The Unicorn (Mad Tea Party): A misty, almost luminous perfume: wispy linden blossoms, white flowers, and a touch of sweet herbs.
Hmm. It smells like a very pale pink to me. It’s sweet—it’s like a fruit sweetness but not quite. It’s floral and yet almost not (whew). It’s very—I don’t want to say “wet” or “deep” exactly, but there’s something fluid about it. Despite making me think of pink, it’s a very cool, calming scent. Very nice to wear in heat like we’re having right now. It’s sort of the way I wish the Juliet blend smelled.
Catherine (Diabolus): Named for the ambitious, vengeful poisoner Catherine de Medici, who used perfumes to perform her dark deeds. A sinful blend of orange blossom, rosemary and rose... allegedly the exact perfume she utilzed in her work.
On the wand: Rosemary! Wet: Rosemary! Drydown: ROSES! Big pink fluffy soapy roses. Where? Where is the orange blossom, I ask you? Also: Catherine has got some major, major throw. On me, anyway.
Morocco (Wanderlust): The intoxicating perfume of exotic incenses wafting on warm desert breezes. Arabian spices wind through a blend of warm musk, carnation, red sandalwood and cassia.
Entirely vanilla on me, which is interesting. Kind of a buttery vanilla. I can smell the “Arabian spices,” but they’re kind of lazy. This one is really weak on me, for some reason, and it’s hard to smell it at all. Drydown: the carnation starts to come out, making it a bit more cinnamony and spicy.
Endymion (Love Potions): Selune, the Moon Goddess, fell in love with a beautiful shepherd named Endymion. She appealed to Zeus, asking him to cast Endymion into everlasting slumber so that she could be with him for all eternity. Her wish was granted, and every night the Goddess visited her love as he slept. A sweet, wistful blend of d'Anjou pear, Lily of the Valley, bois du rose and white musk.
This one may share the doom of Katharina—it’s got notes I like, but it just can’t stand up to other blends with the same notes that I like better. I love Beth’s pears, but this one’s a little too “wistful”—if I’m going pear, I’d rather go with Glitter or Titania.
On second thought… maybe a layer of this is what Juliet needs for it to work for me?
Hunger (Love Potions): Evokes sheer, unadulterated carnal lust. An undeniably warm and sensual scent. Black narcissus, orange blossoms, and vanilla.
Floral orange. And it’s kind of a dark floral, pretty strong. It is “warm and sensual,” I’ll give them that. I’m waiting for the vanilla… Later: it eventually pulled together as a fairly pleasant scent. I think it needs to be tested again later.
The Hanging Gardens (Wanderlust): This perfume is an interpretation of the Hanging Gardens by night, based on further accounts of its fruit and flora: date palm, ebony, fir, pomegranate, plum, two pears, quince, fig, and grapevine with plumeria, three gardenias and dry rose.
Kind of a fruity floral, but it’s very deep/clean/sweet, in an almost aquatic way. Like, I could imagine a big square reflecting pool in the middle of the garden. Maybe it’s the green of leaves that I’m smelling. There’s also something a little like coconut around the edges. Interestingly, the “watery” note is very similar to one I smelled in the middle of Milk Moon. Hmmm.
Umbra (Bewitching Brews): The deepest, darkest point in a shadow; the area contained within the shadow of an eclipse. East African black patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver and a dribble of cinnamon.
Read the saga of Umbra here.
Vice (Sin & Salvation): Voluptuous and indulgent! A deep chocolate scent, with black cherry and orange blossom.
I haven’t tried Vice thoroughly yet, but the dabs I did try kind of smelled like a chocolate-scented toy, if that makes any sense. That kind of fake chocolate half-assed soft-plastic smell. Which is why I want to test it a few more times, because good God, it’s got to smell better than that…
ETA: After an hour or so, the orange and cherry come out and push the fake chocolate to the background, and it's a lot nicer.
Bliss (Bewitching Brews): A shot of pure, self-indulgent euphoria! A scent that is very, very wicked in its own way: the serotonin-slathered scent of pure milk chocolate.
