Saturday, September 7, 2019

5 Sucreabeille reviews: Raspberry + Blackcurrant + Huckleberry + Juniper Berry + Rainbow Bridge

So! This is a review set I've been looking forward to doing. In the interest of full transparency a few weeks ago I messaged Andrea and our conversation went something like this:
Aubin: So I was looking to do some layering today and realized I had no berry centered perfumes to layer. You know what might go great with your fruit tree perfumes? Berry bushes. 
We spent a while squeeing back and forth over how much we love berries... and then a few weeks later the berry perfumes rolled into the store! I am so psyched to get to try them, review them, and layer me some berries.
The perfumes covered in today's review are:

Raspberry and Huckleberry are rotated to show off the label art on these
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 citrus 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 review of Sucreabeille's drams [ here ]. I wanna note that the label art on all of these that I'm reviewing today is great! Kudos to Suc for really upping their label game.
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: Sour raspberry candies floating in a fizzy drink. I can’t decide if it is fizzy water, or something like wine. Something kind of creamy in there, along with something kind of musky at the base. A tiny touch of something that reminds me of pie crust.
Very bright, effervescent, and tart.
Wet on my skin: Pie crust, cream, and that bright, fizzy raspberry-candy drink. Smells like a fancy dessert course. This raspberry is very bright, and very tart, and very pink. It reminds me a lot of those sour candied Altoids used to make
There’s something in there too that smells kind of like wine and kind of herbal. It’s hard to put my finger on - but it’s the tiniest bit medicinal in the way lavender can sometimes go medicinal. Little bit of musk at the base.
Drydown: The raspberry at this is almost floral at times. As it dries down the cream and pie crust smells come forward a little more. But the scent remains mildly sweet at most - it’s focused more on the bright, tart, almost-floral, almost-candy characteristics of this particular raspberry. There’s only a tiny medicinal edge at this point.
After 30 mins: Similar to the drydown except, perhaps, less tart (though still pretty tart) and more roundedly-fruity in that almost-candy, almost-floral way.
Official Notes: Raspberries in heavy cream with a dash of vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom
Okay! So got the cream for sure, and got the raspberries. The vanilla and cinnamon together must be what my brain was reading as ‘pie crust’ and the cardamom must be what smelled kind of medicinal.
The real starts of the show here are the raspberries and cream. The cream is complex to the point where it’s almost musky - skin like. The raspberry scent - probably combining with the cardamom some - started out as a raspberries-floating-in-a-carbonated-beverage (almost like a raspberry wine or strongly flavored raspberry fizzy water) and moved a note that borders on floral while retaining its candy like qualities.
Wears mildly but contains a surprising throw. I went to get a snack while wearing this and kept catching whiffs of it almost at arm’s length while eating.
Verdict: If you are a lover of really conceptual berry scents - kinda like the ones Alkemia tends towards - give this one a spin. It’s simple, but I think it would make a great layering note or as a ‘base’ smell you put on in the form of a lotion, deodorant, or hair product. Personally, while I like the scent it failed to dazzle me. I might keep my dram of this or might pass it on - I haven’t decided yet. The bottom line is it smells nice and is definitely near my wheelhouse if not directly in it… but at the same time I don’t realistically know how often I’d wear it and shelf space is limited.
In the bottle: Herbal! Very herbal! I don’t know if it’s the blend as a whole of just the character of blackcurrant: But this smells like forest without smelling leafy. It’s herbal (I think I might have mentioned this) in a way that makes you think of ‘medicinal’ in the sense of ‘ a witch in a fantasy novel prepared this in a mortar and pestle’.
So you have the outdoors in the form of herbs and berries - but also a bit of nuttiness and woodiness. Everything is blending so thoroughly here I can’t tell what’s the blackcurrant and what’s the ‘extra’ notes added into these perfumes. I can say that if you want to smell like a druid herbalist who’s wandering through the mist soaked ruins in Ashenvale at twilight that the bottle scent has that down.
(What? Look I’ve been playing a lot of World of Warcraft classic and I main druid. I have purple star-light-drenched trees on the brain).
Wet on my skin: Very, very similar to how it was in the bottle. Herbal and foresty. I am getting a whisper of earthiness that very much reminds me of heliotrope. Another difference is I’m getting something glassy smelling in here reminiscent of alcohol or even some glass accords. It’s slightly acrid, but not in an unpleasant way.
