Friday, 28 August 2015

Sunsets and Seas: Most of the Scents

The samples reviewed in this post were sent to me for free. I did not receive any compensation for this post. 

Sunsets and Seas is a new bath and body shop located in Canada. It's owned by Christine, the same proprietress of the cosmetics brand HelloWaffle - I believe the reasoning for a second shop was because the HelloWaffle brand wasn't quite right for what she had in mind for a bath and body shop. Since HelloWaffle is named for a cat, I can get behind that (it's here that you learn that I don't really care for pets, don't have one of my own, have no intention of getting pets anytime soon, and would be perfectly happy to live out the rest of my days pet-free. My partner wants to get cats, though. So I don't think my pet-free life is going to last). The name Sunsets and Seas is a little more evocative of pleasant-smelling things. Or at least it conveys pretty images. 

I was going to put up another of my endless pictures of sunsets on the ocean, but I decided to refrain. For now.

When I was asked to test these scents (possibly I volunteered really exuberantly and she felt like she had to send them to me? Let's go with asked, because it makes me sound more famous than I am) I pointed out that the shop name was similar to my blog name, so we should collaborate. And by collaborate, I mean I would be forcing a shop owner into catering to my whims and working on an apple line. Because I need more apple perfumes in my life. There's just never enough. 

Back to the scents and away from my apple obsession.

I didn't subject these to my usual testing (rest for two weeks, wear each scent three times for a full day, separately) because I wanted there to be some kind of impression out there for people who may be looking into the scents. Later, I will add some updates to this post when I've been able to fully test them, and hopefully talk a bit about the body products. Each of these scents rested a couple of days (fortunately, Ottawa to Halifax is one of the shorter jaunts my orders take) and were tested for about five hours. I divided the group in three and tested a group each day. I also didn't get all of the scents, but I have most of them.

The samples come in the standard 1ml vials - the squat vials I have there not the official ones.

Haunted Hayride

Fall is probably my favourite season. The brisk autumn air and changing leaves makes for the best outdoor activities. Don't be fooled by the notes, Haunted Hay Ride is a delightfully fruity blend. 

Notes: Fig, Black and Red Currant, Sweet Hay, Tobacco, Woodsmoke, Vanilla 

I don't really know how to feel about this one. In the vial, and almost immediately on my skin smelled like spicy grass. Something about it reminded me of carnations. It then morphed into a fruitier take on this. It started to go a little soapy on me after a couple of hours. This one wasn't really working on me, overall, however, and I suspect the currant notes may have something to do with this, as currant notes typically don't play well with my skin. The hay note was extremely realistic - very golden and crisp. The sillage was on the moderate end.

Updated review (October 2015): This one darkened quite a bit with resting. In the vial, it's a dirty, smoky, grassy note. On my skin it's got a heavy feel, very rich vanilla tobacco and smoke. There's a bright fruity bit in it too. I don't really like it very much, but it is interesting, I will admit that. The sillage is quite good, and it gets fruitier and smokier as it dries down. It lasted eight hours on my skin.

For Your Dreams

A sparkling confection of sweet citrus and fruits! A bright and fruity scent for your inner femme. 

Notes: Guava, Passionfruit, Grapefruit, 2 Musks, Watery Florals, and Pink Lotus Absolute.

The grapefruit is the most dominant note in this perfume in the vial, and I love it, because I've been very into grapefruit lately.

I don't even like eating grapefruit. Also it reacts negatively with a lot of drugs, so the care in eating it is too much effort for me. However, my cousins and I once got into a pitched battle about the proper way to eat grapefruit - never mind that none of us eat it all that often. I think it may have originated from the discovery of a grapefruit spoon at the cottage. Just one, though. It's where utensils go to die.

I think I expected this scent to be sweeter, but it's not sweet at all. It's hard to pick out the individual notes - it smells like tropical fruits, like grapefruit the most, but I think it's because I've had very little exposure to things like guava and passionfruit. It's got an aquatic tinge to it, but the focus is on the fruit. The sillage is on the moderate end. I like this one - definitely want to see how this one is after it rests a bit more. I think it would be an awesome bath scent. 

