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July

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windbourne

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July 1: Lycaon -- Well, honestly, I feel the same about this as I did in my review. An additional nine years of aging hasn't really changed it at all. It's still a myrrh party with hints of black musk and some additional woody notes. ...Yep. So, the reason I have all of these is ebay. :) I got very lucky in that someone was purging all of them in one lot about ten years ago. I have a bit of an emotional attachment to shapeshifters, and this set was running alongside the Lunacies for the year prior to when I got into BPAL, so I'd hunted a few decants and a couple of precious bottles, but that was an opportunity I could not pass up. So. :) Not quite two weeks of Lunacy-adjacent shapeshifter perfumes, all of which I've reviewed already in their respective threads. XD I'll be curious to see if my mind has changed about any of them. This one, though? Not at all.

 

July 2: Bakeneko — Once again, my previous review is still pretty accurate. Spicy tea, brightened with cherry blossoms, that fades into cinnamusky tea. But this time, I’m really enjoying it. :D Sometime in the last several years I made peace with cherry blossom notes. n_n I still don’t get much citrus. The throw is considerable and mostly cinnamon tea, and it lasts for quite a long time. This is one of the two scents in this collection that I have more than one bottle of — I had one before I made the ebay purchase — so I’m glad I like it more now. 

 

July 3: Oborot -- Here's my review. My current impressions of it are still pretty similar. I'm not very big on foresty scents in general, though of course I have quite a few, but this is one of my very favorites. Something about the salt and moss and underlying delicate sweetness brings it into a beautiful place on my skin. I'm not entirely certain how the Greek Mountain tea flower fits in there -- I've drunk the tea many times, but I can't quite fit it into a perfume note. A little googling indicates that it may be adding a mild herbal note, maybe something reminiscent of sage. I can't recall it being used in anything else; I searched alternate names (sideritis, ironwort) and got nothing. This bottle is probably the one I've used the most out of all twelve because I find it very calming and used it quite a lot at work. :)

 

July 4: Roux-Ga-Roux -- Ha! For once, my review is actually pretty different from how this is hitting me now. This time, it's a burst of soggy-but-fresh florals, followed by some stagnant water and heavy hickory. This is still a swamp beauty, deep and marshy and mossy, but it remains peppered with yellow and white flowers throughout the duration of the scent, and the wood never takes over. I was completely right about this one, it's much better in summer heat than it was in winter! It has better throw, it lasts longer, and whether the change from mostly woods and mosses on me is due to aging (me or the perfume? who can say? :P), I like it much better than I did at the time I reviewed it. :) Good times.

 

July 5: Minotaur -- Review. I haven't changed my mind that much about this one, but I know a bit more about a couple of the notes involved now, specifically galbanum and tsori, which a bit of poking (and my nose!) seems to indicate is another name for balm of Gilead. :D Both of which are now notes I actively seek out, so if I didn't have this, I'd be despairing of ever finding a bottle. :3 It is still very dark, very resinous, and the galbanum is more of an undertone than its usual HI I'M GREEN (and a little funky) self. But holy cats, it's really good. Still very strong, still lasts forever, aahhh, I love it. ❤️

 

July 6: Tamamo-no-Mae -- So in my review I mentioned that I preferred the decant to the bottle(s, this is the other one I have two of) and contemplated force-aging one of them? ...Well. 😎 I did not do that, I just waited another nine years. XD It's softened up, the rice flower is more prominent, the sharpness has receded, and it's much, much sweeter. One thing that features in this that I don't recall seeing anywhere else is Amacha, which is apparently a type of naturally sweet tea made from fermented/processed hydrangea leaves. O_O! ...I have some on order now because I'm terribly curious. It's interesting noting that a lot of these do have notes that haven't shown up anywhere else in the catalogue. Black locust is another name for acacia, the 'white sandalwood kodo smoke' refers to a particular style of incense where the materials (usually woods or resins) are heated but not actually burned (though to be fair, in this I think it smells like white sandalwood and the rest is mostly flavor text. It may have been a particular accord or something that Beth sourced and hasn't had since, of course.). Anyway, long story short, this is boss and I'm happy I have it. Soft but toothy, gentle but insistent, good for feeling a little sexy, not too much throw but lasts a long time.

 

Happy Tanabata!

