Wednesday, July 3, 2019

6 Sucreabeille Reviews: Venom, Nightshade, Belladonna, Wormwood, Chloroform, Arsenic

So, I'm going to skip methods and a big bottle review this time. This is one of those cases where I want to lead with the photo because I'm super pleased with how the shoot went and the whole collection together looks great. Speaking of bottles looking great: These are, indeed, some of my favorite labels from Suc. My only teeny tiny nitpicky complaint is that Chloroform doesn't match the rest of the set in that the rest of the set lists the notes on the bottle while Chloroform doesn't! Otherwise, standard Suc 10mls.

If you want to buy these perfumes you can find them at Sucreabeille [ link ] - where while they are all technically available to buy now you ought to wait for their sale to go live tomorrow. It runs until the 7th! I suppose you could and then buy them again during the sale if you happen to be a bajillionare who wants to show support for small scent businesses. In fact I will go so far as to say that if you are a bajillionare you should buy them right now this second and then grab a second set during the sale.


In the bottle: G r e e n. Reminds me of almost straight tomato leaf. Its got an edge of a floral but I couldn’t tell you what that is because my nose is like ‘Why are you shoving me into a tomato plant?’.

Wet on my skin: Now something else comes out! At least that I can smell at a distance. It’s a clean smelling aquatic, and, whoop, yeah as I get closer I get more of it. Not soapy - a little more like freshly chlorinated water or a dryer sheet. Kinda ozonic I guess? Somewhere in there is that tomato leaf. Together it’s a very kind of astringent, sort of herbal scent. There’s a brown smell in there that kind of mildly reminds me of heliotrope (on further sniffs I think it might be a leather note). A little lemony - there might be a white floral of some sort in this? Maybe a jasmine?

Drydown: Herbal, kind of ozonic. The ozonic portion is what I’m struggling to describe. It’s like somewhere between a green, resinous ozonic and an ozonic-aquatic. Like, I think there is some sort of green-wood-resin in here but I keep waffling. Undercurrent of tomato leaf - maybe some anise (there’s something in here reminiscent of licorice) but that could also just be how my nose is interpreting what seemed like a white floral earlier.

After 30 mins: Tomato leaf, green-woody-resin, ozone, something a little like anise - not strong ‘licorice’ but an herb reminiscent of it.

Official Notes: Oud wood, smoked patchouli, coal, freshly paved tar, cedarwood.

So, I think the oud is what was green-woody-resin here. The coal must be what was ozonic. The freshly paved tar is what I think must have had something in it reminding me of anise. The brown note had to have been the smoked patchouli - it smelled less like a classic patchouli and more like some of the more acrid leather accords I’ve smelled. The cedarwood has to be what I was reading as tomato leaf (it’s got a similar piquancy). But, dang, my nose was convinced this was a tomato leaf scent. I should have known better: It didn’t give me a headache so it’s missing the aroma chemical that goes in most leafy or grassy things I’m sensitive to.

Verdict: Not my kind of thing. I’ll figure out some way to pass on the bottle that Suc sent me. But I think for some people into kind of… obscure atmospherics? Tomato-leaf-adjacent things? For those people this will be a winner.


In the bottle: So before Suc sent me a press sample of this I actually had a lil 1ml of nightshade. I recall it having “real ylang ylang” in it which I assume means an ylang absolute. The words ‘ylang absolute’ are what the path to my heart is paved with. So, fair warning. Anyway: In the bottle this smells like… ylang ylang (white floral similar to magnolia - has a kind of ‘lemony’ vibe to it without actually smelling like citrus). I think I recall this having a whiskey note? I can see some of that at the edges. Some creaminess to the scent that could be from a vanilla, a musk, or even an amber.

Wet on my skin: A little cakey. Still very ylang ylang centered (and lemme tell you, I am here for that ylang ylang absolute). The whiskey accord is a little bitter but hey, so is whiskey. Not really that boozy though - if anything the particular bitter nature of the whiskey is smelling more like a kind of gasoline or kerosene. At this stage the innate kind of feminine, silky scent of the ylang is contrasting nicely with the masculine qualities of the whiskey.

Drydown: Ylang ylang scented cakes with whiskey at the edges. The kerosene like smell is basically completely gone. I think what’s making me think ‘cake’ must be a vanilla or a tonka.
After 30 mins: Basically identical to the drydown. I wanna mention here that the throw on this has been really solid. Been getting cakey ylang whiffs the whole time.

Official Notes: a big glass of whiskey, sandalwood, amber, real ylang ylang.

