The very last perfume purchase I made in 2016 was a fairly fitting one: Arcana Vanilla Craves Fireworks, a nice celebratory scent for the new year. I did a pretty good job of avoiding winter collections, but I still have the softest spot in my perfume-loving heart for Arcana and decided to get one of the scents that called to me the most. I already have plenty of scents that smell like Christmas trees and general festive things (like Solstice Scents Winslow's and One Hand Washes the Other Stuffed Stockings). And actually, I do have plenty of scents that are New Year's themed, but I can't resist a champagne note in a perfume. I also hadn't tried any of the Vanilla Craves scents. So despite the fact that I really don't need any more perfume oil now or possibly ever, I ordered Vanilla Craves Fireworks.
The scent is described as "The scent of New Year's Eve. Rich black leather accord, incense-infused dark vanilla, and a splash of champagne." I'm not really big on leather notes as a rule - I don't often buy scents with leather in them. See my About page where I explicitly say I don't like leather notes. I always find leather notes to be much heavier than the scent of leather is in reality. I like the scent of a new leather bag or wallet or something, but I've yet to find a leather note that has the same soft, supple scent.
However, my love of champagne and the fizziest of notes apparently trumps my dislike of leather. Is champagne my new favourite note? I mean, I refused to buy an apple scent that had rose in it and I dislike rose with about the same ferocity as I dislike leather...I'm going to set aside this possibly life-changing realization for the moment and focus on Vanilla Craves Fireworks.
It is pretty leather heavy. I can't get around that. The leather accord is dark, heavy, and dominant. On cold sniff from the bottle, it's dark leather and rich vanilla, with bright fizzy bubbles. The champagne seems almost at odds with the other parts of the scent. It's so bright and light and fun, while the other parts aren't.
Once on my skin, the vanilla almost totally vanishes. I get lots of black leather and champagne. As it sinks into my skin, the leather becomes mellower, and I think this where the vanilla went: smoothing out the leather. The leather that feels so harsh at the beginning of wear steps back some after an hour or so, and the scent becomes more balanced. The bite of the bubbles from the champagne is gone at this point, but it's still light and airy. This is the point where the scent became more harmonious to me, and made more sense. It's not even close to my usual preferences, but I really like it once it settles down on my skin. I've been wearing it a lot more than I expected after the first time I tried it out.
The throw is low-moderate, sticking close by but not so close that you can't get a whiff now and again. The longevity is wonderful, lasting ten hours on my skin. There is something to be said for darker, heavier perfumes! Though longevity usually isn't a problem for me.
Vanilla Craves Fireworks has been a happy surprise for me. So different from my usual fare, but then again, that seems to be the theme of 2017 so far, for me: stepping outside of my comfort zone and finding some happy surprises.
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