Alkemia: Arcanum Experiment #18

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Alkemia Arcanum Experiment #18

Lavender, amber, steel. and stone

Every year, Alkemia does a special sale event where some of their unreleased scents and one of a kind prototypes are put up for sale on their Etsy for the incredible price of $6 US. I’ve never come across such a unique sale, and I was super curious to try a one of a kind prototype scent. 25 such fragrances were offered, and I decided to try #18; the notes sounded really intriguing and unusual because of the mix between the delicate (lavender, amber) and the strong (steel, stone). Most of these experimental perfumes are still available on Alkemia’s etsy shop, but several are sold out.

In the bottle: Super weird. It’s very amber on the outset, with the lavender coming if after with a back drop of cool, wet stone and shimmering steel. It’s not metallic per say, but you can still tell that is steel if that makes sense? The lavender isn’t super herbal, its very delicate. It’s certainly unique. I honestly don’t know if I like it or not.

On the skin: For some reason, it gets really spicy on the skin. The lavender also gets a lot more herbal. There’s something much sharper about it now than before, and I’m not getting any stone at all.

TL;DR: Strong amber, lavender and steel. Really weird. 3/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: TKO



No official notes

I’m back! I hope all of my fellow American readers had a lovely Fourth of July weekend. Today, I’m back with a “Beloved Favorites” scent from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. TKO is very popular general catalog scent from the Somnium collection. TKO (an acronym for “technical knockout”) is considered by many to be the perfect sleep scent, as it is a blend of lavender and marshmallow. Considering that one of my favorite perfumes of all time (Arcana Fille de Joie) has a similar set of notes, I was very excited to get my hands on an aged bottle of TKO. You can purchase this perfume on the BPAL website for $28 US.

In the bottle: Sweet herbal lavender, straight up. I sniffed this next to Fill de Joie (which will be abbreviated in this post as FdJ) and FdJ’s lavender note is almost identical.

On the skin: This scent is very similar to FdJ, which means that I like it. They do differ slightly though. FdJ has the peach note which adds a fruity little punch in there, whereas TKO is just pure sugared lavender. A friend of mine mentioned that TKO smells similar to the “Sugared Lavender Twist” wax melts from Wal-Mart, and they do smell quite alike. I really like TKO, but can I justify having two scents that smell very, very similar? I’m not sure.

TL;DR: Fluffy sugared lavender. A non-fruity version of Fille de Joie. 5/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: The Bow and Crown of Conquest


BPAL The Bow and Crown of Conquest

Sage, carnation, and cedar with lavender, vanilla, white musk, and leather

This perfume was pretty much marketed as “smell like the Antichrist”. With a description like that, I knew I had to smell it for myself. When it’s in stock, you can buy it on the BPAL website for $17.50 US for a full size or $4 US for an imp.

In the bottle: There are a lot of things happening and I’m having a hard time picking out notes. It’s quite spicy, but also floral as well. I think I can detect the sage.

On the skin: It doesn’t really change much from what’s in the bottle. Its very much a spicy floral along the lines of Alice, Reaper of Cruelty. Sage is by far the most prominent note, followed by the carnation and lavender. The leather lurks in the back grounding everything. It’s quite nice, but its not something I would wear. If you like spicy florals though, you’re gonna really like this.

TL;DR: A spicy blend of sage and carnation with a touch of lavender and leather. 3.5/5.

Haus of Gloi: First Blush


Haus of Gloi First Blush

Tahitian vanilla bean, white tea, lavender and peach.

This perfume was my first foray into Haus of Gloi (aka HoG). First Blush caught my eye because the notes reminded me of one of my favorite scents, Arcana Fille de Joie. This is one of HoG’s Valentine’s scents, so it is seasonal in their catalog. When available, it comes in perfume oil samples and full sizes, sugar exfoliant, whipped soap, Pumpkin Butter and scrub.

In the bottle: The white tea is very prominent, as is the peach. It’s very vibrant and punchy.

On the skin: I really like this. On the skin, the tea evens out and the vanilla and peach get stronger. I only get a tiny bit of lavender, so if you aren’t a fan of that, you might like this. This is quite different from Fille de Joie, however: Fille is heavy on the herbal lavender, with creamy vanilla and peach. It’s comforting and soft. First Blush is mostly white tea and juicy peach, and its much brighter and more youthful. It’s like the bubbly kid sister of Fille de Joie. It’s honestly a perfect scent for the spring and summer.

TL;DR: A bright, playful blend of white tea and peach with a hint of vanilla. Ideal for warm weather. 4/5

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Tombeur


BPAL Tombeur

Vanilla-infused sandalwood, blood musk, antique patchouli, vetiver, lavender, bitter almond, amber, and a trickle of Snake Oil.

Tombeur is part of the VILF collection also known as the “Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone” collection. I was drawn in from the vampire theme and then I fell in love with the note list; it sounds utterly sexy. I was also curious to try a scent with BPAL’s famous Snake Oil since I hadn’t smelled it. Because this is part of a special collection, it only comes in the 5mL size. You can buy it from BPAL’s website for $20 US.

In the bottle: Spicy. Kind of smells like the renaissance faire? I’m pretty the spice is coming from the blood musk and Snake Oil

On the skin: There’s something kind of bitter and off smelling at the beginning. I think that might be the bitter almond or the vetiver, but I’m not sure. It softens after a few minutes and the sandalwood appears, but it still has that weird opening. I’m not sure about this one.

TL;DR: Spicy and bitter. Not sure if I’m a fan. 3/5.

Arcana: Twirling the Pearl

Arcana Twirling the Pearl

Rich, golden honey, marshmallow, lavender milk, soft musk, and a tiny hint of green galbanum.

I was intrigued by this one, because the notes sounded similar to Arcana Fille de Joie. That, combined with numerous good reviews, made me excited to try it. I also got a kick out of the name; “Twirling the Pearl” is a euphemism for female masturbation. This fragrance is currently available on Arcana’s ebay page for $19 US, but it is sold out on Femme Fatale.

In the bottle: The lavender milk and galbanum are the strongest with a hint of honey in the background. Not getting really any marshmallow or musk.

On the skin: The marshmallow has arrived! It adds this gorgeous hint of sugar to the blend. The galbanum has taken a back seat as well. It’s now herbal lavender with the golden honey with marshmallow to add sweetness and a hint of the galbanum to make it green. It’s super creamy and silky. This is like Fille de Joie’s greener sister. Really lovely for warm weather.

TL;DR: Creamy lavender, honey and marshmallow with a touch of greenery. Perfect for spring and summer. 4.5/5

Arcana: Fille de Joie


Arcana Fille de Joie

Delicate lavender marshmallows and yellow peaches cured in a vanilla absolute bottle

I like lavender. I like peaches. And I like vanilla. Therefore, I needed to get my hands on this scent. Fille de Joie is an Arcana exclusive for Pretty Indulgent that sells out very quickly (Julia said it’s coming back soon!). People seem to really love it, so I was very excited to try it. This scent is only available from Pretty Indulgent.

In the bottle: I’m just getting herbal lavender right now, no peach and no vanilla.

On the skin: Oh, yes. This is so pretty. It just smelled like herbal lavender in the bottle, but once applied, the delicate vanilla and peach come in to play. The lavender is still the strongest note by far, but you definitely get the sweetness of the vanilla and the marshmallow, and the clean ripeness of the peach. It’s so beautiful. I find it to be an extremely calming scent and I can see myself reaching for this when I’m nervous and on edge.

TL;DR: Herbal lavender with soft vanilla and peach. Comfort scent. 7/5.