Arcana: Sturm und Drang

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Arcana Sturm und Drang

Big bold candy grapes face off with an ecstatic blend of apricot, caramel, sugary coffee, three rich ambers, and a pinch of dark patchouli.

I, like many others, have a weird dislike of all things grape scented. For me, it reminds me too much of cough syrup. Because of that, I was hesitant to try this scent, but the notes sounded so weird that I had to get a sample. Grapes + caramel + coffee? Will it work? You can buy this scent from Arcana’s store when it is open for $19 US, or on Pretty Indulgent’s website for $25 CAD.

In the bottle: Really yummy sweet coffee with a hint of caramel. Not grapes so far, but I’m not mad about that.

On the skin: The coffee and caramel remain the strongest, but I think I can detect some amber and a touch of something fruity. Not sure if that’s the apricot or the grapes. I honestly don’t get any grapes, and that’s okay. I really like this, but it seems to fade very quickly on my skin, which is disappointing.

TL;DR: Sweet coffee and caramel with a little amber and the tiniest hint of someting fruity. Yummy, but does not last long. 3.5/5.

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Black Phoenix Trading Post: Hair Gloss Reviews Pt.2

BPTP Hair Glosses Pt.2

When it comes to BPTP hair glosses, there is a very wide variety of scents. Because of that, I like getting little 5mL decants of a bunch of them so I can test them out. All of these hair gloss decants (except So Below) are from the lovely ladies at Crown and Tulip decants!  I highly recommend them for all your decant needs. They’re really great people, and they’re super professional as well.

Now, on to the hair glosses!

So Below (Haute Macabre collection)

Amber and black copal with black coconut, Sumatran red patchouli, green cardamom pod, and golden musk.

I love this one. It’s a really different take on patchouli; it’s not the dark kind you would expect, it’s much lighter. I get mostly that patch note alongside the coconut, cardamom, and amber. It’s dirty and sexy, but also very tropical.

Sugar Plum Fairy 

Sugar plums, vanilla-infused sugar, tiare, amber musk, apricot peel, and a light dusting of cacao. 

Oh boy, this is sweet. Like really sweet. I primarily smell sugared plums and apricots with a touch of chocolate. I love gourmands, but this is too sweet for me. It’s very candy-like and a bit cloying. If you gravitate towards super sweet/candy scents, you’ll love this.

Mischief (Carnival Diabolique collection)

Blood-spattered cotton candy.

Spun sugar and cinnamon! I’m not getting any actual cotton candy, but I don’t mind that. I find this to be surprisingly autumnal. I would love this, but it unfortunately vanishes from my hair within minutes of application.

Who’s Nibbling at My House? (Carnival Diabolique collection)

Caramel apples, cardamom cakes, hazelnut cream, and butterscotch.

Gourmand heaven. It’s all caramel and butterscotch with a little spice from the cardamom. It’s so warm and gooey and perfect for fall. It actually smells like a richer version of Owl Creek Aleworks. 

 

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: De Vos’ Unicorn

BPAL De Vos’ Unicorn

Sugared peony and rose-tinted vanilla with mallow, white musk, lavender buds, and a touch of apricot.

Last year, BPAL released a special collection called “The Art of the Unicorn”, which was a bunch of scents inspired by different artistic depictions of unicorns in various works. While the collection as a whole was very well received, one particular scent stood out from the rest: De Vos’ Unicorn. I’ve always had a soft spot for unicorns (I still have a plushie of one that I’ve taken with me to college), and this scent, while somewhat floral, had enough notes in it that I liked. This scent is no longer available.

In the bottle: Sweet. I’m definitely getting a lot of vanilla and mallow with the apricot. It’s pretty!

On the skin: It’s glorious. I was afraid that the rose and peony would take over the blend, but they’re so beautifully subtle. The vanilla, peony, and rose are so creamy, and the apricot adds some brightness. The mallow and musk form the base and ground the blend, making it a little less airy. For some reason, it really reminds me of the Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy hair gloss, which is a favorite of mine.  It is a lighter fragrance, but that is to be expected since the notes are all very delicate and ethereal. I can’t stop smelling my wrist.

De Vos' Unicorn

Unicorn by Maerten de Vos, 1572, Oil on oak panel. This is the inspiration for the scent.

TL;DR: Delicate vanilla and peony with musk and apricot. Light and ethereal. If unicorns had a scent, it’s this. 7/5.

Sixteen92: All the World’s a Stage

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Sixteen92 All the World’s a Stage

Rum-soaked apricots, dark chocolate, hazelnut liqueur, praline, amber, bourbon vanilla

This scent was the Sixteen92 2015 Circle Exclusive that came with the Women of Shakespeare collection. It’s tricky to find for that reason, but I managed to find half a bottle through the indie community on reddit. The notes are right up my alley and I was just in a production of “As You Like It”, so I had to get my hands on it. This scent has been discontinued, unfortunately, so you would have to buy it from someone who happens to have it.

In the bottle: I’m getting primarily chocolate, hazelnut and booze. Its sweet and gourmand, but not sugary.

On the skin: The apricots and praline come forward with a healthy dose of rum. The chocolate still lingers in the background with the hazelnut. There’s just a hint of amber in there to ground everything. I don’t get much vanilla, but I’m okay with that. Nothing in this smells artificial either. For some reason, there is something almost holiday-esque about this; the smell reminds me of a Christmas Pudding. The throw is good too. On me, the scent lasted for about 4 hours. If you like gourmands, but hate it when they’re too sweet, try to find a bottle of this.

TL;DR: Fruity, nutty dessert goodness. 4/5