Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: 7 Scents from Blooddrop's Exquisite Corpse & Horse of the Carousel Collections

This is my 3rd Blooddrop review now! For the other 2 Blooddrop reviews, you can find them under the Blooddrop label on the side or here. In this review, I'm reviewing 4 scents from the Horses of the Carousel collection (here's previous review for another 7 scents from this collection) and all 3 of the Exquisite Corpse scents. I got my decants from Ajevie as usual, you should really check her decant circles out!



Blooddrop Perfume Oil General Review



Now that I've tried 23 scents from Blooddrop, I've come to the conclusion that Blooddrop is much better at florals than gourmands. Their floral blends are usually complex blends that stir your imagination and make you want to plan a photoshoot to create an ad for the scent. Meanwhile, the gourmands are nice enough, but not as impressive as the florals.

Blooddrop's fruit notes tend to be artificial fruit notes, and the kind of artificial fruits that smell more like a room scent rather than candy. It's not necessarily a bad thing. For example, I actually like the scent of artificial melons and I know people who prefer the perfumed scent of artificial apples to actual apples.

Anyway, on to scent reviews! As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written, if any note surprises me, I discuss it in the overview.


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I need to preface this by saying that the Horses of the Carousel collection just doesn't agree with me and doesn't reflect Bloddrop's quality at all. I find that a lot of the scents from this collection tend to smell straightforward, and lack the complexity that other Blooddrop scents have.

They also go searingly sweet on me, like a room spray sprayed too close to your face. I suspected this could be because they all have a note in common, so I checked the collection's description and here it is:

With the beginning of the lunar new year on January 31st, the Chinese zodiac is celebrating the year of the horse, and since it is pretty much the year of the horse every year with me, this year is going to be extra equid!
To begin this equi-centric year, I present to you The Horses of the Carousel. It is a small limited edition series that I was inspired to do consisting of magical carousel horses, each having special and unique characteristics, all ridiculously beautiful and ornate, and each one’s perfume being an over the top, delicious and gorgeously decorated cupcake.

I'm guessing their "gorgeously decorated cupcake" note hates me.





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The Cauldron Horse

"Chocolate Devil’s food with a marshmallow center and pumpkin whipped cream frosting dusted with clove and a mini pumpkin on top."

Searing, sharply sweet artificial chocolate note. Er, that's it.

TL;DR: ....

Overview: Tried this again, and I think the sweetness and the artificial chocolate note just drowns out all the other more subtle notes. So all you get is just artificial chocolate.


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The Falling Horse


"Vanilla cake sweetened with maple syrup, holding a hidden center of pumpkin apple butter and covered in lightly spiced butter cream frosting with a maple candy leaf on top."

I smell a burst of maple syrup but it quickly became overly sweet with something cloying underneath. After about 5 min, I can finally smell apples in this. It smells like candied apples drizzled in maple syrup with extra caramelized sugar drizzled on top. And it's a red apple for extra sweetness.

Imagine this, but 100x sweeter. Think diabetes on a stick.
Image courtesy of thelemonicekingofcorona.com


 TL;DR: Diabetes served with a side of candied apples & maple syrup.



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The Frozen Horse


"Angel food cake cupcake with pear compote filling and eggnog frosting dusted with pumpkin pie spice."

I smell Blooddrop's artificial pear note in this. There's something creamy mixed into it, and what smells like the artificial fried dough note that's often described by various perfumers as "funnel cake" or "doughnut". Again, the scent is searing sweet. Not the good kind, the room spray sprayed into your nose kind of searing. After 10 min, the sweetness thankfully got less searing. It still smells like an overly sweet fried pear fritter though.

TL;DR: Extremely sweet fried pear fritters


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The Lantern Horse


"Pumpkin spiced angel food cake with pumpkin pie custard filling and pumpkin pie spiced whipped cream."

There's the sharply sweet fried dough scent again, like the one in The Frozen Horse. There's something else that smells coffee-like in this, only I can't really tell because the searing sweetness drowns everything else out. It's so sweet, you can practically taste it at the back of your throat.

TL;DR: Very, very sweet artificial fried dough scent.

