I’ve tried out a couple brands that I think the world should hear more about, including a moroccan indie. A little bit about my skin and my tastes: my skin is very oily/sensitive and tends to turn scents like ouds/incense/vanilla very foul smelling. I like clean/citrusy/aquatic scents and only white florals.
Hendiya Organic Skincare:
Hendiya is an indie moroccan clean skincare brand, woman-founded, it’s primary focus is skincare made with moroccan prickly pear seed oil(I loove Prickly Pear!). This is my first time reviewing a moroccan indie brand, I’ve tested it out for 6 weeks and i’m very excited about it! This ships internationally.
The products arrived in this sleek little box, I ordered:
-The Face Scrub with Poppy Petals
-The Tonifying Rose Water
-The Exfoliating Soap with Orange Blossom and Prikly Pear Seeds
The Face Scrub with Poppy Petals:
Per their website, this facescrub contains powdered poppy, cherry and prickly pear as well as sugar micro-crystals, all their ingredients have an organic certification.
I incorporated this face scrub in my skincare routine once a week for about 6 weeks. I love the bubblegum color of the face scrub as well as its scent, it’s a very familiar comforting scent. It smells very creamy, a bit like amlou, with some honey like sweetness in the background. Scents are very important to me and this one feels like a hug in a jar.
When you massage this on the skin, it’s not abrasive at all, I don’t feel it cutting my skin, it’s just gently moving on the surface of it. That might sound like it’s not doing much but quite the opposite, I’ve found that most scrubs and face washs are toi harsh on my skin, they take away all the oils, making my face feel like the desert, parched and tight. This on the other hand, leaves it feeling refreshed, clean but also like i’ve just put on a nice moisturizer.
My face is shiny and looks healthy afterwards so I’m giving this product a 10/10, would definitely repurchase again!
The Exfoliating Soap with Orange Blossom and Prikly Pear Seeds:
Per the website, this soap is naturally exfoliating thanks to the Prickly Pear Seeds which cleanse the skin without drying it out.
I’ll admit, I didn’t use this one for my face as I already have a pretty good facewash, I however used it for my body. It smells very homey and sweet like the face scrub, but this one feels more like a hearty oatmeal breakfast. The orange blossom is not offensive, instead it melts in the creaminess as a nice supporting scent.
I was a bit apprehensive of this soap as it was titled “Grainy” and i was afraid it would be like sandpaper on the skin. It lathers quite nicely and leaves a nice creamy scent and feel behind.
It does everything it promises to do and it’s making me not hate orange blossom which is a huge feat by itself, 8/10 would repurchase but not as readily as the face scrub.
The Tonifying Rose Water:
Per the website, the Rose Water is made with handcollected rose petals. It’s a mist meant to refresh the face, eliminate product residues and perfect your face cleaning.
This one smells oh so strongly of rose I almost gagged, then again it is rose water. I don’t use face mists as i find them quite unecessary for me. I bought this to experience a fuller range from Hendiya’s products.
It is quite refreshing and does exactly what it says it does. So if that’s what you’re looking for this is the product for you. If you’re a rose hâter like me though, I don’t recommend it at all.
6/10, through no fault of its own, useful and true to its word, just not for me.
2/3 hit rate with an indie brand is still quite high, so I’ll be purchasing other Hendiya products to test!
For the perfume reviews, I’ll be giving 5 scents that I recommend, 5 that I don’t and some intriguing/WTF ones. What works for my skin won’t necessarly work for yours.
If you haven’t been moving in indie circles you might not know that Andromeda’s Curse THE reference when it comes to great indie perfume oils: short TAT, great prices ($13 for 5mL), worldwide shipping, very responsive, woman-owned, very evocative scents and great atmospherics, enough collections to satisfy all cravings, vegan, generous with freebies and with a great aesthetic to boot. This was my first purchase from her and I bought 27 perfumes (The Tarot Collection and 5 samples) and got 3 freebies.
