Twyla Perfumes & Apothecary is a new-ish indie perfume store, having been open for only a couple of months. I hadn't heard of the store until someone mentioned it in a comment on a YouTube video. Of course, I immediately had to go and check it out, and to be honest I wasn't expecting much more than one of those junky little online stores with bad spelling and generic scents. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the site is lovely, the writing thoughtful and well-constructed, and the scents complex-sounding and intriguing.
I spent a few days trying to whittle down to a reasonable sized order, because frankly, I wanted pretty much everything. I was going to just leave it until after the new year, but in the end I decided I really had to have 3 full size limited editions that were about to come down and 2 sets of Little Drops of Poison - 3 samples in each. (Customer service note - the site stated that international shipping was $7.25 but when I went to Paypal it came up as $725! Obviously an incorrect decimal point somewhere! I emailed Twlya, who was in transit at the time, but she contacted me immediately and said she'd fix it ASAP, and within an hour she had contacted me again to tell me it was all done and I could go ahead and complete my order.)
A couple of days later she announced on Twitter that she had just released a limited edition trio of Christmas scents, and once they were gone they were gone. I went to have a look, and discovered they were all themed around chocolate. You know me and chocolate scents! These are $10US for each bottle or $25US for all three, so I figured what the heck - in for a penny and all that.
My first order (the limited editions no longer listed on the site and the sample vials) was on 1 December, and my second order (the Christmas trio) was on 3 December. I received them together on 17 December. My mail has been reaaaaaaally slow lately, getting backed up no doubt at either Customs or good old Australia Post (bastards), so I had not expected to get these orders before Christmas, or possibly even New Year. Score!
I thought I would review the Christmas scents first as the site states that these are very much limited, and I know some of you are also chocolate scent fans! I'll talk about the others in a week or so when I've had time to check them all out properly.
The Spirit of Christmas Past
White Chocolate Cognac Creme: a creamy, sweet yet wistfully delicate blend of massoia bark, pressed flowers, and french white cognac.In the bottle, this smells like chocolatey cognac - like one of those 'special' chocolate boxes your grandma would never let you have. At first when I applied it, all I got was the (quite pleasant) boozy note, and it didn't have a lot of throw. I had to bring my wrist up quite close to smell it. Once it dried, a creamy floral note came out - something very light and delicate like lilac or wisteria. Then came the white chocolate and the cream. After an hour or so it mellowed to a sweet-ish creamy scent with that floral note coming and going faintly. What do I like in a perfume? White chocolate, gentle florals, creamy notes... I feel like this one was made for me. It's gooooooorgeous. I wish I could have it in a shower gel, body butter, scrub, bath soak (even though I don't own a bath), and so on. ONE OF EVERYTHING, PLEASE.
The Spirit of Christmas Present
Chocolate Mint Cognac: a delicious blend of cacao absolute, French green cognac, bourbon vanilla, juniper berry and mint.In the bottle and when first applied, this is dark chocolate with a hint of mint. After a few minutes I could smell the cognac. This one was quite strong - I got a good whiff of chocolate and cognac whenever I moved my arm. It's a bit more masculine than Christmas Past, which I'd say is distinctly feminine. This perfume eventually mellows to a dark chocolate liqueur and lasts quite a long time on me. I really liked this a lot, though I'd be more inclined to wear it in cold weather. I think it could be interesting layered with some kind of smoky perfume too, as the cognac note is that 'rich men hanging out in private clubs' kind of thing.
The Spirit of Christmas Future
Dark Chocolate Cherry Cognac: rich, dark, deep and deadly blend of cacao absolute, bitter almond, and French green cognac.This one is the only one I didn't outright love. It's interesting and doesn't smell like anything else I have, but it's not quite my thing. The bitter almond comes out first on me, and in the bottle that's mostly what I get too, with a note of something green in the background. I guess that's the green cognac, but I don't really know as I've never heard of or smelled green cognac before. Who knew that was a thing? This one is also the least 'chocolatey' of the three, probably because it's a dark, bitter cocoa. It's quite masculine and imposing, and smells slightly tobacco-ish. It did last a few hours, but not as long as the other two. I would like to smell this one on a man.
These perfumes come in 6ml blue apothecary bottles with droppers, sealed caps and hand-written labels. The quality and care that has obviously gone into them is excellent. I'm really glad I took a chance and bought all three of these unsniffed. I probably won't get a huge amount of use out of Christmas Future, but it's another one I'd like to try again when the weather cools down. And although I'm unashamedly a lover of the girly smells, every now and then I like to break out with something a bit more blokey.
You can buy Twyla's perfumes on her website, and she also has a limited range (though not these particular ones listed individually, only as a set) in her Etsy shop.