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Solstice Scents
Solstice Scents

Posts : 692
Join date : 2011-09-11

PostSubject: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:28 pm

Oceanic Accord, Rain Accord, Woods Blend, Black Pitch, Buddha Wood, Lime, Coriander, Tarragon, Amber


The Hand of Darkness is a term coined by seafarers to describe the loss of the guiding light of the moon as it vanishes behind a thick misty veil.  The resulting darkness makes the seas treacherous and difficult to navigate.  This phenomena strikes fear into the heart of even the most grizzled mariner.

Hand of Darkness is a dark aquatic and woods blend.  It opens with a tumultuous and disconcerting blend of oceanic accord (a blend of fragrance oils and seaweed absolute to evoke a realistic scent of the ocean), chilly rainwater, black pitch and the saturated planks of a wooden ship.  On initial application expect to be pelted with a strong blast of cold rain and oceanic brine.  The black pitch in between each of the ship's planks adds a dank quality at the base while the lime EO provides a jolting top note.  After a few minutes, the danger begins to recede as the rain slows and a sliver of moon reveals a promise of visibility.  At this stage, the light woods blend comprised of teak, copal and blue cypress begins to emerge along with a splash of sea spray.  Shortly thereafter, the moon fully emerges and the calm seas signal the retreat to the dry warm Captain's quarters.  Here the true dry down of this evocative scent is revealed.  A tendril of spicy buddha wood EO begins to unfurl from the warm wooden base.  The buddha wood will grow stronger over time but the dry wood notes remain unchanged.  The dry down is achieved very quickly but you have to journey through the story of this scent to get to the finale.   You must skin test Hand of Darkness in order to assess its true character.  This scent hugs close to the skin and liberal application is recommended.   Even though this scent starts out strong and masculine, the dry down is very wearable and may be enjoyed by Women who like darker wood blends.

Hand of Darkness is comprised along with several fragrance oils along with the following essential oils, absolute, CO2s and attars:  mitti, blue cypress, copal bark, fossilized amber, swiss stone pine, lime, galbanum, coriander, seaweed, kapur kachari, tarragon and a small amount of lavender absolute.

An oil lamp illuminates charts upon your desk,
as cargo shifts belowdecks from the ceaseless roiling waves.
A bell is sounded from high above the hemp-webbed mast,
and the cry of "Capitan! Captian!" spreads across the deck.
You slip into your coat and mount the stairs to stand behind the wheel.
Spray overtakes the nervous crew as they struggle to shorten sail.
Your gaze takes to the horizon where you behold the source of panic.
A darkness is rising, obscuring the milky way and her constellations.
Gone is your bright beacon, the moon.
The crew amass before the helm, whispers of the Hand of Darkness spread.
A briny gale descends.
Mists clutch to every surface and waves smack the oakumed planks
The ship is silent save for the tension of rope and windlass,
and the beating flap of wind-lashed canvas.
A great wave crests the bow, yet you hold firm.
You cannot see your hands as they work the great wood wheel,
nor the twirling needle of your compass, so complete is the blackness.
Then the winds drop, and the mists lift with the spirit of the men.
Excitement is a contagion as the frothing waves fall back to gently roll.
First Scorpio blinks open, then a cheer for the reemergence of the trusted Southern Cross.
A smattering of pinpricks on the horizon herald the return of familiar night.
Just as an open hand will clench down to curl its fingers,
the Hand of Darkness subsides back into the palm of the sea,
and you resume the wheel to Northward before returning to your quarters by the light of your heavenly guide,
the great white moon.

- G.D.St. John

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Posts : 223
Join date : 2011-09-26
Location : Kingdom of Maize and Edamame

PostSubject: Re: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:09 pm

This was my surprise favorite of the release.  It brings to mind murky deep blue depths and salty tang.  In the dry down, wood notes become more prominent.  This isn't a typical aquatic (which I tend to associate with dryer sheets), it's a totally different category.

Last edited by rinster on Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Posts : 77
Join date : 2011-09-26

PostSubject: Re: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:10 pm

I really wanted to like Hand of Darkness and am surprised that I eventually reached the opposite conclusion. I get the wood and water notes, which are fine. But something about the lime in the blend combined with the other notes makes me think of an inexpensive cologne worn by a high school guy. (sorry!)

It does remind me a bit of Wail of the Banshee too. I suspect I might have liked Hand of Darkness better in a wash-off medium like the salts.
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Ross W

Posts : 85
Join date : 2013-06-11
Location : Australia

PostSubject: Re: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:38 pm

This is a serious fragrance that deserves a serious review.

