12/6/14

Review & First Impressions: InstaNatural Skincare Products

Recently, I received three products from a brand called InstaNatural through a Brandbacker campaign. I got the Youth Express Eye Gel, Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and the Vitamin C Facial Toner. All of these items and more from InstaNatural can be purchase on their website or from their Amazon page.

The main focus of this review is for the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which can be purchased at these links:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K2O3NV2
http://instanatural.com/products/hyaluronic-acid-serum/

The other two items were extras for my consideration. Onwards to the reviews!

11/24/14

Perfume Review: Miscellaneous Arcana Scents

During The Soap Box Company's Veterans Day sale, I decided to pick up a bunch of Arcana samples because they (the sample size option; not the scents themselves) are going to be discontinued soon (not like it really matters because I always buy Arcana scents completely blind and as full bottles...). I was buying a bunch of other things (Villainess and Arcana mud masks. Reviews coming soon!), but I also wanted to try some new Arcana smells I've been eyeing, so for the first time ever, I bought Arcana samples. HAHAHA. I bought five of them and received Gloom as a freebie with my order.

Read on after the cut for the reviews and pics!

11/22/14

Perfume Review: RIPE Shop First Impressions

I saw RIPE Shop a while back while lurking Etsy (as I always do), and although the photography and brand aesthetics are beautiful, the products never really intrigued me. They carry a lot of simple, linear perfumes (1-3 note blends), lip balms, and a bunch of other bath & body items, which are all things that don't appeal all that much to me. However, I discovered a 14% off sale while I was on /r/indiemakeupandmore, and you know how I do with sales...

Bought - 5/8/2014
Shipped - 5/14/2014
Received - 5/19/2014

I bought three perfumes. They usually run for $10.50 each, and they come in 10ml rollerball bottles.

Pictures and stuff after the cut!

11/21/14

Perfume Review: One Hand Washes The Other Apple Scents

Lately, if you've been reading my posts, I've been kinda obsessed with all things apple. I asked for apple perfume suggestions on /r/IndieMakeupAndMore a while ago, and some of the big apple perfume connoisseurs (/u/swimmingmonkey and /u/more_tea_wesley) suggested some OHWTO scents. I can't remember which one said what, but whatever HERE'S A POST ON OHWTO AND THREE OF THEIR APPLE SCENTS. All of these can be purchased at OHWTO's etsy store.

Bought - 10/8/2014
Shipped - 10/29/2014
Received - 11/1/2014

The TAT is kind of hard to bear for some (my past self definitely complained about the TAT; I once swore off buying from OHWTO because I was incredibly underwhelmed and the TAT was also too long for me). However, lately I've been very patient with packages because I don't really need anything urgently anymore, so now I don't mind.

Pictures and reviews after the cut. :D

11/17/14

Perfume Review: Alchimia Apothecary Choose Your Own Adventure Blends

Sometimes a scent gets discontinued. Whatcha gonna do? Sometimes you've been looking around forever for a specific scent, and it's nowhere to be found. WHAT DO YOU DO? Luckily for many people, including me, there are some shops that offer custom blends. One of them is Alchimia Apothecary.

I've ordered from Alchimia Apothecary 3 times now, and all three times were to buy custom-blended perfumes, called "Choose Your Own Adventure"(s). My first order ever was to make a maple bacon vanilla ice cream scent for my friend. I don't have that one anymore, but I do remember that it smelled like maple bacon and vanilla. Win. I bought two more CYOAs my second order and five more for my most recent order. Here are my thoughts on those seven.

11/11/14

Updated Perfume Bottle Stash as of Nov. 11, 2014

Hello everyone! It's been a while since I've done an inventory count. I do one periodically just to remind myself of how much shit I have to use up to discourage myself from buying more (the effect typically lasts about 2 weeks) and also to shop my stash and rediscover old favorites.

I started off doing today's stash update thinking that I'm just gonna photograph my Arcana collection. Then I just decided to photograph the rest as well since I had a day off and there was decent lighting in my room.

Hope you all enjoy my massive display of consumerism and lack of self-control. In my defense, this collection was a work in progress starting in 2011, and I've gotten rid of many scents that I don't like so that I now just have a streamlined collection of stuff I actually love and use regularly.

This post shows what my stash was like back in May 2014 (five months ago). I have bought and sold a whole ton of bottles since then, but my storage setup has stayed the same in exception of a couple of boxes I switched out for better quality plastic containers.

Onwards to the photos!

11/4/14

Review: Arcana Hieronymus Bosch's "The Seven Deadly Sins and The Four Last Things" Perfume Collection

A little while ago, Arcana Soaps, one of my favorite perfume companies ever, released a collection exlcusive to The Soap Box Co. inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's painting called "The Seven Deadly Sins and The Last Four Things." I'm not familiar with the painter nor the painting, but most of the descriptions for the perfumes intrigued me. So what did I do? Bought almost all of them unsniffed in full bottles. Oh yes. I bought seven of the bottles from The Soap Box Co., and I bought one last super rare, super limited bottle from Arcana's own ebay shop.

Read on for reviews!

10/16/14

Daily Scent Review: Arcana Ganesh

In an attempt to motivate myself to blog every day, I will now start this new feature on my blog in which I write a review for a scent that I have every day. Hopefully this will also help me get through my stash and revisit tons of unloved bottles!

Arcana Soaps "Ganesh" Perfume

ARCANA GANESH
Honor the generous and happy spirit of Sri Ganesha and he will bless you greatly. A large, joyous snoutful of coconut cake is snugly wrapped in honey, vanilla, Indonesian clove, green coconut, and a warm blend of spices.
In the bottle, I smell very strong honey and vanilla. On my skin, I get a burst of cake, and then dusty, plasticky, coconut (which is what I always get with coconut, unfortunately). This persists throughout the wear, with a touch of metallic clove coming up later on. Coconut and cloves are both notes that I'm wary of because the former turns to plastic and the latter turns to metal (this is consistent across all brands I've tried with those notes). Thus, unfortunately, I am not a fan of this.

What did you wear today?

10/9/14

Shiro Cosmetics Custom Glosses: Plausible Walrus, I Loved a Maid, Bowties are Cool, Women's Weapons

I bought these Shiro custom glosses back during the anniversary sale in April, but never got around to putting up swatches until now! Shame on me. Plausible Walrus and Bowties are Cool are no longer available (they were COTMs). The formula is non-sticky and feels like a liquid lipstick. These are awesome. I got all of them in opaque with no flavor/scent. I only dislike Plausible Walrus because it's too metallic for my tastes, but the other three are nice (albeit quite similar).

On to the swatches!

L to R: Plausible Walrus, I Loved a Maid, Bowties are Cool, Women's Weapons

7/10/14

Fyrinnae Lip Lustre Haul and Swatches!

Fyrinnae recently had a rare sale on its lip lustres. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

Fyrinnae Lip Lustres. L to R: Visual Kei, Sexy Nerd, Pygmy Hippo, Winter Romance, Dragon's Blood, Nemesis

I bought six colors: Visual Kei, Sexy Nerd, Pygmy Hippo, Winter Romance, Dragon's Blood, and Nemesis. I'm actually really sad that I didn't pick up 1952, Meloncholy, and Queer Theory as well. Maybe next time. I also bought a full jar of Tapir and a mini of Debonair and got a freebie of the new blush, Greek Goddess. I'll swatch those another time! Lip lustre swatches after the cut. :)


6/22/14

Makeup Review: Dreamworld Hermetica Blushes

I heard a few good things about Dreamworld Hermetica, so I bought 3 blushes during a sale a while back. I'm actually incredibly late with this, so this is gonna be a quick and short review.

