90-100: blooddrop winter simplicities II

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I’m not even going to get into how behind on the review-a-day count I am; it’s painful. JK: I’m 18 reviews behind. EIGHTEEN. Ugh. So in an effort to catch up a bit, here are quick-fire reviews of Blooddrop’s Winter Simplicities (part 2).

These aren’t available anymore, so… sorry about that… but here they are for posterity. I thought I had a decant of Roasted Nuts, but I’ve had this package sitting on my desk for quite a while so I’m guessing I misplaced it somewhere along the line. Sadness.

90: Brioche: Sweet, wonderful brioche bread accord. Delicious!

HOLY YUM. In the vial this is sweet, buttery bread. It smells the same on skin, like a delicious croissant (or, you know, brioche). I love this one.

91: Dandelion: Bright, green, yellow, and very Spring-y!

In the vial: PERFECTION. Fresh, soft green, like holding a buttery dandelion under your nose. It’s mostly the same on skin, though it gets perhaps just a touch perfumey. I find that to be the case with most of Blooddrop’s grassy scents. But mostly this one is lovely.

92: Forest Soil: A dirt accord with forest notes.

Not what I was expecting. A strong, abrasive dirt scent with sharp pine. Not the kind of dirt scent I like… it smells like an “forest breeze” air freshener. On skin it smells like Pine-Sol. Blech.

93: Golden Accord No. 1: A blend of amber, myrrh, vanilla, orange, musk and soft florals to create this golden accord that has an ever so slight foody touch to it.

In the vial – musky orange and vanilla with a bit of incense. On skin the amber and myrrh get a little stronger, and then a lot stronger. It mostly drowns out the orange/vanilla creamsicle goodness, alas. This one also gave me a headache.

94: Guava: Lush, ripe, and exotic.

Intensely sweet and tropical in the vial – like guava candy. On skin it’s slightly more tart, but retains a kind of candy/gummy vibe. Love.

95: Irish Cream Liquor: An olfactory interpretation of your favorite after dinner drink, so do not drink!

In the vial – sweet, creamy whisky. It almost smells like irish cream candy. It’s the same on skin, a really light, delicious boozy scent.

96: Pineapple Candy: Sweet pineapple hard candy.

SWEET sweet sweet pineapple in the vial, very candy-ish, and something about it reminds me a tiny bit of bubble gum. On skin the bubblegum bit is stronger, oddly, but it smells good. Very tropical and fun, with a slightly powdered sugar vibe, like crunchy pineapple sugar candies. (Are those a thing? Probably not.)

97: Saffron: Earthy, distinctive saffron.

Ooh, this is weird. In the vial it’s earthy and very, very sharp. It’s pretty much the same on skin, maybe a little less sharp. I’m not a fan of this one.

98: Sweet Grass: Fresh, soft grass note. Different than a mown grass accord.

A slightly perfumey grass scent in the vial. Definitely not your classic “just mown grass” note. On skin it’s even more perfumey and reminds me very much of a “spring grass” scented candle. Do not like.

99: Tiramisu: Lady finger cookies soaked with espresso liquor and layered with sweetened mascarpone.

Very strong coffee liquor and a hint of cookies in the vial. The coffee has a sharp, very alcoholic edge. On skin it’s a bit sweeter and much creamier, and less alcoholic.

100: Toasted Rice: Rice lightly toasted with a hint of butter.

Sweet, buttery rice! Not sugary sweet, just like… a mild, starchy sweetness. On skin it’s a little less sweet and a little more toasty, but it also develops a kind of spiciness that I wasn’t expecting.

Overall Thoughts: Blooddrop is pretty hit or miss for me, and the Simplicities don’t often catch my attention, but this one had so many interesting options that I couldn’t resist. Out of the ones I tested, Brioche, Dandelion, and Guava are my favorites. I actually wish I would’ve tried these sooner so I could’ve picked up a bottle of Brioche, because actual bread scents are pretty rare and this one is amazing.

And now I’m only 8 behind! … Which is still a lot, but better than 18.

firebird spring scent reviews

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Firebird’s spring collection consisted of four new scents that definitely fit the season: Pomegranate Basil (YUM), Figs & Honey, Green Lemon, and Olive Blossom. I’ve had these samples for ages but am just getting around to reviewing them now, in August, which is decidedly not spring, because I have a backlog of perfume to review that is large enough to bury me alive. My kingdom for another nose.

