Friday, December 27, 2019

5 Stereoplasm Reviews: Miss Pollywobble - Bumblywitch Fare - Dreaming Kitten - In Pace, In Fiori - La Mia Magia!

Surprise! There's a review set today! I'm not gone, just slow. 2020 might end up being the year of the tortoise for me.

When I got my last Stereoplasm package it contained press samples of their Cozyfoot Cabin series and two of their La Vita a Lecce series. That's what we're covering today!

New year means, for me, tweaks to the review format. Y'all will probably notice some small changes down in the reviews - most notably I've altered how I do my "verdicts". I'm also going to try and get my methods section briefer. Links to the individuals scents will be paired with the reviews now instead of up top!

( P.S. Don't worry, friends - it's faux fur in the photograph. )

On to the reviews:


Time rested: A few weeks

Where were they kept: Cardboard box in a drawer.

Was there a risk of scent cross contamination: Minimal - the scents were tested on different days, and skin was not "reused". I do use scented lotions and soaps most days - so small risk.

Bottle (re)review:

It's been a while since I originally reviewed Stereoplasm's 1mls and they've changed a little! I wanted to give a fresh review here. These little bottles are screw tops (yay), and are clearly labeled in a legible font. The tops screw on well, and there were no leaks with this order! I find it very easy to apply a good amount from each bottle. The labels hold up well to standard use.

Reminder: Each nose and each skin's chemistry is different. Your mileage may vary.

Miss Pollywobble [ store link ]

In the bottle: The first thing I smell my brain screams SWEATER. Woolen? Cotten? I don’t know, but it’s got that kind of slightly-stinging textile scent to it I associate with warm sweaters (jumpers for my European friends). Under that is something a touch green and leafy - tea maybe? A dried leaf accord? There’s a touch of something classic and golden-floral to round it all out over a woodsy note (cedar?).

Wet on my skin: Nutty, slightly gourmand and pale-brown note at the top mixing with that sweater-textile scent. Midnotes are still leafy, tea reminiscent green and a bit of sharp piquancy from a classically perfumey floral. Base note of what I’m pretty sure is cedar.

Drydown: The nutty scent dies back quite a bit but is still there mingling with the textile note. Under that is still tea leaves and whatever that classically-perfumey floral. The base is still cedarish. I also am wondering if there’s an alcoholic note in this - there’s that degree of sharpness to the scent. It smells kind of like an androgynous, elderly forest witch who drinks tea and brandy (perhaps not together).

After 30 mins: Stable to the drydown, perhaps a little fainter. Strong scent starts right at skin level - not much of cloud at all. Good for a relatively subtle scent - though I do wish it had more throw to it.
Official Notes: Chopped maplewood, chimney smoke, english breakfast tea, gingerbread and black currant jam.

Oh wow. Okay, let’s run through this. At the top the brown, nutty note is the gingerbread. I don’t know what’s smelling like a sweater to me in here (I’d guess some of the earthy black currant + a touch from the smoke). The black currant jam isn’t terribly sweet or fruity at all - mostly slightly sweet foresty earthiness. The almost-alcoholic sharp smell is the chimney smoke. The tea is the tea. The woody base is the chopped maplewood. The kind of ‘classically perfumey’ smelling note in here is probably some of the maple combining with the smoke and maybe even part of the black currant.

Verdict: For me this is a ‘won’t wear much’ scent. In terms of personal preference the scent reads a bit too ‘mature’ for me in a snuggly, witch-at-the-end-of-the-path way. While I do like smelling like a forest witch I like to think I lean a bit more Granny Weatherwax than Nanny Ogg - and add in a stiff shot of apple alcohol and you’d have a Nanny Ogg scent on your hands here.

The scent’s greatest strength is capturing that kind of ‘cozy’ hygge vibe the collection is going for - it’s greatest weaknesses are the lack of throw and the lack of almost any fruitiness from the black currant. Aside from the smoke, tea, and maple I wish every note in here were a touch stronger.

Bumblywitch Fare [ store link ]

I recall this one having a chocolate chip cookie note.

In the bottle: Delicate coffee, chocolate, and a sweet sugared resin. The sugared resin reminds me a lot of the ‘pink sugar’ note that Stereoplasm has used before. There might be a floral buried in here too - something sweet and feminine, but it’s hard to tell under the coffee and chocolate. Touch of creaminess in the scent.

Wet on my skin: Creamy coffee, toast and chocolate layered over resin. With the toast… did this have a poppy-bread note? There might be a floral like heather mixed in with the sweet resin (think an amber) at the base.

