Search This Blog

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: Deep Midnight's Ancient Yule Set (5+2 Scents)

This is the 2nd part of my Deep Midnight (DM) Christmas sample sets review. For my previous DM reviews, you can click here or on the DM tag on the side. This review is for all 5 scents from the Ancient Yule sample set and two other DM scents I happen to have, Miss Sherlock & Tenebrae. Turns out, I've reviewed all 5 scents from the Ancient Yule sample set a year ago, only I forgot to upload it. So now I get to write a review on how these scents have aged!


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. Yup, I did them blind last year, so the reviews I did this year is still done blind!

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.

You'll notice in my DM reviews, I don't have a single scent I plan on aging. It's just because I've aged these for a year, so I don't think aging them further will make much of an improvement.


Miss Sherlock

"Orris, lemon verbena, geranium, musk, white tea, and woods."

When I first sniffed this in the bottle, I fell in love and hoped it'll smell just as great on my skin. Fortunately, it does! It smells like clean, soapy juicy fruits. It's just such a well-blended medley of fruits, I can't really identify them and they just vaguely smell melon-ish and peachy. It's definitely very clean, light and sweet (in the personality-sense).

It makes me think of a woman in her late teens or early 20s, who's very feminine, neat and put together. The kind of woman who'll dress in very girly yet preppy, clean-cut styles and have a charming, bubbly personality that people can't resist. She's definitely the type to be the president of some student association at some point in her life. Someone who looks like this:

The photography's great, but I'd really love to know who the fashion stylist for this shoot is.
Gorgeous photography by Stas Pushkarev

I get traces of a tart, zesty green every now and then, but it's not a loud part of the scent. When it dries down on my skin, I get this super sweet room freshener kind of scent, but I don't mind it since it's faint by then.

TL;DR: Girly, preppy scent.

Overview: Looks like there's no fruits in here. Maybe the white tea is the type of sweet, "perfumed" version that smells fruity?

Final Verdict: Love.



"This scent evokes the feeling of ancient ritual and festivity with an earthy mix of Arabian sandalwood, Sudanese frankincense, and patchouli blended with the aromas of roasted chestnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, and finished with cranberries and sweet cake."

The first 10 min was scary. First impression was, "Welp. Cherry liqueur."

In 5-8 min, I got bitter dusty wood coming in and the cherry liqueur becomes more of a tartness in the background. The result is Chinese medicine flavoured with cherry liqueur in a sick attempt to make it more palatable. I'm looking at you, grandma. It doesn't work, I know it still tastes like death!!!

1 year later:

Still Chinese medicine and cherry liqueur. Not as pungent and before, but still pretty hard for me to stomach. The aged cherry liqueur bit is actually pretty nice and smells more powdery and soft, but it's not enough to hide the Chinese medicine. Seriously, the Chinese medicine bit is horrible. It's dusty, old and almost acrid. Ugh. I hate the smell of Chinese medicine.

As it dries down, it's dusty, death-like Chinese medicine with this artificial purple scent.

TL;DR: Cherry liqueur mixed into Chinese medicine.

Overview: The cherry liqueur bit could be an almond note going wrong on me! Either that or the cranberry mixed with everything else turns into cherry liqueur.

Final Verdict: Destash



"An ancient brazier spilling over with tendrils of sacred incense smoke that mingle with candle wax, polished old wood and stone, blessed resins, faint soft notes of Sicilian citron, and a touch of divine black agarwood."

In the bottle, I got a blue scent with a sterile sort of bitterness...kind of smells like cleaning fluid. I was a bit scared to put it on me at first, but luckily, on my skin, it doesn't smell that bad. Somehow, my skin eats up this scent really fast, so it's rather faint. The resulting scent I get is slightly hard to identify, but it smells like a cross between this gorgeous, slightly smoky sort of blue cologne I can see on sophisticated older men (think late 30s or 40s), and root beer gone flat.

After about 30 min, the root beer gone flat mingles with the overall scent and now it just smells like a mainstream men's cologne that has dried down and gone a bit too sweet. My skin sometimes amps up sweetness though, so maybe it won't be that bad on other people.

TL;DR: Mainstream men's cologne & root beer.

Overview: Ok, I have no idea what's causing the root beer scent. Nothing in it looks remotely close!

Final Verdict: Destash


The Holy & The Ivy

"This is a slightly spicy and crisp unisex scent that has both feminine and masculine aspects: the scent of festive hollyberries is mingled with the beautiful and earthy greens of an inviting winter forest."

