Arcana Bermuda Triangle
White coconut, ginger cakes, fresh ginger, red bananas, golden vetiver, creamy almond, and cask-aged rum.
Kicking off my Arcana Halloween Part 1 review series is a scent that hits close to home, literally. One of the points of the Bermuda Triangle is Miami, Florida, which is within an hour from me. I was a little nervous to try this scent however, since almond is a a death note for me.
In the bottle: I’m immediately hit with the smell of very, very sweet bananas. It then rounds out with a nice dose of rum and some sweet almond. At first I thought that this was way too sweet, but the more I smell it, the more I like it.
On the skin: This one is a serious morpher. The sweetness really calms down a lot, leaving the scent of ripe, but not necessarily sweet, bananas. It’s backed up by a lovely rum note that isn’t too boozy, and a beautiful mix of coconut and vetiver that really reminds me of this particular restaurant in the Little Havana area of Miami. This scent is super summery and tropical without being a standard tropical scent. There is a point where it threatens to go into sunscreen territory but it never truly goes there. It’s unique and fun, and I’m glad to have it. Weird bonus fact: My dog is obsessed with this perfume. He wouldn’t stop smelling my arm and he kept trying to lick it.
TL;DR: Ripe bananas with coconut, vetiver, and sweet rum. Tropical and summery without being typical. 4/5.
Arcana Peaches Crave True Love
Resinous black amber, caramelized sugar, vanilla bean, peach nectar, and a tiny hint of pear.
EUREKA! I HAVE FOUND IT! For those of you who don’t know, this scent is extremely hard to find and I have been searching for it for over a year. My search is over. I have heard nothing but good things about this scent, but will it live up to the hype?
In the bottle: Mmmm, there’s that glorious Arcana peach note that I adore. That’s the main note here. I’m getting a little bit of powdery amber and some sweetness from the sugar.
On the skin: The peach is still at the forefront, with the amber, sugar, and vanilla bean mixture forming the base for the scent. The sugar is definitely a caramelized one, since it has that sweet, almost burnt quality to it. I really like the amber mixed with the sweet notes: it’s deep and resiny, but also sweet. It’s gourmand, but not foodie, if that makes sense. I’m not getting any pear, which is a shame since I think it would be wonderful here. Overall, I like it a lot, but I don’t love it.
TL;DR: Juicy peach with sweet vanilla amber. Really nice overall. 4/5.
Fresh water, white coconut, smooth amber, seaweed absolute, rain-drenched juniper tips, and a drop of ruby red grapefruit
As I’ve mentioned previously, Arcana has been doing special scents for Nui Cobalt Design’s Crone’s Crates for over a year now. While this year’s theme is Major Arcana tarot cards, last years was different pagan festivals/holidays. Of all of those scents, this was the one that was raved about the most. I got a soap sample of it and liked it, so when I got a chance to try the perfume, I jumped on it.
In the bottle: The grapefruit is very strong and tart, and I’m definitely getting some saltiness from the seaweed in there. It’s not too strong though, which I appreciate. I don’t get much juniper or amber though. I can detect some water in the back too, and it’s very distinctly fresh water.
On the skin: The water smells cool and refreshing, and the grapefruit and juniper (which I can finally smell) back that up by adding a green element and a tart element. I was worried that the seaweed would be like the aggressive seaweed from Sea Witch, but its gentle and it adds a lovely bit of saltiness to the blend. It’s so beautiful!
TL;DR: Tart grapefruit with fresh water and seaweed, with a hint of juniper. Lovely. 4/5.
Smoked vanilla, sweet resins, red musk, marshmallow, and fiery woodsmoke.
If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ll know that I really love woodsmoke scents. I don’t know why, but I find woodsmoke to be very calming and relaxing. I’m also a big fan of red musk and vanilla. Therefore, this scent seems like it’ll be an instant winner. While Phoebus has been out for a while, I haven’t gotten the chance to try it until now.
In the bottle: I’m getting an absolutely gorgeous woodsmoke note backed up by red musk and resins. The red musk is beautiful, with an almost dark fruit-like quality to it. The resins lend a slight incense-y edge without making it headshoppy. If this scent was a color, it would be a deep crimson.
On the skin: It stays pretty true to the bottle to be honest. The red musk here really has this fascinating sweet quality that other red musks don’t; it’s almost cherry-like, without being similar to cough syrup. This is also a very bold scent in that it has a lot of throw and power. It’s a “notice me” scent. I think that this really perfect for fall, if you’re into sexy, smoky, musky scents.
TL;DR: An almost fruit-like red musk with bonfire smoke. Powerful and autumnal. 4/5.
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.
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.
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.