Updated review (October 2015): This one remained the same after sitting. It reminds me of shampoo or soap, honestly - I still think it's better suited to bath products than straight perfume oil. It's quite linear, and the sillage starts out moderate, before hugging closer to the skin. It lasts about six hours on me.

Let's Go to the Orchards

Creamy apples, fresh apples, green apples, all the apples! Opens with a burst of juicy apples, mellows to a creamier apple. An apple lover's delight. 

Notes: Green Apples, Cream, Vanilla

I am positive that this one needs to sit some more, since the apple is not as present as the description says, and apple is a top note that usually requires some rest. In the vial, it reminds me of green apple candy: very sweet but also tart. On my skin, it's a burst of apples, followed by a slightly spicy grass smell. As it dried down, it morphed into a cream scent, with hints of grass and apple. The sillage is on the lower end of moderate.

I also purchased some things from the shop during a soft launch, and picked up this scent in lotion form. It was much heavier on the apples, and was far more balanced, being a creamy green apple and grass scent. 

Updated review (October 2015): This one stayed much the same after resting. The apple note was more prominent and lasted a bit longer, but it followed the same path as it did fresh out of the mailbox. The sillage on this is moderate, and it lasts about six hours on my skin.


A rich and deep vanilla. Slightly boozy yet creamy. Sweet but not at all gourmand. Divine. 

I've already confessed my indifference to vanilla - I like it, but vanilla-focused scents are not really my thing. I think that if you're looking for a good vanilla scent, this is a good one. It's not too foodie or boozy or sweet. It's a well-balanced vanilla. It does get a little sweeter on my skin after about an hour, but never crosses over into the food territory. It remains flirty with the line. The sillage on this one started out pretty strong, but (thankfully) moved back to a more moderate throw.  

Updated review (October 2015): This remained the same. A sweet, well-balanced vanilla. The sillage on this was a little more uniform, being low-moderate for the majority of wear. It lasted for six hours on my skin.


Damp wood and heavy musk fill the air as two ambers compete for dominance while a single lone rose rises up from the depths. The epitome of old. Not for the fainthearted. Dark, earthy, and musty.

Notes: Musk, Fossilized Amber, Old Paper, Cedarwood, Agarwood, and Dried Rose.

The epitome of old, all right. When I first put this on, I smell like an old lady. I knew I wasn't going to love this scent. Amber? Rose? Blech. I tried to erase my bias before putting it on. I think it only sort of worked. In the vial, this smells like wood and that ashy sort of note that often accompanies paper scents. It almost smells like an old leather bound book, but not quite. I am an expert on the scent of books, though to be completely honest, I care much less about the scent of books now than I did as a starry-eyed undergrad. I don't love Papier, but I am pleasantly surprised. After the old lady smell dissipated a little, it was a soft, old piece of paper, with a hint of wood, and a few flower petals. The rose is almost unnoticeable, which was surprising, since rose tends to amp on my skin, which angers me to no end. The sillage is on the lower end. I appreciate that this is a very different turn from the mostly fruity, sweet scents I've tried so far. 

The Last Harvest

Is picking season over already? This is the last of summer's harvest. A freshly green but fruity blend. 

Notes: Strawberries, Raspberries, Clover, Benzoin, Caramel, Vanilla

THIS ONE. This is delicious. In the vial, it's super tart, reminding me a bit of green apples. On my skin, it sweetens up a little, but it's still pretty tart. It's got a bit of creaminess to it. But mostly just tart fruit. It borders on being candy, and I love it. I wonder if I'll ever get tired of smelling like candy. Certainly not right now. As it dries down, it continues to balance, becoming a a little greener but the fruit also becoming more noticeably berry-like. The vanilla remains in the back. The sillage is moderate.

Updated review (October 2015): This is still my favourite scent - I picked up a 5ml rollerball of it because I love it. It has remained fairly true to my original review. Over time, it comes more of a tangy, candied vanilla, and after a couple of hours of wear, hugged much closer to the skin. It lasts around five hours on my skin.

