Cait and the other ladies over at Chanty’s have been posting about Solstice Scents for a good few months. To be honest, I wasn’t looking out for another Indie perfumer to get hooked on, so I wasn’t too keen. Until certain factors and boredom got me curious about Solstice Scents ENOUGH to place a small order.
Now I’m not one to stick to a signature scent. Or even several “signature scents”. Which explains why I get itchy-fingered to try more new scents every couple of weeks or so.
Here’s a short “About Us” lifted off Solstice Scents’ website:
Solstice Scents started serving the local Gainesville, FL area in 2004. We originally sold soap, lotion, salts, candles, body oil, loose hand blended incense powders, dream pillows, eye pillows and neck pillows. We took our orders on order forms printed on parchment paper, hand wrote all of our tags and attached them with satin ribbon and affixed our familiar mastic tree labels to bottles with rubber cement. Customers were able to select ala carte fresh made items directly off the order form, including customizing candle color or fabric choices. Bath salts were offered in upcycled Monin syrup bottles from the coffee shop Angela used to work at, topped with corks ordered from a wine supplier. The business has evolved significantly since that time, though the same spirit, inspiration and aesthetic is infused into each item. While we no longer offer custom made items, all products are made with the same attention to detail and in small batches to ensure freshness. Our labels are designed in house with the original mastic tree logo. Each product label is printed in our home workshop then cut and applied by hand to the products. Each fragrance is still handwritten on the product label to this day.
My order was placed on a Monday, shipped on a Wednesday and arrived in about 12 days from the US via airmail. I got:
- A 15 ml roll-on full sized Nightgown perfume oil US$15
- 3-pack perfume oil sampler in Manor, Lace Draped Spectre & Moonlight on the Grove US$7.50
- A free sample vial for every order (which I chose Snowshoe Pass)
- A free sample vial for being a new customer to Solstice Scents (Black Forest was my selection)
Shipping was a reasonable $5.96. Items were packed securely in a bubblepac with stuffing, a postcard, a bookmark, a business card and sample vials were in a ziploc bag, while my FS Nightgown was shrinkwrapped.
Perfumes are made with a base of rice bran oil, essential and perfume oils. Other products like whipped soaps, glaces, glycerine soap and facial care are also available for sale.
In descending order of my favourites (most ❤ to not so <3ed):
Nightgown, V day 2012 collection, was a risk I took getting a FS without ever sniffing it. The notes are:
Vanilla, White Chocolate, Tuberose & Tiare Flowers
Description: A sensual and very creamy floral fragrance, Nightgown evokes the image of a gorgeous satin nightie with lace trim. It fits like a second skin and is the perfect attire for lounging and snuggling. This perfume is the representation of the fabric itself: beautiful, plush, sweet and delicate with white velvety petals from exotic flowers that entrance you with aphrodisiac qualities. The floral notes are very creamy, well rounded and tame while still being detectable and not too heady, sharp or perfumey. The dominant notes are a vanilla accord blended with a touch of divine white chocolate. The floral notes are present on initial application and for some time on the skin though on the long term dry down they will recede and the vanillas and white chocolate will be predominant. If you like the vanilla accord in Manor and Snowshoe Pass, it makes a striking appearance in this blend! Nightgown is wispy, innocent and mysterious at once – like feathers and a gently strummed harp.
Out of the 4 notes, I’d never sniffed Tiare flowers, dislike foodie vanilla scents and do not like to eat/sniff white chocolate. But the ladies were raving so much about it and the description written the way it was (like a satin nightgown!), how could I resist?
Verdict: I LOVE IT. This is not a in-your-face scent but is rather understated yet undeniably feminine. On me, the vanilla base isn’t strong at all, nor is the white chocolate. I get mostly tuberose and tiare florals on a white base but nothing smelling overwhelmingly of vanilla/chocolate. Whew. Because there’s no wide “throw” to this, I can see why this would be like a second skin on you. I get about 4 – 5 hours wear out of it before needing a reapplication. The florals remain constant on me and develop a slight citrus-y tinge at the drydown, which lingers. But not too much. It’s not a typical floral scent and pretty age-less, though if you’re in your teens, it might not be your kind of thing.
