Indie Friday: A few fragrances by Solstice Scents #1 | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

07 March, 2014

Indie Friday: A few fragrances by Solstice Scents #1

Bought It

Happy Friday everyone! I had planned on taking some swatch photos today, but the light is sort of grey and terrible right now so I thought I'd share another mini-batch of indie fragrance reviews instead. This time, we'll be taking a look at some offerings from Solstice Scents.

solstice scents full size 0.35oz 10ml sample vial size comparison
A 10ml/0.35oz-ish full-sized Solstice Scents perfume bottle pictured with several sample vials

Solstice Scents is based out of Gainesville, FL. They're one of those companies that's been around for a while and is fairly successful, so not entirely tiny as far as indies go. The plus-side of that is that they have a very efficient turnaround time for orders - no endless waiting. They make a HUGE variety of scented body care stuff and perfumes. I've amassed quite a few samples from them over the past year, but I'll just be focusing on four scents today so this post isn't a million words long.

Edge of the Night (Full size 0.35 oz, $15):

Shop description: "Edge of the Night is inspired by dark sensual perfumes for Women such as Guerlain's Shalimar and Yves Saint Laurent's Opium.  It is an elegant yet edgy blend best suited for evening wear when you'd prefer something a little more daring and sexy.  This is a perfume that loves to be paired with a bold red lip, stilettos and a leather mini.  It's beautiful, mysterious and fearless. Edge of the Night is a blend of amber, oakmoss, aged patchouli, bergamot, black vanilla, a touch of red musk and buddha wood and a delicate blend of organic clove EO, star anise EO and cinnamon.  This fragrance also contains a nominal amount of lavender absolute and agarwood which are not a detectable notes in the blend."

That's an abbreviated description from the shop by the way - their descriptions are long, so if you want more info definitely check out the product pages. Anyway, Edge of the Night: This is one of those scents where I have trouble picking out most of the individual notes from it, but it smells wonderful. If I give it a deep sniff in the bottle the musk, amber and bergamot pop out the most to me, but once I've applied it the bergamot dissipates and everything else sort of melds into this soft, sultry, spicy, wonderful thing. It actually does remind me a bit of Shalimar, and if you like Orientials in general then there's a good chance this would appeal to you.

Lace Draped Spectre (Discontinued):

Shop description: "A hauntingly feminine blend of Madagascar Vanilla, Baby's Breath, Pink Carnation and a hint of Green Pepper Essential Oil. The scent of an elegantly perfumed ivory lace shroud adorning the fleeting image of a mysterious visitor. Soft vanilla accentuated with a hint of spice and creamy floral."

This scent was recently discontinued due to supply issues, but I figured I'd include it in case they ever reformulate it and/or bring it back somehow. This is a wonderful floral that manages to be both creamy and spicy. In the bottle I smell mostly smell carnation and vanilla, but once applied to the skin that gets punctuated with a peculiar green note - I'm guessing that's the green pepper? It's interesting, because I've worn this a number of times and when I do Stan will usually say one of two things: Either "You smell amaaaaaazing" or "You smell like rotting flowers." And you know what? I think both of those things are sort of right, haha. This perfume sort of reminds me of an opulent bouquet of carnations that are a little bit past their prime. It's both lovely and unusual, so if you like spicy carnation scents you should stalk their website or Facebook page and hope they find a way to make it again.

Nightgown (Full size 0.35 oz, $15):

Shop description: "A sensual and very creamy floral fragrance, Nightgown evokes the image of a gorgeous satin nightie with lace trim. It fits like a second skin and is the perfect attire for lounging and snuggling. This perfume is the representation of the fabric itself: beautiful, plush, sweet and delicate with white velvety petals from exotic flowers that entrance you with aphrodisiac qualities. Notes: Vanilla, White Chocolate, Tuberose & Tiare Flowers."

This is definitely a floral, but daaaaaaang is it a sweet and creamy one. After vanilla, the tiare (similar to gardenia) note is most prominent to my nose. This is an extremely mellow and feminine scent, and folks who prefer sweet fragrances over florals might find this appealing, because the floral notes are more "breezy" than "old-ladyish". I'm not sure if Nightgown suits me personally... I think I prefer the strange piquancy of Lace Draped Spectre. But this is nicely blended perfume, so if the notes appeal to you then it's worth a shot.

Smoky Mountain Mallow (Full size 0.35 oz, $17):

Shop description: "A sweet and smoky scent reminiscent of the smell of chimney smoke in the cold winter air and the comforting aroma of the fireside.  There are layers to the smoke accord created in this scent.  It is rich and warm and smells of campfire smoke that clings to your clothes and burning woods with a hint of soot, char, ashes and glowing embers all at once.  The sweet marshmallow adds a creaminess that rounds out the strong smoky profile.  Lapsang Souchong C02 (smoked tea), precious fossilized amber resin, sweet guaiacwood, golden resinous labdanum, wood smoke, fluffy marshmallows and a touch of nutmeg essential oil combine to provide an extremely atmospheric and delectable experience."

