The Scent of Bliss – Morgan (Le) Fay

Morgan Fay (or Morgan Le Fey) by Possets Perfume

Official Product Description Sez:
Dark and richly incense-filled, heavy with spice and not tame, Morgan le Fey is most unusual and supremely attractive. Flowers meet patchouli and collide with spices. Instead of becoming a confused mish-mash it contains a singular character and is captivating. If darkly romantic perfumes are your passion, try Morgan le Fey and don’t be surprised by its addicting properties.

Upon opening the bottle, it took me a moment to start picking out separate notes. It initially just hit as being thickly sweet. After the few moments that heady, full sweetness (which somehow managed to steer clear of cloying) revealed a hint of almost molassesy darkness at the center. These two main notes twined together, floral vying with woody.

Once upon the skin, I found it to be still sweet, but less dominantly so – the florals were losing the battle to that dark woodiness. It was heavily woody and musty – a grainy sort of a smell, reminiscent of cedar chest full of chamomile.

It was that last impression that stuck with me as I wore this throughout the day. What I found really fascinating was how the note changed according to the proximity of the scent to my nose. If I was just doing something with my hands and the scent wafted up, it was most definitely the floral sweetness, but if I actually put nose to wrist and inhaled, I got no flowers at all, only cedar.

Darkly romantic does seem a good phrasing to describe this one. My only complaint is that I wish it might have lasted longer (but then, isn’t that so often the way of darkly romantic entanglements?). 12 hours after application, my wrists give my nothing. I smell like only skin. Even so, I was still able to get a hint of cedar at dinnertime, so this is certainly a scent that could last all day with a single midday reapplication.

The Scent of Bliss – Attic

Attic by Solstice Scents

The Official Product Description Sez:
Vanilla Accord, Western Red Cedar Heartwood EO, Osmanthus Attar, Sandalwood EO

Shake gently before each use. An aged cedar chest filled with fine fabrics, exquisite lace-overlay dresses, heirloom linens and crocheted tops, forgotten in the attic of the manor house. The scent of this cedar chest and the soft mustiness of stored linens with the beautiful, yet faded, perfume of the owner still detectable upon the fabric is captured in the Attic Perfume. A fine vanilla accord is paired with the most gorgeous red cedar heartwood EO, aged sandalwood EO and osmanthus attar. Attic starts out strong, with a burst of the cedar EO and vanilla accord but mellows into a sweet, woody, slightly musty and dusty fragrance that is exquisitely atmospheric. It shares some character with the Manor perfume and fans of Manor may enjoy Attic, especially if they like really gorgeous and true cedar essential oil. This cedar smells just like an aged piece of dried cedarwood and pairs wonderfully with the other notes on the dry down.

This is the first time that I have pulled the OPD of a scent and had it so exactly and unequivocally mirror my own experience of the scent.

On opening the bottle it hit my nose as WOOD. CEDAR wood, with a faint hint of pine. There was an undeniable overlay of dust, but largely the smell was woods and brass. There was a teasing tang, a metallic edge to the scent in the bottle.

Then I put it on my skin. Wood wood wood wood! It smells of old chests, of the fragrance found only in aging, decaying cedar. Over that floated the scent of clothing in trunks, natural fibers laid long ago to rest, warm and forgotten. Wood and dust and wood, dank stale air. Threaded through the middle of it was an extremely faint dried fruit (dried cherries, I thought, but looking at the OPD and searching up the scent of Osmanthus (which is said to be apricotty) it must be that) note.

Ten minutes dried, it settled into a soft smell of things stored and forgotten and aging – of dusty cloth in decaying, perserving cedar.

Now, more than 12 hours later, the scent is faint at best. There is barely a hint of cedar on the skin with a sweetness that must be that vanilla accord.

The strong wood scent of this perfume turned out to be far more pleasant than I would have expected, and it balances nicely with the sweet and soothing notes of the vanilla and the osmanthus. I’m not head over heels for this one, but I do certainly like it. I could see this being very satisfying as a subtle daily wear scent for anyone regardless of sex.

