First Impressions: Twyla Perfumes and Apothecary


Recently I've been on a bit of an indie perfume buying spree, and have been exploring several brands that are new to me. I've been reminded just how wonderfully diverse the world of scent is, how each perfumer has their own unique signature aura, their own olfactory calling card. I'm also reminded how woefully inadequate my scent description skills are, how frustratingly helpless it feels to smell something wonderful and not have the words or the insight to properly interpret it. But, I continue to try, if only to tell you all-hey, go check them out and experience them for yourself. That, at least, I can manage!

So, first up is Twyla Perfumes and Apothecary, a newish seller that has been getting some buzz lately. Twyla sells perfume oils and is branching out into various apothecary items, skincare, and aromatherapy blends. I have only sampled the perfumes, but the other items sound intriguing as well!

I ordered a three piece set of her "Little Drops of Poison", her pet name for sample vials. They are quite affordable at only $6.00. As a new customer, I let her know in the comment box at check out and was able to choose another sample.
When I received my order, I got another free sample, which is always an appreciated plus.

I had a little drama with getting actually getting my order, which had nothing to do with any problems on her end, but rather the postal service. I always keep an close eye on my tracking, and when my package updated to "delivered" I realized by the next day it most definitely had NOT been. Our apartment complex has these large metal mail boxes with locked slots for each tenant, and the mail carrier unlocks the unit from the back to sort the mail. I suspected he accidentally put my package in someone else's slot, and so I called to ask about it. Customer service spoke to the carrier, who said he remembered delivering it (clearly not to me!) and I wasn't about to go knocking door to door asking my neighbors to kindly return my package. So they recommended I call the central number and report it as a theft while they continued to "look around" for it. I did that, and had to give them a bunch of information about what it was, how much it cost, etc. I felt a little silly reporting a less-than ten dollar order, but hey, perfume is serious business! I then went away for the day and when I returned my package was sitting on my front step.

 I still don't know if the mail carrier actually found it or a neighbor was honest enough to leave it for me. It was a featherlight bubble mailer so I would be surprised if the carrier chose to leave it on my step on a windy day rather than just leave it in the proper box. So, if it wasn't him, my neighbors suck a little less than I thought. Anyway, that was my little adventure getting my order.

Onto what I got!

I ordered samples of Occula, Love and Squalor, Slammerkin, Breathless, and received  Roses and Chocolate as a free sample. Also included was a handwritten note, which is a sweet touch!

(scent notes listed from website)

Red and white rose, vintage patchouli, myrrh, cacao absolute, bourbon vanilla, and sandalwood

The first thing I noticed about this scent is that the cacao absolute is insoluble in oil, so the sample looks like a wonderfully smelly lava lamp. A little entertainment with your scent, and a wee shake gets them incorporated. Based on the scents I tried, Twyla likes her some patchouli and cacao absolute. Quite a few of her scents contain one or the other. The patchouli is always quite well blended and never screams "hippie!" I'm not quite as big a fan of the cacao absolute as a scent, but while this particular one features it prominently on cold sniff, it then settles quickly in a very pretty, surprisingly delicate mix of patchouli and rose and woodsy notes. It hugs quite close to the skin and sillage is fairly low.


Golden Amber, my own hand-blended, proprietary version of Egyptian Musk, vintage patchouli, pink lotus, carnation, Russian Rose otto, Bourbon vanilla,  benzoin, immortelle, and bitter almond.

Oh, this sounds just amazing. But sadly it just didn't work for me. I was hoping the bitter almond, way at the bottom of the list, wouldn't be a highlight of the scent, but all I can smell on cold sniff is a boozy fruitiness, quite reminiscent of cherry cough syrup. This one also mellows over time and becomes more incensey/ musky and more pleasant, but the cold sniff was way too intense for me.

Love And Squalor

Jasmine, spring floral blend, Blonde Tobacco, Amber, Bitter Orange, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, and Cedarwood

This one is by far the most light in mood and most overtly floral of the group, but it was also the most faint. It was a little like knowing someone has a powerful voice, but they insist on speaking in a whisper. So, you're straining to hear what they're saying, but all you can hear is an unintelligible murmur. Maddening! I get floral, probably the ylang ylang, a bit rich and buttery, and something a bit dirty, I suppose the woods or tobacco. It disappears so quickly on me.

Roses and Chocolate

Russian rose otto, milk chocolate, tarragon absolute, and a touch of mint

This sample is from her Valentine's Collection, all variations on chocolate. This one reminded me a bit of Breathless, as far as the rose and chocolate go, but maybe a touch more fresh. It was sweet, but didn't really do anything for me.


Vintage patchouli,  tuberose, massoia bark, neroli, amber, clove bud, spice, fire tree, and honey

This was by far my favorite, and a definite full size candidate. The patchouli in this is just beautifully, seamlessly blended with the spice and wood notes while the tuberose uplifts the scent and keeps it from feeling too heavy or dark. It reminds me a bit of church incense. It is probably the strongest, most long lasting of the bunch.