Overview: I'm guessing Blooddrop's angel food cake note mixed with their pumpkin pie note ends up smelling like that artificial fried dough scent. 




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Exquisite Corpse No. 1


"Fig, vanilla, milk chocolate, myrrh, and five year old patchouli."

Oh gods. It smells like dates or sour plums that are in Chinese medicine with patchouli...which usually smells like age & decay. It smells like one of those traditional Chinese medicine in soup form, with sour plums, dates and other tart fruits added in in a sad attempt to make it more palatable.

Does this look appetising to you? Well, it's only because you can't smell it. I bet the photographer was gagging. Or maybe it's a fake soup so the photographer can concentrate on his/her job.
Image courtesy of kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/
The patchouli is so strong. It fills up the entire room and lingers on my skin for hours, even after I washed my arm. Ugghhh.

TL;DR: Chinese medicine soup with sour fruits in a failed attempt to make it taste less crap. 

Overview: I'm guessing the vanilla's what's going sour on me. And it looks like the patchouli spent 5 years learning how to be even more obnoxiously strong.



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Exquisite Corpse No. 2

"Cold leather, black tea, forest accord, chrysanthemums, and eucalyptus."

Leather and a green-blue room scent. This is definitely a more expensive room scent that doesn't come in a spray form though. The green-blue (putting the green first because it's heavier on the green) scent is a scent that makes you think of dark green pine trees and crystalline clear waters.
Basically a scent that tries to capture this.
Photo I took in 2012 with a Sony Nex 5. This is in Banff, Canada.

These kind of scents are typically room/ambiance setting scents, which is why it makes me think of a room scent. The leather mixed in makes this a scent that reminds me of car rides in a new car that has leather seats and a very tasteful (and expensive) car perfume.

This scent's throw is really weird on me. At first, I was going to comment about how this has the furthest throw out of my Blooddrop scent because it can easily fill up a small room, but then it crashed and burned after about 10 min, and I have to sniff close to my skin to catch a whiff.

TL;DR: New car with leather seats and a tasteful pine trees & crystalline waters ambiance scent.

Overview: I tried sniffing this again and I still don't smell the icy smell eucalyptus usually comes with. I guess it's just very well blended to add to the water ambiance sort of scent.



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Exquisite Corpse No. 3


"Anjou pears, hazelnut, smoke, grey musk, and carnation."


Artificial pear, searing artificial chocolate, and something edible & solid. I wonder if it's Blooddrop's coconut note? I've noticed it worked wonders as a grounding note before. 

After 10 min, it's actually a pretty nice smell. There's a subtle smokey smell, and the chocolate turned into a nutty scent. The pear bit still smells like room spray in a nice waiting room, so the resulting scent is like smelling the most delicious nutty scent while waiting in a waiting room that's smoke free, but have been smoked before thanks to a kitchen accident. 

I kinda wish I can get this exact scent, just without the pears. Blooddrop's pears tend to not work on me. 

TL;DR: Pear room spray in a previously smoked waiting room + delicious nuts. 

FOTD: Christmas Party Make Up!




Face:
  • Dior Hydralife BB Cream (Luminous Beige)
  • Tarte bronzer (Park Ave Princess)
  • MUS Wonder Powder (Kalahari)
  • MUS Cover All concealer
  • Hello Waffle blush (Winter Rose)



Eyes:
  • Müse customized colours
  • Urban Decay liners (Freak, Deep End)
  • Clio Kill Black liquid liner
  • Fiberwig mascara
  • Maybeline Falsies mascara


Lips:

  • Life's Entropy lip theory (Vaccine)

Eye close up:


I love these feather lashes!


Oh, and this is Vaccine 6h later, after dinner and doing a transfer test on the bf. It transferred on him, but the colour stayed put on my lips!





Monday, December 15, 2014

December 2014 Nail Polish Round Up!

Here's my 2nd nail polish round up!


Cult Nails: Tulum, Power Thief


Gradient: Cult Nails' Tulum & Power Thief
Stamping polish: DIY stamping polish. Tutorial on making it here.



