Friday, February 15, 2013

Perfume Review - Twyla Perfumes and Apothecary

I have read so much about Twyla lately, and only rave reviews! So when I got the opportunity of a little discount I ordered some samples right away. I ordered Bone Flower, Dryad and Occula but I also received Chocolate Violets ( a limited edition Valentines scent) and Love & Squalor.

Bone Flower is a gorgeous scent! I ordered this because I thought that I might like tuberose, now I know I love it! In the vial it is very delicate and creamy but it blooms when it hits my skin. On wet this is heady and almost unsettlingly sweet, cloying in a way that I enjoy so much! As it dries it becomes softer and all too soon it is only a vague creamy white floral that clings very thightly to my skin. I love this one, I really, really love this one! I just wish it had a bit more sillage and longevity on me. It only lasts for about three hours and only for the first hour does it have any sillage to speak of. But I still feel tempted to buy a full bottle, I could wear it to bed and at home!

Dryad reminds me a bit of Mephistopheles when I first put it on, which is strange because, as far as I know, the only note they share is patchouli and that is not what I smell. Compared side by side the two are no longer as similar. Dryad is definitely more woody and resinous. I don´t think smelling Dryad after smelling Bone Flower is a good idea, somehow the heady smell of tuberose overpowers my nose and makes Dryad meek and uninteresting. Dryad is a bit difficult for me to make sense of, it is woody, resiny with som earthy patchouli thrown in, but it somehow manages to be delicate and almost powdery on my skin. I can´t really smell any of the notes clearly in this blend and it isn´t quite what I expected. I expected powerful resins and woods but this just falls a bit flat on my skin and fades fast. Perhaps it just doesn´t agree with my chemistry. Sillage and longevity are both minimal on me.

Occula is an interesting one! In the vial I can only smell the patchouli but on wet I get a strong flash of cloves that then linger and blend very nicely with the patchouli. In the background I get hints of honey and tuberose. I love this stage, it is spicy and creamy and dark! Unfortunately this one as well fades quite fast on my skin and, while I really enjoy the wet stage, almost all scent is gone by the time it is completely dry. By then the only thing left of this intriguing blend is only a rather flat and uninteresting patchouli and clove.

Chocolate Violets and Love & Squalor are scents that I would never have ordered myself but I found them surprisingly enjoyable. They both contain florals, but this is definitely the real stuff, not synthetics!

In the vial Chocolate Violets seems like a powerful chocolate scent of the kind that I generally dislike. Once I put it on I do get a strong chocolate at first, but that only lasts a few moments and then the violet takes over! This is a violet that doesn´t quite strike me as floral, but is rather more like violet flavored candies in scent, and I love those! The scent doesn´t really change much after this, so it is not very complex. Chocolate Violets doesn´t last very long, a few hours maybe, but it has more sillage than all the scents above!

Love & Squalor starts with a powerful note of jasmine. And I kind of hate jasmine. And, indeed, the first half hour or so is quite horrible. On my skin, jasmine is cloying in a way that I definitely don´t enjoy! But, yes there is a but, when the jasmine calms down this is actually a great scent that really likes my skin. Except for the jasmine I can´t really identify any other notes. It is very floral, so I really should hate it, but it is also both deeply complex and delightfully creamy! Out of these five scents, this one, the ├╝ber floral one, is the one that has the best sillage (medium) and longevity (about 4-5 hours) on me. How is that for irony... I really wish this scent was more "me" as my skin seems to love it...

In the end I enjoy all of these scents, even the dreaded florals! I might even go so far as to say that, to my surprise, the florals were the best of the lot! I never though that I would actually enjoy a jasmin scent and I didn´t know that violets were so amazing! Unfortunately none of this scents had the longevity and sillage that I am used to with perfume oils. I don´t have dry skin, so that is not to blame. Perhaps these oils are just meant to be rather delicate and soft but I definitely prefer more power and longevity!


  1. Interesting and helpful reviews! Yes, I want strength and longevity or what is the point of buying perfume!? I love violets, I got a violet solid perfume that smelled wonderful in the tin, but more like talcum powder on skin! I had to wash it off, it made me sad! My boyfriend isn't a fan of jasmine either. I love the scent as a flower, but in perfumes it often comes off acidic smelling.

    1. Yeah, I can love a perfume that is low on sillage and longevity, but I won´t use it... I think most of my problem with florals is that I´m a cheap bastard and cheap florals are synthetic. Also florals are a bit too feminine for me most of the time so they really don´t fit my image! I´m learning to enjoy some florals, but I don´t think that they´ll ever be my thing...

      I don´t think that I have ever smelled jasmine in real life... There are a lot of florals that I have never smelled. Living so far noth probably has something to do with it. :)

  2. What a lovely review, and awesome that the florals even worked for you! It is so interesting to see everyone's take on the Twyla perfumes. I love being able to compare reviews on the same perfumes on different individuals. Sometimes perfume smells entirely different with certain skin chemistries, as you know, so it's just so cool to me! :D I can't wait to try Twyla perfumes!

    1. It´s really strange that the florals worked but not the resins... It´s usually the opposite! ;)

  3. Thanks so much for the review, Nadja!
    Yes...part of the problem with natural perfumes is the longevity and sillage can be so much fainter compared to synthetics: naturals are more pricey, obviously, and one leans toward using a lighter hand as a result...but i do listen to what people have to say and have since increased the strength of my oils, i.e. i increased the ratio of essentials, etc to carrier oil. :)
    Hopefully this makes enough of a difference! Natural perfumes are definitely more subtle by nature, though, so they'll never quite have the power of synthetics.
    Thanks again xo


    1. Thanks for the answer Twyla! :)
      In my experience perfume oils as a rule have better longevity than alcohol based perfumes. I have tried both all natural and semi-natural and most of them have that impressive longevity. Sillage is usually on the low/moderate end but I have come to expect that impressive staying power! If the issue is partly monetary I can understand that, but I´d rather have a pricier oil with great longevity than a cheaper oil with less longevity... Because for me longevity is really a priority!

    2. I totally agree - the prices for the worst offenders have been upped slightly to accommodate the changes i've made in recent days - i've noticed that it's the same few oils that seem to have an issue with longevity/sillage so those are the ones i've tried to improve upon. The first one was Bone Flower, actually! I posted about it last week sometime on Facebook. :)
      I posted your review in my Reviews section, if that's alright!

    3. Oohh that makes me even more tempted to buy a bottle of Bone Flower because with that secnt there really was no other complaint I could make! Awesomer scent!

      That´s just fine! I´m in good company there I see, with Dee and Su who actually introduced me to your perfumes! You seem to have a bug on your page though, the Reviews link takes me instead to the About Us page.

  4. Ugh, really? I'll go check it out now.

    Yes, i noted the price increases on the individual perfumes that went up so people know what's going on - i think overall people won't be too miffed if it means their scents will last! :).
    Thanks for the honesty in your reviews - yours just made me feel like i definitely made the right decision!

    I'm going to throw up a quick sale on my FB page this afternoon as i make an official announcement on the increases, so people can get their favourites at a discount!

    1. You´re welcome! Being honest is the most important thing when writing reviews imho!