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BPAL Madness!


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About ranyart

  • Rank
    lil stinker
  • Birthday 09/21/1982


  • Location
    Carrboro, NC
  • Country
    United States

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  • BPAL of the Day
    Brown Jenkins
  • Favorite Scents
    notes: coffee, hazelnut, clove, cardamom, wine, amber, green herbs, red musk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver, oakmoss bpal blends: Death Adder, Lenore, Blackbeard, Oya, Miskatonic University, Green Tree Viper, Midnight Kiss, Lucifer, Hay Moon, Brown Jenkins, Winter of Our Discontent

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    crochet, hedgehogs, gardening, queer/trans activism, reproductive rights, crafty projects, baking, vegetarian cooking, reading, coffee, skepticism, body modification
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  1. ranyart

    Hay Moon

    In the bottle, it honestly doesn't smell like much, just some dry grassiness that's vaguely sweet. On my skin: wet, I get a burst of dry cardamom and honey, with a touch of amber and several dry, grassy notes. This is amazing! I've been looking for a blend where cardamom is in the forefront, and maybe this is it. I love that the honey note is present but is indeed a "dry" honey; this blend isn't very sweet at all. Dry, it's still mostly honeyed cardamom with the hay keeping things from being too sweet. The amber makes this scent feel very warm and golden. It certainly feels like a summer evening sort of blend. A few hours after applying it the scent's still on my skin, just staying very close. I wish there was a bit more throw but I love Hay Moon so much that I won't complain. This is one of the most exciting blends I've smelled in a while, and I predict that it will be a favorite of mine this summer.
  2. ranyart

    Destroying Angel

    I got this as a frimp at a recent Meet&Sniff. Wet, this smells like dirt and little twigs. There's a powdery headiness that feels "perfumey" more than it actually smells that way, as if I can see white fumes coming off of my hands. That white perfuminess seems to be growing as the oil dries. I'm not sure about this... I love things that smell like dirt, but the "papery white" part of this fragrance makes this feel a bit too light for me to wear. I really wish this fit me better, because it's a lovely scent. Hopefully I can pass this imp on to someone who's better suited to it, but I'm sure I'll sniff the imp a few times before then.
  3. ranyart


    This was a frimp in my last Lab order. In the imp: dark leather and vetiver. Scary. I've had leather work for me as part of a long list of notes, but I'm wary about it being a star player. This leather is particularly strong-smelling, so I'm a bit nervous to try this. On skin: vetiver and leather are a good combo, I think. I don't know if I can wear this, but on the right person it would be great. This is not a soft, worn-in, friendly leather; I'm thinking a black leather jacket or a whip. I really don't want to smell like a big piece of leather, so unless this strong note fades soon, I'm going to wash this off. Drydown: Hmm. The black musk is coming out more, I think, and there's almost an element of sweetness. The leather's really grossing me out, though. I'm going to go ahead and throw this in the swap box. I ended up just washing Iago off, sadly. Leather seems to be a deal-breaker in a lot of blends. I can see how this would be a great dark-and-sexy blend on the right person.
  4. ranyart

    The Apothecary

    In the imp: grass and a light green herbal smell. I know there are multiple notes swimming around here, but I'm not sure what exactly I'm smelling. The impression is that of walking into a cool greenhouse or smelling your hands after gardening all morning. On skin: tea and green grass/mossy scent. Nothing really changed from the initial application to the drydown; this stayed "grassy" without much in terms of individual notes to pick out. I really wish I could smell the fig or ginger; I thought those notes would really make this blend work for me. This didn't last long at all, sadly, and never developed more than "green" on me. I liked it but it doesn't seem to be the best fit for me. I'm definitely going to keep trying until my imp is gone, because the scent is lovely in the bottle and I'm determined to find a green and grassy scent that works well on my skin.
  5. ranyart


    I can smell the honey wine before I even open the imp! Wow. In the imp: STRONG honey wine with a hint of bay leaf. Wet: More very strong honey wine scent. This is like the super-sweet Polish mead I had at the beer fest this past fall. I'm starting to smell the bay and laurel a bit more, but I worry that this may be too cloyingly sweet for me. I'll see what happens. Dry: While the other notes came into play a bit more as Delphi dried down, this remains mostly a very sweet, boozy honey scent on me. I'm impressed at the difference between this and the Lab's straight honey note; you can tell that it's based on alcohol. I worried that Delphi might be a bit too sweet for me, and I'm not quite sure if that's the case or not. I enjoyed wearing it, but I never quite got a feel for how this particular blend works for me. I'm sure I'll use up the imp I have, because it's a fun scent to wear during the day, but I may not need more than that. I will say that this lasted a good while on me - about eight hours, I think.
  6. ranyart


    I've been intrigued by this blend since I started bpaling in October, but didn't get a chance to try it until yesterday. In the imp: vanilla/cedar, and I suppose I'm smelling sassafras? I'm not familiar with that note. Very nice. Wet: Cedar! with a hint of creamy vanilla. At least in the first few seconds, I adore this. As the oil dried, I started to remember what sassafras smelled like from nature hikes as a kid and was able to pick it out more. The cedar was prominent, but the delicious vanilla kept me from just smelling like a cedar chest. It was warm and rugged and sexy as hell, and had amazing staying power. Sadly, many oils mostly vanish on me within four or five hours, but ten hours later I still had a good bit of scent close to my skin. I haven't had a lot of luck with pine-based oils, which I had high hopes for when I started buying bpal, but cedar seems to work really well on me. I may need a bottle of this. My partner highly approved as well, so that's an extra bonus.
  7. ranyart

