Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Moonalisa Valentine's Day/Mardi Gras Review

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me.

This was my huge order that I placed from last years combined Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras sale. There were a ton of scents that I was dying to try so I went a little overboard with all of the rose, violet and fruit blends.

A little bit about the ordering process - Moona occasionally sends out newsletters announcing her upcoming sales, but the best way to stay informed is to follow her Facebook page. Sales are announced about a week in advance and you can make requests for scents you'd like to see offered. There's no guarantee your choices will be available but Moona does her best considering how many scents and products are offered. Items tend to sell out quickly so you have to move fast. The turn around time is usually around 30 business days with an additional week or two needed to ship the orders. The wait time is long but well worth it. Multiple orders are combined and shipping overages are refunded, however you'll have to wait a while to see that (she's currently doing shipping refunds from the October 2014 restock). Everything is packaged well and there's always a free goodie bag with candy and a sample item.

Amber Rose - drench yourself with deep tones of dark and resinous real amber resin and Bulgarian rose absolute. This is an equal blend of deep amber and a full-bodied red rose in the bottle. There's an almost boozy, intoxicating quality to this. I only have this in a detangler so I can't comment on what it would smell like on my skin (I rubbed some on my wrist but it faded almost immediately).

Amber Vanilla Rose - I believe this was only available as a Sugarload Scrub and I don't have a description. It's all amber and vanilla, I don't smell much rose. It's soft and comforting, sexy without being over the top, and maybe slightly powdery. I'm always worried that amber blends will be too dark and heavy but this one is nice. If it's offered in a perfume or other leave-on product I'd most likely repurchase it.

Ambered Violet - I can't find a description but in the bottle this is a rich amber and sweet violet in equal amounts. Unfortunately my nose is not enjoying this combo because it smells very powdery and matronly. I imagine this is what the Queen would smell like while sipping her afternoon tea. I was only able to wear this for a half hour before I washed it off. But just before I did the violets were starting to fade and the amber was becoming the dominant note. It was still very powdery and cloying. I tried wearing this when I first received it and I wasn't able to. I figured a little cure time would help but nope. It's just not working for me.

Banana Tarte Tatin - rich sweet banana filled puff pastry with butter rum sauce. In the bottle I smell a true banana (not a candy-like one) with a strong boozy note (it smells more like rum rather than buttered rum). I swear there's a touch of spices far in the background in addition to a light pastry note. On the skin this instantly transforms into a lightly spiced buttered rum with a touch of banana that fades quickly. It's drastically different between what I smell in the bottle and on my skin - in the bottle it reminds me of a tropical summertime drink and on my skin it becomes something I'd enjoy while sitting in front of a fireplace on a winter day.

Banana Foster lip butter - creamy rich banana and butter, made with an all natural banana flavor oil. This is a very sweet banana (more candy-like rather than the actual fruit) mixed with a smooth buttery aroma. Almost like banana pudding. The flavor lasts around 10-20 minutes before it wears off.

Candied Violet - sugared violets adorning a Chamborde raspberry liqueur soaked butter sponge cake. In the bottle this is heavy on the buttery golden cake with a touch of sweet violets. I don't smell any raspberry or liqueur notes at all. It smells similar to Torta minus the violets. On my skin the flowers amp immediately with the buttery cake grounding this scent and adding a subtle warmth. The violet aroma slowly fades but a sugary sweetness remains that blends nicely with the cake. I wasnt sure about this on cold sniff because I wanted it to be more floral, but in the end it worked out nicely.

Chateau de Chambord - it is made from raspberries, blackberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey and cognac to create an all-natural black raspberry liqueur. If you like berry scents than you NEED this! It reminds me the old B&BW Black Raspberry Vanilla but less sweet. It's a slightly tart blend and I can smell the raspberries, blackberries and vanilla. I don't smell any boozy notes. It's a tart, creamy and rich berry blend that I love. It doesn't really morph on the skin and I'm perfectly fine with that.

Cocoa Rose - dark cocoa liqueur topped with fresh zesty ginger, accented with a touch of rose. I don't believe this was offered last year. I'm not sure when it was last available but I'm including it here because it seems like a V-Day scent. It's equal amounts of smooth dark chocolate (not bitter though) and a velvety soft rose with a subtle booziness. I'm surprised to see ginger in the description because I don't smell that at all. On the skin the rose comes forward immediately as the chocolate fades into the background and the boozy note disappears completely. After several minutes the rose begins to recede and once again blends with the chocolate until the scent disappears. The longevity of this scent is very short and I was struggling to smell it after an hour. I believe this is made with pure cocoa so perhaps that is why the wear time is so brief.

Georgina - white chocolate strawberry rose. This was a scent that Moona's son created, which I thought was cute. In the bottle I mostly smell a creamy white chocolate with a light touch of tart strawberry. The rose is present but it's hiding in the background. Moona has the most realistic strawberry scent I've found; it's deliciously tart and juicy with no sugary sweetness. The white chocolate is smooth and not cloying at all. On the skin I smell the strawberries paired with a beautiful red rose. These two scents blend together seamlessly and they seem to compete for the center stage. The strawberries begin to fade within a few minutes so I'm left with the rose and white chocolate. At this point it reminds me of a less sweet version of Vanilla Rose.

