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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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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