As some of you may know Sucreabeille is running a crazy-huge sale right now. And they launched their new Alchemist line with the sale and Andrea went buck wild and sent me the whole freakin' set (which I posted a picture of yesterday). Three of the scents got some bottles here before the others and thus have had time to rest.
Funny story though: The complete set Andrea sent had duplicates of these three and I was putting stuff away in a hurry (Look, my World of Warcraft guild needed me to tank Scarlet Monastery!)... and uh, I set the rested copies of the bottles right next to the duplicate copies. I think I sussed out which ones were the rested copies based on my memory of tiny variations on the labels and bubble size at the top. But, man, there's a good chance these might have only been rested 24 hours before review.
The perfumes covered in today's review are:
- Alchemist [ store link ]
- Caduceus [ store link ]
- Ouroboros [ store link ]
- Glittertrash [ store link ]
All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for several days ( see intro for amount of time) 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.
So the new skinny 10mls.
Pros: Cool, kinda alchemical looking with their shape, metal rollerballs, produce a good amount of perfume onto the skin when rolled, durable (seriously dropped these a bunch), slender so they take up less horizontal shelf space, no leaks so far from them.
Cons: The center of gravity is higher than their fatter-10ml cousins. I have knocked these down like a line of dominoes on my shelf like 8 times at this point. I don't carry a purse much so my 10mls stay home and on the shelf - so I miss the stand-upright stability of the fatter 10mls.
You can see my review of Sucreabeille's drams [ here ].
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: Autumnal spices layered over warm, brown notes. The first smells like a very sweet, almost cloying leather of all things. Like old, mouldering leather on a book that’s been left in a cellar (do I detect a hint of indole?). This is layered over a musky, sweet, nose-tingly scent that reminds me of brown sugar. Then there’s something herbal-verging-on-medicinal-but-not-quite in there that reminds me of root-smells (think sarsparilla). Base of something that smells like old wood.
Wet on my skin: A wave of almost alcoholic almonds. Almond city. Almonds forever. After that initial few seconds of near-alcoholic smell the almonds quickly calm down to nutty. We are still talking Almond with a capital A though. These are good almonds though - smell like the actual nut. Under the almonds is a bit of that brown sugar smell - maybe even a hint of bergamot or some other deep citrus. In the throw I can get the mouldering-leatherbound-book smell but up close it’s just a pleasant your-skin-but-better.
It basically smells, up close, like almonds layered over brown sugar musk and dark citrus with an old wood base. At a distance it smells like a book that’s spent a few decades in a damp basement (I’m betting there is just a tiny touch of indole in here adding that ‘sweet decay’ impression).
Drydown/After 30 mins: Apparently my one brain cell is overworked, or I got used to how I was doing EDPs because I completely blanked on doing a drydown section as it was happening.
So, this scent morphed all over the place during the test period.
It starts out as ‘almond your skin but better’ up close with ‘mouldering leather-book’ in the throw. Then it moved to ‘boozy almonds and spices blending with mouldering leather books’ in both the throw and up close.
Now after half an hour it’s starting to balance some.
The top notes are still nutty almonds with a bit of a boozy tang mingling with autumnal spices. Below that is sweet musk that smells mostly like skin musk with a little hint of brown sugar to it. Edges of a dark fruit scent - maybe bergamot… maybe even fig? It’s dark and earthy. Under that is old book pages and mouldering, crumbling leather. The rot note isn’t overpowering here - and for people who enjoy a bit of decay in their scents I think it’ll be a nice little touch.
Official Notes: Swirls of pipe tobacco around a plate of nutty toffee and caramels. A pile of old books and a touch of nag champa. Candle wax dripping from the sconce by the wingback leather chair. and cheerful labdanum wafting through the open window.
So, the ‘nutty toffee’ is where the almonds are coming from - this is not strongly ‘toffee’ to my nose though. It lacks that kind of salty-sharp-snappiness that toffee has. The pipe tobacco bridges the entire scent. In the topnotes it adds spice, in the midnotes it adds paperiness, and in the base of the scent I’m almost sure that’s where I was getting the impression of ‘old wood’.
The caramels are combining with the labdanum to create the impression of sweet, somewhat cloying, dark fruit (with a bit of resinousness to it). It kind of lives in the midnotes, moving down to near the base with the resinous components of the labdanum.
The nag champa is mostly adding muskiness and a touch of spice. The animalistic qualities of the nag blend with the wax to create what my brain was reading as ‘skin musk’.
