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Mata Hari

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#1 chai_girl


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Posted 12 August 2004 - 05:23 PM

A renowned exotic dancer and courtesan, possessed of aristocratic elegance, matchless charm, an iron will and a streak of fearlessness. The actual events of her life have met with much speculation, and to this day it is unclear whether or not she was truly a German spy. Despite shaky evidence of her guilt, she was tried for espionage by a closed court-martial and was executed by a French firing squad in 1917. Her scent is striking and bold with a delicate yet dark undertone: five roses with soft jasmine, warmed by vanilla, fig, tonka bean and mahogany, spiced with a drop of coffee bean.

Beth gave me an imp of this in my last order...I have to tell you, at first I was like...Beth must have been on crack when she made this! It smelled like stale coffee.

I let it sit though, trusting to our wonderful Lab Goddess. It dried down to this nice floral scent and the coffee disappeared into the background. No single note stood out but a nice soft blend...I'll have to try it again because I ended up getting in the shower before I could fully analyze it.

It was tough getting through the dry down stage but very worth it, IMO. Just don't apply right before your date is supposed to get there!

EDITED description to match the official one --Shollin

Edited by Shollin, 01 March 2009 - 01:23 AM.

#2 Lorencita


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Posted 28 August 2004 - 08:09 PM

I just want to say first... Beth is a genius!!! I HATE the way coffe smells! I got this as a freebie with this past order, I read the review and I said, OH NO COFFEE! So I read that Beth said to give it a chance and let it dry... all I have to say is OMG, WOW! Such an absolutley GORGEOUS scent! I cant stop sniffing myself. I have like 5 scents on right now, and I keep coming back to where I put it. I really recomend this, when its dry, you cant smell the coffee at all! It smells like a sweet soft, clean floral! Just GORGEOUS, I cant wait till my next order to get a 10 ml of this. Oh, by the way... It wafts great, you dont need much, its strong! Just perfection, Im so pleasantly surprised! Thanks so much Beth & co.

#3 lorajc


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Posted 06 September 2004 - 12:22 AM

I just sampled this on my wrist. I haven't yet slathered it on and worn it all day, but I just wanted to say how lovely this is. It is coffee and jasmine wet (mostly coffee) but it dries to a gorgeous soft rose/jasmine floral with the warmth of vanilla and tonka. I cannot detect the fig. The coffee stays ever so slightly hanging in the background. It is truly unique and lovely!

Edited by lorajc, 10 October 2004 - 12:25 PM.

#4 Astarte


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Posted 06 September 2004 - 09:12 PM

Initially in the bottle all I can smell is coffee, and once you put it on for the first minute, it dies down to a floral rose scent with the heady jasmine twinge to it. On me the vanilla/tonka hasn't had a chance to come out yet (after an hour), but its a very nice floral blend.

#5 Eris


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Posted 08 September 2004 - 03:12 AM

Proof of why you shouldn't judge an imp until it's been tested on your skin. Upon first sniff out of the bottle, I was going to pass on this altogether. All I got was a strange, bitter coffee-floral mix. After reading other reviews, I decided to try it on my skin first, and I'm glad I did.

The coffee faded pretty fast, and the overwhelming scent was an exotic, almost oriental floral mixture. It was definitely a scent I could see a sultry, bejeweled woman wearing. Very sexy, though not exactly a perfect match for me. There was still a certain sharp edge that hovered in the background--maybe the coffee and tonka together. The whole mix eventually faded soapy/powdery on me, but that exotic floral phase is definitely worth checking out.

Heh, after writing this review, I wanted to better describe the type of 'sultry, bejeweled' woman who wears this, so I did a search on Mata Hari and found a nice picture of the namesake. This is *exactly* the kind of woman I had in mind for this scent. How cool is that. Go BPAL team!

#6 Reinaluna


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Posted 10 September 2004 - 01:34 AM

Mata Hari starts off streight strong coffee of course and drys down to a floral that smells a lot like Nyx on me. I do not know about a bottle yet but I will use the imp. :P

#7 quantum spice

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 02:16 AM

it's the reverse on me, it starts off a lovely jasmine-coffee floral that fades into mostly coffee.

#8 shadow


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Posted 10 September 2004 - 04:02 AM

I've always thought it was jasmine that I didn't get along with, but now I'm wondering if it's rose? Or maybe the combination of? All I get with this one is a sharp "jasmine" and coffee. I unfortunately never get to the vanilla, fig, tonka bean or mahogany. My skin grabs on to the sharp flower and the bitter coffee and they just keep duking it out. For hours. I finally gave up waiting for it to change into something wearable, but I will (like any other oils that may not work on my at first) give it another try.

