solstice scents rose mallow cream


Moroccan Rose absolute, Bulgarian Rose absolute, Marshmallow Fluff, Strawberry Nectar, White Chocolate, Vanilla, White Musk.

Rose Mallow Cream was released as part of Solstice Scents’ 2013 Valentine’s Day collection. It is a premium perfume oil, meaning it comes in a 5ml instead of a 10ml bottle. It is, as far as I know, limited-edition, but it’s been quite popular and I dearly hope it becomes part of the general catalog because it is, in a word, amazing.

As I said in a recent State of the Blog post, I have really started to love rose scents. This is new. For a long time I hated the smell of roses – they smelled musty and slightly rotten, a bit like a funeral home. But somewhere along the line the wires in my brain re-routed and now I’m completely infatuated with them. (I blame Haus of Gloi’s Come Hither.) So much so that when Rose Mallow Cream went up on the SS website, I grabbed a bottle up immediately, unsniffed. Considering how quickly it sold out, I’m glad I did!

In the bottle, Rose Mallow Cream smells sweet and soft, mostly of roses and white chocolate. Wet on skin the rose is the strongest element, with a bit of sweetness from the marshmallow and white chocolate. There strawberry nectar provides just a hint of fruitiness that really compliments the other notes well. The vanilla is there, but to my nose it just mixes up with the marhsmallow and white chocolate into one lovely sweet, white smell.

Angela notes in the scent description for this that only natural rose absolute is used here, and you can tell. There is nothing synthetic or musty about this at all. She also notes that the rose is apparent up front for about an hour, and then it gets sweeter and muskier as it wears – which is exactly my experience. The white musk is never overpowering, though, it just sort of grounds the scent and keeps it from being overly sweet or candy-like.

Would I buy it again? YES. And I plan to, if it ever comes back in stock. Words cannot express how much I love this. It’s easily moved into the #1 spot on my rose-based perfume list, knocking Haus of Gloi’s Come Hither down to #2, which I didn’t even think was possible. Angela hit it out of the park (again) with this one, and as I said, I really really really hope it goes general catalog. But just in case it doesn’t, I will be watching the site like a hawk to snap up a backup bottle.

Available from: Solstice Scents

solstice scents nightgown


Vanilla, White Chocolate, Tuberose & Tiare Flowers

Nightgown is part of Solstice Scents’ general catalog. I’ve never tried it before because florals are not my thing, but it’s so incredibly popular with SS fans that I figured I should give it a chance and chose it as the free sample with my last order.

In the imp and wet on skin I get a very sweet floral. It’s flowers, flowers, flowers, and some vanilla. After a few minutes I start to get a bit of smooth richness from the white chocolate. The sweetness of the vanilla and white chocolate help keep the floral elements juuust on the right side of overpowering, and then as it dries down they begin to take over and the tuberose and tiare move to the background. By the time it’s completely dry and settled on my skin it’s more of a floral-tinged creamy vanilla than anything. It’s actually quite pretty, and I like it more than 99.9% of other (non-rose) florals I’ve tried.

The name of this is so appropriate. The scent really does evoke images of wispy, feminine, gossamer-thin, pale pink and ivory fabrics. It’s just pretty.

Would I buy it again? I’d definitely choose it as my sample again, but even though I do enjoy it, I don’t think it’s something I need to own a full bottle of. Ultimately florals are just not my preferred scents, and while I may pull this out and wear it on a day I’m feeling particularly girly, I can’t imagine I’ll use it enough to justify owning 10ml of it.

Available from: Solstice Scents

state of the blog 2.6.13


I’m a bit under the weather today, so instead of trying to sniff and review something with a drippy nose I thought I’d post some random bits about what will be coming up on the blog in the near future.

I’ve got small (very small! really!) orders coming my way from Solstice Scents and Haus of Gloi at the moment, so look forward to reviews of HoG’s new Butterbombs and Solstice Scents’ new premium fragrance, Rose Mallow Cream. I don’t know when I started liking rose scents so much – or at all, really – but it’s like ever since Come Hither wormed its way under my skin I can’t resist them. Rose Mallow Cream sounds amazing: a mix of genuine rose absolutes, marshmallow, and white chocolate. So amazing, in fact, that I didn’t even bother ordering a sample first. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me.

