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Red Lantern

Lupercalia 2006-2008 Lupercalia 2011 Lupercalia 2015

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#376 karykeion


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Posted 04 March 2015 - 02:32 AM

A tribute to the opium den cum bawdyhouses of Shanghai in the 1930’s. Golden amber, blonde tobacco, Sudanese black coconut, rich caramel, black currant, white opium and delphinium laced with a sensual blend of Asian spice.


2015 version! I'm a little nervous about this because I'm starting to think amber might not agree with me, but here goes.


In the decant: Whoa. Caramel, tobacco, and delphinium. That sure is a combination of things. Also, huh, I guess I like delphinium?


On me, wet: Kind of spicy right away. I really, really like it. It stays really close to the skin, and I'm mostly getting caramel, spices, and a little bit of coconut. I really, REALLY hope this keeps up. I don't know if I need a bottle, but I might wear nothing but this imp for a while, provided nothing goes wrong. It almost reminds me on the drydown of what I liked about Dracul, which worries me because Dracul ended in musk and sadness.


On me, dry: Okay, so the note that broke Blossoms in Springtime was in fact amber. That makes so much more sense. It's here in spades, and I think I amp it. This is really lovely caramel, spices, a little floral, and a TON of slightly coconutty amber. I think until now I geninely thought amber and musk were the same thing.


I like this, but I'm afraid the amber will knock out all the other notes and steal their change. Definitely getting a full run and I will think very seriously about a bottle if all goes well.

#377 AmyAngel


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Posted 04 March 2015 - 06:20 PM

I don't think I've reviewed this yet! You know how sometimes the ones you like best are the ones hardest to describe or review? That's what's happening with me and Red Lantern. I bought a bottle of the 2008 version unsniffed when it came out, and really liked it. However, just after that I discovered that caramel often turns into a really awful sort of celery-salt smell on me, and this seemed like it was starting to head this way. I stuck it in the swap box, where it stayed until just a month or two ago when I came back from a bit of a BPAL hiatus. I'm trying to create a current spreadsheet with reviews, so I remember why I didn't like things instead of just wondering "hey, those notes sound great, why did I get rid of that?" every time something is re-released, so I'm re-testing everything before swapping anything away.


I'm very glad I re-tested this, because I've been slathering myself in it since, and am seriously considering buying a 2015 bottle to put away for aging.


When I put this on, it starts as lots of caramel, warm and sweet. It does NOT go all salty and strange, but the caramel sticks around for the whole time I wear this. It pulls back after a few minutes to let the other scents come through, but doesn't fade away. Amber sometimes goes baby-powder on me, but it doesn't here. I can't actually pick out individual scents very much, except the caramel and sometimes a whiff of coconut - which usually fades away quickly on me but seems to be just faintly in the background here for most of the day. 


It ends up a warm, glowing dark golden scent. A hint of spice, but it's not spicy. It's sweet but not sticky, it's actually got a hint of dryness to it, and it's never too sweet. Everything just melds together and is gorgeous, it seems exotic and unusual. It sticks around for most of the workday, if I sniff for it 10 hours after application it's still there, though much fainter. It seems appropriate for pretty much any occasion, though it's more of a fall/winter scent to me... it might be a little much on super-hot days. I really just adore this. I'm so glad I rescued it from the swap box!

#378 barilace


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Posted 11 March 2015 - 11:53 PM

In the imp: Caramel. On my skin: Coconut with a creamy vibe of caramel and spices. Also some berry.


I love this. I get a caramel-y coconut-y (very) slightly berry smell with a dash of spice thrown into the mix. It's really yummy - almost foodie in my opinion. Gonna get myself a bottle. 

Edited by barilace, 12 March 2015 - 12:11 AM.

#379 plexaure


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Posted 16 March 2015 - 04:55 AM

In the bottle: Oh God, so much caramel.  It smells a bit synthetic to me, which made me a bit nervous at first, but I decided to try it anyway.


Wet: Still mostly caramel, but the other notes are starting to come out already.


