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Brood XIX


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#1 wendyb1063


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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:46 AM

Under the heat of the summer sun, a Cicada was hopping about in a large field, chirping and singing lazily. An Ant passed him by, busily heaving along, with tremendous effort, bits of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” asked the Cicada, “instead of toiling like that? The day is too lovely to spend in such a manner.”

“I am helping my fellow ants lay up food for the winter,” squealed the Ant indignantly, “and I recommend that you do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Cicada; “we have got plenty of food at present. Climb this tree with me and enjoy the sun-warmed bark and the gentle swaying leaves.”

Turning away, the Ant went on its way and continued its work dutifully. The Cicada pitied the Ant, calling it foolish for wasting time working on such a lovely day, and went back to singing his summer songs of joy.

When the winter came, the Cicada had no food and no shelter. The Cicada found itself dying of hunger, while the resourceful and hardworking ants were snug in their warm holes, full of corn and grain from their stores.

Then the Cicada knew: It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

The Cicada, in myth, represents indifference and idleness, brevity and impermanence, and dissolution through pleasure:

The story is that once upon a time these creatures were men-men of an age before there were any Muses; and that when the latter came into the world and music made its appearance, some of the people of those days were so thrilled with pleasure that they went on singing, and quite forgot to eat and drink until they actually died without noticing it. From them in due course sprang the race of cicadas.

(John Sallis on Plato’s Plaedrus)

The cicadas also represent immortality and rebirth because of their emergent resurrection from the womb of the earth, and they embody transformation and self-preservation through guile because of the way they shed their golden skins.

The Great Southern Brood of cicadas is now hatching.

Tree sap, hay, almond blossoms, moss, hemp, corn stalks, acorn, sweet amber, and rice milk.

Yes! This is almost exactly what I was hoping for in this scent! It is warm, sweet, nutty, grainy, comforting. Somewhat reminiscent of Fledgling Raptor Moon, which is a scent I like a lot, although the notes are quite different. Very unisex and quite unique. It has a hint of porridge-like mealy-ness that I just love!

#2 Lucretia


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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:57 AM

This smells mainly like sweet rice on me, and a tiny bit like popcorn! I don't get much sap or amber at all, and if there's a moss note it's definitely not that musty wet moss that I get from a lot of other scents. Overall, this is warm, sweet, and vaguely foody. Not at all what I was expecting, but I think it will grow on me. Love the art!

#3 Gwydion


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Posted 25 June 2011 - 05:25 AM

In bottle: This is really unusual. It is almond dominant with a rich tapestry of hay, corn, acorn, and sweet rice milk backing it up. The other elements are soft, but distinct. Wet: The rice milk ends up nearly coequal with the almond which stays dominant by a hare. The other elements spread out a little, but still provide strong support. The moss and sap are now just strong enough to darken it by a hair. The amber is understated and serves as a sort of glue holding the elements together. I really like the way this is blended, smooth, sweet, and hearty. I can think of nothing else in the catalog close to this, and I do love unique blends. Dry: The hay, hemp, and corn end up blending with the almond and acorn to make this wonderful sweet hearty effect. I love this, but am left groping for words.

#4 Edens Sixth Day

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 04:59 PM

Brood XIX - Anyone who knows me can tell you that cicadas are one of my very favorite things -- I experienced my first periodic emergence when I was 17, then flew back East again 17 years later to see the same brood emerge again, and was beyond tickled pink when my a family reunion this year took me right into the middle of the Brood XIX emergence. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Lab released a cicada scent!!! This blend is warm and dry, and is an absolutely perfect representation of an emerging brood of cicadas! On me, it's mostly warm, dry hay and corn stalks, the sweetness of almond, the resinous depth of golden amber, and the faintest trace of sweet, smooth rice milk. It really can't get over how dead-on it is for an aromatic representation of this adorable little bug. It's not really the type of scent I typically wear, but I'll hang on to it and wear it for the sentimental value, and of course I'll be wearing it the next time I go back to the East/South to see the cicadas again!

