Thursday, August 22, 2019

6 Stereoplasm Reviews: Unicornis ( Unicorn ) + Kerberos + Phoînix ( Phoenix ) + Ambystoma Mexicanum ( Axolotl ) + Greyhound + Bombus Pensylvanicus ( American Bumblebee)

In their recent update Stereoplasm clarified that the animal-of-the-month scents would be available for purchase in September! Huzzah! As such, I figured it would be time to get the reviews up for the remainder of the animal scents I've gotten from them!
The perfumes covered in today's review are:
  • Unicornis ( Unicorn )
  • Kerberos
  • Phoînix ( Phoenix)
  • Ambystoma Mexicanum ( Axolotl )
  • Greyhound*
  • Bombus Pensylvanicus ( American Bumblebee )
None of these scents are up yet - but here's a link to Stereoplasm's store front [ link ]
All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for several days ( a few weeks for these scents) after arrival. The perfumes were kept in the dark in a plastic box if small enough. If too large for a box they generally sit on top of a bookcase or bedside table, or inside of a drawer. 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 wash my hands for review purposes I wash with Dove sensitive skin, or almond Doc Bronner’s.
Before doing test periods I often wear or play with other scents in my collection (that I wash off). I also am often wearing scented lotion on my feet and ankles (that I do not wash off). Sometimes I wear scented hair products simultaneously. Theoretically there could be cross-contamination.
For oils: Each sample was gently swirled before application. Then applied directly to skin - typically the top of my arm or the back of my hand.
Each review is written without looking at the notes in that moment. Frequently I will glance at a perfume’s notes beforehand. At the end of the review I will list what the official notes are and comment on how I think they interacted.
Bottle Review
You can see my bottle review for Stereoplasm's 2mls [ here ].
I will note that I'm still having label difficulties - I store these bottles upright, in a box, next to each other and the small amount of friction from that has damaged the ink on several of these and gummed the plastic on another. Several people have suggested wrapping the bottles in plastic tape - but I'd rather not as I like keep the option to swap/resell bottles and want to keep them in the condition I got them in if at all possible.
Even though I had ink peel off - none of these labels smeared with normal use while reviewing them.
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
Unicornis ( Unicorn )
In the bottle: PINK. Slightly fruity. I remember this having a ‘sugared diamonds’ note and that’s coming forward as a kind of glass or very clear water note. There’s a touch of sugar in here but it’s a kind of dry, subdued sugar. Kind of musky?
Wet on my skin: I recall this having a pink suede note and that’s what’s coming forward right now. Soft pink sueded leather that reminds me of toy horses I had as a kid (I think the suede is what I was reading as musky in the bottle). A sparkling sugar note (similar to the kind of sugar in the cream soda accord in First Bloom). And PINK I don’t know what that PINK is - I think vanilla is a part of it along with a fruity floral thing. It kinda reminds me of berries. There’s also that glassy-watery note. Like a fancy berry-lime sparkling water with a hint of tea rose.
Drydown: Very similar to how it was wet. This one is quite stable.
After 30 mins: Still smelling glassy or like very clear, slightly sparkling water. Still got that berry-lime kinda smell. Still very stable. Shimmery.
Official Notes: Holy ambrosia, pink suede and sugared diamonds.
Ah, this is ambrosia not in the midwestern food sense (as in Stereoplasm's Sucreaplasm) but in the sense of ‘mythical drink of the gods’. Which in this case is fancy berry-lime fizzy water to my nose (maybe with a little honey - that might be what I was reading as musky). This is a really fun scent!
Verdict: A gourmand I really like in that it doesn’t smell much like food you’re about to eat but a really great mixed drink or a fancy fizzy water that comes in a glass bottle. I like this one a surprising amount. It’s punky, it’s sparkling, it reminds me of my glittery pink dice. If I get through my 2ml and if this is up store when I do I’ll probably upsize.
Phoînix ( Phoenix )
I remember this having a stone note and then a … copal or dragon’s blood note? Some sort of fiery resin.
In the bottle: Ah yes, that’s Stereoplasm’s dragon’s blood note - I recognize it from Cozy Starling. Stereoplasm’s dragon’s blood is musky and less sweet than I’m used to with dragon’s blood - it’s almost like a red, spicy-musky amber instead of the kind of Dr. Pepper smell that dragon’s blood usually evokes.
Anyway, the first note I get is the musky dragon’s blood followed by a sweet smell. I can’t tell if it’s a sweet resin or a sweet floral. At the base is something softly ozonic that reminds me more of cinders than stone.
Wet on my skin: Spicy! The topnotes are what smells like a spiced neroli - very creamy and golden-red. Under that is the musky dragon’s blood (the musk-like component in Stereoplasm’s dragon’s blood actually does remind me of the musk of my cockatiel’s skin, so, this actually smells kind of like a bird). Smoke and ozone at the base along with something kind of dusty-cool that I have to assume is the ‘stone’ note.
