The other fire element that took me over by surprise was No. 20. Strange combination of notes: ylang ylang, sandalwood, violet leaves and wintergreen creates a haunting illusion of a nasty tuberose that attacks at night. The intense wintegreen opening is bordering on sickening, save for the fruity gardenia deja-vu that occurs when it clashes with ylang ylang’s sweetness and the coolness of violet leaf. Yet, the sandalwood base offers softness and balances this contrasting ensemble with an incense trail, reminding me overall of burning Japanese incense sticks in my balcony in the summertime, when the star-jasmine and gardenias decide to bloom.
Like all the Personal Blends from Aveda, one can choose either an alcohol base or an oil base. The alcohol spray bottle releases a heady and highly diffusive aroma, where the notes are more discernible; the oil is softer and sweeter and a little easier to digest since the strong top notes are a little muted.