#9 allamanda


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Posted 25 September 2004 - 10:49 PM

Mata Hari

When first applied I get a brief hit of coffee; I love the smell of coffee. Almost immediately I can smell jasmine and then the coffee is no more. Jasmine often becomes overpowering with my skin-chemistry and sadly that is just what happened with Mata Hari. I never managed to smell any of the other notes and hours later I am still swamped with jasmine.

#10 kimberlygem


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Posted 26 September 2004 - 05:01 AM

I swear that after the dry down this smelled like sparklers when they are first burnt out. that is a good thing, the warm smokyness of it is lovely. This was a very sensual warming scent to me without any stron gtones really. Just cindery and warm and smokey. I really like it. I couldn't put my finger on any one scent that was in it. It was all blended together beautifully.


#11 Summerpixy


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Posted 26 September 2004 - 09:14 PM

I can't believe I didn't review this one...

Mata Hari... starts out as stale coffee and warms up into the most beautiful, wearable floral blend I've ever tried. I can't pick out the individual notes, but it has a subtle, lady-like warmth that pervades.

I'll definetly be ordering a 5 ml of this soon, it's that lovely. :P

#12 Lux667


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Posted 27 September 2004 - 05:37 AM

I hadn't been having much luck with the BPAL heavier floral blends until Mata Hari.

It's simply gorgeous.

Wet In The Bottle: Like others, it does smell very much like wet, stale coffee with just a hint of a few flowers underneath.

Wet On My Skin: Oh! Roses immediately and I can smell the cocoa notes under the coffee.

Dry Down: A musky rose floral with spicy cocoa/coffee tones. I never caught the jasmine on me though.

I got three compliments in dance class about it, as a bonus.

#13 fullmoondanz



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Posted 27 September 2004 - 08:30 PM

I have to agree with allamanda on this one - my skin takes jasmine and amps it up, so much so that this scent started out on my skin as straight jasmine and never went to anything else. :P
Actually, even in the vial I smelled only jasmine, that's it, no coffee note that everyone else has noticed. Must be my weird nose :D
Or maybe I'm uber-sensitive to jasmine. Either way, this isn't bad, just not what I was hoping for. :D body chemistry!!

claire G.

#14 alizarin


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Posted 28 September 2004 - 12:02 AM

I got this as a freebie and wasn't in any hurry to try it since I'm not a rose fan, but today I decided to give it a whirl and I'm quite pleased.

Wet the coffee is definitely predominant, but I love coffee so I totally didn't mind. After a bit the coffee tones down and it turns into this glorious deep warm scent. I can't pick out the individual notes, it's a bit floral and a bit creamy and just gorgeous on me. It's one of those scents that slips on like a second skin. Love it.

Why does the lab always pick better scents for me than I do myself?

#15 Red_Hot_Mama


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Posted 28 September 2004 - 01:44 AM

I don't know what I'm going to do about this one...I really don't. In a recent order I recieved Mati Hari as a gift Imp. This is what I tested to respond here.

Now mind you, I have 3 or 4 outstanding orders & one of those has an 5 ml bottle of Mati Hari. The ingredients listed were enough for me to order this on the spot.

I am in big trouble.

This starts out bad & get positively nasty smelling on me. Hey...and I am (at least ) one of the JASMINE lovin' BPAL junkies on this forum. Not this jasmine, not in this combination.

Eeewwweeehh! Uck, I had to wash it off and that was a first in my experience with BPAL.

So I have what, only 20...23 BPAL blends I'm crazy about. That's not too bad.

Off to the swap mines with you wench.

Da Mama

#16 Northernminx


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Posted 28 September 2004 - 03:20 PM

I put this one on before bed last night as a test (because if I don't put them on at bed I'm never going to get THROUGH all of them :sob:) In the imp it's a stalish coffee smell. But on? Oh what another story.

An initial cup of smooth creamy vanilla tinged coffee, mostly cream and sugar that fades into gorgeous undertones of jasmine and rose with that vanilla just occasionally peeking through to soften the whole blend. GORGEOUS. Utterly gorgeous. This definitly goes on the big bottle list. A soothing but sexy and smooth as silk scent.