Nails Inc: Kensington Palace Gardens, Dolly's: Queen Agnes, & Cult Nails: Two Timer


This was actually a failed attempt at stamping. Luckily, strategic placement of the glitter from Queen Agnes hid the botched up parts. Two Timer is an effect top coat that's supposed to give an emerald shimmer to your nail polish.
Base: Nails Inc's Kensington Palace Gardens
Glitter Topper: Dolly's Queen Agnes
Effect Top Coat: Cult Nails' Two Timer
Stamping polish: DIY stamping polish. Tutorial on making it here.
Another angel to show the shift in Two Timer



Pretty & Polished: Mintable


I was having bad luck with getting really bad formula jellies from indies after getting really gloopy jelly polishes from Rainbow Honey & Doctor Lacquer, but Pretty & Polished and Cult Nails totally restored my faith in indie jellies. Check out how pretty this jelly polish is! It has a pretty strong blue shift! AND the formula goes on smoothly, without any gloopy-ness.


This was my first attempt at stamping under a jelly polish, and as you can see, I picked the wrong design and nail polish. The glitter just hides the design.


But no worries...I got better in the next one!

Cult Nails: Disciplined & Black Sheep Lacquer: Surf's Up


I am so in LOVE with Cult Nails' Disciplined. Disciplined is just so, so, so perfect for this winter mani. You can perfectly layer the stamps to create a layered snowflake effect. I'm so in love with it! And of course, the formula is amazing. I've raved about them before, and I'll rave about them again. They take much longer to chip than my usual nail polishes and the polishes are so smooth and non-gloopy. 

If you want $12 off purchases of $24+, here's my referral link: http://r.sloyalty.com/r/tED8MGb2tx3g

Full disclosure, I get a $5, so if you're not comfortable with that, no need to use it. 
 
Blue jelly: Cult Nails' Disciplined
White Glitter Polish: Black Sheep Lacquer's Surf's Up

Close up of the layering

Pretty & Polished: Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish is supposed to be a colour shifting polish, where the base goes from white to blue. My idea for this is to get the tips of my nail to go white, so it looks like the cat's playing in snow. Unfortunately, the colour-shift no longer works after over 6 months. I tried dipping in hot water and ice water, but no change. :(

Pretty & Polished's Cuttlefish

Rainbow Honey: Leonids, Diamond Dust


Ring Finger: Rainbow Honey's Leonids
Other Fingers: Rainbow Honey's Diamond Dust
Stamping & drawing polish: DIY stamping polish. Tutorial on making it here.


Appliq Nail Wrap


I was really excited at the idea of customizing my own nail wraps, unfotunately, Appliq's printers are not that great at capturing small details. They start getting fuzzy. Also remember not to put top coat over the wraps, they start cracking that way.


For reference, this was the photo I tried to print:


Nail Wrap from Aliexpress


Guys, I am DONE with buying nail wraps from Aliexpress. I've bought from 4 different sellers and got scammed by all 4. Do NOT trust that site for nail wraps. They all claim to be water transfer stickers, but they're actually like those wraps that need heat to melt on your nails. And the heat required is way too hot for my fingers. They also don't stick that well (some can't even stick at all), so you can see the "chips" even though this manicure is brand new. I tried to file a dispute because this is clearly a scam, but the site automatically rejected my claim with no explanation.





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: 9 Scents from Blooddrop's Halloween & Autumnals Collection

I gave Blooddrop another go and tried out 9 scents from their Halloween & Autumnals Collection. As usual, I got these in the form of decants from Ajevie! Check out her decant circles here.

This is my second review of Blooddrop and you can find my first review here. As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written, if any note surprises me, I discuss it in the overview.



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A Grave in the Pasture


"Tears accord, white peach, lilac, Egyptian rose, carnation, violet leaf, and up-turned earth."

At first I got a burst of candied violets & a lotiony type of rose, but they all blended smoothly together to create the most amazing floral scent. It's fresh, light florals and a fresh, light grass sort of green note, with an old lotion scent in the background.  The old lotion scent is that oily, waxy scent you get when you leave lotion out for too long and it solidifies. It doesn't sound appealing but trust me, the old lotion bit makes this scent smell unique and less like a floral-green room spray. There's also hints of bitter earth. It's light and a tad heavy at the same time, smooth and lotiony, elegant and definitely arresting. If I'm picking an add for this scent, I'd pic this picture:

Holy crap, I love this models' winged eyeliner.
Beautiful photo by Jobert Asistido

The rose bit gets heavy at times, and I can see it going crazy on some people though it stayed light enough on me for me to love the scent. This is a scent I'm probably getting a full size in.

