Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Moonalisa Yule Collection

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me. 

This is my latest Moona order to arrive on my doorstep. I placed this order on 12/19 and received it last week, so it's a little out of season but here it is nevertheless.

I received two free samples with this order. The first one is a new scent called Ramos Rhubarb & Rose, which I will review here. The second sample is Chateau de Chambord, which I previously reviewed in the Valentine's collection.

Free samples

Chocolate Strudel (aka Schokoladenstrudel) - delicious chocolate and coconut with a hint of flaky buttery pastry. This is heavy on a buttery coconut, but I can also smell a rich, dark chocolate to a lesser extent. It smells just like a Mounds candy bar. I only have this as a hair conditioner so I can't comment on how it goes with my skin chemistry, but in the bottle this smells practically edible.

Christmas Pudding - vanilla absolute, benzoin, cardamom, ginger and a touch of fragrance oils that fill the air with the delicious aroma of fresh baked gingerbread and love. This one is a lot like Moona's Durga scent from the Halloween collection, but more creamy and foody. This is a spicy scent with a heavy dose of vanilla and a warm, bakery note to help smooth everything out. If you liked Durga, you might want to check this out.

Mulled Cranberry Frost - juicy and tart with soft mulled spices and winter berries. This is a brand new scent and I love cranberries so I had to try it. This is more of a sugared berry scent, even though the description mentions spices. In the bottle, I mostly smell the tart cranberries, but there may be another type of berry mixed in. Mulberry perhaps? The spices are subtle, helping to accentuate the tartness of the fruit, and I am smelling a lot of sugar in here. There's an interesting contrast between the tart and sweet notes. This scent didn't morph on my skin aside from a buttery pastry note occasionally weaving in and out throughout the duration of wear. I'm not sure where that's coming from because I didn't smell it in the bottle, nor is it mentioned in the description. Apart from that, this is a great berry blend that I'll be reaching for in the near future. I got a moderate sillage and around four hours of wear with this before I needed to reapply it.

Ramos, Rhubarb and Rose - inspired by famed New Orleans barman Henry C. Ramos, said to have invented this rich, potent and frothy egg white, sugar and cream cocktail in the 1880's, with my twist of fresh and zesty rhubarb and a touch of vetiver to ground it out. This was a free 2 ounce sample that was included in orders over a certain dollar amount. I was really excited for this originally because Moona said it was a raspberry and rose blend, which is what I've been searching for, but I don't smell any raspberry in here. Or rose, sugar, or cream for that matter. I'm getting a lot of what must be rhubarb in here, and it smells almost identical to Moona's Jello Shots scent from the summer collection. It's a zesty, citrus-like blend that makes me think of grapefruit. Even though it was nothing like I expected (or much like the name and description, for that matter), I'm still glad I tried this. It's a nice scent, but not what I was expecting based on the initial description. I would've purchased this as a blind buy in every product offered, but now, I will be saving a bit of money while I continue searching for a raspberry rose blend.

Snow Ice - 2015 reformulation! Fond memories Moona has when a child at camp during the Nevada snows, making natural "ice cream" from ice cold snow, condensed milk, sugar and vanilla extract. This scent is reminiscent of that: sweet crystallized vanilla sugar and cream. This is the only version I have so I can't compare to the older version. In the bottle, I pick up on a cream note that reminds me of the one that Arcana uses, and right now I'm worried it will turn sour on my skin. There's also a strong buttery note in here that reminds me of movie theater popcorn. I really don't smell vanilla or sugar, and this scent isn't sweet at all. It smells the same on my skin and it didn't morph much. Occasionally I could smell a subtle sweetness weaving in and out, but it's still mostly butter and a cream note that borders on sour, curdled milk. Sillage is moderate and total wear time was around six hours. I figured this would be similar to Moona's Vanilla Sugar scent based on the description, so I did a comparison of the two below.

Sugared Forest - sugared spruce, frosted berries and fir trees. Another new scent. This is a sweet red berry type of scent, but I'm not smelling any fir or spruce. I only have this in a hair conditioner, so the woodsy notes may be more prevalent in the perfume format, but for now all I smell is sweet berries. It's similar to Mulled Cranberry Frost, but more sugary and the berries are not tart. When I ordered this, I figured this would be a great scent to use during the winter months, but now I plan on using this year-round.

Comparison :
Moonalisa Snow Ice vs. Moonalisa Vanilla Sugar - these are both buttery scents, but that's where the similarities end. Vanilla Sugar is a deep, almost boozy vanilla with a moderate amount of sweetnes in the bottle, whereas Snow Ice smells like buttered popcorn and cream. The buttery note in Snow Ice  is prominent, while it is much more subtle in Vanilla Sugar. Snow Ice has an almost sour, creamy type of note that Vanilla Sugar lacks. Vanilla Sugar gradually becomes sweeter and less boozy as it wears on my skin, and Snow Ice becomes more buttery and sour over time. Both have moderate sillage, but Snow Ice is slightly stronger and lasts longer. Between the two, I prefer Vanilla Sugar.

Final thought - Mulled Cranberry and Sugared Forest are the favorites from my small order. If you like red berry scents, I recommended picking those up the next time they're offered. Moona currently has a small selection of ready to ship items available on the website, and there will be a larger restock this upcoming Wednesday (3/2) for her Spring and Summer scents. I don't know what happened to the Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras collections, but I guess they won't be offered this year. And keep in mind that this next restock will be made to order, so the turn around time will be approximately six weeks.

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