I’ll also be getting quite a large amount of Arcana oils in in the near future – 7 bottles, plus samples. But I don’t have to feel bad about this one! I did an illustration for Julia to use in the Valentine’s collection, and part of my payment is coming in product. (Best currency.) It was a really fun job and I’m super happy with how it came out. She ended up using it on two labels (Venus Callipyge and Venus Libertina), so I’ll be posting about that both here and on my art blog once I receive the bottles. In addition to those I’ll have Amorini, CakeLust, Star Light, Quim, Murder Ballad Blues, and a sample of Bonfires at Dusk to review. Probably a few others as well. I already have a sample of Quim, and spoilers: I love it.

Moving on from perfume (WUT) to the “vegan beauty” part of the description up there under the title… I haven’t really done much of that yet, but I want to! I’m both a beauty junkie and a long-time vegan, so yeah, I want to talk about it. I think I’ve avoided it because to be honest it’s a very complicated topic and everyone draws their personal line in a different place, so what I consider vegan, someone else may not. I’ll explain my stance when I post my first beauty bit, which should be sometime soon-ish because…

I think I found a vegan bb cream AT THE DRUGSTORE! Emphasis on I think. It’s by a company that doesn’t test, and wading through the ingredients doesn’t set off any immediate red flags. I’ll do a more thorough check before I post about it, but I’d give it a preliminary thumbs up. Whether or not it matches my skin at all remains entirely to be seen, however.

Actually come to think of it, the generic CVS store brand version of the Garnier bb cream might be vegan too. Unfortunately the lightest color is light/medium, which, if it’s anything like the one it’s knocking off, is both too dark and Oompa Loompa orange.

So yeah, I’m kind of bb cream crazy lately. Just foundation crazy in general, really. I was never much into bases and face makeup until recently, but now I’m all about them and I’m finding it very difficult to get one that is vegan and matches my weird pale yellowy/olive skin tone and works with my currently oily/dry combo skin type and provides light, non-masky coverage and isn’t loose minerals and isn’t $45 a tube. And and and. My list of things to try includes: OCC’s tinted moisturizer (currently sold out, wah wah), Tarte’s new bb cream, and Too Faced’s version. A trip to Ulta is in my near future for sure. I’ve also been experimenting with making my own bb cream/souped up tinted moisturizer type thing, which, we’ll see how that goes.

I think that’s it? I’ve been testing out two cheap mascaras with predictably mixed results. And I’m eyeing up a couple of Too Faced blushes right now (as in they’ve been in my bag on the Sephora website for like two weeks) but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Perhaps, perhaps.

And now I’m going to go back to sniffling under the covers and watching Pretty Little Liars.


solstice scents violet truffle



Dark Chocolate, Violet, Violet Leaf & Vanilla Absolute

Violet Truffle is part of Solstice Scents’ general catalog. I received it as a free sample with one of my orders last year.

In the imp Violet Truffle smells like chocolate and… soap? Something I can’t put my finger on. Obviously it’s the violet but it doesn’t quite smell like violet to me. On skin the chocolate is somewhat less pronounced, and the violet smells more like itself. It’s sort of a sugary violet, like candied violets on top of a rich chocolate cake. There’s a slight powderiness from the violet, and after wearing for a while the chocolate softens and I get more of the vanilla. By the time a few hours have passed it’s almost entirely a soft vanilla and sugared violet scent. It’s actually quite nice – much nicer than it smelled in the imp – and I’m not generally a fan of florals. This is definitely one for the gourmands, but I can see people who don’t usually like foodie scents enjoying it as well because it’s not a straight-up cake kind of scent.

This is the kind of scent I’d want to wear on Valentine’s Day. Sweet, chocolatey, floral, and very feminine – kind of the holiday embodied in a perfume oil, really.

Would I buy it again? Maybe? I do enjoy the sample quite a bit more than I expected, and the more I smell it the more I think I want a full bottle. But maybe not in an I NEED IT NOW OR I WILL DIE kind of way. Plus Mike really likes it. We’ll see.

Available from: Solstice Scents

solstice scents thornwood thicket



Sugared Blackberries, Black Agarwood, Aloeswood, Sweet and Smokey Guaiacwood & Amber.

