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October

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windbourne

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Hooray! October! It's Weenie season! 🦇🎃💀

 

October 1: The Haunted Beach -- Salty-sweet ambergris and musk. I got a decant when this came out, but didn't pick up a full bottle until it popped up on the Lab's Etsy recently. :D It was so worth it. This is lovely, a little like Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, but less overtly sexy. Mild throw, but the ambergris lasts for a very long time after the salt and pale musks have faded. (This is normal for me. My skin clings to that note really ferociously.) If this beach is haunted, it's haunted by wisps of pale mist, not anything especially ferocious. (decant/bottle)

 

October 2: Pumpkin IV (2008) -- Pumpkin with white sage, cherry tobacco, honey, smoky vanilla, cedar, and pine. -- I wore this all day and alternated between wrinkling my nose and enjoying it a great deal. It was so sticky on and off! Sticky and almost medicinal, it was very weird. But sometimes it settled down and was a beautiful woody warm pumpkin with a hint of smoke! And then it would shift and smell like cough syrup in an antique store. Very odd. Throw was mild, but it lasted the entire day and then some. (decant)

 

October 3: The Gorobble -- I always expect to like this more than I do, but it turns out that, while I enjoy eating slightly burnt marshmallows, I'm not super fond of wearing them. It's reasonably accurate rendition of that scent, I get the sweetness, the charcoal crispiness, a hint of smoke, and the slightly sour odor that I often get from having left my marshmallow over a gas flame for too long. My skin really brings out the smokiness, and the combination is almost stomach-turning until it dries fully. It lasts several hours, and the burning fades after a while, leaving a faint sugary fragrance behind. (decant)

 

October 4: Pumpkin I (2014) -- Pumpkin cream with cardamom, black tea, allspice, and ginger milk. -- Pumpkin Chai Latte, made with pumpkin puree and not "pumpkin spice syrup". That's the whole story on me. It smells like it's been sweetened with honey or maple syrup rather than sugar, mostly because the Lab's pumpkin note used here is pretty thick on me and it gives a gooey aspect to everything it touches. Pleasant, foodie, pretty decent throw, doesn't last that long, though, maybe 3-4 hours. (bottle)

 

October 5: Visions of Autumn III (2014) -- Bourbon vanilla, aged patchouli, honey, and Ceylon cinnamon. -- This is really beautiful, though the patch is quite strong at first and makes the initial twenty minutes or so a little more intense than I'm generally in the mood for. After that it lightens up considerably and becomes more balanced honey-patch. There's something in it that's reminding me of cedar, though; it's a little bit pencil shavings on my skin for a while. I'm a bit surprised it's not sweeter at any phase, tbqh. It fades relatively quickly, maybe five hours before completely giving up the patchouli-scented ghost. (bottle)

 

October 6: Dr. John Seward (Order of the Dragon 2006) -- Like some (but not all) of my older BPAL bottles, this takes a few minutes to really get going on my skin. At first, it's almost transparent, but it ramps up fast, hitting me with sweet opium smoke with a bit of gingery bite. The champaca follows at a more sedate pace, then takes over as it dries. It remains sweeter than some of my other champaca-heavy scents; the tonka is very present, sweet and vanillic with a hint of hay. The sandalwood is not very strong at all, mostly acting as a support rather than a featured player. It's nice, but not a major favorite. Throw isn't terribly strong, but it's lasts quite a while. I'm still getting whiffs of soft champaca several hours later. (bottle)

 

