Thursday, August 31, 2017

Some Arcana Scents

Disclaimer - all products were purchased by me

Hey guys, today I have some random Arcana scents for you. I made an order a while back when the shop was briefly opened after a short hiatus and have that order here to review along with a bunch of others that have been hanging around the stash. There's a variety of scents here ranging from fruity, beachy, a couple vanillas and atmospheric blends, BBQ sauce, you name it. Wait...BBQ sauce? That's not a typo. Yes, BBQ sauce.

The first three are the newest additions that I picked up during the last opening. Surf is general catalog and should be available when she reopens, Strawberries Crave Pie was a limited edition scent from last year and may or may not return, and Black Sand was a gift with purchase. No word on whether that one will return though.

Orange blossoms with coconut, skin musk and warm sand

A golden of floral is the best way to describe it. Warm and sunny with fragrant orange blossoms and hints of crisp wet sand. Think of Bobbi Brown Beach with added orange blossom and you have Surf. It becomes sweeter in the dry down, almost like there is a drop of honey in the bottle, but that's from the orange blossom note that Arcana uses. It's similar to Qedesha from the Valentine's collection last year. One of my favorites, both Surf and Qedesha.

Strawberries Crave Pie
Pink and red strawberries with tender pie crust, vanilla bean and a sprinkling of brown and white sugars

This opens with a blast of brown sugar, thick and syrupy, before settling into a sweet strawberry with hints of bakery swirling around the edges. It's a thick strawberry and more like the glaze instead of fresh picked fruit that unfortunately begins to turn artificial and plasticky on my skin.

Strawberries Crave Black Sand
The scent of a warm night on a dark, sandy beach. Atmospheric sweetness with a hint of salt air and a subtle undercurrent of danger. The richest amber resin with black coconut, coconut husks, smoky vetiver and a sliver of almost overripe strawberry

This was a free bottle that was included with the purchase of three or more bottles. Vetiver stands out from start to finish. Bright and almost lemony, a little grassy, but with a soft, smoldering smokiness mixed throughout. A sweet strawberry glaze peaks in the first ten minutes but quickly disappears. An interesting blend but one dimensional for the most part. I'm sure this would make a great layering scent but I don't know what vetiver would layer with.

The next three are older scents that were limited but have now gone general catalog. These were all part of the Meow collection from two years ago, a collection inspired by the, ahem, "art of female masturbation."  I love the witty names and theme, although I'm waiting on the male version to round out the theme =P

Two Finger Ballet
A delicate blend of French vanilla creme, white amber, sugared vanilla beans, caramel and the smallest dab of opium

I know this is pretty much blasphemy because this is such a well loved scent by many, but this one didn't work out as well as I had hoped. It's a super sweet blend that reminds me more of white sugar laced with caramel than vanilla but underneath that is something sharp and dry, sort of acidic, that makes me think vinegar. The sweet aspect of this scent is great but that sharp note is distracting and persists throughout the dry down.

Fluffing the Bunny
Madagascar vanilla, Tahitian vanilla, apricot, white musk, skin musk and a tiny tickle of mint

An opening of peppermint and leaves, cold and green, settling into an apricot and vanilla blend. It's very sweet and thick, reminding me of dried apricots, with a creamy vanilla mixed in. The dry down is a skin-hugging clean musk.

Twirling the Pearl
Rich, golden honey, marshmallow, lavender milk, soft musk and a tiny hint of green galbanum

Hands down, one of my favorite Arcana's. It begins as an herbal lavender, a little chilly, with a heavy milky note. Not the same milk/cream note that usually goes sour on my skin, but more of a coconut milk. The lavender quickly takes a back seat as thick honey and vanilla marshmallow with hints of coconut begin to push forward. It becomes sweeter and a little powdery as it dries down, but there is something hanging out far in the background with an herbal edge that keeps this from becoming too sugary. That could be the lavender but I suspect it's galbanum, although I'm unfamiliar with that note. This is a light enough blend to wear during the day and snuggly enough to wear at bedtime.

And the remaining scents are all samples that were included with various orders I've placed over the years. I know some are popular general catalog scents like Philtre and Filthy Viking. I'm not sure whether the others are available year round though.

