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Lucretia

Mocking the Invisible World With Its Own Shadows

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After having made a few preparatory experiments, he concluded with a panegyric upon modern chemistry, the terms of which I shall never forget: “The ancient teachers of this science,” said he, “promised impossibilities and performed nothing. The modern masters promise very little; they know that metals cannot be transmuted and that the elixir of life is a chimera but these philosophers, whose hands seem only made to dabble in dirt, and their eyes to pore over the microscope or crucible, have indeed performed miracles. They penetrate into the recesses of nature and show how she works in her hiding-places. They ascend into the heavens; they have discovered how the blood circulates, and the nature of the air we breathe. They have acquired new and almost unlimited powers; they can command the thunders of heaven, mimic the earthquake, and even mock the invisible world with its own shadows.

Mocking the invisible world with its own shadows: olibanum and murky ambergris accord with verbena, white sandalwood, and wisteria.


In the bottle I can't tell at all what this smells like. Maybe a touch of verbena coming out?

First on it is definitely verbena and white sandalwood. Again, at this stage it seems almost like I have some sort of scent blind spot where I'm smelling this but it's not quite registering. Very odd! Maybe it's the ambergris and I just don't have a reference point for it. The dry down is almost all olibanum on me. Incense, but not headshop, this is sophisticated and magical. It smells like a meditation center I went to once as a kid. It's also very muted and stays close to the body, so I may need to slather this one. The scent is very grounding I think. I was hoping for more wisteria, but I'm not getting much, so wisteria haters need not fear!

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Initially verbena took over to the point that I didn't think I'd ever smell anything else. I don't have a range of verbena fragrances, and my skin must amp it. It didn't have an overpowering or obnoxious amount of throw, but it was too sharp for my taste. This verbena has a lot of bite and some bitterness.

 

It started to smooth out and become cloudy, for lack of a better description. Almost like no specific note ever really shines through, it all just clings together in a subdued mixture. It evolved quickly from verbena to a powdery white floral. Usually sandalwood is fantastic on me, no matter the type, but I can't find it all here. Luckily it fades out fast.

 

Unfortunately this just doesn't work with my chemistry.

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Skin Testing – well, this is mainly verbena as far as I can tell. Lemony with a touch of an herbal feel to it, that's verbena right? I think that the other notes are tempering it though, because often verbena goes loud screaming lemons on my skin but this scent is a bit muskier and more subdued.

 

It's like the screaming lemon tucked a flower behind her ear, took a sedative and wrapped herself in a sandalwood scented sweater.

 

It's like lemon-sandalwood dusting powder.

 

It's like a lemonade stand in an herb garden that also gives out sandalwood hugs.

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Mocking the Invisible World With Its Own Shadows - Of all the Yules I've tested (so far), this is my favorite. It opens with a gorgeous waft (not blast!) of wisteria on a bed of warm ambergris. As it warms up on my skin, the frankincense and sandalwood meld together into the most amazing dry resin-wood scent that is kept from being too dry by the ambergris and is sweetened up and brightened up by the verbena. I can't begin to say how much I'm loving this scent. I am always on the hunt for amazing sandalwood scents, but never imagined I'd fall in love this much with a white sandalwood scent!

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This one is odd. Started off with a blast of root beer???? and has now switched to dry sandalwood. I'm not getting any of the wisteria or verbena, which I really like. Just...odd...

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In bottle: Olibanum dominant with wisteria a strong second. Ambergris and verbena are a lovely frame for the dominant notes. The sandalwood is soft and ties the other elements together. The chemical tang of the verbena and olibanum is clearly science doing the mocking, while the more ethereal elements represent the spirit world. Wet: The Verbena makes its move and becomes dominant, mingling strongly with the wisteria and subsuming the olibanum. The other elements fade into the background haunting the more powerful notes. Dry: The Olibanum comes back, still twined with the olibanum and ambergris. The wisteria and sandalwood are still present, but soft, like a pale ghost.

