April 1: Monsterbait Underpants -- I only have a drop or so of this left, so once again it is time to upend this vial on my wrist in the name of... uh... science? Testing everything in my stash over the course of the next, like, two years? IDK, it's the first of April, this is the last of this theme, and I wanted to. It's a wear-your-rares day or something like that. This is interesting. I remember it being sweeter than it is now, and if I stick my nose to my wrist, at first it smells mostly of slightly sour saffron and a bit of sandalwood, but the throw as it dries is amazing... for a while. For about fifteen minutes I really get that soft gorgeous golden sweet-but-not-too-sweet aura. Then it pulls a joke on me. This shares a number of notes with Love's Philosophy, which is terrrrrrrrrible on me. This is better (thank you sandalwood), but still ends up slightly root beer-ish in a bad way. The Lab's older cream notes often smell dusty on me. Sooo what I end up with might be best described as Butterbeer, drunk in a corner that needs dusting, while wearing a mild sandalwood perfume. Happy April?
April 2: Red Lace -- I decided to pull out all the bottles of scents in the Dark Delicacies-exclusive Lace series that I own. I've had a few others pass through my hands, but right now I have exactly seven. Perfect. ^___^ This is definitely a Lace, but the dried pomegranate, all tart and red, makes this feel like a distant (living?) relative of the Crypt Royalty, especially on later drydown. I've never gotten much in the way of raspberry from it; it's much heavier on the woods/tobacco/patch than it is any fruity notes, at least on me.
April 3: Pink Lace -- I bought this at Dark Delicacies. I'm endlessly grateful that I've been able to visit several times and never left empty-handed. This is not exactly the kind of scent that I enjoy wearing, however. It's not bad, I'm not contemplating washing it off or anything, but tea rose is my least favorite rose and strawberry often smells unappealing on me. The tobacco and champaca are pleasant, but as a whole, this might not be one I need in my collection. ...hm. Well, I guess part of the point of this exercise is to winnow out a few of the things I've never or rarely touched.
April 4: Mourning Lace -- Probably my favorite Lace that I own. I like all the notes, and the clove, especially, is pleasantly strong on me. I did wear it out clubbing a few times for that 'we can't smoke cloves in here anymore, who smells like that?' factor, and because it's better and warmer (and safer!) than the clove EO I sometimes used to dab on when I was much younger. The oak is pleasantly mild, woody, and adds a little more tannic oomph to the delicate vanilla flower. It makes me smile when I wear it. It's just so nice. ❤️
April 5: Absinthe & Lace -- Soft, green, very gently smoky. The label on this one really wants to peel off. :< I like this, but I like L'Heure Verte more, and they're definitely in the same wheelhouse. The light florals in L'Heure give it just a bit more punch and I love it. That said, I can never have too many absinthe scents. :3
April 6: Summer Lace -- This is quite lovely, though there are a good several minutes where the apple blossom wants to come in and exude SWEET all over everything. Eventually it all calms down to a pleasant vanilla-tobacco-you know, that LACE thing sort of experience.
April 7: Pumpkin Lace -- This feels so out of season! Warm, autumnal, sweet, very thick pumpkin with tobacco. It's a bit buttery and sticky, like pumpkin puree with sugary maple syrup. It somewhat more resembles what rum does on my skin, like, you could tell me this was a rum-pumpkin scent with tobacco and I'd believe you. I'm not really feeling it today, but then, I've been on a lighter, springtime florals and light baked goods scent kick lately (maybe I should hit up my Luper bottles after this) and I bet I'll love it again in late summer/fall.
April 8: Harlow's Lace -- ........ I hate to admit it, but there are a couple of comments in the reviews saying that this one has similarities to Lush's HIWTK and, to my nose, at least, they are not wrong. It's got a similar sort of thick sweetness and honey-but-a-little-extra feeling. This, fortunately, has some grounding tobacco and a little bright pop from the cognac, so it's not identical, but I can see the point being made. And that's the last of my Lace bottles. I think I will pull some Lupers next, I'm really feeling some bright kicky florals after all this tobacco and booze.
