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The Illustrated Woman


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#1 slave1


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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:24 AM

A cluster of wooden wagons stands off to the side of the Midway, removed from the bustle of the dirt-caked makeshift street. A bonfire burns in the center of the lot, shining its light on a tattoo-covered woman. The images embedded in her skin writhe like living things, and the sigils that mark her glow faintly. She is filing her nails and smoking a cheroot while chatting idly with an impassive naked blonde who has been hoisted into the air by thick, gleaming meathooks. The blonde is pinioned; the blackened metal cables that bind her hang tightly from the branches of a massive grey oak. Her skin seems strangely translucent, and her veins and arteries are boldly visible. Two painted signs are propped, sideways, against the side of the tree:


The tattoo'd woman winks at you as you pass by. "Break time, honey," she growls, as she blows a smoke ring in your direction.

Skin musk, smoky vanilla, pine pitch, patchouli, Indian resins, golden honey, and tobacco.

In Bottle: Exotic pine

On Skin: This scent is quite light… I thought it would be stronger. But damn, it’s beautiful. The skin musk is the definite base. The pine gives a perfect woody tone while the vanilla and honey sweeten it perfectly. This is not heavy honey, just a light trickle. The resins are dark and slightly spicy giving an exotic quality. The patchouli is also light to my relief… just enough to give it some depth and dirty it up a bit. The tobacco is smoky and adds to the seediness. A drop dead sexy, but very feminine scent. This is for a strong woman who isn’t afraid to show her girly side as well. Light throw and short to average wearlength.

#2 iiinterstate


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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:33 AM

This. Is. Perfection.

I am so so sad that this scent will have to leave us someday and I am going to buy many many bottles before it does.

It starts off with a light, sweet pine note in the beginning, but that lasts maybe 20 minutes on me. Then it dries into the smoky musky vanilla goodness. As slave1 said above, skin musk is definitely the base note, but I can pick up everything else... the resins are light and so is the tobacco, but they are undeniably there. I get a small waft of honeyed pine every now and then.

I predict that this will be wildly popular. Nothing short of amazing.

Edit: I still have my original 2008 bottle (although mostly empty now) and I wanted to add that this blend only gets smoother and more lovely with age.

Edited by iiinterstate, 18 January 2011 - 03:25 AM.

#3 ivyandpeony


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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:31 PM

This scent is drop dead gorgeous.

In the bottle and wet, the pine-pitch note is prominent. It's a really interesting note, not sharp evergreen, but very resinous with a spicy hint of pine. It calms down immediately and The Illustrated Woman becomes this delicious, ever-so-slightly-smoky, sweet skin musk scent. I agree with the first couple reviewers that the skin musk is the star of the show, but to my nose it's inseparable from the honey, vanilla and resins.

This is a blend that I'd really encourage you to try, even if there's a note in there that scares you, because I find it so well balanced. In my case, I love honey, vanilla, patchouli and skin musk, but tobacco can be a bad note on me, the pine pitch scared me, I had no idea what to expect from the Indian resins or just how "smoky" the vanilla would be (and I don't like a lot of the scents that are described as smoky). The result? You will pry this bottle from my cold dead fingers :P

#4 Eros


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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:13 AM

Smoky resins & vanilla with the sweetness of honey and the gorgeous musk slithering underneath. The tobacco adds depth and richness, the patchouli gives it the perfect touch of earthiness without overwhelming. There's a sense of the pine pitch but it's barely there. It reminds me a bit of Temple Viper but not as sweet.
Smoldering, intoxicating...beautiful blend.

#5 tativa


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Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:35 AM

sweet touch of honey musk spiked with light resins... I love it... the first 15 mins are a bit much on the way of pine... but the dry down is definitely worth the ride.
Light throw (close to skin) and med. stay power.

#6 Josh


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Posted 12 June 2008 - 04:34 AM

This seems to have the same vanilla that Defututa has, and the honey/patchouli combo reminds me of Sed Non Satiata. This bottle isn't mine as I ordered it for a friend but I still think it's nice and I agree this will likely turn into a popular one.