July 7: Selkie -- My review is all over the place, but still feels accurate to the way this smells on me now. Once again, this fragrance contains notes that are unique (as far as I can tell) within BPAL's enormous catalogue. Grass-of-Parnassus is a European wildflower that is said to have a distinctive honey-like scent. Sea Aster doesn't seem to have much of a fragrance looking at scientific sites, but the foliage seems to have a salty flavor, possibly related to the marshy saltwater areas it usually grows. I wasn't able to find a specific scent for Scottish Primrose, but primroses in general are slightly sweet, with some types smelling slightly citrus-like. We used to have primroses when I was a kid, but for the life of me I cannot remember them having a notable scent, though I do remember the texture of their petals. I don't get any fruitiness at all, but I do get a mild salty note. It's not beachy, either. True to the unique notes, I can't think of anything else that smells quite like this. Anyway. Long story short, for me this is a honey, clear salt water, and mild florals & foliage scent. :) It's lovely.

 

July 8: Allison Gross -- I was very neutral on this one before, and I am still very neutral on it now. 😂 A lot of these mixed florals are not to my tastes (Her Voice is the only significant exception I can think of?), mostly because they always contain one or more flowers I just don't like. ^^;; Muguet (lily of the valley) is up there with tuberose as one of my least favorites, and it sure is present here. Towards later drydown it becomes a floral-spicy soft ambergris that I quite enjoy for the very brief time it lasts before vaporizing into the ether. This one doesn't have good longevity on me, nor does it have a strong throw. ...I think this one sums up as 'just okay' for me. ^^; It's fine, I don't hate it, but if I were doing a chopping block of these scents, this would probably be on it. Getting to the nice part requires wading through something vaguely unpleasant first, and it doesn't last long enough to make that worthwhile.

 

July 9: The Emathides -- Soft, mildly powdery black amber + a really gorgeous lavender + sweet florals + gentle woods ...really, it's just a beautiful perfume, entirely lovely. I was actively excited to wear it today. It was such a surprise for me when I got it, but now I know what to expect. ;3 I really enjoy the entire experience of this, from the initial smooth lavender to the last dregs of black amber, and, for a change, neither the cedar nor the violet fuck it up for me. :D It's got a pretty decent throw and lasts for quite a while.

 

July 10: Aeaea -- ....I did, in fact, use Pikachu as a way to describe this. 😂 I don't disagree with it now, it gives my nose a ticklish feeling, but it's really mellowed out or aged into mellow in the last nine years. (I don't think I've actually worn it once in that time, tbh.) It's also gotten sweeter, and the aloe is closer to the front of the scent while the cedar has receded. Later on, after it's been dry for a while, the berry note starts to pop up. ....I like this now. I didn't very much before, but once again either my tastes have changed or the scent has, and I'm finding it a really pleasant scent. Low throw, fades after about three hours. Nice for summer, even though it was an October Lunacy accompaniment. XD

 

July 11: Swan Maiden -- I was in a phase where I loved magnolia and was trying to be as positive as I could about this one when I reviewed it before, but now? .... This is half composed of notes I don't like and it's reflecting that extremely accurately. Here's the note list, with the notes I don't like crossed out: White gardenia, white iris, sandalwood, calla lily, French magnolia, muguet, jonquil, and orchid. You know what this smells like on my skin? Mostly those crossed out notes. There's a hint of magnolia, a tiny dusting of iris, and what might have been a stick of sandalwood lightly brushed against the whole thing. It's a big white floral party, and I think, if you've been reading any of these, you've probably already noticed that I don't like very many big white floral parties. 😂 This would be gorgeous on someone who enjoys wearing them, it's got a pretty beefy throw these days, and feels like it would last for a long time. Unfortunately I can feel it beginning to give me a headache, so I'm going to go wash it off (it's been ~40 minutes; I think I lasted longer the last time I reviewed it, but also, it was cold weather and now it is warm.)

 

July 12: Ivanushka -- "...but when it is bad, it is pickles." 😂 I wasn't kidding, though. Fortunately, today this was in the lovely form, soft and woodsy and lightly furry. It's really beautiful, just a touch powdery, with a mild-to-moderate throw and very solid weartime.

 

July 13: Tanuki -- Yeah, there's thirteen of them. ;) For some reason I always forget about Tanuki, but it's definitely part of the same series! I did review it here, and by and large, my impression remains accurate. It's bright and fruity with a bit of pine, it goes to dryer sheets (wisteria & plum and cherry blossom for the lose on my skin) for a while, gets piney, then goes back to dryer sheets. It's fine. I don't love it, but it's not offensive to me at all. Mild throw, lasts about three and a half hours.

