I discovered this adorable Etsy e-tailer a couple of months ago while I was compiling my list of indie fragrance companies. The spunky and feline-inspired aesthetic really caught my attention, and the scent list just pulled at the strings of my little gourmand heart. Some time during the last month, I discovered that I had burned such a hole in my pocket that I had to put myself on shopping arrest. It was precisely at this period that TDawn, the lovely owner of Purple Cat Creatives approached me to see if I would be interested in reviewing her shop. Since I already had Purple Cat Creatives on my watch list, I was definitely interested but in the spirit of my necessitated state of frugality, I told her that I didn’t have the funds to pick up some samples from her shop for the moment. To my amazement, I got this really sweet and unexpected reply.
I was totally blown away and humbled by her sweetness and generosity. And of course, I had my little fan girl moment when I discovered that the owner of an Etsy shop that I’ve been stalking has actually read my blog. After some further discussion, she had my package sent out and I spent some grueling weeks waiting for international shipping to bring the goodies home to me. I was really expecting just a couple of little samples, so imagine my surprise when a huge box came my way. As an international customer, it wasn’t possible for me to receive the fluid perfume samples since there is alcohol in the perfume sprays so this was how she worked around it. I have to say, her customer service is to die for.
And these, my lovelies, is how I ended up as the ecstatic owner of 15 mini jars of body butter. She actually sent me a whole bunch of assorted scents so that I would have the opportunity to review her scent list. I’m still shell-shocked. She even included the cutest, most stunning little magnet which now has pride of place on my refrigerator. I owe it to her to write an honest and detailed review of her products, so forgive me if this post is a little lengthy. There were some scents that didn’t quite work out for me, but on the whole, I was very impressed by her products.
* Do note that it is not a rule in thumb to receive free samples, nor would it be appropriate to expect to receive freebies whether it is together with an order or in exchange for a review. I was extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to receive these samples, but I would hate it if this created certain expectations in people. I get thoroughly annoyed when I hear of bloggers who approach companies for free samples in exchange for reviews. Free or discounted samples are a gift and not an obligation.
These are free samples, but my opinions of the actual product are unbiased. Reviews are based on my individual impressions from a test drive of the individual samples. Everything is subject to my own skin chemistry, so your mileage may vary.
A quick brand overview
Purple Cat Creatives is a quirky and cruelty-free Etsy shop that specializes in bath & body products, fragrances and even hand-made sculptures. This shop is the brain child of TDawn who, together with her husband Chris, formulates gentle and high quality products that work on even the most sensitive of skins. This successful shop has humble and heartwarming origins as it all started from TDawn‘s goal to create effective and “pretty smelling” products for her daughter who had eczema.
Today, their efforts have made their shop blossom into a successful business, but the heart and warmth at the root of it all can still be seen in the amount of care and detail that is put into every product. While being attracted to their body butters, sugar scrubs, whipped soap and perfumes which are available in a wide variety of scent options, be sure to spend a moment to check out the gorgeous hand-made gems that would bring joy and beauty to any home.
Ingredients: Soy Wax, Shea Butter, De-ionized Water, Soy Bean Oil, fragrance, polysorbate 80, Polysorbate 20, Tea, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Cocoa Butter
Before I go into a detailed breakdown of each individual scent, I’ll first review the product. I have really interesting combination skin that is sensitive, oily and yet prone to dryness all at the same time. Add in a dash of humid tropical weather and finding a good body moisturizer can become a real toughie. I’ve tried a good number of indie body butters, some of which I loved, and others which didn’t work too well on me. I was definitely excited to be able to try out Purple Cat Creatives take on body butter.
This body butter is perfectly smooth and creamy in the jar. I feel almost decadent as I scoop a little of it on my skin because it feels like I’m dipping my finger into a pot of buttercream frosting. A little of this product goes a long way, and I found that this went on a little stickier than I’d like. It leaves behind a bit of a shiny sheen and my legs feel a little tacky as I rub them together. It does eventually absorb itself in, making my skin feel really smooth and velvety. I prefer this as a hand and foot moisturizer since I found it a little too rich to apply on large parts of my body. I guess it would work as a night moisturizer, but the long drydown time for me makes me reluctant to wear this out on the go. This did work beautifully on my dry as a desert hands and cracked heels. I applied a generous portion over my hands and feet and wore some fluffy socks and gloves to bed. When I woke up the next day, my skin felt as smooth and soft as a baby.