#17 TrayLynn


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Posted 29 September 2004 - 03:34 AM

I got this as a freebie and I had to swipe it on when I got it. At first I was really surprised by the coffee smell. I wasn't too sure it was going to die down or not. After a bit of a drydown the floral and vanilla started to come out on me. Now I only smell the floral with just a bitter bit of coffee in the background. The coffee seems to ground the smell and make it deeper in my opinion. I'm glad that Beth wrote a post about it though because I'm not sure if I would have given it a chance at first sniff.

#18 t3andcrumpets


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Posted 29 September 2004 - 05:46 PM

In the vial, I don't know what I'm smelling.

On me, Mata Hari just won't behave. That's not in a good way, mind you. The rose makes me itch -- not burn this time, just itch. The coffee still overwhelms the scent even 4 hours after I put it on, and it just... It doesn't work with my chemistry at all.

#19 antimony


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Posted 29 September 2004 - 08:05 PM

If I sniff at Mata Hari carefully, I can teel that it's roses and jasmine and all, but all blended together, it smells exactly like Lily of the Valley.

I'm going to have to give it another try, it was very sweet on me, but I think I may warm up to it.

#20 Faerykin


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Posted 29 September 2004 - 08:44 PM

Mata Hari

Swiped across wrists and along collarbone.

Initial Wet (8-8:30am): This goes on incredibly faint even though I slathered it on. This is much more faint that most of the other BPAL oils I have tried. After about 15 minutes though, the scent begins to waft. I can swear I smell cocoa it must be the coffee bean and tonka bean. Even though it is faint, it is rich like a cup of mocha.

Initial Dry (8:30-10am): Yes, a thick, rich cup of mocha. Im not really detecting the florals at all. What I smell is a deep, chocolatety coffee, sweetened by a touch of vanilla.

Throughout the Day (10am-on): The florals are finally beginning to come forward. Now it is as if I am sipping my mocha in an outdoor caf next to a garden in bloom.

Beth never ceases to amaze me with her expert blends. I would have never thought Id ever wear a perfume that conjured forth images of drinking a mocha in a garden. But, this scent brings me back to college when summers were wasted away at the downtown coffee shop where frozen mochas were created with a cup of coffee and a scoop (or two) of chocolate ice cream, tossed in the blender and served with whipped cream and sprinkles where the open doors allowed for the blossoms of the season to waft through the room and mingle with the flavored coffees I cant stop sniffing my wrists. Another bonus, this scent certainly has staying power still as strong at 4:30pm as it was at 8:30am.

#21 Fulltiltredhead


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Posted 01 October 2004 - 02:25 AM

I ordered this one just on the strength of my love for the notes, so, unsniffed. Got my order today and put it on and thought "Blech! Oh, noooo, don't tell me I'm not going to like this one!"

But never fear, my pretties. This one does for coffee what Velvet does for chocolate, and for me, that's a good thing.

Rich, deep, thick, sensual, haunting, and not for the faint of heart is how it smells on me.

No regrets.

#22 Ina Garten Davita

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 11:04 PM

First Impression: Mata Hari, in the vial smells just like the taste of those little Italian candies...the coffee flavored ones with the soft creamy coffee center.

Second Impression: On my skin the creamy coffee center remains but it's blended with jasmine and roses in the most amazing, I can't flipping believe it ways. The tonka and vanilla are adding a warm sweetness. It's absolutely the most unusual, "who'd've thought" fragrances I've ever smelled. I can't stop sniffing it.

Final Analysis: I adore this, love the coffee, love the flowers...and she really seems to love me as well. Wow.

#23 summer


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Posted 03 October 2004 - 07:44 PM

Yep, this smells just like strong, cold coffee in the bottle, and the scent lingers for as long as the oil is wet. However, as soon as it dries down, it becomes a very smooth floral, with the coffee base just barely floating behind, grounding the scent. I was very aware of the tonka bean in this one -- it gave the floral the round, smooth, slightly sweet feel, and I suspect it also was what made this go powdery on me after a few hours.

A lovely Sunday afternoon scent. I won't get a bottle, but I'll definitely enjoy my imp.

#24 DukTape


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Posted 03 October 2004 - 08:00 PM

This is very nice, and the coffee is subtle to my nose, or else I'm just immune to it because of DH's espresso habit. It is similar to Old Morocco -- both are right up there in my top five so far. I've smelled about twenty BPAL fragrances now.

#25 tempete


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Posted 04 October 2004 - 05:36 AM

Oh no, not another note that my body chemistry loves to amplify... All I could smell was coffee for a long time. I kept sniffing for the other notes in Mata Hari, but sadly, by the time my skin finally decided to stop smelling like a coffee pot, the other notes had dissipated as well.

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