#5 Invidiana


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Posted 27 June 2011 - 05:32 PM

I have an odd thing for cicadas so it's no surprise I had to have this. Wet there is something sharp and greenish about it, which I think comes from the hemp, but it quickly mellows out into a gorgeously sweet, warm and slightly earthy scent. :wub2: The resinous sweetness of tree sap and amber is supported by a slight creaminess from the rice milk (which--dare I say it--is reminiscent of that in Jingo-Kogo though the two scents are nothing alike) and almond blossoms, some nuttiness from the acorn, a certain warmth from sun-soaked hay and corn stalks, and earthy moss to ground. Wherever the hemp is I don't really get any in the final drydown. This is just a comforting as the buzz of cicadas lulling you to sleep at night and like a marriage of late summer and autumn.

#6 GoldenRubee


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Posted 01 July 2011 - 04:15 AM

I wanted to love this scent but on my skin it smells like cream of corn soup. It is very heavy and lasts a very long time and lingers very cloyingly. It has the same scent as Barleycorn from one of the Halloween blends. The artwork and concept are great, the notes should work on me so I am a bit disappointed that it is disagreeing with my chemistry.

#7 Gateau


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Posted 02 July 2011 - 12:15 AM

In the imp and wet -- A sweet, creamy nut, like hazelnut (or, i suppose, the acorn) with something cereal or grain-like adding texture

Dry down -- Whiffs of almond blossom amplify the sweet nuttiness. I still get that cream of wheat sort of note, perhaps that's the hay and hemp. I was hoping for something drier on the hay note.

Dry -- As the rice milk binds it all together, I get a strong suggestion of rice pudding. The sap is adding a bark-like, spicy note that makes me think of cinnamon bark, which enhances the rice pudding sensation. It's still nutty and very, very sweet. Almost cloying. This is what the elves would serve for dessert if you went to their place for dinner. It's a comforting sort of foodie sweetness, but the hay and the acorn and the hemp send it just a little off and I can't relax and just enjoy feeling enveloped by it.

This sense of vegetal rice pudding lasts throughout, and it's a scent with tons of throw and lasts a long time. If I go to bed with it on, it's still there by morning. It's very tasty in an elemental way, but I dont think I want to wear it, so hopefully I can find it a good home.

#8 Mellifluous


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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:48 PM

This turned out to be one of my favorites, which I am quite surprised to say.

I get 3 notes in this from start to finish. Hay, sap, and almond milk. It's a nice warm, sun-soaked, aged hay note, with a decent amount of sweetness from resin-y sap, and a deep creaminess from the almond milk. This is definitely a warm sweet fuzzy scent on me, but I somehow still get the bristle-y texture of hay, even through the creamy warmth. Very very interesting!

The even stranger part, is that I generally do not like hay or fresh cut grass smells. Yet somehow, this was my favorite from the whole collection. XD go figure

edited cause I realized I was typing almond milk, when it says rice milk in the notes. .. That said, I really do get more of an almond milk scent, then almond blossoms and rice milk, but, whatev XD

Edited by Mellifluous, 07 July 2011 - 03:52 PM.

#9 countessmouse


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Posted 07 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

Once you get past the initial blast of hay and tree sap, this is quite a lovely scent. The almond blossom and rice milk are the strongest notes for me, followed with the sweet amber.

Once I determine this is not the cause of my sneezing fit this morning, I think I might be ordering a bottle. :wub2:

#10 Antoinette


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Posted 11 July 2011 - 10:19 PM

So, I can't decide about this one. It is morphing between a lovely milky almond scent to Thousand Island salad dressing. WTH? :think:

Plus, it stings a little upon application which must be from the almond blossom. I know almond oil gives me bad skin reactions, so...bah!

I so so so want to unabashedly love this one because I adore cicadas, but this will need another skin test before I decide. Will definitely be keeping my decant (so adorably labeled by Mellifluous!).

#11 tativa


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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:15 AM

I just had a dream about cicadas last night, so was quite happy to have this in the mail to try today!

It starts off very cereally and corny and everything I was dreading... and then turns into... eau de adult toy cleaner.

Don't get me wrong... I love how the one I have smells, its very comforting.

But the resemblance I am getting is uncanny... I was sure for the longest time today I had spilled the cleaner, until I realized that was the cicadas.

I can't wait to see how this ages!

Edit: I just realized I was lacking further description of the scent itself. On me it actually turns into an earthy floral (? I keep looking for the note causing that, thinking the almond blossom, rice, and moss are combining into that). I can smell the acorn and hay wafting over the whole scent

Edited by tativa, 12 July 2011 - 05:18 AM.

