial, Night Watcher smells like the woods, amped up to 11. Fir needles and wood and moss, cool and green and clear.

Wet on skin, it’s intensely green, all leaves and moss and needles and herbs and dirt and wood. It’s like Angela scooped up an entire lush forest floor and distilled it into a bottle.

As it dries, the earthy herbal notes come out more, sweet and dry and airy. The whole scent has a coolness to it. Further into dry down, the woods become more prominent.

I was thisclose to getting a bottle of this one, but stopped myself… well, that was stupid. I’ll almost definitely end up with a bottle of this one. And fun fact: it’s wonderful layered with White Fox. It cuts the green and adds a fuzzy softness.

Elevator Pitch: Intensely green at first, Night Watcher is like the distilled essence of a forest floor. Heavy on the woods and greenery, with just a hint of cool dirt.

Monarch: Rich Red Musk, Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Frankincense, Labdanum, Moss

In the vial, Monarch is all rich resins and cedar wood.

Wet on skin, it’s musky and resiny, with lots of fir and cedar. It’s much more mellow than I expected from the cold sniff.

It dries down into a surprisingly subtle scent, mostly rich musk and cedar with a bit of incense-y resin floating around. It’s warm and the resins are tiny bit smoky, which is why my brain goes “incense!”

I didn’t have much interest in this one, but I actually like it. It’s not something I need a full bottle of, but I’ll keep my sample around.

Elevator Pitch: Rich, resinous musk with fir and cedar. The fir is more prominent at the start, the cedar and slightly smoky resins on dry down.

Grey’s Cabin: Smoked Cocoa, Cedar, Embers, Black Musk, Copal Bark, Tobacco, Spice

In the vial, Grey’s Cabin smells like smoky hot chocolate. Dry cocoa, woods, and smoke.

Wet on skin, the cocoa is the most prominent note, with smoke and wood notes following close behind. There’s a bit of spice that mingles nicely with the smoky woods.

It stays pretty linear throughout the dry down, cocoa and spice and smoky woods. The smoke isn’t overpowering, even on my skin. Further into wear, the sweetness and smoke both fade a bit and the woods are the most prominent aspect.

I’m surprisingly fond of this one. I expected it to be a smoke monster, but it’s not at all. It’s very cozy.

Elevator Pitch: Cocoa and smoky woods, like drinking hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. The smoke is mild, and the cocoa is more prominent at first. The woods get stronger once it’s dry.

Hidden Lodge: Dry Wood Blend, Oud, Woodsmoke, Spices, Castoreum (Botanical Interpretation)

In the vial, Hidden Lodge smells intensely woody and spicy.

Wet on skin it’s more subdued, but the primary scent is still dry woods. After a few minutes, a warm, musky sort of sweetness comes out. I’m guessing that’s the botanical castoreum, because it’s got almost an animalic vibe to it? It could be the oud, or something in the wood blend, though. In any case, it’s really nice, and side note, I’m super glad this is just a botanical interpretation of castoreum, because real castoreum is a) exceedingly not vegan, and b) ew, gross.

As it dries, it maintains that warm, musky-sweet woodiness. It’s deep and warm and a tiny bit spicy, and really surprisingly lovely. Not surprisingly in general, I guess, because Solstice Scents makes incredible perfumes – but personally surprising, because I had about zero interest in this scent and now I’m contemplating whether I want a bottle of it. A pleasant surprise, for sure.

Elevator Pitch: Warm and musky-sweet, with lots of wood and a touch of spice.

Overall Thoughts: This collection took me by surprise. I knew I’d love White Fox, and I was on the fence about Winter Dove and Night Watcher, but I pretty much assumed I wouldn’t like any of the others. FALSE. I do indeed love White Fox, and I like Winter Dove and Night Watcher, but I’m also surprisingly into Grey’s Cabin and Hidden Lodge. Monarch is nice, but not particularly compelling to me personally. The others, however… there will definitely be a few new additions to my collection.

White Fox is still my favorite of the bunch, though. Vanilla musk 4EVA.