6/6/14

DIATRIBE: I fucking hate dropper caps.


The name of this blog was imported from my original blog, a tumblr. I created that tumblr as a means for my angry outbursts. I have a hot temper, and a lot of things piss me off. Most of the time, nobody really wants to listen to my cussing, so my diatribe tumblr was born.
diatribe (n.) - a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.
It eventually morphed into a perfume review blog because I somehow ended up writing more about things that make me happy rather than things that piss me off. When I made the switch to blogger, I kept the name and the subject matter--indie perfume and makeup--but ever since the creation of these blogs, I really haven't talked shit about anything. Here is the first post that will tap back into my original reason for blogging--TALKING SHIT--all while still being related to my current content, indie products.

5/21/14

Perfume Review: Sugar & Spite Bathery

Okay, so my first indie perfume company was The Morbid The Merrier. I fell in love with many of the scents that I ordered, and I became a rabid fangirl. Much to my dismay, the shop closed down due to financial problems. However, more recently, Lysa the owner reopened as Sugar & Spite Bathery. She's slowly bringing back some popular scents from her TMTM line, and I just had to buy some samples of the ones I've never tried! (And you bet I'll be buying full bottles of the ones I DID try and loved, once they come back.)


5/13/14

HUGE Arcana Lot Haul!

I was lurking on Evil Enablers when I saw that someone was selling a lot of 11 Arcana full bottles for a ridiculous price of $50. I saw that someone else bought one of the bottles (there were two bottles of one scent), and then the OP offered the rest of the lot for $40.

HOLY SHIT. OF COURSE I HAD TO JUMP IN.

5/8/14

Swatches of most of Fyrinnae's Blushes!

After getting Enchanted and Nordic Angel (swatches and stuff can be seen here), I kinda got too excited and decided I'd get all of the blushes except for Enrapture (I owned Enrapture a few years ago and sold it off because it was too pigmented and hard to deal with).

Fyrinnae's blushes are pigmented, soft, and blendable. I really dig them. :D

Swatches after the cut!

5/7/14

Little Sparrow Cosmetics: First Impressions & Swatches



Little Sparrow Cosmetics is a relatively new shop that sells blushes, lip products, and eyeshadows. Her blushes are getting a lot of buzz over in the subreddit /r/Indiemakeupandmore, so of course I got intrigued. She carries unique colors like blue, maroon, lavender, and more. Definitely a good niche to fill because I'm allllll about color and putting it all over my face. :D (Her lip jellies, something like a really pigmented tinted lip balm, also are getting raves but I'm not much of a lip person.)

I finally placed an order during a small 15% off sale that occurred right as three new blush shades were released. I ordered the three new shades and one of the older shades: a full-sized jar of Foxglove and 3 mini sizes of Nightshade, Wolfsbane, and Lavender.

5/4/14

Current Indie Perfume Stash!

My entire makeup and perfume collection has inflated and deflated over the years, but at this point it has reached a plateau (there can only be so many things that I want before I purchase them all...). Anyway, today's post will be to show-off/display my indie perfume stash.

Even with my current number of indie perfumes, note that I've sold off around 20 bottles, 10 solids, and hundreds of sample vials over the years as well. And all of this just basically proves that I'm insane. Done.

Without further ado, here are some pictures!

5/2/14

A few Fyrinnae Shadows and their Possible Dupes - Swatches!

I've been meaning to do a side by side swatch comparison of some of Fyrinnae's shadows and some of their possible dupes from other indie companies. I know a lot of people rag on Fyrinnae for their "shitty" customer service, so a lot of people are always asking for dupes.

Most recently, there was another twitter fiasco and a bunch of people are saying they'll never shop again (see bottom of this post if you want to read my opinion; it's in white text), so hopefully these photos will be useful!

4/30/14

Just a Small Update & Hauls

I'll be putting up a TON of swatches and reviews soon, but in the meantime, here are some images of the packages I've received in the mail these past couple of weeks.

Images after the cut!

4/27/14

Darling Girl Cosmetics Review & Swatches!

Darling Girl Cosmetics

Darling Girl Cosmetics
As I've mentioned before, previously, I had only bought two eyeshadows from DGC years ago, and then more recently I bought the primer and glitter glue and fell in love. At the end of March, I came back once again and bought 2 more primpers and 20 (!!) petit eyeshadows of a bunch of duochromey colors.

Read on for some verbal diarrhea about DGC and Fyrinnae and TONS OF SWATCHES!

4/21/14

Makeup Review: Siren Cosmetics

I discovered Siren Cosmetics through the awesome people of /r/Indiemakeupandmore. I really need to stop going to that subreddit because all of the threads there are influencing me to spend wayyyyy more than I should be spending right now. D:

Anyway, Siren Cosmetics carries sample bags for $0.50 and full sized, 10g jars for $7. I was originally not interested at all in this shop, but after seeing this post from Lipstick & Librairies and the awesome swatch of Teenage Kicks, I thought WELLLLLLL LET'S GO SPEND SOME MONEY.

Tons of photos after the cut!

Perfume Review: Alkemia

Sooooo.... this is my third or fourth order from Alkemia. I'm definitely getting addicted to this shop.

Bought - 4/6/2014
Shipped - 4/7/2014
Received - 4/10/2014

As usual, Alkemia's service is quick and painless. I don't think I've ever come across a shop that is faster than Alkemia! TAKE A LOOK AT DAT TAT.

I've bought from here a few times now, but this is the first time I've ever bought FULL BOTTLES. HOHOHO. Not only that, my choices for the bottles is also a first for me. They aren't my usual "witchcraft bakery" scents (sweet gourmands mixed with woods/resins). These are gorgeous, lovely "fresh" scents in comparison to what I usually gravitate towards. Most of Alkemia's smells are very "department store"-like without the shitty alcohol burst nor the synthetic feeling that often comes with mainstream perfumes. Alkemia uses a lot more "traditional" notes that you might find in a department store perfume, but they smell more rich and real. Alkemia scents don't have that super hippie flair that I get from most indie shops. Alkemia's scents are more universally friendly and "upscale"-smelling in the sense that the vibe they give off could easily pass for a large perfume house like Guerlain or something. Very sophisticated, complex, and so well-blended that you can't easily identify one single prominent note at any given time. (At least that's my impression of Alkemia scents.)

Tons of pictures after the cut!

4/20/14

Perfume Reviews for Alkemia, Darling Clandestine, Deep Midnight, & BPAL as Told By My Boyfriend

I'm always telling my man to smell my perfumes and to give me his opinion. He's been telling me that he actually enjoys smelling my perfumes, so I've asked him to give a "formal review" on several scents that I had on hand. Here's what he said!

4/17/14

Swatches: Illamasqua Lover, Fyrinnae Nordic Angel & Enchant

A long time ago (1-2 years ago), I went to Sephora and asked a sales associate to find my shade with Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation and to recommend me a good blush for my skintone. She put Illamasqua "Lover" on my face and GODDAMN I REALLY DID FALL IN LOVE. However, at the time, I was pretty broke (well, still broke) and couldn't justify buying it ($26 for a blush? FORREAL?!). The thought of Lover never left my mind though, so recently when Sephora had a 15% off coupon, I took that chance to nab Lover (finally! I've wanted it for so long!).