The Scent of Bliss – Black Forest

Black Forest from Solstice Scents

The Official Description Sez:
Agarwood, Nagarmotha EO, Tobacco Absolute, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Cocoa Absolute, Maraschino Cherries, Black Cherries, Hay Absolute, Sandalwood EO, Whipped Cream & a drop of Pink Peppercorn Essential Oil)

This is one of our first dual concept fragrances. It is meant to embody the luxurious decadence of black forest cake and the dark secluded imagery of the Black Forest in Germany. The focus was on rich exotic wood notes in lieu of conifer notes to represent the forest. Black Forest is very heavy on the woods. On initial application the cherries are detectable but they quickly fall into a chasm of deep dark notes that serve to tame the gourmand element of this blend. The agarwood and nagarmotha prop up the sweet notes and are the next to be discovered. Nagarmotha essential oil is a divine cross that strikes somewhere between vetiver and agarwood. It evokes a rare and precious wood note. The tobacco and hay absolutes are the next notes to emerge quickly after detection of the aforementioned notes. They wrap the other oils in a cozy, warm, dry and dusty blanket. This is the point where Black Forest turns most dry and smells like a humidor housing a very fine and exceedingly dark chocolate cherry pipe tobacco. The scent stays in this phase for a little while but as your skin warms it, the ethereal billows of the fluffiest whipped cream waft far in the background and sweeten the blend of woods to the point that it begins to smell like a wonderful unlit incense stick coupled with the pipe tobacco. The gourmand notes end up receeding tremendously though they are invaluable to the overall character of this scent. This is not a standard foodie scent. If you like dark fragrances with these notes, try this unusual and enticing fragrance. It is full of character and depth. After a few hours on the skin it turns a lot sweeter when the whipped cream note is most apparent but the woods keep it grounded and it stays a super delicious incensey scent.

TL;DR: It’s supposed to smell like the forest AND the cake.

After the fiasco with the Pharaoh scent, I was a little nervous as I was opening the bottle. Then it was actually open, and many of my fears subsided before the onslaught of CHOCOLATE that burst forth! Other smells swirled up around and under and through, but the chocolate was the strongest, central note. There was the sweetness of cherries and the scent of moist floury cake and the dry tang of freshly powdered sugar and holy crap you guys, this stuff smells GOOD in the bottle.

So I put it on my skin, hoping against hope that it wasn’t going to go sour the way Pharaoh did – because as you recall, that one was decent in the bottle too.

On my wrist, sugary cherries came to the forefront of this scent. Not like cherry syrup, but as cherries that have been lightly sugared. It was backed with a scent of dry cake, like a dark chocolate cake the second day after it’s been baked and cut. The chocolate scent faded back a little, though it was still fairly strong and central. It married well with the blossoming cherry notes.

As this scent dried, it faded to a sweetly powdery commingling of the cherry/chocolate smells – almost a floury sort of powdery. Hours later (and it’s now 10 hours later) the scent is still definite upon the skin, and retains that sweet, powdery scent. Looking at the product description, I’d imagine that’s probably the sandalwood playing nice with the tobacco and hay absolutes.

The OPD talks big about all the wood scents and wood oils, and while I’m sure they’re in there and offer strong backing, it’s the cake smells that are really at the fore of this scent. It was a delicious, indulgent treat to my senses, and a scent that, while I don’t think I’d have picked it out for myself (I tend to steer clear of blatantly sweet scents), I can definitely see wearing again.

The Scent of Bliss – Pharaoh

Pharaoh from Solstice Scents

The Official Product Description Sez:
This oil has been reformulated from the original blend as of 2013. It smells very close to the original, almost identical. Pharaoh is a fragrance comprised primarily of the long-established, popular and neutral scent of Egyptian Musk spiked with just a few drops of Frankincense Essential Oil and a splash of honey far in the background. It is a beautiful, very soft fragrance that is perfect for wearing when you’re looking for something understated and muted but would like to smell clean. It is a truly wonderful unisex fragrance that has a slight tinge of the exotic and is clean, fresh, mild, natural and has just the slightest hint of a floral. The frankincense is very soft and detectable solely upon application. After that, it takes a back seat and really is more of a note adding depth rather than one standing as identifiable. The honey is a very mild natural honey and does not contain the almond notes that other honey blends have.

Bllllaaaauuuugggghhhhh. I have a lot of words for this scent, but none of them are “clean” or “fresh” or “mild” or “floral. DX

In the bottle, it was truly intriguing. It was Sweet with hint of understated spice, warm – like fresh bread baked with cardamom in. There was just a whisper of something dark and dusky, like near-decaying moist vegetation overhanging the edge of the Nile.

Then I put it on my skin. It lost a lot of the sweetness, and that dark dank scent began to take over. It was like wet cardamom bread, with a hint of something waxy, something animal; the closest I could come was lanolin. It smelled familiar, but I couldn’t exactly place it, so this was when I went to actually look at the product description (which I usually don’t until I’m getting ready to make this post, to keep my impressions unskewed/unspoiled.

