Tuesday, November 19, 2019

5 Sucreabeille Yule Reviews! Belsnickel + Fouettard + Gryla + Krampus + Perchta

Originally I was gonna review a set of purchased Sucreabeille scents on Friday because Andrea had asked for some feedback on her catalog and I'd been sitting on these since June? July? Some obscene amount of time anyway. But then a package slid into my mailbox with these five Yule scents and-
I've gotten this vibe this year that we're all ready for winter. Even people who normally are not Christmas' biggest fans are ready for some solstice action this year. We all seem to want to set something on fire (candles, yule logs, bonfires, the turkey that we don't actually wanna eat) this year.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it was just me - but as soon as it ticked into November it's like a switch flipped. I'm ready to gaze out over endless snowy expanses with the golden eyes of a snowy owl as black trees reach into a sky speckled with infinite stars. I am down for some celebrations vis-à-vis the triumph of light over dark.
I'm gonna gamble that I'm picking up on something in the collective unconscious and the solstice bug has been biting harder than usual this year.
I made an executive decision to instead wait 24 hours after these arrived and start reviewing them. That, and, spoilers, Krampus smells kinda like clean eggnog and I thought people ought to know about that.
The perfumes covered in today's review are:

All perfumes in this review were allowed to rest for at least 24 hours (some were rested 48+ hours) 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.
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 10ml bottles [ here ].
A reminder: Each nose is different and each skin’s chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.
In the bottle: So as mentioned above I was gonna stick it to The Man and review these all but fresh outta the mailbox. But I’m glad I ended up waiting 24 hours because… this one morphed! Originally it was all black-black-black earthy scents dominated by a super strong, black coffee.
Now it’s still got all that there… but it’s died waaay back. You get this initial hit of coffee and then the scent opens up into marshmallows and coconut cream underscored by dark, earthy and black-resinous notes.
Wet on my skin: Coffee sweetened by marshmallows and coconut, scorched wood, and something kind of like… between latex and skin? Almond maybe? So at the top you have the sweet notes, then under that the burnt wood and the kind of skin-latex scent. (Maybe it’s another kind of nut? Chestnut? It’s kind of got the nut-meat odor to it)
Drydown: And the dark smells and that weird nut-latex smell have mellowed! What’s at the front now is coconut and marshmallow underscored by coffee with a faint hint of nuttiness and burnt wood in there.
After 30 mins: Going strong and about the same as the drydown! I’ll admit, this one gave my a bit of a scare with how it smelled wet - but it dried down super nicely.
Good throw on it - gotten whiffs throughout of coffee and coconut in particular - strong scent cloud starts about 3 inches out.
Official Notes: Hot espresso with juniper berries and brown sugar
So the hot espresso is the coffee - and the juniper berries must be that odd note that smelled kind of nutty and kinda latexy at first. The sweet note is the brown sugar. I’m betting the burnt wood smell is where the juniper berries and brown sugar are mingling. I have no idea where I’m getting coconut (maybe the espresso is a coconut espresso?).
Verdict: Keeping my 10ml. I will warn that for some people this could be a challenging scent depending on how it dries down - but I like this one as a sweet coffee scent from Sucreabeille even better than Cup of Ambition.
In the bottle: Oranges at the top underscored by a piquant herb - a mint or lavender or something - with a resinous base. Something like a sandalwood. There’s something creamy in here too - might be part of the resin or might be separate. Creamy, citrusy, almost medicinal.
Wet on my skin: From a distance a thick buttery smell and then as I get closer WHOOF medicinal to the point of almost being alcoholic.
At the top - strong, piquant herb - think a medicinal lavender or a piquant wormwood mingling with oranges. Under that a creamy scent and then a resin that strongly reminds me of sandalwood - creamy, golden, and a tiny bit earthy.
Drydown: Clean, slightly medicinal and slightly powdery. Oranges at the top wreathed in that medicinal herb. Under that is the creamy-slightly-powdery smell and the resin I’m pretty sure is sandalwood. This scent would be nice as a kind of creamy-oranges soap.
After 30 mins: About the same. Maybe a touch muskier, but stable to the drydown otherwise. Wears quite strong - plenty of throw. Strong scent cloud starts 6 inches away or so.
Official Notes: Bright oranges and vanillas with a playful splash of red rose
I am not sure what went so medicinal in here! Maybe one of the oranges, or one of the vanillas? But I definitely got orange as in this-smells-like-orange juice, and I can see vanillas adding both creamy and powdery elements.
I can totally see the rose as being the musky kind-of-like-sandalwood smell when it’s put in front of me. Paired with the oranges and vanillas the rose reads more golden than red.
