Solstice Scents-Autumn 2012

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Autumn at  Solstice Scents is a pretty big deal. This year the collection was huge, and the concept behind it just about blew my mind. Manor was a very popular scent last autumn, and it remains at the top of my list of favorite Solstice Scents perfumes. It perfectly captures the essence of an old, abandoned, regal estate and invoked so many wonderful memories of old-house exploring with my family when I was young. So imagine my glee when Angela revealed that she decided to take it a step further, developing a collection bringing to life various rooms in her mythical Manor!

Yeah, rooms captured in scent.

Squee.

All my life I have been fascinated by mysterious houses, especially slightly odd ones, the more rambling and massive, the better. Secret passageways are a definite plus.

The first time I read about the Winchester Mystery House as a child I was utterly amazed and entranced that such a place could actually exist in real life. Then the houses in movies like The Haunting and Stephen King's Rose Red, in which the physical structure of the houses were a lot more interesting to me the the somewhat flimsy plots. Rose Red, which by virtue of being a Stephen King miniseries alone, simply had to be totally cheesy, but also featured a house inspired by the Winchester House, so it was alright by me. The scenes in which the house's curious aspects were explored were most intriguing to me: a huge mirrored library, an office where all the furniture was suspended upside down, a solarium, a disorienting perspective hallway. I love things like this! When I heard about the Manor Collection, my mind immediately flashed on houses like these. Not necessarily the creepy, haunted aspects, as Angela explains that the Manor Collection represents the Manor before it was ravaged by time and the elements, but rather the idea of a house imbued with its own personality and life. As if it is a breathing entity where each room is another unique facet of the whole.


And check it out: Doesn't the Manor look just a little like Thornewood Castle, where parts of Rose Red were filmed?

 


So anyway, this is my first order. I call this my reconnaissance mission order, you know, search and evaluate, and then return with the heavy artillery. I'm already plotting my real order, and it is a whopper (at least for me, on a library technical assistant's budget), because not only do I need a couple of the Manor Collection scents in full sizes, I also need full sizes of perfumes from last year that I really wanted but didn't have a chance to get before. So I will likely share that order once I get it as well.

This order just consisted of samples of the entire Manor Collection and a Witch's Cottage Whipped Soap and perfume sample. The Manor Collection is:

Attic
Library
Kitchen
Solarium
Master Bedroom
Cellar




I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but there wasn't a single scent in this collection that I disliked. There were a few that I gravitated more to aesthetically as far as scents that I'd be likely to wear often, but I can imagine times when I'd enjoy sniffing all of them. Just like the mysterious mansions I envision, each scent/room seems connected, but also totally unique. Another aspect to this collection that I like is that they are all compatible with the original Manor scent. So, hypothetically, you can wear the bright, shiny new Library, and then layer it with Manor to create the slightly sweet, musty, aged Library!

And...onto the scents!


Attic
Vanilla Accord, Western Red Cedar Heartwood EO, Osmanthus Attar, Sandalwood EO

Cedar. Cedar. Cedar. It reminds me of when I had the responsibility of emptying the huge manual pencil sharpeners located in the corners of my grade school classrooms. I loved doing this, watching the fluffy, dusty piles of shavings sprinkle delicately into the metal trash cans below. It's strong cedar at cold sniff, but it's not simple. It's as if those pencils of my memory contained cores of incense sticks instead of graphite, rich with sandalwood and vanilla. I imagine the scent filling the air and the notes melding as they're passed through the grinder, turning into something rich, nostalgic, soothing. The scent is meant to evoke an antique cedar chest and that works as well, but for me this one will always be the scent of pencil sharpeners, only with really nice pencils.

Kitchen
Pumpkin, Sugar Cookies, Peach Preserves, Spice Breads, Danishes, Caramel, Vanilla & Sweet Wood Smoke

Some people have wondered how this compares to Witch's Cottage, and in my opinion they are different enough that I am buying full sizes of both. Witch's Cottage is far more herbal-y, but comforting, warm dried florals and hints of things baking. Kitchen is totally foodie, but made more interesting by a delicious wood smoke dry down. I get a lot of peach upon cold sniff, maybe a little more than I'd prefer, because I was hoping for mostly pumpkin. It reminds me of a warmer, more autumnal version of Chantilly Cream at first. But then it has a yummy caramel-y note as well as pumpkin and light spices emerging quickly after. This will certainly make you hungry!


