Scent{ing} · Tallulah Jane & Grasse Roots

June 2nd, 2016 · 2 comments

I was an ardent fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab for years and reviewed nearly every scent that I tried over on the forums, but – overwhelmed by their enormous catalogue and put off by all of the limited editions that I could never get my hands on – I eventually got away from it. These last several weeks, however, have found me falling into the larger intoxicating world of perfume in a very big, very serious way. Grief therapy, diversion, simple lovely new passion; I’ve found myself here for myriad reasons, and it has not been unlike stumbling into an unexpected love affair, all dewy eyed flushed skin and softest sighs. I feel like I have been living on another planet. I am drunk on perfume.

Brother and sister perfumistas – (and by the way, I would place myself solidly at stage two of that little list, with perhaps a healthy dose of stage four) – will empathize at the tidal comings and goings of sundry perfume samples my home has newly been experiencing. Naturally, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on each of them going forward in the hopes of enticing some of you into this perfumed little world with me(?) or, at the very least, helping someone to find a new scent that sings to them.

And with that; on to the perfume . . . !


{ Tallulah Jane }

Tallulah Jane presents “beautiful fragrances that embrace the centuries-old craft of Bourbon perfumeries with a bold, modern sensibility.” They use only 100% natural ingredients in all of their perfumes and oils, and all of their products are vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free. They offer a sampler of any three of their fragrances in perfume, eau de parfum, or body oil form. I ordered three of their perfumes.

Gotham · A blend of exotic spices and rose, rounded off with the earthy depth of patchouli. * This scent bursts open with an assertive peppery note and the unmistakable slap ;) of leather. I detect the tiniest whisper of rose on drydown, but on the whole, Gotham simply wraps me up in my delicious high school boyfriend’s oversized leather jacket that, come to think of it, I never did wind up returning. And I think I’m totally okay with that.

A must have if you’re a fan of leather notes, which I certainly am, but I have so many interesting and beautiful leather scents, and this one is such a straightforward leather on me that I’ll likely pass my sample on to a home that needs a little more bad boy in it.

Aiyana · Pure Moroccan Rose is delicately balanced with notes of Vanilla and Rock Rose which are all brightened with a fleeting scent of Italian Lemon. * Aiyana is incredibly powdery for me on application, which I’m not super keen on, but(!) things begin to look up when the sweet, lovely scent of nondescript florals and vanilla whispers forward. I don’t get any rose or lemon in this fragrance, just that nonspecific sense of “floral,” very pretty, very innocent, and when this pleasant lass finally leaves the room she haunts the space she leaves behind with a warm, comforting, inviting vanilla. A very sweet, feminine fragrance.

Halona · Halona combines absolutely sparkling Lime with the zest of Fresh Ginger and Eastern Spices that will leave you bathed in a little bit of summer no matter the season. * Honey, lime lime lime. Drydown mellows this bright, chipper girl to a lovely tea scent, but the lime is still dominant here until everything morphs into a softer citrus with spices that tickle the nose. I had hoped for more ginger, but Halona is an undeniably fresh scent, bright and joyous; perfect for Spring & Summer. (Though truth to tell, preferring to wear scent based solely on mood, I don’t really adhere to scent-season appropriateness. CRAZY, I KNOW.)


{ Grasse Roots }

Grasse Roots is a a small-batch artisanal vegan perfumery located in Ontario, Canada. All perfumes are made and packaged by hand, on-site. “Only the finest available raw materials are used, always 100% natural, and Certified Organic essences are used wherever possible.” They conveniently offer a sampler pack of all seven of their fragrances on their website, but I tracked it down for a little less cost via Vegan Cuts.

Ingenue · A scent that’s open and innocent; fresh, green, and sweet with a heart of Moroccan rose, ylang ylang, and lemony leaves and grass. * All citrus and rose. This isn’t a scent I decided on keeping or purchasing in future, but I will admit that I couldn’t stop sniffing my wrists while wearing it. I’ve worn me a looooot of roses in my life but none as straightforwardly lemon and rose before. It’s a nice, interesting fragrance.

