First Impressions: The Morbid the Merrier


I've had my eye on The Morbid the Merrier for a while now, and finally I was presented with a deal I could not resist. I had around 12 dollars in my Paypal account from my quarterly Ebates rebate, and the Morbid the Merrier had a 30% off sale. That meant I was able to get a five piece perfume sampler and a solid perfume for about 2 dollars out of pocket. How awesome is that? I reasoned that if my experience was a fail somehow, I would not have really lost anything.

TMTM is owned and operated by one person, Lysa, and she has managed to create a really unique brand identity, a mildly creepy and macabre victorian/circus mash-up. Clowns scare me (you know, like Pennywise), but I did not let this deter me. TMTM also used to be on Etsy, but has since moved to its own site, and offers a variety of perfumes, solid scents, lip balms, and a limited supply of coordinating body products. This was one of my few initial misgivings about ordering. I love to layer my scents, so I was worried that I would love a perfume, but not have anything to match it with. My solution will likely be to order some of HoG's pumpkin butter in Aether and add the perfume to that, and voila, problem solved.

I ordered on February 14th (the sale was for Valentine's Day) and I got the notice that my order was shipping on February 24th. From the tracking, it seems like it wasn't accepted by the USPS though until February 28th, and from there it moved quite quickly. I got my order on March 1st. A tiny bit outside of the stated 7 day TAT for shipping, but 2 weeks from start to finish is not too bad.

My purchase arrived in a bubble wrap mailer and the perfumes were wrapped like a little present or cracker, along with a wonderfully unsettling business card with a hand-written thank you note from Lysa (love her handwriting and the personal touches are always appreciated).

Here's what I got:
Perfume samples in
Voix de Ville
free sample of Annabelle
Solid scent in Maximo

The sample vials are the standard ones I've encountered from Haus of Gloi and Solstice Scents, with handwritten labels. The solid scent is in a lip balm tube, which is adorable and quite convenient, but I admit I have gotten thisclose a few times to swiping that tube on my lips. I'm no expert, but I don't think that would be a good idea. When you've got a purse chock-full of lip balms and one rogue, sneaky little solid scent, best be doing some double takes first.

Having amassed a fairly considerable collection of samples from HoG and SS, I'm trying to be more discriminating with what I purchase, for my poor budget's sake! I want scents that don't smell like anything else I've tried and are unique and memorable. For the most part TMTM has succeeded with that, but there were some scents that I couldn't help but make comparisons between them and scents I've already tried. I sort of hate doing that because it implies I'm disregarding the effort the other perfumer puts into creating their scents, and that isn't my intent at all. The comparisons are certainly not always for ill. Sometimes it just boils down to personal preference, and I'm going to have to be a bit ruthless when choosing which scents make the cut.

Onto the scents! Bolded descriptions are from TMTM website.

A complex and beautiful blend of sweet cocoa, spicy black pepper, earthy patchouli with a heart of vanilla and wood

I decided to buy this one because I was just curious about how the solid scents would work, plus I have a locket that I want to use for a jewelry project and was thinking of depotting some of the perfume into the locket. Lysa actually has a scent locket on sale on the website, which gave me the idea.
It has the texture of a lip balm (which makes it all the more treacherous!) but doesn't feel greasy upon applying. The scent is lighter than I'd expect the perfume oil counterpart to be. It doesn't have a lot of throw as a solid scent. It stays very close to the skin.

Here comes the comparisons: it smells like Solstice Scents Jack and the Devil minus the pumpkin, with cocoa added. Hold the tobacco. Okay, so that makes them two entirely different scents, but there are some general similarities: woodsy, somewhat sweet/foody, patchouli-ish. Different enough that I would try this as a regular perfume, it was a touch maddening trying to apply enough to actually smell it properly, because it smells quite nice.

black berries, sweet spices, pale musks, and dark woods.

Unfortunately a little forgettable. It's sort of like Solstice Scents' Thornwood Thicket  but it ends up smelling a bit muddled, like it's not quite sure what it wants to be. It's not bad or unpleasant per se, I've just seen the dark berry/incense/woods concept expressed more clearly.

My tribute to the man himself. This is what I imagine a great showman like PT would smell like! A refined and dangerous blend of tobacco, musks, woods, and earth. Sensual, sexy, dark, but slightly sweet.

Ok, NOW we're getting somewhere! This is tres sexy, but not for me. I've instructed G to  wear this scent for my amusement and pleasure, and he has kindly agreed (as if he had a choice!). It's a sweet breath of fresh air, but musky and a little dark too. Just lovely. It would smell nice on me, but I think this is just G's scent. It has great throw. I opened the vial, took a whiff, and after closing it the scent still hung in the air around me.

