Claire has got this nailed. The packaging and branding is stunning - check out her preview site here - and she has clearly put a lot of thought into the cohesiveness of the shop.
I got sample vials of Lolita, Shadow Show, The Awakening, Dullahan, and Southern Gothic. Claire sent me a quick message to let me know that some people had commented that the vials she was using here were leaky, so she had already gotten new ones. Mine arrived without leakage, but did leak a little when lying down on my (plastic) vanity table.
I tried to do these as blind as possible, but since other people had theirs before me and thus reviewed them before mine arrived, I had some hazy ideas when I tested a few of these out.
Crisp apple skins, tart peach candies, rose absolute, sugared violet
In the vial: some kind of candy, a sour one. Yum. On my skin, it was sour green apple candy and watermelon candy, but in an adult way. Yum some more. I need a bottle of this, stat. (Though my very generous sample size will suffice for now - they look to be 2ml vials rather than the standard 1ml.) It dries down to a sweet floral with a tinge of candy. The only downside is that I couldn't get more than four hours out of this, but looking at the notes, it makes sense. I love apples, but I expect no miracles of lasting from them. Not sure where I got the watermelon. And GUYS HOLD UP. There's a perfume with rose in it and I not only like it, I love it! Claire is an olfactory genius.
Tart mandarin, juicy red apple, natural coconut pulp, Magnolia grandiflora & Jasmine sambac absolute, over a base of sweet balsam and a touch of earthy white sandalwood
In the vial: some sort of bubblegum floral? A little spice? Hmmm. Not sure about this one. On my skin, the white floral dominates, with an added creamy sweetness. I don't love it, but I feel like someone who is more into florals will like it. I appreciate it for what it is. It's got great sillage, it was wafting around me for a good four hours, and then wore close to the skin for another four. Looking at the notes, I feel like my skin skipped the mandarin and apple (SKIN WE LOVE APPLE) and went straight for the flowers and balsam.
kettle corn, spun sugar, apple, machine oil, rusty metal, dirt
In the vial: mmm, popcorn! And something that reminds me of red liquorice. We always brought red liquorice to the theatres when we went as kids, and sniffing this reminds me of my dad taking the bag out of his coat pocket and carefully portioning it out to myself and my two brothers. On my skin, this is what I wanted Haus of Gloi's Ghost Puffs to be: the buttery saltiness of popcorn and a soft candy, not the overwhelming sweetness I got from Ghost Puffs. It dries down to a darker, salty candy, almost gritty..But not unpleasant. This one also has great sillage. I could smell it most of the morning before it hung closer, lasting nine hours all told.
Ocean air, dark water, damp mosses, gulf mud, saltwater taffy
In the vial: this smells...interesting. Clean air and wet dirt and something else. On my skin, it smelled exactly like those Elmer's gluesticks for the first couple minutes. Which is weird, to say the very least. That dissipated quickly, and I was left with some salt and dirt, and something wet and green, and something a little sweet. As it dries down, the other notes soften and merge with the sweet one, which is reminding me of the soft sugars in Solstice Scents' Snowshoe Pass. It's very pretty. The beginning was a bit off-putting, but I'm glad I stuck around. This wears close to the skin on me, and lasts about ten hours.
Black amber, oakmoss, a faded funeral bouquet, clattering wagon spokes and upturned earth
This is probably the only one I outright disliked, and I'm pretty sure it comes down to my personal preferences + how it wore on me.In the vial, it was very heady to my nose: heavy florals, a powdery scent, and a bit of dirt. It went very powdery on me. I ended up scrubbing it off because I felt way too much like an old lady. Any moment they were going to come bring me to the nursing home for nuns that my great-great aunt lived in when she was alive.
I'm definitely getting a bottle of Lolita, and probably Shadow Show. Plus now that I've gone and reread all of the scent descriptions, I see many more I'm going to need at least samples of.
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