April 9: The Raptures and Roses of Vice -- ...so I immediately start with something that is a deep, very heady floral. I picked seven Luper bottles to play with for the next week, and three of them are from '08, the year I got into BPAL, so I sorted them alternating between '08 and not. This one's from 2013, the Our Lady of Pain update, and it is still mind-bendingly gorgeous to me. Deep, dark roses, bright magnolia, a lilt of tobacco tar under it all. I just *will smith pose* love this perfume. The only downsides are that it is quite strong and I have to be in a bit of a Mood to really wear it, and I could not wear it to work. I have worn it clubbing and it was pretty great for that. ....I keep sniffing my wrists and thinking GODDAMN I love this scent and the Lab's magnolia, wow holy heck. ....Obviously, this one's a keeper. 😉
April 10: Her Voice '08 -- Surprisingly, given how old it is, this sweetheart is still a fresh, watery floral bloom plus some beeswax. It stands as one of the only perfumes I own with a strong lily presence that I actually like. 😂 But here, the lily is overwhelmed by the other sweet flowers and it just smells like a gorgeous spring bouquet. This is my second bottle of Her Voice; my first one was my only (so far) casualty of knocking something over while decanting. 😭
April 11: Venus Caelestis '15 -- I sure do like blue lotus as a note. 💙 This is a beautiful, softly resinous scent that I'm surprised I have because it came out when I was nearing the end of school and in a terrible mental state, not to mention too busy for words. It feels soothing to me, perhaps a little melancholic, at least until the lemon becomes more apparent later on. ;D
April 12: Dream of the Fisherman's Wife '08 -- IDK how a perfume that's so heavy on seaweed manages to be one of the sexiest perfumes I own, but it remains the truth.
April 13: Somewhere or Other '16 -- I have a mild obsession with the Lab's misty scents. Empyreal Mist is my epitome for that particular theme, but I do have several others, like this one, which is misty pale rose. It's got a hint of citrus that I sometimes associate with their white rose note, in contrast to pink, which is often sweeter, or red, which is big and round and more like a 'true' rose. It amuses me that I love these so much, since they're almost all so light and largely fairly feminine, but hey, my strike zone is extremely broad, so why the heck not.
April 14: To Helen '08 -- This week is reading like a personal best-of in some ways. 😂 There's a few that I already hit in previous months, but I sure do love me some Lupers, and have since the beginning of my BPAL fandom. It might be partly nostalgia, since the Lupers were the first big release after I really got into it, but it's still one of the updates I look forward to most. This scent, right here, is definitely one of my low-key but all-time faves. It's just beautiful, pale and perfect, but not cold.
April 15: Unsubtle Euphemism '21 -- Finishing up my week of Luper bottles with a newbie. I really love this one! For sweet-but-not-too-sweet bready scents, this one's at the top of my list currently. It reminds me of Easter or New Year's bread like my grandparents used to make, and that makes me feel cheerful and nostalgic. But it also reminds me of the milk breads I bought at convenience stores in Japan, at least the base of it. I've never had Japanese milk bread with cardamom like this. ;D It's the only Luper bottle I've picked up so far, but it probably won't be the last. This year has some excellent-sounding things that I'm looking forward to testing as decants!
April 16: Ü (read as 'Umlaut', per an old blog post on their site) - I went with a collection of bottled oddities for this week: Kickstarter, retail limited, and one lucky raffle win. This was a retail exclusive to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, though
I believe it has since been discontinued and hasn't been back for quite some time. ETA: actually, they've restocked it twice in the last few months! I cannot for the life of me remember if I bought this secondhand or if I ordered it direct. ^^; Either way, it's a marvelous scent, a bit over eleven years old, sweet and gently, greenly spicy by turns. I never get much leather from it (though it is there, wayyyyy in the back), but it does remind me of piles of aged paperbacks and dust.
