Saturday, November 25, 2017

Arcana Wildcraft: Fall Release

Welcome, hope this post finds you well. This is going to be a lengthy one, as I do have much time to make up for given my absence as of late. Though life has certainly been hectic, I am determined to reign my world back into some modicum of normalcy. What better place to start than to dive into some beautiful fragrances? This would normally be an ode to Arcana but given its length I think opus may be a better term? Either way, if you enjoy reading about fragrance, do warm up a cuppa and snuggle into some cushions or simply scroll wherever life has taken you to in this moment. Happy to have you with me. 

First up in this Arcana feast... Pumpkins Crave Honey.

Pumpkins Crave Honey- Notes:Spiced calabaza, beeswax candles, acacia honey, buckwheat honey and mead.
Untwisting the neat black cap uncorks a gust of fragrance rich in nectar laden honey, accompanied by soft spice and sweet pumpkin. Drenching the skin with Pumpkins Crave Honey reveals those honeys to be wild and rounded with woods, sweet and mild with nary a powdery hint or hue. This is liquid crystalline nectar. Placid cinnamon, more vanilla pod than fire, intertwines with the vines of gourds, squashy and plump. One of the most realistic versions of pumpkin I have laid nose on to date. This pumpkin smells warm and roasted, soft and pulpy. As the perfume oil dries down, honeycomb candles rolled by hand and scented in honeyed manna rise from the sweet pumpkins. Barley grain, earthy porridge toothsomeness lie at the base. Eventually, Pumpkins Crave Honey finishes as a honeyed vanilla woods then simply woods at the very end of its story.

Skookum- Notes: Fir needle, juniper, hemlock, rain, tiny wildflowers, strawberries and cool earth.
In the bottle, tiny wild berries and conifers sprout from the glass bottle like a wee enchanted forest from a miniature terrarium. Once on the skin those diminutive burgundy hearts beat tenderly and sweetly from the shadowed greenery of the forest floor, with every pulse their feral sweetness fills the air. The strawberries fade quickly into the darkness of the hemlock stand of trees where night fog and resinous boughs obscure a lurking beast in between the rough barked trunks and reaching taunting limbs. At the hulking yet nebulous shadowed creature's feet, tiny yellow and white flowers glow like so many critters' eyes in the gloaming dusk. Skookum timidly creeps from the underbrush to emerge as a truly woodsy being, king of the forest.

Anthropophagia- Notes: Vanilla infused pear sorbet, sugar cane, white amber and French cognac.
Fresh from the bottle, Pacific Northwest pears hang low on spindly branches, ripe and dapple skinned. Reach out and pluck the sun warmed heaviness from the branch, run the soft skin between the nose and cupid's bow between the peaks and valley of the pear. Inhale. Pair this aroma with pale amber and aged brandy and it steers from foodie into gourmand perfume territory. All together these notes almost hint at an accord of sunny floral coconut. Dressed on the skin, the pear and cognac is joined by sugar cane, which smells of clarified malted molasses. Being a Florida agriculture girl I have many memories surrounding sugar cane. My favorite is going to a harvest where an old mule was tethered to a grinding mill, he walked in circles turning gears that crushed the juice from the bamboo-like canes. The cane juice was collected, filtered, then boiled down into syrup, which I then soaked into a buttermilk biscuit and topped with fried country ham. Good Lord. Where was I? Ah yes, the malty sweet tang of sugar cane. As the fragrance settles into the nooks and crannies of the flesh, the white amber cognac drifts into polished oak with a drop of brandy. This one is so good I almost want to eat myself. Maybe that is the point?

Pirouette- Notes: Blends Two Finger Ballet with Twirling the Pearl over labdanum, sandalwood and sugary French lavender absolute.
Cushy lavender and pillowy vanilla cakes peek from the jar. Dancing on the wrist and the crook of the arm, Pirouette maintains that balance of vanilla sweetness and green herbalness, pouches of lavender buds and pine needles intertwine with vanilla pods. As it ages, Pirouette glides into a more vanilla centric frolic. The subtle presence of lavender and woods lingers but more as a blurred background than the co-lead as in the beginning. A joy to wear. An easy pick to wear on a daily basis.

Cunning Folk- Notes: The scent of an unread magical grimoire smudged with tobacco and surrounded by offerings of chocolate and golden amber. Gift with purchase.
Bittersweet chocolates wrapped in thin papers and sealed with a drop of amber wax is the mirage that lifts from the tiny bottle when opened. Dribbled on the body, the clear almost tangy aroma of fresh cut tobacco and the slight epoxy tang of book bindings. The dusty wooden chocolate creeps back in as the scent mingles on the flesh and marries beautifully with the large sunny tobacco leaves. The drydown whispers of vellum paper and green sap formed amber.

