Why do I talk about perfumes so much? Obviously because I like perfumes, but I find reviewing them to be relaxing and methodical. I also think it’s fun to guess what things smell like! I’m not very good at it yet, I guess things wrong all the time (see: Tituba, at the end). But I think I’m getting better and it’s a lot of fun!
Writing about perfumes also helps me collect my thoughts. I have a LOT of perfumes now, especially little sample vials. Writing down what I think of them helps me decide if I want to revisit them, or gift them, or get a full size. It also helps me organize a little. For example, I never reviewed sixteen92’s spring collection, and I didn’t realize until recently that I received 2 vials of Blanket of the Dark instead of A Thousand Times More Fair, which is sad because the latter sounds amazing (honeysuckle, plums, and peaches!).
Anyway, today I’ll be talking about sixteen92’s Fall 2016 collection. Claire, the lovely owner, based this collection on, fittingly, the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Sixteen92 is one of my favorite perfumeries, and I love fall scents, so I’m really looking forward to this collection.
sixteen92 Fall 2016
Bridget Bishop – The first person executed for witchcraft in Salem
Night-blooming flowers, belladonna, bergamot peel, resinous oudh, nutmeg, ambroxan, scarlet musk
In bottle: This reminds me a lot of dryer sheets. I smell syrupy white florals, too.
Wet on skin: Peppery white florals and dryer sheets. Not my fave combo.
Drydown: It smells like dryer sheets. That’s all, just Bounce dryer sheets. I don’t love it personally (I don’t use dryer sheets), but it’s not bad.
Afterthoughts: Fun lesson of the day: “Night-blooming flowers” is basically code for big, white flowers. Night pollinators, like moths and bats, don’t have great eyesight, but they do have a great sense of smell. Because of this, night-blooming flowers tend to have huge, pale flowers (so they’re easier to see) and a strong, heady smell. Also, I’ve heard that ambroxan (a vegan/synthetic substitute for ambergris) has a fresh smell reminiscent of laundry. So there you go! Laundry and white florals. Boom. (This one is described by Claire as “dark and resinous,” but it really smells fresh and light on me, so YMMV)
Cotton Mather – Writer, minister and pamphleteer who’s public support encouraged fatal trials
Blackened patchouli, woodland mosses, sweet herbs, dried helichrysum, woodsmoke, lamplight, ink, ash and flame.
In bottle: First of all, I gotta say, this is a gorgeous color. It’s such a pretty ambery orange. This is very sweet, a little ozoney and aquatic in a way that I really like.
Wet on skin: Yum, it’s so sweet and aquatic. I can’t put my finger on what the sweetness is. I wanna say something gourmand and a little nutty?
Drydown: This stays nice and ozoney throughout, which I really like. It starts to smell a bit like fresh air and damp leaves, in a really nice way, without really losing its sweetness. It’s a great fall scent.
Afterthoughts: I had to look up Helichrysum, it’s a genus of asters (in the same family as sunflowers and dandelions). According to Wikipedia (my favorite source), one species, Helichrysum italicum, is prized for its “yellow-reddish essential oil,” which explains the beautiful color. It also allegedly smells like, and I quote, “a mixture of burnt sugar and ham.” Side note, this is another thing I love about perfumes, I learn new stuff like this all the time. 🙂 Another side note, I think the patchouli note in this is amazing, it’s super high quality. My skin really amps the hell out of patchouli, so it may smell a little less like wet dirt on others, YMMV as always. 🙂
Mercy Lewis – A girl who accused many, including her former master, of witchcraft
Heliotrope, honeyed tea, rosehips, sugared almond, creamy sandalwood, milky vanilla
In bottle: Oh, this is sweeeet. It smells like pastries and sweet almond/cherry (I can never keep them straight).
Wet on skin: It smells like fruity breakfast pastries! It reminds me a little bit of cheesecake, too!
Drydown: This stays sweet, but gets a little rubbery, in a way. Like it’s probably some smoke or incense or resin, but it smells like galvanized rubber on me. Which is really too bad, because this is a soft and lovely scent otherwise.
Afterthoughts: Oof, this sounds SO GOOD too, I’m pretty upset that it turns into tire-smell on me! Maybe I’ll give in another try in a few months.
Sarah Good – One of the first women accused and convicted of witchcraft in Salem
Charred maple leaves, black pitch, fresh-baked bread, dried black tea leaves, sweet orange, chimney smoke
In bottle: This isn’t quite as sweet as the other scents in this collection. It’s a little smokey and incensy.
Wet on skin: It’s still smokey, but also smells a tiny bit citrusy?
Drydown: It smells like incense!
Afterthoughts: Smoke and citrus, fuckin nailed it.
Tituba – A slave and the first person accused of witchcraft in Salem
Hawthorn, gingerbread biscuits, tobacco leaf, burning resins, rye, sweet woods, beeswax candles
In bottle: It’s sweet, a little flowery and a little gourmand/fruity. A little heady and very yummy.
Wet on skin: This is a really yummy floral. There’s something a little incensy too. It reminds me a teeny bit of a head shop, but I like that smell.
Drydown: This stays nice and sweet into the drydown. It smells almost caramelized. It’s really got a nice incensy vibe that I like a lot, it’s a little sweet and a little witchy. Perfect for fall!
Afterthoughts: I wouldn’t have guessed from the description that this would make such a harmonious blend. There was something in it that I couldn’t quite place that’s definitely the beeswax, it grounds it and brings it together in a nice way. I am a little surprised that there are no florals, but it’s got a lot of nice sweet things in it.
Overall I liked this collection a lot. I think Bridget Bishop and Mercy Lewis were a little off on my skin, but otherwise they were right on the money, and they’re all great scents for fall. I think I’ll pick up a full size of Cotton Mather.
Sixteen92’s fall collection is still available, and their Halloween collection will be released on September 23rd.