The heliotrope adds a bit of golden dustiness to the forest vibe - but otherwise it’s still all herbal berries, earthiness, and just kind of… general outdoorsiness.
Drydown: Spicy/herbal berries (think the smell of holly berries, but more edible smelling), dirt/dust, a bit of mist or something ozonic (I think that’s what smelled glassy to me)… The strength of that scent that smells like heliotrope keeps coming and going. The overall character of the scent is ‘dark green with a bit of fruitiness and edges of golden brown’.
After 30 mins: Pretty similar to the drydown. The harshness of the herbs has mellowed some and allowed the more traditionally ‘fruity’ note to come forward, but that’s the only real change I’m getting from the dried down state.
Official Notes: Blackcurrant jam with undertones of black tea and rosewood
ROSEWOOD now that it’s in front of me I can absolutely see that as being what’s adding that glassy element and enhancing the herbalness. The black tea is also adding the herbal bouquet… and I assume blackcurrants are, themselves, kind of herbal in character.
Verdict: This scent is so way, way out there for the Sucreabeille catalog. Honestly this is the kind of scent I’d expect more from Alkemia or Stereoplasm. Nothing wrong with that though! If you’ve been hoping Suc’s catalog would have something… more weird? More… niche? Then give this a try.
The entire review I’ve been going back and forth like a metronome trying to decide if I liked it or not. I think I do - it’s kind of harsh on its own in the way rosewood and tea are both harsh… but it would make a great layering note for adding something cool-foresty (reminds me of fall-transitioning-into-winter) or herbal-potiony to a scent. I think I’ll be keeping my dram…? But not 100% sure…?
In the bottle: Deep, rich, spiced berries layered over delicate dried leaves. The kind of berry? Kind of like ‘the essence of fall berry’ in a bottle. Reminds me of the smell of crafts’ stores come autumn.
Wet on my skin: Thick, so-pink-it-is-almost-red berries, leaves, a touch of woodiness wreathed in autumnal spices. Apparently Michaels (the craft store de jour in these parts) smells like huckleberry! Who knew? Probably people on the west coast who spend time around huckleberries.
This is another berry that’s ‘almost but not quite’ floral - but this smells realistic to my nose instead of like candy. But, I don’t think I’ve ever smelled real huckleberries so I might be a mile off. It’s really nice and enhances the note in a way that lets it sing.
Drydown: Some “herbal” berry notes are coming out as part of the huckleberry. While obviously sweet and er… a berry it still has that almost-floral quality that it had when it went on wet. I’m getting less leaves now and more woodiness and a bit of a ‘wet’ note. The autumnal feeling spies have also moved towards the base of the scent - the net effect is it smells a bit more ‘berry’ and a bit less ‘autumn crafts store’. I could still see this being a very fall appropriate scent.
After 30 mins: Spiced, slightly herbal, slightly tart, but mostly full and rounded berries. A bit of woodiness and a bit of leafyness (think the smell of leaves when they’re still on the tree, or of fallen leaves - not crushed leaves. It’s a bit of ‘greenery’ in the scent as opposed to ‘bright green’). There’s also a definite ‘wet’ note in this.
Official Notes: Wild huckleberries picked from a cedar forest in a misty, wet morning. Oakmoss, rain and cloudy skies
Yup on the huckleberries. The woodiness - and probably what’s adding some of that almost-floral is the cedar. The oakmoss is adding that kind of dark, soft greenery. The rain/clouds is the wet smell. No clue what’s adding that autumnal spices bit to this.
Verdict: I quite like this one and will be keeping it to wear on its own and to use for layering to bring a bit of autumn to my collection. I will probably even upsize this one in the form of a bottle of hair oil.
Juniper Berry
In the bottle: Fizzy gin! While I’m not a fan of the taste of gin I do love the smell of it. This is kinda evergreen, kinda sour, kinda tart, definitely effervescent (think of the fizz note in Lime Tree). Kind of astringent, green, and a masculine kind of clean.
Wet on my skin: Hm, goes from ‘fizzy tart gin’ to ‘gin with a cucumber in it’. Definitely very green, and it has that kind of cloying green sweetness to it you get with cucumbers. Sort of like… a grown-up masculine cucumber. Very odd. Still got a bit of the evergreen-juniper smell to it under the sour greenery of the berries.