Drydown: The sweetness in this is very, very creamy. It reminds me of the cream-neroli combo in Stereoplasm’s Nemesis. It borders right between gourmand and floral - not so gourmand that you smell like food, but definitely sweeter than most flowers. Under that you have that bird-musk smelling dragon’s blood. And beneath that the dusty-ozone note that reminds me of stone. Less spice overall, and less smoke overall than it had wet.
After 30 mins: The ozonic-dusty smell of the stone has come further forward in the scent - I’m smelling it more on the top now. A little less sweet. Otherwise pretty much the same as the drydown.
Official Notes: Dragon's Blood, crumbling stone, copal, charred oak.
So, the dragon’s blood is the dragon’s blood. The crumbling stone is the ozone/dusty smell. The ‘cinders’ and smoke smells must be coming from the charred oak.The copal must be what’s bringing the sweetness - but it reminds me strongly of the cream/neroli combo in Nemesis.
Verdict: I’m agonizingly torn on this one because I love it. Adore it. It’s probably my favorite of the animal scents but it also is similar enough in character to Nemesis that I’m debating if I need to upgrade my 2ml to something bigger. If I didn’t already own Nemesis I’d probably upgrade this in a heartbeat when it becomes available.
In the bottle: A Michael’s craft store in the fall right when they’ve just put out the Halloween decorations and you’re in the silk flowers aisle. Kind of a floral-water note along with a slightly fruity note (I remember this having pomegranate in it because, well, y’know… Kerberos). Touch of spice I remember being listed as ginger.
Wet on my skin: Ginger comes way forward with a bit of a baked note to it. Edges of fruit and floral-water.
Drydown: The dark-floral-water note comes forward. I dunno what floral this is but it’s kinda got a night-blooming dark vibe. Fruity nuances but nothing that screams HEY THAT’S A POMEGRANATE. The base of this perfume is a baked-goods-ginger smell. While I like the water note I’m not too into this ginger cookie. I mean, it does smell like a kinda musky ginger cookie but it’s just not my thing.
After 30 mins: Dark floral water is now as the edges and that pomegranate has finally come forward. The musky ginger cookie is sitting at the base still.
Official Notes: snapping ginger, forbidden pomegranate, and River Styx.
I assume ‘snapping ginger’ is a ginger snap cookie, pomegranate is pomegranate, and the River Styx is that dark-floral-water.
I really like the River Styx accord in this. It’s dark! It smells like water! It’s haunting and otherworldly! I’m cool with the pomegranate. But man, that snapping ginger is not my thing. It smells just like those ultra dry hard as a rock gingersnap cookies from the grocery store (minus a lil of the sweetness, and a lil more musky).
Verdict: Swap. Just not my thing.
Ambystoma Mexicanum ( Axolotl )
In the bottle: Cinnamon cake with cream cheese icing! This is a really mouth-watering cake gourmand.
Wet on my skin: Cinnamon cake with cream cheese icing. Maybe some toasted almond-y nuances? Moist and buttery smelling.
Drydown: Really amping the icing and the cinnamon. The cake itself is a little drier smelling that it was. Like it now smells like a baked cake that hasn’t been cut into instead of a moist slice right in front of me. A smidge almondy but not strongly so.
After 30 mins: Toasted almond is more forward and the cake accord is a little less realistic and slightly more perfume-y. The icing has died back to basically just a slightly cream-cheese-y sugar smell. I want to emphasize that it’s not a bad perfume-y. It just smells like an artistic interpretation of cake instead of hyper realistic cake. Almost like there’s a touch of a floral note somewhere.
Official Notes: Fresh torta de ceilo: Fluffy yellow almond cake topped with powdered sugar and a splash of spiced brandy.
Yup, I get almond cake with powdered sugar. I dunno where I was getting the cream cheese unless that’s how my brain was reading the brandy or there’s an unlisted cream cheese note. But I definitely got it. I think the sweet, non-cake smell I was like ‘almost floral’ with was the brandy.
Pretty strong scent with a decent throw.
Verdict: Swap? Maybe? I can’t see upsizing this. It’s a perfectly good cake gourmand but personally I’m just not wild about it. It’s right on that line between keeping and clearing out of my collection.
In the interest of full transparency: I suggested this as an animal scent to Meaghan! I love Greyhounds. We have a 10 year old retired racer that is The Best Boy. They’re great dogs with a long history and I think make for a great perfume option. If I remember right this scent is a combination of citrus, Earl Grey tea, and dirty paw prints. :)
In the bottle: Bright, fragrant citrus with a bit of tea sharpness. Something kind of windy/misty in there too. There may have been an additional note I forgot.
Wet on my skin: Smooth tea swirled with crisp citrus. Still getting that windy/misty note - it’s a little reminiscent of clean clothes without going strongly ‘detergent’ smelling. The scent has a warmth to it. At the base I think I’m getting a tiny edge of that dirt kind of mellowing things out - but it’s more of a dry dirt than a mud.
