Sunday, March 20, 2022

Arcana Wildcraft: Meditations on Love

 These perfumes were sent as a gift.

Hey there. It's me. How have you been? I have been ok. Still into my smell goods, reading, working, gardening. Trying to find those tiny bits of joy where I can.

Speaking of tiny bits of joy, I do have some perfumes to show you. These are from Julia's Valentine's release at Arcana Wildcraft, titled Meditations on Love. A sample is $6 and a full 5ml bottle is $26 and free shipping on orders over $50. If you join Julia's Facebook group you can sometimes catch the deals like gifts with purchase and discount codes. 

Seduce- Notes: Cafe au lait, delicate neroli, dark crimson musk, oven-toasted brioche, Mexican vanilla, crystalline chunks of rich amber, vintage patchouli, and smooth sandalwood.

In the vial there is a push and pull factor between the coffee and neroli. It almost comes across like a perky variety of dragon's blood but I think that is the red musk's influence. Applied on the wrists, the patchouli opens up (Julia always has the most incredible patch) and pairs with the warm musk to act as the smoldering setting within which the seduction takes place. It eventually drifts quietly to the background to linger as velvety shadows amid the candlelight of the neroli. The more gourmand aspects of this perfume are blended so beautifully. One moment a tendril of steamy coffee and cream will entice, then the next a wedge of crusty nourishing bread will hover at the periphery of my senses. All the while the vanilla, amber, patch and sandalwood mingle and meld into a beguiling perfume. Seduce is a highly nuanced red musk unlike any that I have sniffed before. The deep drydown becomes more soft and snug as it settles into a tender vanillic sandalwood cream. It is a pleasure to wear and expertly blended.

Touch- Notes: Golden honey on warm skin, soft brown leather, a baby lambswool sweater, floating layers of sheer silk, grey musk, and lightly smoked sap-frosted woods.

From the vial comes violet hued impressions, the delicate orris smudged bruises under sleepy bedroom eyes, the tender blue veins that dwell in the crooks of arms, the dreamlike quality of light just after the sun sets and just before it rises. Brushed onto the skin the luminous leathery iris and orris root tones glow with pale lilac and azure auras. It is a sleepy and soft beauty along a similar feel as Celestite to my nose. A difference is the leather and the honey. I love how the honey grounds this scent and keeps it from floating into the ether, much like a touch can be grounding and comforting. The heart begins to drift into the textile territory with the clean skin scent of wool and watery layers of silk. The heart slowly warms up by the dripping of honey and this carries down to the base. It is quite the suggestive scent in the drydown, as if fingers trail along the skin leaving a honeyed ghost of pheromones it their wake. Touch is a beautiful scent. Shadowy blue florals and leather to the warm sweater borrowed from a lover to a honeyed skin musk.

Trust- Notes: Lavender scented kulfi, ruffled red carnations, precious French cognac, ribbons of melted caramel, white amber, fluffy vanilla, clove bud, and brown sugar.

I have never tasted nor smelled kulfi before. I see it is a traditional Indian frozen dessert and when I sniff in the bottle I certainly pick up a creamy cool treat infused with amber cognac. I love how boozy and creamy this is in the bottle, with just a whiff of resinous warm amber. Wet on the skin the greenhouse scent of carnations wafts up, like a stem or two sentimentally presented by a lover. The carnations and cognac are quite the heady pairing, and they merge together seamlessly. The heart fills as the cream begins to rise, quietly pushing the courtship flowers to the background. Slowly a richness darkens the cream and kulfi, this must be the brown sugar and caramel with a breath of clove. It dries down to remain this creamy sugared dark treat. Enchanting. 

Blush- Notes: A trail of wild-harvested mosses in an enchanted forest leads to profusion of tuberose petals, fresh apricots, soft earth, and blushing peaches drizzled with a touch of wildflower honey.