In the imp Thornwood Thicket is mostly sweet grapes, maybe a tiny whiff of incense. On skin the woods and incense are much more prominent. It’s still a bit sweet and there are definitely berries present, but it’s not nearly as grape soda-y. (I actually like that grape soda smell so that’s not a slam.) I like it more than I thought I would, but not sure if it’s full bottle material. I’ll definitely keep using my sample though.

Misc. Notes: In the imp Mike thought it smelled “grapey,” and then on the skin it turned into “something medicinal.” He wasn’t a fan.

Would I buy it again? The sample, absolutely, although I actually got it free with an order so technically I didn’t buy it at all. But I would choose it again for sure, and while I probably won’t get a full bottle (since Mike doesn’t really like it and I don’t love it), I’ll use up my sample.

Available from: Solstice Scents

solstice scents witch’s cottage



Warm Baked Goods, Dried Herbs, Sweet Annie, Soft Woods & Fragrant Hearth Smoke.

I wanted Witch’s Cottage as soon as I read a description of it. It sounds totally delicious, so I finally bit the bullet and ordered it this fall, going full-size unsniffed even though I am wary of smoke notes. When I first got it I wasn’t sure if I liked it – it’s not nearly as sweet as I’d expected, much more herbal. But it grew on me. So much so that I bought the burnishing glace as well.

In the bottle I smell herbs and a bit of something woody and sweet. On skin it’s much stronger, but the herbs are still at the front on me. There is a bit of sweetness and spice, like baking cinnamon rolls, under the fragrant herbs but it’s not overpowering. The smoky note is there but it’s very gentle and not acrid at all, which is the problem I tend to have with smoke notes. This one is quite lovely. The combination of scents here is wonderful, at once comforting and warm but also a bit fresh, like walking through the woods on a crisp autumn day. In fact, the description fits the scent so well I want to include it here:

Upon entering the Witch’s Cottage you are greeted with fresh and dried herbs, chamomile flowers, rosemary sprigs, Sweet Annie, Davana, and a hint of crisp apples. A warm undercurrent of luscious baked goods, sweet buns and candied pralines emerges and is followed by mild fragrant woods and a sweet hearth smoke. Witch’s Cottage fragrance is a true journey with loads of atmosphere.

Dead on. It’s just amazing and I love it.

Misc. Notes: Mike says it smells “much sweeter and fruitier” in the bottle and “more herby” on my skin.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely. It was a surprise hit for me – well, a surprise in that it’s different than I expected. But I’m glad I gave it a chance, because I really love it. In fact, I’m considering the whipped soap in this scent right now.

Available from: Solstice Scents

solstice scents german chocolate cake


germanchocolatecakeMoist layers of rich chocolate cake filled with mouth watering coconut and pecan icing. Contains cocoa and vanilla absolute and fragrance oils.

German Chocolate Cake was part of Solstice Scents’ Valentine’s Day release in 2011 and 2012. It has now been discontinued, but I picked this bottle up from someone in the SS forum.

In the bottle German Chocolate Cake smells like Tootsie Rolls and sweet coconut. Wet on skin I get less chocolate and more of the coconut and pecan icing. It’s very sweet (obviously), but there’s also a sort of sharpness to it… I almost want to say it’s a bit synthetic-smelling, which I’ve never encountered with a SS oil. It’s probably a skin chemistry issue. After a few hours it’s mellowed out, that sharpness is gone, and I get a bit more of that dark cocoa kind of scent. It’s nice but it’s not as chocolate cakey as I was hoping for, if that makes sense.

Would I buy it again? Probably not. It smells delicious in the bottle but it just doesn’t translate to my skin the same way, unfortunately. It doesn’t smell BAD by any means, it’s just not what I hoped it’d be. I’ll give it a few more tries, but it might end up going in the swap pile.

solstice scents cenobite


cenobiteA deep Vanilla Bean which has a slight boozy liqueur note on application mixed with a pile of fresh vanilla beans and a sultry, smooth, rich and creamy French Vanilla.  Lovely for layering. This is not a sweet frosting/sugary/buttery vanilla, it is a sophisticated, pure and deeper vanilla bean scent.

