The Strange South: Review of 9 Perfumes

The Strange South is a brand I immediately fell in love in love with when they first launched in 2017. They were one of my first true indie obsessions, and I’ve tried a large number of their catalogue scents, as well as worked my way through a many rollerballs from them. They just have such a unique aesthetic, and I love Southern Gothic themes in literature and art. There is a spookiness, a hollow loneliness, and a chilling sense of fear with their scent descriptions and narratives that I don’t find elsewhere. Check out my review of their Halloween Collection from 2018.

Reviewing my New Batch of Perfumes

I placed a large order with them a long time ago during an anniversary sale. I had been meaning to review these for such a long time, but life was so out of control busy for a while. Now that I’ve moved and settled into my new home in Rhode Island, it felt like the perfect time to revisit this group of fragrances and review them all. As usual, I will give my first impression, overall review, and wear time. I will also follow each fragrance with a gif or image that the perfume reminds me of. Enjoy!

White Horse

Brand Description:

Line-dried linen; muscadine grape, apricot, and pear; hay, orris root, and animalic musk accord; vetiver, bay rum, and sandalwood pistol grips. Spring & Summer 2017

First Impression: This is summer in a bottle, but a very specific summer to me. I love when fragrances invokes memories so I’m going to indulge myself and describe it to you. As a teenager, I grew up very close to New Hope, Pennsylvania, which was a cute little artsy town. There was a witch shop there called Mystickal Tymes, and every time I went to New Hope I beelined to that store. It was owned by a nice couple of two guys with a white cat named Morgana, and they were always in there.

This shop was cluttered from floor to ceiling with shelves and racks, branches hanging from the ceiling with jewelry dangled over them, walls of jars with herbs and teas, and massive varieties of crystals of all sizes. There was always incense burning and bundles of sage and herbs everywhere you looked. In addition, there were dusty old books and figurines. As a result, this shop had the most magical and memorable atmosphere. I adored it and still treasure the few books I was able to scrape up enough money for when I was 16 or so. Meanwhile, I’ve been sitting here smelling this, and every time it just flashes me back to that little shop with the white cat.

Full Review: So, my scent memory aside, I adore this fragrance. I love the scent of linen, and paired with these light fruits, musks, and grassy notes, this just paints such a beautiful image. This has become a staple and one of the rollerballs I reach for day after day. Thankfully the rum note isn’t boozy, more reminiscent of the oak barrels that rum is made in. This just blends so perfectly into the skin and smells clean but natural.

Wear time and throw: This is on the stronger side and has a decent throw, and wears for about 6 hours. It smells awesome as it fades into the skin.

I’m delighted to inform you that the Mystickal Tymes website looks like it’s from the 90s in the best way, and has tons of photos of the shop and the beautiful white cat, Morgana, so I can share them with you!

The Drowned Choir

Brand Description:

Black oak, cypress, swamp mud, ambergris, moss, elderberry, and honeysuckle. Spring & Summer 2018

First Impression: This is another love at first sniff for me. The wood notes aren’t too deep or masculine, but more so a light, lumber scent. It sort of brings to mind the scenic quality of the movie the Witch. The ambergris paired with honeysuckle gives this more of a mainstream perfume blend.

Full Review: This is another perfect summer scent. It’s so warm and alive, I just imagine running through a dense wood with twigs crunching under my feet and thorns catching onto my clothes. This definitely smells like a more perfumey perfume. The floral note of the honeysuckle isn’t too strong and headachey at all. This fades nicely into the skin and is definitely more of a traditionally feminine scent.

Wear time and throw: This is stronger and has a big throw so don’t overapply. It lasts for 6-8 hours.

Cold Season

Brand Description:

Chimney smoke, black ice, holly, pine, and petrichor. Fall & Winter 2018

First Impression: The smoke is aggressive at first, almost the smell of soot on a grill. That’s the first thing I can notice.

Full Review: After this warms into the skin a bit, other notes come up. There is a weird, almost skin like scent, similar to the one that’s in Twice Dead. The pine and petrichor combined form a lonely asphalt next to a wooded area image in my head. I don’t love this one in particular, it really smells like bacon or smoked meats.

Wear time and throw: This has a medium throw and lasts about 4-6 hours.


Brand Description:

Blood. Layering Note.

First Impression: This, I’m not going to lie, was massively disappointing. This is a Dragon’s Blood Incense note. I was hoping for a realistic blood layering note. Like human blood. Luckily, I have their scent Twice Dead which does smell as described.

Full Review: This is Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Blood Popsicle all over again. Please mark if the scent is dragon’s blood instead of real blood! Aside from that, as an incense layering note, it’s not bad.

