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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review & Recommendation: ZOMG Smells' Spoopy Life (3 scents)

Happy New Year everyone! This post is a very short scent review this time!

I got to try 3 scents from ZOMG Smells' Spoopy Life collection thanks to Ajevie's decants. This is my first ZOMG Smells orders and I have to say I'm impressed with the quality and uniqueness of these scents! Even though I only found 1 scent I liked out of the 3, the quality of these scents are still great.

The scents usually start of at faux whispering distance, though some notes float up to casual conversation distance. It goes down to whispering distance at about 40 min and by 2h, you have to get close to your skin to catch a whiff.

So on to reviews! As usual, reviews are done blind until the TL;DR's written. If anything in the notes surprise me, I write an overview.

Orc Audacious

"Iris, Ylang-Ylang, orchid, deeply feminine musk, and the faint, sweet smoke of your warband's campfire."

Oh my god, this is gorgeous! It's a clean floral scent, with the bitterness of orchids. I'm just really impressed they captured that bitter orchid scent. I know it's not for everyone though, since I've heard the smell of orchids compared to death before. There's also a smoked wood base to this. This is definitely a unique yet extremely classy, high end sort of floral scent, and the bitterness adds a dark mysteriousness to it.

It smells like a very expensive, artistic floral arrangement by an artist that wants to make an emo statement with flowers for irony, or a scent that can easily be the scent of the year among the fashionable crowd who are attempting to achieve a mysterious, ethereal look through emaciation, and want a perfume to capture that. Here's the perfect model for this scent.
And add a touch of emo-ness because that totally adds depth to your character.
Amazing photography by Brian Harwood, the model's name is Sasha and I can't find any other info on her.
Oh, and just because you guys would crack up over this too, here's one of the comments on that picture:

Unfortunately, after 40 min, the scent dries down to just a very, very sweet scent, with a hint of bitterness.

TL;DR: Dark, mysterious and clean florals.

Peasant Under Glass

"This tastefully entrapped peasant has been fed fresh, wholesome peasant loaves, white cake, and rubbed with white musk, lemongrass and ginger. The cow in the picture is just for decor."

This smells like a perfumed spiced cake. The perfumed bit got sweeter and stronger until it smells like a yellow car perfume that comes in tins. It's a bit too strong and cloying for me. The initial spiced cake scent was delicious though, and I can still smell it underneath, but it's drowned out by the cloying sweetness.

TL;DR: Really sweet yellow car perfume with hints of spiced cake.

Overview: I definitely can identify the lemongrass on 2nd sniff. It's the part that turns yellow car perfume.


"Niaouli, dripping honey, and the beguiling notes of a forest rendezvous."

Omg, medicinal wood! Really, really medicinal wood. With something icy. The wood is medicinal in more like the mushrooms and European herbal salves sort of way. I'm now thinking of Granny Weatherwax.
One of my favourite characters ever and this is the closest illustration to how I imagine her to look like.
Artwork by Paul Kidby

I don't know how many of you read Terry Pratchett's Discworld, but Granny Weatherwax is one of his characters. She's a witch who prefers using psychology and medical knowledge rather than magic to help people. This is how I imagine she'd smell like after making a round around the village –soaked in herbal salves for healing wounds, but still radiating her usual steely, icy coolness.

TL;DR: Granny Weatherwax

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: An Alkemia Yule Review!

Alkemia is seriously generous! So I ended up buying 3 bottles of Offering because I'm so hooked on that scent and it'll be discontinued soon, and a 5-piece sampler set in 2 separate orders. Check out what I got:

Yup. 2 free samples for each order! 4 free samples total! And a free bottle of Yuletide Blessings as part of Alkemia's Black Friday sale! Yay!

So now you guys are getting a review of 10 Yule scents instead! All these scents can be found under the New Releases section on Alkemia's Etsy page.

Change in setting! I'm in LA right now!

As usual, reviews are done blind until the TL;DR's written. If anything in the notes surprise me, I write an overview.


Bellos Encantos 

"(Beautiful Charms): Delectably rich chai-spiced shortbread; candied ginger; golden honey; Mexican vanilla; and sweet Benzoin Siam."

Eggnog with fizzy ginger ale and spicy wood. By about 5-8min, it just becomes a sunblock-ish eggnog.

TL;DR: Sunblock-ish eggnog.

Overview: I'm guessing it's the mixture of all that turning eggnog on me. Not sure what's behind the sunblock-ish scent. It's usually a coconut note going wrong.


Deseo Ardiente

"Deseo Ardiente (Smouldering Desire): A provocative blend of smouldering spices - star anise, nutmeg, clove, and piquant ginger; crisp gingersnaps; lemon peel; and Karkaar frankincense."

I smell a delicious bakery with a strong wood resin scent. The wood resin bit has a bit of a bitterness that makes me think of freshly made wooden furniture with fresh lacquer. After about 20 min, the lacquer bit disappeared, but the bakery scent faded as well. Now there's this sour, dry wood scent —it's that sour, astringent wood that some perfumers use as a tea note. The perfumed wood resin bit is more prominent though. I have a feeling the perfumed wood resin bit is supposed to be "oud", but since I'm spoiled by high quality Sumbawan oud, I tend to find a lot of synthetic ouds poor copies of actual oud.

I put this on while my mom was taking me furniture shopping at Urban Home (I got bored) and my mom thought the scent came from the store. She thought they had some sort of bakery scented candle burning and it was mixing with the new wooden furniture smell. I immediately took a picture of what she was looking at so you guys know what this scent smells like:

TL;DR: Wood furniture store that has a bakery scented candle burning.

Overview: Yay! It's not oud! I guess the perfumed wood resin is the Karkaar frankincense.


Eggnog Noel

"A luscious blend of delectably creamy eggnog with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a splash of dark Caribbean rum. We are not responsible for any surprise mistletoe kisses..."