There is a point many artists reach in their careers when they need to challenge themselves and push the boundaries. It often comes a time when they have successfully defined their own style and mastered the basics. Whether they are painters, musicians, cooks or perfumers, there is a moment at which they need to streatch their creativity and inspiration takes over. It is an extraordinary moment when an artist is able to come up with something completely new. I have become a great fan of Solistice Scents over the past six months and have noticed that Angela has reached this point in her creative maturity and is reaching for the novel and unexplored. Starting with Tenebrous Mist and Midnight Oil as a launching point, she then created Private Eye as the next point of departure from the safety of her other creations. Hand of Darkness is the next step in her journey. I for one applaud this evolution and will be with her in this pursuit.

So what is Hand of Darkness like?

I'll start off by saying that this is not a fragrance for everybody, but rather will appeal to those customers who enjoy the unusual and challenging. Solstice Scents has produced a large number of comfort scents, the mild and approachable, the sweet and gourmet, the subtle and atmospheric. In many respects this is the antithesis off that and it relates closely to the edginess of Private Eye. Angela has chosen a dramatic name and framework for this fascinating fragrance.

In a broad framework it can be referred to as a "marine" category - one of a small number globally produced that contain salty seaweed notes. It is mostly used by Indie producers and only very occasionally by mainstream companies. Solstice has used this marine note in another fragrance Tenebrous Mist and in the soap Salty Mariner. It is a very evocative scent, though not always popular as it is not at all pretty or tame. Angela's description of the opening notes as "wet and briny" is spot on.  She cleverly uses a wood note both to pull the fragrance in a warmer direction and to suggest the wooden planks of a sailboat. There is also the use of a tar note which is the 'pitch' used in th decking of boats, but it is used with a deft hand which adds to the unique opening rather than dominating it. To keep it from being too dark, a citrus notes is used to lift the fragrance.

After this dramatic entrance, the other wood notes gradually come to the fore along with a green note (probably from the fir, coriander and tarragon). When the green notes receed, you are left with the warmth of the woods and a hint of lavender.

If like me you enjoy a fascinating journey with your fragrances, then you will enjoy Hand of Darkness - surely one of the most intriguing and challenging produced by Solstice yet.

Last edited by Ross W on Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:39 am; edited 1 time in total
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Posts : 163
Join date : 2011-09-28
Age : 31

PostSubject: Re: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:11 pm

In the vial and on my skin at first, this has something in it that smells rotten and, mixed with the seaweed and ocean water smell, makes me think of dead fish bobbing along in the water.  Thankfully, that note is short lived, but I don't really like the musky, cologne-y feel of this blend.  Hand of Darkness smells sharp, slightly masculine, cheap musky, and has an undertone of sweetish, waxy melon.  It sort of reminds me of high school boy cologne + waxy watermelon flavored chapstick.  Very sharp and cheap smelling on me.
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holly s

Posts : 9
Join date : 2012-01-27

PostSubject: unique different scent   Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:08 am

I will start off by saying that I agree with Ross W on this one.
This is a very different and unusual scent. However, that intrigues me.
I was at first put off by the pricing on the premiuim fragances, in all honesty. The only other one I have tried is Courtyard. While they certainly challenge my meager budget, they also did not disappoint in the scent experience.
Hand of Darkness is complex and truly invokes the sea for me. It definately evolved on me as I wore it. The blend of the oceanic, rain and seaweed really recreates the initial blast of the sea/ocean in my opinion.
I also adore the lighter lime, coriander, and woods that come out later.
It may not be for everyone, but if you like darker, complex blends and something out of the ordinary, you may enjoy this experience.
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Posts : 17
Join date : 2013-04-13

PostSubject: Re: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:20 pm

This one surprised me with how it smells but in a good/interesting way. At the first of application I smelled the lime and the wood but the dry down on me is more of the Oceanic & Rain accord I believe. It's a "ocean" feel without being the typical spa/ocean/beach blend. Very clean and subtle on me.
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Posts : 14
Join date : 2013-10-03

PostSubject: Re: HAND OF DARKNESS PREMIUM 5 ML FRAGRANCE (Summer 2013)   Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:57 am

I decided to try Hand of Darkness because the description sounded so complex and I'd also never tried an aquatic blend. I think it smells very much like the ocean in the vial - a salty smell made sharp by a lime note. Once it sits on my skin, Hand of Darkness grows much more masculine. It's too musky for my personal preference, very overpowering - I preferred its scent in the vial.
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