Nui Cobalt Designs: The Bees’ Cotillion

Nui Cobalt Designs The Bee’s Cotillion

Succulent pears simmering in spring honey with the gentlest breeze of lily carried in a homespun infusion of honeysuckle flowers.

The last of the three scents that I was sent is from the NCD bee inspired collection. While I’m not huge on most floral scents, I love pear and honey, and honeysuckle can sometimes work as well. It also sounded perfect for spring!

In the bottle: Thick, gorgeous, golden honey with a sweet, floral sweetness. The honey note here is just beautiful, and the pears and honeysuckle pair perfectly with it. I can’t detect any lily yet, but we’ll see what happens on the skin.

On the skin: This is absolutely gorgeous. Pears and honey are the first things that I smell, and the combo is sweet without being cloying or super foodie.  I swear I can detect some ginger in there as well. The honeysuckle balances the sweetness with that thick, heady floral aroma. I can’t pick out the lily, but there is a freshness to the scent that might come from that. The scent has good throw for such a light blend. This might be a weird analogy, but this is the olfactory equivalent of the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. It’s spring in a bottle.

TL;DR: Sweet honeyed pears and heady honeysuckle. Fresh and springy. 5/5.

Nui Cobalt Designs: Ain’t I a Woman, Sojourner Truth

Nui Cobalt Designs Ain’t I a Woman: Sojourner Truth

A sacred incense of amber and sandalwood, Bartlett pears poached with vanilla bean, and a scattering of dry tea and patchouli leaves. 

The second scent of the three I received is another one from the famous, influential women collection. This perfume was inspired by Sojourner Truth. Again, in NCD’s own words: “She was born into slavery in New York, fled to freedom with her daughter, then attained legal custody of her son, becoming the first black woman to successfully sue a white slave owner. She spoke widely as an abolitionist and women’s rights activist. Her groundbreaking 1851 speech, later titled “Ain’t I A Woman,” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention.” The combination of pears and vanilla with patch, incense, and tea seemed very intriguing for me.

In the bottle: Warm, yummy, and very familiar. Seriously, this smells very similar to something else that I can’t quite put my finger on. This scent is both comforting and powerful.

On the skin: Once applied, the pears vanish, but the patch, sandalwood, and incense become much more prominent. There’s a distinct powderiness that occurs as well, but it’s not a bad thing. I can detect a nice smoky undertone as well, probably from the tea and the incense. This actually reminds me of a combination of two scents from the famous Bourbon French Perfumery in New Orleans’ French Quarter: Kus Kus and Voodoo Love. What’s interesting about this is that it was very foody in the bottle, and it changed completely on the skin. I do think that this is a little too powdery for my personal taste, but it is objectively a nice, womanly scent for someone with different skin chemistry.

TL;DR: Smoky, powdery incense, sandalwood, and patchouli. The kind of scent for a mature, no-nonsense woman. 3.5/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Dragon Doodle

BPAL Dragon Doodle

A scribble of honey-drenched strawberry and white pear.

Much like Daenerys Targaryen, I have always loved dragons. As you might imagine, I always look forward to BPAL’s Dragon Con scents, since they are themed around my favorite mythological reptile. This was the scent I was most excited for from this year’s collection.

In the bottle: SWEET. Very, very sweet and fruity. I’m not really surprised by that, but I do hope that it softens on the skin.

On the skin: The sweetness becomes more bearable compared to what it was before, but it’s still a very sweet scent. The notes are really balanced: I get an equal amount of each note, and their smell is distinct. They go together very well. But there’s something about the quality of the honey and the way it’s mixing with the sweetness that I don’t like. It’s powdery, but also weirdly pungent. It’s hard to describe. Needless to say, this isn’t a scent for me.

TL;DR: Very sweet honey, strawberry, and pear. Smells weird on the skin. 3/5. 

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: The Perilous Parlor

BPAL The Perilous Parlor

Soft white pear and sweet vanilla.

Why don’t more perfume brands make pear-centric scents? Pear is an absolutely gorgeous note, and it’s really not used that much! Therefore, anytime I come across a pear scent, I have to try it.

In the bottle: Oh lord, that’s sweet. I knew that this was going to be sweet, but I didn’t think it was going to be that sweet. It’s really candied and sugary. It’s quite artificial too.

On the skin: The scent becomes less artificial smelling, but it’s still way too sweet for me. It’s like…pear and vanilla candy that’s gonna rot your teeth. If you’re someone who likes really foodie, super sweet scents, you’ll like this, but it’s not for me.

TL;DR: Ultra sweet pear and vanilla. Too sweet for me. 3/5. 

Arcana: Peaches Crave True Love

Arcana Peaches Crave True Love

Resinous black amber, caramelized sugar, vanilla bean, peach nectar, and a tiny hint of pear.

EUREKA! I HAVE FOUND IT! For those of you who don’t know, this scent is extremely hard to find and I have been searching for it for over a year. My search is over. I have heard nothing but good things about this scent, but will it live up to the hype?

In the bottle: Mmmm, there’s that glorious Arcana peach note that I adore. That’s the main note here. I’m getting a little bit of powdery amber and some sweetness from the sugar.

On the skin: The peach is still at the forefront, with the amber, sugar, and vanilla bean mixture forming the base for the scent. The sugar is definitely a caramelized one, since it has that sweet, almost burnt quality to it. I really like the amber mixed with the sweet notes: it’s deep and resiny, but also sweet. It’s gourmand, but not foodie, if that makes sense. I’m not getting any pear, which is a shame since I think it would be wonderful here. Overall, I like it a lot, but I don’t love it.

TL;DR: Juicy peach with sweet vanilla amber. Really nice overall. 4/5. 

Arcana: Anthropophagia

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Arcana Anthropophagia

Vanilla-infused pear sorbet with sugarcane, white amber, and a drop of French cognac absolute.

There are certain notes in perfume that don’t get enough love in my opinion. One of those is pear. I really enjoy pear scented things, but the note very rarely appears in any kind of mainstream or indie fragrance. That, combined with the great reviews for this scent, convinced me to take the plunge and try it. Now, some might also be curious about the name, since it doesn’t have anything to do with pear. This scent was part of the 7 Deadly Sins collection, and this was added as the “eighth sin”. That’s because “anthropophagia” means cannibalism. Not exactly the name you expect for a pear sorbet scent. This scent is currently in stock at Nui Cobalt Designs for $20 US.

In the bottle: Bright, somewhat tart pear and a touch of booze. For some reason, it reminds me of those green apple Jolly Ranchers, but this doesn’t smell artificial.

On the skin: This just blooms on the skin. It’s beautiful juicy pear with just the slightest touch of creamy sugar and some extra cognac. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart and it has surprisingly strong throw for such a delicate kind of scent. The amber is just barely detectable and it keeps it grounded and adds a perfume-y kind of quality that I actually really like. It seems perfect for hot weather because it smells very refreshing.

TL;DR: Juicy sugared pears with cognac. Sweet and tart. Stunning. 6/5.