I smell eggnog, but the first 5 min was there was a strong sour smell and a melting plastic scent. The sour bit disappeared after 5 min, but the melting plastic didn't.

TL;DR: Eggnog with melting plastic.

Overview: Maybe it's the rum going crazy on me? Or just the actual eggnog note not working out?



"Includes crossroads jasmine, almond blossoms, white carnations, red rose, patchouli, cinnamon, and Bourbon vanille along with secret ingredients that we have promised not to disclose."

Very, very sweet cottony smell that may be ylang ylang. There's hints of dirty green too. The dirty bit was really strong in the beginning but got less prominent as the scent wears on.  

By about 10min, it becomes this spiced rose & a medley of florals tea, and it's a warmer, heavier sort of scent. Makes me think of one of those tea places that sell all sorts of creative, artistic blends that look more like decorative potpourri rather than tea. The kind of tea that'll look way better than they taste most of the time.

This is Teavana's Slimful Chocolate Decadence Oolong Tea. Slimful is officially the saddest invented word ever.
Image courtesy of Teavana

TL;DR: Warm & heavy spiced rose & floral medley tea.


Memoria Seductora 

"(Beguiling Memory): Warm Christmas cake studded with clove; candied mandarin orange peel; carmelized figs and dates; treacle toffees; and smoked amber."

There's a nutty,wooden scent with a dirt green spearmint scent. There's a chemical-ish scent in it too, which disappeared on me after 10-15 min, but that may be something to watch out for. At the 15 min mark, there's a smoked scent in this. Now it has that smoky roasted peanut scent that Darling Clandestine's Carny Wedding has, only this scent has a slightly icy, artificial candy sweetness mixed into it. 

TL;DR: Smoky roasted peanut with slightly icy, artificial candy. 


Mistress of Misrule

"Mistress of Misrule is a mischievous blend of flirtatious black currant and an intoxicating blend of opium drenched resins."

I smell slightly cloying artificial fruits with a cool, woody-green sort of scent that's often an artificial pine note. I can't really identify what fruits it is, but it'll be one of those fruit mix candies that are purple in colour.

TL;DR: Purple fruit candies & cool, woody-green.

Overview: The opium notes I get often smell either like joss-sticks or game-y incense. I tried sniffing it again, and I'm not getting any of those scents, so either Alkemia uses a different opium note, or the opium is really quiet in this scent.


The Decadents 

"A hedonistic hymn of spiced black rum, Russian vodka, intoxicating cacao, honied tobacco, dark amber, vanilla infused opium, pheromone drenched musks, and a dangerously seductive tease of leather."

This is a chocolatey-sweet, dusty sort of rounded scent. There's a luxurious base to the scent and a spray of sweetness that's almost dusty floating up. It's definitely a decadent, luxurious scent that makes me of walking around in Neiman Marcus. It's a scent I can easily imagine on the middle-aged ladies there. Not the dowdy type of middle-aged ladies –the type of middle-aged ladies who are still polished and elegant. When I describe this scent as more mature than old, I'm not being diplomatic. It's a scent I can imagine on any of the Indonesian moms, who usually invade Neiman Marcus in Rodeo so often, they actually have Indonesian-speaking staff there.

This is one of my mom's friends and she's actually in her late 40s here. Yup. She's so freaking gorgeous. She's the founder of Miss Indonesia and every year, everyone would comment about how she looks so much prettier than all the contestants who are half her age. Oh, and she's a sweetheart who's incredibly nice to everyone.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Rich, middle-aged women.


Wild Swans at Coole

"An enchantingly fae blend of sweet flag, orris root, fen violet, wild autumn orchids, blue moor-grass, blackthorn wood, drying ferns, dried sedge grasses soaked in dew, and veils of mist parting over lake water."

This is a sweet sort of soapy blue scent. There's hints of grassiness in it too. It starts off pretty sweet in the beginning, like most blue scents, but the sweetness gets less prominent and the soapy scent's the part that's in the foreground. It really smells like a soap scent, which is great since it makes you smell like you just stepped out of the shower....smelling extra glamorous "naturally".

Yup, she totally stepped out of the shower looking like this.
Stunning photography by Tony Dudley

TL;DR: Sweet soapy blue.


Woods On A Snowy Evening

"Freshly fallen powder snow, juniper berries, hemlock pine, white needle balsam pine, flat cedar, camphorous evergreens, and icy aquatic elements."

This is an icy, woody blue scent. It leans on the masculine side from all the masculine sort of woody scent. The icy part is a very sharp, balsam sort of icy, and when mixed with blue bit, it makes me think of a very sharp mint offered in a very luxurious bathroom. The sweetness in this scent is fruity candy sort of sweetness that's mostly sweet with just hints of tartness. 

TL;DR: Icy, woody blue with fruity candy sweetness.


Yuletide Blessing

"An incantation of traditional Yuletide offerings to welcome the return of the sun and bring blessings for the coming year - bayberry for wealth, pine for health, cedar for protection, cinnamon for good luck, bay for wisdom, cloves for friendship, frankincense for gratitude, myrrh for material abundance, and a touch of spiced fruitcake for a loving and happy home."

This smells like a spiced fizzy ginger ale with a hint of woodiness. I have a 2013 and 2014 version, so I can compare them both. The 2014 version is sweeter than the 2013 version, and has less of the wood, and more of a bit more fizzy bite to it.

TL;DR: Spiced fizzy ginger ale.

Overview: Ok, frankincense & myrrh often smells like potpourri, but this scent doesn't at all. I can smell hints of potpourri if I'm looking out for it, but it's mostly buried by the spiced ginger ale scent, which I'm guessing is coming from a combination of bayberry and spiced fruitcake. The fizziness may be a wood resin bite from the pine & cedar.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Review: Alchemic Muse Bath Products (5 Mostly Winter Scents)

I finally finished trying out my Alchemic Muse's (AM's) bath products! For my past review of the perfumes, you can head here.

