Saturday, 19 July 2014

A Long Overdue Review: Common Brimstone

So way back in May, I ordered for the first time from Common Brimstone, a UK-based company. (You can read the review here.) I fell in love with one of the mystery samples, Erzulie. In my package came a card with a 10% off code, so I decided to take the plunge before my June no buy, and ordered some full sizes, plus the lovely Erzulie. 

A problem that a not-insignificant number of people have had with Common Brimstone's oils is longevity. I am happy to say my skin doesn't gobble them up, but they aren't long-lived on me: the average wear time was between four and five hours, which is not great, but not totally awful either.

Along with my oils, I picked up a solid. For those who liked Common Brimstone but issue with the oils may want to look at the solids. I got an easy eight hours from my solid, and could probably stretch it out longer if it wasn't so hot right now. The solids come in chapstick tubes a little bit wider than Haus of Gloi's lip balm tubes, and are pretty soft and easy to apply. They do seem more susceptible to melting than my other solids (OHWTO, Darling Clandestine, Alchimia Apothecary, Paintbox Soapworks and some others). It was incredibly soft when I applied some just now and it was looking glossier than normal.. 

All the scents, plus Erzulie, who has been reviewed in the link above.

Onto the scents!

Toffee Apple Tea
The tea junkie in me strikes again! Top notes of baked apple and brown sugar melt away into sticky toffee and a marvelous black tea absolute. This is a great unisex winter scent - warm and mellow with just a hint of fruity sweetness.

This is my solid perfume from Common Brimstone. This is toffee and apples. I really don't get very much tea in this, maybe a bit at the tail end of wearing it. It's primarily apples and toffee. Lots of toffee. Definitely not for those who don't have a sweet tooth. I found it almost cloying at times - it's one that requires me to be jonesing for some candy or something, because it's got decent sillage and sticks around, as I mentioned above.

Second Breakfast

Not just for hobbits. A tangy start of apples gives way to porridge with just a hint of almond and nutmeg before finishing with a herby base of basil, thyme and fresh grass.

This one smells like breakfast. Shocker, right? It's got a delightfully oaty, herby base with bits of apples. I am very fond of this. I think it will do well on cold winter mornings, when a hot bowl of oatmeal is needed.

Bonfire Night

The singularly British tradition of reminiscing fondly on that one time terrorists tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Well, for me November 5th was always more about fireworks, toffee apples, and writing your name in the air with sparklers. This nostalgic scent captures those memories perfectly, with hints of baked apples and marshmallows spiked with warm cinnamon. There's a dollop of sticky toffee and orange peel on top, and a whisper of woodsmoke underneath. A wonderful scent for welcoming these cold winter nights!

I am obligated to own all of the perfumes that reference Guy Fawkes Day, because while I am not British, my birthday is November 5th. So of course, I snapped up this one. It smells smoky and spicy and a little bit sweet in the bottle and turns into a softly smoky, spicy candy scent.  It's decidedly a fall perfume, and while I don't usually adhere to seasons in scent or makeup, this one just feels wrong in the summer heat. It's lovely, but I'm putting it away for the fall.


Inspired by the Lilac Woods where our Last Unicorn roamed, Amalthea is a soft floral blend of wisteria, magnolia and lilac, with a touch of fruity blackberry musk on a bed of white amber and sandalwood. Utterly feminine and wistfully magical.

This one I actually didn't buy from Common Brimstone, I swapped with a fellow redditor for it. In the bottle it's a softly berried white floral. It's really pretty and not my usual choice for perfume, but very nice nonetheless. It seems more "traditional" than most of my other perfumes. Not my favourite, but I do like it enough to keep it around. It reminds me a bit of my mom, which I haven't figured out why yet. My mom doesn't wear perfume. But scent memory is a funny thing.

I like all of the perfumes I've bought from Common Brimstone. I would recommend getting samples first (please don't follow my reckless example) to see how the oils last on your skin.

You can find Common Brimstone here.


  1. Thanks for the review! I'm on the hunt for some indie perfumes, but I have no idea where to begin.

    1. If you don't have any idea about what you like/dislike, perhaps go the thread on /r/indiemakeupandmore and ask for some suggestions! If you haven't been already.

      I recommended to someone else to start with Firebird Bath and Body, because she does relatively simple perfumes, they're really well done, and it may help you figure out what you like and don't like.


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