So with Stereoplasm updating their prices in a week I figure it's time to unleash my reviews of their cryptids set. Not sure what to flag these as because they came with my last purchased order as free samples... but I think the timing of me receiving them was close enough for the release for them to count as press samples. Fair Warning: Cryptids as a concept are so, so much my jam that I would probably have f/s'd this set just on that. As it stands I ended up liking all three scents well enough to justify buying the 3 pack!
The scents covered in today's review are
- Mothman [ store link ]
- Ozark Howler [ store link ]
- Ogopogo [ store link ]
Additionally, here's a link to the three pack while it's available: [ link ]
All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for several days (over a week in this case) after arrival. The perfumes were kept in the dark in a plastic box. I did crack them open to sniff them directly after arrival, and with a couple to do an initial test. The reviews are not based off of these initial impressions - though if a rest did change the smell I’ll note that.
I’m doing a half-hour skin test with each perfume. They are always applied to skin that has either been washed or hasn’t had perfume on it that day. Sometimes I will run one scent on one wrist/hand/arm and the other on the other wrist/hand/arm. When I wash my hands for review purposes I wash with a scented soap (it’s all I have available - shea butter Dove soap or almond Doc Bronners). Before doing test periods I often wear or play with other scents in my collection (that I wash off), so theoretically there could be cross-contamination.
Each sample was gently swirled before application. Each review is written without looking at the notes (in that moment… I obviously looked at them when I bought). At the end of the review I will list what the notes listed in the shop are and comment on how I think they interacted
My previous review [link] of the Stereoplasm 1mls stands with one (big) change. They changed their labels! The labels are much more durable and don't smear or melt from regular use. The only problems I've had with them are some mild scraping (the ink on the labels can be scraped off from trauma) from storing the little bottles together and pulling them out one by one. This is exciting because with the f/s they're much less likely to be stored in such a way where scraping trauma might occur... and that even though some of the ink was scraped off the plastic of the labels themselves stayed intact!
I also haven't gotten any badly wonky tops since that first batch. The tops on these three fit great.
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: Pale, sweet eerie florals that kind of remind me of the scent of Dial soap (not that they are strongly soapy - mostly just I think whatever they use to give Dial its distinctive scent is being used here). A little bit of dustiness. A kind of resinous smell grounding it. And there is just this tiny bit of acridness - I recall this having a ‘sulfur’ note and being hesitant about it. It really is just a hint and it’s more acrid than rotten-eggs-stinky.
Wet on my skin: A little more resinous. I can more acutely pick out the touch of sulfur but it’s still very demure. Top notes of those reminiscent-of-Dial soap florals. This scent is a little masculine. The first time I tried it I was like: ...This smells like a mothman from a paranormal romance who’s gonna whisk you away in his big strong mothy arms. He smells like fresh wood (that he cuts for his mothman cabin), Dial soap (he’s a very fastidious cryptid lover), the wildflowers he’s picked for you and a tiny touch of acrid supernatural sulfur because dammit, he can’t help what he is. He’s a touch dusty, a touch eerie, and man he must work out because those delts, man. (In my imagination this Hot Mothman is basically a tragically exiled fae dude living a noble but lonely existence in the West Virginia wilderness).
Drydown: As the smell wears it all blends together. It becomes hard to pick out the individual parts but they’re all still (italics) there. It’s still a weird, sexy forest mothman emphasis on the man. Like there is some subtle deep sweetness coming out now that rounds the scent nicely and the topnote florals that remind me of Dial soap are a little less there.
After 30 mins: Very similar to the drydown but even more blended. I’m really impressed by how this scent wears. It has a good throw too.
Official Notes: grey vetiver, phalaenopsis, red cardamom and a hint of sulfur
Well, wow, okay. So. I think the dusty kinda eerie kinda sweet woodsy/resinous smell is that grey vetiver. It lacks the certain ‘Smells-like-a-Lowes-hardware-store’ quality I get from most vetivers. Google tells me that phalaenopsis is a kind of orchid so I think that’s what’s smelling floral in a way that’s reminiscent of Dial soap or wildflowers around here. I think the red cardamom is blending with the sulfur to create that kind of spicy, eerie, otherworldly hold me mothman kinda vibe. This is mostly a woodsy floral though - don’t let the sulphur and cardamom get you thinking otherwise.
Verdict: As I mentioned I bought the three pack so all of these got an upsize. Initially on a bottle sniff I wasn’t sold on Mothman (which I felt bad about because mothman is like the patron saint of Appalachia). But wearing this is a different story. It’s pleasantly masculine while also being eerie and otherworldly. This is a happy upsize from me.
