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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review & Recommendation: Deconstructing Eden Part 2 (7 scents)

I've really procrastinated on this review, because thanks to a blogger glitch, my finished review didn't get saved and I lost most of it. I was so pissed, I ended up not rewriting the entire thing for a while. Anyway, this is part 2 of my Deconstructing Eden (DE) review, part 1 is here.

By now, I've tried most of my DE scents and I'm still so freaking impressed with the quality! Even if I'm not in love with a particular scent, I still think they're great quality-wise and would definitely recommend it. Anyway, let's do the reviews.


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If any of the notes surprise me, I write an overview. I've also started adding a "Final Verdict" section to help me keep track of my perfumes and figure out what to destash, since my perfume collection is starting to get messy. Here are the categories I came up with for my "Final Verdict":

  • Love: Most awesome perfume ever. Need endless supplies of it and will swap my first born child for the last drops of it if it's limited edition. 
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. 
  • Interesting: I don't really like it or I don't think I  can wear it in public, but I appreciate the artistry of the scent. It's like a beautiful but unwearable runway piece you won't buy on your own, but don't mind owning.
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire.
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait.


Gráinne Ní Mháille

"Heather and moss, stormy sea water, driftwood and a fougère accord composed of oakmoss, lavender and tonka bean."

There's that powdery scent that I now have associated as a DE signature scent, and it's mixed with a clean, green sort of scent that makes me think of more modern, earthy-toned offices. Unfortunately, my skin is making the scent really sweet on me again.

After about 20 min, I get a genmaicha sort of smokiness. Genmaicha is a type of green tea with roasted brown rice. It smells kind of like toasted unsweetened rice puffs with a subtle tea smokiness. I'm getting that at the base of this scent. I really, really love the genmaicha bit, and now I'm thinking of one of those young CEOs who makes everyone in the office do yoga together and don't believe in cubicles.

It's the kind of office that provides organic lunches for employees and everyone comes in loose, airy clothes....but still rake in millions in profit. And they'll have an office space that looks like this:

You just know your coworkers are bonding over juice cleanses, raw food and being vegan...
Image courtesy of

I think I'd really love this scent if the sweetness calms down on me.

When it dries down, the scent becomes this powdery lotion sort of smell that smells really, really familiar. I think my mom probably used a mainstream body lotion that smells like this before. It smells like Jergen's or St Ive's.

This is actually not an old lady scent at all, but I keep picturing it on a woman who's in her 40s but very youthful and usually passes off as late 20s or early 30s. Think Jennifer Aniston. Yup. I can so see this scent on Jennifer Aniston.

TL;DR: A hippie corporate office.

Overview: Ok, I'm guessing the heather, lavender, tonka bean and moss combination is the one behind the body lotion scent. It sounds like something St Ive's would use for their body lotion scent. Oakmoss may be the one behind smoky tea bit.

Final Verdict: Like


In the Temple of the Goddess of Love

"Pomegranates and figs wrapped in warm honey, on a bed of rose petals, incense, oud and amber."

Oh wow. I don't know why I like this. There's this red candy scent that I typically hate, but there's this gorgeous woodiness that blends perfectly with it. It smells like the perfected version of NAVA's Vampire Queen, that's a blend of honeyed red candy and a bitter herbalness. My skin made NAVA's Vampire Queen smell awesome, but I have to be careful not to get a drop on my clothes because it smells so bitter on my clothes that it smells like candied Chinese medicinal herbs. This is the perfect level of woody bitterness mixed with red's more feminine, less sharp and less artificial candy, and that makes it more wearable as a perfume.

Unfortunately, after 5 minutes, I get the scent of boiled vegetables at the base. I don't mind it so much because the gorgeous woody red candy scent is the prominent smell, but I'm just confused. At times, it smells more like crushed plant stalks that's been exposed lying outdoors for too long, other times, it's back to boiled vegetables. I really, really love the woody red candy part, so I need this boiled veggies nonsense to go away.

Ok. Now it's been 15 min. Still waiting on boiled vegetables to die. I think I catch whiffs of velvety rose every now and then, but it's too brief for me to be sure.

30 min in, it smells more like crushed, wilted plant stalks now. Still has to die.

