Wednesday, 30 November 2011

r e v i e w ~ tea party in wonderland

"Mari"
Sarawen Perfume Art



Type: Green Floral, Feminine
Perfumer: Sara M. S.
Cost: 10USD/40mL


"The splendour of summer tea-time in the afternoon shade - the scent of sugared tea, tropical jasmine, and a hint of grassy bergamot! A sophisticated, clean, floral fragrance."

The perfume oil comes in an amber-tinted circular glass bottle with a black cap. A light cream colored label reading "Mari" with a Victorian lace wallpaper with Belle Epoque era opera singer, Lina Cavalieri printed upon it as the background is wrapped around the bottle. Bottle is wrapped and ribboned with tissue paper before being sent.

This composition may just be the poster child of Sara's perfumery for 'simple, timeless beauty'! Mari was created in honor of Sara's grandmother, who passed away when she was very young. Sara has always imagined her grandmother to have that same type of classic beauty as Lina Cavalieri, and fittingly enough- so does the scent.

It is by no means a "grandma" smelling perfume but it definitely carries a certain aura of sophistication around it- it has the same type of elegance of Chanel's No.5 or No.19 and Chole's Love, Chloe, Mari has the same clean, floral composition at heart accompanied by well chosen notes- not unwearable for those of us younger ones, but just requires a little more lightness in the steps and a well chosen occasion and dress, to avoid the perfume wearing you instead of you wearing it!

Throughout the composition- Mari does not change much from initial application until it's drydown- maybe the tea becomes a bit more pronounced, but because of the short wear time on me (mentioned later in this post), I can't say that I'm sure that it is it's full transformation. Although the tea notes are described to be sugared- on me, Mari comes off as quite strong unsugared black tea. If anything, it can even be described as tea leaves because it's so strong. Notes of jasmine are very mild and does not seem to be of the night blooming variety, it is very sweet and almost powdery- but netherless, enough to provide this green fragrance with a touch of floral. The bergamot is not very strong by itself here but compliments the notes of tea well- adding a bit of depth and a little more 'moist' to the dry scent that I get from it because of the powderiness of the jasmine notes here and the strongness of the tea that I think is akin to tea leaves. All in all, I'm kind of glad it doesn't change too much in the drydown for me- I admire it's simplicity and it's sophistication within that simplicity.

Wear time: 3 hours
The main down point of this amazing scent is the wear time for me, which is why unlike the rest of my fragrance reviews so far this has a whole portion dedicated to it. Unfortunately, Mari does not stick to my skin at all! This applies for just about any other scent with notes of jasmine- which is ironic as my name happens to be Jasmine. The only perfume with a main note of jasmine that has ever been able to stay on me is Á La Nuit from the outrageously priced Serge Lutens, and I believe that it may only be because it's a soliflore of jasmines, I would smell of water if none of the jasmine notes stuck on me XD I really wish that Mari could last a bit longer on me, but even when I apply vaseline beneath it before the perfume oil it still barely lasts past the 4 hour mark which is a real shame as it is such a wonderful clean scent.

Recommended for:
+ Day-time wear
+ Those that enjoy Chanel's No.5 or No.19 and Chole's Love, Chloe - Mari has that similar aura of timeless sophistication and elegance
+ Those of you that don't mind carrying around a little decant to touch up throughout the day
+ People that enjoy timeless simplicity and elegance

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*All perfumes react differently on each individual person as we all have different skin chemistries- this review was written based on my experiences and may not necessarily behave the same for you although the notes of the perfume will not change.

r e v i e w ~ butterscotched potion

"Beer N' Butter"
Sarawen Perfume Art



Type: Gourmand, Unisex
Perfumer: Sara M. S.
Cost: 10USD/40mL

"A delicious and foamy elixir! Creamy butterscotch, dreamy vanilla, and a dash of pumpkin layered with a drop of coffee as you sit relaxing by the pub's roaring fire."

Inspired by novel and film series "Harry Potter"

The perfume oil comes in an amber-tinted circular glass bottle with a black cap. A mossy brown label reading "Perfume: Beer n Butter" with a Victorian lace wallpaper and Victorian lady drinking from a wine glass as the background is wrapped around the bottle. Bottle is wrapped and ribboned with tissue paper before being sent.

