|Arcana Soaps Dia de los Muertos and Queen Crossbones perfume oils.|
Pretty Indulgent was having a week-long Arcana giveaway on their Facebook, and I was lucky to be the winner of day one! These were both perfumes I'd never given a second glance, mostly because I had somehow wrongly assumed Dia was more a cinnamon scent and Queen Crossbones was one that just didn't sound or look like something I'd want to wear. My luck rounded out and ended up making me doubly happy when I finally pulled both of these out of the package.
I've never been so happy to be so wrong and so surprised.
|Arcana Dia de los Muertos in a 5ml bottle.|
The label art of the original Catrina is a perfect fit.
It's absolutely gorgeous wet out the bottle, a slightly musty and deep cocoa with a few spices I cannot name and a slight sweetness from honey. It's perfect. The cocoa is rich and dark and not at all fake or sweet. There's something a bit "dusty" about it in a way. It's not wet syrup or melted chocolate. It's true, powdery bitter cocoa.
On the skin for me something a bit fruity amps up, almost like wine. I'm unsure what that's from, but it's lovely, a bit like spiced wine and honey with the cocoa fading in the background. It dries down nicely to just a warmly sweet and spicy scent without the spices being too overpowering.
Depending on where I am hormonally it seems to either stay that way and fade into faint spiced sweetness or it goes weirdly plastic. There's a note in Pumpkins Crave Terror that seems to do the same to me at the same times, so I think it must be something Julia uses that just doesn't agree with my skin chemistry on certain days. Overall this reminds me a bit of Reign in Hell, but with less cinnamon and no patchouli. It also reminds me of a sweeter and less musty version of Villainess' Dulces En Fuego Whipped, which I am also in love with right now.
Deliciousness from this aside though, it wasn't even the standout of the two compared to the unexpected holy grail that is Queen Crossbones.
|The label looks so unassuming...|
Oh boy, what a dark horse.
Queen Crossbones is, "The adventurous scents of a pirate queen's far-flung travels: creamy Egyptian musk, wild honey, sweet coconut and exotic resins."
Out of the bottle it's honey with powdery musk. Just golden, dripping honey, so much so that smelling it brings to mind memories of tasting honey. It's a scent I can nearly feel on my tongue. Many have praised Arcana's honey note, and this is why. It's incredibly rich and true, it is very nearly real honey, like sticking your nose in the jar.
On the skin at first it's almost a bit overwhelming, because it's quite strong in sillage. I don't get any resin out of it that I detect, or anything tropical or coconut notes. Instead what I get is very powdery yet creamy musk and that dripping honey, which is pleasant, but it's in the drydown about half an hour in the real magic starts. Once it settles and mellows it just becomes wonderfully soft and sweet and creamy, not in a gourmand way, almost in a laundry or warm blanket way, but not as clean or astringent or fake. Sometimes the honey resurfaces and makes itself prominent with a hint of floral sweetness, but then fades back in. It's a very soft, warm and natural smell. It's the kind of soft perfume that brings people closer to you. It lasts fairly long, several hours at least, but it continues to get fainter fairly quickly. It stays, but the sillage is pretty low after the first hour or so of wear.
This has been a daily wear for me. Which maybe sounds very innocuous, but for me it's a big deal. I am very much a "favorites" person, I enjoy variety but when I find something I really love, I will love it until it's in pieces. I listen to the same song on loop on itunes and I'd willingly eat the same thing for dinner three nights in a row if I really love it.
For me, this perfume has become my song on loop. I'm sure I'll change it out with others here and there, but I'll keep coming back to it. If you are a honey person, or a sweet perfume person, this is very much worth a try. Arcana doesn't sell samples outright, so you may need to plunge on a full bottle, but I've heard from many Arcana lovers that this is a cult fav, and now I honestly understand why.
Dia de los Muertos, Queen Crossbones and Holy Terror now form the holy trinity that is the cornerstone of my Arcana perfume stash.
O captain, my captain!
Where to buy: Arcana may be purchased from Pretty Indulgent, Rhinestone Housewife or from Arcana's eBay. Scent availability tends to waver, so your next best bet would be checking destashes of people selling off their collections.