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Gemini noir

Miskatonic University

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The scent of Irish coffee, dusty tomes and polished oakwood halls.

 

This must be a lovely scent for the cold-weather months.

Miskatonic opens with a rush of Irish-creamy coffee, such that drinking only my morning water is no longer satisfactory. Behind the initial coffee wave comes an impression of polished wood -- oak -- and the single puff of dust you blow from an old book. There's no overwhelming, repulsive mustiness as in Quintessence of Dust, just a little dust, barely there.

Sadly, Miskatonic fades from my skin with cruel rapidity. In maybe 20 minutes, it's just a breath of dust and dry coffee.

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This starts off as a very creamy Irish coffee. Very heavy on the cream, the coffee is soft and sweet. The oak gives a depth underneath, and there is a dusty quality to the scent. It all melds together quite nicely though and gives the overall impression of walking into an old university library.

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I was hoping for a dusty, woody scent with hints of coffee. I rarely drink coffee (love the scent, not so much the taste), so I don't know the differences between the types of coffees, but Irish coffee must be a lot sweeter than traditional coffee. The scent is VERY sugary in my opinion, so much so that it makes me feel a bit sick. I don;t like vanilla-y sugar scents and that is what I'm getting from this. Far too sweet to wear on it's own, but it does pretty well when paired with Cafe Mille Et Une Nuits, which is a heavily spiced coffee scent. They balance each other out. I only get hints of the dusty tomes and nothing from the polished oakwood halls.

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Coffee: sweet, sugary coffee. I swear it smells like a caramel mocha. And that's pretty much it. If I really concentrate after the dry down I can get hints of old books, but mostly it's just coffee. It is a bit reminiscent of a graduate student's desk; lots of coffee to get you through the late night study sessions. I like it more then I thought I would when I first applied it. As it has worn down a little, the overpowering sweetness is less overwhelming. I don't need a bottle, but I'll enjoy the imp. I think I might enjoy this more in a diffuser as opposed to applied on my skin.

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Despite seeing it in the description, my nose wasn't quite prepared. This is a dead ringer for Irish coffee. There's a boozy note so far back in my nose that I almost taste it, which is nice, and there's an undertone of old leather, paper, and dust. It's actually a dry-ish scent, but it also leans warm. I can imagine it would be very comforting on a cold day, much like the real thing. Completely unisex, completely addictive, and I completely need a bottle right this minute, please!

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The imp of Miskatonic University I tested today was frimped to me and slightly aged.

 

First sniff: Strong, foody, creamy. Too strong for me to make out any single notes.

After 5 minutes: Dark sugary coffee caramel.

Dry-down: This, on my skin, is not a 'morphing' perfume. Still smells like dark sugary coffee with a generous shot of caramel. It also smells -exactly- like a tradition Dutch hard candy called 'Haagse Hopjes'.

 

Yummy, but I don't see many occasions were I'd want to smell like coffee candy. So no bottle, but my imp will be happily used for those cozy winter nights were I want to stay up just a little longer to finish that 'can't put it down till I finish it' book.

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I’ve had several frimps of Miskatonic University over the years and finally decided to go for a full. On first sniff it’s hot, gooey vanilla, then sugared coffee. In my 5ml, I’m getting a Play-doh undertone on drydown, which has never shown up in my imps. Weird. It’s still nice, but I think I’ll use this bottle for layering now instead of wearing by itself.


Vanilla, coffee breaks, heat.

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I figured this one would be too food for me but I still wanted to know it as it's so popular

It opens on me as a salted caramel, which was unexpected

it isn't until it dries down that I start to get more of a coffee smell, then it goes sweet irsh coffee

I didn't notice any dusty tomes or oakwood halls unfortunately as that would have been awesome, it was pretty much a Irish Coffee single note on me all day

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Imp: lovely Irish coffee. comforting.
Wet on Me: Irish Coffee and oak. omgs I love this so far
Drying Down: less Irish and more wood now. Still get the sweetness of the coffee but the deep wood notes are become more prevalent under my nose.
Dry: Mostly a sweet deep oak scent. this is a total comfort scent.

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I've had this in the soap forever so I finally decided to see how the straight-up oil performs on my skin and added an imp to my latest order. It's lovely!

 

In the bottle: VERY sweet! The irish cream is overpowering everything else. Almost smells a little almondy, or cherry. Very sweet liquor.

