Arcana: Queen Crossbones

Arcana Queen Crossbones

Creamy Egyptian musk, wild honey, sweet coconut and exotic resins

I’m back! Today I have a review for the recently resurrected Arcana scent Queen Crossbones. While this didn’t initially catch my eye, the rave reviews convinced me to find a decant of it. I love a good honey scent, and musk, resins, and coconut are all notes I enjoy as well. When Arcana re-opens, this scent will be available for $19 US for a 5mL bottle.

In the bottle: Not the Bees, is that you? This smells super similar! I’m hoping it’s different on the skin though.

On the skin: Okay, now we’re talking! The honey is still the most prominent note by far, but its less sweet than the honey in Not the Bees. I think that’s due to the musk and resins; they’re definitely making it darker, richer, and sexier. The resins also add a subtle smoky quality to it that i’m really digging. This is very much Not the Bees’ older, more mature sister who wears lots of leather and lace to the grocery store. It’s really stunning.

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TL;DR: Musky, resinous honey. A much sexier version of Smelly Yeti Not the Bees. 4/5.

Solstice Scents: Smokewood Apiary

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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.

Smelly Yeti: Bee Tsar

Smelly Yeti Bee Tsar

Tobacco and Russian leather drip with honeyed vanilla.  

Tobacco is usually a death note for me; for some reason, it turns into an ashtray on my skin. Despite that, I really wanted to try this fragrance because A) I’m Russian B) Bees. Also the art for it made me laugh (see below). You can buy this on Smelly Yeti’s website for $3 US for a sample or $15 for a full size. You can also find it on Femme Fatale.

In the bottle: Dark, very masculine honey. Totally different from Not the Bees. So far, I really like this.

On the skin: The honeyed sweetness is gone and the tobacco comes out much more. It’s bordering on ash tray and I’m not a fan. I don’t know what it is about my skin chemistry and tobacco, but they do not get along. That being said, if tobacco works on you and you like honey, this is gonna be a winner. But for me, it’s a “нет”.

In Soviet Russia, you sting bees. Image belongs to Smelly Yeti.

TL;DR: Strong tobacco with a touch of honey. Turns into an ash tray on me. 2/5.

Black Phoenix Trading Post: Hair Glosses

Black Phoenix Trading Post (BPTP) is the sister shop to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. While the Lab does perfume oils, the Post does other merchandise like atmosphere sprays, nail polish and t-shirts. Many of their hair glosses, nail polish and atmosphere sprays correspond to other items available at BPAL. Today I will be reviewing five of their hair glosses in the scents Dragon’s Milk, The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy, Sharing the Cake Between the Lion and the Unicorn, Enveloped in Silk, and Holliday. All of these scents are no longer available on the BPTP website.

What is a hair gloss?

Hair gloss or hair oil is a mixture of oils and other ingredients that are meant to make your hair shiny and more manageable. Several perfume house make them with some of their bestselling scents, so not only will your hair look better, it’ll smell better too.

Here is what BPTP has to say about their hair glosses:

“We have combined Tahitian monoi, camelina oil, argan oil, and karanja oil to give your mane a gleaming finishing shine without leaving it gloopy, weighted-down, or greasy. Camelina oil provides a protective coating for the hair follicles, argan oil nourishes stressed hair, enhances elasticity, and repairs cellular damage to the hair strand itself, and a touch of Monoi oil adds moisture and enhances softness. Your hair will be silkier, shinier, glossier, more vibrant, and frizz-free. Black Phoenix’s Hair Gloss is paraben and sulfate free, and contains no petro-chemicals, no GMOs, and no triclosan.”

The Glosses I Purchased

I got decants of five hair glosses: Dragon’s Milk, The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy, Sharing the Cake Between the Lion and the Unicorn, Enveloped in Silk, and Holliday.

Dragon’s Milk

Dragon’s blood resin and honeyed vanilla.

This is the hair gloss version of the beloved BPAL scent of the same name. Dragon’s blood is a weird note on me; I either love it or I hate it. Luckily, I really like this. It’s definitely dragon’s blood, but it’s very evenly balanced with the honey and vanilla. It’s not headshop-y at all, just a little spicy.

