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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Review & Recommendation: Arcana's Ravenous II (4 Scents) + The Terrors (4 Scents)

I bought a bunch of scents from Arcana and finally got around to reviewing them now. For this review, I'm reviewing every scent in the  Ravenous II (except for Apples Crave Cider, the Pretty Indulgent exclusive) and The Terrors collections.

For my previous Arcana reviews, which include a discussion of their longevity and sillage, you can click on the Arcana label on the right or here.

As of publishing date, most of the scents are still available, but Arcana sells out fast. Some of the scents from those two collections are returns from previous years' collections, so if you missed them this time, they may come back!

If you're looking to buy these scents, there are several places where you can buy Arcana scents:


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. For the Ravenous collection, since I suspect all the Terror notes are the same, I didn't read the scent description until the very end. 

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.

I've reviewed Pumpkins Crave Terror and Apples Crave Cake in Dec 2014, so I'm copy+pasting my past review with an updated review so you can see how the scents have aged after slightly over a year.


Ravenous II Collection


Apples Crave Apples 

"Notes of golden apple, green apple, Winesap, Fuji, fresh apple, baked apple, spiced apple, apple cider, and a hint of apple."

Oh wow. Very fragrant perfumed apples. The kind of apples that are cool, and crisp, and clean. It...kinda makes me apple room sprays. They're definitely the expensive kind of room sprays that aren't sold in drugstores, but still room sprays.

After about 5 min, something in this is giving me a headache the way some room sprays do, so I'm definitely not sniffing myself too much. I smell that typical room spray "red apple" note floating around, and when I get closer, I get that extremely clean, room spray "green apple" note.

I kept thinking it'll get better, but after over an hour, it's still that extremely clean and searing room spray apples. The red apple room spray fades faster than the green apple room spray, so the scent left lingering on your skin is green apple room spray.

TL;DR: Apple room spray.

Final Verdict: Destash


Apples Crave Cake

"Fresh, crisp red apples blended with our Yellow Cake layering note."

Previous Review: 
The apple here starts off as an apple candy sort of apple, but it's not the headache inducing type of artificial scent. After about 10 min, it becomes more of an apple soap sort of apple.  
I was worried the yellow cake portion will smell like those play-doh-ish artificial cake scents but nope. Somehow, the two typically artificial scents combined to become  the most delicious gourmand apple scent. It smells like a wearable apple perfume, with something underneath that's triggers your lust for food, even though you can't identify what you're hungry for. 
TL;DR: Apples & food lust.
...1 year later:

Oh gods, this is delicious! So I'm writing this without reading my previous year's review so I can review this scent as if it's new. I've worn this several times, but now that I'm really paying attention, I feel that the cake bit isn't as strong as I remembered it to be.

This is red apple juice and that hint of satisfying deliciousness in the background. Last time, I couldn't identify what the deliciousness is, except that it hits my stomach straight away and makes me feel happy. Now it smells like a frosted cupcake. But maybe it's because I'm now more familiar with Arcana's cake note and start particularly looking out for it. After about 10 min, both the cupcake and the apple juice melded together, and now it smells like sugarcane juice with hints of cupcake and apple juice. I'm also getting a bit of a dry, dusty sandalwood in the background. Maybe the sandalwood's a quiet note that isn't listed and is only amplified with age? I distinctly don't remember any sandalwood.

After about 20 min in, the scent's more of a cool, perfumed apple pie. I love how complex the apple part is, to the point where I keep thinking of bouquets of apple scents, blooming into one amazing apple perfume...with hints of cake. Oh and just because I've been dying to show everyone this's a rat hoarding a bucket of apples:

I can't believe rats can be so cute!
Awesome pic by Анна Тюрина

TL;DR: Cool, perfumed apple pie.

Final Verdict: Like


Apples Crave Red Musk 

"Candy-red apples and lascivious red musk."

Er. I had to sniff several times to be sure, but this smells like apple-scented toilet cleaner. It even has that super sterile chemicals sort of scent. The apple does get stronger as the scent wears on, but it's still a room freshener sort of apple. It smells like a toilet after it has been cleaned, and sprayed with an apple room freshener. 