This sample jar holds a generous amount of product and is the perfect size to carry in your purse or to stash away on your desk. I really love how the sample jars look like miniature replicas of the full sized product. Some samples that I’ve encountered have a certain make-shift appearance about them with their generic and handwritten white labels, but these samples really reflect a high degree of attention to detail. You can tell that TDawn puts the same amount of effort into her samples as she does in the shop’s full sized products and at $10 for a 6 pack sampler, these are really cost effective as well.
In this section, I will discuss each scent in relation to how it smelt in body butter form. Do bear in mind that since these are scented body butters and not actual perfume oils, there could some discrepancy in silage and complexity of the fragrance. Most of these were pretty strong even in the body butter, and I’d imagine that the solid and fluid perfume counterparts would be even more stunning.
Rich aged lager blended with nuances of creamy pumpkin, dark patchouli, oak resin and subtle spice.
Mmm. Gorgeous boozey pumpkin cream just slipping down my throat; I can just about taste this scent. This starts out smelling like an autumn gourmand scent, and as it warms up on my skin, the woods and resin start emerging to make this one of the sexiest pumpkin scents I have ever encountered. There is a spiciness to the pumpkin and while spice notes can leave me smelling like a candle, this smells more like a mug of frothy pumpkin butterbeer enjoyed by the fireplace. Yummy!
This wears itself a little close to the skin, and it’s the perfect scent to snuggle up to. I must try to get this on the Fox because I can imagine this being so very sexy on a guy. As it is, this is the perfect body butter to wear to bed since it’s just so comforting and warm.
Soft sweet vanilla shortbread touched with the bubbly scent of lemon lime pop. Bubblecake!!!
This smells like a deliciously light lemon butter cake and I am in total love. This is sweet, creamy and zesty all at the same time. It’s frankly taking me quite a great deal of willpower to not nom crazily at myself. I’ve grown to be really fond of lemony cake scents and this body butter smells absolutely delish. The cake note is really scrumptious, but the winner for me are the sweet and citrusy notes.
This scent is amazingly strong in the body butter and I can only imagine how gorgeous it will be in solid perfume or fluid perfume form. As it is, this is a lovely treat for my nose and my skin. I can’t imagine anyone not liking this scent.
Sweet pineapple with a whiff of coconut shavings and the lightest hint of freesia.
The pineapple is strong in this one! I swear, it’s like having a plate of the actual fruit sitting in front of my nose. My skin really amps up the pineapple, but I do catch a bit of creaminess from the coconut flesh. I wish I got more of the freesia; still, I’d imagine this scent to be more complex in solid or fluid perfume form. As it is, this is a delicious tropical scent that reminds me of brightly colored hawaiian leis.
This scent is pretty strong in the body butter and although it starts out distinctively fruity, it mellows out to become more like a creamy piece of pineapple candy.
Warm caramel touched with an exotic blend of clove, nutmeg, chipotle and curry.
In the jar, this mostly smells like a slightly spicey caramel, but it’s only when it comes in contact with my skin that this scent really blossoms. As a Singaporean, curry is one of my favorite dishes, so I was pretty intrigued to see it in a fragrance blend. And the funny thing is, I can actually totally detect the curry note working perfectly in tandem with the other scent notes here. It reminds me a little of the laksa cookies that I bought from the Cookie Museum. There is definitely a buttery edge to this, and my amps clove, so I can definitely smell that. And at the heart of it all is this subtle yet distinct curry note that gives this a really exotic edge. This is an extremely unique and deliciously perculiar scent and I actually really really enjoy this.
If it smells this complex in the body butter, I can’t imagine how much depth the perfume would have. Oh, how I wish that there would be alcohol-free perfume oils from this shop so I can import them to Singapore.