So as you can see from the picture above, these come shrink-wrapped. There's also an additional seal inside:

Yes, the packing is very secure. So here's the review bit:


Foaming Body Scrub

This has larger sugar granules so they scrub hard. Definitely a fan of that. So what's a foaming body scrub? It's basically a scrub that also has soap in it, so there's a lather when you use it. Think of it as a soap that you don't need a loofah for. I keep getting asked to compare soapy scrubs to Haus of Gloi's (HoG's) bubbling scrub  so I'll use that as a reference.

AM's foaming body scrub is definitely tied with HoG's bubbling scrub for my favourite soapy scrub. They're both equally good, but different, so your preference depends on what you're looking for. HoG's soapy scrub has smaller granules of sugar, so it doesn't scrub as hard. When you use it, it's more like soap with a shower pouf. Meanwhile, AM's is like scrubbing with a really rough loofah, so you really exfoliate. It's definitely a tad too exfoliating for daily use, unlike HoG's. I also get more of that dry feeling from AM's soapy scrub, but it could be because I tend to go nuts with my exfoliating frenzy.

Scent-wise, you get more of a scent pay off from HoG. HoG's soapy scrub scents fills up the entire bathroom. Meanwhile, AM's soapy scrubs loses most of their scent as soon as you wet it, and what you get is this unscented soap scent, which I'm assuming is the base scent the soapy scrub comes with.

TL;DR: If you want more scrub than soap, you go for AM. If you want more soap than scrub, you go for HoG.

The texture's like a normal scrub when dry.

Anyway, foaming body scrub scents review:

Cocoa Bee

"A indulgent creation of fragrant black honey and warm propolis intermingled with dark cocoa, fiery spice, and shreds of bitter almonds."

Omg, this has that amazing honey Zombee has! It's that extremely fragrant honey that usually comes in jars with detailed drawings of bees and flowers. Oh, and there's cocoa in it. I love, love, love the honey bit. The lingering scent it leaves behind on me is kinda off though. Like waxy honey with whispers of cocoa. I still like it though. I think Alchemic Muse's honey is one of my favourite honey note (closely tied with NAVA's woody honey notes).


"Wassail is a medieval hot, spiced punch often associated with Yuletide. Juicy apples and orange zest simmering with warm spices of fresh ginger, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg spiked with vintage ale and dark patchouli."

My boyfriend and I are torn on whether it smells more like Coke or Rootbeer. Either way, it's a fizzy soft drink. Definitely a happy smell if you love fizzy soft drinks.


Cream Soap Review

The texture is more like a normal bar soap that's been softened after many uses:

As you can see, I had to struggle a bit to poke through it. It's pretty stiff.
Like a softened bar soap, it tends to stick to your skin:
Takes a while to wash off.

Like the foaming scrub, the scent tends to disappear once it hits water too, leaving behind a soapy base scent. As for how drying the soap is, it's more drying than HoG's whipped soap, but waaay less drying than most bar soaps.


"Choose the path to your own happy ending by virtue of sweet wild strawberries intertwined with woodland roses underscored by mysterious woods, forest earth, and a hint of animal musk."

It just smells like a tutti frutti scent. When you sniff it in the jar, there's a weird waxy scent, but you can't really smell it while you're using it. The smell it leaves behind is just a tutti frutti sort of scent. Definitely a scent that's more for little kids.

Figgy Pudding

"Festive and delicious! Sugary dried figs simmered in brandy with shavings of nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cinnamon leaf spooned over creamy tapioca and drizzled with a honeyed vanilla glaze."

It smells kinda like a fruity pudding, but there's an off smell I can't place. It smells like a fruity pudding flavoured medicine, where the manufacturer has tried their best to hide the scent from kids but your nose is sending red flags to your brain to tell you there's something wrong. It's not a bad smell, but it's just off. I can't really smell the fall spices in this.


Body Whip Review

Formula-wise, this definitely feels oily for a long time. Even after 35 minutes, I still feel that oily, thick lotion feeling on my skin. My skin definitely feels soft, but I've gotten spoiled by Haus of Gloi's pumpkin butters and want the stickiness to go away faster.


"Dark and beguiling… dusty casks of warm blackberry wine laden with wild herbs and acrid tea leaves amid whispers of warm skin musk, crackling firewood, and a somber touch of freshly dug earth."

Um...I can't really smell much. There's something faintly lemon-y and berry-ish but the rest smells like those supposedly unscented body lotion that ends up smelling like old oils. When I read the scent description, I was a bit surprised since I expect the scent to be stronger and heavier. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: Mixtape September: The Death of Summer Tracklist + Fall in Loveby Conjure Oils

At first, I wasn't going to review my Conjure Oils' Mixtape September: The Death of Summer Tracklist,  since the collection was sold out by the time my decants got to me (I waited too long to send my decants back, not Ajevie's fault). However, when Vajra mentioned in a Facebook post that the scents are all still available until the end of the year and can be bought if you email her, I decided to go ahead and review these scents in case anyone's thinking of getting them.

This is my 3rd Conjure Oils review and for my previous reviews, you can click on the Conjure Oils tag on the side or here.

For this review, I'm reviewing all 10 scents from The Death of Summer collection, as well as Fall in Love, a standalone limited edition scent. All the scents from The Death of Summer collection are named after a song, so I've linked the song in the titles of each scent review. As usual, reviews are done blind until the TL;DR's written. If anything in the notes surprise me, I write an overview.


A Day - Clan of Xymox

"Tonka bean, Indian patchouli, cinnamon, orange blossom, black currant and wildflower honey."

This is a gorgeous honey scent! It's on of those honey notes that would be on a high key if it's a music note. It's not piercing though, though that part can be subjective. There's definitely citrus in this, but the citrus is more like a candied clementines sort of sweet, mellowed citrus. It's not the fresh, zing-y citrus. This floral-citrus honey scent makes me think of one of those gourmet honeys that are flavoured with all sorts of fruits/herbs/flowers/spices to the point where it can be a standalone dessert. There's also a slight creamy nut scent mixed into it, which sometimes smells a bit waxy. Not sure if the waxy part is deliberate.

