Tuesday, July 21, 2020

My Current Perfume Collection: 2020

I have been wanting to do a perfume collection update since my last one a few years back. My love of perfume oils has grown exponentially and my mainstream and niche perfume preferences have shrunk so my fragrance curation does look different. What better time to take everything out and play then summer break during an epidemic? Either that or sit around and chew my nails over what the coming school year will look like...

I figured I would start with where I keep my goods. The majority is kept in this old entertainment center turned Julie storage. Yes, the top shelf is bowing under the duress of ridiculous possessions. But it is a dark and cool place and they say that is best for the liquid happiness, I mean, perfume.

The top shelf houses my Solstice Scents EDPs, hand soaps, some candles, lots of elixirs and tinctures, body oils and my two favorite collections of oils (Arcana's deer and Nocturne Alchemy's Tarrie cats). 

The bottom is where I store the rest of my EDPs, the majority of my oils and my backup scents and samples. Also coin jar, rings and random things.

I display the scents I wear most often and seasonally on the wall. Right now it is full of staples (vanilla, amber, patch, woods, lavender) and summery fruits, greens and herbals. In about a month or so I will replace the fruits and herbs with pumpkins and apples. I am pretty much happy with my organization. I can usually find what I want and I feel like my smellies are well taken care of. The majority of my perfumes I paid for but some have been given to me for free. Some have been swapped to me. Some have been purchased used. I am one of those reckless fragrance heads who does something called BLIND BUYING. I purchase full bottles of perfume without even sniffing them first. Can you believe it?! I would say about 4 out of 5 times I am perfectly happy with the choice. The times when I am not I simply gift them away. I don't recall having ever sold a single perfume. I figure that I have been blessed enough to have them that I can share them too. It also helps that I feel like I have a very accepting nose.

Ok. We are about to dive into what I have. I tried to keep it organized by house as much as possible. I will list the scents and some thoughts about them and the house in general. But please don't expect anything rational like alphabetical order. Are you comfy? Did you pour a cuppa? Light a candle? Put on some music? At the very least some lounge pants? This is going to be a long one. Ok. 

Three Ravens Company: Grue Church Fire
- Sampled many scents from here, but only held onto this one.

Possets: Midnight Mass at Old Saint Mary's
- I always feel a desire to explore this house more. I'll take any recs you may have.

Hexennacht: Laudanum
- A popular house but not one I have really dug into.

La Abeja Herbs: Pinon Pine
- I won't be ordering from La Abeja again. It smells good but way over priced.

B. Perry Studios: Smoky Quartz
- I don't think I have taken the time to really try this one. It was leaking when I got it so I tucked it away meaning to clean it up.

Obscurus: Lovelorn Spirit
- I really like the mineral water and cool pebble scent of this one.

Violette Market: Gypsy Thread
- Totally bummed I missed out on buying from this house. I remember browsing their catalogue several years ago when I was first dipping my toe into oils and they had all these delicious carnival scents but I ended up trying Solstice Scents first, then they closed. So I will treasure this gift from a friend. 

Villainess: Effluvia
- Gifted from a friend. Smells divine. Love the bottle. Need more.

For Strange Women: Winter Kitty x 2
                                    November in the Temperate Deciduous Forest
- Will probably explore more. I had purchased some samples a while back. They are a touch spendy but nicely done.

Moonalisa: An old bottle of some type of amber incense gifted by a friend. It is so lush. 
                    Broom Brittle
                    Moonlit Garden
                    Women of Orion
- Blew through a bottle of aged Salome. Got compliments all the time. Need to replenish it. I like Moona's frankincense and ambers.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Dorian
                                                Pumpkin Musk and Black Oud
                                                Svarta Fonix Bokaflod
- BPAL is very popular but I only have a few from here. Love Dorian. I will have three more coming from them soon- TKO, something about a demon bat and some spicy patch scent. I tend to get overwhelmed by their scent catalogue. I keep my eye out for Buck Moon and Revenant Rhythm, but who doesn't?

Astrid Perfume: Merci 140
                            Shell & Scarab - This one is beautiful.
                            Dust & Topaz

Verdant Faerie: Butterfly - My "let's calm yourself down" scent. Cool and minty and ethereal.
                        Bottled copal resin - Doreen went to Belize and harvested some copal and sent it to me.
- I have big plans to pick up Dryad soon. And I will be reviewing Undine in the near future.

Some unknown experimental scent that I think is from Alkemia and it is sweet and smoky and bliss.
- I sampled a ton of Alkemia. I need to go back and choose one to buy. Do you have any favs?

