Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Andromeda's Curse Summer Collection - Firefly Hollow + Suwannee + Lichen + Patisserie + Coin-Operated Boy + Kismet

Andromeda's Curse Summer collection really impressed me. While I had issues with the longevity and strength of many of the Spring scents (which might, or might not be my skin chemistry) I had no such issues with the Summer collection! This is a really diverse batch of scents - regardless of your tastes I think there's probably something in this collection worth trying. There's only one scent in the batch I can't speak for - and it's in that category of scents that has a rough relationship with me pretty much universally (greens).
The perfumes covered in today's review are:

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 find my review of Andromeda's Curse 1ml samples [ here ].
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
Firefly Hollow
In the bottle: Smoke, ozone (or maybe a citrus? Hard to tell), florals, and a wood that reminds me of birch. The smoke and the birch blend heavily even though the smoke is at the forefront of the scent and the birch is at the back Under the smoke comes something ozonic and reminiscent of citrus. Under that is a tiny kiss of something floral that borders on alcoholic. The birch in this is woodier than most birches I’ve smelled.
For folks unfamiliar with birch as a scent - it’ll remind you slightly of the non-minty parts of toothpaste, and slightly of rootbeer (or birch beer lol). It’s a more ‘herbal’ wood
Wet on my skin: Smoke, citronella, ozone, spices (cinnamon?) and soft birch at the base. The smoke and ozone are what’s the most forward - the ozone has an almost metallic tang to it - a little soapy. The citronella hits in a lil wave when it first goes on and then dies back. This scent is sharp topnotes contrasted with the softness of the cinnamon and the birch.
Drydown: Sweet, slightly powdery softness in the topnotes now. Maybe a whisper of smoke. Still a lot of that strongly ozonic scent - it’s perhaps the strongest note in the whole thing. It might be a very clean, very ozonic white musk. Under that is a mixture of the birch and the cinnamon.
After 30 mins: Very similar to the drydown - maybe even more clean smelling. It smells a lot like laundry fresh out of the dryer.
Official Notes: Cinders, Crackling Firewood, Black Agar, Oakmoss, Coniferous Forest, Guaiac Wood
So I think the cinders are what smells so ozonic here - and might also be where some of the cinnamon comes in. The firewood is what smelled smokey and adds a tiny touch of smokiness throughout. The guaiac wood is probably adding a bit of herbaceousness - and might have been what added that touch of piquancy that reminded me of citrus. The black agar is probably what’s adding that soft, slightly powdery topnotes. The coniferous forest is probably where the birch is coming from - but now that its in front of me I can see there being a soft touch of fir needle in here. The oakmoss might be adding part of what smelled musky to me but I’m not sure. What mostly dominates this scent is the ‘bonfire’ accords tending towards ozonic.
Verdict: Not my thing - too ‘clean laundry’ for my tastes. It does drydown to smelling almost exactly like laundry from the dryer (minus detergent smells - just that strong ozone) with a touch of bonfire and birchy forest. Sort of like if you were cuddling someone with clean, fresh clothes while sitting in the forest while a bonfire burned in the distance. I’ll be passing on my sample but for fans of strongly ozonic atmospherics I think this one will go over well.
In the bottle: Milky citrus and florals. Sweet, creamy. Bit of an undercurrent that’s either a gourmand or a very sweet resin/wood. Gentle and streaked with white and gold.
Wet on my skin: Sweet citrusy florals! Very sweet and creamy. Reminds me of tea with lots of milk and lemon and a giant slice of frosted lemoncake soaked in honey-syrup. Not as sugary as some gourmands - reminds me a lot of how Sixteen92 does cake gourmands. I want to note that right now I adore this at this stage. Often gourmands are too ‘foody’ for me but this is marching into that kind of Ideal Bright Flormand territory for me.
Drydown: Lemoncake drizzled with honey and wreathed in florals. Less ‘cream’ than there was wet. There’s a tiny touch of a ‘grassy’ note now but it mostly accentuates the florals. It’s had good throw during the drydown though it’s wearing more subtly closer to the skin.
After 30 mins: Similar to the drydown. Cakey lemon, honey, and white florals with a subtle creaminess and a bit of depth at the base that could be a gourmand or sweet resin. Little bit of edge grassiness.
