Friday, February 8, 2013

Fragrance Friday: Solstice Scents, Part 3

More Solstice Scents! This edition covers the leather-centric scents, as well as some random ones that didn't work for me.

The thing I've noticed about Solstice Scents leather scents is that they are really, seriously leather. And incredibly masculine, to my nose. I don't love any of them, in spite of my adoration for several leather perfumes (Guerlain Habit Rouge and Derby, Parfums de Nicolaï New York), I think because these are more concentrated and heavy and leather. That being said, here are my thoughts on the four I've tried.

Devil's Tongue (chypre, leather, tobacco, woods, patchouli, agarwood, sandalwood, frankincense, vanilla, bergamot): Smells like dusty saddles and worn boots and living on a ranch, and none of those are things I want to smell like. I can see it being awesome on a dude, or on a woman who likes super masculine scents, but it's not quite for me. You can definitely smell the chypre-ness of it, though! (from the Autumn Collection)

Flintlock (tobacco, saddle leather, virginia cedar, black pepper, woods, bayberry, evergreen): This is the friendliest of the Solstice Scents leathers, and the only one I can see myself wearing beyond testing. It's nutty, as in, like filberts (=hazelnuts, for you non-Oregonians), not 'crazy' (though the fact that nothing nut-related is listed in the notes list makes me feel like I may be a bit crazy, though perhaps it's due to the smoke?), and reminds me a bit of Outpost in its marriage of gourmand notes with leather and woods. It's not as heavy as the others, though it certainly isn't a light scent, and it smells comforting without being boring. I'm going to give it to the boy and see if I can't get him to wear it...

Russian Caravan (smoked black tea, leather, pomegranate, black currant, amber, pink peppercorn): I once ordered Russian Caravan tea, and was positively revolted by its intense smokiness. I was in high school at the time, though, and haven't tried it since then, so I figured I might as well try out the perfume version. Especially since I love smelling like tea! Unfortunately, I have pretty much the same experience with the perfume as I did with the tea: smoky leather like whoa, and barely a tea leaf to be found (I'm also missing the fruits entirely). It smells masculine to me, and I would gladly smell a dude wearing it.

 (leather bound books, a carved rosewood mantle, dying fireplace embers, wood wainscoting, cedar shelving and aged paper): A quick glance at the notes for this shows how atmospheric it's supposed to be. And yes, I do find it to be atmospheric, but not of a library, at least, no library I would want to spend time in. Something in it puts me off quite violently; it's the only one of the 4 that I would rather not smell on anyone, which is a pity, because libraries are great! I would love to be one of those super-rich people with a huge library filled to the brim with books and aged scotch and squishy leather chairs and a roaring fire and tea, and I was hoping this perfume would capture that, but for me, it doesn't. I may send it to Liz, though, given her adoration of books and libraries!

And, because y'all have been so patient waiting for these, a few reviews of other ones I don't like all that much. (That's not to say they're not nice perfumes! Just that they're not my cup of tea, and we all know how kooky I am, so...)

Roasted Chestnuts and Marshmallows (roasted chestnuts, sweet spice, marshmallow): I mean, of course I dislike this one. It has "marshmallows" in the name, for Pete's sake. But still, I chose it as my free sample, knowing it probably wouldn't work. And it doesn't. At first, it is so, so sweet, like my cavities are multiplying just smelling this kind of sweet. And, okay, there's some nuts in there, too––I smell filbert, but that may just be because I have no idea what chestnuts smell like so my nose interprets them as a nut I do recognize. I like it better after 30 minutes, when the sugar is lessened and the nuttiness takes on a woody angle, but it's not one I would rewear. (from the Winter Collection)

Dragon's Blood (incense, woods, spices, musk, vanilla, amber, rose, jasmine, lily, orange, patchouli, grapefruit): I thought I would like this, because it reads like a rich and opulent oriental. It is, I guess, but it's also suuuuuper powdery on me. Like, hi there, how's your baby doing? Oh, you don't have a baby? I just thought, I mean, you smell like baby powder, hah hah heh um... (from the permanent collection)

Gehenna (musk, dragon's blood resin, wood, myrrh, musk): This is really similar to Dragon's Blood. I have only worn them each one time, so I can't tell you how exactly they differ, but basically: powder. And spices. And powder. (from the Autumn Collection)

Snowshoe Pass (white amber, white musk, vanilla accord, peppermint cream, cold winds): I'm not sure why this one doesn't work on me––it has things I tend to like, musk and amber and vanilla––but good Lord does it not. There's something in it, perhaps the mint, or the combination of the mint with the others, that just sets my teeth on edge and makes me cringe. Larie loves it as a bedtime scent, thus further proving that we are, in fact, fragrance opposites.

It's worth mentioning that, in spite of the fact that most of these didn't really work out for me, I still appreciate them as coherent, thoughtful, fragrant compositions. I find Solstice Scents perfumes to generally be quite complex, even if I don't particularly like the end result. And, as always, my perfume tastes are very personal and your experience will almost certainly be different. I highly recommend checking out the line, because it's a fun adventure to explore the scents! Plus, their sample packs are a good deal, and they have a nice variety of scented bath and body products. See here and here for previous reviews.

Have you tried any of these? What kinds of scents do you find yourself gravitating towards?
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