Described as an unisex gourmand blend inspired by Harry Potter's butterbeers- it is indeed, just that. If butterbeers were real this would be exactly how it smells. A comforting scent of everything sweet and delicious you could possibly find in a pub. Upon initial contact with my skin, I feel that it is truly unisex, it is recognizably masculine in the sense of how rich and deep it is. The next step onwards, the richness does calm a little, but it would still be what I'd refer to as 'gras', or 'fat', purely denoting on how rich and full-bodied the potion is and not how many calories a beverage including all it's listed notes would have!

Maybe it is my inadequacy in the study of alcoholic drinks apart from the conventional red/white wine and champagnes, but instead of being something advocating the scent of beer- the collection of notes remind me faintly more of whiskey... or more accurately, the heart notes are basically what Lindt's Irish Coffee au Whiskey chocolate bars smell like (mind you- they include real whiskey in each bar). Sara's Beer N' Butter is the chocolate bar with a little less of the whiskey liquid filling and a slightly deeper coffee note completed with a touch of burnt sugar and butterscotch... Yum!

On me. the perfume seems to completely skip through any notes of pumpkin. I do get it- but alas, very very fleetingly. The drydown of Beer N' Butter is lovely, made up mainly by the lingering scent of smokey vanilla. The sillage is amazing, enveloping you and everything around in its gourmandism.

Wear time: 8hours approx.
This will safely last through any school (or work!) day with ease and a little more

Recommended for:
+ Harry Potter fans!
+ Christmas eve or any christmas dinner, around family and friends or just wrapped in a big blanket with a cup of hot cocoa
+ Fans of smokey vanilla-based gourmand scents such as Shalimar
+ Cold winter evenings

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*All perfumes react differently on each individual person as we all have different skin chemistries- this review was written based on my experiences and may not necessarily behave the same for you although the notes of the perfume will not change.

r e v i e w ~ kiss from a rose

"Midnight Kiss"
Sarawen Perfume Art


Type: Fruity Floral, Feminine
Perfumer: Sara M. S.
Cost: 10USD/40mL


"A forbidden kiss at midnight tasting of honeyed red ripe fruits while the air is scented with hints of roses and musk. An alluring, feminine, yet bold fragrance with red fruits, roses, and dragon's blood.
A word of warning: you may be devoured by handsome vampires when wearing this perfume!"

The perfume oil comes in an amber-tinted circular glass bottle with a black cap. A dark purple label reading "Midnight Kiss" with a Victorian lace wallpaper as the background is wrapped around the bottle. Bottle is wrapped and ribboned with tissue paper before being sent.

If Sarawen were a winery, Midnight Kiss would be the finest Italian Wine. Noticeably fruity upon application it is bold, strong and sharp- pungent even. The red fruits lend their slightly tart acidic nature to what would otherwise come off as a sickly sweet blend in the top notes.

Its syrupy nature diffuses and develops quickly though, becoming more of the fruiting floral perfume it is categorized as based on the listed notes. The red fruits becomes more defined, more of the red berries genre, and the floral notes of rose creep in. The rose truly 'creeps' into the blend developing in a staircase-like way, wherein it's notes merely get stronger and stronger on an unchanging (at least for the moment) fruity base with a hint of musk.

The sillage at this stage is interestingly sweet, it reaches a good radius- the length is okay- but not nearly half as wonderful as the scent it actually produces. On my skin the floral notes often has a more pronounced sweetness and Midnight Kiss produces a scent similar to what I associate with lychee fruits in its sillage.

The drydown of Midnight Kiss is very dark and has a slight oriental touch to it with the spiciness of dragon's blood lined with musk. Truly romantically gothic and vampy, with only a hint of fruit on a rose, incense base.

Wear time: 7hours+
This is safely last you through a day of school (or work) with no need for touch ups!

Recommended for:
+ Vampire enthusiasts
+ Those that enjoy a wine like character in their perfumes or those that like darker fruity florals
+ Summer evening, when the heady night bloomers compliment the dark florals of Midnight Kiss

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*All perfumes react differently on each individual person as we all have different skin chemistries- this review was written based on my experiences and may not necessarily behave the same for you although the notes of the perfume will not change.

r e v i e w ~ wooden horses and dessert wine

"Lady Roma"
Sarawen Perfume Art


Type: Fruity Wood, Feminine
Perfumer: Sara M. S.
Cost: 10USD/40mL


"The fragrance of a dusky evening in ancient times of Rome. The air is filled with the scent of pomegranate trees and ripe fruit, while sandalwood burns brightly in a brazier by the atrium. A feminine fruity scent with a hint of depravity hidden within! "

This scent is inspired by the TV series' "Rome", and "Spartacus".

