Saturday, December 24, 2016

NAVAliday 2016

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me. 

Here's a quickie review of some of the new holiday blends from NAVA. I got these decants from Ajevie a few weeks ago so they've had plenty of time to settle.

The holiday update was pretty large but I kept it small with three scents this year. Why? Because honestly, I'm a bit intimidated by their catalog. These guys are the real deal when it comes to perfume making. None of that mixing a stock fragrance or two. These guys travel the world sourcing the finest ingredients, and I often wonder how they're able to stay in business when their price point is so low for the works of art they consistently create. IMO their talent is paralleled only by Angela of Solstice Scents. That being said, I kinda worry that my nose and tastes aren't refined enough to appreciate their offerings. My tastes are more simple - gimme a well done fruit, gourmand or vanilla and I'm happy. And that's exactly what I have here today!

I also have reviews of a few other holiday blends that are returning this year.

Bastet's Ice Cream: Apricot Creme

The original Bastet's Ice Cream notes below and raw California apricot peel, apricot stone oil and jackfruit creme combined into raw Ugandan and Tongan vanilla beans sifted of flecks and the beans are left in to age in the oil. 

What sorcery is this? I don't even like apricot (the fruit and the scent) and I was expecting this to be my least favorite, but I was very wrong. Veeery wrong. It's taken West Indian Vanilla's place as my favorite NAVA. Ripe and juicy apricots/peaches (I still can't tell the difference lol) topping a bowl of rich vanilla bean ice cream. The apricots are incredibly realistic without an excessive syrupy sweetness that I've noticed in other apricot blends from other brands. This is exactly what I wanted Solstice Scents Chantilly Cream to smell like, and it bears a strong resemblance. However! The fruit notes in this one are fresh and true while the one in Chantilly smelled sour and musty. Eventually a beautiful floral begins to emerge, mingling with the fruits, and the drydown morphs into a delicate, sweet floral vanilla. The sillage is soft and stays close to the skin, with a wear time of around eight hours.

Bastet's Ice Cream: Original

Vanilla Crystalline cream, butter accord, caramel accord, French vanilla bean absolute, vanilla milk accord, vanilla orchid, Crystalline absolute and vanilla sugar.

I saw another review describing this as a bowl of melted ice cream and that's exactly what this is. Straight up vanilla beans and milk whipped up into a dreamy dessert. No buttery notes, no sour curdled milk smell. This is a thick, creamy vanilla and not too sweet until the drydown when it becomes an airy, sugary vanilla with a floral touch that reminds me of the Tihota dupes I've tried. Moderate sillage and it lasted all day.

Raspberry Crystalline Cheesecake

A little perfume decadence. Black raspberry seeds, raspberry oil absolute, vanilla cheesecake accord, vanilla cream, lime zest absolute, lemon absolute, Crystalline, and a drop of Bastet's Amber Pure. 

Decadent is right! This is a sultry dark raspberry with a bit of a bite to it from the citrus oils. Think tangy rather than sugared berries. There's a rich and authentic cheesecake note and maybe a pinch of graham cracker crust that swirls around briefly before allowing the raspberry to shine once more. I wore this for around ten hours and could still smell the berry even at that point which is pretty impressive, and the sillage was very strong.

Those ice creams! I don't know how they do it. I really don't. How they're able to create another exquisite vanilla that is unlike any other in their catalog is beyond me, but I'm not complaining. If you want another great vanilla, get the original. If you're wanting a peaches and cream scent, get the apricot one. Hell, get them both. You won't regret it.

And just a heads up - the holiday collection is available through 12/27 on the website, but after that they'll be closing down for an undisclosed period of time to revamp their website and work on new blends. The NAVA crew will be back in the new year, but at this time they don't have a date set for their reopening.

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