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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Violette Market's Victorian Magic 1897 Autumn 2014 Collection (all 10 scents)

I got a sample set of all 10 scents from Violette Market's Victorian Magic 1897 Autumn 2014 Collection! The presentation is gorgeous as always:

I'm kinda sad I found a bunch of scents I like because most of these scents are now a bit too steep for me. They're at $28/6 ml bottle and that's a bit of a splurge for me since my perfume collection is already too large.

For my previous Violette Market reviews, you can click here or on the tags on the right. As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. Overviews are written if anything surprises me after the reveal.


Bat Wing Fire Eaters 

"With notes of Maraschino cherry, pink rose cream, tonka bean, Bavarian black cherry, salty musk, orris powder, and violet water in a base of Organic jojoba oil."

I got bubblegum mostly at first, which freaked me out. Eventually, there's some floral powderiness that makes me think of the scent of powders that'll be perfectly at home on a table decorated like this:

So girly and I should be cringing...but I like it.
Image courtesy of

It's a hyper-feminine, powdery, flouncy and cute scent –with hints of artificial bubblegum in the background. Yes, the bubblegum is very artificial, but blended in with the powdery bits that usually seems "old", the scent somehow works. Though it's definitely very, very girly. Not little girl, girly. It's a scent that makes me think of a woman in her mid 20s having a quarter life crisis and wanting to dress up in extreme lace and flounce.

I, er...surprisingly like this scent. This scent is like a pop song you secretly like but will never admit to. Yes, it's cheesy, but somehow it's catchy. I don't think I'll be getting it in full size or wearing it in public, but every now and then, when I want to wear extreme frills, I'll wear this privately and belt out the latest cheesy pop song.

TL;DR: Hyper-feminine, powdery, flouncy and cute scent –with hints of artificial bubblegum in the background.


Gypsy Threads

"With notes of Black husk vanilla, red amber intertwined with blood red musk, West Indian vanilla in dusty apothecary jars, tincture-aged Patchouli absolute, warm coconut, vanilla sugar, and wispy threads of gold and copper with tiny iron bells at the ends in a base of Organic jojoba oil."

This smells the way I'd imagine a gypsy fortune teller's tent would smell like. There's incense, an old scent that may be coming from patchouli, a soapy scent, hints of wood and something grassy (the kind you can smoke), and something else that makes me think of layers and layers of old, colourful cloth. The colourful cloth part reminds me of the smell of perfumed cloth in the markets in India, but that's probably because that's what I'm familiar with. If I've gone to a gypsy market, I may say it smells more like cloth in a gypsy market.

After about 10 min, it became less heady and almost kind of fresh and watery. It's like VM distilled the essence of a gypsy fortune teller's tent into a fresh, watery form. It's a cleaner, more modern version of a gypsy fortune teller's tent. If I'm picking an ad for this scent, it'll be this picture:
I kind of wonder if her head is hurting from all that cloth.
Gorgeous photography by Andrew Lobzov

As it dries down, there's something bitter at the base that's revealed. While the bitter bit never became a big problem on me, I can see this being a problem on some skin chemistries.

TL;DR: Gypsy fortune teller's tent distilled into a fresh, watery form. 


Mechanical Dove

"With notes of aged cedar wood, warm vanilla bean, white amber and sugared smoke, coated in warm brass machinery oil"

There's that suede-like musk similar to VM's past scent, Mexico City, and a searing, spritzy sweet scent. The suede-like musk is leaning towards masculine since it has this slight bitterness, but it's still too musky to be completely masculine or even unisex. It makes me think of a guy in an old school, wood-paneled covered office drinking a lemon spritz, after getting a hug from his overly perfumed mom. And yes, she'll be the type of woman who'll tell all his friends what a good boy he is.

TL;DR: Guy in an old school, wood-paneled covered office drinking a lemon spritz, after getting a hug from his overly perfumed mom.


Orion Facing the Charge of Taurus

"With notes of Indian sandalwood, West Indian vanilla bean, white amber, Mysore sandalwood, incense smoke, bergamot peel, cardamom seed, clove, and roasted cinnamon bark."

There's wood and dry citrus, but it's not the typical acrid dry wood that's often a black tea note. There's way more depth in this and a richness to the wood that just drives me wild. It's a sweet, rich wood that's leaning on masculine. Mixed into the scent is the scent of actual chai from India. Just the tea, without the milk. The dry citrus bit is also not exactly citrus, but more of acrid spices that reminds me of walking through spice stores in India.

The effect is like sipping chai next to a really, really hot dude in India. I'll just leave a picture of Vivek Oberoi to give you an idea of how this perfume makes me feel...

I found out about this dude after watching the movie Saathiya. The movie is terribly cheesy but he was hot, so I stayed and watched all 138 min of it. Yup. At one point, the producers must have known that hot people were the only reason people are still watching the damn movie, so they featured about 5 min of this dude on a scooter with his hair flying in the win. In all seriousness, check out the soundtrack of the movie, it's really gorgeous!
Image courtesy of
Unfortunately, after 30 min, the spiced part of the scent that I think is cardamom started getting really amped up and it starts smelling like an overly hot chai, with all the other scents in the background.

TL;DR: Sipping chai while walking through a spice market in India, next to a really, really hot dude. Preferably Vivek Oberoi (when he was younger..I saw more recent pics and got sad).


Parlor Tricks 

"Antique table laces yellow with age, Bourbon vanilla bean, fossilized Baltic amber, Ceylon cinnamon, nicotina leaf, and bergamot peel in a base of Organic jojoba oil."

