Comfy vanilla musk adds a layer of softness and warmth; a “my skin but better” scent
I’ve never been big on single note scents. I feel like they’re often rather boring. But Poesie’s layering notes and single notes have been getting rave reviews, so I thought I’d give one a shot.
In the bottle: I’m smelling a creamy, almost buttermilk frosting-like vanilla musk with just a touch of powderiness. The name is really perfect for this scent; it’s like the olfactory equivalent of a big, cream colored, faux fur blanket.
On the skin: Oh no. Suddenly I’m getting a very strong oud-like smell, and I really dislike oud. Not to mention the fact that oud isn’t even a note in here! I’m still smelling a powdery, almost amber-like vanilla musk in the back, but I can’t get past that weird oud scent. I can see this being lovely on someone, but that someone is not me.
TL;DR: Oud and powdery vanilla musk. Oud isn’t even a note, so I’m confused. Destash. 2/5.
A powerful vanilla musk the likes of the one used in Dance With Me (VERY seductive yet subtle and cloud-like), and rich cardamom, and finally the nectar of peaches squeezed in the summer sun and concentrated to make a sugary peach liquor.
My reasoning for wanting to try this one is simple: it’s got peach, vanilla, and cardamom to jazz it up. The name was another selling point for me. It refers to a “jorogumo” ( 絡新婦), which is a demon from Japanese folklore that can take the form of a beautiful woman, or a giant spider. This scent was part of the Halloween 2015, so it is no longer available.
In the bottle: Mmmm, I’m getting peach cake with spices and a touch of boozy vanilla. So far, so good.
On the skin: This is really yummy. The peaches are very much candied peaches instead of fresh peaches, but it works with the spicy gourmand vibe. The cardamom adds the right amount of kick to cut the sweetness without being overpowering. The vanilla definintly gets softer on the skin, but it’s still present.
TL;DR: Candied peach cake spiced with cardamom and drizzled with a little vanilla. A solid gourmand. 4/5.
BPAL Edith Cushing
Pearlescent vanilla musk with white sandalwood, grey amber, white patchouli, ambrette seed, and oudh.
There are few BPAL fragrances more coveted than Edith Cushing from the Crimson Peak collection, which was an official collab between the movie and BPAL. Since the Crimson Peak collection is one of those where once an item is out of stock, its gone, Edith is very hard to find and it’s highly sought after. Bottles can go for $80 or more, so I jumped at the chance to try a single imp of it for 1/8 of the usual price. It’s got tons of notes in it that I like: vanilla, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and amber. But will it live up to the massive hype?
In the bottle: Whoa, hellooo there vanilla! That’s pretty much all I’m getting right now; it’s also a very gourmand, rich, buttery vanilla that reminds me of Arcana Two Finger Ballet. Right now, they smell super similar.
On the skin: The gourmand quality to the vanilla vanishes, and the musk gets a lot stronger. It’s more balanced now, and very feminine. Musk and non-foodie vanilla are still the main notes, but I’m definitely getting a little bit of nuttiness from the ambrette seed. There is also an almost dusty quality to it, which is from either the sandalwood or the oudh. The dustiness really works here; it reminds me of an old Victorian mansion, which is a major plot point in Crimson Peak. Edith is like if Arcana Two Finger Ballet and Solstice Scents Manor had a baby. It’s a really pretty fragrance and I like it a lot. That being said, I don’t think that it’s worth the $80 a bottle that it usually goes for on the second market, but as always, YMMV!
TL;DR: Musky, nutty vanilla with a slight dustiness. Very feminine. 4/5.
Solstice Scents Manor
Woody-Vanilla Musk, Vanilla & Glorious Aloeswood
Ah, Manor. I think I’ve heard more about Manor than I have about any other Solstice Scents fragrance. I was curious about it because I love vanilla, but everyone says that this one is a distinctly un-gourmand vanilla, which I haven’t encountered. You can purchase this on Solstice Scents’ website, as well as from the Rhinestone Housewife and Pretty Indulgent; its $16 US for 5mL or $70 US for the 60mL EDP version. It’s also available as part of their sample packs.
In the bottle: This is super interesting. I’m definitely getting vanilla, but its not a foody vanilla at all. There’s some wood in the background.
On the skin: Manor is the perfect name for this; it’s so evocative of a dusty old Victorian manor that was once grand but has now fallen into disarray and only the ghosts are left. Imagine the house from “Crimson Peak”, but less evil. It’s all vanilla and aloeswood and the combo is elegant but almost dusty. I find most vanillas to be warm, but this one is distinctly cold. There’s a little touch of “grandma’s vanity” in there, but not too much. I like this, but it’s not my favorite.
TL;DR: Cool, dusty vanilla and wood. Very evocative of the name. 3.5/5
A beguiling divertissement of piquant clementine, orange blossoms, white orchid, sugared currants, tonka, and vanilla musk whirled with flirtatious teases of billowy cotton candy floss and kisses of saltwater taffy.
I wanted Calliope for two reasons: 1) I loved the name since I love all things carnival and circus and 2) it seemed different from the kind of scents I normally gravitate towards. I generally gravitate towards darker, sexier scents and something light and semi-floral is not my wheelhouse. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store. It’s $12 US for a 5mL full size. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Cotton candy and vanilla. This is very sweet, almost too much so. I think I detect a hint of citrus in there as well from the clementine.
On the skin: I was worried that this was going to be overly sweet, but it’s not in the slightest once applied. It’s an elegant sweet, not ridiculously sugary, thanks to the orange blossoms and orchid. It’s like a more mature, complex version of that Pink Sugar scent that was really popular. The saltwater taffy gives it more depth and adds a smell that reminds me of funnel cake. It’s a perfect summer scent: flirty, fun and bright. However, this is extremely light and it fades within 30 minutes on me, which is very disappointing. I’ll probably destash this one.
TL;DR: Cotton candy, taffy and orange blossom. Vanishes on my skin. 2/5