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BPAL Madness!


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About symbiosis

  • Rank
    a little too imp-ulsive
  • Birthday 08/20/1985


  • Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
  • Country
    United States

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    Nom Angelifictus
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  • BPAL of the Day
    East African Black Patch & Zebra Heliconian
  • Favorite Scents
    Illustrated Woman Perversion En Eski Ask Sirri

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    Travel, equestrian, yoga, teas, knitting, scents, witchy things, writing, animals, wine, video games, reading.
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  1. symbiosis

    East African Black Patchouli

    Definitely has a smoky quality to it until about an hour into the drydown, when it mellows out. It's like storing a bunch of earth in a cigar box, but once you dump the dirt out and leave it in the air for several minutes, the smoke smell goes away and you're left with something woody and rich and deep and dark. Oh, it's definitely dark, and gorgeous. I haven't tried the Red Patch (but I think I will have to hunt down a bottle now) but I LOVE layering with this patch. If I have a blend that's just a little too sweet or floral on me, I'll layer it with an equal amount of East African Black Patchouli and it'll turn into the most awesome, mellowed-out blend. Definitely a hoardable scent for layering.
  2. symbiosis

    Belle Vinu

    I get a lot of peach out of this imp - both sniffing the imp itself and on my skin. The sandalwood, which is a note I generally like, is nonexistent on my skin. To balance out that disappointment, I am glad this blend isn't too floral on my skin. Largely this is a clean, pretty peach on me. It's nice enough, but I'm not really one for smelling fruity.
  3. symbiosis


    The lime and almond are what jump out immediately to me in Voodoo. But after just a few minutes the spices start to come out and play - this scent is SUPER well-blended. The clove is kept from being dusty by the vanilla, the patchouli isn't dirty because of the almond, the resins aren't dry thanks to the lime. This blend is intensely wearable - for anyone, I think. I'm about to go attack my husband with it.
  4. symbiosis

    Death on a Pale Horse

    What an intriguing scent. It has little throw, as some others mentioned - I feel like I'd really have to slather this on to smell it any further away than 1 inch. But perhaps that could be good? (Airplane travel? Busy waiting room?) This one has some notes I love (Patchouli), some I don't (lily, geranium) some I love but don't love me (lavender, some sandalwoods) - so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I'm getting now that it's dry however, is the top tang of yuzu and vetiver, with the patchouli and sandalwood playing the deep notes way in the back - felt rather than heard in the orchestra.The lavender makes it a bit mascline on me, and thankfully the florals aren't overpowering at all. I'll keep the imp, but unless this works great on my husband, I don't think a bottle will be necessary.
  5. symbiosis

    Blood Pearl

    Like some others have said, on my skin this is just a giant floral punch in the face. Coconut I'm not getting, nor do I get much musk. It's just sweet floral (the orris turning violet on me, maybe?) This sounded like SUCH a good idea in the imp - it's just totally different on my skin!
  6. symbiosis


    Wow - wet Eros is all celery! Celery! No kidding! Once it dries, though the celery falls out of the lineup entirely and the sweet resins come forward. The lilac is very subtle, and I don't really get wine at all except in the sense that way in the back there is something going "fruity!" The myrrh I wish was a bit more forward with the resins - all in all it's a very balanced blend, even if it's not my favorite cup of tea. Despite the florals, honey, and "sweet" descriptor in this blend, it's not nearly as sweet as I was fearing. I'll be keeping the imp, but doubt I'll buy any more once I run out - it will be nice for those days that I'm wanting something a little sweeter and fruitier than normal
  7. symbiosis

    French Love

    I get the "sweet plastic" that many people mention - a bit like My Little Ponies used to be. (Am I crazy or did they used to smell fruity behind all that plastic smell? Maybe I'm imagining it.) A little fruity, a little floral, not so sure about Dragon's Blood. A nice scent, but not me at all. To the swap pile it goes.
  8. symbiosis


    I almost didn't try this one, as I'm afraid of almost any floral note. (And with this one being all roses and lotus, I felt I had good reason.) I put just the tiniest dot on the back of my hand, and the smell that comes to mind is dessert wine, surprisingly. The fruit sugar from the lotus reminds me of a honey-floral Moscato. Too bad I'm not a huge fan of Moscato - this is a lovely smell, especially in the first 15 minutes of wear, but it's not something I want to slather on and smell like all day. For people who like fruity and sweet florals, this would be a winner.
  9. symbiosis

    Robin Goodfellow

    This is an interesting mix of three or four things to me - the musk is what anchors it on my skin. I love musks, but this one isn't strong - in fact, it's barely there. If you're not a huge fan of musks, this one might be worth a try. The moss gives it a cologne-y presence - but not in an overly strong way. If you're not a fan of moss, this one might be worth a try. The sage makes the scent a bit dry and the heather makes it a touch sweet and floral - I know I wouldn't be a big fan of either heather or moss by themselves most likely, but I enjoy this scent. I'm definitely going to try it on the hubs when I get home, as the moss is what is keeping me from getting a full bottle - but I bet it would smell divine on the man!
  10. symbiosis


