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Dead Leaves, Tunisian Amber, and Smoked Balsam

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Eeeeep! First reviewer. Consider that cherry now popped. 😅

 

This DL (only the second I've ever tested) is different than the other I tried (the pistachio cream one, so yummy!), and a little bit more like I expected. This has that "aquatic" vibe people have mentioned in reviews. It strikes me as more of a cologne than a perfume, and yet this is still quite wearable by a woman.

The amber here is not powdery in the slightest. It's warm and clear. Golden.
I detect a slight sour edge that I can't quite pinpoint. It could be the smoked balsam, as it brings to mind charred wood.

 

I find this oddly compelling. Not sure I need a bottle, but I would not be opposed to a second decant to keep on hand.

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This is such a fascinating scent! Tested twice from a decant.

The first scent I get is ... green pepper? Both times - dead ringer for green pepper. Which I also got (and loved) in the Norns' Farmhouse.
Starts as a sharp, green, bitter woody astringency. Dries to a nice dry, spicy wood. Maybe that's the balsam? Lingers with a smoky-bonfire-in-my-clothes smell. Very pleasant.

This and DL Marshmallow & Pistachio Cream are the first 2 Dead Leaves I've tried, and I surprised myself by liking this one better!

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This is another interesting take on the Dead Leaves blends, in that the dead leaves seem to be a background player through all stages of this scent. This is primarily a warm, rich, spicy amber to me. I do pick up the balsam, which I think is adding a woody/spicy note to the amber, but the smokiness is minimal. The dead leaves do peek out more well after drydown, adding to the woodsiness of the scent. If you've ever tried Pacifica's Spanish Amber, this reminds me a lot of that. Medium throw and great wear length -- a little goes a long way. If you like amber blends, this is one to try.

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In the decant: 100% green bell pepper dead leaves. Even sniffing longer for other notes, I can't find them. 

 

On my skin:

 

Wet, it's dead leaves fading into rising smoked balsam. It's not quite like a wood smoker going on a fall day, but that's the best analogy I can come up with right now. 

 

The drydown is also taking a while to sort itself out, with the dead leaves note dominating the throw and smoked balsam making up the skin scent. I'm not getting amber yet, but amber is sometimes slow to develop on me. 

 

Eventually -- like, making dinner and eating it later -- it does settle down to be predominantly amber, with the gentle smoke from the balsam and a hint of bite from dead leaves. It's soft and beautiful here, but it takes a long while to get through the loudness of the first stages. I think I might let this one settle and see if it ages smoother. 

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DL, TA & SB started out as all dead leaves on me, with the balsam note the second to make itself felt.  I never got any appreciable smoke, though I might not have been paying attention in that phase -- this is a morpher. So, cool, cologney dead leaves and balsam for the first hour, and then the golden amber started to balance it out.  The late drydown on me was all rich, warm amber.  I'm a sucker for dry leaves and a sucker for warm amber, so this is very enjoyable.

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That dead leaves note right away, followed by the smoked balsam. I don't really smell the amber, but as soon as this perfume dries down, the individual notes all blend into a warm smoky autumn scent. I like this even better than I expected to! 

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Amber, balsam, and dead leaves smoke. It's not dead leaves, its dead leaf smoke. For me though its mainly an amber-balsam perfume with a hint of smoke. Good throw and wear length.

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