Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me.
Hiya! I got these samples of Arcana's latest collection a few weeks ago so they're all settled from shipping and ready to test out!
Our Nog AF blend has been dirtied up with roasted Venezuelan coffee oil and a glug of Holy Terror.
Holy Terror and milk chocolate. It opens with the frankincense from Holy Terror, but it's toned down a notch from the coffee and eggnog blend which combine to smell more like chocolate. This one is a flip flopper - sometimes the frankincense stands out and other times it's the chocolate blend.
All rosy cheeks, frolicsome dances, and convivial jokes. Spiced gingerbread, honey, treacle, raspberry ale, warm cardamom, sweet benzoin, and aged vetiver.
The gingerbread and cardamom strong arm the raspberry ale for dominance here. Warm and spicy bakery one minute, tangy raspberry with a boozy nuance the next. Back and forth for the entire time it's on my skin.
The scent of eating mint-laced white chocolates in a huge old growth forest. Jammy fir balsam, a bit of black spruce, and our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk).
I'm still trying to figure out what 'jammy' fir smells like ever since Arcana released Bellatrix in the spring collection last year. Jammy to describe fruity notes, sure. Fir? I have a hard time pinning that one down.
Back to Glittering Green - it's like eating white chocolate drizzled sugar cookies in a wintery forest. The fir stands out the most (I finally know the difference between fir and spruce! Yay!) with the tiniest hint of smooth white chocolate peeking in from time to time. There's a little bit of peppermint that adds an icy coolness to the fir, but at this point, it's more of an outdoorsy scent rather than gourmand. The drydown is the most delicious sugar cookie wrapped in a cloud of marshmallows and white chocolate. No buttery cookie notes either...just sweet sugary goodness.
Try layering this with Solstice Scents Snowmint Mallow!
A heady floral mix of golden honeysuckle, rich osmanthus, apricot, and our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk).
I'm gonna say this is osmanthus. It's a syrupy, thick fruity floral that smells like golden apricots or peaches with delicate spring petals mixed in. The only other osmanthus scent I can remember trying is Cocoa Pink's Faded Memories, but the two are very different. This one is sweeter, fruitier and more floral while Faded Memories was more like hay. It hasn't morphed from when I initially applied it around nine hours ago.
A sugary sweet melange of pink pistachio candy, pink peppermint ice cream, pink musk, and our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk).
Aquolina Pink Sugar and peppermint. That's all I get until further into the drydown when it's all fluffy marshmallow. The Pink Sugar is more musky and not as sweet as other dupes I've encountered.
Hotboxing the Gingerbread House
Odd things happen inside gingerbread houses at night. Piped vanilla icing on gingerbread, cinnamon sugar, tobacco seeds and leaves, petigrain, uncured hemp, and sweet smoke.
Petitgrain (orange) and sweet tobacco leaves open this scent. The orange is gone within minutes, but the tobacco hangs around for the duration of wear. Hours later the gingerbread shows up, but it's very quiet and doesn't contribute much overall. I had expected this to be more gourmand with green notes as an accent but it was the opposite.
Formerly known as McNaughty Nog, this rich gourmand is a whole lotta nog. Eggnog, Arcana's beloved Yellow Cake note, rum, fresh milk, nutmeg, and a drizzle of toasty caramel.
Starts out as a rich, buttery yellow cake with cream and a heavy hand of nutmeg. After a short while, the spices fade and I begin to smell this rubbery, plastic note that smells like band-aids (?!?). Lol I don't even know where that is coming from. The only other eggnog scent that I've tried from Arcana was last year's Rhi HoHoHo and it smelled pretty damn authentic when I wore it. Maybe it's the yellow cake going funky on my skin. The band-aid smell does eventually disappear, leaving behind a rich vanilla custard throughout the remainder of wear (~10 hours).
The scent of staying in to watch the snow fall: dark honey amber, marshmallow and the glow of beeswax candles.
Beeswax softened ever so slightly by the marshmallow. It didn't morph on my skin, and I'm OK with that - it's perfect just the way it is. Rich and golden, perfectly sweet without being cloying, and snuggly soft.
An exotic gourmand blend of blackest chocolate, vanilla pod, French cocoa absolute, cinnamon creme, pumpkin skin, a hint of pink pepper and a shot of smoking frankincense.
The pepper and frankincense jump out initially, and the combo is 'punch you in the nose' strong. It eventually transforms into a savory blend of cocoa, vanilla and pumpkin spice that makes me think of a pumpkin mocha; I've never had one before but I figure this is what it would smell like. The frankincense is still hanging around, adding a smoking wood aroma, so think of this as a pumpkin mocha by the fireplace. The drydown morphs into a sweet sugary vanilla. I wasn't sure about this one, but I ended up liking it after testing it a few times.
Recap - there's a bunch of good stuff here, some I enjoyed more than I thought (Dirty Nog, Glittering Green, and Star Dark). Snug would be the favorite although a sample size will suffice. You can find leftover decants over at Ajevie and full size bottles at Arcana and Pretty Indulgent.