Currently not available, but will be listed as a rotating scent on the general catalogue.
Snowshoe Pass, Winter 2011, is
White Amber, White Musk, Vanilla Accord, Peppermint Cream, Cold Winds
Description: A chilly white blend of an ethereal snow blanket and cold winter winds, Snowshoe Pass combines pale white amber, delicate and smooth white musk, a sweet touch of vanilla and a faint whisper of creamy cold peppermint. The result is a unique take on a winter scent inspired by heavy snows and desolate rural regions. On cold sniff and initial application a creamy peppermint note is detectable as a top note, though it is a careful addition that takes a backseat to the other notes as it wears on the skin, ultimately receding entirely. There is just enough peppermint to enhance the coolness of this plushly white blend. The other notes swirl together to evoke not only a snow covered landscape that may only be traversed with snowshoes and a pioneer spirit, but the calm and intense silence after a snow deep in the wild.
Verdict: Certainly a strange choice for me to get, being in warm, humid, rainy, tropical Singapore. But I do love white amber scents and something chilly and pepperminty? Certainly got me intrigued. Not forgetting the raves it got. This opens unlike what I thought it’d be. Certainly very white, with a good blend of vanilla, white amber and musk, but without one dominant. The peppermint (cream) offers just a tantalising, elusive whiff that remains almost tucked out of sight, unless you get in close enough. It’s a very warm and comforting scent, with that hint of peppermint (chilly winds?) to remind you that it’s a wintry scent. This also stays pretty constant on me from opening to drydown and I get slightly longer wear out of this than Nightgown. (Currently NOT AVAILABLE)
Lace Draped Spectre, General Catalogue, is
Madagascar Vanilla, Baby’s Breath, Pink Carnation and Green Pepper Essential Oil
Offered originally in the Autumn 2011 Collection, Lace Draped Spectre is now part of the General Catalog in Perfume oil. It is occasionally offered in Ganache, Glace and Whipped Soap.
Description: A hauntingly feminine blend of Madagascar Vanilla, Baby’s Breath, Pink Carnation and a hint of Green Pepper Essential Oil. The scent of an elegantly perfumed ivory lace shroud adorning the fleeting image of a mysterious visitor. Soft vanilla accentuated with a hint of spice and creamy floral.
Verdict: It was deja-vu. This reminded me of The Morbid The Merrier’s Lucy very strongly, even though the notes are different. It’s very, very creamy and has a rich, white base. The force of vanilla is strong in this. Slightly sweet, but more creamy than so. Tres feminine. This had the strongest “throw” among the 6 SS scents I received, with great sillage. For va-va-voom nights.
Manor, General Catalogue, is
Woody-Vanilla Musk, Vanilla Accord, Black Agarwood & Aloeswood
Offered as part of the Autumn 2011 Collection in Perfume, Ganache and Glace. It is now offered as part of our rotating General Catalog
Description: Manor is the scent of a once grand estate, now disheveled, forgotten and left exposed to the elements. The faint scent of previous owners and their esteemed guests – exquisitely perfumed ladies mingling with the intense rich and musky scent of smartly dressed gentlemen – meets rich wood floors and heavy wooden doors long since opened, decaying beadboard and Wainscot topped off with a thin layer of dust. It is very sophisticated and absolutely intoxicating.
Manor is a blend of woody-vanilla musk coupled with an incredible vanilla accord, glorious black agarwood and exquisite aloeswood. The scent is sweet and rich due to the vanillas, woody and incensey from the agar and aloeswood. The black agarwood is literally to die for. On initial application and coldsniff, the agar and aloeswood are a little stronger than they are on the dry down. Manor settles down wonderfully. After hours on the skin it does smell much sweeter due to the vanillas, though the woody/incense element is still detectable. Every single note in this blend is brand new to the shop. The result is a very unique scent that still has the familiar Solstice Scents profile. Fans of Old Cedar Magus will enjoy Manor.
