I recently bought samples of Sixteen92‘s winter collection perfumes. Sixteen92 is a newer indie perfume company with a witchy, alchemical vibe. Their scents are often inspired by literature, history, art, and magic. They did two collections this winter, the Winter Collection and the Hot Chocolate Bar. The Hot Chocolate Bar sounds like chocolate overload, and I already have their Mexican Hot Chocolate perfume and Toasted Marshmallow lotion, so I passed on that and just got the Winter Collection. I also grabbed another one of their lotions, which I am excited about, too!
I did my reviews blind, without reading the description, and added the “Afterthoughts” after adding the scent descriptions. 🙂
Winter collection perfumes
Ex Tenebris Lux:
From the darkness comes the light; dawn’s first rays on barren snow. A warm winter amber melange brightened with citrus notes of blood orange and bergamot, and sweetened with a precious Tuberose absolute.
Labdanum, Benzoin, Tonka and Vanilla Absolute with Patchouli, Oakmoss, Blood Orange, Bergamot and Tuberose
First sniff: Sweet and citrusy!
On skin: This is citrusy and sweet and bright. I think I smell honey? And something a little smokey, too.
Afterthoughts: Maybe the deep sweet smell is benzoin? I still like it a lot! It’s not 100% patchouli on me, woo!
A dark winter floral blend — earthy, cold, and a little dangerous.
Tuberose absolute, Sambac Jasmine, oakmoss, tobacco, chilled earth, cocao, black musk
First sniff: I smell chocolate! And other stuff. Sure.
On skin: No more chocolate. 😦 It just smells like men.
Afterthoughts: Now that I look at the notes, I think I’m smelling mostly jasmine and tobacco, maybe a little earth and musk, on myself. I’m not a huge fan of jasmine. It sounds like this should be feminine but it really smells manly to me!
“For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.”
Wallace Stevens, The Snow Man
Fireside on a snowy afternoon. Golden embers against the grey stillness of a frosty windowpane. Warm almond and vanilla shortbread with rich amber resin, spicy clove and a curl of woodsmoke from the hearth.
Almond, vanilla, amber resin, clove, woodsmoke
First sniff: I smell sweet almond!
On skin: The sweet almond fades away so fast. Sad! But what’s left behind is a little citrusy and a little spicy. It reminds me of Christmas! Over time it just starts to smell warm and spicy, it reminds me of nutmeg. It only lasts a few hours, though.
Afterthoughts: I knew that nutmeg wasn’t quite the right spice, clove is totally what the warmth is. Yup. I dunno what I get that’s citrusy, maybe a bright amber?
Midnight mass in the dark of winter. Cold stone warmed by the flicker of prayer candles, dust-topped reliquaries, ancient leather-bound books, icy stained glass, dried herbs, timeworn cathedral pews ingrained with centuries of incense smoke. Solemn, austere, introspective.
Frankincense, Elemi resin, Ambrette, Bois de rose (Rosewood), Cistus Labdanum, Leather, Vanilla, Roman Chamomile, Orris root, Birch Tar
First Sniff: I smell ozone and smoke. The smoke is a little bacon-y, oh no!
On skin: Ok, it’s not too bacon-y on my skin, whew! It’s definitely very ozoney and a little incensy. It just reminds me of an electrical fire, to be honest.
Afterthoughts: Huh, the leather note just smells like ozone to me. This doesn’t smell as complex as the notes suggest to me, at least on my skin.
“This is the time of hanging on for the bees–the bees
So slow I hardly know them,
Filing like soldiers
To the syrup tin”
Sylvia Plath, Wintering
The crunch of Fall’s last leaves underfoot, fragile and frost-blanketed. Dry hay bales, chilled earth, and thick honey warmed with gingerbread-spiced vanilla bean.
Absolutes of hay, tobacco and beeswax (not vegan), patchouli, vanilla bean, spices (ginger, cinnamon, clove, etc)
First sniff: This smells kind of bizarre? Like powdery and boozy and citrusy? I dunno!
On skin: Uh yeah, this is really weird. Very powdery. It reminds me of babies. As a wind turbine might say, I’m not a huge fan. (My girlfriend likes it on me, she says it’s “MUSKY.” Also, it smells like STRAIGHT HONEY on her. But her skin amps sweetness, and mine amps patchouli.)
Afterthoughts: All I can smell on me is tobacco and patchouli. And just the beeswax on my girlfriend! So weird.
Vanille bergamot: Warm vanilla and Bergamot (FCF, non photosensitizing). This is a very light scent, perfect for those who want a hint of fragrance without being overly sweet. Uses 100% natural essential oils.
I wasn’t super impressed with Sixteen92’s lotions when I first tried them, but I do love that the scent lasts forever. Then, I saw a blog post that raved about this scent, and made it sound amazing! So I had to try it out!
I’m happy to say that I am not disappointed! This is sweet and light, and I just love bergamot. I’ve been putting this on my hands constantly!
Overall, I was a teensy bit disappointed with the perfumes, they were super manly. I really love Ex Tenebris Lux and Rook though, and I love love LOVE the Vanille Bergamot lotion! I still don’t think their lotions are super hydrating, but they don’t make your skin greasy and the scent lasts FOREVER.
Questions of the Day:
Are there any scents you’re super bad at identifying?
What makes a scent seem “manly” or “feminine” to you?
Until next time,