When it comes to perfume reviews, Crazy Perfume Lady is someone I look up to. Why? Her knowledge is extensive and her vocabulary is simply much wider than mine, but I try and do my best to relay my own thoughts about perfume. Her comment on r/indiemakeupandmore about different NAVA vanillas sparked my interest and I knew that one day I’ll try at least some of those fabled fragrances. So, here’s my first post about Nocturne Alchemy Vanillas.
I bought my decants from Crown & Tulip, a not-for-profit “business” run by two perfume lovers (Update, August 2018: the owners don’t offer their decant services anymore). These decants cost $4.25 (Spooktacular) and $5.75 (Crystalline and Kobalt), which is a rather cheap way to test out a perfume. Crown & Tulip do their work fast, and are accommodating and approachable, so I will not hesitate to shop with them in the future.
Their NAVA decants are sold out but you can find samples or full-sized bottles on Nocturne Alchemy’s official website:
Find Crystalline and Kobalt on the Nocturne Alchemy website: here for $27 (5 ml).
Find Spooktacular on the Nocturne Alchemy website: here for $10 (2 ml), $20 (5 ml) or $40 (10 ml).
A unique and very special Egyptian vanilla resin perfume. Crystalline – for the signature vanilla scent it creates, one solid scent of an uplifting vanilla from the stigma of a vanilla orchid especially for this perfume.
This perfume is bright and almost gourmand, with an underlying hint of soapiness that transforms into a subdued and gentle vanilla as soon as it comes in contact with my skin. It’s like a wispy vanilla cloud, dotted with marshmallows. It’s got the gentlest throw, so sniffing it from up close is similar to burying your head in a bag full of marshmallows. It doesn’t morph even much later on. Instead, it stays in its fluffy, marshmallowy form that I adore. To be frank, its throw leaves something to be desired but, damn, it lasts so long! I could still smell it the following day – about 12 hours later – so I consider Crystalline a winner.
Exquisite vanilla accord of Cairo vanilla orchid leaves, pure EO of a true non-hybrid Egyptian vanilla grown specifically for NA by our beloved Egyptian alchemist based in Cairo.
Kobalt is a creamy vanilla with a sour leaf note, that isn’t pleasant at first but it soon dissipates in favour of a green orchid note. The scent has quite a bit of throw but it’s not pungent. The floral and the vanilla notes blend nearly seamlessly – I can smell them separately but they go together really well. As the perfume starts drying down, the leaf note disappears and leaves just a sweet vanilla in its wake. It almost smells candy-like but it remains classy throughout the whole time. It lasts for a good while and it has a good throw, especially at the beginning.
Vanilla essence, mallow root, whispers of sugar and unearthly vanilla bean pods. New formulation with Bastet’s ice cream accord. It is quite spooktacular.
Spooktacular is a sweet foody vanilla essence and vanilla ice cream, bottled in a perfume. This blend is the creamiest, sweetest, foodiest of these three NAVA vanillas! It’s practically like a decadent vanilla ice cream. This note disappears unusually fast, though, and I’m left with a sweet “skin scent” that might very well be a light marshmallow. Perhaps it’s shown once again that I can’t do mallow root? Dry, Spooktacular smells mostly like marshmallow and vanilla but it’s not as delicious as it is in the bottle, unfortunately. It’s got the lightest throw of them all, too: I can’t really smell it unless I press my nose to my arm. I’ll use this one up but will not repurchase it.
To sum up, Crystalline is the clear winner in this first round, and I can’t wait to try other NAVA vanillas or vanilla-centric blends!