55 min in. Ok, now there's definitely powdery rose. It smells more like powdery rose mixed with red candy, set on top of boiled cabbages. I have a feeling this is the smell that's going to be left lingering on my skin for hours.

2h in. #$%@*! It is.

TL;DR: The most perfect, wearable woody red candy scent...on top of boiled veggies.

Overview: I still have no fucking clue what's behind the boiled vegetables. Every note in there sounds safe.

Final Verdict: Age it.



"Clean skin musk and mahogany, dry amber accord and heart and top notes of sambac jasmine and jasmine officianale."

Oh's one of those woodsy, slightly bitter, clean and light white florals. Maybe it's gardenias? Gardenias often smell like woody white florals to me. The bitterness is a floral sort of bitterness –the kind you get from lilies, orchids and jasmines.

Unfortunately, there's a bit of a chemical smell that I can only describe as "balloon-y". After about 5-10 min the balloon-y bit mellowed out and gets mingled with the wood resin portion of this scent, but I still notice it. 

After about 30 min, the white floral starts taking a velvety, lotion-y kind of quality to it, and the balloon-y scent is much less prominent. The scent it leaves lingering on my skin is really gorgeous and I'm tempted to buy the scent just for this part. It smells like a really high end honeyed jasmine lotion –the kind that would come in an exquisite glass container and meant to be displayed in guest bathrooms. It's a classically, elegant sort of scent and smells like a few hundred dollars.

TL;DR: Clean, light, honeyed jasmine lotion.

Final Verdict: Like



"Mahogany, magnolias, gardenias, spanish moss, iced tea and petitgrain"

I got this dusty, powdery sort of musk and hints of white floral. The dusty bit becomes a sharp wood resin on me on different times of the month. It's a very feminine, delicate sort of musk and reminds of of that musky scent most Sugar & Spite scents seem to have. If it's a bit heavier, I think /u/Saffrin would be crazy over this scent.

As I wear it though, the scent becomes lighter and lighter. By about 15-20 min, it's a very clean, light and watery white florals scent on me, with a powdery sort of base that smells delicious. It reminds me of the powdery sort of vanilla from Valentino's Rock & Rose. I definitely have a hard time deciding if this scent is a heavy or light scent, since the powdery vanilla base is heavy and may smell "old lady-ish" to some people, but the florals are light and clean. When the scent dries down though, it's all that heavy, powdery vanilla so I'm leaning towards heavy.

TL;DR: Frivolous, elegant yet expansive

Final Verdict: Like (may change to Love)


Love You to Death

"Beeswax, sweat, wine, smoke, oud, black agar, patchouli, myrrh, green berries, cutrus peel, spice."

When I first spritz it on, I got a fleeting burst of that same bitterness I got from Black No. 1 and that artificial purple smell. I definitely didn't know whether I should get excited or dread this scent. This scent sticks close to my skin, and after the initial spray, I no longer got notes floating above intimate whispering distance.

Now, the scent I'm getting is this thinly sweet sort of woody honey –the kind that would be a melodic high note if it were music –mixed with this artificial purple smell that I'm guessing is blueberries. There's a clay-like scent that reminds me of grey mud masks sticking close to my skin.

After close to 20 min, the scent suddenly comes together and becomes kind of adorable on me. Ok, it sounds weird describing a scent as "adorable", but that's the first thing that came to my mind. Yes, there's still that artificial purple smell, but now it's rounded and kind of powdery, that it does remind me of kids, but it's not a full on childish scent. There's also hints of wood. It makes me think opening a wooden chest inside an immaculately neat nursery room and taking out a what used to be a child's favourite stuffed toy that's been kept there for ages. It's definitely the kind of nursery room that belongs to a strict homemaker who would see to it that kids won't stop her home from looking like a showroom home. The kind that looks like this:

Keeping a room this clean when a baby's living in it is only possible with a horde of English governesses.

The stuffed toy is clean and has that powdery clean scent, but many, many hours of being hugged and dragged around by a child gives made it retain a candy-like scent, and years of being stuffed in a wooden chest leaves the lingering scent of old wood.

TL;DR: Taking out a child's old, favourite stuffed toy from a wooden chest.

Overview: I know what the notes say, I still think it smells adorable.

