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Decadent Vapours: Parma Violet, Habana Reserve, Absinthe, & Diabolo Loco

Discussion in 'General E-Liquid Reviews' started by hxj, Sep 21, 2009.

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  1. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    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 Mule™ by offering up a Boston cream pie and cupcakes for her uncle’s birthday party last night. Overall, these liquids were well worth the money, the sleep-dep, the painstaking silver icing job, and the two hours’ drive to Hull and back.

    All flavors but one (we’ll 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 caps—I’d 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.

    Parma Violet

    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; it’s rather like letting the bubbles in a Guinness rise. I’m 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 haven’t 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 it’s a bit hard on the draw, but once it gets going, the vapor it produces is smashingly voluminous and thick— 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 vapor’s flavor is subtler than the liquid’s 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. I’m not sure I could get through a whole cart’s worth at once without feeling a bit overwhelmed, and I doubt it’ll ever be an all-occasion flavor for me, but it’s a fine vapor to relax and play with. Good to enjoy while reading on a lazy Sunday. Goes well with Wodehouse.

    Habana Reserve

    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 doesn’t agree, however, and detects smoky tones, which I’m 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 thinner—not 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. I’m not really tasting the tobacco, here, but I’m getting earthy intimations of undergrowth, of thick foliage and moss. It actually reminds me a bit of a solid bubble bath I loved, LUSH’s 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, it’s very, very good, and I’m happy to have found it.


    Liquid: the thickest and stickiest of the lot—globules practically cling to the dropper glass—with a pale, cloudy greenish-blue tint. The odor is rather uncomplicated: it’s licorice, or anise, and little more, as far as I can tell. There’s a little something underneath it all, but I’m hard-pressed to place it; maybe a bit of a citrus zing? Something clean, at any rate, and whatever it is, it’s very subtle. This liquid is the thickest I’ve seen anywhere, and it wicks very slowly, so this is likely destined to be enjoyed only—and appropriately—in 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. I’ve never had real absinthe, so I can’t tell you how much this may or may not taste like it, but it’s certainly pleasant. Strangely, I detect no clue that this is meant to emulate a spirit; if I’d tried this without knowing what it was, I’d have guessed simply “licorice” or “star anise.” (If anything, it’s the Habana Reserve, an alleged tobacco flavor, that tastes like an alcoholic beverage.) I’m 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 it’s comparatively mild and pedestrian—it is nice, however, and a French inhale brings out the citrusy note and makes it a bit more interesting. Since the flavor isn’t overbearing and the vapor production really is outstanding, I could easily stick with Absinthe all day long and be quite happy, but I’m not yet sure it’s going to be as artistically inspiring as its namesake... unless I look for patterns in the clouds of vapor. Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m enjoying the hell out of it.

    Diabolo Loco

    A note before we start: this one is odd man out, as it’s apparently not even available yet, so you’ll 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 it—I suspect this is what Atomizer Hell looks like, but I’m 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. It’s rather unnerving, actually.

    Vapor: congratulations to Decadent Vapours for making the only liquid I’ve ever tried that actually made me cough involuntarily after the first tentative puff! I can’t really rate vapor production, because I can’t pull long enough at it to see how much it’ll make, but it seems reasonably good. Flavor, too, is tough to rate, because this is more about experience than flavor; the vapor coats one’s tongue, depositing a pleasant sort of friendly heat, but heaven help you if you fail to keep the vapor localized to your mouth—when 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 you’ll find that the term “throat hit” needs to be replaced with the phrase “chest punch.” And yet it’s a good punch. I feel it just behind my breastbone, even if I barely inhale. I just now tried a teensy French inhale; let’s 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 you’re a heat freak, don’t even think about it; if, however, you go to Indian restaurants and order your curries “laugh-at-the-white-guy hot,” then this is the novelty liquid for you. This is zero-nic liquid I’m 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 “yup, tastes like a watermelon Jolly Rancher” wears off, and it’s 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.
  2. Annastasia

    Annastasia Senior Member ECF Veteran

    May 12, 2009
    Portland, Oregon
    Good review! I've been wanting to try Decadent Vapours for a while now. You've sold me on the absinthe flavor for sure, and they all sound like they'd be worth the money and the wait on shipping. Thanks!
  3. kristin

    kristin Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Are they back selling again? I thought they were on hiatus, working on some big order.
  4. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    Still on hiatus, it seems. I got my order in a while back, and had them ship to Scotland so my friend could carry it back here when she traveled. Saved some on the shipping, though it did mean I had to wait a few extra weeks. :)
  5. KonaNeil

    KonaNeil Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 29, 2009
    Big Island, Hawaii
    May I suggest mixing a very small amount in with a flavor you like simply for the throat hit? It might work well for this.
  6. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    Yup, I've already got plans to add it to Johnson Creek's Chocolate Truffle... instant Xocolatl! Ought to be interesting. :D

    [EDIT: okay, I just mixed up a quick test batch of 23 drops of JC original, 11 drops of ECOpure Gold (for vapor), and ONE DROP of the Diabolo Loco. I just inhaled this as normal, and my trachea is ON FIRE. I can literally feel it in BOTH EARS. So if anyone wants to use this just to add throat hit, start with something like 1:50 at the most.]
  7. KonaNeil

    KonaNeil Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 29, 2009
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I hope you'll post your findings. It could put to rest a quest many have had.

