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. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

A Month of Nocturne Alchemy Samples: Week Four

Ahhh, my last week of samples! This has been a fun foray, and hopefully it will make me keep on wearing these more frequently.

Dream Bottle: Goddess Dreams:  Bastet Amber, SL Crystalline (Egyptian Vanilla Orchid stigma Resin), Frankincense & Myrrh, Snow Musk and Blue Sandalwood NAVA Accord. The Dream Bottle Collection was released in December of 2015. There were six bottles in the exclusive set, four of which were reimagined perfumes from the PC, and two were brand new "Dream" blends. Goddess Dreams was one of those. You could order the four individually, but the only way you could get the exclusive two was to order as a set. The other exclusive is Nag Champa Dreams, and I found that in a full size one day in the NAVA Marketplace group on Facebook. Lucky break! Anyway, I've never seen Goddess Dreams come through, so yeah, I hoard my decant. These were my introduction into sleep scents, and it's no surprise I now love those, they have a special spot in my collection. Goddess Dreams feels slightly familiar to me now that I have Love Of Bastet: White Sandalwood Vanille. I'm not quite sure why, but I suspect it's got something to do with the sandalwood, although the notes are mostly different, except for Crystalline. This is a white, soft scent, very dreamy and lifted, if that makes sense. It puts you in a different space - takes you away from your everyday cares. There's serenity here, peace. It doesn't quite knock me out the way Sleepyceratops or Sleep Elixir does, but it helps me to put away my worries, and that helps me a lot. Love it! I've always kind of hoped they'd bring the set back one day, but no luck yet.

Plumeria Sapphire: Egyptian Plumeria, Hawaiian Spring Plumeria, White Jasmine amidst the gem of Amber and Musk (Nokturne:Sapphire). This is a now discontinued scent from Bastet's Garden, and I hoard it rather than wear it usually.  It's so beautiful. It starts out with an almost candied burst of plumeria, sweet but not too sweet. That mellows into a lovely, lush floral, with the base of Sapphire's golden, rich amber musk. Unfh. It feels so warm, tropical, and summery. Absolutely adore it. There's almost a little floral/spice to this in long drydown, it's such an interesting blend. They've said a while back that Bastet was working on a viable replacement, something that the components wouldn't be so expensive to acquire. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Kiskah Kashmir: Aged Kashmir Red Musk, Bittersweet Cacao, Kiskah Incense Smoke, N3 Musk, Black Incense, a drop of blood from a Black Pungent Rose and Sugar Vapour. Okay, it's no secret, I absolutely adore this. The cocoa starts out strong, but within minutes is reeled in by the other notes and becomes a soft, supporting note. It's perfect against the warm, deep red musk of Kashmir. This feels so gothic and velvety. The rose is STUNNING. Easily my favorite rose I've ever tried. It's balanced perfectly with the other notes, none of them overpowers the others. And the sugar note. TO. DIE. FOR. It's as if you dipped a lush, dark rose into a little sugar syrup and it hardened to a crust - and the sugared rose playing against the red musk is just right. Unfh. Absolute perfection.

Crystalline Burning JackIndian Ajowan, Pumpkin Skin, Pumpkin Seed, Zucchini and Pumpkin Bread, Cinnamon Stick, Smoke, Nutmeg, Clove and fallen leaves of the old oak tree. Adding a smattering of White Fig absolute, Lychee Oil concentrate and a big kiss from Crystalline Vanilla. This was a sample a few years back from NAlloween - Bastet made these for us, but they've never made a full bottle of the scent, so I hoard my sample. I absolutely love it. It's warm and cozy, and such an iconic fall scent. Very evocative. The pumpkin and zucchini breads are delicious, and the Crystalline adds almost a sweet vanilla "glaze". It's the perfect addition. The spices are not overwhelming, but add the perfect support needed. I would for sure buy a big bottle of this, if it were ever offered!

Dragon Rain: NA Tibetan Musk, Nokturne: N3 Egyptian Musk (a softer Egyptian Musk), Egyptian and Arabian Dragon's Blood Resin, Dragon's Blood Resin (from Africa), the ethereal Bastet Amber, White African Musk, Roman Amber, Egyptian Sandalwood, Seville Orange e/o, sweet Egyptian Styrax and aged Nokturne: Crystal (Vanilla Musk). This one is a Vault from June of 2013. Because it's had so much time to age, it's very hard to pick out individual notes. It's a light blue, serene musk, a little sweet, almost watery. Very lovely! 

Day of the Dead: In the cemeteries, the living clean the graves of their loved ones and celebrate with music, dancing, drinking and eating things their loved ones can enjoy 'through' them. It is a time of celebration and this is our honouring of the dead by creating a perfume of Horchata, a drink made from ground up rice along with sweet cinnamon sugar infused with almond milk and blended into Nokturne:Crystal as our ode to sweet Vanilla Musk celebrations! This is from the All Hallows' Eve section of the PC, one of my favorite sections. My friend Heather actually gave me this sample, and I love it. It smells just like the Horchata drink, and it's very appealing. The sugar and milk almost has a little dark smell, like carmelized a bit? And it's so appealing. It's a little musky, and I love the rice milk. For me this is one of the easiest gourmands I've ever worn. I love it and will definitely be upgrading it when my sample gets low. 

Sacred Scarab: Black Fig, Raw Pumpkin and Black Egyptian Sugar. Renewal, eternal youth and resurrection. A sweet earthy scent. This is from the Egypt and Her Wonders section of the PC. This one is a simple scent, the fig is brown and a little spicy, the pumpkin is warm, and the sugar adds a little crusty sweetness. It's easy to wear. I've got a somewhat similar scent from the Pumpkin Library, so I probably won't be getting a full bottle of this for a while, but I really like it!

