Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me.
These are the scents I picked up through a decant circle from Arcana's current Valentine's Day collection. There's actually two parts of this collection, but I don't have the second set of scents available to review yet. Once I have those and they've settled a bit, I'll add another review. I also ordered a bottle of the Pretty Indulgent exclusive called Fille de Joie, which I'll add once it arrives.
Harlot - three bittersweet chocolates, French cocoa absolute and caramelized vanilla bean. In the vial this is a blend of caramel and milk chocolate. It almost smells like there's coffee and a boozy vanilla floating around in there as well. The boozy note disappears on my skin, but I can still smell a trace of coffee with the caramel and chocolate. Over the next hour the chocolate fades and I'm picking up more vanilla with the caramel. This scent is starting to remind me of Arcana's Two Finger Ballet with a drop of chocolate added to it. It's become a very cloying, sugary sweet blend, and the chocolate in this is very artificial to my nose. I expected to love this one, but I just can't get onboard with it. Sillage is low to moderate, and total wear time was only 2.5 hours before I could no longer smell it.
Jezebel - tiare, gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, and stephanotis are suffused with white musk, pearl musk and citron. In the vial, I smell a heady, hypnotic gardenia, tuberose and tiare blend with a bright, eye-opening quality to it. It's tropical, sensual and sweet all at the same time. My first impression of Jezebel is that it reminds me of another white floral blend by Arcana called Piscis Australis, minus the banana note. On my skin, the jasmine quickly emerges and takes over, but surprisingly this doesn't turn into a cat pee smell like jasmine has a tendency to do. Or, at least, it hasn't yet. It's one of the more wearable jasmine blends I've found. Very creamy and white. It doesn't morph beyond this point, aside from a subtle white musk that gradually emerges several hours into wear. Sillage is moderate to strong for the first few hours, but it fades quickly. By the five hour point, I was having a hard time smelling this. As a bonus though, the jasmine never turned funky on my skin. I really like this for a white floral, but since I already have a bottle of Piscis Australis, I'll stick with that.
Qedesha - neroli petals dripping with honey, bee nectar, warm musk and pearl musk. In the vial this is heavy on the neroli with a tart citrus topnote, but I also smell a touch of warm beeswax (not honey) and fuzzy pearl musk. It's a clean type of scent. Not a soapy clean, but more of a sensual, freshly washed skin type of clean. I love the neroli note used in this. It smells a little citrusy, a little sweet, and very intoxicating. On my skin Qedesha is initially the same, but the citrus top note fades quickly. The neroli is the dominant note until around the six hour mark when this becomes all beeswax. It's transformed into a rich, golden scent with a hint of floral, very similar to the Hot Wax butter bombs from the Haus of Gloi Valentine's collection. I'll be picking up a full bottle of this in the near future. This will be great for the summer months, and has instantly become one of my favorite neroli scents. I can't comment on the total wear time yet, but it still had a moderate sillage around the eight hour mark. I imagine I could easily get twelve or more hours out of this.
Strumpet - plush, rich vanilla, tart cassis, brown sugar and green cognac absolute. On cold sniff, there's a ton of brown sugar with a tart berry note. It's mostly brown sugar though. On my skin, I initially get a sharp green note in addition to the brown sugar and fruit. That must be the cognac, but I don't smell anything boozy. It fades into the background pretty quickly, so this is once again all brown sugar and tart berries. Around the two hour mark, the brown sugar has disappeared and the berries are on their way out, so once again I get that sharp green aroma from the cognac. As it dries down, the vanilla begins to enter the picture and helps soften the green note ever so slightly. It's still a very green scent at this point, but there's now a creamy vanilla cloud underneath. This green note reminds me of what I smelled in Arcana's Lacerta, which was released over the summer. I really expected to like this based on the description, and I was ready to buy a bottle once I smelled this in the vial, but after wearing it, I'm content with the sample. This was perfect until the green cognac entered the picture. Ah, well. I didn't wear this for the entire day, but sillage was moderate at the seven hour mark when I washed it off.
Tart - sweet lemon cakes, fluffy coconut frosting and a dash of bergamot. In the vial, this is an equal blend of lemon and bergamot. Sometimes I can catch a sniff of coconut, but it's almost entirely citrus. No cake, no sweetness...just citrus. On my skin, it's mostly lemon, but the coconut is a little stronger than it was in the vial. The coconut is becoming much stronger at the half hour mark with the lemon still present, and I'm starting to pick up on a subtle bakery note. A few hours in, this has transformed into a buttery coconut cream pie with a touch of grated lemon peel sprinkled on top. This is a delicious scent, but the wear time was only around four hours. Sillage is moderate.
This reminds me of Moonalisa's popular Lemon Curd and Coconut Cream fragrance. I only have that as a hair detangler, so I can't do a true comparison, but they smell almost identical in the bottles. Tart has the added bergamot which is present in the bottle, but disappears on the skin. I really can't choose a favorite since I can't do an actual comparison. The Arcana version is currently in stock with a faster turn around time, but it is limited edition, only available as a perfume, and more expensive. On the other hand, the Moonalisa version is less expensive and available in a variety of products (perfume, lotion, hair products, etc), but you'd have to wait for a restock and the turn around time is significantly longer.
Trollop - vintage patchouli, resinous amber, boozy apple rum and vodka. I wasn't sure about this one based on the description, but Arcana does some incredible apple blends so I figured why not. In the vial, the vodka is dominant with the patchouli coming in second. I have a hard time picking out the apple, but I can detect traces of it. On my skin, I get the patchouli, alcohol and a touch of apple, but it comes together to smells like boozy dirt. That may sound weird, but it's strangely appealing, especially for someone who tends to avoid earthy blends. The apple plays more of a supporting role as it weaves in and out for a few hours until it disappears entirely. Trollop doesn't morph beyond this point, and it continues to smells like a combination of damp earth and alcohol throughout the dry down. I got around eight hours of wear with moderate sillage.
Final thoughts - this is a well-rounded collection (again, this isn't the complete collection), although it doesn't make me think of Valentine's Day aside from Harlot. I would've liked to have a violet or rose blend in here somewhere. But from the scents I picked up, Qedesha is my favorite. Honorable mentions go to Tart and Trollop. Arcana's EBay storefront is currently in vacation mode while she catches up on orders, but you can find all of these fragrances at The Rhinestone Housewife and Pretty Indulgent, which I linked to up above.