 

Wet: Cherry licorice. Oh gods why is it cherry licorice? There's a faint whiff of oak that's getting stronger as it dries down, but woah that initial sniff threw me off!

 

Dry: 10 minutes in, it's dried down to a nice papery smell. A little sweet, a little woody, and definitely reminds me of old paperback books. You know, the kinds you find in old bookshops and you flip the pages and waft that lovely smell in your face? That kind of scent, with the irish cream hanging out in the background. No more hints of the cherry licorice, thank you! 30 minutes in and my skin has sucked up all but the faintest whiff of this loveliness.

 

 

The throw isn't strong at all, but that's alright. This is more of a comforting scent to me, so I'm fine just having it on my wrist to take a quick hit every once in a while. Kind of like a library: quiet, private, and comfortable. Not sure I'll get a full size of this since I have so many other scents I adore, but I love Miskatonic University for that old book scent. BPAL nailed it with this one!

 

 

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Wet, I can immediately smell the Irish coffee, which is absolutely delightful and very memorable. It quickly turns into something more like shea butter on me though, which while still nice, isn't quite as special. After just a few moments most traces of sweetness start to fade and take a backseat to what I'm guessing is the old books. Very subtle though, not dusty or sneeze-inducing at all. If my skin wasn't so quick to drink up the coffee, I'd think about getting a full bottle!

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2 Year Old Miskatonic University

First ten minutes: Petit beurre cookies with hot vanilla pudding in a bowl. That is the overpowering memory I get when smelling my wrist. It might just be those being linked to it in my memory, but to me it really smells specifically of petit beurre cookies XD

Ten Minutes later: Still vanilla, but more like something alcoholic with vanilla in it. Maybe Vanilla jenever?

Ten More Minutes: The vanilla isn't leaving, but it's just vanilla cookie now. I am smelling *nothing* else that is supposed to be in here. Do I just ridiculously amp vanilla? I reviewed this two years ago when I first got it, and smelled a bunch of other stuff then.

Twenty more minutes : Vanilla is still very much there, but now it's beginning to smell somewhat of dusty old paper.

Twenty More minutes: Somehow the dusty paper is gone now and I'm smelling Irish Coffee?

Two Hours In: Still pmuch all Irish Coffee

Three hours in: still just vanilla - a very vague whiff of coffee.

 

Over the two years I left this alone, this really seems to have turned to almost pure vanilla for me - it's a lovely vanilla, but it's also a bit of a shame, since the first time I reviewed this, this did smell of more.

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This was my first BPAL and I LOVE it! I immediately get the Irish coffee scent which I adore. The scent mellows out to something faintly sweet and very warm, more of a whisky scent almost, after a while on my skin.

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2 & 1/2 yo MU - let's do this!

 

Just on: I don't know what happened between last time I put this on and now, but the coffee is coming through nicely and not being overpowering vanilla like it was last time
5 minutes in: What the hell happened here? The coffee is now actually taking over, and the vanilla is getting pushed away - I LOVE this
10 minutes: The coffee is becoming softer, and some library smell is drifting in - I can't say whether it's wood or old books specifically, it's just 'library' - maybe the smell of empty book shelves?
20 minutes: The coffee is still there, though the wood has faded some - the old books have taken over now, and I don't mind in the least!
Half an hour: The old books are all that's left now - this is new and exciting from when this was just pure vanilla. I have actually *yet* to smell vanilla in this this time.
40 minutes: This is just dusty tomes now - like, almost pure book dust. =3
50 minutes: The coffee has returned! It's just a dreg in an abandoned cup of it, but it smells wonderful.
One Hour: It seems to be fading now - there's just the coffee left, and it's faint.

An hour and a half: Someone, somewhere around here, had a coffee. XD

Two hours: Did someone leave a butterscotch laying around? Vanilla! This is almost comical. I didn't smell vanilla this entire time since I put it on, and it was gone just as soon as it appeared, but it was there - almost as if to yell out: "Hey! Hey! I still exist!" XP

Two hours and a half: And now, the vanilla is finally coming out to play in earnest. A soft, warm vanilla even - all the rest is gone now, but the vanilla is still not overpowering. It's just *there*, like lying on a warm vanilla-scented pillow.

 

It passed very quickly this time (even though I'm sure the faint whiff of coffee will still hang around for a good while) but I did use a *really* small amount - just one small swab of the applicator thingy.