Definitely a scent that makes you feel like prancing in fields with a picnic basket packed by a Michelin star café. I was kinda surprised when I heard the song since if I'm picking a song for this, it'll be an uplifting, happy country music sort of song. First song that came to my mind was Kacey Musgraves' Follow Your Arrow, which is awesome song you should check out if you haven't. Oh, and the photo to accompany this has to be this:

We can blame the dog for the waxy smell.
Gorgeous photography by Celine Bissat

TL;DR: Floral-citrus honey.

Overview: Oh wow, I would never have guessed there's patchouli in this because it's so quiet. If you hate patchouli, don't worry, it's not a loud note you can sniff out.


Charlotte Sometimes - The Cure

"The recollection of a fading dream: vanilla cream, Mirabella plum, Parma violet, ruby pomegranate, clove and a drop of ginger."

A scary savoury sour broth smell erupted as soon as I opened the bottle, which freaked me out. I tried it on my skin anyway and know how something can smell crap in the bottle but smell great on your skin? That's what I thought would happen when I got the initial burst of violets on my skin, but this sour chilli scent took over literally seconds later.

I smell a soapy, waxy sort of violet floating up, but the star player in this scent is that sour chilli pepper that makes me think of Tom Yum instant noodles.

TL;DR: Thai instant noodles with a spicy-sour broth + soapy, waxy violets.

Overview: Another one of Conjure Oils' scents, Slasher Chic, also turned into this Tom Yum instant noodles scent too. Unfortunately, Slasher Chic's notes is completely useless for figuring out which note's to blame:

"The waters of Camp Crystal Lake, the steamy hiss of a boiler room and a dark Halloween night of crisp leaves and doom."

Maybe it's the ginger?

Update Sep 30, 2015: The scent is less savoury now. Once the scent settles after about 5 min, it's a much better version of the scent 9 months ago. It's still definitely really peppery, but it's a more wearable sort of peppery scent. It smells like gorgeous, soapy violets with a green pepper spice. It's really clean and poised, and I can see this scent on a sharp woman who's flying up the career leather dressed in tailored pant suits. It's still not for me, but I can see women who prefer more masculine scents liking this.


Die Interimsliebenden - Einstürzende Neubauten

"Delicate hummingbird attracting blossoms, honey incense, amber cream, spiced myrrh and white tea."

On the bottle, I got that game-y incense note NAVA loves to use but on my skin...woww. It's a clean, salty & spicy sort of scent. The spicy part initially tingles your nose the way pure chilli powder does but that bit calms down after a few minutes. It's also not mixed with any of the sourness that often comes with spicy notes. This scent has this really unique heavier, almost musky sort of cottony baby oil and honey scent that I just love.

The cottony baby oil and honey part makes me think of serene, elegant new mothers, but the salty and spicy part of the scent just gives this scent an edginess that makes me think of an elegant young mom with a lot of steel. She'll be the type who puts the baby to sleep in between international conference calls from her very efficiently run home office. The type of woman who'll casually close a hostile takeover bid with an elegant smile before anyone finishes underestimating her.

This is a picture I took of  a family friend. As you can see, she's a gorgeous, stunning woman even though she's in her 40s in this photo. She's also the CEO of a multi-million dollar company she started on her own. Anyway, she clearly doesn't realize how beautiful she is because once, a guy about half her age stopped her and told her, "I've been following you. I think you're sooooo beautiful! Can we be friends?"

Instead of realizing that she is probably the first woman that socially awkward guy ever attempted to pick up, her first thought was, "Ohmygod he must be trying to ROB me!"

She ran for it. 

TL;DR: Your typical Indonesian female CEO.

Overview: Oh wow...I thought myrrh is a death-note for me, but apparently not!


Grace - Jeff Buckley

"Black patchouli, pink pepper, Indian jasmine, deep sandalwood and a sultry drop of ylang ylang."

There's a dry, sour woodiness in it, and a scent that really makes me think of Indonesia. Maybe there's dragon's blood in this. It smells like going into one of those high end spas in Bali that try their best to look "traditional" by building luxurious, air-conditioned wooden huts. This is the kind of scent they'll use –woody, warm oils infused with Balinese florals (usually some combination of jasmines, ylang ylang, champaka), and of course, a faux ancient smell that's most probably from patchouli. As if scent can convince people that an air-conditioned hut is totally traditionally Indonesian and bursting with local mystic wisdom.

The dry down is that extremely dry and sour wood scent that some perfumers use as their black tea note. I don't think it's a black tea note though, since I had successes with Conjure's black tea note before. My boyfriend asked me to scrub it off since he described it at "vomit-y".

TL;DR: Faux traditional wooden massage hut in Indonesia.

Overview: I think it's the pink pepper causing the sourness. Patchouli, sandalwood & jasmine are often scents used for dragon's blood, so no surprises there.

Update Sep 30, 2015: The sourness is gone! It's definitely the most beautiful, complex ylang ylang scent I've ever tried and I like it a LOT.


I Can't Hardly Stand It - The Cramps 

"Sorrowful notes of King mandarin, bergamot, juicy peach, black tea and Moroccan myrrh."

Wow, this scent is a trip. At first, I was so sure I got orange candy, then it became a bit more like a Japanese/Korean peach tea drink. Right as I started typing it up, it turned into sweet earl grey tea, with a bit of dustiness. I still smell whiffs of peaches every now and then, but it mostly blended into the tea sweetness. It makes me think of an Asian earl grey mint (which, like a lot of Asian mints, is more cool than minty), that comes with some fruity flavouring.

TL;DR: Asian fruity earl grey mint.

Overview: While I'm waffling on getting this in full-size, I have to say that this black tea note is one of my favourite tea notes.


I Melt With You - Modern English 

"Dark chocolate, woodsmoke, toasted marshmallow and aged vanilla extract."

