Online Store: www.solsticescents.com
I’ve heard some wonderful things about an independent bath and beauty brand by the name of Solstice Scents. I never used to be big on bath and beauty products, probably because my first experience was with plastic, fake smelling drugstore and Bath and Body works scents. I do tend to enjoy a wide variety of scents, but I have my favorite scent notes: sandalwood, vanilla, amber, cedarwood, patchouli (when well blended), , clove, coconut, basil, orange, grapefruit, cinnamon, pumpkin, coffee, chocolate.
I’m not a huge floral fan, but I find if they are balanced and blended nicely with an earthy or spicy element I tend to enjoy them more. Favorite florals: rose oil (when not too overpowering), violet, magnolia, neroli blossoms, champa flowers, and jasmine. I despise lilac and honeysuckle, they give me a headache. I want to include this information as I know that scent is very personal. If you have the option, I highly recommend trying out samples if you are new to perfumes or are trying out a new company.
Packaging and Shipping: These items shipped to me very quickly, I’d say within a week and a half from the day I ordered them which is excellent for an independent company. The items came very well packed in a sturdy, compact brown box with cute crimped, colorful packing paper. The order came with a business card, bookmark, and promotional postcard; very well thought out and consistant with the aged, alchemy inspired look the company is going for. The perfume oils come in a elegant, frosted cobalt blue rollerball bottles with antiqued labeling with a neatly handwritten label. You can tell the owner puts a lot of pride in her products and it shows.
Vegan and Cruelty-Free: This is a cruelty-free company with a thorough vegan list available on their site. A company gets major points if they clearly list which of their products are vegan and which are not. This helps immensely and eliminates some of the headache from vegan beauty shopping:
Here is the vegan statement from their F.A.Q.:
Our Ganache, Burnishing Glace, Botanical Toners, Home Fragrance Oils, Glycerine Soap (with the exception of the Botanical Beauty Bar, which contains honey), Sugared Amber Scrubs, Turbinado Scrubs and Whipped Soaps are all Vegan. The Dead Sea Salt Oatmeal Milk Bath is not Vegan as our coconut milk contains casein, a milk protein. The Oatmeal Face Masque and Exquisite Face Masque are not Vegan as they contain Honey Power and Coconut Milk Powder. Our Perfume oils are all Vegan with the exception of Inquisitor, which contains beeswax absolute.
Pricing: Prices, for perfumes, range from about $9-15. The more common fragrances, clearance, or single note scents are around $9. The more complex and unique the fragrance, the more they cost…everything is very fairy priced for .35 oz of product.
Scent First Impressions:
Nag Champa (website description: An Exotic Incensey Blend of Champa Flowers, Vanilla, Jasmine & Spices) : This is definitely my most “hippie” fragrance I’ve tried, but I actually really do like this. This is a strong, powdery sweet kind of floral..its a very popular incense type of fragrance, this is the fragrance Bob Dylan likes to burn at some of his concerts, as well as being a favorite of the Grateful Dead. This is probably why its so strongly attributed to the hippie counter-culture, but it is actually a traditional Indian based fragrance. A little goes a long way with this fragrance. It has a powerful throw and very nice longevity. I can see this being overpowering if you use to much of it.
Night Star (website description: Ceremonial resins, patchouli, cold and spicy nutmeg, warm sandalwood and a touch of lemon, orange and clove meld together to create a dark, dry, resinous, earthy and spicy aroma.): This perfume is marketed as a winter/holiday scent, but I think it would work well year round. The top note is nutmeg, but the lemon really perks this up and keeps it fresh. The patchouli in this is subtle, which I like. I like when patchouli is used to ground a scent, but doesn’t over power it. This is a fresh and spicy scent with a bit of coldness too if that makes sense. The nutmeg is strong in this, so if you aren’t a fan of nutmeg, you probably won’t like this.
Spellbound Woods (website description: a soft, incensy blend of vanilla, sandalwood, cedar, and amber): This type of fragrance blend is one of my personal favorites. I have a very similar scent from One Hand Washes the Other, so I wonder if its a “type” kind of perfume oil? Its such a wearable and earthy vanilla fragrance. This is for those of you who love vanilla, but aren’t crazy about sugary sweet vanilla scents. I really love the way amber warms up a scent and I agree with the insence description. There is a light, woodsy smokiness to this that keeps this scent grounded. I think this would work on both sexes and I could see this being a perfect scent for body lotions (which she also offers in her shop).
Cenobite Sample (website description: A deep Vanilla Bean which has a slight boozy liqueur note on application mixed with a pile of fresh vanilla beans and a sultry, smooth, rich and creamy French Vanilla. Lovely for layering. This is not a sweet frosting/sugary/buttery vanilla, it is a sophisticated, pure and deeper vanilla bean scent.) I LOVE this…its a deep, mysterious vanilla. I agree that this will be wonderful for layering with other scents, or just on its own. I will be ordering a full size of this for sure!
Overall impression: 9/10 I think the pricing is fair, and packaging is lovely, and the perfume oils I tried were very high quality. I think I need to try some of her more complex scents to give this shop a true 10/10 since 2 of my scents of choice were more common fragrance types that can be found in many different shops. I really like that she includes a free sample with each order. She has a drop down menu so you can choose exactly what you want to try out which is a nice feature. The website is easy to navigate and is also well organized. I can’t wait to try out some of her bath and body products in the future, I’m very pleased to have found this site!