In case you weren't sure, this is a smoky scent. When first applied, the Lapsang Souchong note is most prominent, but then it mellows out to a general smoky note with a bit of sweetness behind it. If campfire residue mixed with caramelizing sugar and a faint hit of tea appeals to you, then you'll probably love Smokey Mountain Mallow. I doubt I'll ever be making this my regular perfume, but it's a pleasant thing to wear as a novelty now and then. Maybe even comforting. Assuming you don't find smoky scents revolting, of course.

General information:

You can buy sample vials of Solstice Scents' perfumes starting at the very reasonable price of $2.50 each. I would strongly recommend doing that first if you're new to the brand, because while the scent descriptions in the shop are very detailed and usually pretty darn accurate, you never know if something will have a funky reaction with your body chemistry. Speaking of which, the descriptions above are based on how the perfumes smell on me - obviously your mileage may vary.

When you check out, look for the thing that says "SELECT YOUR FREE PERFUME SAMPLE" at the bottom of the cart. You can use that dropdown menu to select an additional free sample with your order. I think most of the full-sized versions of their fragrances are about 10ml/0.35oz, however they do have some "premium" fragrances listed here that are 5ml. If you're not sure, just read the info in the product page - the descriptions are very detailed.

10ml vs. sample vial vs. American penny size comparison:

Sample vial vs. a bunch of random foreign coins I had in my office size comparison:

I think one of those coins may not even be actively circulating anymore. Now I *know* that's helpful.

Which of these scents sounds most appealing to you? Have you tried anything by Solstice Scents?


  1. Some of those sound great! What kind of longevity do they have?

  2. I would say they're similar to most other indie perfume oils in that department - maybe a few hours. I find that Edge of the Night lasts the longest, though it gets a lot more subtle at the end.

  3. Geez you know your fragrances. All I can tell is whether or not I like the way a perfume smells.

  4. I am really, really, really not an expert on perfumes. I do have a bloodhound-esque sense of smell though, so I can often pick out at least some of the notes. Great for fragrance reviews, not so great when my neighbor cooks gross-smelling meals across the hall.

  5. Lapsang Souchong as a top note? I don't think I've ever heard of such a thing, but I that's probably why Indies are fun - they're so unexpected.

  6. I suppose that is rather unusual. I've been wearing mostly indie perfumes these days, so I guess the odd ones are starting to see less odd to me...

  7. The green pepper note is definitely a little weird, but I like it. I do enjoy eating green peppers... and raspberries! Our senses of smell/taste must be totally different, haha. Smoky Mountain Mallow is definitely a good fragrance, just not exactly my "thing". I put it on my boyfriend and he loooooooooved it though. What types of perfumes do you usually like?

  8. Peppers are WONDERFUL in fragrances and was voted the best note in 2012! Green pepper is more of a green, fresh, herbal note and it the shortest lasting of any peppers. It can turn a fragrance into an almost aquatic scent and is becoming more and more trendy (L'Eau par Kenzo pour Homme by Kenzo). Pink pepper is actually a berry instead of a pepper shape we're accustomed to seeing in the grocery store. It's very opposite of it's name and is more floral, sweet and rosy like in scent and is known to be very addicting once sprayed on (think Gucci Guilty). It's by far the most popular pepper scent and for good reason :D Black pepper is a very smoky, hot and musky note; It makes the fragrance feel warm and soothing (Crystal Noir - Versace).

    Yeah. I was a "Fragrance Expert" at Sephora. I...I have tons of useless knowledge about notes T__T

  9. Hah, thanks for the insight! The fragrance above definitely has a "green" and "fresh" element. I had no idea that peppers were THE note of 2012, way to go! Haha!

  10. I am definitely bummed that they discontinued it. I think the reason was because they couldn't get one of the ingredients anymore, so I'm hoping that they find a way to reformulate a similar version. You could always get Nightgown (which is also vanilla-y but not spicy) and pretend it's Lace Draped Spectre. :P

  11. I have never heard of Solstice Scents. My top 2 that sounds like something I might would like is Nightgown and Edge of Night. I love sweet smelling perfumes most of all then my second choices is musks. Do you find these scents stays on your body for long periods of time?

  12. They usually last a few hours. When I buy full sizes of indie perfume oils, I like to find ones in rollerballs or solids so I can easily carry them in my purse, because I don't think they last as long on me as some mainstream eaus. Solstice Scents does sell their full sizes in rollers, thankfully.

  13. Thank you for the tip for the rollers!!

  14. I love the sound of Edge of Night. It's great that they offer samples, because ordering perfumes online sounds pretty daunting to me. xD

  15. Oh yes, that is one of my favorite thing about buying from indie perfume sellers - sample/mini vials. When you find something you love you're like NOOOOO WANT MORE, but when you get one you *hate* you thank the heavens you only ended up with a tiny bit of it. More often though I find ones that are generally OK but wouldn't buy a full bottle of (like Smoky Mountain Mallow).