Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Once More, Apples

I've been flirting with many other notes over the past few years, and have settled on a bevy of notes that will get me to look at a perfume. Lots of fruit notes will pull me in, like peaches and berries and grapefruit, but other notes, like vanilla, woodsmoke, grasses, tree notes, cake notes, anything effervescent...it's quite a lengthy list of notes, and certain combinations will always catch my eye. But above all (and if you've been reading this blog with any regularity, you know this), I'm drawn to apples. Apple notes are still far and away my favourite, and pursuit of the perfect apple scent is one that drew me into indie perfumes in the first place. And as I became more familiar with perfume, I longed for more interesting apple scents. Fall is a good season for this, perfume-wise; apples are harvested in the fall and so many perfumeries churn out apple scents.

To me, this is basically akin to heaven. In delicious, apple-y form. As we move into the time of year where apples become crappy and even more expensive to buy for us northern-dwellers, I think it's time for me to remember fresh, delicious apples. Apples are not even my favourite fruit, though I do enjoy them very much - strawberries take the honour of being my very favourite - but the smell of a fresh apple is second to none. 

I acquired a number of fine apple scents last fall (and info the winter), mainly from Arcana and Sixteen92. Both perfumeries obliged me by having a variety of apple scents this year, and for that, I thank them.

I tend to prefer fresh apples, over cider or gourmand apple scents, but Arcana Apples Crave Cider (a Pretty Indulgent exclusive) grabbed my eye in the Ravenous II part of the fall release. I like apple cider, but a lot of apple cider scents end up being more spice than apple on me, and I want something that's more apple with only a hint of spice. An accurate portrayal of a spiced apple cider. (I had an absolutely fabulous hot cider from a cafe here on Saturday. Though I still miss my favourite cold pressed apple cider in Halifax). The notes list for Apples Crave Cider is "Bright, spiced apple cider drizzled with honey and a small wisp of smoke." 

Being a noted honey hater, I was a little bit nervous about the honey, but went ahead anyway. Apples Crave Cider is in fact that perfect cider scent: loads of apples, a hint of spice, and a dash of sweetness. In the bottle, it is a hot mulled apple cider, complete with a very realistic juiced apple note and cinnamon. I also pick up a bit of the smoke - it's very solidly in the background and remains there for the entirety of wear. On my skin, it is much the same. Honey notes tend to go powdery on me, but I never pick up any obvious honey or powder while wearing it. It's got decent sillage, being detectable from comfortable sitting distance, and it's got great staying power, lasting fourteen hours on my skin.

Switching gears completely, Apples Crave the Tropics is not a traditional fall scent - or a standard apple scent - at all. It was originally released in the fall of 2014, and was rereleased with the Ravenous II collection this year. I was gifted it by a friend, and I'm very glad that she picked this up for me. This reads much more like a summer scent. I think it's because coconut will always be a summery scent to me. The official description is "Lots of green apple and sweet coconut flesh with sexy tuberose, Tahitian Tiare petals, and a drop of lime."

In the bottle, Apples Crave the Tropics smells of tart fruit and florals. I get a lot of the tuberose in the bottle. On my skin, it starts off with a burst of green apples and the tanginess of the lime. This is probably my favourite part of the wear - it's so bright and fresh and summery. As it dries down, the coconut starts to come out more, and the florals return to round out the scent. It becomes a tangy, apple-tinged coconut with a hint of fresh florals. Apples Crave the Tropics isn't especially apple-based, compared to the rest of the scents in this post, but it is an interesting use of apple, and I really, really, really like it. The green apple + lime combo is excellent. It tends to hug pretty close to my skin, and lasted about seven hours on me, fading to a tangy coconut.

