Sunday, August 20, 2017

NAVA Vanillas

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me

I hope you love vanilla perfumes as much as I do because that's what I have for you today. Sweet, gourmand, woodsy, floral, musk...everything you could ask for in a vanilla perfume is all right here under one perfume house, Nocturne Alchemy. They were on hiatus for most of the year while they designed a new user friendly website, but they're back now. A couple decanters were kind enough to provide samples of a large portion of the website offerings and I jumped right in. I have many more samples to review but for now let's start with VANILLA!

Bastet's Ice Cream
Vanilla Crystalline cream, butter accord, caramel accord, French vanilla bean absolute, vanilla milk accord, vanilla orchid, Crystalline absolute and vanilla sugar

One of the most perfect vanilla scents I've tried. It's a rich and creamy vanilla bean that smells exactly like a bowl of melted ice cream. Neither buttery nor floral, sweet but not toothache inducing sweet like some of the others in this post. It does seem sweeter than I remember now that it has aged and that's because the caramel is coming through more. It's great as a stand alone scent but I imagine it will layer nicely as well. This is the one scent that is currently unavailable but it will return later in the year. 

Harvested in Egypt with Egyptian black vanilla pods, flecks extracted and blended  into a beautiful and smooth white musk

It's a little sweet and buttery like French vanilla ice cream but mostly a deep vanilla with hints of booziness. A clean smelling skin musk begins to emerge in the dry down as the vanilla becomes less sweet and more sensual, very similar to French Vanilla down below. It's been a while since I sniffed the sample I have but this is giving me Solstice Scents Cenobite vibes, a scent long discontinued and very hard to find now. Crystal makes a good substitute though and is readily available. 

A thick viscous vanilla that comes on soft and subtle then creates a cacophony of a beautiful cloud of vanilla purity. It is not a food vanilla but a vanilla that makes you feel at peace, tranquil and right with the world. One solid scent of an uplifting vanilla from the stigma of a vanilla orchid especially for this perfume

This starts out very white and sweet, airy like powdered sugar and marshmallow combined, with soft orchid notes underneath. As it dries down it becomes more thick like vanilla ice cream and the floral notes eventually disappear, but that white cloud of sugar still rests on top. It's a flirty daytime scent. 

Ember Vanilla
A haunting vanilla cream with accents of caramel and a sweet kiss of brown sugar, in which we mean, the vanilla is underneath teasing and sweetening the woods of exotic Indian sandalwood, American cedar, California redwood and the haunting decadence of our ICON Egyptian oudh as part of this blend. A log fire with vanilla accented in the smoldering wood

A sharp opening of fresh cedar that quickly softens with the emergence of a golden vanilla and brown sugar blend. The woodsy notes remain front and center but the vanilla begins to take on a deep, almost boozy tone. Occasionally I pick up on a swirl of campfire smoke around the edges, but it's pretty subtle. If you like Solstice Scents Manor, you'd probably enjoy this boozy version.

French Vanilla
French vanilla (slightly sweet and buttery vanilla, slightly toasted coconut due to the coconut barrel we aged this vanilla in, but completely a unique vanilla). French vanilla is blended with our Crystalline to enrapture the subtle elements of vanilla essence

Brown sugar and hints of boozy vanilla extract on a soft woodsy base opens this blend. Similar to Tahitian Vanilla initially, but softer, sweeter and not quite as boozy. As it wears, it becomes less sweet and deepens, combining with a clean musk. For most of the wear it is a clean skin musk with hints of a deep, mildly sweet French vanilla.

Exquisite vanilla accord of Cairo vanilla orchid leaves, pure E/O of a true non-hybrid Egyptian white vanilla grown specifically for NA by our beloved Egyptian alchemist based in Cairo. Blending with only the truest and highest quality of vanillas from around the world. 8 vanilla orchid oils of Cairo, Madagascar, Spain, Reunion and Comoros Islands, West Indies and Kenya

It starts out light and airy like Crystalline, a cloud of powdered sugar, but a heavy floral base of orchid takes over. Sort of violet-like in nature, but with an almost tropical feel. Eventually the sugary notes disappear and this is all orchid. It's an alluring evening scent but light enough to easily be worn during the day.

This was sold out and highly sought after and requested for a return. We found enough vanilla beans to cull the perfume again with the husk, fleck and essence of African white vanilla to bond with a dash of Crystalline

This is another "white" vanilla with a cloud of powdered sugar sweetness resting on top of thick vanilla ice cream and soft orchid accents. The black vanilla is hanging out in the distance, subtle but present enough to make itself known. It's pretty similar to the Crystalline dry down but slightly less sweet and the tiniest bit dirty. Out of the four main vanillas in the catalog (Crystal, Crystalline, Kobalt and Moonstone), this is my least favorite. It's like Moonstone wants to be sweet and demiure but the black vanilla dirties things up a bit. I prefer one or the other, not both at once. 

