Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me.
These are the scents I picked up from last years Haus of Gloi Valentine's release. This was my first time trying these scents so I was excited to test them out. Two of these were brand new and the rest were reoccuring fragrances.
Seasonal releases tend to sell out quickly so I recommend being logged in to your account and ready to go several minutes before the scheduled time (usually it's Sundays at noon Pacific Time). This year's lineup hasn't been announced yet but you can sign up for a newsletter on the website to alert you to upcoming collections.
Come Hither - based off of traditional herbs and roots used in Hoodoo to draw and attract a lover, or entice the one you've already ensnared! Bourbon vanilla, tonka bean, a touch of rose oil, Queen Elizabeth (orris) root, saffron and a touch of honey to sweeten the deal. In the vial I can detect a lot of rose and something sharp and earthy, almost a little dirty (is that the orris? It reminds me of what a root would smell like). The saffron is lurking about and I have a feeling it's going to hog all the attention once it's on my skin. I don't smell any vanilla or honey, and the rose I can smell is very generic. I love rose fragrances but Haus of Gloi's just doesn't seem to work for me. On my skin the rose and saffron amp immediately and this becomes a spicy floral. The background is smooth and there's a slightly boozy quality, but I still smell that earthy note. As it wears the saffron fades until this becomes a slightly sweet, boozy vanilla with the rose and earthy note lingering. IDK, I had high hopes for this. Vanilla, rose, honey? Yes please! But it wasn't as sweet as I had hoped, and I think the saffron and orris root spoiled it for me.
Cozy Rose - Cozy Sweater and our Rose City blended together harmoniously. This was a new scent offered in the 2015 release. It's a blend of two general catalog scents: Rose City (rose and patchouli) and the bestseller Cozy Sweater (pale skin musk, faded perfume, Egyptian amber, softly burning nag champa incense and a fine aged vanilla). I haven't tried either of those so Cozy Rose is completely new to me. In the vial I get tons of patchouli, musk and incense. It's very sharp and potent, and I'm wary of putting this on. But, alas. Once it's on my skin the patchouli slowly fades and I'm left with a lot of incense, but it's still sharp and not cozy at all. As it fades it becomes a little softer and begins to take on a slightly floral laundry detergent aroma. This must be Cozy Sweater I'm smelling. Again, I've never smelled either of the scents that make up Cozy Rose so this is just a guess, but I'd say this begins with Rose City and finishes with Cozy Sweater. This one didn't do anything for me, and I'll most likely avoid picking up a sample of Cozy Sweater after swatching this.
First Blush - Tahitian vanilla bean, white tea, lavender and peach. This was the second new scent and it will be returning this year. It's a juicy, fresh peach and crisp white tea, all smoothed out by the vanilla. I can pinpoint the herbal lavender when I look for it but it's blended pretty well with the other notes and doesn't stand out much; I think it helps prevent this scent from becoming too sweet. The peach is the dominant note and true to life...in fact it's probably the most authentic peach fragrance I've tried. The white tea helps brighten this scent and adds a refreshing quality to it. It's a very feminine, clean fruity fragrance that is perfect for spring. I believe Britton said this would be returning this year so as a heads up, snatch this one up quickly. It sold out pretty fast and I imagine it will again this year.
Odette - clean sun dried linens, tuberose, ginger lily and white musk. Smells like white florals and a warm spring day in the vial. There's something bold and sharp in here that makes me suspect it's the ginger lily. Whatever that is, it's the dominant note. The laundry smell is the same as the one in Milkmaid (from the spring collection, I'll review it soon). It's a clean, soapy smell. Now that I think about it, this scent is like a less sweet version of Milkmaid. Odette is the fresh, clean floral while Milkmaid is the sweet, milky, clean floral. On the skin Odette smells the same as it does in the vial for an hour or so. That sharp ginger note gradually fades and I'm eventually left with a soft lily and musk blend that hugs close to the skin.
Risque - a leather whip, red musk, cast aside roses and an intoxicating touch of amber incense. Heavy on the black leather and red musk in the vial. I can small the same rose note used in Cozy Rose and Come Hither. Initially on the skin it's just leather and musk, no rose. After an hour or two the leather fades and the rose appears, mingling with the red musk. I haven't smelled Chanel #5 in years but that's what Risque begins to remind me of at this point. Sensual and sophisticated, but more of an older woman's fragrance. It lasted around six hours on my skin before I washed it off and the sillage is strong.
Who Needs Love - a mahogany box filled with chocolatey orbs, coated in crystallized coffee, filled with a pomegranate and raspberry filling. Dark chocolate and coffee with a small amount of red fruit. I love the use of mahogany in here. It's subtle but adds a beautiful depth. Now that I think about it, I'd like to find more scents that use this as a note. Anyway, the fruit becomes more apparent on my skin and it's more of a sweet jam rather than freshly picked fruit. But after an hour or so I started to notice a very bitter aroma from the coffee. It wasn't there in the jar so it must be a skin chemistry thing.
Haus of Gloi Risque and Solstice Scents Rose Leather - these are both leather and rose blends so I figured I'd do a quick comparison. On cold sniff Risque is black leather and red musk while Solstice is rose and black leather. The leather notes differ. Solstice is more dirty and rough while Risque is very smooth and soft. Solstice has a voluptuous, deep red rose while Risque has a more generic rose that lacks any depth. On the skin Solstice is an equal blend of rose and leather, and the rose fades rather quickly while the leather remains for the duration of the wear. Risque begins as leather and musk with the leather fading first; the rose eventually appears and blends with the red musk until I washed it off after six hours. I'd say Risque is easier to wear in day to day life while Solstice Rose Leather is strictly a bedroom scent.
Final thoughts - I usually go crazy for Valentine's releases, especially with all the rose blends that you tend to see. But this collection just didn't do much for me. The only one I'll repurchase is First Blush. Maybe Who Needs Love, but only in a wash-off product. The Valentine's collection will likely be released towards the end of the month so head on over to the website to sign up for a newsletter.