Hey friends! It's once again time for Clawsight/SNEEF Reviews. Today on the menu is The Strange South.
The perfumes covered in today's reviews are:
- Darling [Store Link]
- Put A Spell On You [Store Link]
- Heat Lightning [Store Link]
- Once is Enough [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. 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
See my previous bottle review [link]. The only thing I'd add is in the interim there's been a couple of leakies.... which isn't shocking for wand bottles. I'm not sure if I'm not closing them tight enough, or splashing when I open them.
And now on to the reviews proper.
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: Fruity, creamy musk with a dusty twinge. I think the fruit might be plum - this scent is very round and purple. Something perhaps a little green in there? A little oak-mossy?
Wet on my skin: Dark green is coming forward a little. There might be some vanilla in there as part of the creamy? The musk is more prominent. Something a little sharp and earthy - perhaps patchouli? But the end effect is very mossy.
Drydown: There’s something kind of lemon-y in the TSS scents I’ve tried. It’s similar enough to their ylang note that I wonder if there’s ylang or jasmine in this. It’s still mossy, musky, and creamy - touches of that purple fruity smell. Something down there almost foody, almost chocolaty?
After 30 mins: I am fairly sure I’m still getting chocolate and the purple fruit. The scent has mellowed a lot, but there’s still a mossy-dirt edge to it. It’s a lot less strong then it went on too. Still musky - it’s lost whatever that citrusy edge was. There’s something in there that kind of reminds me of hibiscus (or at least… how I’ve experienced hibiscus in tea)
Notes on the site: Violet, bitter pomegranate seeds, marshmallow fluff, and frost
Well. Okay. Huh. I don’t get the frost at all. The violet must be what I was interpreting as purple (and I guess the floral component too). I guess the musk and the sweetness is the marshmallow fluff. I think the dirt-earthy-mossy scent it part of the pomegranate seeds which are also contributing to the fruitiness and what I’m interpreting as chocolaty. I guess the marshmallow fluff could also be adding to the kind of foody-chocolate sort of note.
Verdict: I like this one. I’m not sure if I like it enough for a full size, but it stays complex throughout. It’s a little vicious smelling. Like how something furry from the underworld with too many teeth would smell. I kind of like that. There’s that touch of the eerie to it - I’m guessing brought on by the pomegranate. I’m definitely keeping the sample.
Put A Spell On You
In the bottle: Dark purple and black gourmand - a wine red fruit punch spiked with anise. Almost a sparkling quality to it.
Wet on my skin: Something earthy-creamy emerges instantly taking over… is that… coconut? Fruit punch goes to the edges. Anise is well behaved as a background note.
Drydown: Anise dominates. The earthy note moves to the far background. Fruits are all but gone - just edge notes. It’s just sort of a… mild fruity licorice smell now.
After 30 mins: The fruit is back, the earthiness (it smells like mulch or coconut husks) grounds it and the anise has gone back to being well behaved. It’s not faint. Overall, a pleasant slightly earthy dark purple gourmand with hints of black from the anise.
Notes on the site: Spiked punch, nutmeg, dragon's blood, black musk, and star anise
The spiked punch is obvious. Dark fruits - a lil on the Hawaiian Punch side but nothing really artificial smelling. It’s just hard to pick out the individual fruit notes. Not much of a boozy note though. I don’t get any dragon’s blood unless it’s being read as part of the ‘punch’ accord (it is a red note after all)... there might be something SLIGHTLY resinous in the punch upon sniffing this while doing the note analysis. The earthy I must be getting is the nutmeg - though it doesn’t smell much like nutmeg to me. The black musk must be what I read as creamy early in the perfume and it must be adding to the ‘black’ reading of the anise.
Verdict: Not sure. I didn’t care for it wet or in the early drydown but in the deep drydown I like it - especially the well behaved anise. It’ll probably end up being a swap just because I can’t see wearing it often. It’s a little too femme-witchy for me - it brings a Morticia Addams dress to mind for me ( I prefer my witchy scents more androgynous).
In the bottle: A humid garden section of a store. Hints of mulch and sweet flowers. Something a little medicinal in there - like a medicinal or herbal coconut.
Wet on my skin: Ultra earthy coconut, something musky to the point of being kind of stinky, something cloyingly sweet. Still got that humidity note.
Drydown: Sharp, earthy coconut overlaying cloying floral sweetness. A touch of that humidity and some earthy musk (not as strong as it was wet). Easy to smell - doesn’t go light at all. To me it’s REALLY garden store hippy smelling which uh… is a smell I can tolerate for exactly as long as I need to be in a garden store.
After 30 mins: It’s gone much more faint on me - though that earthy coconut is still there, prominent, and sharp. The cloying-too-sweet has gone away - but now there’s kind of a… sweat note? Something tangy. There’s a ghost of humidity and muskiness.
Notes on the site: Coconut, hazelnut, clove, night blooming flowers, benzoin, and humidity trapped under a tin roof
So, the COCONUT is obviously there it combined with the hazelnut and maybe a -very- earthy clove might be what’s smelling earthy to me. I want to note there is nothing gourmand about this. It is earthy. It is a garden department. It is a greenhouse. The night blooming flowers and benzoin are probably what was so cloyingly sweet. I can see a certain metallicness that gave this a ‘tang’ being from the ‘tin roof’. And ofc the humidity was a humidity note lol.
Verdict: Swap. There’s probably someone out there this is for but it is not for me. This is a hippie who works at a garden store who showers enough that there’s no BO but who smells extremely strongly of the plants, soil, and mulch they work with. They might have some coconut oil in their hair. But for me the sheer earthy quality of this was so strong that it overwhelmed me - it isn’t just a matter of this not being something I want to smell like, the smell actually bothered me.
Once is Enough
In the bottle: Okay so I remember this has a sugarplum note and I can see that being there but more than that there’s two smells in here. One reminds me of a horse - a kind of animal muskiness combined with a sweet, sticky, earthy grain note (reminds me of the oats that are fed to horses - it isn’t remotely dry) and a sweet leathery/tobacco-y smell that reminds me of my maternal grandfather.
Wet on my skin: Similar to in the bottle but less cloying. A little lemony. Still quite sweet-musky. Also it’s gone kind of faint. Not sure if I’m anosmic or what .
Drydown: It’s left a gross taste in my mouth - kind of a chemical dark leather/tobacco-ish thing. Hard to place what it is. Very earthy tasting. Something sweet and floral (a pleasant, slightly honeyed floral. I want to call it white but I’m not 100% sure). Has come forward over the earthy-oaty-sugarplum-y smell. Pretty cloying when I smell it with a fresh-ish note.
After 30 mins: Still pretty faint. I’m getting something in addition to what was there before that smells a lil anise-y. So impressions after 30 mins is a lightly worn scent with dark purple sticky earthy notes that remind me of the smell of horse food, a light floral, and something kind of anise-like.
Notes on the site: Fig, sugarplums and black cherries, almond, frankincense, and star anise
Well okay. The earthy horse food/grandfather notes for me are the fig and the almond for sure. The sweet-cloying fruity note must be the sugarplums. I don’t get black cherries except maybe as something that rounds out that fig-almond-earthy-horse-oats smell. Frankincense must be what I was reading as a floral (It’s a very light, sweet smell from what I know of it) and the anise must be the anise.
Verdict: Swap. It’s not… bad or anything. I just don’t want to smell like it. For fans of smelling like you just fed a horse this is the scent for you.
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