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2021 Version

I suppose this isn't exactly what I was expecting. The spicy apple cider is very prominent. There are damp woods, and off in the distance something sweet is cooking. It took my awhile to put my finger on the menthol, like Tiger Balm. Can't unsmell it now. As it dries, the sweetness from the apples comes out a bit more. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. It makes my nose tickle a little bit. I may pass it on.

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2012 bottle (notes: damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sweet red apple and mullein😞

 

This one is all about the sweet-spiced apple and damp woods. This smells like cider a witch would brew to drink at midnight in the woods near Samhain. There are scratchy elements, but they are wrapped in fruity sweetness and dancing spices. I get a good hit of cinnamon and clove, as well as well-aged resins. This must have been one of the fruitier years of Samhain. Loving it!

 

I would wear this while: going to a haunted pumpkin patch

 

 

2020 bottle (notes: damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, green cardamom, sweet red apple and mullein)

 

This year is special because it adds green cardamom to the blend. Indeed, Samhain 2020 is a dramatically different beast than the others. Here, I don't get cider at all! A woodsy,  mossy, forest-decay-and-dirt atmosphere comes out instead, heavily spiked by witch's herbs. A bit like Verdandi, so I guess the apples are contributing in some subtle way, but this is way more green and dirty and earthy of a scent than my 2012 bottle. There is little sweetness here to my nose. Even the spices are more subdued. It's still spicy, just not fruity at all. 

 

There's a smokiness to 2020 that I don't get from other years. This is reminding me a lot of Hexentanz without the broom flower. I'm actually really stoked about that! I always loved the witchy vibe of Hexentanz but it went too floral on my skin, so Samhain 2020 is scratching that itch. With some aging, it reminds me a bit of my favorite foresty smell (damp earth/stone/decayed wood) and of something dark too, like a midnight bonfire.

 

This  year is worth tracking down if you're not typically an apple/pumpkin/cider kind of lover, because it really leans into those first three notes plus the green cardamom and mullein.

 

I would wear this while: performing a midnight forest ritual

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2022 fresh from the mail: I'm getting the fir needle right up front vs. 2021 (my only other version). "Medicinal" came to mind up front, and as it sits on the skin, the apple comes out, and the rest of everything we love about this classic. I especially love the mullein, which is what I reveled in when I got my very first bottle last year. It arrives in 2022 once it's warmed up on the skin.

 

I love how there's a little twist from version to version, making me want to pick up a few others.

Edited by elissamay

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2022: this year‘s blend is the usual beautiful Samhain we all know and love, but somehow a little mellower? I don’t know how to describe it, but I have many different Samhains and this one goes on slightly less sharp than many of them do. (And that’s not a read; I love Samhain in any form.) There is also a decidedly soft cacao note laying in the dry down - even my coworker asked if I was wearing something that was “fall spices and chocolate”. This is the first time I’ve noticed that note in a Samhain blend and it’s a lovely addition. 
 

If you already love Samhain, obviously you gotta get this year’s. If you have never tried it, this might be a great way to introduce yourself to its beauty.

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