During the drydown: The caramel has faded to the background, just at the edges with the coconut.  It's gone floral on me- the delphinium has blossomed and I believe that's the tobacco I smell along with it.  It's actually slowly morphing as I type this- now the fruity notes of the black currants are coming out, blending damned beautifully with the more floral notes.  There's just a bit of amber in the undertone, which I'm fairly happy about; I don't hate amber, but too much of it seems as though it would ruin the balance of the scent.  The spices are also there, albeit subtle.  The currants are starting to fade back out already, and while I'm not altogether too familiar with opium notes, it does seem that there's something taking its place near the forefront, and I'd wager that's likely it.  I've had it on for maybe fifteen minutes so far?


I really should've timed this, seeing as this is one of the most interesting morphs I've had on my skin thus far.


And now it seems that the notes are all leveling out a bit- the coconut is over the scent almost like a sheer veil, not shying away, but I think that's what's blending everything together so beautifully, which is... unexpected?  Coconut isn't my favorite scent, but this might just cause me to grow to like it, or at the very least grudgingly respect its presence.  More likely the former, though, assuming that it continues to keep this scent oddly together, even on my skin, which likes to take otherwise lovely scents and trample on the notes until there're only a few left, with a largely tainted soured tone to the any sweetness underneath.  Sometimes that soured bit works itself out after enough time, but often I find it's too unpleasant to wait through, so I end up scrubbing the perfume off.


(This happened to me the first few times I tried Snake Oil, unfortunately, but I tried it again just yesterday, and decided to be patient, seeing as I was trying it along with two lupers.  [The Wet Nurse and the Old Monk on my left wrist, along with Venus Libitina on my right, with Snake Oil somewhat higher up on my right arm.]  And honestly, the main reason I was patient was because Venus Libitina went considerably off on me at first, but I was still clinging to that hope that it would work out, and my god, did it ever.  As did Snake Oil, by that point, while the Shunga was already starting to fade a bit.  [I'd only dabbled a bit of each of the lupers on, however, so one can't really get a good grasp on longevity just from that.]  It also happened with Miskatonic University, which went awful on my skin, but this gives me a bit of hope to try it again some day, hopefully in the near future.)


And oh God, now I think the main notes I'm smelling are the caramel (which has gone much softer and less synthetic, smelling more like the genuine thing [the soft, creamy, heavenly kind, no less] rather than having your face shoved into a Yankee Candle), the tobacco, and the coconut.  I think I might be starting to amp the tobacco a bit, but I'm not entirely sure?  I'm still semi-new to how the nuances of the note smell, but if I'm placing it right, then yeah.  I honestly don't mind, however, because it seems to be a scent that I like, quite a damned lot.


Anyway, I think it's been closer to a half-hour by now, and everything has softened out quite a bit, and it's really, really lovely.  I'll add another note in about an hour from now, assuming I remember, to give a status update on how it's holding up.  (And I'm very glad that I didn't let the initial blast of caramel deter me from trying this scent, my god.  This might end up becoming one of my favorite scents, and it would've been a shame to trade it off without having even tried it.)


EDIT: Well, more than three hours later and it's still sticking around, and considering that my skin has a penchant for getting rid of smells quickly, that's not bad at all.  (Especially since I only put a tiny bit on, due to the overwhelming caramel at first.)  It did slowly morph more as time went on, but I... forgot to add to this post during those times.  Oops.  By now it's somewhere around a soft, sweet scent- mostly caramel and coconut, I think, but the tobacco is still there as well.  All in all, this one's definitely a keeper.   :lovestruck:

Edited by plexaure, 16 March 2015 - 08:09 AM.

#380 Magycmyste


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Posted 19 March 2015 - 10:05 PM

In the imp: Sweet sweetness, with a little bit of an edge.


Wet on skin: Almost fruity sweetness. I think that's the blackcurrant.


Dried down: This dried down quickly on me - hasn't changed much throughout.


Throw: Only getting a teeny bit of throw off of this right now. But it's sweet, and makes me want more.


Verdict: ***** Yeah, I kinda love Red Lantern.

#381 LizardQueen


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Posted 20 March 2015 - 03:35 AM

Okay, so, I've been paying at least vague attention to every Lupercalia since 2008. How in the world has it taken me this long to try Red Lantern? Testing the 2015 version here.


Wet, I get caramel with spice and something that reads as incense. As it dries down, the coconut comes out more, but beyond that, there's warmth, and the slightest tinge of smokiness. This is an incredibly well-blended scent; if I really try I can maybe pick out the first four notes (though who knows to what extent that's just me telling myself I can), but mostly it's just warm, spicy, and sensual. I keep huffing my wrist. :)

#382 astarinel


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Posted 28 March 2015 - 12:06 AM

2015 version. 


