OK, if you’ve read my previous Voluspa candle reviews then you know that I like the candles. They burn evenly and are fragrant throughout. I really have nothing more to say about that end of it, but I do have something to say about the fragrance. I like amber. In high school I would smear amber resin on my pulse points. I like the creamy, butteriness of it. Even though I am a fragrance addict and a fragrance flirt, I guess I would have to say that my favorite fragrances are woodsy and incensy. Voluspa Baltic Amber fits in this category.

At times I think I could just burn incense and get this fragrance. It is a very incensy fragrance. But, sometimes you don’t want the smoke and you want the ambiance of a candle. This is why I continue to use Baltic Amber instead. I love to have it burning during cooler, moody, rainy nights. This means this candle scent gets burned frequently here in Western Washington. The scent is warm, rich and ambery. It’s resiny and woodsy but creamy. It’s a very decadent, luxurious fragrance. It’s a powdery amber resin with woods rounded by vanilla. If this came in a solid perfume, I would have to buy it. This scent is sensual, romantic, and somehow comforting.

Notes listed include amber resin, sandalwood, cedar, and vanilla bloom. You should like this fragrance if you like home scents/candles like Saint Parfum Madagascar Amber, Nest Moroccan Amber, Archipelago Private Reserve No. 83-Lust, Burn Balinese Woods, Côté Bastide Ambre, Henri Bendel Amber, and/or L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Ambre.

It is available in a variety of sizes and prices at b-glowing.com.

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Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Mahjoun is a decadent gourmand that is a must have for the honey lover. I love the scent of honey. It’s sweet but raw. This makes it difficult to wear. If you are one of the lucky and confident few out there that could wear a heavy honey based scent then this is a must for you. The fragrance’s website describes Mahjoun as “exotic, sensuous, and delicious“. Oh, it is. And it is based on the Moroccan delicacy (an ancient cannabis confection). I have never traveled to Morocco. Mainly because I love the “exotic” vision that I have of it in my mind and I don’t want to be let down. I want it to always be that “faraway” place. I love to picture the textures and smells of Morocco. I imagine bold spices, dried fruits and flowers, and precious resins. This is what I imagine and this is what Mahjoun delivers. It makes my mouth water. It is much sweeter than what I would imagine the streets of Morocco being like. This is much more dessert and gourmand and intoxicating, as the name implies. I usually can’t (or won’t) wear “sweet” fragrance but I see myself wearing this one frequently. It is sweet but it has so many other things keeping it interesting and “raw” while remaining beautiful. It is so sweet like honey as soon as you put it on. It’s sweet but very musky and sexual. At first spritz, it is a all about the sweetness of raw honey with a heavy dose of bitter almonds and zesty citrus juices. You can pick up a bit of lavender. This makes this is a crisp but sweet scent. Lavender honey is one of my favorite treats, especially in a black tea with a squeeze of lemon. The crispness fades fairly quickly and you are left with the “heart” of this fragrance. The heart is much like a sweet, sweet confection. It is heavy on the honey. It’s rich and golden, syrupy. It is mixed with dried fruits. I pick up on the dried dates and the dried pipe tobacco like aroma of dried figs. It is far from smoky, it just smells like a mix of honey and dried fruit flavored pipe tobacco. It has a dusting of sweet spices like nutmeg. It isn’t really “spicy”. The spices just add to the richness of the honey and sticky dried fruits. They are very understated. The “heart” has a bit of toasty nuttiness. Hazelnut in fact. My favorite. This makes this scent almost masculine/unisex and a must have for the lover of L’Artisan Parfumeur Mechant Loup EDT (my review here). I imagine it as a very intoxicating scent on both males and females. It’s really for anyone who has dreamed of being swept away by Rudolph Valentino as The Sheik. (This fragrance really does embody that Silent Film obsession with “exotic” and “sensual” and “forbidden” Bedouin culture).

The dry-down is less smoky and resiny than I would of imagined/predicted but it is there. It is an oriental blend of “exotic” resins and precious woods. It remains honey-ish but more in a beeswax with honey way with lots of amber, myrhh, sandalwood, frankinsence. It smells of exotic incense. I have to say that this is my all time favorite honey based scent that I have tried throughout my many years of sniffing. It is less “pissy” than L’Occitane Honey & Lemon EDT. It is sweet without sweetness being its soul purpose of existence like Lush Honey I Washed The Kids Solid Perfume.