April 17: Clockwork Couture: Female -- ...With my current tastes, I'd probably be buying the Male scent, but at the time, this one sounded more my style, and I do still love it. The clay note, especially, is very soft and pleasant. ...Vanilla-y clay is not something I would have imagined wanting to smell like, but here I am. A good friend of mine loved ordering from CC at the time and I was able to jump onto an order they were making for the low cost of making them a decant of the scent. I'll always have a bit of affection for this bottle for that reason.
April 18: The Orchard — If I recall correctly, this was the first Kickstarter scent the Lab did, all the way back in 2012. I was not very fond of it when it was fresh, but now it’s very beautiful. I like the way the notes have melded with age. The plum is a bit softer, which is nice.
April 19: Pursue Rabbit -- A very limited (50 bottles) Kickstarter release for Century Guild. I bought mine secondhand, since I wasn't fast enough. It's actually pretty harsh on me for quite a while, to the point where every time I wear it I have almost an hour of contemplating selling it off. But the drydown is beautiful, soft opium smoke and, on me, at least, matcha tea, and I love it.
April 20: Off -- This is probably the lowest batch BPAL bottle I own. It was a raffle prize, limited to 25 bottles. To enter, you had to purchase another Century Guild limited perfume during a set period and they would include a raffle ticket to be drawn later. I got lucky. I'm the first review on the post, and honestly I don't have much more to say except that it has aged gloriously. It's still exactly what you'd expect, still not a unique scent profile, but it's really settled into itself. Dark, smoky, resinous rose -- of course it was going to smell great several years later.
April 21: Black Silk -- Pretty Indulgent exclusive, originally limited to 50 bottles, but it got restocked a couple of times. The first half-hour of this one is rough for me, almost nauseating, but the drydown is so worth it. Otherwise, well... my review says almost everything else I have to say about it. It's a keeper forever, but hoooo boy, immortelle is kind of syrupy sweet anyway and it's only gotten stronger over time. It still smells like that dress, though. 🖤
April 22: Denna -- For the next three days, I'll be testing the three Kingkiller scents. I donated for them when they were live on the Geeks Doing Good Indiegogo campaign in 2016 and I was very deeply entrenched in reading the books. H o w e v e r, I don't think I've ever actually worn any of them. 😂 So I'm going to remedy that now. First is Denna because it's the one I'm least likely to like, based on the reviews. ...And indeed, I don't. I'm not very fond of grass, dirt, or leather in combination with those (though we've established by now that I do actually like leather in other combos, lol) and I prefer my aquatics more oceanic than rain-like. I also think that reviewers who think that lilies may be a component of the "pale petals" are completely correct. I also don't like lily. 😂 I put it on anyway, and yes, it's got that fresh rain note, a green grassy haze, and then a whole heap of white petals. There might be some tuberose in there too, as it almost gives me a headache, which is pretty common with that note. Anyway, I hate to break up the trio, but Denna's going in the swap box. There's no purpose in keeping something I will definitely never wear. We'll see how Kvothe goes tomorrow.
April 23: Kvothe -- This really reminds me of a simpler version of an old spring LE, The Traveller, or, a bit, of some of the pirate-y GCs like Jolly Roger minus the salty sea spray. Or, really, any of a TON of other fragrances that are leather + (balsam, bay rum) spices. It's not really a scent family I love, with a few exceptions -- Peter Quint, which adds ambergris or Hatta, which has a lovely warm cinnamon; both share the softer leather that Kvothe has -- and it pops up pretty frequently. I have both of those, and I like both of them better, so... IDK, Kvothe. You may be a victim of your timing. If I didn't have multiple things in this wheelhouse already, I might love you. As it is, please join Denna in the box of those to be eliminated. (It is entirely likely that, had my affection for the books survived the last five years, I would feel far more sentimental about the perfumes, but it didn't, so I'm not.)
April 24: Bast (Kingkiller) -- M u s k y. Strangely hypnotic after a bit of dry time. I think this may have some Siberian or maybe black musk with its almost lemony tinge, as well as a few others -- some of the lighter animalics, none of the colorful ones (red, pink, blue, green). Definitely a bit of leather at first, but it fades away eventually. It ends up reminding me of a sweeter, like, Buck Moon or similar, but lacking the woodsiness. I actually like this one a lot, so I guess we're breaking up the band, so to speak.
