After spending some time poking around on various indie company websites, I’ve come to have a deep appreciation for Sixteen92. There are so many things about this brand that appeal to me:
- Extremely clean and minimalist aesthetic; witchy with elegance
- Offers reasonably priced samples, samples are deluxe 2 mL sizes, discounts on sets
- Releases new collections on a very predictable schedule
- Collections are small, cohesive, and not overwhelming
- Re-releases the previous year’s seasonal collections along with the new seasonal collection
- Re-releases a huge amount of retired scents in an annual preorder event
- Offers a limited subscription type service that delivers previews of all new seasonal scents throughout the year
I have completionist tendencies, and one of the things that has been bothering me about the world of indie beauty products is the amount of seasonal and limited releases without the chance to try them once they are gone. Sixteen92’s business model brought me so much relief and satisfaction with the hope that, if I really wanted to, I could probably get to try almost everything they’ve ever released. I’d love to build up a review database for this brand. That of course put me into completionist mode and now I am going to try all of their new releases for the remainder of this year, and if that goes well I’m going to try to join the Circle for next year.
All that said, let’s get started with my first experience with Sixteen92: the 2017 Summer Collection.
Full Disclosure: This review contains no affiliate links, and the product was purchased by me. All opinions expressed are my own and are based on my personal use and testing of the product.
What is it?
Sixteen92’s Summer 2017 Collection is a set of fragrances inspired by Greek mythology.
- Size: Five 2 mL sample vials (Keres is 2/3 filled)
- Price: $40.55 CAD for the set ($8.11 per sample, including shipping)
ERINYES – The Furies – Winged goddesses of retribution and vengeance. Their scent is deceptively sweet; tart stone fruits and summer blossoms atop ancient golden ambers and woods.
Notes: Sweet Wood, Golden Amber, Wild Tuberose, Nectarine Blossom, Lychee Jam.
Out of the entire collection, this scent is the one that reads most like a typical ‘perfume’ to me. It might be that I associate most florals with the ‘old-lady perfume’ smell, and this one is the most floral of the bunch. It’s definitely not overpowering, though. On cold sniff, the floral is a bit subdued, and I can pick up the sweetness from the lychee jam. Once applied to my skin, the floral scent pops, and I get more of the wood notes coming through.
After about 10 minutes, the floral notes fade a bit. After about an hour, the lychee jam is totally gone, but I still have the woodsy notes with the floral over top. The throw is decent, I can smell the perfume continuously while it’s applied only on my wrists. After 2 hours much of the scent has worn off and I can only smell it if I bring my wrist to my nose.
HESPERIDES – Nymphs of evening and the golden light of sunset, guardians of the tree of golden apples. Their scent is bright and lush with golden honey, sweet fruits and flowering orchard trees.
Notes: Apple Wood & Blossom, Sweet Cherry, Magnolia Flower, Clover Honey (vegan), Hedione.
In the bottle, this one is a lot of very sweet, syrupy cherry. There’s something else a little bit more tart as well, but I can’t really tell what that is. On wet application, the sweet cherry fills out and gets more depth added with the apple blossom and magnolia. I’m not sure I can directly detect any honey, but this scent is very sweet and fruity.
After 10 minutes or so, the syrupy quality comes down quite a bit and more of the floral comes through. It’s less like cherry pie filling and more like the flowering orchard trees in the description. Again, the throw is pretty good for an hour or two before mostly fading.
KERES – Formidable death-spirits with gnashing teeth and claws, and a thirst for human blood. Their scent is a dark and metallic floral atmospheric.
Notes: Blood Orange, Black Iris, Metallic Accord, Vetiver, Sun-Warmed Musk, Iso E Super.
Keres is the most unusual scent of the collection. The musk and metallic accord are the most prominent notes out of the bottle. Feels like old possessions in an abandoned home. I think the vetiver is very apparent as well, it’s adding some greenness to the initial scent. More of the musk comes through on wet application. This scent is so weird, man. It’s not something I would have ever thought I would enjoy, but it’s oddly pleasing? I’m not getting much floral out of this, it’s just smelling a lot like comforting, old things.
This doesn’t really change on the dry down, only becomes a bit less sharp. The throw is not as strong as the previous scents, but still noticeable. As seems to be a pattern with Sixteen92’s fragrances, the scent fades for the most part after a couple of hours.
MOIRAI – The Fates – Controlled the mother thread of life of every mortal from birth to death. Their scent is a warm spiced coconut tea with tropical greens.
Notes: Black Fig, Black & Red Tea Leaves, Ginger Root, Coconut Milk, Papyrus.
From the bottle I definitely get the tea leaves, as well as something a bit sweet which I’m thinking is the black fig. I can sense the tiniest whiff of ginger as well. On wet skin, it does become sort of a sweet, spicy tea. This one’s hard for me to describe as the scent is more atmospheric than the others. It’s very dark and comforting, and I think this fragrance is my second favorite of the set.
The spiciness continues to build on the dry down. It peaks after about 15 minutes before getting balanced out with the creaminess from the coconut milk. After an hour or two the scent has faded for the most part and I can only smell it by bringing my wrist to my nose.
NEREIDS – The fifty sea nymphs – goddesses of the sea, sand, rocks, waves and currents, and protectors of sailors and fishermen. Their scent is reminiscent of the surf and shore; a warm and salty-sweet aquatic with gourmand nuances.
Notes: Surf & Shoreline, Driftwood, Dried Coconut Shell, Pistachio, Sweet Grasses, Salt.
Oh, this one is delicious. On cold sniff, I’m getting something salty-sweet, almost like caramel. I can’t really sense a distinct smell of ‘surf & shoreline’ or driftwood, but it definitely evokes something beach-y. On wet application, the salty-sweet quality deepens and the scent develops some warmth. The coconut shell and pistachio gives this a gourmand feel, but without completely being a gourmand scent. It reminds me so much of my visit to Hawaii; it smells like being on the warm sandy beach with Hawaiian Tropics sunscreen. Nereids is my top pick for this collection (fingers crossed it gets added to the general catalogue!).
This doesn’t change too much on the dry down, it just continues to smell sweet and warm and comforting. If I ever owned a beach house, this is what I’d want it to smell like. It wears pretty close to the skin and, much like the others, has significantly faded after a couple of hours.
Would I Repurchase?
Out of the entire collection I think I will be buying a full size of the Nereids. I’ll probably wait until it’s brought back as a re-release before I stock up though, since I’d like to make sure I get lots of time with these and other samples before I commit to a full size.
Overall I think this collection is really solid, and I’m extremely happy with my first Sixteen92 purchase. I’m going to continue sampling their new releases and I look forward to seeing the new additions for the fall/winter season.