Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve in St. Petersburg, FL
Hello, all! Happy New Year to you. I hope your holidays were wonderful, and I wish you lots of light and a prosperous year to come. I had hoped to get my Nocturne Alchemy Holiday order reviews up in December, but I got so busy after Thanksgiving that it didn't happen, and I am sorry for that. I rarely make resolutions, but I do try to set goals for myself, and this year I want to be more organized about writing, including here at Zombiiesque. (Plus, I am overdue for a little redesign for both sites, so that's another goal!) I am going to get my second post in the seasonal series up this month, NA for winter. 
But I'd like to talk about some of my favorite perfumes from Nocturne Alchemy for 2019, a look back. It was a stellar year of releases, including some PC (Permanent Collection) releases, and a good bit of additions to the SL (Studio Limited) section, which has always been one of my favorite sections of their catalogue! I will also be including perfumes that I had rediscovered in 2019 after socking them away to age, as there were many that really delighted after some time to sit.
I'll start out though, with the seasonal offerings that I loved. The year for NA started after a little break, as it will this year, with the Valentine, and Valentine Resurgence, LCs (Limited Collections). By the way, you can find the entirety of the LC releases and the notes over at the Nocturne Alchemy LC Archives, if you ever need them! From the Resurgence, I have and love Vanilla Wedding Cake - I usually shy away from the more gourmand perfumes, but I find myself opening up to those more and more, because NA is really wooing me with what are, for me, very wearable gourmands - and if you've been reading Zombiiesque for any length of time, it's obvious my wheelhouse are the woods/resins/incense/musks.  This year they came out with two new things that I found extremely intriguing, the NA Bunnies, and the Candied series. I actually did some swapping to get my Valentine perfumes, which is always fun, and wound up with Speckle Bunny, Star Bunny, and Midnite Bunny. I originally got a sample of Midnite Bunny, and didn't know if I was going to care for it, as sometimes spices can go seriously awry on me, but wow, it knocked me off my feet. It's SEXY. I love all three Bunnies that I got, but Midnite Bunny was the surprise hit for me. And I wound up with a full sized Candied Egyptian Musk, and a sample of Candied Crimson - and those are both glorious! I think I would probably love the frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood variations, too, but those two musks are just beautiful. This collection also saw the Bastet’s Ice Cream bois d’epices et de crème, which was new. I received a sample of the Teak & Sandalwood, and I thought it might be something that would smell great on a man. So I made my fiance experiment with it - and W O W. Also wound up going back and buying a full sized bottle for him because it was just jaw dropping - if you have the opportunity to try this out (on your guy, or yourself if you are a guy reading this) I highly recommend it. It works on me too, but it is just perfection on him. 
Sadly, I missed out on both of the Spring LCs, but I was wearing a lot of the Art of Love/Art of Literature , and falling for them all over again. Those were huge collections, and an absolute treasure trove of wonderful scents - Enigma, Overseer, Pandora, Music, Ophelia, Holy Grail....the list goes on and on. I also wore the Bunnies and Candied Crimson/Candied Egyptian Musk long into spring, as well as some of my beloved PCs.
July brought the Summer LC collections, and Oh. My. Gods, the beginning of the Eternal Egypt Anniversary collection. As Eternal Egypt is one of my desert island scents, I was....a little obsessed. I have three of the first round, EE Vanille, Santal, and Ambre, and adore all three, huge favorites this year. Still wearing them well into winter. They also did the Eternal Summer subcollection, and my other favorite was absolutely Eternal Egypt Summer and I wore it so, so much. Sublime. Really a stunner of a chypre! I also have really loved so much of the Summer Teas and Tea Service, and have written about so many of them. They are constantly in rotation in the summer for me, especially, of course, my beloved Green Tea Crimson, and this summer was no exception, as it's also one of my fiance's favorites. But they also came out with some new offerings and of those I got Chamomile, Vanilla, & Spice Tea, which sounded very intriguing - and Agave Nectar from the Tea Service. Highly recommend them both, and they pair absolutely perfectly together! I also had missed Apricot Sugar the year before, and my best friend, who is also my skin twin, loved that one so much, I made sure to pick it up from the Resurgence. Whew, am I glad I did - I love it with literally everything I have tried. It's extremely versatile, and so beautiful.
September, Bastet's Bazaar came rolling in - and I was swept off my feet by her ChakRA collection. Oh, if I had only been able to get the whole thing! I would have loved to do it. I managed to get three of these - Ajna, the dark blue one, Svadhishthana, the orange, and Muladhara, the red. Truly all three ChakRAs I have are fantastic, absolute perfection. Wonderful for meditation. And they continued the Eternal Egypt Anniversary celebration with Bastet's Bazaar, so I grabbed Eternal Egypt Incense - and I. Freaking. Love. IT! Might...just my favorite of all of them. But it's hard to choose.
Okay, with that we are falling headlong into my favorite collection of the year, NAlloween. Pfffft no self restraint, and I loved everything I grabbed. I rediscovered V by Thoth, and it had aged into something so, so swoonworthy. And my bottle of The Mummy Returns - it, too, had changed so much. I loved it fresh, but aged? I was completely obsessed and wore it so much this fall. I was able to grab Pirate Rum for my fiance, as his absolute favorite scent by NA is Ghost Ship, and they have a similar vibe, although they're different. Can absolutely report that Pirate Rum is fantastic on him, also. Scarlet Bat from last year also got a lot of love, and as a matter of fact I just wore it again for the end of the year. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention Seth's Sleepyceratops, I wore this all year this year, and it is a wonderful sleep scent.  But I haven't even touched on the new Halloween release, and....I just went for it. I got Blood, Blackout, Blood Queen, Moonsand, Mummy's Spirit, and Skeletonic....all were huge wins for me. And of course, the fan favorite this year was Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat - whew. It was a DO NOT MISS. Absolute perfection, and very worthy of being a fan favorite! The sample they gave out this year was for the PC offering, they do a new Halloween scent every year, and Halloween 2020 is just not to be missed. Seriously, what stellar fall offering. I loved every single one of my choices!
The Holiday collection is probably my second favorite of the year. Last year, they came out with the two Copals - Vanilla and Sandalwood - and they were instant fan favorites. I knew I was going to love them both, so I did grab them last year, but I was not prepared for how much MORE beautiful they had become with age! Unfh. So those both got a lot of wear starting in November for me, and I wore Sandalwood Copal for New Year's Day, too. From the Resurgence collection, though, I really fell for Holiday Rex this year, hatching it with several vanillas and finding it was perfect every time. Vampire Cardamom Bat was a surprise hit for me last year, and I found myself reaching for it so many times this year. It's such a snuggly scent. I have to tell y'all, I missed out on Cherry Bourbon Vanille last year, and I regretted not grabbing it, so I definitely went back for it, and it became a surprise favorite this year. I love that tobacco note! It's so beautiful. That brings me into the new Holiday LC release, and ... wow, there was so much that sounded like perfection, so I kinda threw myself headfirst into it and did not have a single miss. I picked up, and love, Crystalline Chai, Vanilla Dreams, Private Universe, and Royal Elephant. Vanilla Dreams is an amazing, cozy, sleep scent. Crystalline Chai feels like snuggling in a comfy chair with a throw blanket, with snow falling outside. Yep, it really gave me quite a visual response! And of course, the last two Eternal Egypt Anniversaries came out - EE Frankincense, and EE Myrrh. Had to get them both, and I am so glad I did - they are lovely worn on opposite wrists, and lovely layered together. 
Okay. Whew! That's just the LCs, y'all. And I .... I love them all. So maybe I will break this into a second part, to talk about my PC loves from 2019 tomorrow. I'd hate to overwhelm y'all!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy Halloween 2019 - Part Two