Master Bedroom
Soft Musk, Sandalwood EO, Amber, Clove EO, Myrrh EO, Vanilla, Aged Patchouli EO, Champaca Absolute & Aged Sandalwood Attar

I don't know what's up with me, but this is another one of those funny mood-inducing scents. Despite the name, this isn't a sexy bedroom smell, but rather very creamy, delicate, powdery-spicy smell. It's more sensual than anything. One of my co-workers smelled it and said it reminded her of waking up in the morning and the way the sheets smell. I'm guessing she means in just a fresh, comforting, soft way, not a fabric softener way. The clove is very prominent for me, but it's not the super spicy Christmas-y kind of clove than I normally associate clove with. Actually, the clove in this scent reminds me of the carnation in Lace Draped Spectre, and that scent, while really beautiful, smells kind of melancholy to me. It just puts me in a strange, sad little mood. That element is not as strong in Master Bedroom and I've enjoyed wearing this scent quite a bit despite it, but I can't quite escape that feeling entirely. Oh, just ignore me and my quirkiness, and try it for yourself!


Solarium
Rhododendron Leaf EO, Fern, Amber, Sandalwood EO, Geranium EO, Violet, Orange Blossom and Absolutes of Lavender, Oakmoss & Mimosa


This is a perfect fall-floral scent, and I was surprised by my liking it. I wasn't quite sure I would. Angela describes this scent, if it were as color, as "primarily purple and green tinged with gold." This appealed to the synesthesiac in me, because it works perfectly. Because not only did I pick up on the lush, regal tone of this scent, it smelled quite a bit purple. I would say, almost fruity-grapey on cold sniff, which upon contemplation seems to be the mixture of lavender absolute and rhododendron. I can pick up on the lavender absolute from Courtyard if I think about it intently. But the similarities end there. This is fresh, cool, but also a little humid, like everything has been soaking in the sun's rays under a vast glass roof, water beading on the various blooms and ferns after having been watered from an rusty watering can kept close at hand. Quite complex and very evocative of its namesake!

Cellar
Damp Earth and Stone, Wooden Casks, Cool Fall Air, Crisp Apple, Pear and Broom Corn

This one is a lovely little journey. First there is a cool rush of air as if you're descending stone steps into the cellar, and then the smell of apples and pears, the earthen floor beneath you. It's a fresh, atmospheric scent; it reminds me of a cold autumn night. It also gave me one of those funny nostalgic feelings, and I was so surprised the answer wasn't clear as day to me at first sniff and took me a while to place. My childhood home was a double house, and my parents and I lived on one side and my grandma lived on the other. Each had huge basements. The one on our side wasn't finished and was sort of creepy and cavernous, so we only used it for storage. But the one on my grandma's side had a concrete floor, so my mom used that basement as an arts and crafts studio. She made potpourri and painted ceramics, and created floral designs and topiaries. I even used it as a place to get away and do homework or dabbled in crafts like potpourri making myself. We didn't store fruit down there, but the cold smell of the floor and the smell of bunches of herbs hanging from the ceiling came back to me when I smelled this. Then after my grandma died years passed when we didn't really use it anymore, so going down there felt a little lonely and bittersweet. So, another happy/sad scent for me.


Library
Leather Bound Books, A Carved Rosewood Mantle, Dying Fireplace Embers, Wood Wainscoting, Cedar Shelving and Aged Paper


Can I please have the library I work at smell like this? It's not too much to ask, is it? This here, folks, is the library of my dreams. Quiet, reflective, bursting at the seams with knowledge and exploration, the dust of ages, and the thoughts of all those who have passed through its doors. It's also, honestly, a sexy library. Leather, the memory of fire, paper on which great thoughts have been written...you really can't go wrong. It's a strong, forceful scent, dark and dry, and it really does go well with Manor, which lends a little softness and sweetness to it.


So, there you have it. The Manor Collection. A really brilliant idea, wonderfully executed. Once I get my main order I'll be back to show you all what I got!








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3 comments :

  1. Cellar sounds gorgeous! The whole idea of the collection is really cool too, I've been wanting to try some samples for ages. I love how you link your reviews to your own memories :)

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  2. Oh wow! Love the Manor concept with the scents named after the rooms! I am just too scared to click on the link to SS, trying my best to not spend. I will anyway, great reviews :)

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  3. Your review just blew me away. You certainly have a way with words! It's lovely to know my excitement for this collection isn't solitary ;D

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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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