5 B. Perry Studios Reviews: Cherry Topaz + Smoky Quartz + The Devil's Advocate + The Devil's Nectar (soap) + Ice Water (People in Hell Want)
Very excited to bring y'all 5 B. Perry Studios reviews today... I got to work with Brooke on Roasts and Toasts a while back which was, to be honest, a fan's dream. I've loved her work since back in the Villainess days. Both of her scents from R&T made it in to her Halloween collection... which I got the privilege to try!
Before I jump into the reviews a couple of things.
In the photo below I included the other two scents in the Halloween collection: A Snoball's Chance (In Hell) and The Devil's Lettuce. I've already reviewed these are part of the Roasts and Toasts event I did a while back with several houses! [ LINK - has both of the scent reviews here ].
One of the scents here is only available as a GWP... or... was for a while? I'm not clear on that. I'm including it because I was sent it, and I review what I'm sent and because it might still be available as a GWP and/or it might show up on the second hand market. If anyone has any questions about this lemme know and I'll get you an answer.
Ice Water ( People in Hell Want ) *(see above note)
See above link for where the reviews of A Snoball's Chance (In Hell) and The Devil's Lettuce are!
All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for several days ( a few weeks for smokey quartz and roughly a week for the other 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, honeysuckle Meyer's Clean Day, or citrus Doc Bronner’s.
For products other than perfumes the testing procedure for that item will be covered in the review itself if necessary. If the item has a standard use procedure just assume I am using that unless stated otherwise. E. G. for soaps assume I washed my hands or took a bath with them, for lotions assume I used them on my skin and gently rubbed them in, etc.
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.
For the bottles here there are actually three different kinds of bottle!:
Rollerball (type 1): This is the rollerball that Smoky Quartz came in. It has a metal rollerball in the insert, the gold on the cap is a slightly different color, and overall it is a slightly different shape from the other rollerballs. I got this scent well before the other scents and suspect that Brooke is no longer using these bottles. This bottle did leak a little and dispenses a ton of liquid when it is applied to the skin.
Rollerball (type 2): Cherry Topaz and The Devil's Advocate came in these bottles. These have a plastic rollerball in them and I suspect are the bottles that Brooke is now using exclusively though I do not know for sure. These performed as standard rollerballs. They did not leak, they rolled on cleanly, and dispensed what I consider an appropriate amount of liquid.
Dram-type bottles: I think these might actually be 3ml instead of a dram. Regardless, they functioned as standard dram bottles do: easy to open, easy to close, amber colored to protect the oil, and non-leaky.
I also am going to mention here that I love Brooke's packaging and design vision. I found her clean-plastic labels to work fine under standard use and to not rub off or show damage. The soap packaging was plastic around a paper insert and seemed easy to remove.
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: Fruity and rich. I’m pretty sure there’s a cherry note in here - I mean, the word is in the title and unless Brooke is pulling a sneaky one it’s in here. Beyond the cherry, which smells like maraschinos to me, is a bit of something lemony-citrusy topping off a wet smell and a kind of carbon smell.
Wet on my skin: Wow - the scent changes dramatically between the bottle and skin: The cherry smell opens up to a glistening cherry syrup smell. It’s like opening a fresh bottle of maraschino cherries. Very sweet, very sticky, very bright. Coupled with that are smells designed to blend: I’m getting a bit of the lemony smell, a bit of the water-and-carbon smell, and a smooth musky odor. It might be coconut, but I’m not sure.
The whole scent is red-gold, smooth, sticky, and fruity-candy with a bit of an odd tang to it my nose is reading as carbon/musk. I suppose there’s an outside chance of a floral and/or a resin in here too but, again, everything is very blended.
Drydown: So the cherry has moved back to the midnotes and a floral (maybe a plumeria) have moved to the forefront. They sit at the top of the scent, sweet and shining. Below that is the cherry - still sticky-sweet like maraschinos. Finally, there is something a little dark, very golden, resinous and tangy at the base - it might be an amber or a particularly golden wood.
After 30 mins: Stable to the drydown. Scent cloud extends 4-6 inches from my hand. Doesn’t throw heavily though, so, wears “close to the skin” if “close to the skin” means “6 inches”.
Official Notes: Bright red cherry, juicy watermelon and pineapple, crisp sencha, and sensible bamboo
So, the cherry is the cherry. I can totally see the watermelon as the ‘wet’ and kind of carbon-y smell. The pineapple is lemony… and probably complex enough that it’s reminding me of a plumeria here, as well as adding some of that tanginess. The sencha (google tells me this is a green tea component) and bamboo are creating that resinous-musky golden base. I’m kind of surprised because nothing here screams ‘green’ to me and green tea and bamboo are both usually hella green.
I do want to take a moment here to make a note about Brooke’s overall note quality: It’s very good. A lot of her absolutes, EOs, etc are all aged and you can tell. These notes have a fullness and depth to them that’s quite appealing
Bright and fruity with dark undertones and a surprising amount of complexity given the notes.
Verdict: I don’t know. Torn on it. I think I’d be over the moon if there actually was a plumeria in here, and maybe a streak of something cool and creamy. As it is it’s a very well crafted, surprisingly complex fruity scent that’s accessible, but I do wish there was a tiny bit more in there to add some contrast. Not sure if I’ll keep it or pass it on.
