First Impressions: Sugar and Spite Bathery

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Today I am happy to share with you a wonderful new rediscovery. So, in a sense, this is less a "First Impressions" post rather than a "First Impressions v. 2.0." That's because Lysa from The Morbid the Merrier has returned with a new shop on Etsy, Sugar and Spite Bathery! Now, I know the demise of The Morbid the Merrier last year was a bit of a shambolic disaster and there are probably some former customers not eager to give it another go. I probably wouldn't be either but when I saw that a year later Lysa made things right and paid customers with missing orders back, I was quite impressed. Of course, it never should have taken so long in the first place and people had every right to be angry about it. But coming back after all that time rather than just disappearing under a rock forever made me feel more confident that she was doing her best to start fresh and she was worthy of doing business with again. So far I have been very pleased!

 I decided to start with a small order, just to be prudent. I ordered a pack of 3 samples and a Halloween scent sampler. I got my package super fast too. I ordered on September 2nd, shipped on the 4th, received on the 6th. The presentation was, actually, quite like little presents! It has the same general "feel" that TMTM had...creepy and macabre, but kind of cute, too. Reminds me of that scene in 9 to 5 when Lily Tomlin fantasizes about killing her boss in a terrible, gruesome way, but does it so sweetly and daintily in her Snow White ensemble, surrounded by animated woodland creatures. Yeah, kind of like that!

 Even though I only ordered samples, I received several little neatly, securely wrapped parcels. Even candy and a spider ring was included!


There was a well-branded business card, and the Halloween samples came enclosed in a creepy little envelope, sealed with drippy red wax. Very cool! I love the attention to detail! It will feel comfortable and familiar to those who love the aesthetic of The Morbid the Merrier, but it's not exactly the same. The shop consists of perfumes, body product, and artwork including jewelry and adorably odd little collectible characters.


Here are the scents I ordered:

Seymour
Augustus
Something Wicked
Fiend
Goblin
Sinister
*free sample of Sweet Alice

The sample vials were a little leaky, so I immediately wrapped them in tape to preserve the names at least. All of the scents have medium sillage on me and several hour-long  longevity.


Seymour
A dour blend of black tea, honey, orange blossom and incense

I've been on a huge tea and orange blossom kick for a while now, and it hasn't begun to wane in the slightest. If anything, Seymour has brought it back with a vengeance! This one is sooooo good. Sweet, a little smokey, refined, a dark and moody tea party. Full size material for sure. In fact, I *may* have already ordered it *nonchalant whistling*

Augustus
Melancholic, indeed! Worn leather, pumpkin flesh, dead leaves and moss. A dark, sweet blend, suitable for both men and women.

I initially get a sharp snap of leather with this one, along with something creamy/sweet, and then, something earthy and green towards the dry down. I don't know if I could have identified the pumpkin, leaves, and moss by name if I hadn't already known from the description, but the leather is really apparent. A very interesting combination!

Something Wicked
 Creamy pumpkin, plump apples, licorice whips, and a faint breeze carrying the scent of distant bonfires.

The cold sniff of this is pretty much the most glorious thing ever: autumn, liquefied.  Spicy pumpkin, bright and tart apple, smokey sweetness. It smells like country primitive shops, the ones with the little decorative saltbox houses, homespun fabrics, and candles in the shape of cinnamon rolls, if you know what I mean. Unfortunately the dry down gets a little too dried herbs and licorice-sweet smoke on me, and reminds me of a shop G and I have visited a few times on our way to Amish Country, which sells those homey things, but also sells smoked meats and cheeses. I can't quite keep the association out of mind to keep wearing this. I think I would love it as a home fragrance oil though!




Fiend
Ripe apple pulp, tart mandarin, vanilla bean, and a fiendish ribbon of black amber.

This is buttery, fruity goodness! A lot of Sugar and Spite's scents (and TMTM previously) have a really buttery note to me, which almost strikes me as its olfactory calling card. It's got a dark vanilla tinge to it, which balances the fruitiness nicely. Love this one!

Sinister
Le Carnival Noir! Black licorice whips, tea leaves, and incense smoke from darkened caravans.

Oh dear, this one I do not like. Loathe may be a more accurate term, but I'm trying to be kind. This one literally made me shudder. Please keep in mind that this is only my perception, and it seems to be very well liked on Etsy reviews. If you are a fan of licorice, you will love this. Oddly enough, I like eating licorice, especially Good N Plenty's,  but my relationship with the perfume note seems tenuous at best. I like it in very few scents.  And this is seriously, heavily licorice. Like a smack in the face with a thick, pitch-black, sharp, viscous rope of it. It burnses, Precioussss...it hurts us!
The dry down is marginally more tolerable as the licorice begins to subside for the tea/smoke notes, but the cold sniff is so gloriously, magnificently...no. 

Goblin
Blackened honey kissed by night blooming flowers and a ghostly whisper of smoky vanilla

Sweet relief, here. I love Lysa's honey note, and this one is pretty, sweet, just slightly dark and mysterious honey and flowers, with a slight smattering of smoke. Honey is so tricky, it can so easily become the dreaded "pee" note, but hers never do. They're sweet but just miss crossing over into cloying treacle territory. I think it would be great as a layering product, so I've already ordered it as a lotion to pair with other perfumes.

Sweet Alice
Velvety red musk, black pepper, spice, and wood 

I was really happy to get this as a sample since I am really fond of red musk, and this one delivers it. It's not incredibly complex, but it is warm, woodsy, sexy and a touch powdery, without being overpowering or too heavy. Lovely!

So, there you have it. Let me know if you have or will try out Sugar and Spite, which I highly recommend because Lysa is quite talented and has some really unique offerings. I really am thrilled to have her back in the indie perfume world!






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6 comments :

  1. I didn't know she did pay those customers back, so that's good to hear that she made things right. I was one of the lucky ones, my first order from TMTM was just days before she announced its closure, and I received everything about 2 weeks later. Most of these perfumes sound so great! I wouldn't like Sinister either because I hate black licorice and would never want to smell like it either. Thanks for sharing your experience, it's great that everything got to you so quickly! She's definitely a talented perfume maker, and I really love the theme she has going on. She did a great job with the packaging on your order. :)

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    1. I am SO happy she's back! I had only been able to order twice before she closed and I did get my final order after the closure. You can see on TMTM's FB page how the whole paying-people-back thing played out in March I think. It certainly wasn't the ideal scenario but things seem to be going swimmingly now. I've already gotten a second order (somebody stop me!) and her wares continue to delight and impress!

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  2. I wasn't around when the TMTM debacle went down so I'm quite open to trying out this new brand. I have been on the lookout ofr a true licorice scent (not licorice root, not anise) so Sinister is interesting. Augustus sounds like my thing too!

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    1. Oh, good! You definitely should try both of them! She brought back a scent from TMTM, Horseman, and as a leather lover I think you'd like that one too.

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  3. I ordered from TMTM a few times and don't recall ever having an issue. I get why people would be wary though - she really dropped the ball there for a while, and there was a bit of a debacle about her opening another shop on the sly a few months later when she hadn't sorted out a lot of people's orders/refunds from TMTM yet.

    That said, I was sad to see her go - I loved her products, and I'm willing to risk ordering from her again. I love licorice scents, so maybe I'll even try Sinister!

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    1. It was really sad and disappointing at the time, but things are really looking up and I am LOVING everything I've gotten so far (even Sinister, though I disliked it, still found it interesting and well-blended). You should check her new shop out!

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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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