 

July 14: Famous Kabuki Actors in Imagined Scenes of Lovemaking -- I swapped for another Shunga decant, so I'm testing it today. Not really into this one; goat milk is a maybe-note on me, as are oak, tobacco, and vetiver, and cardamom can overwhelm my nose if it's too strong. Cedar is an almost never, leaving these two notes -- honey dust, vanilla husk -- as things I actively enjoy. This is a bit like sweet, smoky milk on me, which to be quite honest, is pretty terrible. It keeps having a dim promise of being something lovely, but the overall experience is leaving me pretty cold. Fortunately it doesn't have a lot of throw and is promising to fade pretty quickly, but I'm contemplating washing it off anyway.

 

July 15: Giant Squid -- Figured I'd hit some of my event exclusives, starting with Sakura-con 2010. Again, these four I've reviewed before, but I'll be curious to see if my feelings have changed over the years. This one has one of the best labels ever, in my extremely biased opinion, featuring a giant squid attacking the Space Needle. XD It's real cute. The scent is interesting -- a lot of people interpreted it as spicy apple, but I've never gotten that from it at all. ^^; I can sort of see it from sniffing the bottle, but I get way too much salt water to really think 'apple'. (Apple would have been totally appropriate to the area, but ...this is good, too.) I think the best way I can describe it is that it reminds me of the appearance and texture of bladderwrack. It's a bit salty and round and my nose/brain interpret it as that color and shape. It's aged out of a lot of the sweetness, and while I can tell the tobacco and frankincense are there, they still aren't major players. Mild to moderate throw, lasts a few hours but doesn't stay strong for more than an hour. Mostly this is a murky green-brown aquatic on me.

 

July 16: Shirafuji Genta With a Kappa -- I didn't like this when I originally tried it. My review is pretty neutral, but it was the only one of the four (I fairied and also decanted the set) that I didn't keep more than a half a decant for myself. However, sometime over the years my tastes changed a bit, and recently I tested that bit of decant, I found that I liked it and had a Regret. XD So the next time I saw it for sale, I bought a bottle. It's aged pretty nicely, in my opinion. The lavender has died down a lot and it's much mintier than what I had! It also shifts a lot more on my skin, so one minute it's more grassy, and the next there's a bright almost-citrus note that pops up (the lansium, I presume). As it wears, the lightly peachy-floral osmanthus comes in as well. Late drydown is a bit woodier, with the juniper berry making a play. This is pretty nice, and I'm happy to have it, both as a collection completer and as a scent on its own.

 

July 17: Fuwa Bansaku in Ruined Temple with Black Monster on Umbrella -- Whew, that's a mouthful. The review thread title is actually incorrect (as was the announcement, both said Fuwu Bansaku), but the bottle labels were right. :) So... anyway, the scent. It's really quite nice! This is another where my tastes have changed and I'm happy I kept this nearly-full bottle. :D It's still dominated by smoky-sweet vetiver, but the black coconut is standing out to me more and it feels more balanced. I can definitely smell the oud as well, and it's really lovely. All in all, I'm really enjoying wearing this. Good stuff!

 

July 18: The Wrestler Onogawa Kisaburo Blowing Smoke at a One-Eyed Monster -- ...I usually don't like black pepper at all, but here, now, I'm pretty into it, and besides, it fades out pretty quickly. 😂 I had no idea what to make of this when it was fresh and my nose was newer, but now, I think it's fab. Bodark is also known as osage orange or mock orange. I was unable to find anything specific about tupelo gum trees' scent, but I've eaten tupelo honey and it's pretty distinctive. The sandalwood is amazing now, soft and sweet, with that notable Mysore creaminess. And the honey that comes out later on is ... wow. Just...man, it's real good, the whole thing. This one is a bit of an odd fit in some ways, since most of the notes are fairly East Coast-y rather than West, but whatever. :) I originally kept three of these mostly out of sentimentality and because, iirc, it was the first con I ever saw the Lab at, as well as their first and last Sakura-con (that con is so poorly run lol, I don't blame them at ALL -- source, I volunteered for it for several years early on and then had multiple friends who were vendors up until ~2017.). But now, I'm just happy I have them. :D I keep sniffing my wrists lightly from about six inches away and then bringing it in for a closer deep huff. This one, especially, has aged gloriously. Throw is medium, longevity still isn't that great, but I'm very happy to reapply throughout a day.