#12 JLH


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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:08 PM

The longer this is on my skin, the more I love it. I received an imp of this in a decant circle. In the imp, I get a very sweet smelling hay. Wet on my skin, the sweetness is still present, but much weaker. The hay is still in the foreground; it's a lovely note that actually smells like holding a handful of hay or dried prairie grass up to your nose! It's similar to the dried grass note in Coyote, but I find it to be much more realistic.

As it dries, the sweetness fades away and this becomes slightly more vegetal (I want to say grassy, but it's not green) and just a bit floral. There's also a bit of nuttiness, although it's the scent of actual nuts, and not sweet like a nut-flavored candy.

This doesn't have much throw at all and stays very close to the skin. This is scent is warm (I think that's the sweet amber and the rice milk) but it is light and airy enough to be perfect for summer or spring. It really evokes the scent of a field of hay or wheat or corn stalks on a hot summer day. Absolutely beautiful, and a bottle purchase for sure. :wub2:

#13 SophieCedar


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Posted 13 July 2011 - 01:17 AM

Something about this scent makes me a bit feral. I think it's the hay and hemp combined with almond blossom? I really didn't expect to like this so much.

Wet: a wonderful dizzying blast of sweet humid heat. That's the best I can equate it to! The hay and tree sap are dominant with sweet almond and rice milk and a poof of hemp behind it. Very rich, strong, sweet, dry golden hay, greenery, and moist air. I have the sudden urge to go running through the woods howling and foaming at the mouth. Fortunately for the neighbors and local law enforcement department it stays at urge instead of uncontrollable impulse. Whew.

Drydown: I'm proud of myself that I can get this far without galloping out the door. *pats back* Ok the feral part finally subsides. The rice milk and hemp are hanging strong with sweet almond It's really bizarre because I don't particularly love Brood but I'm drawn to it and after it wears off, I'm searching for the smell on clothes, furniture, me... bizarre and a bit unnerving. Did they put pheromones in this?

#14 invisible iris

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:21 PM

Spoiler for possible TMI.

In the vial: Hay, treesap, hemp, almond blossom, rice milk… this smells really good.

On skin: It smells like a summertime romp in the hay. It’s hay and rice milk, grainy and sweet.

Dry: I don’t find Brood XIX foody. Even so, a part of it does recall cereal, oatmeal, or creamy grains. I’m guessing that’s the acorn and rice milk. The rice milkyness is much nicer than regular milk/cream blends I’ve tried. It seems less artificial, less blatantly gourmand, and less prone to unpleasant (powdery/rancid) shifts. The creamy grain scent is prominent and delicious, but it’s reined in from edibility by other players. The hemp note, for one, is stunning. I don’t know how to describe it but I recognize it from BB and Rogue, its sort of grassy/woody/fibrous and it pulls the blend back from being edible so that instead it’s earthy and warm. There’s a green note detectable too, which must be corn stalks or tree sap. As a result there’s just enough plant matter, living and dried, to evoke a lazy day on a farm. And the amber gives it a hypnotically fuzzy haloe, which is conceptually apropos, given that Brood XIX was unyieldingly hypnotic to the point of ecstasy or distraction. There’s something idyllic and pleasure-promising about the blend that echoes the feel of surrendering to the intense sound and atmosphere of the cicada brood.

Verdict: It’s hazy and lazy with farm-sweet notes that are comforting and absorbing while being earthy and nature-y. This is a definite 5ml purchase for me, and backups are possibly in the works.. although I might want to respect the natural rarity of the cicada emergence by letting Brood XIX be a single beloved bottle.

ETA Revised Verdict: I've worn Brood XIX solo now a couple of times, and both times I'm sad to say I've found it less appealing than it was when I was just testing it. I can't say that it smells any different, but my reaction to it has been different I think, I've found it not comforting but weird, cloying, and slightly sickening. Maybe it's a scent that I enjoyed sniffing, but not one that I want to smell like. So I actually don't think I'll be getting a bottle. Which makes me sad, but it's okay because there are other bottles on my list...

Edited by invisible iris, 25 July 2011 - 02:40 PM.