Hey y'all! Gonna dive right into these scents, today I'm reviewing the Resurgence scents that I have from the Nocturne Alchemy Halloween LC release. If you'd like to read my reviews of the new releases I chose, you can click here.  NAlloween has always, and likely always will, be my favorite Limited Collection they do! I have so many treasures in my Halloween box.
Scarlet Bat - Red Sugar, Crimson Musk, Black Tea Leaves, Neroli-sugar, and NA Black Patchouli Absolute. Okay, my friend Heather picked this one up before I did last year, and she fell head over heels for it. I was already eying it, because I had two previous Vampire Patchouli Bats that I loved, and it had Crimson in it. It had to be a gimme. Like this year's Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat, it was a stunner right out of the mail - and it's only gotten better as it ages. Seriously, it's utterly fabulous. Slinky and sexy, and I think even if you ordinarily don't like patchouli, you might find yourself surprised by this one. Put simply, this is sugared red musk and patchouli. Crimson is a softer red musk than Kashmir, but there's almost a spiciness to it. This just warms up on the skin and reaches out, pulls you in. I crave this one when I haven't worn it in a while. For me, my two favorites of the Vampire Patchouli Bats are the Bourbon, and Scarlet. Neither is to be missed. And I don't find it to be like anything I have in my collection, either.
V by Thoth - Incense, Sweetened spices of Cardamom, Cinnamon, Allspice and clove swirled with Vanilla pods, Ghost Musk and Copal Resin. V was a fan favorite last year - and for good reason. It's part of a set of 7 perfumes, each one designed by a House of NA perfumer. I remembered that I have another favorite Halloween perfume that Thoth did: Frank's Monster. I love that one, so I was pretty excited when I saw V was done by Thoth, too. Y'all, I have a lot of incense perfumes. They're something I just can't resist. Okay, confession time: I did love this one, I thought it was a beautiful perfume, but I didn't really get it until I pulled it back out after aging it over the year. I thought I perhaps had similar perfumes...well. I was wrong. I tried it again a few weeks ago, when the weather started to cool down here in Florida, and it absolutely floored me. It was like I was experiencing a whole new perfume - this is positively SPECTACULAR. Very, very different from my other incense perfumes, and it might just be my favorite yet. I don't know what Ghost Musk is, but if it's that beautiful musk I'm smelling here, I could go for a full 10ml bottle of it. It reminds me a bit of Egyptian Musk, but not quite as sweet - very clean, and very appealing - floaty. I think that's it, and if so....Y'ALL, PLEASE MAKE THIS I WANT IT! Hahaha. I think I might like Ghost Musk better than Cemetery Musk, and I love that one too. Anyway - I'm dwelling. This is balanced against a light incense, and the spices are very much in the background, just a nice warm hum of support. But the copallll. I'm sure everyone knows copal rules my world, when we discuss favorite notes. It adds a lovely smoky, slightly sweet depth to this. I'm fully mesmerized. Thoth has outdone himself. I think this is backup worthy. So, a lesson to be had here, and one I realize quite often - if you don't really love something, put it aside for a while, and see what happens when you return to it. And I want to reiterate, I really did like this - but I didn't see, last year, what I was supposed to see with it - aging it and trying it when the weather was a little cooler and dryer really changed my perspective of it, and now it's become an obsession and a Halloween favorite. If you were looking at this one and wondering if you need it - let me ask, do you like musk and incense? If so, you'd better run and get this before it goes away.
The Mummy Returns - Patchouli, Vetiver, Australian Sandalwood, Cardamom, Frankincense, Myrrh, Rock Rose, Labdanum, Siam Benzoin and Tonka Bean. I made a little mistake, and it's the first time I've ever done this. I usually have a solid idea of what I have in my boxes, particularly my Halloween box, but I ordered The Mummy Returns this year thinking I missed it last year, but after my order came in, I was digging into my Halloween box and pulled aged bottle of The Mummy Returns. Yep. So I'll be putting up my new one for swap. At any rate, it just really proved to me about the differences aging makes in Nocturne Alchemy's perfumes, so I kind of enjoyed realizing the contrasts! The Mummy Returns is a resin lover's dream. It's a deep, dark, witchy scent. I love the balance between the sweeter notes, like the myrrh and cardamom, and the woods. I'm writing this based on my aged bottle, and it's just so....well, at the risk of sounding dramatic, it's deep and mystical, and I'll probably be using this for my rituals, I feel such a connection to it. I couldn't tell you how, but it's something I've smelled before - there's some memory I haven't tapped into yet. I find it to be comfortingly familiar, but at the same time, it feels solemn and sacred. If you are nervous of vetiver, as I am sometimes, it's not a note that stands out a lot here, I can barely discern it when I'm huffing at my wrists. So yes, The Mummy Returns is quite an intense experience for me, but I definitely would recommend this in a heartbeat if you, too, love resinous, woody scents with a little sweetness to them. It's a beautiful perfume. It lasts quite a long time on the skin, too - more than eight hours, and I would say it's on the stronger side, so try it sparingly at first, unless you love to slather like I do.
A Change of Heart Copal Resin, Shiraz Wine accord, Kashmir Absolute, Indian Oudh, Leather accord and burning embers. This bottle actually was gifted to me by my friend Heather. When I first got it, the leather seemed a little loud on my skin - and that made me nervous, because I was thinking it would be more like Hokum, which is a snuggly, sueded leather. But I figured I'd put it away, and let it age - and it would probably balance itself out. Well, that's exactly what happened. This is one of those scents that you can identify the various notes, if you're familiar enough with them - but they compliment each other so well, they're seamless together. It's definitely a chilly day scent, I did try to wear it in the summer and I don't recommend that - it just doesn't do well in the humidity of Florida. But it's great throughout fall and winter - like the leather in Hokum, this is a snuggly, easy to wear leather, and the copal, wine, and red musk of Kashmir just meld together so well. The wine is sweet, and a nice foil - definitely not a sharp note. I do love the way NA does their wine notes. I'm actually kind of wanting to pick up She Could Raise The Dead, which also features a wine and leather combination - reviews are really intriguing for that, too. And I have totally fallen for both Hokum and A Change Of Heart, so I think I might need it! The copal is of course my favorite note ever - it's a little sweet, sticky, and resinous - and also a bit smoky. This really accentuates the smoky oudh when it starts to shine in long drydown. I'm not sure I am doing this one justice - it really is unusual, and striking. Leather was a death note for me previous to NA - I simply could not wear it. If I tried to put on a perfume that had leather as a note, it would take over on my skin - and I couldn't get away from it. But these soft leathers (vegan, by the way!) that Nocturne  Alchemy uses are very wearable for me, and I really am enjoying being able to wear it!
Pirate Rum - Bay Rum and a Chypre of Lavender, Chamomile, Pirate Ship Cedarwood and Siberian Fir Needle with a touch of French Vanilla and Oak. I got this one for my fiance, as the notes reminded me a bit of his beloved Ghost Ship. I can only give you a brief impression of this as to how it smells on him, but I thought someone might be interested in hearing that, so I'm including it! So on him, the bay rum is a nice, round spicy scent. If you're thinking Old Spice, push that right out of your head - this is dark and sexy, and nothing like that old standby. Much more complex and well done. The woods in this are the perfect balance against the bay rum, and the chypre is clean, but not at all feminine, so don't let that lavender scare you. I love this on him. Long drydown is a deep, warm spice against weathered, well aged wood. Very appealing! I tried a drop on me, and it's very different with my skinistry. I get a lot more of the chypre and chamomile, the spice of the bay rum is sedated a bit. I think it might come out more with age, if you wanted to wear it as a unisex scent, though. It is there, it's just not as evident as it was on him. The wood notes are gorgeous - I loooove that fir and cedarwood against the slightly herbal chypre on me. I will say, I much prefer this on him right now.
And a bonus - Halloween 2020, which was given out as a sample with orders for this release. It's also available in the All Hallows' Eve section as part of the Permanent Collection, so if you love this, you can even get a big 10ml bottle! Notes: A special All Hallows’ Eve blend of  7 Sandalwoods (Hawaiian, Indian, Australian, New Caledonia, Indian Santalum Album, Karnataka Sandalwood, African Sandalwood (Baphia Nitida), Cardamom essential oil, Clove essential oil, Bourbon Vanille Absolute, Bastet Amber Absolute, smoked sandalwood infused with oak and pine smoke in the NA Studio. There was also a beautiful frosted black bottle, a special edition, along with Halloween 2018 and Halloween 2019, in frosted red and orange bottles, in the Halloween LCs this year. I had a feeling I was going to love this one right away - and I do. SEVEN. SANDALWOODS. 7, y'all! Now this will likely change and get even better with age, but my first impression of this? It is like a sister scent to Bastet Halloween 2016, which is one of my favorite PC scents. The spices in that definitely have a similar feel to the cardamom and clove in Halloween 2020, and of course the presence of Bastet Amber, one of my soul scents, is a star here, too. But those sandalwoods. So smooth. I'm making my way through that 2ml sample alarmingly quickly. Right now I'm not getting much of the smoke on my skin, but the clove starts out a little strongly when it's first applied. Once it warms up and sinks into my skin though, the other notes come out to play, and the clove sinks into the background to add a little spicy kick with the warmth of the cardamom. Beautiful for fall, truly. Brings to mind blue, blue skies, bright leaves, wispy white clouds. A fluffy scarf wrapped around your neck as you explore a farmer's market. That's the picture I have in my head when I huff at my wrist. I'll be reaching for this frequently. I can't really differentiate all the sandalwoods, but the blending of them reminds me just a bit of my beloved Pyramid Santalum. I think if you wanted more smoke, you could layer this with Titanosaurus - or if you wanted to really play up the sandalwoods, you could add even more Santalum or Pyramid Santalum, or Pteranodon. Hey, never enough sandalwood, am I right?
 And that wraps up the second half of my NAlloween choices.  Did you read the first half? What perfumes did you choose from this release? What are your favorites? I'm thinking about going back for one or two more, there are so many that caught my eye!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy Halloween 2019 - Part One