 

July 19: The Grey Columns -- Got a few Ajevie decants in, so I'm pausing my event exclusives to test them out. :3 This is fascinating -- it's barely present up close, but the throw is exquisite. Sniffing my wrist, it's a soft, almost play-doh-y, faint sweet smoky amber. But the the way it smells from a slight distance is gorgeous, and it gets stronger over time. It does, however, also remind me of a less complex iteration of Solstice Scents Tenebrous Mist -- both are skin scents that feature amber and smoke, but TM comes out of the gate much stronger. This reminds me of the late drydown of that scent.

 

July 20: The Heirophant's Benediction -- Huh. This feels like something I should really like. And yet somehow I'm just ehhhh about it. It's not bad; the almond/coconut/vanilla/sandalwood combo is pleasant enough, but I'm not super-enjoying the way the lighter greenish angelica and the warmer almost-floral storax blend. I may retest this a couple of times before making a final decision -- it did come out of the mailbox yesterday, after all -- but I suspect this one is not destined to be a full bottle for me. Almost no throw, almost completely gone after ~3 hours.

 

July 21: Wild Rose and Dandelion Sap -- At first it is definitely wild roses -- the kind that are dark pink or white with five or so very thin petals and very obvious stamens + the milky sap of a freshly-picked dandelion. After a while it turns into french-milled rose soap. It's fine? The rose is one I haven't seen often (at all? but the Lab has a TON of different rose notes) and the dandelion is ... well, I have the SN, and it doesn't do this on me. I'm not especially enamored of it, but there are relatively few of the SN/duet/trios that I have been. I just prefer perfumes with a bit of story behind them. ^^; I took a nap maybe an hour after applying it, well into the soap phase, and it was still faint soap on my wrist when I woke up three hours later. No particular throw.

 

July 22: Aubin Grandpied Bunmanchi, Childhood Playmate -- The next four are from ECCC 2014. This one's absolutely beautiful. Here are the notes: Pale fur, lavender water, Corsican immortelle, white thyme, benzoin absolute, ambergris accord, and sorrowful carrot seed. Definitely in my wheelhouse. 😂 The lavender combined with the sweetness of the benzoin and immortelle does make me think of a TKO relative, but the carrot seed and thyme give it a more herbal feeling than TKO. The fur and ambergris show up much later for me, and by late drydown it's almost all ambergris (this is what my skin does nearly every time there's ambergris in something. If you hate that note, but don't amp it, you might like this more than you think). The fur feels clean, silky, and pale, more like Bear Prince and less like any of the wolf or deer scents; it's not very musky. There are moments where the immortelle wants to do that syrupy thing that it sometimes does, but everything else holds it in check and it's much more pleasant on me than some others are. It has a decent but not exuberant throw and solid lasting power. Really nice. Also, Abigail Larson drawing yeti. Pretty cool. >D

 

July 23: Edgar Miche, Mysterious Adventurer  -- Soft, gently spicy brown leather. It reminds me of several other leathery scents I've worn in the recent past, though it isn't identical to any of them. It's most, on my skin, like a simpler Adam without the dust or plastic notes. Pleasant, but not all that remarkable. I'm enjoying wearing it, but it isn't a new favorite or anything like that. Low throw, lasts for a while, but I stopped noticing it unless I sniffed my wrists deeply after about two hours. I think I'd like it more if it were the fur note that's in Aubin instead of (or possibly in addition to) the leather.

 

July 24: Lady Cecily Sasquets, The Ingenue -- As a side note, this oil has darkened with age. It hasn't gone off at all, it still smells lovely, but it's darkened in the same way my bottle of De Vos' Unicorn  has, so I suspect there's something in whatever peony note is in both that results in a darker oil over time, because I don't remember either being dark originally. Lady Cecily starts with the tawny fur note as in Ivanushka or other similar things, think deer or the lighter wolf scents, then pours a bouquet of pale roses and peonies over it. Nothing here is dark or menacing, she's truly an ingenue, just ... a furry one. Over time the fur fades and I'm left with an aura of ghost flowers hovering around me. Very lovely. Moderate throw, though the fur is stronger than the flowers at first, lasts a few hours before drifting into the ether. I was expecting this one to be my favorite, but Aubin's more to my taste these days.