Official Notes: Baking heat, Rubber Inner Tubes, Silty Sand, Cool Tannin Stained Water, Coconut-Scented Suntan Lotion, a Pineapple-Infused "Adult Beverage", and a waft of Citronella torch
So, the coconut scented suntan lotion is the creamy part of the scent. The coconut is also blending with the sand to create that kinda sweet-resin base smell . The rubber inner tubes is, I think, what I was reading as grassiness. The tannin stained water is where I got the faint tea vibe at the start. With the baking heat, there is a general warmth to this scent that I think is based in a white floral. There’s maybe a tiny touch of pineapple - but it’s very subtle and blending with a smell I read as honey. Nothing really boozy about this. The citronella smells much more like lemon cake to me than a candle.
Verdict: Love this - and it wears nicely on me. Great summer scent - more gourmand or flormand to me than atmospheric. Upsizing.
In the bottle: Dirt, leather, a soapy-grassy-herb smell (maybe cilantro? Not sure. It smells like the topnotes smelled in this year’s Supercell from Sixteen92). Little bit of fresh piquancy at the edges - maybe a mist accord or something?
Wet on my skin: Mist, dirt, that grassy-herb note (much less soapy now), some sort of creamy piquant note I can’t place (but it smells kinda clean). The impression is of moss on a misty morning wreathed in a floral - maybe daisies? It’s a little creamier than I expect with daisies.
Drydown: Pale, sweet, creamy-musky florals layered over mist, moss, and dirt. Tiny bit of edge grassiness. The florals move from the foreground of the scent to the background of it. The green notes do something similar. I’m not sure of what to make of this scent.
After 30 mins: The green-fresh-herb smell is forward in the scent now. Edges of mist and some of that creamy-floral smell (it’s reminding me a bit of an aquatic floral at this point - but honestly it’s baffling me enough with trying to describe it that my brain could just be taking shots in the dark). The fresh green is mingling with the mossy green.
Official Notes: Cool moss and Water Drenched Ferns
I’m not sure what’s sweet-creamy-piquant in here that reminded me of flowers. There’s a possibility there was some cross contamination from Suwannee (though, Lichen was on the opposite arm and I can smell this bit even when I get close to it). The rest of the scent is like what is says on the tin though. The bright, herbaceous green is the ferns, the moss is the moss, the mist is the water, the dirt is the dirt the moss is growing on. Maybe the kinda-floral smell is an aquatic that’s part of the water accord?
Verdict: It’s not really my thing - but if you’re into greens this is a pretty pure green with a curious little twist on it. Passing on my sample.
In the bottle: This smells like sparkling raspberry water. I was expecting an ultra sweet gourmand, but my first sniff is like “... mmm fancy sparkly berry water”. Below that is a bit of golden, buttery, gourmand - like a croisant. I can’t tell if there’s edge florals or if that’s just the berry doing it’s thing. It’s not a super strong scent in the bottle - I wonder if this is one that’ll open up on the skin.
Wet on my skin: This smells like a raspberry-coconut cream puff paired with a tall glass of sparkling water. It definitely is opening up on skin - there’s a ton of coconut in here I wasn’t getting in the bottle. There might also be a toasted-vanilla note. This is much more sweet than it was in the bottle - far stronger too.
Rich, creamy, slightly fruity (maybe with a hint of a floral?) gourmand based on coconut and vanilla.
Drydown: Topnotes of coconut and raspberry cream. Midnotes of sparkling water. Tiny bit of a pastry ‘crust’ at the base along with what reminds me of an amber. The stand out in this scent is the coconut and raspberry - it’s what I get in the not-inconsiderable throw. This scent wears fairly strongly.
After 30 mins: About the same as the drydown. Very stable scent. Wearing quite strongly. Scent cloud noticeably starts about 6 inches away from the skin and I’ve been getting wafts of it throughout the review process.
Official Notes: Pistachio Macarons, Cotton Candy, Tea Roses, Jasmine, White Tea, Brown Sugar
Okay, wow. So let’s work through this. The raspberry-like scent must be the jasmine. It’s a super sweet, super mellow jasmine. The other floral I got edges of t the start must have been the tea roses. The ‘tang’ of the white tea must be what reminded me of the sparkling notes of fizzy water. The cotton candy, pistachio, and brown sugar are where the sweet creaminess is coming from. That little touch of gourmand must be the macarons.