October 7: Jo(h)nathan Harker (OotD 2006) -- Apparently his name is misspelled 'Johnathan' on the label, and so on the review thread. 😂 But it's right (Jonathan) on my decant. Anyway. :) At this point in time, Mr. Harker's scent is a pleasant light herbal cologne, mostly lavender and lemon verbena. It's a little soapy at first, but the sandalwood and late-blooming iris help mitigate that somewhat on me, though the white tea makes a brave attempt to fight back and pull it towards astringency. This has a number of cousins in the GC, many of them called out in the review thread: Embalming Fluid, Shanghai, Zephyr, Villain, and so on. None exactly the same, but if it sounds nice to you, I'd recommend trying one of those. Pleasant little scent, generally inoffensive unless those notes smell like cleaning fluid to you; would probably be lovely to smell on your favorite person, but only if you really cuddled up to them. Lasts 2-3 hours at decent strength, trails off into a fuzzy orris-sandalwood haze for an additional hour or so after. (decant) (ETA: I ended up really enjoying wearing this one. I'd consider a bottle if one caught my eye at a reasonable price.)

 

October 8: Count Dracula (OotD 2006) -- I have 6 out of the 11 scents from this series, three bottles and three decants, and I'm just goin' through 'em. :)  ...Though my nose is extremely borked today, because I am really, really tired and having some allergy problems, so I may have to come back to this one at a later time for a proper test. Right now this smells mostly like black musk and a hint of clove and maybe like...cumin? I'm pretty sure it's a little more than that, but ... not right this minute for my poor sense of smell. 😅 I'm glad I picked this one instead of one I know I love. >_>;; (decant)

 

October 9: Wilhemina Murray (OotD 2006) -- Sure did snooze out before posting yesterday. >_<;; Anyway, this is a beautiful perfume. It starts off all billowy pale blossoms and then pulls a radical shift on my skin into a dark, currant-y myrrh and musk. It's really neat! It lasts only a few hours before fading away, but the entire journey is lovely and evocative. (bottle)

 

October 10: Brides of Dracula (OotD 2006) -- If I loved lily & plum blossom, I would be in heaven about now. Unfortunately, lily has grown to be a scent-ruiner for me and plum blossoms are often as laundry-ish as cherry blossoms are. I can smell the rest of the notes under the heady floral and honey blast, but they're faint by comparison. As it dries, the lily backs off a bit and the skin musk steps up a notch, accompanied by the not-quite-peachiness of the osmanthus and a hint of white amber. It really would be lovely on someone who isn't me, I think. Pretty good throw & lasting power. (decant)

 

October 11: Lucy Westenra (OotD 2006) -- An interesting, citrus-floral scent that warms over time on my skin to a surprisingly deep floral. This is one that can smell wildly different on me depending on the time of month -- sometimes it's very bitter and the jasmine feels like it overwhelms the other floral notes, sometimes it feels like it's mostly white musk, and sometimes I get a beautiful bloom of magnolia and rose as it dries. This is one that I never expect to like but defies those expectations once it's on my skin. Fascinating. Minimal throw, lasts for several hours but fades differently almost every time. (bottle)

 

October 12: Hypnotize Me (Order of the Dragon II 2019) -- This is the only perfume I picked up from the second Dracula series. I love mugwort, and this is a very, very mugwort perfume. It has that unique herbal mustiness, almost furriness, in absolute spades, combined with a very pure and light lavender note. It isn't sweet at all, but the combo isn't sharp on my skin either. It's soothing in a ...well, hypnotic way. XD I can (and do) wear this as a sleep scent, but I also wear it out and about when I want to feel serene and detached. It belongs in the anti-social sector of my collection. :} Very low throw, fairly short wearlength at strength, but the mugwort is still detectable hours later. (bottle)

 

The next several will be decants from various years. I'm making a certain effort to note when something is a decant, partial, or bottle because scents can age differently depending on their source and manner of storage. I've often found that, for various reasons, bottles tend to age more gracefully and stay most like their original scent.

