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.
Basically what it smells like. Image does not belong to me.
TL;DR: Clove with church smoke and leather. Very atmospheric and masculine. 3.5/5.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Beautiful. Majestic. Iconic.
TL;DR: Lilac tea, leather and musk. Smells very elven. 6/7.
BPAL Mary Read
Salt air, ocean mist, aged patchouli, sarsaparilla, watered-down rum, leather-tinged musk, and a spray of gunpowder.
You know what’s better than a regular pirate? A badass lady pirate. Mary Read was just that, and she pillaged and plundered during the golden age of piracy along side another famous female pirate, Anne Bonny. The scent really sounded evocative of piracy and the Caribbean, so I was happy when an imp of it came along. You can find this scent on the BPAL website for $17.50 US for a full size and $4 US for an imp.
In the bottle: Spicy! I’m getting a lot of sarsaparilla, patchouli. and musk.
On the skin: This is a very strong scent with a lot of throw. The salt and musk really ramp up once applied and you can definitely smell the gunpowder and the leather. The spices tone down a little bit, but they’re still there. This really encapsulates the scent of a pirate without all the sweat and dirt. Jack Sparrow probably smells like this.
TL;DR: A strong mix of salt, spice, musky leather, and gunpowder. Very pirate-y. 4/5.