I remember this one has a smoke and a leather note - and I think a patchouli? Not sure on the patchouli being official.
In the bottle: Caramel and a super smooth/aged patchouli wreathed in light wood smoke with maybe a kiss of leather.
Wet on my skin: Ah, now I’m getting more of the leather. At the forefront I get vanilla - maybe mixed with a caramel - and soft leather. The scent is still wreathed in sweet woody smoke with that aged patchouli down at the base.
Drydown/After 30 mins: This was the one in the bottle with the metal rollerball and it put a lot of liquid on the application site. Since it took a long time to dry down I’m combining these two sections.
When this was wet I found the sweet-vanilla-caramel notes to be somewhat overwhelming. But as the scent dries down the sweet notes calm down and allows the grit from the smoke, leather, and patchouli to shine through. Like a good cup of coffee the grit in and bitterness mellowed by soothness and sweetness are what make the scent really glow.
Sweet and thick scored through with gray-silver slashes of smoky leather and patchouli.
Official Notes: Aged tobacco absolute and vanilla pipesmoke saturate soft suede, with clear notes of magnolia and black orchids
I can see the tobacco adding that scent I interpreted as ‘caramel’. The vanilla, the smoke, and the leather ar all there. The magnolia and black orchids are very subtle - just adding to that silvery impression of the sharper notes. It’s very much a smoky-sweet scent with some subtle floral nuances as opposed to a floral scent.
Scent cloud starts a good 6 inches from my arm and has a quite solid throw on it.
Verdict: Keeping this! I do wish there was like, a skosh more smoke but that’s really just nitpicking. Wet I found it too cloying-sweet for me, but as the sharper and grittier notes came out the fragrance really began to sing. A lovely dark smokey-sweet scent with leather undertones.
The Devil’s Advocate
In the bottle: Smoky-spicy and kind of grungy-musky. I’m getting a bit of smoke, something like… cumin? And then musk. It reminds me of how my husband can smell sometimes after a long day of work… grungy but in kind of a nice, masculine-musky way.
There might be some resin in here too - it’s hard to tell. I’m guessing like many of B. Perry’s scents it’ll open up on the skin and smell different than in the bottle.
Wet on my skin: Now it smells like tacos and a fruit drink held by a musky dude. At the top I’m getting something fizzy-and fruity and kind of bitter. It sort of reminds me of tamarind. Below that I get the cumin, the smoke, and a splash of resin. There’s also something almost meaty here that I’m having a hard time with, personally. It’s very odd, and at this point smells like a very niche, very indie scent.
For me it reminds me at this point of body odor, tacos, and tamarind juice. The body-odor smell leans towards the musky and spicy as opposed to the outright stinky… but I’d personally hesitate to wear this particular scent in public.
I’m going to bet money this will be a divisive scent because it’s just this side of unpleasant for me. With scents I’ve tried before like that I’ve found people are split on them based on their individual noses.
Drydown: So at the top I’m getting the cumin and the tamarind-like scent. Below that is a kind of… sour-green smell. Not a tart-sour, but a sour-sour. It reminds me of aloe or cactus scents and I think it might be what’s bothering me in this scent given my history with greens. There’s something else in here that’s musky, and maybe just a hint of a sweet, white floral somewhere in there. At the base is a bit of burnt-bitter resinousness.
This scent is all edge and darkness spicy-musk with that kind of cactus-scent underlying it. It’s still just this side of unpleasant for me - I think if the kind of sour-green smell was sweeter and the cumin was dialed back I’d like this far more.
After 30 mins: Still wearing fairly strong, and smelling about the same. It’s mellowed overall some, but it’s still a very sharp-bitter-spicy scent with a tiny bit of fruitiness in there. The scent cloud starts a good 3-4 inches from my hand and there’s a mild throw on the scent.
Official Notes: An unnecessary dance of cumin and coconut, cactus and cocoa, sharp, witty grapefruit, and a mahogany bottom line (well, actually it’s only pine).
The cumin is the cumin. I get almost none of the coconut - perhaps just a bit of muskiness. The cactus is the cactus and I’m 99% sure it’s the note that was bothering me in this. For someone who likes cactus notes this would probably go over a lot smoother with them. I get almost none of the cocoa except for maybe what I was reading as a bit of sweet-smooth white floral. It’s very, very subtle. The grapefruit is what I was reading as tamarind - not sweet at all, just all edge.
The resin-woody-burnt bottom is that mahogany/pine. It lacks some of the winteriness and evergreen qualities and sweetness I associate with pine… so I’m not sure how to translate the official notes.
Overall this is a cumin, grapefruit and cactus scent with some nuances from the coconut and cocoa and grounding from the wood-resin note(s?).
Verdict: Not my thing. It’s a pass. If you really like cumin and cactus, or are adventurous and curious about controversial scents then give this one a go. It’d be weirdly apt if we all argued and well-actually’d at each other over it.
