All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for 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. When I do wash my skin it's 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 samples came in 2ml wand bottles. As wand bottles go they're not leaky (or particularly splashy), they open relatively easily, and I like that the labels are flat and legible. The print on the label is in black and white and easy to read. The one thing about these bottles that I'm not necessarily fond of is how delicate they feel. Sometimes when opening them I feel like I could snap one in my hand.
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary
Now... on to the reviews!
In the bottle: Woody and subtly foody - hints of fruit and honey. Besides the wood smells like many gourmands do in the bottle - kind of overly concentrated. It smells almost musky Fruit is so faint I can’t pick out what the fruit is supposed to be. Edge of indolic florals.
Wet on my skin: Wood and a warm foody smell. It’s like honey that’s been baked into a cake Indolic floral is more present. The fruit is there behind the honey and I think is adding to that cake-y vibe. While not a bad indolic I typically don’t want to smell this indolic. It’s less indolic in the throw which is realistic and perfumey fruit (reminds me of a mango or papaya) and woodsy. Very feminine. Still sort of musky.
Drydown: Even less indolic, but still very similar. Very centered on that wood smell and that both realistic and perfume-y fruit. The honey smell in it is not a hugely sweet honey. It doesn’t smell gourmand to the nose. It smells like a wooden bowl that might have held a mango and some honey in the past. Still kind of musky.
After 30 mins: So my note about ‘a wooden bowl used to hold fruit and honey at some point’ still stands. It’s a perfectly pleasant perfume in a lot of ways and if you’re looking for something woodsy-feminine you’re in for a treat. But I was hoping for more of a sweet fruity-floral. This is a scent where I’m like ‘Technically a fruity floral - but way more woodsy than it lets on’ and its sweetness is very subdued. It’s much more of a woodsy musky scent with indolic topnotes and edges of fruit and honey.
Notes on the site: Apricot, papaya, honeysuckle blossom, clover honey, blond woods
Okay, so, I can see the papaya and even the apricot. I definitely got some sort of honey. And yep, blond woods out the wazoo. But the honeysuckle? Way, way more indolic than the honeysuckle that grows around here. Like it wasn’t identifiable as honeysuckle at all to me and smelling it I can sort of see a vague resemblance in the drydown but sniffing it it honestly smelled like a really perfume-y night blooming floral. The species of honeysuckle most often seen around here is the invasive Japanese honeysuckle (there’s some native honeysuckles too but I have less contact with them). I don’t know what I was reading as musk unless the ‘blond woods’ accord includes some sort of musk note.
It reminds me a lot of Stereoplasm’s First Bloom but significantly more woodsy and with a touch more fruit and a touch less musk and none of the ‘cream soda’ note. It also lacks the kind of slight androgyny I get from Stereoplasm.
Note: The longer this wears (like… over an hour later) the more the wood moves to the back and it smells like an indolic fruity floral.
Verdict: I don’t know. I might swap it, I might keep the 2ml. It’s a well crafted and well balanced scent… just not what I was expecting and a little too feminine for my tastes. I feel like a dash of vanilla or something piquant to balance out the indolic and add some sweetness would really bring this scent into my wheelhouse. Perhaps some lime in the topnotes?
Mein Herr Marquis
In the bottle: Sweet violets, powder (like a fancy, good smelling makeup powder), silk, coconut. Feminine, sweet, musky, nostalgic. This smells like a woman dressed to the nines and sparkling a little. These are very nice violets - almost take on chocolatey undertones that violets will sometimes have.
Wet on my skin: Silk! And faint, very pretty makeup powder. It smells like a well dressed woman shimmering in the night. Who’s wearing some sweet combination of excellent violets and macarons (which I recall this has and yup, can smell em). Feminine, but not girlish.
Drydown: There’s some sort of note in this pinging me hard as sparkling. It reminds me almost of soda accords. I’m getting silk, and I think maayybe heliotrope? Not a really ‘play doh’ heliotrope but that kind of dry, brown floral. Definitely getting violets, a bit of powder, and something earthy. It’s a bit less feminine at this stage - which I like.
After 30 mins: It’s blended even more. On a sniff the first thing I get is a tiny bit of that ‘sparkling’, followed by the rich violet (with almost chocolate undertones), then I get the tiniest hint of makeup powder and then the entire scent is wreathed in silk. There’s a touch of earthiness/heliotrope and maybe a ghost of something gourmand. Much like the drydown a lot of the ‘femininity’ has been lost. Like if I smelled this on a really well dressed, well groomed guy it wouldn’t seem terribly out of place.