The scent I’d not been able to identify could only be the Egyptian Musk, and the longer I wore this oil, the more it took over, to the point where that was the only smell there was. It was strong, and thick, and I personally found it unpleasant. My only previous experience with animal musk was when my cat was in heat back in the day. I wasn’t even wearing this perfume for an hour when I started to get a headache, and all I could think about was feline estrus.

I only had it on for a little under two hours before, for the sake of my aching head and unhappy brains, I jumped in the shower to scrub clean.

Like always, this scent may react differently to your own body chem, but it’s awful on mine. I don’t want to smell like a horny cat. I don’t want to risk migraines from my applied scent. This one is most definitely in the Scents I’m Going To Give Away list, along with Nize Hat.

The Scent of Bliss – The Library

Library from Solstice Scents

The Official Product Description Sez:
Leather Bound Books, A Carved Rosewood Mantle, Dying Fireplace Embers, Wood Wainscoting, Cedar Shelving and Aged Paper

Twenty oils are combined to evoke the character of the exquisite library of the Manor. Ample wood shelving displaying countless works, primarily bound in leather, is found on all four walls of the library. A fireplace on the west wall features an intricately carved rosewood mantle and heavy dark wood wainscoting adorns the walls beneath the book laden shelves. Dying embers impart a soft smokiness in the room and the scent of aged paper and a worn brown leather armchair melds with the rich leather and wood notes.

Library begins as a robust woods and leather (brown and black) scent with strong smoky overtones on initial application but after a few short minutes it begins to soften into a realistic and complex fragrance that contains elements you’d expect to experience in the fine personal collection of the Manor. Library contains a blend of sandalwood EO and FO, agarwood, nagarmotha EO, choya loban attar, guaiacwood, Virginia cedarwood EO, leather, copaiba EO, benzoin EO, rosewood EO, Plai EO, western red cedar EO, rhododendron leaf EO, osmanthus attar and fragrance oils. The dry down features a combination of woods, leather, embers, dust and brittle paper with a rich lemony-rosewood finish.

Some scents are a liquid dream the very moment you open the bottle, a scent of utter perfection wafting out that you can’t wait to get onto your skin.

Not so, the Library.

I opened it eager for those smells of smoke and leather and wood… and I kind of got it. In the bottle it smelled of poorly cared-for acidy old pages and ink, of dark, unpleasant wood damaged by cleaning chemicals that edged toward cheap bug spray.

I really didn’t want to put it on my skin. But I did, because I know sometimes a perfume changes when it’s on the body. Wet on the skin, it actually got worse. It smelled like thickly applied heavy old varnish, cheap plastics, and even more like chemicals and bug spray. It was awfully harsh in the nose, very chemically. I wanted desperately to wash it off. But it was still wet, and I really wanted to give it a fair shake.

A new sniff ten minutes later gave me a little bit of hope. The harsh chemical scent had faded, and what hit the nose most was like leather that hadn’t been well conditioned. Time seemed to be helping, so I gave it more.

An hour later, it resolved into the scent that has carried through for the several hours since – a soft, subtle combination of aging pages releasing that dusky scent of vanilin (Lignum) and warm leather. There’s still a faint hint of varnished wood. It took a while to get here, but it’s quite a pleasant destination, I must say.

Ultimately, this scent ended up being a pleasant surprise after the initial impressions it had given me.

The Scent of Bliss – Nize Hat

Nice Hat from ZOMG Smells

It won yesterday’s vote, so I wore it today! (To vote for tomorrow, see the list following the review)

The Official Product Description Sez:
Because a nize hat deserves a nize scent, ja. Remember, however, that “nice” compares to “nize” the way a pleasant day by the sea compares to conquering that sea at the head of a flotilla of mighty clockwork sharks. We do not use “nize” lightly, oh no. This is a nize scent.

Ambergris, coconut meat, white cedar pitch, and olibanum.

They lied. This is not a nize scent. It’s also not a nice scent. It’s weird as hell and leave me feeling uncomfortable (though not to the point of needing an adult.)

Opening this bottle, I was assaulted by complicated smell. I know yesterday I said The Baron was complicated, but this is complicated in a completely different way. That was complicated due to the subtle intermingling of countless associations of power, domination, paperwork, and gentlemanly pursuits. This was complicated like a Jager let run wild in a haberdashery. It was like cotton cloth stored too long and permanently impregnated with the weirding sweetness of mothballs, overlaid with a collected miasma of roaddust and exotic spices, a drift of sandalwood… and cheap wax.

