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Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Alchimia Apothecary Perfumes (Part 2)

EDIT: I have had a bad customer service experience and so did some of my friends, so I personally will avoid them now. This will probably cause some controversy, but I feel that I need to put this out there.  There's also some owner sketchiness. Here's some public sketchiness, here's some I got privately. I'm also not a fan of her tone with people who give not so great reviews of her brand.

I finally got around reviewing the rest of my Alchimia perfumes, which are the new scents. My first review is here, my initial cold sniff impressions are here. I didn't change my cold sniff impression, and only looked at the scent descriptions just before writing the overall review.

… And Candy Bar Dreams

"This scent is pure decadence. Thick ribbons if chocolate and black ambrosia layer themselves onto sticky sweet and creamy chunks of coconut filling and crunchy bits of toasted almonds."

Cold sniff review: Sweet earth. It's definitely a really sweet smell, but I also smell a very earthy smell which could be a very strong dark chocolate smell. Not a fan.

First Application: Oh gods. This smells like really sweet chocolate-covered buttered popcorn. This is amazing! I'm hungry just smelling this.

You know this smells delicious...
Image courtesy of Hershey's you can even find the recipe here!

5 min in: The sweetness died down, leaving just a wonderful chocolate-drizzled buttered popcorn smell. There's a hint of something that reminds me of coconut body butter. The scent stayed constant after this. I'm not sure if it's because I had a hard time getting the oil out thanks to the rollerball jamming, but I noticed this scent seems to have less of a throw than what I'm used to from Alchimia. By 15 min, I have to sniff it close to the skin and it's pretty faint by 1h.

Overall Review: It's so delicious, I really want this in full size. I better check my budget for this. I'm so hungry after smelling this!

First in Show

"Straight out of the gates, this scent is a floral explosion with gardenias, tulips, honey suckles, a hint of roses and fruity violets rounding into plum, blackcurrants, wine and sweet tobacco. Hints of the most subtle bits of leather linger and combine into beautiful sophistication."

Cold sniff review: Powdery snow and brand new sheafs of paper. It's weird but I definitely get the new paper smell. Love this!

First application: This is a very cool, clean floral scent that has a bit of dirtiness to it. I'm trying to figure out what that bit of dirtiness is. It definitely makes this scent more exciting. Somehow, the smell reminds me of walking into the lobby of an expensive office building. I think is the traces of that new paper smell.

10 min in: My skin amps up the sweetness and I can't smell that hint of dirtiness that I liked anymore. It just smells like sweet, cool florals. Now it feels more like I'm in the lobby of a hotel or in a spa.

20 min in: The florals warmed up and the scent smells heavier, with a floral type of heaviness. I think I smell a hint of roses? smell reminds me so much of Midsummer Dreams Apothecary's Rapunzel, I think I'm going to sniff them together to see if they smell that alike.

Overall Review: Sniffed both of MDA's Rapunzel & First in Show together and I see the difference now. I'm guessing the honeysuckle & rose combination is what made them smell so similar. In the beginning, First in Show is cooler and sharper, while Rapunzel is a warmer, slightly heavier grass and floral smell. As they dry down, Rapunzel smells cooler, but it's a more soapy sort of coolness. First in Show became warmer and heavier, but it's still a floral sort of heaviness, which is different from Rapunzel's more amber sort of heaviness in the begining.

While Rapunzel makes me think of something from an old medieval, European castle converted into a spa, First in Show makes me think more of modern office buildings and spas. So this for Rapunzel:

Technically a monastery, but totally how I imagine a medieval castle to look like.
Tatev Monastery by Alexander Naumov

vs this for First in Show:

Kepinski Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia!
Image courtesy of

They also have a different sort of sweetness to it. Rapunzel's sweetness has a warmer, vanilla creaminess to it, while First in Show has a lighter, floral sweetness to it.


"This is a sophisticated blend of leather and black agar, sweetened by bergamot and lemon. It's sharpened by the hints of star anise, and all mellowed down by rich ribbons of sweet vanilla."

