Alchemic Muse Perfume Sample Review


I bought a set of three (plus one free) 1ml perfume oil samples from AlchemicMuse on Etsy for $10 NZD. The full 5ml bottles are $15 NZD each.

Vanilla Oak: It opens as fresh and light with camphor and bergamot. A warm, woody and smoky vanilla backed by spices carries most of this perfume though. Like the rest of Alchemic Muse’s perfumes it smells natural however the notes aren’t as prominent – for example I don’t get much vanilla, it just feels well blended in. It’s a hazy perfume, presenting this ambery woody effect. It’s rather ethereal and of the fae world whilst being grounded and earthy at the same time. It might be weakest blend of the set and is a touch soapy. 6/10.

Krumkake: I had the most incredible experience with this perfume. I got this as a free sample but it’s not listed anywhere on the shop so I was excited to guess what notes this had. Straight from the bottle I recognized the scent from my childhood but it took me a moment to remember what it was. I remembered I used to make this ‘thing’ (I momentarily forgot the name) with sugar and golden syrup in a pot so I googled it and, lo and behold, it’s HOKEY POKEY of course!! It smells warm, extremely sugary and dripping in honey with hints caramel and toffee.

On my skin it’s a bit different with spices like cinnamon and as it dried down it strayed away from  hokey pokey so I googled what Krumkake was. It turns out it’s a Norwegian Waffle Cookie (YES THIS EXISTS) which makes complete sense. It’s 100% gourmand, rich and very sweet – probably a little bit too much for me but it’s incredibly fun. The cinnamon gets stronger as the perfume goes on and it’s somewhat off-putting as I don’t actually like cinnamon. It also reminds me of chai blends due to the cinnamon which, as I said, I don’t like. It’s not something I would wear but I like smelling it. This smells so real that I think someone is baking in the kitchen. Incredible sillage and longevity. 7.5/10.

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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.

Speakeasy Vanilla by WigglePerfume Review

Speakeasy Vanilla by WigglePerfume                                     5ml Perfume Oil for $15 from WigglePerfume on Etsy

Notes: Bourbon vanilla, creamy vanilla, sultry amber, smoky frankincense, white musk and bay rum.

This fragrance from the bottle smells pretty much how it does on my skin. It’s strong, spicy and rich. At first I get a dark bourbon vanilla and frankincense but that softens a little into the background and a subtle creamy vanilla comes out. The amber and vanilla base is lovely – perfect combination and artfully blended.

It’s cooler (at the start before it warms up) than most of my vanilla perfumes and it reminds me ever so slightly of Eau Duelle by Diptyque but much nicer. Sometimes I get wisps of patchouli and cardamom which is strange because they’re not listed notes. It reminds me of something some of my friends would wear – my hipster alternative friends that is. I think it’s a little too much for the office or fancy parties. It does really smell like it would suit a tipsy day of baking in the kitchen with music – which makes me happy. 8/10.

“I’m not usually a vanilla person. It’s such a classic, feminine, and decadently sexy scent, I’ve always really wanted to like it…but just couldn’t. Well, I’ve fixed that problem! My Speakeasy Vanilla is another thing altogether, not cloying or overly precious. This vanilla does not wear pigtails. It does not have a “daddy’s little girl” license plate holder. This vanilla is a grown ass woman who spent a hot, tipsy day in the kitchen, rocking out to Etta James in heels, perfecting her creme brulee. Or something like that…” – Nani from WigglePerfume

Scent by the Sea Sample Review

I bought a 10 pack (plus 1 free) sample set of perfume oils from Scent by the Sea on Etsy for $17 NZD and here is my review of them.

Kabuki: This was a free sample included and recommended to me by the perfumer when I said I liked oriental and warm scents. All I had to go off was the short description that said it was “inspired by the art of David Mack.” I had not come across the art of David Mack before so, naturally, I looked it up – it’s very beautiful (go check it out!) but I had no idea how it would transfer into a scent. Turns out it does this well as Kabuki is reminiscent of vague watercolour brushstrokes, warm colours and has a soft grace to it. It’s warm, wet, oriental, slightly soapy, slightly gourmand and smells like sunlight touching your skin. Now I’m not really sure of the notes but I’m pretty sure there’s some Sandalwood (reminds me of a softer version of Sandalwood Vanilla) in here, maybe a little vanilla, maybe coconut and something floral like Frangipani. It kind of reminds me of Madagascan Vanilla Flower by The Body Shop. This is one of my favourites from the set and I’ll probably purchase a full bottle – nice recommending! 7/10.

Cote d’Azur: Oh my god I can’t stand this this perfume. I actually can’t try it on again to review it so I’m just sniffing it from the bottle. It’s strong, almost medicinal and bitter to me. I’ve read polarising reviews on this; people either love it or hate it and I’m the latter. The notes are apparently lavender, champagne, vanilla and a hint of coconut but I can’t really tune into one as it’s a headache inducing blur to me. I think it’s the lavender and champagne causing the problem – they don’t blend well at all. Normally if I don’t like a perfume I’ll still wear it and let it run it’s course but I had to try to scrub this off immediately. It’s sad because I see where the perfumer was trying to go with this. 1/10.

Middle Earth: A perfume that’s meant to smell like Middle Earth? I simply had to get it. It’s quite strong on first application but settles down into something sweeter. I can’t find a list of notes on Etsy anymore so I’m going by my nose. I get a lot of Pine, a slight shampoo smell, hints of herbs (marjoram?) and other woods, it’s slightly fruity, green and resinous. It doesn’t necessarily smell like Middle Earth in a bottle to me but maybe a forest the fellowship would’ve camped out in. The kind of forest where your head is buried into the foliage. I don’t see myself wearing it but it’s an interesting experience. 5/10.

Cinema Rouge: This is a great and well blended perfume that I have become to especially respect since trying a lot of other perfumes. The name is very befitting for such a perfume and it matches it’s description well. The perfumer describes Cinema Rouge as “a willingness to consort with the seamy side of desire, excess and all things sensual and forbidden. A dedication to the vamp cinema style of Theda Bara.” It’s basically a smokey yet creamy amber with a touch of vanilla. It’s a little bit gourmand and spicy – the note I initially thought was anise turns out to be malabar pepper which is rather unique and prominent on my skin. Apparently black orchard is a note but I’m not familiar with it so I’m unable to comment on it. It gets a bit powdery on dry down and can easily be worn on a man. If you like amber scents I would definitely recommend this. It reminds me of various Tom Ford perfumes. I think it’s too dark for use during the day but I would wear it at night when I’m feeling moody, gothic and/or mysterious. 6.5/10.

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