Thursday, December 27, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Holiday Release

Good Morning. I spent the past two days in my pajamas, reading, relaxing, hanging with my girls and husband and also cleaning out my closet and trying to throw out or donate items here and there. I also spent some quality time with these babies. Nocturne Alchemy is closed right now and these perfumes from their holiday release are no longer available for purchase on their website but they can be found here in there in the NAVA Marketplace on Facebook. Some folks are destashing a few holiday fragrances as they figure out what works on their skin or not. I also wanted to have these archived for anyone who may want to know more about the scents. Let's see what all I picked up from the Holiday Release this year...

Santalum & Cardamom- Notes: Santalum, Santalum White, Austrian Sandalwood, cardamom EO and sifted in light skin musk and amber. 
This one I actually purchased last year and loved it enough to buy a backup bottle. I have not opened the new bottle yet so my thoughts are based off of my year-old purchase. On the skin this is a powerhouse sandalwood and cardamom scent. Santalum is one of my very favorite sandalwood experiences. It is plush and velvety, golden and warm but with a hint of salt and pale ash. The sandalwood seasoned with cardamom pulls almost into the direction of white pepper and woods. I love this on its own but it is divine with vanillas too. I wear it on my skin and in my hair. I often get complimented on it.  It has a great longevity and sillage and lasts my whole work day.

Crystalline Holiday Spice Cake- Notes: Buttery holiday coffee cake accord, rounded white cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg and a heavy dousing of Crystalline and buttercream. 
This was also a backup purchase. I loved last year's so much that I dabbed it on days when I knew I needed a snug hug, but was afraid to apply with reckless abandon when I knew there wasn't much left. I can now use this a little more freely. I will say that this is a sweet sugared cinnamon and vanilla scent, and if spice is not your style this won't be for you. But this is exactly my style. There is a wax tart scent I love called Celtic Moonspice and this reminds me of that but refined and intense and more creamy. This is a homemade vanilla drenched marshmallow rolled in cinnamon sugar crystals. This is the pile of vanilla bean whipped cream with generous pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg folded into its heart. This makes my mouth water every time I wear it. Crystalline vanilla remains one of my favorite vanilla centric perfumes and it blends beautifully with just about anything. Here with a hint of cake and frosting and spice it simply shines. By the way, this is a true coffee crumb cake, no actual coffee notes. 

Santalum Holiday Spice Cake- Notes: Buttery coffee cake accord, rounded white cinnamon, a touch of nutmeg and a heavy dousing of Santalum sandalwood.
Not sure why I failed to pick this up last year, however, I quickly remedied that this year. I kept my fingers crossed all year it would return and happily it did! The same moist cinnamon crumb cake that exists in the perfume above is also baked into this treat but with that smooth and golden sandalwood added. I can pick out some echoes of Santalum & Cardamom in this perfume but the added gourmand quality makes it shift into something more softly sweet. I should truly just layer all three of these and be done with trying to decide which one to wear. I freely admit I am a sucker for spicy sweet sandalwood scents and will pick up sandalwood with any kitchen cupboard spice. It is so very comforting to me.

Vanilla Copal- Notes: Peruvian copal EO, coapl resin, Crystalline, Kobalt, NA Studio Snow Musk, vanilla bean extract.
Sweet vanilla pulls from the bottle, and fresh on the skin it breaks apart into airy vanilla and that sweet candied woods that NA crafts, reminding me of the redwoods in Diamond. It veers from a clear crystalline vanilla into an opaque and chewy copal resin. Darkening a little into dusky vanilla milk chewy candy. This is a deeper, richer version of Crystalline with the copal and musk present, at least to my nose. It pairs beautifully well with the perfume below.

Sandalwood Copal- Notes: Venezuelan copal EO, copal resin, sandalwood, Tibetan sandalwood, SL Crystal absolute, skin musk, N8 musk and Crimson musk. 
In the vial lifts slivers of expensive sandalwood soap. Once dabbed onto the skin it fluffs up with the Tibetan incense of nag champa that mingles with the sandalwood chips in the censor. Both have a creamy roundness. A vein of mineral tinged copal runs though the scent as it is cushioned by an elegant and russet musk. I can see why Bastet compared this to Tibetan Crystalline now, this is the Tibetan portion amped up with sandalwood. Vanilla Copal and Sandalwood Copal live almost like luxe deconstructed versions of Tibetan Crystalline. Layering them is almost natural, though they certainly stand on their own merits.  

