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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Scents by Alexis Black Valentine, Minx and Femme Fatale

By Tom

It's been a long road for me to learn to appreciate perfume oils. Originally I dismissed them all as being godawful things that popped up every now and again in health food stores reeking of cheap patch with the staying power of a freshly startled skunk. Luckily, perfumers like Liz Zorn and Roxana Villa have been able to teach me an appreciation for well done oils.

Alexis Karl does well done oils.

Black Valentine manages to be gorgeously gourmand and wonderfully flowery at the same time. The combination of tuberose and caramel is spellbinding: on my skin it almost becomes chocolaty. I never thought that chocolate covered tuberose would be something I'd care to smell like. Live and learn..

Femme Fatale is real old-style Hollywood Glamour: amber, jasmine and ylang-ylang that fairly cries out for bias-cut silk. It's retro-glam punch is mitigated by crystalline brightness (I think there's some kind of citrus in there) that makes it completely wearable. It's the perfect scent for releasing your inner Bacall.

Minx is distinctly different and one that's going to be a love/hate scent. It opens with a winey bitter cocao accord. For a while there seems to be a distinct hazelnut scent to it, ubtil stewed fruits and a distinct merlot scent comes forward and it goes from love/hate to love/need.

There are six others in the range that I have samples of, should I go on?

Available at her website, $100/ 1oz, $175/ 2 oz

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Blogger Flora said...

Oh wow - I will take the Black Valentine and the Femme Fatale please! And yes, please do go on!

1:37 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I love several of her scents, but Minx may be my fave as a layering scent in winter. I also think she does really well w/ floral scents. And her bottles are absolutely stunning. Would love to hear your take on the other scents. Oh, and La Creme has Mandala (not sure if it's on the website or not, but it always helps to call and ask about scents that she doesn't have up, especially w/ SbA since she has access to almost all of them or has them and hasn't put them on the site yet for whatever reason), a scent that Alexis created w/ Autumn in mind, and you can get samples of them there (not affiliated, etc. etc.).

6:47 AM EDT  
Blogger thescentmuse said...

If you can get your hands on a sample of Alexis' Red Velvet--do so post haste. Very limited, but the best dragon's blood note I have ever whiffed. I usually recoil immediately when I sniff it, but Alexis does a soft woodsy dragon's blood accord that is gorgeous! Alexis does delicious and interesting florals so well. Just another fan here--add me to the Minx lovers!

9:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

I'm pretty sure Minx would be hate for me, but Femme Fatale sounds wonderful.

Oh, wait ... elle likes Minx. I guess I'll try it!

9:31 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black Valentine and Femme describe these deliciously! Please go on!


9:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

Oh, yes, please...DO go on! Femme Fatale sounds wonderful!

10:55 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Literally laughed out loud at the 'freshly startled skunk' longevity description.

The sad thing is that as a veteran perfumista, my first thought was 'hmmm...sounds interesting'. lol

11:48 AM EDT  
Blogger violetnoir said...

I'm in accord (please excuse the pun) with the others, Tom. Yes, please do go on with descriptions of her other scents.

I am not a big oil fan, either, but these sound fascinating.


12:13 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think you would like this line quite a bit.

12:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Minx really surprised me- not my normal thing at all and I ended up really liking it.

12:28 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Red Velvet, eh? I migh just have to check that one out..

12:30 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think it could be iffy for you; I like Borneo, remember? But hey, it can't hurt to try!

12:30 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thanks! I shall!

12:30 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Thanks, and yes,, Femme Fatale is really lovely

12:31 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


That's true isn't it? The line between sickly and delish is a thin and ever changing one. I smelled the infamous corpse flower and kind of like it..

12:32 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Fascinating they are!

12:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Hi Tom! Always very interesting to read about a line I'd never heard of before. Do please go on :)

As far as oils are concerned: I always will like spraying or dabbing alcohol perfumes better, but I've found that a good perfume oil does not have to lack in anything: sillage, development etc.

4:34 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Divina- that's true. I'll always be a sprayer at heart.

7:27 PM EDT  
Anonymous Alexis /Scent By Alexis said...

Dear Tom,

I have just run across this series of blog postings, and I want to thank you for your wonderful reviews on my line.
I appreciate it so very much.. as well as the fantastic images for the scents- so cool!
I am creating new scents for my "speakeasy line" and changing out my bottles to 1920' style art deco atomizers with long silk pumps.. very Femme Fatale on a stormy day!
Again, thanks so much for these fabulous reviews, and the readers wonderful responses!
xoxo Alexis
Scent By Alexis

3:30 PM EDT  

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