Hey all! It's review time again and this time what's up in the queue is 4 Stereoplasm scents. 3 Spring Release scents and 1 GC scent. I dunno how much longer Stereoplasm's spring collection's gonna be up but it's well worth checking out before their summer one rolls in. There's still time! Get em while they're uh... hot? Blended? Fragrant?
The perfumes covered in today's review are
- Orange is Technicolor [store link]
- Lovesick Lake [store link]
- April Vinyl [store link]
- Divine [store link]
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. Whenever I wash my hands/arms 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
For these bottles the bottle reviews I've done of the 1.5mls before stand (you can see it [here])... but for this one I've got 3mls of 2 of the scents and can touch on those.
The 3mls are in unique square bottles that remind me of nail polish bottles or mainstream-perfume-counter perfumes. I really like the slightly beveled corners. The roller balls inside are plastic, and roll well. They're 'small' for rollerballs (and kinda cute looking) so instead of leaving a big chunky path they can be applied exactly where you like them. The bottle's screw on caps are secure and so far I've not had one leak.
My only "complaint" about them is that - especially for bigger bottles - I prefer cobalt or amber bottles since they help prevent light degradation of the carrier oils over years. I'd recommend decanting any of these that you think you're going to go through slowly enough for it to be a concern.
Also the labels of all of the Stereoplasm bottles i have on hand are sensitive to contact with water, oil, or other labels made of the same material. Because it's easy to avoid touching the labels on the 2mls this is less of a concern for them than it is for the smaller bottles. But! I know Meaghan is going to start experimenting with oil resistant labels soon so I'm stoked for that.
And now, on to the reviews of the scents themselves!
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
Orange is Technicolor
In the bottle: Tart realistic citrus zest. Slightly sweet apricot.
Wet on my skin: Tart orange rind over apricot. Something sweet and musky swirling. Bergamot in there maybe? Getting a kind of woody base note under the orange rind. Orange is initially sharp (but not uncomfortably so). Maybe a touch of citrus leaf?
Drydown: Significantly less sharp but not flat. The apricot (and perhaps bergamot?) keeps the orange from going to a flat ‘orange soda’ smell once the initial tart notes go off. Some white floral sweetness in there that might be neroli. The scent is still very orange and tart - probably one of the most realistic orange-citrus smells I’ve tried. Very bright!
After 30 mins: It’s reduced some in potency and become creamier and a little sweeter (I think it might be neroli coming through?). Otherwise it’s similar to the drydown. As with many Stereoplasm scents it has great throw on me. I really like it.
Notes on the site: Orange blossom petals with shea butter, house-distilled tangerine oil and apricot jam
Got the orange blossom (though it’s regular orange blossom and not neroli). Didn’t get much of the shea butter - though that might be what I was reading as a ‘woody undertone’ since shea has such a nutty scent. What I was reading as maybe bergamot is tangerine - that must be the ‘tart orange’ note. Definitely got the sweetness of the apricot - but not enough to read it as Jam.
Note: I've done several long wears of this since writing the review. I discovered that I very rapidly go anosmic to the ultra-realistic orange/tangerine. But 'resetting' my nose (usually by eating) or checking with my husband let me know that this has a good wear of several hours (minimum four - but I'd say up to six) and a throw of at least 8-12 inches on me. The issue is more that the tangerine oil just overpowers my nose relatively quickly and becomes difficult to smell in comparison to the rest of the scent.
Verdict: Keep! It’s so rare to find a realistic orange. I upgraded this to a larger size (as the picture spoils) because it was just such a treasure.
In the bottle: Humidity, sugary-pink-lemon, a little bit fizzy like a soda.
Wet on my skin: Humidity, sweet pink-lemonade, a bit of tree bark… a slight smell of leaves.
Drydown: This is sitting under a tree on a humid day as a thunderstorm begins to roll on while you drink pink lemonade and eat lemon-berry sweets. It’s amazingly evocative… the tree bark and leaves with just a hint of the dirt and the strong humid notes. It’s mouth-watering without being 100% food and is a dreamy, sleepy scent for me. (My husband got watermelon candy from it).
After 30 mins: Very consistent with the drydown. I really love this so I wish I had more to expound upon but it’s very consistent. Even the strength of the scent is about the same.
Notes on the site: Bright pink and heartbreakingly optimistic; cotton candy served with thick strawberry cheesecake and sour lemon squares on a hot rainy day.
I can see the sugar being cotton candyish (It’s somewhere between cotton candy and pink lemonade) I get the strawberry part but not the cheesecake so much. I get the sour lemon squares and the hot day. I don’t know where I’m getting the tree bark and dirt basenotes from. Maybe that’s what the cheesecake is supposed to be?
Note: Okay so I've done a bunch of long wears of this and even used it scent some homemade whipped shea butter lotion. The 'earthy' note I was getting is the cheesecake note. Sometimes I can smell it a little more and it pings as cheesecake instead of 'earthy'. What's interesting is in the whipped shea butter the lotion stableized the 'cheesecake' part of the scent and really brought it out. It's a freaking amazing lotion scent.