For years I’ve subscribed to a “Word A Day” email, which is exactly what it sounds like – every day they send you a new and interesting word. Well, today’s word was “cenobite,” meaning “A member of a religious order living in a monastic community.” It seemed only fitting, then, that today’s scent should be Cenobite from Solstice Scents.

Cenobite was one of my very first Solstice Scents purchases, and remains one of my favorite perfumes. I love me some vanilla, and it is the ultimate vanilla. However I just recently acquired the ganache and glace, and this review will actually be my first time using them. Let’s see how these three all play together, shall we?

The ganache (and this is my first and only ganache from SS so far) has a texture like thick yogurt – it’s thinner than Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butters but thicker than your average lotion. The scent in the pot is true to the description, perhaps a bit more on the creamy french vanilla side of things than the perfume and glace. There is a slight cocoa butter-y scent, which is not a bad thing at all, just worth mentioning. Angela notes on the SS website that that cocoa butter scent will die down after a few minutes, and it does, leaving behind pure vanilla. The scent is quite strong and I can easily smell it on myself.

The ganache pot is small (4 oz) but you don’t need much – lightly swiping my finger across the product gave me enough for my entire arm, two swipes for each leg. I don’t have terrible dry skin so I don’t ever use copious amounts of lotion, though. The formula is nice, absorbs quickly, and isn’t greasy or heavy at all. It’s not quite as moisturizing as HoG’s pumpkin butters, which are still my #1 favorite, but it leaves my skin nice and soft just the same. I can see myself using this more often in warmer weather because it is a bit lighter than the pumpkin butters.

Moving onto the next layer, the glace smells quite a bit different in the bottle than the perfume or the ganache. It’s sharper and fruitier.  Once it’s on the skin it’s closer to the perfume/ganache scent, but not exactly the same. However it does still compliment the ganache and perfume very well, and the scent is very potent. I mean VERY. The glace formula is lovely as usual. I spritzed this on my arms, legs, and chest on top of the ganache and the result is a strong scent. You wouldn’t need to put the perfume on if you didn’t have it or didn’t want to. I’m inclined to say the glace is strong enough to act as a perfume on its own, honestly. It’s the most strongly scented glace I’ve used from SS to date.

But because I love Cenobite and I want to see just how strong a cloud of delicious vanilla I can engulf myself in, I did put the perfume on as well. In the bottle Cenobite is vanilla liquor, not overly sweet at all. Wet on skin it’s boozy and a touch fruity but still all vanilla. As it dries more of the creamy french vanilla comes out, but it’s still much more like vanilla beans than vanilla frosting. It’s never super sweet.

What I’ve learned here today is that topping the ganache with the glace with the perfume is insane. The scent is ridiculously strong. I love it. Usually perfume oils aren’t strong enough to knock over strangers, which is part of what I like about them, and on its own Cenobite isn’t. It’s potent, yes, and it has great lasting power, but it’s not going to make someone three rows back on the bus wonder what that smell is. All three of these together would. Layering them all results in soft skin and a heady haze of vanilla goodness that will last all day.

So, would I buy it again? Absolutely. All three products are wonderful and the scent is one of my favorites. If you’re a vanilla fan, you really must give Cenobite a try.

solstice scents lavender vanilla


lavendervanillaLavender Essential Oil paired with sweet creamy vanilla and smooth French Vanilla. The lavender essential oil starts out powerfully then descends into the background as the creamy vanilla emerges. After some time on the skin, the vanilla takes center stage as the primary and lasting note, enhanced by a ghostly memory of lavender.

I have some stressful medical stuff to deal with today (unfortunately the last 5 months has been nothing but stressful medical stuff… ), so when I picked out my perfume for the day I wanted something calming and comforting. Solstice Scents Lavender Vanilla fits the bill perfectly.

In the bottle it’s immediately all lavender, but as I sniff it more the slightest creamy vanilla comes out. Wet on skin it’s all strong lavender, no vanilla in sight… to the point where I wasn’t sure I was even going to like this when I first tried my sample of it. I like lavender, but I prefer it mixed with other scents, because on its own, especially if it’s strong, I find it a bit overbearing and sometimes it gives me a headache. I like a gentle, soothing lavender, not a smack you in the face lavender. But true to the description, the vanilla peeks out after a few minutes, and then once the oil has completely dried down it’s mostly a vanilla scent with hints of soft lavender. The vanilla is sweet and creamy but not overly so – it’s more like high-quality vanilla bean ice cream than sugary buttercream frosting.

