Poesie: Secret Boyfriend

Poesie Secret Boyfriend

A mountain of light fluffy marshmallows, your secret boyfriend’s leather jacket, pine and cedar, a wisp of smoke

I love smoky scents; I just find them so comforting. Marshmallows and smoke is a no-brainer, but I was really intrigued by the leather in the blend, since leather and marshmallows are not a combination I see very often. I’m also a huge fan of Twin Peaks, so the fact that this scent is from Poesie’s Twin Peaks collection definitely made me want to try it even more.

In the bottle: I’m getting mostly cedar, pine, and smoke with a touch of leather. I was afraid that the cedar would be aggressive like it is in Great Northern, but its not. It’s lovely.

On the skin: Nooooo. I think my skin really amps cedar because that’s what this has turned into. The cedar is still softer than Great Northern and I detect a smoky note underneath the wood, but I wish I was getting more vanilla and leather and marshmallow. I won’t toss my sample, but I don’t need a FS.

TL;DR: Tons of cedar with a hint of pine and smoke. Still too much cedar for me. 3.5/5.

sixteen92: I’m Not Finished

sixteen92 I’m Not Finished 

 A mug of Earl Grey tea, ink-black leather, rust, heart-shaped sugar cookies, topiary clippings.

For a while now, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect Earl Grey tea scent. It’s a lot harder to find that it sounds. A friend recommended this scent to me; it was a special limited edition scent for Black Friday 2017. As for the name, it comes from the famous movie about a kind man with very sharp appendages: Edward Scissorhands. The notes seemed promising enough, but would it be that beautiful tea scent that I’ve been searching for?

In the bottle: Oh, I love this. It’s this incredibly soft, delicate leather with a touch of sweet Earl Grey and greenery. It smells like a Victorian garden with tea and cookies and a good-looking man.

On the skin: *Darth Vader voice* NOOOOOOOOOO! It literally smells like cigarettes on my skin. I think the rust is mixing with the leather and the acridity of the tea to create that scent. Gah, I really loved this one in the bottle, but alas, it doesn’t work with my skin chemistry.

TL;DR: Delicate leather and Earl Grey in a garden that morphs into cigarettes on the skin. I’m so disappointed. 1/5.

Arcana: Spirit and Shadow

Arcana Spirit and Shadow

Worn leather with three vanillas, propolis, marshmallow crème, rata honey, and a faint whiff of warm linen.

Leather is a tricky note. When done well, it lends a very sexy, unisex edge of a fragrance. But when it’s bad, it smells like a brand new sofa, and not in a good way. Because of that, I was a bit hesitant to try this scent, but since I don’t see it for sale very often, I decided to take the risk. A lot of my friends like it, which also helped convince me.

In the bottle: I’m getting a strong, almost cherry like leather. Definitely not as “sofa” as some other leather scents that I’ve tried. I’m also getting a dark honey note in the back. I don’t like the cherry quality though.

On the skin: It doesn’t change much from the bottle. I’m still getting that cherry smell with some honey and maybe a hint of linen. I don’t know why the leather is doing that on my skin, but it really does not work with my chemistry. I also don’t like cherry scents since they remind me of cough medicine, so this one is going in the destash bin.

TL;DR: Cherry-like leather and not much else. Hard pass. 2/5.

Darling Clandestine: Inked

Darling Clandestine Inked

A sting of sea salt and leather, splashes of communion wine, the essence of raw skin.

Darling Clandestine makes it’s debut on my blog today with the scent Inked. For the most part, I haven’t really been interested in DC scents; none of them have really made me go “Wow, I need to try that!”. But of all of the scents in their catalog, this was one that I kept seeing and considering. The description makes it sound like it smells like a really hot, rugged dude, and how could I resist that?

In the bottle: Mmmm. This is nice. It’s a prominent, non-boozy wine note with salt and skin musk. It’s really just pleasant to smell.

On the skin: This blossoms on the skin. The wine takes a back seat, and the skin musk and salt become more prominent with just a touch of leather. It really does have that kind of “after sex” smell, like warm, sweaty skin, but with just a touch of something else to remind you that its a perfume. It’s incredibly sensual and sexy and alluring. This would also be incredible on a guy.