Hey y'all, and happy Halloween month! October is, bar none, my favorite time of the year, even though it's a little ridiculously hot here in Florida. It took me forever to decide what I wanted, but I finally picked up some treats from Nocturne Alchemy's Halloween 2019 release, and I want to share my thoughts on those, and maybe cover briefly what I have that appears in the Resurgence section, as well. So let's dive right in, shall we?
What did I wind up choosing? A pretty good selection, having tested everything, I don't think there's a single one that isn't going to work! I picked out Pirate's Rum for Jody, but I haven't tested it on him yet, so we'll skip that for now. The rest of what I got was Blood, Blood Queen, Blackout, Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat, and The Mummy Returns - as it turns out, I have an aged bottle of that, so I'm probably going to swap my new bottle. They sent me Mummy's Spirit as a prize from a contest I won on the business page on Facebook, and the free sample was the brand new PC scent, Halloween 2020. That's a pretty exciting set!
Blood Kashmir (Studio Limited), Pipe Tobacco accord, Caramel Oudh (NA Studio), Black Patchouli leaves, Palo Santo essential oil, Italian Bergamot, Italian Pine resin, Frankincense Resin, Myrrh wood and Bastet’s Musk. Oh, this is intense. It's almost a little scary, and these are notes that are right in my wheelhouse. That was my first thought when I put this on my skin - but then it warms and melds, and ooooof - it's captivating. Apply this lightly - a little goes a very long way. Right away, I get the palo santo, and then it sort of melts into this caramel oudh and tobacco. I love NA's tobacco, and I don't have much of it, so I really, really wanted this one. I'm getting almost a leather feel at first, but that stage doesn't last very long. If I sniff really hard, I can pick out the pine, Kashmir (a deep red musk), patchouli, and resins while it's still wet. Once it starts drying though, as I mentioned before, it really all melds together. It's got a slightly unisex feel, and I really want to try this one on my fiance, I think it would be amazing on a man. But he is going to have to share it, if he likes it - I love this entirely too much to give it up. Oh my gosh, it's so dark and sexy, I can't stop huffing my wrists. This is an inky fall night, the moon up high and bright in the sky. There's a chill in the air, but a huff of smoke from someone's pipe - and there's a bonfire in the distance. You're wrapped up nice and warm though. And holy bats do you smell amazing. It lasts quite a while, too. I got a solid 10+ hours out of it. I kept catching whiffs of it that had me trying to figure out what it was before I remembered what I was wearing. Yeah, love this one.
Blackout NA Chypre accord (labdanum, oakmoss, lavender, patchouli and neroli), Jasmine Absolute, NA Oudh, Bastet Amber Absolute, Mandarin, Clove and Amber accord. Blackout is a stunner of a chypre. This is darkly gothic, and it feels almost....dangerous. Hah! I love it. Chypres are an interesting group for me, most of the time I love them, but sometimes there's a floral that can turn up a little weird on my skin? That's definitely not happening here. If you took a look at the notes and were worried about the jasmine, mandarin, or clove - I spent a full two days with Blackout, and I'm just not able to truly pick them out. When I first put it on, while wet, there's a slight hint of a spicy floral, but it just melts into something deeper and darker so quickly, I can't get a handle on what the florals would be. This is just so smooth and sophisticated. If Blackout was a True Blood character, it would be Eric. Hah! I'm not sure if I could pick out my favorite between this, Blood, and Blood Queen, as I love them all - they're wildly different - but I think if I were pressured, it would be Blackout. The oakmoss is perfection here, I find it to be the most noticeable note in the chypre accord. Since that's a particular favorite of mine from NA, I'm happy to see it star here. This is so starkly beautiful. There's almost a coldness here, but it's drawing me in - it's very appealing. I think that Blood and Blood Queen are very warm scents, but Blackout is just .... chilly.                   
Blood QueenWild Black Currant, Cemetery Musk, Santalum White (Studio Limited), Kashmir (Studio Limited), Black Musk, Blood Wine accord, Black Violet and Lilac essence. Blood Queen is just so purple and wild! I had a hard time choosing what I was going to order to go along with Blackout and Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat. I finally settled on Blood, but I kinda was looking hard at Skeletonic, as I adore woody scents - I might have to go back for it, but the notes for Blood Queen just kept pulling me in. This is definitely a me scent, and so I plopped it in my cart and didn't look back. I think I expected the Kashmir, which is a deep, sexy, rich red musk, to kind of be the star here. And it's here, don't get me wrong. Kashmir and Black Musk are not musks that will ever be described as shy, but though I get both of them, they're playing so well with the other notes - like a dance. It's mesmerizing. On my skin, the wine and Cemetery Musk play supporting roles. There's a sweetness and fullness that they add to Blood Queen. Primarily, though, this perfume is a fruity floral musk - and a stunner. This is a come hither, slinky, sultry, masterpiece. Not shy, even a little bit. The blackcurrant is juicy and sweet - it's a good counter for the dark florals of violet and lilac. I usually avoid florals, but I really like how they play darkly with the musks and fruit. If Blackout is Eric, I'm calling Blood Queen Pam. *wink* It lasts forever on my skin, too. A solid 8 to 10 hours!
Mummy’s SpiritGreen Matcha Tea, Violet, Egyptian Blue Chamomile Essential Oil, Egyptian Papyrus essential oil, Egyptian Musk and Egyptian Red Musk and NA Limestone Amber. This was the bottle that I won in a contest NA had on their business page, and they picked out for me. I actually was kind of drooling over the description of it already, because I do love that papyrus note, and their green teas. Naturally, I love this one. It's bright and fresh and crisp, and the green tea is gorgeous here. It's been so, so hot here in Florida - we're missing fall by a long shot. This is a great transitional scent - I can definitely see wearing it as it gets colder, but I wore it a few days in a row when it was over 90 degrees and it was lovely then, also. This is a lighter scent - it needed a couple of applications throughout the day, but I suspect the more it ages, it will get a little more longevity, because I've noticed that's a pattern with scents that start out lighter from NA. Just worth mentioning it as something to be aware of, in terms of a review. For me, I don't mind reapplying - I usually take scent with me wherever I go. But I'll be looking forward to see how this one is going to play out with age, as I already love it. It's quite different from the others that I chose myself, but it's definitely something I'll be reaching for often. I don't get a lot of the violet, so it must be a background note. The chamomile lends a light herbal tone, adding to the overall "green" feel of Mummy's Spirit. I don't get a lot of the violet, but I think on my skin it adds a softly sweet contrast against the green, herbal feel of the tea and chamomile.
Vampire Bourbon Patchouli BatGolden and Black Patchouli essential oils slow-drip blended into our Bourbon Vanille Absolute, Sugared Vanilla pods with hints of Oak and Hinoki wood. This one was my first choice - I knew absolutely I was going to get it. And it was an instant win, right out of the mailbox. This is warm and cozy, but at the same time, dead sexy and darkly slinky. The slightly boozy vanilla against the patchouli is perfectly balanced - and I am totally getting the oak and hinoki wood, so that's really awesome, I was hoping I'd be able to smell that in the mix! I feel like the woods really help keep that balance here, because the Bourbon Vanille is quite a rich note, along with the sugared vanilla. The long drydown on this is an almost spicy, plush, slightly narcotic vanilla, balanced with a dark, resinous, herbal patchouli. This isn't your hippie grandma's patchouli scent, by a long shot. This is elegant and polished. It would be a great date night scent - but at the same time, it's cozy and inviting, and I'd wear this to go stomping in the fall leaves in a sweater and jean jacket. I'd also wear it to dinner with my guy. If you were even thinking about Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat, do yourself a favor - go pick it up. Yesterday. Word in the fan run Facebook group, the House of NA Tent, is super positive - I think it's the fan favorite of NAlloween 2019.
You know what? I've been thinking about it. I think Blood would be Alcide. *wink*
Edit: At the risk of repeating myself, I'm going to throw a blanket statement out for all of these - I cannot wait to see what they're going to be like with some aging. I accidentally bought a bottle of The Mummy Returns, and I already had one from last year. The fresh bottle is truly a gorgeous scent, but that aged bottle? Wow. So just bear that in mind, my impressions are from bottles I've only had about a week. It's going to be fun to revisit them next Halloween!
Okay, that's going to wrap it up for today. I'm going to go ahead and do a second half, and cover Halloween 2020 (YESSSS) and the Resurgence that I have, including my beautifully aged bottle of The Mummy Returns. The Resurgence reviews are posted here, if you would like to take a look! Thanks for joining me, y'all!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Seasonal Series: FALL For Nocturne Alchemy

