Ooooh exciting exciting! I treated myself to the Smell Bent gift set. Basically it’s a set of 5 samples of my choice, and a voucher for a full bottle of my favourite one (or a blind one if I didn’t like any :P), postage included, great deal, had to be done!
So my choices were:
Dead of Winter – anise liqour, vanilla, heliotrope, cedar and zombie musk
Totem Eclipse – western red cedar accented with champaca, skunk cabbage, evergreen and earthy, vegetal musk
Mountain High – fresh cannabis with balsam fir, lavender, vanilla extract, tonka, sandalwood and patchouli
Otter Luvr – bay, oakmoss, algae absolute, natural ambergris, castoreum, sweet resins and musk
Exquisite Corpse – bergamot, tuberose, white and pink pepper, upturned earth with animal notes
and Brent also sent me a free sample of:
Never Never Land – rich amber, desert rose, guiaic wood, vetiver and the arid outback
Now, I don’t normally list notes, but gosh! – these have to be mentioned, how great are some of them! “Skunk cabbage” “Zombie musk” “Algae” they just had to be tried, and after my love for Untitled no.8, I knew these would be awesome quality.
Anyway! These reviews are going to be brief so here goes:
Dead of Winter opens with spicy anise, that sambucca/liqourice note that is here – syrupy, alcoholic and sweet. It’s lovely, and the strongest anise note I’ve smelt in a fragrance.
This is paired with a beautiful creamy vanilla, and the all-round feel is gourmandy, syrupy, with a wicked sharp anise kick.
After a short while the beautifully solemn helioptrope peeks through, it remains slightly powdery, creamy, and is paired perfectly with the anise, almondy-vanilla and musk underneath. This “zombie” musk, is actually pretty clean, and is a pillow for everything else, and thankfully not clean in the laundry sense :)
A lovely, cosy fragrance, not as scary as it sounds, but I guess that’s why the skeleton has pink ear muffs… If you like liqourice notes, this fragrance is impossible note to like! A great gourmand.
Exquisite Corpse is, well, what can I say, oh dear Brent this is true to the name :’)
Green bergamot and a mix of crushed peppercorns open this, with the meaty tuberose providing a not so lovely floral edge. It is a crude opening, and kind of reminds me of the opening of Charogne by ELdO, in terms of feel not notes, they smell completely different.
It makes me chuckle this fragrance on sniffing it now for probably the 3rd or 4th time, it’s somehow gross, with there being absolutely nothing gross in it, just, the combination is pretty genius.
There are definitely some animal notes under there, and the whole feel is kind of surreal/uncomfortable yet completely natural smelling. It literally smells like a combination of the listed notes and nothing else, if I wasn’t given the note pyramid, I think I’d honestly be able to pick them out solely, it smells like I imagined but somehow I’m not dissapointed.
Exquisite Corpse isn’t ridiculously potent and sits pretty close to the skin shortly after the opening and bizarrely gets more pleasantly wearable, there’s something familiar about it and the more I sniff it the more I enjoy it! Very unique, I’ll have to give this a lot more wearings. Unfortunately, it’s been taken off the site though! Contact Brent if you want to try this as I’m sure there are samples and full bottles lying around!
Anyway! All in all, a bitter citrus/pepper/tuberose/animalic concoction… true to the name!
Never Never Land opens with resinous amber, sweet clean rose and has a slightly “Tauer – Incense Rose” kind of feel to the opening only a little more simplified and subtle.
Pretty quickly, a green note comes in which I can’t quite identify other than saying it’s “green”. It says there’s vetiver in here which could be it, I’m just useless with vetiver and am rubbish at understanding it…
I don’t know what more to add to Never Never Land. It’s a very nice scent don’t get me wrong! The amber is how I have recently been enjoying it – green, non-gourmandy and slightly medicinal, the rose is also green and translucent, and the woods in the background are subtle but excellent. It’s not quite daring enough for me, which sounds very silly, but it’s a lovely easy to wear fragrance and a great savoury amber – much better than the dreaded Ambre Sultan that’s for sure!
Update: Months on, and this turned out to be one of the best of the bunch. It has this bizarre jammy/juiciness to it that I think comes from the rose? It’s almost mouthwatering, and it sits upon a breathy note that’s kind of musky? Lovely stuff.
Anyway, to save me going on and on in this post, I’ll post the final three (which are all from the North by Northwest series) in a new post! So far… so good.