[Note: This was meant to be posted on the morning of October 24, 2016, but I hit “Publish” instead of “Preview” by accident, so here we are. I’ll just leave it after I make a few minor changes. Sigh. Happy Monday.]
We’re only one week away from Halloween! I’m not sure that I have enough Halloween-related stuff to review all week, but I’ll boo my best.
I’ve been on a perfume kick over the last few months, sniffing a slew of testers at counters and picking up a range of scents from classic (Guerlain Mitsouko EDP), popular (Diesel Loverdose and Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina EDP), celebuscent (Adam Levine for Women…I know, I know, but it gets great reviews!), niche (Annick Goutal Heure Exquise…well, niche-ish), and modern flanker (Guerlain Insolence Eau Glacée and Givenchy Eaudemoiselle Absolu d’Oranger).
The indie category was unrepresented, so initially I went to my indie go-to, Ava Luxe. Turns out her prices have gone up a lot—not that they’re not worth it, but shipping was also higher and thrift had found me after my aforementioned haulage—so I hit up Etsy.
I’d never bought perfume on Etsy before, or any other makeup, for that matter, so I found some recommendations and reviews off Reddit and the Fragrantica forums. Deconstructing Eden was the store that caught my imagination—and pricing was very fair, including the shipping cost from the US to Canada.
It took approximately two weeks for my order to arrive, which wasn’t bad at all, considering the shop’s stated turnaround time was 1–2 weeks and it had to cross the border.
My order arrived well-packaged and with a couple of freebies! Each vial is also shrinkwrapped in a stiff plastic, which is a bit difficult to remove but it does seem secure.
All perfumes are 2.5 mL samples (in spray vials! yeah!) and, as it states on the Etsy store, parfum strength. I’m not sure why the sample labels say “eau de parfum”, but after sampling one, I’m not fussed because it was crazy strong.
Each sample was US$2.75. Shipping to Canada was $10. My order of 8 samples arrived with one free sample (woohoo!) and a logo fridge magnet. I love getting fridge magnets.
Here are the 9 perfume samples I received, and their official descriptions:
Alice in Wonderland
Candied lemon peel and sugared violet and rose petals.
Trembling white violets, softly blushing roses, the barest trace of citrus, freesia, tea olive blooms, pink peonies, tart wild berries, jasmine sambac, rich gardenias and sweet magnolia.
Moonlight, sea water, lilacs, wisteria, honeysuckle and moonflower.
[This was the freebie! It’s one of the creator’s personal favorites.]
Sweet peas for good bye, mimosa for modesty and sensitivity, Red Peonies for devotion and Solomon’s Seal for secrecy, anchoring all of it with delicate white musks and elder wood.
Pink lemonade jasmine, pink roses and udambara blossoms.
Golden musk, black roses, patchouli, leather, burning incense, amber, smoky oud, mandrake flowers.
Sweet and buttery pumpkin flesh corrupted with black patchouli, sticky myrrh and smokey oud, all spiked with dark spice on a bed of graveyard dirt. [Fall 2016 Limited Edition]
White lotus, sweet milk, a touch of honey, champaca flowers, white myrrh, mysore sandalwood, orange blossoms, water lilies, white orris and white vetiver.
Bulgarian rose absolute, Indian jasmine absolute, sandalwood, dragon’s blood, frankincense, purple plums, Madagascar ginger, and precious spices.
The first fragrance I sampled was Pumpkin’s Revenge, simply because of its Halloween theme. I love the name of this fragrance—it evokes a Headless Horseman-like character with a Jack-O-Lantern head, cackling dementedly with glee. This scent is limited edition for Halloween 2016.
As I mentioned earlier, this stuff is ridiculously strong! I spritzed once on my arm and after an hour of intermittent complaining from my husband, he finally begged me to get rid of it since it was giving him a headache.
I know that sounds really bad, but stay with me!
OK, so the husband didn’t like it (I believe he asked, “Is this some Halloween thing?” before describing it as “incense” and “evil”). It’s not really my cup of tea, either, but I also think it smells intriguing. I would not wear it, but it’d absolutely be a fabulous candle.
Pumpkin’s Revenge does have pumpkin-like notes in it. (Interestingly, most “pumpkin” flavored and scented things do not really contain pumpkin—they just smell like the spices that North Americans associate with pumpkin, usually a combination of things like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Famously, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte didn’t contain any actual pumpkin until 2015, twelve years after it was introduced.) However, I find the other notes more overpowering, especially the patchouli. Overall, my impression is a pile of fall leaves and twigs burning in the nighttime, with a lingering taste of pumpkin pie. There’s also something quite green and herbal in the beginning, which might be offputting—I can’t decide! For the most part, the scent is quite linear.
As requested by my husband, I did attempt to wash off the perfume with a bit of soap and water. That wonderful, smoky, leathery, woody undertone came back over time, though. (This Headless Horseman is wearing tight leather pants. Rawr.) Stuff is wretchedly strong, and the sillage is monstrous.
The actual notes as given on the official site are:
Sweet and buttery pumpkin flesh corrupted with black patchouli, sticky myrrh and smokey oud, all spiked with dark spice on a bed of graveyard dirt.
If it makes a difference, my two year old peanut seemed to like it! He does say everything smells like strawberries, though. And, I just remembered, my husband is one of those weirdos who dislikes pumpkin pie, though I think it’s the egg custard he dislikes more than the actual pumpkin and spices. He also hates créme brulèe, flan and clafoutis, but loves panna cotta, so it must be the eggs.
I’m dying to test the rest of my Deconstructing Eden samples, if Pumpkin ever finishes up his Revenge on my arm. In the meantime, I am celebrating my new vial of anti-husband spray. Never know if I’ll need it one day!
Deconstructing Eden’s perfumes are all parfum strength, and they come in the following sizes: 2.5 mL, 5 mL, 15 mL, and 30 mL, ranging in price from US$2.75 to $28. Pumpkin’s Revenge is from the limited edition Autumn 2016 collection.