So I've been meaning to work on this series for a while, but I keep getting distracted! I'm terrible, I know. I've had the idea to write up a series of four posts, one for each season, of scent suggestions from Nocturne Alchemy - both LC (Limited Collection) and PC (Permanent Collection). I've asked my fellow House of Nocturne Alchemy Tent members for their suggestions, too. If you are not already in the Tent on Facebook, please join us - we'd love to have you! It's a wonderful group. So, fall. It's October, and here in Florida the temperature hasn't really given us any relief, and I'm dying to wear my heavier fall scents. I am really glad not to have snow here yet, but I really would like to have some cooler days! Bring on that crisp fall air, I am ready.
Let's start with LC scents, shall we? Some of my favorites: Phantasm Kiss. Can't talk about fall without talking about this, the biggest gun of all, for me. The vanilla/smoke/wood balance is absolute perfection, and it's cozy and dark and right in my wheelhouse. To boot, it literally makes everything I have ever layered it with smell just so much more amazing. I don't think I've ever tried it with something I didn't love 1000%. This is VHTF, (very hard to find) though - if you come across one in the secondary market, you'd better act fast. Jack's Halloween Oudh is another iconic fall scent - everyone seems to love this, and it truly is fall in a bottle. It took a long time for me to be able to wear it, because for some reason I amped the dickens out of the spices, but they finally mellowed with age enough for this to truly be an experience, not just a perfume. It's a FALL fall scent, in capital letters. Just a tad on the foodie side, but balanced enough with the other notes that I wouldn't call it a gourmand. I'm not going to pick a particular pumpkin from the 31 Pumpkin Library, but I will say this: If you haven't been following along with this series, you are missing out. This is the last year for these. I was not sold on the idea of pumpkin as perfume, because I was never much of a foodie gal - I liked it well enough for room scents, and will eat the heck outta some pie, or muffins - but I just didn't really ever try any that appealed to me. Now I've accumulated a good 10 of them, and love them all. There's something for every taste, even the folks who don't like pumpkin or foodie scents. Can't wear spices? There's even several without spice in the series, too. Feeling Witchy, with a capital W? Sisters of the Moon was created by Bastet in honor of Stevie Nicks, and it's perfection. Herbal, dark, haunting, mysterious - it's everything you want in a witchy perfume. Always a favorite of mine this time of year. My absolute favorite Halloween subcollection though, is the Mummy series. So many favorites in this - Mummy Crypt, Mummy Tomb Incense, Embalmed Mummy, Mummy Amber, and currently available in the Resurgence, The Mummy Returns. Even better, these all do well layered with each other - I highly recommend experimenting with this! My absolute favorite is Mummy Crypt, but truly, I love them all. I would be remiss if I didn't mention V, also available in the Resurgence. I have to say that one really crept up on me - I really liked it, but I do have a lot of incense, and I wasn't sure it was totally unique to my collection. I wore this recently and it was like I was hit by a lightning bolt - I GOT THE FANFARE. Holy. Freaking. Bats! Don't skip out on this if incense is your jam, because this is a beauty. I am not sure whether it was hormones - mine have been in flux for quite a while - or the aforementioned warmer weather, but although I did like it, I wasn't obsessed with it. I surely am now, and it's going to get a lot of wear over the next few months. Thoth did a spectacular job with it, he truly did. Oh, I don't want to forget to mention the Patchouli Bats. If you love patch the way I do, there are some beauties here, and my two favorites right now are Scarlet Bat - available in the Resurgence (I put a link there if you want to check them out!) section of the Limiteds, and the new Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat. I'm not going to say a lot on that, as I've got a review coming up at the end of the week with a more in depth look at Bourbon Bat, but it is divine, and already a fan favorite. Another Patchouli Bat I love that came out with the last Holiday LC is Vampire Cardamom Bat - I added this on as a last minute choice, and wasn't really sure about it, but it's become a quick favorite, and I wore it year round this year, but I think it's definitely more appropriate in the cooler months. Scarlet Bat is sugared patchouli red musk, and it. Is. Sexy. Seriously stunning. Okay, lest I go on too long here, I'm going to wrap this up by mentioning some of the LC favorites in the Tent. Vampire Bourbon Patchouli Bat is a fast fan favorite, and everyone is raving about it. Also mentioned were Halloween Evening, Skeletonic, Blood Queen, Sandman, and Eternal Ankh Spice. Based on the review thread in the Tent, if you like lavender and sleep scents, Halloween Dreams is very popular.  Okay, there are a ton of other really wonderful LC choices for fall, but I obviously could go on and on - let's head to the Permanent Collection!
Nocturne Alchemy has a large and wonderful PC, so if you have not explored this yet, you are truly missing out. Treasures untold, as Ariel says in The Little Mermaid. Right off the bat, I'm going to mention the brand new Halloween 2020. It was available in a special black frosted bottle in the LC section, but it's also part of the All Hallows' Eve subsection, along with previous Halloweens, including my beloved Bastet Halloween 2016. This is a sandalwood lover's dream. I received a sample with my order, so I'll be talking about it when I post my reviews, but I LOVE it already. This is a great fall section, chock full of perfect cooler weather scents. BOO! is a fan favorite - I keep meaning to get a sample of it, because I want to give it a try and see if I can wear the spices. I do, however, have a sample of Day of the Dead, and it is the perfect Horchata. Sugary rice milk, creamy vanilla, and a touch of musk - it's so wearable, even if you're not into foodie scents. It's a snuggly white scent. I used to have a sample of Black Crow, but I gave it away many moons ago - but it's something I need to upgrade to a full bottle of, I loved it. I do however have a big bottle of Black Raven and I adore that one! The patchouli is prominent, but it's blended well with the other resins, and it's a rich and dark scent. If you love those kinds of scents, don't skip out on this one. I could really go on and on in this section, but I'll stop, and just encourage you to explore this one for yourself, especially for fall. Another section you won't want to miss is the Goblins. This one contains another big fan favorite, Spooktacular. I have the original version, without the addition of Bastet's Ice Cream Accord, but I need to pick up the new one, as well. This is simple - gooey, creamy, marshmallow goodness. If you are looking for a marshmallow scent, Spooktacular is the one you want. And it layers with absolutely everything! Demonseed Cake and Pina Ghoulata are also popular. The Immortals has another favorite - Emerson. This is a beauty for fall, a bright, rich golden resin scent. Mina is another popular one, jasmine with vanilla, musk, and pepper. I'm going to mention Ozymandias here, although I wear this year round, if I had to put it firmly into a season, I would call it a fall scent. I highly encourage you to age this one if you find it faint at first, that is common with this scent. It's a cozy, sweet resinous scent with just a light kick of pepper, and just perfect for snuggling into a jean jacket and thick sweater. It's in the Pharaohs & Queens section. There are a literal ton in the Studio Limited sections that would suit, so I'm going to briefly mention a few favorites: Ember Vanilla. Smoked out, slightly chewy vanilla, and layers well with many other perfumes. I haven't tried Bourbon Vanille solo yet, but having had it in blends, I am yearning for a bottle, and I think it, too, would be a great fall scent. There are many of the Ombres that are heavier and absolutely perfect for the fall, not the least of which are Oud Ombre and Fig Noir Ombre, a darkly sexy, date night fig and resins perfume. The newly released Musk Haven musks are great as well - I'm thinking particularly Vanilla Musk and Amber Musk, with the golden, stunning amber musk of Saphir. Ember is a rich, woody combination of frankincense and myrrh that I crave all year, but in particular during the cooler months. Kashmir - a dark, sexy red musk, and Bloodstone - a deep, spicy dragon's blood - are heavier and well suited for fall. Really, there are a plethora of choices in the Studio Limited, so I'll leave you to browse at your leisure, and just mention a few more that come to mind. Etherias is another section worth exploring, and I have several of these on my wishlist, including Etherian Ambre, which I think sounds perfect right about now. But one I really crave once the temperatures drop is Polichenelle - a gooey marshmallow with a puff of smoke and spicy clove. This to me is the perfect scent if you like clove, but it can amp up on your skin. I have that problem myself, but not here - the marshmallow really reigns it in and it is beautifully balanced. It dries down to a lightly spiced marshmallow musk on me. The Royal Ambers have so many favorites, but I really want to mention Sky Amber, Thoth Amber, Sekhmet Amber, and especially Horus Amber. The cardamom in this is so smooth and rich, this is a gorgeous golden scent that is just wonderfully warm. Let me put the brakes on, y'all. There are a lot of great choices for fall in the PC, and some recommendations from my friends in the Tent include Burning Jack, Vanilla Pumpkin Pie, Halloween 2019, and Halloween 2017 (I too have this one and love it).
OH, another one - I would really feel bad if I didn't mention this. The Desecrated Tomb is a great little section, and the three I have all layer well with each other - Black Frankincense, Black Myrrh, and Black Vanilla Embalming Spice. But that last one is a perfect fall vanilla, it's dark and smoothly warm with the spices, and totally unique. And it's another fan favorite! 
And that's it! Fall is my absolute favorite season, so I get a little verbose with the recommendations. There are so many wonderful possibilities, and not just in the Limited Collection. What are your favorite fall scents? Do you have and love any of these? Happy October, y'all.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy Dimetrodon and Kashmir

