Sunsets and Seas is after my heart, making vanilla central to most of their fall scents. Not only is vanilla in nearly every scent, it is often the most prominent note. The only scent that doesn’t include vanilla is Papier, which is absolutely divine.
Fall in Canada is a brisk affair. Pumpkin patches, apple picking, and chilly mornings. The Fall 2015 Collection encompasses all my favourite things of autumn.
Haunted Hay Ride: Fall is probably my favourite season. The brisk autumn air and changing leaves makes for the best outdoor activities. Don’t be fooled by the notes, Haunted Hay Ride is a delightfully fruity blend. Notes: Fig, Black and Red Currant, Sweet Hay, Tobacco, Woodsmoke, Vanilla
The sweet hay is the strongest initial note. Hay smells almost like wood, but not… not really fragrant. It’s like there’s just some regular-ass dry wood around somewhere. Maybe a chair. Or some twigs. Hay: the lowliest wood. There’s an almost fruity sweetness and darkness to the perfume that I can’t place without reading the description. Once I do, everything makes sense. The fruits are there, but figs and currants aren’t quite as sweet as most fruity notes. The darkness is the smoke. The vanilla becomes a little stronger over time, but Haunted Hay Ride is still one of the more stable and consistent ones in this collection.
The Last Harvest: Is picking season over already? This is the last of summer’s harvest. A freshly green but fruity blend. Notes: Unripe Strawberries, Rasberries, Clover, Benzoin, Caramel, Vanilla
Actual fresh strawberries! This smells like actual freshly picked strawberries, complete with fresh green leaves. The berries are sweet like actual garden-grown berries (much sweeter than you find at the grocery store). As it dries, it gets a little sweeter, a little creamier and a lot more berrylicious. The vanilla and caramel are present in a faint creamy note but they stay firmly in the background.
Let’s go to the orchards: Creamy apples, fresh apples, green apples, all the apples! Opens with a burst of juicy apples, mellows to a creamier apple. An apple lover’s delight. Notes: Green Apples, Cream, Vanilla
This is honestly the first time that I’ve smelled something with a “cream” note and thought, “oh, yes, that’s obviously cream!” It’s lovely! What’s even more prominent is the strong green apple – it’s an almost artificially sugary candy apple scent. It’s such a strong apple-flavored candy scent. It reminds me of green apple-scented candles. By the time it actually dries, the cream has become the lead singer, with backup vocals evenly split between vanilla and apple. I’m surprised by how much it changes, and how much better I like it after it dries. The longer I wore it, the more it became a vanilla-cream scent, with just a trace of apple.
Candied Pears: The sweetest candied pears coupled with Sunsets & Seas Vanille. Sugary, gourmand, and sticky. Notes: Sugared Pears, Apple, Caramel, Vanilla, Musk
This has a weird unfortunate candy scent to it, like tangy pear-flavored candy. Or maybe those sour caramel apple suckers, but with a little pear flavoring added. It’s not at all the smooth caramelly dessert scent that I expected, and it doesn’t smell like actual pears (or apples, for that matter). It fades pretty quickly to a very faint, slightly fruity vanilla.
Hiking Season: Nothing like some delicious nutty coconut after a long hike in the woods. This is a darker coconut scent, with smokyness and woody nuances. Notes: Vanilla, Cedarwood, Smoke, Coconut Pulp CO2
If I think about coconut, I can smell it, but if I don’t think about coconut, it smells like dark, smokey, vanilla sunscreen. My husband thought it smelled like bug spray, and I almost agree. I typically like cedar scents, but the cedar is coming off more as a tangy sharp chemical than actual warm rich cedar wood. Somehow Hiking Season reminds me of Sixteen92’s Boardwalk, but without the cotton candy.
Papier: Damp wood and heavy musk fill the air as two ambers compete for dominance while a single lone rose rises up from the depths. The epitome of old. Not for the fainthearted. Dark, earthy, and musty. Notes: Musk, Fossilized Amber, Old Paper, Cedarwood, Agarwood, and Dried Rose.
Oh my goodness, yes all of these things. Woody but subtly so. It just gets better the longer I wear it! This is such a perfect example of non-powdery flowers, a floral scent that isn’t all about flowers but also it smells exactly like flowers.
Lavender Woods: A woody vanilla haunts the bed of simple pure lavender. Comforting. Notes: Lavender, Sandalwood, and Vanilla
Initially the combo of sandalwood and lavender comes across as tangy, fermenting lavender. As it dries, it becomes less sharp, and lands somewhere between flowery and herbal. The sandalwood becomes more distinct although it doesn’t overtake the lavender. Creamy vanilla notes pop up, making this much smoother and softer. This would be really lovely as a bedtime scent. Like Let’s go to the orchards, all the non-vanilla-cream notes eventually fade. In the end there’s just a slightly woody vanilla. It’s nice, and (again, just like Let’s go to the orchards) the faded scent is something I prefer to the original notes. I feel like I should be pissed about the scent switcheroo, but it keeps working out in my favor.
I don’t know if the vanilla everything is due to the owner’s love of vanilla, or if the scents started out more balanced but the vanilla note ended up much stronger than originally intended, or if Sunset and Seas’ particular version of vanilla is amplified by my skin. As much as I love vanilla, and as much as I enjoyed this collection, I’m glad to see that the upcoming winter collection will have a bit more variety.
Sunsets and Seas is currently open for business. Remember that pricing is in Canadian dollars, so it’s a bit cheaper for US-based customers. I believe if you ask nicely in the “notes to seller” field, you can combine shipping with any orders from Hello Waffle, since they’re run by the same people.