As always, reviews were done as blindly as possible, but since Firebird’s scents are fairly simple and the names are usually descriptive, that’s kind of irrelevant with these guys.

Pomegranate Basil: Tart pomegranate and fruity red currant notes shine here, with an unexpected green accent of flowering basil and garden herbs. Fruity, herbal, bright and springy.

In the vial: Sweet, fruity, and lightly herbal. It smells delicious – like sorbet. As with most Firebird scents, it’s very similar on skin. It reminds me exactly of a sweet, fresh summer sorbet. Very fruity. After a few minutes, I get a little more of the herbal element. Which is basil. I know this because it’s called Pomegranate Basil. Blind testing Firebird scents is hard.

This reminds me a lot of Pomegranate Rose (obviously), but without the floral notes. Which means that I like it a lot more than Pomegranate Rose and will require a bottle ASAP already ordered a bottle.

Figs & Honey: Golden wildflower honey blended with ripe fig and a wisp of coconut. The fig adds a greenness to temper the honey’s sweetness; the coconut brings a slight creaminess to round out the blend. Soft and gentle like a summer breeze.

In the vial: sweet, creamy, golden honey. I think I smell a little coconut? On skin it opens up the same. It’s very rich and sweet and just beautiful. I’m definitely getting coconut. There’s also a hint of something a bit green, just adding a slight contrast to all the sweetness. That’d be the figs.

I don’t like Firebird’s other figs scent (Moroccan Fig), but I love this one. Another addition to the bottle list for sure bottle that’s on its way to my house right now.

Green Lemon: Bright juicy lemon, green lemon leaf, and citrusy verbena make up this cheerful, sunny blend. 

In the vial: fresh, extremely zesty lemon. I’m also getting kind of lime-y vibe. It’s like non-carbonated Sprite. On skin it’s a bit less zesty, and overall just a little softer. This is a really light, energizing kind of scent. The kind of thing you’d put on on a dreary Monday morning when you can barely lift your head off the pillow. The sillage is pretty low, though, which isn’t terribly surprising for a scent that’s mostly citrus notes.

Olive Blossom: Olive Blossom is a delicate green floral with notes of green tea and sparkling lemon. A light and pretty spa-type blend.

In the vial: very light and clean. A little green. I’m having trouble getting much from this one in the vial. On skin it’s a little more detectable, but still a soft, clean scent. It smells like walking into a spa, or maybe the kind of shampoo they use at really fancy salons. Or an aromatherapy candle called “Still Waters” or some flowery BS like that. It’s nice, but it’s too quiet for me.

That’s it for Firebird’s Spring scents! I adore Pomegranate Basil and Figs & Honey, like but don’t love Green Lemon, and am pretty meh about Olive Blossom.

If you’re interested in any of these, check out Firebird Bath & Body’s Etsy shop or their standalone site.

possets the night sky reviews

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nightskySometime last month, I picked up a trio of decants from Possets’ spring collection, The Night Sky. I’ve had very little experience with Possets – I have a small handful of swapped or frimped samples in one of my boxes, but I don’t think I’ve even sniffed most of them. The only one I recall reviewing is Reason, which I didn’t care for, and the only one I have that I know I like is Washington State, because apples.

Reviews were done blind (or as blind as possible, considering that the notes are on the decant labels) and descriptions are added after the fact.

Arcturus: It’s a beautiful dark foodie blend which is a true hybrid between the wearable vanillas and those which you just wish to put your tongue on. Madagascar, two Mexican vanilla, and a dry and almost earthy Tahitian vanilla blend together to make a superb concoction for seduction.

In the vial: sweet vanilla musk. On skin I’m still getting mostly a musky vanilla, but it’s a bit deeper and smoother. It’s not quite a super sweet bakery vanilla – it’s darker than that, but not to the point of being what I’d call a “dark vanilla” either. It’s a nice blend, if not spectacularly interesting since it’s all vanilla. I’m at the point in my perfume-sniffing life where although I love vanilla IN things, scents that are just vanilla vanilla vanilla don’t usually excite me very much. The longer this wore, the more it started to remind me of Warm Vanilla Sugar from Bath & Body works or something. Nice enough, but a bit generic. Stellar lasting power, though – I’ll give it that.

