Just got four bottles of Decadent Vapours e-liquids from Wales via Edinburgh via a college friend come back to Boston for a visit, whom I bribed into being my Transatlantic Juice Muleô by offering up a Boston cream pie and cupcakes for her uncleís birthday party last night. Overall, these liquids were well worth the money, the sleep-dep, the painstaking silver icing job, and the two hoursí drive to Hull and back.
All flavors but one (weíll come to that later) came packaged in beautiful frosted green glass 15 ml. bottles with what almost appear to be hand-blown glass droppers in the capsóIíd never seen droppers with a little glass bulb on the end like that before. The labels feature Oscar Wilde alongside the name of the liquid, its formulation and strength, and directions for use and hazards.
All liquids reviewed here were VG-based and zero-nicotine, each tested with a fully-charged blu battery and a newly-cleaned blu atomizer, dripped to prime and loaded into brand new 306a carts with new PTB filling.
Liquid: its viscosity is about the same as other all-VG formulations, quite thick. One has to wait for each drop to soak into the cart filling or atomizer wick before adding another, adding to the anticipation; itís rather like letting the bubbles in a Guinness rise. Iím only looking at it one drop at a time, but the liquid seems very clear. I assume the name refers more to the candy (which I havenít had in decades) than just the flower, and the liquid smells gorgeous: very violet and sweet, yet not fake. A bit like how I remember the kitchen smelled when my sister dipped violets in sugar water and dried them in the oven when I was a child.
Vapor: the liquid is so thick that itís a bit hard on the draw, but once it gets going, the vapor it produces is smashingly voluminous and thickó at least as thick as ECOpure vapor, which was my previous thickest to date, and seemingly thicker! Perfect for blowing nice, white, rolling, violet-scented vapor rings. The vaporís flavor is subtler than the liquidís scent, not as sweet and certainly not overpowering. I detect a licorice / anise note, which keeps it from tasting too pretty or delicate. The flavor is complex and fine, and it lingers well after the session is over.
Overall: very nice. Iím not sure I could get through a whole cartís worth at once without feeling a bit overwhelmed, and I doubt itíll ever be an all-occasion flavor for me, but itís a fine vapor to relax and play with. Good to enjoy while reading on a lazy Sunday. Goes well with Wodehouse.
Liquid: not quite as thick as Parma Violet, and a gentle amber color drop-by-drop. Since this is supposed to be a tobacco flavor, I was very surprised that it smells so strongly perfumish, almost medicinal in its way, though not unpleasant. Weirdly, I thought I detected a ripe grape note, and tannin undertones, and then realized that the liquid smells to me rather like red wine! (My wife doesnít agree, however, and detects smoky tones, which Iím not getting at all. Just goes to show how subjective this sort of thing can be.)
Vapor: very impressive vapor production, even though the liquid is thinnerónot quite as solid as the Parma Violet, but actually pretty close, and on par with ECOpure, easily. The flavor still holds hints of red wine for me, but not as strongly as with the odor of the liquid. Iím not really tasting the tobacco, here, but Iím getting earthy intimations of undergrowth, of thick foliage and moss. It actually reminds me a bit of a solid bubble bath I loved, LUSHís Green Day, which has since been discontinued, but had cedarwood and sage extracts and always reminded me of dark, dense forests.
Overall: excellent for what it is, just not what it purports to be. There really is something decadent about this, as it tastes to me like sipping red wine while soaking in a favorite bubble bath. While Habana Reserve is not the holy grail tobacco flavor I was hoping for, itís very, very good, and Iím happy to have found it.
Liquid: the thickest and stickiest of the lotóglobules practically cling to the dropper glassówith a pale, cloudy greenish-blue tint. The odor is rather uncomplicated: itís licorice, or anise, and little more, as far as I can tell. Thereís a little something underneath it all, but Iím hard-pressed to place it; maybe a bit of a citrus zing? Something clean, at any rate, and whatever it is, itís very subtle. This liquid is the thickest Iíve seen anywhere, and it wicks very slowly, so this is likely destined to be enjoyed onlyóand appropriatelyóin considered pulls between moderate contemplative pauses.