I ONLY SAVED $3.90 BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS WORTH IT OKAY

I've been in a coral/pink/orange blush kick lately (the brighter the better), so while I was browsing Fyrinnae and adding some shadows I don't have into my cart, I decided to just throw in the blushes Nordic Angel and Enchant as well. I also, for some reason, remembered Lover to be a lot brighter than it actually is, so at the time that I was buying Nordic Angel and Enchant, I was hoping one of them could end up being a dupe for Lover so that I can return it (and get dat money back because the price still scars me).

Swatches of all three blushes after the cut!

4/16/14

First Impressions & Swatches: Notoriously Morbid

I first heard about Notoriously Morbid through the cool people of /r/Indiemakeupandmore. I remember briefly browsing the site for a bit but wasn't intrigued by anything, so I kinda forgot about NM. Later on, I asked people on /r/Indiemakeupandmore for recommendations on gold duochromes, and a few people suggested Quiet in the Dark and Gretel's Ghost from NM. I went back to check out NM (this time on Etsy), and then added those two shadows to my cart for kicks. I wasn't going to purchase anything, but after hemming and hawing for a while, I ended up buying the blogger package out of curiosity (haha).

Picture-heavy post!

Swatches of Fyrinnae Eyeshadows After DIY Pressing (Part 2)

Here are swatches of the rest of my Fyrinnae shadows after I pressed them with lube and alcohol. :) All swatches are done in natural lighting (sunlight) unless stated otherwise. The upper half of the swatch is patted and swept over Darling Girl Cosmetics Primped and Primed primer. The bottom half is on bare skin. I used a $1 ELF eyeshadow brush to apply.

Observation about these shadows after pressing and other notes:
  • All of the colors shown in this post have more of a metallic finish to them. I noticed that pressing these didn't really change their pigmentation/the way they applied compared to when they were loose.
  • The result is opposite from the effect that pressing did on the colorful shadows from this post.
  • Of course, they still look better when used over a primer.

This post is extremely picture heavy after the cut.

4/11/14

Swatches of Fyrinnae Eyeshadows After DIY Pressing (Part 1)

Here are swatches of my Fyrinnae shadows after I pressed them with lube and alcohol. :) All swatches are done in natural lighting (sunlight). The upper half of the swatch is patted and swept over Darling Girl Cosmetics Primped and Primed primer. The bottom half is on bare skin. I used a $1 ELF eyeshadow brush.

Observations about the shadows after pressing:
  • Now, they are pretty much rubbish without a primer. Before, I could use them alone without a primer and still be able to get a decent look.
  • Mephisto and Meerkat "bled" a lot when I pressed them, releasing all of their color into the napkin. This affected their pigmentation and boldness, so now the base of Meerkat is muted and sheer, and Mephisto is now a sheer, dark blue black instead of pigmented dark navy.

This post is extremely picture heavy after the cut.

Pressing Fyrinnae Shadows and Short Review on Book of Shadows

After seeing a ton of pressed eyeshadow pr0nz everywhere, I got the pressing itch and decided to press my Fyrinnae shadows.

I PRESSED SOME OF MY FYRINNAE SHADOWS


SO PRETTAY

4/10/14

Perfume Review: Wild Hybrid

Note: This was imported from my tumblr. It was written more than a year ago.

Wild Hybrid

A perfume company (also makes soaps and jewelry) based in New Zealand! Woohoo international business!

Perfume Review: Midnight Gypsy Alchemy

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr. This was written more than a year ago.

Bought - 3/17/2013
Shipped - 3/25/2013
Received - 3/29/2013

Midnight Gypsy Alchemy was one of the first companies I ever found on etsy after searching for "chocolate perfume." At the time, I thought that $16.95 for an indie perfume was horrendously expensive, and so I didn't purchase from this store.

4/6/14

Everything I've Ever Bought from Fyrinnae

I was looking through my past invoices, and just thought I'd compile a list of all the things I've bought from Fyrinnae. I've also included an order that never went through because at the last minute I decided I didn't want to spend money. In hindsight, I should've bought it since those colors are all discontinued now, and at that time I think Fyrinnae still had free shipping for orders over $20.

Perfume Review: Sarawen Perfume Art The Blue Box Sampler (9, 10, 11)

**NOTE: THIS WAS WRITTEN A YEAR AGO**

I just won 2nd place in a perfume giveaway from SaraWen Perfume Art!
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First place winner gets ALL 3 of the new Doctor Who perfumes in the FULL-sized bottle, and 2nd place gets all 3 of them in the mini-size bottle. I got 2nd place. :D

4/5/14

Some Fyrinnae Swatches

This was an order I bought and received sometime ago in February 2014. It's the first order I ever placed after Fyrinnae changed its formula to its current clumpy ball form. These are some pretty shit-tastic swatches, but I did them right after I opened my package.

All swatches done with my finger, swiped onto bare skin. Taken in indoor unnatural lighting. Slightly color adjusted in photoshop to make it less yellow (my room light is super yellow).

Photos after the cut!

3/31/14

Makeup Review: Darling Girl Cosmetics Primer & Glitter Glue

I've bought from Darling Girl Cosmetics once before. I got a full sized jar in Persuasion and Sushi Flower, and that was it. It was years ago. I never used those shadows (I was on a purple kick at the time and bought every pretty purpley color I came across).

More recently, I bought ten mini jars from Femme Fatale. I can tell the colors are beautiful duochromes, but I can't get them to come up with their lovely sheens because I didn't have a primer. I do own Fyrinnae's infamous Pixie Epoxy, but due to my inability to learn how to use it properly (I always used too much or I let it dry too long, etc.) and the fact that it makes blending a lot more difficult, I never use it. It has taken residence somewhere in my numerous makeup boxes. Anyway, I came across DGC's primer from somewhere. I was doing a lot of googling on indie primers and settled on buying DGC's.

3/30/14

Indie Perfume Sale!

PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK TO GO TO MY PERMANENT, FREQUENTLY UPDATED SALES PAGE.


My dad was recently diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer Update 4/23/2014: Sadly, my father passed away, and because of that I've been trying to raise some funds and also to clear out my stash. Everything needs to go!

Here are a bunch of perfume bottles that definitely deserve more love. Descriptions and prices of each bottle are below the pictures! Descriptions are taken from the shops' official listings and descriptions (either through etsy or facebook).

3/28/14

Perfume Review: The Mindful Mushroom

Bought - 3/29/2013 (midnight-ish)
Shipped - 3/29/2013 (morning)
Received - 4/1/2013

The Mindful Mushroom is a company I've been wanting to try for a while. Has a very large selection of perfumes (there are also eyeshadows and jewelry, I think). The shipping is fast, customer service/response is great, and packaging is unique.

A little bit bummed that there weren't any free samples, but those should never be expected anyway. Still not used to it since the majority of other places I've bought from have given freebies. Haha.

Photos and reviews after the cut!

