Tamarind, tonka bean, patchouli, golden amber, and white fig.
In decant: the first thing that went into my head when I sniffed this is the word "confusing". It's tamarind, but instead of feeling tropical, it's more of a "cool" tamarind. There are hints of the creamy tonka as well.
Wet on skin: there's still the somewhat sour tamarind, but then something very sweet comes out, almost foody-sweet. No, rather, juicy-sweet, giving this a definitely fruity vibe, with the creamy tonka underpinning it all. There are hints of patchouli coming out at this phase as well.
Dry: tamarind and fig, with creamy, very creamy tonka and amber. There's a hint of dirtiness from the patchouli now to spice it up, and as it stays longer on my skin the patchouli gets this earthier, dirt-ier quality to it. Well blended and lovely.
Verdict: though it's a lovely blend, I've never really worn fruity blends, so this is a pass for me.
Sleek, black, dark, and clever: benzoin, honey, cedar, and dark musk.
In the bottle: cedar and honey. It's dark, yes, but with a sharp edge to it.
Wet on skin: it's softer, a bit cuddlier, but still dark and...I'm not sure, almost comforting> The topmost notes are still cedar and honey, and there is an almost foody benzoin coming up at this phase.
Dry: mostly sweet cedar, with a soft, cuddly musk. The benzoin, recedes--not that it was very apparent in the first place, to give this an almost brittle feel, somewhat powdery but not quite. If I look for the benzoin, I can get to it, but it's really more of a background scent to hold up the rest. At some points it feels incensey as well.
Verdict: I really wanted to like this, and tested a few times as the bottle ages, but ultimately not for me. It's a very lovely cedar scent but I'm not a cedar girl and the brittleness/lack of benzoin was the nail in the coffin.
Vanilla-laced leather with 3-year aged patchouli and a warm sack o'hazelnuts.
In the bottle: lovely vanilla and hazelnut scent, with the patchouli and leather to ground it out. It's interesting how they are all well blended together but still definable to my nose. The patchouli here is earthy, but not dirty or overwhelming.
Wet on skin: very warm, almost creamy, and somewhat foody on first whiff. It's almost chocolatey, that vanilla and hazelnut combo, and makes me think of Nutella though it's been a long time since I've had Nutella, so probably not. As it dries, the patchouli starts to come up and edges this scent towards the not-foody spectrum, giving this a kind of resinous quality instead of foody. I'm really liking this.
Dry: amazing, it's creamy and vanilla-ey and resinous and patchouli-ey and they all come together into an amazing sensual scent. This is right in the sexytimes category for me, along with Underpants, Glowing Vulva, and Blossoms in Springtime. Makes me wonder exactly what kind of goblin sack we are talking about here...ahem.
Verdict: I'm not entirely sure if this has a definable slot in my keeper list, since I already have a lot of sensual blends (as above) that don't really see a lot of showtime. But it makes me all grabby anyway. But I'm definitely keen to see how this ages and how it might differentiate itself from the rest when aged.
A classic vintage musk.
In bottle: old fashioned vintage musk. There is a floral note in here, but I can't really pinpoint what kind. Another prominent note for me is oatmeal--or at least that's what the scent smells like for me.
Wet on skin: musk, a deep and low floral note, and oatmeal. It's really weird, I keep trying to think of what other notes this has for me, but I always just keep going back to oatmeal. It melts into my skin, gets faint as it dries. It's nice, if simple; I'd probably want to test this against the RPG line's Neutral and see where that goes.
Dry: this really melds with one's scent, I think, and reminds me of how Buck Moon felt like on me. I suppose, given that the primary note here is musk, that should be expected--to really interact with your own skin chemstry. On me, this is very understated, but not "faint". Instead of the oatmeal note, I'm getting a hint of coffee instead. Go figure--just be prepared for a foodie note of some sort, I suppose?
Verdict: this is something that I think everyone needs to try out on their skin first. It's not drastically different on my skin versus the bottle scent, but it's different enough; when I sniffed the bottle quite a few days after, I wondered why I even thought of retesting, it is quite far from what I like to wear. Now that I'm rewriting this review, I think I should go and do another skin test, and decide from there.