Voix de Ville
Succulent, juicy, ripe red apple soothed and darkened by black fruit, decadent florals and sensuous green.

To me this is a simple, inoffensive scent highly reminiscent of the Country Apple scent that I used to buy at Bath and Body Works in high school. It's crisp and fresh, with just a touch of something earthy and green at the end. I don't really get anything dark or floral from it. Nice but not a necessity for me.

Very complex, but with key notes of buttery carnation, rich honey, and a bite of clove. Smoky and sweet.

This was my free sample so I tried it having no idea what the scent notes were. I was so proud of myself because I was able to identify two of the main notes immediately. I thought to myself "huh, this smells sort of like HoG's Honey Tree, just not as intense."  I also smelled clove, which warmed it up nicely. I think I was most excited about this scent because I was able to pick out the notes and suddenly felt like I was actually starting to get this crazy perfume business. I looked it up and identified the missing ingredient, carnation. Carnation is a funny flower to me; it just makes me feel a little melancholy. But I think the warm and spicy clove elevated it from being totally depressing to just a slight emotional owie. It is precariously close to approaching the edge of mildly cloying, but this was actually one of my favorites, and one of the most distinctive scents I tried.

Fiery jack-o-lanterns, black leather boots, temple incense, and the edge of a dark Autumn wood. Opens sweet, almost caramel-foody, but after only a few minutes on the skin, it darkens dramatically, almost changing into a different scent altogether.

This one smells strikingly similar to Solstice Scents'  Black Leather, Red Lace. Keep in mind that I did not like Black Leather, Red Lace when I initially tried it. I liked Horseman. It was smoother and creamier, the leather note less sharp and in-your-face. I didn't get a caramel-foody smell, but it had the same sort of vanilla component that I recalled from BLRL. It was how I'd hoped BLRL would smell. So I pulled out that vial to compare them, and lo and behold, I suddenly liked BLRL a LOT more than I did before! I had given it a little time to age and meld and it had turned into a much better scent. I wore Horseman on one arm and BLRL on the other and they do smell quite alike, and both, very nice.

White-out! A melange of white, white, white. White musk, white sandal, vanilla bean, indian white amber and white pepper. But don't worry. I've added enough black to keep it interesting. :-)

I will not make a lame joke about loving Lucy. But I do. I really do. Lucy is a complex gal, lots of white (I love white musk especially) but with this creamy, spicy kick which is unexpected but totally welcome and distinctive. I bought this on a whim because I felt I should get a variety of scents and not choose all of them from the same scent family, so to speak, and of course it ends up being my favorite!

So, anything I'd change? I guess ideally I wish some of the scents had more descriptions. It's hard imagining what scents smell like, and while some of the scents contained more evocative explanations, some just include the scent notes and are a little vague. If a scent lists woods or musk as a note, I'm going to wonder "what kind of wood, what kind of musk?" I am quite fond of the verbiage and I like reading lengthy descriptions that really illustrate the story behind the scent. Not that I expect perfumers to be creative writers as well. I'm sure lots of people appreciate straight-forward and to-the-point, but for me, the more information I can devour, the happier a camper I am. Still, simply a matter of taste, and it doesn't turn me off from repurchasing; just makes it more of a mystery!

And the final verdict? I will definitely try The Morbid the Merrier again. I want Lucy in full size for me and Barnum for G, and I'd like to try some more samples and the lip balms as well, those sound divine!

Have you tried The Morbid the Merrier? What did you think?

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  1. I like TMTM scents. I have tried a few of the above. I like Horseman, I should try BLRL, it was on my wishlist when I saw it on Scent Addict. I have full size Lucy and it turns weirdly soapy on me. I still like it though.

  2. I read your description of Lucy and if I think REALLY hard about it, I can almost sense a soapy note. But luckily it's not prominent on me. I am sure you would find some Solstice Scents pefumes you'd like, if you like TMTM.

  3. BALTUS OMG BALTUS. My absolute favourite scent from TMTM. Also dessert absinthe, if you like licorice (which I do).

  4. I really want to try TMTM at some point. I really want the absinthe scent, I love absinthe and anise~ Some of the other scents sound really interesting as well. I also wish she had better descriptions, but I generally know what I'll like and what I won't anyway. I like solstice scents alot, so I haven't tried anywhere else yet. TMTM is really the only other place I'm interested in trying.

  5. The only absinthe scent I've tried is HoG's and while I like eating licorice, the scent didn't really work for me. Plus I had a slight reaction to it and think maybe I'm sensitive to anise :(

  6. I've love TMTM. I've only tried their lip balms so far. Got ones in Undead (Halloween limited edition in 2010) and Funnel Cake. She was kind and threw in a sample of Dessert Absinthe when I mentioned how I was interested in a single sample of it. I haven't tried it yet but look forward to it. :)


Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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