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Dia de los Muertos

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#1 astrobabe


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Posted 17 October 2004 - 09:02 PM

A joyous celebration of La Catarina, La Flaca, La Muerte... Glorious, Beautiful Death. In Mexico, death is not something to be feared or hated; She is embraced, loved, and adored. La Muerte is fêted, as the celebrant "...chases after it, mocks it, courts it, hugs it, sleeps with it; it is his favorite plaything and his most lasting love." This is a Mexican paean to La Huesuda: dry, crackling leaves, the incense smoke of altars honoring Death and the Dead, funeral bouquets, the candies, chocolates, foods and tobacco of the ofrenda, amaranth, sweet cactus blossom and desert cereus.

Okay, I've been wearing Dia de Los Muertos in my hair as it seems to be one of the best places for me to use many scents without smelling this overpowering scent on one part of my body. I put in one drop in my leave in conditioner (mind you it was a largish drop).

When I first put it on, I definately smelled a smokiness that I can only assume is the tabacco. After about an hour or so I noticed that the scent had mellowed and that I was picking up smells that were a cross between Pan de Huevo (mexican pastry- it an egg bread type product with vanilla and other stuff) and Dulche de Leche candies.

Later yesterday I noticed another scent as I was bowling, probably because I was sweating a little, That I believe was the cereus (I haven't been back to Tucson in blooming season for those in over two years).

I washed my hair this morning and I can still smell the scent. Given that I normally go girlie girl with scents, this one is a bit out there for me (as it I wouldn't normally seen it smelling really good on me) but I think it smells amazing, and I spent most of yesterday catching whiffs and thinking man I want to go back to desert.

Edited to add the lab's description--andrabell :P

#2 fairywingmaker


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Posted 04 November 2004 - 02:48 AM

The floral notes are coming out on me, and they are incredible! Very soft on me, not overstated at all. The incense is just underneath the soft florals, giving it a a beautiful, warm spicieness. I'm not getting the chocolate, or foody smells...but we're having a Santa Ana right now, and it may be affecting me. This scent is gorgeous, and I wish I had bought more than one 5ml!

#3 Scylla


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Posted 04 November 2004 - 04:27 PM

In the bottle: Sweet, syrupy, rich and foody

Wet, on my skin: Foody, very much like Mexican candies and the egg-rich baked goods you would find at a panaderia, with perhaps some cocoa in the background. After a few minutes I can smell some flowers peeking through.

On drydown: Dia de los Muertos dries down very nicely. The florals and smokiness come out on drydown, yet I can still smell the rich, sweet food offerings. On me, it is a wonderful balance of foody, autumny and floral. I am not a big floral fan, but the florals in this one are not the "Attack of the 50 foot Bouquet" variety--they are understated and really lovely! It is what I had hoped Harvest Moon would be!

I love it! Great job, Beth! :P

Edited by Scylla, 04 November 2004 - 04:30 PM.

#4 Neko


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Posted 04 November 2004 - 04:45 PM

In the bottle: When I sniff the bottle, I can catch the food nature of this scent. I smell rich chocolate and the lightest hint of something alcoholic. It's like those liquor filled chocolates that are sold around the winter holidays. Beneath the scent of chocolate wafts the odor of gentle florals.

Wet: When wet I can still smell the chocolate and sweet liquor, but to a far lesser degree. Underneath, the florals are morphing and becoming more dominant, however I would refrain from calling them overpowering.

Dry (10min): The scent of food is gone and I am now left with an intriguing floral boquet. The florals in this blend are not delicate, but they are gentle. They are light without the traditional piercing quality of white florals. They are exotic without being sterotypically tropical. In short, I love them! There is also something extremely fresh winding its way through this scent. It reminds me of cucumber, or the scent of a cactus split open. I get the image of cool water dripping from something pale green.

