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John William Waterhouse
Vanilla-infused frankincense and clary sage with 7-year aged patchouli, jasmine sambac, honey myrtle, and oudh.

I love Waterhouse's art, and The Magic Circle has long been a favorite, so I knew I needed this one!
I have to say, vanilla-infused frankincense is delicious. The vanilla really softens the sharp edge that frankincense can sometimes have on my skin, yet it still retains that solemn incensey vibe that I love. The clary sage is very distinctive, as always, but is prevented from being too masculine for me by the sweetness of the jasmine sambac. I don't get a lot of my beloved aged patchouli, it seems to be laying low with the honey myrtle and oude to create a nice base. It may become more prominent with age, too.

This is gorgeous. I think I need all the Pickman Hecate blends. Oy!

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In the bottle: Powdery jasmine. The jasmine is the only thing I think might cause problems with this one, but the other ingredients were too good to pass up.

Wet: Not so powdery now, I think the sage and myrtle are coming through.

Dry: Mostly jasmine sambac, but it's not as stomach churning as I usually find it to be. Not sure about this one, hopefully aging will bring out the frankincense and oudh and the jasmine will calm down.

Edited by d0gbones

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on me, this scent is a most beautiful and feather-soft patchouli scent. the other notes are hard to detect, beyond perhaps adding to the softness of the patch. it's a slightly melancholy scent. not what i was expecting, but still very lovely.

 

how funny that everyone so far is having such different experiences with this one.

Edited by annemathematics

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Well it is a Magic Circle after all annemathematics...

:biggrin:

When I first sniffed this I had a rush of scent memories of what I think of as Black Phoenix...sort of like my memories of amazing classics like The Caterpillar and Spellbound...

sort of like the perfect conjuring of these memories for me, but it's like those scents to Eleven. Strong. With backbone.

This is beautiful. :wub3:

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In the imp: Jasmine and Frankincense. That's it. Maybe sage.

 

On, after some wear: This is amazingly evocative. I can smell jasmine still, and patchouli. Maybe she's making a love potion? There's sage smoke (no wood smoke). I get the sense of closeness, safety, warmth and body heat. I can almost smell the iron cauldron. The throw is fuzzy and wsll-behaved jasmine, vanilla and frankinsense. Unfortunately, closer up on my skin the scent is pungent in a not entirely pleasant way. It's still comforting, but I can't decide whether I love this one or can pass on it.

 

Edit: After some wear, this turns into a fuzzy cloud of soft vanilla jasmine and myrtle. Bottle-worthy.

Edited by patina

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The Magic Circle really is a morpher. I've worn it a few times and it's been slightly different on me each time. I find this kind of delightful...it seems magic?

 

Tonight it's mostly frankincense, clary sage, and patchouli on me...sort of hypnotic and relaxing. The vanilla and jasmine trail and inform. The honey myrtle and oudh are at the edges, sweetening and warping ever so slightly. On the drydown some kind of wood note appears, but I think it's a phantom note created between the clary sage, frankincense, and honey myrtle. Then the vanilla comes forward and everything goes blurry and incensey and the jasmine floats through like a spectre. It smells a bit sour at my wrists, but the air around me is pretty heavenly. Definitely a keeper.

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This is unbelievably pretty. Not nearly as dry as the notes would suggest, or soapy.

 

The vanilla frankinsense and jasmine are front and center. It's sweet fuzzy light incense with jasmine pearl tea. The sage is there in the background, fresh, not dried. The patchouli which I can pick out in the bottle seems to take a backseat. In the bottle it's not a very strong stinky patch-- it's well rounded, slightly sweet, a bit soft and woody. The oudh is there, I recognize the same scent from my beloved orb weave spider from a few years back-- to me it smells like fresh green (young) tree bark.

On the full dry down there is a sweetness from the honey myrtle-- a somewhat lemony woody fragrance.

 

This scent is reserved, but sophisticated. It does convey the imagery of the art and title well. It smells like casting spells and smudging sage, burning sweet frankincense, and reading tea leaves.