Pyramid Vanille #1
Kobalt (vanilla orchid of Cairo), Crystalline (Egyptian vanilla/stigma resin), Crystal (black vanilla bean musk) and Moonstone (African white vanilla)

Crystalline and Kobalt jump out right away. A sugary sweet cloud of vanilla resting on top of a heavy hand of orchid. It remains pretty consistent throughout the duration of wear until the very end when Moonstone begins to appear, transforming this scent into a thick white vanilla floral with a slight dirty edge from the blackened vanilla. 

Pyramid Vanille #2
French vanilla, Tahitian vanilla, Ember vanilla and Bastet's Ice Cream vanilla absolute (vanilla Crystalline cream, butter accord, caramel accord, French vanilla bean absolute, vanilla milk accord, vanilla orchid, Crystalline absolute and vanilla sugar)

It starts off as a golden vanilla and brown sugar blend that quickly deepens and becomes a boozy vanilla extract with a soft woodsy base. Like Pyramid #1, it stays fairly consistent for most of the time it's on my skin but towards the end, it settles into a sweet gourmand vanilla once more with a thick base from the ice cream. At this point it reminds me of custard. 

Vanilla essence, mallow root, whispers of sugar and unearthly spooktacular vanilla bean pod. New formulation with Bastet's Ice Cream Accord. It is quite spooktacular

This is the newer version and sadly I don't have the original to compare it to. It's a thick marshmallow floating on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Sweet and sugary but not excessively so nor is it airy. It's a very thick and rich white vanilla that remained consistent from start to finish.

Tahitian Vanilla
Tahitian vanilla bean, Crystalline vanilla and coconut husk essence

It starts out as a deep, boozy vanilla extract with hints of coconut milk and grounded by a soft woodsy base. The booze, wood and coconut fade pretty quickly and this blend becomes sweeter the longer it wears, eventually transforming into an airy, sugary French vanilla cream similar to West Indian Vanilla. 

Vanilla Noir #1
Hungarian black vanilla, a touch of bourbon affixed vanilla and a drop of Crystalline with a touch of aged Graveyard Musk breathing from underneath

This is similar to Crystal initially with a slightly sweet, golden vanilla with deep boozy undertones and a strong musk. However, the musk is very different. Crystal is more of a clear skin musk while Vanilla Noir is a dirtier musk, grey in color. The vanilla disappears quickly as the musk amps and it begins to give off an incense feel. My skin does strange things with this because a cherry almond begins to emerge and takes center stage for the remainder of wear. Like the Jergens lotion with musk and incense that also leaves a medicinal taste in my nose and mouth every time I sniff it. Unfortunately this was a scrubber. 

West Indian Vanilla
Rich aspects of vanilla ice cream essence, an ethereal French vanilla fleck, vanilla buttercream, beautiful on its own or layered with Crystalline, a touch of Kobalt, a little French vanilla pompona schiede and French vanilla fleck

A cream colored cloud of French vanilla sugary goodness. It's one of the sweetest vanillas here. Airy and fluffy like the consistency of cotton candy, but buttery and rich like buttercream frosting. It doesn't morph beyond that aside from becoming sweeter in the dry down, but it's perfect just the way it is. This was my favorite NAVA when I first reviewed it last year and after trying all these different vanillas, it is still my #1.

I don't know about you but I have a serious craving for vanilla ice cream after this! West Indian and Bastet's Ice Cream are my two old favorites that I've reviewed before with an honorable mention to Pyramid #1. New favorites include Kobalt, Spooktacular and Crystalline. Least favorites would be Vanilla Noir, Moonstone and Ember Vanilla in that order. They're all pretty good though and there's something here for every taste.


  1. YAY!!!! I am so stoked you did this review! I smelled Kobalt and Crystalline on their own via samples and I have FB of Moonstone and Spooktacular. I just a 2ml of Bastet's Ice Cream in the mail today with my most recent order. I think based on your reviews I would enjoy Ember Vanilla and West Indian. Do you layer with these? I was thinking I might try that more often. I rarely have the urge to layer but for some reason I have been doing that a lot lately.

    1. I think you'd def enjoy Ember because it's fresh and woodsy. Are you going to review the vanillas you have? I don't remember seeing a post although I may have missed it. Which ones are your favorites?

      I haven't really played around with layering so I wear them straight from the bottle. The few times I tried layering, I ended up smelling like a hot mess lol