Solstice Scents’ Summer 2014 Collection

18 Aug

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I got my package of Solstice Scents’ full sampler for their summer collection as I was heading out the door on Friday afternoon. Out to a place with… no internet! Yes, such horrors exist. Well, not horrors, because it’s actually pretty awesome to step away from the digital world and hang out in nice country air. And I’d get a full weekend to test out all the scents! Plus I could take nice outdoor pictures of the vials! Which… yes, I forgot to do. But look, I saw a zebra! Did you know they like to roll around on the ground? They totally do. It’s adorable.

Anyway, onward with the reviews.

Coquina (Sandalwood, Orange Blossom, Clementine EO, Beach Sand, Plumeria Absolute, Coconut, Ginger EO & A Splash of Sea-spray): This is the only scent I purchased “blind” in full size, because I am on a clementine kick at the moment. This reminds me of a less bitter Chrysalis–lighter on the citrus than I expected but with that edge that orange blossom gives, and full of soft tropical flowers. Whatever scents they used for “sand” and “sea spray” temper this nicely, and it’s not an in-your-face floral but very soft and lovely.

Hand of Darkness (Oceanic Accord, Rain Accord, Woods Blend, Black Pitch, Buddha Wood, Lime, Coriander, Tarragon, Amber): I wanted to love this, I really did. It came out intensely resinous and powdery on my skin, with amber and black pitch overpowering everything else. The description sounds so lovely, ahh! But I was a bit hesitant on this anyway, since their coriander note reads as straight-up cumin on me. Which is less than appetizing in a perfume.

Heat of the Night (Vanilla, Mango, Coconut, Orange, Sandalwood, Amber, Orange Blossom, Edge of the Night Base): The vanilla in this is luscious and strong, adding warmth to the bold tropical fruity notes. I am normally not a tropical fruit kind of person but I can almost get behind the mango and coconut in this blend. I love their Edge of the Night base and it really works well here… just not well enough for me to want a full size. I’m so biased against summer scents, too much fruit!

High Desert (Desert Sage, Ceremonial White Sage, Sandalwood, Mitti, Cacti, Indian Tobacco, Prickly Pear Cactus, Hay, Smoke, Labdanum, etc.): Sawdust and pine sap. Very, very strong sawdust. Overwhelming sawdust, like you just walked into a workshop. After that fades a bit I get molasses and sage.

High Noon (Worn Holster Leather, Tobacco, Whiskey, Woods, Sand, Gun-Smoke, Musk & Soft Ladies’ Perfume): Is it just me, or is having two perfumes in a small collection that both start with “High” kind of confusing? I like High Noon a lot more than High Desert. It’s mostly leather, sap (from where? a mystery) and alcohol on me with a hint of musk. Softer than expected, it’s a combination I would assume to have a lot of throw but it stuck very close to the skin.

Old Havana (Tobacco, Woods, Spices, Sea Mist, Lime): Tobacco, leather, citrus, cedar. I swear I get something like cedar or sap in almost all of the masculine summer scents. They are all very resin-y. Like a forest floor, if a forest floor happened to stumble into a bar and get a bit tipsy. Which actually sounds awesome, but does not play out well on my skin.

Sirocco (Moroccan Spices, Sandalwood, Hot Baked Earth, Myrrh Resin, Precious Saffron Threads & Oud): Licorice, licorice, and more licorice. Maybe some incense and sandalwood, along with YEAH THAT WOULD BE MORE LICORICE. Anise, too. I hate licorice. This was a scrubber for me. But if you like the licorice/anise family man oh man do I have the scent for you.

Sun-Warmed Honey (Honey, Apricot, Strawberry, Chamomile, Kunzea, Ginger, Orange Blossom): After a long road of “oh god none of these are ever going to work on me” we come to this beauty. Warm, cozy, STRONG honey infused with orange. It’s candy-sweet, and I get a really powerful mango note that could be the apricot or strawberry. A fruity blend I like?! Yup. It’s soothing and comforting, like curling up with a mug of sugared-up tea.

Tenebrous Mist (Soft Musks, White Amber, Sea Spray, Sandalwood, Bay Rum, Tea Leaves & Wood Smoke): My hopes were highest for this blend… because of the name, I will fully admit. It’s just so mysterious. And thankfully, it lives up! Kind of. I mean, in comparison to a trail of defeats, Tenebrous Mist was a real winner. Soft, ephemeral, aquatic. Not too salty, lightly musky, like fresh rain. But very, very soft. Almost faint, faded in a few hours. Then again, it is mist!

Tropical Moon (Coconut, Tuberose, Tahitian Gardenia, Lime Essential Oil & Pink Lotus Attar): Sharp, sharp white floral at first. Like gardenia with a knife-blade edge, followed by… hay. I swear, this collection. So confusing. Coconut and tuberose come in all creamy at the end, playing nice after that surprise opening. This is a intriguing blend, one I didn’t even consider putting on the “possible full size” list but I ended up very fond of.

I adore Solstice. Their spring collection was divine, I love their general catalog scents, I need full sizes of pretty much their entire fall and winter lineups, but summer? I was shocked at how it played out! One after another, they all ended up strange on my skin. In every way, summer is not my season.

Thankfully, my initial assumptions were right and Coquina is a scent I’m happy to have in full size, and I’m considering Tenebrous Mist and Sun-Warmed Honey.

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