Wow! So much has happened with The Lovely Muse Apothecary since I published Part 1 on June 3. Perfumer and proprietress Aurelia Corvinus is truly a superwoman! She launched two men’s solid colognes–Mariner and Amber & Oak–just before Father’s Day. She now offers a custom perfume consultation option, which includes a Zoom to discuss scents, a 21 g perfume locket and options for personalizing the fragrance and the artwork for the locket. Three new women’s scents were launched–Pearl, Blooming Orchid and Renaissance, and international shipping is now available for Canada and the UK. Aurelia took a short break at the end of the month and is preparing to launch scented soaps (it is, after all, an apothecary), perfume oil rollers and perfume locket necklaces in early July.
Many of us perfume aficionados are also art appreciators. Many of us consider fragrance to be an art form in and of itself. What I love about The Lovely Muse Apothecary‘s solid fragrances is the unique opportunity to combine these two loves–beautiful fragrance and beloved art–in a single, high-quality product. I’ll be focusing more on the actual scents I’ve tried in this post, as well as discussing the different packaging formats and showcasing the beautiful artwork on the containers and product cards.
A Few Quick Words About Samples
The Lovely Muse Apothecary originally offered little sample slices of the solid fragrances, in what seemed like very clever packaging: tiny waxed paper bags affixed to a product card, with a resealable sticker closure. My samples arrived intact, but I ordered them in April when the weather was still cool. There is no way the samples would have survived the shipping process in high summer, and Lovely Muse phased them out for this very reason. Of the four samples I ordered, I now have two of them in a larger size product that I’ll talk about below. For the other two–Bohemian Spice and Lemon Tree–I’ll say just a few words about the fragrances.
Bohemian Spice is a love and I may be circling around to purchase that one when the weather cools down. The fragrance features notes of Mandarin Leaf, Orange, Bulgarian rose, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Bourbon Vanilla, Amber, Leather, and Tonka Bean. Its gently sweet woody tones and warm spices would be perfect for fall and winter–it’s a cozy sweater and cashmere scarf kind of scent. The longevity was excellent at 8+ hours and the sillage was big–I could smell it through the package when it arrived. This is a unisex fragrance that everyone can enjoy.
Lemon Tree is also a beautiful unisex fragrance and completely different from the others I’ve tried. Though the notes include Lemon, Sweet Meyer Lemon, and a tiny touch of Lime and Spun Sugar, I found it was not sweet at all on my skin–it’s a clean aroma highlighting pure, crisp lemon and a touch of musk. Almost like a traditional “eau de cologne” in solid format. This one is a summer fragrance (or year-round for office wear) and is a little softer than Bohemian Spice, staying closer to the skin and lasting 3-4 hours.
The Lovely Muse Apothecary Solid Fragrance Reviews
Sizes: The Try Me Tins are 1/3 oz. Refillable lockets (cameo and others) and cameo locket necklaces vary in size, from 4 ml to 7 ml. The large perfume lockets hold 0.75 oz.
Packaging: The Try Me Tins are a gold tone screw-top tin with a sticker label. Cameos are gold-plated and come in a variety of silhouettes and colors. The cameo lockets are a of substantial weight and clasp tightly. The large perfume lockets are an antique-inspired design, in a heavy gold tone metal with classic artwork on the lid, a product label inside the lid and a push-button clasp like a pocket watch. The cameo arrived in a velvet bag. The large locket arrived in an orange striped satin bag. Each fragrance came with a beautiful printed card on heavy stock featuring the artwork and product details. The cards would make excellent bookmarks or could even be framed. The bags, tins and large lockets are reusable. The cameos are refillable and will be lovely keepsakes.
Base: Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil and Avocado Oil.
Vegan-friendly: No, due to the beeswax, but these fragrances are also offered in a vegan-friendly perfume oil base.
Color and texture: The solids are a creamy off-white color, dense but melting easily under a swirled fingertip–that perfect texture that only beeswax imparts. They swipe evenly across skin without leaving an oily residue.
Natural perfume or mixed media: The fragrances are mixed media, composed of fragrance oils and essential oils.
Fragrance description and notes:
|Fragrance description and notes|
|Tryst is a blend of tuberose, nectarine, cherry, honeysuckle, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, and just a hint of musk.|
|Luna is a soft and alluring scent of Coconut Milk, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cinnamon leaf, Jasmine, Tonka Bean, Cypress, Cedarwood, and a touch of Musk on the top to help it linger.|
|Daisy is inspired by the flower, with notes of Daisies, African Violet, Strawberry, Jasmine, and Vanilla. It’s a softer scent and beautifully feminine.|
|Magnolia has a base note true to the floral with Lily of the Valley, Freesia, and Grapefruit in the middle and a hint of Plum. It’s an elegant floral, not too powdery or sweet.|
Longevity: All of the scents are long-lasting, especially for the solid format. Luna is a standout at 10+ hours–better than most EDPs. Daisy, Tryst and Magnolia are also excellent, lasting six to eight hours in the summer and may last even longer in winter or under clothing. If I notice a big difference, I will update this post.
Sillage: Luna is a standout in this regard as well, with sizable projection that my husband could smell from a couple feet away, though it softens after several hours. Tryst goes on very big, thanks to the tuberose, but settles to a more intimate radius after an hour or so. Magnolia is also a big opener but settles more quickly to intimate. Daisy is the softest, and is intimate upon application but stays there a while, becoming a skin scent only at the very end of its life.
