Spring is finally here and with it the wish to wear lighter, fresher perfumes. Aside from stellar gourmand perfumes, Arcana is also known for its aquatic note. Julia, Arcana’s owner, has created a number of perfumes related to water and I’ve taken a liking to them. You can read my review of Nereids here but now it’s time to plunge into a lively river before being washed away into the sea…
Arcana Lammas vs Sea Witch
Lammas was created for The Crone’s Crate that’s curated by Nui Cobalt Designs. This is a witchy subscription box that follows Wheel of the Year and each box celebrates a different Sabbat. Lammas was celebrated in late July/early August, which is when Lammas the perfume was introduced. Once the stocks ran out, the perfume wasn’t available for purchase anymore.
Sea Witch is part of the Halloween 2017 collection that was inspired by nature and featured all sorts of witches (Cottage Witch, Forest Witch, Garden Witch, Hedge Witch, Nocturnal Witch and Sea Witch). This concept is very interesting and I hope Julia revisits it and perhaps expands it, too.
The scent of fresh water, white coconut, moonlight reflected on the ocean, smooth amber, seaweed absolute, rain-drenched juniper tips, and a drop of ruby red grapefruit.
As soon as I open the vial, I get the impression of juniper tips, gently swaying in the rain, as well as a hint of tree sap mixed with the scent of red grapefruit.
On the skin, the grapefruit is surprisingly loud but the coconut holds it back. Compared to Sea Witch, Lammas is foody. The coconut and red grapefruit in Lammas are much more noticeable than the blueberries in Sea Witch. Even though the grapefruit is a very obvious fruity note, Lammas doesn’t go into full foody mode thanks to the juniper and fresh water.
As the grapefruit calms down, the coconut and salty water come to the fore. Lammas has calmed down and turned into a nearly warm scent thanks to the creamy coconut. It’s as if it has stopped raining… While I can’t detect any seaweed scent, the perfume seems to have a subtle salty quality and it reminds me of the sea. If it feels warmer, it’s probably because of the amber, which is finely blended with the coconut. The coconut doesn’t seem tropical at all, I find it creamy but still outside of the gourmand territory.
Verdict: KEEP. Lammas is such a unique perfume. It’s fresh and sweet but not foody. Too bad it was a limited release and isn’t available anymore. I hope it will be re-released again sometime in the future.
Delicate aquamarine scales and fins mingle with ribbons of seaweed, blueberries, brine, fresh rain, and gently sweet amber resin.
Sea Witch opens up with a biting tangle of seaweed, brine and blueberries. As soon as I apply the perfume to the skin, the brine loses its potency in favour of the blueberries and fresh rain, making the perfume less salty and sharp. It’s rawer than Lammas; I’d go so far as to say these two scents are on the opposite spectrum (the Sea Witch is not foody and is darker than Lammas). However, it soon loses nearly all saltiness and evolves into a fresh rain scent with the blueberries still hanging around.
When Sea Witch dries down, the blueberries and seaweed come back into action, but the seaweed is more mellow this time around. The sweetness and saltiness form an interesting accord that reminds me (would you ever guess?) of eating blueberries at the beach. Compared to Lammas, Sea Witch is still sharper and somewhat colder. Later on, it starts smelling perfumey – I can’t tell why or how but I think it’s the blueberries that take on a more commercial twist.
Verdict: KEEP. Sea Witch is quite different from Lammas. Because of the seaweed and aquamarine scales, this perfume is more unusual. It takes time to warm up to it but I like it and will wear it lots come summertime.
If you had to end the Arcana Lammas vs Sea Witch battle – which perfume would you choose?