TL;DR: Sweet light florals balancing heavy, lotiony florals with bursts of fresh green notes and hints of earth.


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By The Light of The Moon


"Pastures edged with forests, shadows of mice, deer, and owls dancing their nighttime waltzes, cool air stirring up the fragrances of fallen apples, boysenberries, moist tree bark, moss, silver fir, and herbs all by the light of the moon."

This is a sweet, smooth, floral-fruity version of that freshly cut stalks sort of green scent. It's so well blended, I can't really pick out individual notes. I just get a scent that's clean, elegant and subtly fresh. If I'm picking a photo for an add that captures this scent best, I'd pick this picture:
I wish it's socially acceptable for me to go around with this hairstyle...and a hairdresser who can do it for me charges affordable rates.
Awesome photography by Stanislav Istratov



It's feminine, clean, elegant, refreshing and fun.

The freshly cut stalk scent is the first to disappear on me (in about 40 min) and the scent I'm left behind is this sweet, clean and cool sort of scent. There's a also a bit of a chewable vitamin scent in the dry down, which I'm not a fan of. I'm so glad that scent didn't come out when the perfume was wafting around strongly.

TL;DR: Fresh, clean fruity-floral with freshly cut plant stalks.

Overview: I can finally pick out the apple when I'm looking out for it, but it's that artificial apple note that smells more like apple soap, which adds to the whole, clean feeling.



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Crepuscule


"Oriental chyphre, soft woods, pale vanilla, bergamot, pear, benzoin, and hyssop."

I got a cottony scent and an artificial scent that goes "balloon-ish". After about 5-10 min, I can finally identify that "balloon-ish" scent as artificial pears. The cottony scent starts turning into heavy, powdery florals that counters the artificial, balloon-like hollowness of the artificial pear, but this is one instance where two wrong notes doesn't make the scent right. It's a scent that I find very cloying and headache inducing.

TL;DR: Artificial pears and powdery florals.


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Darkness Comes Early


"This is a brooding blend of beeswax, tobacco, hay absolute, nutmeg, and a glowing blend of spices and resins sought to mimic the comfort of an oil lamp’s light."

This scent is vaguely citrus, but very well-blended that it's not mostly citrus. It's a mellowed out citrus that's softened in that nutty instead of creamy sort of way. It also smells almost masculine in a cool, woodsy sort of way. Not actual wood, but more of a romanticized, masculine wood scent.

 The scent makes me think of a clean, model living room that's decorated in earthy tones like this:

Decorated by someone who'll definitely declare his/her love for feng shui, veganism, gluten free diets, yoga or juice detoxes.
Image courtesy of farawaysoclose.org 
The scent got way too heavy and sweet (like roomspray gone crazy) on me as time wore on, but my skin does like amping up sweet notes.

TL;DR: Masculine woodsy citrus room scent.

Overview: I'm really not sure what's the note that's going sour on me.



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Enchantment


"A beguiling blend of white tea, apple cider, a squeeze of Italian lemon and fresh ginger."

This smells like a higher end perfume version of purple chewable calcium supplements.

Were you guys ever forced to take these as a kid? The purple ones were the worst. My mom once got these robot themed one that were all the purple. I used to spit them out and hide the remains inside my couch. My mom only found out over a year later when they spilled out while she was rearranging furniture. I'd like to note that they were still completely whole and not a single insect wanted to touch them because they were so disgusting.
Image courtesy of mentalfloss.com 


The artificial fruit bit is still cloying for me though.

TL;DR: Perfumed purple chewable calcium supplements.

Overview: I don't know what's going wrong, but I tried it again and I can't really pick out any of those notes. I think the white tea may be the one giving the high end touch, but it's as if all the fruit notes combined to make purple chewable calcium supplements. I'm personally not a fan of Blooddrop's fruit notes and I think they do florals way better.