Dry grass, clean skin, and a little bit of mossy berry.
In bottle: soapy-clean skin with a good dusting of powder, a hint of green and a hint of juicy berry. The powder-on-skin is definitely the first thing that comes to my mind here.
Wet on skin: soapy, powdery, pleasant. What I wasn't expecting: a definite floral feeling. It's a kind of generic soapy-floral scent, I can't quite pinpoint what it is. I'm getting sweet greens and a hint of berry, overlaid with a good dusting of baby powder.
Dry: soapy, powdery skin, after rolling about in sweet floral grass (sans the obligatory baby sweat and dirt). This is very pleasant and inoffensive, a scent that you'd love to smell on a baby, makes you want to nuzzle and cuddle and read stories aloud. It's not a particular babyish scent for me though, or a childlike one; I can see a grown-up wearing this as a kind of everyday scent.
Verdict: it is definitely pleasant and I like how it smells, but something this powdery isn't my cup of tea, even if it does smell like amazing amazing powder.
Cooking herbs, pickles, and mouse fur.
In bottle: herbs and pickles! Definitely masculine, even if it's a "kitchen" smell. Maybe it's the slightly astringent tone this has. This is actually kind of nice, but I don't know if I'd expect this as a perfume on anyone.
Wet on skin: it's a very comfortable scent, but yes, I don't think id expect this as perfume on anyone, though it smells quite pleasant. This is like coming into the kitchen and then hugging the cook and smelling this comforting cloud of amazing, yummy scents after they've been cooking for a while. It's not foody, but it's...that way. (It softens a tiny bit.)
Dry: the pickles die down a bit and lets the herbs come out more. I don't really know how the mouse fur would smell like, and I can convince myself I get a furry feeling from this, but that's only because I'm looking for it. I wouldn't call this scent particularly fuzzy. Maybe fuzzy in a cuddly, comforting kind of way, not in a brown musk way.
Verdict: like all of Beth's blends this is an amazing experience, but you'll probably either LOVE it or scratch your head and wonder if anyone would wear this on purpose. I'm leaning towards the latter.
A grand, over-the-top tuberose gardenia.
In bottle: this isn't as over the top as I was expecting; to me this feels a lot more stately, full of old-fashioned grandeur. I'm not sure which floral note is strongest, but my initial impression was gardenia.
Wet on skin: a lot more floral once on my skin--yes, I can see where "over the top" is coming from. There's also a slight powderiness to round things out, which is in keeping with the old-fashioned feel of this perfume. I've seen reviews that call for smoke, but this is really more like powder than smoke for me.
Dry: once dry, in addition to that stately, old-fashioned, expensive powder, there's an additional soapy tinge to this, although it may just be scent association for a lot of floral notes. It's generally the same as the wet phase, if a little softer, a little soapier.
Verdict: nope, this isn't for me. It's an interesting scent and thankfully it isn't beating those notes incessantly into my nostrils, but I wouldn't wear something this floral.
Black patchouli, honey, and thick vanilla amber.
In decant: patchouli, sharp; vanilla, sweet. In that order. The vanilla is lovely, the sort of vanilla that reminds me of Celeste. If it wasn't for the amazing reviews on this blend, I might pass on skin testing this one, to be honest, because the patchouli is quite prominent.
Wet on skin: this is Celeste with patchouli. The vanilla really is quite lovely. At this stage, I almost want to get this one, just because of that vanilla--it's that amazing. But yes, like all other reviews before me, this is predominantly a patch blend. A peppery, dirty patchouli. It IS very lovely-smelling but not something I would wear.
