It's that time of year, when glowing jack-o'-lanterns leer on porches, cobwebs and skulls become decorating staples and scary wee beasties creep in the shadows ready to pounce on candy. Don't you love Halloween? In honour of the delightfully dark day, I'm reviewing the Afraid of the Dark collection by Opus Oils.
The Afraid of the Dark collection has four perfume oils, Vamp, Ode de Vampyre, Lady Death and Charlie No. 5. The collection was released in 2009.
Vamp is meant to be a lush animalic floral in a vintage style, with "smoky" gardenia, orange blossom and tobacco. But Marilyn Monroe vampire never appears. Vamp starts with an interesting smoky note, but I don't really smell the promised gardenia and orange blossom. Instead I get a quiet and, generic white floral for an hour and then nothing. I don't smell the tobacco or vanilla at all. Unfortunately, I do smell coconut quite clearly, which I'm guessing is the coconut oil the perfume is based on. I don't think that it's meant to be a noticeable note.
Notes: Smokey Gardenia, Blond Tobacco, Orange Blossom & Vanilla
Now this is more like it. I'll admit it, I'm a vampire junkie. Name the movie, TV show or book, I've seen/read them all. So what could be better than a perfume named for my favourite dark and brooding fantasy?
Surprisingly, Ode de Vampyre is a cheerful rosy wood perfume. Loads of cedar and sandalwood combine with a fruity rose in the heart. I can smell a smidge of honey on the wood in the drydown. This one has good sillage and lasting power.
Notes: Blood Cedarwood, Saffron, Dark Rose, Orris Root, Sandalwood, Black Agar, Vetiver, Honey &
Moss covered stones, ethereal night blooming flora, midnight air, sweet anticipation of the last kiss from a ghostly apparition.
I think this is the most unique and interesting of the four perfumes, even if it is the hardest for me to wear. Lady Death features lily, a note I associate with death. But that's perfectly appropriate here. There is also datura, a night-blooming flower with poisonous and hallucinogenic properties. The datura flower attracts ghostly moths at night and is supposed to smell sweet, like jasmine. Lady Death combines lily with this sweet floral and a slightly salty oakmoss. The result is exactly the feeling of funeral bouquets and deadly flowers growing around damp cold stones.
Notes: of Datura, White Musk, Black Lily & Oak Moss
The most controversial of the lot, Charlie No. 5 has apparently been banned from eBay. It must have something to do with its inspiration, the killer Charles Manson. When I originally ordered my oils, the image on the left was a picture of his creepiness.
Do you like amber? If you do, you'll love Charlie No. 5. This perfume is all warm, delicious base notes. The labdanum is woody and balsamic, like a walk through a pine forest, and the patchouli adds a hint of dark earth. The vanilla and amber are smooth and sweet. This is my favourite of the four perfume oils. Despite its infamous inspiration, it's a cuddly comforting scent and perfect for those chilly dark October nights.
Notes: of Dark Amber, Aged Labdanum, Vanilla, Musk, Vintage Patchouli & Soft Amber
Happy Halloween my fragrant friends!
House: Opus Oils
Nose: Kendra Hart