Vega: A bright yellow golden musk combined with a light sugary accord, golden hawthorne, lush pink citrus paradisii and a small amount of bukhoor (Arabian incense).

In the vial: some sort of very sweet citrus, like grapefruit covered in piles of sugar, over a lighter musky base. On skin it’s the same – sweet grapefruit, sugar, and musk. After a few minutes just a tiny bit of something woody or incense-y starts to come out – not strong, it’s actually very subtle, but it serves to tone down the sugary sweetness a touch. This one is really nice. I don’t usually like grapefruit notes – they tend to be either too “fizzy” or too abrasive and cleaner-y – but this one is neither of those things. I quite like it. I’ll have to test it out a few more times, but I wouldn’t hate having a bottle of this around. My only complaint is that unlike Cygnus and especially Arcturus, which is extremely strong and barely lessened even after washing it off, this faded pretty quickly.

Cygnus the Swan: Cygnus (the Swan) is a very very very very sexy blend of the scent of real vanilla, rose, golden musk, sugar concentrate (do not eat this), an accord which smells a lot like fondant, and a pink musk which I have not used before.

In the vial: SWEET. Sweet sweet sweet x infinity. Vanilla and sugar and something creamy and frosting-like. There’s something else underneath, something… pink? Weird. But on cold sniff this is mostly just an explosion of sweetness. On skin it’s still very, very sweet, but that pink note (do you ever smell colors?) is stronger. It’s fruity or floral, I can’t quite tell. Something lighter than the vanilla layer cake it’s mixed into. As it wear it gets stronger and stronger, which is problematic since I don’t really like it. It smells almost alcoholic, like rosé wine. This perfume is like cake and wine. Strong wine. It’s got an almost sour tang to it. I’m not a fan.

When I asked The Dude to sniff this he said, “that smells like Dimetapp. That’s straight cough syrup.” I can see it.

No huge hits for me here – I like Vega, but I’m not 100% sold on it, Arcturus doesn’t do anything for me, and Cygnus turned into something downright unpleasant. I’m glad I tried them out, though, because I’ve been curious about Possets as a brand. I’ll have to pull out the rest of what I have and give them a try soon.

All currently available from Possets.

blooddrop walpurga’s night + charming

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A quick little duo of reviews today. (A revieuo? I’m sorry.) I recently picked up a single lonesome decant from Blooddrop’s May Day collection, and when I received my order there was an extra little sniffie tucked inside – a scent called Charming.

Walpurga’s Night: Peach blossom, sweet peaches, mimosa, muhuhu, copaiba balsam, and bonfire accord.

In the vial this smells mostly like peach, a little bit floral, with a touch of something green and woody. On skin the peach is much softer at first – sometimes I think I smell it, but sometimes I don’t at all. Mostly I get that woody green note and a bit of smoke, with a faintly floral peachy sweetness in the background. After a few minutes the peach gets stronger again. I wasn’t crazy about this when I first put it on, but I really like how it dries down. It’s a sweet, slightly floral peach with a bit of wood and a tiny wisp of smoke, just enough to keep it from being candy sweet. It’s really nice.

I believe I will need a bottle of this.

Charming: Lemon and bergamot tea cakes and lilac blossoms.

Sweet mother of god, this smells amazing. It’s super sweet, rich, buttery lemon cake. On skin the lemon is a bit more tart, but otherwise it’s the same. There’s a hint of something lightly floral in there, underneath all the sweetness, and it comes out a bit more after a few minutes. It’s not even close to being a dominant part of the scent, but it combines with the slightly tart lemon to lighten up the sweet cakey notes. On further dry down, the whole thing softens into a sweet, slightly floral lemon with a bit of cake – no real trace of tartness and not nearly so bakery sweet as it started.

Ugh, it’s awesome. This is what I wanted Haus of Gloi’s Splendiferous to smell like. It smells so good.

The catch here is that it doesn’t seem to be available for purchase. It’s not on the Blooddrop website anywhere, and I didn’t order it from the decant circle – it was tucked into my package as an extra. The only mention I can find of it is on Blooddrop’s Facebook page, where an inquiry about its availability for purchase on its own has gone unanswered. I know that Blooddrop likes to slip one-off mystery perfumes into orders over a certain amount – they’re called Mercis – but since Charming has a name, and stated notes, I’m really hoping that it’s a preview from a coming collection and not a one-off thing that won’t be available again. I need a bottle of this beauty in my life.