Dry: patchouli, sweetened slightly by the honey and vanilla amber. The "dirt" feel to the patchouli is still there. It's very lovely, and it's not for me, although as time goes on the patchouli is growing on me...and thirty minutes on, I CAN'T SING ENOUGH PRAISES OF THIS BLEND. This is one of the most beautiful vanilla ambers I have ever smelled, and the patchouli is soft (while still retaining a "dirty" tinge to it) while giving this blend a definitive "kick" out of the too-smooth vanilla amber range. Its soft and sweet and absolutely fabulous.
Verdict: this was a bit of a surprise. After some discussion with a bunch of forumites I decided that if I couldn't test the Lupers before they go down, I wasn't going to turn this into a bottle buy, because patchouli and me don't usually go together. But I've been won over, completely. This is an amazing, amazing blend; and it's testament to Beth's skill to make something so not-me on paper turn out to be something I just have to have.
White amber, mimosa, orris root, osmanthus, labdanum, Siamese benzoin, and jasmine sambac.
In the decant: ooh! Lovely, cool, juicy floral. This is very light and almost playful, I am loving this right from the decant.
Wet on skin: this is a really lovely floral: is that a mix of mimosa and jasmine? It's light-feeling, almost white; a very gentle floral but with a bit of presence. I can't really pinpoint the amber or the benzoin, but I am assuming it's adding to that presence and supporting the floral notes which would otherwise be lost.
Dry: oh drat. That orris root ruined it for me--I'm definitely getting that grandmothery orris now that it's dry, and then that lovely, beautiful airy floral. If orris plays nice with you this shouldn't be a problem.
Verdict: I was quite disappointed with the orris in this blend; I really liked it and was hoping for a win here, right from the get-go.
Pale lavender, sweet violet, balsam of Peru, and paperwhite narcissus.
In decant: I'm getting lavender and balsam, a bit sharp and "perfumey".
Wet on skin: lavender, balsam, and that paperwhite narcissus. I think the violet is giving this a softer tone, almost an orris-y feel. The lavender is pretty sharp to my nose, although it does soften as it dries. I think the narcissus is turning a touch powdery as well, as I'm getting it more and more the longer it stays on my skin.
Dry: this one dries into an orris-y violet and lots of powder. Well, okay, there's a sliver of lavender, but other than that...where has everything gone?
Verdict: well, definitely not for me.
Sumatran patchouli, blood musk, white lavender, opium tar, and black orchid.
In the vial: lavender, opium, and orchid. Color impression is a mix of deep and bright oranges, blended but distinct.
Wet on skin: the lavender softens immediately, and the black orchid shines through better. The patchouli and opium are subdued, gentle, really a support for the other two notes. There's a green feeling to this...probably contributed to by the combination of lavender and patchouli. This is a unique kind of lavender...a full bodied but gentle lavender. Soothing.
Dry: lavender, smoky orchid, and languorous opium tar. This is...sultry, like that previous review said. It feels a bit odd to have a sultry, languorous lavender scent, but this is it, in spades. The patchouli is present, and noticeable (there are times there's a dirt note coming through) but it's just a hint of a note, an undercurrent of character in this scent
Verdict: a clean, sultry and fabulous deep lavender scent. I AM SO THERE.
Our interpretation of Dolce Stil Nuovo is a blend of rose otto, carnation, vanilla flower, lavender and jasmine with the clarity of crystalline white musk and the warmth of golden amber.
In the vial: rose otto, spicy canation, and sharp lavender. A rather classic-feeling floral.
Wet on skin: the first whiff is sharp lavender, followed quickly by powder. Hello rose, I'm sorry to see you go so quickly. The lavender does soften immediately, and through the overwhelming powder I can also get some gentle, lovely jasmine scent. Under all of that is a beautiful base of white must and an almost creamy golden amber.
Dry: powder and lavender, in that order, and an odd sour note that comes and goes, but is almost always around. I'm not entirely sure what's causing it, as I haven't gotten this scent from jasmine in the past, nor from carnation. It's a bit off-putting.
Verdict: unfortunately, the rose otto just ruins this scent for me, what with its reaction to my skin chemistry. Not to mention that sour note that developed when dry.
Lilac, blue musk, dianthus, cedar, neroli, ozone, and luminous Eastern herbs.