#7 VioletChaos


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Posted 13 June 2008 - 05:11 PM

in the bottle: pine resin and a hint of patchouli

wet on skin: the same, with a touch of honey

dry down: a smoky leather aspect has taken over. it's the smoke of Fire Eater, tempered with honeyed fruit. the result? sweet without being innocent- and sexy as hell.

in all: oh YESSSSS!!!


#8 AliBabble


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Posted 14 June 2008 - 02:47 AM

despite the lovely-sounding ingredients, this went to generic men's cologne on me. i don't know if it was the pine or the tobacco or what...it smelld quite nice in the bottle, but on my skin it's straight up cologne, and it's strong and it lasts and lasts. not me at all. oh well...

#9 Cheri


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Posted 15 June 2008 - 03:52 AM

I totally agree with Ivyandpeony's review! This is so gorgeous. Something about it reminds me of an aged version of Defututa although they don't share many of the same notes (I think smoky vanilla might be the only note similarity). I can only imagine how good it's going to be after it actually ages a bit.

As I walked through the grocery store this morning, people seemed nicer and a few smiled or said hi, which was kind of strange. Could it have been the scent or the way I feel when I wear it?

The wear length didn't seem that long, so I re-applied every few hours today so I could keep smelling the different phases it goes through as it's drying. It's probably the most sexy scent I've ever worn.

I think I'll need at least one more bottle.

#10 hellomoonglow


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Posted 15 June 2008 - 10:13 PM

When I first put this on, it smelled a lot like a mixture of Snake Charmer and Snow White.

Today, I get that same smell, but also some piney resins.

I bought this strictly because I, myself, am an "illustrated woman", thinking I wouldn't like it but had to have it! Turns out, I really like it. A double win!

#11 CreamyJade


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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:34 PM

In the bottle: Very light, sweet-smelling, I smell a bit of pine.
Wet on skin: Still pine, along with sweet musk and vanilla.
Dry on skin: Smoky vanilla, musk, the sweetness dried down a bit.
Final thoughts: Oh my, this is delicious! Even though I find that it's a fairly light oil, the fragrance is just amazing! I'll need another bottle before the Carnival leaves..

#12 oceandreamer001


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Posted 17 June 2008 - 02:00 PM

When I read the list of ingredients, I didn't think it would work on me. I only got a bottle because I was doing a decant circle.

First thing I noticed: How much the label lady looks like Shell.

In the bottle: sharp pine pitch and patchouli.

On my skin: pine pitch, still very sharp.


It starts to dry and the smokey vanilla and tobacco come out. I don't get any patchouli, which is good. As it drys down, I get skin musk tempered by vanilla, but the tobacco keeps it from being foody. It's more mature, not sweet vanilla at all.

As it totally settles, I get skin musk and tobacco, with a whiff of the vanilla.

This is fantastic. I think this will be the Snake Charmer of Carnival Diabolique.

I need more bottles.

#13 milo


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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:56 PM

In the bottle, totally pine and vanilla swirling amongst each other. I grew up amongst ponderosa and summer heat, and LOVE it, this scent is the perfect embodiment of childhood memories. However, this lasts on me only about two minutes and then turns to men's cologne, (and not a good one) so disappointing, and I tried this twice to be sure. Damn my stupid skin chemistry. :P So lucky for those of who this works on, though! Really, I think this is an awesome scent, probably one of the highlights of the CD only not on me.

#14 coldandsleepy


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Posted 17 June 2008 - 11:08 PM

In the bottle, this was like, whooooah, I HOPE YOU LIKE PINE. I do like pine, and I was still a little startled.

What I don't like is vanilla. You've heard it before, but vanilla is really the anti-me. Even just a little vanilla can ruin a whole scent for me, so I didn't have huge hopes about this.