Yup on the whiskey. The amber might be what’s adding that cake-like element if it’s the same amber that’s been used in some of their other scents (like, The Mountain). The sandalwood is what I think it adding that slightly acrid resinous note that reminded me of kerosine. And the ylang-ylang is the body, heart, and soul of the scent.

Note: A couple of things. I wore this out after writing the review and got a bunch more whisky. I wonder if I didn't agitate the scent enough one of the times? Also as time goes on the whiskey, sandalwood, and ylang ylang all eventually burn off (after hours)... but that amber stays. And that's where the cake lies. It's a very cakey amber.

Verdict: I’ll be happily keeping the bottle Suc sent me. If I were upgrading from my 1ml I might have waffled on it - or settled on a dram instead. But, man, I do love that ylang ylang.


In the bottle: Herbal, a little astringent. Green with a floral edge - this smells like sniffing a plant to me. Maybe a little dirt? Very much a ‘greenhouse’ scent in the bottle.

Wet on my skin: Floral and something that reminds me of both a garden hose… and… the garden department at a hardware store. Does this have vetiver in it? Something a little piquant, little acidic at the top. I might be getting some water too. Like, the garden hose with a tiny bit of water in it right after you’ve misted your garden is the major vibe I’m getting from this. The floral might be ylang or a similar white - the tiny bit of acidic piquancy is of the sort I expect from white florals.

Drydown: Still very much a garden hose you’ve just used to mist flowers and the flowers you’ve just misted. It’s not unpleasant - and actually kind of nostalgic for me. Like… ozonic wet rubber and eathiness. I keep going back and forth on if the piquancy at the top is a floral or a bit of a lime/citrus note. Tiny bit of greenery, but more herbal than fresh-cut-grass. There might also be some sort of ‘hay’ note in there as part of the scent that I’m reading as garden hose.

After 30 mins: Rubber, ozone, lemony-maybe-floral. Really stable - very similar to the drydown. Maybe a touch more hose.

Official Notes: A freshly picked red rose, old leather, white musk.

Okay, so. With the rose - that’s the floral. It’s a lot like the rose in Blood Rose but a) less deep and syrupy and b) kinda indolic in a way that to my nose comes off as ozonic. There’s something lemony to it that makes it smell more like a white floral (like an ylang or a magnolia) than a rose. The old leather I can see being leather-adjacent but TBH it smells exactly like a garden hose left in the dirt to me. The white musk here is a very animalistic white musk similar to the one used in Suc's Khaleesi. Part of the depth of that (aside from its own indolic nature) I think is adding the kind of wet note.

Verdict: A pass from me. It’s not a bad scent - but it’s also not the kind I’d wear. For someone who really likes greenhouse style scents I think this one will be a pleasant surprise since the character it gave off to me was so different from the official notes.


In the bottle: Rosemary, anise - something sweet, maybe a musk? Something warm that reminds me of bread.

Wet on my skin: Anise - more herbal-y than licorice-y but definitely anise. Something nutty - must have been what I was reading as bread initiatlly. Resin of some sort. Maybe an edge of what smelled like rosemary in the bottle. Basically resin and anise are battling for dominance in the scent right now - there might be a touch of rosemary, and a touch of spice.

Drydown: Licorice and cinnamon candy with an edge of rosemary layered over resin.There was a moment in there where the spice freaking surged forward. It’s calmed down some. The whole character of the perfume is getting more gourmand and the anise is going from flagging me as ‘an herb that smells like licorice’ to ‘licorice’. It’s a pretty sweet scent.

After 30 mins: Sweet cinnamon licorice, resin, herbs (it smells a lot like rosemary but it might be something different). The resin might be a patchouli but it seems a little woodier than the usually earthy patchouli is.

Official Notes: anise, freshly ground cloves, dalmatian sage, frankincense

Ah-ha! So yes, anise. The spice is cloves and note cinnamon. The herb is sage and not rosemary (coulda sworn it was rosemary) and the resin is frankincense.

But the basic composition is all there, all detectable. This one is what it says on the tin.

Verdict: For a lot of people into indie perfumes this is gonna be in their bag broadly if they’re into anise/licorice along with the resinous and gothy cloves-sage-frankincense kinda combo. It is not in my bag - just not a set of scent families I’m particularly enthusiastic about - but the perfume does reflect the notes quite well.


In the bottle: So, one of the things I want to do as a reviewer is always be honest with myself, my audience, and the people who produce perfumes. Before now I’ve never had an issue with it because before now the closest I’ve come to press samples are the lil 1mls that Stereoplasm makes a point of getting to me so that they are timed with releases. Sucreabeille has been ultra supportive and ultra kind and uh…

I’m being tested here by whatever divine powers govern perfumes.

