Imaginary Authors Sample Review


I ordered a 2ml sample of Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors from their website and they kindly gave me samples of Violet Disguise and Cape Heartache as well – all for $6!! Awesome value and service. 🙂

The concept of Imaginary Authors is rather unique and self-explanatory. The perfumes are based off the lives of these authors that the perfumer made up. The real version of this would be if people made perfume out of the lives of J.K Rowling or Jane Austin or George RR Martin – it’s interesting concept to think about.


Notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Guaiacwood, Myrrh, Benzoin Resin, Ambrette Seeds & Oak Barrels.

This opens as a dusty vanilla with some sweet wood but at the same time, as someone previously mentioned, it has a faint tar/shoe polish scent for a few minutes. This is probably from the myrrh and/or benzoin which is noticeable but not overwhelming. I’m getting a lot of guaiac wood (and a little oak barrel) from it with a rather smoky and slight incense tinge.

I don’t get much vanilla for the first hour or so, as it seems to be used more as a base to back up the overall concept, but I finally get a rather incredible vanilla. I can see, now that I know what kind of Vanilla it is, how it was subtly there at the start but the smoky wood was veiling it. It’s a very pure vanilla, more essence than cake-sweet. The vanilla does gets slightly sweeter in a woody-way though as it goes on and resins influence it heavily. The more I smell this the more I like it and it’s, somehow, strangely exactly what I imagined this perfume to be.

It is a warm, cozy and nostalgic perfume with a mysterious ‘it smells like something from my past that I can’t quite put my finger on’ aspect. Amber isn’t a listed note but it has an ambery aspect. It is surprisingly unisex. It reminds me, of course, of campfires and autumn but is also a rather lonely scent. It’s much lighter than Mona di Orio’s Vanille and isn’t a home-fireplace scent like Firebird’s Woodsmoke Vanilla. It also reminds me of Loreena Mckennitt’s music. 7.5/10.

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Gothic I by Loree Rodkin Review

Gothic I by Loree Rodkin                                  50ml EDP for $140 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Vanilla pod, Madagascar vanilla, spice accord, Tunisian patchouli and Indian patchouli.

The description on Lucky Scent does it justice “A moody vanilla shrouded in a mist of light woods and patchouli. Sensuous and unrepentant. We picture long hair whipping in the wind, a search by candlelight and a man driven half mad by love. Still, for all of its gorgeous drama, we could wear this everyday. It has the luxuriant skin-caressing softness of a vintage silk velvet cape. Worn over nothing. Voluptuous and mesmerizing.”

It opens with a deep and velvety vanilla, backed up by a dark patchouli and smoky spices. I really like the vanilla in this, it’s warm and full-bodied. The Patchouli is a strong force, dirty and earthy. Gothic I flickers like a candle between the Patchouli and the Vanilla – some reviewers have mentioned this might have to do with temperature; that the vanilla is more prominent in cooler temperatures and the patchouli is more prominent warmer temperatures. It’s very complex and well blended.

This is rich, luxurious, silky, seductive, mysterious, dark and dramatic. However, at times, I’m sure some people will find it medicinal or too incensey. This perfume is quite powerful and not for the light-hearted but it’s not at all too much for me. It’s reminds me of things like Phantom of the Opera and Sarah Brightman – both of which I love.

I believe you’d have to be a certain type of person to pull Gothic I off which, at times, I am so I’m probably going to have to buy a full bottle of this. It’s my dark secret. Some people have said this is really sweet but I find it actually suits it’s name, gothic, with only a touch of vanillac and patchouli-esque sweetness. It’s a definitely a night perfume and I’d keep it away from the office. It’s more suited to colder seasons and smells like an alternative shop. Both the sillage and longevity are medium on me. 8/10.


OlivineAtelier Sample Review


I bought a sample set of six perfume oils from OlivineAtelier on Etsy for $38 NZD. This was my first perfume sample purchase in early 2014 so it holds a special place in my heart. I had no idea where my perfume adventures would take more nor did I know much about what notes I liked – ie I realized I’m not a fan of white florals, especially Jasmine.