When I put it on, the pine traipsed back into the woods where it came from, for the most part. What I was left with was a touch of pine, a touch of something deliciously smoky, and some vanilla.

And because wonders never will cease, I really like it. Enough to buy a whole bottle for myself? Nah, probably not. I'd want more pine in it. But I'm hanging on to my decant of it for the time being at least. It's quite nice.

#15 tartchef


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Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:29 PM

The first time I skin-tested the Illustrated Woman, I got a heartbreaking artificial pine note, a dead ringer for the ubiquitous pine tree hanging from your rear-view mirror... :D I left her to her own devices for a week or so in my cellaring box, and she is a bit better for it...

Wet, there's that sweet, musky pine note, still hovering dangerously close to air freshener - I think another week or two in the box wouldn't hurt. Fortunately, it burns off quickly, leaving a swirl of Snake Oil, sexy skin musk & a lovely resiny tobacco note. Much like Shelldoo herself, the Illustrated Woman starts off a bit ballsy, but underneath she's an absolute sweetheart - cozy & warm, but with a trace of something just a little sticky & dirty & wild :P

It's not a heavy scent, per se, but it lasts all day, lingering on my wrists as a soft, smokey vanilla musk - the crooks of my elbows cling to a bit more of the sweet pine sap. It's a lovely scent... a beatifully tattoed woman, draped in a heavy, embroidered shawl & puffing on a cigarillo. She pokes at the small bonfire, throwing a branch of fresh pine on the flames...

ETA: Oh crappity. I just can't kick the Christmas Tree air freshener. If anything, it's getting louder now, for all the cellaring. Off you go, my dearie. :D

Edited by tartchef, 02 July 2008 - 07:07 PM.

#16 hepkitten


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Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:58 PM

Okay, after reading the reviews here, I'm going to wait and give this one more try. Right now, I'm getting this gorgeous swirl of skin musk, resins, and sexiness with a BIG DAMN PINE TREE that will NOT leave sitting right in the middle of it. It's like being with a lover, in the heat of the moment...
...and then suddenly having a smiling animated Christmas tree pop its head up over the edge of the bed: "HEY! Whatcha doin'?"

Perfumus interruptus.

Edited by hepkitten, 18 June 2008 - 11:59 PM.

#17 alicia_stardust


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 12:10 AM

This is predominantly pine-pitch and resins, dark and inky. The pine pitch is heavier, darker, and more sticky-resin than I'm used to so it really does not come across as a Yule blend. This blend is really well balance. The pine and resins are offset by the warmth of the vanilla, the natural sweetness of the honey, and the lovely glowing skin musk. It's not until after an hour or two that I can detect the patchouli and a distant hint of smooth, golden warm tobacco.

This is really unique and one that shouldn't be missed.

#18 inurbanus


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 05:08 AM

I was expecting something deep and heavy, based on The Illustrated Woman's notes, but this is soft, smooth, and very unique -- I don't think I've ever smelled anything like this. Wait! Actually I have -- in a weird way this reminds me of Black Lace. It has the same smoky vanilla note that I love.

In the bottle, this smells heavily of tobacco, but if that's a problem note for you, don't be afraid. The two scariest notes in this, patchouli and tobacco, disappeared after 10 minutes of wear, leaving behind a musky vanilla with a hint of resin. It's a lot sweeter than I was expecting, but I love sweet smells, so I can't say that I mind. :P I don't want to slander this by saying it reminds me of soap, but it does. Not the cheap, cloying floral smell that's usually associated with soap, but the high end luxury stuff that you pay an exorbitant amount at Saks for. It just smells like something you want to envelop yourself in. I'm captivated by this in a way I haven't been in awhile. Definitely a must try!


#19 Brianne


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 08:39 AM

Why must you be so hateful pine pitch?! This goes on like a giant pine tree and it's loud and obnoxious and generally not my cup of tea.

