Arcana: Marshmallows Smoke!


Arcana Marshmallows Smoke!

Marshmallows with woodsmoke, dry black tea, dead Maple leaves, and a hint of vanilla.

I love the smell of woodsmoke. There’s something about it that I find very comforting. When the new Marshmallow Attacks! collection dropped, this one immediately caught my eye, since marshmallows and smoke go together like peanut butter and jelly. Dead leaves are also a popular addition to indie scents, but I haven’t tried many of them. As a result, curiosity took over and I purchased a secondhand bottle of this scent. You can buy this on Arcana’s ebay page or the Nui Cobalt Design website for $20 US.

In the bottle: Strong black tea with a touch of smoke. This is a very realistic black tea note too, like sticking your nose into a tin of fancy gourmet tea leaves.

On the skin: The black tea is still ruling the blend, but the smoke comes out more on the skin. It has a certain crispness to it which is from the dead leaves. I can also detect a sweetness, but I can’t tell if it’s from the marshmallow or the vanilla. If you’re looking for a marshmallow heavy blend, then this is not it. That being said, I really like this and I think it’ll be great for colder days and rainy days.

TL;DR: Realistic black tea with smoke and crispy dead leaves. Perfect for cold weather or rainy days. 5/5.




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: Stekkjarstaur

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BPAL Stekkjarstaur

Wooly sugared marshmallow root.

This little guy was part of the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Yule 2014 collection. Being a seasonal scent, it was then discontinued within two months. However, Stekk (as it is lovingly called) became a fan favorite because of how great the scent is supposed to be. I was very lucky to receive an imp of this as a free sample with another package from a user on reddit. The name, “Stekkjarstaur”, refers to one of the 12 Icelandic Yule Lads, who were tricksters that evolved into gift givers who gave presents to children from December 11 or 12 through 24. This scent is discontinued and can no longer be found on BPAL’s website.

In the bottle: The description says it all. Sugared marshmallow. There’s something distinctly cold about it.

On the skin: This is actually very layered and complex even though the description is simple. Its definitely marshmallow, but its an elegant marshmallow. If the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters is regular marshmallow than this is a marshmallow monster in the shape of Keira Knightley. There’s also something about it that reminds me of Arcana Mother of All Souls, but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what. This is also distinctly not gourmand; it’s rather dry and cold and not super sweet at all. I like that its almost a little earthy too. I really like this, but its very different from what I expected.

TL;DR: Fancy, non-gourmand marshmallow. Super interesting. 4/5. 

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: Snug

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Arcana Snug

Dark honey amber, marshmallow, and the glow of beeswax candles.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Today I thought I would test out a scent that contains “the essence of moms”: comforting, warm and safe. The scent is Arcana’s Snug.

Honey amber, marshmallow and beeswax; that’s a combination that I don’t have in my collection and it sounded delightful. You can find this on Arcana’s ebay store for $19 US.

In the bottle: I already like it. I’m getting a lot of honey and beeswax with a hint of the amber. No marshmallow yet.

On the skin: The sweetness from the honey lessens and the amber comes forward more. It’s now mostly beeswax and amber with a hint of honey in the back. It’s powdery and not overly sweet. “Snug” is honestly the perfect name for it; it smells like sitting under a fluffy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire. It’s really warm and cozy. Snug would be a great winter scent or sleep scent. My only complaint would be that I wish there was more marshmallow.

TL;DR Beeswax and amber with a touch of honey. Smells snuggly and comfy. 4/5.

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.