Initially, I got the smell of roasted meat in the background but luckily that dissipated fast.  I still get a savoury sort of scent underneath, though. Other than that, it's a pine type of scent that's leaning towards smelling like a room fragrance. It's nice enough, but I rather scent my room rather than myself with it. As it dries down, the smell is a very dry, dusty woody pine scent.

1 year later:

Yup, still getting roasted meat. Roast meat and really smells like dinner being served in a cabin during winter. It takes only 1 min for the roast meat to disappear though, and now it's an icy pine scent. It's less room fragrance than I remembered, and more perfume now.  I actually like it, and it reminds me of winter in ski chalets that looks like this:

I visited the site and fell in love with the villas. After I saw they had no price lists and you have to inquire instead, I kinda guessed they're either very expensive or extremely expensive....
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Clean, icy pine perfume.

Overview: I'm not getting any berries at all, and the roasted meat part could be a quiet smoke note going nuts.

Final Verdict: Ok/Like


The Sun King 

"A rich, warm, and deep archaic blend awaits you with dark frankincense, myrrh, spikenard, white amber, sandalwood, and a faint touch of eastern spices. A lovely unisex blend."

I get that sweet, watery scent I get from a lot of Deep Midnight's scents. Soon, I get a gingery sort of spiciness in the scent. It reminds me a lot of a woodier version of Catrianna's Couldron so I better smell them side by side. The dry down is one of those dusty old wood scents. It's a different sort of old wood from NAVA's old wood, though. NAVA's is ancient furniture that's really old, this is wood in an attic that's left alone for a couple of years and gathering dust.

1 year later:

Ok, I'm getting more of this whiteboard-marker-ish woody scent. Maybe there's myrrh in this? I'm also getting that cool, herbal fuzzy scent that smells like Baygon, a popular Indonesian insecticide, but it's usually marketed as some sort of stone/asphalt/concrete note. Dang...I'm reading my old review and looks like this is a scent that did not take aging very well.

Once the scent starts settling on my skin 2-3 min later, it ends up smelling like ginger ale and Baygon. I'm not a fan. It stays like this until it dries down into this sort of tart, insecticide scent with wood resins about 30 min later.

TL;DR: Baygon with ginger ale.

Overview: I really, really should have used this earlier. This is why hoarding is bad.

Final Verdict: Destash.


Yule Log

"Imagine a cozy fireplace hearth in a lovely log cabin, the comfort and warmth of the fire and the enveloping scents of buttery frankincense, oakwood embers, evergreens, and lingering cloves as you relax into the joys of the season. A great unisex winter blend."

There's that artificial pine scent that usually smells like a car freshener, only it's more bitter. There's also a roasted meat scent in the background.

1 year later:

Roast meat and car pine perfume. And it's slightly bitter and medicinal. It doesn't get more complex than this.

TL;DR: Bitter & medicinal roast meat and car pine perfume.

Overview: Ok, I need to compare this with the notes from The Holy & The Ivy to figure out what's causing that roast meat scent. Unfortunately, here's the notes for The Holy & The Ivy:

"This is a slightly spicy and crisp unisex scent that has both feminine and masculine aspects: the scent of festive hollyberries is mingled with the beautiful and earthy greens of an inviting winter forest."

The notes are pretty vague, so I'm guessing it's probably an unlisted smoke note gone crazy since the only other thing they have in common is the greens, and that's probably the one causing the pine scent.

Final Verdict: Destash


Yuletide Revels 

"This blend evokes the feel of the season and the joy of celebration with a base of warm Chypre, stirred up with whiskey, sugarplums, cream, and a touch of sweet orange and cardamon. Cheers!!"

This smells like a creamed orange soda. It's nice enough, but artificial as you'd expect orange soda to be. It's definitely a more fun scent. I personally find the scent a bit cloying, but I can see little kids loving this sugary scent. By 30 min, this dries down to that sweet, metallic smell a lot of gourmands turn into on me.

1 year later:

Ok, it still smells like creamed artificial fruity soda, but it's less orange and more vaguely tutti frutti. Still cloying on me, but this time there's this nutty woody scent and a soapy bubble bath suds scent. I'm still not a fan. The nutty woody scent gets stronger as the scent wears on, but mixed with the creamy tutti frutti soda bubble bath, the combination just gets really nauseating for me. This scent's not for me.

TL;DR: Nutty, woody, creamy tutti frutti soda bubble bath.

Final Verdict: Destash.

No comments:

Post a Comment