Alec d'Urberville
The profligate essence of an aristocratic libertine. Amber resin, charred Madagascar vanilla, French cognac, clove, sandalwood and dark musk

Not the usual type of scent I go for but damn, this one is good! A glass of cognac by a smoldering fireplace and the smell of sweet clove cigarettes swirling through the air. It's a sexy man scent, mysterious and alluring. The wood and smoke notes are strongest followed by the cognac and clove and it dries down to a clean musk that stays close to my skin.

Filthy Viking
Between the sea voyages and the pillaging, it must have been difficult for Odin's henchmen to stay fresh. Too bad they didn't have this ferocious blend of scents from the Viking world: Norwegian juniper, frigid Icelandic mint and the hardy wood of a longship. 

This is pretty much all peppermint extract on my wrist but I do pick up some sweet juniper and cedar underneath. The mint hangs around for a surprisingly long time, but by the time it fades, the other notes have disappeared as well.

Horned trickster, lord of the forest, god of the wild hunt. Cassia cinnamon, Atlas cedarwood, fir needle oil and a whiff of Herne's holy oak tree. 

It starts out as cinnamon, cedar and fir in that order. Very spicy and fresh woods with a bit of wintery coolness although the cinnamon smells more like chewing gum than the real thing. Still, it's nice for now until the drydown hits and things begin to go awry. The cinnamon is still prominent but the cedar starts to take on a chemical industrial smell like a blend of household pesticide spray and motor oil. Needless to say, this was scrubbed off after a few hours. As promising as the opening is, I still wouldn't be able to wear it since it left my skin bright red and irritated wherever I applied it.

A zingy scent for the mischievous prankster wood sprites of Okinawa. Grapefruit, yuzu fruit, rice milk, rice wine, massoia bark, lemongrass and banyan

This is an unusual one that works rather well. It starts out as a citrus blend of yuzu, grapefruit and lemon with just a touch of sweet grass mixed in, all smoothed together by the creamy rice milk. It's tangy and fresh mostly, but the rice milk adds a soft floral sweetness that doesn't turn sour as Arcana's milk notes tend to do. At this point it reminds me of a citrus and B&BW Rice Flower & Shea blend. The dry down morphs into a peachy apricot and cream scent.

Philtre: Amity
Based on a long-forgotten love potion which aided seduction with abundance of harmony and joy. Three jasmines, pink grapefruit, rainwater, white musk, French cognac, pink pepper, a hint of strawberry and a drop of patchouli

This opens with a quick blast of pepper and quickly settles in to the jasmine soaked by rain droplets. It's heady, sweet and creamy with an atmospheric freshness. The jasmine disappears rather quickly and is replaced by the grapefruit which complements the aquatic notes nicely. It feels a little out of order because the grapefruit usually comes first and jasmine tends to hang around on my skin for longer than a few minutes. The dry down is a fresh and clean smelling aquatic that stays close to the skin.

T. S. Goodfellow's Winter Correctives: Laughter
Bright raspberry with sparks of pink and black pepper, and what Goodfellow himself describes as "a gay tangle of euphoric herbs" which combine to form an olfactory resemblance to rich cheesecake

I don't know about raspberry cheesecake because this just smells like barbeque sauce from the very beginning until I washed it off a couple hours later. It's nice if that is what you want to smell like. I personally don't though.

Surf and Twirling the Pearl (that name tho!) are two of my most beloved Arcana scents and would definitely repurchase if I ever ran out. Alec ended up being another favorite although I'm not sure how often I will reach for it. If I ever ran outI would look for another sample, but not a full bottle.

Right now the shop is in vacation mode with no set date for reopening. Knowing Julia though, she will have tons of scents available for when she does return.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading your reviews of these and lucky you getting the full 5ml bottle of Black Sands! I got the 3 ml bottle but that will be plenty for me on that one. It is nice but not one will drain quickly. As for layering it though... I have a NAVA myrrh scent I am thinking of layering it with.

    Sorry to hear Twin Finger didn't work on you. It stays creamy and lush on my skin and is a fave of mine. I have always wanted to try Twirling the Pearl. I love lavender and it sounds dreamy. If it releases next opening I will try and get one.

    Filthy Viking and Alec are two other Arcanas I love. I have a sample of Herne but have not worn it yet. It might be the cassis that is causing your skin to redden. And I loath all the T. S. Goodfellows scents... they straight up smell like vinegar nightmares on my skin!! PHEW!!!