Saturday, June 22, 2019

Easter Stereoplasm Preview/Review! - 3 scents - Last Dance, The Sky is Falling, The Velveteen Stranger

A few days ago I got my first Stereoplasm order and they were kind enough to include samples of their as-of-the-time-of-this-post unreleased Easter set! It's time to GET HYPE for Easter Perfumes! Exclamation point! (The theme is BUNNIES)
The perfumes covered in today’s review are
  • Last Dance
  • The Sky is Falling
  • The Velveteen Stranger
Right now these scents are unreleased (and Stereoplasm is closed until Monday) so I can't link directly to them in the shop however they are up on the master list [link], and I can provide a link to Stereoplasm's storefront for when they reopen [link].

All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest 24 hours after arrival. I was under a time crunch where I didn't know if I'd be able to review them in a timely manner unless I knocked them out then. Before writing this review I popped them open to check and make sure they smelled about the same. They do - perhaps their odors were a bit stronger but the notes/themes seemed consistent. 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 then washing them off before testing the next one. 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
Bottle Review
These three samples came in Stereoplasm's 1ml bottles. These are clear screw top bottles. The tops removed easily - however in a couple of the 1ml samples in my pack (not these three) the tops fit a little wonky. One ended up having to be decanted because the top wouldn't stay on. On the ones the tops fit well on they fit firmly and don't appear to leak. The labels appear to be a sort of plastic or gum. Be careful about getting them wet - when they get wet with oil or water they degrade and become 'gummy' (sort of... melting?). They also can 'snag' and get little tears on them.
Generally I prefer screw tops to wand samples. These are pretty decent. I do wish they were cobalt or amber instead of clear. I go through perfumes slowly and I've found that in my decade old clear bottles I've had more degradation than in the amber ones I have. The other big change to them I'd make are the labels. I love plastic labels and these are so stylish and well designed - I just wish they were a little more durable and were resistant to moisture.
Beyond their color they're pretty standard screw tops. The couple of wonky tops I'm happy to write off as flukes of some sort (these things happen when you buy a bajillion tiny bottles).

And with that... on to the reviews proper!

