Hey, baby! What’s your sign? Proud Pisces here! Let’s go for a swim!
Cheesy pick-up lines aside, Astrology is a serious matter for some people. I do read my daily (and sometimes monthly) horoscopes, mostly for fun and sometimes as food for thought, especially during these troubling times, but I’d describe myself as being in the “I want to believe” skeptics category rather than the “I’m a believer” category. Some Pisces traits ring true for me but others fall far off the mark, such as a love of all things aquatic. Aquatics are my least favorite category of fragrances.
I’m always curious, though, when perfumers make a suggestion of scents or even just notes that a Pisces might enjoy. Etsy sellers offer more than 600 Pisces-themed candles and more than 50 Pisces-related perfumes, only two of which are available in solid format. (Not including vintage, which I no longer buy, but oh, those old Estée Lauder and Revlon solid perfume compacts are such pretty fishies!)
I stumbled across Dark Beauty Boutique in a general search for solid fragrances on Etsy. The indie perfume world is often a gothic, witchy space, and the shop fits that demographic. It also has such a large selection that they’ll surely have something for everyone. Dark Beauty Boutique actually specializes in solid perfumes and colognes, with more than 80 available, and will also make any of them into a perfume oil upon request. The Zodiac line is listed for sale in both liquid and solid formats. I was intrigued by perfumer Jenny’s unique blends and varied inspirations, and when I saw the notes in her Pisces solid perfume–Wow! A Pisces perfume that doesn’t include the cliché aquatic notes? No ocean, salty air, saltwater, water lilies…? I knew I wanted to try it.
Dark Beauty Boutique Pisces Solid Perfume Review
Size: 0.25 oz.
Packaging: Slide top tin, with attractive labels on both top and bottom. The tin arrived sealed in a zip-lock plastic bag with a sticker that said “Made with love especially for you,” placed in a black mesh drawstring gift bag. Tin and mesh bag are reusable/zero waste. Plastic bag is recyclable (and reusable to some degree–I save these and use them to hold perfume samples and small cosmetics when I travel. They’re pretty durable.)
Base: Natural beeswax, imported sunflower oil, vitamin E oil
Vegan-friendly: No, due to the beeswax, but Dark Beauty also offers the Zodiac range in perfume oils that are vegan-friendly.
Color and texture: Light tan color; perfect spreadable texture which melts easily under a fingertip and moisturizes the skin with no oily residue. This is my preferred texture in solid perfumes and I think beeswax is the magical ingredient. Sorry, vegans!
Natural perfume or mixed media: Mixed media–the ingredients list includes both essential oils and fragrance oils.
Fragrance description and notes: From the Dark Beauty website: “Pisces is a floral and dark fragrance, top notes of exotic nag champa and spring lilac, a warm middle of sensual vanilla wood and floral lotus, and an earthy smoky base of lush figs, green oakmoss, and resin frankinscence. Pisces is like walking through an exotic land, rich with ancient tomes filled with knowledge.”
Longevity: Excellent, at six hours or more.
Sillage: Arm’s length for the first one to two hours. At the six hour mark, I can still smell it a few inches above my wrist.
The experience: The notes listing for Pisces includes some of my favorites: nag champa, lilac, vanilla, fig, oakmoss. All the others are notes I strongly like. But I really had no idea how this one would smell, based on that list. One person’s dark floral is another person’s daytime/office fragrance. At just $8.00 + shipping, the fragrance was in my blind buy price range, so I took a chance.
Pisces is remarkably complex and layered, evolving from a sweet green floral upon application to dry moss and woody vanilla that still lingered softly a good a seven hours after application. My husband noticed powdery aspects in it and it does have a touch of “fresh and clean” in the beginning. I can smell all the flowers and the sweet nag champa incense aroma, but the fig and frankincense are not noticeable as individual notes on my skin. Oakmoss lends the fragrance a maturity and vintage vibe, and helps steer it into firmly unisex territory.
I’m trying to think of comparable commercial fragrances to reference, but there isn’t a single one that captures it. It has the “mood” of Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, with a touch of an older Avon fragrance I can’t put my finger on, and a little bit of DSH Celadon, too. Maybe that’s it, actually–it’s a mix of designer, mass market and artisan aspects that results in a unique experience. If you’re seeking a simple fragrance that’s easy to appreciate, this may not be for you. If you want a fragrance that takes you on a leisurely ride through parts both known and unknown, Pisces is perfect. It offers remarkable quality for its price, and it is indeed a dark floral for when those moods strike, but you can apply the solid with a light enough touch for wearing anytime you want to enjoy it. I’m very impressed by this skillful blend and I’m excited to try more solids from Dark Beauty in the future.
Where to buy: Available at the Dark Beauty Boutique Fragrance Emporium on Etsy.
All perfume photos kinda crappy and by me.