Winter Solstice

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Before I do the show-and-tell thing with this beautiful order I received from indie parfumerie Solstice Scents, allow me to share with you one of those odd little serendipitous moments that makes you feel at one with the universe.  Or mildly creeped out.  Depends on your world perspective, I suppose. 😉

Anyhow, after choosing a title for this post – Winter Solstice, because it’s winter, and this is an order from Solstice Scents – I thought to myself, “Huh, IS there such a thing as a winter solstice?”  Turns out there is! 2016’s winter solstice – you may know it as the shortest day of the year – was December 21st, which is the day I received this order.  Dun dun duuuuuunnnnnnnnn.  Really nothing more than a coincidence (Alanis would probably call it irony) but a cool little blip amid the atrocious randomness of the universe nonetheless.

Okay, so now that we’ve got that heavy stuff out of the way, let’s move on to the perfume! It’s been ages since I’ve been this excited about a new vendor, and even longer since I’ve worn perfume (I worked for many years in close-quarters courtrooms, pretty well the last place you should be doused, or even lightly spritzed, in anything.)  So when this tiny, potent pack of goodies arrived a handful of days before Christmas, I was in *just* the right festive mood to dive back into the world of olfactory delights, and delight in discovering a new vendor.

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First, the basics.  I placed my order on December 13th, Solstice shipped it from their Florida location on December 14th, and I received it here in Ontario a week later on the 21st.  That lightning fast turnaround time allowed me to sample some of the fragrances over the holidays, where I discovered a fabulous new favourite that smells just like me.  It’s the best thing I’ve smelled in forever!  My items (four 5 ml rollerball perfume oils, two 2.5 ml spray samples and six sampler vials) came neatly packed in a tiny box filled with the most gorgeous dark green tissue paper adorned with a festive sprig of evergreen – a lovely little touch.  Lovelier still were the postcards – including a handwritten thank you – depicting some of Solstice’s fragrances, as well as maps and bulletins from the Town of Foxcroft, inspiration for a number of their perfumes.

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Thoughtful aesthetic touches aside, let’s take a closer look at the contents of my order, shall we? First, I purchased four perfume oils in these cute little blue glass rollerballs. Each bottle was $15.00 US.

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Owing to what I’m assuming are infuriatingly random trade rules, Solstice is unable to ship sizes greater than the 5 ml perfume oils internationally.  So I’m stuck with these baby bottles until such time as I can ask an American friend for a fragranced favour, because I’m in LOVE with one of the scents I chose, Snowmint Mallow, and would very much like it in a larger size.  This is the fragrance I described some weeks ago as smelling like a beloved perfume I wore in high school, a refreshing, creamy and comforting blend of peppermint, cake, cookies, coconut and marshmallow cream.  Holy lord is it fabulous, and not remotely as heavy or gooey-smelling as you’d imagine from that description.

Of the other three perfume oils, I like Blackburn’s Parlor the best.  It’s another sundae-scented fragrance in that it literally smells like a banana split – sugary, buttery waffle cones, creamy chocolate and vanilla soft serve and the barest hint of fresh banana.  This is another one that somehow doesn’t come across as tooth-achingly sweet; rather, it’s a light gourmand scent softened with custardy cream.

I regrettably don’t care much for either Halloween Night or Blackburn Farmstead, the latter being a musky blackberry scent that simply doesn’t tickle my fancy.  Dark berry blends never have, though, something I should have remembered when placing this wildcard pick in my basket.  But I’ve no doubt I’ll be able to find Blackburn Farmstead a good home with someone who can appreciate its lush amber berries.  Halloween Night is…intriguing. Smells a bit like assorted candies rattling around the bottom of a plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin.  I can actually picture myself wearing this Halloween night.

Next, I ordered an assortment of fragrances in smaller sizes I wasn’t too sure about based on their descriptions.

I purchased two 2.5 ml eau de parfum spray samples in Owl Creek Aleworks, a rich, toffee and stout-infused butter bomb, and Foxcroft Fairgrounds, a light confection of a fragrance scented like sweetly spun sugar. Lovely, both.  Each spray bottle was $8.00 US.

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Finally, I purchased five fragrances (plus one freebie) in a beautifully presented sampler pack for $15.00 US.  I haven’t yet explored these scents in any meaningful way, but here I went kind of buck wild with my choices, swinging from sugary gourmand fragrances like Kitchen and Sycamore Sugarworks, to lively fruity fragrances like Heat of the Night, whose succulent mango notes I can already tell you I like very much.

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Overall, I’m tremendously pleased with my first – but certainly not last – Solstice Scents order.  Everything about this was a positive experience, from the no-fuss ordering system and super speedy delivery, to the beautiful presentation and gorgeously-crafted fragrances.  A definite winner.  Can’t wait to see what other fantastic scents are awaiting my discovery.