Notes include the following: bitter almond, cardamom seed, cherry blossom, lavender, lemon, sweet orange, Bulgarian rose, fig, hazelnut, honey, nutmeg, orange blossom, sugar date, amber, atlas cedarwood, cinnamon, clove, frankincense, sandalwood, and Arabian myrrh. Many sizes are available. It’s a rich fragrance that wears for many hours closely to the skin. An 1 ounce EDP spray goes for $65. It is available at the Parfums des Beaux Arts website. I would say to give this one a try if you are a fan of complex honey scents or L’Artisan Mechant Loup, L’Artisan Havana Vanille, Tokyomilk Honey & The Moon EDP, Serge Lutens Chene, Arabie, or Fumerie Turque, Napa Valley Cielo EDP (my review here), just to name a few in the honey oriental genre.

L’Aromarine Opopanaux is a very rich scent in a very rich medium. It is a long wearing perfume oil. It can be diluted into alcohol for a lighter scent or mixed into other things such as epsom salt as a bath salt. It wears all day, but after the first few hours very closely to the skin. It is a rich, resin scent. It is both powdery in an amber way or myrrh and almost citrusy at times, like a mix of lemongrass and lavender. So what I guess I am trying to say that it is almost pine-y and coniferous while being boldly sweet and ambery. So, yep, a resin or a balsam: opopanox. This is a scent that I like but rarely wear except for in the winter months when I wear amber and frankincense based fragrances. You can pull off heavier scents then.

I would guess that you would like this fragrance if you like warm and rich amber, opopanox, myrrh, and frankinsense based fragrances, smoky incense scents, headshop fragrance oils, “oriental” scents,  Demeter Incense, Annik Goutal Encens Flampoyant EDP, Serge Lutens Chergui or Ambre Sultan (Serge loves to put opopanox in stuff), Regina Harris Amber Vanilla, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist (if you watered the L’Aromarine down), and/or Guerlain Shalimar. This scent is nice alone or mixed. You can mix it with vanilla oil for a sweeter take or with a rose oil for an elegant oriental perfume blend. I would say that it could very easily be unisex and very nice on a man if mixed with a woodsy oil like cedar or patchouli. It retails for under $10 and can be purchased on beautyhabit.com.

Eau D’Iparie is a beautiful warm fragrance. It wears closely to the skin and smells rich and warm without being sweet. Eau D’Iparie is more of an imaginary fragrance that evokes mood. It just smells warm and comforting but exotic without being too “exotic” for everyday wear. It smells like incense and warm resiny ingredients like amber. L’Occitane describes the fragrance as such:

“A town of magical fragrances. Imagine a place where myrrh and incense reign – Iparie. Its generous walls contain a blend of precious resins. The air is filled with myrrh and incense, a blended scent which is like a limitless gift. Transported along the ancient incense road to the eastern Mediterranean countries, these rare ingredients are now combined to create the intense, sensual and mysterious wake of Eau d’Iparie”

Pretty mood evoking, huh? Well, I’m sure ancient incense road journey isn’t as pretty smelling as L’Occitane is claiming. The scent is warm, woody, and a bit tobacco-ish. Initial spritz is a bit strong and “old fashioned”, like a men’s cologne. It smells of cedary myrrh like notes and earthy patchouli. It dries down to a nice close wearing fragrance that smells sweeter than the woody first spritz notes. It smells a little sweet but not in a fruity or gourmand way, in an amber and dried tobacco way. It does smell like some mystical spice trade caravan. What you hope it smells like. It smells of exotic woods, rich spices, fragrant incense, and sweet, dried tobacco. It dries down to a nice “greener” feeling fragrance that is stilll really resiny. I’m really happy that I picked this up on sale for about $31 for 4.2 ounces. It wears nicely and the lasting power isn’t too bad for an EDT since it wears intimately close to the skin. I am really impressed with this fragance, especially in comparison to other things found on the mainstream market. This is more interesting and complex. It actually smells sexy and “exotic”. I really hope L’Occitane doesn’t discontinue this one (I’m pretty sure they are). It is just too good. I really feel it would smell amazing on a man or a woman. I like it, it has an adventurous, tour the world type of attitude.

I’m loving these little things. The price is wonderful and I really love the blends by this adorable French company. And they are portable. I love a fragrance pick me up in the middle of the day. It really brings the glamour back into my boring life. If you love incense or that forever gone but wonderful GAP Om, then you will flip out for this little stick. Crazylibellule and the Poppies Encens Mystic from the Shanghaijava collection is wonderful. It wears for hours and closely to the skin creating a very intimate fragrance. It is very woodsy and spicy with notes of cedar and cloves. Cedar smells so beautiful on the skin during winter months. I really smell the spicy cedar and all the “incense”. If you call “incense” a note then this is it. It has that benzoin warmth with patchouli and spices. It just smells like “incense”. Not smoky though. Just like the resin and the scent. This is not as sweet as Demeter Incense, this is way more spicy and cedary. I love it this time of year. No need to mix or layer with anything else. It is already mixed to perfection. It’s spicy and earthy but too refined to be too hippie-ish or head shop-ish.

