Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me.
I've had this review hanging out in the draft folder since last summer so it's long overdue. I was planning on posting this sooner, but there was a new scent added this year that I knew I wanted to try so I wanted to include that as well.
Mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragon blood resin and faded tropical blooms.
This one was discontinued, but I'm including the review since I have it on hand. I'm not sure what mangosteen smells like but this reminds me of a blend of lime and bitter mango with a strong aroma of dragon's blood. Very tart and juicy with some floral notes lingering in the background. I was worried about the dragons blood because it was a bit strong in the bottle, but thankfully it is very subtle on my skin. Mostly this one is just a tart citrus-like scent and it doesn't morph much.
Tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, sparkling champagne all shook up with crushed ginger root.
This was the scent I was looking forward to the most. It's bright and fresh from the grapefruit and ginger, a little tangy from the cranberry and effervescent from the champagne. It morphs pretty quickly on my skin and becomes all ginger root with a little fizziness remaining.
Dry gingergrass, litsea cubeba, neroli, frankincense tears, saffron infused honey, rosemary and the faint touch of true cinnamon bark.
In the bottle this reminded me of lemon scented furniture polish. On the skin this was initially sharp and herbal with some lemon notes coming out. That might be the gingergrass and litsea cubeba. I can smell the rosemary as well but I'm still smelling that furniture polish note. Over time the lemon note fades and it becomes more herbal and grassy with the cinnamon bark making a brief appearance towards the end. This is a very uplifting scent that I can see working for either a man or woman.
A thick haze of tonka and black vanilla, three jasmines, tuberose and ylang ylang.
Heavy on the jasmine with some tuberose notes mixed in. There's something in here that smells very dirty, which might be the black vanilla. I don't actually smell the vanilla though, just a grungy type of note. The jasmine really amped on my skin, overpowering everything else aside from that black note. It hung around long after the florals faded and still managed to smell...dirty.
Sun bleached driftwood, dry black musk, warm sand, dune grasses and a damp oceanic breeze.
I knew this wasn't going to be my kind of scent but I had to try the whole collection. Haus of Gloi has surprised me plenty of times so it was worth a shot. Unfortunately it just didn't work out this time. This one is heavy on the driftwood and black musk, maybe with a hint of saltiness from the ocean breeze. It doesn't morph much on the skin and the combination of black musk and driftwood makes me think of potting soil.
The Brier Path
Sun drenched trail leading to a daydream of ripe berries and woods rose, rich forest loam, ozone, dark amber and cream.
This is all berries and fresh wild roses with a hint of dirt in a lush forest just after a heavy rainfall. This one is sweet, green, damp and woodsy all at once. Thankfully the green/woodsy notes aren't strong and they only play a supporting role to the berries and roses. I don't know why but I swear I'm smelling a tea note. Weird. I'll definitely be picking up a pumpkin butter in this at the next release.
Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime, polished ho wood and sticky benzoin.
Initially I was a bit put off with this scent because it was all canteloupe. Sticky sweet, musky canteloupe. Over the past week the scent has morphed and it's really growing on me. The melon is still present but the lime has become more dominant and tempers the sweetness. At this point Sanctum is more tart than sweet. I don't detect and floral or woodsy notes, just tart lime with some sweet melon in the background. This is a nice alternative to all the coconut/lime blends that come out at summertime. It reminds me a bit of the old BBW Cucumber Melon and if that's a scent you enjoy, give this one a try.
Lemon cake made with the tang of fresh buttermilk, raspberry coulis - an otherwise innocent cake corrupted by cardamom and deceptive pink peppercorns.
It's heavy on the lemon with the raspberry and a vague cake note in the background. I get more of a fresh lemon vibe rather than lemon cake. I was worried about the pepper and cardamom, but they helped enhance the brightness of the lemon and were pretty much unnoticed. Eventually it became more of a creamy lemon with the raspberry and cake (and more pepper) coming out in the last hour of wear.
Homemade marshmallow and rosewater.
In the bottle, the rose is the main note I pick up on with traces of a watery note and delicate marshmallow. For the first hour this is all fluffy, sugary marshmallow but after that though, it's rose throughout the remainder of wear. I was super excited for this because I love these sweet rosy blends. I haven't had any luck with a single rose scent from Haus of Gloi aside from Brier Path, and I think that's because there's many other notes that are so well-blended that my nose is able to focus on other things aside from the rose. Marshmallow Rose was going well while it was almost all marshmallow, but then the rose came back and it fell flat. It's not a feminine and perfumey rose that I gravitate towards but rather a fresh red rose that you'd pick up at the local grocery store. It was worth a try though.
I wanted to see how Marshmallow Rose compared to Rose Mallow Cream from Solstice Scents. There isn't much comparison because they're so different. Marshmallow Rose (MR) has a wet note initially that Rose Mallow Cream (RMC) lacks. MR starts off as all marshmallow, fading into a fresh rose after an hour. RMC opens with one of the most beautiful rose notes I've ever smelled. Delicate, perfumey, feminine and with a lot of depth. The rose fades, giving way to a tooth-achingly sweet marshmallow and white chocolate blend with a smooth finish (if anything, it's too damn sweet, I'll admit to that). I love Haus of Gloi, but there's a level of craftsmanship with Rose Mallow Cream that Marshmallow Rose doesn't even touch.
Final thoughts - overall this isn't my favorite collection from HoG, but there were a few scents I'd definitely repurchase like Brier Path and Zazz. Maybe Sanctum. The remaining summer inventory is still available on the website that you can find here.