Blooming roses blended with clove, vanilla and cinnamon
The first thing that occurred to me when I sniffed this in the jar is that this is a really feisty, yet delicate rose scent. On my skin, this smells wonderfully comforting and feminine. The rose note is elegant and soft, and is given a sharp edge by a touch of cinnamon. There is a bite to this rose, yet, there is just a touch of sweet creaminess to soothe it over. This is a pretty evocative scent, and I can imagine teasing a special gentleman with this.
I’d definitely want to use this body butter on date night. There is this come-hither edge that sets this apart from the typical rose blend and it honestly smells divine.
Rich almond marzipan with hints of vanilla shortbread and bourbon. Classic and decadent.
This is a sharp and sweet almond milk note in the jar and it actually really reminds me of BPAL’s Dana O’ Shee. On my skin though, there is a buttery pastry note that sets it apart from that scent and adds a nice fluffy softness to the almond. I wish I got more of the booze, but honestly, this is a really yummy scent. Almond can go a little metallic on me, but this is mellowed into a thick, luscious almond cream cookie. Very very yummy!
Gourmand lovers who love their almond should really give this one a go. Like most of the butters I’ve tried, this scent is stunningly strong for a body butter. I’d imagine that it would be really good for layering with the perfumes.
Crisp oranges and creamy vanilla combined for a classic scent treat.
I’ve always been wary of citrus notes. Lemon tends to smell like dish washing liquid, and orange just reminds me of those chewy vitamin C tablets that I used to take as a kid. This, however, smells exactly like fresh orange juice with a scoop of milky, melted vanilla to give it some creaminess. There is this certain candy-ness to the scent, but rather than smell artificial, the tartness of the orange makes this a delicious creamy orange scent.
I’m still not sure that orange is really my thing in a perfume, but I actually really like how this smells. If you have any love for orange scents at all, this one would probably be right up your alley.
fresh brewed coffee blended with dark chocolate, warm caramel, aromatic hazelnuts, almonds and cream.
I wanted really badly to like this because I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect coffee scent that would make me smell like a walking Starbucks joint. This is mostly a nutty chocolate on me with a slight hint of a rather acidic coffee bean. From my past experience with coffee notes, my skin chemistry tends to make them go a little sour for some reason. It smells a lot better in the jar where it almost smells like nutella since the hazelnut chocolate note is really creamy.
I’d round this down to iffy skin chemistry, but I won’t pretend that I’m not a little disappointed that this didn’t work out that well for me. That name is totally adorable; I kinda want to be a caffeinated raven.
Delicate cherry blossoms balanced with dark amber and black cherries.
This is predominantly a sweet, fresh cherry candy note in the jar and it’s so super yummy. Cherry tends to go a little cough syrupy on me, but this one steers well clear of that. It’s like the real fruit, but slightly sweeter. The cherry blossom note comes out a little more on my skin, but it’s a little fainter than I would have hoped for. It just adds a hint of a floral edge to the fruitiness. I don’t really get any amber, although I guess it’s really more of an underlying grounding note.
On the whole, this is a sweetly feminine scent that I really like, and I’m tempted to pick it up in perfume form just to see if I can get a little more cherry blossom out of it.
Champagne bubbles, crystallized ginger and cardamom balanced with golden notes of amber.
This has a piquant and slightly sweet scent out of the jar and there’s something a little familiar about the scent, but I just can’t put my finger on it. After rubbing it on thoughtfully and sniffing at my wrist, I realized that it reminds me a little of sushi. To my nose, this scent is reminiscent of that touch of sharp sourness in the vinegar and ginger mixed in with the fluffy japanese rice. I almost feel hungry wearing this! I’m not entirely sure that I’d want to smell like this, but there is something strangely uplifting about this scent.
I’m a little on the fence about how this plays out on my skin, but this is a pretty unique scent. I might have to give this another go! I’m not sure if my skin chemistry is playing a prank on me because, really. Sushi. Who would have know?
Rustic Vanilla bean mingled with aromatic oakwood campfire for a rich and exotic dance around a twilight bonfire.
This is smokey and creamy at the same time in the jar, and the scent feels a little dark and mysterious. My skin has a knack of gobbling up certain vanilla notes though, and I had a similar problem with this scent on my skin since it all but disappeared, leaving behind a hint of smokey wood. If I sniff really hard, I can pick up a slight whiff of vanilla. Darn you, skin chemistry, this one smelt so promising in the jar!