Full Regalia is quite dry, light, sweet and powdery. I can smell a sweet vanilla and – a lot of – jasmine before it settles into a gentle musk on me. It smells very feminine, borderline girly, on me. The image it brings to mind is of a young Victorian women in a pastel-pink lacy corset with a hint of something darker/mysterious. Not much like the racehorse description…maybe it’s my body chemistry. 6/10.

She Belongs There is very floral with the jasmine being particularly strong. It settles into something lighter once it dries down and after a while I can finally smell the vanilla but the jasmine, which I don’t really like, remains the star of the show. 4.5/10.

Olivine is very light, wet, fresh and musky to my nose which was a pleasant shock because I was expecting a full on blast of gardenia. It very accurately matches its description and I actually kind of like the subtle gardenia in this one. It smells like sitting by the riverside to me in a white flowy skirt. OH WOAH – AFTER A WHILE THE GARDENIA KICKS IN AND BECOMES RATHER STRONG. 5/10.

More Than The Stars is quite strong when you first put it on, I think it’s the Stargazer Lily coming through, and I like how obvious the top note of almond is . It’s a bit too floral for me at the start but I love when it settles down into its base notes; the Sandalwood, Vanilla and Musk are glorious. It really does feel like gazing at the stars from a blanket on grass with your lover next to you. It’s quite mature, almost motherly and probably the most sensual of the lot. I might actually buy a FB of this. 7/10.

Amongst the Waves lives up to its description of being a gentle beachy breeze. I can smell the sea salt and a various types of Lily which I think are actually nicely subtle and not overwhelming at all. The base of musk, sandalwood and tonka is glorious – that’s exactly how bases should work! It’s a nice warm, comforting exotic floral-oriental scent. I think layering this with my Madagascan Vanilla from the Body Shop would be amazing. I might actually buy a FB of this. 7/10.

Oxley starts with a strong burst of Gardenia and Jasmine which is, of course, just a bit too floral for me but I like how it blends with the vanilla and musk. It does feel like a partner to Olivine, it’s the warm and deep to Olivine’s cool and light. Could be unisex. 5/10.

I found all of the oils had medium to strong sillage and lasted for a decent 5ish hours. It was gorgeously packaged with a unique style and stability to it. I love the branding as well as the promoting of self love and care that Julie embodies with her products.

FirebirdBathBody Sample Review


I bought a set of three 1ml samples from FirebirdBathBody on Etsy for $6 NZD. The value of these is great because a full 9ml roll on perfume oil bottle is about $13 NZD.

Woodsmoke and Vanilla: This is a lovely and cosy scent. It definitely smells of wood-smoke but in a fireplace-way more than a campfire-way like Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors is. I like this a lot because it reminds me of stormy nights curled up by the fireplace reading a book with tea as opposed to an earthy bonfire night dancing with alcohol scent. The vanilla is definitely there, and becomes more prominent in the dry-down, but is more of a backdrop to the smoky wood (cedar?) with a minty fir aspect. 7/10.

Vanilla Amber: Goodness this is yummy, I will simply have to buy a full bottle of this. It’s a soft, warm and cozy Oriental Gourmand. The amber is very rich and almost honeyed whilst the vanilla is a unique vanilla bean. The other notes of coconut, cardamom and sandalwood blend perfectly around this lovely creation. I recommend layering this with Woodsmoke and Vanilla. 8/10.

Black Cocoa: Dark chocolate. This is literally black cocoa. This is one of the closest to real chocolate scents I have come across. It’s rich and dark – not sweet or really even edible. There’s a woody aspect to it (cedar and sandalwood). It’s a bit dramatic and strong for me but I admire it. 6/10

I do get a slight soapy scent from these sometimes though. They are mostly skin scents but have a bit of throw and last about 3 hours.

Les Nombres d`Or Vanille by Mona di Orio Review

Les Nombres d’Or Vanille by Mona di Orio                 100ml EDP for $230 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Top notes are petitgrain, clove, rum and bitter orange; middle notes are vetiver, sandalwood, guaiac wood and ylang-ylang; base notes are amber, tonka bean, vanille, tolu balsam, leather and musk.