This starts of really scary on me, turning into that strongly sour note that some vanillas morph into. Luckily the scent behaved and calmed down on me. The scent that's most prominent in this is that high, sharp but not piercing sweetness that makes you think of flossed sugar. There's also hints of something citrus-y. At the base of it all, there's a roasted peanut scent. As the scent wears on, the roasted peanut bit smells more like warm, caramelized butter.

I'd consider this a risky buy since this seems like a scent that can morph drastically depending on skin chemistry. Throughout the entire time I'm using it, the scent keeps wavering between sour and vanilla, play-doh and peanut, old lady and amber. I tested this scent out twice during different times of the month and even that changed the scent pretty drastically. Unlike the second time, the first time I tried it, the peanut was more prominent and close to the roasted peanut scent in Darling Clandestine's Carny Wedding. I didn't get anything clay or play-doh like or pick up hints of citrus, and I got a bit of a yellowed parchment sort of old smell.

Somehow this scent has a surprisingly low throw on me, and I have to get to kissing distance to catch a whiff. 

TL;DR: Perfume roulette time! Either caramelized roasted peanuts with hints of yellowed parchement or flossed sugar and play-doh peanuts with a high end citrus perfume.


Rabbit from a Hat

"With notes of ivory clouds of spun sugar, pink carnation, coconut flecks, clove, and bourbon vanilla bean hiding among velvety vanilla absolute, warm amber resin, white cedar, red saffron, cinnamon bark, dried autumn leaves and blonde tobacco."

There's this sweet, pink florals in this scent, but at the base of this, there's a lipstick scent to it. The lipstick smell disappeared on me after about 5 min, but that may just be my skin chemistry. The scent starts becoming pretty heavy and starts leaning towards a more mature woman. There's still something light and sugary trying to keep the scent young, but this heavy floral base just keeps dragging it towards going old lady.

My skin loves amping up sweet, sugary scents, so this scent stays relatively young on me. Unfortunately, if your skin likes amping up heavier scents like amber & musk, there's a high chance this is heading straight for old lady on you.

TL;DR: Light, pink, sugary florals over a heavy, husky base.


Romani Ravens 

"With notes of bergamot, meyer lemon, black pepper, juniper berry, other-world incense, black pine needles, powdery orris root, golden amber, copper-distilled vanilla bean, and dry white sandalwood gathering in intensity high above the stage and then transforming into a raven with long glossy black wings, like arms on a woman."

There's a tea-like sweetness to this, with powderiness that just clashes for me. There's also cloying hints of artificial purple berries coming up every now and then. About 5-10 min into the scent, you'll start identifying hints of incense and wood in it too.

It kinda makes me think of purple soda that has gone flat mixed with a powdery perfume, spilled all over a furniture store that tries to seem more "exotic" by burning incense....
What they think it smells like...
Amer Fort in Jaipur, India, photography by me

.....which actually makes it smell like a furniture store run by an old dude in singlets/wife-beaters most people who live in Asia (this actual continent, which includes India...not the American definition of Asia, which often only includes Korea, China & Japan).

What it really smells like.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Purple soda that has gone flat mixed with a powdery perfume, spilled all over a furniture store that tries to seem more "exotic" by burning incense


Summoning Canis Major and Canis Minor

"Through a veil of black amber, red amber, incense smoke, offerings of red patchouli, and dry white wood carved into the heads’ of canines."

This scent really reminds me of NAVA. There's that same incense note NAVA uses, with a woody sweetness. There's also an old wood  scent in this. This is a less intense version of NAVA's old wood & incense though. It's like a room that used to be filled with old coffins, incense and woody honey after being aired out —everything's milder, more rounded, less pungent & less piercing. 

This could be a good or bad thing, depending on your desire to smell like old coffins & incense. 

TL;DR: Milder version of NAVA's old wood, incense & sweet, woody honey.

I had a derp moment. When I read the bit that says, "dry white wood carved into the heads’ of canines," my first thought was, "Wait, your carving what into dogs' heads? That's pretty macabre and cruel to animals!"


The Lepus Illusion

"With notes of warm vanilla bean, dry sandalwood, golden amber, carrot seed, coriander, and pimento berry."

There's a scent that smells like a light, elegant high end perfume but at the base, there's the scent of milk powder ruining it. The milk powder smells like that almost cloying milk scent you get when you sniff baby formula, just without the sweetness. The high end perfume bit is just gorgeous. It smells like one of those complex light floral and green blends. Gah! Why must that cloying milk powder bit be there?? Fortunately, it's the high end perfume bit that wafts up. 

TL;DR: Light, elegant, high end floral and green blend sprayed over baby formula. 


The Magician 

"With notes of Vanilla, Mexican lime, Sicilian cedrat, oak wood, coriander, jasmine absolute, Spanish white tree moss, vanilla orchid, and white amber shrouded in a cloak of aged black vetiver in a base of Organic jojoba oil."

Woody, cool, blue citrus. This scent's a great unisex scent, though leaning on masculine on me. It smells like a typical high end blue & citrus men's cologne, with a bit more wood. As this dries down, the scent turns into a feminine, almost mango-like sweet, florals. I think this is a scent that'll be very dependent on your skin chemistry and may go more masculine or more feminine depending on it. I personally love both stages of this scent, but I can see how this would not be ideal for some people.

TL;DR: Masculine, cool woody blue that slowly shifts to feminine, almost mango-like sweet, florals.

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