Verdict: This opens very strangely, a melange of scents that morph in a matter of seconds from one to another, as if engaged in a game of hide and sniff. Opens very spicy, woody, a hint of sweet vanilla that goes on to morph into the oudsy scents. Takes a while to settle and at drydown, this goes into its Zen-like incensy, woody state that won’t be out of place in a New Age shop. This, to me, is much better on a guy and one I’d like to sniff on the right chap.
Moonlight on the Grove, General Catalogue,
Jasmine Fragrance & Essential Oil
Perfume offered in the General Catalog. Bar Soap available in the Spring.
Description: Fresh bloomed jasmine envelops you with its sweet and delicate floral fragrance every time you indulge in this perfume, transporting you to a balmy Savannah Summer’s Night. This warm and enticing fragrance will have your mind wandering through Bonaventure Cemetery and Forsyth Park, and recalling the hot and sticky nights near the Savannah river or dancing in the moonlight under century old oaks with the ghosts of an abandoned plantation home.
In aromatherapy, Jasmine is used in skin care to combat dry, greasy, irritated and sensitive skin. It is believed jasmine can effect the nervous system by fighting depression, nervous exhaustion and stress related conditions and imparting a feeling of optimism and euphoria. Jasmine is associated with love, money and prophetic dreams. This is a wonderful floral scent, light, sweet, sensual and fresh.
Verdict: This is straight Jasmine true and through. Smells like the fresh white version of it. It goes on strong, but unfortunately, doesn’t last long.
Black Forest, V Day 2012, is
Agarwood, Nagarmotha EO, Tobacco Absolute, Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Mousse, Cocoa Absolute, Maraschino Cherries, Black Cherries, Hay Absolute, Sandalwood EO, Whipped Cream & a drop of Pink Peppercorn Essential Oil
NOT TO BE USED BY WOMEN WHO ARE PREGNANT OR NURSING.
Offered as a Perfume only
Description: This is one of our first dual concept fragrances. It is meant to embody the luxurious decadence of black forest cake and the dark secluded imagery of the Black Forest in Germany. The focus was on rich exotic wood notes in lieu of conifer notes to represent the forest. Black Forest is very heavy on the woods. On initial application the cherries are detectable but they quickly fall into a chasm of deep dark notes that serve to tame the gourmand element of this blend. The agarwood and nagarmotha prop up the sweet notes and are the next to be discovered. Nagarmotha essential oil is a divine cross that strikes somewhere between vetiver and agarwood. It evokes a rare and precious wood note. The tobacco and hay absolutes are the next notes to emerge quickly after detection of the aforementioned notes. They wrap the other oils in a cozy, warm, dry and dusty blanket. This is the point where Black Forest turns most dry and smells like a humidor housing a very fine and exceedingly dark chocolate cherry pipe tobacco. The scent stays in this phase for a little while but as your skin warms it, the ethereal billows of the fluffiest whipped cream waft far in the background and sweeten the blend of woods to the point that it begins to smell like a wonderful unlit incense stick coupled with the pipe tobacco. The gourmand notes end up receeding tremendously though they are invaluable to the overall character of this scent. This is not a standard foodie scent. If you like dark fragrances with these notes, try this unusual and enticing fragrance. It is full of character and depth. After a few hours on the skin it turns a lot sweeter when the whipped cream note is most apparent but the woods keep it grounded and it stays a super delicious incensey scent.
Verdict: Oh my, this goes on like a rich, 92% dark bitter chocolate, with the faintest whiff of that tobacco pipe to keep it bitter and with depth. Cherry accounted for the other 7%, very much in the background. At drydown, this changes pretty much to a dominant cherry liqueur-ish kind of note, slightly sweeter, more fun and less dark chocolate-y. With a bit of hay and sandalwood to add an edge to it. Very different from its initial stage. I’d love to eat this, but not as a perfume 🙂
I’d be keeping a lookout for the new Spring/Summer scents SS would be releasing and maybe stock up on Nightgown. The scents are well blended and don’t smell synthetic (which many perfume oils tend to). Would definitely recommend a sampler pack from SS.
~*Items reviewed are purchased by me*~