Blood Moon Botanica: Lavender Amber
                                        Summer Dreams Conceived in Winter Days
                                        Dark Winter Amber - Divine amber, thick and snuggly.
                                        Coconut Silk
                                        Western Red Cedar - Arid turpentines in the best possible way.
                                        Confier Gold
                                        The Fool
                                        The Magician
                                        High Priestess
- I really enjoy Britton's work. She crafts beautiful natural fragrances. She began working on a perfume line derived from the major arcana of tarot and I plan on collecting them. I should probably feature them soon.

Aftelier: Rosemary
                Aged Frankincense
                Aged Patchouli
- These are the perfumer's oils from Mandy. I like to use them to make my own linen sprays and sleep scents. Her aged patchouli is dreamy.

Sixteen92: Baker Street EDP
                The Bottling Room EDP
                Liber Officiorum Spirituum - Mysterious books and unearthly sugary snacks.
                Black Sugar
                Les Tables Parlantes
                Death By Stereo
                E Lucevan Le Stelle 
                The Golden Age
                The Witching Hour
                Dr. Van Helsing
                Ultima Thule
                One Good Scare
                Penny Dreadful
                Bell Witch
- I enjoy Sixteen92. Being a part of The Circle last year confirmed this. I love the way Claire crafts stony, cool, and atmospheric scents. She has a deft hand at gauzy florals and chilled steel, moody earth and smoky leather. I particularly love Liber Officiorum Spirituum. I do find she has a classic white fog musk that tends to weave in certain scent profiles. I find her gourmands to be almond leaning. I have a handful of Resurrection scents from January that I am waiting on still. I cannot wait to get them. When I went to Salem I packed a lot of goodies from her house and it was the right choice.

Whisper Sisters: Brigid 
                            Black Lung
                            Patchouli Clove
                            Frankincense Dark Cedar x 2- Almost as good as Britton's Red Cedar. 
                            Be Mine
- I really enjoy the affordability of Darla's perfumes. For my nose she does spiced patchouli scents extremely well, especially clove. I did branch out once to a variety of other genres from Whisper Sisters but they did not go over too well on my skin. I also like the rollerball format. I tend to use these up fast. 

Solstice Scents: Lavender Vanilla Glace'
                          Lavender Vanilla EDP
                          Foxcroft EDP- Fall in a glass bottle.
                          Headmaster EDP
                         Flintlock EDP
                         Wolf Spirit EDP
                         Night Watcher EDP
                         Manor EDP- Halfway drained. My easy pick that always feels right.
                         Guardian EDP- Nature's Shalimar
                         Hidden Lodge EDP x 2
                         Black Forest EDP- The newest addition. To be reviewed (again) soon.
                        Vanilla Pipe Tobacco EDP
                          Pinyon Truffle- One of the few chocolate scents I crave. The pine in it is heaven.
                          Butter Rum Mallow
                         Gibbon's Boarding School
- I am a huge fan of Angela's EDP perfumes. I love the sillage and longevity and warmth. I tend to gravitate towards Angela's woods, vanilla, amber, incense, and forest laden scents. I do like some of the sweet gourmands I have sampled here and there but I have White Feather and Estate Vanilla on my radar to sample next. 

Nocturne Alchemy: I have a gross of Nocturne Alchemy. One hundred and forty-four bottles of aromatherapy to inhale. I am going to try to break these down according to category. 

Studio Limited: Moonstone x 2, Santalum, Pyramid Santalum, Tibetan Crystalline, Ember (this is a billion times better when aged very well), Nokturne: Ember Resurrected, Bastet Musk, Osirian Purnima Set, Osirian Purnima Pakhet, Osirian Purnima Maahes, Myrrh Ombre #3, Santal Ombre #5, Oud Ombre #23 x 2, Bloodstone Dark, Diamond Dark, Crystalline Dark, Crystal Dark

Permanent Collection: Eternal Tut Ankh Amun, VApothecary Gothic, Pharaohs & Queens Smenkhare and Ozymandias, Royal Amber Bastet Amber and Sky Amber, The Library Dracula, All Hallows' Eve Halloween 2017

