Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Arcana: Death in the Afternoon and Filthy Viking

I mentioned previously in an Ebb & Flow post or somewhere on this blog that I fell hard for Arcana's Death in the Afternoon after wearing it a full couple of days. Naturally, I needed to bring a bottle home. I also decided I needed Filthy Viking, as I was having fond memories of using that ultra scrubby soap in the past (most effective foot scrubber that one was!). So naturally, that one too came home in a full bottle. I ordered these both on Friday, March 31st and they were delivered on April 7th. Julia combines eBay shipping costs so that usually (unless you buy like a butt ton of bottles) it will fit into a flat rate small box and mail for $6.50. Each bottle was $19.00. 

Death in the Afternoon- The scent of decadence and delightful risks. We drew on an old recipe for an infamous cocktail to create this pastiche of absinthe, champagne, sugar, blood orange, tangerine, aniseed and lemongrass.

Here are my previous thoughts upon wearing ye olde Death. They still hold true and this is another one that had a student telling me how good I smelled. *blush*

What a great name. Unstoppering the tiny dram of fragrance unleashes a tangy sweet pulp-filled burst of oranges. Once dabbed on the flesh, the champagne and lemongrass bubble forth in a zesty manner, becoming more like a fizzy lemon drop. Further into the fragrance, as it dries on the skin, the tangerines pull in with licorice and a sugar cube, the combo is quite interesting. 

Filthy Viking- Between the sea voyages and the pillaging, it must have been difficult for Odin's henchmen to stay fresh. Too bad they didn't have this ferocious blend of scents from the Viking world: bracing Norwegian juniper, frigid Icelandic mint, and the hardy wood of a longship.

I used to have this in a bar of scrubby soap and it was intensely awesome. The scent is even more clear and crisp in the perfume oil. I applied some to the crooks of my arms and in various nooks and crannies before I went to work one day and Savanna gave me my good-bye hug and inhaled a huge breath, exclaiming how great I smelled. "What do I smell like?" "You smell like lavender and bedtime," she said. We spray her pillow with a lavender peppermint essential oil combination from Urban Mysticism so I could totally pick up what she was laying down. 

Julia's own concise description fits this scent precisely. Unstoppering this ampule of Nordic elixir, breaths of frosty mint, herbal and wooden with a tang of black anise rise like snow filled clouds over the fjords. On the skin it sweetens a touch and the mint marries pine in a manner where I can envision herbs and that piney resinous effluvia that lavender sometimes carries within its steely purple buds. It does tingle and have a literal cooling sensation on my skin but I adore the quiver and shiver of peppermint oil on my flesh. As Filthy Viking dries down it does start to pull in the grassy sweetness of juniper and the aged dank cedarwood from the ship's hull, with that same soft mint still in the air of winter approaching. Further into the base of the fragrance, the peppermint fades and warmer woods and incense and musk furl around the skin like a furred pelt to chase off the icy imps and chilling snow wolves howling in the mountains. 

Happy to have a full bottle on deck.

I got old Professor TS Goodfellow's Winter Correctives: Tranquility again. But I have two friends I will be passing my Goodfellows to, happy homes for the old man. You can read my review of him by searching Arcana in the search bar.

Vampire's Garden- For vampires and other dark souls addicted to topsoil, the sweetly herbaceous scent of freshly turned earth, blood oranges and staked tomato vines under a midnight sky. 

From the dark phial, crushed tomato leaves and dandelions merge with the subtle sweetness of citrus fruits, some green and some barely ripe. Swathed on the skin those tomato leaves and stems glow neon with chlorophyll, slightly bitter and astringent, pungent in their life. Peppery nightshade and black licorice haunt the scent. As it dries, lemony roots and dark herbs arrayed in apothecary jars line the cool damp stone walls of a sorcerer's tower. The deep base of this scent blows me away. I pick up the most incredible smoky vetiver, hazy under a gibbous moon, lifting from a cleansing herbal fire the sorcerer just ignited. After several hours some of the airy fresh musk of the tomato vine ghosts return and then the final breath of the scent is... finally... that rind of blood orange. What an experience! I don't think I have ever had a scent move through so many iterations. Just when I thought that was the bottom, the finale, there was a another wraith coming to visit. 

I hope you enjoyed this latest installment of "Julie on her Arcana jag." Keep your eyes peeled for the next volume... my most recent purchase arrived from Arcana Wildcraft and it is wild.


  1. You must smell good! I have never tried Arcana oils, do they compare to solstice scents? I saw the wood organizer on SS website, it's tempting. Different subject- have you ever tried Aerin perfumes? I am loving them now. I bought a little discovery set at sephora for $20. Happy hump day Ellisa

    1. Hope you had a nice Wednesday too, Ellisa, and I hope your week ends beautifully too. I think I smell pretty darn good and I suppose that is all that matters! LOL! Though honestly, if I don't, my hubby is quick to tell me. "You smell like pickles" or "You smell like an old man." Yep. He is certainly truthful. I feel like I enjoy Arcana scents in a more resinous and whimsical manner than the darker more syrupy SS. But to be truthful I don't buy many SS oils. I like her EDP's. I do have plans on picking up Butter Rum and Basilica and Vanilla Pipe Tobacco oils though. And I don't feel like I have really explored the SS catalog outside of the dark scents either. I tend to only want to sample those as they are my favorite. I definitely want that wooden shelf but I am not sure where I would hang it. I guess I could in my bedroom. That might work. I need to see how much shipping costs though. I have a feeling it will be hefty. Are you thinking of getting it?

      I have not tried Aerin perfumes. But I will spring for that sampler, since $20 is not bad at all. Thanks for the heads up! I need to buy more NARS Tinted Moisturizer anyway.

  2. Ooh, looking forward to hearing what's next!!! I especially like reading reviews where I know how good the scent is too. ☺

    1. The next two are scents you have probably tried before as they are pretty popular. :-) I simply cannot stop wearing Filthy Viking, Jean!!! It is soooo gooooood to me.

  3. How have I never noticed Death in the Afternoon yet? It sounds like it will be a nice summer scent

    1. You know... if I didn't have the sample as a freebie I don't think I ever would have gone for it. But once I wore it... I fell hard. It is dark and mysterious while still being vibrant and juicy and narcotic. Definitely one I will wear in the summer!