Shopping with a Purpose
In 2018, I am shifting my focus to be more intentional in my shopping. Long-time blog reads may recognize intentional as my mantra word from last year. While I’ve selected simplify for my mantra word this year, I am still trying to be as intentional as possible in my daily life. Part of this process involves supporting small businesses as much as possible. When that is not possible, I plan on supporting larger businesses that give back to their communities and/or practice corporate responsibility through their actions and initiatives.
Finding Poesie Perfume and the Indie Perfume World
Back in early 2017, I saw a friend post about Poesie Perfume and how much she loved them. At the time, I had made a mental note to look at them when it was time for me to purchase new fragrances. So, in early January when I was near the bottom of the bottle of my normal fragrance, I decided to poke around the Poesie Perfume website to see if I saw anything I would like. What I found, was a long list of fragrances that all sounded divine. However, before I go into too many scent details, I wanted to share a quick note on the benefits of oil-based perfumes.
Benefits of Oil-based Perfumes
I’m pretty sensitive to traditional perfumes and avoid the perfume counter at department stores like it was a pit of snakes. I’m always overwhelmed by the lingering scent cloud and struggle to differentiate a scent I am trying to sample from those around me. As a result, I’ve been rocking the same scent for 8-ish years. (Yikes!) So, before you go buy another bottle from the department store, especially if you are new to oil-based indie perfumes like I am, I suggest you take a few minutes to read “The Four Reasons You Should Actually Be Wearing Perfume Oil“. It’s a post on the Poesie Perfume blog and really made me feel confident in my choice to go oil-based. To recap the post for you TL;DR fans out there:
• Oil-based perfumes last longer than alcohol-based perfumes
• Oil-based scents are less drying to
• Perfume oils wear closer to the skin and do not leave a “scent cloud” behind – making the great for the office
• Oil-based perfumes are more personal in scents and
Picking a Fragrance Online Made Easy
My biggest concern about purchasing perfume online was not being able to smell them in person before purchasing. I’m pretty particular about what scents I do and do not like, which makes it hard for people to gift me perfumes, lotions, and bath products. Heck, I even smell shampoos and lotions in the store before they ever grace the basket of my cart. After sharing that, you may find it hard to believe that within 10 minutes of exploring the scents on the Poesie Perfume page I had already decided that I would be making a purchase.
Poesie Perfume has a vast scent catalog that shares the main scent notes for each fragrance. However, it was the individual descriptions for each scent that endeared me to PP and gave me the confidence to buy without smelling first. Each reads like poetry and transported my mind to cherished memories of my youth, adventures, hanging out with family and friends, and cherished time with my love. I’ve included the descriptions below for each of the scents I ordered so you can get a feel for them. So, without further ado, my Poesie Perfumes review.
One of the best things about indie perfume companies is that they all offer unique scents that just can’t be offered in the mass-production world of department stores. As I mentioned above, Poesie Perfume has such a wide variety of scents pretty much anyone can find something they like. On top of that, Poesie Perfume also offers themed sample packs and I think this is what sets them apart from some of the other indie perfume companies. My favorites of these collections are the Miss Behave (“inspired by the kind of women you want on your side, the kind of women you want to be”), Fantastical Banquet (“inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing”), and Thornfield (“inspired by Charlotte Bronte”) collections.
Picking My Custom Sample Pack
Obviously, I’m really new to the indie perfume world and had concerns about ordering online without smelling a scent first, so I thought I start with a sample pack. Even better, Poesie Perfume has a create-your-own custom sample pack. To create my sample pack, I read through the scent catalog and wrote down the scents that stood out to me most. From there, I re-read the descriptions and selected six scents for my custom sample pack. From there, all I had to do was list the scents I wanted in the form during check-out. It was really easy. The six scents I selected were:
Notes // fresh cedarwood, ripe plum, black and pink peppercorns, warm clove
Description // Aromatic cedar lines the walls of this rustic but oddly elegant lodge. The alluring sweet-tart scent of sliced ripe plums, the bright
My Thoughts // Right away I could pick up the cedar and cloves. The warm notes made me think of a cabin my family once rented outside of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The rustic cedar took me back to the cedar cabin and the warm
Notes // a mountain of light fluffy marshmallows, your secret boyfriend’s leather jacket, pine and cedar, a wisp of smoke
Description // I don’t know if you toasted marshmallows at your last picnic, but I hope you did. Dancing on the side of a mountain, lost in momentary joy, did you have your fill of gooey warm centers – breaking through the lightly toasted edges with your sharp white teeth – and did it transport you to sweet childhood? That’s the way we will remember it.
My Thoughts // While some of these scents reminded me of general feelings, this one took me back to a specific place in time. It reminded me of an old general store back in Ohio where my ancestors homesteaded. My sister and I once took a road trip to follow the settlement path generations of our maternal ancestors took before settling in Iowa and Wisconsin. This particular stop was in southern Ohio and we took time to explore a small village that had an old general store still in operation. When we walked into the general store, it took me back generations to a time when we weren’t tied to our technology. A time when hardworking country folk regularly gathered in their communities to share stories. When I opened Secret Boyfriend, the leather, pine, and hint of smoke brought me right back to that general store and the tales of those who communed within its walls.