 

Looking up at that review I posted before this is so weird. Wat the hell happened to my skin chemistry between 5 months ago and now? This smelled of everything it didn't last time, and nothing it *did*.

Edited by Pardona

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In Imp: Pure caramel, with a vague nutty underside. Butter pecan ice cream?

 

Wet on skin: Ah, now I smell the coffee. But there's still something very buttery about it.

 

Drydown: The coffee and oak are now up front, but there's still that buttery note I can't put my finger on. It's like the butter that melts into pancakes, a very pleasant edge. I also think I'm catching some more vanilla tones.

 

Notes: this did not have a very long last or far throw in the end. Still, I'd bring the imp to reapply if it suited the occasion.

Edited by Darkersolstice

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I just get dusty tomes from this one, & strangely something like rice paper or rice wine? I cant quite put my finger on it. I'm hoping aging will bring out the Irish coffee! I dont think Ill be upgrading my imp to a bottle.

Update: My skin chemistry still turns this 100% to dusty tomes. Not a scent for me sadly.

Edited by GlassKoala

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In the imp: Coffee just the way I like it - so much simple syrup and vanilla extract you can hardly taste the coffee. Very foodie so far; if there is any dusty tomes or oakwood halls (crossing my fingers super hard for both), they're buried under all that sweetness. I'm mostly not a foodie kind of gal, but when I'm in the mood, this is the kind of scent I gravitate towards.

 

Wet: Omgggggg, this smells exactly like my old job in the Special Collections and Rare Books division of a university library, with just a hint of someone's coffee caught in the recirculated air. Seriously, my first thought was, "OMG, my boss is going to go ballistic when she finds out that someone brought coffee into the Rare Books Room." XD (Which, btw, you should never, ever, ever, do. I've seen the effect of an accidental coffee spill on 150-year-old-paper, and let me tell you, it's not pretty.) But seriously, this is the old-books-and-libraries scent of my dreams! <3 With just a hint of unexpected coffee. Hmm, I wonder if there's a version of this with tea - that would be me, captured in scent form.

 

Dry: Something, maybe the Bailey's in the Irish coffee, comes off as the vanillin that very old paper produces, completing the "ghost of illicit coffee in Special Collections" illusion. Why did I wait so long to try this??? It wears remarkably close to the skin throughout the day, and lasts a good 8-10 hours. At the tail end, a sort of chocolate-y coffee (mocha?) makes itself known, and blends with the lingering vanillic sweetness to make something a lot foodier, and a lot closer to ITI. In fact, it's reminiscent of my all-time favorite gourmand, and one of my favorite BPALs of all time, El Dia de los Reyes 2014. I'm utterly in love with every step of this scent.

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The library is hushed and dim (but not gloomy.) The careworn mug on the desk stained from too many uses and too few cleanings. The tanned liquid within steams slightly, wafting the scent of stale coffee across the pile of ancient, yellowed tomes. 5 pumps of liquid sugar can’t quite cover that unique microwaved taste, but it helps...

 

In the bottle: oh my, that is some very sweet coffee. Swirled with goopy syrup and a splash of vanilla.

 

Wet: Still getting that same sweet sweet coffee. But I can actually smell the coffee more beneath the sugar, which is nice.

 

Warming: The coffee note in this is interesting, it actually smells like coffee that’s been reheated in the microwave. Which fits the narrative very well, IMO. I’m also starting to get the scent of old books. Specifically the way old pages start to smell when they’ve begun to yellow.

 

Drydown: The coffee smell is fading into the background, and the books are taking the forefront. It’s the point during the study session where you’re engrossed in what you’re reading, the coffee off to the side and growing colder and staler. Your nose is in the book, and your world is filled with the smell of decaying pages and ancient ink.

 

Last/throw: This one lasts all day, however the throw (while it starts strong, stretching to fill the room) ends close to the skin.

 

I like this one, I enjoy the way it morphs throughout the day. I’ve yet to find a scent that hits both the ‘stale and microwaved’ coffee and the ‘old yellowed book pages’ notes (let alone in the same scent.) I'm not too sure if I like smelling like either, however it fits really well on those deep fall days, where everything is dead and I'm in 'giant garish grandpa sweater' mode. If I already look like I should be drinking reheated coffee and reading old books, might as well smell like I just came from doing that very thing.

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I used to have this, but apparently I never reviewed it. I received a fresh imp of this recently, so I suppose it’s time to write a review!


