midsummer dreams apothecary cologne oils

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colognes_1

I’ve had this review half-done forever. FOREVERRR. But now it’s actually finished! Finally. Mercifully. Not because it was unpleasant – it was not! – but because my pile of “to try” perfumes is quickly becoming a very daunting mountain. If I don’t post again within a week, send help.

Anyway, here we have Midsummer Dreams Apothecary’s new-ish collection of unisex cologne oils. They are, as with MDA’s other scents, fairytale-themed (which I love), and the samples come in adorable little mini bottles that don’t leak and stand up on their own. A+.

Beast: Warm spicy amber blends with sultry sandalwood amongst a base of white musk, rosewood, rounded out by just a hint of patchouli. This is a warm, woodsy, and earthy blend. (Amber, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Rosewood, Sandalwood, White Musk.)

Warm and musky in the vial. On skin it’s all wood and spice, with a dry, powdery sort of vibe, which usually means sandalwood. After a few minutes I get more amber and musk, and it gets to be a bit much for me.

This is a very manly smell – warm, musky, woodsy, and spicy, and not sweet at all. It definitely smells like a masculine cologne. That’s not a bad thing – I love man smells, hence why I got these in the first place. But this one is a bit too strongly something for me – I can’t tell if it’s the amber or the musk or the various woody notes. It’s just very strong and a lot. However, I do think it fits the Beastly inspiration.

Charming: A heady blend of masculine, earthy, and wood scents are complimented by a hint of equal parts sweet floral and rugged leather that’s fit for a dashing, heroic prince. (Balsam, Basil, Bergamot, Cedar, Leather, Oakmoss, Sweet Grass, Rose, Rosewood, Tobacco, Vanilla, and Ylang Ylang.)

In the vial it smells slightly sweet, green, and floral. On skin it’s still a bit sweet, but more fresh and herbal, with something a little spicy and maybe citrusy going on. After a few minutes, it becomes a touch more floral, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s not a loud, heady floral, and it’s balanced out by the more masculine notes. There’s a deep, smooth sweetness to this that I really like.

Charming is much lighter than Beast, both in character and actual sillage. But it’s lovely. I really enjoy this one and can see myself getting a solid or a smaller bottle at some point.

Dragon: The scent of sharp, tangy grass, rich and fertile soil, earthy rosewood, musk, and the sweet incense of dragon’s blood. (Dragon’s Blood, Earth, Rosewood, Vetiver, and White Musk.)

In the vial, Dragon is earthy, warm, and dusty (not in a bad way). It almost smells a little oceanic at first. There’s something murky about it. On skin it’s warm, woody, and dirt-y. That musty, dusty murkiness translates into something really wonderful – it smells like an old stone building with a dirt floor, with sun streaming through the window, illuminating millions of floating dust particles. Forgive me for waxing poetic, but it really does.

I love this one. I didn’t expect to, because dragon’s blood, vetiver, and white musk are all iffy notes for me, but the earth really takes center stage on my skin, and I’m very glad for that. I’ll definitely be picking up at least a solid and probably a bottle of this one.

Hook: A herbaceous, masculine, earthy blend of bay rum and tobacco that is softened by sweet caramel on a base of rich leather and musk. (Bay Rum, Caramel, Leather, Tobacco, and White Musk.)

In the vial: Leather, mostly, with something a little tangy underneath. On skin the tanginess is the main thing I smell. I’m not entirely sure what it is. Not exactly citrus. It’s also pretty spicy. It smells like cologne, which it is, obviously, but like the classic “cologne” smell, if that makes sense. Bay rum? (Bay rum.) It smells good. I like those kinds of scents. The leather lurks beneath the bay rummy, maybe-citrus, spicy notes, and I’m somewhat less fond of that (I just generally don’t like leather scents), but it all works well together. It’s appropriately pirate-y.

Not one for me, I think, but it would smell awesome on a guy.

Sea Witch: A cool and crisp blend of green and aquatic notes with just a hint of sea salt and moss. (Bergamot, Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, Lotus, Water Mint, Oakmoss, Ocean Mist, Sea Salt, Vetiver, and White Musk.)