On the off chance that it’s NOT ever made available, however, I do have a few suggestions for things that are close-ish. None are the same, of course, but there is no shortage of sweet lemon scents out there.

OHWTO The Cake is a LieLemon-filled butter cake with thick, fluffy frosting. Lemon, Sugar, Cake batter & Frosting. (Reminds me very much of the rich lemon cake part of Charming.)

OHWTO CarnivaleCotton candy, orange soda, lemon snow cones and vanilla ice cream all come together to evoke memories of the sweetest part of childhood summer nights. (Not as cakey, but on me this smells like sweet lemon candy. It reminds me a bit of the final dry-down, sans soft floral notes. This one is probably the least similar but it kept sticking in my mind so it bears mentioning.)

Haus of Gloi Honeysuckle Lemon Curd: Rich and lemony with a touch of fresh honeysuckle. (More tart throughout than Charming, but they’re both sweet lemony scents with floral elements. The honeysuckle is more prominent in this one than the floral in Charming.)

Check out Walpurga’s Night and all of Blooddrop’s other offerings (but not, for the time being at least, Charming) here.

solstice scents spring 2014

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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.

blooddrop whinnies + horses of the carousel

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Excuse the shitty photo. I was a trying a thing. Also missing The Mountain Horse!

The rest of my Blooddrop decants! Just one from the Whinnies collection, and I have an extra Horse of the Carousel, but it was left out of my original package and had to be sent separately, so I’ll add that when it gets here.

The scent descriptions for the Horses of the Carousel are very pretty but very long and elaborate, so to save a bit of text I’ll just copy over the portion containing the scent notes. But if you’re interested in any of these, I definitely recommend popping over to Blooddrop and checking out the full descriptions.

Whinnies No. 2: Marshmallow with vanilla mango sorbet, dusted with nutmeg.

Sweet mango and vanilla. It’s very buttery on literal first sniff, but as I smell it longer the fruity mango gets stronger. The vanilla has a powderiness to it. (That’d be the marshmallow.) This smells really, really good. On skin it’s surprisingly subtle. It’s buttery vanilla and mango, but it smells more like a mango dessert than the slightly tart mango I was getting in the vial.

The Aurous Horse: It smells of a vanilla bean cupcake with vanilla frosting covered in yellow and white daisy sugar flowers and edible gold stars.

(Another decant in the bottle!) EXTREMELY buttery vanilla. Like buttercream frosting. Wow. That is potent. On skin it’s still vanilla, vanilla, vanilla, but it’s much smoother and I can smell some cake. It’s not a complex scent. If you like bakery vanillas, you’ll like this.

The Glittering Horse: Its perfume is of vanilla fruit candy, a touch of mint leaf and old-fashioned stick rock sugar candy.

Fruit and a little mint. It smells like Starbursts, or Laffy Taffy, or Airheads – it’s reminding me of a very specific candy that I can’t place and it’s driving me nuts. But it smells like candy, in any case. Not bad, but I’m not super into it. On skin it’s sweeter and I get more vanilla. I like it more than I did in the vial but it’s still very candy-ish and it’s driving me crazy that I can’t place the smell.

The Lyrical Horse: Its scent is a pink vanilla cupcake with raspberry jam filling and raspberry meringue frosting softly ascending upwards.

It smells pink. Fruit and cake. There’s that buttercream thing going on in the background. On skin it’s cake and fruit (as opposed to fruit and cake). It’s still quite buttery and the whole affair is smoother. It smells much nicer than in the vial. I like it.

The Twisted Horse: Its scent is that of a fried dough, churro-like cupcake made with a vanilla and cinnamon sugar spiced batter. It has a crisp outer texture with a light fluffy interior and is dusting with powdered sugar and gold dust.

This smells like churros. All cinnamon and sugar. On my skin the cinnamon amps up, of course (it always does), and it smells more like sweet Big Red. Damn you, cinnamon!

The Mountain Horse: Its scent is a dense, thick chocolate cupcake with a chocolate pudding center and dark chocolate glazed top.

In the vial this is chocolate liqueur. It’s intense and a little boozy. On skin it’s a little less intense and smells more like chocolate mousse or pudding. Some kind of thick chocolatey dessert. This isn’t a complicated scent – if you like chocolate perfumes, you’ll like this.