Dry (30min): Somehow the florals have been pushed into the background once again. Rather than a return of the beloved chocolate, a new food scent has taken center stage. A warm caramel-like smell has appeared, which might possibly be the melted sweetness of sugar skulls or the creamy delight of dulce de leche. I am a little sad to see that wonder fresh greenish scent go, but perhaps it will reappear later.

Dry (40 min): Ah wait... the florals are reappearing!

All in all, this is a gorgeous blend. I didn't get any distinct incensy note, but that's alright by me. I was delighted to find nothing fruity in Dia de los Muertos (fruits and I don't tend to get along). What appeals to me most about this oil is its ever shifting nature. This is definitely one of the most complex scents I've received from the lab.

Edit: The incense decided to appear on me after all, about 5 minutes after I posted my review. It's rather understated, but it has added just a touch of smoky charm to the whole blend. I feel complete!

Edited by Neko, 04 November 2004 - 04:50 PM.

#5 violetblue


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Posted 04 November 2004 - 08:52 PM

I love this scent, have smelled nothing like it before - I smell the rich foodiness, but also the floral incenseyness as well. A gorgeous blend!!!

#6 t3andcrumpets


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Posted 04 November 2004 - 09:27 PM

Mmmm, stranger and stranger...

I've had this on for a while and I've been trying to figure it out. But I can't, so I give up.

Dia De Los Muertos is a cross between Kali, Harvest Moon, and Jailbait on me. It's got the winey-chocolate from Kali, the intense & heavy floral from Harvest Moon, and the candy twist of Jailbait. It's pleasant enough, but can be rather overbearing with the florals at times.

This is definitely screaming winter at me, for some reason -- not fall, not festival, just winter.

ETA: I wore this to work today, all day, in order to bond with it. And boy, did I ever. When it's first on, it's all woodsmoke and crisp leaves, like a bonfire. The florals come up later, like you've thrown them on top of the fire. And then the candied sweetness rises up and settles into a nice, warm, incensy/sweet mix that reminds me of the bonfire parties I used to go to for Halloween when I was in gradeschool. I looooove it. Part of my reluctance in the earlier portion of this review was due to the fact that I couldn't quite wrap my brain around it. Dia De Los Muertos is definitely one of Beth's most complicated and frustratingly elusive creations.

Edited by pekeana, 06 November 2004 - 01:16 AM.

#7 sarahmarie


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Posted 05 November 2004 - 04:27 AM

I have a hard time describing scents, as is probably evidenced by my reviews. But I will try. :P

Without reviewing the notes, I couldn't really remember what was in this one. What I could pick out before looking at the notes was sweetness, incense, a spicey sort of floral, dry leaves, and something chocolately underneath. And hey, look - that's about right!

I like this one, possibly a lot. It's sweet, but it's balanced by the incense and leaves and that spicey floral scent, so it's not too much for me. It changes on my skin, too - sometimes, it will smell smokey, then it will turn and I'll smell the leaves most or the chocolate-y scent. I like that it changes, it keeps things interesting and I get to keep noticing, which is fun. :D This one really does feel like fall to me, and I think the description really hits the nail right on the head. It's very evocative of a Day of the Dead celebration, I think - and I've never even experienced one! It just smells right. Oh, also - the floral notes scared me, but they actually work on my skin! They are not perfumey flowers, if that makes sense - the scent is more of a dry, hot, spicey floral. I'm really glad I got this one!

ETA: Wow. I've had this for a while now, and I've been wearing it almost every day. It took a little time, but now I am completely in love! It's just so warm, complex, and evocative...I'm so glad I got this. I hope it comes back next year!

Edited by sarahmarie, 13 November 2004 - 03:03 AM.

#8 Spanglemaker


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Posted 05 November 2004 - 12:52 PM

As someone already mentioned, floral incense is a good description.

Once on, I don't get any of the foody smells :P
It's a soft floral with a smoky feel to it.

It's very pretty but I don't think it's my cup of tea.

#9 GothicMissManners


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Posted 05 November 2004 - 08:22 PM

As someone already mentioned, floral incense is a good description.