The perfume oil comes in an amber-tinted circular glass bottle with a black cap. A dark red label reading "Perfume: Lady Roma" with a Victorian lace wallpaper as the background is wrapped around the bottle. Bottle is wrapped and ribboned with tissue paper before being sent.

Lady Roma doesn't start off particularly strong and remains quite mellow and relaxing for the whole duration that it is worn. That it not to say that it is boring or unchanging though- there is indeed an increasing sense of "hidden depravity" within it the whole time whilst it is comforting.

It has a modest sillage- not strong, but wide enough a distance to be inviting. Tangy notes of pomengranate are very prominent throughout the perfume- delectable upon initial application. It is accompanied by other unidentifiable fruit notes, but on my skin it is suspiciously reminiscent of the apple trees in autumn.

As it develops a little more, it adopts a very sweet quality on my skin. While not of a gourmand character, it definitely become engagingly delicious smelling. The sandalwood and cedarwood notes are completely pronounced until it gets to its drydown, it sharply turns into something akin to decadent dessert wine- with a light fruity circus cotton candy (the authentic type unlike the sickly sweet pink sugar types) as it's sillage and a slightly smoked sandalwood base. The cedarwood is very hard to notice on my skin unless I am "in motion"- literally, I need to be moving if I want to smell it!

Wear time: 10hours+
I am able to sleep with this on and still smell the gorgeous drydown the next morning

Recommended for:
+ Those who enjoy sweet but relaxing and laid back fruity scents
+ Those who prefer wood-types to floral-types paired with fruits
+ Going out for coffee, the wooden notes smell amazing whenever near coffee or chocolate
+ Autumn or winter

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*All perfumes react differently on each individual person as we all have different skin chemistries- this review was written based on my experiences and may not necessarily behave the same for you although the notes of the perfume will not change.

r e v i e w ~ The original tale of snow white

"Black Apple"
Sarawen Perfume Art


Type: Fruity, Feminine
Perfumer: Sara M. S.
Cost: 10USD/40mL

"Sweet, red, ripe apples corrupted with poisoned honey and labdanum. A base of dark incense and roses completes the fragrance. Starts off fruity and innocent, then the darkness emerges."

The perfume oil comes in an amber-tinted circular glass bottle with a black cap. A gaudy red label reading "Perfume: Black Apple" with a Victorian lace wallpaper as the background is wrapped around the bottle. Bottle is wrapped and ribboned with tissue paper before being sent.

Described as a fruity apple scent and named Black Apple, one would expect this to be a single faceted perfume, to be flat and simply apple- a sleeper in comparison to all of Sara's other pieces. Instead you discover a fairytale upon first sniff, inevitably it's Snow White; but not Disney's, maybe the darker and more tragic original by the Grimm brothers, or maybe a modern gothic horror such as Yuki Kaori's in Ludwig Revolution. Netherless, it is sweet but dark, innocent but deadly.

It's initial notes are just as it is described; crisp, fresh and ripe red apples that make your mouth water. The honey gives it a semi-leathery touch, its fragrance is clean and sweet as you smell from afar, but the closer you sniff- the darker the strange poison.

It develops into a herb-like apple scent after a little and the scent becomes a little more moody and floral, almost as if you walked from an apple orchard into a forest filled of apple trees. It's sillage at this point is the strongest, despite being quite modest and not calling attention, it acts coys and draws attention instead.

The base has a stronger emphasis on the leathery smokey and earthy qualities of the labdanum and the syrupy sweetness of honey. Black Apple's drydown tones down on the apples drastically, and you are left with a innocent but sensual mixture of honey, incense, roses and red apples.

Wear time: 8-10hours
The wear time changes depending on the weather, it doesn't cling to skin too well on cooler days

Recommended for:
+ The modern fairytale heroine, anyone who wants to have their own gothic romance
+ This strikes me as a museum-type fragrance, it's something that you can comfortably wear while looking at famous oil paintings on ceilings or while deciphering the Rosetta stone.
+ Early morning or evening, it's top notes are fresh enough to wake you in the morning and it's dry down is great for any evening dinner (mind you- I have a purely western styled dinner in mind!)

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*All perfumes react differently on each individual person as we all have different skin chemistries- this review was written based on my experiences and may not necessarily behave the same for you although the notes of the perfume will not change.