Snow and Spices – Winter Kitty and Bollywood by For Strange Women

I’ll admit it, it’s entirely the name which is to blame, so perfectly evocatively cute, and the perfumer has come up with this description; ‘This blend is an artisan rendition of the sweet slightly musky smell of a kitty who went out for a winter walk and came back with chimney smoke and brisk air lingering in his fur’ Aaaaaaaww, you see, I had to try ‘Winter Kitty’ by ‘For Strange Women’!

winter snow cats animals wildlife leopards 1920x1200 wallpaper_wallpaperswa.com_39

 

Evergreen, fresh and zesty, while also silver cool, with a small bit of frostbite, and a little smoke starts the perfume oil off. My impatience got the better of me; where was the kitty in this winterscape? As it turned out, he just hadn’t quite arrived yet, rather the brisk winter outdoors entered before him. It’s snow and fir trees and so cosy it reminds me of postcard winters, rather than the cold that stretches without end, making anything but staying at home all curled up unpleasant. And the opening is a gorgeous blend, the fir, mint, vetiver and incense making up the perfect quartet. I love the way the vetiver makes the fir greener and the mint tones down the vetivery aspect while playing the cool metallic sides of both the incense and the fir for that‘ Jack Frost nipping at your nose’ kind of feel.

 

???????????????????????????????I’m not sure that, without the gorgeous little description, I would have come up with the story of the winter kitty myself from testing the fragrance. However, I can imagine that at this stage the cat would have had enough and would want to slip back indoors to a comfy sofa and a fireplace. As the fragrance warms up through the layers, it does gradually go a little sweeter, cosier, the way kittens paws still smell sweet like spicy cookie dough, not like a grown up musky feline. However, it really isn’t sugary in any way, just a little sweetness, from the rose and vanilla with a little of the incense and fir still lingering around in the little creatures coat.

Bollywood was quite the opposite of Winter Kitty. I did not order it because the name was sweet music to my ears and I do not have a soft spot for Bollywood movies. But the notes; Saffron, Cardamom, Black Tea, Sandalwood, Lotus and Rose… I love saffron and cardamom, and paired with black tea and sandalwood I simply had to try this.

bollywood‘Bollywood’ opens exactly as I had hoped for; sweet chai, cardamom buns straight from the oven with a glorious saffron note floating above it all- think a deeper and more golden Safran Troublant. As the sandalwood enters, so does quite a strong incense note. Gorgeous as this part is too, I’m so in love with the beginning of this fragrance that I should be happy if it had lasted forever longer, but that’s really being fussy. Bollywood is a great fragrance, which I can truly recommend to lovers of both DSH’s Cimabue and Safran Troublant, all three although of a similar nature, are different enough for me to excuse owning them all.

The perfumes are available as solids and oil. The oils last about 5-6 (WK) and 6-7 (B) hours at least on my very dry ‘Winter Woman’ skin. My skin also tends to ‘eat’ sweet notes, and these being natural perfumes others might get different wearing time as well as more sweetness/ other notes acting a little differently, which I find so utterly charming with natural perfumery. Although I generally much prefer alcohol based sprayable perfumes (edp/ edt), it doesn’t bother me here, and it would be the cat’s meow adding winter kitty as an oil in the morning to top up during the day from your solid pendant.

 

*As with a lot of indie and all natural brands, owner and creator of ‘FSW’ is located in the US. Her other perfumes have a.o. such graphic names as; London Fog anyone? Or perhaps Violin in the attic or Satin Corset, or perhaps Evergreen Mountain?

**Disclaimer; I bought the samples from FSW’s Etsy shop

Feature cat picture is mine, leopard in winter from gde-fon.com, kitty sample pic mine and chai pic from boxofspices

12 thoughts on “Snow and Spices – Winter Kitty and Bollywood by For Strange Women

  1. Well, I am a lover of cats and a lover of Cimabue and Safran Troublant(!), so my ears pricked up at the sound of this pair of perfumes – together with another lovely painting of the Winter Kitty in the woods. Of the two, I think Bollywood would be more my thing as I don’t care for mint in perfumes – gosh, I always sound so picky, but I do think we have very different taste! Though there was famously that spearmint note in Nuit Etoilee which was all right. Still and all, Bollywood sounds great, and you couldn’t have picked too spicy perfumes to whet my appetite more keenly.

