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Hope and Fear Set Free

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Bourbon vanilla and 10-year aged frankincense.

Wet, this all about the frankincense. After a bit, it fades somewhat, and a 'bit' of the bourbon vanilla comes out. Still, I like my resin's in smaller doses, and this is just a bit too much for me. It does fade fast, but I really wish this was more vanilla heavy for me, I think it would be quite lovely.

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In the bottle: Frankincense

 

Wet: Ditto

 

The frankincense is very strong initially, and then, after about half an hour, fades to a soft resiny sweetness.

 

It's lovely, though was hoping for stronger vanilla from this. I love vanilla. I do not amp vanilla. Sigh.

 

Still, I will see what some aging does.

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I get mostly frankincense. Strong single note at first, then turns into soft sweet woody resin.

 

I don't smell anything that says vanilla, but obviously it must be what's keeping the sweetness.

 

Oh. and this frankincense is also weird in a good way -- like the usual pickle-ness of frank was turned off.

Edited by rawgirl75

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Sounds like it should have been awesome, but I am not someone who does well with bourbon vanilla. Having several frankincense essential oils the sharp resinous top note is what I am looking for. On me this starts off with a hint of the glowy white resin but turns very foody on me quick. Final dry down is a safe and well behaved vanilla. Not something I am reaching for, sadly.

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I spontaneously included this unsniffed in my weenie order after reading reviews.

 

In the bottle this is frankincense with lovely rounded edges where the vanilla hides. I love frank, but it does not at all love me, so I approach with trepidation.

 

On, this is amazing. Two notes that I enjoy smelling but are usually bad on my skin are canceling out all the badness of each other. Vanilla is usually cloying on me (I can wear Tombstone and Lady Death: Savage), but the deep bitterness of the frankincense keeps it in check. Frankincense usually smells of pencil shavings on me , but the sweet mellowness of the vanilla rounds it out and subdues any bitter sharpness.

 

This is really nice. I will test again to see if it is worth keeping around, but it has the makings of being something I compulsively reapply.

 

Tzi

 

ETA: already compulsively reapplied once. On the dry down I get a significant boozy note that I haven't seen anyone mention. Turns out bourbon means whiskey! I loooooooooove it, but I was a little nervous about wearing it while driving!

Edited by tziporra

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This was part of a birthday present to myself -- I almost didn't get it, but decided at the last minute, what the heck. I love Proserpine, and Swinburne too -- this is one of my favourite poems.

 

In the imp: I can really smell the bourbon and the vanilla. Uh-oh. A kind of medicinal but sweet scent. Rather sharp.

 

Wet: WHOOM sandalwood. I didn't smell quite like a stick of incense, but it was close. Then I read "pencil shavings" in the forum reviews and it was all I could smell. :-/ Husband said it smelled "flowery, maybe incense-y" and not at all like pencil shavings. I kept smelling pencil shavings. Definitely a kind of woody smell. As another reviewer said, it's kind of dark resin/wood, rather than the bright frank. It was a little sharp, but not too bad.

 

Drydown: This got a lot sweeter, and less sharp, but also a lot fainter. It sticks pretty close to the skin. I don't think I ever got the bourbon (yay) and the vanilla did sweeten the resiny darkness, but it didn't really pop out, which was nice -- it's not a foody vanilla at all, maybe more like vanilla extract. This really wasn't what I was expecting, but it's all right. It might make a nice winter scent. Seems sweeter from a distance, but sharper and more like sandalwood/resin close up.

 

A few hours later: All gone except for a kind of residual sweetness.

 

Verdict: Nice enough but I don't know if I needed a bottle. Then again, it's one of those special limited editions I'd wonder about forever otherwise and spend time and money chasing down at least a decant of later. I might try it in a scent locket (if I ever get one), since my skin amps resins (part of why I like them) -- if this was just a little sweeter, I'd really like it. As it is, it's a little too harsh and dark for me to love it. And it fades really fast.