 

July 25: Leopold Freiherr Von Tsemekwes, The Poet Rapscallion -- L e a t h e r, black leather, the kind I don't especially like, at least, not without something sweet to settle it a bit. 😂 Leather to the point where I re-rolled the bottle a bit more vigorously and then reapplied, just in case something was settling to the bottom and I was missing it. After that, I got a tiny hint of something else, a little chamomile, a hint of labdanum, but still, mostly leather. It took almost forty minutes for anything else to show up (oakmoss, a little bit of tobacco, a vague waft of vetiver), and it's still weaker than the leather. After an hour and change, I'm finally being allowed a bit of patch and black musk. After almost two hours, the leather finally gives way and it becomes gorgeous. Smoky sweetened patchouli/labdanum/oakmoss all covered in a fine layer of smoky vetiver. Too bad it takes so long to get here. =_=;; Throw is pretty chonky, lasts well into the night. Will I wear it again? Man, I don't know. I like the way it ends up, but the leather festival is a lot to wade through.

 

July 26: Dysopes Tenuis -- Time for some bats! :D This is the set from Bat's Day 2013. This one's so lovely. I really like the combination of the dark musk and black currant with the brighter pops of rose and tonka. There's a slight hint of soapiness that I've associated with crystalline notes in the past, but it's not off-putting at all. I find it refreshing and pleasant, a good scent for a summer evening. The throw isn't heavy, but it's got pretty good longevity. Fruit and rose can sometimes go wrong on my skin, but this one's good. The overall effect is dark but translucent, and almost effervescent, like a black currant soda with rose petals sprinkled on it.

 

July 27: Gingerbread, Matcha Tea, and Raw Mint -- I'm having some weird nausea problems and all the rest of the bats are too strong for me right now, so I'm wearing something mild, soothing, and lightly minty. I really like gingerbread scents. ^_^ I have several, and this and vanilla sugar & pink pepper are some of my favorites, high up there in my 'I can wear these whenever, wherever' list. At one point I was without my perfume collection for several weeks and this was one of the few bottles to stay with me the entire time. I enjoy the earthy grassiness of the matcha and the very light hint of mint that mostly presents itself in the throw, which is not super-strong, but just enough to catch whiffs as I type. This generally lasts ~4 hours or so before fading. Definitely a permanent collection bottle. :)

 

July 28: Go To Sleep, Darlings -- Same hat today. 😕 I'm probably working my way towards a migraine, since that's a pretty common initial symptom for me these days. =_=; So, again, mild, soothing, lightly minty. Go To Sleep, Darlings is a very soft, fluffy, minty snow, very light, with a gentle throw and surprising longevity. It's in the same family as Snow White, Snow-Flakes, and the Snowballs. There's a hint of sweetness, but it's not the lemon-esque sugar that shows up semi-regularly. It's more like ...someone sprinkled a little confectioner's sugar on a bowl of snow. I like it, but I'm content with the partial I have, since I have bottles of other similar scents. :) I don't mind a certain amount of redundancy in my collection, I've never been the type who only wants one, perfect iteration of any given type of scent or note, but there's a point past which you start looking askance at yourself. Like, do I realllly need full bottles of five scents that all smell pretty similar ? (See also: my continued debate over whether I need a bottle of Asses Plus Long from this years' Lupers. XD)

 

July 29: Fox Fires on New Year's Eve at the Garment Tree at Oji -- Still feeling a little gghhkk, so I've pulled out a few DC'd Salons that are lighter to work with for a couple of days until the migraine stops threatening and does its thing. :P Though thinking about it, it may also be my recent turn back towards coffee-drinking. >_>; I should go back to tea and see if it improves. It turns out I really like bamboo scents sometimes. Fantôme's Arashiyama has a lovely bamboo note, and so does this. I'll have to contemplate those a little more carefully in the future! Otherwise once the bamboo dries off, this is primarily a lovely green tea incense blend on me, soft but distinct and beautiful. The cherry tree and lilac notes are very background, brightening it up a bit, and the rice wine is noticeable as a pleasant bright spark. This one's probably one of my favorite of the Salons, both for art and scent, and the scent does a wonderful job of evoking the art. It's linked in the name, if you're curious, as are the three Sakura-con Japanese art-inspired pieces. It doesn't throw too fiercely but it does last all day.

 

July 30: Spirit of the Komachi Cherry Tree — A beautiful pale floral with a hint of honey and fruit that dries down to a sandalwood haze. It has a very strong initial presence that backs off rapidly, but maintains a pretty strong throw. I can smell it when I move my arms even a few hours later. This is one I do have to apply fairly lightly because of the throw, especially if I’m wearing it in public. It’s very pleasant, and one of my favorite cherry blossom scents. It reminds me of an incense I bought in Yokohama. 

 

July 31: The migraine has arrived, and even looking at perfume is making me feel sort of ill, so nothing today and possibly tomorrow. =_=;;

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