ETA: It has been brought to my attention by the very kind and complimentary folks at Solstice that there are actually a couple of vendors that deal in their beautiful perfumes internationally, Pretty Indulgent (they also carry a number of other niche lines) and The Rhinestone Housewife (same), who offers Solstice’s eau de parfums in 60 ml bottles that should hopefully slay my scent lust for all things Snowmint Mallow!

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10 thoughts on “Winter Solstice

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful order! I adore Solstice Scents too and I highly suspect no one can order without finding a new favorite fragrance; they’re that good! Do you care for woodsy vanilla fragrances? If you do you absolutely have to try Manor. Julie turned me onto it and it’s literally probably my favorite perfume now. Smells just like freshly cut lumber to me with some vanilla extract and a splash of bourbon spilled on the saw dust. It has strong silage and lasts a good 6-7 hours on me; I get many compliments on it. If you like rose, another favorite of mine is Rose Mallow Cream. A fresh rose and sweet vanilla; smells wonderful!

    • You are most welcome – I really loved writing this post and putting it together. I’m regrettably not the hugest fan of woodsy, earthy scents, but I am coming around. I adore the smell of freshly cut wood, though (there’s a wood shop in the basement of my condo building, and sometimes I just stand outside the door and breathe it all in) so maybe I’ll have to try this Manor you and Julie speak of so highly (sounds pretty fantastic, though, and I do also love bourbon…)

      Question (and I can totally look this up myself, but where’s the fun in that): What’s silage? Is that how it carries or the time it’s present (?) on your skin? All these fun new terms…

  2. What a happy coincidence about the Winter Solstice!

    That is some lightning fast shipping! Weird that they cannot ship more than 5ml internationally… but I can buy a 60ml perfume bottle from South Korea just because I have an APO box.

    I regret not picking up any Snowmint Mallow in my order. I should have, and I have some serious FOMO going on hearing how much you like it.
    You picked up some great scents for your first order! My favorite has become Snowshoe Pass – a lovely vanilla and musk type scent.

    • Yup, international shipping (it IS, but I still laugh every time I think of Canada as international to the US) is a hideous, confusing beast. Never stop changing up the rules, world!

      I’m glad to hear my excitement and interest in Solstice is infectious – or is that just called enabling? 😉 Snowshoe Pass sounds delicious, but really, at this point I’m willing to give anything a go just to see what flies.

  3. You do live a serendipitous life:)
    I’m not into indie parfums, yet, but I’d consider ordering for the unique packaging alone. Not to mention postcards, this girl geeks postcards. Are they legit able to be mailed or decorative? How intriguing that these scents are created with all this backstory. Your excitement definitely comes through to the reader, but what grabbed me most was the super-organized photo layouts, with matching frames. Very eye-catching!

    • Thank you for mentioning the photos – I tried something different this time. I wanted to highlight all that lovely packaging and the design work.

      Should have chosen my words more carefully – the postcards are really double-sided printed cards; the top row is one side, the bottom row is the other. They’re quite heavy, though – definitely postcard weight. It would have been very cool if they had been mailable, though, right?

  4. Love that coincidence! What a perfect way to ring in the Winter Solstice. I love the photos and the way you describe the scents. Sounds like a few were tailor made just for you. Dark fruits and amber you say? I will need to sample Blackburn Farmstead. Owl Creek Aleworks is a stand out for me. I love it. You might like Manor. Did I send you a sample of that one? You like vanilla right? I am definitely craving some SS. I will wear Runestone tomorrow.

    • Dude, it’s yours – the next time I’m sending a care package down your way (I’m thinking after I get my hands on my sweet Sniff My Tarts custom goodies – I’m 13th on the second list! – and also after I take possession of the two pies and a loaf from Rosegirls I nabbed before the holidays) Blackburn Farmstead will be in there. My thank you for sending all this lovely Solstice Scents interest and traffic my way – really, I’ve seen such an uptick in readers today, and people have been so lovely and complimentary. Thank you!

      You sent me a sample of Jack & the Devil, which I’ve got secreted away for next fall. I think Manor is your jam, right? Big bottle-worthy? I really want to try Vanilla Pipe Tobacco, but they were out when I placed my last order. I’m looking for something that smells like my pipe-smoking grandfather did (and he smelled like sticky cherry vanilla pipe tobacco, because that’s what I bought him (through my mom) for Christmas every year – pouches and pouches of pipe tobacco. Bad enabler granddaughter!)

      • Don’t feel bad. We all have out vices that make life happy. I used to buy my step-dad Beechnut chewing tobacco from Edward’s Pipe and Tobacco store as a Christmas gift when I was in college and first started teaching. I do have a full bottle of Manor but I want to try Vanilla Pipe Tobacco too.

        Thank you for thinking of me! I will be assembling a package for you over the next month or two as well. I need to let you try some TBG!!

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