Nui Cobalt Designs: The Bees’ Cotillion

Nui Cobalt Designs The Bee’s Cotillion

Succulent pears simmering in spring honey with the gentlest breeze of lily carried in a homespun infusion of honeysuckle flowers.

The last of the three scents that I was sent is from the NCD bee inspired collection. While I’m not huge on most floral scents, I love pear and honey, and honeysuckle can sometimes work as well. It also sounded perfect for spring!

In the bottle: Thick, gorgeous, golden honey with a sweet, floral sweetness. The honey note here is just beautiful, and the pears and honeysuckle pair perfectly with it. I can’t detect any lily yet, but we’ll see what happens on the skin.

On the skin: This is absolutely gorgeous. Pears and honey are the first things that I smell, and the combo is sweet without being cloying or super foodie.  I swear I can detect some ginger in there as well. The honeysuckle balances the sweetness with that thick, heady floral aroma. I can’t pick out the lily, but there is a freshness to the scent that might come from that. The scent has good throw for such a light blend. This might be a weird analogy, but this is the olfactory equivalent of the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. It’s spring in a bottle.

TL;DR: Sweet honeyed pears and heady honeysuckle. Fresh and springy. 5/5.

Nui Cobalt Designs: Ain’t I a Woman, Sojourner Truth

Nui Cobalt Designs Ain’t I a Woman: Sojourner Truth

A sacred incense of amber and sandalwood, Bartlett pears poached with vanilla bean, and a scattering of dry tea and patchouli leaves. 

The second scent of the three I received is another one from the famous, influential women collection. This perfume was inspired by Sojourner Truth. Again, in NCD’s own words: “She was born into slavery in New York, fled to freedom with her daughter, then attained legal custody of her son, becoming the first black woman to successfully sue a white slave owner. She spoke widely as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Her groundbreaking 1851 speech, later titled “Ain’t I A Woman,” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention.” The combination of pears and vanilla with patch, incense, and tea seemed very intriguing for me.

In the bottle: Warm, yummy, and very familiar. Seriously, this smells very similar to something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. This scent is both comforting and powerful.

On the skin: Once applied, the pears vanish, but the patch, sandalwood, and incense become much more prominent. There’s a distinct powderiness that occurs as well, but it’s not a bad thing. I can detect a nice smoky undertone as well, probably from the tea and the incense. This actually reminds me of a combination of two scents from the famous Bourbon French Perfumery in New Orleans’ French Quarter: Kus Kus and Voodoo Love. What’s interesting about this is that it was very foody in the bottle, and it changed completely on the skin. I do think that this is a little too powdery for my personal taste, but it is objectively a nice, womanly scent for someone with different skin chemistry.

TL;DR: Smoky, powdery incense, sandalwood, and patchouli. The kind of scent for a mature, no-nonsense woman. 3.5/5.

Nui Cobalt Designs: The Children’s Champion, Audrey Hepburn

Nui Cobalt Designs The Children’s Champion: Audrey Hepburn

Earl Grey tea with a slice of peach, sun-dried teakwood, tonka bean, English pipe tobacco, ecru suede, and just a touch of Bulgarian lavender. 

The first scent of this three part review, I shall begin with a scent from NCD’s landmark women of history collection. All of the scents in this collection were inspired by and dedicated to famous women who helped and changed the world in their own ways. This scent is for Audrey Hepburn. In NCD’s own words: “An icon, an entertainer, and the very epitome of grace, Audrey Hepburn was simply luminous on stage and screen. But it was her tireless effort to with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund that revealed her immense heart and humanitarian spirit.” While tobacco can be an iffy note for me, everything else sounded lovely, so I expressed my interest in trying this one.

In the bottle: I already like it. This scent has a department store vibe without smelling like a department store scent, if that makes sense. It smells elegant, classy, and expensive, but also delicate. I’m mostly getting teak, peach, and suede, with a hint of tobacco in the background.

In the bottle: I love this. This is the kind of tobacco note I was hoping for: warm, chewy, and almost foody. It’s got a distinct caramel-like quality that is so warm and inviting. The teak and suede compliment it perfectly. It’s perfectly balanced with the tea, peach, and lavender, which add feminine elements to the traditional masculine ones. This is astonishingly well-blended, and it just exudes an elegant kind of sexiness that is hard to duplicate.

