Conjure Oils Perfume Review: Part One

I have tried a few decants of Conjure Oil’s limited editions and really enjoyed them, but this was my first direct order from this brand. I got a sampler pack (10 for $30) of Apollo, Brigid, Erinyes, Jamila, Kali Ma, La Maceta (The Flowerpot), Maman Brigitte, Marie LaVeau, Set, and Shapeshifter. I also received a free sample of March – Storm Moon with my order. I’m only covering the first 6 scents in this post so it doesn’t get too long, and I will post the rest soon.

Overall my impression of this brand is very positive. I find their scents are unique, multi-faceted, and evocative, and clearly connected to their inspiration. I would recommend them to people who like BPAL, although they have their own distinct scent aesthetic.

A note on TAT: I ordered on September 11 with a 28-day TAT listed, so I expected it to ship around October 19. They shipped on October 11, a week faster than anticipated, and arrived two days later, so even though it was still a long wait, I was pleased.

Now on to the reviews! Semi-NSFW (maybe?) for a couple paintings that include topless women and one with a nude guy with a piece of cloth unconvincingly floating over his junk.

 

Apollo
Frankincense, fenugreek and sunflower petals

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This is definitely a Helios image, and Helios is sometimes (not always) identified with Apollo, but it fits the scent well, so sue me.

In the vial it is medicinal and grassy – unpleasant to my nose. On my skin, it’s sharp and very grassy – pale green – but less medicinal, and joined by a somewhat soapy floral. By 10 minutes, pale frankincense emerges to soften and sweeten it. On deeper whiffs, there’s something vaguely anisey. As it dries, the frankincense and anise note effectively balance the grassiness, and the floral becomes more distinct with a nuance of hay.

After an hour, it’s not very grassy at all, and is dominated by frankincense, so it has a mild resinous sweetness. The floral isn’t soapy anymore – instead, it’s soft and dry, slightly musty, reminding me of chrysanthemum. I also smell a gentle, softened anise-curry hint of fenugreek – which doesn’t sound very appealing, but it works nicely to add quite a bit of complexity to the resin and floral. By three hours, those notes are less distinct individually, instead creating a golden herbal-resinous aura. I expected that to be the end of its transformation, but a few hours later, the fenugreek is more prominent, giving it a bit more spiciness, as well as a slight maple sweetness, all lying in a bed of warm sweet resin.

Verdict: This is certainly unconventional, but it somehow doesn’t read as “weird.” I’m not a big fan of herbal scents, but here it’s balanced with sweetness and a very nice pure frankincense note. I like it, I think. A unique masculine-leaning scent. Sillage is fairly soft after 3 hours, and it’s never a powerhouse, but it has average longevity (7-10 hrs).

Summary: A golden, spicy-herbal frankincense with just a touch of chrysanthemum-like floral.

Brigid
Green moss, verdant fields, heather and perpetual fire

aaa-brigid-final-550

In the vial it’s unexpectedly minty-sweet and grassy, but warm and fairly soft. As it warms up on my skin, I smell a sweet ambery note along with gently minty greenness and a very slight mossiness. By 10 minutes, there’s something like brown saddle leather, too, and a little bit of smokiness. The mint becomes more of a menthol-y cool note rather than mint, making me think of Irish meadows touched by frost, and it balances the firey warmth of amber. It’s a soft scent without hard-edged notes, so it starts to get a bit hard to define, more like an aura.

By an hour, I get smoky sweet amber, that lingering cool note, and lush (non-bitter) moss. This really evokes a soft, mid-toned green, rather than the bright, sharp green that I expected from “verdant fields.” It contrasts with the amber-gold glow. Altogether, there is a very distinct play of cold and warm elements that makes me think of fire and ice, and it’s captivating. By 4 hours, it’s definitely very mossy, and the moss is slightly bitter but not too sour, as it can be on my skin. I think I can pick benzoin out of the warm glow, or perhaps just a vanilla facet of amber. Something somehow ashen, as well. After a few more hours, it all mingles into a warm, mossy, fuzzy-sweet scent.

Verdict: This was a wild card for me, and I unexpectedly love it. The warmth, the soft greenery, the fire/ice dynamic. Perfect for Brigid. This reminds me a bit of Sixteen92 Cotton Mather in its warm sweet mossiness, but this is not as dark or as strongly masculine as that one is. Sillage is average, longevity is good (10+ hours).

Summary: Cold soft greenery and moss contrasting with glowing, warm, smoky sweet amber.

Erinyes
Blood red patchouli, Mycenaean honey, pomegranate incense, and deepest earth musk

3811
The thoroughly unconvincing censorship here is my new favorite thing.

In the vial, it’s somewhat cloying with honey, almond extract, and slightly cough-syrupy fruit. On my skin, it starts like honey and dark fruit syrup – a very dark purple-ish red. After a few minutes, a subtle, fuzzy earthiness develops. By 30 minutes, even though there is a definite cough syrup aspect, it’s not turning my stomach. It makes me think of black cherry honey syrup, cut with a hint of earthiness.

The cough syrup note continues to pop out at times, but I can live with it. It slowly becomes more incensey. At 2 hours, I mostly smell pomegranate honey, the syrupiness softened by incense. It’s a very red scent, dark red. By about 4 hours, Erinyes is about equal parts dark fruit syrup and resinous earthy incense. Somehow the incense doesn’t smell particularly smoky, nor does it smell like unburnt resin, and it’s earthy without smelling like literal dirt. Over several more hours, the earth musk becomes very prominent, possibly more so than the red fruit syrup and incense.

