IVORY VULVA - Marshmallow root, coconut, macadamia milk, cream accord, and a drop of golden amber.
-really, really nice (J); horrible on me :(
COMPARISON OF CELEBRATED BEAUTIES - Vanilla cream, mimosa, and almond blossom.
-creamy almond with a hint of orange. (lots of almond for a 'blossom' scent; almost marzipan, with the vanilla, but not food). likely bottle worthy
STARTLED TOAD - Golden amber and coconut with frankincense, frothy vanilla, carnation, sweet aged patchouli, and lemongrass.
-was worried about the lemongrass in this, but I'm really liking it so far… otoh.. the lemongrass is getting stronger as it dries; hope it settles down! Drydown is gorgeous! bottle worthy.
PROSPEROUS FLOWERS OF THE ELEGANT TWELVE SEASONS - Patchouli and honeyed saffron with labdanum, leather accord, and wood vanilla.
-this is amazing, from start to finish. What honey there is sweetens and rounds the resins. Dark and woody and the leather is luscious. This is going to age amazingly well. Definitely a bottle.
MOUNT FUJI REFLECTED IN LAKE MISAICA - An oakmoss chypre with black cypress, wild mint, labdanum, pine needles, white sandalwood, and white cedar.
-dry, woodsy,rather delicate chypre; sharp when wet but dry down is all cypress cedar goodness. I do adore chypres. Someone compared this to Gacela of the Dark, and when dry, I do see the comparison, but Gacela has that lovely clove and this is more cypress focused. Pretty sure I want a bottle of this.
ARISTOCRATIC COUPLE - Bourbon vanilla, preserved apricot, and cardamom.
-soft fruity cream, very nice dry down, could do with a hint more cardamom
A COMMENTARY - Ripe apricots and neroli-tinged red musk with bergamot, bitter clove, and vetiver.
-red musk is almost subtle here, as is the vetiver, adding just a bit of smoke. Clove is harsh as first but settles down. Liking this quite a lot. I like apricot and this might suit me better than Aristocratic Couple
RIDING IN THE PALANQUIN - Lacquered wood, mother of pearl, bamboo, silk, ho leaf, and jasmine blossoms.
- This opens up with a bit of a green watery lemon kick, but settles back close to the skin. Ends up as a really delicate jasmine blend, very smooth and rather unusual, but I have lots of jasmine blends I adore so I think I can resist this one.
MINAMOTO NO YORIMASA AND THE LOTUS FLOWER - Lotus root, lotus petals, and blue lotus absolute with frankincense, black amber, and blackcurrant.
-not generally a big fan of lotus, and blackcurrant is often a death note. But tested this anyway. There's a harsh almost chemical edge in the imp and on skin… yeah, there it is, the blackcurrant misbehaving. Which is a shame, because the lotus *isn't* going bubble-gummy for once. As I expected, so not for me.
PLEASANT EMBRACE - Lemon-silvered musk and white pear.
- I love pear but wasn't expecting to like this, as I'm not big on the lemon. But.. somehow, I think this is working. Must test again. Damn, as lovely as this is, it totally disappears on my skin in about 30mins.
LOVERS AND A FAN - White coconut, thick wildflower honey, and threads of saffron.
-oh, I really wanted to like this, but there's something here that's sharp and almost sour. And the coconut fades almost immediately. Honey can be iffy on me, but I've never had a honey blend go like this before. Disappointing.
SERVING TEA AFTER COITUS - Green tea, heady honey, white plum, ambergris accord, and vanilla flower.
-not sure about this one; the honey seems to behave, but the tea is really sharp and I could do without the plum; ultimately a little too floral for my tastes in tea blends, though the final dry down is nice.
SEATED COUPLE LEANING ON HIPS - Sake, skin musk, and ambrette seed.
- another one I really wanted to like but it's very faint on skin, and I can't see myself reaching for this.
JOYFUL ROMP - Plum blossoms and white sandalwood with indigo, tuberose, plum musk, and a drop of vetiver.
-very floral fruity (probably too much so for me) to start, but I do like the woody smoky touch. Drydown is lovely but I have other plummy florals, and doesn't have great last on me, so don't need this too.
A PECULIAR SPIRIT - Tobacco absolute with neroli, oudh, benzoin, and black tea leaf.
-licorice tea, which I could like, but there's a high floral in here that drives this to headache territory. Might retest for the dry down, but I already have tea blends I adore so I don't need this one.
THE ONNAGATA AND THE PILLOW ROLL - White musk and Himalayan cedar with bergamot, rose absolute, white patchouli, pink peppercorn, and hay absolute.
- This settles down into a rather complex but nice spicy cedar-floral blend, fairly delicate but a little too high for me and in final dry down it reminds me of others blends I already have (oddly, White Rose, a fav). I don't think I'd reach for this.
THE WET NURSE AND THE OLD MONK - Red sandalwood, peach, white tea, and champaca.
-interesting, but too fruity-floral, which is disappointing