I’m not sure how you’d separate the ‘leather’ of the chair out from the leather I read as ‘crumbling leather book bindings’. But, the leather component is definitely there and I’m probably just overthinking it.
Verdict: For fans of sweet atmospherics or ‘person scents’ (that is scents that smell like a person who does a specific job) with gourmand nuances and a touch of decay - this one is for y’all. For me almost any decay is too much - so this one isn’t for me. I do want to emphasize that 1) the touch of decay is just like… the tiniest touch and 2) this scent is way, way more atmospheric than gourmand.
It’s a very sweet scent - but it lacks the kind of ‘food’ smell you get with gourmands - the sweetness to me is more ambiguous and kind of wreaths the scent to balance out the slightly caustic nature of the tobacco and leather.
The scent is balanced well - but as I mentioned, not in my bag. I’ll be passing this one on.
In the bottle: Something light and tart - like a berry or lemon - tinged with spice and grounded by bright, woody resin. Something just the tiniest touch caustic in there - maybe camphor? It reminds me of the smell of various balms I’ve used over the years: slightly medicinal but in a light, comforting way.
Wet on my skin: Tart topnotes blending with something herbal in an almost-minty way. Below that is something kind of green - like maybe green apple skin? It’s slightly sweet. Midnotes of something more rounded and kind of mildly fruity - like an apple’s core. Below that is smooth, bright woody resin. All of this is ringed by autumnal spice.
Still a little medicinal but less so. Just that tiny edge of something like a menthol or a camphor.
The overall impression still reminds me of a balm - like one you’d use on aching joints.
Drydown: Faint edge of something tart - might be a fruit (berry/citrus) or might be lemongrass mingling with that herbal note I read as ‘almost minty’ I now think might be a fir tree of some sort (maybe palo santo? I remember one of the alchemist scents featured palo santo). Below that is apple and smooth wood-resin.
Still like a balm - but moving away from medicinal to ‘foresty’.
After 30 mins: Soft lemony, almost waxy notes (reminds me a little of Burts Bees ointment) blending with the fir-tree smell. That’s followed by ‘apple’ and smooth-resin.
This scent is wearing lighter than it first went on - and the foresty tree scent is the most forward part. It’s the tiniest bit medicinal but pleasantly soon. Fruity, but in a rich, almost spicy-herbal way instead of a sweet one.
Official Notes: Rich lavender honeycomb is at the heart of this fragrance, with hints of elderberry, oud wood, clove, and patchouli.
Lavender! That’s the almost-minty herbal slightly medicinal smell! Wow! The elderberry must be what smells tart and kind of like apples. The honeycomb must be what’s waxy - and I bet the clove is what’s smelling almost like citrus. The honeycomb I want to emphasize is not hugely sweet - like, there is a slightly sweet component to it but it’s very, very ‘soft’ feeling.
One of the woods mixing with the lavender is creating that kind of ‘forest’ vibe.I don’t know if it’s the patchouli (which is a very light, bright patchouli) or the oud. I think it might be the oud - since it does have that kind of ‘classic perfume’ vibe to it. That leaves the patchouli as the rich, smooth wood at the base of the scent.
Verdict: Keeping a 10ml of this! Andrea went nuts with various sizes of this scent so some of it will get passed on to other folks - but this is definitely worth some shelf-space this year! Fellow fans of foresty scents and fruity-florals can breathe a little sigh of relief that there will be some space for us in fall collections. ;)
In the bottle: Black pepper, herbs (like, cumin or something), sage, salt, and dark, gritty resin (benzoin maybe?). This is a spice-rack scent in the bottle - which I know can be a little divisive. It’s very dark and aggressively autumn - the sage note Sucreabeille uses often reminds me of dry fallen leaves that have been on the ground for a while. It doesn’t smell like decay - but does smell kind of papery-organic and crisp.
Wet on my skin: Sage, black pepper, salt with something a little green-savory underneath. It reminds me strongly of the smell of cooking - like how a kitchen smells when you’re making soup. Behind that is something fresh-herbal and an aggressive resin.
The big way I’d describe this scent is spicy, in-your-face and unapologetic. For someone who wants to smell aggressively like a kitchen-witch this might be a good bet.
Drydown: Still about the same. The aggressive resin has calmed down. I’m getting at the top the sage/cumin smell, black pepper, salt (but about half the salt I was getting before). Then below that a strong savory smell and a fresh-herbal smell I think might be anise. Below that is either one resin or two. If it’s one resin part of it is mellowing out while part of it is staying really dark, gnarly, and aggressive. If it’s two (which I think it is) I think there might be a dark patchouli mellowing out while an aggressive benzoin stays sharp and resinous.
