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Testing Notes: Rome

Rome (Wanderlust)
Refined, austere and graceful. A recipe gleaned from Classical Rome: cypress, juniper, chamomile and rose.

I was definitely intrigued by the chamomile note. I grew up drinking chamomile as the Italian cure-all. Got a sore stomach? Drink chamomile. Have a cold? Chamomile with some honey and lemon. Puffy eyes? Use cold chamomile bags.

Wet: At first Rome is overwhelmingly green. It's fresh, slightly earthy. Almost pine-y. There's a hint of something herbal lurking but the rose is nowhere to be found. I don't mind it, although it's possibly a little more masculine than I would normally wear.

Drying: The rose comes out within the first five minutes and then I like Rome a lot more. It's a fresh, green rose but there's still something herbal about it. I'm not sure i really smell the chamomile, to be honest. But there's something here that stops Rome from smelling like a basic fresh-cut rose and grass type of scent. It's a little more complex than that.

Dry: Soft, pretty and dry green rose. There's something almost hay-like in the dry down. It's very wearable. I think I'm a fan. Will definitely be giving this imp another try in the future.




Testing Notes: Venice

Venice (Wanderlust)
A complex, voluptuous scent that captures the robust beauty of the Italian Renaissance: lemon, red currant, wisteria, red rose petals, heady jasmine, Florentine orris root, waterlily, red sandalwood, violet plum, and violet leaf.

I'm testing this from an imp I recently purchased. Colour me intrigued. I'm not sure how I feel about this scent or whether I would wear it out, but it's interesting.

There are two distinct feelings going on with Venice:

One side is heady and lush. Bold and rich and colourful. Red. There's a mixture of florals - rose and jasmine playing up most on my skin - combined with sweet, ripe fruits. It's sexy and decadent.

But there's another side that's oddly fresh. Out of place. It peeks out from under the flowers and surprises me. I have no idea what it is - perhaps the violet leaf? For some reason it makes me think of the underbelly being hidden by all the jewels and silks and powders of the renaissance. Something that those things were trying to cover up.

The longer I wear this the more I think it's not for me. I don't love this strange combination, but I am fascinated by it. It's a creative scent, maybe one for activating the mind rather than the nose.




Testing Notes: The Lotus Tree & Blossoms in Springtime

Blossoms in Springtime (Lupercalia)
Vanilla bean and vanilla blossom, golden honey, antiqued amber, beeswax, copal, lotus blossom, and helichrysum.

I bought a bottle of this blind a while ago based on the notes list (vanilla and honey? Sold!) and it did not disappoint.

It's sweet and musky, almost like an old-fashioned cosmetic scent but it's made richer by the honey and amber notes. Beautiful scent, definitely something that makes me happy when I wear it. I had someone comment that it smelled like baby powder on me, which I get. For me, that's a positive because I love powder scents. Very happy to have this in my collection.

Two things to note: one, the liquid is very red so I need to remember not to wear this if I've got anything white on. Secondly, the oil irritated my skin a little because I applied it about an hour after I'd worked out (after a shower) and my skin must have been a little sensitive then.

The Lotus Tree (Rappaccini's Garden)

Honey-sweet and soporific.

Testing this from an imp and it's totally my jam. I feel like Rappaccini's Garden is my BPAL happy place, I've tried so many scents from that group and I'm finding winner after winner. Man I love florals.

Wet: Honey and honeysuckle, with a touch of something fruity. Maybe apricot. I'm getting a very 'golden' vibe from this scent and I really like it. It's warm and rich and sticky sweet without feeling too candy-like.

Dry: Sweet musky honey and a touch of woods. I get a little vanilla creaminess from it as well. It's cosy, comforting and more subtle than the opening.

Overall: Big thumbs up on this one. I'm going to wear this again and possibly put it on my FB wishlist.




Testing Notes: Queen of Hearts

Lily of the Valley, Calla Lily, stephanotis and a drop of cherry.

I remember testing this when I first got the imp a few years back and not loving it. Cherry and I have a rocky relationship.

Wet: actually better than I remembered but still VERY sweet. The cherry note doesn't have that strange medicinal/syrupy feel that it usually has on my skin, which is a positive. But it also doesn't smell like real cherries. It's more like a cherry-flavoured candy at this point. The lilies have an almost desert-like feel to them and none of that heady richness that I normally love in a lily scent.

Dry: Queen of Hearts becomes quite powdery on my skin when it dries, which I do like. But it's still too sweet, unfortunately. It's also very simple, not a lot of development on the skin and it doesn't feel very layered or complex.

Overall: Not as bad as I remembered, but still not for me.




Testing Notes: Boo 2010 (Halloweenie)

Eerie billows of spun sugar, fluttering white cotton, and sheets of cream.

This is decanted sample from a swap.