I just realized my picture's a little darker than I wanted it. And today, it's storming like mad here! It will have to stand. I'm not fond of flash on perfume photos, for some reason...anyway, hello y'all! As promised, I'm back, with a brief review for Dimetrodon, found in the Resurgence Prehistoria collection, and I will include a brief love letter to Kashmir, as well.
Dimetrodon: Resinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, UNRELEASED Studio Limited Cinder Vanilla (fire smoked caramelized vanilla), Smoked Oudh, Egyptian Lilac, Cypress and creamy wood undertones. I've fangirled over the Prehistoria, or as fans call them, Dinos, before. You can find my previous reviews here. I always want to mention that these were meant to be layered, or "hatched" - you can certainly wear them on their own, I have. But they really come to life when you pair them with something else - including another Dino! This is my first experience with trying NA lilac. I absolutely love the smell of real lilacs, but usually cannot handle how they translate in perfumes. This, though. As with everything else they do, their lilac is lush and realistic. It's not strong, here, but it's definitely noticeable, and I totally enjoy it. I'll have to venture out and try more! This is a pretty blend on its own, I get the lovely smoky oudh and smoky vanilla, and it's really nice with the woods. The lilac is just the right touch! And as always, the amber in the Dinos. Mmm. I really love that stoney, fresh amber. This really is a beauty, and I knew I had to have it when I read all the smoke/wood notes. I personally love this alone, but wow, when you add another perfume, it is really pretty stunning, and I can't keep my nose off of my arm. Some of my favorite layering combinations have been Phantasm Kiss, Vanilla Copal, Sandalwood Copal, Crystal, Ember Vanilla, Protoceratops - really any vanilla I've tried works. Bastet Ice Cream Accord is great, as is Spooktacular from the PC catalogue. FYI if you really want to play up that oudh note, try it with one of your ICONS, I have Copal Oudh and Egyptian Temple Oudh, and that was wonderful, truly. It's really nice with smoky sweetness of Deinonychus, too! And Oudh Ombre. Today, I'm trying it with Hallow Cats. Ooof. I should have done this a long time ago - this is pretty sexy! The oudh just curls around me, and there's a sweetness that melds with that. I haven't branched out a lot, but I think this would pair well with patchoulis or musks, too. I'm so glad I have this one! Do you have Dimetrodon? What do you like to pair it with?
Kashmir: Deep blood red musk. A scent that is both animalistic and ethereal once it blends into the chemistry of your skin. This perfume is a viscous deep blood red colour due to the nature of the components used to create such a beautifully haunting perfume. Kashmir was the sample given out with this Summer LC release, and it's a favorite of mine. You can find it on the NA website in the Studio Limited Originals. I talk a lot about how much I love Kashmir. It was one of my first purchases, and I've never regretted it. I had to stop myself, because I found anything that had it as a note, I was buying. And all of them work! Hah. This is probably my most complimented perfume, from random strangers. "I have to know what you're wearing, you smell amazing!" I wear this alone a lot, but it layers well, too. Kashmir is a deep red musk. It is unapologetic and straight up sexy. There's a juicy, sort of incense-y vibe as well. I mean, I honestly think you can't go wrong with any of NA's musks, but if you're looking for more of a date-night one, Kashmir should be considered. I myself will wear this anytime, but I am more than a little obsessed with it. If you're wondering about layering options, I've worn it with Crystalline, Ember Vanilla, Santal Ombre, Cryolophosaurus, Diamond, Egyptian Temple Oudh, Tibetan Crystalline...really I've never tried something I didn't like.
Okay, that's it for now! I promised to keep it short with Kashmir, I think I did well. I'm working on that seasonal project, too. Have a good day, y'all!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy Summer Limited Reviews!

