Mystery Molecules: samples reviewed blind, only looking at the name and notes once the perfume has dried all the way down.
I spent a couple of days sniffing perfumes which turned out to be from the same house. One I enjoyed, the other I didn’t, and at the end of it, I was a bit tired of florals, so I thought I’d do a two for one post and be done with it.
My notes for the first perfume are as follows:
My initial reaction: “smells like something from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, mmmm! I like this one!”
Sweet and comforting.
Lily? Green, green, green. The sweetness is flowery, rather than sugary. It smells the way I wish that BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab) Bayou smelled – wet, flowery, green.
Wet wood smell?
Enjoyable drydown, can’t say what it is. A whiff of incense?
This became a skin scent fairly quickly, seemingly at one or two hours, and definitely by four hours of wear. The drydown was a sort of warm, skin-smelling incense/musk.
The Reveal: Madam X by Alkemia Perfumes.
Notes from the Etsy shop:
bergamot, mandarin, dark violet, Italian iris, black orchid, Japanese incense, orris root, sueded musk, white sandalwood, Tahitian vanilla, and pale patchouli.
Well, all I really smelled was a sort of amalgam of florals, that musk, and a tendril of incense. I did not smell any citrus. Either I couldn’t smell it, or my sample was old (it was given to me as a freebie from a fellow BPAL enthusiast) and the citruses had already died and gone to heaven. As of this writing, I can smell the vanilla. Perhaps sitting right in front of my heater helps that note fluff up. It’s kind of nice, but a little weird with the musk. I can also smell a hay note at the moment, which I want to attribute to the iris. Who knows!
The Verdict: I liked this perfume a lot, and had a good reaction to it. Would I purchase it? No. I like my perfumes to last all day, and I think that oils especially should do that, though this one is cheaper than the General Catalog BPAL oils, and a few bucks cheaper than Solstice Scents, so maybe the difference in price makes up for the longevity.
Madam X was a bit too generic of a floral for me, with no one or more notes really standing out, and though I enjoyed it, I also found it boring.
Two days later I sniffed what turned out to be another Alkemia Perfume, my notes are as follows:
“Spicy floral, undertone of wet earth, a bit rough/harsh on my nostrils, kind of makes me feel ill, like vomiting.
More pleasant at a distance, wafts up from my wrist to my nose quite well. Decent projection.
The Reveal: Moss Maiden by Alkemia Perfumes
Notes from the Etsy shop:
mosses, crushed wet ferns, earthy calamus root, piquant cedar tips, galbanum, balsam pine, lichen, disturbed autumnal leaves, and aromatic incense woods.
I didn’t smell ANY of that, except for a bit of incense. What I found SO interesting, is that when I looked at the sample initially and smelled it, I totally smelled wet mosses and green, foresty smells. Not so at all when smelling blind. Again, the nose and the eyes: two very different organs when it comes to interpretation. Giving it another sniff as I write now, I think I’m picking up that lily/honeysuckle (whatever, I don’t know what it is) note and my eyes/intellect are interpreting it as a green, wet scent, but left on its own, my nose really picks up the floral component, and leaves everything else behind.
So, The Verdict: I had a bad reaction to this one when smelled blind. I like it much better when I sniff and test it knowingly. Would I purchase it? Eh, no.
My initial reaction: it actually made me feel physically ill a few times when smelled blind, and I think that is to be heeded. Also, it (and Madam X) are not stand-out perfumes to me. They feel as generic as an independently created floral perfume oil can be.
So there you have it. And there I have it. Perhaps there is something in the Alkemia catalog that would knock my socks off, but I’m happy not to go down that rabbit hole to try to find it.
Until next time, my perfume friends!