Arcana White Bear
Bourbon vanilla ice cream, coconut husks, coconut creme, and foraged wild blackberries.
Sometimes I come across a scent that I’m very torn about trying. White Bear was one of those scents. And not, it is not based on the Black Mirror episode of the same name. Based on an old Norwegian fairy tale called “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” , the notes intrigued me right off the bat. However, my skin is known to turn ice cream scents into plastic. Because of that, I held off on trying this scent for a long time. But recently, a friend offered me a decant of it to try, and I figured “Why the hell not?” You can buy this scent from Arcana’s ebay store, Nui Cobalt Designs, Pretty Indulgent, and Femme Fatale for about $20 US (plus or minus a few dollars with the exchange rate for the latter two websites.)
In the bottle: Vanilla ice cream and fresh berries! Yum. It’s pretty simple, but I like it.
On the skin: HOLY BOURBON BATMAN. I think my skin amps that note because every perfume I try that has it is just aggressive bourbon. I’m now getting basically just bourbon with a touch of vanilla and fruit. I get zero coconut as well. I wish it stayed the way it was when it was in the bottle. It’s too boozy for me now.
TL;DR: Tons of bourbon with a tiny bit of vanilla and berries. Very boozy. 3/5.
BPAL Lady Una
Honey musk, green tea leaf, blackberry leaf, vanilla bean, and fae spices.
Thanks to some extreme generosity, I was gifted this half bottle for free with another purchase. I was very excited to receive it because the notes sound lovely and it is not a fragrance I would have picked out myself. You can buy this on BPAL’s website for $26 US.
In the bottle: I’m getting a lot of green tea and blackberry. It’s very foresty, but not woodsy if that makes any sense. It’s sweet, but light.
On the skin: HONEY. The honey musk comes in with a punch and its glorious. It adds this lush sensuality to the fruit and tea elements. The vanilla rounds it all out and gives it a beautiful sweetness. This is probably what Galadriel smells like and I’m all about it.
TL;DR: Rich honey musk with vanilla and soft fruit tea. Smells like a Tolkien elf. 7/5.
A diabolically seductive blend of elegant dark leathers, wild black currants and forest blackberries soaked in blood-red merlot wine, mahogany wood, and brooding musk with a whiff of carnal patchouli and the faintest whisper of brimstone.
I had to try this when I saw that one of the notes was brimstone; that just seemed so odd for a perfume since brimstone/sulfur smells pretty bad. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store. It’s $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: Oh boy, this is sour, like really unripe berries. It’s very alcoholic too, and strong. I hope this mellows out.
On the skin: Thankfully, this scents calms the heck down. It’s now a really interesting mix of the currants, blackberries and mahogany wood. The brimstone is subtle but definitely there; it makes the scent more masculine. Somehow, it smells sweeter on me than in the bottle. It’s a scent that creates an image of an old Victorian study with dark wood furniture where someone spilled a bottle of sweet, fruity wine on the desk. It’s nice, but it’s not my favorite.
TL;DR: Berry wine and mahongany wood. 3.5/5.