Perfume Review: Saturnalia by Deep Midnight Perfumes

Bought - 3/25/2013
Shipped - 3/27/2013
Received - 3/29/2013

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I bought a full-sized bottle of Saturnalia and also got 2 freebies in Black Arrow and Aloysius.
SATURNALIA
This scent evokes the feeling of ancient ritual and festivity with an earthy mix of Arabian sandalwood, Sudanese frankincense, and patchouli blended with the aromas of roasted chestnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, and finished with cranberries and sweet cake.
I'm so, so glad that I chose to give all of Deep Midnight's smells a second chance through that revisited series. Before, Saturnalia was just whatever, but after trying it a second time when I'm not raging with retarded hormones, I found it fricken delicious and I needed a full-size bottle IMMEDIATELY.

I also have to add that after a few more uses, I think the best way to describe it is that it is like cranberry tea with sweet cream and light powdery incense with an overall creamy feel. IT'S AMAZING.
_____

BLACK ARROW
Deep resins, blackened honey, and smoldering dragonfire envelop you in a daring, dark, and adventurous scent.

THOUGHTS: Very deep, pungent resin. It's sharp, heavy and strong. No honey. A bit smokey. Very interesting and very masculine, and it smells pretty decent but I can't smell it for prolonged periods of time before I get a little sick of it.
_____

ALOYSIUS
Decadent old wood, rum, rich dark leather, and soft touches of sugar, citrus and mint.

THOUGHTS: I used to layer equal parts of Darling Clandestine's Tapadero, Serpentina, and Mad As Birds. I didn't like them enough separately, but when put together, they were amazing. Aloysius smells exactly like that. I get the freshness from the citrus and mint, the light sweetness from the sugar. It actually smells like very very light tea, a touch of mint, and sugar (that's what Tapadero + Serpentina + Mad as Birds smelled like to me as well; Tapadero is wood, roses, & leather; Serpentina is opium & tea; Mad As Birds is mint, pear, and some flowers). I am obsessed with this. I might have to get a bottle after I finish my sample.

Perfume Review: The Halfling's Party by Deep Midnight Perfumes

Bought - 3/17/2013
Shipped - 3/19/2013
Received - 3/21/2013
THE HALFLING'S PARTY
Freshly buttered bread, harvest apples baked into a caramel tart, rum, red wine, and a light citrus with background notes of old polished wood, sweet tobacco leaf, and a dusting of oak wood roaring in a welcoming hearth.
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Despite that whole ordeal with my not being that much wowed with the majority of the Deep Midnight samples I got (in my original order and in the second batch that the owner sent to me for free; ***Note: I wrote a series of posts that involves revisiting the Deep Midnight scents that I have), I came back to order again. Why? Because even though many of the scents just weren't for me, the one that DID appeal to me was fucking out-of-this-world-amazing. That one is The Halfling's Party.

If I could roll around it in and bathe in it for 8 hours a day, I would. If I had the money to buy all of her current stock of The Halfling's Party, I would.

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My thoughts on The Halfling's Party:
Previously, I wrote "Buttered bread and tart apples with some tobacco leaf." However, after using it continuously for a week, it's a little bit different from my initial thoughts.

On application, I get a small burst of mostly bread with a tiny bit of butter layered on top of an enormous heap of fragrant tobacco. The tobacco is kinda earthy, leafy, and sweet all at once. I used to stick my nose into my dad's cigarette packs because I liked the smell of tobacco leaf, and this reminds me of that except much richer and deeper, like tobacco that isn't completely dried and rolled up yet. Maybe pipe tobacco or chewing tobacco? (I don't know because I've never smelled those.) There's also something a little sharp and bright in there, but I'm not sure what it is (the wine? the citrus? the wood?).

Anyway, this tobacco and bread smell is very strong even after it sinks into my skin, and then it mellows out a bit to be the same smell but a little softer and more comforting. On the dry down, it smells like bread and caramel. It's not a super rich, in your face TASTE-ME-I'M-DELICIOUS-NOM-NOM sweet caramel. It's just a subtle one that just smells fucking good. I only noticed the drydown yesterday when I was laying on my side with my head propped up by my hand, and I smelled something so good, comforting, and yummy. Sure enough, it was coming from my wrist.

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I'm not sure how the hell I got apples and only SOME tobacco last time because after using it for a while, I find that it's mainly tobacco and no apple at all. However, when I tried it for the first time, I was also on my period, and I noticed that not only do my tastes change when I'm menstruating, but the way things smell on my skin also changes. Now that I'm hormonally stable and not shedding uterine lining, I'm getting a different effect from The Halfling's Party. Either way, I love it.

Needless to say, The Halfling's Party has joined my list of favorite perfumes. I sometimes get the feeling that people probably think I'm some hardcore tobacco user when I wear this, but I like it too much to care.
If you like the idea of a cozy, comforting tobacco smell, then this will be awesome for you.

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I also got a free sample of Naenia.

NAENIA
A sexy, sultry blend of: Ripe apricots, carnations, sweet magnolia blossoms, dark honey, white peaches, with bits of tart cranberries, wood, and black pepper rounding out the main notes of the scent. Definitely sexy and exotic and a teensy bit dark. Opens with notes of the fruits and honey and then dries down to a deeper, sweet floral with wood notes. Come fly away with her!

My thoughts: I get nice, sweet peaches with a touch of floral. I don't get any darkness from this. It's sweet, light, bright, and fruity. I LIKE IT. I'm quite fond of the smell of peaches. Haha. It smells similar to Thalia (also from DM) but without the beeswax touch. This makes me think that I smell like Misao from Black Bird (short summary is that the manga has a girl who is the reincarnation of the immortality peach in Chinese mythology, so she always smells like peaches and she attracts hot-ass demon boys). A win in my book. ;D

3/15/14

Perfume Review: Deep Midnight Perfumes (REVISITED) -- Part 2

Alright. See the previous post for part 1.

Very picture heavy after the cut.

Perfume Review: Deep Midnight Perfumes (REVISITED) -- Part I

WARNING -- This post is ridiculously long.

Here's the TL;DR summary: I noticed that perfumes smell differently on me when I'm on my period, and I tried all of the Deep Midnight perfumes when I was on my period. I'm going to retry them now that I'm not on my period anymore to see if they smell differently and to see if I like them now.

See my long explanation after the cut!

2/28/14

Perfume Review: Deep Midnight Perfumes

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr. Might be a little outdated. I've actually come back a few times since the writing of this and purchased full bottles from DM. :)

So after my bad rap on Deep Midnight, I decided to message the owner to see if there was anything she could do. I basically messaged her and told her that I was disappointed in all of the samples I got (too blunt?).

I wasn't really expecting any kind of response because perfume is perfume and shit like this happens all the time. You buy something and find out later you don't like it?---too bad! Suck it up, bitch! This is especially so with perfume purchases that are based simply on descriptions of the smell. You sometimes get lucky, you sometimes don't.

But! でも!!!

Cat, the owner/perfume creator of Deep Midnight, answered and offered to give me 10 new samples, free of cost, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure I offended her. Now THAT'S how you do customer service.
I told her what my tastes are (sweet, gourmand juxtaposed against woody, earthy, resinous smells. I actually like just gourmand scents too, but in moderation. I didn't tell her that part because I forgot to.), and then I asked her for her recommendations at the same time that I went to go find some new smells that intrigued me. I made a whole list of around 20 different scents on a word document, and within a day or two she got back to me with her list of 10 recommendations.

Well, what do you know? All of her recommendations were on my self-made list. Cool! I looked through her list and mine, and then I eliminated a couple that I didn't want as much and switched it to what I wanted instead. Then I asked her some questions about a few more to fill in the last couple of my list.