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Interlude


"An elegant little perfume of black tea, vanilla shortbread, and strawberry jam."

There was an artificial fruit scent at first, but that blended into this creamy green and fruity scent. The green scent is more of a thick, plant stalks sort of green. The creamy bit leans towards that artificial cake sort of scent you get from toys. It's a cool scent and kinda makes me think of those weird Indonesian candies that are a combination of 2 things you don't expect together –like a cool, leafy strawberry cream candy.

Seriously, we like weird combinations. Like this white chocolate & cheese Tim Tams:
I put this up deliberately to make all my Australian readers cringe.
Image courtesy of grainddiction.wordpress

TL;DR: Cool, leafy strawberry cream candy

Overview: I think the leafy scent may be coming from the black tea. Not sure what's causing that cool sort of scent though. I'd expect it from white tea or peppermint tea, but not black tea, which usually goes sour when it's going wrong.


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Sweets for Rowan


"Dried apples, vanilla sugar cookies, gingerbread, and cinnamon oats."

This starts off as an oatmeal-ish apple. With cinnamon, of course. The apple is more of a perfumed apple you get in soaps, but I like the oatmeal-ish part, which gets more solid as the scent wears on and becomes more of a rich, creamy bread scent. It still smells like an edible smell rather than a confusing combination of edible & soap, since the apple blends beautifully with the bread part.

TL;DR: Apple oatmeal turning into apple bread.



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The Copper Wolf


"Soft sandalwood, vanilla bean, velvety patchouli, pumpkin, and nutmeg."

Chinese joss sticks. There's a sweet, possibly floral fragrance trying to come out, but it gets stomped down by the joss sticks scent. I smell like my gramdma's altar. Speaking of which, I recently took a picture of it to show you guys this object of my childhood nightmares:

Oh, but that doesn't look so bad! Oh yeah? Let me photoshop that to show you how it looks like at night!

Obviously photoshopped because I'm not going anywhere near it alone at night.

TL;DR: Chinese joss sticks.


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Will O'The Wisp


"Alluring coconut, pumpkin, ginger, and cheesecake."

This is a delicious coconut scent! It smells like actual shaved coconut! There's a salted caramel tinge to it too. The coconut threatens to turn into old oils every now & then, but it behaved on my skin. I can see it going old oil on some people though!

TL;DR: Shaved coconut with hints of salted caramel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: NAVA'S Poppy Z. Brite collection

I got all 5 scents from Nocturne Alchemy VApothecary (NAVA's) Poppy Z. Brite collection from Ajevie's decants!
Ajevie's awesome as always!

This is my second time reviewing NAVA and my previous review can be found here. As always, these scent reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If the notes surprise me I write an overview.




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Christian


"Aged Blood Wine, Shiraz Wine, Red Musk Syrup, Russian Leather Accord, Tobacco-Musk and Egyptian Musk."

At fist I got the familiar smelly incense I've expected from NAVA, but luckily it disappeared. The scent I got left with is some watery, red fruit scent. It's the same red fruit I get from NAVA's Vampire Queen, only it's a bit more childish in this version.

There's also a masculine bitter musk to this that makes me think of cigar lounge with leather furniture. The scent makes me think of the owner of a cigar lounge hastily cleaning up the lounge for a "Take Your Daughter to Work" day, and spraying the place with one of her favourite scents –an artificial red fruit candy sort of scent.

So imagine the scent of this:


Image courtesy of kiwicollection.com

After it's been sprayed by this:


This is supposed to be a Strawberry Fragrance Hair & Body Glitter Spray. I've never sniffed this before, but I imagine it to have this artificial red fruit candy sort of smell.
Image courtesy of priceline.com.au/

It's a weird juxtaposition of old and masculine with young and girly, and definitely unique.

TL;DR: Cigar lounge sprayed with a kiddy fruity scent

Overview: So these are the notes in Vampire Queen:


"Black Honey, Blood Wine and Cardamom. Threads of Black Saffron, Nile Patchouli and Black Musk. A drop of Blood Musk, Temple NA and Crimson scent the Vampire Queen."

