Sunday, February 8, 2015

Possets Perfume Sample Haul

So here is something new!! I have finally delved into the world of Indie perfumes and holy crap was it the best idea ever!
I chose to start with Possets Perfumes because they have an insanely huge selection and received great reviews from the Indie community.
I've learned from this that I'm not the greatest at picking up on scent notes so I don't think my reviews are going to be as great as the perfume connoisseurs out there.  However I'm going to try my best and will attempt to use pictures and imagery as much as possible to help with my inability to describe what I smell. 

This will be very text and image heavy!

Out of this sample haul I was hoping to find my holy grail lavender and/or  lilac and vanilla scent.  I threw in some outliers as well just to try something different.  I decided on Arcturus, The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon, Lavender Corset, Silver Lavender, Dance With Me, and The Temptress.  The two free samples I will also be reviewing include 301 and Gelato: Vaniglia.  I'll review them in alphabetical order just for organizations sake. Here we go!



This was one of the  free samples chosen for me!  I received 4 total but because I split the order with my friend we each took two. This is the one I chose to keep.  I let my friend pick two from the remaining 3.

"Named for the number which has been following me around my entire life, 301 combines a multiplicity of my favorite musks and cashmeran, and It turns out to be a bright light and insidious mix with great staying power and insinuates itself very easily. It will not knock the room over when you walk in, even if you are drenched in it. Lovely and slightly melancholy because it suggests the passage of time to me."

Initial sniff:  It invokes the feeling of fresh clean linen.  Very mild and pleasant.  I really wanted this one as it is starkly different from all the others I chose in my sample six pack.

After a few hours:  This scent is still very subtle.  The musk notes come out a bit more as it wears.  I do not know what cashmeran smells like so I can't comment on the strength of that part. This is still very light and pleasant to smell, a good anytime perfume.

Wear Time: 3-4 hours

Invoked Imagery: Playing under the warm fresh from the dryer sheets while my mom and dad take extra long to fold them above my head.

Verdict: While this is quite nice and pleasant I do not think it appeals to me enough to warrant a full size purchase.



I picked this one up because I am currently on the hunt for my holy grail vanilla scent. I love vanilla, I'm obsessed with it.  I love the smell the taste...just everything.  I add vanilla extract to everything I can.

" Arc to Arcturus is a common saying in the astrological world. In this case Arcturus is a blend of the blackest of all vanillas in a swirl in dead space. It's a beautiful dark foodie blend which is a true hybrid between the wearable vanillas and those which you just wish to put your tongue on. Madagascar, two Mexican vanilla, and a dry and almost earthy Tahitian vanilla blend together to make a superb concoction for seduction. Intensely sophisticated and very up to date."

Initial sniff:  Sweet dessert.  Unfortunately not quite what I was hoping for.  I think I am still on my quest for the perfect vanilla.  I'm looking for pure vanilla extract, no sugary cakey sweetness. Honestly it doesn't really smell like vanilla to me.  Do I just not know what vanilla smells like? I bought all these vanilla perfumes and nothing smells as I thought it would.

After a few hours:  The scent definitely mellows down to more of a pleasant sweetness. It is comforting and nice, not overpowering, but still when I smell it vanilla is still not what comes to mind.  At the very end of its life however the pure vanilla minus the sweet starts to come out.  I wish it was like that from the start because its exactly what I'm looking for!

Wear Time: 3-4 hours

Invoked Image:  Eagerly awaiting my grandmother's sugar cookies to come out of the oven so that I can begin the icing process and eventually devour them.

Verdict: This isn't bad but it isn't outstanding to me either because it wasn't quite what I was expecting.  I don't think I'll be ordering a full size.

Dance With Me

Dance With Me

I almost didn't get this one because I was afraid the grapefruit notes would make it too girly.  However I was convinced otherwise by a /r/indiemakeupandmore user who swore to me that this scent would be amazing.  I decided to go with her recommendation because I thought worst case scenario it would be fun to go dancing wearing this if only because of the name.

" A classy variation of everyone's favorite lavender vanilla but substituting grapefruit for lavender and under-girding it with white musk. Enchantingly innocent but with loads of guile."

Initial Sniff: Fun, fruity, feminine.   That is definitely what I get from this perfume. Right from the bottle the fruit scent is very strong and honestly pretty overwhelming.  Fortunately I love grapefruit so that doesn't really bother me at all. I think it smells divine. 

