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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary's Unisex Colognes

Midsummer Dreams Apothecary (MDA) is the indie first perfume brand I've ever tried (previous reviews here), so obviously, I had to support Cheryl when she released a new unisex cologne line. Full disclosure, I got a blogger discount, but I was planning to buy this (as well as a bottle of Rapunzel & Snow White since I love them) even without the discount. I already have a very positive view of the brand from my first purchase, and no discount can match the warm fuzzy feelings you get from a great experience and amazing customer service.

Btw, Cheryl just graduated from nursing school! Grats, Cheryl!

Customer Service Review

Ordered: Jul 6
Shipped: Jul 10

I have to give it to Cheryl, she's consistently improving her brand. The first time I ordered, there was a lot of leakage. Everything was leaking everywhere and even today, I have to store all my samples perfectly upright or they'll leak all over the place. She switched sample bottles and now everything arrived with almost no leakage at all. Unfortunately, the Sea Witch sample came leaking, but that was only one out of 7 oils I got.

The packaging, is obviously pretty as always.

And I got free samples of Sea Witch and Beauty solid perfumes! Yay! More to review!


  • 15 ml Bottle: $30 (unavailable for colognes)
  • 10 ml Roll On: $15.30
  • Themed Sampler Packs (5 perfumes): $10
  • Perfume Oil Samples: $2.50
  • Solid Perfume: $7.50

 Despite the very, very pretty packaging the 15ml bottle comes with, I chose the more value for money 10 ml option. My indie addiction has left me broke ._.

Oh, I have to add that international shipping is a flat rate of $7.50! Holy crap I was so happy! US shipping's a flat rate of $ worth it.

Now on to the scent reviews..

Perfume Oil Review

I think the longevity definitely improved for this brand. The smell stops wafting around after 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, but lingers on your skin for 6-9 hours. Since these are unisex colognes and my boyfriend is finally moving back to Jakarta (woot!), obviously, he has to try these one too.

I trained him so well...

As always, I did the review blind until I finished my review, but checked the notes before I made my bf try it because I couldn't resist.


"Amber, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Rosewood, Sandalwood, White Musk"

I don't really see this as a masculine perfume at all. It smells like sweet and mellow sandalwood with the barest hint of spiciness. It gets very warm and heady eventually, and the spiciness is gone. It's much too heady actually. I have a bit of a headache from this. The headiness eventually disappears after 20-30 minutes, but it's still a pretty heavy, warm scent.

Overview: Dang, the notes definitely sound heavy. Not surprised this smells so heady.

On bf: The patchouli got amped up on him, and it smells really heavy and old on him. He, er...kinda smells like an old lady.

Bf's review: It smells like one of those old-school barbers. It's an old man's aftershave in one of those old barbers.


"Balsam, Basil, Bergamot, Cedar, Leather, Oakmoss, Sweet Grass, Rose, Rosewood, Tobacco, Vanilla, and Ylang Ylang"

This smell is very MDA and I keep thinking it smells like another MDA perfume -fresh, creamy florals. But there's a slightly masculine coolness to this. By about 15 minutes, it becomes more sweet and almost candy-ish, only without all the artificialness. It smells like candied creamy florals. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but it's a more rounded instead of sharp sweetness. Definitely one to get a full size in.

Overview: It could be the sweet grass & rose combo. That's a very distinct smell I always associate with MDA's Rapunzel.

On bf: Oh wow, it smells strongly floral on him. The sweet grass & rose combo was definitely dominant in the beginning, and he smells like MDA's Rapunzel. Eventually there's a bit of a vaguely blue sort of smell, and a sour fruit smell. I think the vanilla's turning sour on him, creating that sour smell. It's still mostly Rapunzel though. 

Bf's review: Two mottled mares frolicking in the pale moonlight of the super-moon. [Yes, this was the 5th scent he had to sniff. He got tired and started making up stuff. I eventually got him to give a serious review] There's this sour, fermented smell. Fermented jackfruit. That's it, it smells like fermented jackfruit.

[There is no jackfruit scent. I swear.]


"Dragon's Blood, Earth, Rosewood, Vetiver, & White Musk"

Oh gods this smells so good! It's a sweet, fresh earth that has something a medley of fruitiness and florals mixed in. It's how you imagine earth would smell like in a magically beautiful place like Maleficent's Moors - sweet, fresh with hints of the flora that grew in it. I'm a huge fan. After about 30 minutes, it smells more watery -like sweet water that carries the scents of the flowers, fruits and trees bursting around it. It's how I imagine the water in Moors would smell like.

The plot may suck, but the cinematography is bloody awesome.
Seriously..imagine how this would smell like..