April 25: Priala, The Human Phoenix '08 -- Time for eight days of Carnaval Diabolique bottles, six old and two new. I'm starting with one of the first perfumes I ever full-sized after trying a decant. Priala's still gorgeous. ❤️ Warm, spicy, maybe a little woody, definitely some mildly sneezy myrrh. Priala's the only scent that anyone ever gave me as a surprise holiday gift. I already had a bottle at the time, but I'll keep the second one forever because of that. Also, because it got reformulated a bit and I prefer this version. 😅
April 26: Zarita, The Doll Girl '08 -- Holy heck, this girl may be small, but she packs a punch. This is another bottle I bought in '08 after sampling a few Carnavals and dithering over the decant for months. Over time, I've decanted out about half the bottle, and what's left feels like a concentrated sugary orange blossom caramel right hook to the nose. It's kind of amazing, but also really intense. I used to say that she was one of the exceptions to a number of my usual no's, like, she shouldn't work at all on me -- carnation, cream, and, at the time, often iris, were not notes I loved -- but I'm almost rethinking that. My tastes have definitely changed over time, as has my skin chemistry. I do have a decant of the current version, which adds 'poisonous pale white berries' (mistletoe???) to the notes, and I should try it again sometime soon. As it dries, it loses some of the extreme KAPOW and becomes much more pleasant. Ah, what a tiny little monster of a perfume. 💜 (eta, later: She lasted for almost fourteen hours, and mellowed into beautiful soft iris gaaah Zaritaaaaa)
April 27: Green Tree Viper '11 -- The only Snake I picked up because it smelled good both to and on me. 😂 I am not a fan of Snake Oil, and it and most variants are various degrees of naaaah on my skin, but this one's pretty great. I stopped fussing over whether I needed it because the Carnaval was going away and I decided I would rather have and not need than want and be unable to acquire. Zero regrets!
April 28: Shakarri '17 -- A newer Carnaval release! Finally. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this -- the notes that I got it because I love them (pear, absinthe) aren't very present for me. She's mostly a somewhat resinous sea-tinged scent with a touch of patch. As it dries, it reminds me a bit of clay. I like it, but I was definitely hoping for a slightly different balance when I bought it. I do love the bottle art, and it's hypnotic, in a way, as many oceanic scents are to me. I find myself wishing it had a bit of ambergris or seaweed or something to really seal the deal and make it really an octopus-woman in a bottle. But it's nice....and gets nicer the longer it's on. Hum. (eta: I ended up not being enamored with late drydown. This one's probably destined for the go-away box. v_v )
April 29: Licwiglunga '08 -- I hope the Wunderkammer makes a reappearance sometime. I can't say most of the scents in it were to my tastes, but some of them, like this one are bizarre and worth investigation, and it would be a shame if they were lost forever. ^^; I feel like this has sweetened with age; I remember it being drier and sharper than it is now. It's still pretty dry, but it's got a very strong dried fruits vibe. The review thread contains gems like this one -- and I agree, it really is an odd duck, even in the wild world of indies & niche perfumes.
April 30: L'Heure Verte '10 -- Absinthe, sugar, and rose with a hint of opium, we love to see it. I didn't like it at all the first time I tried it. I got a decant when it came out and a couple of years later, decided to sell it. Before I did, I sniffed it one last time and either my tastes had changed or the scent had, and I thought it was gorgeous. I still sold it, albeit a little sadly; what's done is done, in my mind, but I also bought a bottle shortly after, with the specific intent to age, the first (and only) I ever bought for that purpose. I stuck it in my bottle box and ignored it, and ignored it, and then took it out a couple of years later and loved it, just as expected. Now, eleven years later, it's stood up to the passage of time and is still lovely. I win. 😉
Tomorrow I'm kicking it off with a Mme. Moriarty battle. I have bottles of both the old version and the new, and I'll be comparing and contrasting for funsies to start May.