These collections are limited edition, but some scents are still available: Whinnies & Horses of the Carousel.

blooddrop spring simplicities

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This is kind of a shitty photo. I was trying a thing. It didn’t really work out.

These are some of my very first Blooddrops! Before I got these decants in the mail, I only had one other thing from the brand – a dram of Dandelion Wine that I picked up on a whim from someone in a sale. (I actually already wrote the review for it, too, I just keep forgetting to take a picture.) But when a decant circle popped up, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try some things out without gambling on full bottles. In this post I’ll cover what I got from the Spring Simplicities collection.

Strawberry Buttercream: Unctuous sugared buttercream with strawberries and a hint of vanilla bean.

Extremely, extremely sweet and rich. Thick strawberry buttercream. Does what it says on the tin. This is extremely different on my skin, to the point where I went back and made sure I was putting on the right oil. It’s strawberry, but it’s much, much less sweet and I almost get a green note from it, like a strawberry that hasn’t been picked yet. How strange. It does get sweeter, but never as sweet as in the vial, and I don’t get that same buttercream richness from it.

Somalian Rose: Beautiful, soft, sophisticated rose without being over bearing.

A soft, slightly green rose. Like a rose bush, complete with leafy green bits. It’s very much the same on skin. If anything the green note is a little stronger. It fades back a bit as it dries and smells more traditionally rose-y. This is interesting, but not my cup of tea. It reads a little “perfumey” to me. I’m starting to realize that I like my rose in combination with something sweet.

Lilac: The quintessential blossom of spring.

It’s lilac. Straight up. It’s floral, but it’s got a crisp, greenish element to it. There was a lilac bush outside of my grandma’s house when I was little, and I always loved the smell. This pretty much smells like sticking your face in that lilac bush. I do get a slightly perfumey edge to this one too, but I’m starting to think I just equate any and all floral smells with perfuminess, so ymmv. It’s pretty much the same on skin, if a little softer, which seems to be a theme with these. It’s a little less green and much less perfumey.  Just soft, fresh lilac. I’m not really a floral scent fan, so I would never need a bottle of this, but lilac is a happy memory scent and I’m glad to have this little bit around.

Early Grass: I created this accord to represent the early green grass of spring that doesn’t yet have that full on grass scent, but is damp with spots of snow, thin and barren in spots with dirt showing, and cold.

My first impression is that this is oddly, unexpectedly sweet. It’s grassy, for sure, and I get some dirt, but it’s just… a little sweet, which is weird. On skin it’s very soft, and still quite sweet to my nose. Not bakery sweet, but… grass sweet. Is that a thing? It smells like dewy grass. It’s really nice. I don’t really get any dirt on skin.

Raspberry Tisane: A tisane is an herbal tea in French. This raspberry tisane has sweetened raspberry notes with gentle supporting notes of hibiscus, rosehips, and lemongrass.

(This is a decant, I was just lucky enough to get the one left in the bottle!) Ooh, I like this one. It smells like lightly sweet raspberry. It’s not super tart or chewable-aspirin-y like raspberry can sometimes be. I detect a slight floral edge. It becomes less slight the longer I sniff at it. On skin that floral edge is quite a bit stronger. The raspberry is there, but it’s a secondary note, and much less sweet. The balance shifts back as it dries, but in general I liked this one a little more in the bottle.

The Spring Simplicities collection is (mostly) still available from Blooddrop.

haus of gloi spring 2014

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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.)

OHWTO Bluebell

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What else would a luminous rabbit smell of? Blueberries and Lychee fruit, Clover, Lilies, White Musk, and Zucchini Blossoms straight from the garden.

In the tube this smelled fresh and green and fruity, and I got a lot of clover from it, which is one of my very favorite scent notes. But on skin it changed quite a bit – first the lychee and the lily came out very strong, then the lychee faded a bit and the lily and musk took over. It’s much more floral than I expected from cold sniffing, and alas, I get little to no clover.

After it wears for a bit, the blueberry starts to peek out again, but it’s not enough to save it for me.

Final Verdict: Not for me. It’s funny, when I first smelled it in the tube I was immediately like, “BOTTLE LIST.” But now? Not so much. Florals and musk are two things that don’t work very well for me, so this one is getting a pass.

first sniff impressions: OHWTO spring 2014

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Form a single-file line, please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit OHWTO on Etsy if anything piqued your interest!