She answered my questions, and then another surprise: she offered to just send them all! Of course I said yes.

They were shipped on 3/1, and I received on 3/4.
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Scents:
  1. Nivens - Sweet creamy pastries, cakes and sticky puddings, topped off with plump wild berries and a touch of spices and soft florals.
    My thoughts: I just softened creaminess with some pepper and a touch of something tart. Not really sweet, just kinda gentle and fluffy.
  2. Velvet Harlot - Black cherry, dark chocolate, rich vanilla, and a kiss of sangria tempt all you encounter.
    My thoughts: I'm getting a sharp cherry smell like maraschino cherries with a tiny touch of vanilla.
  3. Bella Donna Kiss - Egyptian amber, frankincense, warm vanilla and musk, all laced with roses, and finished with kisses of bergamot tea, and deep, lush berries.
    My thoughts: A "shower fresh" smell. Can't pick out the individual notes, but I get tart, soapy softness with some flowers.
  4. Catrianna's Cauldron - Sweet Sudanese frankincense, rare spices, a deep warm luscious vanilla, and pinch of sage, all topped off with a whiff of magic cauldron smoke.
    My thoughts: I guess I'm getting frankincense? I'm not exactly sure what that smells like, but I'm getting a deep, pungent, slightly tart smell that kinda reminds me of soap for men. I get some sage. No sweetness.
  5. Haunted Hayride -  Sweet pumpkins, roasted marshmallows, candycorn, soft notes of hay and leaves, sprinkled with warm spices, and tossed amongst base notes of rich vanilla and buttery Tunisian Frankincense.
    My thoughts: Hay and leaves. Not sweet but not sharp. I'm guessing all the sweet things are just keeping this from being too leafy. Very autumn.
  6. Sweet Calavera - Sweet sugars spun round with haunting Spanish moss, a very deep vanilla accord, drops of sensual patchouli, and background notes of fig, greens, and clove.
    My thoughts: I get a very tea-like floral smell that reminds me of fancy Italian or French soap. No sweetness.
  7. Dark Winter's Tale - Dark gingerbread, rich vanilla, molasses, cardamon, anise, and black pepper.
    My thoughts: A hint of unsweetened gingerbread and a lot of cardamom, anise, and pepper. No sweetness.
  8. Tara's Burning -  Ripe succulent peaches, aromatic magnolia blossoms, trailing vines and branches, a hint of smoky sweet copal, and touch of golden fruit.
    My thoughts: Tartness hovering around something floral and green. Very prominent green note. Smells like crushed green leaves or branches.
  9. Charis - Musk, dark sandalwood, and rich vanilla with the essence of vanilla bean added.
    My thoughts: Softened men's aftershave. No sweetness.
  10. Tea Room Cookie - Biscotti scented blend of Turkish coffee, vanilla, oatmeal, milk, honey, almond, and a sprinkle of chocolate.
    My thoughts: Bread and very faint coffee. It's kinda dusty and faint with no sweetness.
  11. Thalia - Raw honeycomb layered over succulent peaches, sweet gardenia, and a deep, rich myrrh.
    My thoughts: Rich honey with a floral touch.
  12. The Halfling's Party - Freshly buttered bread, harvest apples baked into a caramel tart, rum, red wine, and a light citrus with background notes of old polished wood, sweet tobacco leaf, and a dusting of oak wood roaring in a welcoming hearth.
    My thoughts: Buttered bread and tart apples with some tobacco leaf.
I liked:
  • The Halfling's Party
  • Thalia
  • Nivens
I'll reach for it often & finish the vial but probably won't repurchase (unless I change my mind later):
  • Tea Room Cookie
  • Tara's Burning
  • Dark Winter's Tale
It'll probably take me a while to finish, but I will use it (unless I decide to sell/swap it):
  • Charis
  • Sweet Calavera
  • Haunted Hayride
  • Catrianna's Cauldron
  • Bella Donna Kiss
  • Velvet Harlot
This batch was much more successful in that I didn't get the violent urge to watch my arms for any of them. They were all good enough to keep them on my skin. None of them had any strange rubbery/plasticky reactions either. For the most part all of them smelled the same in vial and on skin. Another plus. The rest is up to personal preference.

I think if over time I end up falling in love with any, I will come back to repurchase. For things that I'm not too impressed about initially (meh reaction, not good not bad), I find that I tend to like them better after letting them age for a while. Haha.

Very good experience with Deep Midnight.

Perfume Review: Sarawen Perfume Art (Part 2)

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr. Might be a little outdated.

I'm already back! Two days after receiving the previous package, I placed a second order.

Bought - 2/27/2013
Shipped - 3/3/2013
Received - 3/13/2013

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Pretty packaging!

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Everything beautifully wrapped in tissue paper.

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Look at all dem cuties lined up and shit. Death's Day Feast looks like it contains murky swamp water, but I think it looks cool. xD

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Size comparison with a very strange angle for my hand.

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What I got (for $37.16; all foodie/gourmand scents this time!):
  1. AMBROSIA - Sweet chocolate drizzled with honey and topped with a hint of vanilla cream! A scrumptious blend of tasty treats over a base of amber with a touch of patchouli.
    My thoughts: A very rich, achingly sweet brownie or chocolate fudge cake with a deeper tone lurking in the back. I like it!
  2. THE BAKER'S BOY - Spend a day frosting and decorating cakes with Peeta. A luscious, gourmand fragrance bursting with ripe strawberries (from Katniss of course!) and delicious yellow cake. Underneath the delicious-ness drifts soft vetiver, leather, and golden amber. This perfume is a unisex blend that borders towards feminine.
    My thoughts: Just bitter, smoky leather. I was looking forward to the strawberries and cake, so I'm a little bummed. Strangely, my roommates thought I smelled awesome, so I don't know. o_O
  3. BEER N' BUTTER - A delicious and foamy elixir! Creamy butterscotch, dreamy vanilla, and a dash of pumpkin layered with a drop of coffee as you sit relaxing by the pub's roaring fire. Beer n' Butter is inspired by Harry Potter and is a unisex gourmand fragrance that borders towards feminine. Yum!
    My thoughts: Smells exactly like The Witches Dance on me (another perfume from Sarawen), which turns out to be dry, bitter woodsmoke and leather. If I REALLY pack it on (like 5 layers?!) then I get a tiny, tiny 5 to 10-second burst of butterscotch when it's still wet. Then it's all woodsmoke and leather. This was disappointing. I read reviews for it and people were saying stuff like how achingly sweet and creamy it is or how yummy it smells. Skin chemistry being a bitch, much?!
  4. DEATH'S DAY FEAST - The scent of comforting warm pumpkin, delectable caramel apples, chocolates, and spicy incense fills the Great Hall. Just watch out for Nearly Headless Nick! Death's Day Feast is inspired by the world of Harry Potter and is a unisex gourmand fragrance that borders towards feminine.
    My thoughts: Deep, warm, spiced apples. I'm usually not fond of apple smells because they remind me of candles or something, but this is nice. I don't get the pumpkin nor chocolate. Drydown is mainly smoky with a touch of sweetness. Reviews from other people say how it has chocolate and pumpkins and how it smells so deliciously gourmand... I only get apples?!
  5. PIXIE DUST (freebie) - What would pixie dust smell like? I would say oodles of vanilla butter-cream and cake, honey, and orange drops! Now think of happy things and away we go!
    My thoughts: Orange drops (sweeter version of lemon drops?) and a touch of something floral for some reason. I quite like it! Usually, I'm not fond of citruses, but this is nice. I think this is the only one whose smell doesn't deviate too far from what I expected.
My last order was kinda disappointing too. Tea With Watson, which most people say is sweet and delicious, smelled like light sugar and A LOT of booze (which makes me feel a sick; I'm sensitive to the smell of alcohol). That effect reminds me of sweetened cough syrup to an extent. The Witches Dance turned ALL smoke and leather on me when I thought it would have some pumpkin or something in there...