Drydown: So, from a distance, this smells like it did in the bottle ( I think it would remind people of a lot of traditionally masculine smelling toiletries) - effervescent, evergreen, hint of the ‘green berry’ smell. Up close the sour, green berry smell is much stronger and there’s that weird sweet green smell that reminds me of a cucumber.
After 45 mins: Left this on a bit longer than normal because I got distracted. Pretty stable to the drydown with most of the changes happening up close. Getting much less of that cucumber-y smell up close (though still getting some of it) - but the evergreen/gin/masculine scent is much more dominant.
The scent wears strong with a good throw. The strong scent cloud starts a good four inches from the skin.
Official Notes: Fizzy gin cocktail with ginger ale, tonka, and tobacco flower
Yes on the fizz, yes on the gin. The ginger ale blends with the gin in the throw, but up close I think the ginger is what’s giving me that kind of thick-cucumber-y note (ginger can sometimes go weird on me). I can’t see much of the tonka but ah… tobacco flower. Tobacco flower is what’s adding the masculine-clean vibe.
This is not a strongly boozy scent - but if you’re a fan of masculine-clean scents… every ingredient in this apart from the tonka is an ingredient used to scream ‘clean!’.
Verdict: I liked this in the bottle. I like the throw. But that cucumber-y scent that might be the juniper berries or might be the ginger… not my thing. If you like Alkemia’s Echoed Ecstacy but wish it were a bit more masculine then definitely give this one a spin. It’s not as green as EE is, but, it’s got a lot of the same piquancy.
This is a pass for me personally, however.
Rainbow Bridge
In the bottle: Gentle floral topnotes - I think this had daisies in it? I’m also getting lavender. The florals are very, very gentle. What dominates the scent are nutty-creamy midnotes (a marshmallow maybe?) layered over a soft, musky base. The scent is dreamlike, musky-nutty, sweet and very, very ‘soft’ in quality (though not in strength - it’s fairly strong in the bottle).
Wet on my skin: Ooh - there are the daisies. Strong wildflower topnote - floral plus a bit of greenery - with a tiny bit of lavender. Something that’s a tiny bit fruity in here - a citrus maybe. Under the wildflower/lavender/citrus combo are the sweet-musky midnotes. The character of this scent is very different on the skin than it is in the bottle - much more of an equal balance between the floral and gourmand/musky elements. It’s still quite delicate and soft.
Drydown: The midnotes and background notes have moved forward some - the florals are stronger than they were in the bottle, but not as strong as they were wet. I’d say now the scent has reached its ideal balance - not equally balanced but, with the right ratios to be appealing.
The top floral notes are the daisies/wildflowers which are almost dewy or aquatic in their character. Below that are the musky-sweet notes: a combination of vanilla, marshmallow, and a scent that reminds me of white musk. A little kiss of fruitiness at the edges.
The character of scent remains soft, delicate, comforting and dreamy.
At this point the scent is wearing very gently - it’s not gone, but it’s very close to the skin and far less strong than it was when it went on wet.
After 30 mins: Wearing so faintly as this point I’m having a little trouble picking it up. Might be a skin chemistry thing, might be a ‘needs fixative’ things. What I am getting smells similar enough to the drydown but it’s barely there - just kind of a ‘skin but better’ aura.
Official Notes: A patter of paws running through a field of daisies, lavender, and sweet peas. Marshmallow clouds pass overhead. Sunflowers, warm fur, and white musk.
So yes on the daisies and lavender (it’s a very sweet, non-medicinal lavender). I can totally see the sweet pea now that it’s been named - I think that is what I was reading as ‘kinda fruity’. The marshmallow is the marshmallow. The sunflower is what’s nutty. The warm fur and white musk are what are giving the soft-musky character.
Verdict: I like this one as a soft, delicate, gentle your-skin-but better scent. As a personal scent I don’t know how often I’ll wear this - but it’ll make for a great linens scent. Keeping my dram to use to scent my linen closet. It’ll be great for making pillows smell cuddly.
I want to note that I love the story behind this - we’ve all lost beasties that meant the world to us. It does impact my desire to use this as a personal scent - the mood it creates isn’t the mood that I’m often trying to radiate. However I would love this as something that could be used in remembrance rituals - like an incense or candle.

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