Arcana: Phoebus

Arcana Phoebus

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: Peaches Crave Fire

Arcana Peaches Crave Fire

Ripe peaches with our Fire accord (scorched black tea leaves, curling wisps of woodsmoke, Arcana’s Holy Terror blend, and a splash of hot toddy)

I like smoky scents. I like Holy Terror. I’m a fan of peach notes, especially Arcana.  Therefore, it was a no brainer when it came to trying this scent.

In the bottle: Smoky peaches. There’s nothing sweet about it; its really like a bunch of fresh peaches sitting in a fireplace. It’s quite interesting.

On the skin: I…don’t know what’s going on here. The tea and smoke combo reminds me a lot of the tea and smoke combo from Marshmallows Smoke, but for some reason, this scent is turning sour on me.  It almost smells sweaty? There’s also the hot toddy that adds this warmth and depth, but I can’t get past that weird BO smell. I don’t know what’s causing it, but I’m not a fan.

TL;DR: Weird smoky, sweaty peaches and smoke. No bueno. 1/5.

Solstice Scents: Foxcroft Fairgrounds

Solstice Scents Foxcroft Fairgrounds

Cotton Candy, Cream Soda, Vanilla Taffy, Gridling’s Funnel Cakes, Powdered Sugar, Crisp Fall Air, Woodsmoke & a Tendril of Incense

For those of you who regularly read my posts, you know that I don’t have a great relationship with incense. That being said, I’m also a total sucker for any kind of carnival/circus kind of perfume. Foxcroft Fairgrounds has been on my to-try list for a while, but I’ve always been hesitant due to the incense. A friend recently sent me a sample, allowing me to finally try it. You can buy this scent on the Solstice Scents website for $16 US for a 5mL rollerball.

In the bottle: Strong cotton candy with some funnel cake. Not really a surprise considering how gourmand the notes are.

On the skin: While the gourmand notes are still there, they take a back seat to this wonderful smokiness that I think is the incense! I actually really like it; its sweet and spicy without being headshoppy! It also prevents the blend from becoming too foodie. Overall, it really does remind me of a carnival in the middle of fall, with all of the warm-toned leaves falling and being whisked away by the crisp air. On a more personal level, it reminds me of how the renaissance faire smells, which is something near and dear to my heart.

TL;DR: Sweet and spicy with a lovely smokiness. Smells like the renaissance faire. 5/5.

Arcana: Marshmallows Smoke!


Arcana Marshmallows Smoke!

Marshmallows with woodsmoke, dry black tea, dead Maple leaves, and a hint of vanilla.

I love the smell of woodsmoke. There’s something about it that I find very comforting. When the new Marshmallow Attacks! collection dropped, this one immediately caught my eye, since marshmallows and smoke go together like peanut butter and jelly. Dead leaves are also a popular addition to indie scents, but I haven’t tried many of them. As a result, curiosity took over and I purchased a secondhand bottle of this scent. You can buy this on Arcana’s ebay page or the Nui Cobalt Design website for $20 US.

In the bottle: Strong black tea with a touch of smoke. This is a very realistic black tea note too, like sticking your nose into a tin of fancy gourmet tea leaves.

On the skin: The black tea is still ruling the blend, but the smoke comes out more on the skin. It has a certain crispness to it which is from the dead leaves. I can also detect a sweetness, but I can’t tell if it’s from the marshmallow or the vanilla. If you’re looking for a marshmallow heavy blend, then this is not it. That being said, I really like this and I think it’ll be great for colder days and rainy days.

TL;DR: Realistic black tea with smoke and crispy dead leaves. Perfect for cold weather or rainy days. 5/5.



Twisted Wonderland: Silent Hill Linen and Body Spray

Silent Hill

The combination of foggy air, deep fire smoke, dark pomegranate, and hints of overturned dirt and honey.

Silent Hill is one of my favorite video game series, so when I saw that there was a perfume based on it, I had to try it out. Plus, the notes seemed right up my alley with the smoke and honey. You can buy this from the Twisted Wonderland website for $8 US.

In the bottle: Its sweeter than I expected. I’m getting mostly artificial pomegranate here, with some fog and dirt.

On the skin: Somehow, the essence of Silent Hill was captured in a bottle. You can literally smell the fog, with just a hint of smoke from a long-since extinguished fire. The honey and the no-longer-artificial pomegranate are really nice notes, adding just enough sweetness and fruity freshness to remind you that this is still perfume/body spray. It really does remind you of an old, abandoned town, but the scent is still pleasant and wearable. It truly evokes the game series; I half-expected Pyramid Head to leap out of my closet.

I do want to note that this is the body spray version of the scent, not the perfume oil, so there might be some small differences between the two. I have not tried the perfume oil, however, meaning that I can’t compare.

TL;DR: Foggy, atmospheric and slightly sweet from pomegranate and honey. Very evocative of Silent Hill. 4/5.

Arcana: Bonfires at Dusk

Bonfires at Dusk

Woodsmoke, sweet beeswax, Oregon lavender, sandalwood, charred juniper, and the scent of swiftly appearing stars.

I was really excited to try this scent because I love smoky perfumes, but this one sounded very different from some other smoky scents I was looking at; the description seemed less dark and witchy and more soothing.  You can find this scent in Arcana’s ebay store, as well as in their Canadian retailer Pretty Indulgent and Australian retailer Femme Fatale. It retails for $19 US.

In the bottle: Sandalwood and juniper. It really reminds me of Holy Terror, thanks to the sandalwood, but it’s a little less intense.

On the skin: Comforting is a really good way of describing this. Once applied, I immediately got the sandalwood, lavender, and charred juniper. The beeswax and smoke kind of linger in the background, but they’re still perceptible. The note of “swiftly appearing stars” seems so abstract, but this somehow captures that image perfectly. It really reminds me of my summers spent in the mountains of North Carolina, where I’d be sitting outside with my family around a crackling fire, watching the sparks disappear into the night sky. I find it to be very calming but also alluring in the most subtle way. The scent lasted about 6 hours on me, with moderate throw.

TL;DR: Holy Terror’s greener sister. Sandalwood, lavender and juniper. 5/5.

Alkemia: Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

An elusive, smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka.

One of my favorite smells is the scent of burning wood and I really wanted to find a scent that smells true-to-life. Smoke and Mirrors seemed like a good bet. You can find this on Alkemia’s Etsy store; it’s $12 for a full size of 5mL. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL

In the bottle: Woodsmoke. Pure, unadulterated woodsmoke. I’m not getting much vanilla or tonka at the moment.

On the skin: The smoke note is very clearly woodsmoke and not any other kind; it smells exactly like a campfire. It specifically reminds me of the woodsmoke from the Renaissance faire, which is a good thing. The sweet vanilla and tonka come out within a few minutes of  application. It’s just so lovely and rich. What I love about this is that it’s simultaneously really seductive and sexy but also really comforting.

TL;DR: Campfire smoke and vanilla. Very realistic. 5/5.