In the imp: Super sweet, creamy Irish coffee. It’s strong, but it is the sweet creaminess that is strong, not the coffee note itself.

 

Wet: The Irish coffee note reigns, and the coffee aspect is stronger on my skin than it was in the vial. It’s a very sweet, creamy Irish coffee. I am not getting any of the polished wood, which is fine by me. There’s a little bit of the dust after it has sat on my skin for a bit, but it resides in the background.

 

Dry: The sweet Irish coffee continues to reign. I’m getting a little more dust than before but it’s still confined to a background role. There isn’t an overt wood note on me, and that’s something for which I am glad, but I think the oakwood may be adding some more warmth to the scent far in the background.

 

Verdict: I really like Miskatonic University, although I think I prefer it as a room scent more than as a scent I’d like to wear myself. It’s a little too strong and sweet for me to wear as a perfume (and I'm unlikely to reach for it since it was my ex's favorite scent to wear), but I adored this in candle form back when Misk U candles existed and wouldn't say no to it in candle or room spray form!

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This is great! In the bottle it's a sweet irish coffee, creamy, and hard to resist the temptation to down my imp instead of putting it on.

Fresh on it's all irish coffee (more on the coffee side), with a strong dry paper note, a bit like stored newspapers, or inhaling the spine of an old book. This is odd, but nice.

Over my walk across town in the first hour or so of wear I kept lifting my wrist, the oakwood had really come through, like antique furniture, worn with age and dust, and countless coats of polish. This flows down over a few hours into the smell of an old wooden building, sun shining onto the floorboards, and making the gentle smell of age sing. It's like I dropped a latte in an old reading room, and the warm Carmel coffee tones have sunk into the floorboards, sending spirals of coffee into the air. It's been around 12 hours, and it's dried down to a rich butterscotch (maybe whisky? I don't drink so I wouldn't know) vanilla scent, with the faintest whiffs of coffee remaining. I took a nap earlier, and woke up wrists pressed to my nose, huffing the sweetness. It's warm and comforting, and is really just the thing for the first really cold day in a while!

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In the imp (frimp from Lab): It reminds me of either one of the flavored coffee creams or one of the instant cappuccinos you'd get at a gas station convenience store. Coffee underneath, but with a top note that's sugar and maybe vanilla or hazelnut or caramel or even cinnamon. Or, no -- the top note isn't actually any of those things, but it's like when someone is trying to recreate those smells out of primarily high fructose corn syrup. Still, a flavored-sugar smell is not a bad smell at all. The smell also feels creamy -- soft and round, rather than sharp or cloying. 

 

On my skin:

Wet, it's now much more clearly the scent of Irish cream, not really over coffee at this point. 

 

After a few minutes, the blend softens again. It's still Irish coffee, but the emphasis is on the sweet aspect of that, rather than on the boozy aspect. A few minutes more, and the scent begins to develop a powdery aspect to it though I don't get the impression of dust -- more like powdered sugar. Ultimately, this is where it stays. 

 

I'm a little sad that I don't get any oak from this. However, the fact that this stays so foody on me but yet still works so well more than makes up for the lack of oak. Honestly? This feels like it would make an excellent Christmas blend. 

 

Update 12/22 -- I kept going back to my imp of this so often that I ended up purchasing a bottle, which just arrived today. Fresh from the Lab and the mail, this scent is much like my initial review. However, this time, the scent continues morphing until I detect something like a whiff of dust. It's not like "dusty tomes," which I associate with a distinct "old books" smell, but it's the dust that flies up from freshly ground nutmeg or cardamom. 

 

After several hours of wear, the oak note does emerge though it stays quite close to my skin. 

 

Edited by torischroeder9
update

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Dust, creeeamy coffee, and a wee bit of leather from the books. Way more foody than one would expect from the concept, but this is definitely one of the lab's best scents. Great for autumn and winter.

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Without looking at the notes: Bottle: brown sugar, quite sweet, chocolate coffee notes 
Wet: some kind of dark fruity coffee, butter, dusty accord 
On: I'm getting a touch of that Irish coffee which is quite buttery here for me. I'm not a big fan of the current butter accord and coffee because it can come out plastic on me. Unfortunately not getting much wood or books right now so hopefully it changes. 
Dry down: dusty Irish coffee which is unfortunately slightly plastic here for me (comes and goes). Not really getting prominent wood but if I breathe deeply... Maybe. 
Sadly it's not love for me. 

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