Harlequin and Columbine The Nutcracker: Acts 1 & 2 (10/20/10-1/22/11)
Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:04 AM
In the bottle: Bitter-orange marmalade (like seville orange, not like the marmalade ends up actually bitter, if you know what I mean.)
On my skin: I was a bit nervous at first, because it's a bit potpourri when first on, with the citrus fruits and herbal-ness (from the sage). I need not have worried, though! After a few minutes, it all settles down, and the vanilla warms it up a lot and brings everything together. It's like being in a house that has herbs & orange-slices drying hanging from the rafters, and maybe a big red bowl of holiday punch on the table, ready for all to grab a cup. I don't really get cedar here at all; it must just be rounding out the scent.
Posted 30 December 2010 - 05:20 PM
Posted 02 January 2011 - 04:50 PM
When wet it is high and sharp. A happy scent with the bright fruits highlighted with citrus. The vanilla is there, but somehow separate from the rest. Like it is beside the fruits, not bended with them.
As it dries, the fruits all go away (I am blaming the pomegranate) and it turns somewhat cologne-like (balsam and cedar?). Not for me.
Posted 04 January 2011 - 01:42 PM
In the decant: fruity, citrusy, and a little sweet
Wet: Starts out very orange and fruity but gets very woodsy with a touch of lemon and sage almost immediately
Drydown: The fruit starts to come out and play a bit- red currant, lemon, and mandarin are detectable. The woodsiness calms down some too. No vanilla yet.
Dry: It's light, sweet in a fruity way (but not really juicy), with hints of wood and something more herbal. I can really smell the lemon, pomegranate, and rosewood in this one.
The vanilla doesn't really stand out for me, but rather seems to blend into the background and make this a bit warmer and sweeter than it would otherwise be. The woods and sage start out very strong, but fade into the background over time, leaving this to become a rich, deep fruit scent. I think I like it, but I'll have to keep sniffing throughout the evening to be sure. Very different from other scents I have.
ETA: After several more minutes, the vanilla did finally show itself, warming the overall scent and making it a bit sweeter and creamier. I like this a lot more with the vanilla peeking through. I think it's a keeper :).
This post has been edited by steelgossamer: 04 January 2011 - 02:03 PM
Posted 04 January 2011 - 07:20 PM
Making the choice to pick up 5 ml. of Harlequin and Columbine was motivated by pure emotional response to the concept.
It was added to a Christmas wish-list and it showed up, prettily wrapped on Christmas morning!
(I Love You, Orange Grandma!)
After seeing the Pacific NorthWest Ballet Company's rendition of "The Nutcracker" last year (unquestionably amazing, by the way, and replete with the artistic contributions of Maurice Sendak!) resistance to the magics wrought by the Lab was futile!
The presence of Huckleberry also provided a bit of glamour... Though, while it is a favourite of fruits, it remains to be seen whether or not this will hold the same sway once the skin is annointed. There is also Vanilla to contend with; delicious of its own accord, yet, skinside, is often reduced to pigtails, dollies, and marshmallow creme.
From the Bottle: Very red, white, and purple. There is this feel of walking into a country candy shop. The Vanilla is the most dominant note by far. The fruits are the next in line; mostly with Red Currant and Pomegranate adding a candied veneer.
At this phase, none of the earthier elements have yet to balance the formula with the possible exception of the Rosewood, which adds scant sharpness to the candied shellac...
Gone from here is the powder-green pungency of Sage.
Conspicuously absent, too, are the honeyed and ossified tendrils of Balsam.
All from the neck is pucker and confection.
Pretty ribbons and paint set to mandolin and lute.
[b]On the Skin:[/b] The French Vanilla practically kabooms...
The citrus is bevied up alongside the red fruits, juciness ensues!
The Cedar is present only fleetingly... No sign, whatsoever, of the Balsam or the Sage. Yes, still... A pity.
Harlequin and Columbine is devastatingly gorgeous and was almost certainly designed with Her in mind. Sweet, vivacious and... Sparkly.
The Wife's of the mind that Harlequin and Columbine is a dead ringer for... Grape Soda.
This one's a 5 out of 5 for the girls! Another extraordinary feat brought to everyone compliments of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab!
Posted 06 January 2011 - 02:51 AM
Wet: Still delicious, but different. I still smell a lot of pomegranate, but the citrus notes are stronger. The cedar comes in at the end of the whiff, toning down all the sugar.
Drydown: Love. So delicious.
Later: NOOOO! It fades, and fast. If not for that, it would be totally bottle-worthy. :cry2: I LOVE the early stages… they’re wonderful… but the scent just disappears. I’m will most certainly keep my decant. This is too pretty to lose, even if it doesn’t want to stick around long.
Posted 10 January 2011 - 02:53 AM
Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:15 AM
Overall, this is a big no for me. It definitely had potential, but I think the mix of fruits in this particular blend is just off-key somehow and it's just not working.
Posted 13 January 2011 - 07:57 PM
Posted 14 January 2011 - 05:28 PM
Wet: Citrusy currant with a spicy substrate that is probably going to be the cedar. I like this, it's both brightly cheerful and warm-spicy.
One hour: Fruity sage wood. It's still very fruity, but there's more of a biting herbal wood about it than before. It reminds me a bit of a very cheerful Coxcomb, only without the heavy musk substrate. It's got enough balsam obvious in it that it reads as a Christmas-related scent also. The French vanilla is behaving well and staying in the background. I like this quite a lot.