The notes on this one had me wiggling my eyebrows for sure. I adore Julia's narcotic white florals (the jasmine and strawberries in Merrywidow!) so I was excited to see her pair tuberose with the peach and apricots. In the vial those three have quite the menage a trois in a clearing somewhere out in nature. I hope the insects were kind to them. Drenched on the skin juicy apricots and peaches start jammy and sweet but then mellow into the furred skins of the fruits rather than the flesh, while the dainty white tuberose petals offer up their honeyed opulent perfume. The tuberose here is not indolic or gasoline nuanced but leans more towards the creamy and honey rich scent of pure orange blossoms and bulb flowers and gardenia all swirled into the majesty that is tuberose herself. Bits of moss and earth act as a vignette framing the fruits and tuberose flowers. As it begins to dry the ripe peaches and apricots fade and the tuberose blooms fully forward, humid and lush but softened ever so slightly by the muted moss and earthen hues smudged around it, earthen and not sweet. In the drydown the petals become withered and crackling, light and dusty, falling to the earth.

Wide-eyed- Notes: The sweet amazement of the dawning of love. A green meadow wreathed in mist, the beating of butterfly wings, Jasmine sambac, young, ripe strawberries, and a bit of sugar-gilded vetiver.

Well howdy-do. After thinking of Merrywidow's lush jasmine and boozy strawberry, look who struts her stuff right into my hands? Another lush jasmine and strawberry! This makes me ridiculously excited. In the bottle the strawberries are tiny toothachingly sweet glistening red beads pillowed by fuzzy green leaves with dainty white flowers arching out, bobbing on their long thin stems. Gracing the skin those beautiful berries are ever present and larger than life, however, just as ephemeral as they would be in nature they quickly ripen and move to the edges of the scent to allow the jasmine to pull through in the heart. This jasmine is a gorgeous white star shining with moon dappled fragrance. It is lush and delicate, less powerful and bulb-like than the tuberose, more gossamer and sweet. A princess rather than a queen. I think that the tiny wild strawberries hanging around the edges all the while bolster this image. 

Muse- Notes: Delicate, crisp lemon cookies, tart yuzu, velvet blankets, wild-harvested fir tips, warm stones in an ancient forest, sweet coconut water, and wild juniper. 

Muse is a wild beauty. From the bottle I sniff out the bright and zesty yuzu citrus tones and it is accompanied by the serenity of coniferous woods. I know I will love it. Drizzled onto the skin a clean and warm musk unfolds that houses the lemony bright yuzu. It really does smell of sun dried linens that have netted the blossoms drifting along a breeze. As the winds shift the yuzu becomes more pronounced and the gentle green milkiness of coconut water trickles in. The effect isn't tropical but serene and calming. As if wandering a rocky forested coastline in the Mediterranean with gentle cleansing winds and wild citrus fruits growing crookedly towards the sea. Certainly a place to muse. This beauty dries down to a soft pale coconut woods that induces frequent sniffing.

All of these Meditations on Love are simply lovely. I am enthralled with the floral and fruit combinations that ring true and wear beautifully. I actually went to a wedding with my right arm slathered in Blush and my left graced in Wide-eyed and savored every moment. Sorry if I am a bit rusty on the writing and interpretations. These things are like muscles and mine are sorely atrophied. I am aiming to pick up two new to me scents from Julia at Arcana soon (Her Flame and Her Sorceress) and then I also plan on beginning the review process of a ton of Moonalisa scents I have ordered over the years but never got around to. I have found that I missed writing about scent. So here I am. Once more. Pouring over the goodies. Hope you have been doing well! What are you wearing?


  1. I had picked up a sample of Trust from this collection, cuz I have really enjoyed the boozy blends from Arcana that I've tried thus far.
    You have me thinking I should give Seduce and maybe Muse a try as well.
    Your descriptions were such a joy to read, as always. You haven't lost your touch one bit. <3
    I haven't been wearing too much fragrance as of late. I prefer to wear perfume daily, I just haven't been making a point of putting much of any on.

    1. Trust was such an incredible scent! Those carnations and cognac were amazing together. Did you like it?

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I felt so rusty! LOL! I began wearing some cozy stuff to bed lately. It has been nice to dive into it again.

    2. Yes, I do like Trust! I don't think I need to full size it, though. ;)
      I've been wearing some more Spring like fragrances to bed and that's been very soothing.