Notes // ethereal violet, sweet basil, rain-drenched earth, balsam fir, secrets
Description // This one’s got a secret. Suddenly, the sweet familiar face of violet is wrapped in provocative basil and set adrift on a sea of earth, forest, and mist. Like all beauties, it only lets you in for a moment, then leaves you wanting more.
My Thoughts // Laura is one of those scents that I can wear for any occasion. I wore it to work, lounging around the house, on date nights, and even on day trips. It’s perfect for any adventure. While I don’t have a specific memory tied to this scent, I love that it instead gave me a feeling of mystery. It was hard for me to pinpoint a single note in the scent (I feel like I will get better at this over time, just like I did with wine), but I loved the overall combination.
Notes // fresh cut grass, wet earth, wildflower honey (vegan)
Description // Sitting creekside while the doleful strains of a bluegrass fiddle and a mandolin waft your way, the air smells sweet, redolent of recently cut grass, wet earth trampled carelessly, and somehow – mysteriously – the scent of wildflower honey.
My Thoughts // This scent was an immediate favorite that took me back to my childhood. Specifically, it reminded me of the rare days when my dad had downtime and would sit on the porch with us girls during a rainstorm. We would sit in rocking chairs or on the steps and quietly take-in mother nature as the storm and clouds passed through the valley around us. After the rain stopped, the sun would start peaking through the clouds, the valley would turn this vibrant shade of green, and then the smell of wet grass would envelop us. It was wonderful. Every time I wear Honey, Honey I am taken back to those memories and I find myself smiling. I will be re-ordering this in a larger size! :)
Strange Little Girl
Notes // tart blueberry, crushed summer leaves, moist earth
Description // For the girl who enjoys a solitary walk, skirting the edge of the woods where climbing vines drop their blooms and the summer leaves are a moving green curtain. For the girl whose favorite color is black. For the girl who loves storm clouds and sad songs. Changeable, complex.
My Thoughts // I loved the combination of crisp blueberry and the complex earthy notes. It reminds me of summer walks and adventures into the woods to find wild berries when I was a kid. The name Strange Little Girl is fitting for my connection, as I always felt like I was tagging along on someone else’s adventures. Eventually, I grew up, found myself, and don’t feel so strange, but I love this scent and the adventurous feelings it gives me.
Notes // wild strawberries, tangles of honeysuckle in full bloom, cold lemonade, a weathered wooden swing
Description // The perfect summertime evening goes something like this – watching the sun go down while you lounge lazily on the front porch. Beads of condensation gathering on a glass of ice cold lemonade while the cardinals sing, and you just swing and swing.
My Thoughts // County Line was another one of my favorite scents. I loved the freshness of it and each day I wear it, I find a different note stands out to me. Somedays it is the strawberries and others, the honeysuckle. The scent reminds me of afternoon drives and summer picnics. This is for sure another I will order in a larger size. :)
In addition to the five items in my custom sample pack, I ordered the Juicy layering note. I had read that layering oil-based perfumes gave a person the unique freedom to blend scents to create even more customized fragrances. So, after narrowing it down to three laying notes, I emailed Joelle at Poesie Perfumes and asked which layering note she would recommend for my the scents I had selected for my sample pack. She recommended
Notes // a crisp blend of red apple, pomegranate, & berries to add sweetness & sparkle.
My Thoughts // I loved this layering note so much that I even wore it on its own. The apple note is most prominent to me and I think that’s why I wore it so much. I grew up in Wisconsin’s Apple Captial and the scent and taste of apples are super comforting to me. The additional sweetness notes round it out so that the apple isn’t too strong. The Juicy blend is perfect for layering with the other scents I got in my sample pack. I really liked laying it most with Honey, Honey as the fresh grass and apples worked well together.
Notes // an elegant, refined patchouli to add depth and an intoxicating woody note to any blend
My Thoughts // Patina was a bonus sample that Joelle from Poesie Perfume added to my order. As I didn’t remember the description, I blindly opened it and let my nose make an unbiased decision. While it wasn’t my favorite, I did like the mixture of masculinity and femininity of the scent. I later looked up the description and was surprised to see that it had patchouli notes. I’m not a huge patchouli fan – I’m pretty sure we all know someone who wears it like they bathe in it – so I’m glad I have the scent a fair shot! :) After smelling Patina again, I could pick up the notes of patchouli, but it wasn’t strong, which I liked.
I encourage anyone who wears perfume and/or likes to support indie business to order a sample pack of their own. It’s a great way to get started with oil-based perfumes and you can’t go wrong with Poesie Perfume. If you have questions about any of the scents, be sure to contact Joelle through her website – she was a great help to me.
I really loved wearing oil-based perfumes and am so happy to have found Poesie Perfume. I was really happy with the scents I selected for my custom sample pack (those descriptions were spot-on) but loved Honey, Honey and County Line most. I’ll be ordering those in larger sizes soon! :)
I loved them so much, that I worked with Joelle at Poesie Perfume to do a sweepstake to give away a free copy of the same sample pack I ordered. The sweepstakes