Thursday, October 29, 2015

Possets Halloween 2015 (The Scent of Night) Part 2

I have many more perfumes that I wanted to get from this collection, and I always waffle between feeling like I got what I wanted and also somehow let The One slip away. It's always a gamble to grab a bottle without the ability to sample first, and sometimes I lose but often I win.

Today's group focused more on two of the more typical pumpkin/fall type perfumes, and then I added one fruity and one unknown to the mix.

Again, the following reviews were posted on the forum, so some of what I reference may create questions. If you would like to know more, feel free to ask here or to go to the Possets forum.

Now to the reviews!

Redcap - Possets description: Macintosh and perfumed Pink Lady apples, Bartlett pear, cling peach, and Indian sweet patchouli dance about madly in this rendition of the Scottish dwarf who murders people for the fun of it. Redcaps are called that because they murder innocent travellers and dye their hats in the victim's blood. They must continue to dispatch humans and dip their hats in the blood for if the hat dries out, the Redcap will die himself!

This one is a Perfect autumn fruit filled perfume, a real go-to whether the days are bright and warmish or overcast and morose. There is something Scottish indeed about this great perfume oil and I like its lingering on a thick sweater or in the covers. Very sexy and bright."

In the bottle: apples (green with a faint touch of red), a faint grit underneath, and what I'm thinking may be the bubblegum note mentioned by another reviewer is the peach with the touch of pear. Every time I sniff this one it makes me sneeze. I hope it doesn't do so when I'm wearing it. :-D I will admit that there's something underneath that may be a bit of the patchouli and something else that comes across as fake peachy/cranberry (like I stepped into a shop that has a BUNCH of fruity air fresheners lying around and it's all mingling together). I'm a bit nervous, but I know some of these insistent perfumes can morph beautifully on the skin. *Crossing fingers

On my skin: Well, that's hopeful. The perfume fruity note begins to resolve into an apple note (the perfumed pink lady, perhaps?), but this is a very strong fruity perfume that my nose is still working through at this point and feels a bit confused. The patchouli seems to be sifting through to the bottom to provide a base that roughs this up a bit, which is good for balance. I am also getting a fruity/soapy note, and I'm not sure if it's just because my nose seems so confused or if it's because I need to let this rest and focus on it only some day. 

Make no mistake, this is a very fruity perfume. It has an astringent side though too.

I don't know if it's my skin chemistry, but there is something about this one that is affecting me. Since trying this one (I have been spacing them all out throughout the day), my skin has gotten flushed, I keep sneezing, and it is sickly cloying on my skin and has gone into Glade plug-in territory for me. It may be my skin amping notes in a horrible way, but this reeks of artificial fruit on me. And I have much sads over this. I really wanted this one to work, but somehow most apple perfumes seem to hate me and go into air freshener/fake fruit/ick getitoffgetitoff territory for me.


Spider Juice - Possets description: "
It's that pumpkin time of year and I am loving the idea of all things dark brown with pumpkin: molasses, brown sugar, toasted reductions of cane sugar, the glass-like golden sheet of sugar you get from carefully handled ingredients. It's all there, and the pumpkin, it is definitely there. Add a big shot of peach nectar and THIS is what you have been waiting for all year, and it does not disappoint."

In the bottle: warm buttery browned pumpkin, spices, and a very faint whiff of something fruity (deep fruity not bright or tropical).

On my skin: Fresh brown sugar, pumpkin/pumpkin rind, spices (most strongly is cinnamon), a hint of what comes across as green and peppery (almost jalapeno ish), sweet sweet peach (the peach is very subtle and soft, but the sweetness is not). 

As it dries: Oh boy, something in here is reacting with my skin. Where I put it on my neck is going bright red and feels hot to the touch (oddly it's not doing that on my wrist, only on my neck, but where it is on my wrist does feel tingly). The cinnamon note seems to be heavily swirling around me. (It has the sweetness and tone of hot tamales candies.) 

As it dries further, the cinnamon begins to fade down more to a cinnamon powder and my skin is still very red and blotchy on my neck, even though I tried to wipe off what I could. On my wrist, the baked pumpkin merges with the cinnamon powder and comes across as warm and custardy--like a decadent cinnamon pumpkin custard pie. Very very faintly underneath is a soft peach note. After about a half hour, the peach note rises for a bit, then merges into the other notes to provide a gentle sweetness and rounds out the whole.

Dry down: this fades to a pretty pumpkiny perfume that has a faint cling of the sweet soft peach (more peach skin than juicy peach) and a touch of the buttery toasted aspect. The cinnamon note is mostly faded at this point, but when I sniff deeply, I still can get a cinnamon powder vibe. This is warm and very autumnal, and very traditional pumpkin perfume on my skin.

