Alkemia Arcanum Experiment #18
Lavender, amber, steel. and stone
Every year, Alkemia does a special sale event where some of their unreleased scents and one of a kind prototypes are put up for sale on their Etsy for the incredible price of $6 US. I’ve never come across such a unique sale, and I was super curious to try a one of a kind prototype scent. 25 such fragrances were offered, and I decided to try #18; the notes sounded really intriguing and unusual because of the mix between the delicate (lavender, amber) and the strong (steel, stone). Most of these experimental perfumes are still available on Alkemia’s etsy shop, but several are sold out.
In the bottle: Super weird. It’s very amber on the outset, with the lavender coming if after with a back drop of cool, wet stone and shimmering steel. It’s not metallic per say, but you can still tell that is steel if that makes sense? The lavender isn’t super herbal, its very delicate. It’s certainly unique. I honestly don’t know if I like it or not.
On the skin: For some reason, it gets really spicy on the skin. The lavender also gets a lot more herbal. There’s something much sharper about it now than before, and I’m not getting any stone at all.
TL;DR: Strong amber, lavender and steel. Really weird. 3/5.
Alkemia County Fair
Pink cotton candy, hot kettle corn, freshly fried dough, candied apples, and saltwater taffy
I’m a sucker for all things carnival/circus/fair related and I’m a gourmand girl, so this perfume seemed promising. It was also highly recommended by several other bloggers. I really enjoyed Alkemia’s Calliope, which is another carnival-esque scent, but that one just disappeared on me. Hopefully this one will last longer. I believe that this one is a summer seasonal scent for Alkemia, so it is only available during certain times of year.
In the bottle: It starts out very, very sweet; it reminds me of Cocoa Pink’s Heavenly Basbousa (in the bottle) in that its super sugary. Seeing the notes, that’s not surprising since you have cotton candy, taffy, candied apples and funnel cake. It smells like it’s gonna rot your teeth off.
On the skin: The cloying sweetness does mellow out a little bit and the kettle corn finally comes in to say hello. The kettle corn is really lovely here because it adds some much needed salt to an overly sweet scent. I’m not really getting any apples at all; it’s mostly taffy, kettle corn and fried funnel cake. I also find it to be quite similar to Calliope, but more true to life “fair” and less feminine. This is a little stronger as well, but not by much.
TL;DR: Kettle corn, funnel cake and taffy. Not very strong. 3.5/5.
A diabolically seductive blend of elegant dark leathers, wild black currants and forest blackberries soaked in blood-red merlot wine, mahogany wood, and brooding musk with a whiff of carnal patchouli and the faintest whisper of brimstone.
I had to try this when I saw that one of the notes was brimstone; that just seemed so odd for a perfume since brimstone/sulfur smells pretty bad. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store. It’s $12 US for a 5mL full size. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Oh boy, this is sour, like really unripe berries. It’s very alcoholic too, and strong. I hope this mellows out.
On the skin: Thankfully, this scents calms the heck down. It’s now a really interesting mix of the currants, blackberries and mahogany wood. The brimstone is subtle but definitely there; it makes the scent more masculine. Somehow, it smells sweeter on me than in the bottle. It’s a scent that creates an image of an old Victorian study with dark wood furniture where someone spilled a bottle of sweet, fruity wine on the desk. It’s nice, but it’s not my favorite.
TL;DR: Berry wine and mahongany wood. 3.5/5.
A beguiling divertissement of piquant clementine, orange blossoms, white orchid, sugared currants, tonka, and vanilla musk whirled with flirtatious teases of billowy cotton candy floss and kisses of saltwater taffy.
I wanted Calliope for two reasons: 1) I loved the name since I love all things carnival and circus and 2) it seemed different from the kind of scents I normally gravitate towards. I generally gravitate towards darker, sexier scents and something light and semi-floral is not my wheelhouse. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store. It’s $12 US for a 5mL full size. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Cotton candy and vanilla. This is very sweet, almost too much so. I think I detect a hint of citrus in there as well from the clementine.
On the skin: I was worried that this was going to be overly sweet, but it’s not in the slightest once applied. It’s an elegant sweet, not ridiculously sugary, thanks to the orange blossoms and orchid. It’s like a more mature, complex version of that Pink Sugar scent that was really popular. The saltwater taffy gives it more depth and adds a smell that reminds me of funnel cake. It’s a perfect summer scent: flirty, fun and bright. However, this is extremely light and it fades within 30 minutes on me, which is very disappointing. I’ll probably destash this one.
TL;DR: Cotton candy, taffy and orange blossom. Vanishes on my skin. 2/5
Smoke and Mirrors
An elusive, smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka.
One of my favorite smells is the scent of burning wood and I really wanted to find a scent that smells true-to-life. Smoke and Mirrors seemed like a good bet. You can find this on Alkemia’s Etsy store; it’s $12 for a full size of 5mL. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Woodsmoke. Pure, unadulterated woodsmoke. I’m not getting much vanilla or tonka at the moment.
On the skin: The smoke note is very clearly woodsmoke and not any other kind; it smells exactly like a campfire. It specifically reminds me of the woodsmoke from the Renaissance faire, which is a good thing. The sweet vanilla and tonka come out within a few minutes of application. It’s just so lovely and rich. What I love about this is that it’s simultaneously really seductive and sexy but also really comforting.
TL;DR: Campfire smoke and vanilla. Very realistic. 5/5.