Lavender wands, cowrie shells, coconut husks, tonka beans, black amber, hyssop, spikenard, tea leaves.
Hexennacht is a new brand that has exploded onto the indie scene. It is the sister company to Sucreabeille, and it specializes in the brand’s original blends while Sucreabeille creates dupes of mainstream scents. Over the next few days, I’m going to be reviewing the five scents I got.I ordered a sample pack, which is very reasonable: five, 3mL drams for $20 in either oil or alcohol format. This scent sounded interesting, and I love lavender.
In the bottle: Very faint in the bottle; I’m just getting faint lavender and something else right now. Hopefully it gets better on the skin.
On the skin: This definitely gets stronger on the skin. It’s still a fairly light scent. It’s mostly lavender and some kind of tea, but with this almost sweet/herbal undertone. As it dries, it gets sweeter, and sort of fuzzy. I like this. It’s very unique.
TL;DR: Fuzzy sweet lavender and tonka with a touch of herbs. 4/5.
NAVA Halcyon Bat
Vanilla Bean, Crystalline, Kobalt, NA Black Patchouli Absolute, Cotton Candy, Sugar, Cream Soda, Bastet’s Amber, drop of Bastet’s Ice Cream (Original) and Bergamot EO.
Followers of my blog know that I am lover of patchouli. If used correctly, it can make a scent insanely sexy and alluring. Several of my friends love this perfume, which they have described as a sugared patchouli blend. I was unsure, since I was worried about it being too sweet, but I decided to finally try it and see what the hype was about.
In the bottle: Yup, that’s a lot of patch. I’m definitely getting some sugar there though, and I like the balance between the two.
On the skin: Oh holy crap. If you thought the patch was strong in the bottle, that’s nothing compared to how strong it is on the skin. It completely drowns out the rest of the notes; I can’t smell them at all. The patch is so prominent and so powerful that its overwhelming, and that’s coming from someone who loves patchouli scents. It’s also gone into full “dirty hippie” territory. I feel like the patchouli just broke into my house to scream at me. I’m scrubbing this off.
TL;DR: The world’s most pungent, aggressive patchouli and that’s it. Nope nope nope. 1/5.
Arcana Frilly Underpinnings
Pink, white, and black pepper, sweet cream, bourbon vanilla, caramel amber, white musk, two sugars, spice, and everything nice.
Black pepper is a rather uncommon note that I have a small obsession with. Nothing else adds that same kind of sassy spice to scent. However, as we saw with Krampus Cones, black pepper scents can be tricky. I’m always game to try a new pepper scent though, and this hard to find Arcana has always been on my list.
In the bottle: Creamy bourbon vanilla with a smack of pepper! The booze is strong with this one, but I feel like the pepper cuts it to a certain degree.
On the skin: The bourbon vanilla calms down quite a bit, as does the pepper, but both are still detectable. The cream doesn’t go sour, which I’m very thankful for. I’m mainly getting a creamy vanilla with musky not foodie caramel and a kiss of pepper to keep it from being too sweet. It’s an extremely feminine scent, but that beautiful pepper adds this interesting, dark kick to it. I feel like this perfume would be worn by a lace-draped Victorian lady who is demure by day, but a stealthy jewel thief by night. Think Irene Adler from the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie!
TL;DR: Creamy vanilla, musky caramel, and a touch of pepper. Feminine but punchy. 5/5.
Ripe figs with vanilla beans and hypnotic honey amber.
Happy (slightly belated) Thanksgiving! Every so often, you discover a scent that you want to try and you spend months on end trying to get your hands on it. Drool was one of those scents for me. This scent was a part of the limited edition Cocos Nucifera collection, and it has been discontinued since 2015. However, Julia (the owner and perfumer of Arcana) decided to make a limited run of about six or seven bottles of this rare scent, and I was lucky enough to be able to buy one. Will it live up to the hype?
In the bottle: I’m getting a very rich, almost caramelized, sweet smell, almost like Arcana Two Finger Ballet. There’s a subtle juicy fruitiness in the back that stops it from getting too sweet; it’s like ripe figs that have been caramelized and soaked in a vanilla honey sauce. It’s gourmand without being foodie, if that makes sense.
