October 31, 2010

Arcana Early Autumn Collection

With snow looming here in Canada, I feel like a brief reminder of days gone by is called for.

Which brings me to the this collection - two lovely soaps and three perfumes, evoking the bittersweet nature of the last days of the Summer season, and the dawn of Fall.

1816 - Shivery peppermint, Madagascar vanilla, white sugar, creamed butterscotch, snowy fondant, fog, sleet, hail, and a tiny bite of silvery fir.

Scathach - Highland grass, green apples, almonds, fir needles, and honey-speared citrus.

1816 is beautifully brisk and refreshing, not quite chilly. Scathach is a distant cousin to my beloved Avalon, which doubles as an autumn fragrance for me.

Danced to Pieces - Blushing candy sweetness and an angelic tangle of strawberry, raspberry, red currant, pink grapefruit, and white sugar weave a spell above a flagrantly destructive, self-indulgent base of dark peppery musk, resinous amber, heady cognac, opiate-laced cassis cordial, and the faint remains of a silver leaf.

The Sunflower's Lament - Tears on the warmest, brightest day: apricot, chamomile, opoponax resin, petitgrain, peach, lavender, green cognac, heather, heliotrope, sweet clove, sticky benzoin, and iron-distilled patchouli.

The Moonflower’s Bliss - Happiness under a starless sky: moon vine, heartleaf milkweed, Calla lily, white tuberose, gardenia, and Madagascar bridal veil with creamy butter CO2 extract, pearl musk, white pepper, and a trace of incense.

Three very different perfumes.

Danced to Pieces has an astringent opening, nose-tickling even, as the tart berries and sharp cassis mix with the sugared booze. This phase did not do well on me, but after a bit it begins to mellow, warm and deepen until it becomes a gorgeous, deeply spiced amber. A surprise win.

The Sunflower’s Lament is the perfect resin for folks who tend to prefer foody notes and shy away from heavier blends. Tons of earth notes and resins, yet what comes across is a bright, golden fragrance, juicy and sweet, that softens gently into a musky, lightly powdered finish.

The Moonflower’s Bliss. Oh. OH. A wonderfully luxurious yet utterly wearable tropical floral. Voluptous white blooms with sheer, light counterpoints, and a gentle, creamy drydown. I really hope this one is brought into the general catalogue.

Actually, I hope all of them are folded into the permanent line. In the meantime, indulge in these last bits of early Fall before we’re blanketed by snow.

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