I tried this one early on in my BPAL career and didn't like it, and I've lately been re-trying stuff I dismissed long ago to see if my tastes or the formulas have changed. I'm glad I did, because I actually like this scent now! Caramel is definitely the strongest note wet, backed with coconut and tobacco. I find some tobacco notes smell like ashtray to/on me, while others add a pleasant chewy-bitterness to a scent, and this is that latter kind.


Warm, sweet, dark, thick, and a bit spiced. As it dries, the sweetness fades a bit and the amber becomes more prominent.

#383 Psuke


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Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:27 PM

Caramel. Butterscotch. Coconut macaroons. I was hoping the tobacco and Asian spice would come through more, but no. This is too much of a foody/candy scent for a perfume for me, but I think it would be totally fun for a beach bag spray!

#384 boomtownrat


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Posted 03 April 2015 - 09:59 PM

My skin chemistry is now at the mercy of perimenopause, so I'm not sure how useful any of my reviews will be while that's still happening.


Red Lantern, on me, is a woodsy, faintly boozy caramel that reminds me of a sweeter Kill Devil Hills. Had I not read the notes, I'd think there was rum in it. I don't know why I'm getting wood or rum, but it's not bad. The decant has aged beautifully over the last few weeks, but I don't think I'll need a full bottle because I already have Kill Devil Hills.

#385 DiesMali


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Posted 05 April 2015 - 01:42 AM

In the bottle: Thick, salty caramel and tobacco.


Wet on my skin: Salty, burnt caramel with tobacco and a hint of the amber.


Dry: That same salty, burnt caramel with tobacco. It's not at all a sweet or cloying caramel on my skin. Now, the amber comes out more, along with the opium and something I could swear was woody incense. That must be the Asian spices, I think. It's a warm, dry, and almost bitter on me between the burnt caramel and tobacco. Very unusual, and stronger than I thought. I only put it on the back of one hand, and it didn't seem that strong to me until I went to shower and came back into my room, which now smelled entirely like this scent! I'm not sure yet whether or not I really like it, so I'm going to give it another try after it's settled down from shipping.

#386 vanilla323


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Posted 15 May 2015 - 10:17 PM



In the bottle: musky caramel


Wet: caramel is strongest note but there is also some powdery amber and spices coming out now too


Drydown: this scent is strong and has a lot things going on. Every time I sniff my arm or get a whiff of the throw I get different notes. I really like that about this scent, but what is hurting it for me is the amber is very powdery and kinda takes over after a while. Amber does this on me sometimes. It's definitely a sexy scent and very mysterious. It's not "foodie" even though the caramel is there so I feel like it'll work for a lot of different tastes.


Had great throw and good staying power too.

#387 Mokiefraggle


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Posted 02 July 2015 - 03:37 PM

2015 version, and I adore this.  It definitely needs to be around more years, because I will buy the heck out of it any Lupercalia it's present.


So much caramel and tobacco goodness here, and the coconut adds a creamy sort of note that's lovely.  The currant makes it just a little sharper, cutting down some of the sweet with a tart note that keeps it from being just one-note sugary, and the spices round it out without it feeling too foody, though I don't think I'm getting the delphinium at all. :/  It's lovely, sexy, lush, and warm, and I clearly ought not to have stopped at one bottle.


Next year, please?

#388 LizziesLuck


    1/32 too few

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Posted 09 August 2015 - 01:39 AM

I have the original blend (can't remember what year it first came out). I find it to be super sexy. Smoky sweet coconut. To me, Elegba is a bit similar so I will be buying some of that too...I could bathe in Red Lantern. Love it!

#389 dementia_divine


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Posted 13 September 2015 - 05:14 AM

2015 version.


In the bottle: Tobacco, caramel, and currant, mostly.


Wet: Same. The tobacco note is the most prominent note. The spices are beginning to emerge the longer this sits on my skin. The amber starts to come out as the scent is drying down.


Dry: This one isn't really a morpher on my skin. Tobacco still reigns. The caramel and currant notes are still present, though not as prominent as before. The amber is more noticeable in this stage, but the spices are subtle.


