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.

Alchimia Apothecary Choose Your Own Adventure Blends

CYOA: Unnamed

UNNAMED
This was inspired by my most recent ex-boyfriend. We broke up because we were both moving back to our hometowns. I've never met someone more hardworking and determined than he, and I bought this CYOA because I missed him. He was funny, kind, and sweet and we shared a lot of interests, such as anime and food/cooking, but appearance-wise, we could not be more different: he was a long-haired, tatted, Korean metal-head hailing from a super country area in South Carolina, and I was a reserved, nerdy, goody two-shoes girl from suburban Northern California. He smoked cigarettes and weed and dropped out of high school thinking he'd be a drug dealer, but he eventually turned himself around, went to work, became a sushi chef and saved up enough money to move to Los Angeles and start fresh, signing up for classes at a community college. I met him in LA one summer while I was doing an internship in Hollywood. He was working odd jobs here and there to pay for his tuition, and the place he eventually worked full time for was a smoothie and juice bar called Earthbar. His favorite drink juice concoction from there contained tart green apples, ginger, and lime, which he always liked to make for me whenever I visited him in his rundown apartment near a little street called Rosewood. 
Notes: Marijuana, Green Apple, Ginger, Lime, Rosewood; I asked for the lime and rosewood to be more subtle while the other three notes were to be very prominent.
MY THOUGHTS: This is a very fresh, crisp tart lime and green apple scent with an herbal, green touch to it. I've smelled marijuana before and this perfume isn't giving me that kush vibe, but I suppose this is how marijuana translate into a fragrance oil. This scent persists throughout the wear, so from start to finish, it's just tart, lime apple green herbs. Not bad.


CYOA: Weird Avocado Bread

WEIRD AVOCADO BREAD
There really isn't a story behind this one. I just like eating avocado and arugula, and I wanted to try out the baked bread note. Then I thought, "I need this to be a bit sweet," so I added sweet & creamy, which is supposed to smell like condensed milk. Then, worrying that it would be too sweet, I added frankincense. Hahaha.
Notes: Avocado, Arugula, Baked Bread, Sweet & Creamy, Frankincense
MY THOUGHTS: This smells like avocado and mashed salad greens smeared all over buttered toast and drizzled with sugary, condensed milk. This is strangely good. I love eating avocados with sugar, I love eating avocado in sandwiches, and I love arugula. THIS JUST SMELLS FRICKEN YUMMY. Very realistic avocado note.


CYOA: Sangria Sky

SANGRIA SKY
I first approached this custom with the intention of recreating the old version of Darling Clandestine's Pyrotechnik. I have one solid from a couple of years ago that smells SO GOOD and nothing like the current Pyrotechnik (old Pyrotechnik was a subtle but true cantaloupe with an amazing, incensey sandalwood finish; current Pyrotechnik is sugary honeydew-flavored Japanese melon pan and nothing else on my skin). Inspired by these descriptions of Pyrotechnik:
From the official listing: This fragrance is a sangria-spicy concoction with bold notes of cantaloupe and raw sandalwood darkened with earth.
From DC's Facebook: Bright, spicy cantaloupe on a bold black sky of sandalwood and earth.
Also from DC's Facebook: Bursts of true, mouthwatering cantaloupe, darkened with spice and intense sandalwood. Kinda like a sangria. If cantaloupe is your thing, give this a whirl.
I kinda went off on a tangent and made something inspired by Pyrotechnik, but I wasn't expecting anything exactly the same. 
Notes: Cantaloupe, Merlot, Honey, Spiced Bread, Arabian Sandalwood

MY THOUGHTS: It smells like honey and fruity, sweet red wine (very realistic red wine scent!) and dries down to very lightly spiced honey. Don't know where the sandalwood went.


CYOA: Shampoo

SHAMPOO
My favorite shampoo for the past year has been Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine. Aside from the fact that it keeps my hair smooth and happy (my hair is damaged from dying), it also smells fricken amazing and---I shit you not---a man attractant. Every guy I've flirted with ever since I started using this shampoo has always noted that I "smell amazing," and when I thrust my wrist under his nose and ask "is it THIS?" the answer is always no. Then he'd lean in and sniff my hair and say "It's your hair. It smells so good." Yep. Even when I haven't showered the day before, guys think I smell amazing, and it's always coming from my hair. When I DO shower and I'm fresh out from the steam, people just flock to me. It's great. HAHA. Anyway, taken from the Herbal Essences site, Moroccan My Shine's description: Our fragrance starts out a bit fruity, with citrus, apple and berry notes. Then we get a little floral with roses and lilies. The result? A seriously seductive scent.
Notes: Red Apple, Fresh Squeezed Oranges, Blueberry, Rose, Lily of the Valley, Apple Blossom. I asked for the apple & orange to be the most prominent notes, and rose to be the most subdued.
MY THOUGHTS: This starts off with a very prominent rose scent with a faint, generic fruity background to sweeten it up. The rose calms down a bit after a while, and the apple starts to appear, but that's about it. I don't get any of the other notes as they seem to have just blended into the background. Doesn't smell like my shampoo, but still not bad.


CYOA: Maximo II

MAXIMO II
This blend is an attempt to recreate a scent from a now defunct line: Maximo by The Morbid The Merrier. I have one bottle of it stashed away that I'm afraid of using simply because I never want to run out of it. Maximo is described as: A complex and beautiful blend of sweet cocoa, spicy black pepper, earthy patchouli with a heart of vanilla and wood.
Notes: Raw Cocoa, Madagascar Black Peppercorn, Patchouli, Vanilla, Oud Wood
MY THOUGHTS: Both in the bottle and on my skin, all I get is fucking gross synthetic chocolate. Like tootsie rolls. Seriously, it makes me gag. What happened? Did they just fill a 5ml bottle with crappy chocolate fragrance oil and then forget the rest?


CYOA: Fortune II

FORTUNE II
This was an attempt to recreate a scent called Fortune made by the now defunct The Morbid The Merrier. It was described as: creamy ginger, sticky caramel, graham cracker crust, and precious woods.
Notes: Candied Ginger, Ginger, Caramel, Pie Crust, Spiced Bread, Arabian Sandalwood, Black Agar

MY THOUGHTS: Soapy synthetic floral ginger and a touch of spiced bread. There is a very synthetic ginger note out there that smells cheap, soapy, floral, and almost nothing like ginger. I've smelled it in RIPE perfumes and Firebird. It is complete trash compared to a true, spicy ginger essential oil, or whatever it is that Arcana uses that smells real and worth my time. Alchimia has the shitty ginger note. I am not impressed.


CYOA: Cake & Ale

CAKE & ALE
I wanted to try the oatmeal stout and baked bread notes. Decided to put them together, then added vanilla to make a vanilla oatmeal stout with bread. Then I added tres leches cake because WHY NOT. And tonka bean for kicks.
Notes: Oatmeal Stout,  Baked Bread, Tres Leches Cake, Vanilla, Tonka Bean
MY THOUGHTS: It starts off as oats, which quickly fades to vanilla, milky tres leches cake. That's pretty much it. Makes me hungry. Hahaha.


What I've learned from this is that attempts at recreating scents end poorly and throwing random notes together for kicks turns out pretty good. (I also learned that since leaving school, I've become complete shit when it comes to writing and can't put together an engaging intro for the life of me.)

Have you ever bought a custom scent?

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