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Review of Esscentual Alchemy by Opal Tulipiano

April 5, 2011

This review is from an old friend, who lives in Canada, and is involved in the cosmetics industry.

She purchased a sampler pack, and today, I was tagged on Facebook with this surprise.  I had no idea, and Opal has always been a sensual, passionate writer, especially when it comes to things she loves.

Esscentual Alchemy Review

When the package arrived today in the mail, I was tickled! I am not affiliated with review magazines, I am not a journalist, I am not in the perfume world necessarily, but what I have is a passion for scents and a desire to express them through the written word. Amanda Feeley has a real talent for the blending and even better- the longevity, the revealing layers- of an unfolding scent, and how they move together on the skin. Truly like the notes of a piece of music creating a personalized story.

What starts as sharp and crisp, alluding to the later stages- when worn on the skin, emerges in ribbons of scent that warm and evoke a deepness and a sophistication that unfurl and exceed expectation. The fact that these are pure extractions-chosen naturally sourced and with botanical purity in mind-not synthetic fragrance oils-is an absolute miracle in sensibility and longevity.

First- they came wrapped delightfully in a gorgeous vanilla coloured embossed box, with a ribbon complete with music notes (Music for your nose! *Giggle*) and a lovely ivory ribbon. Then, a beautiful dragonfly themed tissue paper, and a wax-sealed-stamped dragonfly holding a dried flower.

The presentation was a treat! The samples were encased in a velvet pouch….but the real treat was inside! How do I try them all at once? Surely my olfactory senses will give out before I sample each one- and which to try first? Oh… a quandary. But if it must be a challenge, what better to encounter than this?

So I started blotting oils on each area of my arm I could reach with my nose…. To quickly find I needed a better way to keep track as the scents evolved. So I chose a few and labeled my arm.  I am doing a few at a time to give proper scale and allow my nose to adapt to the uniqueness of each scent. More to come!

I was very anxious to try to warmer scents first…

Bennacht- Oh Bennacht how you have stolen my heart. You evolve like a full bodied silky shawl with your sandalwood undertones and your spicy floral heart. You are definitely showing up in my roster when I want to tell a secret and the whisper of the scent I leave will entice them to remember it. Rapturous. Nose-gasm. Feminine but not cloying.

Autumn Spice -CINNAMON! Spice! Everything nice! Initially the notes were of course- warm and autumny- like a simmering cuddly cinnamon stick, nutmeg, woods but with an undertone of orange… not too sweet, but just sweet enough.

Gourmand delight- I want to eat you. No lie. Creamy. Wholesome. Tender. Sweet. Edible. Just how we all want to be perceived! OK, a little bit nutty perhaps- nothing wrong with that! Bedtime scent!

Melange- reminds me of what I currently clean my home with- a blend of patchouli, orange, ylang ylang, lavender- and is that the sharper note of eucalyptis or melaleuca? I am pretty sure all the notes I detect are wrong except for the patchouli, but that is how I perceive them and I love them! Familiar- intoxicating.

Lime in the Coconut- Exactly how it’s described- so long lasting too! I couldn’t stop sniffing this one! Addictive.

I can’t wait to smell them all! I do, however, want to eat my arm or roll on myself like a contented kitty who’s found a life-sized doll filled with catnip.

Even better? Having them all intertwined on my arm is truly a beautiful experience- I feel like I am in a fog as I bring my arm up to sniff one more time, to see what I can perceive THIS time….

You need to try some of these! So lovely. I am so so impressed.

~ Opal Tulipiano

Opal’s Bio:

Opal walks into a room, commands attention, turns heads… is it her or something she’s wearing? Definitely something she’s wearing. I have been known to follow a man who wears a compelling scent- or I have embarrassed myself absolutely as I Must know the name of a woman’s parfum- it is such a force-like I am a jedi of smells. The compelling power of fragrance is intoxicating! Reading about fragrance notes is almost as great an experience as getting my hands on them and smelling them. I am not a scent snob. I am just passionate about fragrance. Walking into Bath & Body Works is a transcendent experience for me.
I love falling in love through my nose, and I do it constantly. Nosegasms get me through my days on a cloud of delight.

April 25, 2011

The second half of my review-

I am going to launch into a continuation of the gorgeous fragrances I have been sampling from Esscentual Alchemy. These are beautiful blends, each unique and made from natural sources.

OPHELIA- Heady. Vintage, floral, rich, an established thick garden in the middle of the city. Nearby there are large barrels of soil-salty earth and a sort of ozone-patina blend from the barrel’s metal rings .This is a rich and wet fragrance to me. Deep violet. A woman with sly eyes, peeking in a come-hither way, in a black and white photograph, well worn at the corners…. Well-loved.

That 70’s Smell- I thought it would be patchouli- the pure undiluted kind… it is not. Not at all. It is a resinous pine, fresh citrus-I detect a sharp oceanic note-maybe lavender-fresh is the pervading scent, classic and crisp. Very different than I imagined. Nostalgic, like it’s a warm summer day, and you’ve walked into a fresh lemon-scented home and it is comfortable and clean all at once. Wearable. It evolves beyond the initial notes into those I suspected originally. Deeper like the frankincense but with the lightness of the bergamot giving it scope.

Kama- There is a special place in my heart for any scent that makes you go “Oooh” like a sensual punch to the stomach that makes you sit up and want to reach for another sniff, going ‘what IS that exactly?’ This one starts strong and develops into a rich enveloping spice and makes you sing out to the tips of the hair on your arms. It rivals any classic fragrance with strong spice notes- you know the ones I mean- the ones you turn to for comfort, sex in a bottle, warmth, moan-worthy. This is one moan worthy fragrance! I’ll be using this one again! and I do mean ‘using’, as it is a tool.

Purple Orchid- Clean. Light Floral. Sensual. Fresh. The longer it rests on the skin the more soapy it becomes. Almost powdery with lavender freshness. I LOVE a good lavender. It’s so calming and clean. Makes you want to nuzzle up into someone’s neck and hug deeply. Although this is primarily what I would consider a woman’s fragrance, I could see a man wearing this. Lavender speaks to me of cleanliness and love.

Fleurs- Sharp bouquet. A rich blend of many flowers. Great longevity, it plays to different emotions. I can really smell the violet in this one at first, and also a grape scent, very fruity- my nose wants to associate it with grape, even if it isn’t officially listed. On me, the florals take on a burned, slightly sharper scent. But I can see on the right chemistry the blooms would really bloom! The sillage is good… very good- After a few hours, what originally took on a burnish scent has subdued into a gorgeously soft full spectrum blossom that is almost incandescent in its fresh but full-bodied range of florals. Romantic and feminine, a lovely soft sweetness lingers. I prefer the drydown on myself- and it is certainly worth it- the vanilla shines through, but not in a cupcake way- it lends the florals a depth they wouldn’t achieve on their own. And THIS is how you know a fragrance is blended expertly. It takes hold of you later on and says ” So we meet again…. what can I show you now, my sweet, I have so many more surprises up my sleeve.” With a wink and a lingering kiss.

Opal can be found writing for Perfume Pharmer