Twyla is coming out with new items all the time so I will be checking out what else she has to offer. I definitely think her shop is worth a sniff or two!

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  1. I definitely need Occula! Love and Squalor sounds nice too. When Twyla brings out her lotions, I am keen to get some and layer the scents. Her florals are beautiful but delicate!

  2. Occula sounds lovely, and I do have a sample of that coming my way right now! (Come on, come on, get here... I need you now little drops of poison!)

  3. Occula was definitely the one that spoke to me the most. I am going to check out some other scents though soon!

  4. Thank you so much reviewing my scents!! I appreciate it so much ^_^
    I'm thinking you might like Daydream Nation and Golden Lilies >.>

    I'm glad you finally got your order - what a fiasco, sheesh!

    <3 Twyla

    1. You're welcome! It's my pleasure to review such interesting smell-wells :) Golden Lilies is on my sample list too, that one sounds beautiful!

  5. Oh goodness, I need to update my new perfume notebook (inspired by Nadja!) and put Twyla on my must try list. Though I'm still not sure what samples I want to try yet! ;)

    Sorry about your postal service drama. I have Most definitely been there! It was the first and only time I ordered Nubar nail polish. At my old (stupid,ghetto) complex where my car was stolen, the apartments were set up very dumbly. There were two sides, and there were the same apartment numbers on both sides; but one of the addresses was different on the other side. The stupid part was that this was all in the same lot, so it was very easily confused. I actually got my neighbor's package, because she had the same apartment number as me on the other side. I gave it to her, of course. Unfortunately she moved, so she couldn't return the favor when UPS dun goofed with my nailpolish package. I am certain it was stolen from anther ghetto theif in the complex, so I reported it and Nubar reluctantly resent me the package. I felt silly reporting a nailpolish package, but it made me mad because shipping was almost as much as the polish itself; so I didn't want to lose my product AND the shipping price and have no pretty nails to show for it! Stuff happens, but I'm glad your neighbor was honest about it. UPS and USPS have the tendency to be really douchy. I gave my USPS lady a Christmas present just to be on her side should anything go awry (which it has with her too).

    By the way, your description of Love and Squalor reminds me of not being able to scream in a dream when something scary happens, haha!

    1. Oh, her notebook looks so beautiful, like something you'd find in some ancient, dusty library chronicling the history of Middle Earth or something. I used to write in diaries constantly (have them going back literally to about second grade when they consisted of "See Spot Run" type sentences)but I'm so used to typing now writing feels awkward and foreign. But keep your pen handy, because I have some other First Impressions I will be doing hopefully soon!

      That's good they resent your package, it's a shame it's such a stressful headache just to get things delivered properly. I've never actually had one stolen, our apartment is way in the very back of the complex flanked by woods and a stream so no one really walks by our place, so I don't mind if they leave bigger boxes on our step. Most of our neighbors are on the up-and-up, I think. All the troubles I've had have been USPS mixing things up, and they've all worked out eventually, but still...headaches.

    2. Oh yes! I actually thought the same thing, that the notebooks look like something you'd find in Middle Earth! Like in the library where Gandalf first read about The Ring!!! Her notebooks are really just gorgeous and badass. I am a huge Lord of the Rings geek, and I have a There and Back Again replica journal that I only used a little bit. I guess I'm saving it for something even more geeky, I don't know, it was just so hard to find and I've never seen one since! (I got it in 2002). That's really awesome that you wrote in diaries so often and from such a young age! I really admire that! I agree that technology has made writing feel foreign! I used to write in a diary too, but I eventually made a DeadJournal when I was 15 to write about angsty teen things. Sometimes I go back and read it for the lawls :)

      You are so lucky to live by woods and a stream! I've seen a glimpse of the pretty scenery from your product photos and that post about your loud poopy neighbor (the lady's son that kept playing bass or something on full blast?) but I can only imagine how nice it must be. I know the grass is always greener, but I don't even get seasons in the desert... Just hot, warm, and not as warm :(

    3. Yes, I was thinking of that scene exactly as well, lol! That LOTR journal sounds like it would be great for a scent journal, too. I've always been a big writer, so I have a huge pile of old diaries that I keep in a dresser drawer, and tons of them are VERY teen (and young adult) angsty ;) I don't do it as much anymore, which is sort of sad. I guess this is my diary, in a way. But its different writing things down soley for yourself.

      Our prime location in our complex is definitely one of the perks. Right now our grass is snowy though, and I am pretty much tired of that! I don't think I could do deserts, I need the seasonal cycles. But on the downside, Ohio winters can be pretty cold and the summers are often gross and humid.

  6. Occula is one of the few Twyla scents I don't have and now I'm wondering how I missed it! Hopefully it's not LE as I just received a big order from her yesterday and I have another smaller one on the way so that's me done for a while with perfume buying!


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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