Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft: Haint, Sleepy Hollow, Mongolian Death Worm, Mad Monk

Good morning, beautiful friends. I have been sitting on this post for way too long. I bought quite a few fall and Halloween-ish scents from Julia at Arcana Wildcraft about a month ago. This set is from her Halloween release and the next set will be from her new Craves line and website. Julia recently released another collection of witchy-based scents and I picked up two of those too. Use code WITCHES until November 8th for 15% off your order.

You probably recognize Haint. It is a cult classic from Arcana and I have blogged about it before. I found myself wearing it so often that I required a second bottle to have on hand as my original gets dwindled with each wearing. It is a soft and silken vanilla that holds a dusky tint of age and wears a crown of white pepper like a dust mote halo. Here is my previous review:

Haint- Notes: The sweet, melancholy essence of a Southern ghost drifting through dark mountain hollows and neo-classical mansions. White musk, vanilla musk, Madagascar vanilla, sugarcane and a faint trail of white pepper.
Haint is a legend among Arcana fans. Often revered and highly sought after for years, Julia was able to bring it back to life after a long hiatus. If I was to be an indie perfume blogger worth her salt I needed to buy this. I am glad I did. It is lovely, indeed. On my skin Haint hovers like a vanilla skin musk ever so gauzy and gossamer. The white pepper lends a human element to the musk so that it is more earthen and suggestive rather than scrubbed clean. A Gothic beauty in every way. 

This one kinda makes my heart quiver. Five years ago I featured some Arcana soaps (here) and Sleepy Hollow was one of them. I loved it so much. I never was able to get my hands on the perfume version, however, I did nab another soap. As soon as I saw this reborn I knew I had to have it. 

Sleepy Hollow- Notes: Fresh pumpkin, spiced apple brew, and bonfire smoke.

Charred eye sockets of desiccated Jack O'Lanterns ooze discontent from lonely door steps, woodsmoke clings to a scarf tightly wound around a chilled mouth and October bids farewell as the last leaf is crushed underfoot. November beckons from the vial. On the wrist that same charred smoky black pumpkin ekes out a ghostly existence. The smoke diffuses, making way for the boozy spiced apple cider. Warm dark spice laced with damp and decaying wood trails off into the haunted hollow, leaving apple peels and black vanilla behind. A spooky good scent that will be worn with pleasure during fall and winter.

Mongolia Death Worm- Notes: Barren sand dunes, cardamom, sandalwood, yellow silk, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and mare's milk accord.

I am such a sucker for anything that reminds me of Beetlejuice and this makes me think of sandworms. I also happen to have recently bought the book, Dune, so double the sandworm pleasure. The notes in this one already have me saying "yes." From the vial creamy sandalwood highlighted by soft ginger and cardamom slither into reality. The merest touch on the flesh imparts the same pale sandalwood but a lemony sheen appears as well. It could be the citrus hues of lemongrass or perhaps it is the tones of ginger. I have even sniffed some green cardamom with these gingery lemon flavors. There is a tang of earthiness to it that makes me think of lemongrass though. As the Death Worm morphs pale, peppery cinnamon tickles the senses along with a creaminess that brings to mind horchata while the feathery ginger still lingers about. The whole scent is underscored by the shifting amber hued sands that act as a golden musk. The Mongolian Death Worm is quite attractive and I can see why someone would be lured into touching it. I want to slather it all over. It is like a golden milky musk shimmering with gilded bergamot mica. 

Mad Monk- Notes: Golden amber resin, Siberian fir needle, Holy Terror accord (frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, beeswax), coarse brown bread, and warm fur.

Mad Monk was a gift with purchase over the summer but it was such a hit that Julia brought it into her classic line and it is available right now. This is a Rasputin inspired scent and such a magical maverick is certainly intriguing enough to warrant one. Pine needles strewn among the cobbled stone floor as heavy boots walk in from a snow storm. Incense smoke hanging like tapestries in the air and the faint aroma of a crusty heel of bread left on the wooden table. These images lie within the potion inside this bottle. Fresh on the skin Mad Monk does mysterious things. When sniffed up close the pine needles poke and prod the nose with delicious outdoorsy intent, however, when wafted from afar the bread appears like a holograph, infused with incense as if left on a Catholic alter after communion. The incense gets more and more corporeal until the classic perfume of Holy Terror makes itself known. The addition of amber and fir shifts Holy Terror from a dark nave into a gilded forest fogged with frankincense and myrrh. There is a touch of that furry warmth that reminds me of Sea Wolves and I adore it. Almost like guaiacwood or agardwood smoldering in there under the incense. Mad good. Wicked good.

Remember, Julia offers samples now! They start at $6 while a regular 5 ml bottle is $26. 
If you could have a scent created from any legendary monster what would you choose? I am thinking a Wendigo or perhaps even a Boo Hag. But for now I will be content to smell of the Mad Monk. All these scents are still available for purchase.


  1. I love your perfume poetry! Oh no, I have been resisting Haint but now I don't know but I can hold out.
    I'd vote for a scent based on the dark faerie queen in Tam Lin...La Belle Dame sans Merci.

    1. Thank you Brooke!! That is very kind. <3 If you are a vanilla fan by any means you should at least sample Haint. It is a fan favorite for a very good reason. Oooooo!!! A dark fairy queen scent sounds incredibly mysterious and enchanting. I am game for that for sure!!

    2. Oh, Julie, I succumbed, I ordered Haint. I AM a vanilla fan, especially of the non-gourmand vanilla musks variety. Haint was haunting me. I regret nothing!!

    3. How exciting!!! I placed a couple orders myself and look forward to sniffing them when they come. I hope you let me know what you think about Haint. <3

  2. Hmm, and what precisely DOES Southern ghost smell like? ;) Lovely smell goods, hope you're treating yourself right, friend.

    1. A southern ghost smells just like Haint, I am sure. :-) Thank you, Sandra. I am going through a very rough patch but I know time will bring some changes that I need. Just waiting on the school year to end so I can move on. Hope you find the home you want. <3

    2. Ah, I'm really sorry to hear that, Julie. But if misery at all loves company (or simply appreciates it) the universe has also been treating me like a bowling pin - lots of getting set up, only to get knocked down again. It's been a deeply unpleasant year. :( And we have some exciting stuff in our lives (our soon-to-be new house!) but I'm trying not to get too worked up about it and treading so. carefully., trying not to upset whatever delicate balance is finally at play here. It kind of sucks. Anyhow, all that nihilism to say it does get better! It just has to, and usually does. Sometimes you just need a couple of winning hands (or to stick with the bowling thing, a few good frames? I don't know, I don't know bowling!)

    3. LOL! I do suck at bowling so maybe that is the issue. :-) I know what you mean. This year has been a doozie. Praying for next year to me more mellow. For both of us.