Arcana: Grasshopper

Arcana Grasshopper

A sparkling pan-Asian blend of Indonesian ginger, Japanese yuzu fruit and Thai lemongrass, spiked with a hint of Indian black pepper.

Despite being a Floridian, I don’t really like citrus based fragrances. I’m not sure why; I love citrus fruit, but there’s something about citrus perfumes that I dislike. But Arcana is a brand that can make me like almost every note, so if I was gonna like any citrus scent, it was gonna be an Arcana one. Besides, this scent rarely pops up for sale, so I wanted to grab it while I could.

In the bottle: KAPOW! I’m immediately hit with this kick of sweet, fragrant ginger. It’s stunning. There’s also this lovely pepper note that pairs so perfectly with the ginger.

On the skin: The pepper becomes more subtle and the yuzu and lemon join the ginger. The result is spicy but sweet, clean and refreshing yet not soapy.  This is like the olfactory equivalent of sunshine, distilled into a bottle. It’s got a lot of throw too; I can smell it when my arm is at my side. This is so perfect for summer and I’m so glad I took the risk on this scent!

TL;DR: Sparkling sweet ginger and citrus. So refreshing and lovely. 5/5. 

 

Advertisements

Arcana: Molly Malone

Arcana Molly Malone

Cotton candy, sea spray, green sugarcane, salt, pink musk, sweet bergamot, lily of the valley, black pepper, vanilla, patchouli, and the merest hint of aged vetiver.

Looking at the notes, this is not my kind of scent at all. But I heard several people raving about it and my curiosity got the better of me, so I just had to try it out to see why people were fussing over it.

In the bottle: ???? This is so weird. I’m getting cotton candy, but also sea spray and lily and something else green. I don’t know what to make of this.
On the skin: The notes that smelled on the bottle are magnified on the skin. The cotton candy is not really that sweet or sugary, which is interesting, and I have come to the conclusion that the lily and vetiver are creating that green smell. It’s unlike anything I have smelled before. I can see why people enjoy this, but it’s so not my thing. I’ll destash it.

TL;DR: Aquatic yet green cotton candy with salt, lily, and vetiver. Weird as heck. 3/5.

 

Arcana: Haint

Arcana Haint

White musk, vanilla musk, Madagascar vanilla, sugarcane, and a faint trail of white pepper.

Yet another hard to find scent, Haint is a Holy Grail scent for many people due to it’s combination of vanilla and pepper. I love a good pepper scent, and I certainly love vanilla too, so testing out a sample of this was a no brainer.

In the bottle: Soft vanilla and a kick of pepper. The pepper in this is definitely less strong than the pepper in Frilly Underpinnings. I’m into it.

On the skin: I’m getting a touch more sugar on the skin, and the musk really rounds out the blend. I love this. In comparison to Frilly Underpinnings, the pepper is more subtle and its overall sweeter. I don’t think you need both scents unless you really love pepper. Honestly, I think I prefer this to Frilly, and I want to find a bottle.

TL;DR: Sweetened vanilla musk and pepper. Beautiful. I want a full bottle. 5/5.

Arcana: Fire of Water

Fire of Water

Precious sandalwood over a base of Madagascar vanilla, golden amber, salt water, clove, sweet musk, pumpkin, patchouli, and sugarcane.

Some scents can be easy to find. Some can be hard to find. And some can be damn near impossible to find and this was one of them. I was on the hunt for this scent for over a year, and I only ever saw it for sale once. Luckily, an extremely kind person offered to sell me their bottle. But would this scent be worth all of the searching?

In the bottle: This is really unique and unusual. I’m mostly getting sandalwood and salt water with a hint of sweetened pumpkin and amber. It’s alluring and intriguing.

 

On the skin: The clove comes out more when applied on the skin, but it’s not a super aggressive clove. It’s just enough to add a kick of spice. The sandalwood and pumpkin are most prominent along with the clove, and its much less sweet compared to how it smelled in the bottle. The salt and musk add this very seductive edge to the scent. There’s something almost incense-y about it too, which I actually really like (I usually despise any kind of incense except church incense). I feel like this is the witchier version of Darling Clandestine Inked. It’s totally not what I expected, but I can’t stop smelling my arm. Two thumbs up from me.

L;DR: Sandalwood and pumpkin with clove and salty skin musk. Alluring and witchy and really unusual. 5/5.

Arcana: Namaka

Arcana Namaka

Coconut, vanilla bean, rice milk, golden amber, watermelon, banana leaf, aged patchouli, and lemongrass.

Despite living in a tropical climate, I’ve never really been into super tropical scents, with the exception of the occasional coconut blend. However, watermelon is a note I never see in perfume, and I was extremely curious about how that would play out in a scent.

In the bottle: A big splash of watermelon starts it out. Slowly, the coconut and rice milk creep in. The citrus scent of lemongrass finishes it off. I’ve never had a watermelon note in a scent perfume, but I like it! It’s like watermelon candy, but much less sweet. This is definitely a summer/warm weather scent. It’s quite refreshing.

 

On the skin: The watermelon becomes even more beautiful on the skin. It’s subtly sweet and watery, and it no longer has that candy-like smell. It’s accompanied by a very delicate banana note that is not cloying or overly sweet. I’m getting a tiny bit of vanilla and rice milk in the back to sweeten things up, since the fruit notes here are not as sweet as one would expect. I really like that though, because the fruits smell more realistic that way. This is a truly gorgeous scent overall; it’s sunny and tropical and warm. I’m gonna be wearing this a lot.

TL;DR: Realistic watermelon with an aquatic edge, alongside banana and sweet rice milk. Absolutely stunning. 5/5.

Arcana: Pumpkins Crave Ganesha

Arcana Pumpkins Crave Ganesha

Pumpkin spice and sweet pumpkin with Arcana’s Ganesh.

One of Arcana’s most famous and beloved scents is Ganesh. However, despite being general catalog, it has been out of stock for a long time and people are desperate for more of this lovely scent. So when someone offered me a swap for a bottle of this scent, I jumped at the chance. This particular scent was made as an exclusive for a reddit event, and I’ve never seen a bottle on sale. I already knew that I liked Ganesh, so i figured that I’d like it when mixed with pumpkins too.

In the bottle: Definitely pumpkin spice, but it doesn’t smell like a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte or anything like that. It’s like a spicy pumpkin chai blend and I’m into it.

 

On the skin: It’s really true to the description: it’s Ganesh but with sweetened, sugared pumpkin. Compared to regular Ganesh, it definitely sweeter and more gourmand, whereas Ganesh is spicier and more fragrant. That being said, I think they’re different enough to justify having a bottle of both.

TL;DR: Pumpkin spiced Ganesh. Gourmand and autumnal. 4.5/5.

Arcana: Qedesha

Arcana Qedesha

Neroli petals dripping with honey, bee nectar, warm musk, and pearl musk.

When honey is used correctly in perfume, there is really nothing sexier. My favorite honey scent is Arcana Little Man in the Boat, which was unfortunately discontinued. When I came a cross a sample of Qedesha, I thought that the notes might be similar to LMITB, so I snapped it up.

In the bottle: Oof. That neroli is strong. It’s a kind of orange blossom, so I’m getting that kind of a smell. There’s definitely some honey in the back, but its overwhelmed by the neroli.

On the skin: Thankfully, the neroli softens on the skin and the honey comes out more. The honey note is the same one that is in LMITB. As a result, the combination of the honey and neroli produces a scent that is quite similar to LMITB, but heavier and more floral. I like it; I still prefer LMITB, but this is a nice alternative.

TL;DR: A headier, more floral version of Little Man in the Boat. I like it. 4/5.