Fragrance Review: Tarantula from For Strange Women

For Strange Women is a unique and interesting company from Kansas City that has been operating for nearly a decade. Their fragrances often take inspiration from nature but some also lean towards more ephemeral sources such as Fireside Story, which is inspired by the familiar atmosphere of a bonfire and the eerie words often shared when humans gather around the embers.

Last Thursday, the 21rst of June, I ordered one of their fragrances, Tarantula. Within two days, my order was in transit, and two days is a pretty fantastic processing time in my opinion. My package arrived on Monday the 25th, making the order to arrival time only four days.

The fragrance arrived in a metallic, thick envelope and was packaged in a black, kraft box with a beautiful letterpress label, pictured above. The fragrance itself was nestled into moss and, like the box, features a letterpress label. 

At 8ml, this fragrance has more product in it than most oil fragrances I've purchased in the past, and at $44 that makes the cost $5.50 per ml, which, for a product of this caliber, is a great price. 

Now, as this is a fragrance review, I should probably get into how the fragrance actually smells and behaves.

Tarantula opens with bergamot and a strong stone fruit smell. The blackberry scent is there, but, in my opinion, it serves to support the notes of bergamot and plum rather than stand out from them.

As the fragrance sat, the more I could smell the lotus and the rose, which really complemented each other, and were a great transition from the bergamot and dark fruit notes.

The base notes, the patchouli, the roots, and what I believe is vetiver or maybe lapsang souchong, began to rear their heads about forty minutes after application, which isn't to say that the top and heart notes had all evaporated. The dark fruits were lingering, the rose and lotus were fading into the richer base notes, and so everything was fairly intact and has remained so. 

I applied Tarantula at 7:30 a.m. and seven hours later, the scent is still going strong, which I was not necessarily expecting. Some oil fragrances fade quite a bit faster than their alcohol-based counterparts, but that does not appear to be the case for Tarantula as the fragrance has dried down to a beautiful, earthy scent that is still strong enough to be smelled by the people around me. 

Basically, it's fantastic. 

Tarantula exceeded my expectations and is one of the best deep, dark fragrances I've worn in a long time. As for For Strange Women, I would just like to say how amazing this company is. The thought and the effort that goes into crafting these fragrances, from composition to packaging, is quite rare, and it says a lot about the people who work there. 

I cannot recommend this fragrance or commend its creators highly enough.

To find Tarantula and other creations from For Strange Women visit