#15 Little Bird

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:04 PM

Brood XIX is exactly what I was hoping for - smooth, creamy, delicately sweet nuttiness with a hint of wood and perfumey amber giving it some depth. The sweeter aspects are creamy-vanilla-like and gorgeous on my skin.
I was worried that this might be too earthy or bitter, but it's more of a foodie scent on my skin. Gentle, creamy, and foodie with a suggestion of trees and dry autumn things.
The end result is a scent that smells like autumn to me, in the best way possible - autumn treats, autumn trees, and a whiff of autumn perfume. I find this to be very wearable and multiple bottle worthy...


#16 saralaughs


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Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:49 PM

I'm not sure on this one. It's a bit weird on me.

There is a pleasant 'grainish' sort of scent that reminds me of porriage and cream. Lots and lots of creaminess. The hay is there, adding a dry element to it as well that is sort of like 'sticks and sunshine' I guess. There is something about this scent that unnerves me and makes me a bit quesy to the tummy. But yet, I want to keep sniffing it? Is this like picking at a scab? :lol:

I really think this is a weird mix of foody and non, for me at least.

#17 Penance


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Posted 17 July 2011 - 02:13 AM


5mL from the Lab.

Preconceived notions:

I was so excited to see that the Lab had a cicada scent. I love cicacadas! The notes sound intriguing. I love the smell of tree sap, amber and moss) and I like hemp and rice milk, but hay is touch and go and I don't know how I'm going to feel about the acorn (that note in particular has me very curious), corn stalks (I love the smell of actual corn stalks, but I'm not sure how well it's going to translate into perfume for me) and almond blossoms (I despise almond; the scent of almond oil makes me nauseous, but I'm not sure about almond blossom).

But, the Will Call reviews have me worried. I don't want a foody scent and I don't want lots of almond. I want something plant-like and sappy. I have a feeling that I might regret buying this one, but I had to try it for myself since the notes sound so interesting and I love the idea of a cicada scent.

First sniff:

Uh-oh. Do not want. I sniffed this when I first got it in, recoiled and set it aside, thinking maybe it needed to settle. Opened it up to sniff it again today after giving it 10 days to rest and it's still the same. I'm not even entirely sure how to describe this. Nutty hay mixed with something weirdly cookie-like would be the best I can describe it, I think. :(

Wet on skin:

No better than in the bottle. In fact, I think I might like it even less at this point. There's something coming out that smells like hay only greener. I suppose it could be the corn stalks, but it doesn't smell like actual corn stalks to me. This is such a weird scent. Now, I don't have a problem with weird scents, but this one's weird in a way that makes my stomach turn a little. :ugh:

Dry down:

I really should have listened to the Will Call reviews, but I've been known to turn scents that other people don't like into something pretty awesome, so I had to take the gamble. Plus, the whole cicadas thing. Can't forget that.

Brood XIX is actually pretty nice smelling once it dries down (it loses most of the weirdness along the way), but it's just not my kind of scent. In the end, it reminds me a bit of The Chicken-Legged Hut mixed with some of the porridge from Halfling (but without the berry note I get from Halfling). It smells kind of like cookies, kind of like nutty grains and kind of like hay. It's definitely on the foody side on me, but it's not entirely foody.

The bottom line:

I so wanted to love this and I'm tempted to keep it for the concept, but I'm trying to break myself of the habit of buying/keeping oils that don't work for me just because I like the name, concept or label art. I just don't like this sort of foody scent, so I guess it's going to find a new home. :cry2:

#18 Midnight Aeval

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 01:23 AM

I don't know really how to describe this one! It's sweet without being of the nauseating overly sweet candy variety; it's creamy without being that obnoxious sour/curdled milk scent; and it's 'naturey' without the usually DIRTGRASSLEAVES smell that doesn't work on me.

Needless to say, it's very unique. Not sure if it's my cup of tea, but it's definitely a nice scent.

#19 braybrigade


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Posted 21 July 2011 - 06:56 PM

In vial: Warm, sweet, a little sharp tang of sap and hemp.
Wet: Milky nuttiness, corn stalks and dry acorns.
Dry: The almond blossoms and rice milk become prevalent, adding some depth to the rustling elements. Slightly bitter, tempered by the sweet hay. Amber's powderiness envelops everything softly.

Verdict: The wet/dry down stages actually remind me of barely sweetened cornflakes. Mushy ones, in a bowl of almond milk. Not so sure about the wearability of that, for me. The ultimate result of grainy amber is nice, definitely has potential- a little aging before I make my decision is in order.

