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Monday, January 18, 2016

Review & Recommendation: Deconstructing Eden's Winter Collection (7 scents)

I got Deconstructing Eden's (DE's) entire Winter Collection sample set! I only finished reviewing them now since I love taking my time with DE. Their throw is so great, I can only review 2 scents/day at the most.

Quick warning about this review...turns out this Yule collection is fruit heavy, and I've never really liked DE's fruit notes. That's why a lot of scents end up going haywire on me, but overall, I'll still recommend DE heavily because their quality is superb.

For my other DE reviews, you can click here or on the tag on the right.


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.


All That Remains

"An old growth forest of cedars and redwoods, frozen earth, and dry, dry leaves."

This starts off strongly earthy, with a stony bitterness. There's a dark green note and, depending on what time of the month it is, a balsam-like iciness too. It makes me think of walking in abandoned ruins in a forest in winter.

After about 3-5 min though, there's this vanilla musk that balances out the bitterness perectly. Now, this is where the scent can go both ways. When I'm not on my period, the vanilla must keeps getting stronger and by about 10 min, the scent is a vanilla musk with an opium bite. The vanilla's a really cozy sort of vanilla and makes me think of cashmere instead of old lady décolletages. It's beautiful! Definitely too feminine for men, and more for women who like scents leaning on the masculine side.

When I'm on my period, the scent is wayyy more masculine. It's an icy sort of bitter, masculine green with a light sweetness and hints of vanilla. It's very rugged and masculine, at the same time, it's young and playful at the same time. It's the kind of scent I can see on a guy who's a young boss, the kind of boss who can be a tough hard ass but a fun goofball at the same time. And definitely hot. So hot, you're busy fantasizing about him shirtless even when he's talking about something boring like logistics or supply chain reviews. I'd totally pick this dude to model this scent:

A face that makes getting fired for inappropriate work relations sound worth it...
Image courtesy of Milenko Dilas

Oh, and here's a picture of him shirtless, you're welcome:

If I'm giving a speech and this dude is in the front row, imagining the crowd naked will just make me drool on stage...
Image courtesy of Milenko Dilas

After about 40 min, the scent is pretty much the same, regardless of what time of the month it is. It's snow, metallic water, leather, earth and hints of vanilla musk and balsam. It's just that the balsam is a tad stronger when I'm on my period, and the leather is stronger in other times. It's a totally masculine scent now. The metallic water is that distinct scent some leather notes morph into, but I can still sniff a distinct leather scent in this too.

TL;DR: That hot, playful boss.


Hounds of Winter

"Cashmeran, fresh pines, tonka bean absolute, agarwood absolute, mahogany, palo santo, rosewood, cedars and smoke."

Oud. This is the scent oud dries down to. Sharp wood resin, a kind of truffle (the mushroom kind, not the chocoloate), hints of green....this is the scent you first get when you spray this perfume on and it's awesome!

5 min in, it's still soooo gorgeous. It's now has a lotiony musk that cuts the sharpness of the wood, and now I'm kinda waffling on what sex this perfume is for. The first spray is definitely unisex, now the overall scent's very masculine, but the lotiony musk part is a bit too feminine for men. It's still beautiful though, and a scent I'd personally wear out.

After about 20 min, an earl grey like scent enters and the scent becomes a mostly masculine earl grey tea...if that makes sense at all. There's still the lotiony musk part, and that's why I say mostly. It's definitely a masculine scent, but slightly leaning on feminine.

Kinda makes me think of the sexiest afternoon tea ever with a guy who's gorgeous in the effeminate way, and has old school gentleman mannerisms that'll make every grandma swoon. Basically, imagine tea with this dude:

Suddenly, chess is way more interesting...
Image courtesy of Eric Auffhammer

When it dries down, it just becomes a really, rich realistic wood scent.

TL;DR: Tea with a boy your grandma would want you to marry ASAP.

Overview: I knew there was oud (agarwood) in this! Not sure what's causing the earl grey tea scent. Maybe a combination of those woods?


Snow Queen

"Crystalline musk, wind blowing through trees, winter roses and winter jasmine."

Omg! This smells like winter! Winter berries! Candy-like but not super artificial. Cool but not icy, but still a suggestion of snow. It's gorgeous!

Like most DE scents, it settles on my skin at around 3 minutes and the sweetness becomes a more smooth, lotion-like sweetness instead of the sharper candy-like sweetness. I don't want to call it buttery because it's not a creamy or oily scent, but it does smell buttery smooth. It makes you think of delicate, snow white fur in frost. There's hints of berries too. The berries can get cloying on me on certain times of the month, but usually, they're fine.