For me, this is going to have to be a non skin scent for sure. It's enjoyable, but whether it's the cinnamon powder vibe or something else, there is definitely more in this than my skin can handle. 

Psychopumpkin - Possets description: "Quesque c'est? This is pumpkin, slathered in spice and encrusted with sugar. This is pumpkin in its glory, thick and deep, tumbling in honey and caramel. Foody and wicked."

In the bottle: Oddly, I get more fruit from this than I did from Spider Juice. Rounded spices, a touch of deep dark fruits, something that comes across as a dark gingerbread (but waaay down at the bottom), and a pumpkin pie-ish note.

On my skin: This opens with the baked pie and fruit notes dominating, and then begins to soften with some of the spices from Big Black Cat seemingly coming into play. This isn't BBC by any stretch, but something about it is reminding me of it--including a touch of the sweetness. 

As this dries: The honey really starts to come forward, in a very wildwood honey kind of way (deep and dark) and not the softer clover honey. The spices here feel softer (more like nutmeg, maybe) and the caramel is providing what I think of as a green note. The pumpkin veers more toward the fruity side here, and less like a baked pie at this point.

The more it dries: The area on my hand that I put this on is also having a small reaction. Not as bad as Spider Juice, and it could be that my hand is dry and needs lotion on it, but it is feeling a little of a burn there, so I'm wondering if there is some cinnamon or something along those lines within the spices mentioned. This is softer than Spider Juice. More fruity, much less spice, a bit more fresh pumpkin feeling, but I'm not sure if that's the honey or caramel lifting it and making it seem more fresh. This feels rounded, softer, and sweeter than Spider Juice (SJ is more dry by comparison). This feels more like a perfume than SJ (if that makes sense). 

I really like how deep this feels, while also coming across as a pretty light perfume. It's definitely autumnal and warm, and feels comforting. As it fades down, it continues to stay light but warm and makes me think of cozy fires, warm hearths, snuggly blankets, and good books to read. 

Note: Due to my experience with Spider Juice, I did not put this on my neck and only put a touch on the back of my hand in case it reacted. This seems more candied and less spicy than Spider Juice, so I will probably try it on my neck to see if I react as badly with this as I did with SJ (at some point--I do not feel that brave today).

Flirty She-Corpse - Possets description: "Italian bergamot, Georgia white peach, sambac jasmine, French oakmoss, and American cedar wood marry together in this rich and beautiful surprise combinations. I never thought I would like something as aromatic as cedar wood combined with a foody item like peach but the result is breathtaking."

In the bottle: herbs, cedar, what comes across as ginger (where did that come from?), and a touch of something from my perfume memory that I can't quite put my finger on. This is not what I expected (I think I expected something softer, but this is more bracing).

On my skin: Ooooh! That's a surprise. The bergamot opens this beautifully! Also, the notes are MUCH softer on the skin than in the bottle. I get the oakmoss and the cedar, but MUCH softer than expected (the oakmoss is beeeaauuuuteeeful!), and waaaay down on the bottom the jasmine says hello.

As it dries: This has a tinge of old school perfume. Classic, very very classic. The bergamot plays beautifully with the oakmoss, and the jasmine sweetens and softens the whole (I'm not getting much peach, but it could also be that making this come across as a sweet balance to the oakmoss). The cedar is waaaaay down on the bottom, providing a gorgeous base to lay this on. This is tres chic, and utterly stripped down to the bone classic perfume with a twist. 

As it dries further: Ohhh there you are peach. Peach laid out in the sun and left to dry, but not quite yet fruit leather. It is really fantastic with the creaminess of the jasmine (a non stinky jasmine--so far, knock on wood). The cedar keeps holding steady, blending beautifully with the other notes, and the oakmoss just hits this out of the ballpark. This plays like a dry chypre, but the soft edge of the peach and jasmine lift it and make it, well, flirty. This is glam cocktials of the 80's, with a touch of Chanel class (old school) thrown in. It is utterly cool, calm, collected femme with a naughty side. And wow if she didn't make me just love all of her sharp edges and soft secrets. 

In the final drydown, it softens considerably with the cedar becoming dominant and the other notes slinking around in the background with occasional sashays into the foreground, except for the jasmine which appears to have left the party in someone's candy-apple-red Ferrari. 