Wear time and throw: This is intense but not headache-inducing, it could definitely be layered with something lighter to add depth.

Fire in a Bottle

Brand Description:

Lemon balm, amber, vanilla, and distant campfire smoke. Spring & Summer 2018

First Impression: This smells like sweet lemon glaze at first, like how I imagine those lemon candies that Dumbledore likes would smell.

Full Review: This is a really nice scent. If you’ve smelled Chiffon from Solstice Scents, they’re pretty similar. I really love lemon in perfume, and paired with amber and vanilla, it’s really nice. This is bordering on a gourmand, with the smoke grounding it just a bit. The smoke isn’t a heavy note at all, like it says in the description, it’s quite distant.

Wear time and throw: This fades super fast and has a close throw. I find this is the case with just about every lemon based scent unfortunately. The bright side is it fades to a lovely, sweet skin musk with the vanilla and amber combination.


Brand Description:

Mugs of spiced cider, tanned suede, prairie grass, rice, rain clouds, and dust kicked up from a heeled boot. Fall & Winter 2019

First Impression: This smells like the movie Mud – the one where Matthew McConaughey plays a fugitive that befriends two young boys. There’s a gasoline type smell at first, matched with all the leather and rain, smells like that motorboat would smell.

Full Review: This is an interesting scent. It’s definitely more of an atmospheric than anything. This gives me the feeling of being out in a lake on an old boat, surrounded by trees on a rainy day. Everything does work together to paint a picture.

Wear time and throw: This is one of their stronger blends, so apply with caution. The throw is wide for this one, and you might end up smelling like a leather boot if you put on too much. This lasts a long time, around 6 hours.

Carrion Son

Brand Description:

Gasoline, blood, honeysuckle vines, swollen cranberries, and tobacco leaf. Fall & Winter 2018

First Impression: Right away the sweetness paired with gasoline is interesting but a bit artificial smelling.

Full Review: This is a nice scent, but it’s nothing super memorable or that I would purchase a full size of. The initial sweetness and gasoline scent fades quickly. This tobacco leaf note is more musky than it is earthy, and I am a fan of that.

Wear time and throw: This fades super quickly and isn’t strong at all. I applied it liberally and it still was hard to sniff out the individual notes. This lasts a few hours at best.

Je Veux Mon Livre

Brand Description:

Tea leaves and sage pressed between the ancient pages of a leather-bound grimoire. Halloween 2017

First Impression: Okay. Yup. This is everything I wanted it to be and more. Sweet, smokey, dusty, parchment paired with leather and sage. Sign up up!

Full Review: I adore this scent. It’s a darker fragrance and the individual notes all have so much character individually yet work together to create something really unique. There is a smokiness to this, like a candle that was just snuffed out. I love any book and paper fragrances, but this one is definitely a favorite. The sage isn’t overpowering but definitely adds an earthiness to this that sets it apart from other ‘library’ themed fragrances. Consequently, I can almost hear the leather binding creaking as the book is opened. I really adore this one and will be purchasing a full sized bottle in the near future.

Wear time and throw: This is strong, so apply with caution. It lasts a long time on me, about 6-8 hours.


Brand Description:

 The oldest buildings hide the saddest secrets. Peeling wallpaper, dusty cedar cabinets, pipe smoke, lavender, and wisteria. Discontinued

First Impression: I love this. Like Commala, it’s an atmospheric for sure. At first, the lavender makes itself known right away, but fades quickly into the rest of the notes. Secondly, there is a dusty, almost mechanical smell.

Full Review: This scent tells a story. No note is too loud, they all blend together seamlessly. The lavender and wisteria aren’t overbearing, and neither is the dust or wood notes. This really does smell like how I imagine an old, dilapidated building surrounded by tall grass and flowers would smell.

Wear time and throw: This is on the stronger side with a decent throw. It lasts 5-6 hours.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, The Strange South still remains one of my favorite perfume brands of all time, and I always look forward to seeing what they create. Not every fragrance of theirs is a favorite for me, but the ones I like, I LOVE and I treasure them for life. I even worked together with them a few years ago to make a custom fragrance for my best friend who is now my roommate. He still treasures that perfume – it was so good. Clearly, the perfumers at the Strange South have such a gift with painting narrative through scent. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

This post was not sponsored. I purchased all of these perfumes myself. If you would like to support us, consider joining our Patreon! We post exclusive content and sneak peaks 🙂 We also have Patron only voting for brand profiles, reviews, and creator interviews. You can join for as little as $1 a month!

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