I emailed the owner, Sara, about my woes with the sweet perfumes all turning into smoke on me, and she said, "You may want to stay away from scents that carry base notes of patchouli, amber, leather, or smokey dark woods!" She also suggested that maybe her gourmand/sweet scents aren't suited for me.

あれっー?!

Sweet with heavy/deep is basically the only thing I like to wear. =/ I asked her for some recommendations given what I like and dislike from her line of smells so far, and she gave me some fruity-florals. I'm open to the idea... Gotta expand my tastes sometimes, right?

I don't want to give up on Sarawen perfumes just yet because I think the overall aesthetic aspect of it is superb and that the themes are very intriguing and the prices reasonable. However, I think if things don't work out again after my next order (not sure when that will be yet, but she recently released a line of Doctor Who inspired smells so it's bound to happen), I might have to stop ordering from Sarawen because her perfumes just might not be compatible with my skin chemistry. Makes me a little bummed.

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On a lighter note, look at the whole Sarawen family that I've acquired! Hahaha. I didn't put the sample vials in the picture because I forgot (I have two sample vials in "Lady Roma" and "Logical Delusion."

Let's hope for a more successful load next time! Fingers crossed.

Perfume Review: The Garden Bath

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr.

Bought - 2/19/2013
Shipped - 2/25/2013
Received - 3/1/2013

6 perfume samples in a metal tin for $10.95 total.
Choices:
  • Angel Food
  • Chocolate Passion
  • Hazelnut Cafe
  • Pecan Pie
  • Buttered Rum
  • Caramel Cocoa
  • Mango Juice (freebie)
  • Apricot Melon (freebie)
They all smell like what their names indicate. Buttered Rum and Pecan Pie smell A LOT like Midnight Gypsy's "Hearth," with Pecan Pie being richer and heavier and Buttered Rum being a little lighter, so I think I will purchase from The Garden Bath instead once I run out of Hearth. And as I said before, Midnight Gypsy's "Seraphim" also smells like a lighter version of Hearth, so Buttered Rum matches it as well. Yay for saving money! (The Garden Bath's full sizes are larger than Midnight Gypsy's AND they are cheaper.) Angel Food and Chocolate Passion are my least favorite of this lot because they're a little boring (but I still like them). Thus, very satisfied.

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Perfume Review: Firebird Bath & Body

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr. Might be a bit outdated. After using up two of the lipbalms from this company, I decided that I actually really, really dig the formula.

Bought - 2/23/2013
Shipped - 2/26/2013
Received - 3/1/2013

I've heard good things about their Almond Milk perfume, so I went and bought it. While I was at it, I added another perfume and a lip balm set as well because I just want to waste money. One meh point about this company is that I didn't get any freebies, but I guess it's reasonable since not all companies have to do that... but I've just been spoiled by other stores that give me free shit. Hahaha.

Overall, I think I've already gotten everything that I wanted from this store, so I won't come back. Their smells look simple (not a bad thing, but sometimes not what I'm looking for). They also make soap, but I'm not a soap fiend, so I don't need that. The lip balms are great, but I'll have to see if i want them again after I finish all of them.

Overall, they give a less homely vibe and a more distant feel. Look at how professional their labels are. I like buying from etsy and indie shops because you get to socialize with the owner and they usually write cute thank you notes with your name on them and give you freebies, but I think because Firebird is so successful at this point, they don't feel the need to do that.

What I got ($31.00 total):
  • Lip Balm Trio Gift Set, Sweet - This set includes three sweet flavored lip balms: Honey, Brown Sugar, Chocolate Chai
    My thoughts: I've only tried the Chocolate Chai, but it's soft, creamy, and moisturizing. It glides easily and smells good. Awesome.
  • Perfume Oil: Almond Milk - Soft, sensual, intoxicating: almond, vanilla, musk, a wisp of white chocolate.
    My thoughts: Smells like a sweeter and more synthetic version of Midnight Gypsy's "Dragon's Milk." Mildly sweet, creamy, and just really nice. It's good.
  • Perfume Oil: Brown Sugar - The scent of brown sugar, mellow and sweet, joined by coconut, vanilla and sandalwood. Soft, gentle and comforting.
    My thoughts: Soft, gentle, and comforting is a good description. Toasted sugar smell. It's less sweet than Almond Milk.
Still a good company with good prices! If i ever run out of Midnight Gypsy's "Dragon's Milk" AND the bottle of Almond Milk, I'll come back for a replacement. (Almond Milk is $9 while Dragon's Milk is $14 for a smaller amount.)

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Perfume Review: Alkemia Perfumes

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr. Might be a bit outdated.

Paid - 2/21/2013 (at ~2AM)Shipped - 2/21/2013 (got a notification at 5AM!)Received - 2/23/2013

imageAnother company I've been eyeing. LIGHTNING FAST SHIPPING/ORDER PROCESSING. I'm so glad I got this package, since I had just posted about how disappointed I was with Deep Midnight Perfumes a few hours ago prior to getting this package.

