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BPAL Madness!


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About Imbrium

  • Rank
    evil enabler
  • Birthday 05/10/1982


  • BPAL of the Day
    Ecstasy: Passion
  • Favorite Scents
    Amsterdam, Ecstasy: Passion, Judith and Holofernes, Giant Vulva (and other ladybits-themed scents) and - dear god - Pumpkin King. Havisham. Musks, not-too-buttery vanillas, and spicy scents or light florals (white rose, tulip, etc) are best. My favorite notes are: tulip white rose pumpkin musks (white, light, "skin," red - I'm not sure yet about the darker/black musks, but I'm not ruling 'em out.) evergreen/piney notes grass vanilla (and certain sugars) tea grapefruit spices - mulling spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

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  • Interests
    Medieval literature, history, foreign languages, dressage, religions, relic cults, cats and David Bowie.
    Among other things.
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  • Country
    United States


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  1. Imbrium

    Ecstatic Revelry

    Blackened amber, cardamom, cumin, labdanum, tobacco tar, patchouli, and raw honey. Ecstatic Revelry is such a curious blend. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I scanned the list of ingredients and figured, well, ding dong. Everything there is something that smells wonderful on me. Hooray, I thought--this will be the Sexiest Best Thing Ever! Oh, the follies of youth. I don't know what ingredient it is, but something in this--I suspect the tobacco tar, but I am honestly not sure, takes this odd, mentholated cast on my skin, so that I smell a bit like Vicks Vapo Rub. I figured, maybe it's a fluke. Waited a day, gave it a second try. After hours, and hours, it settles down into something where I can smell the amber, and the labdanum, and a trace of something smokey--like the smoke of a fireplace, not tobacco smoke. It's actually quite pretty at this point--close to the Sexiest Best Thing Ever! I'd figured I was going to get. But there's still a trace of the weird acridity that reminded me of Vicks, and I doubt I'd wait the hours it took for it to get to this point, either. I might try a scent locket, or an oil burner; I smell a hint of something like the menthol sort of scent in the bottle, but not much. Either way, though, I'm pretty bummed about how this one turned out, especially now that I've smelled what it turns into after 4 hours or so. I'm jealous of those of you who can wear it. Now excuse me, while I go weep softly to myself.
  2. All things uncomely and broken, all things worn-out and old, The cry of a child by the roadway, the creak of a lumbering cart, The heavy steps of the ploughman, splashing the wintry mould, Are wronging your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart. The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told; I hunger to build them anew and sit on a green knoll apart, With the earth and the sky and the water, remade, like a casket of gold For my dreams of your image that blossoms a rose in the deeps of my heart. - William Butler Yeats Golden amber, red rose, frankincense, Egyptian musk, galbanum, and immortelle. The Rose in the Deeps of his Heart is the clear winner among the bottles I ordered unsniffed from the Lupers. In the bottle, it's rose, and ... planty--the sort of sharp, dark and vegetal scent that I tend to associate with vetiver, and which almost always turns very unpleasant on me. It must, I think, be the galbanum, green, and bitter. But, oh! In the dry down, the rose comes out. For a bit, it smells predominately rose, a bit like the rose in Rose Red, but lighter. More than anything, it reminds me of rosewater: it's somehow quieter, more unassuming. It settles, eventually, to a a lovely balance of the rose and warm, clean skin--amber, I think, and perhaps the musk. There's something a bit creamy and a touch sweet about it. I've often found that I amp musk, but in this case, it stays a background player, and I have to put my nose to my wrist to really pick up much of it.
  3. Imbrium

    Blossoms in Springtime

    This is certainly a very pretty scent, and one that I think is likely going to be quite popular. It's warm, sweet, foody vanilla in the bottle. Once it's applied, I get the same sort of vanilla that I smell in Snake Oil, Glowing Vulva, and in the Vanilla SN. It blends seamlessly with the resiny, incense hit of the copal and the amber, and a bit of creamy kind of sweetness I associate with the beeswax/honey combo--it feels a bit, for lack of a better term, like Hanukkah to me. It seems to have plenty of throw, too--it sort of wafts around me in a pleasant, ladyparts-inspired cloud of vanilla. Now, I was curious to see if I was missing something from the helichrysum, which I've never smelled before, so I looked it up to see what it was. The wikipedias inform me that at least one variety of helichrysum is frequently used in perfume, and is characterized by a smell like, and I quote, "a mixture of burnt sugar and ham." I am happy to say that, while perhaps I could say I detect soem burnt sugar--probably just because it's been suggested to me--I smell no pork products whatsoever.
  4. Imbrium