After a few hours: The vanilla undertone definitely starts to show once its been sitting on the skin.  The fruityness is cut by a nice relaxing and not too sweet vanilla.  I actually like this even more on my skin as it smells much more sophisticated and classy than the initial fruit overload. This is a great summer time scent.

Wear Time: 3-4 hours 

Invoked Image:  This brings me back to spending my childhood vacations in the Bahamas sitting on a beach and drinking a ridiculously colorful fruit drink. Interestingly enough as the scent wears on the image goes from sunlit beach to moonlit beach as the vanilla and musk strengthens and the fruit fades.  It makes me really miss that place....

Verdict: I don't really think of dancing when I smell this but I'll still wear it dancing just for the name.  I'm not 100% sure if I'm getting a full size of this but I'm seriously considering it.

Gelato Vaniglia

Gelato: Vaniglia

This is my other free sample, the one my friend didn't want and unfortunately for good reason....

" only Possets can do it. It is possible to have vanilla as a top, middle, and bottom note. I just did it. It is just a halo of vanilla as I have tasted it among the best of gelatos. Mmmmm. Vanilla was never so concentrated and so pure."

Initial Sniff: Sweet. Way too sweet. I can't smell this without cringing. It doesn't smell like vanilla at all to me.  I'm smelling sweet cinnamon cake dessert with lots of syrup.

After a few hours: The bakery sticky bun smell of this perfume becomes even more pronounced with wear. This is nothing like any vanilla I've ever encountered and its supposed to be pure, I'm so confused.

Wear Time: 5-6 hours

Invoked Image: This makes me think of standing in line at the airport when I was little anxiously waiting to get a Cinnabon as that's the only time I was ever able to have one.

Verdict: While I do like cinnamon buns I've never had a desire to smell like one.  Definitely not for me.

The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon

The Great Psychiatrist of Babylon

I bought this one because basically everyone on the internet is raving about it so even though the ingredients didn't appeal to me I almost had no choice but to give it a go.  Plus the name is just really awesome. 

" Back in the day, before a formal id, ego, and super-ego early psychiatrists roamed the land looking for loonies upon whom they could practice their trade. Babylon was a veritable hot bed of psychiatric investigation, and practiced by the female inhabitants of the city. The hypnotic base of the finest Bourbon vanilla shot through with incense smoke and the auxillary smoke from "punk" fire, caramel, incense, and a small shot of whiskey on the side (for medicinal purposes only). There, now don't you feel better?"

Initial sniff: This is pretty overpowering to me. It is hard for me to smell anything but super sweet caramel but when I really concentrate I can definitely pick up the whiskey as well. I was hoping the vanilla would be a bit stronger. Not really feeling this and can't see myself reaching for it often.

A few hours later: The smell definitely improves with time!  The sweetness dies down and now the caramel is pleasant rather than obnoxious. Overall the smell becomes much more sophisticated making it easy to pick up on the whiskey and incense notes, I'm still not getting the vanilla. Maybe my nose is weird.

Wear time: 4-5 hours

Invoked Image:  A warm and comfy day inside with my family eating caramel cookies while it snows mercilessly outside. 

Verdict:  The smell is definitely unique and I can see why it appeals to others but I don't really feel that it fits with my personality. While I'll enjoy the sample this will not be a full size purchase for me.

Lavender Corset

Lavender Corset

Lavender and lilac are my two favorite floral scents so I was really excited when I came across this one as it sounded like it would be a very pure and feminine lavender perfume.

" Such a pretty and old fashioned yet bleeding edge modern scent! Lavender Corset is more lilac than lavender, very feminine, long lasting and a persistent whisper of a fragrance. Like a corset it creates a perception about you but one about which others are barely conscious. It is magical, though. Perfect as a day perfume but not prim, perfect as an evening perfume but not brash. Characteristics: Lilac, musk, versatile, feminine, clean, sophisticated, long lasting, cooling, summer scent.."

Initial sniff: AMAZING.  100%.  So lovely and so nice.  If you want to literally smell like a lavender and lilac flower you need this.

A few hours later: STILL AMAZING.  Seriously, after some time the smell doesn't change it sticks to its guns and stays pure and amazing and feminine and sophisticated. I love it!

Wear time: 4-5 hours

Invoked Image:  Because it is so pure sniffing a lilac is the only thing in my mind when smelling this.

Verdict: I need this in my life forever.

Silver Lavender

Silver Lavender

I chose this one because it is literally a vanilla lavender so I didn't think I could possibly go wrong!

