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Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: An Alkemia Yule Review!

Alkemia is seriously generous! So I ended up buying 3 bottles of Offering because I'm so hooked on that scent and it'll be discontinued soon, and a 5-piece sampler set in 2 separate orders. Check out what I got:

Yup. 2 free samples for each order! 4 free samples total! And a free bottle of Yuletide Blessings as part of Alkemia's Black Friday sale! Yay!

So now you guys are getting a review of 10 Yule scents instead! All these scents can be found under the New Releases section on Alkemia's Etsy page.

Change in setting! I'm in LA right now!

As usual, reviews are done blind until the TL;DR's written. If anything in the notes surprise me, I write an overview.


Bellos Encantos 

"(Beautiful Charms): Delectably rich chai-spiced shortbread; candied ginger; golden honey; Mexican vanilla; and sweet Benzoin Siam."

Eggnog with fizzy ginger ale and spicy wood. By about 5-8min, it just becomes a sunblock-ish eggnog.

TL;DR: Sunblock-ish eggnog.

Overview: I'm guessing it's the mixture of all that turning eggnog on me. Not sure what's behind the sunblock-ish scent. It's usually a coconut note going wrong.


Deseo Ardiente

"Deseo Ardiente (Smouldering Desire): A provocative blend of smouldering spices - star anise, nutmeg, clove, and piquant ginger; crisp gingersnaps; lemon peel; and Karkaar frankincense."

I smell a delicious bakery with a strong wood resin scent. The wood resin bit has a bit of a bitterness that makes me think of freshly made wooden furniture with fresh lacquer. After about 20 min, the lacquer bit disappeared, but the bakery scent faded as well. Now there's this sour, dry wood scent —it's that sour, astringent wood that some perfumers use as a tea note. The perfumed wood resin bit is more prominent though. I have a feeling the perfumed wood resin bit is supposed to be "oud", but since I'm spoiled by high quality Sumbawan oud, I tend to find a lot of synthetic ouds poor copies of actual oud.

I put this on while my mom was taking me furniture shopping at Urban Home (I got bored) and my mom thought the scent came from the store. She thought they had some sort of bakery scented candle burning and it was mixing with the new wooden furniture smell. I immediately took a picture of what she was looking at so you guys know what this scent smells like:

TL;DR: Wood furniture store that has a bakery scented candle burning.

Overview: Yay! It's not oud! I guess the perfumed wood resin is the Karkaar frankincense.


Eggnog Noel

"A luscious blend of delectably creamy eggnog with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a splash of dark Caribbean rum. We are not responsible for any surprise mistletoe kisses..."

I smell eggnog, but the first 5 min was there was a strong sour smell and a melting plastic scent. The sour bit disappeared after 5 min, but the melting plastic didn't.

TL;DR: Eggnog with melting plastic.

Overview: Maybe it's the rum going crazy on me? Or just the actual eggnog note not working out?



"Includes crossroads jasmine, almond blossoms, white carnations, red rose, patchouli, cinnamon, and Bourbon vanille along with secret ingredients that we have promised not to disclose."

Very, very sweet cottony smell that may be ylang ylang. There's hints of dirty green too. The dirty bit was really strong in the beginning but got less prominent as the scent wears on.  

By about 10min, it becomes this spiced rose & a medley of florals tea, and it's a warmer, heavier sort of scent. Makes me think of one of those tea places that sell all sorts of creative, artistic blends that look more like decorative potpourri rather than tea. The kind of tea that'll look way better than they taste most of the time.

This is Teavana's Slimful Chocolate Decadence Oolong Tea. Slimful is officially the saddest invented word ever.
Image courtesy of Teavana

TL;DR: Warm & heavy spiced rose & floral medley tea.


Memoria Seductora 

"(Beguiling Memory): Warm Christmas cake studded with clove; candied mandarin orange peel; carmelized figs and dates; treacle toffees; and smoked amber."

There's a nutty,wooden scent with a dirt green spearmint scent. There's a chemical-ish scent in it too, which disappeared on me after 10-15 min, but that may be something to watch out for. At the 15 min mark, there's a smoked scent in this. Now it has that smoky roasted peanut scent that Darling Clandestine's Carny Wedding has, only this scent has a slightly icy, artificial candy sweetness mixed into it. 

