Beyonce Heat

Today we’ve got Beyonce’s Heat perfume. This fragrance, along with J-Lo Glow, are extremely popular and are often asked about. So I’m finally crawling out of the wood works and digging up my notes on it.


In Bottle: Ah peach up front. Big, synthetic, sweet peach. You know I used to like peach but now that I’m smelling it everywhere, I kind of wish these celebuscents would move onto a more obscure fruit. How about the beloved durian? Noble, spiky, tastes like custard and smells like sewage . . . What?

Applied: All right, so we got sweet peach up front blasting the opening wide open with a big fruity announcement. The background to the peach that digs itself into the mid-stage is a series of barely detectable florals. The fluffy opener leads rather well into a warm cleaned up amber and fruity flowers mid-stage with the sweetness still lingering about even now after the peach is all gone. Heat dries down in a rather expected fashion, keeping that warm amber scent and adding vanilla and soft woods. Heat’s nothing new, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but like all celebrity scents it is a good, decently constructed, wearable fragrance.

Extra: So Beyonce’s first perfume release was a big smash hit. Though most of Heat’s popularity probably has less to do with the juice and more to do with Beyonce’s  name on the bottle. This stuff sells, and it’s okay with me so long as the stuff they sell is at least decently composed–which Heat is. Smell away. Heat has already spawned a few flankers so if the original doesn’t float your boat, there’s Heat Rush and the elixir version of Heat.

Design: The bottle’s shape reminds me a bit of Hugo Boss Deep Red with a few interesting curves  and a few neat little colors added in. I’m okay with the design. It is what it is, though, which is a flashy celebrity bottle. One of the better ones out there.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Oriental

Notes: Red vanilla orchid, magnolia, neroli and peach, honeysuckle, almond, creamy musk, sequoia wood, tonka, amber.

I don’t know if I’m going to be up to smelling those two Heat flankers. I expected a bit more out of this fragrance than what I got. In the end, it’s a celebrity perfume that’s fairly predictable in how it was built and how it plays itself out.

Reviewed in This Post: Heat, 2010, Eau de Parfum.

Alan Cumming Cologne

Alan Cumming clearly has a sense of humor as the fragrance’s name in this case is “Cumming”, quite simply. The name has wrinkled noses the world over who don’t see exactly how high-brow the humor behind this scent actually gets. Whether you share the humor or not, you can at least give Cumming a try. I’m rather surprised that the nose, Christopher Brosius of Demeter and CB I Hate Perfume fame, didn’t take this fragrance more literally. Okay, okay, I’m done with the jokes. I promise.

Alan Cumming Cologne

In Bottle: Earthy and leathery up top. Very surprising for a celebrity fragrance composed in 2004. But we are talking Brosius here and say what you want about the man, but he is not one to conform to expected norms.

Applied: Loud opening with an earthy leather and whisky combination folding you in, making you think things will only get stronger from there. But the fragrance heads into its mid-stage in a surprising twist. The pepper takes up a bit of fight from opening to mid-stage lending the fragrance a hint of spice. The scent then goes from heavy to light, something that I didn’t expect this fragrance to do as the mid-stage smells of warm and smooth nuttiness, woods and earth. Nicely done, I don’t smell any of the heavy leather from the opening but there’s a minor trace of it giving this scent a bit of complexity during the mid-stage. This is an oxymoron of a scent, and surprisingly lovely as a result. Over the years of smelling celebrity perfumes, I’ve come to expect predictability but Cumming is a pleasant left fielder.  The interesting bit at the end of this fragrance is a smooth earthy scent. Quite personal, and–dare I say it?–rather sophisticated. This fragrance isn’t for everybody mainly because the opening does turn a lot of people away. If you like the opening, or can stick it out for about an hour, the fragrance does take a turn for the very interesting and very wearable.

Extra: I had to stop myself halfway into that introduction paragraph and wonder why I can find humor in Cumming and it’s ad campaign when I found Marc Jacobs Bang and its ad campaign an eye roller. There are several reasons why, but the one that comes readily to mind for me is the fact that Cumming knows its name, knows it’s funny, and runs with it. Bang seemed to be named thus to sell itself as sexy or shocking. This, this is just in good fun and I can more readily appreciate that far more. If you’re interested in the Cumming fragrance, there’s 2nd Alan Cumming also by Brosius. You can read up about it on Brosius’s site here.

Design: Simple rectangular bottle with a tall cylindrical cap. The name on the glass written in a slight bit haphazardly and–let’s not kid ourselves–it was obviously designed with the name in mind. I can get on board with funny things like this. Perfume is all together too serious sometimes.

