Arcana Queen Crossbones
Creamy Egyptian musk, wild honey, sweet coconut and exotic resins
I’m back! Today I have a review for the recently resurrected Arcana scent Queen Crossbones. While this didn’t initially catch my eye, the rave reviews convinced me to find a decant of it. I love a good honey scent, and musk, resins, and coconut are all notes I enjoy as well. When Arcana re-opens, this scent will be available for $19 US for a 5mL bottle.
In the bottle: Not the Bees, is that you? This smells super similar! I’m hoping it’s different on the skin though.
On the skin: Okay, now we’re talking! The honey is still the most prominent note by far, but its less sweet than the honey in Not the Bees. I think that’s due to the musk and resins; they’re definitely making it darker, richer, and sexier. The resins also add a subtle smoky quality to it that i’m really digging. This is very much Not the Bees’ older, more mature sister who wears lots of leather and lace to the grocery store. It’s really stunning.
TL;DR: Musky, resinous honey. A much sexier version of Smelly Yeti Not the Bees. 4/5.
Arcana Strawberries Crave Black Sand
Amber resin with black coconut, coconut husks, smoky vetiver, and a sliver of almost-overripe strawberry.
Arcana recenlty re-opened with a resurrection event where several fragrances that have been out of stock for a while came back. For customers with purchased 3 or more bottles, this was a gift with purchase, available only that way and only as a 3.7mL dram. While I did not make any purchase during Arcana’s re-opening, I managed to find someone who was selling their bottle of it. I was worried about the vetiver in it, everything else sounded so gorgeous that I really wanted to try it. This scent is currently unavailable.
In the bottle: Coconut is the main note here, and its delightfully milky. I get a hint of the famous Arcana strawberry note, and then something very dark in the back, which is that smoky vetiver. So far, the vetiver is working for me; it’s not too bitter or too sour. It’s just dark and smoky and resin-y.
On the skin: This one is a morpher. Once applied to the skin, the coconut retreats into the back and the strawberry gets stronger and sweeter. The vetiver also takes on an almost chocolate-y quality, but it still has that smoke. The amber also gets much more prominent. At this stage, I don’t really like it. Then after about an hour, it morphs again, and it becomes a fruity blend of strawberries and coconut with a touch of smoke in the back. Now I like it again.
TL;DR: Coconut, overripe strawberry, and smoke with a touch of vetiver. Morphs a lot. very unique. 4/5.
Arcana Little Man in the Boat
Peach nectar and delicate musk dripping with Tupelo honey, Clover honey, and one dainty tuberose petal.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I LOVE peach and I’m constantly looking for scents that include it. This one was highly recommended across the internet and I’m a big fan of Arcana. If you’re wondering about the name, “Little Man in the Boat” is a euphemism for the clitoris. This scent is currently sold by Femme Fatale.
In the bottle: Floral honey. It’s very pleasant and unoffensive, but I’m waiting for the peach.
On the skin: The peaches come out much more alongside the musk and the florals take a backseat. You can definitely smell the clover within the honey and combined with the musk and peaches, it creates a very heady, sensual honeyed fruit and musk blend. The throw is also quite strong. I like this, but its not as peachy as I was expecting.
TL;DR: Hazy floral honey and peach. 4/5.
Arcana Bee’s Knees
Peach nectar, eggnog, whipped cream, and sweet rum
In case you haven’t noticed, I love peach. It’s one of my favorite fruits and I love the smell of it too. Arcana’s peach note is particularly lovely, so when I saw this scent that sounds like boozy peaches and cream, I had to try it a decant of it. Bee’s Knees was a special scent for Arcana’s Cocktails for Charity collection that was released in 2015. It’s not currently available, but it sometimes re-appears in December with their Yule collection.
In the bottle: It smells like the lovechild of a peach and Arcana Mother of All Souls. Very boozy, but also quite creamy.
On the skin: Oh, this is really good. The booze calms down a bit, but you still get a lot of the eggnog spices like nutmeg. The peaches and whipped cream are sweet and rich. The rum rounds it out with just a little kick. It’s super festive.
