Arcana Bermuda Triangle
White coconut, ginger cakes, fresh ginger, red bananas, golden vetiver, creamy almond, and cask-aged rum.
Kicking off my Arcana Halloween Part 1 review series is a scent that hits close to home, literally. One of the points of the Bermuda Triangle is Miami, Florida, which is within an hour from me. I was a little nervous to try this scent however, since almond is a a death note for me.
In the bottle: I’m immediately hit with the smell of very, very sweet bananas. It then rounds out with a nice dose of rum and some sweet almond. At first I thought that this was way too sweet, but the more I smell it, the more I like it.
On the skin: This one is a serious morpher. The sweetness really calms down a lot, leaving the scent of ripe, but not necessarily sweet, bananas. It’s backed up by a lovely rum note that isn’t too boozy, and a beautiful mix of coconut and vetiver that really reminds me of this particular restaurant in the Little Havana area of Miami. This scent is super summery and tropical without being a standard tropical scent. There is a point where it threatens to go into sunscreen territory but it never truly goes there. It’s unique and fun, and I’m glad to have it. Weird bonus fact: My dog is obsessed with this perfume. He wouldn’t stop smelling my arm and he kept trying to lick it.
TL;DR: Ripe bananas with coconut, vetiver, and sweet rum. Tropical and summery without being typical. 4/5.
Arcana Molly Malone
Cotton candy, sea spray, green sugarcane, salt, pink musk, sweet bergamot, lily of the valley, black pepper, vanilla, patchouli, and the merest hint of aged vetiver.
Looking at the notes, this is not my kind of scent at all. But I heard several people raving about it and my curiosity got the better of me, so I just had to try it out to see why people were fussing over it.
In the bottle: ???? This is so weird. I’m getting cotton candy, but also sea spray and lily and something else green. I don’t know what to make of this.
On the skin: The notes that smelled on the bottle are magnified on the skin. The cotton candy is not really that sweet or sugary, which is interesting, and I have come to the conclusion that the lily and vetiver are creating that green smell. It’s unlike anything I have smelled before. I can see why people enjoy this, but it’s so not my thing. I’ll destash it.
TL;DR: Aquatic yet green cotton candy with salt, lily, and vetiver. Weird as heck. 3/5.
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.
Blood orange, black iris, metallic accord, vetiver, sun-warmed musk, and iso e super.
For their Summer 2017 collection, Sixteen92 chose to take inspiration from different female beings from Greey mythology. Keres refers to bloodthirsty death spirits, and the scent is meant to reflect that because of its dark and metallic notes. Such a scent sounded very interesting, but I was concerned about the vetiver. You can find this scent on Sixteen92’s website for $4.65 for 2mL, $15 for 6mL, and $22 for 10mL.
In the bottle: Sharply metallic blood orange. If the phrase “a clockwork orange” was an actual real-life thing, it would smell like this. I’m kind of it to it.
On the skin: This is so unique and I honestly really like it. It’s citrusy and metallic, but on the skin, the musk and iris come forward. They add some “perfume-y” aspects to it, but in a good way; it’s just enough to prevent it from becoming too weird. It’s dark and badass, but also quite feminine. Like some kind of a blade-wielding vampire assassin. It’s also quite strong, with powerful throw. It’s not for the faint of heart.
TL;DR: Metallic blood orange with musky and iris. Badass and feminine. 5/5.
Vanilla-infused sandalwood, blood musk, antique patchouli, vetiver, lavender, bitter almond, amber, and a trickle of Snake Oil.
Tombeur is part of the VILF collection also known as the “Vampires Don’t Sleep Alone” collection. I was drawn in from the vampire theme and then I fell in love with the note list; it sounds utterly sexy. I was also curious to try a scent with BPAL’s famous Snake Oil since I hadn’t smelled it. Because this is part of a special collection, it only comes in the 5mL size. You can buy it from BPAL’s website for $20 US.
In the bottle: Spicy. Kind of smells like the renaissance faire? I’m pretty the spice is coming from the blood musk and Snake Oil
On the skin: There’s something kind of bitter and off smelling at the beginning. I think that might be the bitter almond or the vetiver, but I’m not sure. It softens after a few minutes and the sandalwood appears, but it still has that weird opening. I’m not sure about this one.
TL;DR: Spicy and bitter. Not sure if I’m a fan. 3/5.
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