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!

Arcana Soaps Samples

They look so cute. I love how the sample labels have the same art as the bottle labels.

Arcana Soaps Philtre #3: Fetish

Rumored to be disturbingly effective, this philtre may create obsessions and fixations beyond all reason. Three musks, Haitian vetiver, blackseed oil, nutmeg, molasses extract, grapefruit, apricot, peach, and darkest vanilla.
MY THOUGHTS: This starts off with a sweet, slightly fruity vanilla but quickly turns into a deep, slightly tart dark musk with something that smells really bitter and sharp, green, and floral, similar to narcissus. The sweetness floats in and out, but as the scent enters its dry down, the floral scent mingles equally with the sweet and the dark musk. Oddly, I really like this scent. It's pretty sexy.

Arcana Soaps Philtre #2: Adoration

An aphrodisiac believed to draw one’s beloved to the greatest heights of receptivity and indulgence. Three vanillas, sweet cream, banana custard, white pepper, exotic amber, pearl musk, black pepper, and cardamom.
MY THOUGHTS:  This starts off smelling like creme brulee or flan. YUM. The spices are very light and floating in the background. I don't smell the banana that much for some reason. This dries down to a vanilla amber with a bit of powdery musk. I like it, but it wasn't really memorable (I had to resniff to remember what the top notes were).

Arcana Soaps Stretched On Your Grave

Cold green apples, alabaster musk, and a scattering of cheerless white blossoms: calla lily, gardenia, tuberose, moonflower, and heart-leaf milkweed.
MY THOUGHTS:  I smell sweet, crisp Fuji apples in this. As soon as the oil sinks in, pretty, creamy white florals emerge and mix with the apple, making a light apple floral scent. This is a fairly simple smell, but it's good. Probably not good enough for a full bottle, but I'll see. I might use this a lot and then want a bottle later (obsessed with apples right now).

Arcana Soaps Gloom

GLOOM (free sample)
Black opium drifting down shadowy alleys, green musk, rain, sea water, petitgrain, and a particularly gloomy shot of grapefruit.
MY THOUGHTS:  I smell dark, dank murky resinous stuff in here, with a sharp green note that reminds me a bit of DC's Serpentina (I'm guessing this is the opium). The grapefruit adds a tangy citrus flair to it. This scent is pretty strong and lasts for a good 6-8 hours, with the citrus and sharpness fading over time to reveal a more mellow, murky hum. It's definitely nice, but I don't think I'd want a bottle.

Arcana Soaps Breakfast in Hollywood

Juicy pink grapefruit shimmies up against a bevy of California citrus fruits, sparkling champagne and ripe strawberries. The indulgent essence of breakfast with a screen goddess.
MY THOUGHTS: God, this smells like a delicious mimosa with strawberries in it. It's so bright and lightly sweet and lovely. Definitely getting grapefruit, some sweet orange juice, the sparkling champagne, and the strawberries. This lasts a good 8+ hours on me, with the later hours having it wear more closely to the skin. It's pretty simple from application through the end, but it's just so good! I think I might need a bottle of this.

Arcana Soaps Quim

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world. - Lao Tzu Lush French cognac, deepest chocolate, banana creme, and succulent orange entwine over a base of sensual ambrette musk.
MY THOUGHTS: This starts off with a very SHARP SHARP banana orange cognac scent. So sharp that it actually hurt my nose when I sniffed it. After sinking in a bit (5 minutes or so after application), it is all musty, warm, powdery musk with a hint of sweet. Like sticking my nose in a handful of dryer sheets right after the dryer stops, so they're all warm, powdery, dusty, musty, and faded. It stays like this until it wears off about 8 hours later. Not really a fan.


  1. Hi, I'm a massive Arcana fan, I find they have the strongest scent throw and last longer than all other indie perfume brands I've tried so far, I'm not sure why that is but I wonder what base oil they use to blend with? I can't find it listed anywhere!

    1. Hello! I'm a huge Arcana fan too. :) Of the 20+ indie perfume shops I've tried, I'd have to say that Arcana's scents are definitely the most concentrated, the most long-lasting, and the highest quality of all of them.

      Hmmm. And now that you mention the base oil, I realized that I don't really know that either. That might be a good question to ask the owner, Julia, of Arcana. I'll get back to you on that!


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