TL;DR: Smoky roasted peanut with slightly icy, artificial candy. 


Mistress of Misrule

"Mistress of Misrule is a mischievous blend of flirtatious black currant and an intoxicating blend of opium drenched resins."

I smell slightly cloying artificial fruits with a cool, woody-green sort of scent that's often an artificial pine note. I can't really identify what fruits it is, but it'll be one of those fruit mix candies that are purple in colour.

TL;DR: Purple fruit candies & cool, woody-green.

Overview: The opium notes I get often smell either like joss-sticks or game-y incense. I tried sniffing it again, and I'm not getting any of those scents, so either Alkemia uses a different opium note, or the opium is really quiet in this scent.


The Decadents 

"A hedonistic hymn of spiced black rum, Russian vodka, intoxicating cacao, honied tobacco, dark amber, vanilla infused opium, pheromone drenched musks, and a dangerously seductive tease of leather."

This is a chocolatey-sweet, dusty sort of rounded scent. There's a luxurious base to the scent and a spray of sweetness that's almost dusty floating up. It's definitely a decadent, luxurious scent that makes me of walking around in Neiman Marcus. It's a scent I can easily imagine on the middle-aged ladies there. Not the dowdy type of middle-aged ladies –the type of middle-aged ladies who are still polished and elegant. When I describe this scent as more mature than old, I'm not being diplomatic. It's a scent I can imagine on any of the Indonesian moms, who usually invade Neiman Marcus in Rodeo so often, they actually have Indonesian-speaking staff there.

This is one of my mom's friends and she's actually in her late 40s here. Yup. She's so freaking gorgeous. She's the founder of Miss Indonesia and every year, everyone would comment about how she looks so much prettier than all the contestants who are half her age. Oh, and she's a sweetheart who's incredibly nice to everyone.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Rich, middle-aged women.


Wild Swans at Coole

"An enchantingly fae blend of sweet flag, orris root, fen violet, wild autumn orchids, blue moor-grass, blackthorn wood, drying ferns, dried sedge grasses soaked in dew, and veils of mist parting over lake water."

This is a sweet sort of soapy blue scent. There's hints of grassiness in it too. It starts off pretty sweet in the beginning, like most blue scents, but the sweetness gets less prominent and the soapy scent's the part that's in the foreground. It really smells like a soap scent, which is great since it makes you smell like you just stepped out of the shower....smelling extra glamorous "naturally".

Yup, she totally stepped out of the shower looking like this.
Stunning photography by Tony Dudley

TL;DR: Sweet soapy blue.


Woods On A Snowy Evening

"Freshly fallen powder snow, juniper berries, hemlock pine, white needle balsam pine, flat cedar, camphorous evergreens, and icy aquatic elements."

This is an icy, woody blue scent. It leans on the masculine side from all the masculine sort of woody scent. The icy part is a very sharp, balsam sort of icy, and when mixed with blue bit, it makes me think of a very sharp mint offered in a very luxurious bathroom. The sweetness in this scent is fruity candy sort of sweetness that's mostly sweet with just hints of tartness. 

TL;DR: Icy, woody blue with fruity candy sweetness.


Yuletide Blessing

"An incantation of traditional Yuletide offerings to welcome the return of the sun and bring blessings for the coming year - bayberry for wealth, pine for health, cedar for protection, cinnamon for good luck, bay for wisdom, cloves for friendship, frankincense for gratitude, myrrh for material abundance, and a touch of spiced fruitcake for a loving and happy home."

This smells like a spiced fizzy ginger ale with a hint of woodiness. I have a 2013 and 2014 version, so I can compare them both. The 2014 version is sweeter than the 2013 version, and has less of the wood, and more of a bit more fizzy bite to it.

TL;DR: Spiced fizzy ginger ale.

Overview: Ok, frankincense & myrrh often smells like potpourri, but this scent doesn't at all. I can smell hints of potpourri if I'm looking out for it, but it's mostly buried by the spiced ginger ale scent, which I'm guessing is coming from a combination of bayberry and spiced fruitcake. The fizziness may be a wood resin bite from the pine & cedar.

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