A few scents that you should absolutely try from AC:
Strength : Coffee, Marshmallow, Milk Chocolate, Coumarin, Brown Sugar, Whipped Vanilla Frosting
It’s sooo GOOD, the coffee is strong but creamy thanks to the marshmallow. The beginning of the perfume is all the notes singing together. As you continue sniffing/it dries down, they each take a turn to shine for a few seconds.
It’s an admirable succession of lovely smells.
It’s less sweet than you’d expect and the coffee retains some of its bitter quality.
The Hermit : Wormwood, Balsam Fir, Dirt, Dried Leaves, Nag Champa, Sandalwood, Oakmoss
This is a very aquatic smell, oh so fresh. It’s a perfect dirt/grass garden after the rain, so forest witch. This makes my heart sing.
10/10, heavily recommend, for all those that love the rain
Temperance : Morning Dew on Green Grasses, Overgrown Lavender, Slightly Muddy Dirt, Tomato Leaves
So fresh it feels like I’m breathing for the first time. At the first sniff, it mimicks the smell or a very tart luscious green apple then goes on to gain more depth.
10/10, I wanna live here, in fruity Apple land.
Darkest Violest : Violet, Tomato Leaf, Blackberry Wine, Sandalwood, Incense, Amber
Very acidic from the blackberry and wine, but also soft and fresh from the violet & tomato leaf. It’s a whirlwind of perfectly blended scents. The embodiement of the perfect red lipstick.
10/10, so fresh and bold
Full Moon Rising : Orange, Marshmallows, White Chocolate, Vanilla
Gorgeous! The white chocolate, marshmallow and vanilla blend together to give the impression of the world’s most delicious wafers, i can almost hear them snap. The orange peppers the scent so it doesn’t get too heavy.
10/10,this is a gem
A few scents that I don’t recommend/didn’t work for me from AC:
The Magician : Sage, Bergamot, Anise, Tobacco Smoke, Dusty Books, Dragons Blood, Cedarwood, Oakmoss
This is very familiar, straight off the bat, it reminds me of a less offensive Pumpkin Patch by HoG. This one is a more wholesome curry.
2/10, i can’t see myself wearing it but it’s not hateful
The Chariot : Clove, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Black Tea, Cardamom, Nag Champa, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Red Musk
Patchouli is definitely playing front & center on this one, with the Black Pepper & Tea lending it a borderline spicy punch whilst the musk makes it a bit more mature and evolved.
It’s like the adult version of a shotgun wedding, an elopement if you will.
5/10, not for me
Usako : Creamy Melon Soda with hints of Strawberry & Lychee
Very melon forward, the strawberry is very artificial, the lychee non existant. The creaminess is inescapable.
This is the pinacle of a Barbie scent!
5/10, too sweet and melon like for me
The Lovers : Freesia, Gardenia, Lavender, Rose, Orchid, Cherry Blossom, Powdery Musk, Tonka Bean, Vanilla
A very sharp flower bouquet, the rose isn’t as offensive as i would’ve expected. If this perfume was a tool, it would be a swiss army knife.
5/10, not offensive just not pleasant to me.
A few intringuing scents from AC:
High Priestess : Ylang Ylang, Sage, Smoke, Chalk, Dragons Blood, Incense, Moss, Dark Woods, Egyptian Amber
This one BAFFLES me, this smells exactly like smoked salami that gets smokier as it dries, leaving the salami more of an accompagniment than a major player.
This makes my mouth water but also confuses me.
7/10, it’s a very realistic salami, so i can see myself keeping it and smelling it. But it’s also not at all what i imagined
She Dreams in Digital : Icy Blueberries, Sea Salt, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Oakmoss, Sandalwood and the Inevitability of Entropy
Salty, icy Blueberry on a creamy almost minty background. This fits its name to a T and i don’t know how she did it.10/10, refreshing !
Andromeda’s Curse has quite a big hit rate for me (21/30), so i look forward to trying more from her.
Immortal Perfumes is a micro-perfumery specializing in historically inspired, handmade perfumes (Per their Website). A while back, they were having a big sale, notably their entire collection in 2ml samples for $30 instead of $100, so I decided to take the plunge. They ship internationally and have very fast TAT.