    Narrow Opening

    Rum, frankincense, leather accord, bourbon vanilla, champaca flower, and ambrette seed. This is an interesting scent. In the bottle, and first on the skin, I would have sworn that this had some manner of white floral in it, reminiscent of magnolia or gardenia or something. Those are florals that don't generally work on my skin, and I was a bit apprehensive. Perhaps this is what champaca flower smells like? I sort of imagined something a bit...grittier, I suppose. After an hour or two, however, it settles into a musky sort of scent--a hint of the vanilla, a hint, still, of the floral, and the leather and frankincense. It's soft, and a bit sexy, but with a bit of sweetness from that floral still hovering around. Now, hours after first application, it has settled into something more of a second-skin sort of scent; I can barely detect it when I put my nose to my wrist, though it had a fair bit of throw earlier, so that I caught whiffs of it from my wrist as the afternoon went on. In the end...I like this, the dry-down is lovely. But the initial hit of floral scent in the wet phase might be a bit much for me, I fear.
  5. Imbrium

    Ice Princess Bath Oil

    Iced blackberries, blackcurrant honey, frozen white peach, and sweet vanilla cream. Oh my god, you guys. You guys, oh my god. Oh my god. Ice Princess smells so very good. For reference, I use the bath oils in the bath; I'm sure this will be a bit different on individual people's skin if you're a slatherer. Ice Princess is funny, because in so many ways, she's the opposite of what I'd envision from her name (or, I suppose, from the colloquial use it takes on). Rather than being cold or harsh, she's warm and comforting. The cream and (I suspect) the blackcurrant honey take on a sweet edge, in the water, that reminds me a bit of the sort of warm fuzzy-feeling I get from white musk, with a definite fruity edge--mostly it's too well blended for me to pick out a particular fruit, but sometimes I got hints of the peach sort of popping up above all the others, just for a moment. I also smell a bit of something floral, though it's not listed in the notes, and I can't think what I would be smelling--it reminds me of just the lightest touch of rose. Perhaps my brain is tricking me, there, because Ice Princess feels a lot, to me, like Winter Maiden? I can't say, but whatever the reason, I really love Ice Princess.
  6. Imbrium

    Winter Fairy Bath Oil

    WINTER FAIRY Honey, lotus root, orris root, white jasmine, and winter berries. I was a little worried, when I first opened the bottle of Winter Fairy (which, incidentally, has adorable label art!), because in the bottle, it sort of immediately screams OH HAI GUISE, I'M FULL OF JASMINE. Or something like that. Let's just say I was full of trepidation. I'm an oils-in-the-bath kind of user, rather than slathering them on after a shower, and I think in the case of Winter Fairy, that makes a really good difference, because I think this would be horrible directly on my skin (I'm in the crowd of those who experience virulent enmity from jasmine). In the water, though, hoo boy--it's a different story. The jasmine is much tamer. I don't necessarily pick out individual notes--a bit of a plus and a minus, as I'd hoped for lots of honey and berries, but at least it's not all jasmine--it's just a pleasant light, grown-up floral. I don't think it's going to be my go-to Yule bath scent, but it's very pretty.
  7. Imbrium

    Beautiful and Adored

    I really, really want to love Beautiful and Adored. I wanted so much for it to live up to its name--almost every note in it is a hit on my skin, and I figured, that pesky gardenia can't go too wrong, right? I mean, it's never done anything offensive on me that I know of, so Beautiful and Adored should be golden on my skin! I can't really point a finger at any one note, but something here is just not working for me. In the bottle, Beautiful and Adored smells nice, though definitely girly, definitely with a sort of 'classic perfume' feel. But on my skin, for some reason, all it smells like is hairspray. It doesn't really change in the drydown, either. It loses a bit of its sharpness after an hour or so, but it still smells like hairspray--hairspray with crazy strong throw. Three times now, I've tried it, and three times, I've gotten hairspray. I'm going to give it a bit of time to age, as previous reviewers discuss, to see if the vanilla and the honey come out a bit more, and see how it goes. Because I really, really want this to work for me.
  8. Imbrium