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:57 AM

In the Imp: Dry straw, hemp, and the milk. Like being on a (much nicer smelling than usual) farm!

Wet: I was a little scared of the "almond blossoms" in this, because generally any sort of almond is an instant death note for me. But, it really is pleasantly sweet without the usual overpowering dry/cherry scent. This kind of feels like having a cup of English tea with milk in it amidst a fresh stack of hay. Comforting and outdoorsy.

Dry: The nuttiness of the acorn and almonds, along with creamy rice milk, are the top players in this. Still very soothing. I get flashes of the tree sap every now and then, which gives this just the perfect hint of a "green" feeling.

Overall: It's a little too sweet and foody for me personally, but this is obviously a very well mixed and unique scent. If you want to smell like the most glamorous farm fields on the planet, this will be for you. :P It is definitely evocative of its given description.

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:51 AM

I ordered a bottle of this untested, because it sounded so delicious, I couldn't resist. Serious winner. This is the smell of late summer, when everything is ripened almost to the point of harvest, the afternoons are hot, humid, and with a small stir of wind, and it feels like autumn might take its sweet time arriving.

In the bottle there's a nutty sweetness with the wet rope scent I always associate with hemp. There's a touch of bitterness, like tannin or actual almonds rather than their blossoms, and a sort of dusty whiff of hay.

Wet I seem to amp the hay, moss, and hemp the most. The nutty fragrance is almost but not quite hazelnut. It's a really comfortable smell, about as comfortable as a well broken in pair of jeans. This isn't a formal scent to dress up in and go out on a glamorous date. This is a perfume to wear to an outdoor party or for a day of shopping where you'll be walking a lot.

On the dry down, it was much harder to pick out any individual note. I was left with the overall impression of a bountiful, sun kissed field of hay with a corn patch not so very far away.

After several hours in some hot, humid weather, only the moss remained with me in the end. I've noticed with most BPAL, if that's a note, it has the most staying power on me. Very fortunate that I like it!

#22 zankoku_zen


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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:42 PM

Sweet hay and corn, creamy almond and moss. It's a very fuzzy, very warm scent. It makes me think of sun drenched days in a farm, with loads of hay and just the green pasture out in front of you.

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 05:24 AM

At first it's all hemp and moss with some sap. It feelsl very dry and sun burnt, the sap sticky and sweet. Once it has a chance to fully dry the almond, amber and milk creep in and it becomes this creamy, nutty blend with hints of corn and hay. It is so damn lovely, reminescent of hot summers with fields of corn and dry hay, the milk and amber sweetening it slightly. :wub2:

#24 angelamaria


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Posted 28 July 2011 - 03:07 PM

In decant: whoa. Hay and almond! This is an interesting golden scent, with a hint of green. Definitely on the creamy side.

Wet on skin: softly sweet; I'm getting the almond, rice milk, and hay. It's an almost foody blend, but not quite. Golden, definitely. As it dries i'm getting the same "vibe" I got from Halfling, in that it's a very comfortable lounging-around-the-house-in-sweatpants kind of smell, somewhat oatmeally but not overpowering at all (which is what got me with Halfling in the end--it got too oatmeally and sweet). Very promising, and very beautiful.

Dry: sweet, almost honey like almond and hay, with a dash of oatmeal and very faint greens mixed in the goldenness of this scent. The comfortable-ness of this blend hasn't decreased at all, and it's warm-feeling to boot. Much later though, I'm getting a nuttiness and definite oatmeallyness--well, the same thing that eventually turned me off of Halfling :/ And I tested this before I tested Atlas and against that richer blend, this one feels almost bland, but while that is a definite luxuriant brown, this one is a definite shimmery gold.

Verdict: I'll have to give this a pass; something in my skin chemistry must be amping/twisting oatmeally scents as they dry on me, which is a damn shame. I love the feel of this blend otherwise, and am sad this didn't work on me. (Putting it in a scent locket kind of defeats the purpose of a lounging-about-the-house blend, sadly.)

#25 Monday


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Posted 29 July 2011 - 06:18 PM

In the imp: grass, rice and pickles.
On my skin: for a moment when it's drying this is a beautiful warm porridge-like scent with some spices lingering on the background. Then it goes wonky and ends up as a nauseating mix of cookie and sour milk. :ack:

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