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Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: Deep Midnight's Christmas Dark & Light Set (5+2 Scents)

Ok, final part of my Deep Midnight (DM) Christmas reviews! This review is for the 5 scents from the Christmas Dark & Light sample set. Kissing Ball turns out to be a scent I've reviewed  a year ago (but forgot to upload), so I get to revisit it and review how it has aged! Like the previous reviews, I'm also reviewing 2 more DM scents I happen to have, Goblin in the Gears & Faerie Feast.


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. Kissing Ball was reviewed 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.


Aurora Borealis

"This rich, sweet, velvety scent is comprised of a delicious vanilla bean accord, winterberries, sweet musk, soft peppermint, white sugar, and winter pines."

Artificial strawberries & cream! It smells exactly like this Big Babol Strawberries & Cream bubble gum I used to like as a kid. The packaging has been updated now:

I'm actually craving this now...I think I'm going to look for it.
Image courtesy of

It's the kind of artificial strawberries & cream you expect a pink cupcake plush toy would be scented with. There's hints of mint and that woody, dry and slightly acrid "tea" note, but it's mostly artificial strawberries and cream. It's nice enough, but not exactly what I want to smell like. It's definitely one of those scents you either love or hate.

The mint gets more pronounced as this scent wears on for another 10-20 min, before the cream part gets more pronounced and the strawberries get shafted. Now it smells like slightly minty old cream. It's not the fresh sort of cream, it's a more settled, oily sort of cream.

TL;DR: Minty strawberries & cream bubblegum turning into minty old cream.

Final Verdict: Destash.


Dark Winter's Tale

"Inspired in part by a fantastic cookie recipe from Morgan Crone, this holiday perfume contains many wonderful scent notes, including: dark gingerbread, rich vanilla, molasses, cardamon, anise, and black pepper."

I'm getting fresh orange with old, crumbly dark chocolate. The kind of chocolate that has been left out for too long, that it has white spots all over and crumbles to the touch. Like this:

If you buy chocolate from Indonesia, you often risk getting this.
Photography by Narisa

The orange part is actually gorgeous. At first, it's so fresh, I wondered if it's neroli instead, but as it wears on, it starts smelling like very fragrant candied oranges, the kind that's flavoured further with cloves and cardamom. The old chocolate scent won't leave me though.

TL;DR: Candied oranges & old, crumbly chocolate

Final Verdict: Destash


Faerie Feast 

"Lush and creamy white amber, dried colorful leaves, roasted pumpkin, laurel, cinnamon, cardamom, toasted sugar and cream."

I get an extremely strong, dark brown caramel scent. It's a bit watery and kind of makes me think of artificial low-fat, sugar-free "caramel" flavoured diet drinks. There's hints of these cool and slightly gingery blue note underneath and it's actually pretty nice, but the caramel's not for me.

The caramel gets less pungent after about 10 min, and now it smells like beautiful cool, clean blue, mixed with piercing artificial caramel. It pretty much stays like this for the rest of the time until it dries down. The scent that lingers the longest on me is that piercing caramel.

TL;DR: Cool blue & piercing artificial caramel.

Final Verdict: Destash


Goblin in the Gears

"This mischievous, inventive blend consists of anise and blood orange, spiked with warm vanilla and a touch of soft sandalwood."

Omg no, no, no, no, noooooo. This is liquorice and vaguely fruity candy. Really strong, medicinal liquorice. The fruity candy makes me think of red, fruity candies and there's a slight minty scent, so the resulting scent makes me think of a candy shop around Christmas. Yes, it's a highly artificial smell, but I have positive associations with it so I kinda like it. Unfortunately, the liquorice just ruins everything. It's so medicinal and it kinda makes me think of being taken to a candy shop around Christmas and being told you can't buy anything until you drink some "fruity" flavoured cough syrup that tastes even more disgusting thanks to the flavouring.

As it dries down, the scent gradually turns into pink, scented plastic toys.
I've never had a My Little Pony toy, but this smells like what I imagine this toy would smell like.
Image courtesy of

It reminds me of one of those pink toys and scented markers I used to have, which makes me feel nostalgic, but it's not exactly how I want to smell like.

TL;DR: Pink, scented plastic toys.

Final Verdict: Destash


Kissing Ball

"Roasted chestnuts and pecans, rum, creamy vanilla and spiced orange are followed by softer notes of balsam fir and sweet florals. Festive, warm, and cozy!"

Oooh..creamy vanilla and oranges. I love the vanilla, but I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Deep Midnight's orange notes. It's the fizzy orange soda or piercing car perfume in a can type of orange. The kind of car perfume that looks like this:

I haven't found a single one of these that didn't give me a headache.
Image found on

I want to like it so bad, since the vanilla reminds me a lot of the creamy cinnamon vanilla in Possets' Gelato: Vaniglia, but the artificial orange really ruined it for me.

1 year later:

At first, I only got this creamy scent and got excited, but the artificial oranges burst in pretty fast. It smells like an orange can car perfume, with a diet milkshake sort of creaminess.

After about 10 min, it actually turns out good! It smells exactly like McDonald's apple pie filling! I'm so surprised because it was so bad before. There hints of that searing perfume, but it's mostly McDonald's apple pie filling. This definitely aged well!

When it dries down, it turns into vaguely fruitiy soap.

TL;DR: McDonald's apple pie filling

Final Verdict: Like


The Holly King

"Sweet sugarplums, mistletoe evergreens and cedar are wrapped up with a light crisp mint, warm vanilla, notes of three soft florals and lastly a touch of fig rounds out the scent."

Oooh, this is a nice soapy scent! There's tart fruits that I can't identify and a clean, green sort of soapy scent that makes me start thinking of melons even though it doesn't smell like melons. It just makes me think of a green soap. It's cool, clean and sweet, vaguely fruity without any fruits being identifiable. I actually wish I can have this in shampoo form, because this is how I want my hair to smell like –clean, fresh and fruity, but totally grown up.

Unfortunately, 10 min later, it just goes full soap and even has this slightly sterile, toilet cleaning soap sort of scent.

TL;DR: Green, vaguely fruity soap turning into toilet cleaner.

Final Verdict: Destash



"This perfume is a wonderful blend of: soft pine, crisp greens, sweet sugars, white cocoa, and a waiting oakwood fire, kissed lightly with clove and cassia."

This took a while to settle on my skin. When I first applied it, it's just a crazy burst of bitter, coffee-like cocoa, cleaning fluid and something way off. After about 5 min, it finally settles into this cocoa and pine scent. the cocoa smells more like a plasticky sort of artificial chocolate, while the pine's a pretty nice room scent. The combination just confuses me. As it wears on, the chocolate just smells really gross on me...kind of skunk-ish. No idea what's going on.

TL;DR: Artificial chocolate going skunk-ish with pine room scent.

Overview: I can't figure out which of those notes are going wrong on me. Maybe it's just the combination.

Final Verdict: Destash.

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