Find the Woodland Collection here. Solstice Scents usually keeps their collections available for several months at least, which is really nice for those of us who don’t enjoy high-intensity shopping that leaves us breathing into paper bags.

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.

solstice scents spring 2014



Solstice Scents’ spring release came a bit late this year, but it was worth the wait! Lots of recurring scents, and a handful of new ones. I ordered a full size Cameo and samples of Chrysalis and Cascade of Gold, and as usual Solstice Scents’ TAT was crazy fast – I ordered on May 12, it was shipped on May 13, and I received it on May 16.

Cameo: Almond, Rose, Yellow Cake, Tonka Bean, Coconut, Ginger and Green Orange

In the bottle it’s a warm baked goods kind of scent. Creamy and sweet. On skin it’s very strongly almond initially, with sweet, flowery things hiding underneath. After a few minutes the floral note gets stronger – rose, I think, because I like it – and after it dries down completely it’s more of a warm, sweet almond cookie base with soft rose. Long after dry down I do get a bit of coconut. This one is gorgeous.

I should note that in the middle of writing this review my boyfriend FRICKIN’ PROPOSED TO ME so you know, I got a little distracted. I think I am now also contractually obligated to wear Cameo at my wedding, so it’s a good thing I like it. Like most Solstice Scents blends, it also has great lasting power – it was still well detectable 6 9 12 (!) hours after application. I’m glad I got a bottle, and I’ll be picking this scent up in a few other formats as well.

Chrysalis: Orange Blossom, Grass, Bitter Green Orange, Vetiver, Patchouli, Amber, Yellow Mandarin, Rose de Mai Absolute, Sandalwood and Indian Attars

In the vial this is creamy and green with a bitter citrus note in the background. It’s quite strong. On skin it’s somewhat less pungently green, and it’s more of a slightly spicy citrus, bitter rind and all. I’m still getting a creaminess. I think it’s sandalwood, which tends to read “creamy and spicy” to me. As it dries down that spicy incense note becomes more prominent and the bitter citrus fades back a bit. I get something a little floral at this point, too, which I didn’t smell at all in the vial. It’s not overpowering, though.

As it dries down further it gets a bit more “earthy” and the whole time it gives me a very distinct texture impression, if that makes any sense – it smells chalky. Not in a bad way, and it’s almost more like it leaves a chalky taste in my mouth? It’s hard to describe. It’s quite interesting, and going back and looking at the SS description, it’s pretty spot on, but I’m not sure I love it on my skin. I’ll keep my sample and test it out a few more times, but I don’t see myself needing a bottle of this.

I will say that it really does remind me of Spring, though. I didn’t think “spring in a bottle” was a very good description of it at first, but once it dried down and settled in I could totally see it.

Cascade of Gold: Sandalwood, White Sandalwood, Honeysuckle, Champa & White Lotus

In the vial, I have no idea what I’m smelling. Really. But I like it. It smells yellow. On skin it’s smoother than in the vial. It’s very warm, a little like incense but without the smoke and gagging (I hate incense) – so unlit incense, I guess. It’s a little bit sweet, and as it dries down I smell something a bit floral, but not in the sense that I usually think of florals – it’s mellow and quiet in a way that floral notes rarely are on my skin. Mostly I’m still just getting warm and yellow, though I will freely admit that that may only be because I know what it’s called. In any case, I love this. A lot. Totally unexpected, but this one will be coming home with me.

Looking at the notes now, I’m even more surprised that I like it. I like sandalwood, but with all those woody, incense-y notes I expected it to be much stronger and spicier, and honeysuckle, which beautiful in reality, has a tendency to go the way of other loud white floral notes on my skin (coughjasminecough). Not here, though. Here’s it’s really beautiful and soft, probably the closest to actual honeysuckle I’ve encountered in a perfume. I don’t actually know what lotus smells like, but I recall it being in Midsummer Dreams Apothecary’s Mermaid, too, which was another surprise hit, so maybe I really like lotus? Hmm.