Wet: There's something instantly that I dislike about this, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I feel like I should like it - it's simple, creamy, slightly sweet. All the things I look for in this type of scent. But there's something strange and off-putting about this when it's first applied. I would be curious to try another version of Boo and see if it perhaps that the sample hasn't aged well.

Dry: I like it much better dry than wet, that funky note seems to have now disappeared. It's a soft milky scent with a hint of vanilla, but I don't really get the cotton/linen notes at all. While it's not earth-shatteringly unique, I enjoy how calm and comforting Boo is. It's the kind of scent I reach for when I'm having a day at home and I want something easy and pleasant. I find myself reaching for these types of scents often.

Overall: I'm keen to try another version of Boo and see if that weird opening note is present.




BPAL FB Collection - June 2016

Now that I have all my precious little bottles back, I'm going to log them here for safe-keeping. I'll update as I acquire more goodies. Angeronalia 2007 (Yule) - 1/2 full Black Lily (Rappaccini's Garden) - 1/2 full Black Rose (Rappaccini's Garden) - full Blossoms in the Springtime (Lupercalia) - full-ish Follow Me Boy (Bewitching Brews/Conjure Bag) - full Grindhouse (Carnivale Diabolique) - full Honey Mone (Limited Edition) - 1/2 full Hope and Fear set Free (Limited Edition) - full-ish La Befana 2007 (Yule) full-ish Love in Idleness (Rappaccini's Garden) - full Picture Books and Pleasure Toys (Lupercalia) full Rose Red 2007 (Yule) - full-ish Zarita The Doll Girl 2006 (Carnivale Diabolique) - full-ish

Bottles that have been used up: Snooty Rose (Alice in Wonderland)




Testing Notes: AEVAL

A raven-haired Fairy Queen of Ireland. A judicious yet powerfully sensual blend, a mingling of justice and sexuality: sage, sweet pea, bold pale musk and warm tonka.
I'm testing an imp of this, but I'm not sure where it came from. Might have been an extra in a swap. The notes really intrigued me, especially the sage and tonka combination.

Wet: Initially there's something a little 'fabric softener' about this, which I think might be the sweet pea note. It kind of screams 'fresh' at you. There's a hint of green behind the sweet flowers and musk, but it gets lost and I wouldn't have picked it to be sage without reading the description first. Definitely not my kind of floral on first impression.

Dry: I like it much better dry than wet, although still not enough that I would hunt a bottle down. In the dry down, the musk comes out. It's slightly powdery, slightly creamy. There's a soft nuttiness from the tonka and florals feel much more balanced and less soapy than in the opening. It's pretty, but it's not a scent that really sings to me.

Overall: I would play around with this imp again, but at this stage I won't be trying to track down a bottle or any further imps.




Long time no sniff & Black Rose

It's been a while since I've spent any time enjoying perfume. Over two years, in fact. Partially this is due to a huge life change - new career, new home in a new country. new life, essentially.

All good things.

But it has left little opportunity to do more than spritz on my old faithfuls before I fly out the door. Also, most of perfume has been sitting at my parent's house back in Australia. So when I finally got the chance to bring my box of perfumes to Canada with me, I felt all the old excitement coming back. It's a creative passion for me, and I'm not the type of have a signature scent. Why limit yourself when there are so many wonderful scents to explore?

My collection is an eclectic mix of higher-end and mainstream EDP/Ts, some treasured indies and a small-ish (but hopefully growing) stash of BPAL perfume oils. It's floral heavy, but with a few orientals, classics and warm amber/vanilla scents thrown in for good measure. Something for every mood and whim. I have a bag of imps that's like a lucky dip, since it's been so long since I looked up any of the descriptions or reviews.

I'm hopping a little blogging here will be a good way to keep track of what I try and of how the scents make me feel.

Since all the names of the imps are a bit lost on me, I picked a full bottle since that was sure to be a safe bet: Black Rose

Testing Notes: BPAL Black Rose (Rappaccini's Garden)

Exquisitely melancholy. The background scent to an ancient exequies. Heavy, dark and floral: a blend of roses, with a touch of amber and musk.

Black Rose smells exactly like I thought it would when I first tried it a few years back: deep, rich, musky with a hint of sweetness. It's a big, bold rose. Slightly old-fashioned (which I see as a compliment) but doesn't feel dusty or soap-like. It's juicy, ripe. Voluptuous. Like a rose that's almost past full bloom.

I don't really get the amber from the description, which is a shame. On my skin it's definitely heavier on the musk. But there's a hint of something darker, almost incense-y. It's definitely sexy in a red-lipstick and all-black outfit kind of way.

Wear notes: it's heavy, definitely not a summer scent. Dry down is more musk than rose, smells great right through.

Definitely worth my full bottle. I love this scent!

Edited to add: I saw quite a few people on the thread about this perfume mention incense, and when I wore this out of the house two separate people commented that they thought they could smell incense while standing close to me. So perhaps that's the 'darkness' I'm getting from it.



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