Warm Amber, Sandalwood & Vanilla- Notes: Sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla bean extract, tonk, white cinnamon, clove, Kobalt Vanilla, amber resin, Bastet amber, labdanum, benzoin, rockrose and Egyptian sugar. 
Subtle spice and sweet sandalwood float up from the glass bottle. Draped on the skin the spice disappears into a sea of pale creamy sandalwood and pliant amber. I hate to make this analogy due to the obscene associations with it, but this wears like a pearl necklace. Once cool and aloof, but then it magically melts into the skin and warms with body heat. It possesses a classic perfume profile that is timeless and elegant. The amber and sandalwood dominate but the vanilla and tonka blend out the edges into a haze of wearable art. 

Bastet's Ice Cream: Cardamom and Tahitian Vanilla Creme- Notes: Tahitian vanilla bean absolute, Honduran cardamom essential oil and pods, vanilla Crystalline cream, butter accord, caramel accord and aged Tahitian vanilla bean whole.
A generous bowl of melty French vanilla ice cream with a thin curling ribbon of caramel materializes from the bottle, there is a pinch of cardamom on top. Dolloped onto the skin the cardamom lingers for a brief while before dissolving into the pool of vanilla ice cream. This ice cream is thick and rich with a caramel custard lean rather than a cool vanilla iced treat. The cardamom dwells like a faint mirage around the edges of the dessert rather than as the dominate flavor. I have a feeling I will be layering this with some of my dinos since they do so well with vanilla centric scents.

Vampire Cardamom Bat- Notes: Organic Sri Lankan cardamom, cardamom pods aged in oak and sifted, Kobalt, Crystalline, Tahitian Vanilla, French and Bourbon Vanille infused into organic steam-distilled patchouli essential oil. 
A delightfully wicked patchouli with a teasing of vanilla pours from the amber bottle. As the dark red perfume is graced upon the skin a billowing spiced patchouli enfolds the senses. This is incredible. I am an ardent fan of a beautifully crafted patchouli and this is indeed one. The cardamom is warmer than some versions I have encountered from Nocturne Alchemy and it braids perfectly with the earthy herbal patchouli. I find the patchouli to be so vivid and full of life that it almost takes on a dark effervescence. The vanillas add highlights that give dimension and contour to the dark shadowy perfume. They only add a beautiful element and do not feature prominently. This dries down into a lush patchouli. I will be hoarding this and crossing my fingers this comes back next year.

Pink Sugar, Patchouli, Cotton Candy Sweater- Notes: Red sandalwood, pink sugar accord, gold patchouli essential oil, cotton candy accord, Egyptian sugar, spun vanilla infused sugar, Bastet amber and Santalum White. 
From the glass a sticky anise spiced patchouli slithers up into my senses. It is topped with rock candy crystals. Swirled onto the flesh the patchouli hums deliciously under the ropey sweetness of black licorice strands. The intense flavor of inky crisp Icelandic licorice tumbles back onto my tongue. No anise is listed in the notes but the sum of the notes creates that accord for my nose. Tufts of pink and blue cotton candy tuck into the corners of the scent. As it dries the patchouli takes on a cushy wooden tone but the breath of sugar remains to haunt the perfume. I love this one. It possesses a structure similar to Under The Big Top with the dark cotton candy tones. I think I will layer these together one day so they can meet properly.

Holiday Rex- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, Australian sandalwood, Santalum, amber resin, vanilla absolute, myrrh, pink pepper, benzoin, palo santo wood, aged Bastet amber, blue sugar and a tiny drop of peppermint candy cane. 
A complex scent, this one smells like watery palo santo in the glass but changes each time I wear it. I will try my best to capture what I experience. Once on the skin the palo santo loses some of its aloe and gains the warm velvety texture I am used to inhaling when I burn palo santo slivers. A touch of coconut husk and minty coolness from the palo santo lurks around the perfume and then that crisp bite of candy cane snaps into focus. Gosh I love that moment. However, the candy cane sublimates into the ether and the palo santo returns with the merest scrapings of the anise tinged blue sugar. Myrrh incense and amber resins begin to ground the palo santo and bring it back to terra firma. This remains a changling of a scent. It fluctuates between sleet and snow, air and land, cool and warm. I love experiencing it on its own but it also layers well with Vanilla Copal and Sandalwood Copal.

I am very pleased with my Holiday choices. I will be keeping them all and wearing them with much joy. Did you pick up any Nocturne Alchemy holiday perfumes? How about the Bazaar? I did pick up their incense sampler and a sun-catcher again along with the Bastet's Ice Cream. I am working on my Best of 2018 right now and a reading challenge with Jay once again for next year. What are you doing these last few days of 2018?


  1. What wonderful reviews, so beautifully written! You have me waiting for my NAVA holidays with excited anticipation!

    1. Thank you so much! I felt a little guilty that I wasn't able to wax as poetic as I would like to on some of them. Nocturne Alchemy's perfumes really sit well with me. I find they tend to age beautifully and wear like a halo. I hope you love your NAVA holiday perfumes and they get to you safely. Which ones did you order?