This opens on me as very woody with an emphasis on clove and bitter orange. After about half an hour in it settles into a rum dipped sandalwood and guaiac wood perfume with a hint of tonka bean. I think it’s the vetiver which is giving it an almost fresh and sharp grassy wood scent.

I finally get something resembling Vanilla about an hour in with the amber – it’s subtle and blended with the woods. The noticeable hints of tolu balsam and leather blend with the perfume perfectly. It reminds me ever so slightly of Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors but more expensive and executed differently. Memoirs has a lighter smoked wood campfire feel whilst this is deeper, woodier and smells like being trapped in a sauna-room or cargo-hold for too long.

I think this is indeed artfully blended and well worth it’s popularity but it’s slightly too masculine and woody for me. It’s dark and deep. Bitter and smoky. There is a rich story in this, a cargo hold of a merchant ship on the high seas. Pirates and cigars sitting on barrels drinking rum.

I’m currently reading a book called S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst and this perfume reminds me of it and what I imagine the Ship of Theseus to smell like. I was expecting to love this but it doesn’t really suit me – I think I’d like it on a guy. I like the story Mona’s Vanille tells, sniffing it like a decoration – a ship in a glass bottle if you will, but it’s not something I’d actively wear. 7.5/10.

Eau Duelle by Diptyque Review

Eau Duelle by Diptyque                                                      100ml EDT for $135 USD from LuckyScent

Notes: Cardamom, cyprus, elemi, pink pepper, juniper, saffron, calamus, black tea, olibanum, amber, firnat vanilla, bourbon vanilla and white musk.

I was recommend this perfume by another vanilla lover who called it a ‘cold and spicy vanilla’ which is a very apt description of it. However I also find it bitter, sour, pungent and headache-inducing. No, I do not like this and I apologize for this because I hear it is well liked. Maybe it just doesn’t suit my body chemistry and maybe I should try the new EDP version which is apparently quite different but, after months of trying, I’m just not warming up to it.

This opens on me as sharp, cold and bitter. I get the pink pepper, bergamot and tea quite strongly. It’s airy, green and spicy to me. I feel like it’s a completely different perfume than the favorable reviews portray. It took me a moment to recognize the cardamom because I’ve smelt it in mostly warm and cozy perfumes so it was a twist in this.

The images that it brings to mind is an aromatic forest where it’s just began to snow or, equally, like a bitter but proper old lady in a tea parlor. It also smells rather sad like you’re sitting at a graveyard of someone you loved in cold weather. It’s like a cold spiced vodka tea cocktail.

I smell very little vanilla for the first few hours but then a sad bourbon vanilla comes through. It does settle into something subtler with more vanilla and gets a bit warmer as it dries down but I still don’t like it very much. 4.5/10.


Vanille Bourbon Osmo Absolu by Il Profvmo Review

Vanille Bourbon Osmo Absolu by Il Profvmo                         50ml EDP for $135 USD from Luckyscent

Notes: Orchids (bourbon and yellow), heliotrope, tiare, amber, vanilla and rosewood.

On my vanilla adventures I found this gorgeous and almost entirely unique perfume. It’s a ridiculously pure, rich, milky and silky bourbon vanilla. It’s airy, light and elegantly whispers to you. It’s quite simple and linear but that adds to it’s charm. It’s warm and soothing with a touch of sweetness. I do get a small accord of floral notes (especially heliotrope) but they sit background to the Vanilla and enhance this perfume nicely.

It smells luxurious, one could bathe in this stuff and it’s perfect for layering. It’s a soft, simple and subtle perfume with low to moderate sillage but is quite long lasting. It’s easygoing, a brisk walk round the block with a smile before doing some baking. It feels rather happy and uplifting.

This is a perfume that every vanilla lover should try as it is close to pure vanilla extract and is far away from cheap cupcake vanilla. I might buy a full bottle of this at some point – a 7.5/10 for me.