I picked up a handful of layering notes a while back from Julia at Arcana Wildcraft. I was in the mood for woods and calming scents. A few gourmand scents were generously gifted as well. I believe Julia mentioned that her Layering Notes scents would be living at Arcana Craves, once it is set to reopen, which I believe will be soon. The Layering Notes scents are currently $20 each on the Wildcraft site. I enjoy them for their simplicity and realism. Once in a while I will layer them but I mostly choose to wear them alone in appreciation for uncomplicated pleasure.
Buttercream Frosting- Notes: Clouds of powered sugar are lavished over creamy whipped butter and plump vanilla beans. A rich and buttery buttercream confection.
In the vial the powered sugar and vanilla pull forth strongest, the dustings of velvety white sugar that cling to the lips and corner of the mouth. Stray sweetness. On the wrist that powdery confectioners' sugar slowly warms with soft fresh churned butter to create the creamy whipped sensation of buttercream frosting. A dash of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and dozens of memories baking my daughters' birthday cakes over the years. Each cake was graced with homemade vanilla buttercream frosting, whether it was a dragon, snake, Pokemon (Mew), the One Ring, heart-eyed emoji, or whale cupcakes. This perfume is the perfect photorealistic impression of these moments. As it settles in, the frosting becomes soft again, powdered and gentle. Flavors of dusky tonka, papery benzoin and furry vanilla musk drift hazily through the scent. This will be a bedtime aroma for me. For some reason I get comfort from simple vanilla scents at night. My current go-to is the Marshmallow Layering Note. Once it is gone I will put this in the rotation.
Forest Floor was a Layering Note that was requested by a customer. This accord was featured in Her Forest and Strawberries Crave Sunlit Paths (I believe). I don't recall it ever really being officially listed on the website but you could order it upon request. For a while there Julia was generously creating customer requests for Layering Notes. I think that is on hold while she gets back to curating seasonal delights and some Craves goodies. She does still ask for input in her Facebook group Arcana Addicts. I highly recommend joining.
Back to the scent at hand, Forest Floor is indeed just that. Soil, moss, humus, mycorrhizae, roly-poly pill bug decomposers, peat, and all the brown, damp crumbly life-filled organic matter that is so vital to forest health. On the skin it begins fresh and mineral laden, like the cool, wet stones in the river bed that meanders between massive trunks of trees. The wet knotty brown roots of cypress knees creep up as you ascend the bank. Bits of needles, dead leaves and pine straw pinch and grab at the toes while silken mud seeps between. Forest Floor possesses the ability to straddle the line between earthen and refreshing, bracing in its dewy greenness and grounded in the bracken, much like lichen and moss. This beauty is easy to wear. I put it on when I want to feel like a dryad.
Along those dryad tendencies, I also requested a cedar layering note from Julia. She said she had two so I bought both of them. Can you tell I am a sucker for cedar? It all began with the Western Red Cedar oil I purchased from Britton at Blood Moon Botanica. I knew Julia would have some amazing cedar offerings as well. Red Cedar Heartwood and Atlas Cedarwood were the two she created.
Red Cedar Heartwood is dry and papery, like the dust motes that fly through the shafts of sunlight filtering through the cracked and hazy windows in an old barn. This is the scent of forgotten cedar chests, sunny Victorian attics, and empty barns in the dark of late summer. On the skin this dry wood imparts a peaceful grounded feeling. As a teacher I do catch tiny suggestions of pencil sharpener leavings and that is nicely nostalgic. I would wear this with the other foresty scents, vanillas, frankincense, and patchouli.
Blue Amber- Notes: Fresh white amber, crystal blue aquatic notes, sea air, and a bit of Egyptian blue chamomile.
From the vial lifts up a perfectly serene blending of chamomile and smooth pale amber. It glows like polished moonstone. There is a soft sandy sweetness to it. On the skin a bit of the salty sea air and briny aquatic tang pushes through the sandy amber initially. It possesses a mild soapy cleanness, like a creamy buttery bar of the best goat's milk soap. The chamomile watery sweet, apple-like essence compliments the ghostly amber. This wears perfectly as a stand-alone aroma.
Chocolate Cake- Notes: The scent of a delicate, cocoa-dusted chocolate cake. Rather than a fudgy chocolate note, this is light and cake-like.
This is brownie batter in a bowl, spoon licking, spatula licking, finger licking bliss. On the skin the chocolate is light and airy, dustings of cocoa that make the mouth water. Nuances of coconut play around the edges of the light fluffy chocolate cake. This is supremely delicious and completely realistic.
Atlas Cedarwood is not dry like the Red Cedar, this one blooms with the bracing effluvia of turpentine like effervescence. This camphorous scent bubbles with life, the aldehydes of the forest. If you like a wee bit of gasoline in your whiff, give this one a go.
Lavender Absolute- Notes: Buttery, smooth French lavender absolute. The creme de la creme of lavenders.
I know lavender may seem a little pedestrian or commonplace, but honestly no one sources a lush lavender like Julia. Hers always shine with authenticity and saturation. It is certainly buttery and smooth, but also delicately sweet and herbal, with tones of rosemary and pine. I wear this alone but also pair it with Filthy Viking, vanillas and patchouli.
If you enjoy keeping things simple and high quality, give these Arcana Layering Notes a whirl. I find them to be priced well and of excellent taste. What is one of your favorite notes right now? I am on a huge vanilla kick. I cannot get enough Two Finger Ballet, Marshmallow or Devilish.