Friday, December 21, 2012

Fragrance Friday: Solstice Scents, Part 2

For most of the past week I felt vaguely nauseated whenever I smelled perfume or scented products, which led to an unintentional embargo on perfume, candles, hand cream, and all those lovely things that usually bring me such joy. I felt better yesterday, though, and decided to ease my way back into the world of fragrance with the woodsy scents from Solstice Scents, as that family is one of my favorites. As before, these are scents that are primarily woody, not just ones that contain woods notes, since that would be...everything ever. Also, I tend to gravitate towards woods that aren't cedar, which tends to read a bit sharp to my nose, but Solstice Scents has several cedar-centric scents (unintentional alliteration ftw!), Attic (from the Autumn Collection) and Old Cedar Magus (from the core collection) that are undoubtedly lovely if you like that sort of thing.

Manor (musk, vanilla, aloeswood, agarwood): This is the very first Solstice Scent that I tried, thanks to a sample sent to me by Larie who can't do oud, and I fell in love with it. My feelings haven't changed with time! This is a beautifully simple, simply beautiful perfume that smells like oud (aloeswood and agarwood are both names for oud, and refer to two different oils used in the blend) and vanilla. The vanilla is just lovely, not too sweet, rich but not cloying, and the oud gives it depth and longevity. I plan to get the whipped soap of it when I use up my current one (Dark Ginger Spicecake!). I wore this a lot during the hell weeks before the end of the term, and it was supremely comforting and happy-making.

Spellbound Woods (vanilla, sandalwood, cedar, amber, incense): This is quieter than Manor, and also lacking in oud, but similar in that it's a softly sweet woodsy scent. I really love how it starts out, heavy on the sandalwood but still airy, but after an hour it becomes a little too sweet for me, like sugar cookies next to incense in a cedar holder. It's certainly nice, and I think many would love it, but it doesn't top Manor for me.

Master Bedroom (musk, sandalwood, amber, clove, myrrh, vanilla, patchouli, champaca): Somewhat similar to Spellbound Woods, in that both have vanilla and sandalwood and amber, but Master Bedroom is spicier, sweeter, and has that odd Coca-Cola sense I got from Jack and the Devil. I like it less than Spellbound Woods, but still enjoy wearing it.
Shoikan Grove (cedarwood, spruce, fir, oak, vanilla, muhuhu, jamarosa root, sandalwood, frankincense, wood smoke, copaiba, peru balsam): Wandering out in the forest, damp and cold, carting home a fresh-cut tree for Christmas, getting it into the living room where the warmth of the house and smell of desserts baked earlier in the day mingle with the tree scent. That is what this scent is to me, which may be why I find it to be more masculine than feminine (reminds me of my grandfather). This is the most woodsy of the lot, only barely tempered by vanilla. It starts out with PINE PINE PINE, which never goes away entirely but does allow the other notes to come out and play after 15 minutes or so. If you're looking for a true woods scent, Shoikan Grove is definitely worth trying.

Thornwood Thicket (blackberries, agarwood, aloeswood, guaiacwood, amber): So many woods notes, but I primarily get the blackberries. I generally loathe berries in my perfume, but this one's not bad, probably because of all the woods, and that the blackberries aren't too sweet. But still, it's a scent I would rather have as a candle than a perfume. If you like fruity scents, though, you should keep it in mind!

Outpost (sugar crystals, spruce, fir, sandalwood, agarwood, cedar, aloeswood, patchouli, guaiacwood, bayberry, mistletoe, amber): I debated whether I should include this here or in its own post, because it's just so weird, but decided to go with Solstice Scents' description, which focuses on the woods notes. Out of all the perfumes I've tried from them, Outpost is the biggest chameleon. It starts out, for me, with berries and fruit––a bit sweet, and my least favorite part of the scent. After a few minutes, they fade into the background to be replaced by the woods, particularly sandalwood and oud, and patchouli. But I also get some notes that aren't listed, like rose (I swear it's there!) and pickles, and in its middle phase Outpost reminds me so much of Amouage Lyric Woman. I haven't smelled them side-by-side, so they undoubtedly differ a lot, but the feeling they give is really similar, of crazy complexity and "why do I smell pickled roses, and more importantly, why do I like it?!". The end is woody and ambery and soft; the fruit never really makes a come-back, but the (apparently imaginary) floral sense hangs around. Super weird, and extremely compelling. I've worn it several times just trying to figure it out, and am still surprised when I wear it at all the insane twists it has. I got the body ganache of it, but it arrived when my scent-aversion kicked in, so I've only worn it the one time (and couldn't really bear to smell myself, so that hardly counts!). I'll have a full post of it and the whipped soap up at some point!

So Manor and Outpost are my favorites, but I like them all––which just goes to show that I'm a woods girl! There's a couple more woodsy scents that I want to try (Sandalwood Vanilla and Patchouli Sweet Wood), as well as the cedar ones, and I'll update y'all once I have. All perfumes are available from Solstice Scents, samples are $2.50 and full sizes $15, and they make bath and body supplies as well.

Have you tried any of these? Do you like woody scents? 
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