Nocturne Alchemy: Spooktacular

NAVA Spooktacular

Vanilla Essence, Mallow Root, Whispers of Sugar and UnEarthly Spooktacular Vanilla Bean pods, and Bastet’s Ice Cream Accord.

*Spooky Scary Skeletons plays in the distance*

It’s September, which means that Halloween is fast approaching! This scent is from NAVA’s Goblin collection, which are scents that evoke everyone’s favorite fall holiday. While I myself did not purchase any, a friend sent me a decant because this scent has been absolutely raved about. 2mL samples are $10 US, 5mL for $20 US, and 10mL for $38 US, all on the NAVA website.

In the bottle: Mmmm, buttery gourmand vanilla! It reminds me a lot of BPTP Boo hair gloss. It reminds me of a frosted vanilla cupcake.

On the skin: Oh no. For some reason, I’m getting that burnt linen smell that I hated in Antique Lace. That makes no sense, since there is no linen note in Spooktacular. The burnt note isn’t as strong as it is in Antique Lace, but its enough that I don’t want to wear the scent any more. I like smoky scents, but this smell is sickly sweet and acrid. I’m so disappointed!

Image result for cute ghost comic

Spoopy.

TL;DR: An extra sweet version of Antique Lace, complete with the gross “Miss Havisham on fire” note. Very disappointing. 2.5/5.

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Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: De Vos’ Unicorn

BPAL De Vos’ Unicorn

Sugared peony and rose-tinted vanilla with mallow, white musk, lavender buds, and a touch of apricot.

Last year, BPAL released a special collection called “The Art of the Unicorn”, which was a bunch of scents inspired by different artistic depictions of unicorns in various works. While the collection as a whole was very well received, one particular scent stood out from the rest: De Vos’ Unicorn. I’ve always had a soft spot for unicorns (I still have a plushie of one that I’ve taken with me to college), and this scent, while somewhat floral, had enough notes in it that I liked. This scent is no longer available.

In the bottle: Sweet. I’m definitely getting a lot of vanilla and mallow with the apricot. It’s pretty!

On the skin: It’s glorious. I was afraid that the rose and peony would take over the blend, but they’re so beautifully subtle. The vanilla, peony, and rose are so creamy, and the apricot adds some brightness. The mallow and musk form the base and ground the blend, making it a little less airy. For some reason, it really reminds me of the Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy hair gloss, which is a favorite of mine.  It is a lighter fragrance, but that is to be expected since the notes are all very delicate and ethereal. I can’t stop smelling my wrist.

De Vos' Unicorn

Unicorn by Maerten de Vos, 1572, Oil on oak panel. This is the inspiration for the scent.

TL;DR: Delicate vanilla and peony with musk and apricot. Light and ethereal. If unicorns had a scent, it’s this. 7/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Diligent Instruction for the Bridal Night

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BPAL Diligent Instruction for the Bridal Night

Sugar dusted strawberries and mallow blossoms

This scent was part of the 2017 Lupercalia collection, specifically the set that was inspired by Japanese erotic art (“shunga”). Out of the whole collection, this was the one I was most interested in because someone who reviewed it referred to it as “Strawberry Stekkjarstaur.” As with all Lupercalia scents, this one is sold out. However, sometimes popular Lupers get resurrected for the next year, so it is possible that this could come back.

In the bottle: Very strawberry, not artificial at all. BPAL’s strawberry note is honestly masterful. I’m definitely detecting something creamy in the background. It smells super similar to the BPTP Enveloped in Silk hair gloss, actually.

On the skin: This is gorgeous. It now smells like super silky strawberries and cream with marshmallows. It’s extremely feminine and elegant, but still sweet and delicate. Absolutely stunning. My only complaint would be that it is a light fragrance, so you need to apply more for a full effect.

TL;DR: Silken strawberries in cream with marshmallow. Beautiful. 7/5.