I’m expanding my perfume horizons since I’m uncertain that I’ll be able to replenish my supply of my favorites. (Tried to order more Loki from Delightful Rot and it got stolen in the mail twice, and Bath & Body Works has discontinued Black Amethyst.) I’m ordering from Etsy again because I find that indie perfumers have way more scents that I find appealing than mainstream perfumers. I got a 10-perfume sampler from Deep Midnight Perfumes. Out of all the perfumes she makes, it was difficult to narrow it down to just ten. (But she sent four extra samples—two of perfumes that went on my “buy samples later” list, and two that I thought I might like but wasn’t sure. And yet she still has three more that I want to try.) When I opened the package and smelled them all, the scents (of course) all blended together on my hands. I didn’t feel like getting some coffee in between to sniff. Anyway, perfumes always smell a bit different with your body chemistry. Since I don’t wear perfume for hanging around the house on the weekend, it took me two weeks to try them all out.
In alphabetical order, ’cause order of preference would just be way too hard.
Inspired by the stories of, I guess. I haven’t really done much reading into Atlantis because the bits I’ve come across always involve conspiracy theories. So I just stick to my happy little mental image of a beautiful, magical place with lots of water around. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are spices, sandalwood, frankincense, aquatic florals, three musks, vanilla, ozone, and dew.
My impression: Hard to describe this one. Definitely fresh and light, but not in a way that seems better suited to soap. I couldn’t really pick out any individual notes, but they combined nicely.
Inspired by the queen. I read the description of this one and thought it sounded appealing but I might not like it. I don’t remember why. I’m very glad she threw it in as a free sample, because I love it. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are heather, mead, roasting barley and wheat on an open fire, tanned leather, and fog.
My impression: I can’t imagine why I thought I wouldn’t like this one. It’s fantastic—sweet and rich.
Inspired by catacombs? Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are myrrh, wet earth, oakwood fire, and candle flame.
My impression: A really interesting perfume. This is the first one I’ve found that captures both the incense smell of incense and the burning smell of incense. It took me awhile to decide whether or not I liked it to wear, but I do.
Inspired by the black moon in the Dragonlance books. Now that I’m more well-read in the fantasy genre I’ll admit that the Dragonlance books aren’t as well-written as I once thought they were…but I still enjoy them, and I still think that Raistlin and Dalamar are two pretty darn interesting and complex characters. But that’s a whole ‘nother post. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are orchids, black heliotrope, labdanum, and woodsy forest. I liked both the inspiration and the sound of the ingredients. The perfect scent for tearing the chest of your robe open and commanding everyone to look at what your shalafi did to you.
My impression: I didn’t really pick up on the woodsy forest part of the smell, but it definitely smells deep and dark and magical and great.
Gardens and Graves
Sounded like it would be floral, yet earthy. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are rose petals, vetiver, and fresh dirt.
My impression: For some reason, when I put it on I thought it smelled like pickles, which makes absolutely no sense. I dislike pickles. Awhile after it dried down it did become a nice, spicy floral, but I just couldn’t kick that initial impression of pickles. I put it on a second time just to make sure my allergies weren’t messing with my sense of smell the first time or something. Pickles again, definitely pickles. I like all three of the constituent scents in her other perfumes, so there must just be something weird going on with that combination and my body chemistry.
House of Healing
Inspired by Rivendell, where I would move in a heartbeat and is the main reason I had to try this one. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are iris, linden blossoms, green trees and grasses, oak leaves, and dewdrops.
My impression: Smells very light and fresh. I like it, but not to wear. I would rather have this one in a soap or an oil diffuser.
Into the Aether
Inspired by storms, I think. For a long time I thought that the element of water was the coolest. Somewhere along the way I changed my mind and decided that though water was still cool, air was way more awesome. So I liked the description of this perfume. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are earthy greenery, aquatic florals, and ozone.
My impression: Smells like soap to me. I really wanted to like this one for wearing, but it’s not a smell that I’d want to wear or that I’d want to put in soap. (Since it smells like soap to me, adding it to soap would be redundant.) It’s not a bad smell by any means. I did find the smell pleasant, but there are others that I like a lot better.
Inspired by “the incense used in the temples sacred to Ishtar.” This was on my “try the sample later list,” but she happened to include it for free. Yea! Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are rose, oud, myrrh, lotus blossoms, frankincense, other attars, and subtle spices.
My impression: I couldn’t smell the rose in it, but I still thought it was a nice, spicy incense blend.
Inspired by funeral flowers. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are roses, lily of the valley, and white tea.
My impression: Also very light and fresh like House of Healing, but more flowery than fresh. (I’d say House of Healing was more fresh than flowery.) Would also be good for soap or an oil diffuser, but I also like this one to wear.
Inspired by grave-flowers? Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are lilacs, violets, musk, and damp earth.
My impression: Amazing floral! That pretty much sums it up. I can’t think of any more positive adjectives to stick on that would really do it justice.
No matter how many times I see this play on words, it never gets old. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are lilies, vetiver, damp soil, woods, and rain.
My impression: Very nice! This is the first time I’ve been able to sniff a perfume and go “yeah, that really does smell like damp flowers and plants and dirt.”
I was hoping to find a forest-y, earthy sort of perfume for the days that I’m in a nature-y mood but am not in the mood to smell like flowers. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are vetiver, oakmoss, and musk.
My impression: Magical in an earthy sort of way. Just what I was hoping for!
Inspired by the scents of the religious service. Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are incense, wax, old wood and stone, resins, citron, and black agarwood.
My impression: This is a GORGEOUS incense-y perfume! Love at first sniff!
Inspired by the dangerously beautiful lady archetype? I hadn’t planned on sampling this one because of the name—I didn’t want to have the conversation: “You smell nice. What are you wearing?” “Oh, it’s called Vixen Venom.” Etsy listing says that its constituent scents are amber, musk, vanilla, and patchouli.
My impression: Smells just like the best sandalwood incense I’ve ever burned, really sweet, which is interesting considering that sandalwood is not an ingredient. This one has proved for me once and for all that I should stop avoiding perfumes with patchouli as an ingredient.
Now I wish I had scads of money so I could buy all the ones I liked.