After 30 mins: Sage, with a bit of black pepper. Salt. A savory, herbal scent under the spices. Tiny touch of what I think might be anise… and the two resins. They’re both mellowed some a this point (that sage is dominating the scent) but there’s still quite a bit of them.
Still a ‘kitchen witch’ and ‘spice rack’ scent. Very spicy-resinous with herbal/savory food nuances.
Official Notes: A green, leafy concoction of galbanum, anise, peppermint, white thyme, with a grounding base of tobacco.
Oh! It’s thyme, not sage! But yes, it dominates.
So the topnotes are the thyme and some of the ‘spice’ of the tobacco. I legit do not know if there is an unlisted salt and/or pepper note in here… but I get both of them. In the midnotes you get the anise and peppermint. Both play very subtly in this scent - if you’re worried about the anise going to licorice it absolutely doesn’t. It mostly adds a mild, green sweetness that I wasn’t even able to name as anise until the scent had thoroughly dried down.
The peppermint I can mostly smell in the bottle when I have the word in front of me. On my skin there’s like… a tiny cool edge to this but it’s very subtle and mostly adds that ‘fresh green’ component.
The galbanum bridges the midnotes and base notes of the scent. In the midnotes it adds that green savoriness I associate with cooking in the kitchen. In the base notes it’s the more mild of the two deep, resinous scents.
The other note dominating this scent is the tobacco. It’s almost certainly a pipe or cherry tobacco. It is a dry, spicy, resinous, sharp tobacco - not a smooth, sticky one. It is a deeply unapologetic tobacco and is what gives this scent a lot of it’s dark, spicy character.
Verdict: Not my thing - I’ll be giving it a pass. For fans of smelling like kitchen-witches or spice racks I think this one might be worth trying… particularly if you feel many perfumes wear too subtly or gently on you and want something with a bit more bite to it.
In the interest of full transparency: I was one of those people who commented in the suc group with some note suggestions for what a Glittertrash perfume might smell like and a couple of the notes I suggested got used. I also just… love the concept of Glittertrash. I generally don’t believe in astrology but you wave something called ‘Glittertrash’ in front of me and I’m like ‘MY LEO HEART DEMANDS GLITTER’.
Also, I recall this has a watermelon candy and cake note.
In the bottle: Watermelon candy, something tart like citrus or raspberries, vanilla cake and a smell that reminds me of white musk. It’s unapologetically fun, colorful, and femme-with-its-middle-finger-up (which is how i like my femme) - everything I could want from a scent named Glittertrash.
Wet on my skin: Tart watermelon candy, cake, a bit of kind of a powdery-makeup smell, and kind of a glowing-amber note. Musky in that white musk way. It smells young, fun, bright, colorful, poppy and sugary. Normally I’m all ‘eh’ about sugary scents but when you’re getting on the Glittertrash train… you know what you came here for. You can here for raver candy, Lisa Frank notebooks, and Ke$ha songs. This delivers.
Drydown: Similar to how it was wet (watermelon candy + makeup + cake + white musk + a little amber-like resin), with that white musk smell a bit stronger. If you’ve tried Acai Tree think of the white-musk scent in that. It’s a strangely clean-sugary smell. But I’m here for it. It’s clean. Like glitter.
After 30 mins: This is a little hard for me to wear as a personal scent. It’s overwhelming as a combo of clean + sugar + cake. However I do not care. I am so into it as a concept. And man, this would make a phenomenal soap. Just like, the best soap. Or a bubble bath.
How does it smell? Oh. About the same. The white musk scent is a lil more dominant so it’s wearing more ‘clean-sugar’ than ‘pure sugar’.
Official Notes: Watermelon Blow-Pops, baby powder, fistfulls of sticky white cake, last night's champagne and coconut cream.
Couple of notes. I absolutely get the watermelon candy. The ‘baby powder’ now that I’m searching for it smells more like a hint of lavender than anything powdery. The cake accord is great - smells just like vanilla-coconut cake. The champagne and coconut cream are blending to create the clean-white-musk smell.
Verdict: So I upsized this as a whipped soap already to help me wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy. I dunno if I’ll keep my perfume dram because this stuff is potent and smelling it all day might turn me into a were-unicorn. I really like it as a bath product scent and recommend it for people who want to smell like a Ke$ha song sounds.
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