TL;DR: A sexy, elegant mix of masculine and feminine notes, heavy on the tobacco, teak, peach, and lavender. 5/5.

Nui Cobalt Reviews!

Hello friends!

I was recently contacted by the lovely folks who own and operate Nui Cobalt Designs, a indie company who sells “talismans, tools, and supplies for the Magickally-minded.” They blend their own perfumes and fragrances, and they wanted me to review a few scents. I picked three that seemed the most up my alley: The Children’s Champion Audrey Hepburn, Ain’t I a Woman Sojourner Truth, and The Bee’s Cotillion! All of these fragrances are available on their website,


Over the next week, I will be posting individual reviews for these three scents, so stay tuned! As always, the reviews will be 100% honest. A big thank you goes to Nui Cobalt Designs for letting me have this opportunity!


The Scenturion

Deconstructing Eden: Lucrezia Borgia

Deconstructing Eden Lucrezia Borgia

Clementine, red mandarin, Italian lemon, ambergris, vanilla, patchouli and orange blossom on a resinous bed of labdanum.

I decided to live real dangerously and blind buy a large size of this scent. The notes are not things that normally catch my eye, and I’ve never dealt with ambergris before. Why did I buy it then? The name. I’m planning to get my PhD in early modern/Renaissance Italian history, and Lucrezia is one of my favorite historical figures.

Now, since I have found that alcohol based scents don’t change as much from bottle to skin, I’ll just include my overall thoughts.

My thoughts: GOOD LORD THIS IS SEXY. It opens with a blast of sweet and tart citrus followed by a spicy, dark undercurrent. I’m getting a really glorious musk note too, which might be the ambergris. I remember seeing a review that described this as a “sexy creamsicle” scent, and I can totally see that comparison. The vanilla is there, but it’s not an innocent, foody vanilla at all. This is real grown-up scent, seductive, beautiful, and dangerous. I’m definitely glad I got a larger size. It also has insane wear length; I can smell it on jewelry from a month ago.

TL;DR: Citrus with a rich, earthy base and a hint of sweetness. Crazy sexy. 7/5.

Deconstructing Eden: Aine

Deconstructing Eden Aine

Sunflowers, bergamot, orris, melons, peaches, pink grapefruit, jasmine, honey, lilies, sweet lemon, sandalwood, and palo santo wood.

I’ve been into alcohol-based perfume sprays lately, since I’ve been so busy. I love a good fruity floral, so this seemed like a safe choice. The jasmine worried me a little, but I figured that all of the other notes would cover it up.

Now, since I have found that alcohol based scents don’t change as much from bottle to skin, I’ll just include my overall thoughts.

My thoughts: This is a very bright, clean fruity scent that isn’t too sweet. I can definitely detect the peach and melon, as well as some honey. The florals pair really well, and I thankfully don’t smell any jasmine. I get mostly palo santo, sweet lemon, and lily along with the fruit. This is a very summery, youthful scent. I like it, but I don’t think I’ll get a larger size.

TL;DR: A nicely balanced fruity floral. 3.5/5.

I’m Back!

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Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

I apologize for my long hiatus. Life always takes priority over perfume, and things got a bit crazy for a few months. I finished my undergraduate thesis and graduated college, I visited New Orleans, and I worked retail over the holidays. Additionally, the downside of having perfume as a hobby is the price; I couldn’t really afford it for a little while, since I was using my money for other ventures. But I have returned with some very belated reviews and some new content coming very soon! Thanks for sticking with me and may you all smell lovely!


The Scenturion

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Dragon Doodle

BPAL Dragon Doodle

A scribble of honey-drenched strawberry and white pear.

Much like Daenerys Targaryen, I have always loved dragons. As you might imagine, I always look forward to BPAL’s Dragon Con scents, since they are themed around my favorite mythological reptile. This was the scent I was most excited for from this year’s collection.

In the bottle: SWEET. Very, very sweet and fruity. I’m not really surprised by that, but I do hope that it softens on the skin.

On the skin: The sweetness becomes more bearable compared to what it was before, but it’s still a very sweet scent. The notes are really balanced: I get an equal amount of each note, and their smell is distinct. They go together very well. But there’s something about the quality of the honey and the way it’s mixing with the sweetness that I don’t like. It’s powdery, but also weirdly pungent. It’s hard to describe. Needless to say, this isn’t a scent for me.

