Solstice Scents-Spring 2012

So. Many. Smell. Wells.
I've taken to wearing one scent on each arm for several hours at a stretch before switching to another pair of scents, just to get my thoughts composed on all this goodness in a relatively timely and somewhat cohesive manner. It's been a little overwhelming.

Solstice Scents released their spring collection on 4/27. I of course ordered immediately, and received my order on 5/1. Excellent TAT, per usual. And the packaging for spring is too precious, flower petals and even a little nest.

Here's what I got:

Apple Mallow Sugared Amber Whipped Cleansing Scrub
Spirit Tree Ganache
perfume samples in (insert deep breath here):
Spirit Tree
Linen and Ivy
Devil's Millhopper
Garden Gate
Chantilly Cream
Cascade of Gold
Vanilla Pipe Tobacco
Cebobite (GC)
Patchouli Sweet Wood (GC)

My Apple Mallow scrub was very lightly scented, just the faintest whiff of apple, neither very marshmallow-sweet nor apple-tart. It seems to me that sometimes scents take a while to "age" a little, so perhaps over time this will develop more. This is pleasant, just not as strongly scented as I expected.

The Spirit Tree ganache in the jar to me smells quite similar to Spellbound Woods, which is a fragrance that Spirit Tree contains. Once the initial cocoa butter fragrance wears off the white flower component of Spirit Tree begins to come through. I'm glad I got this, as I'm really fond of the vanilla/amber/sandalwood/cedar etc. blends that Solstice Scents does along the lines of Spellbound Woods, Conjure, and Black Leather, Red Lace (which I initially disliked, but like I said, sometimes perfume oils take time to meld and develop).

And onto the scents:

Spirit Tree
Delicate White Flowers, Soft Vanilla & Sandalwood

Love it. It's got the soft woodsy, incense-y dry down of Spellbound Woods with a lighter white floral on top, subtle but fresh, making it a great variation on a theme I really like. I like jasmine in blends like this rather than on its own such as in Moonlight on the Grove, where it was just too strong for me. Spirit Tree is classic; it can go in a lot of different directions and be good for lots of different occasions.

Linen and Ivy
Fresh Sun-washed Linen & English Ivy

 An interesting spin on the fresh laundry scent, this is mixed with some bright green notes. I like this a lot, but I think I would actually prefer my laundry to smell like this rather than wear it as a perfume.

Devil's Millhopper
Heather, Oakmoss, Fern & Delicate Wood Notes

For a cool, fresh, green scent, this works on my skin better than Linen and Ivy. I love that this scent was inspired by an actual place, and I can imagine this is how it would smell: damp, mossy, with delicate flowers growing in the shady, mysterious areas. I can imagine the smell of the air even changing as one descends all those stairs to the bottom. Very atmospheric!

Garden Gate
Lilac, Wisteria & Grass Notes

This is a very straight-forward fresh floral scent, but surprisingly is not overpowering, nor old-fashioned smelling. The touch of green keeps it from being cloying. I just received a scent rooted in lilac (Agatha) from my last (sigh) TMTM order, so I *probably* won't get a full size of this, but considering my next few reviews I will never say never. This is something I might like as a soap.

Vanilla, White Amber, White Musk & Lemon Myrtle EO

So I'm going to happily retract all the many times I've mentioned that I don't do citrus scents, and I don't do super fruity scents. I've learned my lesson: to not judge prematurely or to exclude a whole spoke on the proverbial perfume wheel just because of a few chance encounters with citrusy scents that ended up smelling woefully like body odor on a hot humid day. I am open to *almost* everything now! Because I really like this. I had a little inkling I might, given my unexpected positive response to HoG's Honeysuckle Lemon Curd, and I was not disappointed. This dual concept scent is perfect for those who liked Manor, Snowshoe Pass, and Nightgown (like me!). Initially it's like lemon meringue pie, not at all like lemon Pledge. The drydown allows the creamy vanilla and white musk to take center stage, literally a play in two parts. First delicious, then delicate and beautiful. Full size material for sure.

Chantilly Cream
Whipped Cream, Peach Nectar, Vanilla & Yellow Mandarin EO

I was so close to not getting this. So close. I only chose it because I got a ten piece perfume sampler and needed an extra one, so I threw it in on a total whim. I should not like this, given my former self's assertions about what I do and do not like. I mean, peach. Right up there next to grapefruit in terms of potential fruity badness. I don't think I'm quite ready to consider a grapefruit scent, but I will admit defeat, I love this scent. It opens like a summery fruity drink made of peach nectar, sparkling soda, and topped with a crown of whipped cream. The creaminess controls the fruitiness, and after a few minutes on the skin softens completely, until only the faintest memory of fruitiness remains, hidden behind the sweet and pleasant vanilla whipped cream. There are no sharp edges to the scent, no room for the peach to become rancid or overpowering. It is kept firmly in hand, so I am thinking this is full size material too.