Collaborations: Firelion, Polychrome, Mists of Arcacia, PZB: Ghost

Limited: Anubis Oudh Iconic, ICONS III: Copal, Incense Pumpkin (kickstarter), Vanilla Pumpkin (kickstarter), Blue Vanille, Holger, Khyah, Tarrie Cat #1, Tarrie Cat #2, Tarrie Cat #3 x 2, Tarrie Cat #5, Santalum 11, Horus Haven #5, Vanilla Black Patchouli, Santalum and Cardamom x 2, 1922 x 2, Cream Soda Crane, Amber Beetle, White Amber Beetle, Coconut Cockatoo, Hallowcats, V by Thoth, Cardamom Chai Sandalwood x 2, Sam Sugar Glider, Bastet's Ice Cream Original x 2, Bastet's Ice Cream: Wisteria Petal Creme, Bastet's Ice Cream: Halloween Spice Cake Santalum Creme, Witchypoo, Dracs, Swampy, Skelekin, Vampire Cardamom Bat, Sienna Bat, Halcyon Bat x 2, Scarlet Bat x 2, Amethystine Bat, Halloween Evening, Halloween 2020, Pumpkin Library 2, Pumpkin Library 15 x 2, Pumpkin Library 4, Pumpkin Library 30, Halloween Dreams, The Mummy Returns, All The Strange Things, The High Priestess, The Symbol, Holy Grail, My Valentine, The Day Dream, Egypt I, Witches and Black Cats, Pyewacket Cat, Blue Chakra, Red Chakra, Tyrannosaurus x 3, Dimetrodon, Utahraptor, Velociraptor, Maiasaura, Pteranodon, Cryolophosaurus, Camarasaurus x 2, Deinonychus, Iguanodon, Pachycephalosaurus, Plesiosaurus, Holiday Rex, Candied Patchouli, Candied Moonstone, Guidance, Protection, Strength, Dream Walking, Crystalline Holiday Spice Cake x 2, Santalum Holiday Spice Cake x 2, Alchemist Bazaar x 2, Spice Bazaar, Evening Bazaar, Bastet's Amber Vanilla, Vanilla Copal, Pink Sugar Patchouli Cotton Candy Sweater, Ammonite II, Sandalwood Copal, EA Blue, EA Green, EA Orange, Incense Chai, Crystalline Chai, Night-time Slumber Cat, Afternoon Tea Cat, Midnight Bunny, Private Universe, Moon Dust Kashmir, EA Summer, Imsety, Egyptian Gold Vanilla and Sandalwood

eNVie: Saphir, Bleu Saphir

- I am a sucker for NA's sweet spices, especially cinnamon and cardamom. I also adore their vanillas, especially Moonstone, Crystalline and Spooktacular (which I need to buy another bottle of since I used mine all up). I find I gravitate towards their candied patchouli scents (hence all the bats) and their limestone amber (hence all the dinosaurs). I feel like NA does many things well: lavender, sandalwood, copal, oud, and moody deep accords. Sweet roses (Polychrome, Evening Bazaar, and Imsety) and these strange green musks (Pyewacket Cat, Swampy, Witchypoo, Witches and Black Cats) are alluring to me as well. I feel like I have a handle on what notes I know will work for me. I had owned almost all the EA colors but gave away or swapped the majority. I ended up sticking with EA Blue as my top favorite. They recently moved and reopened. I picked up one more dinosaur and a backup of EA Blue. I look forward to each release and usually end up picking up two or three from the bounty that is served up. I also want to mention their eNVie branch which is high-end. Beautiful, beautiful perfumes that I would love to be able to explore more of in the future. Nocturne Alchemy is a larger artisan house with many perfumers and a robust collection that is usually revolving for the seasonal offerings and stable for the general catalogue. They normally are open and the customer service is excellent. I feel like their perfumes are always made from high quality ingredients and crafted thoughtfully.

Arcana Wildcraft: Ninety-six bottles of beauty. Arcana was and is my first true love as an artisan perfume oil house. Julia has since separated her house into Arcana Wildcraft and Arcana Craves branches/lines. Most of my collection is from Arcana Wildcraft.