Because, this, to my nose, smells like a diaper. I suspect it’s because it’s indole city. It is extremely, extremely indolic in the bottle and the first thing that pops into my head upon sniffing it is ‘how babies smell when they get handed to me’ or ‘that smell I get when I’m in a bathroom and someone is changing a baby nearby’.

I’ve spent days trying to figure out how to phrase this as kindly as I can. I rested this sucker specifically. And well… still diaper to my nose.

For anyone confused: Indole in addition to being an aroma chemical in many flowers and giving character to a lot of perfumes is also a note in feces [ link to an article on the indole aroma chemical! Super fascinating! ]. One of my perpetual issues with indolic scents in general is that they creep uncomfortably close to fecal sometimes. This one is indole whoopin and hollerin and riding in on a pony and shooting guns in the air.

Wet on my skin: Sour indole city. There’s some edges of lovely white florals and then INDOLE. I skimmed the note description of this when Andrea sent it to me and I saw indole for this perfume and YUP IT’S INDOLIC. If anyone is curious what ‘indolic’ means grab a sample of this because it ought to clear up any confusion.

Again, there’s floral sweetness to this at the edges - and a base of what smells kind of like a baked good - maybe even some qualities that might strike some people as soapy. But to me it is Baby Stink (™). To any babies reading this: My sincere apologies for calling you out on your Baby Stink.

Drydown: There… might be some neroli in here. I’m having trouble picking out individual notes because of the indole. At a distance I get a kind of classic smelling perfume that reminds me a little bit of potpourri and has undertones of sweet florals and even a kind of chocolaty character. But when I move in close for a deep whiff I mostly get Eau De Changing Table with hints of white florals.

After 30 mins: It’s… somewhat less fecal. Like, I think the indole must be involved with the top notes and burning off some because as time passes it’s mellowing and blending more. Personally I still would reduce the amount of indole in this particular blend uh… significantly. (Though I hold with the possibility that I might be unusually sensitive to indole). But I do think I like what is in the perfume besides the degree of indole.

Official Notes: fresh-blooming frangipani, gardenia, jasmine, and honeysuckle, redolent indole, Egyptian musk.

Gosh, without the knockout amount of indole this would be so far up my alley. I think the sweet floral I’m getting is the frangipani, and I can see there being gardenia (I wonder if the gardenia’s kinda greenness is what I mistook for neroli?). I wonder if the jasmine is adding some of that ‘sour’ smell. I can even see there being edges of musk and honeysuckle.

Verdict: Hard pass for me. Sorry Chloroform.


In the bottle: A green fruit - a melon or yuzu or papaya. A little musky - also has a that kind of toffee smell some gourmands have in the bottle. Some sort of sweet floral character to it. Kinda reminds me of plumeria/frangipani.

Wet on my skin: Fruit, that kind of toffee-ish smell that might be vanilla, something a little acerbic or resinous in there (kinda reminds me of gasoline). I recall one of these had a gasoline note. I kinda like the contrast between the gasoline notes and the ultra sweet kinda honeyed-vanilla-fruits.

Drydown: Yup, that’s a gasoline smell. I figured it would bother me more than it does. Like, I think if this scent didn’t have the harsh gasoline the ultra-sweet foody fruits would be overwhelming. As it is… well, I’m getting into this. This is hitting the kind of androgynous ‘smell-like-both-genders-at-once’ thing I’m into. I wish the gasoline were a tiny bit less forward but that’s mostly nitpicking at this point. If I had to take a stab at the note boquet I’d say green fruit, sweet gourmand (sugar/honey/candy/toffee) sort of thing, a sweet, rounded floral (something in the neighborhood of a plumeria), and gasoline. Maybe some musk.

After 30 mins: Still about the same. Perhaps more balanced.

Official Notes: antique lace, gasoline, old books, fresh vanilla bean.

Okay, so, I figure the fruity and floral aspects I’m getting here have to be part of the antique lace accord (hat tip for the Arsenic and Old Lace reference). A fruity character might also be part of the very gourmand vanilla bean. The old books didn’t stand out distinctly - but might be adding some muskiness to the perfume (or maybe that’s part of the lace). I didn’t really get any textile note in this. The gasoline is definitely there and is what really balances this scent - keeping it from going overly sweet. This is a very strong scent - great throw - so I’d recommend applying conservatively then working your way up.

Verdict: I’m keepin my bottle. A surprise love for me. From the description I would have imagined something much more feminine, and much more “classic” in its perfume structure (referencing that sweet ol granny vibe). Instead this smells more like you’re someone who works on classic cars or motorcycles on the weekend and goes out for drinks where you order a White Russian because The Big Lebowski changed your life. Or like you’re that mechanic chick from that one P!nk music video.

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