Omg, this is so delicious! Actual chocolate and marshmallows! That doesn't smell artificial or plasticky! Omg, LOVE. Unfortunately, I raved too soon. As the scent wears on, there's times when the scent is on the verge of developing a plasticky oil (think sunblock left out for too long) scent. My skin behaved though, so it stayed mostly smelling of s'mores, with just a hint of plasticky oil. I'm definitely nervous about getting this in full-size though. I had another s'mores scent, Alchimia Apothecary's Gimme S'more, and that did NOT age well at all. After a few months, it became straight up plastic and old oils, with hints of woodiness. I had to swap it. I'm definitely worried this would age badly as well.

TL;DR: S'mores with a hint of plasticky oil.

Update Sep 30, 2015: After 9 months of aging, the plasticky part is gone! It's now delicious marshmallows and chocolates, with just hints of graham crackers that could be from the woodsmoke. I love it!


Pink Moon - Nick Drake

"Pink grapefruit, delphinium, pink calla lily and crimson dragon's blood."

I smell cool, elegant florals like lillies or gardenia. There's a bit of woodiness in this too, but it's very, very subtle and blends really well with the florals. The scent has a bit of a powderiness to it, but it's more of a clean, light and cool sort of powderiness. If I'm picking an ad for it, it's definitely this one:

There's something about this scent that makes me think of a grey, white and blue colour palette. And definitely something high fashion.
Gorgeous photography by Katherline Lydia

It's a scent that's florid yet tastefully elegant as well, it's just so high fashion.

TL;DR: High fashion cool, florals with hints of powder and wood.

Overview: I definitely could not have guessed those notes since pink grapefruit isn't something I expect in a scent so elegant. Dragon's blood often has wood in the blend, so that's probably causing the woody scent.


Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down - Interpol

"Serpentine blue musk, salty sea air, bioluminescent blossoms and sapphire amber."

This is a very subtle floral blue. Definitely smells more like a high end perfume rather than a roomspray. Something was threatening to go sour on me at first, but my skin behaved and the scent went amazing. It might be something to watch out for though. This scent makes me think of delicate flowers lying on crystalline clear water.

It's such a clear, elegant scent.
Gorgeous photography by Anastasia Ri, she has so many pretty macro works!

It's not too sweet and really has a clear water quality to it. I think I may have to revisit BathSabbath's Holy Diver because this scent can upstage it to become my favourite blue scent! It's such a clean, elegant & sophisticated blue.

TL;DR: Flowers on crystalline clear water. 


Under The Milky Way - The Church

"Toasted black tobacco, oud, aged vanilla resin, roasted almonds and kush."

Whoa. The first thing that exploded was caramelized cough syrup, but it soon calmed down. It's definitely a heavy, warm and sweet scent, like caramel popcorn that's overdone and kinda burnt. There's also this sour, smoked woody scent that makes me think of how an old saloon in one of those Wild West films would smell like –wood, chewed tobacco, lingering brash sweetness of cheap perfume. The only thing missing is the scent of spilled booze.

Add a sepia filter to make it look old.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Western film saloon selling overly burnt popcorn instead of booze during Prohibition.

Overview: I wonder if the slightly bitter, medicinal bit at first is the almonds?

Update Sep 30, 2015: Oh wow. The burnt part is gone, and now it's gorgeous boozy caramel with slightly sour tobacco. The tobacco part lightens the scent and makes it more unique, but I'm still not a fan. I wish it's just the boozy caramel, because it's beautiful!


Wicked Game - Chris Isaak 

"Delicious passionate torture: Wildberry, anise, cinnamon, orange blossom, Haitian vetiver, sandalwood, blood cedar and vanilla."

Ok, there's a cloying fruity scent that smells like kids' fruity flavoured cough syrup (to all medicine manufacturers out there, you're not fooling anyone! They taste like crap. The only advantage is that it strongly discourages kids from faking illnesses). Luckily the fruity scent disappears after about 3-5 min, and now I'm getting this woody scent that smells almost peanut like. There's still a cinnamon candy (like Red Hots) type of cinnamon scent in it. I like the woody peanut but, but the Red Hots type of cinnamon is my least favourite type of cinnamon, so I'm not sure about this scent.

The scent it leaves lingering on your skin is gorgeous though! It's a creamy cinnamon and fruity sort of scent.

TL;DR: Peanut-like wood with Red Hots cinnamon.

Overview: I'm really not sure what combination is creating that peanut-like scent.


Fall In Love

"Envelope yourself in the soft and sultry, where the love of fall and the falling of love collide: sugared fig, black amber incense, toasted coconut, crisp autumn leaves and a slathering of oud."

Oh wow this is complicated. There's something peppery that's the first note that hits you, but then there's creamy coconut with some sweet perfumed water sort of scent. The coconut is an actual shaved coconut scent, not sunblock, so I'm really in love with it. I really like this scent. Floating up, you get this sophisticated sort of sweet scent with a hint of something peppery, and underneath, there's that filling scent of coconuts that make your stomach feel happy.

TL;DR: Sophisticated perfume with filling coconuts underneath.

Overview: I should be able to identify fig by now, but somehow, I always identify it as perfumed/sweet water. Nose fail.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: 7 Scents from Blooddrop's Exquisite Corpse & Horse of the Carousel Collections

This is my 3rd Blooddrop review now! For the other 2 Blooddrop reviews, you can find them under the Blooddrop label on the side or here. In this review, I'm reviewing 4 scents from the Horses of the Carousel collection (here's previous review for another 7 scents from this collection) and all 3 of the Exquisite Corpse scents. I got my decants from Ajevie as usual, you should really check her decant circles out!

Blooddrop Perfume Oil General Review

Now that I've tried 23 scents from Blooddrop, I've come to the conclusion that Blooddrop is much better at florals than gourmands. Their floral blends are usually complex blends that stir your imagination and make you want to plan a photoshoot to create an ad for the scent. Meanwhile, the gourmands are nice enough, but not as impressive as the florals.

