Solstice Scents: Foxcroft's Autumn Festival

My favorite time of year has arrived! Solstice Scents has released their new fall collection, and though I said it with the Manor Collection, and then with the Foxcroft Collection, Angela has once again pole-vaulted over my high expectations with Foxcroft's Autumn Festival, another visit to this wondrous, mythical town that seriously needs to be an actual place. Really, I need this place to exist. Maybe she can work on that for next year?

 I digress...onto the scents!

I questioned the necessity and fairness of doing blind reviews, as I'm always so entranced by the scent descriptions that I read them multiple times and was already pretty well versed in the note lists of each one before I even received my samples. But, for funsies and all, I will share my initial thoughts on each one. For the most part they were easy to identify based on what I knew about each one; only a couple tripped me up. Before I smelled Sycamore Chai, for a second I suspected that Riverside Hayride was it. But as soon as I got to the actual Sycamore Chai, it clearly stood out as the real deal.

Mystery Scent #1: Nutty, toffee-ish, malty, buttery, a little boozy but very smooth. Reminds me a little of Sugarvale. The butteriness reminds me of Haus of Gloi's Sweet Potato Treat. 

Owl Creek Aleworks
Sticky English Toffee Pudding, Blackburn's Parlor Vanilla Ice Cream, Caramel, Toasted Coconut and Hazelnut, Sugared Pumpkin Cream Stout

This is delish! It's very warm and cozy. It does have a similar vibe to Sugarvale, so I'm guessing if you like scents like this, and maybe Kitchen too, you might like this. I can pick up on the malty, nutty, spicy, toasty notes, and can pick up faint hints of coconut here and there too. The butteriness that reminded me of Sweet Potato Treat is pretty much just on cold sniff. It stays steady after that and dries down to a pleasant, warm, pumpkin-spice type scent. 

Mystery Scent #2: Atmospheric, earthy, super-sweet, like taffy maybe. Sugar explosion. But something else too. Intriguing.

Foxcroft Fairgrounds
Cotton Candy, Cream Soda, Vanilla Taffy, Gridling's Funnel Cakes, Powdered Sugar, Crisp Fall Air, Woodsmoke, and a Tendril of Incense

This one, I wasn't quite sure what to make of when I first smelled it. It is sweet. Chewy taffy and cotton candy and a hint of something sugary and fried. I like the sweet stuff, and I wasn't sure if I could do this one. But there is something compelling and compulsively sniffable about this. Once the vanilla tinged sweetness starts to burn off, there is a very soft incensey note that draws me in. Though extremely sweet, the latter notes keep this from smelling too "young" or cutesy. I suspect this is a blend that would react to people's skin in different ways, leaning towards either the gourmand or the incense.

Mystery Scent #3 : Tea.  No. Not tea. More earthy, like hay or grass. White florals, a little spicy. Sharp and refreshing. Faint fruitiness.

Riverside Hayride
Moist Dirt, White Carnations, Fallen Leaves, Bare Branches, Hay and a Hint of Pressed Apples Carried on the Breeze from Corvin's Apple Orchard

Swoon. Solstice Scents does atmospheric so well. I don't really think of florals in the fall. Mostly it's the usual gourmands and spices, maybe some dirt thrown in. Florals? Not so much. But for me, carnation always translates into a wistful, haunting, slightly melancholy floral, so what better flower to evoke a mysterious nighttime hayride? This smells really elegant to me, and while it sets the scene of the Riverside Hayride perfectly literally with the breezes and dirt and whiff of apples, it also just smells like a really classy perfume. The white carnation is sweet, delicate, and invigorating  rather than super spicy/clove-y. Beautiful.

Mystery Scent #4: Now, that is tea for sure! Spicy chai tea, strong on the ginger. Clear, astringent quality. Reminds me of the ginger in Lemon GInger Creams. Will have to layer.

Sycamore Chai
Vanilla Chai Tea and a Ginger-Pumpkin Roll Filled with Marshmallow Creme

I noticed I sometimes use "clear" as a word to describe certain scents, and I'm not sure why I do that. Some scents make me think of a clear, clean glass of water, rather than, 
say, a cup full of thick, dark molasses. So maybe it's a visual thing, but I think I also mean clear as an auditory thing, like certain scents smell to me like the ringing of a chime or bell, rather than the deep strum of bass. Scent construction is often described in terms of musical notes, so maybe I'm not too far out in the stratosphere? Sycamore Chai has that clean, clear smell to me. The tea note is very apparent along with the ginger and a touch of cardamom, but the bakery notes, the marshmallow and pumpkin roll, aren't as readily apparent to me. Perhaps as it dries down it starts feeling a little more like sweet goods, but it doesn't feel heavy. 