You don't need much when you wear this one, but when you do wear it you definitely make a statement!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Possets Halloween 2015 (The Scent of Night) Part 1

I've not made it much of a secret that I love the perfumes that come out around this time of year. They are usually more foody, but also more resinous and oriental to hold up against the incoming cold weather. This is where I continue to find the homey pumpkin scents (although I do agree with some folks that pumpkin can get to be too much), the warm woods (and wood pudding-esque fragrances), spices, and sometimes the stark edges like earth or leaves I am looking for. While I have many perfumes on my list, I have limited finances and somehow I keep coming back to Possets to get more bang for my buck. This season is no exception (gratefully purchased with some birthday money).

This year, the perfumes were named for frightening creatures from around the world or for aspects of this time of year. The names are fun, which makes buying them even more of a pleasure (even if some of the critters aren't quite so nice).

The following perfumes were posted on the Possets forum, but for folks who want to stay away from forums, here is the first section of what I've tried from this new release:

Dancing With the Sprites in the Fall Rain - Possets description: "A fabulously dry and sophisticated take on fallen leaves, wet days, and overcast autumn skies. The ozone/water of dank, a hint of mushroom musk. Overall, there is a huge resemblance to lavender but it is not lavender. As a huge wood hides its secrets from you, this blend is a morpher for sure."

In the bottle, this REALLY reminds me of the damp leaves note of Dies Irae mixed in with Re--God of the Sun's marigold autumnal note (from previous collections). It also has a touch of a bandage accord (as I call it lol) that usually becomes something beautiful and perfumey.

On my skin, it seems to hold what was in the bottle for about five minutes and then WHOA this opens up beautifully! At first it really reminds me of the above perfumes, then it begins to shift and I get what Fabienne says by lavender but not. It has that herbal-type edge with a hint of sweetness without coming across as lavender at all. I don't get a mushroom vibe (don't know what I was expecting there), but the more it dries down the more I get what I would describe as a sweet masculine note that comes across as what I smell in fougere type fragrances, but (dare I say it?) this is even better. It's a touch sweeter (almost with the roundedness of caramel, without being caramel sweet and without the greenness or stickiness that can come with caramel notes), and it's not as dry as I expected either. It has a touch of aquatic as it dries down that resolves away but that feels like it's providing a backbone for the fougere-esque vibe. And that vibe is goooorgeous! This is like the best fougere without tipping over into too spicy and darkly astringent as some of those can go. 

This feels like it has a masculine edge, but is beautiful for women as well. This doesn't remind me so much of damp leaves so much, because it is more dry than that (although this doesn't come across as wrung out dry by any stretch), but it definitely pairs beautifully with today's autumny gray rain and the pop of yellow, red, and orange leaves. This one makes me *very* glad I got it (and I have a feeling this one is going to get even more fantastic as it ages). It has kept me sniffing (nose glued to wrist, pretty much) in an effort to get all of the nuances. It's mmmmmm good.

Zombie - Possets description: "You really need a big dose of toasted marshmallow and oude. The obvious combination, wouldn't you say? Resinous and foody at the same time. Smoky sticky fun." (Note: this perfume was a suggestion by a forum member)

In the bottle, this was a lovely smokey toasty marshmallow with an almost woody rounded depth. It also had a touch of sour milk edge (almost baby breath milk) to it when I sniffed deeply which made me raise an eyebrow, but (for science of course) I put a nice big drop on my skin.

On my skin, it opens up very nicely and I almost immediately get an ambered toasted marshmallow. This shifts down pretty quickly to a powdered soft sweetness and I don't get a whole lot of oude. I'm thinking the oude will probably develop the longer this sits in the bottle, but it's definitely a wearable perfume right now. The longer this is on the skin, the toasted aspect goes away, and I get more of the ambered/powdered aspect of the sweetness, with the oude holding steady on the bottom that gives it an almost wood edge, but on a soft scale. (I really can't wait to see how this ages--I have a feeling it's going to be absolutely amazing.)

At first it seems to be light and fluffy, but it has a solid backbone that gives it staying power and depth. It's delicious without coming across as uber foody, and the oude keeps it perfectly balanced from being too sweet (it has a touch of sweetness, but it's more like the sweetness of amber and not the sweetness of sugar). This is really delightful and I think it's going to only get better as it ages. Mmmmmm!

Jurogumo - Possets description: "
A powerful vanilla musk the likes of the one used in Dance With Me (VERY seductive yet subtle and cloud-like), and rich cardamom, and finally the nectar of peaches squeezed in the summer sun and concentrated to make a sugary peach liquor...I chose the white and gauzy vanilla to remind me of the spider's silk and how appealing it is when a light shines through it and it casts a soft glow by diffusing light. The cardamom is an illusion of the hospitality the spiderwoman shows men, and peach to imagine what dainties she would prepare for the men she was going to feed upon." With a description like that, how could I refuse?!

