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 Might be a little outdated.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.
image
image
image
image

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

image

Pretty packaging!

image

Everything beautifully wrapped in tissue paper.

image

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

image

Size comparison with a very strange angle for my hand.

image

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.

image

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.

image
image
image

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.)

image
image
image
image
image
image
image

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.

image

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.



image

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.

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

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!

image
image
image
image

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!)

Perfume Review: Deep Midnight Perfume

NOTE: Post imported from my Tumblr page. I contacted the owner after this experience and she actually gave me a new set of samples. Afterwards, I tried all of the perfumes again and found some that I liked.


SOMEONE PLEASE BAN ME FROM ETSYYYYYYYYY. I need to stop buying on impulse. Also, be forewarned that this is a NEGATIVE REVIEW. It probably would've taken me 14 days to get this review up, but because I was so thrown off by so many smells, I washed off the majority of them. This ended up making me trying 2 smells yesterday and all of the remaining 12 today.

Bought - 2/16/2013
Shipped - 2/19/2013
Received - 2/22/2013

I've been eyeing this store for a while. I thought it was very nice that the owner messaged me to tell me exactly when she was going to send out my package. I got FOUR free samples, and overall time from point of buying to the moment I received was really fast.

image
image

I should just be a hand model already. ;D

image

Cute handwritten note.

image

This little palmful of smelly juices cost me $30.

