Arcana Grotesquerie Reviews

Hello hotties!   Today I bring to you a review post a year in the making.  I know, I know….it’s al ittle late for Hallowe’en reviews but in the honor of A Christmas Carol I’m trying to bring you reviews of collections past.   I feel like this Arcana collection didn’t get as much love as it should have at The Rhinestone Housewife and we still have stock available so I’m encouraging you to pick any up that sound good to you as once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

Bean Sidhe-The red-eyed Irish fairy who wails of death’s approach. A delicate blend of dark vanilla and sugared milk is spiked with woodsmoke, pale apple, porter, and glowing red musk.

In bottle:  Vanilla and apple.

Wet on skin:  Warm and yummy vanilla milk with a touch of red musk.  There is a very faint wisp of woodsmoke and just a bit of porter.

Dry on skin:  The sugared milk and dark vanilla are super tasty together.   The red musk and softened up and the smoke and porter add just a touch of edge so that the whole isn’t too cloying.

Verdict:  Delicious!  It’s a soft, warm and snuggly scent.

Bean Sidhe
Bean Sidhe

Bright Pink Giant SlugsAren’t you glad to live in a world where these exist? Guava, caramel, pink musk, smoke, damp wood, turbinado sugar, slug musk, and honey.

In bottle: Pink sugar.

Wet on skin: There is just the briefest whiff of delicate wood smoke all wrapped around the caramel and pink musk.   I don’t know what slug musk is but I assume that’s the earthy musk that is grounding all the sweets.

Dry on skin:  This is a touch scent to describe.   I’m getting the sugar first and foremost but it’s not a sickly sweet kind of sugar, it’s like taking a big whiff of a bag of Sugar In The Raw.  The smoke, damp wood and musk are VERY lights but add a nice depth to the blend.

Verdict:  I really like this oil.  It’s hard to describe but it’s rich and sweet and I think would smell equally nice on a boy or girl.

Bright Pink Giant Slugs
Bright Pink Giant Slugs

Croque-Mitaine-A terrifying French bogeyman who waits under the bed, ready to grab any child who refuses to sleep. Chocolate absolute, gooey marshmallow, vanilla bean, peru balsam, and a hint of clove bud.

In bottle:  Chocolate marshmallow

Wet on skin:  At first this blend is all a swirl of marshmallow, chocolate and vanilla.  As it softens down the clove and basalm come out and really take the foodie edge off.

Dry on skin:  So imagine that a marshmallow had been stored in a yummy smelling wood box and lightly dusted with dark chocolate powder and then swirled in light clove smoke and this is what you’ve got.

Verdict:  Wow, this was a surprise hit for me.   Foodie, but not too foodie and would be equally snuggly on a boy or girl.


Euryale-The second eldest Gorgon, Euryale was famous for her sharp fangs and piercing shriek. Ripe pomegranate and black cherry with hints of ginger, vanilla, and cardamom.

In bottle:  Dark cherry and pomegranate.

Wet on skin:  This is all pomegranate right at first drizzled in black cherry and ginger.  The cardamom is just a slight whisper in the background, telling you secrets of delicious things to come.

Dry on skin:  This is shriek of pomegranate and cherry, amplified by the ginger.  I don’t think there is red ginger but if there was this would be it.   It’s a sexy song of fruit and sensual spice.

Verdict:  This is one of my favorite blends, a top ten for me.   If you love cherry, pick this up while you can!


Gigelorum-The smallest Scottish beastie in existence. Cider, winesap apples, myrrh, oakmoss, black pepper, citron, and patchouli.

In bottle:  Apple cider dusted with black pepper.

Wet on skin:  The black pepper is the star here with the myrrh and oakmoss supporting the apples.  The myrrh really amps up and with the citron gives it a nice punch.

Dry on skin:  As this dries down the fruity aspect of the apples and cider slowly fades to the background and the oakmoss and myrrh really blossom and the black pepper gives it a nice edge.

Verdict:  This would a glorious on a boy!   Sexy, fresh and slightly beastly in the best way possible.


Glashtin-This Manx water horse nicely offers rides, then drags his victims under the waves forever. Astringent black tea, oats, ginger, sea water, and bee pollen.

In bottle:  Bracing tea,

Wet on skin:  Tea and sea water right out of the gate!  The bee pollen is a beautiful compliment to the tea and water and kind of wraps them in a warm cloud.

Dry on skin:  The ginger has made an appearance and it’s the star here.  All wrapped up in tea and softened with the oats this has turned into a nice, snuggly scent.

Verdict:  I really enjoy this.  It’s a rich and snuggly scent which is interesting as it has a bit of an aquatic edge to it.


Kijimuna-A zingy scent for the mischievous prankster wood sprites of Okinawa. Grapefruit, yuzu fruit, rice milk, rice wine, massoia bark, lemongrass, and banyan.

In bottle:  A creamy fruit popsicle.