The stick is waxy but that doesn’t bother me. So far I haven’t had any massive chucks of wax on my pulse points or anything. I don’t blend with my fingertips either but I guess if the waxy feeling bothered me then I would do that. This is sold at b-glowing.com. I will definitely repurchase when the time comes.

So many fragrances want to “take us on journeys”. Which is fine with me. I don’t really see a trip to Timbuktu in my future any time soon. I just made a cross country move and have to get ready to live on one income while I finish grad school. L’Artisan Parfumeur is an unisex fragrance that wears nicely and contains many different fragrance notes. The L’Artisan Parfumeur website describes the fragrance as:

Timbuktu is a wild, yet sophisticated fragrance that is ultra sensual on women and men skin.
This perfume was inspired by the unique blend of flowers, ointments, spices and woods that are used by women in the sensual African perfumery tradition.

I have minimal exposure to the African perfumery tradition other than the goods I find at international markets. I’ve always loved the fragrance of these African “drugstore” soaps. In reality many of my Sudanese friends loved Clinique Happy and my West African girlfriends loved Dior. They found many of the scents that I liked too “raw” such as my loving of myrrh and amber. It’s all a matter of perspective. Anyways, Timbuktu is a nice mix. I like it as a women’s fragrance but I love it as a men’s fragrance.

Timbuktu starts out as a bit fruity with mango and pink peppercorn; however, it is no Victoria’s Secret body spray. It is fruity in a sour way, like unripe fruit. It is not sweet or succulent. It is made “dirtier” with spicy cardamom and something close to cumin. It stays a bit spicy on my skin. It is peppery but doesn’t resemble the B.O. odor that cumin has sometimes.  It eventually dries down to a soft oriental blend of incense, patchouli, myrrh and vetiver. But, it is not a “hippie” scent. It isn’t smoky or a patchouli bomb. It actually smells really “clean” and “dirty”, if that is even possible. Like let’s say “floral dirt”. I did wear it during a thunderstorm so maybe that affected my perception. I found some notes listed online and it says it contains karo karounde flower, which I have never smelled before. It is listed as a note in Estee Lauder Pleasures which is a scent that I really don’t love. I’ve tried finding info on the flower but just keep finding it listed in some perfume notes. Anyways, Timbuktu is a complex and nice fragrance. It is “exotic” because it manages to have contradictions such as clean but dirty, incense but not smoky. It is a very nice scent and I would recommend it to those that like strange or unusual scents such as Demeter Dirt or Demeter Beetroot. It is a great fragrance if you are looking for something different. It retails for $95 for the 50 ml, $135 for the 100 ml. Because this is a “spicy” fragrance I do recommend it for cooler weather wear. I tested it during the summer and was not offended but some people have said that it smells overwhelmingly “sweaty” and spicy on them during the summer. I really need to dig out my sample again. I think it would work well with musty fall weather.

Lovely pic of Timbuktu

Lovely pic of Timbuktu

I love the smell of incense and I have my favorites. I like the “hippie” scents even though I am not a hippie and typically don’t like the same things that they do. I love incense but hate buying it. Thank goodness for the Internet. I was sick of visiting the creepy crystal lady.

Anyways, Demeter Incense is a very pleasant and nice fragrance. It is warm and sweet and not smoky or spicy. It isn’t Nag Champa or frankincense. It is very soft in an amber resin way and is almost vanilla-ish. (It isn’t too vanilla sweet and it definitely is not a cupcake by a long shot.) It isn’t a headshop and doesn’t smell like Dragon’s Blood or whatever. It isn’t heavy. It is light and very resiny. Demeter incense uses Copal. The Demeter website says,

Demeter’s Incense is centered on a unique core of Copal. Copal is a type of resin produced by plant or tree secretions, particularly identified with the forms of aromatic tree resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as a ceremonially burned incense, as well as for a number of other purposes.
More generically, the term copal is now also used to describe resinous substances in an intermediate stage of polymerization and hardening between more viscous and ‘gummy’ resins and amber.”

So that is why it is amber-ish but not dead on amber resin. This fragrance really wears nicely on skin and has a better than average lasting power compared to other Demeter scents. I will buy more when I am out. It comes in a 1/2 ounce splash, 1 ounce spray, 4 ounce spray, calming lotion, shower gel, body oil and room spray. I want to try the oil.

Copal Rocks, thatll be what Im smoking.

Copal Rocks!