Drydown: Coffee-like note dominates. It’s a little sharp - like espresso, but also very creamy and sweet like it’s brown-sugar sweetened (I might be imagining things but something about this is also reminiscent of chai spices). Beneath that is the chocolate and the poppy-seed toast smell. Amber at the base with a touch of what I think is heather.

After 30 mins: Stable to the drydown. This has a strong throw on it as well - kept getting whiffs at arm’s length. Strong scent cloud starts about 2 inches from skin.

Official Notes: Country spice cake, chocolate chip cookies, orange cream and warm hazelnut coffee.
So! The ‘toast’ or ‘poppy-seed bread note’ and the ‘chai spices’ are the spice cake. The chocolate - and probably some of the ‘sugared amber’ notes are the chocolate chip cookies. The orange cream is the creamy scent, and I can see a tiny touch of orange in here - it’s more floral than fruity though. The hazelnut coffee is the coffee I was getting. I’m going to guess the amber/resin I’m getting is part of the chocolate chip cookie accord.

Verdict: Great winter scent! I’m debating how often I will wear it - but I know if this were available in lotion or candle form I’d be lighting that candle up all winter and using that lotion frequently. This scent reminds me of a slightly richer, more complex, slightly lighter-on-coffee version of Sucreabeille’s Cup of Ambition. So if you like that coffee scent you’ll probably like this one too.

The strengths of this scent are its rich chocolate, the contrast of light and airy with dark, rich, and earthy gourmands, and it’s stellar throw. In terms of weaknesses - I can see this perhaps being too earthy-dark-bitter for the people who like sweet scents, and a little too sweet for the people who usually like earthy scents. I also think this would be a scent that’s a bit too heavy to wear outside of cool weather.

Dreaming Kitten [ store link ]

In the bottle: Pink, powdery, soft and lavender-y. At the top I get a soft, powdery note I think might be cashmere (I remember this having some sort of cashmere or fur accord I think). Below that is a bright pink floral and what I’m pretty sure is lavender. All of this is wrapped up in a soft, musky base. The scent is very floral-sweet, powdery, and feminine musky.

Wet on my skin: Pink grapefruit - I think that’s what I was reading as a floral. It’s hardly sweet at all the the fruity nuances only came out once it was out of the bottle. Beneath that is a floral I’m still pretty sure is lavender and that powdery soft cashmere-or-fur note. At the base is musk. The scent smells kind of bubbly-clean and girly. Imagine slashes of aggressively pastel pink, purple, and gray.

Drydown/After 30 mins: Got distracted and neglected to write down the drydown. So! Notes on the scent.

It’s morphed considerably. A lot of the powderiness and sharp pastels have died down leaving a sweetly white floral (reminds me a lot of one of the florals in First Bloom) and citrus musk scent. It’s still quite feminine - but not so much as when it was applied. The creamy musk, white floral and citrus dominate with a hint of soft fur/cashmere and a touch of lavender and a breath of powder.
This scent has an extremely strong throw. Could smell it constantly at arm’s length. Up close the scent cloud begins about 3-4 inches out and is kinda semi-unsmellable because it’s so strong.. But at a distance it’s All Dreaming Kitten All The Time.

Official Notes: Soft bed sheets sweetened with honeysuckle, bergamot, ginger and himalayan fur.

So, the powdery-clean-bubbly-lavender note is probably the ‘sheets’ accord. The honeysuckle is the white floral, the bergamot is the citrus. I can see the ginger in here blending with the citrus and adding some of the creaminess. The ‘sweet fur’ and ‘musk’ must be that himalayan fur.

Verdict: I did not care for this in its initial stages - it read as too soapy-clean to my nose. As it mellowed over time and the honeysuckle and bergamot (two of my favorite notes!) came out I found myself liking it a lot more. As it stands this scent is a ‘wear extremely rarely’ or ‘never wear’ for me partially because I’m not jiving with those initial stages and partially because it’s very, very feminine/girly. If you think that First Bloom was girly (I read is as a more gender-neutral-femme) this is like that times 5. That said it does mature well, and if you like powdery, clean, feminine scents this one is probably worth checking out.

In Pace, In Fiori [ store link ]

In the bottle: Ultra realistic, fresh flowers. I feel like I’m getting lilac in here - but I could be wrong. There might also by hyacinth? Think fresh, purple flowers hanging from vines (there is a touch of green in here). Maybe a bit of white musk at the base? But in the bottle it is just Flower City with a bit of green.