Fragrance Family: Earthy

Notes: Bergamot, black pepper, scotch pine, whiskey, cigar, heather, douglas fir, leather, highland mud, peat fire, white truffle.

Probably one of the best celebrity fragrances that I can commend out there. And it’s been described as an anti-celebrity fragrance. Heck, I’m on board with that. It’s interesting, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it’s one of the few that can stand on its own as a fragrance.

Reviewed in This Post: Cumming, 2006, Eau de Parfum.

Paris Hilton Fairy Dust

So that little episode with Boadicea the Victorious’ Complex left me in a bit of a weird mood and what better way to usher out the smell of smoked roadkill than a Paris Hilton perfume? I kid. Paris’ perfumes are not bad. They are great hallmarks of what modern (as of this writing) feminine celebrity perfume is all about, fun, fruits, and not a care in the world.

Fairy Dust

In Bottle: Aquatic, sweet fruity scent with a bit of florals. Nothing groundbreaking, but it smells nice and is easily wearable.

Applied: Sweet and fruity up top with a very mild hint of gardenia layered over a giant bowl of peaches and assorted fruitery (I am making up words, leave me alone). There’s so very little I can say about celebrity perfumes like this, they all hit the same note eventually and that same note is during the mid-stage where the fragrance tends to nosedive into this very repetitive fruity floral mix that I can describe over and over again but ultimately it ends up the same way each time. It’s clean, it’s sweet, it’s girly, it’s fun, fruity and flowery. Oh yes, and it smells pleasant, of course. Fairy Dust dries down with a blend of clean patchouli, clean musk, and creamy vanilla.

Extra: So I, like many people probably, wondered what in the heck “Prosecco” was. A quick Googling reveals that it’s a white wine. I don’t drink wine very much anymore but hey, the more you know! Now Smell This has a bit more about the Prosecco accord.

Design: Like the designs of most of Paris Hilton’s perfume line, I find this one way too young or too far out of my tastes. The bottle has a turquois nozzle, the glass has a fairy on it–Okay, I’m going to come out and be honest with everyone now–I hate fairies. I do. I hate the insipid little imaginary things. I imagine that if they were real, they’d constantly be buzzing around my head giggling and sprinkling their fairy dandruff all over me. So every time a new fragrance comes out with a winged little fairy on it, I go a little mad. So like I was saying, there’s a fairy on the glass, the entire design is very young and yet strangely minimal at the same time. Minimalism works best when you go all out on it, I think. Doing it half-here and half-there only serves to make the design look incomplete or cheap. Sorry, I just don’t like the look of this packaging–and it’s not just the fairy.

Fragrance Family: Fruity Floral

Notes: Prosecco accord, pink peony, orange blossom, spring gardenia, water lily, peach nectar, sueded patchouli, cashmere musk, vanilla cream.

People have likened this to smelling like Juicy Couture (original) and I can see where that comes from. There’s a more fruity personality to Fairy Dust though that makes it hit a younger vibe than original Juicy Couture. I also, and call me out if I’m just crazy here, noted the lack of tuberose in Fairy Dust. I prefer Juicy Couture though Fairy Dust is a decent fragrance too–I just love me some tuberose.

Reviewed in This Post: Fairy Dust, 2008, Eau de Parfum.

Perfume Survey

I just thought this would be a fun thing to do on a slow day. So here are my answers to a quick little fragrance-oriented survey.

1. Let’s start this easy, what’s your favorite perfume?
This is sadly anything but an easy question. I have a lot of favorites and my favorite perfume changes every so often. But there is one consistent contender and I trot it out whenever this question comes up; Spiritueuse Double Vanille. People ultimately go into asking what that is and who makes it and what it smells like. So SDV, wonderful smoky vanilla, and great conversation starter.

2. Favorite notes in perfume?
Another hard question as I tend to like how notes play off of one another rather than focusing on one note in particular. My opinions of which notes I like also changed day-by-day and month-by-month. But I suppose if we just kept it general, the one note I tend to love in fragrances; natural vanilla. It must be natural or at least smell very convincingly natural, because the synthetic stuff has recently fallen out with me.

3. First perfume you ever wore?
Chanel No. 5 and it was not pretty. I was playing with my mother’s perfumes and got curious about  how Chanel No. 5 would smell like on me. So I sprayed it several times all over my head–just like they do in the movies! Bad idea. No. 5 is very potent and soon I was gagging and wheezing in the middle of a giant cloud of perfume. No. 5 and I have made up since then and now I think she’s a lovely classic.

