Thursday, December 1, 2016

Arcana Hallowe'en 2016

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me. 

Another collection that I'm late posting a review for, so let's just jump right in. Decants courtesy of Ajevie.

Blood and Circuses

The monstrously sweet scent of clowns gone wrong. An outlandish, carnivalic mix of white pancake makeup accord, pink cotton candy and the salty sugariness of warm kettle corn.

That makeup accord is so strangely appealing and accurate! There's a creamy lemon opening on top of a bland, pasty type of aroma. I had to wear this a few times before I *think* I figured out what this makeup note is...leather. Smooth and clean smelling, not a rugged and dirty black leather, but more like the one used in Solstice Scents Violet White Leather. It has a sophisticated edge to it. For a moment I picked up the kettle corn weaving in and out, but it disappeared quickly. I wouldn't call this a sweet scent though, just clean and smooth.


An unfortunate fact of modern life. Arcana's Yellow Cake accord with freshly popped popcorn, dramatic red raspberry, sweet strawberry, cream soda, pamplemousse, a hint of oudh, and plenty of hyperbole. 

The grapefruit comes through strong at first, surrounded by a beautiful medley of tangy raspberries and ripe strawberries. Then things begin to go downhill starting with the popcorn note. I don't know what it is with popcorn scents but it always ends up smelling like melted plastic and butter. It's tolerable for now since it weaves in and out, and the fruit notes drown it out for the most part. Things continue to go downhill after an hour because suddenly I'm smelling Band-Aids. Yes, Band-Aids. Rubbery, plastic smelling Band-Aids. That has to be from the oudh. I held on for about two hours but I scrubbed it off at that point.


Here today and gone tomorrow. The refined, elegant essence of chilled champagne, sparkling mineral water, white coconut and soft, creamy gardenia petals. 

I did a quick review of this one in the Villainess post a few weeks ago, but this is a perfume review and I expect it will be a little different. It smells like lemon lime soda with a coconut smoothness underneath. Bright, bubbly and citrusy at first, eventually giving way to a sweet coconut cream pie filling. I keep hoping for the gardenia to come through, but it just isn't happening. Sometimes I think I can smell them, but they're buried beneath the citrus and bubbles. The wear time is brief (~3 hours, most of that time with a very low sillage), and combined with the absence of floral notes, I'll pass on a full bottle. I still like it a lot, but a sample is enough.

Witches Cast Love Spells

Created with witchy intent, this is a love-and-sex drawing blend of autumn honey, intensely fragrant vanilla beans, sweet cinnamon and a dribble of milk. 

This one is a sweet, creamy white blend. Sugared vanilla beans and sticky honey over a cup of steamed milk. I think the milk note is actually the cream note that Arcana uses. That note always ends up turning sour and curdled on my skin, and that's what happens here. The vanilla and honey keep pulling it in the sweet direction while the milk is pulling sour, like an olfactory tug o' war on my skin.

Witches Cavort with Cupcakes

Pumpkin spice cupcakes are smothered in gobs of cream cheese frosting. Many sugar. Such gourmand.

It starts out strong on the warm pumpkin cupcakes with a little sweetness from the frosting and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. There's something about that bakery note that my nose disagrees with; it has a bit of a sour quality to it at first, but that disappears over time. The cream cheese begins to push forward after an hour, becoming sweeter throughout the drydown and closer to vanilla frosting.

Witches Draw Down the Moon

Infused vanilla oleoresin with sweet maple creme, maple sugar, dry Madagascar vanilla and moon-white marshmallow. 

This starts out smelling nearly identical to Arcana Two Finger Ballet. It's a very sharp but sweet vanilla with a drop of maple syrup added to the mix. It's not quite as sweet as Two Finger Ballet and a little more "brown" smelling, but still very similar. Once the sharpness fades, this is a fluffy and extremely sweet maple blend. Not syrupy and thick, but more like the filling inside of these. If you like Two Finger Ballet, you'd almost certainly like this one.

Final thoughts - welp, I'm not really feeling any of these. Ghosting is nice and I thought about doing a blind buy, but I was hoping for some gardenia to come through and it never did. Everything else is either just oookay or nope nope nope (I'm looking at you, Clickbait). Ah well. You can find the entire collection over at Pretty Indulgent, Arcana's Ebay store, and some bath & body items at Villainess.

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