I guess the blood wine note is that red fruit sort of note.




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Ghost


"Ethereal tincture of five Vanilla Incense Accords (Absolute, 44, Pure, French and Tibetan), Spun Sugar, Skin Musk, a drop of Clove."

At first, I got a citrus-y vanilla, but the citrus part is the kind of citrus that makes me suspect a note is going sour on me. There's a cottony musk to it. The cottony musk takes over though, and now this scent becomes a watery, clear, cottony musk scent. If it stayed this way, it'll be perfect. It smells like a clean hotel room, in a hotel where they make everything very fluffy and soft.

Unfortunately, it keeps morphing until there's this extremely thin, sickly sweet yet bitter, chemical-ish smell that gives me a headache. I wonder if there's myrrh in this. BathSabbath's scent with frankincense & myrrh ended up smelling like whiteboard marker on me, and this is a similar chemical-ish smell as that.

When the scent dries down, it's mostly a musky cotton & vanilla scent.

TL;DR: Lab accident + vanilla

Overview: Ok, I have no idea what's causing the extremely chemical-ish note. 





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Nothing


"Strawberry Accord, White Patchouli smoke, Gothic Pumpkin Spice (Cardamom, Black Cinnamon, Clove-Tobacco), Vanilla Musk Cream, Gold Sandalwood and a drop of Nag Champa Incense."

At first, this smells like a slight nutty chai. The chai is the real Indian chai (not the weak Starbucks kind) that warms you up and has cardamom and a billion woody looking bits in it. As it wears on, there's a tart berry scent and the nutty bit gets creamier and creamier, until it smells exactly like Christmas. Warm, creamy chai, red berries something woody in the background. It smells like Christmas morning.

TL;DR: Christmas morning.




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Steve


"Five Skin Musks, smoke, a drop of North Carolina Red Maple accord, Honey-Amber Resin and Wood Sugar Musk."

My boyfriend sniffed this when I applied it and declared it smells like a "Thai hotel lobby". I can see what he's talking about, this smells like woody honey with a clean, soapy touch. The clean, soapy touch has a lemongrass sort of freshness to it, even though I don't smell actual lemongrass. I think the wood and lemongrass sort of freshness just makes me think of Thailand...or the elegant Thai women who smell like all they use is soap to scent themselves, but once you get to know them, you realize it's a crazy expensive perfume that's designed to smell like it's just soap.

The sweet bit got higher and thinner as the scent wears on, and by 10 min, it's very reminiscent of the sickly sweet, cloying chemically scent I got in Ghost. It's not as bad as Ghost though. 

TL;DR: Woody honey with a clean, soapy touch + cloying chemicals.

Overview: I'm not sure if that cloying chemical scent is coming from the sugar, skin musk or a combination of both. Either way, I'm avoiding combinations of sugar and skin musk from NAVA.




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Zillah


"Chartreux (Chartreuse) accord of blended herbs and honey, Green Musk, French Green Cognac (Parisian), Wormwood essential oil, Red Cedar and N4 Musk (Magnolia Blossom, Egyptian Blue Heather Musk, Blue Sandalwood, Muguet and Egyptian Musk)."

First, I got a musky honey, and the musk is that cottony musk in Ghost. Then, a fresh sort of green scent comes in. The honey is what I start thinking of as The NAVA honey note, which is a thin, sharp, woody sort of rich honey note that I personally love. I can see some people finding it searing, but for me, it smells like a honey I'd gladly slather on myself because it smells so good.

The scent is a warm, cozy sort of honey scent, and it makes me think of walking among tall grass in the soft, golden, morning light, while sniffing the most glorious honey scent. A perfect picture to accompany this scent will be this one:


Though a cottage will fit the scent more than that palace thing in the background.
Gorgeous photography by Alexander Vinogradov

TL;DR: Warm, cozy, musky honey with fresh grass. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

/u/misosoup122 Gifts!

/u/misosoup122 and I got to talking and decided to do our own private gift exchange! This is what she sent me!


Yup, she made those eyeshadows herself!


Here are the swatches:

And here's the EOTD I did with them (the liner's the brown, foiled):

These are sooo pretty! /u/misosoup122 rocks!