Julia Hartley-Barnes Reveals Her First Two Choice Awards

When I am not in the throes of a 72-hour eLiquid review there are opportunities for me to explore eliquid brands and flavors on my own accord. And I take advantage of that whenever possible. It is a personal exploration; to seek out new discoveries in the art of ejuice creation that drives me forward. And when I find an eliquid that is so good it simply must become a member of my ‘collective’, I know that I must use this platform afforded me to inform as many vapers as I can. Today I bring you two recent additions to my collective, and each are as different from each other as night is to day, and both are maddeningly delicious.

But today’s column is more than just a review of two eliquids; it is proof of the complexity in the eliquid universe. Before I get on with telling you of the two ejuice selections I’d like to explain this complexity in hopes that it will help guide you while you too explore this vast and expanding universe.

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Art, and Deception

Just four very basic ingredients go into the vast majority of eliquids we consume daily. These ingredients are Propylene Glycol, Glycerin (vegetable, palm), water, flavorings, and most of the time, nicotine. These ingredients are the tools used by artists and frauds alike, the end result being eliquids we adore, or abhor

Not every album can be Abbey Road or Dark Side of the Moon.

For some reason, perhaps because the physical act of mixing these simple ingredients are so easy, there are too many people that seek to make their fortune in an art they have no talent for. Creating eliquids that take the vaper to heights of pleasure and satisfaction is no easy task, yet is it attempted over and over again by individuals who believe the streets of the eliquid universe are paved with gold.

Complexity in an eliquid lies in being able to take more than one flavor and give it to you in a specific way. A great eliquid creator may want you to feel the creaminess of a vanilla or custard in the inhale, and something completely different on the exhale. An artist trained in the art of eliquid can do this, someone without talent, or skill, tries and the end result is a mess of confusing flavors coming at you all at once. An artist provides a hint of one flavor, and a whollop of another, all for the sake of taking you to a level of satisfaction you only get with a complex juice. These hints are referred to as ‘nuance’, and nuance helps provide a complexity beyond the normal DIY eliquid mixer.

The vendors below are part of a larger family of vendors that understand the art of making eliquids, and they practice this art with aplomb, rarely striking out at bat. (though that can happen)

Now let’s talk juice

Madd Batter by Strix Elixirs

Madd Batter, a lemon cake eliquid from Strix Elixirs.

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Strix sells pre-steeped juice, so when it arrives in your mailbox it should be at the peak of its flavor. In this particular case, however, just a week or so made a difference with me. Madd Batter has gone from being a ‘very lemony’ flavor to a much more balanced ‘lemon cake’ flavor, true to its official description on strixelixirs.com. Even though it has mellowed a bit, it is still very much a ‘lemon’ eliquid.

Lemon flavoring can be a great ingredient in an eliquid, but there are many variations of lemon flavoring that can make a huge difference in the end result. Some lemon flavors are tart, some sweet, some with a lot of bite to it and some that are tamed into submission. The lemon flavoring in Madd Batter is a strong lemon flavor with above average tartness. Mixed with a really good cake batter flavoring Madd Batter comes across more as a naturally lemon coffeecake rather than an overly sweet, mass produced, lightly flavored lemon Bundt cake. And that’s what I loved about it…the real lemon flavor.

I have a few lemon-like eliquids in my collection, and at times more than one in my rotation, but for the most part these lemon flavors are sweeter, overly tamed into a mild and sweet lemon flavor as an accent to a larger themed flavor. I like them, I like them a lot, but there was room for something more real, and Madd Batter turned out to be just what I was looking for.

Because I have added Madd Batter to my rotation I simply have to recommend it, but only to vapers that really want to taste actual lemon flavor, not some overly sweetened version of lemon (not that there’s anything wrong with sweetened lemon). You will come close to puckering your lips while vaping Madd Batter, but just before you do your taste buds will overflow with the sweet flavor of moist cake, and the overall experience, the layered notes of contrasting flavors, is what makes Madd Batter unique among lemon flavored eliquids.

Madd Batter: – Strong Lemon flavor, excellent vapor, and a well rounded, solid thump of a throat hit. Had the team been able to try this dreamy lemon cake juice I’m sure it would have won a Spinfuel Choice Award. Until such time as I can arrange a team tryout, it will have to settle for a Julia’s Choice Award.

10ML: $5.00 30ML: $14 – Nic – 6, 12, 18, and 24mg, plus nic-free

Available at strixelixirs.com, Vaporescent retail store, and other fine Vape Shops across the US.