Vapor: nice, thick clouds of clean licorice vapor, with a fresh, sweet finish, not bitter in the slightest, though it sometimes leaves a bit of a tingle in the mouth. Truly excellent vapor production, which is only to be expected from such a thick VG-based liquid. Iíve never had real absinthe, so I canít tell you how much this may or may not taste like it, but itís certainly pleasant. Strangely, I detect no clue that this is meant to emulate a spirit; if Iíd tried this without knowing what it was, Iíd have guessed simply ďlicoriceĒ or ďstar anise.Ē (If anything, itís the Habana Reserve, an alleged tobacco flavor, that tastes like an alcoholic beverage.) Iím considering cutting it a bit with a little vodka, but at the same time, it seems fine as is; why mess with it?
Overall: for me, Absinthe probably makes the weakest impression of the four, flavor-wise, because itís comparatively mild and pedestrianóit is nice, however, and a French inhale brings out the citrusy note and makes it a bit more interesting. Since the flavor isnít overbearing and the vapor production really is outstanding, I could easily stick with Absinthe all day long and be quite happy, but Iím not yet sure itís going to be as artistically inspiring as its namesake... unless I look for patterns in the clouds of vapor. Donít get me wrong, though; Iím enjoying the hell out of it.
A note before we start: this one is odd man out, as itís apparently not even available yet, so youíll have to consider this a review of the beta. As such, it came in an unlabeled opaque silver glass bottle with a white dropper cap. Diabolo Loco is made with the Naga Jolokia pepper, by far (as determined by the Scoville scale) the hottest pepper on this planet, also known as the Ghost Pepper and the King Cobra Chile. I was warned not to try this while driving, and that appears to have been excellent advice.
Liquid: The liquid is very thick and a cloudy yellow-orange, with streaks of deep, oily, spicy orange running through itóI suspect this is what Atomizer Hell looks like, but Iím game. (Atomizers are cheap.) It smells sharp, tangy, pungent, a bit vinegary... and, weirdly, even the odor has a bit of a bite to it, a threat of burn in the back of the throat. I thought I must be imagining this, but I tried it several times: sniff the open bottle, wait, feel the burn. Itís rather unnerving, actually.
Vapor: congratulations to Decadent Vapours for making the only liquid Iíve ever tried that actually made me cough involuntarily after the first tentative puff! I canít really rate vapor production, because I canít pull long enough at it to see how much itíll make, but it seems reasonably good. Flavor, too, is tough to rate, because this is more about experience than flavor; the vapor coats oneís tongue, depositing a pleasant sort of friendly heat, but heaven help you if you fail to keep the vapor localized to your mouthówhen some eventually slips by into your nose, it will light up your delicate membranes like a wasabi nasal spray. Inhale even the slightest bit and youíll find that the term ďthroat hitĒ needs to be replaced with the phrase ďchest punch.Ē And yet itís a good punch. I feel it just behind my breastbone, even if I barely inhale. I just now tried a teensy French inhale; letís just say that the experience was... interesting. Once I stopped coughing, I realized that the aftertaste is a bit like the sauce from ultra-hot Buffalo chicken wings. Also, please note that this is one instance in which second-hand vapor is demonstrably hazardous: an experimental sniff of my own exhaled vapor caused immediate coughing and a deep, lingering chest burn.
Overall: unless youíre a heat freak, donít even think about it; if, however, you go to Indian restaurants and order your curries ďlaugh-at-the-white-guy hot,Ē then this is the novelty liquid for you. This is zero-nic liquid Iím reviewing, and if I had to rate throat hit on a scale of 1 to 10, this would get a 23. And as an added bonus, every order comes with an actual dried Ghost Pepper, so you can see what died that your liquid could live... to kill.
I will definitely be ordering more Decadent Vapours in the future. Liquids consisting of single off-the-shelf fakey flavorings dumped into some glycerine or propylene glycol hold little attraction for me; after the first few puffs, the novelty of ďyup, tastes like a watermelon Jolly RancherĒ wears off, and itís been-there-done-that. All of these are more complex concoctions, deeper mixtures of interesting flavors that will likely keep me interested for a good long while.