 

 

ETA: I was starting to feel a little headachey (a bit arrrrgh for me, since I get migraines easily) and decided to add something sweeter -- the labbies had thrown in an imp of Wanton (love!) so I reached for that. The rose really lifted up the scent and eased the harshness -- I might try layering this with something like Eat Me, Dorian, Vanilla Bean, Madagascan Vanilla Rum, other vanilla scents, if aging doesn't sweeten this up a bit.

Edited by theredshoes

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Sweet frankincense.

 

...

 

Where's the vanilla?

 

I may have to test this one again, but sadly the element that I wanted to dominate in this - bourbon vanilla, seems MIA.

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On my skin wet: Frankincense isn't my friend I had hoped the vanilla would save the blend. It doesn't so far.

On my skin dry: There is a bit of vanilla!

 

Frankincense and vanilla.

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This is mostly sweet Frankincense on me, as it dries I can start to smell some of the vanilla but it still stays in the background. I was expecting more vanilla but this is still a nice warm, resiny scent. Frankincense can turn really sharp on me, but I think that the vanilla softens it in a subtle way.

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On me this is almost a frankincense single note :-/ Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with frankincense, but I was hoping for more vanilla.

After drydown the tiniest bit of vanilla sweetness peeks out, but it never becomes more than just a sneaky peek, unfortunately.

 

It's nice enough, but I think I'm just going to stick with my decant and not get a full bottle.

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I love resins. I love vanilla. Ok, I more than love vanilla. And I generally adore simplebutcomplex vanilla + one other note blends. No brainer right? I ordered a bottle unsniffed.

 

In the bottle, the first impression is of slightly piney, rich incense. Deep, deep golden. And then a slight hint of gorgeous vanilla. Wet on skin, it's SN frankincense of the woodsy, piney type. I'm reminded less of incense and more of a forest. Not a smidge of vanilla to be found but it's still beautiful. On the drydown, it's back to golden, but brighter, and no more piney-ness. Still no vanilla though :( I do love the way the frank ended up and I can always layer with a SN vanilla, but I suspect aging will bring out the yummy vanilla I'm hoping for.

Edited by brilliantcat

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In the bottle - A hard woody frankincense

 

Wet on me - Rich and woody and a bit pencil shaving-y but with an almost berryish mellowness beneath

 

Dry on me - A soft smooth frankincense with a hint of vanilla

 

Overall - I was hoping for more vanilla and I wonder if a little age may bring it out more

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Like everyone else, I'm getting lots of frankincense and just a whiff of vanilla. You know how in the old movies, someone will order a martini and say "just wave the vermouth near the gin"? That's what happened with the vanilla in this blend -- it's like someone wafted it toward the frankincense and then immediately capped the bottle. Fortunately for me, since vanilla is hit or miss on me. This is very simple but very calming and easy to wear -- it feels perfect for meditating or working on something creative. Totally unisex as well, at least to my nose.

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Pure frankincense resin, sweetened by vanilla. Dry and powdery in the best way. Think of the frankincense note in Anne Bonny. How can I not love this? Simple yet beautiful.

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This might as well be Frankincense SN. I don't even get a hint of vanilla. I'm starting to think that Bourbon Vanilla is the one Vanilla note that gets eaten by my skin chemistry.
To make matters worse, During my testing I was told by both my BF and my Brother that I smelled like an old, musty lady. :ack:

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Okay, so roughly nine months have passed since my review. I thought I'd swapped/sold Hope & Fear but I guess not cause I found it tucked away in a box the other day. Well, it's changed...for the better! :thumbsup:

A bit of aging & vanilla's really hit its stride. Instead of Frank bullying Vanilla into submission the two play really well together. This is now a creamy, sweet Vanilla Frank. Its simple and delicious. Just goes to show the difference aging can make. :boogie:

Edited by Atrous

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I bought two bottles in anticipation of it's loveliness. It's cheering, thanks to Frank, but it's fairly flat, it's frankincense mainly, with a hint of vanilla. I know it only has two notes, so what did I expect right? I think I just wanted more vanilla.

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Sniffing from the imp and wet on my skin, this is a truly glorious scent - bright, airy frankincense, dry and light, with just a hint of warm and wonderful bourbon vanilla that's not too sweet or cloying. Amazing. Sadly, the bite of the resin fades and the vanilla becomes more prominent the drier this gets. It's still a beautiful and calming blend, but I wish the way it smells wet stayed longer. I will definitely keep and love my decant, but I will not hunt down a bottle. Then again, if I ever get a scent locket, this would be MAJORLY bottle-worthy.