Yikes. So I never finished my Vaults, did I? Well, I'll have to come back to it! Right now, I have a few reviews I wanted to get posted from the Nocturne Alchemy Summer Limited Collection release. I'm also including a brief review of the PC Eternal Egypt, for reference purposes! I chose three perfumes, and they sent me one of their choice because I won a giveaway on their business FB page. So what I have here, in the picture, is Eternal Egypt Summer, Eternal Egypt Ambre, Chamomile, Vanilla & Spice Tea, and Apricot Sugar. The sample is Kashmir, which is the free sample while available, that they send along with orders. Any of you who have been following me for a while know that Kashmir is one of my favorites! Let's hop right to it, shall we?
First off, I want to talk about one of my desert island scents - Eternal Egypt. I'll be brief, but I think it's helpful for comparison to the two special versions I picked from the Summer LC. The NA site has this description: 
Eternal Egypt (Signature Blend): White Amber, Red Egyptian Musk, Egyptian Amber and the sands of Egypt.
I started off with a sample of this many moons ago, and at first I was a little leery - I had ridiculously bad luck wearing ambers. Smelled like baby powder on my skin. I think I wound up putting the sample in my box for about six months, and one day I dug it out and waved it in front of Jody's nose. Win. He was instantly a fan, and he remains one to this day - it's one of his favorites on me and he can name it when I wear it. I think it's the only one he knows, even though he has others he loves, too. It truly is a signature scent. I graduated from the sample, to a 5ml, and now I have a 10ml I'm flying through. The white amber gives this almost a coconut vibe? This is very bright and fresh, and that sandy note, I don't know how they do it, but this is just such a classy scent. It feels like a high end perfume, but at the same time, it's very easy to wear. I must say this is pretty perfect to represent Egypt - when I wear it, I am transported. I feel like the red musk gives this just the slightest bit of sexiness. If you've tried Crimson, I think that's the red musk here, or something similar, as it's not the bold red musk style of Kashmir. It's clean and a little spicy, and very appealing. The combination of the musk and amber is just totally perfect.

