I've been trying to avoid trying new perfume shops all willy-nilly, as I have perfume coming out of my ears. But I had a good reason for trying Deep Midnight. G's birthday was on February 2nd, and as I browsed for potential gifts, I found that Deep Midnight (a name I had heard mentioned in reviews occasionally and favorably, but still fairly obscure) had a set of scents based on characters from The Walking Dead. G and I have just started getting into it in the past couple months, and he is totally obsessed. I'm not usually into fandom type things, but the descriptions seemed well-developed and thoughtful, like the owner wasn't just tossing some random notes together and slapping it with the character's name. So, I decided to take the plunge and order the sample set.

The owner of Deep Midnight, Cat, has a pretty huge scent selection on Etsy, and it's kind of overwhelming. There are lots of fandom collections, gothic scents, seasonal/holiday, steampunk, scents inspired by different times and places. The overall tone is a little more edgy/gothy/dark than other shops I've tried, but there is a wide variety of scent styles to choose from. When you order, you're allowed a free sample per purchase, and you can choose your own or let Cat choose for you. There are themed sample sets or choose-your-own, which vary in cost according to the number of scents included. All of the full size bottles are 9 ML cobalt blue roll on bottles, and are $17.00. After much deliberating, I left a note in the comments that I would like White Moon, or Lady of Light if that one was unavailable as my free sample.

I ordered on January 21, and my order shipped on the 28th. I got it on February 2nd, just in time for G's birthday. Everything was packaged securely in a little black bag, with a business card. Immediately I noticed that I got both White Moon and Lady of Light, and the included invoice said as a new customer with an order of $15.00 I got a second free sample. So that was a nice surprise.

For something a little different, since this haul was mainly for G, I'm going to share his thoughts on the scents. He doesn't know notes, so he went with some general impressions, how the scents made him feel, because that's how he rolls. My thoughts will be after. He knew the inspiration behind each one going in, and he was impressed with how well each one meshed with his perceptions of the characters for the most part.

Angel Rising 
 Inspired by the character of Daryl Dixon. Virtually abandoned by his family and abused as a child, Daryl was a survivalist from birth, perfectly suited for the end of the world; he assumes the role of hero after finally finding family among the group. He is known for his iconic angel wings vest and crossbow.

Main notes of leather, vetiver, oakmoss, red cedar and a touch of spicy clove, combine with Maplewood, yellow jasmine, and mountain laurel to create a scent that is woodsy, spicy, and warm. This unisex scent borders slightly on the masculine side of the scale.

G: It's goooood. Fresh, ethereal, comforting. Nuanced, like the character. Comfort and safety.

Me: It's a little dirty and grimy in a leathery, peppery way. Like a worn leather jacket smeared with engine oil. The leather and spiciness of the clove makes me think of Sixteen92's Salem. It is a stoic, comforting scent, like G said. I would feel pretty safe in the arms of a guy smelling like this. But that might be my own personal Daryl bias talking here...

Cherokee Rose
 Inspired by the character of Carol Peletier. Carol was a loving mother who suffered abuse at the hands of her husband. After losing her both her husband and daughter to the zombies, Carol grows to be strong and independent survivor capable of making her own hard decisions. When the search is on for her missing daughter Sophia, Daryl Dixon gives Carol a Cherokee Rose.

This feminine blend contains main notes of: Cherokee rose, tuberose, and other soft florals.

G: Pretty, gives me chills. It's feminine, a moving scent.

Me: I get creamy tuberose and a light, pink rose from this. It's not an in-your-face red rose, but more like a delicate, dewy Victorian tea rose. It's really pretty. Because G is awesome and open-minded, he's worn this a couple times and it always takes me aback. It flips the script for me- what smells so good? Oh, it's you. You smell like roses. It's pretty, but also kind of sexy now. It's a trip! This one actually had the strongest sillage of them all- I could tell G was wearing it when I got in our car with him. With the others he had to hold his wrist to my nose.