Cascade of Gold

Sandalwood, White Sandalwood, Honeysuckle, Champa & White Lotus

This is one of three new premium fragrances from Solstice Scents, made from more expensive essential oils, absolutes, attars, etc. and use either perfumer's alcohol or rice bran oil as the fragrance carrier. They are offered in 5 ML rather than 10 ML size
 roll-ons, and are a little more expensive ($17.50-$18.00), but they are also very complex and quite concentrated. 

This one here, befuddles me. In a good way.
Usually when I get a scent memory, the origin presents itself pretty readily, meaning, it doesn't take long for me to figure out why a scent smells familiar or evocative of something. This one does too, but I have no idea wherefore or why. I've been waiting a week for the answer to come to me, but it just won't. At first I thought it was the champa, perhaps an incense I've used before. But it feels a little farther back in my consciousness, and I can't even narrow it down to a person, place, or thing. A perfume I've tried before? A vacation I went on as a child? I have no idea.Torture, I tell you!

I know that makes for fascinating reading too. "Um, uh, this scent smells like...something. Don't know what. But it reminds me" Wish I could do better, because this IS a gorgeous scent, quite exotic and sexy. Angela describes it as evocative of a deep, warm golden sunset, and I would say that's apt. She says it's humid, but to me it smells more dry, like the inside of an antique wooden trunk filled with aged precious incense. I can also say it doesn't morph a lot, but stays rather consistent and is also very long lasting. I clearly want a full size of this!

Vanilla Pipe Tobacco
Vanilla Absolute, Tobacco Absolute & Sweet Clover Absolute

I pretty much hated this on cold sniff. The tobacco smacks you right in the face and is very concentrated, thick, and pungent, almost bitter smelling to me. But as the scent description states, this does settle down very quickly and the vanilla takes over, making it seem like another scent entirely, far softer and much more palatable. Thinking more about it, even in the week since I've gotten it that initially overpowering tobacco note has leaned in favor of the vanilla, to where it has a very rich, dark vanilla bean aroma, almost like vanilla extract (real, not artificial!). Liking this a bit more now...

Lavender, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Coriander, Lime, Labdanum, Gardenia & More

The lavender in this is sublime! If I hadn't known the components of this scent I might not have even recognized it. It has no sharpness, none of the herbal bite that is common in other lavender heavy scents. Like Angela's description, this scent brings to mind a stone fountain that has been soaking up the sun's rays all day, and yet is cooled by water running over it. This is a scent I wish I had in lotion form because I think it would be a really relaxing bedtime fragrance.

A Deep & Rich Vanilla

This is part of the General Catalog, but I needed an extra sample and this is one I'd been wanting to try. On cold sniff the boozy note smells kind of like Irish Cream to me, and I don't really like Irish Cream. On my skin though it does settle into an interesting, mildly dark vanilla, which veers a little into vanilla scented candle territory. For some reason I keep sniffing my arm despite this, so it is not necessarily a bad thing. Still, there are vanilla based scents from SS that I like much better.

Patchouli Sweet Wood
Patchouli Essential Oils, Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood and Vetiver

Another scent I really like, this is like Jack and the Devil lite, minus the tobacco and pumpkin. The foundation of that scent, if you will. Jack is one of my top SS scents, but it is quite intense and best suited to cooler months. Patchouli Sweet Wood is a softer, lighter impression of it, so I could wear this during the spring and summer easily. The patchouli is gentle and smooth, not at all dark, dank or stereotypically hippie-ish.

All in all, a very successful release and there are several items I'm going to get in full size. I was really surprised by my reaction to some of these, I'm slowly but surely learning to keep my mind open! You just never know!

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  1. Okay, let me ask you a question - do you like Solstice Scents lotions as much as you like Haus of Gloi body emulsions? If so perhaps I'll give them a shot -

    ALSO, how the hell do you go through/use all of these lotions up?

    1. I have only used HoG's butters, so I can guess that the emulsions are quite a bit lighter. But comparing the butter to SS's ganache, I would say I technically prefer the pumpkin butter for everyday use. The ganache is much thicker and takes longer to soak in, so I do like it for extra dry spots, especially my feet. It also has an initial cocoa butter scent that takes a few minutes to fade away. But it doesn't feel heavy or greasy to me once its soaked in.

      LOL, I usually just buy samples jars of pumpkin butter, so I actually go through those pretty quickly. But yeah, I do have a pretty little collection amassed. There are worse vices to have, I suppose!


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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