4. First perfume you ever owned?
I’m not going to count body sprays here so the first perfume I ever owned was Nina by Nina Ricci. Fresh out of college. Wanted a perfume. Saw this pretty little bottle and though this smelled the best. I’ve since matured a bit in tastes but Nina remains one of the best fruity floral perfumes out there.

5. Worst perfume you’ve ever tried?
Depends on what ‘worst’ means in this case. Most annoying? Couture Couture by Juicy Couture. Worst smelling? Secretions Magnifiques. Worst composed? Vampire by Parfums de Coeur. I’ve smelled a lot in the past year and I’ve discovering that there’s no catch-all ‘greatest’ or ‘worst’. It’s all relative and can all be categorized. But split things up and get more specific and I can answer. So if you were to ask me, ‘worst bottle design?’ I can humorously tell you that Burberry Brit’s tartan brick is still the champion.

6. One perfume that stirs up a memory?
Perfumes tend to remind me of times, places and events rather than people. Prada’s Infusion d’Homme reminds me of my childhood spent in an apartment in Vietnam and the bars of soap I used to play with as a kid. It’s a balcony in the middle of a busy city. It’s a bucket and the sounds and smells of mid-afternoon marketplaces. Voices rising up and trying to drown each other out. And it’s the funny way soap slips and slides in a bucket of water.

7. Least favorite note in a perfume?
Again, any note in a perfume if used and blended well can add a beautiful dimension to the fragrance. But since we’re here, I tend to have consistently bad luck liking anything with civet in it. It takes me some time to get used to the perfume, to finally work past the animal in the fragrance and start appreciating it. I usually come around, but civet really gives me a run for my money.

8. How do you apply your perfume?
If it’s a spray type, I mist my arms and my chest and sometimes the backs of my knees. If it’s a splash type, my wrists and neck.

9. Heavier or lighter perfumes?
I’m a lightweight who likes lighter fragrances. If it’s a heavy fragrance then I will purposefully go light on it. I know a lot of people may not like the fragrance as much as me and I think going light on a heavy scent works for the both of us since they probably don’t want to smell me and I like it when I have to get close to my arm in order to smell something. Total lightweight.

10. Why do you like perfume?
I think it’s a beautiful art, and it’s fun to smell things and try to figure out what’s in them. I picked up and started this blog as a hobby, and it still remains a hobby for now. I haven’t stopped enjoying perfumes and smells and perfume makers haven’t stopped making new scents. So long as there’s perfume out there, you’ll find me, trying to smell it.

If you’re interested in doing this survey too, just copy and answer the questions! You can post it up on your own website or post it as a comment to this post. Go nuts.

Boadicea the Victorious Complex

Now, hey, I love Boadicea the Victorious’  Pure. I love the smelly excursions of this niche house. I just wish their stuff wasn’t so dang expensive for what you get. And then there’s Complex, which I think should have been named “Perplexing” instead.


In Bottle: Whoa, I think we have a contender for weirdest, most off-putting scent now. I know everyone gives Secretions Magnifiques that honor but Complex has the dirty, unpleasant smell thing going on right up front. Commendable, though I’m not so sure about wearable. And I’m talking abut unironic wearability here.

Applied: Bitter and green from get go with a very obvious and very loud civet presence. All this wrapped up in a thick blanket of choking smoke. This stuff isn’t for the weak–and I’m weak. I guess. It’s off-putting, it’s alarming. If I didn’t know they were trying to make this a wearable fragrance, I’d be saying Boadicea is trolling us all like Etat Libre d’Orange did. I’m sticking out with this one though. I refuse to let it call me a wuss. Complex is powerful, it’s a big projector too so while you wear this, wear it with confidence. Or wear it somewhere with lots of ventilation and not on an airplane. As I wait for the dry down, Complex does relatively little with its time as it remains predominantly animalic with a brush of sweet violets wavering in and out during the mid-stage. The violets do little to endear this fragrance to me, as the sweetness mixes with the smoky animalic personality of Complex to create this mess of fragrance that doesn’t go together at all. Dry down is marked with more civet (hey, it’s a strong component) as the fragrance ushers out with a bitter parting of the violets and the green. Meanwhile, you’ll be scrubbing for many a day to get the smoky civet off. This fragrance, to me, smells like baked roadkill. Which, I can’t decide, if this is better or worse than sweaty armpit. I’m going to say better–just barely.

