How was your weekend? I had a random trip with Mr. Danger and my bestie to run a race and then attend an anniversary party at a brewery. It was good times!
But back today. Today, I bring you: The Post That Should Not Be
Dramatically titled this because I actually never meant to review any of the Sixteen92 scents I have for you today. I randomly accumulated these samples after several impulse orders, and then realized I had enough to constitute reviewing. So here I am, adding to the indie perfume literature.
I’ve got some scents from Sixteen 92’s Spring Collection and a few from Sixteen 92’s General Catalogue, so check out my impulse buys and let me know what you think!
Technical Information: Since all of these samples come from a few random orders, I don’t have much to say on shipping and price, other than general information. I believe I bought some of these samples in a 5 pack for $18, and some individually for $4.50, so different options are available for trying out new scents. All of my orders came in under the TAT, (which is stated on the website and currently 8-10 business days), and both came with free samples. So no problems on the customer service end of things!
After reading so many great reviews about these Spring scents, I decided to try a few that sounded up my alley. As someone who has experienced a Southern Spring in their time, I figured I might have some insight into the Southern Gothic theme, as well. (I also lumped Southern Gothic, the perfume, into this category, for this very reason. BUT technically, it is a General Catalogue scent. Just FYI.)
The Grass Harp: Orange blossom, clover, hyacinth, ruby red grapefruit, sweet basil
I actually got this guy as a sample in one of my many impulse orders. And to me, the name is totally appropriate because it smells like really nice grass. Fresh, sharp grass with something a bit herbal near the end, that I think is the orange blossom. If you are looking for that really green, revitalizing Spring scent, and you like grass, you are in the right place.
Honestly, this is really weird but when I was a kid I had a pack of these Crayola Magic Scent Crayons that I adored and sniffed frequently, (I may have always been obsessed with scents okay?) and this smells like the Fresh Air crayon to me. Any early 90’s kids know what I’m talking about? Anyone?
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: Tuberose absolute, soft skin musk, oakmoss, fresh earth, vanilla, iris
This smells like a vase full of cool white flowers, cut fresh and still dewy. It’s a very soft and damp floral to me, and as someone who likes moodier florals I think it’s really nice. It just sits so close to the skin and fades so fast, that I don’t get to enjoy it very long.
The Orchard Keeper: Night blooming Jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood
This smells really lovely. It’s soft and has the smell of cool white flowers, but with just a spark of sweet fruitiness in the background, nothing too cloying. It’s a delicate feminine scent, but it’s almost too delicate. After just a few minutes, it sits very close to the skin and it’s almost gone within an hour or two. I want it to come back! It’s one of the few scents with Jasmine that my skin was a fan of and I really like it! Maybe I’ll try moisturizing first.
The Sound and The Fury:Southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam
Wet, this smells vaguely like something on fire, like wood smoke or burning grass. As it dries, it starts to develop a more green, sharp plant smell, which I think is the fern. Finally I start to get an earthy scent, it makes me think of really hot summer days, when the air is so thick I feel like I can smell the heat. After an hour or so it’s mellowed out into a slightly sweet green plant smell, maybe that’s the tea? I never really got any straight up sweet tea from this, instead I would describe this as more as herbal and green. It’s a little too sharp for my nose, but I appreciate the journey. This lasted about 2 hours on me.
Southern Gothic: Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood
This is a lovely combo of fruit and floral. It smells cool and slightly tropical from the jasmine and coconut, but it never veers into sunscreen territory. Instead, this smells like a creamy, white floral with just a hint of citrus. It smells both pretty and yummy, and I like that balance. Unfortunately, like most of these, it just doesn’t last very long on my skin, an hour at most, and then I’m wishing it was back! Because it’s really nice!
The Awakening-The scent of solitude among laughter, release through isolation. The distant merriment of boardwalk, salt and sand under the soft beckoning of a tragic sea. Ocean air, dark water, damp mosses, gulf mud, saltwater taffy.
I haven’t read Kate Chopin’s The Awakening since high school, and that was longer ago than I care to admit. This is a really interesting aquatic. It starts out very tangy and salty, and I can smell the Gulf on a cold day. (I lived right on the Gulf of Mexico for four years, so I feel like I’m pretty qualified to tell you this.) It stays fairly salty on my skin for about an hour, before it fades to a general cold water smell. It’s refreshing and cool, but there’s something murky about it that creates the image of a beach before a storm.
