Review: Alkemia Perfumes, Round 1
After last week’s first experience with Indie perfumes, I decided to place an order of samples with Etsy shop Alkemia to try out some more. I chose Alkemia mainly because samples were cheap, about $12 for six samples including shipping. That’s $2 a sample! I had also heard great things about the wear time of Alkemia perfumes and just had to see for myself. The scents reviewed are Falling Stars on Winter Solstice, Carmen 7, Irrésistible, Calliope, and Cidre d’Automne.
Falling Stars on Winter Solstice
Falling Stars on Winter Solstice was the risky scent I decided to sample. I think it was this review of it that made me want to try it; I loved how she described it as “cold, smoky, woody, but warm underneath, the sort of thing that makes you want to breathe in the cold air a much as you can.” Seeing as it’s cold 70% of the year around here, I thought this would be a great one to hold onto until next fall.
The notes are balsam needles, dark musk, sweet myrrh, incense resins, melted snow, and woodstove smoke with a short description as follows:
“Walking into a wooded clearing, you look up in wonder at thousands of stars across the darkened sky. Suddenly, a falling star streaks across the sky, so low, you can almost touch it. Catch your breath. Make a wish.”
My first take on this was that it smelled like artificial pine trees. Maybe that’s just because I’m from the Northwest where we have a lot of pines to compare to, but I was not a fan. It was also warmer than I expected from the description. Once applied, the pine smell only seemed to amplify. After a few hours, it actually morphed from pine to a more woodsy and smoky smell. I’m notorious for getting headaches from strong smells, but this didn’t leave me with any headache at all.
At first, this scent traveled a lot. I got lots of whiffs throughout the day. About three hours later when the scent became more woodsy, it stuck closer to the skin. It was pretty noticeable at least until six hours after first applying.
This wasn’t my favorite at first, but I did quite like what it morphed into. I think I’m going to give it another chance before casting it away, maybe on a colder day. I don’t think I’ll be getting a full size because the sample should last me quite awhile.
Calliope, a pretty popular sweet scent, is described as having the following notes:
“A beguiling divertissement of piquant clementine, orange blossoms, white orchid, sugared currants, tonka, and vanilla musk whirled with flirtatious teases of billowy cotton candy floss and kisses of saltwater taffy.”
This smells like sweet flowers and almost like cantaloupe, actually. It’s not very complex, but it is light and lovely, perfect for the right occasion. It smelled the same on my skin when I applied it. My boyfriend also described it as a flowery smell, though he didn’t seem that thrilled about it.
This scent stays very close to the skin. However, I applied it at 9am, and I could still smell it faintly on my wrists the next day. Pretty impressive!
The lasting power of such a sweet scent is crazy! However, it was pretty forgettable to me out of the other perfumes I tried. I probably will not purchase a full size for that reason, though I think this could be a really pretty everyday perfume for the right person.
My next sample, Carmen 7, is made up of the following:
“An indecent proposal of succulently spiced pear, exotic lychees, decadent french pralines, bourbon vanilla, and crushed almond blossoms leads to a ménage à trois of gardenia, star jasmine, and magnolia illuminated by the afterglow of a sensuously musky amber.”
I chose it because I am particularly fond of vanilla and almond smells as well as fruity smells. The combination of pear and vanilla just sounded wonderful!
My first impression was that this smelled spicy and fruity. Once applied, the vanilla note came out more which really added to the scent, in my opinion. This smells absolutely delicious. It shifts between vanilla, almond, and even smelling strongly like poached pears at some points—yum!
The first time I wore this, I applied it at 1:30pm right after a workout. I could still smell it close to the skin at 8am the next day. The second time, however, it only lasted about five hours. I’m not sure what made the difference, but I’ll definitely be applying it a few more times to see how it lasts comparatively. It has decent sillage but definitely stays closer to the skin compared to Falling Stars on Winter Solstice or Solstice Scent’s Manor.
This smells so good. I don’t even care if only I can smell it; I want to smell it all day! A full-size bottle is on its way to me, and I can’t wait! If you like warm, fruity scents, I would definitely recommend Carmen 7.
Cidre d’Automne is a pure apple scent described as containing as follows:
“Freshly pressed varietal fall apples delicately blended with subtle autumnal spices. Sweet, crisp and exquisitely mouth-watering.”
Like I said before, I’m a big fan of fruity scents (especially apple and pears), so I just had to try this.
This smells exactly like homemade spiced apple cider in the bottle. Unfortunately, I then spilled the entire sample bottle on to my skin and hair. On the skin, a lot of cinnamon came out, which died down eventually. My boyfriend originally said it smelled good, like cinnamon or apple cider. By the end of the day, however, we both felt like we were being forcibly drowned in hot apple cider.
This has tons of sillage or is just really strong when you’re wearing the entire sample all at once. About three hours the first application, it definitely mellowed out a bit and became more bearable.
I can never wear this again. It’s not the fault of the perfume but after smelling it strongly for an entire day, I never want to smell it again. I’m sure in smaller quantities this is a lovely autumn scent.
Another yummy vanilla scent, Irrésistible is composed of the following notes:
“An irresistibly sweet temptation of french macaroon accord, bourbon vanilla beans, piquant nutmeg, sweet almonds, golden caramel, dulce de leche, blended with a sexy confection of intoxicatingly sugared ambers.”
This smells like sweet, warm cream or perhaps like crème brûlée and doesn’t change when applied to the skin. It truly smells as it is described and is absolutely irresistible. I could see myself wearing this every day. It is the perfect balance of lightness and sweetness without going over the top.
The first time I applied this, it lasted nine hours. I think especially the vanilla helps it last so long. The second time, it only lasted about half a day, but I was outside for most of the day. For some reason, I find the outdoors seems to strip perfumes away from my skin rather fast. It stays pretty close to the skin, and I wish it had a bit more sillage but it smells so good that it doesn’t really matter.
Here’s another I’ll be purchasing a full bottle of. This is a great everyday perfume which I think would fit many occasions, moods, and locations. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this, even if I’m the only one who can smell it.
I still have even more Alkemia samples to review including Vixen, Salomé, Madam X, and Affaire de Coeur. I can’t wait to let you guys know what I think of these perfume oils in Alkemia Indie Perfumes Review #2!