Notes on the site: Violet macarons, silk tulle, pearlescent powder, orris root, heliotrope
Yup! All there. As the scent wears the coconut/almond/toasted scent of the macarons fades. I’m guessing the ‘sparkling’ is part of the ‘pearlescent powder’. The heliotrope is the golden brown floral. I want to emphasize here this is a well behaved heliotrope - maybe a touch foody but not ‘play doh’ at all. I’m guessing the orris root is what’s earthy… because y’know… root but I’ll be honest: I have no clue what orris root smells like as an isolated note.
Verdict: Keep! I don’t think I’ll be upsizing because this is not going to be a frequent wear… but it’s what I’ll put on for fancy dinners where I decide to wear a cocktail dress! It’s a very rich, upscale smelling scent.
In the bottle: Sweet florals and water. Some sort of base note that kind of reminds me of stone and something in the middle that smells like a traditional aquatic. The tiniest touch indolic
Wet on my skin: Floral sunscreen lotion. Not overly chemical smelling. Edges of water and stone. The florals are sweet and white. I actually really like this as a thing to smell if not a thing to wear.
Drydown: White florals and sunscreen. A tiny, tiny bit indolic. Nothing pinging me as ‘water’ now but still getting a bit of a ‘stone’ smell.
After 30 mins: The whole scent is blending (that is, the florals are blending with what smelled like ‘sunscreen’ - I think one of the florals is rose). It still smells a bit like sunscreen, but now it’s more of a lightly powdered musk (more like sunscreen than ‘powdery’ but I am starting to be able to pick up on distinct ingredients). There’s still something here that smells a touch like stone to me. Any indolicness is gone. It’s kind of a sweet musky floral with atmospheric nuances to my nose.
Notes on the site: datura blossom, sweet almond, rosewater, sugar cube, vanilla orchid, moth wing, wild honeycomb
Well, okay. I think the datura and vanilla orchid are what I’m reading as white florals. The rose water must be what was pinging me as er, rose and water lol. I can see this having a bare touch of almond to it. The sugar cube isn’t really distinct - and with both that and honeycomb listed as ingredients I expected this to have a POP of sweet sugariness instead of maybe a tiny edge of it. The moth wing I’m betting is merging with the rose (and maybe the orchid?) to create the sunscreen smell - I can see moth wing being a powdered musk (perhaps that’s also where I was getting ‘stone’ from).
Verdict: Dunno. The longer I wear it the more it blends away from that sunscreen smell, and it never smells bad, per se, but at the same time when it smells so close to sunscreen I’m not sure if this is something I wanna wear as a fragrance. If I’m being honest it’s probably a swap. Still impressed by individual notes though - particularly the water in the rosewater.
In the bottle: Florals and berry scones. Or slightly dry berry tea cake. Sweet fruity-floral gourmand.
Wet on my skin: Gourmand note centered in baked/toasted flour. Smells like a scone or a muffin drizzled with honey. Touches of fruit (reminds me of berries, as I mentioned above), Edges of sweet florals. Almost undetectable.
Drydown: Honeyed scone with edges of fruit and florals. It’s really pleasant and decadent smelling.
After 30 mins: Sweet honey scone (even more honey and scone like lol) touch of florals and some sort of rounded fruit - it’s lost that touch of tartness that reminded me of berries - now it reminds me a lot more of the fruit notes used in Enfant Terrible. Maybe a mango? Or even a banana? Some sort of nuttiness to the scone smelling part of the scent too. Like a toasted almond.
Notes on the site: white & pink oleander, heliotrope, apple seed, sweet custard, pineapple, thyme, coconut water
Okay so. The oleander is the florals, obvs. The pineapple is the fruit, which, I can see but it lacks the bright tartness of pineapple (as well of those kind of high acidic notes). I think the heliotrope, apple seed, coconut, and custard are what’s smelling like a baked honeyed food to me… which I’ve started to notice many baked good accords smell like heliotrope to me, so I’m not surprised by that. I am a little surprised by the apple seed and thyme. Like, I can see the apple seed being what kind of smells like toasted flour (if there’s an apple-y tone to this it’s a very rounded apple - not acidic or crisp) and I can pick out the thyme now that I have the word in front of me. But both blend very well in the scent and don’t stand out as individual ingredients.
Verdict: I’m probably going to get this one as one of their Sea Salt hair sprays. I’m a sucker for sweet fruity florals and this one balances well with the gourmand notes.