Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki Review

Sensei

Sensei by Piotr Czarnecki                                                3 x 33ml EDT/EDP/EXT for $160 USD at Luckyscent

Notes: Whiskey, coffee, tobacco, pepper, cinnamon, incense, myrrh, spicy accord, ambrette, labdanum, benzoin, amber and musk.

Czarnecki has created an interesting and unique perfume with three different concentrations; Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and pure extract. Each one will have a slightly different smell with certain notes taking the lead. I’m trying a sample of the EDP.

Woah, the opening is powerful. It opens all myrrh, pepper and spices with a dash of dark whisky on me. It’s very dry, earthy and masculine. It has an almost leathery aspect. The tobacco and coffee (pure beans) then come into play which gives it a kind of wispy quality. Sometimes I get hints of clove and anise which I don’t particularly like. It’s warm, golden and slightly mysterious. It’s definitely Oriental but has a Gourmand aspect.

It smells like a well-dressed man who is just passing his middle-age and is smoking something strong whilst sitting on a bench surrounded by autumn leaves. This man is powerful, wealthy and knows what he wants. He’s probably a lawyer or an old-style gangsta or, yes, a professor. Strangely I get a Person of Interest or even James Bond vibe from it. I think Sensei is a good name for it.

It softens about half an hour in and edges more towards the gender-neutral line. It also gets sweeter (as opposed to the initial sour opening) with the cinnamon. I like it’s development as it dries down because it feels more like holding a hot beverage whilst sitting by a fire. It’s like a hot chocolate rum with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Amber shines through here.

It’s almost like this perfume has two distinctly different halves. I can see the second half on women but, like Spiritueuse Double Vanille, it feels slightly too old for me. After a couple of hours it becomes fainter and turns into a skin scent. I like it and might buy a bottle sometime. 7.5/10.

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White Musk Smoky Rose by The Body Shop Review

White Musk Smoky Rose by The Body Shop 30ml EDT for $35 NZD

Notes: Bergamot, pink pepper and black currant, tobacco blossom, black rose, orange blossom, immortelle, olibanum and white musk.

I bought this for a friend of mine but thought I should review it first. Upon first spray, after the alcohol settles, it reminds me of something sweet and mysterious from the nineties that I can’t place. I get black current and rose enhanced by pink pepper as well as something close to caramel toffee.

It’s a little bit smoky (tobacco blossom and olibanum) which, along with the rose, makes me think masquerade. It creates a dry-ice enigmatic fog kind of smoky atmosphere as opposed to heady incense one. It’s slightly resinous and spicy which blends perfectly with it’s sweeter aspects. It is indeed plum in colour and rather airy.

The rose, berry and musk are the stars. It’s soft and graceful but not really dark and intoxicating. It’s somewhat charming and illusive with a dash of sultry. It’s lingers and trails. It’s quite warm and cosy but clean as well. At times it has a slightly soapy aspect. It becomes almost powdery and vanillic when it dries down. The musk shines as the base and whispers throughout the composition. It has low to medium sillage but after an hour or so hours it settles into a skin-scent and lasts for about 4 hours. I might have to buy a bottle of this for myself. 7/10.

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Vanille Noire du Mexique by La Maison de la Vanille Review

16500Vanille Noire du Mexique                                          100ml EDT for $60 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Vanilla, rose, jasmine, iris, tonka bean, patchouli and bergamot.

I brought the set of all 5 La Maison de la Vanille 15ml EDT’s for $50 on Luckyscent and thought each perfume deserved its own review rather than a combined set one. Vanille Noire du Mexique opens with a fresh, almost spicy, bergamot. This top note is very fizzy and almost like those dissoluble cold medicine tablets that I used to have when I was little. After a few minutes this settles into a powdery and velvet iris with a touch of patchouli. I find the patchouli, which some sites don’t list but is definitely there, more prominent and sweeter in warmer weather than colder.

I, thankfully, don’t get any jasmine but I do get the faintest whiff of a dry and dusty rose. It’s rather earthy and I’m happy when the tonka-bean and vanilla finally appear in the base. It’s not too sweet and certainly not gourmand. This is possibly the darkest scent of the set – hence the noire. It has a slight soapy aspect which parallels with it’s slightly spicy aspect.

It’s exotic and powerful but also contained. It can be alluring and dangerous. Something a warrior ninja would wear. The kind of person I imagine this on wears a ribbon in their hair, has a sad darkness to them, wears black clothing and has a femininity to them. I imagine someone like Blake Belladona from RWBY wearing this. It’s also slightly gothic ivy, stone and velvet. It has medium sillage with about 4 hours of longevity similar to the rest of the collection. 7/10.

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Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar by La Maison de la Vanille Review

16503Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar                                   100ml EDT for $60 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Vanilla, sandalwood, lavender, incense, vetiver, coriander, thyme, geranium and bergamot.