I’ve come to find that while I really appreciate smelling scents like this, they’re not an everyday thing for me. If Sixteen92 were to release a soap in this scent, I would be all over it though.
Black Sugar-A dark counterpart to Aquolina’s Pink Sugar. Spun brown sugar, red berries, vanilla and tonka bean absolute dance with a sprinkle of dirt, a swirl of cauldron smoke, and a drop of bittersweet cocao absolute.
One of my favorite indie perfume combinations is something sweet, mixed with something darker. Black Sugar does this really well. It’s sugary sweet, like caramelized brown sugar and vanilla, on creme brulee. But it’s more than that, in the background there’s a subtle note of something deeper. I can’t really pick our the smoke or dirt, but it’s just a dark note that keeps the sugary vanilla smell from being too cloying and sweet. This is one of the few Sixteen92 perfumes that has great lasting power on me. It went strong for about 4-5 hours before fading to a soft, sweet smell.
Encantado- Flor de sal (sea salt), Brazilian lime EO, tobacco, Bay Rum
Sometimes I’m bad to write off beachy aquatic scents as “okay, yeah another one that smells like Bay Rum and Ole Spice.” I know I should be sniffing for the layers and different notes, but if it smells like the perfume Captain Morgan would wear, I get pretty dismissive.
Encantado can’t be so easily written off. Yes, it smells like lime and Bay Rum, (which if you’re not familiar with, smells like a tropical beach or the cocktail you’re drinking on the beach, depending on your imagination). But I think the magic is in the sea salt here, keeping this scent from turning into a daquiri like scent. While the sea salt note is strong, I only get a bit of tobacco. It doesn’t come across as smokey if you’re worried about that, but it does add a richness that again helps to balance the lime and Bay Rum. I’m impressed with Sixteen92’s take on aquatics.
Grimm-Cocao Absolute, Tonka Bean, Tobacco, Immortelle, Wet Forest Moss & Leaves
When I picked out Grimm to be in my sample pack I was banking on a chocolate, tobacco and wood smell. I like combinations of sweet with the unexpected, so I was hoping this would be my jam. Unfortunately, Grimm’s smell is less chocolate and more foresty. Wet, it smells exactly like damp leaves on the forest floor, and as it dries it starts to smell a bit…animalistic? By that I mean, I smell either horses or another animal musk. To be honest, that’s not particularly a smell I care for, so Grimm isn’t really a win for me. (Which of course means it lasts like 4 hours on me. Thanks, skin!)
Shadow Show-A passing carnival caravan, the hustle and howl of hot metal and electric air. Cotton candy and smoke, salty kettle corn and dirty machine oil, crisp autumn apples and sinister eyes piercing the night.
I absolutely adore carnival and festival scents and I’ll scoop up any I come across, so of course I had to try Shadow Show. This starts off smelling very buttery and a bit sweet, I definitely get the popcorn scent. As this dries, the popcorn smells moves to the background and this becomes more metallic, like warm machinery. I like the way all of these scents come together, they’re nicely balanced and compliment each other. The total effect really does create a sense of a sinister carnival. This lasted about two hours on me, and as carnival scents go, I would have to say this is one of the best. (Though my heart is belongs to Solstice Scents’ Foxcroft Fairground, Shadow Show is a close second.)
Overall: I think Sixteen92’s scents are really well crafted and lovely, leaning more towards the delicate, soft side, than in-your-face-scents. As far as favorites from this mini haul go, I would have to say Black Sugar is the one I find myself reaching for the most. I also really enjoy Shadow Soul, The Orchard Keeper, and Southern Gothic.
My only real complaint here is that my skin really eats these scents up. They are really faint on me, and most don’t last more than an hour or two. However, good news! Claire, the owner, has been reformulating the base oils, so most scents should last longer! I am very excited to try out this new formula, as longevity is really the only issue preventing me from doing full size buys on some of these scents. So YAY!
If this new formula works: goodbye money!
Questions of the Day:
-Have you tried any of Sixteen92’s scents?
-Any tips to making perfumes last longer?
-Any carnival perfumes you want to reccomend me? (I feel like I’ve tried them all, but I’m open!)