 

October 13: The Gambols of Ghosts (2016) -- Ooh, I can tell both why I picked up a decant of this and why I didn't buy a bottle. The beeswax is very lovely and the olive blossom is mellow and smooth but then the violet and a very oddly metallic amber pipe up and it becomes increasingly dusty and mildly unpleasant on my skin. I'm not a big fan of violet, which is hilarious, because I am a fan of orris, and the two are often compared to each other. Orris is, for me, a more silvery, usually smooth scent, while violet is more greenish and often smells dusty but also pale, like the dust left in an empty packet of those pressed-sugar violet candies. Sometimes it's tolerable and sometimes it takes a scent I think I might otherwise really love and makes it smell a bit like a lightly floral beeswax candle that's been gathering dust in your Nana's guest room for at least thirty years. It's fairly bright and sort of vintage in nature, and suits the name very well. Very good throw, lasts for quite a long time. Would I buy a bottle, hell no, but I'm not sad I kept this decant for five years so I could test it definitively against my current tastes.

 

October 14: The Witches (2015) -- ...You know what isn't awesome, at least to my tastes? Plasticky sugared pumpkin. You know what this smells like on me? Got it in one. 😂 Pumpkin isn't my favorite note, and I prefer it a bit more vegetal than what this has going on, because this version of the pumpkin note (especially plus cream & honey, yikes) really hits that fake, oversweetened scent. It's so thick it almost reminds me of maple syrup? Or like, pumpkin spice syrup, without any particular spice notes. It's pretty much the same from wet to late, late drydown, and it fades gracefully and at some length, maybe 4-5 hours to finish up.

 

I'm a little tempted to skip a decant day and compare this to Pumpkin V (2012), which is: "Lightly spiced pumpkin pulp swirled with bourbon vanilla, French vanilla, and raw vanilla bean." vs The Witches: "Pumpkin cream, honey, vanilla sugar, and smoked vanilla bean." .... Honestly, having a bottle of that Pumpkin Patch scent might be why I only got a decant of this one. 😂 Y'know what, sure. Next four scents are a bottles-only pumpkin party: the aforementioned Pumpkin V, Blue Pumpkin Floss and Pumpkin Latte (both '10), and Theme in Yellow ('13). Come on, pumpkins, let's go. 🎃 I probably have more pumpkins in my decant stash, but four (five including today) in a row of pumpkin is probably enough for one October for me. XD

 

October 15: Pumpkin V (2012) -- Lightly spiced pumpkin pulp swirled with bourbon vanilla, French vanilla, and raw vanilla bean. -- As promised. :) This is, indeed, possessed of the promised spice (cinnamon and a little nutmeg, maybe?) and a much gourd-ier pumpkin than the uber-sweet one in The Witches, so despite the rest of the notes, this feels much lighter and brighter. It's not unsweet, but the sweetness isn't overwhelming, nor is it excessively spicy on me, it's just right. This was one that I tried first at a Will-Call, rejected a few times, then tested over and over until I finally gave in and bought a bottle. 😂 It's really nice, and exactly the kind of pumpkin I like to smell. It's not quite my favorite pumpkin scent, but it's up there. The only downside to it is that it has zero throw and very little longevity. It's great for days at home and repeat applications, though!

 

October 16: Blue Pumpkin Floss (2010) -- Nowhere in the description does it indicate how initially cinnamony-spicy this is. 😂 But most of the reviews mention it, so at least my nose isn't bonkers. Otherwise, this is a medium-strong, very spice-addled pumpkin that is extremely sweet but in a fluffy way (as suits the candyfloss/cotton candy part of the description). The berry part is pretty light until it's fully dry, and then it becomes a very weird ever-so-slightly-plastic but surprisingly delicious scent. Do I love it? I'm not actually sure. At one point I definitely kept it because it has very cute label art and was the first of the Pumpkin Floss series (the rest are all BPTP), but I do like it once in a while. Pretty low throw, but extremely long-wearing. I wore it to work and could still smell it very clearly almost nine hours later.

