Hello! Today I'm excited to begin reviewing the scents I got from Thorn & Moon. While searching through the backlogs of IMAM I came across bright recommendations for House of Madame Josephine and when I looked into it... the etsy store was gone! Gone because the perfumer had merged her business with a friend to create Thorn & Moon. I went and looked for more recent IMAM info on them and couldn't find it. I figure in the brand transition the fact that the same person is behind the scents got lost.
Which is a shame because these scents seem right up IMAM's alley. Witchy? Deeply. Incense? Yep, Scarlett Dragon is like being hit in the face with a sack of cloves. Gourmand? Charmed is one of the most realistic milk chocolate covered caramel scents I've encountered. And their packaging for their full sizes is on point.
The one thing I do have to mention before getting into reviews is their TAT. It's kinda long. They warn you up front that it's kinda long when you order. But I ordered on April 6th, it got into the mail on ~ April 20th (the post office took a tick to register it as actually there instead of just shipping label created), and was at my door on April 24th. And, y'know, I get it. It's a part time job for them and they sell a lot of magical/religious items along with the perfumes and they let you know those need certain moon phases etc to make. But it would be nice if the perfumes were in a separate queue from the rest of the store since those have secular appeal and presumably are made relatively secularly.
All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for over a week 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. Before beginning the first test I did a 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
I've only had in person contact with their samples at this point. As the picture shows they're pretty standard wand bottles. A little splash-y - would be nice if they had some lip or something to help prevent splashing. Other than splashing they don't seem leaky. I do like that they are black and white with clear, easy to read text (and the lil design on the 'back').
I do like the 'short' labels. Even though they stick out they are VASTLY easier to store than the 'long' labels.
And now on to the reviews themselves!
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: Intense caramel and chocolate with that kind of ‘toffee’ essence intense gourmands can often get. Edge of a dark floral (rose I think). Some kind of scent that reminds me of berries - cherries maybe?
Wet on my skin: Chocolate, hyper-realistic intense caramel, berry-smell and tiniest kiss of an edge floral. Very similar to the bottle minus that kind of ‘toffee’ and while the caramel is quite intense it isn’t as overpowering as it was in the bottle.
Drydown: Caramel is the first thing smelled quickly followed by chocolate (silky, sugary, milk chocolate). I have to say this is a hyper realistic gourmand - this smells like a Russell Stover chocolate with caramel and a little bit of something else. Maybe there’s some cherry flavored chocolates in the box with it? And someone handed you a rose along with the box of candy?
After 30 mins: The rose has come forward. It’s not a hair-spray rose, but also not a delicate rose - it’s a thick luxurious dark rose. The chocolate and caramel are still there - and still very realistic - but are more balanced by the rose. A tinge of something berry-ish. It’s a very thick, luxurious gourmand. A little dark and very rich.
Notes on the site: Dark and Milk Chocolate, Black Cherry, Brown Sugar, Caramel and Black Rose
So, I definitely get the milk chocolate. Not so much the dark chocolate. I get the black cherry, caramel and black rose. The brown sugar is there - detectable when I see the words - but it blends with the cherry and with the caramel.
Verdict: Swap, actually. I like it, it’s very realistic, and I’m kind of baffled this hasn’t won the hearts of many gourmand lovers here on IMAM… but I tend to be very fussy about chocolate gourmands and I usually like them a little ‘dryer’ and less foody and this is very rich, sweet, and foody.
In the bottle: Sweet, smokey heavily spiced dragon’s blood. This is possibly the darkest, most resinous dragon’s blood scent I’ve tried. A punch of clove and a swirl of other spices I can’t name. A dark red scent.
Wet on my skin: Sweet and smokey and almost drippy smelling thick dragon’s blood. Dark and deeply spicy. Clove coming forward - strong enough I can taste it.
Drydown: I might be going anosmic to the dragon’s blood because it smells curiously absent after just a few minutes. A TON of sweet spices though. That clove is still there and is framed by swirling golden-brown spices (one of them might be cinnamon?). There’s still a touch of that smokiness. (Dragon’s blood came back after drinking some flavored fizzy water so yes, it was anosmia).
After 30 mins: This is a super stable perfume and is basically the same as the early drydown so I’m gonna talk more about how dragon’s blood smells for someone who’s never smelled it before. It’s a slightly smokey resin that’s kind of Dr. Pepper-ish, but not as sweet and minus any vanilla. It’s a red scent, reminiscent of cherry and a little sweet on it’s own. This particular dragon’s blood is a dark, rich one. Solid throw too.
Notes on the site: Dragon's Blood, Cardamon, Cinnamon and Clove
Welp, got all of that but the cardamon specifically. But yes, definite clove notes, identifiable cinnamon ones layered over a dragon’s blood base.
Verdict: Swap. This is a dragon’s blood perfume for dragon’s blood lovers - and I really enjoy dragon’s blood, but apparently, more as a component of a floral or fruity perfume… Whereas this is a firmly dragon’s blood centered perfume that celebrates and enhances the scent. If you really love dragon’s blood, like - really, really love it this is the perfume for you. But as it is it’s a little overwhelmingly spicy-resinous for me.
In the bottle: Mouthwatering on-point orange sticky-rolls. Like those Pillsbury ones with the orange icing? Tiny touch of anise in the background, but just enough to give the rolls a kick of spice. It rounds out the smell and is 0% licorice-like.
Wet on my skin: Even more bread-like. The anise comes forward slightly more but it mostly just smells like spice in bread with a little bit of a licorice undertone than anything overwhelming. The orange icing smell on this is just so amazingly good.
Drydown: Yet more morphing. I wish the orange icing were a little stronger but it’s still the core of the perfume. The anise has taken on an almost herbal quality and there is still a definite ‘bread-y’ quality to the perfume.
After 30 mins: The orange is still there but has died way back. It’s an sweet, slightly orange bread with thick anise icing which is somewhere between herbal and licorice. Man, I am heartbroken about that orange.
Notes on the site: Sweet Orange, Warm Vanilla with a touch of intoxicating Anise and Spices
IDK what’s giving it such a bread note since bread isn’t a listed note. But gosh, in the bottle and wet it’s exactly as they describe and amazing. Wet it’s still that- but the anise has the most lasting power. It’s a little more even in the throw.
Verdict: I don’t know. I love it SO much in the bottle and wet on my skin. I might try it in my scent locket and see if the orange icing stays longer there. If it doesn’t… this one will be a swap, if it does it’s a keep.If it hadn’t morphed it would have been a f/s.