Elderberry Alchemy
 Inspired by the character of Hershel Greene. A quiet farmer and veterinarian, who believed in the good of people, had to learn long and hard lessons when the word fell apart. He always believed in doing the right thing and helping people. When illness comes to the group of survivors, he takes an unimaginably bad situation and turns into something transcendent with his hope in simple, natural healing and his faith in the ability of the human race to continue on.
Main notes of sweet elderberries, twigs and leaves, combine with a dry and sweet wood note, and a faint touch of patchouli. This scent borders on the feminine side of the scale.

G: Smells like something a little girl would wear. Sweet, almost treacly.

Me: Yeah, so I have to agree with G here. I don't like many berry-centric scents, and this one on cold sniff is almost cloying berry-scented-candle. The dry down is more earthy and incense-y however, and makes it a lot more wearable and interesting. But still, I think this was the most underwhelming of the bunch for both of us. EDIT: well, I checked back with him just now that he's had it for a while and he says he likes it more now than he did initially. My opinion stands- not much for the cold sniff, but dry-down is a vast improvement.

Samurai Surprise 
Inspired by the character of Michonne. Forged in the aftermath of the disease that swept away civilization, Michonne is a hard edged katana-wielding warrior hiding a gentle and childlike heart (and a candy bar in her backpack).

Her scent is comprised of: Nag champa, amber, rich chocolate, and a light dusting of citrus and florals. This is a unisex scent.

G: Smells like a mysterious Tootsie Roll pop. Hmmm...not just one thing. Strength and playfulness.

Me: This does have a Halloween-y Tootsie Roll chocolate note on top, which made me nervous. But as G said, there are more layers. The fake chocolate fades, and I can pick up a faint citrus bite, and I can definitely get some incense too as it dries down. It's got a dusty, musty kind of new age shop thing going on, too. This one I like better on G than myself.

Walking Paradox
Inspired by the character of Rick Grimes. Is the memory of light enough to save him from the darkness? Struggling to maintain his humanity in a world where goodness and a trusting nature can get you killed, Rick is forced to find balance between the peaceful life of a farmer trying to rebuild some semblance of community with his group of survivors and the brutality of a man who will stop at nothing to protect his family.

Masculine woody notes of red cedar, sandalwood, amber, and bergamot entwine with the calming notes of tomato leaves, cucumber, and herbs to create a scent that is both strong and warm and green and cool. This unisex scent borders slightly to the masculine side of the scale.

G: Makes me feel like life is a good thing- like being in the woods on a spring day, earthy.

Me: I'm usually not much for cucumber in perfumes (usually paired with cliched melon), but this one is garden fresh, herbal, kind of like a men's cologne, but much more interesting. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a fougere, but it has that ambiance to me. I really, really like this. I get hints of wet soil, with sunshine soaking in. It really is cool and warm at the same time. This may be my favorite. 

Bonus samples: 

Lady of Light
Beautiful main notes of orange blossom, vetiver, and oakmoss combine with light and complementing notes of honey, azalea and woods.

This is inspired by the Tolkien character Galadriel, and it works for me! I adore orange blossom, and this is how I love it best- where it is more floral, less citrusy. It's elegant and earthy, with a coolness almost reminiscent of tea. I love this.

White Moon
 The Moon of Light. The palest, most sensual amber envelops notes of mimosa, orange blossoms, ginger, and finishes with delicate notes of lighter florals, ozone, and woods. Sensual, bright, and magical!

This has a similar vibe to Lady of Light, but it's warmer, more heady, and just a little bit spicy from the ginger. If Lady of Light is a cool spring morning, White Moon is a sultry summer night. 

So, Deep Midnight really exceeded my expectations. I had just hoped to give G a neat, quirky birthday gift, but instead I found a shop that I'm really interested to explore more! I was really quite pleasantly surprised. The scents were all thoughtfully blended, and had plenty of depth and nuance. Some of them really needed to be be worn to show their true colors, but the complexity and quality was there. I'm already plotting my next order!

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