Verdict: The caramel in this one scared me, so I refrained from testing this one from several months, but this is a really lovely tobacco scent. I'm glad I bought a bottle.

#390 aquazoo


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Posted 12 November 2015 - 03:05 AM

Caramel pops up! Thick sweet, gooey and delicious. Oooh, the opium is here, very inviting.

#391 filigree_shadow


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Posted 27 November 2015 - 06:35 PM

I've been trying to find a review for Red Lantern, and I can't find it. Have I really never reviewed this? Weird. I've had some since 2006.


It smells like a nice combination of coconut/amber on me, with a very heavy overtone of caramel -- but burnt, plastic-y caramel. I'm not sure whether it's the caramel part of the scent or the coconut part that is responsible for that weird artificial plastic scent, because they've both been culprits in the past. I really, really like the dry coconut/amber/tobacco combination, so I have held onto a decant for a very long time, and I've tried new versions when they come out, because I always hope that plastic scent will go away. Sadly, it never has.


I think I have some sentimental value attached to it because it was one of the first BPAL Limited Editions that I tried, and I remember being super excited about it. But I guess after nine years I should give up, ha.

#392 DazyG


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Posted 04 December 2015 - 09:51 PM

This opens with very similar notes to Hypnotic Poison. To my nose, a whirling, syrupy concoction of vanilla, liqourice, musk and booze. While testing this, i haven't been feeling my best, due to food poisoning , so this could be better when i feel less queasy! My dad bought me poison two years ago, a few months before he died and i can't help but find an unhappy association with this. It was the last gift he gave me and i have never quite been able to find a positive moment while wearing it. 
Anyway, back to bpal! After about 15 minutes, i'm getting a caramel note that's coming through far stronger than any other. Thankfully, the liquorice has gone way into the background, with the boozy (rum?) note, leaving Dior in the distance and not even a hint of amber.
I am left with more caramel, and now smoked bacon, but that's because my hairy man beast is cooking in the kitchen.... i shall return!
This is almost edible now, since i amp vanilla to a ridiculous extent. Buttery vanilla caramel, coconut, and tobacco
Verdict: I can work with this and i'm delighted about that! This is my 5th attempt, as before it made me feel a bit worse for wear but it had nothing to do with the perfume itself. It's far more subtle than i initially thought it would be and for someone who has had a shaky history with caramel fragrances, i'm more than pleasantly surprised. 
Rating: 3.5/5

Edited by DazyG, 04 December 2015 - 09:52 PM.

#393 celestia


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:56 PM

Red Lantern (2006)


I have the original 2006 blend. I don't even know why I still even have this in my collection, lol.


In the Bottle:  Boozy smoky opium laced, dry black coconut


Wet: I detect a dry desiccated black coconut note that reminds me of So Below.  There is also dark, smoky sweet, resinous opium blending well with the golden amber/ Actually, it’s about the same level of ‘dark, sweet, and resinous’ as Black Lace and has a similar feel. It also shares the same tobacco note which I really like…though the ‘sweetness’ seems to be coming from the caramel (opposed to the vanilla note in BL). It's definitely not a bright caramel. It's smoky thick and syrupy kind of sweet but because it's tempered by all the other notes, the caramel note itself shows much restraint, and ends up surprisingly balanced.


Drydown: The dry down is complex. It's slinky, sultry, borderline loungey and dark, glowing resinous blend. The coconut burns off to a trace, and I'm left with a sweetened opium infused dark golden amber musk. The final drydown is nice, the coconut makes a return and it’s lighter- the caramel is now brighter and sweeter- but gentle. It’s not cloying or buttery burnt…it smells like an opium smoked coconut caramel chew. I wish my chemistry would have done more to save this earlier on.


TL;DR: sweetened smoky opium infused dark golden amber musk. 

Edited by celestia, 19 May 2017 - 05:09 PM.

#394 Cali


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Posted 13 August 2017 - 02:29 PM

2010 Version; The tobacco and coconut kinda scared me from the bottle, as I'm not a huge fan of either however on application it directly changes and it's sweet delicious caramel with a whaft of golden(!!!) amber and the spices.
Dark, sexy, and this smells like freaking ambient noise; close your eyes and you're in a different place. What place? I can't yet make up my mind. But it's not uncomfortable.
This is like an evil version of Edith Cushing! Oooh...

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