On the skin: The juicy figs come roaring to the front and it pushes the sweet vanilla to the back. The honey also becomes more prominent. There’s a very slight powderiness from the amber as well, but overall it’s a bright fragrance. As it settles, it becomes the most perfect fig/honey blend and I’m really into it. “Hypnotic” is a good way to describe this scent.
TL;DR: Juicy, ripe figs covered in a slightly sweetened honey. Delicious. 6/5.
Arcana Vanilla Craves Snow Fairies
Frozen honey with dry white musk, winter vanilla, opulent amber, snow, vodka, and a sliver of orris root.
Winter is fast approaching, and many perfume houses are preparing their winter collections, many of which use a lot of pine and snow notes. Now, I have a weird thing about snow notes. Many of them make me wrinkle my nose; they’re usually powdery and ozone-y, and I don’t like them. However, a friend in the indie community convinced me to try this scent, since the snow note is apparently very different from the other ones I’ve tried. The other notes also sound really good, and I was intrigued by the inclusion of vodka in the fragrance. This scent is no longer available, as it was a gift with purchase from a previous winter collection
In the bottle: A very crisp vanilla with a tiny vodka bite. It’s sweeter than I expected and a little powdery, but in a good way.
On the skin: I get more of the snow, but I actually like this snow note! It’s not ozone-y or minty, its just cold and delicate. Mix that with the vanilla and vodka, and it really works. Once it dries, it’s a musky, cold vanilla with the tiniest hint of vodka for crispness. There’s also something surprisingly sexy about this scent, which is interesting. It’s very unique and I really love it. It reminds me of Snegurochka (Снегурочка) aka the Snow Maiden of Russian folklore who helps Grandfather Frost (Ded Moroz).
TL;DR: A delicately cold vanilla with musk and a bit of vodka. Perfect for winter. 7/5.
Alkemia Affaire de Coeur
Sugared white musk, creamy Madagascar vanilla, white sandalwood, tonka bean, white amber, and pale sugar cane.
I haven’t had much luck with Alkemia as a brand, but I desperately want their scents to work on me because I love the sound of many of them. A friend sent me some of her old samples so I could test them out without having to blind buy. This scent sounded right up my alley, since I like every single one of the notes. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store for $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: Sandalwood and sweetness. Dusty, but incredibly feminine. Something in it reads as pear to me for some reason.
On the skin: This definitely a a sugared sandalwood blend. I’m having a hard time picking out the notes individually, though; there’s sandalwood for sure, and I think some sugared vanilla and musk. There’s a powdery kind of note in there too, and it’s very light and delicate. I feel like this will be a good scent for occasion where I can’t wear a scent that’s very strong or a little more unconventional.
TL;DR: Sugared sandalwood. Nice and unoffensive. 4/5.
Arcana Sea Witch
Delicate aquamarine scales and fins mingle with ribbons of seaweed, blueberries, brine, fresh rain, and gently sweet amber resin.
For the 2017 Halloween collection, Arcana did a set of perfumes about different kinds of witches. Within the collection, this one seemed to be a favorite. I’m not a huge fan of aquatics, so a friend sent me a decant to test out since I was curious. You can buy this scent on Arcana’s ebay page and on Nui Cobalt Design’s website for $20 US, or on Pretty Indulgent’s website for those in Canada.
In the bottle: SEAWEED. Oh boy, that is really strong and accurate smelling. It smells exactly like the kelp that wraps around your legs at the beach. Honestly, I can’t smell anything else right now.
On the skin: The seaweed calms down somewhat, which I appreciate, but it’s still really freaking powerful. I’m getting more of the background notes, which remind me a lot of the Arcana scents Lammas and Ostara, with the fresh water and blueberry. That part is very pleasant, but they just get drowned out by the seaweed. I can see why people really like this scent, but the salty kelpy smell is too much for my tastes.
TL;DR: Extremely strong seaweed on a bed of fresh blueberry aquatics. Like glamorous Cthulhu. Not my thing. 2/5.