    If I were to just sniff this in passing, I'd say it was slightly floral, slightly sweet, and one of those scents that I would quickly classify as not-for-me. But if you take a biiigggg long inhale, I can pick out, in order, the rosewood and cedar, a sweet juniper, and the lilac and orchid playing together. Sadly the musk is so far in the background on me that it's not doing much for the scent besides being a supporting layer. (Musk generally smells pretty good on me.) After a few minutes this almost smells fruity on me. Odd. While this is a very interesting scent, it takes a long, long whiff for me to appreciate it, and I don't want to have to spend 5 seconds inhaling every time I want to smell it. I think this would be interesting aged, as long as age amped ANYTHING but the florals. I think I'll hold onto this frimp for a while.
  11. symbiosis


    I had a unique experience in that I got to compare a new and aged (2+ years) bottle of al-shairan side by side tonight. The aged bottle: this is the potpurri that my mother puts in the bathroom at Christmas. Deep, sweet cinnamon, cloves, and the sweetness of orange tempering these spices. The new bottle: The cinnamon is far less noticeable - this is still a "holiday" scent to me but the spices play nicer with everything else, calming the throw down a bit. On the boy, this smells like he hugged the Christmas tree, but he has some of the strangest skin chemistry of anyone I've ever met.
  12. symbiosis


    Amber, saffron and bergamot with mandarin, nutmeg, Bulgar rose, musk and sandalwood. I was in Whole Foods sniffing bottles of BPAL and wondering which to get, when I opened the tester of Baghdad and took a whiff. In an instant I wasn't in a grocery in the southern U.S. anymore, but back in the United Arab Emirates. This is the smell of packets of Oud moist wipes that I would hunt for in every single gas station I went into, hoarding them when I found a pack. Forget the rose, the sandalwood, the musk. This smell is all oud to me, even though it isn't in the notes. This is what the Emirati smell like when they sweep past you in the Dubai Mall. This is the smell of the refined middle east, of ancient histories and art, of grace and strength and mystery. Rose tends to turn terrible on me, but thankfully it's nearly nonexistent in this blend on me. Another thing I noticed is that a VERY little goes a long way. I wiped the applicator several times on the bottle, and then just barely touched the end of the stick to my skin. Another thing to note is to give this scent 30 minutes to an hour to mature. It changes over time and becomes more subtle and elegant and less intense and "in your face." Edit: To clarify: the bottle I tested at the store was obviously quite aged: I tried the bottle I got at home and smelled MUCH more sandalwood than the aged bottle. I intend to let this oil age for a bit and get some of that oud quality back into it.
  13. symbiosis

    New Twists on Old Favorites?

    Herbert West sounds nice - I'll have to look up the notes and see what the aftershave bit smells like. I've smelled some really nice and some really bad aftershave in my life! Aeval sounds lovely with the sage and musks - I will definitely be getting an imp of that! I believe I also tried Morocco once but it was just a little too dry on me? Thanks for the good suggestions, I have lots to work with here! Oohh, I will try that. I'm not sure if I've tried rosewood yet, but it sounds appealing! (And it doesn't seem to behave like rose in the reviews I've read.) Dee sounds lovely! Mmm, Zephr is marked on my list of to-buy now, as is Old Scratch! I haven't tried Coyote either, and I love sweet musks. Great suggestions, thanks!!
  14. symbiosis

    New Twists on Old Favorites?

    So I'm looking for some new smells to try! I have some old favorites but I'm looking to branch out into some new things. Here are my current favorites, in no particular order: Perversion Embalming Fluid Lear Mage Envy Shanghai Mouse's Long and Sad Tale I want something that isn't too citrusy (like Envy, Shanghai, etc) and doesn't have vanilla in it. I'm not big into sweet, fruity, or floral scents. Rose and Lily of any kind smell especially terrible on me. Cedar tends to go powdery on me unless it's a variant of some kind (like the white cedarwood in Lear.) Thanks for the suggestions! Hope that isn't too constricting :/
  15. symbiosis


    Casanova In the imp: The way all the scents come together, this blend smells almost minty, in a way. Minty in a lavender/anise/bergamot kind of way. It's intriguing, and more light than I was expecting. On my skin: Like everyone else has said, this scent is pretty manly. It's got almost a cologne aura to it, in a way that some men's colognes smell a bit "overdone" - on my fiance it's a little more herbal, but on me I'm getting hits of Obsession (the cologne). It's nowhere near as offensive as those synthetic fragrances, but that's what it is on me, in a way. It's not what I would choose my man to smell like (I much prefer Dracul or Perversion) but it's a nice smell in and of itself. I like it, just not on me or my man