So that's it, a full four weeks of samples! I hope you've enjoyed this look into my sample box. It almost feels like Mary Poppins' bag, I don't even know every treasure I have in there. It's been a fun challenge. I will probably do my Vaults next month, but because I don't have a full month's worth, I won't be regularly publishing. It will probably be every other week. Thanks for following along with me, y'all. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

A Month of Nocturne Alchemy Samples: Week Three

Welcome to week three of my month of samples! I'm actually really late, I had most of this written up, but I didn't get back to it until today. So sorry! Let's hop right to it, shall we?

Cherries in the Snow: Fragrant Snow Raspberry, Snow Cherry Pure, Ancient Limestone, Green Amber, Dirt Musk. This is from the VApothecary section in the Permanent Catalogue (PC). I absolutely love the way they do fruit blends, and this is no exception. The cherry and raspberry are bright, accented by the amber, and the musk is softer, and a little sweet. The limestone grounds everything. It's not firmly in the foodie category for me, and that really works. 

OM NA: Eternity: This perfume is built from many layers of beautiful imported Desert Sage, Softened resin of Vetiver, the Scent of Temple grass, Black Coconut milk and husk, Dragon's Breath Incense and White Benzoin Liquid Resin of the Netherworld. *This OM NA will become thicker, richer and more beautiful with age. Another PC scent, this one comes from the OM NA section. I want to get a big bottle of this, as well. This is really smooth, I love the sage and grass. It's rich, but cool somehow. It's got a little bit of a summer-y vibe, with the coconut note, always a favorite of mine. Really a wonderful blend.

Upside Down Tarrie Cat: Vanilla, Kobalt Vanilla Orchid, Cream Soda accord, Black Tea, Bergamot, Vetiver-Amber. This is another gem from the original Clive Barker collaboration. This is another stellar tea from NA, a nice creamy one and the black tea note is so perfect. It lasted a good six hours, too!

Eternal Luxor: NA Amber, Golden Egyptian Fig, Creamy Coconut Milk and Toasted Coconut Oil. This is from one of my favorite PC sections, the Eternals. Okay, in theory this should work on me. I absolutely love their fig, coconut, and amber. There's only one other coconut I've tried that didn't work for me, and that was Coconut Moonstone. This is going to the exact same place, and I am so sad about that. It's almost plasticky. *shakes fist* Curse you, skin chemistry. Off you go to the rehoming pile. Someone else is going to adore this! It's really serene and tropical in the vial. Beachy, summery. I crave those scents here in Florida, where it's warm most of the year. So if you like that, you might try this out. There are very few scents I can't wear by NA, and I know luckily I usually can wear their coconuts and figs, so although I'm disappointed, I have a lot of others to love.

Carnarvon: Earl Grey Tea, Egyptian Black Tea, English Bergamot Essential Oil, Rose Hips, Dried Lily and Gingered Vanilla Crystal. This one is from the Egyptologist LC collection. I've got three of these as beloved full bottles, Carter, Petrie, and 1922. This is GORGEOUS. I hope it makes a comeback, I really love it, and I can't believe I didn't try it before. The floral is the perfect accent to the teas. It's a tiny bit tart, which I always enjoy. And bright. It would be great layered with one of the Tea Service, too, like Rice Milk.

Mummy Prince: Sweetened Labdanum E/O, Vanilla and Benzoin Tincture, White Linen wrappings, Black Myrrh and a touch of smokey resin in a haze of Mysore Sandalwood pure. This is a vault LC from 2010! The NAlloween collection that year. I've had this for a long time, and have no idea who sent it to me, but it was a decant from Laura. Oh, my goodness. This sounds like it might be heavier, but this is just a beautifully clean, bright perfume. If that's the white linen note, it has me swooning. This is a stunner. I've never seen it in the Marketplace, but now I'll be looking for it - I imagine anyone that's got this is holding onto it, though. I can't stop huffing my wrists. It's so smooth, just a little sweet.

Transylvania: Transylvanian Green Timber, Romanian Green Chypre, Honey, Incense and Romanian Black Vanilla. This is a PC scent from Cities of the Dead, originally part of the VApothecary. Oh, this is green. I love the chypre against the wood and vanilla, but it's pulling pretty masculine on me. I think this would be incredible on a guy. Wow. So it's not really for me, because I can't pull off stuff that heads into this territory on me, but it's a great scent. I'll have to add it to my list of "guy" scents.

Viktor: Blue Chypre, Exotic Ambers of Egypt and Eastern Europe, Heliotrope of a graveyard in New Orleans, Haunting Cedar, Rock Rose Resin, Sandalwood powder, Raw Indonesian White Patchouli, Cardamom, Myrrh and sacred Agarwood.Blue Chypre, Exotic Ambers of Egypt and Eastern Europe, Heliotrope of a graveyard in New Orleans, Haunting Cedar, Rock Rose Resin, Sandalwood powder, Raw Indonesian White Patchouli, Cardamom, Myrrh and sacred Agarwood.  Viktor is from the Immortals section in the PC. I switched from Transylvania to this, so there's an extra sample this week! This is a gorgeous chypre that has a beautiful serenity. And yet, it's a little haunting. I really love this, it's a little different from my usual wheelhouse, but it's a chypre, and I usually like those. I don't get a lot of the cardamom, but it adds a subtle layer of warmth. I keep going back to huff my wrists. This is enchanting.

So that wraps it up for the third week. I'm well into the fourth and final week as I type this, and I hope y'all are enjoying the little snippets I've been posting!

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