Sixteen92: Fall Collection

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Today we're going to do something a little different...blind reviews! I thought that Sixteen92's fall collection would be a perfect opportunity to play around and test out the scents first without looking at the names/notes. It's a big enough collection that I couldn't remember all of them by heart, so it was easier to get some true blind impressions. 

In this order I also bought a full size of Shadow Show. It came rolled up in a little logo-stamped cardboard tube...super cute! The order didn't have any extra samples, but did come with some promptly eaten Halloween candy. 


Now...let's see how good (or really bad) I am at this blind smell test business! I just wrote  out very brief phrases or notes I thought I smelled, so I will elaborate after I reveal the scent name.


Mystery Scent #1:  Slightly acrid smoke..lapsang tea? Leather maybe. Very rustic, intense. Leaves, dirt, like an extinguished hearth fire. I like it.


#1: Helsing
Smoky Lapsang Souchong tea, dragon's blood, cedar wood, fir balsam, leather, saffron, chai spice accord



It was pretty easy to pick up on the Lapsang- I've never had it, but I recognized it from Smoky Mountain Mallow from Solstice Scents, and it has a very distinctive smokiness. Yep, it is totally how a vampire hunter would smell. Rugged, primal, and on the prowl. 



Mystery Scent #2: Vanilla, reminds me of Haus of Gloi's Twice is Nice, almond, super sweet, a little treacly.


#2: Wicked
Three vanillas, aged patchouli, marzipan buttercream

Duh! How did I not get the patchouli in this? It's so totally there. Granted, on cold sniff it's mostly the sweet top notes, and then once I put it the patch starts peeking out more, but still. Step up your game, Vix.


Mystery Scent #3: Apples! A little bite of tea. Very clean smelling. 


#3: Raven
Spiced apple, tea leaves, tobacco, guaiac wood

This is by far the "safest" one of the bunch, I think. The most accessible. I don't get tobacco or the guiacwood, it's just a clear, clean apple and tea with a very soft spice. It's nice, but it didn't really wow me.

Mystery Scent #4: Urgh. Fruity. Sharp, kind of resinous or animalic. Oud? I don't know if I like this.



#4: Hallowmas
 Fossilized amber resin, spiced Bosc pear, red apple, black musk, heliotrope

Ok, no oud but maybe the amber was tripping the animalic vibe to me, so I'll give me a point for that. No, this is the kind of fruity I hate. Cloying, cough-syrupy. Just not my jam. That kind of fruit, I like.

Smelly rainbow!

Mystery Scent #5: Cleaning products. I swear I smell pine. Very astringent. Nope.


#5: Vespertine
Aged, double-distilled patchouli, precious mitti attar in sandalwood oil, white thyme, frankincense, rich black myrrh, long-dried rose petals, cannabis flower

 There are so many notes in this. Mitti attar, where are you? OK, so it's not pine, but it does smell very cleaning product-ish. I get a childhood memory flash of my mom in our kitchen with a big bucket full of Pine Sol, mopping our hideous yellow tile. She won't let me come in until it's dry. I guess that's sort of nostalgic. I still don't want to wear it. Now I can pick up on the patchouli a little, but...no, still nope. 



Mystery Scent #6: Leather, woods. Tea? I keep smelling tea. Very sexy, kind of incensey. Decidedly badass. Yes.


#6: Salem
Damp leaves, church incense, worn leather, dry birch woods, clove bud absolute, bonfire smoke

This smells like a little chapel built in the woods, abandoned, and then swallowed up again by the forest over time, covered in ivy, with tree branches breaking through the walls still sooty with incense smoke. Shattered stained glass windows, the outside world spilling in. This smells like two worlds colliding. And the result is something totally sexy, wild, and unpredictable. I feel invincible when I wear this. Is that weird? Well, I do.

Mystery Scent #7: This is really sharp and medicinal. Kind of bitter. Coffee and pine? That can't be right.


#7: Huntsman
Cardamom and vanilla infused coffee, fossilized amber, Agarwood (oud), tilled soil  

More pine that isn't pine. Cardamom...huh. Of course. It is a lot sharper than other cardamom blends I've tried. Usually it's a really floral, perfumey spice but this does have a medicinal edge to it. It's probably the coffee doing that. I actually
 like the dry down when it's more deep and earthy and not quite as pungent, but that cold sniff...it packs a bitter punch. 



Mystery Scent #8: OMG I want to drink this. Can I please? Cinnamon and cake/cookies and something else...it's creamy. Cinnamon is muted, not like red-hots. Love this.

#8: Calaverita
Pan de muerto sweetened with cinnamon sugar, Calaveras (sugar skull candies), crisp November air, and an ofrenda of sweet incense and candles to honor los difuntos

This one is killing me. It smells like something from my childhood, something very concrete and particular, and I cannot for the life of me place it. It seems like a straight-forward gourmand, but it's got this creamy, waxy feel to it. Like actual candles. A very soft, barely noticeable incense. And there is a very faint hint of chocolate, though it's mostly a muddled, creamy cinnamon. I narrowed it down to something I might have encountered on a family vacation, a gift shop that sold both candles and fudge perhaps? It's a possibility, but that answer doesn't make me sigh with relief and dawning realization. I get the nagging feeling it was something I could actually hold in my hands. Don't you hate when that happens? Anyway, I really love this, despite the mental anguish it's caused me.


So this is how these break down:

Love: Salem, Calaverita
Like/Indifferent: Helsing, Wicked, Raven, Hunstman
Dislike: Hallowmas, Vespertine

Even with the scents I didn't like, I could still tell they were blended with care and were definitely unique! This is not your standard fall collection- not a pumpkin pie in sight. More incense, leaves, woods, smoke, spices, earth, and just a smattering of sweetness. Taken as a whole, they make me think of what Sleepy Hollow might smell like.  Sixteen92 continues to impress!


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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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