 

October 17: Pumpkin Latte (2010) -- That year was first outing for this one, which has come back a couple more times since. This starts as a very deep, heavily spiced coffee (though not as much as Kobold Barista) then the sweetness and pumpkin notes bloom out. There's a gently smoky/dusty aspect on my skin which is interesting, but not unexpected considering it has both milk and 'smoky vanilla bean' as listed notes. It's pretty perfect for exactly this time of year, when the pumpkin latte craze is peak and the leaves are still in the process of turning. As it dries, it loses a lot of the coffee, and turns into a more milky pumpkin with a hint of coffee. I think I like it best at that point. I do like this quite a bit (and the label is very cute), though being mostly coffee and nearly-maple-like sweet pumpkin, I don't want to smell like it very often. Starts with a big chonkers throw that fades into a mild one, lasts for a few hours at strength then sits politely on my wrists for another few.

 

As an aside, I'm not getting anything from this year's Weenies that contains pumpkin, whenever they drop. I'm feeling pretty pumpkin'd out. I've typed the word pumpkin so many times it's starting to lose meaning. 🎃 I have one more bottle of pumpkin to go, and then I think I'll avoid it until the 31st, if I can.

 

October 18: Theme in Yellow -- For a pumpkin perfume, this is really, really nice. 🎃 It's got a lovely orange-yellow glow to it, a hint of almost fleshy sweetness, but no sugary notes, and no spice at all. There's a bit of wax in there, and maybe just a hint of smoke. For me, this is just a perfect, round, nicely squashy pumpkin with a pleasant smile carved in & a candle lit to tell children that they can ask for candy at that home. It always fascinates me when reviews show such a sharp division -- half say this smells spicy/cinnamon on them, and half don't -- is this batch variations, or are people smelling what they expect rather than what is actually present, or what? If it's over time or the reviews cover versions from multiple years, sometimes it's aging enhancing or diminishing certain notes. But this was a single release and the reviews cover about five years with the same differences of opinion. For this, I'm inclined to suspect batch variation. I'd be curious to try a sniffie of one that has a review that claims spice, because my bottle just doesn't have any. XD Pretty hefty throw, solid longevity.

 

Whew! Made it through my pumpkins! I saw the Weenies drop (briefly) and I think I'll try samples of Pumpkinville and Pinched with Four Pumpkins, but that's it for pumpkins for me for a while. XD

 

October 19: Goblin Market -- Turns out I have a bunch of things in my Weenie decant drawer that aren't actually in the Weenie collection. 😂 They may have been released around the right time, but they aren't tagged as Weenies, so I had to shuffle a few things around. I still have more than enough for the month, though. XD  This Weenie from 2013 is based on a poem that I love, so I got a decant despite being pretty sure the fragrance would not be to my tastes. This reminds me of the scent of a Lush store during times when they have a lot of fruity soaps & bath goods available. It has that slightly dusty bathbomb aspect, mixed fruits, and a slightly musky-sweet undertone. Takes me back to working there and how the storage room smelled during the holidays. I don't really like this as a perfume, but it might make an interesting room scent. Moderate throw (I could smell it as I was working on the computer), sort of mediocre longevity (faded fast, vanished after three hours).

 

October 20: Noctiphobia -- Gotta be square with you, I can barely smell this. I haven't run into many things that I'm completely anosmic to, but at the moment, this seems to be one of them. I can smell other things perfectly fine, so I haven't lost my sense of smell, it's just this one thing. It doesn't smell bad, or like it's turned, it's like absolute nothing on my wrist and in the vial, like I dropped water on my wrist instead of perfume. This is one, like Count Dracula, that I'm going to have to come back to later. Ah, well. ^-^; (ETA: So I slept on it, and in the morning it was a very lovely, subtle, lightly woodsy cologne. I don't even know what happened last night but ...it's pleasant and apparently lasts a very long time.) (decant)

 

October 21: The Byronic Antihero -- This reminds me a lot of Peter Quint + a really strong carnation note. I'm not quite sure how it manages that, without (probably) containing any leather or ambergris, but here we are. I think perhaps the way the particular vetiver & patchouli are blending is giving me the impression of a slightly smoky leathery note? I'm a little surprised at how pleasantly this is wearing on my skin; carnation is pretty frequently a weirdly spicy-sweet mess for me, but something here is keeping it tamed. This is really nice, and if I'd had my current tastes when this came out, I probably would've picked up a bottle. I'm pretty happy I have the decant, though! Strong throw, amps up as it dries, good lasting power.

