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Balm of Gilead, benzoin, frankincense, balsam of peru, beeswax, saffron, galbanum, calamus, hyssop, mastic, lemon balm, and white sage.

 

In the imp: A big ol' hit of sharp herbs and resins with an interesting spicy edge. There's maaaaybe a hint of benzoin-y, beeswax-y sweetness to soften the edges, but primarily, this scent is SHARP.

 

Wet: Ah, now that's what I'm talking about! On my skin, it settles down and opens up into something broad, warm, and sweet. The shriekingly sharp resins mellow out, the beeswax note becomes a main player, and something distinctly floral emerges. The herbs, too, become fresher and...wetter? I'm getting fresh-cut herbs, not dried ones.

 

Dry: The florals gradually overtake the resins, although the resins never completely disappear - they end up providing some lovely grounding for the florals, so they don't drift away entirely. The incense is still providing some frisson throughout, but, surprisingly, it blends very well with the florals and resins. Incense and/or resins tend to go unpleasantly sharp and sour on my skin, so I'm glad they avoided it here! And the beeswax is soft but notable throughout, making everything play nice with each other.

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Wet: Very benzoin dominant on me, with some Frank, something woody, and hints of spice. Warm and glowing and lovely. Quite sweet, and a little "sticky". Mmm. I like it.

 

 

Dry: Really interesting! Hard to pick out individual notes. It's creamy, sweet, and there's some nice, exotic spice there too. A very warm scent. It's lovely. I think I might want a bottle, actually. Something about it is comforting, while being pretty and feminine at the same time.

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Interesting. I haven't smelled Balm of Gilead to my knowledge, and something new is leading here, when this is wet on my skin, so maybe that's it. This smells balsamic, woody, and resinous with a touch of saffron and sage. There are some notes listed that I'm not picking out, though. Some of them I don't know.

Once this has dried, I think I smell beeswax mingling in with the other notes, but if so, it's different from how I remember it in Lights of Men's Lives, but I like it. The frankincense also smells more grainy than before -- and maybe other things, too.

 

This is an interesting and textured blend. Different! I like it.

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In the imp: I didn't think I'd like this because it smells so sharp. Main note drifting out is the balsam... and something metallic... It's kind of earthy and bitter. It made my eyes water to be honest.

 

Wet: Spice and herbs. Still makes my eyes water.

 

Dry: It's soo beautiful. I really didn't think from smelling this in the imp or wet that I'd like this so much. The beeswax is the strongest note. It's lovely, creamy, sweet and soft. The other notes sort of blend into an herbal-ish sort of lemony incense smell underneath the beeswax. It's so warm and cuddly and relaxed, but bright. I'm not doing this justice, but it was a surprise hit with me. This is an instant full bottle purchase.

Edited by SunsetKay

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Starts off very forest-y balsam, and herbaceous, it's a little sharp but not so much that it's off putting for me.

 

On wet: Similar to in the imp but with a little sweetness underneath.

 

Dry: A nice smooth base of benzoin and beeswax, with a little frankincense. There's a lot of herbs and other things floating over top, but the one that stands out the most to me is sage. It's a little spicy but not in a heated cinnamon kind of way.

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Spicy and resin-y. A nice heated scent for those who enjoy woody/leathery/spicy blends. Smells hot and exotic.


Unisex, woody, spiced.


I rated this a 6/10 in my scent spreadsheet a few years ago. I wonder if my mind would change if I smelled it again. It has everything I typically love.

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This hit me with a really strong childhood sense memory. My father had a wood shop, so I thought maybe sawdust and machine oil. Wet it has a sharp resinous tang, but turns surprisingly honeyed on dry down. Definitely unisex, though. On my second application, I nailed it. I used to have a scratch and sniff Xmas book. The scents I remember were candy cane, hot cocoa, gingerbread, and pine tree. This smells exactly like the scratch and sniff pine tree of 40 years ago. Really, really nice and going on the short list for my next bottle purchase.

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I had high hopes for this one. I love frankincense, beeswax, sage, and balsam... but something in this is making it smell very peppery. I can't stand pepper in my perfumes most of the time, and this is no exception. Maybe waiting for the drydown would make it awesome, but I don't think I can wait to make it there. Sadly, I'm going to have to wash it off. :(

 

i had the same experience with Engine No.93.

 

I think that the frankincense lends the peppery quality to the overall final result. Black pepper stinging frankincense.

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No. 93 Engine starts off very sharp, in way that reminds me of accidentally pouring out way too much black pepper, with something warm and sweet underneath. After a while, that peppery-sharpness gradually starts to calm down a little, and the warm sweetness that was in the background starts to become more prominent—it’s very well-blended, but I can pick out benzoin and frankincense. As it dries down more, the warmth starts to take on more of a woodsy quality, with a cool edge that I’m guessing is the lemon balm.


I actually really enjoy the final drydown: it's warm and smooth and just a little sweet, with a touch of minty-coolness that keeps it interesting, and that biting peppery note has finally backed off enough that I don't feel like I'm going to sneeze with every sniff. Unfortunately, it takes a few hours to get to this phase, and that's much too long to spend smelling like I've just been a party to kitchen crimes.


A well-blended and interesting scent; if it weren’t for that pepper-sharp note, I think I could actually love it, or at least like it enough to finish off the imp. Unfortunately, whatever is giving me that black pepper vibe doesn't do anything for me except distract from the notes I actually enjoy. Not quite a scrubber, but I’m definitely passing this one on to a friend who wears it much better than I do.

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In the imp: Herbal, spicy resins, something sharp and maybe metallic, and some lemon balm.

 

Wet: Spicy resins and black licorice. I was not expecting black licorice from this one. I also get some herbal minty-ness and lemon balm behind those notes. Then the black licorice, minty aspect, herbs, and spices quickly decide to take over, shoving the resins into a background role.

 

Dry: The spiced resins (the saffron is distinct now, and there’s a pepper-y quality to this) fought back and have taken the center stage once more. I still get this soft herbal quality (probably the sage) and soft mint (or mint-like ingredient) behind them. After a while, the beeswax note emerges and cozies up to the spiced resins. I appreciate this phase of the scent the most.

 

Verdict: I am undecided on this one. The wet phase wasn’t really my thing, with that unexpected licorice, but the dry phase is really nice, especially once the beeswax gains strength. This is a fresh imp, so I think I’ll set it aside and retest this once it ages. :)

Edited by dementia_divine

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Wet: Totally agree with Lucchesa; this smells like a wood shop. Evocative.

 

Dry: Pretty much the same at the wet stage, but I'm getting some type of astringent note now that's a bit unpleasant.

 

Not my thing.

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Beeswax & resins. Both dry & sweet. Beautiful. This is so complex, I can't even pick out my beloved frankincense. 

I know there is sage & balsam in here, because it smells like my childhood. There's a desert plant in eastern WA whose dried seed heads look like tiny brown velvet buttons on an dill weed flower (I think it's yarrow, but I'm a lousy botanist.) It smells like the resins in No. 93 Engine. I am all about this fragrance, & have been buying up imps waiting for it to come back in stock. 

Edited by Teamama
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