Blooddrop's fruit notes tend to be artificial fruit notes, and the kind of artificial fruits that smell more like a room scent rather than candy. It's not necessarily a bad thing. For example, I actually like the scent of artificial melons and I know people who prefer the perfumed scent of artificial apples to actual apples.

Anyway, on to scent reviews! As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written, if any note surprises me, I discuss it in the overview.


I need to preface this by saying that the Horses of the Carousel collection just doesn't agree with me and doesn't reflect Bloddrop's quality at all. I find that a lot of the scents from this collection tend to smell straightforward, and lack the complexity that other Blooddrop scents have.

They also go searingly sweet on me, like a room spray sprayed too close to your face. I suspected this could be because they all have a note in common, so I checked the collection's description and here it is:

With the beginning of the lunar new year on January 31st, the Chinese zodiac is celebrating the year of the horse, and since it is pretty much the year of the horse every year with me, this year is going to be extra equid!
To begin this equi-centric year, I present to you The Horses of the Carousel. It is a small limited edition series that I was inspired to do consisting of magical carousel horses, each having special and unique characteristics, all ridiculously beautiful and ornate, and each one’s perfume being an over the top, delicious and gorgeously decorated cupcake.

I'm guessing their "gorgeously decorated cupcake" note hates me.


The Cauldron Horse

"Chocolate Devil’s food with a marshmallow center and pumpkin whipped cream frosting dusted with clove and a mini pumpkin on top."

Searing, sharply sweet artificial chocolate note. Er, that's it.

TL;DR: ....

Overview: Tried this again, and I think the sweetness and the artificial chocolate note just drowns out all the other more subtle notes. So all you get is just artificial chocolate.


The Falling Horse

"Vanilla cake sweetened with maple syrup, holding a hidden center of pumpkin apple butter and covered in lightly spiced butter cream frosting with a maple candy leaf on top."

I smell a burst of maple syrup but it quickly became overly sweet with something cloying underneath. After about 5 min, I can finally smell apples in this. It smells like candied apples drizzled in maple syrup with extra caramelized sugar drizzled on top. And it's a red apple for extra sweetness.

Imagine this, but 100x sweeter. Think diabetes on a stick.
Image courtesy of

 TL;DR: Diabetes served with a side of candied apples & maple syrup.


The Frozen Horse

"Angel food cake cupcake with pear compote filling and eggnog frosting dusted with pumpkin pie spice."

I smell Blooddrop's artificial pear note in this. There's something creamy mixed into it, and what smells like the artificial fried dough note that's often described by various perfumers as "funnel cake" or "doughnut". Again, the scent is searing sweet. Not the good kind, the room spray sprayed into your nose kind of searing. After 10 min, the sweetness thankfully got less searing. It still smells like an overly sweet fried pear fritter though.

TL;DR: Extremely sweet fried pear fritters


The Lantern Horse

"Pumpkin spiced angel food cake with pumpkin pie custard filling and pumpkin pie spiced whipped cream."

There's the sharply sweet fried dough scent again, like the one in The Frozen Horse. There's something else that smells coffee-like in this, only I can't really tell because the searing sweetness drowns everything else out. It's so sweet, you can practically taste it at the back of your throat.

TL;DR: Very, very sweet artificial fried dough scent.

Overview: I'm guessing Blooddrop's angel food cake note mixed with their pumpkin pie note ends up smelling like that artificial fried dough scent. 


Exquisite Corpse No. 1

"Fig, vanilla, milk chocolate, myrrh, and five year old patchouli."

Oh gods. It smells like dates or sour plums that are in Chinese medicine with patchouli...which usually smells like age & decay. It smells like one of those traditional Chinese medicine in soup form, with sour plums, dates and other tart fruits added in in a sad attempt to make it more palatable.

Does this look appetising to you? Well, it's only because you can't smell it. I bet the photographer was gagging. Or maybe it's a fake soup so the photographer can concentrate on his/her job.
Image courtesy of
The patchouli is so strong. It fills up the entire room and lingers on my skin for hours, even after I washed my arm. Ugghhh.

TL;DR: Chinese medicine soup with sour fruits in a failed attempt to make it taste less crap. 

Overview: I'm guessing the vanilla's what's going sour on me. And it looks like the patchouli spent 5 years learning how to be even more obnoxiously strong.


Exquisite Corpse No. 2

"Cold leather, black tea, forest accord, chrysanthemums, and eucalyptus."

Leather and a green-blue room scent. This is definitely a more expensive room scent that doesn't come in a spray form though. The green-blue (putting the green first because it's heavier on the green) scent is a scent that makes you think of dark green pine trees and crystalline clear waters.
Basically a scent that tries to capture this.
Photo I took in 2012 with a Sony Nex 5. This is in Banff, Canada.

These kind of scents are typically room/ambiance setting scents, which is why it makes me think of a room scent. The leather mixed in makes this a scent that reminds me of car rides in a new car that has leather seats and a very tasteful (and expensive) car perfume.

This scent's throw is really weird on me. At first, I was going to comment about how this has the furthest throw out of my Blooddrop scent because it can easily fill up a small room, but then it crashed and burned after about 10 min, and I have to sniff close to my skin to catch a whiff.

TL;DR: New car with leather seats and a tasteful pine trees & crystalline waters ambiance scent.

Overview: I tried sniffing this again and I still don't smell the icy smell eucalyptus usually comes with. I guess it's just very well blended to add to the water ambiance sort of scent.


Exquisite Corpse No. 3

"Anjou pears, hazelnut, smoke, grey musk, and carnation."

Artificial pear, searing artificial chocolate, and something edible & solid. I wonder if it's Blooddrop's coconut note? I've noticed it worked wonders as a grounding note before. 

After 10 min, it's actually a pretty nice smell. There's a subtle smokey smell, and the chocolate turned into a nutty scent. The pear bit still smells like room spray in a nice waiting room, so the resulting scent is like smelling the most delicious nutty scent while waiting in a waiting room that's smoke free, but have been smoked before thanks to a kitchen accident. 