Verdict: Not my thing personally! But if you know someone who wants to smell like a clean creamsicle with a bit of a medicinal kick to it (heck, that someone might be you) then give this one a spin. A pass from me.
I recall this one having vanilla and black pepper as notes. A while ago Andrea assured me that their black pepper was an accord that didn’t contain the actual plant - so allergy safe for me!
In the bottle: Vanilla, something a little sharp like mint, a spice (probably that black pepper) and something thickly sweet and kind of gourmand. Like vanilla pudding - or buttercream.
Wet on my skin: Thick, almost alcoholic vanilla gourmand with some spice. Like Bailey’s Irish Cream with spice (probably black pepper). Tiny bit of something minty at the edges but it’s pretty much lost in the Ultra Thick Vanilla.
Drydown: Black pepper at the top - fairly strong - over soft vanillas (no longer alcoholic smelling) with a bit of something extra. The extra is that tiny touch of something mint-like and also something creamy verging on powdery. It gives a scent a delicate, slightly refined character under the spice.
After 30 mins: The biggest difference from the drydown is the more it wears A) the more that mint-like smell moves forward and B) I feel like I’m getting a salt note in here with the pepper. It might just be the frequent pairing of salt-and-pepper in day to day life fooling my nose though.
Otherwise the scent is about the same - black pepper, salt and that minty-herbal smell layered over creamy-and-slightly-powdery vanilla.
Official Notes: Two vanillas swirl with sharp peppercorns
So - the pepper must be what smells almost salty to me. I’m not sure what has that kind of herbal-minty vibe unless it’s one of the vanillas… or the way one of the vanillas interacts with the peppercorns. The powdery-creamy must be another of the vanillas.
Verdict: A simple scent that I think will go over well with people who are fond of black pepper and wintery vanillas that have a kind of classical femme vibe to them. Not so much my thing - so a pass from me.
In the bottle: Eggnog. With nutmeg. I recall this having nutmeg.
Wet on my skin: Eggnog. With nutmeg. Over something with a bit of a sharp woody bite to it … Or is that just part of the nutmeg?
Drydown: Eggnog - a little on the lighter, cleaner, slightly powdery side … with nutmeg. And maybe some wood in there at the base. It’s surprisingly delicate for a Krampus themed scent.
After 30 mins: Heavy nutmeg layered over eggnog and a kind of clean, textile scent. Surprisingly delicate and pale.
Official Notes: Rich vanillas, freshly ground nutmeg, Christmas spices, children's tears
The rich vanillas, nutmeg, and Christmas spices must be what smells like eggnog with nutmeg. The children’s tears must be that clean, surprisingly delicate note that reminds me of the textile scents that Suc uses sometimes
Verdict: I liked this one best in the bottle when it was eggnog city - but with how it dries down while I wouldn’t wear it as a personal scent I would totally use it as a soap. Can I do a one human write in campaign for a Krampus soap? The world needs Krampus soap. UPDATE: Right before posting this I saw that the Sucreabeille FB group was voting on what products to have as bath/body during December and right now Krampus is at the top of the list. Y'all... please help me make Krampus soap a reality if you're a member of the Suc FB group.
In the bottle: I remember when I read the descriptions of these scents a while ago that one of them was a green one and… this is it I’m pretty sure. It’s green.
At the top I get green apple and green fir (or mint, not sure) layered over green grass. The greenest grass. Are you missing green in the middle of a landscape of gourmands and snowy whites? Perchta has you covered. In green.
Wet on my skin: An initial wave of GRASS. Like, how a lawnmower smells after cutting the yard levels of grass. After the initial slam you get the mint and a bit of apple. But this is like Grass The Scent with some nuances in there.
Drydown: The mint and apple are a little more prominent but this is still Grass City. If you need a lawn (with that trademark strong-sharp-bitter-green freshly cut grass has) with mint and apple skin in it… here’s your scent! It’s green! It’s slightly bitter! It’s vegetation smelling!
After 30 mins: Still very grassy but I’m getting a touch more apple now. But still grass-apple-mint. Powerfully green.
Official Notes: bright grassy greens, fresh basil, crushed peppermint
Oh hey it’s basil not apple skin. I guess basil smells a lot like apple skins do? Anyway, the rest of it is… yup greens and peppermint. I want to note that the mint is a subtle edge to this and not overwhelming… but the grass in this is quite powerful.
Verdict: If y’all have spent any time reading my reviews you already know where this is going. I don’t like the smell of fresh cut grass and that’s like 85-90% of this perfume. It’s pretty straightforward, and I figure those of you who want a fairly straightforward GREEN GREEN GREEN scent will already have determined if this is for you or not based on the info above. A hard pass from me though. UPDATE: So, there were a couple of hours between writing this and posting. The perfume is still wearing strong with a solid throw but the grass is much more subdued now - it's all sweet basil at a distance and up close it's sweet basil with a hint of mint and some grassy nuances.

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