Wednesday, March 23, 2022

MoonaLisa: Various 3ml Perfumes

MoonaLisa is an indie perfume house that has been around for a while, her website states 1991. Moona has a background as a sculptor, chef, herbalist, and of course, in perfumery. She operates her house out of two websites, one for the perfume found here (MooScents) and one for bath and body and home products found here (MoonaLisa). Currently, all perfume oils are $15.95 and EDPs are $24.95. If a perfume oil has more expensive ingredients she will offer them in 3ml sizes, but if they are standard they will go in larger 5ml roll-ons. I will feature my roll-ons next. Today is all about the 3ml perfume oils I have from MoonaLisa. These were collected over the past couple of years, so fairly recent.

Fir & Spice- Notes: All natural fir balsam, cedar wood, and silver fir. Accented with golden frankincense and myrrh, with just a touch of aromatic seasonal spices.

Dusty cedarwood and warm frankincense tears herald the coming of sacred woods and precious resins when sniffed from the bottle. Applied wet to the crook of an arm the cedar fizzes up with an aldehyde brightness. The sunlit cedar sparks settle down back to the earth and are grounded by dried evergreen needles and woody myrrh. At some points there is a gingery bubbling lightness to the edges, hard to tell if it emanates from the pale myrrh or terpenes from the wood pith. Regardless, this is a dancing wood nymph of a fragrance, agile and lithe, sunny and cheering.

Yuletide Grove- Notes: An accidental blending of Starlight Woods and Yule Wood. Woody smoky soft amber and incense paired with evergreens, sandalwood, amber and spice.

A lovely sugared amber spruce this one is right out of the vial and wet on the skin. A near perfect Yule celebration: handcrafted hard candies, citrusy balsam garlands, the merest hint of cinnamon amber tipples. The sweetness makes me smile and imagine crystallized Christmas trees, twinkling with diamond sugar dust. I loved the idea of Yuletide Grove so much I did end up getting Starlight Woods as well. Now I simply need to pick up Yule Wood next to have all three iterations. Obviously you can see I am hooked and think they are well worth it.

Snow Ice- Notes: Sweet crystallized vanilla sugar and cream.

I am always a sucker for vanilla centric scents. I find them comforting and easy to enjoy in most moods and seasons. Snow Ice fresh from the crystal bottle brims with thick chewy vanilla bliss. Swirled on the skin with the wand, a rich toothsome vanilla flows forth. It posses nuances of a sticky pale caramel, vanilla butter fudge, and a touch of sweetened condensed milk. It is ultra creamy and simply decadent. 

Starlight Woods- Notes: Woody smoky soft amber with wafts of sacred incense.

Faintly the scent of delicate vanilla amber floats up in a haze. Brushed onto the skin, a candied version of this vanilla amber melts into a pool of warmth. It reminds me of an artisanal version of Amber Romance for a brief turn, but then the incense slowly trickles in and elevates the fragrance even further. On my skin this tends to hold close, with a quieter sillage, making for a more meditative experience. I will happily wear this one on days I need an extra dose of peace. 

All Hallows' Eve- Notes: Autumn strolls through dry graveyards, with earthy grounding oak moss, patchouli, herbs, oud wood, sandalwood, mosses, smoked woods, and a touch of earthly reminders of home. 

This is a haunting creature. From the bottle smoky oakmoss and midnight oud slither out and up to the senses. Swiped onto the skin a deep, ember bright bonfire ignites in the dark. There is a wax oil scent called bonfire bliss and this brings to mind that profile: pillowy woodsmoke, softly acrid embers, earthen ash. If you enjoy flame, smolder and smoke, you will love All Hallow's Eve.

The Witching Hour- Notes: Labdanum, benzoin, black agar, cedarwood, olibanum, and magic.

From the bottle comes a gorgeous frankincense and oud wood, resinous and woody, sparkling and burnished. On the skin The Witching Hour darkens and broods and this is the perfect scent to illustrate that bewitching nocturnal time. The benzoin and agarwood are full bodied with inky musk and a blackened furriness that slinks about like the shadow of a cat under a moon. The richness of the agar carries a smoky and pithy undertone that reminds me of the Andy Taur Attar I love to wear. This posses that almost animalistic nature of that scent. So beware the padding paws of the lurking feline during The Witching Hour, she just might pounce and you will indeed be caught.

The Conjuring Room- Notes: The distinct aroma of layers upon layers of magical oils, wax built up from years of burning candles and dark magic.