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For $20 with free shipping, I got 10 samples and 2 freebies:
  1. Vanille Amour - Madagascar and Tahitian vanillas and Tonka nestled in with a warm melange of ancient Ottoman trade spices (cardamon, ginger, and Grains of Paradise) reknowned for 'heating up' affairs of the heart and inspiring desire.
    My thoughts: A tiny bit of vanilla and a lot of pepper, ginger, and other spices. As it settles down, it gets a little sweeter. I like it.
  2. Seduction Vanille - Mexican vanilla pods, luscious Tahitian vanilla orchids, jasmine flowers, and crystalline sugar cane, enhanced by a blend of delicate white and vanilla musks.
    My thoughts: Sugary sweetness and creamy jasmine. This is the more floral out of the bunch, and though I usually don't like florals, this is bearable. Once it starts fading, the creamy sweetness completely melds together and it smells AMAZING. Wowza.
  3. Seduction Gingembre - Candied ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, toasted gingerbread, wild honey, caramelized bourbon vanilla, Tunisian amber, and a kiss of incense resins. A limited winter edition.
    My thoughts: Sweet, extra gingery gingerbread. Similar to Arcana "Philtre #4: Consumed" and TMTM "Fortune" which means OF COURSE I LIKE IT! But as I have others that already smell similar to this, I obviously won't repurchase this any time soon.
  4. Xocolatl - Bittersweet Mexican cacao, Southwest Chipotle chili, Ceylon cinnamon, Indonesian nutmeg, Madagascar vanilla, Turkish marzipan, and a splash of cardamon-laced Morrocan coffee.
    My thoughts: This is a really interesting blend. I get a blast of chili. I'm not really sure how to describe chili, but if you know the feeling of how it burns in your mouth, well, the smell somehow mimics that. It's just this whole encompassing tingly burn without the pain. I then get all the spices sweetened a bit with coffee lurking in the back.
  5. Patchouli Cacao - Bittersweet Maralumi cacao, aged Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, and a blonde Indonesian patchouli single note that encompasses musk, earth, ambergris, wood, and tabac.
    My thoughts: I tried this after the Vanille Patchouli listed below. After trying the Vanille Patchouli, I was a bit wary about the smell of patchouli and thought that I wouldn't quite like this one either. I WAS SO WRONG. I don't know what it is about sweet creamy milky chocolate smell mixed with dusty, earthy patchouli, but it is YUMMY. It would smell even better with a bit of sugar or caramel. However, the dustiness does get amped up after a bit, so it's not so yummy anymore after a while... for that reason, I don't think I would repurchase a larger size.
  6. Au Lait - Rich, creamy milk swirled with tonka, wild honey, and a touch of caramelized brown sugar.
    My thoughts: It smells like crispy toast slathered in butter and sprinkled with heaps of sugar. This is just OMNOMNOMNOM all day. It made me hungry in class. It smells SOOOOO good. It smells exactly like this Vietnamese bakery's biscottes that I buy a lot (Anh Son Bakery Biscottes, if you're curious), which is basically really crispy toast smothered in butter and lots of sugar. Creamy and awesomely sweet. That is Au Lait. Sometimes it does get a little too sweet and I start feeling a bit dirty/sticky, but I still want a full size of this. I found that layering this with some smokey woody scents to tone down the sweetness makes it smell even better.
  7. Madam Pearl - Fine white tea leaves, delicate bone china, a parchment letter from a mysterious stranger, a menage a trois of elegant vanillas, and a piquant pinch of aphrodisiac white pepper.
    My thoughts: I smell sweet cinnamon tea. There isn't any cinnamon listed, but I guess the sweet cinnamon effect was produced by the combination of vanilla and pepper. Nice and fresh, but somehow doesn't pique my interest because it smells too sweet. Whenever I smell sweet cinnamon, I get the image of mashed up, melted Hot Tamales candy, and then it makes me feel like I'm sticky from all the sweetness... (I also had this issue with Steam Bath Factory's "Inferno," which is SUPER SWEET cinnamon with a tiny touch of tea.) So basically, I like smelling it, but I have mental images that prevent me from wanting to wear it. o_O
  8. Blackberry Noir - Black berries, black tea, black musk.
    My thoughts: I get very strong black berries and a drydown of blackberry-tinged sweet, powdery musk. This smells exactly like The Morbid the Merrier's "Cleo" minus the woodiness and before it developed a soapy quality. I like it. I might buy it if I ever want to replace Cleo, but it seems like I don't urgently want to get Cleo anymore, so in turn I don't urgently want to purchase Blackberry Noir either. 
  9. Offering -  Fir & resinous woods, offertory fruits, spiced ale, beeswax candles, a whisper of ritual incense, and freshly baked cakes dripping with wild honey.
    My thoughts: Very spiced sweet bread (think sweet, pumpkin spice bread) with the camphorous & spicy quality of fir on top of it. To be honest, I'm never a fan of fir/pine smells in perfume (I don't mind smelling it naturally outside), and I generally try to stay away from pumpkin spice smells for some reason. However, this perfume isn't that bad, and I will finish up the vial, but I won't repurchase.
  10. Miel de Sauvage et Tabac - Sweet, spicy pipe tobacco flecked with wild honey, freshly crushed honeycomb, the pollen of forest blossoms, and smoked black amber.
    My thoughts: Huge 5-second burst of sweet, very true honey on initial contact, and then a very odd burnt rubber smell that lingered for 25 minutes. Afterwards, smokey honey with a tiny hint of rubber that can only be detected if inhaled deeply. Because of that rubber smell, I think I have to say no to this. =/ The honey smell is really good though.
  11. Calaveras de Azucar / Sugar Skulls (free) - Hauntingly sweet sugar skulls nestled against a backdrop of sugared white ambers.
    My thoughts: This smells sugary and sweet, but somehow gives off a slightly flowery and slightly fruity quality. It doesn't smell like pure sugar. It smells like super amazing smells-so-lovely-what-is-this-sweetness. My friend complimented me when I wore this. ;D
  12. Vanille Patchouli (free) - Purest vanilla seduced and despoiled by wild, dirty patchouli.
    My thoughts: I thought I knew what patchouli smelled like, but I guess not. The patchouli in this is earthy, dry, dusty, and kinda like crayons and Chinese herbs. It stays that way for a while, and eventually the vanilla emerges and sweetens it a bit. It's a little too earthy/dusty for my tastes. If there were more vanilla, it would be nice. I think I'll layer it with sweeter perfumes.
Need to repurchase NOW:
  • Seduction Vanille
  • Calaveras de Azucar (Sugar Skulls)
  • Au Lait
I like it & I'll use it, but I won't repurchase (unless I change my mind later):
  • Seduction Gingembre
  • Xocolatl
  • Madame Pearl
  • Offering
  • Vanille Patchouli
  • Patchouli Cacao (actually I'm not sure about whether it belongs in this category or the upper one)
  • Blackberry Noir (undecided)
  • Miel de Sauvage et Tabac
I am VERY VERY satisfied with this order. I will definitely purchase from them again.



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Perfume Review: Sarawen Perfume Art

Bought - 2/11/13
Shipped - 2/15/13 (via Canada Post! :D)
Received - 2/25/13

SaraWen has perfumes inspired by various movies, shows, fantasy, gothic, and literary works. Some examples are Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, etc. I've been eyeing the shop for a while because the overall aesthetics of it was very appealing to me. Sarawen has roller bottles, but they're being phased out because they were causing too many issues (the owner is replacing them with open mouth + cap bottles instead), and so to get them out of the shop faster and to get the funds to buy the new bottles faster, she put all of the old bottles on sale. Of course I had to snatch a couple up.

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What I got ($26.04 CAD total):
  • Tea With Watson (full) - White tea, delicious yellow cake, and a dash of cream caramel layered over light tobacco and bay rum. It smells just like a tea party at Holmes and Watson’s flat!
  • The Witches Dance (full) - Sugared spices, rum, leather, earthy patchouli, champaka, earth, smoke, and a hint of fresh pumpkins.
  • Lady Roma (free sample) - The air is filled with the scent of pomegranate trees and ripe fruit, while sandalwood burns brightly in a brazier by the atrium.
  • Logical Delusion (free sample) - A dangerous and cunning blend of poisoned tea, tobacco, and gunpowder, with a hint of nag champa and absinthe. Beware, Holmes!
Tea With Watson is probably one of SaraWen's more popular scents. I've read about it on various blogs, and a lot of her Etsy feedback is also on Tea With Watson. So I got intrigued and wanted one.
*nudge nudge* Do you see anything special about "The Witches Dance"? The description reminds me of TMTM Horseman ("Fiery jack-o-lanterns, black leather boots, temple incense, and the edge of a dark Autumn wood; opens sweet, almost caramel-foody..."). WAHAHAHAHA. I swear, the majority of my perfume purchases are just vain attempts at trying to replace Horseman. I should stop being so shady and just cut out that compare-everything-to-TMTM attitude, but it was my first indie company, you know? Kinda like having that one ex-boyfriend that you use as a control for comparing. What. But my forever-ongoing-Horseman-search DID introduce me to new, amazing perfumes by shops that I now love.
For example:
  • Darling Clandestine (I've been back 3 times since the first order--4 orders total--and have smelled 18 different perfumes from DC. I have so much mad love for DC.)
  • Midnight Gypsy (I've placed 2 orders total and have smelled 18 different perfumes.)
Here are the shops that I also tried for that same reason (trying to find TMTM replacements). They failed and I probably won't come back because their selection is banal, they're too expensive, they're too slow, they feel like poor quality, or some combination of those reasons:
  • One Hand Washes The Other (OHWTO) - Too slow, smells are mediocre. Maybe if there is ever a sale and I'm really itching to buy something, then just maybe return. Maybe.
  • Steam Bath Factory - Too slow, smells are boring, shipping is too expensive.
  • Arcana - Packaging is nice and good quality, but smells are just okay. I haven't smelled one that has stopped me in my tracks yet. Also expensive and only available from 3rd party distributors.
  • Blooddrop - Smells are expensive, banal, and aren't long-lasting.  Shipping is expensive.
Which category will SaraWen fall into? HMMM???