The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy

Madagascan vanilla, rice powder, iris root, and pale musk.

This gloss was part of 2017’s Lupercalia collection and it’s received rave reviews across the internet. Vanilla and musk are notes I love,and rice powder sounded like an interesting component. The hype is totally worth it, because it’s a magnificent vanilla with just a hint of powdery rice and iris. It’s stunning.

Sharing the Cake Between the Lion and the Unicorn 

Honey cake

Sharing the Cake was from the 2016 Unicorn collection. I love honey and gourmand scents, so this one was on my wishlist.

It’s exactly what the description says: deliciously rich honey cake. It’s sweet and amazing and I love it.

Enveloped in Silk

Strawberry cream, white musk, and orris root.

After the strawberry success that was Arcana Strawberries Crave Waterfalls, I wanted to find a hair gloss that had that had more strawberry goodness. This totally fits the bill; it smells like super fresh strawberries and a hint of whipped cream. If you like strawberries, you’re gonna LOVE this.

Holliday

Red musk and bourbon vanilla with blackened amber, gunsmoke, honey, and a splash of rum.

The notes for Holliday are much more up my alley. It’s mostly bourbon vanilla, honey and amber with a touch of rum. The musk is in the background to ground it all out. The gunsmoke is subtle, but it adds a little bit of a masculine, smoke note in there. I imagine that this is how Westworld would smell. Sexy, a little dirty and dangerous.

I also received a sample tube of the famous Pink Wig Spray (A glittering cloud of cotton candy and rhinestone white musk). True to the name, this scent is bright, sugary cotton candy with a hint of something else to ground it. It’s super vibrant and fun.

Does it work?

For reference, my hair is long, thick and wavy and I live in a humid climate.

I applied the gloss to mostly dried hair in the morning by spritzing it onto my hands and then running them through my hair. I feel like it definitely made my hair shinier and it helped to hold the waves in place so they didn’t frizz as much. It’s not a miracle product or anything, but it makes my hair look pretty and it smells good. It might do more for frizz if you live in a climate that isn’t tropical.

Smelly Yeti: Not the Bees

Smelly Yeti Not the Bees

Candied honey and honeysuckle, punctuated by the faintest hint of citrus and underscored with smooth vanilla.

I’m always on the hunt for good honey scents, and this little guy was highly recommended by a friend on the indie Discord server. She sent me her sample, alongside a sample of Bee Tsar. You can buy this on Smelly Yeti’s website for $3 US for a sample or $15 for a full size. You can also find it on Femme Fatale.

In the bottle: Very sweet honey. It’s pretty straightforward, to be honest.

On the skin: The honeysuckle comes into play and it adds more depth to the scent with the floral element. I think I can detect the tiniest hint of citrus to cut the sweetness a little. It’s definitely less sweet now and there’s something kind of refreshing about it. it’s really beautiful and very summery.

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Nicholas Cage being iconic.

TL;DR: Sweet honey and honeysuckle with a touch of citrus. Great for warm weather. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Lady Una

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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.

Arcana: Little Man in the Boat

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Arcana Little Man in the Boat

Peach nectar and delicate musk dripping with Tupelo honey, Clover honey, and one dainty tuberose petal.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I LOVE peach and I’m constantly looking for scents that include it. This one was highly recommended across the internet and I’m a big fan of Arcana. If you’re wondering about the name, “Little Man in the Boat” is a euphemism for the clitoris. This scent is currently sold by Femme Fatale.

In the bottle: Floral honey. It’s very pleasant and unoffensive, but I’m waiting for the peach.

On the skin: The peaches come out much more alongside the musk and the florals take a backseat. You can definitely smell the clover within the honey and combined with the musk and peaches, it creates a very heady, sensual honeyed fruit and musk blend. The throw is also quite strong. I like this, but its not as peachy as I was expecting.

TL;DR: Hazy floral honey and peach. 4/5.