Monday, 13 October 2014

My first sniff of Alkemia

Alkemia, for whatever reason, is just one of those brands that I had never gotten around tor trying, though I'd been hearing about them for a while. I recently swapped for a bundle of samples, ordered a trio of full sizes, and received even more samples as a bonus from a Reddit sale (Thanks, Christine!). So I decided to finally give them all a go.

Alkemia is often mentioned as a company that people who are used to more mainstream scents should check out, because her scents smell like they could be in a department store. This is probably what has stopped me from giving them a whirl, because I am just not a mainstream perfume wearer. I had some Bath & Body Works sprays, I even had a bottle of Clinique Happy in high school...and they just aren't me. They do not suit me well and I don't like that "perfume-y" scent. So while all of the Alkemia scents I tried had great sillage, wonderful staying power (at least eight hours for all of them), and the shop has a super fast TAT, I don't think I'll be getting any more Alkemia. We were not meant to be. They all had that perfume-y scent, and while some I liked more than others, most did not wear very well on me at all. Which is sad, because I don't like finding out that a bunch of scents aren't working for me. 

(But on the upside, I will be rehoming a bunch of these in the near future.)



County Fair


The nostalgic scent of an old-fashioned American carnival midway - pink cotton candy, hot kettle corn, freshly fried dough, candied apples, and saltwater taffy.

This was my favourite one. I originally received a sample in a swap, and then purchased the full size because I liked it. It's a lovely blend of popcorn and candy without being too sweet or salty. It's a fun, late summer scent. Delicious and light.

Tronada


An homage to the Gods of Thunder - the scent of crackling ozone and wildly lashing rain tearing across a summer night. 

I picked this one up when grabbing County Fair - it was an LE reissue of a discontinued scent and I loved the description. It was sharp ozone at first, then ozone and cool rain, and then my dad's aftershave. My SO asked me if I'd been in his cologne sampler I got him from Sephora (first, I'm getting him hooked on scents. Then indies. This is a long-term game). It smells like generic cologne on me and super masculine, which is not my style at all. 

Summer Dandelion


An exuberant exultation of sun warmed dandelions and meadow grasses lightly dampened by fleeting summer rain showers. 

Another one I got while getting my full size of County Fair - I had read a number of rave reviews for this one. In the bottle, this smelled like summer grass and dandelion on a hot summer day. On my skin, it smelled like the idea of a dandelion rather than the dandelion I wanted it to be. It smelled kind of like a cheap floral body spray. At this point, I was starting to worry that most of these would not work on me. Summer Dandelion, I just want to smell like you do in the bottle!

Vert sur le vert

Green, green, green, and more freshly smooshed sweet greens - new grasses, new leaves, welcome new spring!

This smelled obnoxiously green in the vial. No way, right? On my skin, it smelled like the idea of green fresh grass and plants. It was weirdly sharp. And artificial. And gave me a headache. Had to be scrubbed. C'est un dommage. 

Trick or Treat

A grownup confection of black licorice, mandarin orange peel, caramelized brown sugar, bourbon vanilla, candied ginger, tonka bean, blonde patchouli, cedar tips, oakmoss, and sandalwood. Utterly sexy on both men and women...

In the vial, it smelled like cleaning supplies. Is my nose broken? Unsure at this point. On my skin, it smelled like orange candies, and cake and really sweet and good...before turning into a one-note black liquorice, which I cannot stand because black liquorice is one of my least favourite flavours. So...yuck. But if you like black liquorice, I would recommend it.

Vanilla Tropicale

As seductive as a tropical breeze through a bedroom window. A sexy elixir of Tahitian vanilla, frangipani, vanilla orchid, freshly split green coconut, white ginger blossoms, an effervescent splash of pineapple.

This is really pretty, a creamy floral vanilla. Definitely tropical. I like it quite a lot - too bad it's no longer available in the shop. It smells a lot like coconut on me, with vanilla tempering the coconut and flowers drifting in the background. A very summery scent.

Offering

Fir & resinous woods, offertory fruits, spiced ale, beeswax candles, a whisper of ritual incense, and freshly baked cakes dripping with wild honey

This smells clean and woody in the vial, with a hint of fruit and spice. On my skin it becomes pure cinnamon and incense. As it dries down, it got a touch of powder in with the spice. No, thanks.


A Roll in the Hay

A delightful summertime romp with dried hay, fresh green grass, early summer wildflower honey, vanilla grass, vanilla leaf, and wild poppy. 

This was really nice and grassy in the vial, with a hint of floral and sunshine. It smells like being outside in a field. It continued on my skin that way for about half an hour before becoming honeyed flowers. And it was so powdery, I felt like I was coated in it all over. Why? Why am I not smelling like a field right now, you non-cooperating skin and perfume oil? Urgh. Another non-winner.

Lux Aeternum

An homage to the return of the light and the unity of life and death. Red, ripe pomegranates and dark red roses illuminated by a radiant trinity of golden ambers

In the vial, this was sharp fruit, very strongly in your face fruity. On my skin, the fruit was super strong, but as it dried down it gave way to the evil rose. Actually, if you like roses, this is a beautiful rose scent. I can appreciate that, I'll admit. In fact, if I liked roses, I would love this. The rose and fruit are very well balanced and work beautifully together. But I don't like roses.

Salome

A seductively inspiring arrangement to pique the lustful imagination. An overture of not so innocent magnolia underscored with a sly caress of Queen of the Night, a fulsomeness of nubile black grapes and plums, skin musk bathed in spilled cognac, and ruthless twist of bitter orange, blended with an ancient Arabian love philtre of crushed vanilla and tonka bean, mysore sandalwood, vetiver, cedar, and red oud. 

This was strange, to me, at first. It smells like a very high-end perfume, something that would be found in a department store. Something that would be offered as a perfume strip in Elle or something. It smells rich and dark and fruity and mysterious. It is beautiful, really and truly, but I felt very unlike myself with it on. It has that perfume-y undertone, and it seems like a scent that would be offered to a classy businesswoman. 

So this was not a huge success. I don't think Alkemia and I were meant to be, which is such a shame (though my budget is breathing a sigh of relief). I have heard nothing but good things about this shop, however, and I can agree wholeheartedly that I had a good shopping experience, just that my skin and nose don't like them. 

You can check out Alkemia's Etsy here.

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