I brought the set of all 5 La Maison de la Vanille 15ml EDT’s for $50 on Luckyscent and it is, perhaps, one of my best buys. I thought that each perfume deserved their own review rather than a combined set one. I love this collection and think it is a must for vanilla-lovers.

Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar opens with a subtly refreshing and spicy combination of bergamot and lavender with a touch of coriander and thyme. The lavender smoothly transitions into a smoky vanilla, sandalwood and vetiver with a hint of geranium heart. The vetiver and geranium fade and my favourite combination of vanilla and sandalwood settles into a glorious base. It’s warm and cozy but also mysterious and misty. It’s slightly powdery, woody, soft and musky. It smells like dreams and adventures. It smells exotic but homely. It smells like markets and gardens. It reminds me of the song ‘Scarborough Fair.’ It smells Celtic. It smells magical.

I applaud this wonderfully blended perfume and must say that it’s one of my favourites. It’s rather sexy, both cool and warm as well as being gender-neutral. It’s slightly honeyed with a touch of floral sweetness. It’s mature and worldly and easily wearable. You could wear it anywhere and at any-time and it’s sooo affordable. It’s got medium sillage and lasts about 5 hours. I carry it with me in my purse and will by the 100ml FB when I run out. 7.5/10.

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Alchemic Muse Perfume Sample Review

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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.

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Gothic I by Loree Rodkin Review

Gothic I by Loree Rodkin                                  50ml EDP for $140 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Vanilla pod, Madagascar vanilla, spice accord, Tunisian patchouli and Indian patchouli.

The description on Lucky Scent does it justice “A moody vanilla shrouded in a mist of light woods and patchouli. Sensuous and unrepentant. We picture long hair whipping in the wind, a search by candlelight and a man driven half mad by love. Still, for all of its gorgeous drama, we could wear this everyday. It has the luxuriant skin-caressing softness of a vintage silk velvet cape. Worn over nothing. Voluptuous and mesmerizing.”

It opens with a deep and velvety vanilla, backed up by a dark patchouli and smoky spices. I really like the vanilla in this, it’s warm and full-bodied. The Patchouli is a strong force, dirty and earthy. Gothic I flickers like a candle between the Patchouli and the Vanilla – some reviewers have mentioned this might have to do with temperature; that the vanilla is more prominent in cooler temperatures and the patchouli is more prominent warmer temperatures. It’s very complex and well blended.

This is rich, luxurious, silky, seductive, mysterious, dark and dramatic. However, at times, I’m sure some people will find it medicinal or too incensey. This perfume is quite powerful and not for the light-hearted but it’s not at all too much for me. It’s reminds me of things like Phantom of the Opera and Sarah Brightman – both of which I love.

I believe you’d have to be a certain type of person to pull Gothic I off which, at times, I am so I’m probably going to have to buy a full bottle of this. It’s my dark secret. Some people have said this is really sweet but I find it actually suits it’s name, gothic, with only a touch of vanillac and patchouli-esque sweetness. It’s a definitely a night perfume and I’d keep it away from the office. It’s more suited to colder seasons and smells like an alternative shop. Both the sillage and longevity are medium on me. 8/10.

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Les Nombres d`Or Vanille by Mona di Orio Review

Les Nombres d’Or Vanille by Mona di Orio                 100ml EDP for $230 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Top notes are petitgrain, clove, rum and bitter orange; middle notes are vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac wood and ylang-ylang; base notes are amber, tonka bean, vanille, tolu balsam, leather and musk.

This opens on me as very woody with an emphasis on clove and bitter orange. After about half an hour in it settles into a rum dipped sandalwood and guaiac wood perfume with a hint of tonka bean. I think it’s the vetiver which is giving it an almost fresh and sharp grassy wood scent.

I finally get something resembling Vanilla about an hour in with the amber – it’s subtle and blended with the woods. The noticeable hints of tolu balsam and leather blend with the perfume perfectly. It reminds me ever so slightly of Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors but more expensive and executed differently. Memoirs has a lighter smoked wood campfire feel whilst this is deeper, woodier and smells like being trapped in a sauna-room or cargo-hold for too long.

I think this is indeed artfully blended and well worth it’s popularity but it’s slightly too masculine and woody for me. It’s dark and deep. Bitter and smoky. There is a rich story in this, a cargo hold of a merchant ship on the high seas. Pirates and cigars sitting on barrels drinking rum.

I’m currently reading a book called S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst and this perfume reminds me of it and what I imagine the Ship of Theseus to smell like. I was expecting to love this but it doesn’t really suit me – I think I’d like it on a guy. I like the story Mona’s Vanille tells, sniffing it like a decoration – a ship in a glass bottle if you will, but it’s not something I’d actively wear. 7.5/10.