Review: Alchimia Apothecary

8 May

I have been waiting a long time for this haul–months upon months, since I first got my paws on a sample of Alchimia Apothecary’s Geisha. This was during their Black Friday sale, so this purchase has been a loooong time coming. But they just opened up their new store, and the combination of a discount, new scents, and my two favorites being made available as solids? I was all over that.

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The packaging is lovely and also very secure–each sample vial is encased in its own little layer of bubble wrap, and the full bottle is secured as well. I also had an eyeshadow sample, which I totally haven’t misplaced already or anything.

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I ordered one fullsized bottle of Red Rover, a blind-sniff impulse buy.

Red Rover (rolling fields of clovers and honey flowers surround you in this lovely spring inspired scent, with just a few patches of fresh cut grass): Clover is a difficult note to find in perfume but one I ADORE, so of course I purchased a 5ml bottle. What could go wrong? Nothing! This is a soft, grassy, perfect spring scent–it’s lightly floral with strong notes of clover, super-fresh and evocative.

BONUS ROUND Red Rover vs Haus of Gloi’s Maedwe (Pesky dandelions, red clover patches, creeping sweetpea blooms and the dense afternoon haze of blossoming fruit trees): Maedwe was a spring release a lot of people missed out on, so is Red Rover a good replacement? I say yes! Maedwe is a hint more floral and soft because of the sweetpea, while Red Rover’s grass note overrides most of the backing floral/honey scent. They are VERY similar, though I find Maedwe lasts a tad longer on me.

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My two solid scents! Alchimia’s solid formula is great, very long lasting with STRONG fragrance. I’ve tested both scents before and they’re my favorite offerings from Alchimia, so I was thrilled to have them available in easy-to-transport solid mode.

Geisha (a wonderful combination of crispy green bamboo, fragrant green tea and an overall feeling of clean fresh air): This is my absolute favorite clean scent. It’s so crisp–a breath of fresh air infused with green bamboo and just a hint of tea leaves. This is unfussy and uncomplicated, in the most elegant way. It’s also totally unisex, and would work equally well on a guy.

Jersey Devil (Trying to capture the heady scents of the pine barrens, spicy forest pine combines with spruce, fir and juniper berries. Adding to that the woody aromas of cedar, sandalwood and cypress, the slight hints of oak moss surround the earthy forest floor. Bold notes of tomato leaf and rosemary complete the bridge to unite this fantastic cologne oil): Okay, I got a sample of this originally because of the Coheed song. So sue me! Thankfully I fell in LOVE. This is a deep, rich earth blend: pine, cedar and juniper jump out at first, but not in an overwhelming or “holiday” type of way. It’s very much like walking in slightly damp woods, with hints of moss providing a lovely background. It’s just gorgeous! Also unisex, and it really does lean masculine. I just like smelling like dirty woods, okay?

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Onto the samples! I’m not sure if the packaging has changed, but I found these a LOT easier to open than my previous batch (which had wand tops from hell).

Swamp Gas (Cypress trees, oud, and other woods surround you as you immerse yourself in humid hints of fougere greens, orris, Spanish moss, ferns, fragrant orchids, and fallen leaves touching down to earth): Imagine standing at the edge of a swamp: the smell of fresh dirt, bark peeling off cypress trees, the heavy and rich scent of moss, the sharp green bitterness of ferns and sap. Not, perhaps, what you would traditionally associate with perfume but this is the kind of scent I live for. Lush, like being outdoors without the bug bites and grass stains.

Tugboat (The bright and sunny salt and kelp filled air surround the tugboat’s marina along with warm waters and friendly white billowy clouds): This is a “beginner” aquatic. Scared of harsh, salty tones or that weird kelp smell? Try Tugboat! It’s got a soft breezy feel with gentle aquatic notes: water and a hint of green. It does dry down a bit soapy on me, but that tends to happen with almost all crisp aquatics (except the blends from BPAL).

Green Thumb (Fresh cucumbers mix with a subtle wisp of dill and other herbs. Tall vines of tomato plants escape their cages containing sun ripe tomatoes and surrounded by arugula and just the shyest whispers of zesty lemon): I loooove tomato leaf scents, and this is a gorgeous one. It’s very herby, not ta all sweet, and has hints of lovely lemon in the background. It very much brings to mind the smell of a garden! I do wish there was a hint of dirt, but that’s probably because I want dirt in everything.

Tsunami (Seaweed and driftwood filled ocean water crash to the earth and swell with sea salt filled air and a touch of rice flowers): In my mind, there are 3 types of true aquatics: fresh, salty, and damp. Tugboat falls into the fresh category, and Tsunami into the damp one. This smells like wet moss, wood choked with sea water, and heavy mist. It is very natural and has some shared notes with Swamp Gas, but Tsunami feels more “beachy.” Like the air right after a storm!

BONUS ROUND Tsunami versus BPAL’s Shanghai Tunnel (no listed notes, review here). Shanghai Tunnel is my favorite damp/mossy aquatic, but it is extremely hard to hunt down. While Tsunami does not have the strong dirt topnote of ST, it has the same earthy, “wet puddle” feel–in, of course, a lovely and wearable way. An excellent replacement if Shanghai Tunnel was a scent you were craving!

Sex on the Lawn (Lilacs, ferns, English Ivy, Arabian sandalwood and…are those grass stains?!): This starts out with a very strong dirt note that I was not expecting but was pleased to discover. This is a masculine floral: the ivy and fern are bold, along with the smell of just-cut grass and hints of purple floral. I don’t know if I would pin it as lilac without the scent note, but it definitely gives off that “purple” vibe. This is like a twist on the classic men’s fougere (a fern and lavender blend), but here it’s fern and lilac (with a few dirty playmates). Basically, I love this. Alchimia is hands-down my favorite store when it comes to outdoorsy scents of ANY types, seriously their stuff is magic.

BONUS ROUND: I don’t have any scents to compare Sex on the Lawn to directly, but if you like ever-so-slightly floral but distinctly masculine scents I urge you to try Whitechapel (white musk, lime, lilac and citron) and Villain (lavender fougere, with hints of lilac, lime, and citrus musk) from BPAL.

So basically, I loved everything to death. I want full bottles of all my samples. It’s a tragedy (for my wallet), but a 100% successful haul!

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    […] Rover (clover, honey, grass): I’ve reviewed this one before, and I still adore it. Bright, happy green! This is the slightly sweeter cousin of Lion’s […]

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