I am so HAPPY to report though that changes and it becomes much more subtle while a truly GORGEOUS skin musk and smokey vanilla creep in. It's very warm and slightly honeyed with a touch of tobacco, but mostly that skin musk that I adore. Holy crap this scent is awesome. I think everyone who said that it will be the "hit" of CD is probably right - this is a real winner right here, I must MUST stock up on bottles before CD comes down, that's how awesome this is.

#20 savage_rose


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 05:53 PM

I can barely smell anything with this blend. I put on more than my usual drop, and I can smell...faint pine? And my skin (not to be confused with skin musk). Sigh. And the harder I sniff trying to smell something, the more I start getting a headache.

I'm so disappointed.

#21 SurrealReality


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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:56 PM

In the bottle/imp: Mostly pine, with a bit of light musk, patchouli, & resins

Wet on Skin: Pine, something slightly minty, patchouli, and a bit of light musk and honey

Dry: Smoky vanilla (it's not at all a burnt smoky, it's more of a sour smoky), resins, pine, light musk, with a touches of honey and patchouli

Later on: The vanilla becomes more sour (smoky), the honey and especially the resins get stronger, the pine remains, but the patchouli fades

My rating in the bottle/imp: 2 out of 5
My rating on my skin: 4 out of 5

Overall, I like this scent, but I wish the vanilla wasn't quite so sour (smoky)

Edited by SurrealReality, 24 June 2008 - 03:35 AM.

#22 Hava


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Posted 20 June 2008 - 08:51 AM

it's actually a relief that I don't care very much for The Illustrated Woman. At first she's all sharp pine. I immediately dislike it. Then she softens up to a pale light vanilla with some light resins in the background. Pleasant for sure, but I have so many vanilla scents that are better than this one. It has almost all notes I ADORE...but something about them all put togeather doesn't quite do it for me. I don't get excited when I sniff my wrist, and that's a key factor. it's lacking that sexy oomph that other vanilla scents have. its also too pale and light on me. I like my vanilla scents headier.

Oh well, at least I'll be spending less money! This one seems like a real crowd pleaser, I'm sure she has a huge fanbase already.

#23 SadTomato


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Posted 21 June 2008 - 04:13 AM

this is so gorgeous!
i was afraid of the pine in this one because it tends to amp on my skin and at first it was all pine which terrified me.
but the pine fades and becomes just a lovely, woody background scent.
this is an absolutely perfect blend that is musky, a touch woody, resiny, and sweetened with vanilla.
it's exotic, warm and perfect.
i must buy bottles of this.

#24 PhantasmMysteria


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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:24 AM

In a fit of impulse while I was awaiting my CD decants to trickle in, I threw caution to the wind and bought a bottle of The Illustrated Woman off of a forumnite. :P

It is not a decision I regret!

In the bottle: Wow, that's a lot of pine. But it's much sharper than the evergreen notes I'm used to (like those from the Yules) -- perhaps because I'm getting the skin musk, too.

Wet: Wooooooo, pine and skin musk! Funnily enough, there's something about the way the notes are interacting here that reminds me of Pisces '07 (which makes me suspect that there is skin musk in Pisces even more, but that's neither here nor there!). Thankfully the pine does settle down after a few minutes, and the tobacco never stands out. As this scent starts to dry down, I really am not sure if I enjoy the scent all that much... but I find it fascinating. I keep sniffing it, trying to figure out what's going on, enthralled with how everything's interacting.

Dry: Now, it reminds me of very aged O! It's slightly powdery resins combined with honey and smokey vanilla. Wonderful.

Verdict: I have worn this for three consecutive days, and I am officially in love with it! I do agree that there are some similarities to this scent and Black Lace, though the feel they invoke is completely different (and of the two, The Illustrated Woman wins for me by a landslide).

#25 sookster


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Posted 22 June 2008 - 04:47 PM

straight sniff from bottle is piney, resinous and sweet...a delight!

once applied the honey amps up nicely combined with pine, vanilla and tobacco...

the patchouli adds the perfect touch and
that this is nothing short of astonishing!

love in a bottle for certain!!

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