I've added a picture of Eternal Egypt Summer and Eternal Egypt Ambre side by side, so you can see the height difference. Ambre isn't as big as my 10ml original EE, but it's definitely larger than the standard 5ml. 
One thing I want to mention, about a lot of Nocturne Alchemy perfumes, and particularly Eternal Egypt: these do get travel shocked. So a little caution note, a little imploring: Please do not judge these by what they smell like when you first get them - and please, please try them on your skin before you dismiss them. They change quite a lot with some rest, and what you smell in the bottle can be very different once it melds with your skin and warms up. Eternal Egypt variations in particular seem to do a lot of "filling out" with age; they get richer, more beautiful - the notes seem to meld and really reach their full potential with a little time in your possession. So my initial reviews will stand, but it's like they're amplified TL;DR? Give these some time. It's summer, it's hot, they've traveled a distance to get to you.
Eternal Egypt Summer is part of the sub-collection Eternal Summer. Notes are: White Amber, Labdanum, Crystalline, a little eNVie saphir Amber, Copal, Guaiac wood, Lavender, NA Chypre accord. I opened this fresh out of the mail (not advised, ever, I have to say, but I have no self-restraint) and I swooned a little. This is pretty different than the original. It's got a cool feel to it. I gave it a few days to rest before I tried it on my skin, but I could kind of tell right away I was going to love this. Converse to the cool feel, there's a warmth here from the copal, a sweetness from the guaiac. The lavender isn't a star, but I think rather blends with the chypre, which is absolutely lovely. I usually like chypres, and this is no exception. You can definitely tell that there's an essence of Eternal Egypt to this, but if you're worried you might be getting a dupe, you're definitely not. How does this make me feel? Like I'm at the beach. It's a perfect, sunny day, the water is a sparkling turquoise, and there's a cool sea breeze on my sun-warmed skin. Yes, this feels like summer to me. 
Eternal Egypt Ambre is a part of the 13th anniversary collection. NA says this: 
Eternal Egypt Anniversary Collection – a reinterpretation with exclusive notes, beautiful blue pearl bottles but most importantly celebrating thirteen years of the original perfume blend from Nocturne Alchemy in four new iterations and limited to 75 bottles each.  From the elegant label art to the carefully chosen bottle and the exquisite ingredients, the owner & creator of Nocturne Alchemy (Emerson Hart) wanted the create something to honour the first perfume created at Nocturne Alchemy thirteen years ago.  Aging these perfume will bring out the resins and natural notes.
The notes for Eternal Egypt Ambre are:  Bastet’s Amber Absolute, Labdanum, Cedar essential, Palo Santo essential, Black Patchouli, Benzoin, Heliotrope, Smoked Balsam of Peru, Italian Lavandin, Black Pepper and White Amber Absolute. Oooof. Well, y'all already know how much I adore Bastet Amber, and here we have my two desert island scents? Okay, that was an obvious gimme.  This, too, is pretty obviously different from the original Eternal Egypt. The bottle is GORGEOUS, as is the label! When I first got this, it was far more travel shocked than Eternal Egypt Summer. I couldn't really tell what was going on, and there was almost a black licorice note in the bottle sniff. What? Turns out, that's the palo santo note. It can smell like anise, or minty...but I gave this a good bit of rest before I tried it on my skin. Four days. The anise had calmed down, and I could get an idea of what this was going to be like on my skin, I thought - except, it was so much better than I could have imagined! It absolutely transformed once it warmed up and melded with my skin. Wow. This is more complex, and sexier, than Summer. I'm having a hard time picking out individual notes, that's how well blended this one is. If Summer is bright and fun, a day at the beach - Ambre is a sultry summer night, a slinky black dress, and low slung heels. The palo santo gives this a cool feel, as does the white amber.
Honestly just so glad I chose both of these, I have several variations of Eternal Egypt, because I love it that much, and these are two wonderful additions to my collection. Backup worthy, really.
One of my favorite things Nocturne Alchemy does for their Summer Collections are the Summer Tea and Tea Service. You can read my reviews here, although I've added more that I haven't reviewed from previous collections. The Summer Tea Service reviews are separate, you can find them here.  Y'all, it's hot in Florida. And it's hot from April right through December these days. I find myself craving the Summer Teas as soon as it warms up, so they get a lot of wear from me. Green Tea Crimson is easily in my top five all time favorites, ever.
Last year I missed out, but my good friend Heather grabbed Apricot Sugar, and absolutely adored it. So I promised myself if it came back in the Resurgence, I would for sure have to nab it - it seemed like everything she wore it with was perfect, and of course, it was wearable alone. So I chose that for my third bottle, and as I mentioned, I won a giveaway (thanks, y'all, SO much!) on the Nocturne Alchemy business page, for a free bottle of their choice from the LCs. They chose Chamomile, Vanilla & Spice Tea for me. I had already eyed it, because it sounded delightful. The notes for this are: Blue German Chamomile, Bastet’s Ice Cream Accord, Vanilla Bean, Vanilla essence, Black Tea, Cardamom Spice and a little sugar. I love chamomile tea. I have one that's chamomile and vanilla, and it's so soothing, puts me right to sleep! And Jody's mom grows chamomile. This is very realistic. I guess this could possibly go a little floral, but they are such masters at blending, that never happens here. It's got a bit of a floral/herbal tinge to it, for sure, but it's reigned in beautifully by the vanillas. The cardamom is more of a supporting note on my skin, just a slightly spiced warmth, honestly, it's perfection. The balance here is superb. The black tea is something I utterly love, and it adds a little strength to this. Unfh. I've mentioned before, I didn't use to like tea notes, they would go bitter on my skin, but that's never happened with NA, and this is no exception. This is just so appealing! I could not be happier with what they chose for me, I adore it. The ice cream accord adds a tiny bit of foodiness, and it's at the perfect amount. Yum. Obviously, you can easily wear this alone, but I love to layer my Summer Teas with the Tea Service, it just is the perfect compliment. The first time I wore this, I added a little dab of Apricot Sugar, because that's what I had on hand, and it was delightful! I wasn't sure if it was going to wear well with this one, but I have to say if you have both of these you really should try this, it was a wonderful surprise. I've since tried Rice Milk and Sugarcube, and those are both easy winners, too. I haven't tried Sweet Santalum Milk or Coconut Milk, but I suspect those will work well, too - or even my original Bastet's Ice Cream Accord, if you want your tea to be a little creamier/more foodie.
Apricot SugarApricot stone essence, Apricot Skin, Egyptian Sugar accord, Papaya skin and Vanilla fleck. Oh, how much do I love NA's sugar note. It's just so dang good! I have a couple of bottles of the original Sugarcube, and I have worn it alone, because I love it so much. There's almost a freshness to it, and of course sweetness - but it's not tooth-achingly sweet, if that makes sense. That base is pretty present here, more so than it is with Lemon Sugar. The apricot is bright, juicy and just a little tangy, and extremely realistic. I think the papaya skin is more of a supporting note, I've had it in other blends and enjoyed it, but I don't really notice it here. It may be adding to that juiciness. This is a simple blend, but it was meant to be layered, and it really shines when you do that. As I mentioned above, I wore it with Chamomile, Vanilla & Spice Tea, and I've also worn it with White Tea Vanilla, and Crystal, so far. I'm going to try it with Santalum White and White Ambre Ombre, because I feel like those will be great pairings, too. I think this is a very versatile layering perfume, and would be lovely with so many perfumes. Anything with vanilla, for sure. Bastet Ice Cream Accord, some Dinos, Eternal Ankh, really I think anything you think might work. I bet it would be pretty with Egyptian Musk, and definitely Diamond. I'm so happy I grabbed this! If you were a fan of, or yearning for, Love of Bastet: Pink Vanille, I think you should definitely get this.
I have Dimetrodon from last year, but I've run out of time, today, so I'll post that separately. It's currently available in the Summer LC Resurgence, in the Prehistoria collection.
What did you choose from this release? What are you looking at? I'm eyeing a Dino or two, and more Teas....always more Teas! I hope y'all enjoyed these reviews, and they helped you to make some decisions. As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy Vaults: Part One

I'm on a mission, after completing my month of samples! I've got a good collection of what I call Vaults - perfumes from the early days of Nocturne Alchemy, long before I started collecting. And I tend to hoard these, rather than wearing them. I don't think I have enough for a solid month, but I'm going to try to do a few weeks of these, spread out over the course of a month, and do a bi-weekly update. Maybe it will force me to wear these beauties as intended!
I have a mixture of both LC (limited collection) and PC (permanent collection), but it's mostly LC in these, so I want to go ahead and warn you now, these are probably hard to get, but it can't hurt to put out an ISO (in search of) in the NAVA Marketplace Facebook group. They age wonderfully, so it might be worth the hunt!
Let's get this shindig started!