Courtyard (2013 version): Lavender, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Coriander, Lime, Labdanum, Gardenia & More (2014 version notes: Lavender, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Sweet Clover, Coriander, Lime, Labdanum & More)

In the vial this is intense, sweet green. A bit of citrus – lime? On skin it’s a bit mellower, but still green. Cool and green, with lime and something sweet and herbal – lavender? Definitely lavender. It smells like the lavender plant we have in a pot out back. I love the smell of real, fresh lavender, dirt and all, and this is that smell. This smells like a lush, green garden after a spring rain. I am a big fan. I’m not entirely sure how often I’d actually wear this, though, so its bottle status remains to be determined.

Now, the version I have is from last spring, and the Courtyard from this year’s release has been slightly reformulated. Apparently 2013 Courtyard has gardenia in it, but I don’t smell it, so I can’t imagine the scent suffers for losing it.

The rest of the scents in this release are recurring from last year, so here are links to those reviews: Chiffon, Chantilly Cream, and Blossom Jam Tea Cakes.

All of these are currently available from Solstice Scents.

solstice scents chiffon


chiffonVanilla, White Amber, White Musk & Lemon Myrtle EO.

Chiffon is a scent that I’ve heard quite a bit of raving about and always wanted to try, because I love sweet lemony scents. I was all set to just order a full bottle right off the bat, until I read in the description that it had similar elements to and would appeal to fans of Snowshoe Pass. I don’t think I’ve reviewed Snowshoe Pass on the blog yet, but spoilers: I hated it. Or, it hated me. The white amber and white musk absolutely took over and destroyed it for me, so seeing those same notes in this made me wary enough to just order a sample. (Which I should always do anyway, but I don’t, because I’m dumb and bad with money. SO.)


Chiffon smells like lemon meringue pie. It’s a soft lemon, not at all Pledge-y. It’s sweet, but not overly so – it’s not sickening or cloying. After a while I do get hints of that dreaded white amber/white musk combo, but it’s not overpowering and it doesn’t ruin it for me the way it ruined Snowshoe Pass. From first application to dry-down, Chiffon is just a soft, sweet lemon.


I’m on the fence about whether it’s bottle-worthy, but only because I have similar things. It reminds me a bit of OHWTO’s Carnivale and The Cake is a Lie, the main difference being that Carnivale is more fruity and The Cake is a Lie is more, well, cakey. I also have Maggie from Wiggle (muskier from what I recall) and Ambrosia from Arcana (way sweeter, and a bit creamy), a sample and a pumpkin butter in Honeysuckle Lemon Curd from Haus of Gloi (tangier and more flowery), and probably a few others that I’m forgetting – I mentioned that I love lemon scents, right? Yeah. While none of these are exactly the same as Chiffon, I don’t know that I can warrant adding yet another sweet lemon scent to my collection at the moment, especially since this one, while lovely, doesn’t knock my socks off in any particular way.

Would I buy it again? See above. I do like it, but probably not.

Available from: Solstice Scents

solstice scents blossom jam tea cakes


Southern Tea Cakes, Petit Fours, Floral Infused Jams & Preserves and a Delicate Aroma of Tea.

I have such mixed feelings about this one. When I did my first-sniff impressions, Blossom Jam Tea Cakes was hands down my favorite. It smelled like cake and jam and I loved it. Once I put it on, however…

On my skin the tea and florals are the strongest notes. I love me some tea scents, but we all know I don’t like florals. It’s a white sort of floral – gardenia is coming to mind. It’s slanted a bit more toward the fruity side of the fruity-floral spectrum, and I suppose it does compliment the tea nicely if you’re into that kind of thing. The sweet cake is sort of the background scent, not nearly as strong as I expected from cold sniff.

As it wears the jammy fruits come out a bit more, but not as much as I’d like. The tea stays on top throughout and the floral note keeps second billing. It does soften after a few hours, but it started to give me a headache long before that point. So.

I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it as much as I thought I would – it’s just too flowery. And unexpectedly so, given the description – Solstice Scents’ descriptions are usually quite accurate so I can only assume this is a skin chemistry thing. In general I wish I got more jam or cake – more of the stuff that doesn’t give me a thundering headache, basically. Sad.