TL;DR: Skin musk and salt with subtle leather and wine. The sexiest scent ever. 7/5.

sixteen92: Salem

sixteen92 Salem

Damp leaves, church incense, Italian leather, dry birch woods, clove bud absolute, bonfire smoke

What better scent to test out in October than one called Salem? This is one of sixteen92’s best selling scents, and I’ve heard tons of hype about it. A friend sent me a sample, and I’ve been anxious to finally try out this well-regarded fragrance. You can buy this on sixteen92’s website for $4.65 US for a 2mL sample, $14 US for a 6mL bottle, and $20 US for a 10mL roll-on bottle.

In the bottle: LEATHER. Very strong leather and some nondescript spices.

On the skin: The clove comes roaring in, and the leather softens a bit. Now it’s primarily clove with smoky church incense with leather to round it all out. There’s a certain dryness to this fragrance, probably from the dry leaves. This definitely leans masculine to me, like a hot man who smells like clove lurking in a church while wearing leather pants.

TL;DR: Clove with church smoke and leather. Very atmospheric and masculine. 3.5/5.

sixteen92: Liber Officiorum Spirituum

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sixteen92 Liber Officiorum Spirituum

Ancient parchment, leather bindings, smoldering resins, frankincense tears, ritual candles, black fire, soot, steel, dust and smoke.

Since it is October, it’s time to break out all of the spooky scents! This one was highly recommended by several of my friends in the indie community as a holy grail creepy scent, evoking the image of some kind of dark magic ritual. While I haven’t had a lot of luck with sixteen92 as a brand, the description and reviews convinced me to try this. This scent is currently unavailable, but it might return for a sixteen92 resurrection event.

In the bottle: RESINS. Lots of resins. But these resins aren’t really earthy, they’re on the sweeter side.

On the skin: The sweet resins are still the most prominent note, but I am getting some kind of dusty, almost woody scent. I think that’s the parchment and/or the candles. There’s just a touch of smokiness, and I’m getting some incense sweetness from the frankincense. I wouldn’t say that I can really pick up the leather bound books from this though. It also doesn’t smell creepy to; this smells more like a ritual to drive out a demon rather than summon one. That being said, I still really like it. It’s like the nicer, less evil cousin of Holy Terror.

TL;DR: Sweet, dusty resins. Not spooky per say, but definitely mystical and Halloween-y. 5/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Snake Skin

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BPAL Snake Skin

A sinous, leather variant of BPALs Snake Oil

Despite being a big fan of BPAL’s perfumes, I have never actually tried their famous Snake Oil. Additionally, I have mentioned several times here that I’m a big fan of leather as well. So when I saw a half bottle being sold of a scent that combines Snake Oil with leather, I knew I had to try it. Snake Skin was a Lupercalia scent, so it is no longer available, but there is a chance that it might come back due to it’s popularity.

In the bottle: L E A T H E R. It reminds me of a brand new leather jacket, one that has been broken in yet. I’m not getting any spiciness yet.

On the skin: While leather is still the most prominent note in this, the Snake Oil really comes out of the woodwork. It’s spicy and sweet, almost too sweet for my liking. I can see why people go crazy over Snake Oil, and I can see how it would get better with age. For some reason, this scent reminds me of the American Southwest; like, I could a imagine a character from Westworld smelling like this. It’s definitely a sexy scent, I’m just not sure if it’s “me”.

TL;DR: Spicy, sweet leather. Will probably age beautifully. 3.5/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: The Bow and Crown of Conquest

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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.

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”.

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

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Jareth

BPAL Jareth

Ethereal lilac fougere and gleaming leather with ti leaf, tonka absolute, white musk, and oudh.

I grew up listening to my parents’ music and one of their favorite artists was David Bowie. He quickly became a favorite of mine as well, and when he passed away last year, I cried for an hour upon hearing the news. While he was most well known as a groundbreaking musician, Bowie was also known for the 1986 film “Labyrinth” where he played Jareth, the Goblin King. That movie made a rather large impact on me, and when I saw that BPAL had a whole fragrance collection based on the movie, I had to check it out. I hoped that this scent would evoke the character of the same name whom I adore.

In the bottle: Beautiful lilac and ti leaf with a hint of musk. It’s very floral; I do hope that changes on the dry down because it’s a little “grandma” right now.

On the skin: Yes. This is stunning. The florals calm down on the skin and the leather and tea from the fougere come out to play. It’s definitely a masculine scent despite the florals; there’s something very “cologne” about it, but not in a bad way. It’s exactly what you would expect Jareth to smell like: sexy, but also very ethereal and fae. Many people compare this to Dorian, but Jareth is less sweet and more floral. I can see the family resemblance though.

TL;DR: Lilac tea, leather and musk. Smells very elven. 6/7.