I kinda wish I can get this exact scent, just without the pears. Blooddrop's pears tend to not work on me. 

TL;DR: Pear room spray in a previously smoked waiting room + delicious nuts. 

FOTD: Christmas Party Make Up!

  • Dior Hydralife BB Cream (Luminous Beige)
  • Tarte bronzer (Park Ave Princess)
  • MUS Wonder Powder (Kalahari)
  • MUS Cover All concealer
  • Hello Waffle blush (Winter Rose)

  • Müse customized colours
  • Urban Decay liners (Freak, Deep End)
  • Clio Kill Black liquid liner
  • Fiberwig mascara
  • Maybeline Falsies mascara


  • Life's Entropy lip theory (Vaccine)

Eye close up:

I love these feather lashes!

Oh, and this is Vaccine 6h later, after dinner and doing a transfer test on the bf. It transferred on him, but the colour stayed put on my lips!

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 2014 Nail Polish Round Up!

Here's my 2nd nail polish round up!

Cult Nails: Tulum, Power Thief

Gradient: Cult Nails' Tulum & Power Thief
Stamping polish: DIY stamping polish. Tutorial on making it here.

Nails Inc: Kensington Palace Gardens, Dolly's: Queen Agnes, & Cult Nails: Two Timer

This was actually a failed attempt at stamping. Luckily, strategic placement of the glitter from Queen Agnes hid the botched up parts. Two Timer is an effect top coat that's supposed to give an emerald shimmer to your nail polish.
Base: Nails Inc's Kensington Palace Gardens
Glitter Topper: Dolly's Queen Agnes
Effect Top Coat: Cult Nails' Two Timer
Stamping polish: DIY stamping polish. Tutorial on making it here.
Another angel to show the shift in Two Timer

Pretty & Polished: Mintable

I was having bad luck with getting really bad formula jellies from indies after getting really gloopy jelly polishes from Rainbow Honey & Doctor Lacquer, but Pretty & Polished and Cult Nails totally restored my faith in indie jellies. Check out how pretty this jelly polish is! It has a pretty strong blue shift! AND the formula goes on smoothly, without any gloopy-ness.

This was my first attempt at stamping under a jelly polish, and as you can see, I picked the wrong design and nail polish. The glitter just hides the design.

But no worries...I got better in the next one!

Cult Nails: Disciplined & Black Sheep Lacquer: Surf's Up

I am so in LOVE with Cult Nails' Disciplined. Disciplined is just so, so, so perfect for this winter mani. You can perfectly layer the stamps to create a layered snowflake effect. I'm so in love with it! And of course, the formula is amazing. I've raved about them before, and I'll rave about them again. They take much longer to chip than my usual nail polishes and the polishes are so smooth and non-gloopy. 

If you want $12 off purchases of $24+, here's my referral link:

Full disclosure, I get a $5, so if you're not comfortable with that, no need to use it. 
Blue jelly: Cult Nails' Disciplined
White Glitter Polish: Black Sheep Lacquer's Surf's Up

Close up of the layering

Pretty & Polished: Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish is supposed to be a colour shifting polish, where the base goes from white to blue. My idea for this is to get the tips of my nail to go white, so it looks like the cat's playing in snow. Unfortunately, the colour-shift no longer works after over 6 months. I tried dipping in hot water and ice water, but no change. :(

Pretty & Polished's Cuttlefish

Rainbow Honey: Leonids, Diamond Dust

Ring Finger: Rainbow Honey's Leonids
Other Fingers: Rainbow Honey's Diamond Dust
Stamping & drawing polish: DIY stamping polish. Tutorial on making it here.

Appliq Nail Wrap

I was really excited at the idea of customizing my own nail wraps, unfotunately, Appliq's printers are not that great at capturing small details. They start getting fuzzy. Also remember not to put top coat over the wraps, they start cracking that way.

For reference, this was the photo I tried to print:

Nail Wrap from Aliexpress

Guys, I am DONE with buying nail wraps from Aliexpress. I've bought from 4 different sellers and got scammed by all 4. Do NOT trust that site for nail wraps. They all claim to be water transfer stickers, but they're actually like those wraps that need heat to melt on your nails. And the heat required is way too hot for my fingers. They also don't stick that well (some can't even stick at all), so you can see the "chips" even though this manicure is brand new. I tried to file a dispute because this is clearly a scam, but the site automatically rejected my claim with no explanation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: 9 Scents from Blooddrop's Halloween & Autumnals Collection

I gave Blooddrop another go and tried out 9 scents from their Halloween & Autumnals Collection. As usual, I got these in the form of decants from Ajevie! Check out her decant circles here.

This is my second review of Blooddrop and you can find my first review here. As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written, if any note surprises me, I discuss it in the overview.


A Grave in the Pasture

"Tears accord, white peach, lilac, Egyptian rose, carnation, violet leaf, and up-turned earth."

At first I got a burst of candied violets & a lotiony type of rose, but they all blended smoothly together to create the most amazing floral scent. It's fresh, light florals and a fresh, light grass sort of green note, with an old lotion scent in the background.  The old lotion scent is that oily, waxy scent you get when you leave lotion out for too long and it solidifies. It doesn't sound appealing but trust me, the old lotion bit makes this scent smell unique and less like a floral-green room spray. There's also hints of bitter earth. It's light and a tad heavy at the same time, smooth and lotiony, elegant and definitely arresting. If I'm picking an add for this scent, I'd pic this picture:

Holy crap, I love this models' winged eyeliner.
Beautiful photo by Jobert Asistido

The rose bit gets heavy at times, and I can see it going crazy on some people though it stayed light enough on me for me to love the scent. This is a scent I'm probably getting a full size in.

TL;DR: Sweet light florals balancing heavy, lotiony florals with bursts of fresh green notes and hints of earth.


