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Calaveras


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#1 RaeiNarcissus

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 06:31 AM

Clever little satirical poems in the style of epitaphs written to tease the living and ease grief over a loved one's passing. Xocolatl, tequila, copal incense, smoke-dried jalapeņos, vanilla pods, and cajeta.


I was initially afraid this wasn't going to like me, because peppers and me have a bad history, but such a surprise!! It was a strong vanilla, with a bit of pepper underneath. I kept sniffing it going.....wow.....does this seriously work, and it does!!! But the decant circle i'm in is full on this scent......;_; I will have to do some digging to get this!!! I need it!! It's soft, and spicy, and that usually doesn't happen!

#2 tawaen

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 01:32 PM

In the bottle, this smelled primarily of dark chocolate and incense.

This is a very, very dry scent even when wet. Definitely powdered cocoa beans rather than a candy bar. It smells almost smokey, which I think is from the peppers and incense. There's definitely something a little spicy there. But it's a sweet smokey scent, with the hint of vanilla and not really an incense heavy smell. I'm not getting any real tequila from it... Which I suppose is good, since I'm at work, but that was one of the notes I was more interested in smelling. :-)

It stays close to the body, but when I move around I get wafts of it. When I sniff where I applied it, it smells very sweet and edible. But in the air around me, it's darker and more interesting.

This kind of reminds me of what I hoped Shub would smell like. (Obviously this isn't a ginger smell. I'm thinking about the "evil baked goods" comparison, where Shub was just plain snickerdoodle cookies on me. Nice, but not intruiging.) Calaveras is dark and edgy and a little foody. When I catch a sniff of it, it doesn't make me go "nom" it makes me lean in closer to get more of that scent.

In short, :wub2: Incense-spicy-dark-chocolate-smokey-vanilla without actually being heavily foody or incense-y.

#3 Fury

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 05:56 PM

Oh, jesus. I think I've just unearthed a new top 5 scent in my BPAL collection.

In the bottle it's warm, spicy cocoa. It's definitely not dark chocolate but closer to raw, unsweetened dutch cocoa, the same note as in The Feast for the Greatly Revered Ones, conjuring memories of so many mole recipes gone terribly, terribly wrong (note: substituting 50% of the ingredients in online mole recipes is a bad idea, though these memories bear no bearing on the scent itself.)

It's a very spicy, deep, warm scent, redolent to me of warm fall evenings- the October vibe we typically experience in California, when summer isn't quite willing to let go and let Fall happen, though it always does by Halloween. Like some others have said, it's spicy, peppery chocolate incense, everything I've wanted from so many 13 blends. Amazing.

#4 Siberia

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:48 AM

My impression is the same as other reviewers - this is a warm, spicy, chocolate, but not overly foody. This is a dark chocolate that is not sweet in itself, but is sweetened and spiced by the other notes. I don't smell much copal and no tequila at all (which is okay by me). I would swear there is some cinnamon there, but it's not listed as a note. It reminds me of the spicy warmth of Feast of the Greatly Revered Ones, which I also love. This is a perfect warm and spicy scent for fall. Love this.

#5 Edens Sixth Day

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 01:28 AM

Calaveras - This opens up with a warm, dry, peppery chocolate with a really strong twist of tequila. As it dries down on my skin, the booze note almost disappears (but not entirely) and I'm left with the dry, peppery chocolate scent. It's certainly not a sweet chocolate, and yet there's something in here, probably the cajeta, that's sweetening the overall scent up to the point that it's cloyingly sweet over the smoky pepper-and-dry-cocoa notes. I'm not much of a chocolate person and I generally don't like pepper of any sort in my perfumes, and the cajeta is just way too syrupy sweet for my taste, so I'm afraid this one is not for me.

#6 Sultaana

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 08:13 PM

Whoa. :eek: This is such an interesting chocolate! A very perfumey chocolate instead of an edible one, deliciously spicy. In fact, this is everything I wanted out of El Dia de Reyes but couldn't get because it was too sweet. The incense is a perfect touch and really rounds this one out. Not getting much tequila, which I'm not really upset about.

#7 Gryphon

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 01:44 PM

This is the surprise hit in the batch of decants a sweet forumite sent me. It's slightly foody, probably thanks to the vanilla and cajeta, but not bakery food. The incense and smoke-dried jalapenos give it a really nice kick that lingers on the skin. I do get non-candy bar chocolate, like you'd find in a Mexican mole sauce. Guess that fits with the theme of the scent!