I really like this scent when I’m feeling stressed out or when I can’t sleep. It goes on strong, but the scent it dries down to is just so soothing and lovely.

Throw and lasting power is below average for a SS oil – I usually find them quite strong and long-lasting, but this doesn’t stick around for too long. The throw is decent while it’s there, actually, but after a few hours the scent is mostly gone. I can still smell something on my wrists, but it’s not recognizable as Lavender Vanilla. Still, I don’t mind reapplying, and honestly I usually wear it before bed so the longevity isn’t much of an issue.

Lavender Vanilla is part of Solstice Scents’ general catalog and they also sell a body ganache in this scent.

Would I buy it again? Yes. It’s not a scent I wear all the time, but when I need something pretty and calming I’m glad to have it around. It’s like the perfume equivalent of a cup of hot tea at the end of a long day, and I don’t have too many of those in my collection.

solstice scents kitchen


kitchenPumpkin, Sugar Cookies, Peach Preserves, Spice Breads, Danishes, Caramel, Vanilla, and Sweet Wood Smoke.

Kitchen is part of Solstice Scents’ Manor collection, which I believe was their 2012 fall release. The concept is really interesting – each scent is supposed to embody a different room in a grand old house that’s fallen into disrepair (the Manor in question). I ordered samples of Library, Kitchen, and Manor itself, and received a sample of Attic free with my order. I’ll review them all eventually, but today we talk about Kitchen.

If it weren’t for the wood smoke note in the description, I’d have ordered a full bottle of this straight off. I’m a big fan of foodie scents, but while I like smoke in theory, I’ve not had good luck with smoky scents in the past – that note tends to go nuts and take over, ruining otherwise perfectly lovely scents with acrid smokey badness. Hence the sample. But as soon as I opened the little vial I knew I had to have it, preferably in amounts large enough to bathe in. THIS STUFF, YOU GUYS. This stuff! I now have a full bottle of the perfume and the burnishing glace (obviously), and if/when the whipped soap comes back in stock I will have that too. And anything else SS releases in this scent. I WILL HAVE ALL OF THE KITCHEN.

But how does it smell, you ask? Like the most delicious kitchen ever, full of the most delicious baked goods ever. When the perfume is wet I smell peaches and apples straight off, then mildly spicy gingerbread with a drizzle of sweet icing. There’s vanilla, warm and rich and caramel-y. It’s amazing. The wood smoke is very much a background/peek-a-boo sort of note on my skin – I get little whiffs of it now and then, but it’s not overpowering and it is quite a sweet sort of smoke.

The burnishing glace smells mostly the same, though it’s a bit less fruity in the beginning, skipping straight to that mildly spicy caramel-y baked goodness. This is the first glace I’m reviewing, so I’ll talk a bit about the formula. It’s a dry oil spray that’s lightly moisturizing and non-greasy. Seriously, it’s not greasy at all. I even spray a bit on my hands and rub it on the ends of my (very fine, grease-prone) hair sometimes with no resulting oilies. SS says you can use it as a bath oil, too, but I’ve never done so because the roach-infested apartment I lived in in college has left me with post-traumatic stress issues re: baths. TMI! But I’m sure a normal person would find it lovely in a bath. Mostly I just use it as an after-shower moisturizer – a spray or two is all you need for silky, yummy-smelling arms and legs.

When layered together these two have wonderful lasting power and good throw. Even on its own the perfume is noticeable and sticks around for a good amount of time. I find most of Solstice Scents’ oils to be quite potent and long-lasting, and this is no exception.

Misc. Notes: Completely unbidden, Mike commented that this smells “like brown sugar, and some specific baked good I can’t put my finger on.” He’s a fan. Whenever I wear it he tells me I smell delicious.

Would I buy it again? YES. Oh my god yes. I can and will own this in ever product it ever comes out in. I’d buy Kitchen chewing gum and I can’t even chew gum. It’s one of those scents that I find myself desperately wanting backups of even though I’ve never in my life finished off a single bottle of perfume oil. I needs it, my preciousss. I’d love to see this become part of the general catalog, or at least be a recurring fall scent, because if I ever find myself without it I may cry. For real.