Verdict: I’m always excited to review a flormand! More flormands! Especially ones with jasmine as nice as this. All of that said - this one is a little too traditionally ‘girly’ and sugar-sweet for me to wear as a personal scent. I think I’d love it as a bath bomb or soap scent! A pass from me, but, fellow flormand lovers who like sugar-sweet flormands ought to give this one some consideration.
Coin-Operated Boy
In the bottle: Leather, metal, and something spicy-sweet and traditionally cologne-smelling. Carnation maybe? Sweet, bright, and masculine.
Wet on my skin: Mmm. Reminds me of a chypre. Leather, metal, a squeeze of citrus - maybe some labdanum. Definitely oakmoss at the base. There’s still that sweet-spicy floral - it reminds me a lot of a discontinued BPAL scent: Saint Germain. I’m pretty sure this is a carnation - though it could also be a very mellow lavender. (Or, heck, both. This reminds me a lot of Saint Germain with leather and a tiny bit of metal).
Drydown: Leather-woody-spicy chypre. With how it’s dried down it reminds me really strongly of Sucreabeille’s Far East. To describe what it smells like - you have spicy-sweet citrus topnotes layered over a resin (I assume labdanum, but I could be wrong) and crisp woods and with an oakmoss and leather base. The oakmoss is a dark, soft green - not ‘dirty’ like some mosses, but dark and almost musky. Edges of metal throughout. The metal and leather are how it most strongly deviates from Sucreabeille’s Far East.
The result is a piquant green-and-gold scent with soft sweet-dry masculine qualities - perhaps a little dusty smelling.
After 30 mins: Another scent stable to the drydown! Wears strongly with the strong scent cloud forming about 3 inches from my hand. Wears closer to the skin - not a strong throw.
Official Notes: Recently Greased Gears, A shot of Cognac, Black Musk, Ambergris
Hm! So the piquant topnotes are the cognac - it comes off as more dry citrusy/floral than boozy. The metallic tang is the gears - I can see what I was reading as kind of a labdanum midnote reading as the kind of industrial oil used on gears. The black musk must be what’s reminding me of oakmoss and leather - this is a really rich, smooth black musk without many animalistic qualities (it does remind me a lot of oakmoss to the point of surprise when that wasn’t a listed note). The ambergris in this must be quite resinous - that or there’s an unlisted wood note in here (or it’s in one of the accords) because there is something spicy-resinous in here. If the ambergris isn’t providing that then it’s adding to that kind of dusty/frothy quality at the edge of the scent.
Verdict: I like this one! It hits all my buttons - but it’s similar enough to Far East that I don’t feel a need to upsize. If you like chypres a lot though, this smell is firmly in that category and on the masculine end of it.
In the bottle: Boozy gourmand taking on that strong ‘toffee’ scent that many gourmands have in the bottle. It’s hard to pick out the notes - but I think I might be getting some fruit in there.
Wet on my skin: Whoop, yup. Tart dried fruit and either milk or white chocolate, edged with syrupy-salty sweetness. And vanilla. It’s kinda like ice cream topped with kettle corn, milk chocolate chips, and a sweet berry flavored syrup.
Drydown: Creamy vanilla, chocolate, berries and a little less of the kind of ‘salty-crispy’ smell in there. It’s a sweet (but not overly sweet candy gourmand. Might be a tiny bit of a very sweet white floral at the edge.That little splash of booze I smelled in the bottle is making a return.
After 30 mins: Rich, creamy vanilla with a caramel-like edge, chocolate, berries/maybe a floral (I’m indecisive) with a splash of booze and a tiny edge of that salty-crispy. The entire vibe from this, for me, is a big bowl of decked out ice cream while you sit with the lights off and the windows open and enjoy an end-of-summer scary movie.
Official Notes: White Chocolate covered Raspberries with Raspberry Leaf Garnish & Creamy Vanilla
Well, yep on the white chocolate, yep on the raspberries, the raspberry leaf is probably what’s reading kinda boozy to my nose, and yep on the creamy vanilla. This scent is exactly what it says on the tin… well aside from that salty note that reminds me of kettle corn. I dunno if that is an unlisted note or what.
Verdict: I’m not sure. Usually this kind of thing is too gourmand for me but I’m feelin' this. Keeping my sample for now - this would make for a super decadent lotion.

No comments:

Post a Comment