Final Verdict: Interesting


Lucrezia Borgia

"Clementine, red mandarin, Italian lemon, ambergris, vanilla, patchouli and orange blossom on a resinous bed of labdanum."

Oh wow. Orange blossoms. This is the quintessential orange blossom scent. Now if anyone want recommendations for orange blossom scents, this is the scent I'd recommend. It has that light, fresh spritzy citrus sort of scent that smells energetic and lively without smelling like a room scent. There's hints of that green scent that makes you think of bursts of young, tiny green leaves, and that clean, white floral scent that makes you think of elegant women in white.

I do smell a bit of old wood at the base of this scent that I find a bit off-putting, but it sticks really close to my skin and it's just the gorgeous orange blossoms wafting around me.

The fresh zesty part of the scent and the old wood bite are the first to mellow out, and after about 25-30 min, there's also an orange creamsicle sort of scent entering. It now smells like the most gorgeous orange blossom perfume mingled with orange creamsicle, with slightly sharp wood resin at the base. It's a gorgeous scent still, but I kind of prefer the first part.

I think this picture captures the overall scent really well:

I'm kinda wondering if the model's freezing...
Gorgeous photography by True Moua Photography

I'm actually not too crazy over oranges or orange blossoms, but I really appreciate how well done this scent is. My lack of appreciation for oranges and orange blossom is the only reason I'm rating this scent as "like" instead of "love". I won't destash it and I truly like it, but I won't be rushing to buy this in full size.

TL;DR: Orange blossoms turning into orange creamsicle.

Overview: I'm guessing the patchouli and labdanum is behind the old wood smell.

Final Verdict: Like



"Cinnamon, Jasmine Sambac, fresh ginger, a chypre accord, amber essential oil, Egyptian musk, tuberose, and spice accord. Clean skin musks, ambergris, mahogany wood, black agar, precious resins, patchouli, leather.."

When I first sprayed it on, I caught a burst of leather but it disappeared fast. Now, I have warm Red Hots candy sort of cinnamon mixed with something woody. This scent kind of makes me think of a drinking a hot, spicy cinnamon drink in winter inside a wood cabin. It's a really interesting scent on me, because I keep picking up more and more notes the more I sniff it. When I first sniff it after clearing my nose with coffee beans, I only pick up the Red Hots candy sort of cinnamon –the kind of searing cinnamon that leaves a fuzzy, soapy feeling in your mouth. Then, I start picking up spiced wood. As I keep breathing in the scent, I start getting this cool, dark green sort of scent that makes me think of winter. Maybe it's because it smells a lot like those pine sort of room scents that are popular in winter.

As the scent wears on, the cinnamon dulls and becomes less spicy, which is awesome for me because I found it too spicy at first. The coolness increases and now I'm picking up a scent that makes me think of watery jasmines. The spiced wood also starts smelling like autumn leaves –the romanticized, candle version. I normally would hate this stereotypical autumn scent, but mixed with the watery jasmines part, the scent smells unique.

At about 10-15 min in, this just smells like the most elegant fall turning into winter perfume ever. It's a great combination of cool and warm scents at the same time. The leather comes back to make a subtle appearance about 20 min in, and I'm going to upgrade that wood cabin into an upscale ski resort that's designed to look like a comfy wood cabin....without the comfy price.

It's a cool, classically elegant scent mingled with warm cinnamon, autumn leaves, and wood resins. It smells like autumn turning into winter in a fancy ski resort (that looks like an upscale wood cabin and has that warm, autumn leaves sort of scent), turned into a perfume. It's something I see on someone in her 20s and kind of luxurious. If I'm picking an ad for this perfume, it'll be this picture:

I love this model's make up so much, I totally stalked the photographer's page to figure out who the make up artist is. Finally, somewhere in one of her older posts, I found out that the model is Aida Djapo and she did her own make up and hair!
Gorgeous photography by Maja Topčagić

Anyway, even though I'm not in love enough to grab a full size of this scent, I still like it a lot and I'm really impressed with DE for combining 2 Yankee Candle-esque scents, turning them unique, and making me like them.

TL;DR: Autumn turning into winter in a fancy ski resort

Final Verdict: Like

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