Overview: Not sure how dragon's blood smells like but this smells awesome!

On bf: This smells like spiced wood and leather on him. It smells amazing at first, but the spiciness dies down as time goes on and it becomes more cool and feminine. We both agreed we preferred the initial smell on him.

Bf's review: This is nice. [After I forced him to describe the scent better] It's sweet and spicy. I like it. Hey, since it's a men's cologne...can I keep it?

[..he's keeping it.

I guess he really likes this since this is the only cologne oil he ever asked to keep, and I've made him try a LOT of unisex colognes before. Mad respect for MDA!]


"Bay Rum, Caramel, Leather, Tobacco, and White Musk"

Starts of as watery leather and becomes like a very masculine musk with a citrus smell to it. It gets heavier and heavier with time until it becomes a very heavy, heady, almost old lady-ish perfume. Maybe an old lady who walks around with horseback riding gear everywhere, and always carries a riding crop with her. I normally hate heady perfumes, but I ordered a solid of this, so I know I must have found the notes attractive.

Miraculously, at around 15 minutes, all the heaviness broke and it got much lighter. Still slightly heavy, but not headache inducing sort of heavy. Now it really smells like an androgynous perfume. There's a leathery, cool masculinity mingled with a powdery feminine smell. It's a kind of scent I can imagine on women who make other women question their sexuality. Like her:

Princess Anne in the 70s
Found on Pintrest

It smells like an expensive, woodsy bubble bath as it dries down.

Overview: Oh..I think my stomach was doing the picking when I saw this and zoomed in on caramel. Was the citrus smell caramel going sour?

On bf: This smells like citrus on leather on him. There's citrus on him too! It's not just me! Yay! It gets heavier and powdery as time goes on, and ends up smelling like leather seats in a powder room.

Bf's review:  It smells chemically. Bit of citrus and leather. Is that right? Ok, now smells like shaving cream in an old-school barber, it has that old talc smell.

[TIL my boyfriend identifies musky smells as "old-school barber"]

Sea Witch

"Bergamot, Hyacinth, Lily of the Valley, Lotus, Water Mint, Oakmoss, Ocean Mist, Sea Salt, Vetiver, White Musk"

It smells like a very clean, peaceful blue smell at first. Makes you think of clean spas where everyone wears white gowns. There's a bit of a masculine huskiness to this, but it got drowned out as this scent gets sweeter and sweeter. It was a bit headache inducing, but after about an hour of this, it calms down. The scent smells like flowers sprayed with water.

Overview: To be perfectly honest, I don't know how all that smells so the description isn't much help for me. I just zoomed in on ocean mist & sea salt and expect a more salty smell.

On bf: This smells like sweet florals on him. The florals were definitely amped up and he smells like he smashed into a giant bouquet of flowers.

Bf's review:  Smells flowery. It's too feminine.


Solid Perfume Review

The longevity and sillage for this is pretty much the same as my old batch of solid perfumes-strongest at the first 1-2h, gone by 3h. The sillage isn't as strong as the perfume oils, so you have to get to kissing distance to sniff them. The texture is very stiff and hard.

One thing I'm definitely impressed with is how the perfumes come with the top smoothed straight. It's a minor thing but makes the entire presentation so neat. Definitely appreciated!

So clean and pretty!


This smells like light, fresh florals, which surprised me. It almost smells like Rapunzel. I thought I got the wrong scent, so I had to revisit my old collection. Holy crap, Beauty has aged beautifully after about 4 months! It now starts off as a very light and fresh rose, instead of the burnt tobacco & leather smell. As it wears on, it gets heavier and becomes this very creamy, warm florals that's a tad old lady-ish, but not as bad as it was the first time I tried it. It's a perfume I can see on a middle-aged Madame de Pompadour -a sophisticated, lush woman brimming with secrets and charm. I picked Madame de Pompadour out of all famous mistresses since there's something Rococo about this perfume - it's heavy, grand and florid.

A portrait of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher
Image courtesy of Wikimedia
On the negative side, I sniffed at Mermaid (due to leakage, all the labels have fallen off so I had to sniff everything) and it didn't age well at all. It got much heavier and the candied smell becomes a bit artificial. It ends up smelling like a cloying car perfume :(

I've updated my previous review to reflect the change.


The smell is pretty much the same as the perfume oil and the only difference I noticed is that there's less of the sourness I smelled on the perfume oil.

Sea Witch

The musky masculine smell is less strong here, so it smells way more feminine. The sweetness got toned down, so I like it more. It smells a bit like a Crabtree & Evelyn body lotion. 

1 comment:

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