Monday, January 4, 2016

Esscentual Alchemy Natural Perfume

These fragrances were sent for review.

Amanda Feeley, a classically trained opera singer, merged her passion for music and scent to create Esscentual Alchemy, a natural botanical perfume house where she can "compose music for your nose." And indeed she does.

The packaging made me smile. As a former flutist I still love all things musical: the tag made from old scores, the cardstock with artistic composition and black bringing to mind music stands, batons and uniforms. Amanda's fragrances run the gamut of concentration levels from extraits to parfums to eau de parfums. She sells small sample sizes starting at $8 up to one ounce full bottles at about $115. She graciously sent me 6 samples to review from her abundant scent selection.

Pro Fond- Notes include: Barley, Haitian vetiver, Muhuhu (African sandalwood), cacao, Choya Loban (Indian frankincense), Karo Karounde, white lotus, ylang ylang, tuberose, white champa, blood orange, petigrain, phenyl ethyl acetate. 
White indolic florals  give way to satiny taupe mushroom stalks in a dreamy forest. Fecund soil births star bursts of tuberose, intoxicating ylang ylang and exotic citrus. Galadriel, the Lady of the Wood, in fragrance form, she is redolent of fertile earth, rare flowers, and sparkling magic. Barley and cacao here give such richness of earth that my mind immediately blooms with damp mysterious fungus in the best possible way. A gem of a fragrance.

Patchouli Creme- Notes include: Patchouli, six various vanilla tinctures, hyrax (I will let you look that one up <3), boronia absolute, Guatemalan coffee beans, Litsea cubeba (an evergreen), antique nutmeg, mimosa, and lavender grown and distilled in Portland, Oregon. 
A patchouli for patchouli lovers. It begins as a newly sprouted verdant seedling and takes on the aromatic journey of its life, growing more creamy with sap and then darker with maturation. Lavender, herbal and clear, compliment the similar soothing properties that patchouli encompasses.The herbs are never astringent or harsh, being coated in the luxuriously creamy vanillas. Full bottle. I need this to fill my aching patchouli gap.

Dreams of Smoke- Lapsang souchong, spice accord, Rose de Mai, orange blossom, vanilla accord, sandalwood accord, beeswax and honey.
As a fanatic about lapsang souchong, I had a feeling we would get along. And we do. The effluvia of a far off smokey haze born of a distant fire that this incredible tea releases is perfectly captured. Black tea, bark, smoke, licorice. The honey and vanilla trickle in adding to the sweetness. Beeswax and flowers impart an airy cathedral as under a night sky, woods abound. This scent was created for snuggling, chilly starry nights under flannels and of course, the requisite warm mug of honeyed lapsang souchong. A dash of milk, please.

Christmas and Cookies- Notes include: Five various vanillas, black tea, beeswax tincture, white rose attar in sandalwood, cinnamon, nutmeg, balsam fir, and strawberry.
I must warn you that this is a seasonal blend and will not be available for too much longer. 
My nose picks up a golden green chypree, oriental richness dripping off the beeswax, and a Renoir interpretation of Christmas. This fragrance creates more of the spirit and feeling of festivity rather than an obvious evergreen and gourmand black and white print. Timeless, classic, spiced and opulent. 

Helena- Notes include: Rose jasmine, orris, myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood, tolu blossom, labdanum, marjoram, black pepper, and clary sage. 
Helena, an extrait, is mired in ancient Greek and Roman tradition. Amanda composed this fragrance using the ancient unguentaria, that were thought to house oils and liquids, as her inspiration. Once the viscous golden oil lands on the skin magnificent jasmine petals and ovaries, anthers and stamens tumble forth in a great indolic froth of fragrance. A cornucopia of glimmering ancient fragrant wealth, melting down over wrists and necks and warm summer heated bodies. Incense, myrrh and spices exotic and rare are given free reign to hypnotize the senses. Beautiful alchemy.

Helena MMXIV- Notes include: A similar array as above but a few changes, less spice, added rosewood and alcohol to create a lightness. 
Helena MMXIV mirrors Helena but tweaked a bit to modernize the scent for lightness and ease of wear. It sparkles like golden champagne rather than weighty anointing oil. There is a clarity that is utterly enchanting and multi-faceted. Rose and rosewood light and velvety come in sharper focus while the suggestive jasmine slides into the background. A bokeh of jasmine if you will. I love both versions for their differences but can see these layering wonderfully as Amanda suggests.

I have had a beautifully fragrant experience with Esscentual Alchemy and my appreciation for naturals continues to grow by leaps and bounds. I fully see myself indulging in larger quantities of Patchouli Creme, Dreams of Smoke, Pro Fond, Helena MMXIV and sampling Time Lord. Because... yes..... Doctor Who. 

Thank you Amanda for the chance to showcase your works of art. I have enjoyed getting to know you and your perfumes. 
Have you tried natural perfumery yet? Pop over and check Amanda's perfumes. The quality and craftsmanship is evident.


  1. What a great review, your descriptions make me want all of them! Ellisa

    1. Thank you Ellisa! Have you had a chance to try any natural perfumes yet?

  2. Hi Julie,

    It was a complete joy to wake up to your lyrical writing :) Thanks so much for letting me share my natural perfumes with you and your readers! I can tell how much you enjoyed the samples by your words!


    1. Hello Amanda! Thank you for the chance to experience these lovely creations! I look forward to becoming a regular customer.

  3. Aaah, that is some lovely packaging. those little sample containers are so cute, too! Patchouli Creme and Helena sound like some amazing blends.
    I still haven't tried anything beyond the tester you sent me from Sonoma last year. This year, though, I want to change that! I'll have you know that I have that same little bottle ferreted away for special occasions. I'm weird about saving the things I love :)

    1. I cooed when those mini jars rolled out. Totally enamored with miniature items. The scents inside are just as enamoring. Both those are gorgeous. Patchouli Creme will be bought in a larger amount for sure.

      Awww! Wear it! Laurie has a great sampling system much like Amanda does here too. I enjoy being able to buy multiple quantities.