NAVA Bastest’s Ice Cream: Wisteria Petal Creme
Japanese Wisteria, Melon, Peach cream, Apple skin essence, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla Crystalline Cream, Butter accord, Caramel Accord, French Vanilla Bean Absolute, Vanilla Milk accord, Vanilla Orchid, Crystalline Absolute and Vanilla Sugar.
If you’ve been following this blog, you might look at the note list for this scent and say “What the hell were you thinking??” Jasmine is a major death note for me, apples can be iffy, and ice cream scents tend to turn plastic on me. This perfume has all three of those notes, plus many others. Normally, I would have skipped this scent, but I have seen nothing but glowing reviews for it. Many reviews say that the jasmine and ice cream are barely detectable. But would my gamble pay off or would this be another scrubber?
In the bottle: Wow. I’m getting this absolutely spectacular wisteria note. It’s rich and floral, but not in a “grandma” kind of way. There’s something soft and sweet in the background too.
On the skin: Well, it’s not a scrubber, I’ll say that. But I’m not “wowed” by it. It’s mostly a sweetened wisteria with some soft fruit in there. It’s quite perfume-y too, and it reminds me a lot of a particular Bath and Body Works scent, though I can’t pinpoint which one. It’s pretty, but that’s about it.
TL;DR: Sweet vanilla wisteria and subtle fruit. Like a Bath and Body Works scent. 3.5/5.
BPAL Ivory Vulva
Marshmallow root, coconut, macadamia milk, cream accord, and a drop of golden amber.
There are several BPAL Lupercalia scents that have become very popular despite only being around for one season. This scent is one of them. It’s part of the Shunga collection (no surprise there), with several other scents sharing the name of that particular part of the female anatomy. The notes sounded lovely, so a friend sent me a decant of it.
In the bottle: A very sweet, rich, buttery vanilla. Seriously, it really smells like buttercream frosting. I’m getting that’s from the marshmallow and cream. It’s yummy.
On the skin: It’s definitely less buttery on the skin. It’s a very creamy, sweet scent overall. I don’t get any coconut, which is disappointing since I love coconut. There’s a slight dryness in the background, probably from the amber. Overall, this scent sort of reminds me of Volcano in Springtime, but I think I prefer that scent since it’s more unique. I’ll keep my decant of this, but I don’t need a full bottle.
TL;DR: Creamy, sweet marshmallow. Pretty basic, but done well. 4/5.
Alchemic Muse Lovecraft
Provincial lavender blossoms grounded in fresh pumpkin and sweet cream.
A study came out a few years ago about what scents men like the most. Surprisingly, the answer was a mixture of lavender and pumpkin pie. I have several questions about that, the main one being “How do those two scents go together?” When I saw the description of Lovecraft, I knew I had to try it in order to answer that question.
In the bottle: This is unlike anything I’ve smelled before. It’s like…creamy pumpkin (not heavily spiced) with gentle, slightly herbal lavender. It’s intoxicating in a way I was not expecting! Perhaps that is what makes it so irresistible to men.
On the skin: It is now mostly pumpkin pie and spices with a soft undercurrent of lavender. It’s very weird though; I’m getting an almost medicinal, herbal smell from this. I think its from the lavender and that earthy pumpkin. I don’t know how I feel about it now. I think I’m gonna give it a few days and then re-test it.
TL;DR: Pumpkin pie with herbal lavender. Really odd, honestly. Undecided on this one. 3.5.5
Steamed milk, sweetened condensed milk, coconut milk, and rice milk, infused with lavender simple syrup, coconut crème, and green cardamom poddiwods.
Milk and cream scents can be really tricky because they have a tendency to go spoiled or rotten on a lot of people. But I really wanted to try this anyway, because I feel like a good milk/cream scent could be stunning. Plus, A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite books, so I partially bought it for that reason.
In the bottle: Oooooh this smells like the creamiest cup of coconut chai! It’s so warm and comforting.
On the skin: Thankfully, it stays the same on the skin as it does in the bottle; maybe a touch less sweet. But it definitely doesn’t go sour or curdled like other milk/cream notes. Not much throw however. I could see this being a great sleep scent.
TL;DR: Creamy coconut and vanilla with a hint of cozy spices. 5/5.
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.
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.
BPAL Cave of Treasures
Sweet amber and golden honey, cream accord, blue lilac, and a drop of cardamom.
I’m not a huge floral person, but I’ve discovered that I really enjoy the smell of lilacs. They’re a big part of one of my favorite scents ever, Jareth, and a friend was kind enough to decant a little bit for me to try. Since this was a BPAL 2017 Lupercalia scent, it is no longer available.
In the bottle: Florals and spices. This actually reminds me of a commercial “oriental floral” type of scent.
On the skin: This scent definitely becomes more nuanced on the skin. The lilacs become more distinct, and I can also smell the cardamom. It’s a delicate cardamom however, not very powerful, but enough to add some spicy dimension. There’s a creamy smoothness to this as well that I think pairs really well with the lilac. I like this!
TL;DR: Lilacs with a soft undercurrent of creamy spices. Very feminine. 3.5/5.