Trees, Marshmallow, Cake Lust, Anodyne, Haint x 2, Filthy Viking x 2, Cottage Witch, Forest Witch, Hedge Witch, Garden Witch, Hexen Moon, Sea Wolf, Yurt, Sleepy Hallow, Tinderbox, Cottage in a Clearing, Leaving Falling Like Rain, Venus Callipyge, Raven Rock, Vatican Archives, The Huntress, Herne, Mustardseed, Oberon, Cobweb, Moth, Puck, Jack for a lover, Her coal-black hair, Eyes under eyelids did so gleam, Undead Gentleman x 2, Quick Bright Things, Two Finger Ballet, Quim, Holy Terror, Quelle Horreur!, Twirling the Pearl x 2, Bonfires at Dusk, Devilish, Mad Monk, The Bone Mother, Sabbath Eve, Mars Exalted: Courage, Venus Exalted: Tenderness, Cunning Folk, Timberline, Terrible Enchantment, Love Her Love Her Love Her, x 2 Estella, Dirty Nog, Hotboxing in the Gingerbread House, Krampus Nacht, Krampus Cones, Marshmallows Burn Down the Yule Tree, Merrywidow, Bullet Bra, Peignoir, The Kraken, Guy Fawkes, Ursa Minor, Witches Wear Big Black Stompy Boots, Witches Drawn Down the Moon, Witches Cavort with Cupcakes, Witches Cast Love Spells, Witches Trace Sigils in the Dirt, Witches Stumble Home After a Crazy Night Out, Witches Want Chocolate and Terror, Celestite, This is Not Canada, Her Tribe, Her Forest, Her Antlers, Her Fawn, Her Sky, Her Crown, Her Shaman, Star Dark, Death in the Afternoon, Mongolian Death Worm, Tammany Hall, Waterfall, Rose Petal Blunt, Chillum

Arcanan Craves: Pumpkins Crave Terror, Pumpkins Crave Trees, Pumpkins Crave Quietude, Pumpkins Crave Nog, Apples Crave Resins, Strawberries Crave Waterfalls

- Julia is an amazing perfumer. She also gives incredible customer service. She is usually open for business and possesses a wonderfully curated general catalogue with seasonal releases that contain old favorites with a few new creations thrown in. I find her collection to be large enough for variety but not overwhelming. For my nose she does the very best pine/fir/spruce/evergreen/cedar/woods out there. Hands down. She is also a deft hand at vanilla, smoke, lavender, herbs, gardenia, jasmine, amber, patchouli, and gourmands. Her gingers are the snappiest. Her junipers the snazziest. Her tobacco the snuggliest. My very favorite scent from her is Filthy Viking. I have blown through 10ml so far and have half a 10ml left and one 5ml backup. I wear this when I am sick, when I am happy, when I am stressed, when I need clarity. Before bed. Before walks. I am already a mint sucker and a fir sucker so this is perfection to me. Holy Terror and Haint are also forever favorites that will be worn with happiness. Julia's Deer Collection is probably by far my most favorite release. Every scent in it is lush and breathtaking.

My mainstream and niche collection has dwindled considerably. I have used some and gifted some. These left over are ones I enjoy the most or are sentimental. The solids are not mainstream or niche but I added them here.

Tocca Collette, Chanel No. 5 (my great aunt's), Chanel Coromandel (New York City trip with sisters), Le Labo Gaiac 10 (Tokyo trip), L'Artisan Caligna (Adam's favorite), L'Artisan Vanille Absolument, Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri, Dasein Winter (my favorite from my Olfactif days), Tiziana Terenzi Laudano Nero, Wild Bee Soap Co Sorrow and Twilight solid perfumes

- I need to review these solid perfumes soon. They smell amazing. My mom picked them up off Etsy. 

Serge Lutens: One of my very first niche houses and still my favorite.

Full Bottles: Muscs Koublai Khan, Chergui, Fille en Aiguilles, Fleurs d'Oranger, L'orpheline, Un Bois Vanille

Minitures (5ml): Fleurs d'Oranger x 2, L'orpheline, Nuit de Cellophane, Ambre Sultan, L'eau de Prille, La Religieuse, Clair de Musc, Feminite du Bois,Jeux de Peau

- I adore all of these scents and I do keep an eye out for Five o'clock au Gingembre and Fille de Berlin to join the collection one day. 

Sonoma Scent Studio: Laurie was a perfumer that had my heart and nose as well. She has since retired and sold her business to another who keeps the formulas and perfumes in production. 

Full bottles: Tabac Aurea x 2, Equestrian, Winter Woods, Incense Pure, Sienna Musk, Fireside Intense, Champagne du Bois

Travel Sprays: Lieu du Reves, Yin & Ylang, Pacific Forest, Wood Violet, Ambre Noir x 2, Forest Walk

- I want to use these instead of hoarding them now that I know they can be made again. These need to be dusted off.

Olympic Orchids: Woodcut
- I am head over heels for this one. And I have many more fragrances from this house that I wish to pick up (I should do it soon since Ellen is having her yearly 20% off sale). Cafe V and her bat scent are two on my mind.

