Thursday, May 30, 2013

Solstice Scents: Midnight Oil

Last week was a hectic one. We had a festival to work (we have a smoker and we make amazingly awesome BBQ that we sell at events and festivals--not that I'm biased or anything), and that cut into my review time. I will make up for it by reviewing a fragrance I've come to love in a very short time: Solstice Scents' Midnight Oil.

Midnight Oil was originally released as a scrub in the autumn collection, and people wanted it so much, it was brought back as one of the "dark" fragrances for this spring. I'm so glad it's here!

The notes are: "Coca Absolute, Blood Orange EO, Yellow Mandarin EO, Aged Patchouli EO, Labdanum Absolute, Coffee EO & Mushroom Absolute."

Here's the official description from Solstice Scents: "It is solely comprised of essential oils and absolutes. It is a deep, earthy, rich and citrusy fragrance. The cocoa, patchouli and mushroom absolute provide a dark, dank base for the bright blood orange and mandarin essential oils. A touch of labdanum adds a subtle sticky resinous quality to the scent. The cocoa and chocolatey-earthy smelling mushroom absolute combine with the orange to lend this scent a strong gourmand quality while the aged patchouli adds a deep musky and sooty character. The coffee EO in this blend is very subtle and works to add to the rich base."

In my sample vial, I immediately smell the dark and rich patchouli that I recognize from Jack and the Devil (another gorgeous perfume from Solstice Scents). I never used to like patchouli until I tried some of the perfumes from Solstice Scents, and, wow, it turned me into a convert. If you are a shrinking violet and don't like heady fragrances, you will want to run away from this one, and then you will be sad the rest of your life because you will know you are missing something, but you won't be quite sure what it is. This is rich. It's powerful. It will make you feel like you can take on the world.

I also immediately get a candied orange essence. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It smells freshly peeled, with some of the pith and zest lingering in the air. It almost reminds me of the orange and chocolate candies that are so popular around Christmastime, but this is less sweet and much more appealing (less waxy smelling than the candy).

Waaaay down underneath it all, I get a mushroom vibe, and a teensy dark rounding of the whole. This is mouth-wateringly tempting in a James Dean wearing a leather jacket kind of way (naughty, but oh so tempting).

On my skin: I want to bite something, this is so good. The orange essence is very present, the patchouli is deep and gorgeous, I get a teeeensy whiff of the edge of coffee, and there's something almost honeyed lurking in the depths. The cocoa is no weak milk chocolate. This cocoa means business. This is a dark perfume oil, and you definitely want to be careful when you put it on so it doesn't stain your clothes. My suggestion: put this on while naked, let it dry, then prance around your house sending out delicious wafts of this. Who needs clothes when you're wearing something this yummy?

As it dries: I get a bit of the mushroom coming up. It gives this a bit of earthiness, grounds it a bit, keeps it from being too smooth. I love my perfumes with a bit of edge, and this one delivers. I'm also getting varying degrees of citrus that range from candied orange to something a bit more deep and rubied (which I think is the blood orange coming in) to something that almost has the lightness of lemon on a very pale scale.

I have to repeat again that the Solstice Scents patchouli is really amazing stuff. I used to think patchouli was something (mostly) worn by hippies and people wandering in and out of headshops all day. But this, this is something that makes me think of something slightly dangerous and naughty. Yes, there is a part of it that could be seen as headshoppy, but that's only a very teensy edge. The rest of this patchouli is a bit gritty, a bit spicy, and so smooth you may be tempted to lick it. It adds an almost spice-cake edge to the fragrance, without any spices being dominant. It feels decadent and absolutely scrumptious--especially added to that (almost dusty) cocoa. Oh my!

As this dries further, the honeyed note is still lingering on my skin and it mixes so beautifully with the patchouli and citrus. This is a very deep gourmand fragrance, and has notes that could appeal to a lot of people. For people who hate sweet fragrances, this has enough grit to keep it from being too sugary and foodie. For people who are afraid of going beyond fruity florals, this has a softness to it that makes it seem like it's melting on the skin. For people who hate patchouli, you have to try it. Just a sample. Do. For women who may feel this could be too strong, I say you may be shocked at how amazing you feel wearing this. For men who may be concerned about the gourmand aspect, don't be. You'll be a sexy beast. Honest.

Fully dried, the patchouli stays solid and holds this steady, the mushroom plays along at the very bottom for a while--rounding this out a bit--then it slowly fades away, and the cocoa becomes something that comes across as a soft and sweet wood. This is definitely in the same family of Jack and the Devil--dark, strong, powerful, and sexy. But this also adds the sweetness of the citrus, a softness, a subtle yielding underneath that hints of a more gentle seduction.

This is a clear winner for me, and I placed an order for it before writing this review so I could be sure I get a bottle. Solstice Scents definitely hit another one out of the ballpark with Midnight Oil!


  1. Wow, so glad Solstice Scents posted your review to their FB I LOVE this review. Gotta try that scent! I currently love Conjure and Courtyard (sad to see that one leaving) Can't wait to read the rest of your reviews. Oh and happy doing your yarn thing from a fellow knitter too :) )

    1. Ashleyrox, I had no idea they'd even posted it until I saw your comment notification in my e-mail. :D

      Conjure is lovely, but so are many of the "deeper" fragrances from Solstice Scents. I always feel like I've discovered an amazing secret whenever I talk about Solstice Scents. Such a great little company! The customer service is amazing, and the product is even more so.

      The one I often miss is Astral Temple. I keep wearing that one--forgetting I can't get any more. When I do remember, it's an instant sad face. Agggh! I always feel a pang when I see another one is on the chopping block.

      I'm a new knitter (started at the end of last year), and am working on a pair of socks right now. I *love* my sample days when I'm knitting because somehow I often get perfume on my yarn, and then I'm really in bliss as the yarn flows through my fingers. Best of both worlds. :D

      Thank you for commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed the review!