Sorry for putting this review up after Halloween. It’s been pretty out of control over here. I have my university final exams starting THIS FRIDAY! :O So blogging hasn’t been something I’ve had much time for. Hopefully by the end of this month I can put more things out here, but my last exam isn’t until November 21, so expect more silence, unless I decide to procrastinate again
One Hand Washes The Other has released their Halloween collection (THE collection of the year that I always look forward to from OHWTO!) and once again, it did not disappoint. The collection for this year is much more diverse, in terms of it’s theme, and also in the variety of fragrances put forth. The collection itself encompasses some more traditional spooky themes such as urban legend favourites, Slenderman and Zalgo, along with some creepypasta “Who Was Phone”, back to some traditional folklore characters with Baba Yaga and the Boo Hag, to the blends inspired by the seasonal treats and creepy scenery associated with the holiday. Let’s move forward with the review.
6 full size solid perfumes in:
- Camp Crystal Lake
- Baba Yaga
6 sample oil vials in:
- Who Was Phone?
- Boo Hag
- The Great Pumpkin
- Poison Apple
and there was a bonus scent included with my order that was also apart of the Halloween 2013 release: Spectre. (This is in a solid, which OHWTO no longer provides for purchase. Just wanted to make that clear incase new shoppers were not aware. The solid sample pods are what OHWTO includes for bonuses with orders. So you can’t order solid sample pods )
The solids are adorned with the signature skulls on the labelling, which appear on every Halloween perfume, and the sample vials have some adorable bats printed on the stickers.
Now for the best part
Camp Crystal Lake
Deceptively still waters hide an unspeakable darkness just beneath the surface. Crystalline waters, Canoes, Carnations, Spruce forest, Sandalwood, and bone Musk.
This was something that I was not expecting at all, something aquatic! As of late I’ve been in a very aquatic/marine zone, and the combination of this being a halloween themed perfume almost sealed the deal that this was going to be a must-try.
The blend starts off as a spicy carnation perfume, that is backed with pine, and the overall scent is sweet. Comes across like a magical forest. The carnations then begin to bloom and become more dominate as it dries down, however the carnations smell like actual fresh flower carnations, not as “perfume”. You know how sometimes there are two sorts of florals, the more nature identical ones and that ones that smell like the idea of a flower? That’s what I’m getting at. The overall effect of the blend during this dry down phase is a little dry , and it becomes quite heady. No doubt from the carnation. It’s not until after some serious wear does the carnation recede and the pine returns, providing some cool relief, and it’s also at this point that on my skin I take notice of any of the more watery notes, and the blend sweetens a little. This was a little challenging for me, because carnations are not my favourite floral, because of how in your face they can be. I spent too long trying to puzzle out when the aquatic was going to emerge that I forgot to just appreciate the blend on its whole. It’s a very lovely carnation blend, that even though it gets strong towards the middle, it does step back a little. The pine-y note in here is really lovely, smooth and sweet, and isn’t sharp, and is a really nice pairing. I know some people tend to avoid some blends with contain evergreen notes, because sometimes they can be too sharp and dry, that’s certainly not the case here. Anyone who was a fan of the Final Girl perfume from the Halloween 2011 collection, for the carnation note in there, will probably enjoy Camp Crystal Lake too. I would consider this unisex to feminine, depending on how strong the carnation or evergreen pulls on you.
Baba Yaga is a witch from Russian folklore who lives deep in the forest in a hut on stilted chicken legs- she flies around in a mortar, wielding a pestle, and just might eat you if you cross her. The forest floor, fallen leaves, chrysanthemums, spiced black tea, dried citrus rinds, beeswax, patchouli, and a curl of smoke coming from the chimney she flies in and out of.
For starters, you all know you want a Baba Yaga house. Don’t deny it.
This blend was surprisingly more bright than I had anticipated. Nice, tangy citrus burst in the openine, which reminds me of these Satsuma bath oil capsules I got from The Body Shop eons ago, so that was a nice memory to bring back There’s a little hint of the tea, but the citrus in this is quite strong when you first wear it. As it dries down the other earthy pieces begin to emerge, first with the beeswax and the smoke. It really just is a hint of smoke, and it’s just perfect as well. At this point the blend is very atmospheric, and becomes less of perfume and becomes more of an experience, to me personally. I never found the patchouli to be heavy in this, so for those who loathe heavy patchouli, and was considering this blend, consider it The overall effect of this perfume really makes me feel like I’m sitting in the witches house, smelling all her dried herbs and candles hanging on the walls, and staring out the open doors, smelling the cold, dampness of the forest that surrounds me. A very cool leaning blend, that will probably satisfy those who enjoy a good citrus perfume. This is more on the earthy side, but the citrus burst in the opening lingers for a very good while. Probably more of a feminine to unisex blend.
The scent of those unnamed things which lurk and creep where we can’t see them; say their names, and they will come. The Green scent of brush underfoot, murky grey Puddles, wilted, faded Flowers, ritual Herbs, sharp peppery Musk, tinged with Fear.
To start with, I had NO IDEA what Zalgo even was, so did some searching. It’s pretty creepy overall, so no wonder it was a theme for perfume in this collection.