TL;DR: Very sweet honey, strawberry, and pear. Smells weird on the skin. 3/5. 

Perfume Collections I’d Like to See

Today we are taking a break from your regularly scheduled programming for a fun speculative post. Sometimes, I see something or read something and I think “Hey! This would make a great perfume collection!” That’s basically what this post is about: themes around which brands should create scents. Here are a few of my thoughts.

The Nutcracker Ballet

I know BPAL did a Nutcracker collection years ago, but I would love to see another brand tackle this for the holiday season. The ballet has so many fantastical characters, dances and music  that it would make a really fun and festive collection.

  • What brand should do it? My pick would be Arcana. They’re really well-rounded note wise, so I feel like they could tackle the wide variety of material and do it well.
  • Scent ideas? I’d love to see scents about the different dessert themed dances in the second act: Spanish chocolate, Arabian coffee, Chinese tea, Russian candy canes, etc. There would also be scents for specific characters like Clara, The Nutcracker, Herr Drosselmeyer, The Mouse King, and The Sugar Plum Fairy.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

This is one of my favorite books of all time. Without giving too much away, it is a sci-fi novel about a human man who comes to the sub-arctic planet of Gethen on a diplomatic mission. The humans of Gethen differ in one big way: they are ambisexual, meaning that they are neither male nor female until their monthly reproductive cycle. The novel is a classic, and the snowy landscapes and rich characters would be great fodder for perfumes.

  • What brand should do it? I would pick sixteen92 to do this one. They seem to specialize in complex atmospheric scents that evoke specific places and moods. In the book, the planet and climate itself are like a character, so that knack for atmospherics would really allow the beauty and danger of Gethen to shine.
  • Scent ideas? It would be cool to get really unisex scents for the genderless characters, in addition to the cold and mysterious atmospherics.

The Italian Renaissance

I’m a huge history nerd, and the Italian Renaissance is one of my favorite historical periods. Since it was a time of great strides in both science and art, there is no shortage of inspiration for perfume.

  • What brand should do it? For this, I can’t decide between BPAL or Poesie. Both brands have done scents based on pieces of art before, as well as scents that are evocative of specific time periods. I think they could both do it justice!
  • Scent ideas? I would love to see scents surrounding famous Renaissance artists, with the notes reflecting their particular artistic style. You could have scents based on Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Raphael, and Caravaggio, to name a few.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

This is another one of my top 5 favorite books of all time. It’s criminally slept on, if you ask me. The plot is basically this: Satan and a motley crew of infernal beings come to Communist Russia to screw things up for everyone. Meanwhile, the struggling author the Master wrestles with his newest work, and his relationship with his loyal paramour Margarita. It’s a fantastical, satirical romp through the Soviet Union with so many vibrant characters and scenes.

  • What brand should do it? I nominate either Arcana or BPAL for this one. Both have very diverse, well-rounded catalogs that would allow them to explore the whole spectrum of notes needed for this collection.
  • Scent Ideas? I would mainly want character based scents for this one, since they’re so rich and interesting. You’d have Woland, The Master, Margarita, Behemoth, Korovyev, Azaello, and Ivan Homeless. I would also have scents about specific locations and scenes, like Patriarch’s Ponds. I’ve actually come up with several full scents with notes for this one, but that is content for another post.

What are some particular collections that you would like to see? Let me know in the comments!


The Scenturion

Arcana: Pumpkins Crave Terror

Arcana Pumpkins Crave Terror

Holy Terror (burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles) with glowing pumpkin and a small dash of pie spices.

In the bottle: I already love this. It’s that same sweet pumpkin note that other Arcana pumpkin scents have, but it’s much darker and more resin-y thanks to the Holy Terror. I like the smokiness that I’m getting.

On the skin: This doesn’t change much on the skin. It’s exactly what the description says: Pumpkins and Holy Terror. It’s not overly sweet at all, if that’s a concern. It’s spicy and warm and awesome. It’s like the distilled essence of Halloween in a bottle.

TL;DR: Not overly sweet pumpkins and Holy Terror. So very Halloween. 4.5/5.