The experience: There is so much beauty in these tins and lockets. The tender loving care that goes into each product is evident and the end results are exquisite. Based on the six scents I have tried so far, the notes and descriptions give you a very accurate idea of what to expect and they’re safe blind buys if the notes appeal to you. Particularly if you’re a floral lover, the Lovely Muse scents are a must-try. Even the “soliflore” scents like Daisy and Magnolia are wonderfully rich, complemented by a perfect blend of supporting notes that glorify the flower while adding interest.
The artwork on the packaging adds a complementary visual experience to the scents. In some cases, they’re so well-matched that I wonder if artwork inspired the scents or if the scent inspired a search for the perfect artwork. You could almost choose your tin or large locket based on the artwork within. With regards to the artwork and also the cameos, The Lovely Muse deserves a special mention for showcasing the diversity of female beauty in its subject matter. How wonderful to have Marie-Guillaume Benoist’s Portrait of Madeleine and Anton Azbe’s Zamorka alongside Klimt’s The Kiss and Alphonse Mucha’s Lady Pink. Cameos are offered in the typical “Victorian? (Edwardian?) lady with long flowing hair” silhouette and also a striking “lady with a natural afro and distinctive jewelry” silhouette. (Not feeling the humans so much? Large lockets and tins are also available with paintings of the natural world and refillable lockets are available in tapestry prints and “fantasy” cameos featuring cats, fairies, unicorns, etc.)
All of the scents I’ve tried have been remarkable. I wouldn’t say I have a “favorite” among them and they’re all quite different from one another. The beauty of a solid is that it can usually work for multiple occasion–just apply a little more or a little less, and these four scents will be suitable for a variety of moods and moments.
Luna is a sweet amber, bordering on gourmand, but with just enough woody tones to stop me from nibbling my wrist. Coconut is its dominant note, but its effect here is that of a spicy coconut cream dessert served in a hand-turned wooden bowl, rather than a typical piña colada or suntan lotion aroma. My husband said it reminds him of a sweeter Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa incense. I love it for summer but I know I’ll wear this one year-round. The sillage is big on this one and it really gets going with a little heat (body or sunshine). Three swipes is enough for daytime wear. Swipe as much as you want for evening!
Tryst is a cherry-tuberose aroma, with a touch of candy-like sweetness in the opening. The sandalwood and supporting floral notes trim the usual “bicycle tire” facets from the tuberose, leaving behind a deep, narcotic white floral scent that has me constantly sniffing my wrist. The sweetness fades over time but the lovely white floral aroma lingers and merges with the clean woody musk in the base. This is a powerhouse floral that I think could be worn to the office when I go back, but I might keep it in reserve for date nights and romantic occasions instead.
Daisy is a gorgeous vanilla floral that exudes cheer. There’s a touch of strawberry but the scent is not overly sweet. Vanilla and flowers share the spotlight here. There’s not a lot of evolution in the fragrance after application, but that’s fine–Daisy is a good mood in the form of a fragrance and it doesn’t need to be anything more. Daisy will be an easy reach for busy, stressful days and will be a nice pick-me-up whenever I need one. (Such fragrances in my wardrobe get lots of wear!) This is the softest of all the Lovely Muse scents I’ve tried but the longevity is still excellent. I don’t think it would be possible to apply too much of this one or apply it too often.
Magnolia was a pleasant surprise. I don’t dislike the scent of magnolia flowers, but it’s not a fragrance I have ever gravitated to. I can recall only a couple of magnolia scents I’ve owned over the years. Aurelia gifted me the Magnolia in a cameo locket and I’m so glad she chose this scent. Magnolia is a clean, sophisticated floral scent that brings to mind the perfumes and soaps of of classic French perfume houses. The lily is quite strong upon application but folds quickly into the floral bouquet, and I get the most lovely perfumed soap aroma about six hours in. Magnolia is a fresh, elegant, traditionally feminine perfume that evokes well-dressed women in crisp dresses and pearls at a garden party. Wearing it with my daily pandemic work-from-home gear adds a touch of class, and I look forward to giving it a turn in the office and at events with the nicer outfits it deserves.
In closing, I just want to add that the cost of these solids is a little higher than some you might find on Etsy, but they’re absolutely worth the price. These are well-crafted original fragrances in heirloom-quality lockets or cameos and beautiful gift bags–some of the nicest packaging I’ve seen for solids. The Try Me tins have replaced the original sample format, but the tins are very attractive and are very generously sized at 1/3 oz. If you know someone loves a particular scent (rose, patchouli, lavender…), or loves a particular artist or artwork, they will likely be delighted to receive one of these fragrances as a gift. The presentation is top notch and the scents are beautiful and long-lasting.
Where to buy: All fragrances are available from the official Lovely Muse Apothecary website or the Etsy shop. The refillable cameo lockets are available only on Etsy. You can pay in four interest-free installments for orders between $50 and $1000 with Shop Pay on the official website and the cameos on Etsy are eligible for installment payments through Klarna.
Additional notes: Aurelia’s running a coupon special for the July 4th weekend. Use code HAPPY4TH (on the website or Etsy) at checkout and save $4.44 on your total purchase!
All photographs by me. Samples and Luna were purchased by me. Tryst, Daisy and Magnolia were gifts from The Lovely Muse Apothecary.