Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me.
Arcana released a small Valentine collection early last month, and I went ahead with decants (courtesy of Ajevie) to test out a few. Here's what I ended up with -
Extra sweet. Vanilla-infused candy floss, sugared violets, blackberry jawbreakers, Tuscan grapefruit, and green musk.
It starts out with the grapefruit and sugared violets, but the citrus disappears almost immediately. In its place comes the most delicious tart blackberry. No floral or perfumey notes with this blackberry either because it smells just like the real thing. The violet helps balance out the tartness, creating a candy-like blend that becomes sweeter over time. If I were to grab a full size bottle from this collection, it would be this one. More fruity than floral with a moderate sillage that lasted 6 hours.
A sprightly, pretty mix of two golden cakes, lush fig, apple peel, buttery lavender absolute, and carnation petals.
In the vial this smells like red apples and baked potato. Thankfully that changes once it touches my skin because now I'm getting spiced apples on a bed of creamy carnation. The lavender is fleeting, only sticking around for a short while, and it's hard to detect because of the spice. The drydown smells like buttery yellow sponge cake smothered in baked red apple slices. I wore this for close to eight hours before hopping in the shower and it was still going strong. This scent could easily last all day.
A fresh floral. Heady notes of lily of the valley, honeysuckle, jasmine sambac, and marigold are balanced with green galbanum and soft dill feathers.
Oy! I'm smelling pickles both in the vial and on my skin. It's a sharp, acidic note like vinegar with a distinct green feel. There's a lovely bouquet of jasmine and honeysuckle unfolding underneath, but that pickle scent is sitting right on top and that's what I mostly smell. I scrubbed this off after two hours.
Mother of All Souls
A queenly, unapologetic gourmand. Three dark, decadent vanillas entwine around white chocolate, a small sip of rum, and a drop of French cognac.
A flea collar is what comes to mind when I smell this. Powdery, cloying white chocolate over rum and a plasticky vanilla bean. The vanilla is left behind in the drydown but I wouldn't call it "dark." It's more of a straightforward vanilla bean but it's plasticky like a candle. Low to moderate sillage that lasted 4 hours.
Well, normally I have better luck with Arcana. Corvel's Ring is the one I'll reach for, and a full bottle may be in the cards. You can find full bottles of these scents and many more through Arcana's Ebay store and decants through Ajevie.