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November 7, 2014

Indie Weekends: Black Violet Perfume and Body Butter Review

Black Violet recently had a special sale and some extra special Gift with Purchases for their first anniversary, so I figured it was a good time to try their products for the first time! There were a limited number of special Black Violet/Shiro Cosmetics collaboration shadows called Everything Counts, and a Celebration perfume sample, along with a discount. My order still hadn't shipped after a week or two, so I decided to place another order for some body butters and have the orders combined.

Black Violet is currently closed but will reopen November 10th! I wanted to save this review for Sunday, but due to some scheduling conflicts, it's up today! If you've never heard of Black Violet they are owned by Leilani, and they are an indie perfumery based out of Maryland. Black Violet offers perfume oils in sample sizes and full size rollerballs, body butters, whipped soap, and a few other kinds of products. Her shop is currently closed as she was out of town, but it reopens Monday!

Shipping - I placed two orders for all of this and the first order was placed on the first day of the Celebration sale and the second was made 9 days later. They all shipped 5 days after the second order was made, and arrived via USPS 2-day Priority from Maryland to California in 2 days.

The perfumes came packaged in this very cute bag and the packaging on everything just looks lovely design-wise. Please excuse some of my descriptions of these perfumes, I had a hard time describing them!

Product Size - There are only sample sizes of the perfumes, everything else is a full size product. The sample perfumes are quite large, 1 dram, but the full sizes are rollerballs. The body butters come in 4 oz full size jars.

Free Samples - Leilani was very generous with samples for my orders. I combined two orders and she included 2 sample perfumes, and then I had a replacement package shipped and that also included 2 sample perfumes. They are generous sized samples too, but I think the norm is that you receive one sample per order. You can specify what you want in the notes at checkout, but if you don't sometimes you get a perfume, sometimes you get a body butter sample, sometimes you get something else!

Affogato - "Buttery vanilla drowned in espresso, burnt sugar & a drizzle of amaretto liqueur."

This is one of my favorites that I tried. Out of the bottle I get mostly the amaretto and vanilla. It's so yummy smelling, I just love this one. The coffee is not overpowering at all, which is sort of what happens to most perfumes I've tried with coffee notes. To me, it smells more like a tiramisu than affogato, but I love that! It does turn a little weird on dry down, but the strange sour weirdness goes away pretty quickly to reveal the delicious vanilla and sugar portion of the scent. And after that I get mostly amaretto, vanilla and a hint of the espresso. Just delicious.

Chalice - "Intuitive & spiritual. She's the element of water. Serene waters, cyclamen, white lilies, smooth musk and a harmonizing touch of sandalwood."

This scent is a beautiful light blue color, and it's very aquatic and floral. For me, it smells like a big name brand scent that I can't put my finger on what it is, but just better quality and better overall. I really like this one, it's fairly light, not overpowering, and just a very beautiful floral perfume, very lady-like.

Ice Queen - "Snow capped mountains, heliotrop, juniper berry, water lily, sandalwood, vetiver and a mist swept form the sea."

This smells way fruitier than I anticipated, and I can't really tell what is making it smell that way. I guess the juniper berry, but it reminds me of lychee. Not as aquatic as Chalice, but fresh and watery. Another beautiful scent, but just not what I pictured when I read the notes. It's like a subtly fruity fresh kind of scent.

Paper Dolls - "Delicate and pale as alabaster. A vintage lactonic with comforting rice milk, pure white musk, sweet cream, and the lightly powdered warmth of her skin."

This one is the crowd favorite, everyone raves about this perfume and I can see why. I think this one could smell really good on almost everyone, but with my skin chemistry it does something really special. I have always loved horchata, and when I wear this, it starts to smell like that. It gets a little spicy in a good way, and I have no idea if it does this for everyone, probably not, but I love it. Out of the bottle it just smells like milk and cream, so I think my skin chemistry just hits this scent out of the park for me. I'm buying this in a full size, and I'm going to hoard it in every product I can get it. It's the perfect scent for when I'm going somewhere I don't want anything too crazy or strange, but just subtly beautiful smelling.

Red Lotus - "With vermillion red beauty & hairlike spines, rambutans are unforgettable fruits from Southeast Asia which bring a tart aroma. Exotic lychee radiates a sweet note thru red rooibos tea. Red Lotus is complete with floating lilies and wild geranium."

When I smelled this out of the bottle, I was a little worried about how fruity it is, and it reminds me of Haus of Gloi's Litchi Milk Tea, but once it's on the skin the other notes calm it down a little. It's like a florally fruity lychee scent. I like it, not my first choice out of the ones I purchased, but it definitely smells better to me on the skin, than from the bottle. This is one of their other popular scents, but I think I'd much rather have Affogato or Paper Dolls over this one.

Valley of the Temples - "Nestled among lush gardens, a reflecting pond with Japanese koi swimming under a wooden bridge is a hidden gem of tranquility. Resinous amber, Asian oud wood, calming cedarwood, exotic ambrette seed, fresh rosemary, dark olibanum, patchouli, black musk, orchid and jasmine petals."

This is such a testament to how good these perfumes are, because I read those notes and I expect this to be a woody kind of scent, and it is a little, but it's also a little florally, and a little fresh. I think it's the rosemary giving it a bit of a fresh vibe, but it's a very warm wood scent. I think this one could be a headache trigger for me though in certain circumstances, so I will have to put it on with a light hand.

These are all my free samples, because even though I had asked for my two orders to be combined, my perfumes didn't make it into the shipment, so Leilani was nice enough to include some extras for the trouble. 

Celebration - "Our celebratory champagne opens with a garnet bouquet of pomegranate, aromatic ripeness of boysenberry, rounded out with a garnish of cracked pink peppercorn for a playful finish."

