Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Good Day to Go to the Mailbox

I got a package in the mail today - 3 solid perfumes from OHWTO.  Besides the regular size perfumes I got two more solid perfumes in clamshell samples, a plastic centipede, candy (yay!) and a purple plastic pumpkin ring (say that 10 times fast.)

The samples were three of the Halloween scents, Sugar Skulls, from last years entries and two new scents, Santa Muerte and the cumbersomely named Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.  The samples are Homecoming and Sugar Leaf.

As I've said before, I love solid perfume because it's pretty much idiot proof. And I am often an idiot, so it's all to the good.

We'll start with Santa Muerte, which was my least favourite. OHWTO describes this as "This is much "darker" than the usual OHWTO scents, and very complex. A Blessed Bounty of Sacred Offerings- Amber, Cinnamon Pastries, Caramel, Carnation, Tuberose, Spices, Chocolate, Tobacco, Labdanum, Church Incense, Dark Patchouli, Vanilla, Musk, Cognac, Fruits, Black Agar, Cardamom, and Lilies."
When I smelled it in the tube it smelled like maple and I was sad because I can't stand the smell of maple. Once I put it on, the maple smell dissipated and turned into something, as the description says, very dark and very complex. It does have a thick, dark, treacly smell to it, which is probably why I thought of maple at first, but as it sits on the skin it turns into something earthier. 
kind of like this

I'd say it smelled like carmelized Patchouli, except there's no such thing. Honestly, I would expect to ooze out of the tube like sugar in the middle of being worked into a toffee or a dark caramel and look like amber-brown molasses. It doesn't, of course, but if I hadn't seen it first, that's what I'd expect. As it dries down it gets softer and some of the floral scents, particularly the carnation get a word in edgewise, but it remains dark. It's sweet in a sticky way, and just a little bit much for me. I don't see myself wearing this as often as some of the other scents. It's not bad, it's just...intense.

Sugar Skulls I had wanted this last year, but ended up not getting it, so it was first on my list this year. It's described as "You'll smell sweet baked goods, vanilla cookies, anise, and roses- all the scents of a stroll through a Mexican neighborhood at that time of the year. " And yes, that is exactly how it smells. It's not too strong, and the anise isn't overwhelming. This is not an absinthe type anise, but a soft, sweet anise with a rush of vanilla and soft rose petal fragrance. It doesn't smell like food, it smells feminine with a kick of spice. I've never been in a Mexican neighborhood, but I can imagine terracotta plastered walls with brilliant cotton curtains and stark white linens drying on a line. The anise gives it an exotic touch while the vanilla and rose make it warm and comforting. Perhaps a vase of roses on a starched lace doily with the sun pouring in the window. It really is lovely and simple without being ordinary.

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things*: Acorns, Oak, Vanilla, Apples, Roasted Spiced Pumpkin, a bit of Musk and a mound of freshly-dug Dirt. Sort of disturbing! Not actually disturbing, in fact, I'd call this a work of genius. Why? It's the apple. I hate apple notes in perfumes, because they never actually smell like apples - at best they smell like apple cider, at worst like spoiled apple juice. Apples themselves have a crisp, light fruity scent and this is the first perfume I've ever smelled that captured exactly the scent you get when you bite into an apple. It's perfect, and that's only a small part of this scent - there's the wonderful nuttiness of the acorn, a slight whiff of spices and dirt. I don't get the musk, but, as I've said before, I can't smell most musks. I do detect a warm slight underlayer, though which is probably musk. This smell is exactly like heading out to the backyard late in the afternoon to rake up some leaves, gather up some nuts, maybe mound over your rosebushes or put in a few late mums. Stop to rest with plump juicy apple to munch on and you've got it. It's fresh and outdoorsy, delicious and airy all at the same time. It seems to retain it's character pretty well as it dries down, the flash of apple is strongest in the tube and softens as it wears on the skin, while the nuts and earth come up a bit, but the overall essence doesn't change. Just smelling it makes me want to step outside and revel in the autumness of the day.

The two samples were Homecoming,  "A fall-inspired blend, Homecoming captures many of the scents of autumn in New England. Tart cranberries, dried figs, mulling spices, dried split firewood, fallen leaves and warm 'Hot Toddies'". Becca's going to kill me for this, but the first thing I thought when I smelled it in the tube was "Hamster Litter!" Bear in mind, of course, that I mean fresh, unused hamster litter, which I quite like the smell of. After a moment I realised that the litter I always used when I kept rodents was primarily cedar with a few other woods mixed in, so it was actually wood I was smelling. No rodents were harmed or even inconvenienced in the making of this scent**. 
**as far as I know

Once it's on my skin, I definitely smell the cranberry, it gives the whole thing a tart effervescence. That fades a bit with the drydown and the other scents float to the surface. Is there a such thing as cranberry wine? Because that's what this ends up smelling like to me.

The other sample is Sugar Leaf which is a funny, bright little scent. "Notes of Vanilla Sugar, Sparkling Citron, Apple Peel, Sheer Floral, Sensual Woods, Creamy Musk It's fresh, sweet and citrusy with a warm undertone. I don't get any apple here, but that may just be because my nose refused to acknowledge it after the perfect apple tone in CSPWDT. No other apple scent is worthy. It's a nice sugared fruit scent. I would never have picked it on my own, but it is quite pleasant.

If you've never shopped at OHWTO, you've been doing yourself a disservice. Go there, now, and browse, because Becca has a fabulous selection of scents and products and they are all quality stuff. Her Black Magic soaps set the bar for awesomeness. You'll thank me later.

P.S. I just looked at my candy and OMG I got a Mango DumDum! Mango! How freakin' cool is that!
photo courtesy Temptation Candies

*When I wear this in public, I really, reeeallly hope someone asks me what I'm wearing.

All products were purchased by me for my own use. My opinions are my own and always will be. Your mileage may vary.

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