“Zalgo is an Internet legend about an ominous entity believed to cause insanity, death and destruction of the world, similar to the creature Cthulhu created by H.P. Lovecraft in the 1920s. Zalgo is often associated with scrambled text on webpages and photos of people whose eyes and mouth have been covered in black.” Excerpt taken from here .
It’s a very cool and watery opening for this perfume, and it does indeed have some peppery bite to it. Slightly floral tinge, and it smells like still, nighttime air, almost that calm before the storm vibe. In it’s opening it’s very light and refreshing, something I wasn’t expecting from such a creepy inspiration! As it wears on it has a very clean, almost soapy-clean quality to it, and has a bit of crispness. It’s a little sweet as well, but more of a green sweetness. Again, it smells very still and almost lifeless. In it’s dry down it shows a base of herbs, but on my skin it’s quite subtle, but it still holds on to this clean feeling. It’s blended quite well, with nothing dominating or muddying up. The gem with Zalgo is, that it’s going to be a blend that I’m going to use over and over during this coming summer. It’s light, refreshing, has a ‘neutral’ feeling to it, so it can lend itself to year round wear. Zalgo is very unisex (just like the actual entity itself has no gender, so will attach to anyone…ooooh I see what you did there! ) and will be loved by those who adore anything that’s fresh, crisp and ozonic. Definitely a blend I keep sniffing and sniffing, so it’s no wonder it’s my favourite of this release.
A modern-day urban legend, Slenderman is described as very tall and thin with unnaturally long arms which it can extend. He has a white, blank head and wears a dark suit. Slenderman is usually seen in and around the forest, where he can easily camouflage himself to better sneak up on unsuspecting victims. The cologne of a well-dressed man, hidden in plain sight among trees and ferns in a creepy copse, the creaking of a heavy mahogany door in an abandoned forest retreat nobody has entered in decades.
This is most certainly a smooth, deep mahogany blend. In it’s opening it’s sweet enough to remind me of gummie lollies (however don’t quote me on that, because I haven’t eaten those sorts of lollies for about 5 years. Gelatine is a butthole.). There’s a little bit of a crispness to the opening as well, that almost ozonic vibe. It almost has a deeper, syrupy quality to it, but I’m quite terrible in describing anything that is sweet. This actually reminds me a lot of Solstice Scents Monster Mash (now reformulated and renamed Loggia), however Monster Mash was lighter whereas Slenderman has more depth, and is more darker. Any fans of Monster Mash will probably love Slenderman! Sometimes, something comes across as an earthy kind of note, that makes me think of tobacco? I’m not sure what it is, but on my skin it’s not very noticeable, and it’s mainly mahogany that is all I can smell. I find Slenderman not to morph too much during the whole time it’s on my skin. Overall, the blend is too sweet for my preference, so I don’t enjoy it as much as the others in this range, however the menacing vibe comes through for me. Maybe Slenderman knew that I was not partial to sweeter woods, and is making his attack? Unisex with more of a feminine lean, and I only say feminine lean because of how sweet this pulls on me.
Seven little headstones, all in a rowSeven little bodies down belowSeven little heartsstopped in Seven little chestsSeven little victims laid to rest.
Seven was a good startSeven was finebut after Six came Sevennow it’s time for Eight and Nine.
Damp, almost peppery, freshly-dug soil, rolls of sod, floral arrangements, Ferns, Woods, and an uninvited guest, watching from the outskirts.
Sensuous, Floral Amber, Skin Musk, Sandalwood, Oak, Pomegranates, and Sweet Oranges and Plums.
Pumpkin flesh with lashings of Orange blossom honey, wild Roses clambering over ancient Oaks, Ginger, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Amber.
Sacred incense, Atlas cedar, Spiced pumpkin, Sandalwood, and Rose.
Dad’s cologne, Powdery perfume splash, freshly-Shampooed hair, and a stolen bottle of red Wine from Mom’s secret stash.
Gullah folklore warns of vampires without skin, called Boo Hags, which will enter your home at night through any crack or crevice they can find, sit on your chest (they call this “riding”), and suck your breath- your very life force- from you while you sleep, until the sun rises. The best way to ward off an attack is to keep a broom by your bedside, as Boo Hags are compelled to count the bristles and will not be able to “ride” you until they have completed their counting- by which point the sun will have risen, forcing the hag to retreat until the sun sets again.Southern peaches, ripe from harvest. Palmetto fronds, cotton bolls, magnolia blossoms and Spanish moss, touched with a hint of incense and patchouli.
Of course, the best-tasting apples are always the ones laced with some kind of deadly toxin. Maybe just a little bite… Tart apples, sugared carnations, and a poison-soaked splinter of wood jammed into the core.
Mischief Night, Cabbage Night, call it what you will- the night before Halloween is reserved for troublemakers and all manner of shenanigans. Sooty charred pumpkins, their smashed flesh strewn along sidewalks and on door stoops, dried apricots and figs, and a smidge of sandalwood.
Barely-there, an echo of the past? Or perhaps a supernatural visitor. Milk Sugar, Vanilla, and Tonka beans on a base of Skin Musk.