Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nocturne Alchemy Holiday Scents

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me. 

These are the scents I picked up from Nocturne Alchemy's holiday collection last month. A few of these are samples that I managed to snag from a decant circle, but I also did a blind purchase on the website for a couple bottles.

I wanted to mention something here. In the scent descriptions there are terms like Crystal, Crystalline, Moonstone, Santalum and Santalum White. To a Nocturne Alchemy newbie like me, I have no idea what those words mean. After doing a bit of digging around I discovered that these are basically "single note" scents that are intended to be worn alone or layered with other blends. I haven't tried any of these fragrances by themselves so I won't be able to identify them in the blends I have below, but I'll give it my best. I'll include a quick description of each that I pulled from the website and include them in the reviews.

Bastet's Pink Snow - Pink Sugar snow, vanilla-mint cream, Crystalline and Crystal vanilla and soft sweet buttercream. (Crystal = Egyptian black vanilla and white musk. Crystalline = vanilla orchid). In the vial I mostly smell Aquolina's Pink Sugar (or something that smells very similar) and peppermint over a smooth buttercream base. The pink note is dominant, so this leans feminine. It's a little fuzzy and not too sweet. The peppermint gradually fades until all that remains is a musky Pink Sugar throughout the dry down. I was hoping to smell vanilla at some point, but it never got to that point. The sillage was moderate at first, but after several hours I had to press my wrist against my nose to smell it.

Bastet's Snow White - a variety of 15 vanilla beans from Madagascar, France, Egypt and all over the world. Crystalline and Crystal. Butter and caramel essences. Moonstone and Egyptian white musk. (Crystal = Egyptian black vanilla and white musk. Crystalline = vanilla orchid. Moonstone = African white vanilla and Crystalline). In the vial it's a rich vanilla and sweet caramel blend. There's something a little fuzzy in the background which may be the white musk. It's sweet but not cloying. On my skin the musk comes out more and mixes nicely with the vanilla and caramel. It becomes a little sweeter than in the vial, but not by much. As it dries down the caramel disappears, leaving behind a soft vanilla musk. There's a subtle darker edge to this, so I'm guessing that's the black vanilla from the Crystal that I smell. After about six hours I was having a hard time smelling this so I needed to reapply.

Victorian Apple Butter Crystal - hand picked red apples, skin used for the essence of apple in this blend. English sugar, English caramel butter, toffee pudding, freshly dusted with shavings of nutmeg and bathed in vanilla cream musk and a heavy hand of Studio Limited (SL) Crystal absolute. (Crystal = Egyptian black vanilla and white musk). In the bottle I smell a very rich and buttery-smooth caramel red apple with hints of brown sugar. It's a familiar fragrance that reminds me of Moonalisa's Wicked Amber and Alchemic Muse's Applewood. On my skin I get a strong blast of caramel apple that quickly morphs into a strange chemical aroma as the nutmeg emerges. I guess my skin doesn't get along well with nutmeg, but thankfully it passes quickly. As it dries down it transforms into a creamy brown sugar-toffee blend. The sillage was moderate to strong even after eight hours when I washed it off.

Victorian Buttered Rum Santalum White - delicious Victorian hot buttered rum accord using Bourbon vanilla, brown sugar blended into vanilla benzoin, vanilla resin enrobed in a heavy hand of our SL Santalum White absolute and a kiss of zest from an English orange. (Santalum White = Egyptian white sandalwood). In the bottle this is a buttery vanilla with a little booziness. There's a lot of sandalwood, but it blends seamlessly with the other notes. It's a very soft and comforting unisex blend. On my skin it becomes a little more boozy with a stronger sandalwood note emerging.  It's still a soft scent, but it was softer in the bottle. There's also a sweetness (brown sugar?) that emerges for the first hour or two that I didn't get in the bottle. As it dries down the buttered rum gradually fades until that creamy sandalwood note is all that remains. Sillage was moderate, and the longevity of this scent was insane. It lasted the entire day.

Victorian Candy Cane Crystalline - red and white striped candy cane created with the essence of pure peppermint bark, vanilla cream, vanilla dust, a touch of strawberry seed, and a heavy hand of SL Crystalline vanilla absolute. (Crystalline = vanilla orchid). In the bottle this is heavy on the icy peppermint, but there's a subtle vanilla sweetness laying underneath. On my skin a somewhat "fuzzy" vanilla begins to emerge as the peppermint fades over the next hour until it disappears entirely. The vanilla eventually transforms into a scent that reminds me of the designer fragrance Vaniglia del's a vanilla orchid blend so I imagine I'm now smelling the Crystalline. It's soft, not too sweet, very rich and has a coconut undertone. Candy Cane Crystalline begins with a moderate sillage but hugs close to the skin after the first hour. I got around six hours of wear before I needed to reapply.

Victorian Eggnog Santalum - delicious spices of the season in a creamy base of warm and sweet sandalwood, spices of nutmeg, white cinnamon and clove all hand blended into a decadent heavy handed blending of our SL Santalum absolute. (Santalum = sandalwood accented with coconut husk, golden amber, golden sandalwood, fossilized amber, Himalayan cedarwood, gold patchouli and golden frankincense). In the bottle I get a lot of smooth sandalwood and a touch of spice in a creamy, boozy base, but it all pulls together to smell just like eggnog. On my skin the spices amp immediately but they don't overwhelm the scent. It's still boozy but I can't smell the sandalwood right now. It just smells like lightly spiced eggnog. Over the next few hours the sandalwood begins to emerge, but it's different than the one I smelled in Buttered Rum Santalum White. This one is not as soft and is a little more sharp. I think I'm smelling cedar mixed in, so that must be the Santalum note. It's a little masculine at this point. Sillage was moderate and it lasted around eight hours on my skin.

Final thoughts - I'm pretty impressed with all of the scents I picked up from this collection, but my favorites are Eggnog Santalum (one of the best eggnog blends I've tried so far) and Candy Cane Crystalline (that coconut vanilla drydown!). Unfortunately these were limited edition and are no longer available on the website, but you'd probably have some luck searching the Nocturne Alchemy Marketplace group on Facebook.

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