    Oh! Forgot to thank you for the excellent reviews. While I'm thankful for any honest input, I'm really sick of sitting through ten minute video reviews. Watching someone vape is as interesting as watching paint dry. Maybe like that Canadian TV news network, if the reviewers were naked. Nah... it would still be boring;-)
  8. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    Update. This is weird.

    So I've been vaping the mix described above (I have labeled the cart JC Gold Bomb), and the hit is wildly unpredictable.

    That first pull was very, very harsh, as I said. Yes, the insides of my ears were actually feeling it. But since then, it's usually pretty much just a JC Original taste with a mild tingle in the mouth. Nothing much at all.

    And yet, every once in a while, maybe with one out of every twenty pulls, it's like I get sucker-punched in the trachea, and I'm coughing and burning and it's awesome but also confusing.

    Have I invented Russian Roulette e-liquid?

    I've definitely found that if I exhale it hard, it causes a big throat hit and cough reflex as it leaves. Interesting. Don't know what triggers the random throat-punch inhale, though.

  9. buttercrunch

    buttercrunch Super Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 15, 2009
    awesome review! sounds like that one bottle of Diablo may be enough for the whole country!!
    I like spicy, but not sure I want lava burns in my lungs!!
  10. RazorNribbonz

    RazorNribbonz Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Hi hxj, Great review..excellent descriptive writing..Thank you.
  11. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    One-week followup post:

    I've been vaping almost nothing but Decadent Vapours all week long, which astounds me, because I really like Johnson Creek liquids but have left them almost untouched.

    My most-vaped flavors have been Absinthe and Parma Violet, with Absinthe coming out slightly on top-- it's not so decadent a flavor that it can't be a nice all-day vape. Parma Violet is only slightly too over-the-top for me to be using it all day long. Both of these flavors are putting out a TON of vapor in sustained use.

    The Habana Reserve is nice for special breaks, but it's just too strong and perfumey for all-day use for me. (The room in which I keep the sealed bottles in a closed cupboard smells like HR, if that tells you anything. :)) I do come back to it at least a couple of times a day, however. I still don't think it tastes anything like tobacco, and still get a heavy red wine vibe from it. Sustained vapor production is not as good as that of the Absinthe and Parma Violet, in my experience. Also, the vapor is literally lighter-- it rises, whereas the stuff from the other two flavors hangs or sinks. Strange.

    The Diabolo Loco is just too hot to vape straight. I think I only took about three pulls on it all week. I'm still glad to have tried it, though. :evil:
  12. redrhino

    redrhino Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Nov 7, 2009
  13. iStormUK

    iStormUK Full Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Having also tried the diablo loco, I can fully agree, this is one hellburner, diluted down to 1 in 20 and it was like vaping a gas fire, my lungs were scalded and the second hand vapour burns the eyes. Vape it at your own risk. :D
  14. KonaNeil

    KonaNeil Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 29, 2009
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I didn't buy the Diablo Loco but I did buy the Roast Chicken. I don't think anyone uses these more than once. My guess is that the designer brings these out just to show that he's skilled enough make any flavour he wants to make.

    I once saw engraved into the guitar of a very facile player who could play very fast and in nearly any style: "Just because I can doesn't mean I should." Maybe this should apply here.
  15. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    I can't speak for the Roast Chicken (yet), but I do keep coming back to the Diabolo Loco, because I really do like the flavour and it's perfect when I'm falling asleep and need a quick jolt to wake up. When I'm working under deadlines and getting very little sleep for extended periods, it's a lifesaver.

    It's definitely not an all-day flavour, though. And considering that I'm still on my first cartridge so many months later, this one bottle is obviously more than enough to last me a lifetime. I'm going to have to will it to my grandchildren. :)
  16. mystal

    mystal Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    when I saw Parma violet my tastebuds went 'wowwwie', violet is my favourite candy in the world. Definitely have to try this one. I'm wondering if it will be too thick for the pv I have on the way though.
  17. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    If you use it in a lower-heat PV, the flavour is dead-on PERFECT. In my experience, higher-heat models like the 510 and the Revolver Elite kind of blanch it out and/or burn it-- it's still pretty good, but not nearly as much like the candy.

    I guess that's pretty much true in general, though.
  18. mystal

    mystal Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    I have one of the higher heat ones you mentioned ordered, but I think that its worth trying the parma violet anyway, I just have to know if I'd be missing something!

    Does anyone carry Decadent Vapours in the US? I tried the Decadent Vapours site but it said it was one haitus for a week, in September - but its not currently working for me.
  19. pcqueene

    pcqueene Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2009
    Quad Cities, IL
  20. hxj

    hxj Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2009
    Arlington, MA
    Also in ready-mixed form, albeit only in 18 mg and 36 mg and in PG:

    Totally Wickeds-Decadent Vapour Premier Range

    I really wish the DV store would reopen soon, as I've got a bunch of money to throw at them, and I need VG-only liquids. I could mix my own from their concentrates, but TW doesn't have all the flavours I want (and I'd rather just have a nice frosted green dropper bottle ready to go and be done with it).
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