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Wet: Vanilla tends to go foody on me, but oh boy is this not the case here, to my joy. there is something tremendously green about this, and while this is frankincense heavy, there is some lifting sweetness in this that is really something.

 

Drying: The frankincense is really amping now, though it's much more like smelling the resin than actually burning it. It is dusty and sophisticated and very evocative.

 

Dry: It is very close to the skin now, and almost smells more like frankincense with honey rather than vanilla. It is really amazing, but I'm not sure how much I'll want to reach for it. Thrilled to have an imp though.

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I am SO thrilled to finally have a bottle of this stuff. 10-year aged frankincense? Yes please! :joy:

 

In the bottle, this smells really similar to Monsterbait: Underpants to my nose. When I first apply it to my skin I am immediately hit with the most perfect, round, soft and smoky frankincense. It smells sticky, sappy, and omg gorgeous. Next to it, is a beautifully warm vanilla note that is definitely similar to the one in MB:UP. As it dries, the vanilla carefully steps back allowing the frankincense to seal the show. I no longer smell the vanilla, instead it gently sweetens the frankincense. After about an hour, I'm left with a perfect, smoldering resin scent on my skin. The throw is about average and the wear time is incredibly long. Hours later, I can still smell this.

 

Uh! I just LOVE this. Like Banshee Beat, it's beautiful in it's simplicity. Hope and Fear Set Free is a masterpiece on it's own but would also probably work as a lovely layering scent. I am going to cherish my bottle and may have to track down back ups. :wub2:

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This has become one of my top fave BPALs of all time. I absolutely can smell where the comparison to LUSH's American Cream would come in here. When first applied, it is a bit more sharp to my nose (not sure why it smells sharp,that's the only adjective I can use here),but quickly morphs into a creamy, sweet but not foody, absolutely slatherable scent. I have had a hard time reaching for my other precious lately, I have been so addicted to the stuff. I even grabbed a backup bottle from the lovely forumite who sold me the first bottle, I am so in fear of being without this scent! I love it as a bedtime scent,as well. It is creamy,dreamy,yet still has that resin-y edge. SO. GOOD.

Edited by Sammylynn929

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Some of my favorite BPALs have only a couple of notes. Add this one to the list. Yes, the frankincense predominates, a woody, resiny frank. And it would probably be gorgeous as a single note, but there is that bourbon vanilla that emerges more and more the longer this resides on my skin, adding a trace of boozy vanilla sweetness. And just a trace. This is not a foody vanilla or a syrupy bourbon; you're not going to get pulled out of your car on suspicion of DUI if you're wearing this.

 

The overall tone of Hope and Fear on me is dry, not juicy. Dry and rich and complex and gorgeous, and the throw and staying power are not bad. Beautiful!

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I bought this purely for the bottle art as it is one of my favourite paintings. I think the frankincense is going to dominate the scent for me, but hopefully it will be wearable as I would hate to have to part with it! The bourbon vanilla is coming out to soften the frankincense as it's drying. It's turning a little soapy on me, so I'm not entirely sure when I'll wear it, but I do want to keep it.

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Hope and Fear Set Free

In the bottle: Weirdly watery Frankincense. 

 

Wet: BOOM! Frankincense and bourbon vanilla! In yo face! The frankincense is almost astringent. Like soaked strips of wood rather than a resin.

 

Dry down: Vanilla is showing itself in the throw, but not necessarily on my wrist. I put a swatch of this in my Moriuntur locket, so perhaps that's what's giving the vanilla more support? Hasn't changed much from wet. I love the way I smell with the throw, but my wrist still smells like soaked wood strips.

 

Dry: Vanilla coming more forward, and it's a great, woody, dry vanilla that pairs perfectly with the frankincense, instead of trying to strongarm it into foody. I'm so into this! Might try it with a tiny drop of Vanilla Orchid SN, cause I feel like that would be amazing.

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