C’mon, I couldn’t NOT mention “The Bee Movie” in a bee related post,
TL;DR: Peaches and cream with eggnog spices and non-boozy rum. Perfect for the holidays. 5/5.
Arcana Strawberries Crave Waterfalls
Rain, woodland strawberries, fresh water, petitgrain, osmanthus, clover, and smooth amber.
Arcana’s Strawberries Craves line has become a favorite within the indie perfume community, but none of the scents has garnered as much hype as Strawberries Crave Waterfalls. When this recently came back for the resurrection event, two ebay listings worth of the fragrance sold out within two hours. I have never seen a perfume fly off the shelves so fast. While I did not get a bottle myself, a lovely redditor offered to decant some for me. I was very curious about this fragrance, since aquatics usually aren’t my thing, but it sounds so summery and light that I had to experience it for myself. This fragrance is currently sold out everywhere, but I heard that Julia would be bringing it back soon. When she does, it will probably cost $19 US from the Arcana ebay store.
In the bottle: STRAWBERRIES. That’s not much of a surprise, but it is a very strong strawberry. It borders on being overly artificial, but it doesn’t cross the line. I’m definitely getting the water in there too. It’s very strong.
On the skin: I understand the hype now. Holy crap, this is MAGNIFICENT. Somehow Julia managed to capture the scent of fresh, dew-covered wild strawberries in a bottle. The strawberry is no longer straddling the artificial line; now it is just pure, sweet forest strawberries. The rain and fresh water are so clean in there and the clover and osmanthus add a subtle floral note that is just stunningly bright. It’s the scent of hiking through the forest in the summer and coming across a hidden waterfall surrounded by strawberry bushes and flowers.. This perfume is perfect for hot weather; its so refreshing. I might have to snap up a bottle of this when it returns.
Picture this but with more strawberries.
TL;DR: Fresh forest strawberries, soft wild flowers and clean water. Absolutely stunning. 7/5.
Arcana Twirling the Pearl
Rich, golden honey, marshmallow, lavender milk, soft musk, and a tiny hint of green galbanum.
I was intrigued by this one, because the notes sounded similar to Arcana Fille de Joie. That, combined with numerous good reviews, made me excited to try it. I also got a kick out of the name; “Twirling the Pearl” is a euphemism for female masturbation. This fragrance is currently available on Arcana’s ebay page for $19 US, but it is sold out on Femme Fatale.
In the bottle: The lavender milk and galbanum are the strongest with a hint of honey in the background. Not getting really any marshmallow or musk.
On the skin: The marshmallow has arrived! It adds this gorgeous hint of sugar to the blend. The galbanum has taken a back seat as well. It’s now herbal lavender with the golden honey with marshmallow to add sweetness and a hint of the galbanum to make it green. It’s super creamy and silky. This is like Fille de Joie’s greener sister. Really lovely for warm weather.
TL;DR: Creamy lavender, honey and marshmallow with a touch of greenery. Perfect for spring and summer. 4.5/5
Dark honey amber, marshmallow, and the glow of beeswax candles.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Today I thought I would test out a scent that contains “the essence of moms”: comforting, warm and safe. The scent is Arcana’s Snug.
Honey amber, marshmallow and beeswax; that’s a combination that I don’t have in my collection and it sounded delightful. You can find this on Arcana’s ebay store for $19 US.
In the bottle: I already like it. I’m getting a lot of honey and beeswax with a hint of the amber. No marshmallow yet.
On the skin: The sweetness from the honey lessens and the amber comes forward more. It’s now mostly beeswax and amber with a hint of honey in the back. It’s powdery and not overly sweet. “Snug” is honestly the perfect name for it; it smells like sitting under a fluffy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. It’s really warm and cozy. Snug would be a great winter scent or sleep scent. My only complaint would be that I wish there was more marshmallow.
TL;DR Beeswax and amber with a touch of honey. Smells snuggly and comfy. 4/5.