Just to give you guys a heads up I will be writing a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo next month so I won’t have much time for anything else. I won’t be able to post/review as much in November sadly. Wish me luck!
I bought a set of three (plus one free) 1ml perfume oil samples from AlchemicMuse on Etsy for $10 NZD. The full 5ml bottles are $15 NZD each.
Vanilla Oak: It opens as fresh and light with camphor and bergamot. A warm, woody and smoky vanilla backed by spices carries most of this perfume though. Like the rest of Alchemic Muse’s perfumes it smells natural however the notes aren’t as prominent – for example I don’t get much vanilla, it just feels well blended in. It’s a hazy perfume, presenting this ambery woody effect. It’s rather ethereal and of the fae world whilst being grounded and earthy at the same time. It might be weakest blend of the set and is a touch soapy. 6/10.
Krumkake: I had the most incredible experience with this perfume. I got this as a free sample but it’s not listed anywhere on the shop so I was excited to guess what notes this had. Straight from the bottle I recognized the scent from my childhood but it took me a moment to remember what it was. I remembered I used to make this ‘thing’ (I momentarily forgot the name) with sugar and golden syrup in a pot so I googled it and, lo and behold, it’s HOKEY POKEY of course!! It smells warm, extremely sugary and dripping in honey with hints caramel and toffee.
On my skin it’s a bit different with spices like cinnamon and as it dried down it strayed away from hokey pokey so I googled what Krumkake was. It turns out it’s a Norwegian Waffle Cookie (YES THIS EXISTS) which makes complete sense. It’s 100% gourmand, rich and very sweet – probably a little bit too much for me but it’s incredibly fun. The cinnamon gets stronger as the perfume goes on and it’s somewhat off-putting as I don’t actually like cinnamon. It also reminds me of chai blends due to the cinnamon which, as I said, I don’t like. It’s not something I would wear but I like smelling it. This smells so real that I think someone is baking in the kitchen. Incredible sillage and longevity. 7.5/10.
Spiritueuse Double Vanille by Guerlain 75ml EDP for $350 NZD from Nordstrom
Notes: Top notes are pink pepper, bergamot and incense; middle notes are ylang-ylang, cedar, bulgarian rose and jasmine; base notes are benzoin and vanilla.
Since Vanilla is my favourite note I simply had to get my hands on Guerlain’s rare, expensive and worshiped SDV. I normally buy my samples from Luckyscent but since they don’t stock SDV I bought a 3ml vial from The Perfumed Court.
It opens as a benziony and woody bergamot with a touch of pink pepper. It reminds me of the opening of Mona di Orio’s Vanille. It’s bit too mature for me (as I’m 22) with a tad too much benzoin. Up close it’s really intense but from a distance I get wafts of this gorgeous vanilla. A kind of creamy vanilla ice-cream but it’s more liquid than solid – like a high-end vanilla beverage flavoring. I would like a perfume based on that vanilla because, sadly, this isn’t really it. This is too elusive; it dances around the vanilla but doesn’t truly embrace it. I can’t really tell where the fragrance is coming from despite knowing it’s my arm as it halos.
This is mainly a smoky-woody-incensy-ambery-benziony-tobacco scent with wisps of vanilla. I don’t find it sweet or boozy. It also reminds me slightly of Serge Luten’s Un Bois Vanille which was honey/beeswax, liquorice and benzoin on me and I didn’t like it. Whilst there’s some sort of deeply woody aspect to this I don’t get cedar. I don’t get any florals – I was hoping for rose.
SDV smells like the kind of stuff millionaires wear in their luxury houses on the top of snowfield-hills with glass walls for views whilst smoking a cigar with a sexy woman in their arms. Or, more like, it’s rubbed off onto this woman as it does have hints of that feminine vanilla. She has a fur wrap, dark red nail polish and a glass of expensive liquor.
A few hours in it does get more vanillic and weaker. It becomes softer, more feminine and almost powdery. It feels shier now. It brings to mind images of an exclusive club in a library. It’s warm and cozy. At times I almost want to lick my arm as it’s yummy but it’s still not what I imagined it to be. From the bottle it smells like a gorgeously boozy vanilla essence with a tinge of benzioned cedar. That’s how I thought it would be on my skin but it’s not.
The fleeting whispers of vanilla I get it are nice but it’s not enough. In-fact I don’t actually know if vanilla is an active ingredient or if some ingredients are trying to emulate it. It just doesn’t feel real enough to me. I have a love-hate relationships with this perfume. Sometimes I think it smells gorgeous but other times it makes my stomach curl. I can’t justify buying a (RARE AND EXPENSIVE) full bottle and maybe when I’m older I’ll like it more. 7/10.
Vanilla Lace by Victoria’s Secret 250ml Mist for $18 NZD on TradeMe
Notes: Vanilla and musk.
