About a month ago, I was hanging out with my sister when she casually mentioned that The Bathing Garden was making a Halloween sampler. Not a member of the facebook group, I had no knowledge of the announcement, but when asked if I wanted to split one, I surely wasn’t turning down the offer. Incorrectly assuming it was a preorder, I left the ordering up to her. Unaware of the rush to purchase samplers, limited amounts, or rounds of restocking until I caught up on social media the next day. Whew, there seemed to be a little fallout over availability, but she managed to nab it at the later restock.
After a few delays including a mid-vacation evacuation from the Florida Keys, my sis received our sampler and passed it on to me for the following preview. 20 scents were included with a fragrance card plus one sample scent. Cost $17.00, shipped for $7.50.
*Banshee Dreams– Frosted pumpkin cupcakes, dark espresso, crystallized coconut shavings, vanilla marshmallow. Very much a coffee scent with added pumpkin spice topped with marshmallow whipped cream. Extra creaminess from the coconut but it’s fruity, not milky.
Black Magic Laboratory– Orange chiffon, black velvet cake, chocolate shavings, crème filled cookie bites. I don’t normally go for orange scents and never chocolates, yet this is delightful. Warm bakery notes with sweet chords of orange spice, not sharp or tangy. Well balanced, this hint of chocolate shouldn’t put anyone off, it’s delicious.
Colossal Pumpkin Lantern- Chocolate frosted brownies with vanilla cream pumpkin brulee. Unfortunately, for me, this chocolate is more prevalent. Not rich and cakey, more of a chewy nougat center wrapped inside marshmallow cream with caramelized sugar coating. Negligible pumpkin scent on cold.
Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Waffles- Sweet pumpkin waffles swirled with butterscotch chips. Bakery fresh and fluffy. Classic pumpkin spiced waffle scent substituting the caramel note for sticky butterscotch toffee bits, improving it nicely. Creamy bakery lovers should enjoy this, my niece already called it for herself.
Potions: (beverages, tea/coffee, cider)
Eye of Newt– Fresh frozen water, clean air and crystallized peppermint candy. Strange to my nose. These scents are in my wheelhouse, but frozen water isn’t the same as sparkling snow type I enjoy, it’s well, more watery. The peppermint is subdued, like mellow ribbon candy and doesn’t merge well either, this one’s a miss.
*Phantom Queen-Black citrus tea, cinnamon coffee and a bag full of Halloween candy. I’m in lust over this scent. Pairing tea and coffee is a revelation. Uplifting and soothing as a mug of warm spiced brewed tea. Sugary lumps of hard candy flavors tucked inside, sweetening the pot.
Poisoned Apothecary-hot mulled apple cider with a woody undertone. Ooh, PA got a little woodier than I remember when melted last year. Dry cedar and cypress crackles as the heat of the mulling spices creates a bold aroma. This scent spreads a tingly warmth throughout the room.
*White Magic-shaved cinnamon, orange tea, hints of spicy patchouli. Beautiful tea leaf essence with a decadent bouquet of spices. The citrus is sheer, but highly fresh and sweet. I enjoy this even more than Tea with the Queen of Hearts, but is does have a similar profile, substituting the floral with spice. My sis may have to arm wrestle me for this.
Faerie Bonfire- complex bonfire scent with notes of leaves, vanilla, sandalwood, and brown sugar. Reviewed here in January.
Haunted Hayride- tart granny smith apples, caramel, cinnamon, pumpkin, hints of hay. Grassy hay is dominant, slightly bitter. Crisp apples accented by cinnamon bark makes a mouthwatering melt. Combinations of earthy, sweet and spice create a pleasing outdoorsy fall fragrance. My sister’s favorite.