Wet on my skin: Hyper realistic flowers still - you can smell the petals. Very green, very floral in that kind of purple-flower way. A little tropical almost. Greenery is mixed in with the flowers. I feel like I’m getting a touch of musk and a touch of something a little different in here too - maybe a kind of sweet-stone note.

Drydown: Feminine, fresh, super realistic flowers (lilac I’m guessing - and I think another), greenery, stone, something else (I keep waffling on what this is. Is it fruity like grapes? It it resinous?), stone and clean, faint musk.

After 30 mins: Same as the drydown. Still can’t place that one note.

Wears quite strong - scent cloud starts 6 inches from application site and I kept getting whiffs of it throughout the test period.

Official Notes: Bougainvillea, wisteria covered stone walls, green leaves, blossoming black locust tree, sun-baked sampietrini, a cotton dress, orange blossom honey.

Well, the florals are the florals - the wisteria is probably what reminds me of lilac. The greenery is the green leaves and black locust. The sampietrini and stone walls at the stone note - the kind of ‘clean musk’ must be the cotton dress. The orange blossom honey is that scent I couldn’t place that was kind of fruity, kind of resinous.

Verdict: Waaaay too femme for me. But if someone’s looking for a straight floral… the flowers here dominate to a degree that I initially wondered if this had nothing but floral notes. The strengths of this scent are it’s throw, the cloud of florals (flower lovers rejoice), and the subtle notes that come out as it dries down. The weaknesses are that the strength of it can be a double edged sword (apply with care) and that for indie fans it might be a bit too straight forward with ‘very femme flowers’.

La Mia Magia! [ store link ]

In the bottle: Sugared lemons, vanilla, honey (lots of honey), and a tiny touch of something a little medicinal in a strongly musky (think skin or Egyptian musk) base.

Wet on my skin: Lemons and that kind-of-medicinal note come forward. The medicinal note almost reminds me of Stereoplasm’s sunscreen accord. Think… the lemon squares from Lovesick Lake (sugar, lemons, vanilla) combined with sunscreen and honey all in a musky base. I really like this one but I will warn that we’re talking very musky here. I like very musky. Musks and I get along. I know this isn’t true for everyone.

Something in the amount this is blending and the particular balance of the scent reminds me of an Alkemia scent! If you like Alkemia’s musks this one will probably fit broadly into your tastes.

Drydown: Relatively stable to how it was wet. The lemons have died back some and I feel like I’m getting a touch of baked good in here. Still getting the honey and the sunscreen/medicinal note. And musk. A bunch of musk.

With this scent it’s wearing ultra, ultra strong. I actually applied too much of it - I tend to slather for reviews and in this case less it more. If you purchase this I’d advise applying conservatively then working up with it.

After 30 mins: The lemons have returned! Woo! This is probably my favorite balance of the scent. All the elements are still there but the bright lemons are bright again and the musk has calmed itself some. Bright, a tiny bit gourmand in a citrus way, and gender neutral.

As mentioned earlier this has a heckuva throw on it. Scent cloud starts 4-6 inches from the application site.

Official Notes: Velvet carpet, melting beeswax candles, dusty vials of dragon's blood, gilded rosewood wooden mask, labdanum, crackling electricity, well-worn playing cards.

Okay - wow. Let’s break this down.

The lemon I think has to be the crackling electricity. The ‘sunscreen’ type smell is probably the playing cards. The musk in this is probably the velvet carpet accord and Stereoplasm’s particular dragon’s blood (which in previous scents has gone musky instead of resinous). The beeswax is probably what I was interpreting as ‘musky honey’. The rosewood is probably that little sort of medicinal smell. There’s not much ozonic, metallic, or even particularly resinous to it. The smells smell organic, sweet, and natural.

I dunno in here what was reading kind of gourmand to me (there’s something kind of nutty) and what’s got me thinking ‘vanilla’ - but I’m definitely getting something. I also don’t know where the labdanum is fitting in other than adding a bit of darkness and depth to the scent - maybe a tiny edge of resinousness.

Verdict: I can totally see this as a musky old bookshop or magic shop with some honey-lemon bars on the counter. This will be a ‘wear sometimes in early spring rotation’ scent for me. The scent’s strengths are it’s lovely musks and the kind of creamy, lemony sweetness it embodies. The lemons smell sweet and fresh and not remotely ‘floor cleaner’. The scent’s weaknesses are that I don’t think it matches the given notes on the site perfectly and that it is very, very strong compared to most Stereoplasm scents I’ve tried. It needs to be used conservatively - and actually would make a good EDP/spray scent.

I also think it would make an amazing soap/lotion scent. It’s got this kind of softness and breadth to it that I think would make for a good ‘base’ scent for layering.

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