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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Midnight Gypsy Alchemy

I got a Fall sample set from Midnight Gypsy Alchemy and I'm not sure if it's the best or worst choice I've made when it comes to my indie perfume addiction. On one hand, I discovered a really amazing brand, on the other hand, I want EVERYTHING. Luckily, they're currently having a 25% off sale with the code: MGAHOLIDAY14 valid until Nov 18. I just bought more stuff from them because holy crap, this brand is amazing.

First of all check out the packaging!

Unfortunately, the oils did come leaking, which I'm sad about. However, it happens enough with various perfume oils I ordered, that I'm not too upset about it.


Customer Service Review

There's FREE international shipping. Yes, free. Isn't that amazing?? I'm used to free domestic shipping but international? I'm in love!

So here's the TAT:

Ordered: Oct 2
Received: Nov 8

I'm not exactly sure when Nina shipped the item, since the label was created on Oct 14, but the tracking showed that USPS only received it on Oct 23.

I also accidentally ordered the wrong item the 2nd time I ordered and had to message Nina. I got a reply within a few minutes saying she'll take care of it, so I'm impressed!


Perfume Oils General Review

This brand is really awesome. They make natural perfumes, which are basically perfumes made only of essential oils, absolutes, tinctures...basically no artificial fragrances at all. As you can guess, they tend to be more expensive and tend to be be more herbal sort of scents due to the limitations of natural ingredients.

I've always been wary of natural perfumes since my last experience with natural perfumes from another brand left me smelling like a salad bar. These are amazing though. They just smell so fresh and wearable -more perfume rather than salad bar or a natural remedy store. The quality is just top notch and the blends are amazing. Even if I hated a scent, I'm still impressed by the quality of the perfume. I cannot recommend this brand more.

Like most natural perfumes though, these are relatively short-lived with a low throw. I had to get to intimate whispering distance to catch a whiff, and they were really faint by an hour. By 3-5h, they were  completely gone from my skin.

As always, scent reviews are done blind until the TL;DR is written. For this brand, the notes are so complicated, I gave up writing overviews most of the time, since there's no way I could guess any of those notes.


Scent Reviews


Autumn Embers

"A scent to capture the season of Fall in a bountiful blend of smokey, earth and leaf notes topped by candied spice created with ginger, spiced cassia, clove, bergamot,sage, and orange blossom essential oils delicatley infused with real ginger root , orange peels, clove buds and sage leaves."

Actual oranges! I normally hate citrus scents since they often smell too much like dishwashing soap but this is actual oranges. More specifically, that scent you get when you're peeling an orange, with the bit of bitterness in it. There's a herbal, dry wood scent entering at around 15-20 min, and the scent starts smelling a bit too dry & dusty for me. By 30-40 min, the oranges & wood are gone to reveal this mildly bitter, herbal, and clean scent. 

TL;DR: Freshly peeled oranges turning dry, old & dusty.



"A special blend made in honor of the witches broomstick meant to capture the scent of wheat straw and vintage wood with notes of subtle spiced honey, clove and basil notes. Created with Labdanum and Genet (Broom) absolute,Sandalwood,and Clove leaf essential oils infused in Myrrh and Amber resin, Cinnamon Basil leaves and ground cloves"

This is definitely herbal. It's a bitter, herbal scent, but somehow Nina manages to make it smell fresh as well. No idea how she does it, but I'm impressed. It ends up smelling like how a clean, herbal salve would smell like. Usually herbal scents make me think of old apothecaries, but this has such a clean, clinical touch to it, that it smells more like salves you'll get from modern clinics like this one:

You better have insurance for this...
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Fresh, clean herbal salve from a modern clinic.


Night of the Spirits

"In honor of the spirits of "All Hallows Eve", nostalgic images of sweet youth and the mysteries of fall nights this is a scent created of star anise oil, blue berry fruit extract, blue lotus absolute, sage, clove, ylang ylang, amyris, ambrette seed essential oils, coffee extract and cocoa absolute infused with dried blue berries, star anise pods, cloves, coffee grounds, cocoa powder and sage leaves."

This starts off as tiramisu. The part where the sponge cake is soaked in coffee liqueur. After about 3 minutes, I swear this smells like the top of a baby's head. It's that soft, slightly milky powdery scent every baby's heads seem to have. I'm in LOVE.

TL;DR: Baby's head.



"A beautiful seasonal scent of hay and apples blended with the scent of hot cocoa by a warm evening fire. Created with hay, oak moss and cocoa absolute, apple isolate, cinnamon leaf , chamomile essential oils infused in apples, chamomile flowers, cinnamon sticks and hickory wood."

This one takes a while to settle. It started with this scary sour and old chocolate covered peanuts smell, but once it settles in about 5-10 The only way I can describe it is lotion-y florals with a mild spice in the background. The lotion-y florals is similar to Darling Clandestine's Blue Valentine.

I'm really not doing this gorgeous scent justice. It makes me feel feminine yet not overly so, fun yet poised, sweet but not saccharine. If I have to pic an ad for this scent, I guess I'd go with this picture:

I really want to know how she can make that outfit look so elegant.
Another gorgeous photo by one of my favourite photographers - Emily Soto

TL;DR: Sweet, whimsical yet mature.

Overview: I tried both Octubre & DC's Blue Valentine together and they definitely smell different. I don't really want to say that Octubre has a sharper scent since that implies a piercing sort of scent. I guess if they were musical pieces, Octubre will be a rearrangement in a higher key. Octubre is sweeter, and has more of a floral touch to it than Blue Valentine. It's also not as lotion-y as Blue Valentine and has a slight herbal touch to it . They're different enough to get both, and definitely awesome enough that I really can't pick a favourite.


Shadow of the Cat

"A blend as mysterious as the black cat shrouded in shadows in the cool night air. Created with black currant, patchouli, amber, vetiver, carrot, mint, violet leaf, ylang ylang and amyris infused in mint and patchouli leaves."

Oh wow, this is beautiful. It's a slightly herbal citrus floral, with a masculine spiciness. Everything blends together to create a grounded green type of unisex cologne. It's leaning towards masculine though. It's definitely a cologne scent that can be a high end mainstream cologne and very easy to like; it smells like a guy who plays a sport in an exclusive country club.

And I don't know how this is done, since this is a natural perfume, but I swear there's the scent of water droplets on vegetables when it dried down.

TL;DR: High end cologne.


Under the Harvest Moon

"Created with essential oils of Nutmeg, Cardamom, Frankincense, Cinnamon Leaf, Tonka bean and Vanilla Absolutes infused in Saffron Threads, Sage, Vanilla Beans, Tonka, Beans and grounds Cardamom seeds."

This starts out with a nutty, woody scent, with a ginger sort of spiciness to it. The woodiness got a bit medicinal around 10 minutes into the scent and stayed this way for a while. I was starting to get worried but about 30 minutes into the scent, the magic happens. It becomes this beautiful, molten honeyed wood scent that makes me think of the warm glow of a setting sun on wood. There's hints of that nutty scent in the background, but it's mostly molten honeyed wood.

I know this probably smells like dirt, grass & animals, but it looks like it can smell like a molten, honeyed wood scent.
Gorgeous photography by Mark Bridger

TL;DR: Molten honeyed wood. 

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