Cold sniff review: Leather and ice. All I smelt was leather at first, and then a cool scent emerges. This is such a sexy scent. When my bf's back in town, he's going to be forced into wearing this. 

First application: On me, this smells like sweet, musky leather. There's the slight bitter coolness to the leather, but the sweet muskiness weights this scent down a bit.

5 min in: I think I detect a hint of lemon in here.

10 min in: The lemon scent got stronger and this becomes a sweet, earthy and musky lemon scent, with the bitter coolness of leather. The leather note smells a bit too masculine on me though.

Overall Impression: I think I find the smell of leather pretty hot. I remembered this is meant for a men, so I tried it out on 3 guys who suck even more than me when it comes to describing scents. It's a "nay" from all 3 and they've described it as:

"Like something menthol and alcohol." Okay...
"Peppery almond?" Huh?
"Those balls in the toilet, you know, the ones you pee on." Wat.

These guys really suck at this.


"On a lighter summer note, this scent blends together wonderful watery cucumbers, green tea, violet leaves, clovers, dandelions, and sunflowers."

Cold sniff review: Grass, dirt and a yellow flower smell. I'm still trying to place this. I really like it. 

First Application: Wow...light, sweet florals and grass, this is so pretty! Definitely a yellow flower smell. Makes me think of small bursts of wildflowers! Reminds me of something like this:

Image courtesy of

10 min in: The scent finally settled on me and it's less sweet, but definitely a clean, soapy floral that makes me think of the linen in high end spas. It's definitely a gorgeous scent! If any of you have tried Midsummer Dreams Apothecary's Rapunzel, this is like a sweeter and more floral version of that scent.

Overall Impression: Oh wow! Such a coincidence the picture I picked has a dandelion in it!

I sniffed Picnic, First in Show and Rapunzel together and I see the difference now. Picnic is an even cooler scent than First in Show, and now I recognize that one of the clean smells I sniffed must have been the green tea. It smell's like L'Occitane's Thé Vert (basically green tea snooty-fied a.k.a en français) solid perfume.

Picnic has the same floral sweetness as First in Show, but it's more subtle than First in Show. Picnic's scent also strikes me as more wildflowers and grass, while First in Show is more of carefully selected flowers for a flower arrangement in a high end hotel/spa. There's definitely roses in First in Show, but not Picnic.

So more this for Picnic:

Image by kirsty_mcn in
vs this for First in Show:

Image courtesy of

Between Rapunzel & Picnic, there's definitely huge differences. While both have a clean, soapy smell, Picnic has only hints of it. It's sweeter and more floral for sure, and also smells more blue. Rapunzel smells like a heavier and more rounded soapy smell.


"Sage, lemongrass, lavender eucalyptus and other herbs combine with the delicate aroma of sweetgrass, blackened earth and a rich smokey campfire."

Cold sniff review: Betadine. Yes, Betadine, the iodine solution they put on your gauze when you get cut.

First Application: Gah...I knew I was going to regret this but I thought I should try it anyway. It immediately smells like iodine solution on me. Slightly sour iodine solution. My coworker caught a whiff of it and asked me if I'm ok, because it smelled like I just used Betadine.

15 min in: Still iodine, but there's also an acrid, Chinese preserved fruit smell.

40 min in: Wait, what sorcery is this? The iodine smell is receding and now I'm getting this sweet, dried flowers and dried grass smell. There's still a bit of the Chinese preserved fruit smell, but it's disappearing.

1h 30 min in: The medicinal smell is completely gone, leaving behind a sweet, slightly soapy dried grass with a spray of dried flowers smell. It's amazing now! Unfortunately, it's also pretty faint by now and you have to sniff hard to smell it.

Overall Impression: I wish the final smell showed up earlier. It does end up gorgeous, but way too late. UPDATE 08/14: Here's the reason why this smells weird.

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