Four hours: Still pleasantly fruity, with light wood and herb notes. This is probably about as nice as red currant ever gets on me; it's got an almost floral aspect to it, like the pear note sometimes gets. But it's still got that tart sweetness to remind me it's a fruit. I expect I'll be keeping this bottle; it would probably go very nicely with Tomoe Gozen bath oil.
Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:06 PM
Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:19 AM
I have a hard time describing this. If you've ever smelled Bath & Body Works' Lemongrass and Sage scent, at first it's kind of like that, except twenty times more complex and fifty times more awesome. Also, sweeter!
The woods and vanilla give it a more low-key aspect, deeper and more pensive, somehow. The teensiest bit boozy--the fruits lend it a sort of tipsy accent, without being alcohol-smelling. And pomegranate is always a cool note for me, so this ends up a bit more shadowy than it would have been, with only the citrus and currant notes.
Posted 04 February 2011 - 08:05 PM
Wet, it's all cedar and lemon, with maybe a hint of sage. Very much like an aromatherapy candle for when you want to stay alert. Then, as it dries down, the red current comes up, very strongly, and blends in, with the lemon calming down. The cedar hangs in, and you can really notice the sage supporting the fruit notes. I wouldn't have thought of cedar and sage blending well with red fruit, but it works quite well. The whole concoction starts blending well as it dries, and I finally get the French vanilla, coming up as a strong supporting player. The cedar and vanilla blend well, and give a strong backing to red currant and pomegranate. The citrus has pretty much dropped out, except for giving a slight tart backing to the fruit. Very nice, very pretty. Almost an autumn fruit scent, but not quite...a bit more feminine.
Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:50 AM
Wet: Fruity fruity candy.
Dry: Finally a hint of sage, giving it much more complexity. Still mostly sweetness and fruits, though, and it doesn't last on my skin at all. It's pleasant, but I will be selling this bottle.
ETA: April 2011 I decided not to sell this one, and I'm glad. As it's aging the sage, cedar, vanilla, and balsam (all favorite notes of mine) are strengthening, and the fruity notes calming. It also gained a huge amount of staying power compared to when it was new! I am looking forward to seeing how it continues to develop. :joy:
ETA2: November 2011 HOLY CRAP has this gotten strong. It's very woodsy and herbal with just a touch of fruit/citrus and a hint of vanilla. I'm liking it more and more.
This post has been edited by animalcule: 03 November 2011 - 12:58 AM
Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:24 AM
Once I put it in there was a very zesty blast of citrus from the lemon peel and mandarin, sharp and fresh. After a while the currants and spices started to come out, but still in the background to the lemon peel. It remained mostly the same as it faded and didn't continue to morph. My problem with this scent is that it barely lasted at all on me.
My final verdict is that I like it and may well use it in the oil burner but probably not as a perfume.
Posted 30 March 2011 - 10:12 PM
I do really like this one though and hope it gets even better with age.
Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:32 PM
On skin: All the fruity notes are on centre stage harmonizing very well, with pomegranate right in the centre. They are grounded by the light woods, which stay well in the background and aren't obvious, although I think they start emerging over time as most of the top notes burn off. Vanilla never makes it to the party. This is uplifting and vivacious, a straightforward but balanced dark berry/non-citrus blend. Colour impression is sparkling, vibrant cerise, and I actually got a vision of swirling, mesmerizing cerise silk robes.
Verdict: While I love berry/non-citrus fruity notes, Harlequin and Columbine is a bit too intensely fruity for me. Even so, it's a very fitting scent for these two characters in the Nutcracker!
This post has been edited by Vega: 15 May 2011 - 06:12 AM
Posted 02 June 2011 - 05:09 PM
Freshly applied its the sweetest lemony citrus I've ever smelled, not medicinal (like the Embalming Fluid lemon). This one almost has me convinced that I like lemon! The mandarin starts to come out and blend with the lemon, a deep breath the reveals orange citrus...
This blend seems to be changing by the second, I can't stop sniffing my wrist.
There's a sweetness to it that softens the cirtus and even makes me think "lemon-orange candy" t- I think its the vanilla? maybe its a batch variation, because earlier reviewers seemed to notice a lot more vanilla in the bottle/wet stage. I can't really pick out individual vanilla on the initial application, but I think it rounds out the citrus as it dries down.
There's the cedar and herbyness, now that its dried ... I can't pick out the pomegranate or red currant, but I'm not sure what those notes smell like...
I did a full wear of this, and its such a fast-changing complex blend that my left wrist smells different from my right wrist! This blend is a lot of fun, its a beautiful summer scent and I piled it on as much as I could from my decant - I definitely want a big bottle, or multiple big bottles, so I can pour it all over myself this summer ...
This post has been edited by Shollin: 29 June 2011 - 11:49 PM
Reason for edit: Removed Lab description
Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:22 PM
This post has been edited by AleciaR: 25 August 2011 - 10:23 PM
Posted 10 April 2012 - 11:40 AM
Wet on me - Something herbal and familiar that I can't quite put my finger on with hints of vanilla sweetness in the background
Dry on me - It fades leaving a faint fruity sweetness that I attribute to the pomegranate
Overall - It didn't make much of an impact, which is a shame because it was my most highly coveted yule