I got this at the same time I got Warm Vanilla Sugar from TradeMe since Victoria’s Secret isn’t stocked in New Zealand. I bought it because I’d heard it was similar to Tihota but much cheaper. On first spray it’s alcoholic and chemical but after a minute it settles down into a fresh and airy vanilla ice-cream musk. There’s a slight caramel (maybe even burnt-caramel) vibe with a tiny bit of smoke. It’s mostly vanilla with some musk though. It’s yummy but not too sweet. It’s warm, cosy and happy.
Apparently it’s infused with Aloe Vera and Chamomile which I can actually get and adds to the comfortable vibe. After it dries down it smells rather quality for what it is. It’s mostly a skin scent but lasts a decent hour or two which is good for a mist. It comes back in whispers too – especially if you spray a lot. And that’s the best part about it. You can be heavy-handed with it as there’s lots of it and it’s cheap. You can spray it around your house, on your sheets and all over your clothes. It encircles you in a positive vanilla mist. With Tihota you have to use little cautiously but with Vanilla Lace you can go wild.
I’ve been wearing Tihota a lot more since I’m buying a FB soon (yay) and, although these are somewhat similar, I’ve been noticing their significant differences. I’m doing a side-by-side comparison now. Tihota is much much much better. It’s sweeter and richer but also darker and deeper. It’s purer, has more substance and is more refined with extraordinarily high quality ingredients. I give Vanilla Lace 8/10 but I love and crave Tihota much more.
Miss Dior Cherie by Dior EDP Discontinued
Notes: Strawberry, tangerine, caramel, popcorn, violet, jasmine, patchouli, cherry, rose, amber and musk.
I was given a small bottle of this when I was a young teenager so it was what I would use when I was going out to a fancy dinner or party. I got this out when I started my perfume obsession earlier in the year and was utterly desolate when I learned that it had been discontinued.
Since I only have about 4ml of this left I really want another bottle. I smelt the new Miss Dior at my local department store and it smells nothing like this unique beauty. Miss Dior Cherie is a happy, sparkly, sweet, champagne scent. The opening is slightly fruity with tangerine and a touch of pineapple before a gorgeous syrupy strawberry and cherry comes into play. Caramel, popcorn and rose bloom in it’s heart before the patchouli and amber take it.
It’s light, musky and sweet. I mostly get a strawberry, caramel, patchouli musk and it’s so unique. It does have a slightly carnival aspect with the caramel and popcorn. The patchouli tones it down a bit whilst simultaneously making it slightly sexy. I get rose but, thankfully, don’t get jasmine. It gets powdery as it dries down.
This is a little bit of everything. Floral. Fruity. Gourmand. Chypre. It’s so bubbly and cheerful. It smells like a nice rich girl doing some shopping at a mall. Whenever I wear this is makes me happy. Sillage and longevity are moderate. 7.5/10.
Jua by Trilogy 7.5ml Oil for $25 NZD at a local pharmacy
Notes: Top notes are bergamot, rose and freesia; middle notes are apricot, olibanum and mint; base notes are cedar, vetiver and vanilla.
This is a New Zealand (yay!) natural perfume oil which is super awesome. Sunflower oil is the base of the fragrance so it does have whispers of Sunflower which adds to the vibe of this perfume. I get very little bergamot but a lot of rose and freesia which carry most of the fragrance.
A soft vanilliac apricot, slightly smoky olinanum and a touch of mint come into play to make Jua unique. It’s still mostly freesia to me with a bit of a grassy-hay vetiver and a touch of cedar to give it a woody aspect at it’s base. It does have a slight soapy scent at times. It’s warm, feels like a hug from a mother or rolling around in grass on a summers day. It reminds me of my childhood and has a kind of strange mature innocence to it.
It’s a bright, sunny, subtle and slightly-green Oriental Floral perfume. The sillage is soft to medium and it lasts about 2-3 hours on me. It’s a Spring scent and since Jua means ‘sun’ or ‘sunshine’ in Swahili it’s very accurate. It’s not exactly my kind of thing but I like it and some money from sales will go to charity. 5.5/10.
Vaniglia del Madagascar 100ml EDP for $160 USD on LuckyScent
Notes: Lemon, floral notes, amber notes and Madagascar vanilla.
I was recommended this as a vanilla lover and was excited to try my sample but when I did I can barely smell it. I actually had to apply very heavily, almost pouring half the sample on my wrist, before I get something. I get an alcoholic lemon burst for a few seconds but after that only the tiniest trail of a creamy vanilla with some floral notes.
There’s this soft lemon-vanilla cream meringue aspect with a noticeable warm amber. This is very nice and the amber is particularly dominant. The lemon fades and some floral notes (heliotrope?) come through but it’s mostly vanilla-amber. It’s extraordinary light, subtle and airy.
After an hour I can barely smell anything at all. I get whispers of this coming back every now and then but it’s hardly there. I think I’d like this if it was MUCH stronger – it’s just so watered down to me. Maybe it’s my body chemistry or I got a bad sample because few others seem to be pointing this out. 5.5/10.