The Devil’s Nectar (Soap)
Texture/Appearance: The texture is very soft, almost clay-like. It’s very smooth to the touch. I’m guessing that this is a soap bar that benefits from careful handling so that it doesn’t just melt to nothing in the shower. I’m not sure if it’s better to use directly on skin or on a shower pouf.
The soap is quite attractive - swirls of light and dark brown flecked with plant matter below a .black top with swirls of orange-gold on top.
Performance: The soap bar lathered very differently depending on if it was used on skin or on a shower pouf.
On skin it lathered into a smooth, almost lotion-like lather that was almost sticky in quality. It has a ton of ‘slip’ to it - to the point that the soap bar had trouble staying on the side of the tub while I was using it.
In a shower pouf it took a while to get a traditional, fluffy lather going but it did eventually get there. A little bit of the soap went a long way in terms of producing a ton of fluffy lather. The lather didn’t have quite the same lotiony quality as the lather produced directly from the soap bar.
It left my skin feeling smooth and clean and not overly dried. It seemed more moisturizing than most mainstream soaps, but not so moisturizing that I felt I could skip lotion afterwards.
Official Notes/Scent Analysis: Cocoa Butter Body Soap. Rum. Loaded with syrupy raisins and honeyed apricots in a burnt teakwood cask.
So I get a very nutty spiced rum with sweetness from the raisins (quite realistic, subtle at the edges) and some bitterness from the apricots. The honey blends with the rum. The teakwood forms a base - kind of bitter in that scorched way that blends with the bitterness from the apricots. It’s a contrast between dark brown bitterness and sweetness, with the sweetness mellowing the edges of the bitterness.
I’d say the apricots at the most forward thing in the scent, followed by the rum, honey, and raisins. At the base - as a strong base - is that teakwood.
The scent of the soap itself - the cocoa butter - is what I think is adding part of that nuttiness I’m getting.
Even though the scent has a lot of gourmand elements I’d say this scent isn’t terribly gourmand. It’s a very grown-up earthy dark-fruity woody scent.
Verdict: I’m torn on this because I like the product but feel iffy about the price point. It smells really nice as a soap, it feels really good on my skin (I used it as a shave-lather and it was excellent), it looks pretty… but soap bars tend to be fairly ephemeral and soft ones can melt quickly without really careful care. I will certainly use my sample and enjoy it. But I don’t know if I’ll be buying again just because I’d personally hesitate to spend 10$ on any bar soap. If I’m going to drop money on soap I’d prefer it to be whipped soap, or soap in a jar so I can meter out its usage, make it last, and I know I’ll get several months out of it compared to a soap bar.
Ice Water (People in Hell Want)
I remember this has a coconut-CO2 note in it...And I can’t recall what else!
In the bottle: Coconut water, with a little bit of a nose-tingle from the CO2. It doesn’t smell fizzy, but just a tiny bit tingly, like it does when you sniff water sometimes. I feel like there’s an aquatic note in here too - some sort of subtle, sweet, traditionally aquatic floral. And maybe a musk? Or that might just be the musk from the coconut.
Wet on my skin: Rich coconut water still in the coconut, with the meat and husk. A tiny bit of something fruity and piquant, like lime… and then that nose-tingly CO2 which does smell like water or ice. Swirls of sweet-aquatic-florals wreath the scent. There’s also something kind of sinister and misty-mint smelling. That’s a little harder to place. It might be a mint note blending with a CO2 note or something else entirely. It kind of smells like charcoal that’s a tiny bit minty.
It really is evocative of a super fancy if slightly sinister glass of ice water.
Drydown: The aquatic-white florals come to the forefront and really shine. I think there’s two here, and one’s a more traditional aquatic white floral (maybe an orchid?) and one is something like an ylang-ylang. They’re hyper realistic and shining - just indolic enough to feel like a real flower without crossing that line into smelly territory. It’s almost kind of vanilla-musky in a soft way. Below that is the coconut and the little bit of mintiness. Underneath is all is that charcoal smell I’m assuming is the CO2.
Up close the charcoal is a little strong for me - but at a distance (even just a couple of inches away) the floral and smooth, slightly sweet muskiness really shines.
After 30 mins: Scent wise this is approximately the same as it was in the drydown. In terms of strength the scent cloud starts 2-3 inches away from my hand and there is a mild, subtle throw to it. Mostly it sticks to the scent cloud though.
Official Notes: Hope melted like ice cubes. A watery, cool lilac coconut, tangled in red tape.
I get the melted ice cubes, and I get the lilac-coconut. This scent is actually one of the first lilac scents I’ve really liked - it’s a fantastic lilac. I figure the “red tape” must be that bit of harsh charcoal scent in there.
Verdict: I really like this in that throw. The note quality on that lilac is the real deal - it’s stellar, absolutely spectacular. And the coconut-CO2 (not listed as an official note but I remember Brooke mentioning it somewhere) creates a really realistic water smell. But that charcoal in there can be kind of harsh when it comes through on its own.
I’ll probably end up keeping this one and wearing it when it’s beastly hot. I like it in the throw, and in the top of the scent cloud (when I get really close is when the charcoal smell comes through a bit more than I’d like). I’d recommend this strongly for fans of lilac and conceptual scents.