Extra: I want to believe they did this on purpose–this making of a fragrance that challenges the concept of perfume and of–well, just smelling decent. I suppose if you are into fragrances that are, or should be, unwearable you can add Complex to the list.

Design: I do love the way Boadicea the Victorious bottles their fragrances. Pretty glass entrapped in intricate metal vines. The designs are reminiscent of Nordic and Gaelic art. Quite beautiful and interesting.

Fragrance Family: Dirty

Notes: Violet, labdanum, leather, musk, civet, basil, sage.

I never thought I’d label another fragrance under my imaginary ‘dirty’ fragrance family. But there you go. Complex is a powerful, high sillage smoky animalic with brushes of sweet violets and a really weird personality. Not my thing, can’t see myself wearing this, hope I don’t end up in an enclosed space with someone who does.

Reviewed in This Post: Complex, 2009, Eau de Parfum.

Freaking Out About Perfume

Seems in recent years, it’s become something of a trend to freak out about perfume, whether we use it ourselves or smell it on someone else. Clean air policies are popping up in office spaces and schools. But ‘clean air’ is a buzz term that doesn’t mean anything. Yes, we can clean the air of fragrances, but our air is far from clean and may never be clean again. We live in an alarmist culture where we’re made to believe almost anything that isn’t “natural” or derived from the good old soil we walk on is inherently bad for us.

When someone makes that argument with me, I immediately turn around and ask about nature’s ability to poison, harm, and kill us. The oleander, for instance, produces beautiful flowers. Would kill you if smoke from burning flowers was inhaled.

So I don’t really blame anyone for being wary of man made products. A lot of man made stuff is bad for us. I could take the easy route and point at processed foods that are helping to perpetuate our “obesity epidemic”. But when it comes to freaking out about your fragrances, how much do you really have to worry about?

It has always been my stance that freak outs about minor things like perfume use when you don’t have a severe allergy is about as good for you as hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. It’s basically like this, you’re causing yourself unnecessary stress over something that affects you on a relatively minor scale.

By all accounts and purposes, day to day living is more hazardous to your health than a couple of spritzes of perfume. If you happen to wear perfume every day, think of what else you’re subconsciously exposed to that’s probably worse. The air we breathe is polluted. The food we eat isn’t fresh. The food we eat is processed. We drive cars that spit out fumes that we breathe in. We bathe in water that’s chemically treated. We drink water that’s been sterilized. We live in a society with cell phone towers, wi-fi, signals and other forms of silent noise. On and on.

The real question here is why everyone is so concerned with living naturally? Do we just want to age gracefully or do we want to avoid cancer? Will avoiding all these “chemicals” and “risk factors” really prevent cancer? Or are we just wasting our time freaking out about things we cannot hope to change?

But more and more people are getting cancer.
More and more people are also living beyond life expectancies. Before modern medicine, someone in their 50s was considered ancient. These days, reaching 50 is an expected norm. Aging is one of the major risk factors for cancer and you can’t stop aging no matter how many natural products you use. Everyone ages and eventually everyone dies (I welcome someone to stop this process though). The sad truth of the matter is, cancer is prevalent in our lives and it isn’t going to go away until we find a cure and finding a cure for cancer is problematic for a myriad of reasons. But there’s a silver lining in all this. Our cancer death rates have been going down.

Why do all perfumes have this list of ingredients with nothing but chemicals on them?
Most of time when I hear this, people are talking about the ingredients list on the back of a perfume bottle or perfume box. That list of ingredients isn’t half the story of what’s actually in your perfume. The list is there for people to check for compounds they may be allergic to. But I will address this misconception anyway. Almost everything you see on that list is a fragrance in some way. For instance, if you see “geraniol” that is “geranium”. If you see, “citronellol” that is citrus. They make up a scent base for the fragrance that you are about to enjoy (or not enjoy, whatever). Their names might look scary, but many of those ingredients are components from naturally occurring plants.

All these perfume chemicals are leaching into my bloodstream though.
All those chemicals are miniscule in comparison to everything else you’re exposed to. Most of the content in a spray of perfume is alcohol (sometimes water) anyway, and most of us have no trouble with alcohol contacting our skin. You take in more harmful elements just standing around and breathing. Or swallowing the seeds of an apple. Or accidentally graze some poison ivy.