Once on, I don't get any of the foody smells  :P
It's a soft floral with a smoky feel to it.

It's very pretty but I don't think it's my cup of tea.


For me, it's not a soft floral but a strongly ... red floral. It really does remind me of Harvest moon. I don't get ANY of the foody note, and I REALLY wanted those to be the dominant scents out of this for me.

I suspect I will be swapping the second bottle of this that I ordered. One will be enough for me.


#10 Penance


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Posted 05 November 2004 - 10:23 PM

First sniff:

Dark, very dark. I smell, let's see...tobacco most prominently, followed by bittersweet chocolate and then the faintest hint of incense. This smells exactly the way I imagined it would! It's a very comforting scent for me for some reason, perhaps because of the association it has for me of seeing death in a positive light. I'm dealing with a couple of losses myself right now and that viewpoint is a welcome one right at the moment. :P

Wet on skin:

Tobacco very strongly, the moist, rich kind that my grandfather used to smoke in his pipe. The chocolate is still there, too, deepening the tobacco and making it sweet and rich. I can't smell the incense now that it's on my skin and that's a shame, but it still smells beautiful. I don't smell any flowers either, which is just fine by me because I don't like floral perfumes.

Dry down:

Sweet, but not in a cloying way, and rich. It smells like pipe tobacco mixed with chocolate with the slightest hint of incense. This is absolutely gorgeous, I think I like it even more than Samhain! :D

The bottom line:

This exceeeded my expectations. It's everything I could want in an autumnal perfume and more! Everything blends so wonderfully that it just paints the most wonderful mental image of an altar to the dead, piled high with sweets and tobacco and drinks and waiting for the those who have passed on. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. :D

#11 grrrlennyl


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Posted 06 November 2004 - 09:49 PM

at first: hmmm...all i smell is sweet flowers. nice, but not what i expected.
on: very sweet. a bit like candy and chocolate with a lot of flowers. very beautiful.
1 hour later: definitely foody. i'm smelling sugar, chocolate, and some sort of flowers.
2 hours later: i really like this. it smells mostly like fruit now, but it is very nice.
3 hours later: much lighter, but it's mostly like sugar and flowers.
overall: very different and nice. i'm glad i got a bottle of this. i like how it's foody and floral.

#12 amaltheagray


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Posted 06 November 2004 - 11:54 PM

i expected this to be very heavy and strong. it's not. it's soft yet rich. it's like the wind blowing past a bakery.

it's also very sad and melancholy. "the last time i saw richard" by joni mitchell is playing as i write this and it fits so so well. i mean, i want to wrap myself up in this and have a good cry.

it's very sweet and warm. the rich foody smells come out first and foremost, along with some sweet flowers. a hint of tobacco. as it warms to my skin the incense becomes sharper and the food smells darker and heavier. it seems to get heavier as it's worn. it's beautiful.

#13 diabolique


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Posted 07 November 2004 - 01:13 AM

i was so excited to try this when i read t3andcrumpets's review and her comparison of dia de los muertos between kali, jailbait, and harvest moon. kali is my absolute comfort scent, it's terribly gorgeous..

and so is this. so, t3andcrumpets, you're completely right. when i first smelled the vial, my expectations were absolutely exceeded. it's rich and strong with a bit of a foody undercurrent. i immediately put this on my wrists and i immediately smelled chocolate and florals. what hit me in the next few minutes was a yummy hair product smell, the same one i got from kali. the similar notes are tobacco and chocolate. oh, what a deadly combination. two of my vices, right there. the florals are unlike anything i've ever smelled. normally, i gag simply at hearing/writing the word "floral," because it evokes images of cheap faux-potpourri sprays and public bathroom cleaners, but these.. oh, god. i can't even think straight right now. it's definitely intoxicating.

unfortunately, my skin eats the beautiful florals up, but everything else i get from this morphs down into a perfectly blended scent. i'm completely taken aback by the beauty of this. my only regret is that i have one bottle. pleeeaase bring this back, beth!

thank you so much for this, babykitty. it means the world to me. :P

as for those of you who don't like this and decide to pass it on to someone else, PM me. i'll be glad to take it off your hands. :D

Edited by diabolique, 13 November 2004 - 10:19 PM.