Verdict: Keep! Love it! It’s foodier than I usually like but the dreamlike evocativeness of it and the humidity is what I really adore about this. I ended up upsizing this one too. And since it's GC I have no fears about mixing it in with lotions etc.
In the bottle: Creamy purple florals, a hint of fruit (that I can taste in my mouth) verging on a grape-soda smell - the fruit is a little sharp, almost charred but not unpleasantly so,smooth resin (not at all screechy! Sandalwood?). And...orange blossom and something a little like rain. It’s a hard scent to describe - the mixture of all the scents does evoke a vinyl record quite well though.
Wet on my skin: Creamy, sweet, and bright! Purple and white florals surround a picquant but sweet fruit note - almost bubblegummy but not quite (some sort of berry note - I think I remember this having black currant? That would fit). The charred notes are decreased and whatever the resin is becomes almost citrusy. I’m not sure what’s adding the creamy which means it’s probably a musk. A cool wet note swirls in the background and comes forward as air from my fan runs over my hand. Fascinating. When the wet note comes forward so does the charred.
Drydown: Creamy, sweet, a little resinous, the tiniest bit powdery that same kind of… smells like a vinyl record dark note. It kind of reminds me of candy - like Smarties but less powdery. Tart berry-like fruit, sweet, something acidic similar to citrus but… not citrus, a certain soft creaminess. Imagine eating smarties while you examined a vinyl record and you might have an idea of this perfume’s kind of general vibe.
After 30 mins: Mostly non-powdery smarties candy at this point (with just a dollop more creaminess). The darker resinous-vinyl note has gone faint - almost undetectable - as a slight touch of something herbal in quality. What is there is very firmly there but it’s a very different scent than the one I initially put on. Nothing is wrong with it per se - it’s bright! It’s fun! It’s acidic! Just different. AS A NOTE I have worn this out before and it has a solid throw.
Notes on the site: Burnt-out black currant, grapefruit cider, vintage cotton and blue lotus absolute (transforms from creamy on warm skin to spicy and herbaceous in cool weather)
Oh wow! Okay, so I did remember the black currant - that must be what I read as the darker purple grape-y notes and that kinda ‘charred’ note early on. The grapefruit cider must be what the kind of smarties smell is. I bet the textile cotton note might be what I’m reading as kind of vinyl-y I guess? Maybe in conjunction with the more sharp parts of the black currant? What’s buck wild about this scent though is that blue lotus absolute. It’s so freaking complex. It reads as something close to a creamy white, wet floral - but also sort of resinous. I am very certain that it was what I was reading as being a musk. It morphs ALL over the place… and having worn this out now I can verify that temperature does impact the smell.
Verdict: So, I’ve been locked in a huge debate over whether to upgrade this one or not. I do like it… but do I full size like it? It falls right on that line for me. I think it’s a well crafted, well balanced scent and I’m tantalized by the temperature related morphing. I do find myself wanting to wear it on days where I’m feeling strongly androgynous-punky. But it’s the tiniest bit hard on my nose, the tiniest bit harsh that holds me back from getting the full size. I think for now I’m gonna stick with my 1.5ml of it for now. It’s possible another blackcurrant scent from Stereoplasm could replace it.
In the bottle: Rich, realistic cherry cake batter. Something almost a little fizzy.
Wet on my skin: Cherry cake batter, hazelnut, something boozy, something a little like birch soda.
Drydown: The hazelnut dominates rich and well...nutty. There’s a smattering of the cherry cake batter now with the cherry taking on dry tones. The cake batter smell blends with the kind of faint birch-y odor. There’s something a little floral in there too.
After 30 mins: About the same as the drydown. I’d say there’s a sense of moistness that’s left the scent - it’s a dry hazelnut cake batter smell now with a lingering dusting of cherry. While this scent is sweet it feels like it’s missing something with what I think it’s going for - some sort of succulent, wet note. I’m not getting anything floral now aside from some kind of… dry cream smell (like, it’s creamy but it doesn’t add moisture to the scent). It miiight be a white blossom or musk.
Notes on the site: Gooey cherry cake batter, burnt marzipan, fresh cinnamon leaf, orange zest, warm chai cream and roasted hazelnut
I got the cake batter! Not so much the burnt marzipan - but honestly the whole thing is so nutty losing some almond in there wouldn’t be surprising. I wouldn’t be shocked if the cinnamon leaf was the ‘birch-y’ note I was getting. The warm chai cream is probably where creaminess and floral is coming from. The chai blends well with the hazelnut and almond - like the hazelnut leads and your brain gets this kind of ‘warm nuttiness with definite hazelnut qualities’ and figures it must be the hazelnut.
Also gonna just go out on a wild limb here... I think this cake batter accord might involve heliotrope. I've caught what I believe is heliotrope in 'cake' scents since this and it's been pretty similar. Heliotrope is a very 'dry' smell to might nose so it might be what's making this smell more like dried cake batter than moist gooey cake batter to my nose... if it indeed has heliotrope and I'm not just imagining things.
Verdict: I think this might be a swap - like, I like it enough that there’s a possibility I might keep it but I think a) I won’t wear it much and b) someone else who's super into cake batter gourmands might enjoy it way more than I do.
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