In the bottle: Okay so, I remember this has fur, horehound, fir and dogwood leaves as notes. I think those might be the only four notes. So with that in mind and how it might influence me here’s how it smells in the bottle: Fir (very spruce smelling to me) coming forward followed by the actual smell of dry leaves. I can’t speak for the rest of the country but one of my frustrations with indie perfumes has been that leaf-smells are ‘moldering’ or ‘mildewed’ half the time… which is just not what forests around here smell like. This is not. This is that subtle smell of brittle dry leaves that have coated the forest floor all winter. There’s a touch of an herbal component that might be the horehound. It’s kind of sweet and reminds me of medicinal smelling roots. There’s a kind of rounded musk at the base I think might be the fur smell? It’s quite subtle.
Wet on my skin: Spruce, brittle dried leaves, herbal-spice-I-think-is-horehound (it’s a little soapy on my skin), touch of soft musk reminiscent of fur.
Drydown: Fir trees, dried leaves (slightly floral - I suppose this is what makes them dogwood leaves?), slightly spicy herbal horehound (it smells like the actual various briars and brambles that makeup the underbrush in forests here), touch of sweet-slightly-animal fur. Much like mothman the longer I wear this the more it blends. It’s like the essence of a forest from beneath a pine tree for me. (There is something in this - perhaps part of the fur accord - that reminds me pleasantly of the smell of cooking food. Probably from the herbal component. And also in the interest of full disclosure: I had stew cooking when I reviewed this so it’s entirely possible the smell of that influenced my perception of the scent).
After 30 mins: Still about the same as the drydown. Perhaps a little bit more blended.
Official Notes: fallen dogwood leaves, warm fur and white horehound
Oh wow, okay, so, no fir note. I misremembered! There is a certain… spruce-like component to this that must be from the horehound. In that case this is a very horehound forward scent (and it reminds me a lot of the smell of spruce trees). The fallen dogwood leaves must be where some of that slightly herbal sweetness is coming from - probably from the dogwood’s quasi-floral-quasi-wood-mixed-with-dry-leaves kinda vibe from this accord? I wonder if that sweetness that reminds me of cooking food (or even, slightly, of vanilla?) is coming from the warm fur accord.
Verdict: This one of the batch was an automatic love and upsize for me. It smells so much like an actual forest to me without smelling moldy or rotting. This does smell like a sweet smelling creature that slinks through herbs and mixed deciduous and fir forests. To me it’s a very gender neutral smell but I can see other people finding it a lil masculine of center.
In the bottle: I recall a couple of notes on this one too… uh, water and snake skin lol. It’s certainly an aquatic! A kind of creepy, strung-with-underwater-plants aquatic. But also a little… feminine?
Wet on my skin: Very much like the bottle - dark take on a classic aquatic (not remotely soapy though). Bit of a bright floral peeking through. There is kind of a green, scaly smelling skin note. Still kind of femme in a slinky way. The top notes are bright and fresh seeming, the midnotes smell like water, scaly skin and a musky floral, and the base notes smell like a dark aquatic and streaming, long, aquatic plants (not necessarily seaweed - but something seaweed like - algae maybe?).
Drydown: Sweetly and slightly piquant aquatic floral with musky nuances. The top notes remind me of hyacinth, or lilly - bright and sweet and a little acidic. The midnotes are musky and skin-like with that little touch of chitin. A little bit of bitter darkness to ground it at the bottom. Less seaweed like at this point - just a slight hint of trailing aquatic plants.
After 30 mins: Very similar to the drydown. Maybe a touch spicy-floral coming out. So, let’s use this space to talk about what kind of Ogopogo this evokes to me. This evokes a dark mermaid Ogopogo - serpenty around the edges and her long trailing dark hair and teeth disconcert you. But there’s something in her gold eyes that intrigues you. She hands you a flower and gestures for you to follow her down into the black waters. You now have a spooky mermaid girlfriend.
Official Notes: Cool Rippling lake, water lily, seaweed and snake skin
Okay, so I think the cool rippling lake does have some sort of classic aquatic floral in it - the bright, lily like smell has to be the water lily. The seaweed I was getting was, uh, I guess seaweed (or at least, an idealized seaweed accord - it evokes the idea of long trailing dark plants without smelling quite as well, vegetable as seaweed). The skin with that kind of chitinous smell is the snake skin. So, hey, yeah, it’s all there and then some. I’m not sure what’s flagging me as a spicy floral unless it’s part of the cool lake accord.
Verdict: This one I waffled a lot on upsizing. I’m not a huge aquatics fan. But I do like those florals that mature in the deep drydown and I’m all about smelling like a dangerous-yet-enticing-dark-mermaid-serpent-woman (or just a typical water serpent, but, look. Don’t we all want a hot cryptid to hold us tight? No? Just me? (Amazon’s paranormal romance section says no, not "just you")).
I do find it interesting that you have one kinda masc scent (Mothman), one gender neutral forest smell (Ozark Howler) and one kinda cryptid femme-fatale (Ogopogo).
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