Nereids is from the Sunk Lyonesse collection of fall 2015. This is closer in category to Apples Crave the Tropics than Apples Crave Cider but is not really like either. Instead of fruits, this is far more aquatic and floral than fruity. Described as "Shimmering water, sweet apples, Tiare, rain, pink jasmine, green musk, and wildflowers," it has four things I'm crazy about (water, apples, rain and wildflowers), two things I'm neutral about (Tiare, green musk) and one thing I must have skipped over when I gunned it for this scent (pink jasmine). This is such an interesting scent - very pretty, but not what I expected, though to be honest, I'm not sure what I really expected from the description. In the bottle, it smells mainly of water and sweet flowers. It's very fresh and very cool. On my skin, it still smells like water and flowers, but takes on a very perfume-y scent. After a few minutes, it settles down to a soft water scent, with a fresh, sweet apple (like pink lady or honeycrisp) and soft flowers, similar to Apples Crave the Tropics, likely because of the Tiare. This one also sticks pretty close to the skin, and lasts about six hours on me.

Sixteen92 Last Exit for the Lost is a return to the classic fall apple scent. Nothing too daring here. Described as "Orchard apples, woven wood baskets, dried hay, distant chimney smoke on cool air," It smells as it sound. In the bottle, it's fresh apples, a bit of wood, dry grass, and a whiff of smoke that gets into your nose and stays there. On my skin, it starts as musty wood. The straw gives it a musty quality, as does the smoke. I don't get a ton of apple to begin with, which is kind of surprising, and it never comes out very strongly on me, which may be part of why I'm mostly indifferent about this one. The apple takes on a sweet aspect, and ends up working to counteract the mustiness of the wood-hay-smoke combo, but never quite succeeds for me. I smell a bit like an antique store. Meh. 

The fact that this doesn't work very well on my skin, plus the fact that it isn't a terribly exciting apple scent - nothing too off the beaten track. A solid choice, but I have things too similar to this already. The sillage is moderate - not too strong, not too close to the skin - and it lasts about six hours on my skin.

Bourbon Apple Cider was a pleasant surprise - I bought it on a whim, but TAT plus shipping time gave me too much time to think about it and so I wasn't the least bit excited when it finally got to me. The description is "warm spiced cider spiked with Kentucky bourbon and drizzled with buttery caramel." First off, we've already established that I'm picky about my apple scents. Secondly, I don't really like caramel. And thirdly, of all hard liquors, I don't really love bourbon (my truckload of free bourbon was taken by my partner for the temporary dissolution of our household this year). So why did I buy this? What compelled me to click buy? Probably the apple in the name, which is possibly the stupidest reason to buy something ever.

And yet, I totally love Bourbon Apple Cider. Go figure. In the bottle, it smells of warm, buttery caramel and booze. I don't think it smells like any particular spirit, just general booziness. It's actually kind of like what I think Butterbeer should smell like. There's a very subtle suggestion of spice in the background of the scent. On my skin, it become fresh, sweet apples, booze, and warmth. The caramel folds into the apple to create a sort of caramel apple scent, which I really like. The suggestion of spice remains that, a suggestion. And the bourbon remains a boozy edge to the caramel apple sweetness. When I first tried this out, after not letting it rest at all, I didn't get any caramel at all. After settling for several weeks, the caramel has come out and I think it's a great addition to the scent. The sillage on this one is moderate, and it lasts about five hours on my skin.

So many apple scents, so little wrist space. In my great destash project, I've even been surrendering apple scents that aren't interesting (interesting, of course, being my own interpretation of that word) or too similar to things I already have. So I was pleased to note that my apple scent acquisitions of the last six months are all markedly different from one another, and (mostly) different from things I already have. 

Do you have any notes you go crazy over? A signature note?


  1. Your review of Nereids makes me really want to try it, and I usually stay away from florals.
    As for notes I go crazy over.... Vanilla, patchouli, beeswax/smoke, and cognac are my favorites.
    I am trying out Solstice Scents Snowmint Mallow tonight. I usually stay far away from coconut scents, but this is so light I ordered a full size :)

    1. Snowmint Mallow is so good! I love it.

      I'm not big on florals, but occasionally the mix of flowers + water pulls me. I prefer softer florals, and points for being green.


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