After about 20 min, the part that smells like disinfectant and strongly reminds me of toilet cleaners calms down a bit, but not enough. At times, I can pick out the red musk portion, which tends to smell like game-y incense. The apple is still the kind of apples you find in household cleaning products though. Now it smells more like an apple-scented clean toilet rather than a toilet that's being cleaned with apple-scented products at that very moment. 

As it dries down, I'm getting this green, plant-like scent, but I can't get out of the toilet impression. It's still a green-scented toilet cleaner with hints of apple room spray. 

TL;DR: Apple-scented toilet cleaner

Final Verdict: Destash


Apples Crave The Tropics

"Lots of green apple and sweet coconut flesh with sexy tuberose, Tahitian Tiare petals, and a drop of lime."

Oh yes.....this is that summery poolside sort of scent that Arcana does so freaking well. You get this note in Frisk and Marble Flowers too. I know there's apples in this from the name, but to be honest, if I didn't know there were apples in it, I wouldn't have guessed an apple note. The apple note just blends in to create this fragrant, sweet and tart chewy candy sort of scent. It smells like a sweeter and less boozy sort of fruity milky candy cocktail. The kind that looks like this:

Well, this is actually a coconut champagne cocktail, which isn't what the scent smells like...but the scent smells like what you expect this to smell like at first glance. For the recipe, you can head to

I think there's probably that Arcana cognac note here, since it reminds me so much of Frisk and Marble Flowers, but this scent is less boozy, so maybe it's a quieter note here.

The scent keeps getting sweeter on me, and after about an hour, it becomes this cool, vaguely fruity sort of sugary candy that can go great or nauseating, depending on your preference.

TL;DR: Chewy fruity candy cocktail.

Overview: Looks like there's no cognac note in this...still smells a lot like Arcana's perfumes that usually have the cognac note though!

Final Verdict: Like.


The Terrors Collection


Apples Crave Terror

"Holy Terror (burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles), ice-cold apples, and an extra shot of smoky frankincense."

This is beautiful! Ok, this is definitely a scent you either love or hate. I only know there's apple in this because of the name, otherwise, I wouldn't know since it doesn't really smell distinctly of apples. It's more of a soft, slightly sugary sweetness that I can't really identify. It's sugary without smelling like that piercing "sugar" note, vaguely fruity but it's beautiful and complex, there may even be florals in it. 

Now the other part of the scent that you either love or hate...there's this spicy sandalwood that I love, as well as this odd scent that smells kind of like gasoline and a mixture of burning items –like burning clothes, books, photographs, get the drift.

After about 10 min, I can also pick out a scent that smells like tonka beans of vanilla at the base of it, giving it this feminine sort of powderiness. It's the kind of powdery that makes me think of girls who like way too much lace and frills. 

That's it. I know what this smells like. It smells like a Valentine's Day bonfire. It's like someone created a bonfire out of scented love letters, teddy bears, various pink frilly things, a wooden jewelry box, and one of those powdery vanilla perfumes. Basically, the kind of things that would be completely at home in a room that looks like this:

And you kinda expect them to like small dogs or cats.
Image courtesy of

I feel like a girl who likes too much lace and frills can be counted on to make the most epic Valentine's Day bonfires. A girl who keeps getting sent way too much lace and frills would probably enjoy making an epic bonfire too.

This scent has a surprisingly low throw on me, and it makes me a tad paranoid because I'm wondering if I'm anosmic to parts of the scent. I recently tried a scent with Arcana's Terror note (this was before I bought these decants), and it smelled like a Chinese grandma's altar, so now I'm wondering if I'm emitting a strong scent of Chinese grandma altar without knowing it.

When the scent fades, it leaves lingering traces of that perfumed red apple scent.

TL;DR: Frilly, pink bonfire.

Final Verdict: Love.


Peaches Crave Terror

"Yellow and white peaches with Holy Terror (burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles)."