 

October 22: Sugar Skull '04 -- So I have already reviewed a Sugar Skull, and they do have the same notes, but many of them are just slightly different. This is the OG, first release, cobalt bottle version, and it's real nice. It is a very low partial (at this point there's maybe a single decant left?) and I got it secondhand, which is why it has a reducer cap. I hate reducer caps with a violent passion. This one dumped a colossal amount of oil on my wrist (by which I mean maybe a full drop or two; I tend towards extremely light applications), so I'm smeared with Sugar Skull to the elbow on both arms and am living in a beautiful brown sugary halo. If I do a super-discerning sniff, I think there may be some of that mildly lemony white sugar note in with the darker, deeper sugared notes, plus some softer confectioner's sugar, but that may also be partly the fruit notes. It's a little boozy, and a little fermented, but mostly it's sugary sweet and amazing. I'll run out of this soon enough and have to decide if I want to find another bottle, probably not of '04, but I've got ...eleven different versions to choose from (per the tag on the review post + 2020), so it probably won't be too hard to find one. ;)

 

October 23: The School-House ('08) -- I only have a couple of bottles from the Sleepy Hollow release, and this one was picked up as a half-bottle somewhat after the fact, due to the fact that I found I really enjoyed the birch note in the decant I got. It's a lovely fragrance, sweetly green and gently outdoorsy, more meadow than forest, but not at all grassy to me, which is nice because I'm not really a fan of grass notes. This would be perfect for late summer or early autumn, when the shadows are getting longer but before the leaves have really started changing. It smells warm and fresh and bright, but with just a hint of darker things (fir) around the edges. Virtually no throw, but I can still smell a hint of soft green on my wrists several hours later.

 

October 24: The Girl ('09) -- Another scent featuring birch, but this one I'm not as fond of. Immediately on application it's bright and pale and lovely, but after a while the immortelle & ylang ylang crank up the syrup and this becomes a weird mash of floral notes and gooey sap on my skin. Later on the jasmine gets stronger and that's almost nice, but it's still got a slightly odd funk to it. This was a massive hit the year it was released, and continues to be a bit legendary, but like many of those that get compared to Antique Lace and the like, it's not especially good on me. Good throw, mostly jasmine and amber, dries to white amber/musk and stays lively and fragrant for quite a long time. (decant)

 

October 25: Halloween: New Orleans ('10) -- Ahh, this is still so lovely! I mentioned it when I wore A Little Piece of Eternity, so I was looking forward to pulling it out. It's a beautiful, densely humid scent, with a wonderful sweet olive (osmanthus) note over a deep and murky aquatic with a hint of almost-musty moss in the background. As it dries, the moss comes forward a bit more and the later drydown is mostly a light haze of moss over water and a hint of peachy-almost-citrus olive blossom wayyyyy in the back. The overall effect is very tea-like, in a way. I have some osmanthus oolong that smells a little like this if I oversteep it. I got this (and the matching atmo spray) after sniffing the protos at a Will-Call and have never once regretted it. :)  Lasts many hours, with a throw that starts very strong and tapers off gently. (bottle)

 

October 26: The Glittering Apple of the Stars ('11) -- I'm not a big apple fan in general, but this one has a fresh, almost crisp apple note that doesn't show up in many other places and I enjoy quite a bit. Most of the rest of the notes have blurred some over the years, and where it was once extremely bright and twinkly, as it dries down it's now more subdued and sweeter, a little more perfumey with tiare and the musks. It's still a very lovely perfume, though it's never had strong throw or longevity, but it's nice to reapply on days I wear it for that apple burst. Bright, fugitive, shiny. (bottle)