Angela has recommended this for layering and I agree. I tried it with my Lemon Ginger Creams, and YUMMO! The ginger in both provided a nice spicy bite, and the tea and lemon cookies melded perfectly together. She also suggested layering it with Manor on Facebook and I tried that too, though I had my reservations: no, it is really lovely as well! That dusty, vanilla woods mixed with the tea and spices worked better together than I would have expected. Worth a sniff if you have both.

Mystery Scent #5: All Apple. All the time. Creamy too. Like an apple cider float. Big mounds of vanilla ice cream floating in a mug of apple cider. Is there such a thing? There should be.

Corvin's Apple Fest
Apple Pastries, Caramel Apples, Fresh Apples, Warm Apple Cider, Vanilla, Apple Pie, Apple Cream Cheese Danish

This scent is, and I don't use this word often to describe scents,...scrumptious. It is the appleiest apple scent to ever fall from the perfume tree, and I love it so. It's fresh and creamy and I get a fair amount of cream cheese tang too, which was interesting and not what I was expecting since it was way at the end of the description. But oh man. It is, here's that word again, scrumptious. My only complaint is that it fades really quickly on me, though the description clearly states it has lower sillage and is nice for work environments. It's an apple-centric scent, and as a top note, that's just the nature of the beast. The dry down is mostly vanilla with some mild apple cider spices. I am crossing my fingers for a restock of the glaces, as I want to be fully ensconced in that most apple of fests, and the glaces seem to sometimes have stronger sillage and staying power than the regular oils. If you like apple...try it. That's all I've got to say about that.

Mystery Scent #6: Leather, soft smoke. Sort of like Library. Tobacco comes across as sweet-reminds me of scents like Old Havana and High Noon. Not heavy though, quite earthy and airy.

Gibbon's Boarding School
  Dusty Wooden Desks, Paper, Carefully Hidden Tobacco Pouch, Dying Fire, Dried Leaves, Leather Chairs, Autumn Breeze

This is really nice. The most squarely unisex of the bunch, this would be your safest bet for the gents in your life if you're contemplating holiday gifts. It does remind me of Library, but loftier, full of rustling leaves. I keep flashing on those scenes in the Harry Potter movies filmed at Lacock Abbey, with the open stone hallways with the elegant arches alongside the green courtyard area. Even though its a woodsier scent I think of that setting for some reason. It's more fresh and airy and infused with nature than Library, but still has the woodsy warmth and leatheriness of the latter. 

Mystery Scent #7 : Honey and smoke.

Smokewood Apiary 
Smoked Honey, Creamed Honey, Beeswax, Amber, Wooden Frames, Ginger & Vanilla

Yep, this is honey and smoke. It's actually really beautiful. It's quite balanced, the smokiness is nowhere near as intense as in scents like, say, Smoky Mountatin Mallow. The various honey notes include, as far as I can tell, something similar to the honey in Sun-Warmed Honey, that one wasn't bad, but I like the honey in this much better. It doesn't remotely turn into the dreaded honey "pee" note, which was a great relief. The smoke keeps it from being cloyingly sweet and the honey tempers the smokiness. Once it dries down I get more of the amber and vanilla and it really evokes scents like Conjure at that point. To me it's a really wearable, sexy scent!

I liked every single one of these, which is not terribly surprising but terribly inconvenient; I must be ruthlessly selective in my full size decisions! After much contemplation and hand-wringing, on my to-buy list are Riverside Hayride, Sycamore Chai, and ideally a glace, but a perfume will suffice in a pinch, of Corvin's Apple Fest. But, this collection may become permanent so hopefully someday I'll have the opportunity for the others!

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1 comment :

  1. Sorry for the double post. I'm not sure if my first comment went through. First of all, I love your reviews (as always!). Secondly, I purchased Riverside Hayride in the full size perfume and whipped soap. I totally agree that it adds a haunting, melancholic element to the autumn blend. I adore it. I also bought Gibbon's Boarding School in the full size because Library is my cuppa tea, but I believe they're different enough to own both. <3


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