Wylde Ivy: Autumn Twilight
                The Green Lady
                Day of the Sugar Skull
- I love the easy wearability of WI perfumes. They are sweet and cozy, like wearing a cotton candy cloud. I desperately need to pick up Ashley's lavender scents.

My small pile of samples. May sound strange but I rarely sample. And when they come into my hand I am quick to either wear them up or gift them out. The only house I make a point to sample is either a new to me house or Solstice Scents when I am scouting out a new EDP. 

So here it is. All my perfume. I am only missing my tiny Poison bottle and my two 5ml Tauer perfumes. My collection is an ebbing and flowing thing. Scents are used, swapped or gifted and others trickle in here and there. I am on a 3-4 perfume bottle limit per month now but I have skipped a few months during quarantine and only recently bought three from BPAL and two from Nocturne Alchemy so I think I am doing fine. I still will pick up more here and there but I am mostly focusing on enjoying what I do have. I probably still have several dozens of scents I have not reviewed and I would like to get around to that. Just to keep my imagination and writing going. I know my reviews aren't always helpful (or at least that is what I read the other day in a perfume discussion) but I mostly do it for the challenge of describing scent. It is my hobby and it makes me happy.

Do we have any overlap in our collections? What perfume houses make up the most of yours? 

Some houses I would like to explore more of: Carnival Wax, House of Orpheus, Zoology.

What about you?


  1. Hi Julie,
    what an fantastic article. Love your collection

    1. Thank you, Katerina! Hope you are doing well. It was nice getting to dust off some of these fragrances. It reminded me I needed to pay attention to some of them.

  2. Ahh, what a great read! It's like an exquisite museum for the nose! Goals.
    *I personally find your perfume reviews very useful! Other people write about just notes, and everyone seems to pick up on different things. You write about the mood and imaginative truth of the perfume...which seems to make more sense for me.
    I could see you writing a fantasy novel somehow built around perfumes;!

    1. I love that! A museum for the nose. Many Aftel has curated a perfume museum in Berkley and I would love to be able to visit it one day.

      Thank you so much for you kind words. I know I can go off on these strange tangents but capturing the mood is pretty much what I strive for. Your words go straight to my heart. <3

      Hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Has Britton done a preview of her update this weekend, if she is listing a resin perfume on Sunday I will be ordering finally. When her focus shifted to astrology I took a break from her newsletter and Instagram, although she is so down to earth I could listen to her talk about anything for the most part. Even though I've switched to using naturals, I 100% agree with you on Arcana Wildcraft's special place in the perfume oil community.

    1. Whoohooo!!! I did see that she teased the herbal care box which I am excited about and a rose body cream. I am excited about that too. A resin perfume?? If there is one I will be angling to bring it home with me. And more Moon Dew. Yeah she did kind of take off with her tarot cards and praxis stuff. And I think she was kind of wanting to explore herself in an existential way rather than focusing on the physical. But as long as she is making I am following along. Her products do have soul to them.

      I would love to switch 100% to naturals but sometimes I just get a hankering for certain perfumes so I am not beating myself up over it. I do rest more assured that the houses I like tend to use high quality goodies I think. But to be honest I think that is partly why Julia's tree based scents smell so amazing.. she is wildcrafting the goods for that.

      Hope you are doing well! I am gearing up for candle season so I am excited to burn the ones you sent me soon. <3

  4. I think your reviews are really useful! Especially for NAVA which is a house I'm only now trying to crack and which I find really hard to navigate. The selections are overwhelming and they don't break down a lot of their accords into the components used which makes it hard to figure out what won't work on me. I don't blind buy as I'm not really into de-stashing or selling though :)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I felt the same when wading into NA, so many choices, such a huge catalogue. You are right about all the house accords and blends. It can make initial purchases difficult. I think after I started sampling a lot of their single notes I was better able to get a hold of what I liked. I discovered I only like Kashmir and Crimson in teeny tiny doses. I have gotten fairly good at blind buying but will try something out of my comfort zone once in a while.. sometimes it pays off and other times it gets thrown into the "pass to a friend" pile. I don't blame you about not wanting to de-stash. It can get crazy cost prohibitive!!

  5. woah! Nice collection. Have you run into any indie oils turning on you (sad face)?

    1. Thanks!!! I have only two or three get a little sour on me after a few years but by and far most of my scents either smell just as good and in many cases better than when I first bought them. I will say I think it is because Arcana, Nocturne Alchemy and the houses I enjoy are high quality places. They use either wildcrafted or perfume quality ingredients.