This was a special freebie that was only for the first anniversary of Black Violet! This one is like fruitsplosion, definitely bubbly and really sweet. This is not for the fruit lighthearted, I don't get much of the peppercorn, just the champagne, pomegranate and boysenberry. After a little while it does mellow out a little, but it's still going to be an insanely sweet fruity scent.

Lady Grey - "Legend has it that the original blend caused women to have "improper impulses" thus additional extracts were added to calm & curb unusual appetites. Black tea leaves framed by a smooth, smoky undertone of vetiver with a bright bloom of bergamot essential oil swirled in orange and lemon. Rounded out in a bold mix of amber, cedarwood, dark musk with hints of sandalwood and jasmine."

I mostly get the bergamot note out of this at first, and then I can start to smell the cedarwood and citrus notes. It's definitely a tea perfume, so if you like tea perfumes, you will probably like this one. Not necessarily my cup of tea (yeah, I went there), but I think it would be good for layering.

Lilikoi - "Fantasy is witnessing the unique phases of a Hawaiian passion fruit flower. As the striking flower closes, it transforms into a sweet lilikoi fruit- creating a fragrance beyond imagination."

Very fruity and tropical with a hint of vanilla. It reminds me of Hawaii and is basically just straight up passion fruit. But it starts to turn less fruity and a little more floral over time.

Luau Lounge - "Bowls of passion fruit and tangerines blended in tropical drinks with hand strung pikake leis to greet the wahines."

A more citrusy floral version of Lilikoi, still very tropical, fruity and sweet. It reminds me of a tropical drink of some kind probably something with rum in it and a pineapple on the rim, even though the perfume doesn't smell like those notes, but imagine the drink mix that would go in with the rum.

Steel Petals - "Wild violets, hummingbird nectar of sugar water & an aromatic mist of metal slowly rising into the crisp air. Modern with extra pep- unlike your grandmother's signature perfume."

I can definitely smell all the notes in this one, but the metal gives it a slight edge and turns it a little artificial smelling for me. Eventually that gives way and it just smells fresh and florally, but still reminding me of a traditional perfume. And baby powder. That's what it is, this turns to a baby powder smell on me.

Komorebi - "Showers of light between the colorful trees, glowing to the warm forest floor. Absinthe, rosewood, amber musk, carnation, fallen leaves."

I blindly bought this as full size since it was limited and wasn't available as a sample, and I kind of regret it. It smells mostly of the absinthe, but it's as if the other notes are trying to come through but just get bullied down by the absinthe for me. It could be one of the other notes, it's hard to tell, but I had a hard time trying to wear it for the full wear time to find out if it did something else. But, I did try layering it with one of my other perfumes, I think it was Sweet Tea Apothecary's Remy, and it smelled really lovely. So, I may experiment and try layering this with some other scents.

Bavarian Apfel Cider Body Butter - "Our stein froths over with golden apple cider alongside a slice of red currant torte, topped with slivers of almonds."

This has a tendency to smell very fruity, more so than I was expecting for a cider even, but I do like it. I guess it's the red currant part that throws me off, because this is so different from other cider scents I've tried. It smells more like a really crisp hard apple cider. I thought I would like this more than I did, but I don't think I really care for spicy fall/apple scents as lotion. I don't know what it is, but usually I don't have a problem with them when they are a perfume.

Snow White Tea Body Butter - "Chilled white tea kissed by juicy, red apples."

Tea notes have a tendency to smell very floral to me, which makes sense, but they never remind me of tea, and this one does that mostly, but I get a hint of the apple in there. I like it, but I don't love it. I might use this on my legs or feet, but I get worried this will give me a headache if I use it on my hands. Not that it's a strong smell, it just isn't my favorite.

Here's the consistency of the Black Violet body butters. It's a very light whipped texture, and a little goes a long way.

Shiro Cosmetics swatch of Everything Counts
Shiro Cosmetics Everything Counts -

I didn't get a chance to swatch this on my own, so above is the official Shiro swatch. And I don't think we ever got the official description for this GWP, but it just looks like a very beautiful peachy rose gold, which is just lovely. I love the special label artwork that came with it, and I can't wait to use this with just a simple neutral eye look.

Overall, I absolutely love Black Violet and I will be ordering again. The sale and gift with purchases just happened to be the thing that pushed me over the edge for ordering this time, but now that I know how much I love some of the products, I will definitely need to try most if not all of the scents and products! I was glad I got a chance to try a variety of products from Black Violet and Affogato and Paper Dolls were my favorites. I will be purchasing a full size of Paper Dolls, but I haven't decided about Affogato. When she reopens, there will be some of the winter scents for sale, so I will probably get some of those as well.

Customer Service - I had a bit of an issue with an order, when my two orders were combined, they arrived without any of the mini perfumes I ordered. I emailed Leilani and she quickly replied and apologized for the error, and sent them out. She also included two samples with the replacement perfumes, so I thought that was really sweet of her. 

Availability - Currently, none of this is available as the shop is closed until November 10th. However, the Celebration perfume and the Shiro Everything Counts eyeshadow were special limited edition items only for the 1 year anniversary celebration. Komorebi and Bavarian Apfel Cider were limited edition scents, so availability on any product of those may be limited when she reopens, but they are supposed to return. The rest are general catalog scents and are available usually year round.

Overall Satisfaction - I didn't care for the scents I got the body butter in, but the body butter formula itself was moisturizing and nourishing. My favorite scents were Affogato and Paper Dolls, but I regret getting Komorebi in full size. I will purchase again, as I would like to try the rest of the catalog.

For all other Black Violet reviews, click here

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