#14 Ina Garten Davita

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 09:38 PM

First Impression: Sweet cocoa-dusted, grape jellied candies.

Second Impression: A very complex blend with a really interesting dry-down. I get a bit of dark purple, sweet wine, a bit of jelly candies with a dusting of cocoa, a dab of sweet pastry and a touch of floral and whiff of incense smoke that keeps it from being too foody.

Final Analysis: It's *very* and though it's Mexican Day of the Dead themed, I think it's going to work really well as a winter holiday fragrance. I really like it.

#15 Nepthys


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Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:56 PM

I've never been to a true DDLM festival, but this arrived when a Mexican lady was in my office and she about swooned at how dead-on it was.

In the bottle it smelled quite similar to Samhain. Wet, it was a completely different oil. On me this is a dry smoky-floral - like placing flowers in a cemetery on a chilly day while nearby someone is burning dead leaves. (note - I am not a florals girl but this is an understated, reserved floral.) There's very little chocolate/candy/food in this for me, just a faint and very dry sweetness. To me this is the bittersweet scent of remembering the dead - beautiful as a fragrance, stunningly accurate as an evocation.

ETA: I am absolutely in love with this. It's just... incredible. It turns out that like Kali, this manifests differently on me from day to day - some days do have that candy-sweetness overlaid with the dry leaf and cold earth smell, and other days it's the smoky-floral I described above. I get TONS of compliments on this, and I am kicking myself for only ordering 1 bottle. I am already plowing through it way too fast. One thing I have noticed is that this is stronger than I gave it credit for - I apparently left a scent trail in a hall at work, which I try not to do, and it really lingered.

Edited by Nepthys, 17 November 2004 - 08:18 PM.

#16 Lucretia


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 12:09 AM

yum, i was worried about the tobacco and chocolate in this cause kali didn't like me, but this is great! I get lots of warm brown sugar and what I think is desert blooms all wrapped up a swirl of smoke. Very much a fall scent and very very lovely!

#17 pkwench


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 12:22 AM

You know, it's days like this when I love this forum. Pekeana graciously agreed to decant me a little of this and someone else has already promised to send me another imp of it. Such sharing is good for the soul and being able to try Dia De Los Muertos when I was a fool and didn't order it? GLORIOUS.

I don't get a lot of foody notes with DDLM. It has a smokey nature that reminds me in a way of F54. But it's a little more dry, a little more dark eyed vs. dark natured. It blends into a beautiful smokey quasi-floral with something sugary and incensey dancing around in the background. It's a lovely, lovely damned scent and just plain brilliant. :P

(edited for a rather hysterical typo)

Edited by pkwench, 09 November 2004 - 12:23 AM.

#18 SoapyRN


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 02:07 AM

The way this dries down. Spicy smoke, with a sweet bit threaded through.
Oi, that is such a goofy review.
I really like this. It is complex, perfect for the change in the weather. Makes you feel warmer wearing it.

#19 cuervosueno


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 03:10 AM

Hmmm.....I love everyone's descriptions, but I'm seriously wondering if I got a mislabled bottle :D Mine smells very very much like the descriptions of sugar skull---brown sugar or maple syrup, little else.....no smokiness at all, no spiciness, no incense....
anyone else had this experience? If so, it could be my body chemistry, or it could, I suppose, simply be a mistake....

