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.
Poesie Great Northern
Fresh cedarwood, ripe plum, black and pink peppercorns, warm clove
This was the other scent I purchased in my Poesie order. Great Northern comes from the Twin Peaks inspired collection, and the scent is meant to evoke the smell of Twin Peaks’ cleanest and most reasonably priced (for FBI agents) hotel. I love pepper notes and plum notes, so this one was a no-brainer for me.
In the bottle: Clove. Literally just clove. I think I can detect a hint of cedarwood in the back, but I’m not sure. I really want more plum from this.
On the skin: HELLO CEDARWOOD. That’s 99% of what this scent is. I get a touch of spicy pepper and clove in the back, but this is almost pure cedarwood. It reminds me of my aunt’s house in North Carolina. That being said, the cedarwood here is just too much for me and it’s giving me a headache.
TL;DR: Aggressive cedarwood with a side of cedarwood. Too much for me. 2/5.
Arcana Frilly Underpinnings
Pink, white, and black pepper, sweet cream, bourbon vanilla, caramel amber, white musk, two sugars, spice, and everything nice.
Black pepper is a rather uncommon note that I have a small obsession with. Nothing else adds that same kind of sassy spice to scent. However, as we saw with Krampus Cones, black pepper scents can be tricky. I’m always game to try a new pepper scent though, and this hard to find Arcana has always been on my list.
In the bottle: Creamy bourbon vanilla with a smack of pepper! The booze is strong with this one, but I feel like the pepper cuts it to a certain degree.
On the skin: The bourbon vanilla calms down quite a bit, as does the pepper, but both are still detectable. The cream doesn’t go sour, which I’m very thankful for. I’m mainly getting a creamy vanilla with musky not foodie caramel and a kiss of pepper to keep it from being too sweet. It’s an extremely feminine scent, but that beautiful pepper adds this interesting, dark kick to it. I feel like this perfume would be worn by a lace-draped Victorian lady who is demure by day, but a stealthy jewel thief by night. Think Irene Adler from the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie!
TL;DR: Creamy vanilla, musky caramel, and a touch of pepper. Feminine but punchy. 5/5.
Arcana Krampus Cones
Cold black pepper ice cream with vanilla bean specks, a swirl of dark caramel, and a bit of accursed waffle cone.
Kicking off 2018 here at the Scenturion is one of Arcana’s special Yule GWPs (gift with purchase). While I did not purchase any Arcana Yules, I was offered a decant from a kind redditor. Black pepper scents always intrigue me, but they can be very hit or miss.
In the bottle: I’m getting a very sweet, almost smoky vanilla. This is promising.
On the skin: Uh oh. First off, once applied, I can barely smell it! My skin just completely ate the scent right up. Secondly, the beautiful smoky vanilla from the vial is gone, and has been replaced with (from what I can faintly smell) a plastic-y vanilla. Ice cream scents have a tendency to do that on me, but I was hoping that this one wouldn’t. There’s also something very boozy about it suddenly, kind of reminiscent of Mother of All Souls. Gah, I had such high hopes for this scent!
TL;DR: Boozy, plastic-y vanilla that vanishes on the skin. Disappointing. 2/5.
Fyrinnae Tarnished Crown
Smoldering hardwood, dark vanilla swirled with smoky resins, and a hint of black pepper.
Fyrinnae is one of the most popular indie cosmetic companies, and they are known for their fabulous duochrome eyeshadows (Mephisto is GORGEOUS, and I’ve heard great things about Rapunzel Had Extensions). However, they recently revived their fragrance division and have received rave reviews. While the majority of the scents did not appeal to me, I’ve been wanting to try this one, since vanilla and smoke are some of my favorite notes. I was also curious about the black pepper in it. Since this was really the onnly Fyrinnae scent I was itching to try, a lovely redditor sent a sample as part of a swap. You can buy this on Fyrinnae’s Etsy page for $2.50 for a sample or $12 for a full 5mL.
In the bottle: Very smoky, but also sweet. It reminds me of this old perfume oil I got at the Renaissance Faire years ago.
On the skin: I’m getting more vanilla from this on the skin, but not a lot; it’s mostly smoke and wood, which makes it smell somewhat similar to Solstice Scents Manor. There is also something distinctly “perfumey” about this that I don’t like. It’s middle of the road for me.
TL;DR: Wood and smoke with a tiny touch of something sweet. 3.5/5