Monday, January 16, 2012

Solstice Scents: Snowshoe Pass

Solstice Scents was on my list of "companies to try someday soon," which is, erm, really long. To be honest, it was prolly on the lower end of it, because just looking at their aesthetic I was afraid their perfumes would be too earthy or dark and fruity for me. But then I saw a tweet or a blog post or something - can't remember now - about how they restocked Winter items, and Snowshoe Pass was a super seller, etc., etc. I was intrigued, so I hopped on over to the site to see what the fuss was about. Of course, this was the result of my curiosity.
I ordered a full size of Snowshoe Pass; every order gets a free perfume sample, and first time buyers get an extra free perfume sample - just leave a note in the comment box saying it's your first purchase!

I placed my order on Dec. 31, 2011, received an "order processing" notification on Jan. 2, and a shipping notification on Jan. 3. I received my package on Jan. 6. Nice, no? It came well packed with a lovely card and business card! The full size of a perfume contains ~0.35 oz in a base of rice bran oil; Snowshoe Pass was $14 but the prices seem varied, I assume because of variation in ingredient prices. The frosted blue bottle for the roll-on is nice, but I wish that the labels weren't handwritten in ink. The visual is pleasing, but I find that these rub off, especially when accidentally touched with oily fingers. I have a few Solstice Scents samples from a swap and the labels are nearly gone.

Here are the scent descriptions, taken from their website. My thoughts follow.
Full size of Snowshoe Pass; comes in a beautiful frosted blue rollerball. 

Snowshoe PassWhite Amber, White Musk, Vanilla Accord, Peppermint Cream, Cold Winds

My thoughts: I love this one even more than I thought I would; I have not been this instantly enamored with a fragrance in a long time. On my skin it is slightly smoky, like fire, and slightly creamy, and I love the white musk. It kind of reminds me of that Fireside Marshmallow candle from Bath and Body Works that I love, though it's not really the same set of notes - just a similar overall feel, with smoky candle and vanilla notes. This is much less sweet, though, and more complex. It's cozy. I don't get a clean crispness or anything very minty, though I do get notes that evoke cold winds. The peppermint stays close to my skin, which is fine; I'm not a diehard fan of minty smells. 

To me, this does feel very wintery - but warm, as if I'm settled in my warm house with plenty of blankets and a hot beverage. I'm not usually one for wearing perfume at night; once I've showered, I like to be clean and product-free (besides moisturizers and lotions and the like), but this is one I've taken to applying at night. It's my pajamas perfume. That makes it sound unglamorous, but it's so lovely. One thing though - the first time I wore it, I delightedly shoved my wrist under S.'s nose, and he recoiled. He said it smelled like incense. Later, though, after I let it dry down and mellow out some, I tried again, and that time, he said it was nice. I can't see wearing this much in the summertime, as it's a bit too...warm for that, but I am going to get a lot of use out of it until then! And let's be honest, it's not properly summer here until July, so...there's a lot of time to love this.
This beautiful postcard came with the order. Manor, one of the samples I received, seems like an embodiment of this scene to me.

Manor: Woody-Vanilla Musk, Vanilla Accord, Glorious Black Agarwood & Exquisite Aloeswood

My thoughts: I like this one on the dry sniff, but the drydown is very much not my thing. I think it's from their Autumn 2011 collection. This is the sample they picked for me (the first time sample is seller's choice, though the free sample w/ purchase is buyer's choice). The initial sniff in the vial and on the skin is smoky and sweet - like a more intense and darker version of Snowshoe Pass. Then it dries, and I get a very definite leather note. And then it becomes even darker, quite Oriental, and...I do not like it. It's a very specific smell that I recognize but can't place, and I know I'm not a fan. I suppose I am just not a sophisticate. I know two people who would probably adore this, though: Liz and Su.

Amber Rose Petals: Warm, Rich, Golden Amber Fragrance, Rose Fragrance and Rose Essential Oil.

This is the sample I chose, because I have come to terms with the fact that I usually like rose perfumes, even if they have a reputation for being granny-esque (though I don't think the ones I love are granny-esque?). However, I think I like my rose perfumes to be lighter, more youthful and ethereal. This one is dustier and darker because of the amber, as if I had opened a very old book and found dried, pressed rose petals in its ancient pages. It reminds me, perhaps, of Miss Havisham, surrounded by aged, withered bouquets of roses in her dusty room (does she have flowers? Haha, it's been a while since I've read Great Expectations. I'm not much a fan of Dickens).

So. There you have it. My clumsy attempts at describing fragrance (again). I love indie samples because they allow me to explore different scent regions and notes, and help me better define what scent families and traits I like. It's a never-ending journey! I will definitely purchase from Solstice Scents again, and in fact, I think I will try some of their whipped soaps and their oatmeal mask the next time I make an order. What fragrances have you been loving lately? Do you have a pajamas perfume?