By The Light of The Moon

"Pastures edged with forests, shadows of mice, deer, and owls dancing their nighttime waltzes, cool air stirring up the fragrances of fallen apples, boysenberries, moist tree bark, moss, silver fir, and herbs all by the light of the moon."

This is a sweet, smooth, floral-fruity version of that freshly cut stalks sort of green scent. It's so well blended, I can't really pick out individual notes. I just get a scent that's clean, elegant and subtly fresh. If I'm picking a photo for an add that captures this scent best, I'd pick this picture:
I wish it's socially acceptable for me to go around with this hairstyle...and a hairdresser who can do it for me charges affordable rates.
Awesome photography by Stanislav Istratov

It's feminine, clean, elegant, refreshing and fun.

The freshly cut stalk scent is the first to disappear on me (in about 40 min) and the scent I'm left behind is this sweet, clean and cool sort of scent. There's a also a bit of a chewable vitamin scent in the dry down, which I'm not a fan of. I'm so glad that scent didn't come out when the perfume was wafting around strongly.

TL;DR: Fresh, clean fruity-floral with freshly cut plant stalks.

Overview: I can finally pick out the apple when I'm looking out for it, but it's that artificial apple note that smells more like apple soap, which adds to the whole, clean feeling.



"Oriental chyphre, soft woods, pale vanilla, bergamot, pear, benzoin, and hyssop."

I got a cottony scent and an artificial scent that goes "balloon-ish". After about 5-10 min, I can finally identify that "balloon-ish" scent as artificial pears. The cottony scent starts turning into heavy, powdery florals that counters the artificial, balloon-like hollowness of the artificial pear, but this is one instance where two wrong notes doesn't make the scent right. It's a scent that I find very cloying and headache inducing.

TL;DR: Artificial pears and powdery florals.


Darkness Comes Early

"This is a brooding blend of beeswax, tobacco, hay absolute, nutmeg, and a glowing blend of spices and resins sought to mimic the comfort of an oil lamp’s light."

This scent is vaguely citrus, but very well-blended that it's not mostly citrus. It's a mellowed out citrus that's softened in that nutty instead of creamy sort of way. It also smells almost masculine in a cool, woodsy sort of way. Not actual wood, but more of a romanticized, masculine wood scent.

 The scent makes me think of a clean, model living room that's decorated in earthy tones like this:

Decorated by someone who'll definitely declare his/her love for feng shui, veganism, gluten free diets, yoga or juice detoxes.
Image courtesy of 
The scent got way too heavy and sweet (like roomspray gone crazy) on me as time wore on, but my skin does like amping up sweet notes.

TL;DR: Masculine woodsy citrus room scent.

Overview: I'm really not sure what's the note that's going sour on me.



"A beguiling blend of white tea, apple cider, a squeeze of Italian lemon and fresh ginger."

This smells like a higher end perfume version of purple chewable calcium supplements.

Were you guys ever forced to take these as a kid? The purple ones were the worst. My mom once got these robot themed one that were all the purple. I used to spit them out and hide the remains inside my couch. My mom only found out over a year later when they spilled out while she was rearranging furniture. I'd like to note that they were still completely whole and not a single insect wanted to touch them because they were so disgusting.
Image courtesy of 

The artificial fruit bit is still cloying for me though.

TL;DR: Perfumed purple chewable calcium supplements.

Overview: I don't know what's going wrong, but I tried it again and I can't really pick out any of those notes. I think the white tea may be the one giving the high end touch, but it's as if all the fruit notes combined to make purple chewable calcium supplements. I'm personally not a fan of Blooddrop's fruit notes and I think they do florals way better.



"An elegant little perfume of black tea, vanilla shortbread, and strawberry jam."

There was an artificial fruit scent at first, but that blended into this creamy green and fruity scent. The green scent is more of a thick, plant stalks sort of green. The creamy bit leans towards that artificial cake sort of scent you get from toys. It's a cool scent and kinda makes me think of those weird Indonesian candies that are a combination of 2 things you don't expect together –like a cool, leafy strawberry cream candy.

Seriously, we like weird combinations. Like this white chocolate & cheese Tim Tams:
I put this up deliberately to make all my Australian readers cringe.
Image courtesy of grainddiction.wordpress

TL;DR: Cool, leafy strawberry cream candy

Overview: I think the leafy scent may be coming from the black tea. Not sure what's causing that cool sort of scent though. I'd expect it from white tea or peppermint tea, but not black tea, which usually goes sour when it's going wrong.


Sweets for Rowan

"Dried apples, vanilla sugar cookies, gingerbread, and cinnamon oats."

This starts off as an oatmeal-ish apple. With cinnamon, of course. The apple is more of a perfumed apple you get in soaps, but I like the oatmeal-ish part, which gets more solid as the scent wears on and becomes more of a rich, creamy bread scent. It still smells like an edible smell rather than a confusing combination of edible & soap, since the apple blends beautifully with the bread part.

TL;DR: Apple oatmeal turning into apple bread.


The Copper Wolf

"Soft sandalwood, vanilla bean, velvety patchouli, pumpkin, and nutmeg."

Chinese joss sticks. There's a sweet, possibly floral fragrance trying to come out, but it gets stomped down by the joss sticks scent. I smell like my gramdma's altar. Speaking of which, I recently took a picture of it to show you guys this object of my childhood nightmares:

Oh, but that doesn't look so bad! Oh yeah? Let me photoshop that to show you how it looks like at night!

Obviously photoshopped because I'm not going anywhere near it alone at night.

TL;DR: Chinese joss sticks.


Will O'The Wisp

"Alluring coconut, pumpkin, ginger, and cheesecake."

This is a delicious coconut scent! It smells like actual shaved coconut! There's a salted caramel tinge to it too. The coconut threatens to turn into old oils every now & then, but it behaved on my skin. I can see it going old oil on some people though!

TL;DR: Shaved coconut with hints of salted caramel.