#8 spiresinthesnow

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 04:51 PM

I really liked this one. Its smells to me like a salty, buttery mish mash of chocalate and sweets with an copal incense tinge. Unfortunately as much as I liked it, I found it smells like urine to those around me.. :huh?:

#9 Dark Alice

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Posted 10 September 2010 - 05:27 PM

The tequila in this is what keeps it from being a bottleworthy scent. The cocoa is gorgeous, the vanilla is lovely and the copal is behaving well..no cat pee smell :joy: but the tequila makes this a wee bit too bitter and sharp to purchase as a bottle which is sad b/c this is a chocolate scent that actually works for me. :rasp:

#10 ElizabethOSP

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Posted 11 September 2010 - 02:57 AM

This is the surprise hit in the batch of decants a sweet forumite sent me. It's slightly foody, probably thanks to the vanilla and cajeta, but not bakery food. The incense and smoke-dried jalapenos give it a really nice kick that lingers on the skin. I do get non-candy bar chocolate, like you'd find in a Mexican mole sauce. Guess that fits with the theme of the scent!


Gryphon, you said it for me! LOVING Calaveras! :wub2:

#11 sheena

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 04:43 PM

Wet in the imp: Sweet, smoky and peppery. Swoon....

Drydown on skin: I do get tequila at this stage, along with vanilla and dry, unsweetened cocoa.

A bit later: The smoky and sweet are trying to balance out here. It smells like when I open my spice cabinet, when it's stocked with flush dried peppers.

An hour later: This has become kind of tart now. It's not my favorite at this stage.

Verdict: I think it may be too soon to write this one off, but I'm tempted to do so. I had high hopes for it, which is keeping me from dismissing it. Also, I remember Raven Moon behaving the same way on me it first, and now it's one of my favorites. The pros on it are the way the vanilla and the pepper blend so well, and how the chocolate is dark and not sweet at all, and the tequila is not cheap but a complex reposada. The con is that tart thing it goes into. So, I'm officially on the fence and will come back and edit if things pull me off that fence either way.

Update: After a month of aging in the imp, Calaveras has lost the tart part that put me off, or I just don't mind it anymore, I'm not sure which. Seems like at that stage now all I get are the notes of vanilla, jalapeno, cajeta and incense. I've got a bottle on order now!

Edited by sheena, 29 October 2010 - 05:26 PM.


#12 cfrancesca

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:33 AM

I get a mix of cajeta (caramel-like but not quite, it's darker and slightly salty on my skin), cocoa, strong, spicy smokyness, and the tequila is definitely there. It's an experience but not something I'd personally want to wear.

Edited by cfrancesca, 16 September 2010 - 04:34 AM.


#13 Ethaisa

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:25 PM

Oh, this is amazing; deep, dark bitter roasted chocolate nibs, with hints of smoke and spice. Not at all what I would consider traditionally "foody", even with the vanilla, which enhances rather than overwhelms. Hints of salted brown butter and sweet heat develop on drydown. I'm so glad I got a bottle; I may need another - I can't wait to see how this ages, and I suspect that if I don't buy a back-up, I won't ever know; I've worn this three days running and I'm no where near tired of it yet!

Edited by Ethaisa, 16 September 2010 - 02:27 PM.


#14 dawndie

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:08 PM

Wet: light cocoa

On skin: sweetened tequila

Half-hour later: darker and spicier, spiced maple syrup?

In conclusion: this is an interesting one, like Mictecacihuatl (a big favorite from Halloween '08) without the light tobacco. Unfortunately my skin is burning a bit so it cannot be a bottle order, which is a shame.

#15 zankoku_zen

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 07:20 PM

Spicy. You can definitely smell the jalapeņos on wet. It's got a hint of cocoa, spice, copal. It's a slight sweet, spicy incensy blend.

#16 SmileShine

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:56 PM

Oo, I really like this more than I thought I would, so I'm posting a baby review. It's a dry cocoa with hints of smoke and vanilla. I don't get much tequila at all. This is a rich scent to me, or a 'sophisticated' foody scent.

#17 Ondine

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:54 AM

A lot of my reviews end up being "this reminds me of X" and this one will not disappoint! This reminds me of the Valentine's Day LE Dark Chocolate and Pepper Smoked Caramel. Dark, rich chocolate and a peppery bite, but still sweet. I really like this one!

EDIT: Blerg. For some reason something in this makes me nauseous in a way that DC&PSC does not :(

Edited by Ondine, 25 September 2010 - 04:59 PM.