In the vial: a light, slightly powdery floral; a powdery lilac, dainty white flowers, and a pleasant sharpness from the ozone. This is quite pretty.
Wet on skin: ooh, this is very lovely. It's a cool white floral, "luminous" is just apt. This is in the same family as Enchanted Wood Florist and The Unicorn--the same light ethereal scent with a pleasant sweetness.
Dry: this doesn't change too much from the wet scent. It's a very, very lovely luminous scent, gentle soft flowers with a dusting of musk. The lilac is giving it that powdery feel which isn't altogether unpleasant here.
Verdict: when I bought the current decant, I had forgotten that I had the earlier version in my untested imp boxes. I tested that after this, since due to the notes being the same, the earlier version would be a clue to how this blend ages. I loved this newer one very much, while the earlier one is stronger on the lilac...which means a lot more powder on my skin, when dry. It had a slightly soapy feel to it as well. Because of this, I decided it would be a pass on me. Too bad.
Nepalese amber, vanilla infused amber, golden musk, sandalwood, golden lily, sunflower, and honey myrtle.
In bottle: this is almost cologney at first--the flowers are sweet and sharp, rather heady. I can't pinpoint specific notes.
Wet on skin: this becomes a slightly sweet-spicy floral, cool and almost minty, definitely cooler than in the bottle. It's very beautiful and elegant, ladylike with a touch of sensuous woman. The ambers and sandalwood ground the high florals very beautifully, and give it a softness that wasn't apparent when sniffing from the bottle.
Dry: once dry, it's developed a powdery quality that is rather pleasant--expensive, luxurious powder scent. It sticks fairly close to the skin, and after a while even that powdery quality recedes and this remains a beautiful, resinous womanly scent, soft florals and gentle amber.
Verdict: I tested this about three times--I keep trying to resist this blend but I can't. stop. sniffing. my. wrist. when I have this on. So I've given in to the inevitable.
A snarling, feral scent, ever-so-slightly deranged: hot leather, opoponax, cedar, pine needle, mosses, dry grass, patchouli and cinnamon bark.
In the tester: dusty, musky, and brown with a bit of sweetness. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I'm smelling here, it's very well blended. Pleasant, comforting. (Note that this looks like a faily aged tester.)
Wet on skin: wow, that disappeared quickly on my skin. I'm needing to pull hard to get anything newly applies, but it seems to bloom as it dries. It's very soft and faint newly on, but I can definitely get some leather. It's somewhat "dusty" or incensey, and sticks to the "brown" feeling--a brown, woodsy leather. I don't know if it's a matter of this being fairly aged but it's taking a while to dry on my skin.
Dry: ...and as it dries, it gets stronger and lovelier, in my opinion. A sweetness that wasn't there in the earlier stages has come out, plus a kind of coolness that I am attributing to the pine--that pine coolness is probably supporting the sweetness I'm getting a lot better than when it wasn't around. I don't have my bottle of Buck Moon to compare against now, but this kind of reminded me of that, and if memory serves, this is sweeter and more complex than Buck Moon, though it has the same "brown" comforting feel to it. It's still a masculine-leaning blend because of the woodsy leather, but that sweetness and coolness slide it closer to unisex territory.
Verdict: this is amazing. I really, really like it, just like I really liked Buck Moon, and I think I have more chances of wearing this than Buck Moon. However, it's crazy rare and I do have some leather blends I like fairly well without having to go hunting for this one.
Pink peony, white carnation, freesia, white peach, amber, and pale woods.
In bottle: this is a light floral, but once given a little aging it's more present than memory and my notes serve. It's a mix of peony and freesia with pale woods in the background. Almost heady.
Wet on skin: softens a bit and smooths out, it's not as strong as it was in the bottle--it's actually got an ethereal feel going on now. Lighter, but sweeter, and more evenly blended. It's difficult to really pinpoint what flowers I'm smelling.