Peches Melba - juicy ripe peaches with a squeeze of lemon and fresh raspberry topped with vanilla bean ice cream. This reminds me of a scent I used to love...but I can't remember the name. It may have been an old Victoria's Secret perfume from the 90's. Anyway, this is a super ripe peach, not too sweet and not too plastic smelling, bursting with juices. I can smell the squeeze of lemon but it enhances the peach rather than stand alone. I don't smell any raspberry and the vanilla ice cream is so subtle that I barely notice it. I didn't think much of this scent last year when I got it, and it was extremely light in the lotion so I set it aside. But now that plenty of time has passed it's really blossomed. The next time I see this offered as a perfume I'm grabbing it.

Raspberry Chocolate Truffle - a realistic raspberry coulis mixed with a dark rich chocolate liqueur. In the bottle I get a lot of sweet raspberry with a very bitter dark chocolate. I've tried a few dark chocolate blends but so far this is the most accurate. Once I apply this the chocolate amps immediately and begins to take on a slightly boozy quality. The raspberry fades into the background and is still detectable, but it no longer sweetens this blend. The dark chocolate and liqueur remain the dominant notes until they fade completely. I really wanted to like this one since it's a nice alternative to the usual chocolate and cherry blends that come out for V-Day, but that chocolate note was almost sour and at times it began to smell like body odor. I didn't experience that with Cocoa Rose, which is also a dark chocolate liqueur scent, so I don't know what happened here.

Southern Blackberry Jam Cake - big fat juicy blackberries smother this buttermilk rich, slightly spiced cake. This is heavy on a buttery yellow cake with a light touch of sweet blackberries. I don't smell any spices. I think it's different than the yellow cake note I smelled in Candied Violet and Torta. This smells more like a cross between yellow cake and corn bread. The blackberries almost immediately disappear once I put this on so all I smell is that corn bread/cake combo. I was hoping the blackberry would be stronger and stick around longer.

Sweet Violet Nectar - violet fragrance blends with violet leaf absolute, vanilla and pure vanilla bourbon Co2 (related to Candied Violets but more natural and with more depth). I don't find this similar to Candied Violets at all. If you were to combine Moona's Violet and Vanilla Sugar fragrances, this is what you'd get. It's very sweet, a little powdery and a little musky. I can smell tons of sugared violets resting on top of a smooth vanilla cream. On my skin the vanilla begins to emerge as the violets slowly fade. The vanilla slowly loses it's sweetness and hugs close to the skin until it disappears. This is extremely feminine and flirty, and if you like sweet florals you need this.

Torta Del Cielo - a traditional Mayan dessert. It is a scrumptious moist almond sponge cake soaked with rum or brandy. Made with tons of butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla bean. This has been recently reformulated and was included in the Yule collection. I'm reviewing the old version here and will compare it to the new one once I receive it. In the bottle it's a buttered yellow cake with a touch of almond, maybe some spices but that could be my imagination. I don't smell any rum or brandy. It's a very light scent so I'm having a hard time picking out notes. But on my skin it becomes much stronger and smells like almond extract and yellow cake. It's very buttery and warm and ever so slightly boozy. It doesn't morph much beyond that except for the boozy note fading.

Vanilla Rose - this is another one I can't find the description for but it seems straightforward. It's mostly sweet, smooth vanilla with a touch of rose. It's more of a delicate pink rose rather than a darker red rose. On my skin the rose amps but the vanilla is still present, softening the floral so it doesn't become overpowering. As it wears a slightly sharp green scent emerges that reminds me of a rose bush instead of just the petals. I'm not sure where that's coming from since it wasn't there in the bottle.

Vanilla Sugar - a rich and boozy deep sweet vanilla absolute, sugar and musk. Not much sweetness or musk, but it is deep and a little boozy in the bottle. As soon as I apply this, I get a burst of sugary sweetness that fades quickly until I'm left with the same smooth vanilla I smelled in the bottle. The booziness weaves in and out but the scent remains pretty much the same. I ordered another vanilla blend called Snow Ice from the Yule restock so I'll compare the two once I have it.

Violet - a sweet powdery violet but there's a plastic aroma I'm picking up too. I only have this in a lotion so it may be from the base, but I've never noticed a base smell in any other Moona lotion I have. It's pretty light in this format and only lasts a few minutes before the scent disappears.

Moonalisa Georgina vs Solstice Scents Rose Mallow Cream - I have these products in two different formats (RMC is a perfume and Georgina is a lotion) and I'm not sure how they would compare if they were both perfumes. Either way these scents are pretty different despite having similar notes. In the bottle RMC is heavy on the rose supported by a backdrop of a very sweet white chocolate/marshmallow note. Georgina is heavy on the white chocolate and tart strawberry, and it isn't sugary sweet. On the skin RMC is all rose and that sweet white chocolate/marshmallow blend until the rose fades after 30 minutes or so; on the dry down the strawberry weaves in and out between the sweet white notes very briefly. Eventually it becomes a sugary musk. When I put Georgina on my skin, it starts out with the strawberry and rose blending together but eventually the strawberry fades and it's all rose with a smooth white chocolate. I'm not sure which one I like more: I prefer the heavier rose blend in RMC, but Georgina is nice because it lacks the stomach-churning sweetness that RMC has. If you want a sweeter blend, go with RMC. If you want something more realistic, go with Georgina.

Final thoughts - there's a lot of great scents offered here. Sweet Violet Nectar, Peches Melba, Torta, Vanilla Sugar and Chateau are my favorites. Moona is still working on the Yule orders so there's no date set for the V-Day/Mardi Gras sale, but keep an eye on her Facebook page for announcements. A lot of her scent offerings are done by customer request so if you see something you'd like be sure to let her know so she can plan accordingly.

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