How freaking awesome is that product photo?! I absolutely love the abandoned house atmosphere just radiating from this picture- not only because it ties into the fragrance description, but because it is immensely clear to me that a lot of time and effort went into making such a neat product photo. Each Solstice Scents perfume actually has their own themed product photo that matches the soul of the scent, which I love. It adds a personal touch and wonderful personality that so often seem to be lacking in mainstream corporations.
Onto the scent description! Now, there are only a handful of people that are truly gifted at describing scents; and I certainly categorize Angela (the amazing lady behind Solstice Scents) as one of those people. This is her description of Manor:
Manor is the scent of a once grand estate, now disheveled, forgotten and left exposed to the elements. The faint scent of previous owners and their esteemed guests - exquisitely perfumed ladies mingling with the intense rich and musky scent of smartly dressed gentlemen - meets rich wood floors and heavy wooden doors long since opened, decaying beadboard and Wainscot topped off with a thin layer of dust. It is very sophisticated and absolutely intoxicating.
Manor is a blend of woody-vanilla musk coupled with an incredible vanilla accord, glorious black agarwood and exquisite aloeswood. The scent is sweet and rich due to the vanillas, woody and incensey from the agar and aloeswood. The black agarwood is literally to die for. On initial application and coldsniff, the agar and aloeswood are a little stronger than they are on the dry down. Manor settles down wonderfully. After hours on the skin it does smell much sweeter due to the vanillas, though the woody/incense element is still detectable. Every single note in this blend is brand new to the shop. The result is a very unique scent that still has the familiar Solstice Scents profile. Fans of Old Cedar Magus will enjoy Manor.
Mmmhmm, there is magic in those adjectives, I tell you! I believe Manor was first introduced as a part of their Autumn 2011 collection, but (thank goodness for me) it is now offered in the General Catalog. I ordered the full size right off the bat because it really seemed like my cup of tea, and it is truly a steal at $15 for .35 ounces. The TAT is honestly incredible, especially for an indie company. I absolutely adore and support indie companies, but it can sometimes be difficult to play the waiting game when you're anticipating an order. I received my order in literally just a few business days. As I recall, it was definitely not more than four days. For those of you that are as impatient as I am, or if time is an issue (i.e. if what you order is a gift for a special occasion or if you plan to wear your new perfume to an upcoming event), Solstice Scents is definitely on the ball with getting your order to you in a more than reasonable amount of time. Additionally, the packaging is professional and the products are neatly and safely packed inside.
Above is my backup (yes, I bought a backup bottle- which I've never done except in this situation because of my spontaneous but deep love affair with Manor) product photo of Manor. I apologize for the lack of quality, it was taken with my iPhone because my digital camera hates me currently. The perfume is housed in a beautifully deep blue glass vial with a roll-on applicator. The glass is pigmented, but the great thing is that it's still clear enough for one to visably see how much product is left.
Manor has a beautiful aroma from cold sniff to dry down, which is great, because it lasts as close to forever as a perfume can get. Seriously, I can still smell it on me the morning after I apply it the day before! It really does smell like a house that was once loved dearly, but now the only guests are of the ghostly variety. And not just any ghosts. You see, these ghosts are literally the best-smelling ghosts you could ever imagine! If you're into the paranormal at all, you might've heard that good scents are reminiscent of, well, GOOD spirits; and these spirits are certainly good. They roam the halls of the once-loved estate, leaving hauntingly beautiful aromas of musk and vanilla in the air. These ghostly scents comingle with the black agarwood and aloeswood and a teensy whiff of dust from the years of abandonment, and they all add up to HEAVEN in a bottle. I can truly not describe this beautiful perfume in a way it certainly deserves, but I can say that it truly does not disappoint.
If you want to try Manor, but don't want the commitment of a full sized bottle, I urge you to pick up a sample. Angela sells her perfumes in sample sizes for just $2.50 a vial. There are also sample packs available for extremely reasonable prices, in case you're wondering! Another lovely thing about Solstice Scents is that you get to choose your own scent in the free perfume sample that comes with all orders, so that would be another option to try a perfume you're interested in if you already have something in your shopping cart. :D
And just when you thought this company was more than a dream, I invite you to wake up and smell the perfume, 'cause Solstice Scents honestly surpasses expectations. Their customer service is the best I've ever come by in any company. I am always promptly greeted with a sweet and professional response whenever I have a product question or even when I just send them a compliment. In my life, quality customer service has been seemingly nonexistent (especially lately), so I definitely appreciate and respect a company that has communication that's as good as their products.
To sum it up, I cannot compliment Solstice Scents enough on how wonderful they are as a company, and I cannot love Manor any more than I already do (lest I spontaneously combust out of love!). If you haven't already done so, please check them out at: http://www.solsticescents.com/
DISCLAIMER: All products mentioned have been purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am in no way affiliated or compensated by this company, nor any company for that matter. My opinions are my own, and most certainly always will be.