Akemia Apothicary – INDIE Pervume Review

Alkemia offers 5 samples for $10 including shipping on their site, which is a really nice way to get to test some perfumes out.  This was actually my first indie perfume purchase, so I kind of picked at random.  I guess there is a pretty good amount of trial and error when leaning the notes and what perfumers do best, and even just what I like and don’t like, so this purchase wasn’t entirely successful.  But I’m learning.

They run from an Etsy shop, which is nice because Etsy lets me keep a running cart forever, that I can place my favorites into so I don’t forget what I like from a shop when I get all wrapped up in ordering from a seasonal release or a sale.  (#Indieworldproblems.)

IMG_3786The turn around time was great, I had these in my mailbox in about a week.

On to the scents:

Vixen: White Amber, Musk, Jasmine Tea, Sugar Pumpkin, Moss

Based on the ingredient list I didn’t expect this to work for me, but Alkemia apparently used an Amber that my skin chemistry really likes and doesn’t morph into pure incense.  This smells warm and cozy, and a tiny bit spicy (the musk and pumpkin maybe?)  it’s creamy and sexy and really nice.

Burning Roses: dark red roses and burning divinatory incenses – smouldering frankincense, champa, labdanum

I was initially worried about my Alkemia Perfume order because this scent was so overpowering and SO strongly hippie head shop incense, that it actually made all the labels on the other bottles of perfume in my sample order smell like it.

Hellcat: Black Oud, Black Musk, Labdanum, and spiced Pipe Tobacco blended with a seductive purr of Black Opium

I really don’t know why I thought I would like this one.  Musk and Labdanum.  This perfume is exactly what I feared indie perfumes would turn out to be before I gave them a try.  So many promises of sexy, and so much incense instead.

adorem xxi: Ardorem 21 is a complex elixir of 21 precious essences including: Coriander, Mandarin, Amber, Nutmeg, Saffron, Bourbon Geranium, Blue Lotus, Tobacco, Musk, Clove, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Kashmiri Tea, Cardamom, Black Pepper, and Japanese incense

This is nice.  The initial scent is pure watery floral.  It’s similar enough to mens cologne like Davidoff makes, aquatic and with pretty decent sillage.  This leans a bit masculine for my tastes, and smells a bit like the aftershave or cologne one of my male colleagues (my cube neighbour) wears.  I don’t really not like it, but it’s not my style.

Tryst of Grey: An utterly beguiling blend of Earl Grey Tea, lightly brewed Black Assam Tea, Scarlet Monarda (also known as Wild Bergamot), a fresh twist of Bergamot citrus peel, and golden skin musk teased with long, slow kisses of orange blossom honey.

On application it’s bergamot and tea.  It somehow doesn’t really smell like Earl Grey though, because it’s got something almost floral in it as well.  As it drys down it starts to get really citrusy and fresh smelling, but still with a lot of tea.  I think what I was expecting was more a London Fog early grey with something sweet type scent, and this isn’t like that at all.  It’s fresh and clean and I really like it.


I think I need Tryst of Grey in a full size, but the rest I’m going to pass.  That’s what sample sizes are for, so I’m happy with my purchase!

13 Gypsies Perfumery – INDIE Review

I don’t remember how I cam across 13 Gypsies, but I liked the descriptions when I found them, and the price was good so I decided to give them a try.


These were on sale for $3 each dram, plus $5.95 for the shipping – very good for sending things to Canada, most places charge about $7 regardless of what I order.  (Prices are in USD)


The turnaround wasn’t great, I ordered on Oct 4 and recieved it on Oct 27.  Things do often take a while to get to Canada, but this was a bit longer than usual.


On to the perfumes.

The packaging was really nice.  Unfortunately I completely derped my photos of the wrapping and they look like crap so I won’t post them.


But here are the bottles. They are really simple and clean looking.

Sweet Violet: violet and sugar

This smells very medicinally floral right out of the bottle, sweet and fake.  On drydown it’s all floral and makes me think of someone’s grandmother’s bathroom.  Not much sillage, I can only smell it on myself if I put my face right up against my wrist.  This eventually becomes a soft popouri floral scent, not cloying and awful but more a bathroom cleaner scent than something I’d like to put on my body.  I actually may use it for that, since I’m a little tired of the cheapo bathroom candle and fantastic cleaner scent my bathroom is currently featuring.

THEM: cassis, cherry, fig, sugar, and musk

There is something in this and sweet violet that smells similar, and cheapens the scent.  I guess maybe it’s the sugar.  I’m getting a bit of musk, but mostly just sour fig and sugar.  It’s funny, I bought a whole bunch of sugary fig perfumes thinking I liked that scent, but I think…. I don’t.  It may be time to give up on that.

Eat Me: inspired by the smell of cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting

Cheap vanilla sugarbomb.  This is the very definition of cloying sugary yuck, right out of the bottle.  It drys down to a less intense version of this.  I went through a “buy every vanilla lip gloss” phase, and this is the same scent they all have.  It’s not a bad smell… it’s just way too foodie vanilla for me.  (What did I expect?)

Apricot Fluff: apricot and marshmallow fluff

Fruity and sweet, kind of boring.  This scent started to fade immediately when I put it on, and it turned a little stale smelling.  It reminds me of the years old halloween taffy things that my grandparents had in one of the cabinets in the living room when I was a kid.  Sweet, old, musty.

Bad Witch: (free sample!) nag champa, frankincense, sandalwood, & dragon’s blood, with a touch of patchouli

This is everything I feared about indie scents before I started getting into them.  I’m not even going to review this since it’s sooooo far from something I would pick myself and I think it wouldn’t be fair.  It’s really nice to get a free sample with purchases, and I actually really appreciate when shops throw in something really different from what I ordered.  That’s how you find new things, right?  But some things will never be my kind of thing, and this scent family is one of those.


Reviewing what’s currently in the store, I don’t think what I ordered is indicative of the store’s best work.  Many of the scents are head shop/hippish incense smells, and I avoid those, so I have to think that probably the ones I was drawn to are not their speciality.

There is a sale on right now, where Halloween is 44% off, which is a great deal since the perfumes are really not expensive to start with.

But, that being said, I won’t order from them again, since nothing worked for me.