A few perfumes I recommend from IP:
Madame Moustache : Tobacco pipe, Vegan Egyptian Musk, Fire, and Vanilla
I absolutely love this one! Smells like sweet, smoky liquorice both on the skin and in the bottle.
10/10, would definitely FS, I adore this
Aleister : Spice, Night Queen, Opium, Palo Santo, Egyptian Musk, Sandalwood, Cypress, Bark
I can’t pick out a single scent cited but it does smell pretty good. It’s a very white flower scent with a green fresh background.
It’s creamy and fresh at the same time.
10/10, didn’t expect to love this but here we are
Frida : Black Jasmine, Musk, Cactus, Tonka Bean, Black Leather, Vanilla Bourbon, Smoked Sandalwood, Black Orchid
In the Bottle, it smells like Pineapple sorbet which i love, on the skin the pineapple sorbet is still present but now mellowed out by the Orchid and Jasmine. It smells exactly like what i think the goddess Persephone would be as a perfume.
10/10, i wanna wear this with a dramatic purple gown, while running in the desert
Pemberley : Rosewood, Coriander, Cedarwood, Honeysuckle, Hyacinth, Peony, Vetiver
Now this a very green-fresh scent, the honeysuckle comes through really well. But the most remarquable thing about it is that it smells like after rain greenery. I can almost smell the cold air.
10/10, i’ve been looking for scents like this one
Catherine : White musk, amber, English Ivy, frangipani, rain, white patchouli, and heather
This is a very masculine scent, almost cologne like at first then it evolves into a kind of clean after landry scent. It smells like when i used to wash clothes by hand as a little girl on a sunny day.
10/10, my god i love this
A few scents I don’t recommend/didn’t work for me from IP:
Lenore : Dragon’s Blood, Clove, Oak Moss, Moroccan Rose
Smells exactly like a lot of perfumes from home, a big whack of rose and clove. So everything that i have ever hated.
0/10, absolutely not for me
Crystal Gazer : Black Oud, Smoke, Opium, Woodsage, Osmanthus, Black Cardamom
I had high hopes for this one, but it smells of absolutely nothing, if you sniff for a really long time, you get the tiniest hint of Cardamom.
0/10, really disappointed in this one
Weird Sister : Apricot, Yarrow, Belladonna, Labdanum, Wormwood, Dragon’s Blood, Dark Amber, Mimosa
It opens up with lovely Apricot & Mimosa, it’s refreshing, green and lightly floral.
Then the Amber & Dragon’s Blood ruin it, intertwining with the lovely opening bouquet is a pungeant acrid smoke that lingers heavily and totally wipes away the precious cleaniness.
-10/10, Negative grade because it started out so well and then got so bad
Dead Writers : Black tea, vetiver, clove, musk, vanilla, heliotrope, and tobacco
Antiseptic & Clove isn’t a great combination to my nose it seems.
0/10, this is what my nightmares smell like
Sylvia : Cedarwood, Black Tea, Vanilla, Clove, Cassis, Fig
The Cassis and Fig open this perfume and make it smells like delicious fruit leather and spring. Unfortunately it is soon followed by clove and black tea, which give the feeling of a man who was enjoying gorgeous freedom before being trapped in a dusty, acrid prison.
A few intringuing scents by IP:
Heathcliff : Amber, leather, labdanum, white patchouli, cedar, myrhh, saffron, and chocolate
A big wack of Betadine, quickly disappears into an articial cherry lollipop scent in the background of a dark chocolate gelato and waffle cone scent.
WTF/10, i don’t why but i keep smelling it
Artemisia : Hawaiian Sandalwood, Sea Moss, Geranium, Succulent, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Sea Mineral
This is a very interesting one, it’s like whirlwind of experiences. First, it smells like somebody dunked your head in the sand, then vanilla ice cream and finally something fresh, a bit aquatic and minty but also like plastic burning.
With a hit rate of 13 out of 31 perfumes, I might FS some scents that I like but that will be about it.