 

edit: after a little while longer the patch makes an appearance again, and like it was in the bottle it's soft, faintly sweet and woody, but not stinky or dominating. another person above described it as 'feather soft' and that's about right. Beautiful :)

Edited by Mechanical Death

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Soft jasmine, oudh, and a touch of vanilla frankincense. It smells soft, homey and welcoming. Decent throw, and wear length.

 

But it's still jasmine. Which is a no-no in the zee_zee house.

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A whole lot of vanilla infused frankincense and a tiny hint of soft patchouli and oudh. Very pretty.

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Ha, on me I'm one of the strongly-jasmine people, and not the other notes. What I most LOVE about this scent is that it really feels powerfully magical. I feel like I'm making a protective magic circle around me when I wear it.

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Pretty much a slightly sweetened frankincense at fist. After a bit, the jasmine totally takes over, and it's a sweet tropical floral. I'm not a huge jasmine fan, I do like it on occasion, but just the sambac and night blooming variety. This is nice, but I don't need any more.

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Bottle: light, floral scent.

 

Wet: Reminds me of lily of the valley a bit but I think it is the jasmine, a little frankincense in the background. I don't notice the patchouli at all.

 

Dry down: Now it is mostly jasmine with just a bit of vanilla in the background

 

Since I love jasmine I am happy with this bottle but I wish more of the other notes came out more. I'll be interested to see if this changes as it ages a bit.

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I love this painting and I love some of these notes, while others were a super questionable decision...but I'm glad I went for it, as this one is quite nice on me! The jasmine doesn't run away with me, it's just pretty and sort of a nice, round, deep note. I get a lot of clary sage and I am really pleased with that! Those are the primary notes on my skin - the oudh is present but just the most stand-out of a nice, grounding base that's really nicely blended. I'm really digging this one, and I love that it's very unique and a departure from some of my other seasonal choices.

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This was in my first order, was the first oil I tried, and now my first review.. Ooh-ah!
Really quite a rash choice for me, as I generally loathe anything vanilla; and although I love the scent of jasmine, it does not tend to suit me or go well on my skin. Clary sage, however, is one of my favourite smells of all time, and I thought the combination of notes here sounded interesting. A life-long love of Waterhouse's art, and this painting in particular, tipped the balance.

I have tried it several times, and as someone above said, it has been slightly different each time. It really does kind of smell like magic. In the bottle it smells very deep & mysterious, and also powerfully nostalgic for me in a way I cannot identify the source of. Wet on me, it tends to either strongly frankincense, or strongly jasmine, with a soft vanilla that actually does not offend me just balancing out the incense-iness. On one occasion, the combination of jasmine & vanilla made me a little nauseous, but that may have been due to some other things in my system at the time.. It is very heady, and quite strong.
Dry on me, the jasmine calms right down, & the other notes come out a bit more, particularly the myrtle. Sadly I have never gotten much of the sage, but there have been traces of soft, woody patchouli here & there.. It morphs and changes a lot, which is fascinating. I am relatively inexperienced with BPAL, but have mucked around with making essential oil blends myself, and I think this will age wonderfully - hopefully bringing out a bit more of the herby-woodiness.

Somewhere between the first test and the fourth one, I went from "yeah, this is beautiful, but I probably didn't need a whole bottle" to "I require a back-up bottle of this immediately". So, big win from a big gamble! I love it. :wub3:

Edit to add: Trying the second bottle now, and it is somehow fizzy lemon??!? Smells like a completely different perfume. I hope there is just something terribly wrong with my nose today. :wacko2: I do hope it didn't get a little spoiled in the post, it was very hot here while it was in transit..
- Update on the second bottle: Even after sitting for a month or 2, it is still very different from the first one.. The jasmine is much sharper, the myrtle is far stronger (hence the 'lemon' I think, even though it's honey myrtle), the vanilla is almost non-existent (yay). The frank. is less dominant, the patch. much moreso (but still a lovely soft patch.). Still no sage (boo). Snagged this one right at the end of the scent's run, so I'm guessing the balance of ingredients is a little different because it was the bottom of the batch.. Still lovely, but not quite as beautiful as the first bottle, which I shall treasure.