Drydown: It’s wearing kind of faint on me. I get a bit of citrus, some tea, and soft ozone. Maybe the tiniest hint of dirt. Like, I can smell it if I get close but it isn’t amping on me. This would make for a nice linens scent though. Funnily, for a scent with a dirt note it doesn’t smell dirty at all - more like laundry drying outdoors on a breezy day while you drink a cup of Earl Grey tea with a couple of those gummy orange candies on the side.
After 30 mins: Pretty much just like it was in the drydown. I think the dirt note might be blending some with the citrus some to create that ‘citrus gummy candy’ effect.
Official Notes: Earl Grey tea, Energetic citrus, sweet syclamen and quick pawprints in soft dirt.
Ah! There was a note I forgot… and the dirt was a soft dirt instead of mud. I have no idea what syclamen smells like, but that might adding that ‘breezy/misty/clean’ vibe (that, or the ‘quick’ part of the ‘quick’ pawprints is a breezy note).
Verdict: I’ll be keeping my sample, but probably not upsizing. I do wish it wore more strongly on me. Where I like it the best is when it’s wet on my skin. I think for tea lovers and people who like soft, non-acrid, clean/breezy scents this one will be a big hit if it wears well with their skin chemistry.
Bombus Pensylvanicus (Bumblebee)
I recall this has a pollen note? I think? And I expect it has a honey one.
In the bottle: Golden, herbal-spicy-green flowers. Reminds me of the smell of a fresh picked dandelion. A bit of sharp, floral sweetness and dustiness. Bright, floral, and a little spicy-green.
Wet on my skin: Fresh, bright tart dandelion complete with greens. Sunny-warm - not sure what’s giving it that sort of character. Something in there that’s silky and soft- reminds me of linen curtains flapping in a breeze. There’s a tiny touch of soft powder that must be that pollen note.
Drydown: Very stable to how it was wet. The overwhelming impression for me is ‘DANDELIONS’. Like a big field of ‘em. I wish I had more to describe but it’s morphed like 0%.
After 30 mins: A little less green and a little bit more kind of… musky-dandelion-floral. A little creamy with some sweetness (honey maybe?) poking through. Still spicy with green edges though.
Official Notes: Foxglove Nectar, Red Clover, Dusty Pollen, and a hint of spiced honey.
The red clover dominates this scent with just like, a kiss of foxglove nectar and pollen. The honey I didn’t get any of until the deep drydown - but I did get the spices. The honey is more sort-of-musky than sugar-sweet. With the words ‘red clover’ in front of me I can totally see it - but it also, does, kinda smell like dandelions. The green wasn’t painful to me, but it was quite pungent.
Verdict: Not my thing. For someone looking for a more herbal/wild smelling floral that’s not too sweet and keeps a green character throughout with hints of more traditional florals, pollen, and a teeny tiny musky bit of honey this would be a hit. Swap for me.
*The Latin text on the Greyhound bottle ( stultus apparuit postquam elevatus ) is from a proverb (proverbs 30) in the bible that famously contains an allusion to greyhounds. Some websites (including google translate!) incorrectly translate this as the latin phrase meaning greyhound! In fact this is translating the line in the psalm after the one that mentions greyhounds in some translations.
The quoted Latin line is Proverbs 30:32 and greyhounds are mentioned in the King James Version in Proverbs 30:31. The direct translation of the Latin from Proverbs 30:32 is " If you have been foolish in exalting yourself" . I have 0 clue why so many websites say this means greyhound - but it doesn't. The line that gets translated as mentioning greyhounds (Proverbs 30:31) reads: " gallus succinctus lumbos; et aries; nec est rex, qui resistat ei." which the KJV bible translates as " A greyhound; an he goat also; And a king, against whom there is no rising up"
(You can check the translation for yourself - here's the Latin for the bible verse, and the English. Just compare line 30:31 and 30:32 in English [ link ] and Latin [ link ].)
I only know this crud because A) I did Latin in high school/college and know that 'stultus' is where the word 'stupid' comes from and I was thrown for a loop when I saw it on the greyhound scent, and B) I'm a giant greyhound nerd and know they're the only dog breed mentioned in the bible (in some versions).
I did a bunch of research and there are just... a ton of websites giving the incorrect translation... which can be checked against the bible where the line is from (as linked above). What is the Latin term for greyhound then? There isn't one, precisely. The Romans grouped the greyhounds, deerhounds, and wolfhounds they encountered in Britain all together and called them something that translates to 'celt hounds'. The scientific name for greyhounds is the same as all the rest of dogdom - canis lupus familiaris.
I bring all this up because I mentioned it to Meaghan and I have no idea what the official name of the scent will be when it goes up for sale since she likes to use the scientific name of animals. All of this is here so (hopefully) these reviews will show up no matter what name people search for the greyhound scent under. I know this is a really long explanation so thank you for bearing with me in my dog/Latin nerd moment.

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