Forest Witch- Notes: Blood cedarwood, fir needles, black spruce, cypress, pine, juniper berry, tonka bean absolute. 100% natural.
From the phial the swell of softwood slivers, resinous cambium and macerated needles arise. Painted on the skin the evergreens and pines fume like turpentine. It tickles the nose like carbon bubbling through the phloem of pinyons, movement and life in a seemingly immobile being. Cedar sawdust billows forth and mingles with the lifeblood of gymnosperms. Reckless juniper gin. Bones of the forest. Marrow of the trees. The Forest Witch is versed in all these things and they coat the skin in their haunting fragrance. This perfume smells of distilled pine resins rather than the more jammy and sumptuous nuances in This is Not Canada or the bracing vigor of Filthy Viking. I love all three to pieces and they are each worth looking into if you love coniferous aromas.

Hedge Witch- Notes: Labdanum, Haitian vetiver, jasmine sambac, Omani frankincense, wild orange essence. 100% natural. 
Lifting from the vial, spirals of musk and earth detach from the black sticky tar of labdanum. Divine. Anointed on the wrists, the earthy vetiver melds with indolic jasmine, creamy and heady, blooming under a full bellied moon. Intoxicating and sensual. Wild. Untamed and solitary. Hedge Witch dries down into golden frankincense tears and dark ambery labdanum. This is a stunning scent unlike any other I have in my collection. I love how dark yet wild the jasmine is portrayed.

Garden Witch- Notes: French and Bulgarian lavender absolutes, cool water, cucumber, basil, cilantro, dill and green leaves.
Sage and silver lavender leaves reflect in the fresh spring water where cress and sparkling minerals gleam under burbling waters. This fount pours directly from the amber vial. Sprinkled on the skin, soapy cilantro and bitter watery plantlings stain the knees and fingertips. Tender of the garden, pumping fresh water, weeding, gathering bundles in her basket, the Garden Witch nurtures her domain. She moves to the gourds and cucumbers and aloes, plucking and pinching, pausing for a nibble here and there. Herb collecting to replenish dwindling stocks is next. Basil, dill, spearmint. A touch of shadow and shade creep in as Apollo moves across the sky, damp roots, the siphons of the plants, root hairs fibrous and knotted just like her own hair. As the Garden is left to respire once the sun flees before the night, an ambrette musk stays on the skin long after the plants have gone to sleep.

Cottage Witch- Notes: Enchanted gingerbread people, bewitched apple cider donuts, vanilla oleoresin, fresh ginger root, maple syrup, beeswax absolute, butter co2 extract, honey, pumpkin and a sliver of fig.
Buttery zingy gingerbread and honeyed beeswax filter through the neck of the bottle to reach the nose.  Kneaded into the skin, Cottage Witch conjures up images of ginger spiked apple cider and a loaf of gingerbread baking in a wood burning oven. The freshly spiced apples fade while the gingerbread emerges from the oven, ready to be basted in butter and drizzled with honey. Is there a touch of pumpkin in this gingerbread? I think so. This stage of the perfume is quite cozy and warm as a fragrant kitchen hearth. Spices, fruits, maple cookies and treats of all types send their homespun enchantment through the air and swirling about the person. 

Did you make it through this beefy tome of fragrant Arcana love? I have purchased dozens upon dozens of Julia's creations up to this point and there have only been a very small few that I ended up passing on to new homes. By and far I love most everything she whips up. I placed a birthday order and a few Christmas presents orders for family and friends this past week. 

What are you wearing? Have you tried any of Julia's new Marshmallows Collection or the new collaboration she did? 


  1. Ooh, I love your descriptions. I haven't purchased anything mixed media in a few years but LOVE reading about her blends.

    I have Forest Witch, it sounds like Hedge Witch is a must buy for me also if there is any left at Nui Cobalt.

    1. Thank you Jean!! It was nice to spend so much time with these scents. I have quite a few more that need some quality time too. My Arcana collection is looking quite plump as of late.

      Hedge Witch is pretty cool. Quite intoxicating! Guess what I just picked up and immediately thought of you?? The Huntress. I finally caved. The orange and mint combo kept me from snapping it up earlier but I know if you are loving it, I probably will too. <3