On the skin, as it dried and just after, that scent of cheap wax not only lingered, but began to dominate the other smells. Wax and the plastics found in 1980’s cheaptoy stores and candy shops – there was a sort of sweetness (dark cherry syrup?), that reminded me more than anything else of fluid-filled wax candies. Except wax fish candies. It’s weird – there was no overt fishiness to it, and yet there was an undeniable, quietly persistent undertone that kept making me think of bait and fishing. Ugh. (Having read the OPD since jotting down my impressions this morning, I can only think that someone hy mental pathways picked up the ambergris and made unexpectedly appropriate associations, me having grown up not just by the sea but in the family bait and tackle shop. There might likely be absolutely no such associations for someone who has spent little or no time around the fishing community.)

Now, at the end of the day as Nize Hat has had time to age, most of the parts of the scent that I wasn’t enjoying have subsided and even vanished. It’s still there, if I inhale my wrist, but it’s a very quiet smell, now. It’s like sweetly powdery rubber – like a very old, quietly disintegrating Superball. It’s actually a bit nostalgic.

I consider this scent less conquering the sea at the head of a floatilla of clockwork sharks than it is tempting whales to the surface to slaughter with said sharks, only to find the whales are made of candy and are only really useful for smokeless candles that burn long and low into the night.

Which is to say, I really didn’t like it. It’s the only one so far that I was tempted to go wash off, because while it wasn’t unpleasant, I just didn’t really enjoy it or the associations the smell brought forth. It’s currently at the bottom of the list of things I’ve tried, and topping the (newly created) List Of Scents I Will Be Happy To Give Away.

The Scent of Bliss – The Baron

The Baron from ZOMGsmells

It won the vote last night, so I wore it today!

The Product Description Sez:
Rich, complex, and powerfully masculine, the Baron is a scent to wear when conquering towns and administrating with a practical-minded, questionably benevolent hand. Bergamot, lavender, and amber mellowed by spiced rum, bay leaf, and cedarwood.

The only word I could really apply to it in the bottle was… complicated. Upon initial uncorking, there was just SO MUCH going on all at once (which isn’t surprising, seeing as how The Baron has his hands full with taming and unifying Europa and keeping peace with Britannia without letting Her Majesty see him as week OR a threat, not to mention the difficulties presented by his own brilliant and stubborn son…) It was woody, plant-tangy, with a sharpness that was faintly metallic, soothed by an exotic spice warmth.

Upon the skin, that combination of metallic and spiciness became all the more pronounced. The woody hit faded as it dried, the tanginess relaxed, and new notes came to the fore, warmer notes: leather, parchment, brandy. Even The Baron needs some downtime – or especially the Baron, if you really think about it, and he demands fine things for what little relaxation he can attain, between keeping a continent to heel beneath his high boot and the irritatingly recurring drama of family.

I applied this around half past eight this morning, so roughly twelve hours have gone by – and The Baron is definitely still there, without reapplication. I am a fan of a scent that can hold out for the long term. What I’m smelling now I suppose is the lavender and amber with a bit of the spiced rum and a hint of cedarwood. It reminds me of nothing so much as it does CBihateperfume’s In The Library, actually. I should do a One On Each Wrist comparison of the two some time.

Overall, I find The Baron to be even better than my expectations. It comes on strong in a good way, making it clear that it has a lot going on and no time to waste. As the day progresses, it quiets, subtles, smooths – becoming finer with age, if you will, and subsiding with watchful grace into administrative duties. Yet it never disappears entirely, and I caught hints of it hither and thither throughout the day. Watching me.

This is currently contending with Jäger #3 for Favorite Smell of the Set.

The Scent of Bliss – Jäger #2

Jäger #2 from ZOMGsmells

The product description at the site sez:
Two leafy mints, gnarly patchouli root, balsam, and a speck of black liquorice. Robust! This Jäger likes long walks in the woods, getting caught in the rain, and hitting things with other things.

Two leafy mints indeed! It’s hard to pick out what the mints are exactly; the overall impression is of old school unsweetened mint toothpaste dried on the edge of a porcelain porous sink in a granny’s bathroom. Not very Jägery.

Let me try that again.

On first opening to smell in the bottle, the two mints are all I can really latch on to – it’s as if the Jäger split in two and was using huge bundles of the mints to beat the hell out of each other inside the bottle.

On the skin, the mints were very strong, but there was more to it, a sort of damp earthiness – as if the mints-of-beating had been uprooted whole and dragged wet deep-forest loam up with the roots.