Netherworld Zombie- freshly shoveled graveyard dirt, espresso, lime essential oils, scotch whiskey, chocolate shavings. Can’t get much earthier than this, an indelicate scent but not unrefined, once your nose gets used to sniffing dirt and lime at once that is. Similar notes to TBG’s Toxic Earth, but not heavy on coffee. I understand the graveyard/Halloween connection, but this is one of the perkiest fragrances I’ve come across, more of a Spring garden, fresh-tilled soil vibe. I surprisingly love it, even the rustic, less decorated look to the pumpkin fits.
Cemetery Keys– vanilla tonka bean, lime citrus, and sugary sweet white floral. Received as a sample and reviewed here. I like nearly everything about this except for TBG’s white floral, it causes a headache. Very tart lime softened with powdery-sweet tonka bean.
Charm & Ruin– Lush vanilla citrus swirled with fruity pomegranate base. I constantly mistake this for a floral scent because it opens with a creamy rose note. Reminiscent of fruity floral bubble bath. A creamy, luxurious bubble bath but still not a fruit scent to me.
Hades & Persephone– citrus, cognac, musk, hints of patchouli. Not a specific Lush dupe, but similar to soapy, floral lush notes. Heady spice from the potent patchouli, with a slight boozy character. Pretty and powdery finish, I enjoyed this sensual fragrance more than I thought I would.
Hoarfrost Tonic- a refreshing scent with lime, cypress, mellow pine and cool air notes. Unique and astringent. Strongly soap-like, with an icy crisp laundered finish. Due to the drink reference on the label, I expected fizziness, however I didn’t notice any. Another headache inducer unfortunately.
Pagan Moon– an apple and pear grove under blood red strawberry moon, kissed by fall leaves. Subtle complexity from the leaves, a juicy fruit blend with light strawberries. No single fruit dominates, making a muddled compote. Classically fall, I have to melt a crisp tart fruit at least once this season and I adore this scarlet and gray combination
*Season of the Witch– spicy pumpkin, cinnamon apples, ripe berries, sugar dipped oranges. There is an off note right from the top but I can’t identify it. Strawberry leaf is a wild guess, something green and twiggy that has a bitterness, could just as likely be a harsh spice. It doesn’t work for me, but others may like it.
Tombstone Dust– green apple cinnamon cupcakes, with marshmallow brown sugar caramel glaze. Caramel apple lovers might rejoice, but it’s not sticky as some can be. Cinnamon sprinkled lightly on top of delicate meringue. Sweet, though lacking heavy cloying bakery notes. Enjoyable, even with my aversion to bakery scents.
Death Becomes Her- spun sugar, white vanilla buttercream, peppermint cookies, and a sprinkle of rock candy chips. Cotton candy creates an airiness out of what could be a heavy buttercream frosting. Cooling peppermint cuts through the sweetness creating a refreshing top note with an extra creamy base. Divine.
Mummy Mademoiselle– candied rose jam, sweet sticky saltwater taffy, creamy white vanilla. The first note to surface is the saltiness. Lush rose jam is present but holds more depth than others I’ve tried, a sour note appears giving the blend a sweet/sour candy-like cream fragrance. Since I can’t stop sniffing it, yummy Mummy may be my favorite.
Monster Candy- the 2-D pumpkin cutout sample. A very sweet pink berry blend. Sticky strawberries, candy corn possibly, but no chocolate. Updated notes: watermelon candy, sugar dipped orange slices, and kiwi cherry mimosas.
These melts are all gorgeous to the eyes with a muted pastel color palette. Most of them make the nose happy too. My sister pointed out the lack of a true pumpkin scent, without coffee or chocolate, and I would have preferred that to the numerous Lush scents. However, the range is impressive and thankfully without too many floral tones. I’m excited to see what else Shannon has in store if this is a preview of what’s to come. A Christmas sampler would be a joyful thing too!
Favorites and surprises from each category:
- Black Magic Laboratory
- White Magic
- Netherworld Zombie
- Hades & Persephone
- Pagan Moon
- Mummy Mademoiselle/Death Becomes Her *tied
Good luck to those ordering this week and let me know what you like!