I love how the resins and bits settle down at the bottom. Shaking it up does make it feel like I am preparing a potion to uncork. When it is unstoppered the most delicious honeyed vanilla and creamy beeswax bubbles up. The ritual continues as these creamy smooth scents are joined by furry lavender and tonka hues. A touch of smokiness from extinguished candles and sooty fingertips. This is a plush, sweet, creamy and smoky dream. Perfect for conjuring spells.

Dusty Attic- Notes: An aged Moona amber blend, with oakmoss absolutes, subtle smoke elements, all swirling over fine aged patchouli.

In the vial this dark elixir smells boozy and moody, vintage with elegant oakmoss. Anointed on the skin that boozy amber emerges as a darkling beauty. It reminds me of opening up vintage glass bottles of perfume in quiet tucked away thrift shops. The booziness ages away into an arid warm amber. The sweetness fades as oakmoss dusts the perfume with its sharp green papery aroma. At this stage it truly does smell exactly like the vintage fragrances perched on faded and forgotten dressers stored in attics. 

Winter Solstice- Notes: A blend of different sacred resins such as frankincense and myrrh from around the world, nutmeg, and labdanum absolute.

This beauty was a fast favorite. I have since picked it up in the EDP format and will scout out another bottle later this year as the 3mls do go rather quickly with my heavy handedness. From the vial frankincense lifts up with clarity and sunny brightness. Moona's frankincense and ambers age incredibly well (I used to always get compliments on Salome's Secret for its resiny traits). Once on the skin that chewy woody frankincense is made more diaphanous by the austere myrrh. It is golden and rich, crystalline and shimmering, decadent and timeless. This is so beautifully blended that the individual notes don't appear in separation but merge into one beautiful ritual. The nutmeg lends a warm woodiness while the labdanum gifts a darkness. All swirl together to craft a resinous offering to the longest night of the year. If you love incense scents, do give this one a try. Winter Solstice does have to be applied liberally so have a sillage and longevity that lasts more than a few hours. It may be on the fleeting side but it is worth the experience.

Strega- Notes: Legendary European witches smells of labdanum, Bulgarian rose, frankincense, vetiver, piper longum, and vanilla absolute from their good magic, and darker notes from their mischief like deep woods, damp mosses, and incense smoke.

I bought Strega just as much for her name as the notes listed. It was a good call. From the bottle a resiny sweetness lifts up. Don't let the rose shy you away. Despite the name, this is not a grandmotherly scent. Dabbed onto the wrists this perfume is truly pure magic. Moona has a way of crafting fragrant potions that wear like elixirs, defying the ability to deconstruct them into their ingredients, demanding to be taken at their whole. But I persist. The incense is softened by dark vanilla husks and dusted with white pepper. It fleshes out to feel like an inviting dusky vanilla woods threaded through with gossamer incense smoke. Your Strega has a cozy home with dark corners, a lone sweet rose in a vase on the rough hewn table, vanilla clinging to her worn apron from the ghosts of past treats, and a ready pillowy hug to sooth the frayed heart. Embrace her.

Warm Hearth- Notes: Sweet vanilla with cinnamon, nutmeg, and patchouli.

This one was an instant love. If you have a hankering for a sugared vanilla and gently spiced patchouli this is a true gem that satisfies those cravings. Wet on the skin the candied patchouli glows, it is a snug patchouli that doesn't lean medicinal or overtly earthy. Simply a sugar sprinkled patchouli leaf. The vanilla is a clear shard of rock candy that can crunch between teeth or stir clockwise three times into a comforting drink. The spices in this scent are extremely subtle and quiet, merely accentuating the mild woodiness of the patch and the warmth of the vanilla. This is a forever love and I will be picking up a back up. The longevity on this one is pretty stout, it lasts several hours, basically all day long.

Mabon- Notes: Frankincense, sandalwood, cypress, juniper, pine, and pulverized oakmoss and concrete. A Scott Cunningham recipe with Moona's twist of added saffron and myrrh oils. A dusty fall stroll like scent.

A mesmerizing autumnal chypre-esque fragrance right out of the tiny crystal decanter. The oakmoss is tenderly aged and sings in harmony with the woods and resins. On the skin this is truly a magical ritual in the making. It is herbal and fresh like the snap of twigs with smudged green dregs in the bottom of a mortar. The saffron lingers with yellow pollen stains in the heart of the scent, a grassy yet brittle hay. It dries down into an airy frankincense and coniferous pine aroma. Lovely.

As of last night the MooScents website was still open for spring perfume orders. I picked up some of course. I do find that sometimes the TAT can be a touch longer than stated, but the customer service, perfumes, and packaging are all well worth it. I heard MoonaLisa's chocolate scents were pretty stellar so I picked up two of those (and some others). Did you order? Do you have any favorites from MoonaLisa?

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