Solstice Scents: Summer 2013


You guys, I did a thing recently. I probably shouldn't have, but I did. I haven't done a really big haul at Solstice Scents since last autumn, and I guess after seeing the new summer collection I might have gone a wee bit crazy.

Here's what I got:

Perfumes in 
Hand of Darkness
High Desert
High Noon
 Banana Nut Bread Sugared Amber Whipped Cleansing Scrub
Coquina Body Ganache
Florida Fruit Stand Whipped Soap
Tropical Moon Glace
Botanical Toner for oily and troubled complexions

The scrub is actually from the spring collection; I had wanted the scrub in Florida Fruit Stand but it was sold out very quickly so I went ahead and got the Banana Nut Bread. I had tried it before as a whipped soap and liked it except for an initial boozy note I didn't care for. I happily didn't notice it with the scrub, maybe since it is from the spring collection it has had more time to mellow out. I was also happy to see a summer ganache offered, it seems like there are mostly only glaces offered for body leave on products during the summer, so I didn't hesitate to get the Coquina ganache. I had also tried Tropical Moon last year and wanted a full size, and thought it would be good to have as a glace. I also loved Sirocco last year but it sold out by the time I decided I wanted a full size, so that was also on my must-have list. You can check out my thoughts on some of the returning scents from my post about 2012's summer release.

And on to the new scents!

Sandalwood, Orange Blossom, Clementine EO, Beach Sand, Plumeria Absolute, Coconut, Ginger EO & A Splash of Sea-spray

Given my recent obsession with orange blossom scents, I was pretty sure I would love this. And I do! Cold sniff is very bright, floral, and citrusy. For a second the clementine is a little strong to me and almost veers into bitter baby aspirin territory. But this impression disappears almost instantly as the warm, woodsy dry down arrives. This actually reminds me of the last custom scent I did with Haus of Gloi. It has orange blossom, coconut, mahogany, and red musk, and has been by far the best custom I've done with them. Coquina has a similar profile, albeit more complex. I wish this lasted longer on me and had a bit more sillage, but layering it with the ganache helps. I really love the ganache because it has an initial cocoa butter scent that, paired with the orange-y notes, creates a yummy chocolate orange smell.

Hand of Darkness
Oceanic Accord, Rain Accord, Woods Blend, Black Pitch, Buddha Wood, Lime, Coriander, Tarragon, Amber

I was initially skeptical that I needed another "tumultuous seas" sort of scent, as Tenebrous Mist is pretty much my gold standard for that. But I'm glad I got this. While Tenebrous Mist is more salty/musky, Hand of Darkness is dank, watery, sort of dirty, and very woodsy. I get the fleeting lime top note, but it's definitely not a bright, juicy lime, but rather somehow cold and damp. It reminds me of how the scent Courtyard incorporated lime and coriander and gave me the impression of a stone fountain. After that though I am reminded of another favorite SS scent, Wail of the Banshee, which has only been offered as salts and whipped soap before. I've always wanted it as a perfume, and Hand of Darkness is as close as it can probably get. The dry down though is more woodsy and warm and comforting and just a touch spicy, so this one is definitely a morpher, but the dry down does come fairly quickly. It also clings very close to the skin, so it's good if you need subtlety. There are lots of notes in this I've never smelled before! It's quite ambitious!

High Desert
 Desert Sage, Ceremonial White Sage, Sandalwood, Mitti, Cacti, Indian Tobacco, Prickly Pear Cactus, Hay, Smoke, Labdanum, etc.

This one is a very dry, green, woodsy scent, heavy on the sage, and quite evocative of the desert (though I've never been-I can imagine). The sage is front and center at first, and then I can catch whiffs of something sort of smokey and incensey, which I'm guessing is the labdanum. I quite like the smell of sage, in candles (Yankee Candles Sage and Citrus specifically) or those little bundles you can find for burning, and I would like this scent for relaxing before bed. But it probably isn't one I would dedicate whole days out to wearing. I had bought High Desert and High Noon with the the intent to give one of them to G as a gift, and let him choose between them. He deliberated for a long time because he liked both, and I was  hesitant to let either one go since I liked both of them too! But finally he decided on High Desert, and it smells really nice on him. And I'm sure I can steal sniffs if the mood arises. He won't mind.

High Noon
Worn Holster Leather, Tobacco, Whiskey, Woods, Sand, Gun-Smoke, Musk & Soft Ladies' Perfume

Though they don't really have anything in common that I can tell, this one reminds me of Sirocco, but more rugged than exotic. Just a generally warm, smokey, swaggering scent with a touch of sweetness. The whiskey note is very smooth, not boozy at all. This one would also be great for those who like Library from the Manor Collection. I like it but it has mad sillage on me. I tried a bit on my wrist at work and I started feeling self-conscious, like I could smell it everywhere around me. I enjoyed it, but I could see it as being a bit intense for the more sensitive types I work with. So I would wear this mostly at home or out if I not going to be in close quarters with anyone.

Florida Fruit Stand 
A huge pile of cool ripe watermelons next to a giant crate of bananas mixes with sweet orange and blood orange essential oils, tangerine essential oil, strawberry and lemon.

I'm not really a huge watermelon scent fan, but I just wanted to get this as its one of the few summer scents I haven't tried, and I needed a whipped soap. I don't really get much more than a light watermelon scent from this. It's pleasant enough and I will use it, but I'm not head over heels in love with it. It has a bit too much of a lingering soapy, clean smell, which sort of clashes with the lighter fruit scent. That soapy base smell serves some whipped soap scents well, like Wail of the Banshee, but for a fruitier scent like this, not so much.

So I think I'm pretty much stocked up on Solstice Scents until fall! Of course, as soon as I say that something else will catch my eye, but I will try to refrain.

Hope you all are having a happy summer, and thanks for reading!

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  1. Squee! What a wonderful post! I am SO glad you liked Hand of Darkness. When I like something, I get so worried that other people will hate it, shake their fists furiously, and scream, "Damn you, Rachel!!" I couldn't find any other reviews on it, then Dee didn't care for it, so I was very nervous to see what you thought about it. I know different scent works for different people, but I still feel self conscious about loving something that other people might hate. That is so cool that Coquina reminds you of your newest HoG custom- as I know how much you enjoyed it!! Also, I think that's so sweet and awesome that got High Noon and High Desert for G to choose from. I was debating on getting High Noon instead of Hand of Darkness, and now I really wish I would have gotten High Noon as my sample with the purchase instead of Private Eye. Have you tried Private Eye? My bf and I are both obsessed with Library- we have 3 bottles between us! >.< Anywho, thanks for sharing your thoughts- I truly loved reading this <3

    1., I would never be mad at someone for a recommendation! Scent is just way too subjective to take any different opinions personally, and one must always ultimately make their own decisions on what to try. I know what you mean though, it makes me slightly insecure if lots of people seem to hate a scent and I love it, so I start wondering if something is wrong with me! I've tried Private Eye and liked it, it reminded me of both Sirocco and Library in a way. Oooh, and if you are on the SS forum, check it out. Angela just posted an update today about fall and a new scent!


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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