In the bottle: Ohhhhh mmmmm! Dry powdered chocolate, vanilla, and a faint peach liqueur. 

On my skin: The vanilla opens immediately, the way Reason [Reason is a permanent for Possets] does. Very straightforward vanilla that can come across as a bit alcoholic. The chocolate (dark chocolate mixed with a bit of milk chocolate) drops down immediately into the base and resolves into being the cardamom. At this point it smells like a completely decadent drink spiked with a tinge of some kind of thick alcoholic something (rum, maybe) without smelling like alcohol (if that makes any sense at all--it's just that kind of note with edges and spikes but warm and intoxicating). It takes about five minutes before the peach begins to open up on my skin.

As it dries: The peach begins to come forward and plays beautifully with the cardamom. This comes across as delicate, with a bite (perfectly named for a spider). The vanilla plays steadily with the other notes, and makes this both luscious and delicious but also gives it an ethereal lift. This is a foody that definitely keeps a foot in the foody camp but that has a surprising edge that leans to the perfumey side with a sly nod to sophistication. I have a feeling that every time I wear this one, people are going to want to hug me just a bit longer than usual. *grin

This is delightful, and I think is going to age beautifully. I can see this being worn almost year round, but think it will be too much on nasty muggy days (the vanilla may be too heavy instead of lift then, but would be gorgeous on the evening of one of those days as the sun begins to set and the stars come out).

Warm. Engaging. Comforting. Snuggly. But also utterly foodily delightful.

Jin - Possets description: "
A true peach oriental with ingredients they use in the Unite Arab Emirates (UAE). Peaches, dried peaches, patchouli, and tobacco extract, a good wollop of cardamom and big shot of a very dry amber. A foody resinous blend which is just what cooler weather perfects."

In the bottle: Mmmmmm, oh yes. It's like the Gingerbreads [the Gingerbread line includes the Gingerbread Whorehouse and Gingerbread Crackhouse and are forum favorites] and fruit had a baby (it's not quite peach, not quite apricot, but rather like both of them dried and almost fruit leathery, but with hints of the fresh juicy fruit lurking waaaay down below).

On my skin: The peach blossoms, and with the gingerbread essence it turns into something that almost comes across as chocolate perfume. Not quite chocolate, but as if a perfumer was doing a modern take of chocolate but in perfume form. That phase shifts around a little bit, and goes "cool" on me for a minute or two, where it turns straight into peach perfume (not peach, but like a modern take of peaches only as perfume). Then a pipe tobacco lifts up a bit (so beautiful) and dives down again to become an amazing base and the peach becomes softer and juicier. Right here, just right here I fall in love. This is beautiful. It rides on a masculine edge, but is so gorgeous. Tobacco and peach is probably a combination I would have never imagined together, but this proves they were MADE for each other. For a few minutes, as it shifts around a bit more, it smells a little like a VERY upscale soap that belongs only in the most posh salon. The peach continues to feel like a combo between fruit leather and juicy succulence. The tobacco is utterly amazing in this--fresh and a bit moist--and it weaves around the peach so beautifully. I don't get much patchouli, but I do sense it lurking around the edges and I think as this ages it will come out a bit more and rough this up a little bit more and make it even sexier. (I did have this on my skin and applied again to get my first impressions, and a few hours on the skin brings out the patchouli a little more to merge beautifully with the above notes and seems to be providing some of the spiciness to this.)

As it dries down, the notes soften a bit, while still retaining the slightly masculine vibe, and yet oddly it makes me feel more feminine and powerful.

Out of all of the ones I've tried today, this is the one I keep returning to. It's complex and simple and snuggly but gorgeous all at the same time. I agree that this is a great transition perfume, but I can also see me reaching for this (often) in the dark and gray days of winter. It's soothing and comforting, but also uplifting and assured of itself. It shifts around quite a bit for the first half hour, but after that it seems to take all of the good notes and ride that through the rest of the hours in a more gentle form without losing substance. I could also see myself wearing this in spring, and on brilliant summer nights when the humidity has dropped down a bit and I just want to go out and enjoy the stars.

The notes balance each other in such a way that you know what you're smelling but the sum is SO much greater than the parts. I would definitely not slather this one on. The nuances seem to pop most when applied with a lighter hand, and the longevity is solid enough that I think slathering would over do this one. This is a fragrance to savor like a fine wine or chocolate. You can gulp a Hershey's bar, but you experience a fine European chocolate. This perfume is one to experience (and I have a feeling I'm going to want to experience it over and over). Stunning. Beautiful. Just...fantastic.

I have four more perfumes that I'll review tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this journey with me!