Review: Solstice Scents Valentine’s Collection 2012 – Guest Post
Hi there! I’m rivercitylizzy from The Nature of Beauty, here at Luna’s gracious invitation to present a guest post for your amusement. Mahalo, Luna!
First I have a secret for you all. Don’t be afraid, you can come closer, it’s not THAT kine secret Don’t tell Luna though, I don’t wanna get thwacked…you ready? Here it is: eternal procrastinator that I am, I had not one word of this post planned in advance. In fact, until I got home from work Wednesday night (a whopping 11 hours after I began) I did not even know what topic I would be writing about. Eek. Then I opened up the mailbox and `auwe! What did I find but my inspiration nestled snugly between junk mail and catalogs–the fragrances from Solstice Scents I had ordered just three days prior!
The universe, she takes good care of me.
Solstice Scents is a perennial favorite of mine since my introduction to the brand nearly a year ago. There are several reasons for this: their branding is consistent, appealing to me (that is, the theme is one I identify with), and professional without loosing all traces of personalization (for example, the name of the scent on each bottle/sample vial is handwritten–legibly!); their scents are hauntingly beautiful, complex (with many wonderful layers of scent to discover throughout wear time), long-lasting, and unique; their packaging for full-size fragrances is both lovely and consistently easy to use (read: reliably dispenses product); and their price point is very reasonable ($2.50 for samples–including LE!–and $9-$15 regular price full sizes…which are 10 ml). I particularly appreciate that the price of full size perfumes at Solstice Scents appears to be based on the number and quality of the ingredients used, rather than whether a scent is “general catalog” or “special/limited edition.”
With that background in mind I will say that when Angela, the owner/perfumer, announced the coming Valentine’s Collection on the Solstice Scents blog I felt some trepidation, as she confessed “We went cherry crazy this year (which is only slightly less insane than plum crazy haha).” Cherry notes, they are not always my friends. So I approached this collection with a heavy dose of skepticism. This year’s offerings to St. Valentine included 4 new scents–Black Forest, Cherry Cordial, German Chocolate Cake, and Nightgown–plus two of their GC scents that fit the V-Day mood, Cherry Vanilla Amberosia (not a typo) and Violet Truffle, offered in their popular bath/body products (Ganache, a whipped body cream, and Burnishing Glace, a sprayable “dry” body/hair oil).
I was glad to see that despite the “cherry crazy” theme, half of the new offerings did not include cherry notes at all, and one of the cherry scents seemed like it had enough friends of my skin in the notes to work. I forged ahead and purchased full sizes of Nightgown and Black Forest and requested a sample of German Chocolate Cake as my freebie at checkout. I placed the order on Sunday, February 26 and as stated above my package arrived on Wednesday, February 29. That’s going from FL to CA via USPS in THREE BUSINESS DAYS. Awesome CS, Solstice Scents has it!
Okay on to the scents:
Black Forest– In the bottle, I can pick up the dark sweet cherry notes but they are not heavy on the bitter almond (which these accords can have) and are balanced by rich and spicy woods and a peek of bright pink pepper. On the skin, though…oh, on the skin, Black Forest epitomizes what I love most about Solstice Scents: hour after hour of delight exploring the many layers of this scent. For me, the woods and pepper take center stage almost immediately, with just a hint of the cherries, and I’m reminded of a type of crack seed that I favor called “cake olive” (hush, you, it’s an acquired taste!). This is followed by the tobacco and hay, roughly 1/2-1 hour later and balanced with the prior notes. The official description mentions “a humidor housing a very fine and exceedingly dark chocolate cherry pipe tobacco” and I have to say at this stage I agree–it is gorgeous and the tobacco note in Black Forest does not turn into something nasty and unmentionable on my skin. At last, after several hours, it settles at last into its final stage of delicious, creamy vanilla-sweet-woodsy incense. Dead sexy.
German Chocolate Cake (sample)– On cold sniff from the vial the sweet fluffy cocoa and a mouth-watering toasty coconut are evident, with no pecans in sight (scent? hm). As it warms up on the skin, this scent blossoms, and a lovely rich chocolate-vanilla comes forward balanced nicely with sweet shredded coconut and toasted praline pecans. Gah, this is more gorgeous than I expected, not being biased toward foodie scents. This scent is a very limited release (one of the components was unexpectedly discontinued by the supplier), and I’m hoping I can still lay hands on a full size. Otherwise, I shall be hoarding this little vial.
Nightgown– From the bottle I get mostly sweet creamy white florals, not much of the vanilla/white chocolate which would lend a more foodie edge to the blend. It is not the headache-inducing, hit-you-over-the-head kine “white floral” fragrance, however, even straight out of the bottle. On the skin this opens up into a lush and seductive blend of tropical blooms (the actual thing, which is pretty amazing to me, having smelled both tuberose and tiare in real life), vanilla (a floral sort of vanilla, rather than a buttery/sugary one), and creamy/nutty white chocolate. This for me is a nostalgic scent, taking me back nearly 10 years to my first lessons as a hula student and invoking the heady mix of creamy sweet haupia, cocoa butter melted into sun-kissed skin, and fresh tuberose leis and tiare hairpieces warmed by the exertions of a heartfelt performance.