    A Wonderful Light

    This starts off alllllll honey on my skin--the sort of comforting and sexy honey I associate with Judith and Holofernes, not the honey that turns too sweet on my skin, like the honey in 'O'. Okay, that's not quite true. Oddly, the first time I applied this, I got nothing--it was like my skin just ate it all. So I reapplied a lot of it. Then, I got honey. As it dries down, I smell a bit of orange and I assume, vanilla, in the background--it reminds me, honestly, a bit of a creamsicle, but it's very faint. The thing is, I don't get anything more than this on my skin. In the bottle, A Wonderful Light is sweet, and complex, with citrus bite balanced by what smells like a rather seamless blend of the amber, vanilla, and honey. On my skin, honey with a hint of orange. It might sound like I'm complaining. I'm not, actually--this smells really sexy on my skin, actually, which is rather far from the inspiration, but still a quality I enjoy in a perfume.
  9. Imbrium


    The Ski Lady, jötunn goddess of winter, bowhunting, mountains, and skiing. The scent of winter wind blowing over snow-capped mountains. Oh, hellooooooooooo Öndurdis. This smells like Christmas: pine, cold, a bit of something like winter berries. Look, I knew I had to had to have Ondurdis because I was hoping it would smell like Skadi, who I've been missing like crazy. I'm sure opinion will be divided on this, but Öndurdis smells a lot like Skadi to my nose, only a bit sharper. The pine is predominant, with a bit of a biting, cold scent behind it, and a hint of sweetness behind it all. It doesn't really become any more complex on my skin, or even change much in the drydown, just settling into the skin more (which, incidentally, is exactly how Skadi behaved on me too--and, really, how any super-piney scent seems to behave on me), but that's fine with me--this isn't really an every day scent for me, anyway, more a perfume for when I want to smell like Christmas, especially when it's cold outside, and I am very happily indoors.
  10. Imbrium


    October 2011 I'm just incredibly floored by this scent. I skipped various previous incarnations of October because the sort of standard "autumnal" scents, much as I want to love them, never seem to love me back. Death of Autumn, for example, has something that goes painfully sharp and burning on me, and I figured that something in the smoke/leaves category of scents just doesn't work on me; I've never actually been able to smell the leaves or smoke in any of the blends that contain them. Now I'm thinking that maybe they're just notes that get overwhelmed by the things that dominate on my skin, because October 2011 smells <i>amazingly</i> like autumn leaves, with just the slllliiiiightest hint of something aquatic, ozone-y. Fall is finally back in the midwest, and the piles of leaves outside smell like my arm. It's incredible, evocative.
  11. Imbrium

    Halloween: Montreal

    Halloween: Montreal and I, we are having some relationship problems. It's not her--it's me. See, I amp musk like crazy, and though it's not listed in the notes, I swear I smell musk--it reminds me a bit of the way the musk in Ice Queen smelled on my skin. The musk is joined by the sort of maple syrup smell that others have identified, and as the scent dries, the two become a bit better balanced, but never seem to make room for any of the others notes in the description. The throw is decent--the scent wafts up to my know from my wrists as I walk around. It's pretty and sweet, in a subtly autumnal sort of way. So, the problem isn't Halloween: Montreal. It's me. I wanted the pine, the smoke, the leaves, the pumpkin--I was hoping for, you know, like a hint of maple syrup in a log cabin kind of smell. Maybe there's a pumpkin hanging out in the background, you know? But my skin chemistry appears to have others ideas. This scent had two tests to pass in my house, though. My husband doesn't normally wear scented things, but he was born on Halloween...in Montreal. So he had to try this, too. On him, it's still sweet, I still smell that musk hiding underneath, but the predominate scent is the pumpkin, interestingly--the buttery sort of pumpkin I smell in most of BPAL's pumpkin blends (and which doesn't work as well on me...so maybe I shan't complain about that one not showing up on my skin). As it dries, I smell that musk again, but it seems a bit colder and sharper, and I suspect the influence of whatever note or notes make up the frosty air. He says to him, it smells like "crunchy leaves and spiced cider...but not the cider part, just the spices." Maybe my leaf detector is off? Perhaps I'll go lie down in the yard and smell things for a while. Interestingly, hours later, the spot where I applied Halloween: Montreal also smells faintly of the leaves--though very, very faintly, as I've had to wash my hands a few times.
  12. Imbrium