A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
Last Dance
In the bottle: A smell that reminds me of Play Doh… I think it might be the heliotrope. I’ve smelled a similar note in Deep Midnight’s Children of the Night and if I’m recalling correctly all these have in common is a heliotrope note. Ambers swirling alongside the heliotrope. Something sweet and floral along with the Play Doh and it’s a little fizzy. Something almost anise like, but not quite.
Wet on my skin: Play Doh has dialed back (still a tiny hint of it). It’s mostly just creamy and ambery. Some faint floral in there. A little nose tickly. It’s very mild though.
Drydown: Creamy, faintly sweet, -very- faintly bubbly and floral. Play Doh is gone - it’s a kinda resinous smell that might remind someone of Play Doh - but I think the heliotrope is dominating this scent. A touch of amber. It’s a subtle, faint, golden, sparkly scent. I remember this having a champagne note? That fits. It’s like a dusting of glitter across skin.
After 30 mins: My overall impression of the scent is still the subtle, faint, golden, and sparkly. I’m getting what smells like some sort of textile note - suede maybe? The heliotrope is still there and the champagne has come forward some. There’s a dusty note in there that reminds me of a blush compact (it’s not -powdery- but it does remind me of makeup). The tiniest floral touch. I find myself wishing there were something to round out the scent a little more - make it a little broader. Maybe a sweet or acidic note.
Notes on the site: Vintage amber, creamy heliotrope, bubbly champagne, and freshly picked wildflowers
Well, I got all of those at one point or another. The wildflowers are edge florals, the heliotrope and ‘vintage amber’ (perhaps where I’m getting the textile note?) are very forward, the bubbly champagne is very dry and light and gives the scent something interesting. The description of ‘a dusting of gold glitter across skin’ that I gave earlier still stands.
Verdict: Swap. I like my smells a lil more bold and this is pretty demure.
The Sky Is Falling
In the bottle: Sweet, pastel florals and faint undertones of chocolate.
Wet on my skin: Very faint. I may have super rapidly gone anosmic to it. There’s a strong, floral taste in my mouth from smelling it so closely.
Drydown: Chocolate in a candy shell is coming out and it’s -very- realistic to those… tiny chocolate easter eggs. You know, the ones with a delicate sugar shell? That are hollow and about the size a robin would lay? Yeah that, with florals. Again, there’s a taste in my mouth from deep inhalation of this. The florals are very sweet. This has a HELL of a throw - when my sibling was over and opened this the other day I could smell it from four feet away. During the drydown I’m getting spindly threads of florals and candy eggs as I write this. Between that and how much I tasted it after a deep inhalation I wonder if this is such a scent bomb that it obliterated my ability to smell it .5 seconds after application? Because when I get close all I’m smelling is the carrier oil and getting a… floral taste in my mouth.
After 30 mins: This scent is very odd on me. When I go in for a sniff I get the scent cloud - sweet florals (pastel - kind of blue and purple) and a hint of candy shell. I get a floral taste in my mouth as if I just bit down on a flower petal. And then I smell… nothing. My snooter is determined for me not to smell much of this scent at all. I have to stop and refresh my nose periodically. What I do smell isn’t bad at all - a little on the feminine, child-like side (very much candy in a garden with a basket Easter memories). It almost verges on aquatic - it reminds me a bit of the way Monet’s waterlilies look. I wish I could say more but alas… my nose just goes blind to this one super fast.
Notes on the site: Pink ozone, trampled tulips, skyline crocus and delicate candy shells
Well, I get the florals and the candy. I have no clue what pink ozone ought to smell like - but I suspect it’s part of what’s setting the pastel mood for me. It’s a really interesting scent.
Verdict: If I could smell more of it up close to me (and not just with the throw) I’d keep the scent sample! As it is though it’s gonna go into swaps where it can hopefully be easier to perceive for someone else.
The Velveteen Stranger
In the bottle: Intoxicating silvery blackberry aftershave. Not too ‘cologne-y’ though. Slightly masculine of center. Something sugary (marshmallows? From the description) beneath the blackberry. There is a hint of another fruit in there (peaches? I think).
Wet on my skin: Fruit and sugar rounded out by that amazing aftershave and a deeper wood note (not acrid! Not headache inducing).
Drydown: The thick slightly boozy fruits dominate with that dark wood grounding them. A hint of smokiness comes forward.
After 30 mins a couple of hours out at dinner: The marshmallow has come forward - but it’s not a sugary marshmallow accord. Whatever notes are in the accord, combined with the dark wood/cedar, reminded my husband as smelling like toweling off sand after being at the beach. I can see what reminds him of that. As they mentioned the cedar is still there as is the blackberry aftershave. There is maybe a breath of smokiness.
I wanna make a special note on the lasting power of this. It lasted forever. The next day after writing this I picked up the shirt I'd been wearing while this was on my wrists and it smelled like The Velveteen Stranger.
Notes on the site: Stolen peaches, yellow marshmallow, chopped cedar, blackberry aftershave and cigar smoke
All there! I got all of them. This is one of those scents it was hard to forget the notes on after seeing them - I don’t know how much that influenced my review… but I definitely think that this scent features all of them. It’s complex, yet cohesive. This is a rich scent with great throw. You’ll know you’re wearing it the whole time. It’s dark with a wink.
Verdict: This is a great scent! Just to the masculine side of androgynous. It’s sweet and sultry and kind of hypnotic… but not foody. I was once told that all Cake songs are either about a car, the devil, a woman or some combination of the above. This is a Cake song about the devil. I’m definitely gonna try and get ahold of a bigger bottle!

In conclusion I want to make sure to say that Stereoplasm has impressed me deeply. They're super accommodating (I mentioned when ordering that if they wanted to include any samples to skip any 'green' scents because they were headache central for me. Which A) they did and B) even thanked me for specifying in a general way which scents I couldn't tolerate). When I emailed asking for allergen information they made a note of what allergens I have (presumably for future orders and/or if I order a custom). They shipped out super fast and even with the international shipping the order got here pretty rapidly.
Additionally... I gotta say something about their packaging. Their must be some sort of Rumpelstiltskin deal going on with Stereoplasm's Meaghan and her ability to wrap perfumes. There is no way the ability to wrap up perfumes in like... freaking origami for transport is natural. It amazed me. (Also, the insert going over the notes... the stickers... it's all so well designed, beautiful, thematic, and holy cow so much work must go into this stuff).
And of course I have to mention how generous they are with their samples. I wouldn't be getting to write a preview (!?!?) without their generosity. My order came with a grand total of 6 free samples (including the animal scent-of-the-month). Which, just, wow.
(Plus, the way to my heart is apparently house-distilled notes. Nothing gets me going like 'we distill some of our own notes' and then getting to smell those. You can tell the difference. They're so unique. )

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