As it dries, it becomes unexpectedly subtle. After a few hours the mints have faded to a background, making way for a soft spicey/earthy combination of the patchouli root and licorice, with a hint of brightness from the balsam. The Jäger tired of the mint fight, snagged a bag of candies, and headed off into the rainwet woods to roam and hunt for a new fight.

This Jäger is surprising. I expected to thoroughly dislike it from the first wetsniff, but have ended up ultimately enjoying what it settles out into after the initial near-harsh blast of mint has gone by. I can see this being in rotation for a day-to-day scent, as long as I have a good half hour before I’m really around anybody, so it has time to dry. There isn’t much last to it, though – while yesterday’s scent (Jäger #3) was still delightfully sniffable on my wrists as I was falling asleep, this one I applied first thing after my morning shower, and again around lunchtime, and I’m having trouble catching the scent of it on my wrists now.

The Scent of Bliss – Jager #3

So last week, Eric Milliken was awesome. He’s awesome all the time, actually, but this time it was this flavor of awesome: “I’ve enjoyed your posts here for a long time. They frequently make me laugh which is worth a lot.”

And he decided it was worth buying me a particular set of Squees (1mL samples) from ZOMGsmells, one designed with Girl Genius in mind:

Poor bastard. He had no idea it was going to mean a week straight of me pestering every day to find out if it shipped yet. Now he knows what it is like to be a shipment tracking site at the other end of my refresh key!

They came today! dances happily in a circle

It’s a set of 9 squees in the following scents (and as a bonus, they sent me a Brownie In Motion scrub bar):
Jägers 1, 2,& 3
Nize Hat
The Baron
Nuremburg Pudding Incident
Pirate Queen (on duty)
Pirate Queen (off duty)

I sniffed my way through four of them before I stopped myself; I want to do good proper reviews of them, which means limiting myself to one a day on clean skin.

I began with Jager #3, which is described on the site as follows:

A little dark, a little dirty, but with undeniable sweetness under the rough edges– this is a Jäger to watch out for. No Jäger is subtle, but this one approaches suaveness wearing elephant boots. Dangerously sexy. Olibanum, ginger, toasted cardamom, vetiver, and molasses.

The description is fantastically apt. The scent on first opening is like wet, sweet loam – dark and moist, with just a hint of the molasses. The dirt on the boot of a Jäger.

It smooths and opens on application to the skin. The dark, wet dirt scent is still there, but it’s the scent of dirt thick with freshly-growing spices. The molasses sweetness remains, but with a fascinating tang of the ginger and particularly the cardamom coming through. It’s the cardamom, I’m sure, that reminds me of a particular bread that I’ve only had a few times, thick and dense. The bread a courting Jäger might share with a sveethot.

After a while I catch hints of the olibanum floating through all of it. Almost floral, almost dusty – the hint of years of fight-strewn travel caught up in the brim of a Jäger’s hat.

I think I’m in lurve. I want to have this Jäger on my skin all the time!

The Scent of Bliss – Dead Writers

I splurged on myself to celebrate the release of Inner Workings. I used some small monies I had sitting in Paypal from selling a crochet thing I’d made, and picked myself up a bottle of Dead Writers perfume oil. I waited and watched, mostly not obsessively checking the tracking, and it came, and of course I opened it and put it on immediately!

I, uh… I don’t like it. 🙁

The listing says it’s Tobacco, Heliotrope, Vetiver, Black Tea, Vanilla, and that it “evokes the feeling of sitting in an old library chair paging through yellowed copies of Hemingway, Shakespeare, Fitzgerald, Poe, and more. The Dead Writers blend makes you want to put on a kettle of black tea and curl up with your favorite book.”

This is not my experience of it. It’s very strongly sweet in the bottle, and much more lightly sweet on the skin. I’m not familiar with the scent of heliotrope or of vetiver, but as it doesn’t smell like tobacco or tea or vanilla to me I am guessing those are what I smell coming through strongest. Rather than evoking libraries and classic literature and tea, it evokes interesting old ladies picking through sunshiny antique shops with freshly-picked sprigs of lily of the valley tucked into the band of their hats.

It isn’t at all unpleasant, but it wasn’t what I was expecting and it’s not what I wanted. If you’re looking for something with the evocation mentioned by the seller, I would much more recommend that you check out the perfume In The Library from CB. I have a 2ml bottle of it that, even using sparingly, I’m rapidly running out of.

Dead Writers is billed as being suitable for a man or a woman, and don’t let my assessment of it above deter you from trying it – your skin chemistry is likely to differ from mine, and your experience will be different.