…so what I really want to talk about is Bliss. Bliss is straight chocolate. It’s not the smooth Swiss chocolate smell I wanted; it’s more textured. Kind of like my mom’s fudge. But it’s way truer than Vice, as far as my chemistry goes.
Tintagel (Wanderlust): According to legend, the birthplace of King Arthur. The scent of a castle's great hall in the midst of joyous feasting. Spicy mulled wine flowing through the musky heat, warm leather and bright clash of armor, the damp branches of Cornish hawthorn, blackthorn, juniper, English elm and bayberry, and the magical tingle of dragon's blood resin.
Despite the laundry list of ingredients, all I get is dragon’s blood resin (a red, fruity smell) and firelight, but that’s plenty. It’s really, really nice—yay for somehow getting an extra imp! (No, I don’t know how Beth gets firelight in a bottle, either.)
Leanan Sidhe: The name translates to “fairy, love of my soul”. A vampiric spirit and a dark muse, the love of the Leanan Sidhe is both a gift and a curse. These eerily beautiful Irish spirits drain the sanity and lifeforce of the men they inspire to artistic greatness. Her kiss infuses a man with depth of vision and feeling, otherworldly passion, and a sudden and ineffable understanding of the unending sadness that plagues mankind. Her perfume is a crush of Irish herbs and flowers, Gaelic mists, and nighttime dew.
WOOOOO strong. Kind of soapy and astringent—it’s a very green smell. It reminds me a teensy bit of Rosalind, but mostly of… Irish Springs soap. It gets sweeter on the drydown, fortunately, and it’s got a hell of a throw. Test this one sparingly.
Glasgow (Wanderlust): The rich scent of wild blackberry breezing over gentle rosy heather.
Kind of a blackberry-over-mist smell. I’m trying to think exactly how to describe the mist component—kind of like a cold, wet morning, when fog is still on the roads. And a little bit soapy. But mostly blackberry. I liked it more than Leanan Sidhe, I’ll put it that way.
Silk Road (Wanderlust): A panoply of cultural treasures, spanning the herbs, flowers, oils and balms of the Romans, the Byzantines, the Mediterranean, the Levant, Northern China, Eastern Europe, Iran, the Bulgar-Kypchak, Mesopotamia, the Crimean Peninsula, Anatolia, Antioch, and North Africa.
I was a little scared of this one—there’s a bunch of blends that are basically in the Middle Eastern Spices category that I’m always afraid are going to knock me down, give me an incense headache and steal my lunch money. This one was really strange—it started out as an almost lemony floral while wet, then moving to something with almost a touch of lavender in it, but then all this cinnamon showed up on the drydown. Nice… but strange.
ETA: I think it's settled down now--in its final stage, on me, it's a perfume-y lemon-amber.
Venice (Wanderlust): A complex, voluptuous scent that captures the robust beauty of the Italian Renaissance: lemon, red currant, wisteria, red rose petals, heady jasmine, Florentine orris root, waterlily, red sandalwood, violet plum, and violet leaf.
I mostly got Lemon Zinger tea out of this one, which was perfectly all right with me; the lemon and the red currant dominated. Then again, I used it in the burner rather than on my skin. I really liked it, though.
Florence (Wanderlust): Florence: The pearl of the Italian Renaissance. Elegant iris, bright berries, gilded amber and velvety spices.
I mostly got amber and dark spice—dominated by something clove-y—on this one. I didn’t dislike it, but I think I’ll be using it in the burner as a mood scent rather than on my skin again.
Dana O’Shee (Bewitching Brews): In Irish folklore the Dana O'Shee are a fae, elven people that live in a realm of beauty, their nobility akin to our that own Age of Chivalry, eternally beautiful and eternally young. […] Offerings of milk, honey and sweet grains were made to placate these creatures, and it is that the basis of the scent created in their name.
A light, creamy vanilla-almond scent. It’s what I think I wanted Milk Moon to smell like. Probably very good for layering--particularly for me, when I feel something needs to be evened out with a hit of vanilla.</b>