Verdict: I have mixed feelings. I’m not a fan of the cough-syrupy pomegranate, but I like the intense redness, and I really like when the earth musk comes out to play. It’s a very bold scent, befitting the Furies who inspired it. I’ll be aging this to see if it smooths out a bit. Sillage falls to low (about a foot or less) after 3 hours, but the longevity is fantastic and I can still smell it clearly on my wrist 24 hours later – sweet, red, and earthy.

Summary: Dark red fruit syrup/pomegranate honey that grows increasingly incensey and earthy.

Jamila
Shreds of toasted coconut and a gentle touch of almond are enhanced with champa musk attar, sweet incense, Night Queen blooms and the barely-there impression of dried rosebuds

edouard-frederic-wilhelm-richter-german-painter-1844-1913-e28093-oriental-dancer

In the vial, it’s juicy almond, shredded coconut, and a hint of champa. On my skin, the coconut shavings turn into coconut cream, with almond and a pale ethereal floral added to the mix – sometimes rose, as well. The incense is very soft and sweet, and with the floral it strikes me as a feminine, spring incense scent. It blends well together, staying soft almond, coconut cream, and champa, with varying levels of floral or incense depending on the day.

After an hour, it’s sweet almond-ish incense (nag champa?) with nuances of the other notes. Hard to describe or pick apart, because it turns into a unified floral-gourmand incense. Once in a while something a bit sour will peak out, but then it fades away again. After 10 hours I can still faintly smell sweet incense.

Verdict: I love this and have worn it several times since my initial test. I prefer apply this fairly lightly, since slathering seems to draw out more sweetness and rose than I like. It’s not nearly as dark as I expected, and it’s worth a try for people who aren’t crazy about incense, because there is very little smokiness to be found here, not a trace of patchouli, and no strong spicy/earthy tones. Sillage is strong but transparent rather than invasive, and longevity is about average.

Summary: Soft almond, coconut cream, and nag champa, a bit of rose and white floral – a well-blended, sweet incense.

Kali Ma
Dragon’s blood devours fragile night queen blossoms, champa flowers, jasmine blooms, black lotus petals and blood-red hibiscus skull garlands

Kali, or Troma Nagmo, Goddess of Time
Laura Santi     Giclee print         Original: gouache and 22 carat gold on linen     2005

In the vial, it’s a sweet floral – somewhat soapy, somewhat smoky. Pale red. On my skin, there’s something that reminds me of BPAL’s dragon blood (which is kind of like spicy cough syrup-lilac resin) along with the certain fruity sweetness of lotus. By 30 minutes, it’s very soapy. Dark floral soap with an incensey touch. I’m not a big fan, although the sweet incense in there is pretty nice if I sniff closely, and there’s an intriguing very light smokiness.

At an hour, I REALLY smell of soap. If I apply very lightly, I get a very pale silky jasmine note and rich sweet resin, but a strong application is in-your-face soap. It stays soapy and a bit muddled until after 2 hours, when I get sweet, rich, smoky dragon’s blood resin incense with a sweet, smooth floral woven in. It’s not terribly distinct, but it’s pleasant and only mildly soapy. The floral fades out over the next few hours, but by 5 hours a silky jasmine-like floral is back and soothing back the dragon’s blood incense, making it smoother and more feminine.

Verdict: I really dislike the early soapy stages, but I do really like the late drydown. There’s something like white musk that I think is trying to clean up the indolic jasmine, and it gets blown out of proportion on my skin into super-soap. This isn’t particularly dark or imposing, which was a disappointment to me but could work for people who want something a bit lighter. Sillage starts out very strong and fades into nearly a skin scent by 5 hours, slowly fading out after that – so low-average longevity.

Summary: Very soapy floral and sweet resin, eventually dries to rich smoky dragon’s blood with an accent of silky jasmine.

La Maceta (The Flowerpot)
Vibrant marigolds, scarlet geraniums, green leaves and fresh soil smile up at you from their terra cotta home

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In the vial and first on, it’s minty sweetness and a fresh, spicy floral with a very slight bit of dirt. That’s strange, but after a few minutes, the mintiness fades away completely. Instead, it’s a sweet, creamy floral with an almost lemon-vanilla heart, very pretty. I can also smell a bit of spicy geranium. By 10 minutes, that undercurrent of dirt is more detectable, and it balances beautifully with the sweetneess.

At 30 minutes, there’s still an overarching vanilla-like creaminess integrated into a sweet floral, complemented by the very subtle pepperiness of geranium and a subtle hint of dirt. It stays fairly linear, so I don’t have much more to say. For the next few hours, it’s the same straightforward, but beautiful, floral-vanilla and dirt.

Verdict: This is very beautiful and sunny, very different from what I expected because of the vanilla/citrus tones, but effective. Pretty and feminine, but not in a perfumey way at all. Sillage is fairly low from the start, though it’s very strong and distinct within about a foot of my wrist until about 4 hours. It lasts a few hours after that as a skin scent, but still fairly low longevity for me.

Summary: Sweet, creamy floral, evoking lemon-vanilla, with a hint of dirt and pepperiness.

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3 thoughts on “Conjure Oils Perfume Review: Part One

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