image
image
image
image
image
What I got (sample set of 10 for $30 + $3 shipping - 10% coupon = $30):
  1. A STUDY IN BROWN: His dark brown leather cloak covered him from nape to knee. A scented story of aromatic copal, nutty tonka bean, oak wood smoke, and toasted sugar.
    My thoughts: COPAL. WOOOOO COPAL. I only know how copal smells from another perfume I've tried before that was mainly copal, and this first initial blast is exactly like the other one. I like copal, but just not alone and with nothing else.
  2. BLOOD AND DONUTS: Dark Egyptian amber and gaharu wood, well blended and served with creamy vanilla, cinnamon spices, rich chocolate, and a splash of Turkish coffee.
    My thoughts: Plastic, rubber, fresh citrus cleaning solution (?!?!?!), and a touch of cinnamon. Washed it off.
  3. BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE: Roasted pralines smothered in brown sugar, deep and dark Victorian rosewood, drops of benzoin, and a touch of sinister smoke from a bottomless pit.
    My thoughts: Dry, woody, smoky smell. No sweetness. I'm kinda meh about it.
  4. CARNIVALE ROUGE: Notes of amaretto liqueur are deepened with balanced tones of the darkest cocoa, cappuccino, rich cream, and buttery amber, while background notes of oakwood fire, and citrus deepen the intrigue.
    My thoughts: A quick 5-second burst of cocoa, a little bit of sharp wood for 2 seconds, then RUBBING ALCOHOL. They aren't joking about the liqueur. The rubbing alcohol smell persisted for 10 minutes and was bothering me, so I just washed it off. 
  5. DARK MOTHER: Musk and sweet vanilla, with dashes and splashes of pipe tobacco and bay rum.
    My thoughts: I only smell the tobacco, which is slightly sweet, slightly tart, and has a metallic quality to it. It smells like Scent by the Sea's "Barbary Belle," which is tobacco and cocoa (but the cocoa doesn't show up). After a while though, it sweetens out and the metallic smell goes away. Not bad.
  6. FRENCH CHOCOLATE MACAROON: Enjoy the scrumptious smells of creamy chocolate, toasted coconut, and tantalizing vanilla.
    My thoughts: Burst of bitter cocoa, plasticky fake coconut, and then play doh. I washed it off.
  7. MAD AS A HATTER: A mad concoction of bitter dark chocolate, oakmoss, nag champa and a touch of tobacco.
    My thoughts: Burst of chocolate, then persisting incensey woody sharpness. Very masculine and a bit nauseating. I want to wash it off, but I'm already in bed so I'll deal with it.
  8. MAYAN MYSTERY: Spiced Mexican chocolate, blood oranges, and the secret ingredient of the ancients.
    My thoughts: Think peppery, spicy, musty, slightly sour body odor and fermented curry. This reminds me of how Indian people sometimes smell... in short, NO.
  9. TEA WITH A DRAGON: Green tea, black pepper, cardamom, and a mysterious little dollop of cocoa make this a tantalizing unisex scent.
    My thoughts: Fresh & spicy, like herbs. I don't hate it but I don't like it either. I washed it off to try on something else.
  10. SATURNALIA: 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.
    My thoughts: I smell incense, sharp woodiness, and cranberries. This is a pretty tart fragrance. After settling down for a bit, it smells mainly of cranberries and a touch of smoke, but everything is softer than the initial application. After another 15 or 20 minutes, the cranberry is gone and I'm left with a soft, powdery baby smell. I was hoping for the nuts and sweet cake to show up, but they never did.
  11. EUPHROSYNE (free): Tropical fruits, fresh pears, red berries, cream, figs, Sicilian orange, pummelo, caramel, lily of the valley, and a barely hidden note of red licorice.
    My thoughts: As a cheap way of self-entertainment, I decided to test this out without looking at the notes list first. Holy shit cough syrup and pepto bismol or something? Synthetic fruits and sharpness. I don't even want to wait it out to see if it changes. I'm washing it off...
  12. WILDE AT HEART (free): Spicy myrrh smothered in a rich cappuccino, candied pecans, blood orange, and vanilla bean.
    My thoughts: As a cheap way of self-entertainment, I decided to test this out without looking at the notes list first. It smells exactly like Steam Bath Factory's "Bloodbath," which is pumpkins, dust (whatever the fuck that means), and coffee. It's okay.
  13. WASSAIL (free): The aromas of red wine, apple wine, ale, sweet oranges, fruit and cloves, along with delicate touches of frankincense and myrrh.My thoughts: As a cheap way of self-entertainment, I decided to test this out without looking at the notes list first. Since I was so disappointed with so many at this point, I stood next to the sink to try the last 4. Synthetically-flavored grape cough syrup and sour wood. Washed it off.
  14. LADIES OF LONDON (free): Sensual florals highlighted with lily of the Valley, spicy indulgent opium, a bowlful of the deepest sensual red berries, and caresses of frankincense and patchouli.My thoughts: As a cheap way of self-entertainment, I decided to test this out without looking at the notes list first. Since I was so disappointed with so many at this point, I stood next to the sink to try the last 4. Burst of cheap wine, then heavy florals. Washed it off.
Thing to note. These sample vials, though small and looking like a rip-off (how I usually feel whenever I buy samples from ANY company since this is the standard sample size), they are FILLED TO THE MAXIMUM CAPACITY. I have to be extra careful when I close the vials and reinsert the caps because I risk having some of the juice overflowing and spilling over the sides (how does that even work?). I really really appreciate this. It will take me a while to finish these vials from Deep Midnight, so that's a plus.

However.

As you can see from above, I'm not satisfied with any of the smells. So there is pretty much a 0% chance that I reach for them at all, much less finish them.
Washers (smells that I felt compelled to wash off immediately):
  • Blood & Donuts
  • Carnivale Rouge
  • French Chocolate Macaroon
  • Mad as a Hatter
  • Mayan Mystery
  • Tea With A Dragon
  • Euphrosyne
  • Wassail
  • Ladies of London
Meh (smells that I didn't like but didn't dislike either)
  • A Study in Brown
  • Dark Mother
  • Saturnalia
  • Wilde at Heart
  • Brimstone & Treacle
To put it in other words, I like 0 out of the 14 smells that I received. As great as the communication and shipping is, sorry, but that's an F. i won't buy from here again. I want my $30 back...
To be fair, this isn't as bad as my all-time worst try ever, Mannaia Fragrances, but nothing really worked for me from this set of samples.