 

Suicide Bunny – Mother’s Milk

As the coordinator of the Spinfuel eLiquid Team Reviews I have invited Suicide Bunny to have their lineup reviewed by the team on more than one occasion. Not once have I received a reply from them. So, because I am absolutely in love with the graphical style of their labels, and the name of the company appeals to that weirdly gothic/suicide girl that has lingered inside me long past its usefulness, I have been buying individual bottles of Suicide Bunny on my own, in secret. Call it a guilty pleasure if you like.

I was never sure whether or not Suicide Bunny’s claim to fame was earned by its name and “look”, or by the quality of its eLiquids. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time, or the last, that a company became more famous for its marketing than the actual quality of the product. Like I said, it was the labels that drew me to Suicide Bunny, the name of the company was just icing on the cake. I wanted to love their ejuice; I wanted to be a hardcore fan. I wanted to be a secret member of the Suicide Bunny fan club.

Suicide Bunny describes Mother’s Milk as “Creamy. Smooth. Sweet. Succulent. With this flavor morphing liquid, you never know what tantalizing flavor will hit you next. Welcome to your new addiction.

It has also been described this way; “Mother’s Milk is a deliciously rich and creamy dessert flavor with a light strawberry exhale.  It’s been voted fan favorite!  Once you try this e-juice, you’ll never want to put it down!” (SkyLineVapor)

Suicide Bunny eLiquids are expensive, $22 for 30ML. That is not the most expensive eliquid out there, but it is more than I usual pay from my favorite premium labels. Suicide Bunny is sold only in the 30ML bottles made of glass, and without a dropper or tip of any kind, and the cap is a simple screw-on cap, shrink-wrapped for your protection and to maintain flavor fidelity and freshness. Mother’s Milk is one of 5 eliquids in the line up.

My thoughts on Mother’s Milk

I have no doubt that had Suicide Bunny faced the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team that there would be more than one Spinfuel Choice Award winner among the five. Mother’s Milk would be one of them. It is, undeniably, an amazing vape. But then, a lot of eLiquids on the market right now are amazing vapes and most of them don’t cost $22 a bottle.

I am on my third bottle of Mother’s Milk. My first bottle was purchased in January, my last in late June. I filled the last of it on Friday, into an Aerotank. Despite its high price tag I’m sure I’ll continue buying it, now and then. As of now, there isn’t a drop to be found.

Suicide Bunny does not have a website, but it does have a Facebook page. You can buy it from multiple vendors online and in retail stores. It is definitely a boutique line of eliquids, made in short order runs. There is more mythos to Suicide Bunny than there is a reality to it. Like many boutique lines of ejuice, it is it is the mythos that defines the brand to many people.

Just to be absolutely clear; Mother’s Milk is a delicious, deeply layered and complex eliquid that delivers a uber-creamy vape experience with light, sweet strawberry notes on the exhale. Unless you despise strawberry, or creamy, velvety eliquids you will no doubt enjoy Mother’s Milk. But unless you buy into the belief system formed by mystique that is Suicide Bunny, you may not pull back from a deep drag off any vaporizer and think to yourself that what you just vaped was the preeminent vape experience of your life. You may love it, as I do, but you may wonder about the $22 price tag.

I am guilty of being drawn to Suicide Bunny because it’s name, labels, and reputation, but I enjoy them, quite a bit actually, and I will continue to for quite some time. Guilty pleasures are about indulging, and a $22 bottle of Mother’s Milk is pure indulgence. Worth every penny…on occasion. Mother’s Milk also earns the Julia’s Choice Award.

Mother’s Milk by Suicide Bunny30ML $22 – 6,12,18mg nicotine, and nic-free.

Conclusion

The ejuice market is as diverse as life at the bottom of the ocean. With ingredients that you can count on one hand, the variations on a theme are nearly limitless. It is what draws me, the rest of my eliquid review team, to new vendors and new eliquids… just to be able to bring you the most in-depth reviews you’ll find anywhere.

Our fascination with what these simple ingredients can yield in the hands of artists, as well as frauds, keeps us in the pursuit of the perfect ejuice. We know perfection doesn’t exist, and that our job is akin to chasing the dragon, but the rewards upon finding another delightful, creative work of art is reward enough.

Whether it’s a $14 bottle of Madd Batter or a $22 bottle of Mother’s Milk, these are two eliquids that I can almost guarantee you’ll love, providing you like the ‘flavors’ used it their creation.

Julia Hartley-Barnes

Vapor Authority
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The Art of Vaping