Oh wow. The first thing I got is a burst of juicy peach gummy. It's definitely a tart rather than a sweet peach and it smells like the most delicious peach gummy ever. It doesn't smell like an artificial, bubblegum sort of peach, but it's definitely the kind of peach that you get in gummies or chewy candies. I know comparing it to gummies make people think of artificial scents that usually smell gross, but it's definitely one of those gourmet, all-natural, realistic sort of gummy. I'm just calling it a gummy because I've never encountered peaches that can be this juicy and fragrant, while still being tart and almost unripe. 

Yes, I smell that burnt and sandalwood scent that I've now associated with Arcana's Terror note, but in this scent, it just makes the peach smell more realistic and so very wearable. This is definitely an easy scent to like. 

As the scent wears on, I can definitely smell more of that burnt scent at the base, but it stays close to my skin. It's also more of the "natural" scent of burnt paper or wood, rather than the scent of burning rubber or cloth, and I kind of like that charred paper/wood scent. 

After about 30 min, I smell that vanilla or tonka bean base that the Terror notes seem to come with. It still smells like mostly realistic tart peach gummy, but now it has this adorableness that makes me want to hug myself, without being a kiddy scent. I guess here's a picture that captures this scent best:

This kid is too cute!
Adorable pic by Alena Romanovskaya

When the scent fades, you're left with this faint burnt scent.

TL;DR: Realistic peach gummy.

Final Verdict: Like


Pumpkins Crave Terror

"Our Holy Terror(burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles) blend with glowing pumpkin and a small dash of pie spices."

Previous Review: 
This smells like a really delicious pumpkin pie. There's something that smells like sandalwood, but it could also be a very dry cinnamon note. As it dries down, it becomes that dry, woody potpourri scent with hints of pumpkin pie.
While I hate the dry down, the initial scent was so delicious, I'm getting this in full size. 
TL;DR: Extremely delicious pumpkin pie, turning into woody potpourri.

...1 year later:

It starts off with that typical heavy, oily sort of note that's you may be familiar with if you've gotten perfumes that supposedly feature a waffles/doughnuts/fried dough sort of notes. Luckily, it lightens up pretty fast. It slowly gets taken over by this heavily cinnamon and raspy sandalwood note. There's hints of pumpkins, but it's not the dominant note.

Usually, but about 10 min, this scent is leaning towards woody potpourri, with hints of oily pumpkin and bitterness. I noticed that at certain times of the month, the scent even goes even more bitter and smells medicinal on me. I remember buying a full size of this hoping aging will make it go the way I wanted it to, but unfortunately, it went the other way.

TL;DR: Woody potpourri, with hints of oily pumpkin and bitterness

Overview: Yeah, there's no more pumpkin pie in this scent after aging.

Final Verdict: Destash


Strawberries Crave Terror

"Deep red strawberries and Holy Terror (burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles)."

Oh, my gods.....I love this too. It smells exactly like freshly squeezed strawberry juice, but with hints of sandalwood and something else to make it more wearable as a perfume instead of smelling like you just had an accident in your local cold-pressed juice bar. I can't really put my finger on what that something special is –it smells pink and makes me think of pink bubblegum or cotton candy, but without the nauseating artificialness.

After about 3 min, the strawberry melds into the scent and the scent is less distinctively strawberry. The burnt part of the terror note's also coming out. The resulting scent is is a vaguely pink, sweet cloud of scent, with freshly bitten, tart strawberries, and something burning. 

20 min in, and the pink bubblegum/cotton candy part has been amplified and now the scent is...odd. On one hand there's that really grown up charred sandalwood scent, but then there's that extremely kiddy, sweet pink bubblegum/cotton candy. Throw in the freshly bitten, tart strawberries, and I don't know what to make of it.

I guess it's like kids dressed in high fashion and acting all grown up. Creepy, or cute? It can go both ways. This pic captures the scent the best:

I personally find this pic a bit too creepy...maybe it's the duck hat.
Awesome photography by Alexander Bootsman

The scent it leaves lingering on your skin is strawberry bubblegum.

TL;DR: Vaguely pink, sweet cloud of scent, with freshly bitten, tart strawberries, and something burning.

Final Verdict: Interesting.

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