Eternal Egypt Summer Crystalline REZ: White Amber Absolute, Limestone Amber Resin, Lime Zest, Saffron, Gold Santalum, Moonstone (African White Vanilla Bean), with the new addition of Crystalline (Egyptian Vanilla Orchid stigma Resin) Absolute aged with Kyphi (a honey, raisin, & wine based incense), Guaiacwood eo, Mandarin Skin, Egyptian Sugar and French Golden Amber Resin. This baby is a favorite of mine, I have several backups of this with varying fill levels that I've nabbed over time from the Marketplace, and from Laura. It came out in 2015, the first year I started collecting NA.  It's SO, SO GOOD. Like, my ultimate summer scent, honestly - besides the Tea collection! I will continue to keep an eagle eye out for more. A girl can never have too many, right? Right!! Hah. Okay, so if you've ever experienced Eternal Egypt, this is an enhanced version, with a zip of citrus (the lime is fabulous, seriously) and the beauty of Crystalline vanilla - honestly, it's just the right amount, it doesn't take over the other notes. It's so aged, I don't get really the kyphi, which I love, or the saffron. But that's okay. It seems simple, but there's definitely some complexity. I have raved and raved about this one, maybe one day they'll make a version something like it in the future! PS. If you haven't tried Eternal Egypt, what in the world are you waiting for? Remedy that as quickly as possible! *wink* Seriously, it's a fan favorite, and it's a lovely scent.

SP 8:  Sandalwood, Teak, Rosewood, Cedar, Black Amber, Black Musk, Black Myrrh and Black Patchouli in a sea of memory. This is from 2013. This is a beautifully dark scent, the woods and resins are just, at this point, incredibly potent. I don't need a lot. I love to pair this with a vanilla, like Crystal, or Protoceratops, to keep it from going too dark on me. I think this one is pretty unisex, and I think it would be fantastic on a guy too. The sweetness of the myrrh, amber, and cedar is perfect against the heavier patchouli and black musk. I don't know a lot about this collection, but somewhere in my dusty memory I remember that SP stands for Steam Punk, and this was a pretty limited collection, so I treasure having both this and SKL, below.

SP SKL: Damp woods, Aged Velvet Crystal Vanilla (Vanilla Musk), the scent of old linen in a coffin, a touch of graveyard musk and a sentient of mystery. Like SP 8, this is also from 2013. Gorgeous. I have a bottle of Crystal, from the SL section, and I love it. First thing I catch is that vanilla musk, but it's aged and deepened. Paired with the woods, this is so gothic. I particularly love to wear this one in the fall and winter, it feels very cozy and like a warm, dark hug. There's like a dark sexiness lurking under the snuggly vanilla.

Cleopatra Moon: Fresh Peach Incense, Peach Essence, Egyptian Frankincense Resinoid, Egyptian Myrrh Lite Resinoid, Sapphire Amber-Musk, Persian Sandalwood, White Peppercorn Essential Oil and a drop of Egyptian Hibiscus and a breath of Egyptian Hyacinth Petal. This treasure is from 2011, the Pharaoh Moons collection, from what I can see. I got this one from my friend Melissa, and oh, how hard did I fall for this? She's gorgeous. It starts out with their luscious, juicy peach, just bursting out of the bottle and onto your skin. That's followed closely by a melange of resins, so well blended I can barely pick them out, but I think that the Sapphire keeps this bright and helps the peach linger. I don't really get the hibiscus or hyacinth, on my skin - they may be background notes, or as aged as this is, impossible to discern. I do get a little kick of pepper, which is always a welcome smell for me. It adds the slightest spiciness, but it's not obtrusive. Cleopatra Moon curls around me for quite a long time, I get at least eight hours from it. It's enchanting and mysterious, what I imagine her namesake to be.

Selket Anti-Venom Rez: In the new composition I took the old recipe and changed it toward more of an ode to Crème de Menthe bringing up the mint essential oil note and adding nuances of Crystal, Blue Sugar and a little Incense in the shadows before the scorpion Goddess stings with her tail. The Crème de Menthe composed with marshmallow and peppermint eo. This one came out the same year as Eternal Egypt Summer Crystalline REZ, 2015. If I remember correctly, it came out in the summer - and while I absolutely adore my Victorian Candy Cane Crystalline, this is the mint I reach for when I want something cool feeling in the summer. It's like a creamy, mint drink, on a long screened in verandah. There's a crust of sugar in here, as well - I love their sugar notes. But this definitely feels green, it's different than the Christmas VCCC. There's a slight hint of liqueur. Absolutely adore this, and I should wear it more often, but I'm guilty of hoarding it. I will note that in long drydown - this lasts a while! - the mint fades a little bit, and you're left with a sweet, creamy, sort of musky marshmallow, with just a hint of the mint. Just as beautiful as the beginning stages, though.

Bastet's Witching Hour: Black Incense, Black Vanilla, Black Haitian Voodoo Vetiver, Black Aged Cedar, Black Cherry Extract, Black Aged Saffron and Black Amber rests at the death of this hour. I usually store all my Vaults in the same box, but - in order to confuse myself, hah! - I store my NAlloween Vaults in with the NAlloween box. So I'd actually realized when I was pulling out my Sleep Elixir that I had more Vaults than I realized! Anyway. this beauty is from 2011. I have two bottles of it, this was my first experience with NA's cherry and I fell hard for it.  This isn't a candy or cough drop cherry by any means - this is a sexy, alluring fruit and dark resin perfume. The incense curls around you, and entwines with the slightly tart cherry. The vetiver is smoky, and the cedar is sweet and woody, they sure do woods right. I feel dark and witchy when I wear this, and I crave it all year. But of course, my favorite time of year to pull it out is fall, and I reach for it often. Incredible. 

Hathor's Peach Kaproret Tea: Sensual Peach, Coconut powder, African Kaproret Tea, Fresh morning Apple (subtle), Tibetan Black Tea Leaves and Egyptian Plum. Here's another early one, from 2009. I've got about a quarter of a bottle left, it's one of the beautiful green 5mls. This one is a lovely summery scent, a little bit of tropical feel with the fruit/tea blend. I'm not sure what kaproret tea is like, but I definitely get the black tea, but there's another tea-scent in there that I've never had myself before, and it's almost got a zing to it, and it works really well with the lush peach and coconut notes. Thankfully I don't need a lot of this, because it's so aged, because I love it, and I'm hoarding it. I do have Peach Cardamom Tea from the Summer Tea Service, but that's quite a bit different than this. If you love tea and fruit, and happen to come across this one, I would not hesitate to get it! As with my other Teas from NA, there's never a bitter edge to the black tea, it's smooth and distinctive, and balances so well with the fruits. I've also worn this with a few of the Tea Service, Coconut Milk, Sugarcube, and Rice Milk, and they all pair well with it.

Y'all, I got pretty behind on this - life got really busy! I meant to have it up a week ago, but there's all kinds of stuff going on here in our little corner of the world. I'll try to get on the second half of this with a little more expediency! I hope you enjoyed this first half, though. There are some pretty amazing treasures to be had in hunting these down. 
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