Edit again because I just can't shut up about this one: After a year of ageing, the woody-herbal notes have come out beautifully & I love it even more! Down to one bottle. It's still tricksy though: sometimes it dries down a dry, slightly smoky, patchouli-sage thing that I love, and sometimes it's musk sticks. As in the candy. I have no idea why, but multiple people have said so. There is no apparent rhyme or reason to why this happens, but I like both outcomes, so it's just fun. :biggrin:

Edited by spikyfairy

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I waited a while to review this one, because for the first few weeks I owned it, it was ALL JASMINE ALL THE TIME. However, after almost 2 months sitting in a dark box, it is MUCH better!

 

In the bottle: Smells like wet soil.

 

Wet on my skin: JASMINE. And a little vanilla.

 

Dry: As this dries, the jasmine tones itself down and allows other notes to come play! It's predominantly this beautiful jasmine-vanilla combination at the start of the wear, but I also get some patchouli-oudh soft earthiness and glittery frankincense at the "back" of each sniff. I do not detect honey myrtle or clary sage at this stage, but I think the myrtle is simply blending in seamlessly with the jasmine-vanilla and my nose can't quite detect it on its own since it isn't a note I am terribly familiar with.

 

After several hours, the frankincense comes out a little more, so now it's beautiful jasmine-vanilla-frankincense. So, so pretty. This one definitely required a little aging to get to that point, however, and I suspect that aging it further will allow it to blend more and let the more herbal notes come out. Either way, it's a beautiful scent and I'm glad I have a bottle, even if the jasmine scared me a little upon first application!

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In the imp: A sharp, herbal-resinous smell (most likely the frankincense, but may be the sage as well), coupled with a honey-floral sweetness that is almost definitely the honey myrtle. Right now it's simple and pleasant.


Wet: Jasmine and sage - what a combination! The jasmine is fresh and mysterious, in a real "magic conducted outdoors" way, not languid and overtly sexy like it usually is. There's still a honeyed edge from the honey myrtle, but I'm not getting any patch or oudh so far, and the frankincense has done a disappearing act. But instead, I could almost swear there's a note of lemon blossom honey or something in here - I'm getting something distinctly zingy and citrus-y.


Dry: Fades into a skin-scent remarkably quickly - four hours, tops. But while I can still discern it, it moves more and more jasmine-dominant, with just a hint of incense/resins. These tend to go a little funky-sour on me, but the jasmine (which, on the other hand, plays quite well with my skin) keeps this from getting too bad.

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I had such high hopes for this. Vanilla-infused frankincense sounded beautiful and I love patchouli and both honey and myrtle notes, so I thought this would be a winner.

 

Alas, Jasmine...

 

Now I thought Jasmine and I had reconciled after years of feuding. I recently tried both Rapture and Snow-Shower and absolutely adore them. Perhaps Jasmine simply behaves in certain company.

 

At first sniff: I smell the frankincense, sage and a bit of that decaying jasmine that has been behaving and morphing into something beautiful when I wear it. My expectation is that she will calm down once she hits my skin.

 

Wet: Pretty much the same as wet, the frank surges forward with the sage, but you can kind of tell Jasmine is not going to have any of that. She's in a jealous mood and wants me to pay attention to her.

 

After a half hour: All rotting Jasmine, but smoky. Not in an incensey way, more like she jumped into a fire and came out charred. I have not been able to smell any of the other notes, no vanilla, no patch, no myrtle. This is the first blend in a looong time that I want to wash off. Charred jasmine that has beaten poor frank into submission.

 

Total drydown: Its at least softer here, but still not pleasant. Out of all the bottles I have blindly purchased this year, only two have not paid off, this and Snow White. Perhaps I still have the need to be wary of certain flowers...

 

*Edit to add: So I didn't wash it off, and hours later it's dryer and more resinous, but very soft. The jasmine ampage has waned. I don't despise it, but I don't feel it will be getting much wear from me either. I will let it age and hope for improvement.

Edited by BlackLace

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Jasmine, vanilla, frankincense and honey myrtle, with a little bit of earthy, smoky something in the drydown thanks to the oud and patchouli. I actually surprisingly like the initial application more, where the jasmine is softened and brightened by the other notes. It smells like natural, honeyed flowers, soft vanilla, and bright, golden frankincense. The drydown, unfortunately, turns a little musty and smoky, but the lab's jasmine and oud seems to rarely work out on my skin.

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