Forever Young

A lovely sweet scent consisting of juicy peaches, ripe coconut, and french vanilla.

In the vial, this smells like syrupy sweet peaches and coconut cream. It's pretty straight-forward, peaches and coconut cream. I like that the coconut aspect adds a nice twist to the peaches and cream thing. It's simple, but sweet and a good scent. Nothing amazing or brilliant, but a good choice regardless. The sillage is moderate.

Updated review (October 2015): This one really benefited from resting. I actually like it a lot more now. It's much fruitier, and once on my skin, is a great, fresh, peach. The coconut is more in the background for the first hour or so, until it emerges to blend with the peach. The vanilla smooths the blend out. It fades to a lovely peaches and vanilla scent, with a hint of coconut. The sillage remained moderate, and it tends to last about 4 hours on my skin.

Candied Pears

The sweetest candied pears coupled with Sunsets & Seas Vanille. Sugary, gourmand, and sticky.  

Notes: Sugared Pears, Apple, Caramel, Vanilla, Musk

There should be more pear scents. I like pears almost as much as I like apples. A ripe, delicious pear is a true treat. However, this isn't a pure fruit scent - it's definitely a very sweet, very sugary scent. It borders on too sweet for me (I read a few weeks ago that children have no limit on the sugar they can consume. It's only when you become an adult that things can be too sweet. Not sure how factual it is, because I only read it in passing, but it certainly is interesting, and reflective of my experiences, at least). It starts off with a super sweet, tangy pear and apple scent. It brings to mind something liberally covered in sugar. Like the way sour candies look. It mellows out as it dries down, becoming less ridiculously sweet, but still pretty damn sugary. It's super sweet fancy fruit. I think it's a bit much to wear as perfume, but it would be a great bath bomb. The sillage is moderate.

Love and Musk

5 different musks mesh with Sunset & Seas’ Vanille base to create this gorgeous sensual scent. Fresh.

Notes: Musk, Vanilla, Jasmine, Soft Orchid

Musks and I are not really friends. This one is...okay. It's musky. How unsurprising. In the vial, it smells like creamy musk and something floral. Lily, maybe? I didn't read the notes till after writing this because I find anything with musk in the name to be something too musky for me. And so this one is. It's a lightly vanilla'd musk on my skin - not sweet, just a little bit softened from WHOA MUSK. It also got a little bit powdery on my skin. Not a fan. The sillage is very comfortably on the lower moderate part of the range, so I'm not causing anyone headaches.


A few years ago, I used commute to work along the Bay of Quinte. On one side were farm fields and on the other were the rolling waves of Lake Ontario. This scent evokes the warmest memories from that time, to the best job I’ve ever had.

Notes: Fresh Cut Grass, Sweet Hay, Honey, Ocean Breezes, Ozone

In the vial, this smells like grass. Like fresh cut grass next to an overgrown field. On my skin, there's a cooler note, very fresh and crisp. This is so realistic - green and fresh and I feel like I'm wandering (okay, crashing because I am not even a little bit graceful) through the field at my cottage on a hot summer day. I was a tiny bit worried about the honey because honey almost never goes well on me, but it didn't shove its powdery nose into my little love affair with the grass and breeze. It dries down to a softer, sweeter grass scent.The sillage on this is on the lower end.

Updated review (October 2015): I also picked this one up in a 5ml rollerball. The honey is a little more prominent after resting, but it's still a golden sunny day, with fresh cut grass and cool ocean air. I'm still completely enamoured with it. The sillage seemed stronger the more I wear it - moving from lower to a more moderate throw. It lasts about eight hours on my skin.

I couldn't help myself. This is from 2009.

I hesitate to make any definitive statements, but I do like what I've tried of Sunsets and Seas so far. I think the scents overall are probably more suited to bath products, but there's a decent variety, and I found a few that I liked pretty well as straight perfume oils. I'm excited about the fact that there's a bath product shop relatively near to me. That two day shipping is so rare for me. I'm looking forward to see how these age up a bit, but I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a larger size of Breezes and The Last Harvest at some point (depending on my patience).

You can check out Sunsets and Seas here.

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