Solstice Scents Recs

I’m a huge fan of indie fragrance house Solstice Scents. I’m sure I’ve posted about them here previously, but as I started to post an Insta story about my love of them, I realized I hadn’t really long-formed on some of my favorite Solstice Scents.

BLACK FOREST* – Agarwood, Nagarmotha, Tobacco, Chocolate, Red and Black Cherries, Hay, Sandalwood, Whipped Cream & Pink Pepper. Extrait/EDP/WS/BG. Oil based extrait. Allergen alert: contains hay. Not safe for pregnant/nursing. WOODY/DARK GOURMAND. General Catalog.
It has been mentioned that this perfume smells like cherry Cavendish tobacco. Which I feel is absolutely a compliment! It’s dark and gourmand without being sickly sweet. The cherry, chocolate and tobacco notes are very readable while the other notes just add a warm air around them.

COCOA ABSOLUTE – Natural perfume. Single note chocolate layering note. Extrait only. Alcohol based extrait. GOURMAND. General Catalog.
If smelling like pure cocoa is your idea of a good time, boy do I have news for you. This is absolutely delicious. It’s not particularly sweet, but also not bitter. It’s a wonderful layering note, but I also wear it alone! Just a lovely dark chocolate scent. It does leave behind a brown tinge, and I imagine it could possibly stain fabrics. Just FYI.

GIN FLOWER – Natural perfume. Osmanthus, Elderflower, Apricot, Vanilla, Juniper, Lime, Manuka Honey Accord (Vegan), Pear, Citron, Hawaiian Sandalwood. Extrait/EDP. Alcohol based extrait. Not safe for pregnant/nursing. FRUITY/GOURMAND/LIQUEUR. Spring Collection.
I wear this so often in the spring and summer! It’s full of juicy notes, but not sweet at all. It’s very warm and bright. It’s not a cocktail, it’s an intrepid bartender hand-cutting the ingredients to make the cocktail.

RIVERSIDE HAYRIDE* – Moist Dirt, White Carnations, Fallen Leaves, Bare Branches, Hay & a Hint of Pressed Apples. Oil based extrait. Extrait/EDP/WS/BG. EARTHY/FLORAL. General Catalog.
If I knew someone had never tried an atmospheric perfume, this is probably one I’d encourage them to try. It’s not something I’d wear on a day-to-day basis, yet it’s so incredibly evocative. To me, I can almost imagine a wagon going down a cobblestone path in the middle of a hay field. They list this as a floral, but for me, they’re dried flowers. I don’t feel like I get pressed apples out of it, but it’s decidedly autumnal.

RIVERSIDE SLEIGHRIDE*- Vanilla Musk, Bayberry, Fresh Snow, White Amber, Fir Balsam, Cold Winds, Birch, Mistletoe. Extrait/EDP/WS/BG. Oil based extrait. VANILLA/MUSK. Winter Collection.
If the hayride is autumn, the sleighride is perfectly wintry. I have this in their Burnishing Glacé body oil and I adore it. Again, this is wonderfully atmospheric. Each sniff perfectly evokes a river flowing through the woods in the heart of winter. I’m not sure if it’s because the formula is a body oil or if the EDP would smell exactly the same, but I don’t find it cold, exactly; there’s a whiff of cold wind, but it feels like being snuggled down under a flannel blanket.

SEA OF GRAY* – Vanilla rain, saltwater, seaweed, ambergris (vegan), white amber, roasted seashells, white sandalwood, frangipani. Extrait/EDP. Alcohol based extrait. Allergen information: contains seaweed absolute. Not safe for pregnant/nursing. AQUATIC/GOURMAND/VANILLA. General Catalog.
This is my life. My love. My lady. THE SEA. I am a Sea of Gray evangelist. I tell everyone about this weird, weird perfume. When I say I love aquatic perfumes, this is the standard I hold them all to. This isn’t a clean calone, watermelony water scent; it’s a funky tidepool after a storm. If you skin tends to amp vanilla–or apparently, if the stars are just out of alignment for the moment–this can sometimes smell like an ice cream cone on a cloudy day. Other times, it’s so damp my mom thought her car was mildewy. I love how this morphs and changes. I love how it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I love that it’s atmospheric and strange.

SOLSTICE MAGNOLIA – Lemon-Magnolia ice cream, sugar cone, Hawaiian sandalwood, honeysuckle, thumbprint cookies with quince jam, unsweetened iced black tea. Extrait/EDP. Oil based extrait. GOURMAND/FLORAL. Summer Collection.
If you smell some young magnolia blossoms, under that creamy, white floral, the bloom will smell like it’s sitting on a bowl of lemon sorbet. This perfume captures that so beautifully. The other notes really bring a sense of being outdoors in the summer more than anything else. I will warn you that all magnolia accords bring the flower’s natural indoles to the party. If you amp those… I’m sorry.

TENEBROUS MIST* – Skin Musk, White Amber, Sea Spray, Sandalwood, Bay Rum, Tea, Smoke. Extrait/BG. Oil based extrait. AQUATIC/MUSK/WOODY. General Catalog.
My feelings about Tenebrous Mist are complicated. Whereas I love Sea of Gray for its weirdness, TM starts out strange then takes a right turn into normal, wearable perfume territory with the amber, rum and tea notes. I originally bought it because I wanted it to be Sea of Gray’s seafaring sibling, but it’s actually more of its careful, lighthouse keeper cousin.

WHISPERS IN THE NIGHT – Jasmine, Tuberose, Vanilla Orchid, Coconut, White Amber, Sandalwood, Amber & Ylang Ylang on a base of Edge of the Night* (amber, oakmoss, aged patchouli, bergamot, black vanilla, red musk, buddha wood, organic clove EO, star anise EO, cinnamon and a nominal amount of lavender absolute and agarwood)
Back when I was first getting into indie perfumes, I bought a mystery bottle of Solstice Scents perfume from a Redditor. The name of the fragrance was either never written on the label or got washed off on accident. The Redditor couldn’t remember what it was and sold the 5mL at a huge discount. I took that gamble, and my golly did it pay off. I only just managed to identify the bottle as Whispers in the Night! It’s a scent I never would’ve purchased based on those notes. I don’t know how much its age plays into how warm it smells, but I find it more woodsy and spiced than floral.

WINSLOW’S* – Rows of Christmas Trees, Clove Studded Oranges, Bayberry Tapers, Handcrafted Wreaths & Mistletoe. Extrait only. Oil based extrait. Allergen information: contains spice oils. Not safe for pregnant/nursing. SPICY/CONIFER/WOODY. Winter Collection.
I want to marry this perfume. It’s so perfectly wintry! It smells like decorating a freshly-cut tree with pomanders. Whenever I wear it, people comment that I smell like a Christmas tree. And for a Holly Holiday like me, that’s the best compliment! It’s realistic, green and warm.