    Leo Stellium

    There's really little I can add to this. The scent is not something I'd wear just for the fragrance of the blend: sharp, herbal, with a bit of citrus, that really, really wants me to develope a migraine. It mellows after 30 minutes or an hour to something that I barely smell. The first time I tried it, I got traces of something sweet and musky; I don't smell that now. Boy does it ever work, though.
  13. Imbrium

    Ice Prince Bath Oil

    Once upon a time, long ago, when I was first getting into BPAL, Beth created a Yule scent called Skadi. I took a chance on it, and loved it, but it was just too strongly pine for me to wear most of the time. I pouted, and tried other Yule blends over the years. I loved them all, but all were piney. I smelled gloriously like the outdoors, but moreso than I wanted to wear in my day-to-day life. I was a sad, sad bunny, but I stopped picking up bottles of Yule scents like those. Then, one day, out of the blue, something possessed me to buy Ice Prince on etsy. I had, thanks to my aforementioned heartbreak, overlooked the Trading Post's Yule offerings as well, but quickly realized, when I first squirted the oil into the bath, how wrong I was. It's wonderful. Scent-wise, it's in the same family as all the other scents that had previously broken my heart. The difference, however, is the mechanism of application: dispersed in the tub, I get a brilliantly wintery, piney smelling bath, with a bit of the musk underlying it all. When I get out, the scent still clings to my skin, but it's much subtler than it ever was when I applied Yule perfume, and I don't feel as though I am clubbing those around me with PINE LOVELY PINE BUT STILL PINE. I hope, so hope that this is released again. If not, I'll definitely be buying bath oils in the same family. I love this. So, so, so much.
  14. Imbrium


    AVENGER A fashionable and fiery journalist who adopts the Grendel persona to avenge the death of her only child and is consumed by the dark identity. Plush vanilla bourbon and rum accord with pink pepper, patchouli, clove, pikaki, golden amber, caraway, tuberose, and jacarandá-da-bahia. Oh, Avenger. Just look at your list of ingredients: vanilla, cloves, amber, patchouli, tuberose, woods--it sounds as though we were made to be together. How could things have turned so wrong, so quickly? In the bottle, I smelled jasmine (thanks, pikaki). I realize that jasmine is something of a death note for many; perhaps that should have warned me, but I'd actually never had jasmine turn evil on my skin before so, stupidly, I forged ahead. On my skin, the jasmine stayed prominent, but instead of being tempered by the other notes, they began to appear but added up to a really unappealing combination; my husband termed it "rotting cloves." It stayed that was as it dried, too, with the jasmine never calming down, and I actually gave up after a while on the idea that it was going to dry into something lovely and went and washed it off. I'm sure Avenger is a really nice scent, all of those hidden, gorgeous notes prominent and harmonious with the right skin chemistry. Unfortunately, that skin chemistry is very demonstrably not mine.
  15. Imbrium


    HARLEQUIN A futuristic, gothic harlequin, addicted to a heinous hallucinogen with the street name "Grendel", who leads chaotic attacks against the corrupt Catholic Church. Psychotomimetic: pink grapefruit, white honey, orange blossom, saffron, champagne grape, elemi, guaiac, blonde tobacco, and olibanum. I had the chance to try two of the Grendel scents, and went for Harlequin and Avenger. Of the two, Harlequin was closer to a success. In the bottle, it smelled "clean" more than anything, and well-blended, with a prominent citrusy bite, which I like--I am a great lover of grapefruit. Unfortunately, once on my skin, this one turned soapy quite quickly, and stayed resolutely that way as it dried. It's a pleasant sort of soap, to be sure, but I was hoping for more of the blonde tobacco, resins, woods, and spice, and my body chemistry (which does have a tendency to amp clean/ozone-y sorts of scents, so perhaps this outcome was to be expected?) is just not cooperating.