Thursday, December 24, 2020

Arcana Wildcraft: Winter Scents

 These perfumes were sent as gifts. All opinions are my own.

Merry Christmas Eve, friends! Today is new pajama day in the Johnson household (well, for the girls anyway). We will have the day (well, the whole week) just the four of us and maybe play some games. I will get Christmas morning breakfast ready to go tonight. Then relax. Hoping you have a nice Christmas Eve. I do have some festive perfumes to chat with you about today. Julia at Arcana Wildcraft has a wonderful catalogue of winter scents. These should be up for the next month. You can get 10% off with the code NEWYEAR and there is free shipping on orders of $40 or more in the US. Not a bad deal! 

Winter Mirth- Notes: The scent of favorite scarves, gleeful snow days, and a lighthearted whirl of holiday parties: green coconut, baked pumpkin, nutmeg, red patchouli, and brightest lemongrass. $26
This is a festive scent! In the vial the coconut and lemongrass pull out like strings of confetti and paper streamers. It does remind me a teeny tiny bit of a yummy Thai soup. Once on the wrists the coconut becomes creamy like condensed milk while the baked pumpkin brings out gingery tones. The lemongrass still adds its lemony green tang. I am still salivating a bit over the reminder of that one time I made Thai coconut soup. I probably shouldn't blog and sniff when hungry. The Thai vibes fade as the heart blooms with creamy nutmeg and the pumpkin sweetens into a tasty treat. Lemongrass sparkles off and on again much like a trick candle, surprising you when you least expect it. The red patchouli base was not what I had expected. It has an almost ambery musk to it that glows. Marvelous! Winter Mirth is a cheerful and dynamic scent that is warming and fun.

Sneachta- Notes: Irish Gaelic for snow, the word sneachta (shnokh-ta) is also slang for another powdery white substance. Dry tobacco, sweet Irish honey, white musk, smoked vanilla (layering note), and the unmistakable whiff of wayward impulses. 
Boozy tobacco drifts from the mouth of the jar. Nuances of honey spiral away from the sticky sweet shredded leaves. It smells like the pouches of butternut chewing tobacco I would buy for my stepdad at Christmas time from Edwards' Pipe & Tobacco. Dabbed onto the skin, dusky honey and the golden suede-like texture of tobacco leaves hanging from barn rafters to cure reaches my nose. Bees hum merrily nearby. In the heart the large dry leaves are finely shredded and tamped down into grandpa's meerschaum pipe. The familiar scent of his flannel shirt teases the memory, sleeves lazily rolled, knotty knuckles, impish grin. His vanilla tobacco as yet unlit wafting its nostalgic perfume out. I am a fool and a half for tobacco scents and Sneachta is a welcome addition. It has a more rustic and intimate feel to it that I appreciate.

Snug- Notes: The scent of staying in to watch the snow fall: dark honey amber, marshmallow, and the glow of beeswax candles. $26
I have been meaning to buy this scent for quite a few years now. I am so happy to have it now. This has been an Arcana winter time classic for quite some time. Sticky amber, dusty altar candles, and a drop of booze for an offering display themselves upon first sniff. Pressed onto the wrists Snug is a burnished amber, pregnant with dark sticky sacred bits of nature: honey, sap, resin, and a breath of animalic musk that lends a growl. What is a fulfilling snuggle without a nip? The viscous drops of amber glow with the reflection of altar candles, hand-rolled and made malleable by warm hands. The honeyed wax melts pleasantly into the vanilla laden amber accord. The base burrows down to snuggle even deeper with creamy soft benzoin and a whiff of buttery soft labdanum musk. Less sweet, more burnished and snug indeed. A truly lovely scent for all seasons.

Tinderbox- Notes: The essence of a baroque case filled with tempered firesteel, flint, and linen charcloth: resinous black amber, woodsmoke, sweet mallow root, frankincense, cubeb, and sandalwood. $26
I love this one. Smoky frankincense and peppery cubeb blended into a smoldering and delightfully smooth perfume. Ignited on the skin the woodsmoke diffuses instantly to create an aura of perfectly serene smoke. It isn't acrid, sweet, bitter or thick. It achieves that delicate balance that only comes from getting a faint trace of woodsmoke on the chilled late fall breeze when walking in the countryside, making you want to inhale deeply and revel in it. The heart is made of the most exquisite raw frankincense resin. The overall effect is a warm, velvety smoke that feels luxurious and immensely wearable. Tinderbox is one to get if you are a fan of smoky scents or smoldering frankincense.

Star Dark is one I have had in my stash for a little while. I think it was gifted to me in a swap. It is not on sale from Arcana currently but I thought it would be nice to give my thoughts on both of these since they are probably from a winter release in the past. Of the two, Star Light is on sale right now.

Star Light- Notes: Sugar cookies infused with Mexican vanilla and sprinkled with tiny hints of peach, fig, and raisin. $26
Sugar cookies studded with dried fruits. I love the chewy sweetness from the peaches and figs and raisins. They really pull through on cold sniff. On the skin those dried fruits do retain some soft chewiness and they marinate in a heaping glug of sugared vanilla. The raisins are as dense and rich as dates, the peach is jammy and bright. A breath of the sugar cookie plays in and out of focus with a touch of almond extract in the batter. This is a beautiful gourmand. It settles down into a toothsome vanilla still studded with the ghost of those fruits. 

Star Dark- Notes: Dark chocolate, vanilla, French cocoa absolute, cinnamon cream, pumpkin rind, pink pepper, and frankincense. (not currently for sale)
Fragrant dark chocolate, black as midnight and melting like velvet in the mouth. I normally am not he biggest chocolate fan in fragrance but this one is incredibly delicious. Applied to the wrists the darkest bitter sweet chocolate liqueur pours forth. It is a touch boozy and absolutely decadent. Quickly the cream swirls in but I don't catch much heat from the cinnamon. If anything it only lends a dusky wood element to the cocoa. This is not a sweet perfume but it is rich. It smells of the most delicious and expensive artisan dark chocolates made. If you like Solstice Scents' Pinyon Truffle or Black Forest you would enjoy this one. Though they aren't standing out to my nose independently the incense, pumpkin and pink pepper are blended seamlessly in this scent to create that expensive cocoa refinement that makes this perfume so special. If you find this on the marketplace pick it up. 

Wishing you a peaceful and calm evening with love abound. 

Merry Christmas Eve! 

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