 

October 27: The Tears of Lilith ('12) -- This starts with a big syrupy blast of honey-sweetened wine and red musk and dries down to a gorgeous silvery ambergris with a lightly bitter undertone and a hint of rose petals. The opening and early drydown are a little hard for me to sit through, it's really sweet, sticky, and intensely grape-y, but fortunately that phase only lasts ~40 minutes to an hour (depending on how warm I am and what my hormones are doing at the time) and then it gets really beautiful. Late (4-6 hours) drydown is all ambergris all the time, like it usually is on me. This was another I picked up after testing at a Will-Call, and it was definitely the drydown that sold me. Lasts a very long time, throw is pretty hefty. (bottle)

 

The thing that I love about ambergris, and why I have so many scents that feature it even though it really does take over almost every time, is that the end result is always just a little different. Still noticeably and decidedly the Lab's ambergris accord, but touched with a hint of whatever else is in the perfume. Tears of Lilith ends with a light reddish bleed through the otherwise silvery-gray ambergris core, in contrast to say, Dream of The Fisherman's Wife, which ends with a salty seaweed undertone to the ambergris. I do have the SN and it's just as shifty and changeable. It's really fascinating and I love it a lot. :)

 

October 28: A World Where There Are Octobers ('13) -- I don't really like the dead/dry/autumn leaves note in general, but this one is a rare exception. I still don't like it much initially, as it has that very sharp, prickly aspect at first and for maybe twenty minutes or so until it dries fully, but as it goes the maple -- and I should say, I don't really like maple in general either, especially in foody perfumes -- the maple brightens and sweetens it and it becomes a lovely early fall day with a brisk breeze rattling the leaves. It's a wonderful atmospheric scent, makes a good room scent as well, and the maple is subtle and not too sticky. IDK, this is just one of those where the name and the inspiration and the scent meld together and I don't even care if the notes aren't the sort of thing I usually wear. It's beautiful. Minimal throw, moderate longevity. (bottle)

 

October 29: The Ghost of Darius Appearing to Atossa ('16) -- When this was fresh, this was much sharper and less pleasant, but with a few years on it, it's an amazing deep resinous scent that throws like a beast and lasts forever. In the bottle and for the first few minutes or so, the galbanum is very strong and green, but it settles to the back after a bit. I'm always really happy to get a dark scent that doesn't contain any patchouli, and this is a very good one, up there with Minotaur for me in this particular field. Minotaur is muskier and sweeter, but they both have really beautiful myrrh notes. (Lingum aloes is also known as aloeswood, agarwood or oudh; onycha is an ancient incense component, most likely thought to be derived from a part of sea snail shells. Beth probably composed an accord for that one, since the real deal would not be vegan.) (partial bottle fr. decanter)

 

October 30: This Wan White Humming Hive ('16) -- Hhhhhhhhhhh I love this. Beeswax, delicate pale patch, and light incense (champa & maybe a hint of sandalwood, I think?) plus a low buzz of ambergris that comes up saltier as it dries. It's warm and sweet in a very honeyed way, rather than containing any sugary notes. This is a combination that is really beautiful and very much to my tastes most of the time. Once in a while it's a little too heavy. Throw comes and goes, sometimes very strong and sometimes barely noticeable, but it lasts a very long time, fading to a soft sweetly honeyed ambergris on my wrists. (bottle)

 

October 31: Samhain ('08) -- Textbook 'nice scent and I don't like the way it smells on me'. 🎃 It's a lovely, atmospheric, autumnal scent, with a medium-strong apple note and pleasantly woody waft, but something in it ends up smelling strongly smoky on me and it ends up almost ashtray-like. Skin chem weird. It's possible that sometime I should try some other years (I might have one or two lurking in my decant box, I should check again) but after I tried this one and it was entirely meh on me, I sort of stopped. It's just not the sort of thing that I enjoy wearing, unfortunately. Good throw and solid weartime, though.

 

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