" An instant classic, the unbelievable wonder of a vanilla like lavender such as this beauty I have found, paired up with the Silver accord we all love, with a drop or two of sandalwood to mellow it all out and you have a perfection of fragrance fit for any occasion from seduction to a family dinner to a tax audit to a declaration of true love. Yes, this is one of the few really 100% versatile fragrances out there. Always correct, always beautiful, can be icy and can be hot. I think the secret ingredient is you, the perfume just conforms to what you want to be."

Initial sniff: Not gonna lie right out of the bottle this smells gross.  I was a bit put off because it almost seems bitter.  Luckily as soon as it comes in contact with the skin the smell transforms to something a bit nicer.  Right on the skin it is kind of a powdery flower scent. I still can't smell any vanilla.  Apparently my nose sucks at picking it up when it is an undertone.

After a few hours:  It actually makes my throat burn a little bit and my eyes sting.  I'm wondering if I'm just overly sensitive to something in this formula but it is not improving with time for me at all.  I'm really not a fan of this.

Wear time: 5-6 hours

Invoked Image: It makes me think of an old couple sitting in a flower field while watching the sun set. 

Verdict: I've never met the queen but this is how I'd imagine she would smell.  The powdery smell is too strong for me.  I think I'm a bit too young to pull this scent off so I won't be buying this in the full size. I want to make it clear that this isn't a bad scent overall, just not a scent that I could ever see myself wearing. However, I'm quite nervous to try any of the other silver scents now....

The Temptress

The Temptress

So this scent purchase was a shot in the dark.  The description sounded cool and the idea of a feminine musk appealed to me even though I've never tried such a thing before.  Plus who doesn't want to feel like a temptress every now and again?

" This is a dark sparkle like a true temptress. A pink musk provides the fizz and there is an overlay of sweet musk, a brush of lavender (Bulgarian), a bit of fern, and finally a slight bit of amber musk to keep it all going in the desired direction. Very tempting and ripe for falling. Like getting caught with someone you are slightly ashamed of...emboldening."

Initial sniff:  Very strong, can tell it is musky but at the same time there is a certain light and pleasantness to it.  I was nervous at first to put it on as I had never worn something like this before but my worries were soon cleared.  I'm not going to do a good job of describing this as my nose isn't that great at picking apart ingredients.

A few hours later: I am obsessed with this perfume!  Its dark, feminine, mysterious, sweet, but yet slightly masculine all at the same time.  Perfect for evening time, I felt and smelled amazing all through dinner.  I swear I even smelled it ever so slightly the next morning. My boyfriend was laughing at me because I kept sniffing my wrists at the table. I just can't get enough of this scent!

Wear time: 5-6 hours

Invoked Image: The name might be leading this vision but I imagine a sexy powerful but dark woman when I smell this. So naturally, Simone Simons (why isn't Epica doing a Quantum Enigma America Tour!?).

Verdict:  This is a definite must buy for me.  My mom who hates cute girly scents really liked it as well so I may be getting two full sizes of this!

It is probably because the olfactory system is so closely tied to the limbic system and hippocampus, but I feel like many of these scents invoked a personal memory, which is pretty awesome.

I've also learned I despise sweet food perfumes.

Overall, I am so glad I chose to delve into the world of Indie perfumes!  I have always loved perfumes but could never find any I could really get excited about, so I rarely wore them.  Every time I walk by a perfume counter I sniff as many as I can and they never make me smile.  But now I am excited to put on a perfume every single morning and there are so many more on the Possets site that I want to try...I'm looking at you Cygnus the Swan! I am so glad that for the first time ever I can get excited about perfumes! :D

A word of not store your sample vials on their side! I had a bit of leaking occur after a few days.  Oops! At least my window sill smells fabulous now....

Where to buy:
Price: $12.50 for a full size or six samples

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the detailed reviews! I am a vanilla freak and my current HG is Pacifica's Island Vanilla. I never would have thought that particular one would end up the winner after trying probably a hundred "vanilla" perfumes, but it is pretty amazing. The dry down is a touch fruity, but the vanilla to me stands out by far and away as the most authentic compared to so many I've tried. If I want dessert, I will order or bake it.. otherwise I want my vanilla to be more like the extract smells, and Island Vanilla delivers this to my happy nose! I also enjoy Le Couvent des Minimes Botanical Cologne of the Missions, though the warming myrrh makes a distinct presence when blended with the vanilla base (ie not a straight up vanilla). I wear it when I am going for sultry vanilla instead of a more relaxed and lightented vanilla. Hope this helps!