ADDED Jan. 2:

Long after my initial review, I decided to approach this again.
Its so fascinating to me how differently people react to these. In my initial review, I noted I smelled no tobacco or incense...but that it was very sugary on me and I wondered if I'd gotten sugar skull instead. Now I don't think so (though I'd love to try sugar skull). this is also nothing like Kali to me, which on me was like kool-aid--one of my least favorite scents.
On me, Dia is almost pure brown sugar, though I get a hint of chocolate too, esp. when I compare it too centzon totochtin. Pretty much nothing else comes out for me.
I used to say I disliked foody scents.
Wow, I was wrong.
I adore this.


It is my favorite BPAL scent so far, the one I really can't live without. I wear it virtually everynight before sleep...I find its dark sweetness absolutely comforting and lovely.
Oddly, I never wear it during the day, but it is my perfect bedtime scent....when I went to LA to visit family of the holidays I didn't bring it with me in the interest of packing light (and trying my new Yule scents) and I sorely missed it.
Please, please, please bring this one back! I'll buy a gallon too!
And if anyone wants to get rid of some, pm me! I just can't get enough of it!

#20 blackrayne


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 03:56 AM

From the bottle... sweet foody, almost butterscotchy (hey... my sinuses are bothering me! :D )

Wet, on skin... still has that sweet foody smell from the bottle, but with a bit of smokiness mixed in. Ever so slight whisp of floral in there somewhere too.

About 15 minutes after applying... Rich, warm, sweet foody scent (that I still claim to be butterscotchy), with a light mingling smoky essence, and still the faintest touch of flowers.

I *love* how this scent smells! :P

#21 lixolux


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 06:27 AM

i dont get any of the smokiness that are being mentioned - it is in shape alot like harvest moon, it starts out very heavy foody lovely smell that on my skin morphs totally into a very green cucumber light floral. Chalk it up to different body chemistry!

#22 TheDarkMother


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Posted 09 November 2004 - 01:13 PM

My LEs came in yesterday! :YAY: All I'm waiting for is for this weekend so that maybe I can get some Yule scents too! First on my list to try is Dia de los Muertos.

In the Bottle: Spicy and slightly sweet, its really hard to pin down what fragrances are what in this way. Nutmeg, brown sugar, some kind of floral...carnation maybe? Wow...this scent is hard to pin down.

On Me: Much of the spiciness doesn't come out on me, but a thick floral certainly does. An autumn floral with perhaps a pumpkin background? There's something thick and sweet here as well, a sugar...brown sugar.

This reminds me of walking through Autumn Festivals in Tennessee. Everyone is cooking things and the smells all blend together with the smells of the changing leaves. This is what I think of when I think of Autumn (cause we don't really have one of those here in Florida).

I am so glad that I got this bottle afterall. Mmm...delicious! :P

#23 Koumori


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Posted 10 November 2004 - 02:27 PM

I was enchanted with Dia de los Muertos in the bottle, where it came off as a darker cousin of Samhain in its complexity. Unfortunately, when I actually put it on, it disagreed with me; from its initial whirlwind of foody, rich "street scents," it diminished after an hour or so into a musty, smoky scent that I don't care for. I'll be putting my bottle up for swap.

#24 LiberAmoris


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Posted 10 November 2004 - 03:30 PM

Dia de los Muertos shares, to my nose, a base with Queen of Spades but has a more chocolatey and carmelly finish and seems twined with a pale green that must be the desert flowers. I love love love it.

Itís like walking past an altar filled with burning candles and flowers and offerings---through the kitchen where carmelizing sweets are bubbling---and out the back door where there is an autumn sunset playing across a stark, dramatic desert landscape carrying a hint of green on the air. I think itís one my most favorite blends ever and I am so glad that I got two bottles!

#25 Northernminx


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Posted 10 November 2004 - 03:54 PM

This smelled similar to harvest moon in the bottle, rich and foody and buttery. I was thus utterly surprised when it went into a smokey, red floral on me. Stunning and understated, I keep getting little whiffs of this through the day as the scent changes and morphs. I love this, so very soft and remininscant with that smokey undertone but there's still something festival like about it in the florals. Whee!

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