The Witches Dance
I only get smoke and leather. Nothing else. A bit disappointed about that, but hey, maybe it's meant to be this way. However, if anyone's gonna make a smokey, earthy base, it's gotta match up to this; this is the smokey earthy base of all bases. I can see it being fantastic complimenting something sweet, so I'll try layering it with something sugary. I still have hope for it...

Tea With Watson
I get a blast of booze (probably the rum), and then once the booze disappears (after ~5 minutes), just light (sweet, but not heavy) sugar/caramel sprinkled on top of booze. It kinda reminds me of the way medicine is sometimes artificially flavored to be sweet... A little bit linear, but not bad. The booze note is pretty realistic since I got the usual reaction when I smelled it (I've been sensitive to alcohol lately---too many wild nights in a short period of time---and so these days whenever I smell alcohol, I get a little queasy). xD

Lady Roma
I smell berries, and unidentifiable fruits, fresh greens, and soft woods. It smells like a fresher, less heavy version of TMTM's Cleo before it dries down, but after it has soaked in for more than an hour, I get really heavy woodiness. Unexpected dupe of Cleo! I think it smells better than Cleo though!

Logical Delusion
Manly and fresh, like aftershave. I didn't try this on my skin because I was lazy... xD


Soooo. The Witches Dance didn't match Horseman (I should just stop trying to find a replacement for Horseman. I'm beginning to give up hope on it anyway. Once that vial is finished, no more Horseman for me...), but accidentally matched Cleo with the free sample. I would still come back because the themes and bottles are so cute! I also want to try other scents from the line.
*Note: Actually, a day after writing the above (I wrote it yesterday, so I'm talking about today), I went back to Sarawen and bought FOUR bottles. *shot*

Perfume Review: Darling Clandestine

NOTE: Imported from my tumblr page. Written in a year ago, February 2013. A bunch of purchases and stuff have happened since then so this post might be a little outdated.

Bought - 2/7/13
Shipped - 2/14/13
Received - 2/25/13

Probably one of the slower orders I've had from Darling Clandestine (it's more USPS's fault), but it's worth it!

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What I got ($15.50 total):
  • Dewlap Valentine (full size, 5ml) - Strawberries, bananas, dark leafy greens. Dewlap Valentine is a wonderfully complicated blend, fruity, salty, musky, earthy, at once dark and sweet and green, morphing over and over on the skin.
    My thoughts: A bit fruity, a bit salty, and very green but somehow creamy. I can't put my finger on what it smells like. It just smells FACKING good! I like it!
  • Brasao y Kinalau (sample) - Holly spiced with a touch of cinnamon and clove and pink peppercorn and all sorts of other old-world wonders, fused with the maile vines of Hawai'i, sweetened with coconut and honey. It's fresh and green and tart and languid and floral-but-not-floral and breezy and deep.
    My thoughts: Somehow, this is like taking the sweet flowers from Blue Valentine (below; I tried Brasao y Kinalau last) and amping up the the green, leafy-ness. It's really nice. Gah. I can't stop smelling myself.
  • Blue Valentine (sample)A moody bouquet of hyacinth and violet and poppies and figs, washed down with shots of real whiskey and bitters and delicate musks and mint.
    My thoughts: You know how I hate flowers? WELL MOTHER FUCK I FUCKING LOVE BLUE VALENTINE. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS. It smells flowery but sweet, fresh, a tiny bit bitter somewhere in the back, and somehow like pine as well. It also reminds me of walking in a park on a fall day. I dunno. I love it. This is how flowers SHOULD be done in perfumes. Ugh. I want this in a bigger size...
  • La La La, All Right (sample) - Sun-drenched summer breezes and road trips and rivers and cornfields and river and road. This is a very green, very earthy scent, with a similar accord to that of Fisticuffs, minus the sweetness.
    My thoughts: This is very green, plant-like, and "crunchy," almost as if I'm chewing leaves and their aromas are bursting in my mouth right at this moment. I get a lot of pine trees out of this, and sweet in a way that plants sometimes smell sweet (not true sugary sweetness, but just when plants don't smell sour nor sharp...). It reminds me of a less piney version of Darling Clandestine's "Maudlin & Bedlam." I also get a bit of earthiness in here, so it's not all plants. It smells good, but I probably won't buy a replacement after this sample is done. I think this would also smell good on a guy.
  • Small Saga (free sample) - Figs and apricot wine and sweet cream unfolding into a mellow, soft wood. Deceptively creamy at first whiff, but then comes the DarlingClandestine complexity you've come to know and love.
    My thoughts: It smells tart but not sharp and stinging. Bright and bold but also soft and creamy. I find myself sniffing my wrist a lot. This is brilliant!
I've been eyeing Dewlap Valentine for a while. Brasao y Kinalau, Blue Valentine, Lalala All Right, and Small Saga are all new scents. I placed this order when Brasao y Kinalau, Blue Valentine, and Lalala All Right were JUST released, and Small Saga's existence wasn't even well-known yet. Small Saga is currently soon to be released officially; the owner had already done a pre-order sale.

So what do I think about this order? 100% satisfied. Everything smells fucking good. Darling Clandestine never lets me down!

At the moment, DC's etsy page is empty as hell because all of her stock was sold out during the end of 2012. I'm waiting for the owner to rebrew new batches of some scents so I can just sweep them all at once. xD

Wishlist:
(I haven't smelled the first 4 in this list.)

  1. Gram-Negative - Buttery orchid packed deep into rich soil and moss and black tea and green lichens.
  2. Tilt-A-Whirl - Bright citrus and passionfruit mellowed with sage and other wonders. Sweet and bright but not too candy-like. 
  3. Morderteile Kelah - Amber, hyacinth, milk and strawberry jam. Spicy and sweet.
  4. Limerence - A moody blend of bruised Casablanca lilies, bittersweet succulents, full-bodied herbal essentials, a heady crust of sea salt, and a wonderfully fine mitti attar that’s the essence of first rain hitting sun-baked earth.
  5. Pyrotechnik (I NEED A FULL!) - Bright, spicy cantaloupe on a bold black sky of sandalwood and earth.
  6. Small Saga (I NEED A FULL!)
  7. Blue Valentine (I NEED A FULL!)