Smoked vanilla, sweet resins, red musk, marshmallow, and fiery woodsmoke.
If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ll know that I really love woodsmoke scents. I don’t know why, but I find woodsmoke to be very calming and relaxing. I’m also a big fan of red musk and vanilla. Therefore, this scent seems like it’ll be an instant winner. While Phoebus has been out for a while, I haven’t gotten the chance to try it until now.
In the bottle: I’m getting an absolutely gorgeous woodsmoke note backed up by red musk and resins. The red musk is beautiful, with an almost dark fruit-like quality to it. The resins lend a slight incense-y edge without making it headshoppy. If this scent was a color, it would be a deep crimson.
On the skin: It stays pretty true to the bottle to be honest. The red musk here really has this fascinating sweet quality that other red musks don’t; it’s almost cherry-like, without being similar to cough syrup. This is also a very bold scent in that it has a lot of throw and power. It’s a “notice me” scent. I think that this really perfect for fall, if you’re into sexy, smoky, musky scents.
TL;DR: An almost fruit-like red musk with bonfire smoke. Powerful and autumnal. 4/5.
Arcana The Sullen Courts of Sleep
A tenebrous blend of amber resin, coconut milk, skin musk, and French cognac.
Booze notes in perfume can be tricky, because if done wrong, you smell like you’ve been day drinking. However, if done correctly, they can add a lot of complexity and depth to a scent. When it comes to alcohol scents in perfume, my personal favorite is cognac, meaning that I had to try this scent when I saw it pop up.
In the bottle: COGNAC. Hella congac. I don’t smell anything else. It’s not overly boozy though.
On the skin: I definitely get more skin musk here, but the cognac is still ruling the blend. I think I get the slightest hint of coconut, but I’m not sure. If you thought that this was gonna be a coconut heavy scent, you’d be wrong. Honestly, this smells super similar to Anthropophagia, just without the pear; I’m gonna destash this for that reason.
TL;DR: Sweet cognac and musk. Basically a pear-less Anthropophagia. 4/5.
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.
Arcana Queen Crossbones
Creamy Egyptian musk, wild honey, sweet coconut and exotic resins
I’m back! Today I have a review for the recently resurrected Arcana scent Queen Crossbones. While this didn’t initially catch my eye, the rave reviews convinced me to find a decant of it. I love a good honey scent, and musk, resins, and coconut are all notes I enjoy as well. When Arcana re-opens, this scent will be available for $19 US for a 5mL bottle.
In the bottle: Not the Bees, is that you? This smells super similar! I’m hoping it’s different on the skin though.
On the skin: Okay, now we’re talking! The honey is still the most prominent note by far, but its less sweet than the honey in Not the Bees. I think that’s due to the musk and resins; they’re definitely making it darker, richer, and sexier. The resins also add a subtle smoky quality to it that i’m really digging. This is very much Not the Bees’ older, more mature sister who wears lots of leather and lace to the grocery store. It’s really stunning.
TL;DR: Musky, resinous honey. A much sexier version of Smelly Yeti Not the Bees. 4/5.
Arcana Strawberries Crave Black Sand
Amber resin with black coconut, coconut husks, smoky vetiver, and a sliver of almost-overripe strawberry.
Arcana recenlty re-opened with a resurrection event where several fragrances that have been out of stock for a while came back. For customers with purchased 3 or more bottles, this was a gift with purchase, available only that way and only as a 3.7mL dram. While I did not make any purchase during Arcana’s re-opening, I managed to find someone who was selling their bottle of it. I was worried about the vetiver in it, everything else sounded so gorgeous that I really wanted to try it. This scent is currently unavailable.
In the bottle: Coconut is the main note here, and its delightfully milky. I get a hint of the famous Arcana strawberry note, and then something very dark in the back, which is that smoky vetiver. So far, the vetiver is working for me; it’s not too bitter or too sour. It’s just dark and smoky and resin-y.
On the skin: This one is a morpher. Once applied to the skin, the coconut retreats into the back and the strawberry gets stronger and sweeter. The vetiver also takes on an almost chocolate-y quality, but it still has that smoke. The amber also gets much more prominent. At this stage, I don’t really like it. Then after about an hour, it morphs again, and it becomes a fruity blend of strawberries and coconut with a touch of smoke in the back. Now I like it again.
TL;DR: Coconut, overripe strawberry, and smoke with a touch of vetiver. Morphs a lot. very unique. 4/5.
Fyrinnae Tarnished Crown
Smoldering hardwood, dark vanilla swirled with smoky resins, and a hint of black pepper.
Fyrinnae is one of the most popular indie cosmetic companies, and they are known for their fabulous duochrome eyeshadows (Mephisto is GORGEOUS, and I’ve heard great things about Rapunzel Had Extensions). However, they recently revived their fragrance division and have received rave reviews. While the majority of the scents did not appeal to me, I’ve been wanting to try this one, since vanilla and smoke are some of my favorite notes. I was also curious about the black pepper in it. Since this was really the onnly Fyrinnae scent I was itching to try, a lovely redditor sent a sample as part of a swap. You can buy this on Fyrinnae’s Etsy page for $2.50 for a sample or $12 for a full 5mL.
In the bottle: Very smoky, but also sweet. It reminds me of this old perfume oil I got at the Renaissance Faire years ago.
On the skin: I’m getting more vanilla from this on the skin, but not a lot; it’s mostly smoke and wood, which makes it smell somewhat similar to Solstice Scents Manor. There is also something distinctly “perfumey” about this that I don’t like. It’s middle of the road for me.
TL;DR: Wood and smoke with a tiny touch of something sweet. 3.5/5