Sixteen92 2015 Birthday Collection

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Sixteen92 recently had its one year anniversary, and released a charmingly perfect collection of birthday cake scents to celebrate. Unfortunately they were only sold for the month preceding the anniversary date, but like most limited releases you can find them in destash sales.

The Masquerade Party – spiced pumpkin cake filled with toasted pecans and topped with maple buttercream

The pumpkin in this is fleeting. It’s either like pumpkin pie spice in baking, where there’s a bunch of spices that all are involved in pumpkin pies so it makes you think of pumpkin even though it’s just spices, OR the spices and butter pecan are so strong that they totally overshadow the pumpkin. Either way, the result is intense cinnamon, clove, and buttery roasted pecans. The sweetness smells like a cinnamon brown sugar coating; I don’t get any maple buttercream from this.

The Tea Party – vanilla almond birthday cake topped with Earl Grey buttercream

There’s a certain overly sweet scent that I expect from all frosting and cake-scented things, and it was delightfully absent from this scent. It just smells like amazing white almond cake batter, or possibly madeleines. The almond is astonishingly not at all cherry-like, which is an issue I have often with almond and cherry foods and flavorings. The Earl Grey does not stand out at all to me. It bothers me that my description of this scent is primarily things that it does not smell like. Despite the lack of Earl Grey, this is so impressively delicious that I wish I’d bought a full size.

The Pool Party – fluffy white cake with a pineapple-citrus compote filling sprinkled with toasted coconut

Pineapple fluff! In case you were not raised in the suburban or rural midwest United States, fluff is a “salad” made out of Cool Whip, Jell-O mix, and various canned fruits (almost always including canned crushed pineapple). Even though it is clearly made of sugar, it is usually served as a side dish, like a vegetable. I don’t make the rules, that’s just how fluff works. This scent was so “fluff”y that within an hour I was compelled to find a recipe, go to the 24-hour grocery store, and for the first time in my life I made my very own fluff. After The Pool Party dries down a bit, I get a hint of butter, which is probably the cake scent peeking out. After that, it stops being so “fluff”y and is sweet fresh pineapple.

The Afterparty – chocolate espresso truffle cake with marshmallow filling topped with dark chocolate ganache

As you can see in the photo, there is actual cocoa in this. It settles and it really difficult to mix back up, but the scent seems to still be mixed so no worries. I kind of like the aesthetic of perfume with visible ingredient remnants, it really says, “Look at me, I’m some handmade artisan quality shit.” But you can only use that insta-artisan trick a couple times, until I assume you’re being lazy about filtering. The only Sixteen92 scents that I’ve seen this with are all chocolate ones, so presumably that’s just how chocolate works and we should just get over it. ANYWAY the chocolate sludge is totally normal and also it smells so so super great. It’s like the most amazing richest chocolate decadence cake, and then there’s a touch of extra sweetness, that eventually gives way to marshmallows all over the place. I’m not big into smelling like chocolate, so I was pleased that the marshmallow was what stuck around for me. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed smelling like a marshmallow. I assumed it would be too sweet, but it’s just melty gooey marshmallowy fun.

The Princess Party – orange petit fours with fluffy whipped vanilla cream filling and a caramelized brown butter glaze covered with pink fondant

Frosting… orangey buttery vanilla frosting that occasionally goes too sweet like a frosting-scented candle, especially if I sniff directly where it was applied. Mostly it makes me want to eat my arm. It reminds me of a vanilla bread pudding I made once, using homemade bread and an orange vanilla glaze. I know it might not sound like much, but it is among the best things I’ve ever eaten. I still think about it, and it was like six years ago. This is exactly what my vanilla bread pudding with orange vanilla glaze smelled like.

Both the Masquerade Party and The Princess Party were way too intense at first and made me think of scented candles that I would sniff and place right back on the store shelf. I think it’s the stronger cake or frosting notes that are too intense straight out of the bottle.Both scents lose that overly intense artificial scent within a few minutes and become more complex and mature. Well, as mature as you’d imagine for cake scents.

The Birthday Collection was sold as a set of five 2mL samples ($18), individual 2 mL samples ($4.50), 5 mL bottles ($13), and 4 oz lotions ($9.50).

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