Vanilla scents tend to feel a little like Russian roulette on me. Some work and some vanish, and I’m pretty sad that this one fell into the latter category.
A celebration of cold tart limes, tequila and triple sec. Bold, frosty and full of fun!
Oh my gosh, this is the closest thing to a fizzy drink that I have ever sniffed out of a jar. To my nose, this smells like an ice cold can of a sweet carbonated lemonade on a hot summer’s day. It’s all citrusy, sugary and sparkling, and I feel a little giggling working its way out of me. It does mellow a little on the skin, but there’s just this cheeriness and zest about this scent that pops even as I coax the butter into my skin. I can only imagine how much bolder this would be in perfume form. As it is, this is a perfect, tropical scent and very welcome in the sweltering heat of summer.
Warm & Toasty
Fragrant morning french toast, topped with a drizzle of maple syrup and butter, and a light touch of cinnamon.
Mmmm…. this smells so yummy! It’s all buttery warm cinnamon syrup in the jar and I almost got body butter on my nose as I attempted to get a closer sniff. The cinnamon note is the strongest on my skin, but it’s mellowed and sweetened by the maple syrup. I’d say that it’s more like cinnamon sugar rather than the Red Hots that I get out of some cinnamon blends. I don’t exactly get a bread note, but this is a really gorgeous foodie scent that is sugar, spice and everything nice.
The buttery note comes out stronger as the cinnamon settles onto my skin and I am in love. It really does feel all warm and toasty, as advertised. I could totally imagine using this on a cold, rainy day and just snuggling up with soft cushions and a willing puppy.
Wish You Were Here
Delicate freesia blossoms on a warm tropical breeze, with light hints of ocean saltwater.
I love freesias. Love, love, love them and somehow, I don’t encounter them nearly as often as I’d like in the scents I pick. This one is a true winner. I think this might actually be my favorite out of everything I’ve tried. This is a gorgeous and delicate aquatic floral and the freesias are so sweet and fresh that I just want to soak myself in this scent. This is all clear skies, crystal clear waters and dew covered blooms. I’d imagine that this is what a little trip to paradise would smell like. Aquatics tend to go soapy on me but this one smells like water. Cold, fresh water and I’m not sure how she does it.
This is exceedingly gorgeous and I need to have this in a variety of products. As it is, I’m getting plenty of mileage out of my precious little jar. If you like freesias at all, please try this one. If you haven’t sniffed a freesia at all, please try this one. Either way, I think you’ll fall in love.
Sweet cedar, labdanum, balsam and dark amber. A golden forest scent, rather than a green one.
A little disclaimer: I’m really not a fan of woods, resin or amber. So I was pretty worried when I saw that this blend was comprised of exactly those notes. This smells surprisingly good in the jar though. It smells like a sweet and somewhat spicy forest covered with light from the setting sun. It almost glows, if that makes any sense at all. This scent is robust on my skin with a pretty strong throw and I’m thankful that I actually like this so far. This scent smells really warm and the wood notes are somehow sweet and welcoming. I do agree with with the description that this forest is golden. The scent shimmers, like sun rays against the autumn leaves.
I actually ended up liking this a lot more than I thought I would. I’m still not really a woody/resin notes convert and I don’t think that I will be repurchasing this scent. I am really glad that I got to try this, though.
On the whole…
Purple Cat Creatives has left a really great impression on me; the product is effective and the scents are so varied and unique that there is literally something for everyone. Most of all, TDawn is such a lovely and generous person and the amount of attention and love that she puts into her shop is apparent in her customer service, high quality products and great attention to detail. I can’t wait to put in a proper order and to try out some of her other products. I’m especially eyeing up the limited edition Mint Chocolate Chip range of products. I would heard great things about the whipped soap and sugar scrubs, so those are definitely going into my next order. I do hope that some day there will be perfume oils without alcohol offered at her shop since I really would love to try out her perfumes. As it is, I might settle for a couple of solid perfumes to tide me over.
And of course, I’m secretly saving up so that I can adopt one of her hand-made sculptures. And perhaps one of her paintings as well.