Arcana Pumpkins Crave Terror
Holy Terror (burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles) with glowing pumpkin and a small dash of pie spices.
In the bottle: I already love this. It’s that same sweet pumpkin note that other Arcana pumpkin scents have, but it’s much darker and more resin-y thanks to the Holy Terror. I like the smokiness that I’m getting.
On the skin: This doesn’t change much on the skin. It’s exactly what the description says: Pumpkins and Holy Terror. It’s not overly sweet at all, if that’s a concern. It’s spicy and warm and awesome. It’s like the distilled essence of Halloween in a bottle.
TL;DR: Not overly sweet pumpkins and Holy Terror. So very Halloween. 4.5/5.
Arcana Vanilla Craves Terror
Creamy vanilla with Arcana’s Holy Terror (An unsettling, austere blend of burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles.)
When I told some of my friends in the indie community that I hadn’t tried this scent yet, they were shocked, because this scent is very much up my alley. I love church incense scents, and I love vanilla, so it seemed like a match made in heaven. That being said, while this scent is beloved by many, there is also a large contingent who think that this smells like a cheap vanilla candle. What would it be for me though?
In the bottle: Acrid and plastic-y. Sometimes vanillas can do that, and it doesn’t bode well.
On the skin: Well, it no longer smells like burning plastic. However, what I’m basically getting now is just regular old Holy Terror with the smallest hint of vanilla sweetness. Honestly, if you had me blind sniff this and regular Holy Terror, I might not be able to tell the difference. And that means that this is going into the destash bin.
TL;DR: Holy Terror with the tiniest bit of vanilla. Boring and disappointing. 2/5.
Arcana Peaches Crave Fire
Ripe peaches with our Fire accord (scorched black tea leaves, curling wisps of woodsmoke, Arcana’s Holy Terror blend, and a splash of hot toddy)
I like smoky scents. I like Holy Terror. I’m a fan of peach notes, especially Arcana. Therefore, it was a no brainer when it came to trying this scent.
In the bottle: Smoky peaches. There’s nothing sweet about it; its really like a bunch of fresh peaches sitting in a fireplace. It’s quite interesting.
On the skin: I…don’t know what’s going on here. The tea and smoke combo reminds me a lot of the tea and smoke combo from Marshmallows Smoke, but for some reason, this scent is turning sour on me. It almost smells sweaty? There’s also the hot toddy that adds this warmth and depth, but I can’t get past that weird BO smell. I don’t know what’s causing it, but I’m not a fan.
TL;DR: Weird smoky, sweaty peaches and smoke. No bueno. 1/5.
Alkemia Le Petit Mort
Triple iron distilled Indonesian red patchouli and dark forest blossom beeswax honeycomb.
Despite it’s haters, I’m a big fan of patchouli. It’s dirty and earthy and very sexy to me. I’m always ready to try a new patchouli scent. 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: Patchouli and honey. Very simple, but very sensual. Not much more to say there.
On the skin: It now reminds me a lot of BPAL impressions of the Floating World. It’s that same kind of powdery, perfume-y patch and honey blend. It’s just okay, honestly. It’s not bad, but it’s not fantastic either. I will say that it smells quite mainstream and expensive though.
TL;DR: Powdery patchouli and honey. Kind of basic to me. 2/5.
Alkemia Honeycakes for the Harvest Moon
Freshly baked honeycakes, autumn beeswax, gleanings from ripened grainfields, and newly harvested fruits lightly spiced with nutmeg, ginger, and golden cloves.
As you may know, I love honey scents, but they can be kind of finicky on the skin. Thankfully, a friend sent me a sample so I could test it out. This scent is currently unavailable.
In the bottle: It’s beautifully sweet honey cakes. It reminds me a lot of Sharing the Cake HG!
On the skin: This no longer smells like Sharing the Cake HG at all; it’s less sweet and more true to actual honey rather than honey cakes. I’m getting quite a bit of nutmeg too which I like! It adds a nice spice note to the blend. I also like how this scent isn’t a very heavy gourmand; there’s a kind of lightness to it that prevents it from being overly foodie. Overall, I like it. I don’t think I’ll buy a full size of it, but I’m happy to have my sample.
TL;DR: Sweet, gently spiced honey cakes. Not overly gourmand. 3.5/5.
EDIT: I’m sorry to say that my opinion of this scent has completely changed. I’ve discovered that applying this to my skin results in a bizarre celery smell after a few hours and I really don’t like it. Into the destash pile it goes!
Solstice Scents Smokewood Apiary
Smoked Honey, Creamed Honey, Beeswax, Amber, Wooden Frames, Ginger & Vanilla
Solstice Scents is a brand that I have not delved into too much, so when I had the opportunity to get a sample bundle in a swap, I jumped at the chance. This particular scent is well-loved by fans of honey, which means it is right up my alley. You can find this scent on the Solstice Scents website for $16 for a full size (5mL) or as part of a sample pack.
In the bottle: A lot of smoke and a little honey. That sounds good in theory, but I’m getting barbecue sauce from this.
On the skin: The ginger comes roaring in, and it creates a very sharp mixture with the honey. That, combined with the smoke, creates a very interesting combination. There is also some kind of underlying bitterness to it, as well as a prominent wood note. I’m not really a fan of this and I have other honey scents that I like more.
TL;DR: Smokey honey with ginger and wood. Somewhat barbecue-y. 3/5.
BPAL Giant Vulva
Skin musk, sugar cane, honey, beeswax, vanilla flower, and copal
I’ll be honest; I partially bought this for the name. It’s a great answer to the question “Your perfume is so pretty! What’s it called?” The notes also sounded good because I love honey and vanilla. This scent was part of BPAL’s 2009 Lupercalia collection. Lupercalia, for those who don’t know, is BPAL’s annual Valentine’s collection. It’s a massive release of dozens of scents, many of which have names that reference sex acts and genitalia. Since this was a scent from the 2009 collection, it is no longer available, but it could possibly return for another year.
In the bottle: Very warm, and there’s something very commercial about this too. Like, it smells similar to something I could buy at Sephora or a department store at the mall. That’s not a bad thing, but it was not what I was expecting.
On the skin: The skin musk is very prominent; it smells like someone who has just been working out for a while, but without the stink of sweat. There’s a very powdery element to this as well, with I think is from the beeswax and copal. I can detect a subtle floral element in the back from the vanilla flower. In a weird way, this reminds me a little bit of Arcana Snug, but this one is more feminine, floral and less sweet. Frankly, I think that Snug is superior. I feel like this would work well on an older, more mature woman rather than a woman in her 20’s or early thirties; that’s probably due to the copal and vanilla flower, as they add a slight touch of “grandma’s perfume” to the blend. I like this, but I don’t feel like I’d wear it.
TL;DR: Skin musk, powdery beeswax, copal and subtle florals. Would work well on a more mature woman. 3/5