Arcana Mount Osore
Dark red rose petals, Japanese amber, sooty palo santo, and smoking nag champa incense.
If you follow this blog, you know that one of my most hated notes is headshop incense, specifically nag champa. Knowing that, you can imagine that I was a little nervous about trying this one. But I figured that if anyone could make me like nag champa, it would be Arcana.
In the bottle: I’m definitely getting the Nag Champa incense, but it’s not as headshopp-y as I was expecting it to be. It actually reminds me a lot of the smell of burnt sage, which might be from the palo santo.
On the skin: The sage-like scent diminishes a lot, but it’s still detectable. The rose comes out more, and it’s definitely a red rose; it’s got a dark and sultry vibe to it. There is a very distinct smokiness to the overall blend as well. While I like the nag champa in here more than in other scents, it’s still not my thing. But if you’re a fan of sexy incense blends, you might really like this.
TL;DR: Sensual rose and smoky nag champa incense. Not for me. 2/5.
Poesie Tiny Phantom
Innocent pink roses, marshmallow buttercream, pale white musk, antique mahogany
As I’ve mentioned, rose is a very tricky note for me. I love the smell of roses, but I find that many rose fragrances give me a headache. This particular scent has been raved about on the indie makeup and perfume subreddit, with even rose haters praising it. Will this be the Holy Grail rose scent that I have been searching for?
In the bottle: Oh, I already love this. I’m getting realistic roses (definitely pink) with a touch of sweetness. I hope I get a little more of the other notes on the skin, but I’m a happy camper already.
On the skin: The roses are still prominent on the skin, but I am getting some mahogany and musk. It’s so lovely! This is definitely a feminine scent, but it’s not screaming “PINK!” at me as much as I thought it would. It also smells expensive and fancy. It could be worn by an elegant lady or a young girl.
TL;DR: Gorgeous, slightly sweet roses with a touch of wood and musk. Lovely. 4/5.
Nui Cobalt Designs The Bee’s High Tea
Delicate vanilla tea cakes with rose petal preserves, elderflower wine, and Earl Grey tea with a dainty drop of spring harvest honey.
Nui Cobalt Designs is an indie shop that specializes in all things magickal, such talismans and special ritual fragrance oils. Arcana has collaborated them several times for their Crone’s Crate box, and they stock many Arcana scents. Recently, however, the company has come out with their own line of perfumes. I was very excited to try them, since magickal items are not my cup of tea. My friends raved about this scent, and based on the notes, I can see why: it sounds like the most perfect perfume for spring.
In the bottle: …Sweet Tarts?? Seriously, this smells how Sweet Tart candy tastes. It’s got that sweet/sour thing going on. I’m looking at the note list and I’m very confused because I have no clue what is causing the Sweet Tart smell. Maybe the elderflower?
On the skin: It smells less like Sweet Tarts on the skin, but the only thing I’m getting now is a faint floral scent. I think its the rose and elderflower. It’s so light though; I can only smell it if I smash my nose into my arm. I’m sad because the note list for this was so promising!
TL;DR: Faint, floral Sweet Tarts. I’m very confused. 2/5.
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.
TL;DR: Delicate vanilla and peony with musk and apricot. Light and ethereal. If unicorns had a scent, it’s this. 7/5.
Solstice Scents Conjure Dark
Amber, Frankincense, Sweet Incense Smoke, Dried Rose Petals, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Woods, Oud, Vanilla
Okay, this one was a gamble for me. I enjoy the smell of church incense, but I hate anything that smells “headshopy”. This one has that “sweet incense note”, but the kind of incense isn’t exactly specified. But I figured “what the hell, I’m gonna try it.” You can purchase this on Solstice Scents’ website; its currently sold out for the 5mL perfume oil version, but you can still get it in the 60mL EDP version for $90 US. The perfume oil version is still available on the Rhinestone Housewife and Pretty Indulgent.
In the bottle: Oh no. Okay, so I like the smell of frankincense, but HOLY CRAP. It’s a very strong bite of frankincense and something sour in the background. I think that’s the vetiver?
On the skin: I think my fears about incense have been confirmed. It’s very strong incense and with more incense. It’s like a headshop with a church next door. The scent is very strong and it’s kind of burning my nostrils. I don’t like this, but if you love incense, then I think this could be a holy grail.
TL;DR: Incense, incense and more incense. Too strong for me. GET IT OFF OF ME/5
Tart sangria infused with ripe summer fruits (white peach, nectarine, berries, citrus), dark vanilla, wild vines, rose absolute.
I generally gravitate towards dark, sexy, autumn and winter scents with vanilla, musk and smoke. Basically, I like to smell like an insanely attractive demon on a daily basis. Because of that, I have very few perfumes that would be considered summery; Theda seemed like a good option to try since it sounded sunny and bright without being too floral. It is no longer available from Sixteen92 and I purchased a decant off of a redditor.
In the bottle: I’m gagging. The aroma of the alcohol is so horrifically strong that it could peel paint off the walls. Literally all I’m getting is astringent alcohol.
On the skin: After wearing it for about an hour, the alcohol has toned down a little bit, but it’s still very sharp and acidic because of the citrus. I barely smell any fruit or any of the florals and it’s beginning to give me a headache. Hopefully letting this one age will improve it because I currently hate it. This was a pretty popular scent too, so I’m sad it didn’t work on me.
TL;DR: Smells like someone spilled a whole bottle of citrus vodka onto my arm. HELL NO/5.
Cocoa Pink Heavenly Basbousa
Almond cake, creamy condensed milk, whipped cream, vanilla extract, strawberry syrup, whispers of sugared lemon and rosewater made with velvety crimson rose petals.
Rose is a weird note for me. While I love the smell of real roses, I find that the rose smell in a lot of perfumes is very artificial and headache inducing. This perfume has rose in it, but it also has a ton of yummy sounding gourmand notes, so I decided to give it a shot. You can buy it on Cocoa Pink’s website for $12.55 US and you get 10mL of perfume.
In the bottle: This is easily the most edible smelling perfume I have ever experienced. It smells so much like strawberry shortcake that it legitimately made my mouth water. Strawberry is the main note here, along with the vanilla, fluffy cake, and whipped cream. Very rich and very sweet. It is the olfactory equivalent of this picture.
On the skin: This one is a morpher. Once applied, the rosewater comes out and it’s very natural and soft. It definitely cuts some of the sweetness. After having it on for about an hour, it now smells like creamy sugary and rosewater. So delicate and feminine. I did not expect to like this one as much as I did.
TL;DR: Morphs from super sweet strawberry shortcake to creamy, sugary rosewater. 3.5/5
A sophisticated, womanly scent: rich myrrh and jasmine draped in the subtlest rose.
This little guy was a free sample that I received with a previous order. I was hesitant with this one, since jasmine usually hates me. You can buy it on BPAL’s website. It’s $17.50 US for a 5mL full size or $4 US for a sample Imp.
In the bottle: Oh boy. Okay. Upon smelling the bottle, I was pretty much socked in the jaw by the most powerful jasmine note I have ever smelled. It’s so powerful that I honestly find it to be a little overpowering. The myrrh and the rose were just barely detectable. Even though the rose is faint, it was still enough to give me a headache (rose notes generally do that to me). The scent itself is a little too “grandma’s vanity” for me, way too floral and strong.
On the skin: I couldn’t bring myself to put this on my skin because it just gave me a headache. The jasmine is out for blood and I’m not having it. If you like jasmine, then you might really enjoy this, but this scent is my kryptonite.
TL;DR: Aggressive, angry jasmine. Smells like an evil grandma. HELL NO/5.