Wet on skin: Yuzu fruit, bright and sparkling with the rice milk and grapefruit.  As the fruit settles in the massoia bark and banyan add a nice depth and keep it from being too bright or fruity.

Dry on skin:  The lemongrass has made an appearance here and it’s glorious.  It’s a perfect compliment for the sparkly fruits and exotic milk and  rice wine.

Verdict:  A very surprise hit for me! Soft, sexy, grown up and refreshing.


Lechuza– Recite the Hail Mary backwards in Spanish to escape from the shape-shifting witch bird of Mexico. Bergamot, sweet orange, kumquat, bitter cacao, frankincense, tobacco, black pepper, and black tea.

In bottle:  Bergamot and black pepper…all the way!

Wet on skin:  Uplifting bergamot welcomes you in and the bitter cacoa takes your coat and offers you a seat.  As you settle in you smell sweet orange tea all spiced up with black pepper.

Dry on skin:  The bitter cacao blends beautifully with the bergamot and sweet orange with just a hint of kumquat.   All swirled up in black tea and just a dash of the peppers and spices, this is a gorgeous, rich scent.

Verdict:  Wow, what a stunner!  Sexy, warm, rich, grown up.   I love this shape-shifting bird witch of Mexico!


Medusa-Beautiful, horrifying Medusa could turn anyone to stone with a glance. Hot cinnamon and spiced lime with dirty musk and sugar.

In bottle:  Cinnamon and lime!

Wet on skin:  Hot and scorching cinnamon all the way at first with a bright burst of spicy lime.  The musk and sugar and hiding in the shadows, lurking about the edges.

Dry on skin:  This blend dries down to all hot cinnamon and is gorgeously supported by the lime, dirty musk and sugar.  No craft store cinnamon or spice here!

Verdict:  If you like cinnamon then you’ll LOVE this.  This is one of those blends that I always get compliments on when I wear it.


Skookum-The Chinook version of Bigfoot. A Northwest blend of fir needle oil, juniper, hemlock, rain, tiny wildflowers, strawberries, and a pinch of cool earth.

In bottle:  Fir needle oil all the way!

Wet on skin:  Woodsy, evergreen, fir needles, hemlocks and earth.  Like walking through a forest of evergreens in the Pacific Northwest.  Just a hint of rain and wildflowers peek out as it settles in.

Dry on skin:  The evergreens remain the star of this oil, and they are PERFECTLY supported by the ever so soft wildflowers and grounded by the pinch of earth.

Verdict: A gorgeous evergreen blend that doesn’t suffer at all by the ‘Pine-Sol effect’.  You know what I’m talking about but this oil will be perfect for those that love fresh, green, earthy or outdoorsy scents.    Like when you have a fresh Christmas tree in your abode and every morning you wake up and and enjoy the smell.


Stink Ape-Why is Florida’s version of Sasquatch called the Stink Ape despite smelling like warm sugar cookies, vanilla pods, ruby grapefruit, pink pepper, fruity osmanthus blossoms, cedarwood, bergamot, and cardamom? Because of a classic smear campaign by jealous rivals.

In bottle: Citrus sugar cookies!

Wet on skin: Stink Ape is all red grapefruit and bergamot.  It’s refreshing and bright and quite lovely.  The cardamom is just a whisper in the background and adds a nice soft spiciness that is much needed.

Dry on skin:  Osmanthus blossoms have, well…..blossomed and are mingling quite nicely with the vanilla pods and bergamot.   The cedarwood and pink pepper give it a nice base to really let the citrus shine.

Verdict:  The name does NOT fit this oil.  It’s beautiful and while it might stink, the the words of my nephew, “It stinks good.”

Stink Ape
Stink Ape

Strigoi-Unwelcome even in Hell, these Romanian super vampires are disproportionately likely to be redheads. Black rose petals and violets with dragonsblood resin and kush.

In bottle:  Deep, dark blossoms.

Wet on skin:  This is ALL black rose and violets at first.  While the florals are the star, the dragonsblood and kush and softly wafting behind the scenes, waiting to pounce.

Dry on skin:  The rose and violet have blossomed in the heat of night and distracted you from the dragonsblood resin and kush and there’s nothing for it, you’re a goner.

Verdict:  This scent perfectly embodies it’s name.   Dark florals and deadly resins.   You better watch out.


Suvannamaccha-The essence of a Thai mermaid: golden jasmine, coconut, pearl musk, skin musk, and a drop of hyssop.

In bottle:  Jasmine and musk.

Wet on skin:  Pearl musk and skin musk gently dance around a base of golden jasmine.  The jasmine is very soft and quite light and once the coconut makes an appearance really blossoms.

Dry on skin:  A very beachy coconut is right up front and grabbing your attention.  The jasmine is quite retiring now and the musks have really blossomed again.

Verdict:  A warm, beachy scent of all coconut, soft jasmine and gorgeous musks.


Published by Hottie McNaughty

Hottie was a local burlesque performer and producer in the Seattle area. She now spends her day rallying for pet health insurance and here evenings running The Rhinestone Housewife.

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