 Would I buy it again? Surprisingly, no. I love the way this smells in the bottle but it goes flower crazy on my skin and makes my head hurt. Boo, hiss. Very disappointing. I can’t say that’s the fault of the perfume, though – it’s a lovely scent, and if it stays true-to-bottle on you I’m very jealous. I have a bottle now, though, so I’m going to try layering it. Liber Vix commented that it layers well with Chantilly Cream, so maybe that’ll save it for me.

Available from: Solstice Scents

solstice scents chantilly cream


Whipped Cream, Peach Nectar, Vanilla & Yellow Mandarin EO.

Chantilly Cream is one of Solstice Scents’ recurring Spring releases. I missed the Spring release for the last few years so this one was new to me. Despite that, I ordered a full-sized perfume and a burnishing glace straight off because I was 99.9% sure I would love this.

And unlike many other adventures in foolishly ordering full-sized stuff that I was so sure I would love and then didn’t, I was actually right this time.

Chantilly cream is, obviously, sweet, fruity, and creamy. I get mainly peaches and a touch of zesty mandarin – just a tiny bit. It doesn’t smell orangey at all, really, there’s just that slight tartness. The vanilla is creamy, more like a french vanilla than vanilla extract. It’s not boozy or sharp at all. The whole shebang smells delicious and edible yet light, like a bowl of ripe peaches topped with rich vanilla bean-flecked ice cream and just a dollop of airy whipped cream.


Overall it’s a very delicate kind of scent – it’s sweet, for sure, but it’s not cloyingly sweet or pastry-like. The peach note is similar to the one in Kitchen, but where that’s buttery peach pie, this is just fresh, fuzzy, perfectly ripe fruit. It doesn’t have massive throw, staying fairly close to the skin. The glace smells like a slight milder version of a perfume, and layering them does help the scent to last longer and be more noticeable. Even layered, though, it’s not going to knock anyone over.

Would I buy it again? YUP. Did it, would do it again if I ever ran out, which I won’t, because I have more body products and perfume than I could ever feasibly use up in my lifetime even if I had 14 arms. But still – yes, love this one.

Available from: Solstice Scents

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.

stash inventory: solstice scents

This post was prompted by the fact that Solstice Scents is holding a “post your stash” contest, in which you show off your stash and can maybe win a SS gift certificate because of it. Show people my pretties AND get the chance to win/hoard more stuff from SS? SOLD. But while I was taking the photo for this it occurred to me that it might not be a terrible idea to do this for all the different companies in my stash. I love seeing people’s stash posts, and it’d be a good way to keep track of what I have and what I’ve reviewed on the blog. So look for more of these in the future, but for now, here’s my Solstice Scents stash! Scents that I’ve reviewed will be linked to said reviews.

For the record, if I win I have my eye on a backup bottle of Rose Mallow Cream. If I don’t win, I have my eye on a backup bottle of Rose Mallow Cream.

Perfume oils:

Spellbound Woods
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Victorian Tea Room
Harvest Moon
Blueberry Muffin Batter
Gingerbread & Vanilla Cream
German Chocolate Cake
Witch’s Cottage
Lavender Vanilla
Cocoa Mallow
Blackburn Farmstead
Rose Mallow Cream
Chantilly Cream
Blossom Jam Tea Cakes

Burnishing Glaces:

Witch’s Cottage
Blackburn Farmstead
Blueberry Muffin Batter
Enchanted Forest
Chantilly Cream

Body Ganache:


Whipped Soap:

Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Banana Nut Bread


Spellbound Woods
Rice Pudding & Rum Soaked Raisins
Spiked Nog & Nutmeg
Roasted Chestnuts & Marshmallows
Snowshoe Pass
Black Forest
Caramel Apple
Blackburn Farmstead
Thornwood Thicket
Violet Truffle
Lavender Vanilla
Black Leather, Red Lace
Devil’s Millhopper