What’s your problem with natural products anyway?
I have absolutely no problem with natural products or natural ingredients when used sensibly and safely. In fact, I am a huge fan of natural perfumery and think it’s a beautiful art. I do, however, find it disturbing how many people are willing to believe that natural products/ingredients are better and that anything nature made is harmless or beneficial. Once again, nature does not always make it best. There are thousands–maybe millions–of things in nature that  could potentially harm us. I mentioned oleander earlier in this post. You may also wish to look up bitter almond, hemlock, and calla lily.

If you feel better living naturally, I can applaud your efforts. But realize that some things are not as bad or as good for you as they may seem. Please also note that while I do often try to clear the name of synthetic fragrances, I do not propose that synthetics are entirely innocent and safe. Just like with naturals, you should be wary but not be scared. I have always been an advocate of critical thought. Question everything, question everybody, and you may surprise yourself with the results.

Prada Infusion de Vetiver

Infusion de Vetiver is the latest in Prada’s infusion line of fragrances where two of my favorites (Infusion d’Iris and Infusion d’Homme) come from. The line itself is focused on simple formulas based upon one or two concepts, such as tuberose in Infusion de Tubereuse .

Infusion de Vetiver

In Bottle: Very light sweet vetiver with a bit of bitterness from the citrus top note.

Applied: The initial citrus opening is expected in most modern perfume, it’s quick to dissipate leaving you with the vetiver to contend with. This is like vetiver light, sweet, hay-like, a little bit grassy and there’s a hint of pepper lingering around in the background and layered over it all is this herb-like scent I can’t convince myself to stop smelling because it’s not helping the bland situation at all. As Infusion de Vetiver ages into its end stage. Yes, you read that right, it’s in end stage mode already. The fragrance goes into this sheer, barely there sweet vetiver sort of thing that doesn’t do the scent much justice before it drops off completely. The entire episode was in and out in about an hour. In terms of overall smell, the opening was all right, the mid-stage was pretty on par with the opening, and the end stage was a barely there ghost of what a fragrance like this could be. I just don’t see the point of this, it’s light, it’s easy to wear, yes, but it’s nothing interesting.

Extra: So here we are with Infusion de Vetiver. While I enjoyed two of Prada’s Infusions line, they at least had something of a personality and were more interesting than this. Iris had that nice powdery, bitterness to it. D’Homme reminded me of my childhood. Vetiver just smells like sweet wet herbal hay.

Design: Infusion de Vetiver is a limited edition with its designs that are more in line with Infusion de Tubereuse. There’s interesting shapes on the box and bottle cap, done in light green, dark grey, and black this time instead of purple. The bottle shape is the same as the other Infusions so if you were trying to collect them all, you will have a nice uniform set.

Fragrance Family: Aromatic

Notes: Citrus, tarragon, ginger, vetiver, white musk, pepper.

Once again, another fragrance I don’t see the point of. This time from a fragrance house that hasn’t been doing too badly with its offerings. Only, I don’t think it was a good idea for Prada to tackle vetiver. Especially not when so many other houses have done tons of vetiver scents in far better ways.

Reviewed in This Post: Infusion de Vetiver, 2010, Eau de Toilette.

Villainess Scintillating

Villainess is a small company that sells soaps, perfume oils, and sugar scrubs. I’m partial to their Krakatoa soap myself and had a bit of their Scintillating perfume oil kicking around for review.

In Bottle: All mint, all the time. This isn’t the sweet mint you might be used to in candy and gum, or the sharp mint in mouthwash, this is just mint and if you like mint you’ll probably find your sense of smell right at home with Scintillating.

Applied: It’s hard to really judge Scintillating based on my usual method because it doesn’t really move or evolve. It stays relatively static and that’s the main stage with the three mints up front. I can’t separate the mints as they are fairly similar to one another, but I do get a bit of a spicy bite from the spearmint. The black tea in this adds a bit of bergamot to the fragrance, but it requires some very close attention before it reveals itself. The vanilla casts a bit of smothness on the fragrance as a whole but to smell vanilla in and of itself isn’t going to happen. End story is, vanilla and black tea are both minor players. I have three mints up top, in the middle, and at the bottom. Mints ahoy. The longevity of Scintillating was moderate. It gave me a good five hours on. The sillage started off projecting rather loudly but quickly calmed down and got much more personal in the end-stage.

Extra: If you like mint, love smelling mint and want a very minty experience, Scintillating is a good way to go. Check out its corresponding soap too.

Design: Scintillating, like Villainess’ other perfume oils, are bottled in an ampule flask with a stopper cap. It has this interesting, old-timey, perfumer’s lab feel to it with a thin metal wire holding the name card for the fragrance and a delightfully tiny round plate with a skull design on it. Very cute presentation overall.

