purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth
Dead Leaves Bourbon Vanilla and Myrrh (Pile of Leaves, Hallowe'enies 2015): no further description given
Dead Leaves Red Musk and Neroli (Pile of Leaves, Hallowe'enies 2015): no further description given
The Magic Circle (Hecate's Inheritance, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015): Vanilla-infused frankincense and clary sage with 7-year aged patchouli, jasmine sambac, honey myrtle, and oudh.
The Witches' Rout (the Carcass) (Hecate's Inheritance, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015): White sandalwood, opoponax, shriveled black plum, and vetiver.
Dead Leaves Bourbon Vanilla and Myrrh is all leaves on first sniff, with maybe just a touch of vanilla. Wet on my skin I get the leaf note, neither dry nor juicy, with more of a fixative beneath it than usual; there's almost no vanilla impression. On drydown there's more myrrh here than leaf or vanilla. It's not sweet like the Sunbird myrrh note, but it's not dry or sharp or dark. It's more like the myrrhs used in the churchy scents like Midnight Mass and Penitence. At maturity it's a full, rich myrrh note with some dry leaf on the side. As a myrrh lover, I think this is fantastic, but leaf scent lovers might want to look elsewhere for a more true leaf scent.
Dead Leaves Red Musk and Neroli is juicy leaves on first sniff, with a touch of tart nonspecific citrus. Wet on my skin the neroli note develops first and the red musk wakes up. Red musk tends to take a while to develop fully, but by the time it's dried down this one is definitely a red musk scent. Fully mature, it's restrained red musk with just a touch of floral and some dead leaves. It's light, good-tempered, and happy; I liked it enough to get a bottle of it.
The Magic Circle smells like vanilla and jasmine sambac over a resin-patchouli base, until I put it on. Wet on my skin it went slightly foody, as if tonka were involved. On drydown it was light and slightly foody, a vanilla frankincense scent with a touch of jasmine sambac. After a couple of hours, though, the oudh had stepped in and turned tannic on me. The light vanilla and jasmine were still there, but the herb and wood components took over the scent and pushed it in directions that didn't work for my chemistry. Someone who's good with oudh might like it, though; the vanilla jasmine was tasteful, never too girly or strident.
The Witches' Rout (the Carcass) smelled great in the vial, all sweet-dark caramelized vetiver and opoponax with just a touch of fruitiness. Wet on my skin, it was quite dark; the opoponax (which I think is the darkest of all the resins) and caramelized vetiver seemed to intensify one another's darknesses. Mature, it was never smoky nor quite as dark as Haitian Vetiver SN, and it's got a slightly fermented vibe about it the way opoponax often does. It's way darker than Minotaur or Schwarzer Mond. Even the slight fruity impression was very, very dark, like the concentration of a dried fruit. The poor white sandalwood must have been hiding under a rock, though, because I never got a bit of it. For a vetiver or opoponax lover, this is really a standout scent, but it is not for the delicate.