    Btw, I hadn’t heard of this brand, but the name is very encouraging. 😉

    • Haha, yes isn’t it just 🙂
      I would say, that I’m not overly fond of mint in perfume, but here it’s no problem at all. And if you care for Nuit Etoilee you might enjoy Winter Kitty more than you think. I would prefer it over NE, because I find it less bone-dry, less vetiver focussed and I find NE more to the masculine side… Bollywood is really nice too, especially that opening. The drydown has got quite a bit of incense, so if you’re good with that I would give it a try. And I should so like to hear what you had to say, and how they would work for you.

  2. Oh yes, great perfume names from a wonderfully titled brand. I didn’t know them either so thanks for the heads up. Both sound really delightful.

    I love smoke and fir trees as well as cardamom and saffron. Usually I don’t do at all well with natural perfumes but you seem to have got on well with these which is encouraging.

    Lovely pic.

    • I know what you mean with naturals, Tara, and I was a bit apprehensive myself. But I feel that these have nice developement and are not samey, the way that I feel that some naturals can be because of the lack of space between notes. I try to think of all perfumes in terms of whether they are good perfumes or not so good, and these are definitely good 🙂 I first came across the wonderful names on Fragrantica, and it stuck and I kept coming back to wanting to test them and in the end I went for these two to see how I got on with the brand. Now I’m quite curious about some of the other frags too.

  3. Hi Asali! Both of these sound really interesting. I’m not sure how I would like them, because I’ve never tried anything of the sort! So far I haven’t had the best of luck with naturals, but I haven’t tried a lot yet, so I’m not ruling them out. Thanks for the insightful reviews!

    • You’re welcome, Sun Mi, and thank you. I thought for the longest time that I didn’t care for naturals, because the ones I’d had tried all turned a bit muddy. but then I came across April Aromatics Unter den Linden, and after that I’ve had a lot more luck. I suppose if you think about it, loads of mixed material fragrances also doens’t work, and I think of it as no different, you just need to find the ones that are good, just because they are good, not because they are naturals 🙂 Of course the problem being that you can’t easily test them in shops but have to order samples seperately :-/

  4. What’s up with the names of your posts? Are you doing this just to confuse me? 😉
    Just kidding. (but it did take me a few seconds to decipher it)

    I like the names I admit and 5-6 hours longevity for oils sounds quite ok.
    And I admit, those you mentioned in the end sound more intriguing by their names… 🙂

    • HA! Is it that bad? I don’t think I’m to blame this time though, I mean surely the names of the perfumes AND brand must have something to do with it?
      Yes, I can see that if one is not a cat person, then ‘Winter Kitty’ will not mean that much. I do like evocative names though, especially knowing how difficult it is to come up with good and fitting names 🙂

  5. I must say that you’ve featured many great drawings/paintings on your blog since you started, but this picture of the kitty with the snowy forest on the horizon is my favorite. It strikes a chord for me, one that says “this is the finest part of winter” – its quiet beauty (and oddly enough, I have really been enjoying winter this year, probably because we’ve just had light touches of snow so far).

    And as for your description of the perfumes …. mmm, they both sound so good. I think the Bollywood sounds most like the one that suits my tastes, but your description of Winter Kitty makes me go “Awwww.” <3

    • My turn to say ‘Awwww’, thank you Suzanne, and you know what, it’s done on the awesome paper that you gave me. What a difference it makes, such a pleasure to be using proper water colour paper.
      Our winter so far has not been very cold either, and only a few days of snow, which I also prefer, although they say it’s coming now, and might last till April :-O
      Yes, I think you might prefer Bollywood- but am glad you like the descriptions.

  6. If that perfume would come in a box painted with your picture I would have bought it in a heartbeat! I agree with Suzanne: this illustration is probably the best (for me). You should make a holiday card for your friends and family from it!

    I do not like oils. I do not like Etsy. But I still might go for a sample of Winter Kitty – if for nothing else, because it inspired you to paint that picture.

    • Aaawww, thank you Undina. It’s a nice idea with a card, I might do that 🙂
      The good news is that I discovered that she literally just (re-?)opened her shop directly on her homepage forstrangewomen.com, so you wouldn’t have to deal with etsy, since you dislike it. But the oils… What can I say? I wish it was an alcohol-based spray too 🙂

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