In the vial: Ooh. A spicy green aquatic, really interesting. On skin it’s more spicy than green or aquatic at first, but after a few minutes it all melds together. It’s cooler and more watery-smelling in the vial than on skin, where it’s deeper and muskier. I’m not always a huge fan of aquatics, but I like this one – it manages to fall squarely into the aquatic category without smelling like a generic blue candle in a beach house bathroom. I credit that to the murky saltiness, which is common to most of the aquatics I end up enjoying.

Still not my favorite category of scent, but I’ll consider grabbing a solid of this one eventually.

Three winner for me here – I love love love Dragon, and like Charming and Sea Witch (in that order). Beast and Hook are perfectly nice, but not quite to my taste.

Everything in this post is available from Midsummer Dreams Apothecary.

midsummer dreams apothecary

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mda_beauty2

Today I have a review of some scents from a new shop called Midsummer Dreams Apothecary. The brand has a fairytale theme, and there are currently five scents in the lineup. They’re available in 15 ml and 10 ml bottles of oil, .15 oz solids (vegan and beeswax options!), and of course the precious baby samples seen above.

Which – seriously, how cute are they? So flippin’ adorable, I can’t stand it. And much easier to open and deal with than the usual sample vials. You can sit them down without the lid on and they’re not going to fall over and spill oil everywhere! A+. The downside is that they don’t fit into the bullet boxes I used to store the majority of my samples. But they’re so cute.

Anyway – onto the reviews! Note that these reviews were done without looking at the scent notes, which is why they may seem a bit vague. I feel like having the notes in front of my really influences what I smell, or think I smell, in a blend, so this is an attempt to be unbiased in my review. Notes and descriptions were added to the post later.

Beauty: Creamy sweet vanilla joins with sensuous warm amber amidst the fragrance of a garden full of rich full-bodied roses, earthy rosewood, and hints of oakmoss. This perfume is both rich and feminine with a balance of bold florals, earthy scents, and sweet vanilla. Perfect to wear on a rainy afternoon while you cozy up with your favorite book. (Vanilla, Amber, Rose, Rosewood, Oakmoss)

I get mostly an oaky vanilla – maybe tonka? Something woody, anyway. It’s quite sweet. I can tell there are floral notes in there but it’s not overpowering. On skin I smell rose, but it’s a greenish rose, like a rose bush with all the leafy bits intact. It’s also a lot less sweet – the vanilla is much more in the background. I get mostly rose and that woody element and a little amber. The amber gets stronger as it dries, which I’m not crazy about, but that’s entirely down to skin chemistry and personal preference.

I wish the vanilla stayed as strong on my skin as it is in the vial, and amber, shut up, but I do like this one. I may try layering it with a straight vanilla oil to sweeten it up a bit more, but it’s a really nice woody rose scent.

Rapunzel: Fields of fragrant sweet grass warmed by rich amber, with hints of delicate honeysuckle vines, climbing roses, and night blooming jasmine swirl together in this delicate blend. This is a delightfully fresh and feminine perfume that smells like a sunny, grassy meadow covered in wildflowers. (Amber, Sweet Grass, Honeysuckle, Rose, Jasmine)

In the vial this is a grassy floral, but mostly floral. It’s strongly jasmine or similar, some bossy white floral note. On skin that’s ALL I smell. As it dries I think I get a bit of amber around the edges, and just a hint of the grassiness I smelled in the bottle, but really anything else that’s in this one is drowned out by that loud bitch jasmine.

You pretty much had me at “fields of fragrant sweet grass” and “smells like a sunny, grass meadow covered in wildflowers,” but unfortunately this one is not for me. It gave me a bit of a headache. White florals are not my friend.

Snow White: Sweet apple, juicy pear, and crisp fig mingle with the floral scent of sweet ylang ylang and earthy scents of balsam cedar, and rosewood. This is a delicious blend of fruity and forest scents that is fresh and crisp. (Vanilla, Apple, Ylang Ylang, Balsam, Cedar, Rosewood, Pear, Bergamot, Fig)

Very smooth apple and something that smells almost licoricey. This isn’t a tart, crisp apple – it’s more like a deep, sweet red apple. On skin it’s very woody, with that sweet apple in the background. The spicy woods combined with the apple are giving me a little bit of a potpourri or candle vibe. It smells good, but it also smells like something you’d have burning next to the table during Thanksgiving dinner. As it dries the sweetness fades a bit, but it mostly stays the same – spicy woods and a faint fruitiness. My skin tends to amp spice, so others may get more fruity sweetness from this – I think I’d like it much more if that were the case. As it is I like it more in the bottle than I do on my skin.

