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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Review: 13 Gypsies Perfumery

I got some oils from 13 Gypsies Perfumery and only received them a few days ago. They're currently have a 44% off sale until the end of June, so I thought I better get the review out ASAP.

Now, I know they have had some bad publicity, but I think everyone deserves a second chance, and I'll be as unbiased as possible when I'm reviewing these scents.

What bad publicity?

There's a blog claiming that she doesn't use carrier oils and her scents are just stock scents that can be bought for a fraction of the price, among other things. The blog contains bad reviews from other places she sold as well. This is just one person and I'm not aware of other reports. If you know anything else, please let me know.

What's her response to it?

Here's the link to her response. This is the screenshot as of June 23, 2014:

How's the brand owner?

Darla is really sweet and my interactions with her has been great. I went crazy during the sale and bought a bunch of stuff, but something came up and I realized I can't afford the crazy purchase right now. She refunded me immediately with no questions asked, so I'm definitely a fan.

How's the quality?

Full disclosure, I didn't find a single scent I'm rushing to get. At the same time, I haven't found any HoG perfume oil that I like either, and I still like their quality so I think I can be fairly unbiased.

Now for the quality of these perfumes. Well, this I'm torn about. On one hand, certain scents do have that artificial smell, and some scents have this weird oily smell to them, but most of these scents do not have that extremely hollow, cheap synthetic scent that I've gotten from some perfume makers. So even within my batch of 11 scents, there seems to be a range of different levels of quality.

These scents don't have much of a throw and you'll have to get as close as kissing distance to sniff them, even in the beginning. By about minutes, you'll have to practically press your nose against the spot you put the perfume on to get a whiff. But they last really long -about 12h.

So here's the scent reviews, as usual they're done blind, without me checking the notes until I write the post-description reviews:


"Peony, peach, grapefruit, and vanilla"

This starts of as an orange-berry soda smell, but gradually gets more soapy and bubbly. It starts smelling like a tutti frutti candy scented bubble bath. There's also a cotton-ish milky scent to this that reminds me of babies. It's like dunking a baby into a tub of tutti frutti bubble bath, and sniffing him/her after you've fished him/her out.

I love babies, I swear.
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It's definitely too young for me and I'm not a fan of the tutti frutti smell, it smells too artificial for me. Gods..never thought I'll finally find things "too young" for me, but it's time. It's a cute perfume for tweens, but definitely not for someone who's 25.

Post-description review: There's definitely a bubble bath smell, and I can't figure out where it's from. I get this soapy scent from a lot of 13 Gypsies' perfumes.

Halloween Patchouli

The site does not carry a description of this scent, so I have no idea what it's supposed to be :(

This started out smelling like nothing at all, but then a wet, mushy pumpkin smell enters. The smell gradually gets sweeter and ends up smelling like sweet pumpkin purée on some minty herbs. I cannot smell patchouli at all, so that's a relief. Unfortunately, as time wore on, there's a bit of a sour smell emerging and the minty & herbal smell got stronger.

This will sound so bad, but...the only way I can describe it is that it starts smelling like certain old people -there's that icy, herbal smell of muscle relief salves, something almost like cabbage, a slight sour smell, and sweet mint candies.


"Mexican vanilla, brown sugar, sweet cream"

It smells like gumdrops and caramel. The caramel is that slightly cloying, artificial caramel smell, but luckily it doesn't turn into a curdled milk smell on me, which is what happens with a lot of those cloying milky/caramel notes. The gumdrop scent started smelling medicinal after a while, and it ends up smelling like one of though gumdrop-flavoured cough syrups. The kind that you know won't taste like gumdrops, and can still smell a bit of the bitter medicine in it, even though the manufacturer tried their best to lay on the gumdrop smell hard so kids can stomach it. The caramel smell did get stronger as it wears on, but the gumdrop-flavoured cough medicine smell still lingers.

Post-description review: Can't figure out what note will smell medicinal in here. Maybe one of the notes just morphs on my skin?

Opium Eater

"Tobacco, light amber, poppy"

I don't know what opium is supposed to smell like, but this smells exactly like a Chinese temple. Not the tourist-friendly type. The ones that are actually still in use and smells like the the scent of thousands of joss-sticks burnt daily. A very bitter-sweet burnt smell.

My grandma's altar smells exactly like this. If you like that burnt joss-stick smell, you'll like this. Personally, the smell reminds me too much of my grandma's altar. That altar used to scare me shitless as a kid. It glowed red. At all times. Even at night. And had scary-looking angry bearded men statues & dragons on it. Try walking past that as a kid.

This is the closest image I can find to my grandma's altar, only this is in a cheery, brightly lit room:

My grandma's was more menacing looking.
Image courtesy of
And it glowed red like this at night:

It's scary as hell at night.
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Needless to say, I'm not a fan of this scent.

Post-description review: I don't know how opium smells like, but I know how a Chinese altar smells like. It's a Chinese altar. Unless my grandma's burning opium in her altar


"Apple blossom & orange blossom (florals, not the fruit), with a touch of sweet frankincense and cinnamon"

This smells exactly like Lux soap bars - a slightly heavy powdery, white floral scent with soapy cleanness to it. It's a great smell, but it's the soap that's usually found in every cheap restaurant and shady motel because they're just so cheap, so I can't shake off the feeling that it smells like an ordinary cheap bar of soap. After about 10 minutes, a cinnamon smell comes in, so it starts smelling like vaguely cinnamon-scented soap. But mostly just a normal bar of soap smell. Only after about 40 minutes, it starts smelling like this jasmine rice soap I once got (the soap is supposedly rice-based, not sure how they did's very drying for my skin though). Not a bad scent but smells too much like a normal bar of soap to me.

Post-description review: What causes the soapy smell? I get that soap smell from a lot of these perfumes.


"Intoxicating blend of chocolate, patchouli, and coffee."

Initially it smells like a chocolate liqueur I once had. Eventually, it smells like a raw cocoa hot chocolate I once tried, complete with the sour-ish dark chocolate smell. That raw cocoa hot chocolate was also called xocolatl, and it's supposedly raw, Aztec chocolate that's better for you than normal chocolates. The guy selling it was this stereotypically hippie looking guy who operated his blender with what looks like half a bicycle attached to it. Obviously I had to try it out.

Raw cocoa sucks. It's sour and bitter and I immediately saw why chocolate making is an art. You know what xocolatl means originally? It meant "bitter water". That's a good description for that drink. I'll leave you guys with the description of the drink by Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary from the later 16th century:

"Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste."

What I was expecting
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What I got. Yes, the texture and consistency's like that. It has a dusty, fiber-ish texture to it, and it's so bitter & sour.
Image courtesy of

This smells exactly like that raw cocoa hot chocolate I choked on.

The sourness eased up a bit, but it still smells like sweetened raw cocoa. It actually smells good if you don't have to drink it. Cocoa notes tend to turn into a sweet wood scent on me after about an hour, and this did the same. But the sourness of raw cocoa remained, and there's also a slightly metallic aftersmell. I often get that metallic aftersmell with a lot of gourmand perfumes for some reason. I like it, but I'm not sure what causes it.

Post-description review: Good news! You can't smell the patchouli! But it's still a xocolatl smell.



    Check the links to what others caught onto before I did. BPAL. org, Gothauctions and there is a review by another person where PayPal even determined them a fraudulent scam operation.

    All are in the blog, so it's not just one person that got screwed over.

    1. I mentioned that blog in my review too. I wasn't too happy with my oils either. Oh and they went gooey.

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