Beloved · A tender bouquet of rose essences from around the world is enveloped by soft, earthy grasses; sweet resins; precious woods; and hints of bright citrus and orange flowers. * Powdered rose. That’s all this minky wanted to show me. Unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of powdery rose scents and have long since grown tired of them.

Delicacy · Sandalwood is featured in this soft, mellow chypre with subtle notes of moss, ambrosial rockrose, and patchouli. It’s lifted with sweet geranium petals and notes of tea and conifer. * This is a scent that I wound up trying twice, with two entirely different experiences. The first time was unremarkable; a polite encounter with a pleasant stranger. The second time we met, I actually fell in love.

Delicacy opens with a lovely citrus that, about ten minutes in, begins flirting with some really beautiful, soft rosy florals, and okay, yes, I get it now. Drydown is nicely rounded out with delicious tea notes that turn me all soft-eyed. I love tea scents so much. However, the tea is not the star of this show, and though it’s a really lovely perfume, it’s just not a scent I feel belongs in my fragrance arsenal.

Tuberose Musk · Tuberose attar is the foundation for a sweet and smoky ode to this spicy, plump, and intoxicating white flower. It’s rich and deep, with sensual vegetable musk and a hint of green freshness. * This was awful, oh, awful. I am not sure what this perfume is supposed to smell like, but I am pretty certain it isn’t supposed to smell like that. I strongly suspect I received an old, turned batch and am intending on purchasing another sample in future.

(Most reviews seem to agree that this perfume is a strong, lovely Tuberose, so if you’re a fan of white florals, please don’t let my experience keep you from trying it!)

Blood Orange · This scent is a refreshing, bright burst of citrus sunshine that uplifts and inspires, with light, cheerful orange blossoms and organic notes of citrus. * I don’t know what it is about my skin in particular, but my chemistry turns this beauty into a single, gorgeous orange blossom soliflore. I scent no citrus whatsoever, just an incredibly true to life, fresh plucked blossom. Far too light and fleeting for me to feel a full bottle would be worthwhile, but it is absolutely magical while it lasts. This one had me falling asleep with my nose to my wrists.

Geisha · Narcotic flowers of jasmine, ylang ylang, seductive neroli, and dusky rose swirl through sensual notes of earth, wood, and spice in this exotic, heady oriental scent. * Sooooo jasmine sweet, too sweet. Jasmine tends to go hairspray on me – which grieves me to no end, because I just adore it – but this was an entirely new, altogether just as awful jasmine experience. My chemistry took this jasmine and dumped syrupy sweet sugar all over it. It smells like kawaii.

Janus · Dry, sweet herbs grow from earthy patchouli, softened by serene woods and resins and the faintest hint of moss, contrasted with juicy crushed peels of bergamot. * “Dry, sweet herbs” nails it, and it is beautiful. There’s also something quite scratchy here, like dry desert greenery; possibly the patchouli. This is a scent I can imagine Susannah Dean wearing.

What are your best and worst perfumes, kittens? What are you all wearing lately?

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{ 2 Responses to Scent{ing} · Tallulah Jane & Grasse Roots }

  • I do love a nice, true-to-life orange blossom scent–there’s nothing quite like it, and really, it smells nothing like the fruit itself. I hate it when perfumers get that part wrong!

    I am currently wearing a marvelous, magical scent that starts off dreadfully smoky (like a bewitched, frenzied lapsang souchong), but then the smoke clears and it smells like a mystical resin that a wizard threw into a fire to conjure a dragon or something, but at some point, the dragon got bored and flew away and the wizard has gone to bed and the fire has burned down so that only the embers are smoldering and the smoky, resinous fragrance has seeped into all the old wooden beams in the room.

    Best: Comme des Garçons Incense Series Kyoto
    Worst: Viktor & Rolfe Flowerbomb

    • Ta says:

      Sarah, your current perfume sounds a lot like the woodsmoke scent a friend of mine is looking for. (“Catherine,” over on the FB post, if you feel up to recommending.)

      1) You already have me totally on board with trying CdG’s Incense Series Kyoto.
      2) Your Flowerbomb review is one of the best things to ever happen to me. ;)

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