Mermaid: A blend of sweet vanilla, sea salt, and calming lotus blossom is accompanied by the Hawaiian puakenikeni flower and rounded out with elegant gardenia. This blend is delicate and feminine and smells like a seaside garden on a breezy, spring day. (Sea salt, lotus, vanilla, Puakenikeni flower, gardenia, bergamot)

This one is quite sweet to my nose. I honestly can’t pick out any notes in the bottle, but it smells nice. On skin it’s still sweet, but I start to get more floral notes. Something tropical. As it dries it gets more floral, but never to the degree that Rapunzel did. I can tell it’s a white floral, but I’m guessing not jasmine (my nemesis), and it’s got enough of a sweetness to it that it’s pleasant rather than overpowering.

I actually really like this, which is pretty surprising. Especially once I looked at the notes. MULTIPLE FLOWERS YOU GUYS. I like a perfume with multiple floral notes. Mark this shit down in the history books. Check for a wire or maybe magic spells.

Sultan’s Daughter: Sultry, warm amber blends with sweet vanilla and is surrounded by a palace garden filled with rich jasmine blossoms, hints of fragrant and sweet ylang ylang, and fig. This is a feminine but slightly spicy blend that is warm and bold. (Vanilla, Jasmine, Amber, Fig, Ylang Ylang)

Incense and a bit of sweetness. Maybe sandalwood? On skin it’s jasmine god dammit of course it is. SULTAN’S DAUGHTER. There are some spicy, resiny things going on too, and still a faint sweetness, but mostly jasmine. I hate jasmine and jasmine hates me. All hope is lost. Abandon magic carpet. Jafar will have me as his wife.

My favorite from this collection is Mermaid, hands down. I will be getting a bottle of this one and wearing it all summer. I would never in a million years have expected that, but there you go. I thought I would love Beauty, like Snow White and Rapunzel, and pass the other two along in swaps. Not so! You really never know with perfume oils. After years of collecting and experimenting with fragrances, I’d like to think I have a good handle on what I like and what works for me, but every company’s notes are different and sometimes things surprise you, which is why it’s good to take a step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while.

Overall, my impression of Midsummer Dreams Apothecary is very positive. I love the theme and the branding, and while not all of the scents worked for me personally, I found them all well-blended. And anyone who can make me love a scent with not one, not two, but THREE florals in it has my attention. I’ll definitely be keeping this shop on my radar and am excited to see what she comes out with next!

delightful rot poison apple

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poisonapple

An apple that bites back. With notes of green apple, lime and crisp, aquatic musk, this scent brings about the image of the poisoned apple that plagued the princesses of so many childhood fairy tales.

In the imp, Poison Apple (now Poisoned Apple) smells like lime, musk, and a hint of sour apple. On skin the lime is a bit less assertive, but it’s a pretty citrus-heavy scent either way. At first. But then it dries down to something I can’t even really identify – I can smell apple, but it’s… not good. And I love apple. But it’s like rotten apples and some kind of lime cleaning spray. Just super unpleasant.

Would I buy it again? No. Nooooooo. I’m going to assume this is a skin chemistry issue, because I can’t imagine a scent being purposely made to smell this way. In any case, it’s not for me.

Available from: Delightful Rot

delightful rot persinette

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persinette

Before Rapunzel, there was Persinette. A beautiful, alluring woman, blessed by the fairy, this scent reflects an entirely girly and sexy combination of pink grapefruit and sweet ginger, with sassy hints of pink peppercorn and a light musk.

In the imp and on skin, Persinette smells sweet and pink. Grapefruit is the most prominent note, but the ginger is in there, lending a bit of spice to the grapefruit’s zing. It’s a bit less sweet on skin than it smells straight from the imp, but the overall impression really is pink. This would be a nice scent to put on in the morning when you’re feeling sleepy and blah, or a good spring/summer scent in general. It’s fresh and pretty. I have something similar to this – Flourish’s Grapefruit Ginger – but I like Persinette better.

Would I buy it again? Mm, I’m not sure. I have nothing bad to say about it, but it’s not something I feel like I desperately need more of, you know? If I ever use up my imp I might consider springing for a larger bottle, but the chances of that happening are slim.

Available from: Delightful Rot