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.
Blooddrop Whinnies no. 2 (2018)
Marshmallow, elderflower, quince, buttercream frosting, green cognac, tea, and vanilla
Blooddrop is an indie brand that I have not explored very much at all. I’ve heard that they make some really lovely scents, but I’ve just never found one that really spoke to me, until now. Every year around Easter, Blooddrop releases what are called Whinnies. In the words of Blooddrop’s owner: “Whinnies are my horsie version of marshmallow peeps. Each scent has a marshmallow base.” Now, usually marshmallow scents get completely eaten up by my skin, but after seeing the Whinnies list, this one jumped out at me. The notes seemed more unusual, and I love the adorable horse theme (I was the “Horse Girl” when I was a kid). This particular scent is unfortunately sold out on Blooddrop’s site, and since the Whinnies are limited edition, it will not be restocked. I also made sure to note the year of the Whinnies in the title, since there has been a Whinnies no.2 in previous years, but they all have different notes.
In the bottle: Right out of the gate, I’m getting what is straight up the best marshmallow note I have ever smelled; it’s sweet, but not artificial or tooth-rottingly sugary. It’s backed up by a lovely cognac note. Then there’s the quince, which is a guava-pear type fruit and it honestly smells like the lovechild of both of those. I think I detect a bit of creaminess from the frosting as well, but it doesn’t read as pure frosting which I like.
On the skin: It doesn’t really change from what I smelled in the bottle. Perfect creamy, marshmallow and juicy, sweet quince with just a touch of cognac. It’s definitely a light scent though, so I have to apply more liberally. But it’s really lovely; sweet and feminine and so very spring-y. It’s just a bright, joyous scent, and its really unique as well. This is gonna be in heavy rotation for the remainder of spring and for summer.
TL;DR: A creamy marshmallow blend with cognac and quince. Absolutely stunning and unique. 7/5.
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.
Lavender wands, cowrie shells, coconut husks, tonka beans, black amber, hyssop, spikenard, tea leaves.
Hexennacht is a new brand that has exploded onto the indie scene. It is the sister company to Sucreabeille, and it specializes in the brand’s original blends while Sucreabeille creates dupes of mainstream scents. Over the next few days, I’m going to be reviewing the five scents I got.I ordered a sample pack, which is very reasonable: five, 3mL drams for $20 in either oil or alcohol format. This scent sounded interesting, and I love lavender.
In the bottle: Very faint in the bottle; I’m just getting faint lavender and something else right now. Hopefully it gets better on the skin.
On the skin: This definitely gets stronger on the skin. It’s still a fairly light scent. It’s mostly lavender and some kind of tea, but with this almost sweet/herbal undertone. As it dries, it gets sweeter, and sort of fuzzy. I like this. It’s very unique.
TL;DR: Fuzzy sweet lavender and tonka with a touch of herbs. 4/5.
Black fig, black & red tea leaves, ginger root, coconut milk and papyrus.
Moirai is another member of the Sixteen92 Summer 2017 collection, and the name refers to the Fates of Greek myth, who weave, measure, and cut the thread of every human’s life. The notes sounded quite unusual, so I had to check it out. You can find this scent on Sixteen92’s website for $4.65 for 2mL, $14 for 6mL, and $20 for 10mL.
In the bottle: Mostly papyrus with a hint of tea. Very crisp. I think I like it? It’s just so different from anything else I’ve tried.
On the skin: The papyrus and tea soften and the fig, ginger, and coconut take center stage. The fig and coconut are creamy, while the ginger adds a spicy little kick. It’s sweet, but not gourmand thanks to the grounding papyrus. It’s a very mysterious scent and alluring scent. However, it does wear very close to the skin, so its rather light. All in all, I’m a big fan of it.
TL;DR: Fig, coconut milk, and a kick of ginger grounded by papyrus. Mysterious and a little sexy. 5/5.
BPAL Lady Una
Honey musk, green tea leaf, blackberry leaf, vanilla bean, and fae spices.
Thanks to some extreme generosity, I was gifted this half bottle for free with another purchase. I was very excited to receive it because the notes sound lovely and it is not a fragrance I would have picked out myself. You can buy this on BPAL’s website for $26 US.
In the bottle: I’m getting a lot of green tea and blackberry. It’s very foresty, but not woodsy if that makes any sense. It’s sweet, but light.
On the skin: HONEY. The honey musk comes in with a punch and its glorious. It adds this lush sensuality to the fruit and tea elements. The vanilla rounds it all out and gives it a beautiful sweetness. This is probably what Galadriel smells like and I’m all about it.
TL;DR: Rich honey musk with vanilla and soft fruit tea. Smells like a Tolkien elf. 7/5.
Haus of Gloi First Blush
Tahitian vanilla bean, white tea, lavender and peach.
This perfume was my first foray into Haus of Gloi (aka HoG). First Blush caught my eye because the notes reminded me of one of my favorite scents, Arcana Fille de Joie. This is one of HoG’s Valentine’s scents, so it is seasonal in their catalog. When available, it comes in perfume oil samples and full sizes, sugar exfoliant, whipped soap, Pumpkin Butter and scrub.
In the bottle: The white tea is very prominent, as is the peach. It’s very vibrant and punchy.
On the skin: I really like this. On the skin, the tea evens out and the vanilla and peach get stronger. I only get a tiny bit of lavender, so if you aren’t a fan of that, you might like this. This is quite different from Fille de Joie, however: Fille is heavy on the herbal lavender, with creamy vanilla and peach. It’s comforting and soft. First Blush is mostly white tea and juicy peach, and its much brighter and more youthful. It’s like the bubbly kid sister of Fille de Joie. It’s honestly a perfect scent for the spring and summer.
TL;DR: A bright, playful blend of white tea and peach with a hint of vanilla. Ideal for warm weather. 4/5
A Victorian fougere with three pale musks and dark, sugared vanilla tea.
Like Arcana’s Two Finger Ballet, Dorian is one of those indie perfumes that is super popular and everybody knows about it. Unfortunately, it has been out of stock for a while now. Having heard so many rave reviews of this across the internet, I was excited to have a small imp of it to try. It is currently sold out, but rumor has it that its coming back soon; when in stock, it retails for $17.50 US for a 5mL bottle or $4 US for a 1mL Imp.
In the bottle: Lemony, but not like cleaning products lemony. It’s a very natural, soft lemon covered in sugar. There’s also some musk lurking in there.
On the skin: It’s a beautiful sugared tea and lemon scent right now. Not sour at all. In the back is the musk which adds this masculine edge to it. It smells like a cup of sugary black tea with vanilla cream and a lemon wedge being eaten in the presence of a super-hot Victorian dude who smells awesome. I can see why this is so popular; it’s GORGEOUS.
TL;DR: Sugared vanilla tea and lemon scent with hot guy musk. I ADORE it. 7/5.