#18 Rocza

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:40 PM

In the Bottle: Reminds me of Miskatonic U, plus a bit of a spicy kick in the nostrils. I can sense a hint of booze if I inhale deeply. While decanting, the wafting scent is very chocolatey - reminds me of the chocolate note in Cthulhu in Love.

Wet on Skin: Sinister chocolate. Something almost lemony underneath the chocolate.

While Drying: The copal is coming out and giving this a bit of a funk. Copal doesn't like my skin.

After a Little While: The throw is still chocolate-dominant, but up close I get a bit of dulce-du-leche. The copal-funk is gone. There is another note that is taking this beyond a foody scent, but I can't quite identify it - maybe it is the copal incence deciding to behave?

Later: The vanilla pods come out in the late stage. I never get more than the occasional hint of spiciness from the peppers, but there is a smokiness about the scent now. Not terrible, but nothing special on my skin.

On The Boy: On The Boy, however, this is really good. The notes all express themselves in a balanced manner. There is a hint of the same snuggly feel of Misk. U., but it smells more masculine than Misk. U. (on him specifically - on me, Calaveras didn't smell masculine at all). On The Boy, this is a well balanced, spicy, caramelized scent. Much more complex on him than it is on me, and I like being able to smell all the notes when I sniff him.

Final Thoughts: I had very low expectations for this one, and it ended up being better on me than I expected. I don't think I need this scent, but I'm thinking of picking up a bottle for The Boy.
Calaveras earns a 3/5 on my skin, but a 4/5 on The Boy.

ETA I ended up getting a half-full bottle for The Boy, and this is the scent he has been going to lately before an evening out. It smells sooo good on him :)

Edited by Rocza, 10 October 2010 - 04:42 AM.


#19 Femme_Fatale

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 02:02 AM

Oh my. I love this one. It's a gorgeous spiced dark chocolate incense scent. It's not quite foody, but delicious and sexy.

But after wearing it for a while it became a touch heavy. I think this is one of those scents I love to sniff now and then but will rarely wear.

Edited by Femme_Fatale, 18 September 2010 - 05:02 AM.


#20 Invidiana

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 04:47 PM

This is so delicious and right up my alley. It's a thick, cakey vanilla with warm spices and touches of smoke and copal incense in the background. I almost thought there was patchouli in it until I read the note list again. I think the slight smokiness is coming from the smoked jalapeno note, which thankfully doesn't smell like actual peppers or else it woudl have made me run for the hills. The bitter chocolate complements it beautifully with a certain earthy darkness. I'm thinking maybe that, along with the smoky jalapeno, was making me think of patchouli. I get a hint of something boozy from the tequila, but not in-your-face tequila. Overall it's really addictive!

Edited by Invidiana, 18 September 2010 - 04:48 PM.


#21 reynardine

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 06:12 PM

Decant. Starts off as a dry, bitter chocolate (actually smelled good) with some incense. Later spicy notes came in, but it was wonderfully blended. However, the jalapeno note rather throws things off for me. Glad I got to try it, though!

#22 Catseyes

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:18 PM

On the skin: Reminds me a bit of one of the 13's. Smells quite a bit of chocolate, spices, and a bit of vanilla. Huh. I will have to try this one again. If something smelled like this one, I would definitely eat it!!

#23 Blupest

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 03:19 AM

This is my most often worn of this year's Halloweenies. Despite the cocoa and vanilla this does not wear as overtly foody on me. Those two elements act as backdrop to the incense note and the pepper. I like that the smokiness that comes through is softer and not an overwhelmingly charred note. Very glad I got this. The Halloweenies in general are usually my favorite BPALs and this one is especially nice. :)

#24 Little Bird

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:59 PM

This is even more gorgeous than I was hoping for. Calaveras smells like sweet vanilla, dry cocoa powder, and a waft of gentle, warm, almost floral incense. It reminds me of a softer Tezcatlipoca, if you took out the leather from Tezcat and added in a soft vanilla note. Some of bpal's vanillas go powdery and smell blah on m skin, but this is a creamy, sweet, rich vanilla that I'm loving.

Calaveras is beautiful - just a perfect mix of vanilla and girly incense with a hint of cocoa on my skin. I can smell a hint of the jalapeno spiciness as it dries down after about an hour as well, and it gives the blend a bit of a perfumey edge and a unique feel. The overall blend is a bit foodie, but not quite thanks to the incense and unique, dry spiciness.

I'm going to need a couple backup bottles of this before the LEs go down. :wub2:

#25 pinkstardust420

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 05:48 PM

This scent was just......weird on me. I think it's the jalapeno scent that sours this scent on me. Oh well. You can't win 'em all.




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