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I swapped for a sample of this, because I enjoy ambergris, but verbena tends to be one of my death notes and bpal's white sandalwood turns powdery on me. Unfortunately, on me, this is a very loud, sour, lemony verbena with a drydown that's sharp verbena and baby powder. I catch a whiff of the wisteria for the first few minutes (smells a bit perfumey and sharp floral to me here), but then it disappears. After a half hour, I'm left with a very faint baby powder & incense scent.

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This is mostly resins at first, and then the verbena comes out, and I'd say it is dominating right now. This is fresh and slightly resiny, a combination you don't often get, and I'm liking this quite a bit. There was a stage just before it was dry that it was about half and half, and I LOVED it at this stage. If it somehow goes back to that, I'd buy this in a heartbeat. Right now it is a lovely fresh verbena, but I have citrus blends that I like better.

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In the decant: Frankincense and ambergris are the most obvious notes.

 

Wet: Wisteria and sandalwood.

 

The dry-down: Sadly, the verbena comes out to indeed mock me with with its citrus note. Rather a morpher. I prefer the wet stage of this, so it will be a scent locket scent for me.

Edited by thekittenkat

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My nose must be broken. Sniffing this for the first time without looking at the ingredients made me think of a lemony chewy candy with liquorice. Huh. At least the verbena is making sense right now. Wet, the white sandalwood just has to show up and make this dry. After a few minutes, I'm being reminded of the verbena which has been blended into the white sandalwood. The olibanum gives this a balsamy feel too.

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In imp: Primarily floral, a bit complicated, with resin.

 

First on: Heady wisteria and a heavy, sweet verbena. Some resin.

 

A few minutes later, the lemony quality of verbena is drawn out and it isn’t quite as sweet. The wisteria gets a bit fresher while the resin deepens and anchors the scent with a strong warmth. Near five minutes it’s not nearly as sweet as it was first on, and strangely, it’s not as feminine as I expected, with the wisteria. Not masculine, certainly, but I think the ambergris and maybe an undercurrent of sandalwood are grounding it and keeping it strong.

 

6 minutes, there’s smokiness emerging. The wisteria is soft and beautiful. Verbena can get to be way, way too powerful on my skin, but so far it’s doing okay and is really quite pleasant. A little later I decide the smokiness is white sandalwood, and that note verges on powdery without having the unpleasantness that I associate with powdery scents.

 

15 minutes: Something herbal is present, and definitely sandalwood. Back of my hand is VERBENA, as expected. But back on my wrist there’s definite lemon, pale sandalwood, warm wisteria, and an unfamiliar note which I think is ambergris. This is growing on me. And I’m not really sure why, because the notes alone don’t seem that spectacular. But it definitely works.

 

30 min: It’s gotten a bit typically perfumey. Something’s reminding me of amber. But there’s also some incense quality to it that I like and that gives a bit of a bite to it. I’m hoping that quality comes out a bit and tones down the “perfume.”

 

1 hour: Quite a bit of sandalwood, less defined wisteria. Sweet resin. Unisex in a very metrosexual way, but unisex nonetheless. The verbena is present, but subtle, and it hasn’t turned to lemon drops on me. Definitely nice.

 

2.5 hrs: Sort of generic BPAL “warm” scent at this point. Resinous warmth with light sandalwood and verbena up close.

 

Ends as sandalwood, with a touch of verbena and what I think is ambergris.

 

I don’t know how to categorise this one, really. It starts floral and goes resinous fairly quickly, lots of wood, but it never gets overly dark. It’s split nicely between heavy and light elements. Feels like the sort of scent that could cheer me up without being in-my-face sunshine and unicorns. Applause!

 

Summary: A strange but pleasant and refined blend. Starts with strong, but not overwhelming wisteria, some light lemon and warm resin. White sandalwood adds a smoky touch, and the verbena tends to the herbal side. Not too sweet or too dry. On the feminine side of unisex.

 

Rating: 3.25/5

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In the imp: Foody lemon.

 

Wet on skin: Mr. Clean, lemon edition! (though muted)

 

Dry on skin: I think I really don't like ambergris. I love incense and sandalwood, even though I am getting neither from this blend. I don't smell anything remotely floral that could be wisteria. And the verbena has faded. So the smell that is making me want to scrub this off NOW NOW NOW must be the ambergris.

 

No thanks.

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