Fragrance Family: Aromatic

Notes: Spearmint, cornmint, peppermint, black tea, vanilla.

Scintillating isn’t a complex perfume. It’s very simple and will appeal to those who enjoy simple and straightforward fragrances. It isn’t much to my taste, however, as I tend to move more toward complex these days. But it is a nice display of mint notes.

Reviewed in This Post: Villainess, 2009, Perfume Oil.

Davidoff Cool Water for Men

It’s funny to me how Creed priced its Green Irish Tweed (GIT) out of many people’s markets and drove them to a cheaper, albeit, very good alternative in Cool Water. These days when people think aromatic aquatic,they think Cool Water for the very simple reason that Cool Water was more affordable, more readily available, and it pretty much smells the same to most people’s noses anyway.

Cool Water for Men

In Bottle: I’m one of those people who find Cool Water and Green Irish Tweed very similar so I’ll try to vary this up a little but do keep in mind these two fragrances go through the motions in relatively the same way. Cool Water opens with a green, citrus, aromatic backed by a couple of gentle wood notes lingering in the back. It’s herbs, aquatics, and woods basically.

Applied: Citrus is quick to fade with the green aquatics sticking it out while the woods and aromatics work their magic. Cool Water is a fresh, clean, easy to wear and easy to love fragrance that I have a hard time finding fault in. This was one of the earlier aromatic aquatics that lived in a time where the market was less convoluted. It grows on me, keeps me reminded of Green Iris Tweed. But there’s a bit of a difference between Cool Water and GIT, and that lies in the complexity difference between the two. There’s a certain flatness that Cool Water hits during the mid-stage, as if some component is missing from the fragrance as a whole. I want to say it’s missing a refined floral heart like GIT had while Cool Water focuses more on the aromatics and woods side. Whatever’s missing it, it needs to be looked for in order to notice, but I’m still left wondering just what that is. It seems to be the ‘spark’ that sets GIT aside from Cool Water for me. Cool Water chills out in the end stage with a cedar note. The cedar’s threatening me, of course, but it’s not as loud as some other cedars have been.

Extra: Now, I can sit here and ponder the intricacies of these two fragrances all day but being a child of the late 80s and early 90s, I smelled my fair share of both GIT and Cool Water. They’re still both very popular fragrances but they spawned a trend in men’s fragrances that still persists today. The aquatic fragrances family. A family so full of members that I have a hard time telling them all apart.

Design: I’m going to have sigh and say I’m not a fan of the bottle here. The colored glass angle has to be played right with perfume in that the shape of the bottle has to be able to stand whatever color you splash on it. Use too little color and people won’t notice. Use too much and the glass ends up looking like plastic. Unfortunately that’s the case with this bottle, it reminds me of a shampoo bottle.

Fragrance Family: Fresh

Notes: Mint, green, lavender, coriander, rosemary, geranium, neroli, jasmine, sandalwood, cedarwood, musk, amber, tobacco.

There’s two main version of Cool Water (and a huge lot of flankers). One for men and one for women. This review was regarding the men’s version.

Reviewed in This Post: Cool Water for Men, 2005, Eau de Toilette.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Hemlock

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Hemlock doesn’t smell how I’d assume Hemlock would smell like. But then, I didn’t expect this stuff to be green either. The real novelty here as most BPALs tend to be any color but green. Hemlock

In Bottle: Green  and a bit bitter with a slight woodsy undernote and a citrus note up front. I’d dare to call this refreshing.

Applied: Yep, citrus with a light green scent a bit of sharpness to make this fresh and a bit dewy.There’s something quite aromatic about this too, mint and a little bit of peppermint and some green leaves picked fresh off a tree thrown in. The woodsiness in Hemlock is ever present making the scent smell a little bit like pine-scented air freshener. But it’s a good thing, believe it or not.

Extra: Hemlock is a plant type. One of hemlock’s most famous historical deeds was poisoning Socrates.

Design: Bottled in the same amber glass bottle with the plastic twist cap as other general catalog scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. You’ll notice Hemlock’s label is a tad different in design. This design is employed for BPAL’s Rappaccini’s Garden fragrances of which Hemlock is a part.

Fragrance Family: Woodsy

Notes: Lemon, mint, peppermint, pine.

Just as a note that I am guessing at those notes up there. Now while I can’t really see myself wearing this as a fragrance, I do love it as a home scent. It’s got a classy air freshener smell to it, with my nose and I like those digs.

Reviewed in This Post: Hemlock, 2010, 5ml Bottle.