As the scent wears on, it turns more and more into this elegant, rounded, lotion-y florals. It's a bit odd, but there's hints of Sugus, an Indonesian fruity chewy candy, floating around. At times, you can even pick out this beautiful, delicate scent that makes me think of icy sugar crystals. It's really a beautiful scent, and I'd pick this picture if I'm doing an ad for this scent:

When it dries down, it turns into Sugus.

TL;DR: Elegant, rounded, lotion-y flowers in winter.


Three Kings

"Frankincense, myrrh, white sandalwood and light and dark ambers."

Before my review starts, I need to let you guys know that I sniffed this scent on my friend and it was sooo beautiful. It's just this beautiful halo of sweet church incense that makes you think of romanticized ancient cathedrals. I say romanticized because it's how you imagine gorgeous grand cathedrals would small like, without the decomposing wood bit that makes you think of haunted houses. Cathedrals like this:

Basically the kind you'll be jumping around in in Assassin's Creed
Image courtesy of Giuseppe Torre

On me, though...

Ok, at first, it starts off as old wood. Kinda incense-y, but not too bad. It's more of a church rather than an old Chinese temple sort of incense. As the scent starts to settle on my skin, there's a bit of stinging, acrid citrus and hints of liquorice. Ok...definitely not the gorgeous halo of incense I expected. Maybe it'll get better.

Nope. 20 min in and it's root beer. Root beer that has gone flat too, and smells way too sweet. Wtf skin??

Pretty much stays like this until the end, leaving behinds hints of old wood on my skin as it fades.

TL;DR: Root beer that has gone flat.

Overview: See? No idea what's happening! Frankincense and myrrh is my death combo since they often smell like whiteboard markers, but looking at the rest of the notes, nothing should be going root beer!



"Mulled wine and cider, (vegan) honey, fresh ginger and mulling spices."

This is a very American mall scent. I swear I smelled this in so many stores this Christmas while shopping in in the US. It's one of those Autumn apple cider-cranberry scents that you expect to come in red candles and probably has a picture of rustic tables, pine cones, cornucopias and stuff. I think the scent may have some orange in it too. Basically, how you expect this to smell like:

Knowing my luck, the entire display will catch fire if I attempt to recreate this...
Image courtesy of

In all fairness, the scent is gorgeous and it would never fail to draw me into a store. My mom and I would often start honing into a store while sniffing around like sniffer dogs just to find the source of this beautiful, berry scent.

Unfortunately, it's now lodged deep in my mind as a "mall scent" and I don't want to smell like a shopping mall. If you don't often go shopping in the US during Christmas, you'll probably like this though. I'm still planning to use it as linen mist because it's a scent you want to envelope yourself in to feel as if the Christmas cheer isn't over yet.

TL;DR: American malls.


Winter Pomander

"Based on a 14th century recipe, ambergris, orange, frankincense, myrrh, beeswax, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves."

This scent opens with a note that's very divisive –that orchid bitterness that smells like skunk to some. Unfortunately for me, it disappeared within 2-3 min and is quickly followed by a sharp, sweet lemon. It smells almost like dishwashing soap crossed with lemon cotton candy. Underneath, there's this chewy candy sort of scent.

It's relatively pretty after about 20 min, smelling more like a gourmet lemon cotton candy with hints of dishwashing soap. Fortunately, as the scent dries down, it stays more gourmet lemon candy than dishwashing soap. It's actually quite pretty, and I can see lots of people liking this scent, but lemon's not for me. Where's that skunk scent I like??

TL;DR: Gourmet lemon cotton candy with hints of dishwashing soap.

Overview: Yeah, I don't know what happened to this scent. Not sure how orange turned into lemon either.



"Juicy currants, cranberries, pomegranates, bayberries and vanilla bean."

Oh crap. Oh crap. Ok, there's berry candies, but along with them comes this purple chewable calcium supplements scent. That particular scent always makes me a tad nauseous so this isn't going well. Around 3 min in, the scent just turns into one of those cheap, purple, floral toilet sprays. I mean, it still smells nice enough since it's one of those scents that are popular in Indonesian bathrooms, but it's a cheap toilet spray scent. Dang, my skin really hates this scent.

Underneath, I can smell what smells like one of those really fancy potpourris, but overall, it's still cheap, purple, floral toilet spray. At least the purple chewable calcium supplement bit is gone.

And the purple chewable calcium supplement bit is back after 40 min. The scent is purple chewable calcium supplements and this really gorgeous purple candy plonked in water scent. I really do love the purple candy part, it smells like a gourmet purple candy that's made up of various berries, florals and teas to add a gourmet spin to a cheap candy. There's a sort of watery scent that makes me think of candies that have been plonked into water. Unfortunately, the calcium supplement bit is just gross.

TL;DR: Cheap, purple floral toilet spray.

Overview: DE's fruit notes just hate me.


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