Dry: soft floral with a very, very light fruity vibe from the peach. I'd say this is something like a "girlier", more "present" The Unicorn--it has that same kind of ethereal feel but with an extra dose of that peach to ground it, I think. It's soft, almost faint, but very pleasant. I keep expecting the carnation to rear its head and give me a dose of clove, but I'm not getting any of that here. Maybe the white variety is good for me?
Verdict: I'm keeping my bottles, I'm glad I chose to take a chance on this.
White sandalwood and tea roses.
In bottle: dusty tea roses, a hint of sandalwood.
Wet on skin: the sandalwood starts to bloom warmed on my skin, and the tea roses soften, and starts to go powdery. It's a very pleasant, posh, old fashioned sort of scent.
Dry: tea roses and sandalwood, in equal portions. This is the simplest NYCC scent, but what you expect, you get here. This is a very old-fashioned, but not grandmother-y, and it does stay a tea rose (which is naturally a powdery kind) rather than straight-up powder on me. It's quite pleasant and brings to mind period hats and wallpaper and boudoir.
Verdict: a long time ago I wanted to have a rose scent, but now I have resigned myself to the fact that I just don't like smelling of roses. :( But this is very, very pretty, I waffled about keeping this.
French vanilla, white gardenia, Moroccan jasmine, and lemon verbena.
In bottle: creamy, lemony floral. This is vanilla with lemon and jasmine. It's got a foody vibe to it, although the florals are keeping it from all-out foody. New, it has a sharp edge for me but with a bit of aging that's gone away.
Wet on skin: a bit softer on the floral, and the lemon also dies down. The flowers are more prominent. Soft, pleasant, but very creamy vanilla floral. The jasmine and gardenia are of the heady variety here.
Dry: soft creamy gardenia-leaning floral with a dash of lemon. When I tested this new, it was soft and faint, a bit like posh lotion; with a bit of aging on it, the throw has gotten considerably better. It still has a posh gardenia lotion feel to it. It feels quite voluptuous, but slightly understated, less in-your-face than if the florals were all out there.
Verdict: I liked this new but was on the fence about it, and wanted to see how it ages. It's very pretty with a bit of aging, but still narrowly misses the cut. I like my florals less headier.
White fig, rose otto, honey, and bourbon vanilla.
In bottle: rose, vanilla, and fig. I can tell this won't work for my skin, as the rose is front and center for me, but it's lovely here.
Wet on skin: unexpectedly, this is cool to the nose, slightly "wintery". I'm getting fig; the (expectedly) powdery rose; and creamy vanilla. It's sweet and almost syrupy because of the honey, but it doesn't tip into foody or candy scale.
Dry: as expected, the rose has flown the coop. Actually, there is a faint rosiness to the powder I'm now getting, so at least it's staying a little bit more than expected, but after 30 minutes in, it's gone for me. There's still fig, honey and vanilla. The rose-powder variety for me is making me sneeze.
Verdict: I didn't expect this to be a winner, and it isn't. It's a lovely scent sans the horror that rose is on my skin, though.
Sweet patchouli, soft, honeyed leather, sassy sarsaparilla, honeysuckle, and French vanilla.
In bottle: this is all soft patchouli, leather and sarsaparilla. This is very lovely! I can see why this is an NYCC favorite. It reminds me of Silver-Haired Bat a bit, but it's not as foody off the bat. Ahem.
Wet on skin: yes, definitely similar to SHB; it's more buttery, but less foody, if that makes sense. I think the sarsaparilla is giving it a definite Tombstone vibe as well. And a touch of something powdery seems to be coming in as well.
Dry: this keeps its Tombstone/SHB vibe, but with sweet leather coming up for me when dry--none of that sharp plasticky leather here. A sweet buttery leather, but soft and feminine--it's got that strength behind it but is all willowy and soft. At this moment I've given it a bit of aging and it's just as lovely as it was new. Based on my notes it's a bit more layered now, with the sarsaparilla/honeysuckle combo really shining here, I think.
Verdict: definitely a keeper! I am trying to cull a few scents from my keeper list and retested this, and it's definitely something.