    Black Annis

    I got this as a lab frimp in my most recent order. When I initially sniffed all the imps that came in, my note was: I can really smell the anise in the imp! This should be interesting. In the imp: murky vetiver and a little spicy kick from the annis. I've never worn anything with civet and that makes me a bit nervous, but I'm willing to try. After all, vetiver seems to scare some folks (including me) the way civet does, and it's turned out to be a great note on me. Wet: this does smell kind of cave-y, but the anise throws off that feeling a bit. It's almost like very sinister baked goods. My skin seems to be eating this up but I'll wait and see how it dries. The vetiver is apparent at first but seems to be fading into the background. I wish I knew what civet smelled like, but I'm pretty sure the note I'm not quite able to pin down is the civet. Interesting. Dry: the anise is still there, happily, but it's part of a really odd and dark scent. The vetiver has blended into everything else and I can't pick it out, and there's an almost-musky, animalistic smell I assume is the civet. This is dark and sinister and still somehow very sexy. I highly approve. Despite my worries about this fading quickly, Black Annis had a lot of staying power. About nine or ten hours later, it's very faint, but I know it was still going strong at the 7/8 hour mark, which is pretty good for me. I know this scent isn't for everyone, but I'm really impressed. As always, the Lab knows what will work on me better than I do!
  8. ranyart

    Death Adder

    In the bottle, it smells like a vetiver punch to the face! I know a lot of people have said this, but wow. They aren't kidding. Wet: lots of vetiver at first, with a hint of coconut. I do hope that this develops to be more than just vetiver, but the other snake pit blend I've tried (Green Tree Viper) did the same thing where it started as just MINT and then developed into awesomeness as it dried, so I'm not worried. Dry: Even though I still haven't smelled Snake Oil other than once on a friend, I can smell the common element between this and Green Tree Viper and I love it - I really do need to get some Snake Oil. I don't know that I've selled opoponax before, so I don't know enough to pick it out, but the sweet, spicy vanilla comes out as the oil dries, and I can smell just a hint of coconut as well. The vetiver is the clear star here and I just love it. This is just further proof that vetiver works really well on my skin. On me, Death Adder is simultaneously sweet, dark, and sensual. I bought this hoping it would work well but not entirely sure, and I'm glad I took the chance. This is a clear winner for me.
  9. ranyart

    Wulric, the Wolfman (2006)

    In the bottle: cocoa, vanilla, and a hint of vetiver. I can just barely pick out the lavender. Wet: the cocoa is separating a bit; there are dark spots of it in the oil. I can still smell the cocoa, but it's not as strong - I think I'm smelling sage, and possibly the birch tar but I have no idea what that smells like. my skin seems to be eating this up! A minute or so after applying: it smells like chocolate and fresh (not polished) wood. I'm getting a hint of lavender now, and I suppose the vanilla is keeping this kind of creamy. Dry: this has settled on cocoa and the softest vetiver I've ever smelled, with a bit of an herbal support behind it. It isn't very strong on my skin; I think I'll have to slather this if I want it to be strong at all. Unusual, but I think this is pretty nice. In general, I was afraid of vetiver when I first started using bpal because it's so dark and sharp-smelling, but I've found that it works really well with my body chemistry. It's interesting to see a softer side of it in this blend. Sadly, Wulric all but disappeared within the first 45 or so minutes. I may just see what happens if I age him a bit; the smell is intriguing enough that I don't want to give up on it already, but I'm sad that it faded so quickly. I just put on some unscented lotion and I may try this again now that my hands aren't so dry they'll just drink up all the oil.
  10. ranyart

    The Jersey Devil

    In the imp: pine, a hint of cedar, and a hint of cranberry. Wet: I think I can smell the tomato leaf a bit as well. It's a weird mix of pine and plant-y, but the pine seems to dominate so far. I get a whiff of cranberry now and then, but it comes and goes. Drydown: So far, this seems to be the nicest pine blend I've found, possibly because the "warm" notes make it blend with my body chemistry better than the "cold" ones (such as the Snow Storm, which sadly didn't work well on my skin) do. Now the cedar's coming out as well. This isn't what I expected, and maybe it'll morph more as it fully dries, but I'm intrigued. Dry: It's settled into a vaguely fruity pine/cedar scent. Nice! Maybe there's a hint of musk in here? I'm not positive, but it seems like I can pick some out. I really with I could smell the tomato leaf more, because I absolutely adore that scent. Hopefully next time I try this out, I'll be able to smell it more. I expected Jersey Devil to be a bit of an oddball scent on me, but it actually smelled less weird than I was expecting. The end result is really nice, though, so I'm not complaining.
  11. ranyart


    I ordered an imp of this thinking it would probably be too light for me, but I'd love to find a blend with star anise that I can wear, plus sandalwood generally smells really nice on me, so I figured it made sense to give Kyoto a try. In the imp, this has a nice star anise scent; the cherry blossom is very light and balanced somewhere between fruity cherry and that almost almondy scent that cherries have at times. Wet: the cherry blossom is almost bubblegummy, that's how sweet it is at first. The anise is becoming more prominent, and I assume that the sandalwood will emerge as this continues to dry. Sandalwood tends to vanish when I put oils on and then pop out and surprise me as it dries down. Dry/later: I feel like I'll need to put a bit more on and wear this again; I liked it, but I don't feel like I got a good sense of it tonight. The anise isn't as sharp as I'd expected, which I think was due to the cherry blossom, and the sandalwood stayed in the background. Sniffing myself a good 5-6 hours later, I smell like slightly sweet sandalwood. I was afraid Kyoto would be too light and sweet for me, and while that isn't quite the case, I'm not sure this is the right anise blend for me either. I think my imp will get good use, though, even if I don't end up with a bottle.
  12. ranyart

    The Bow & Crown of Conquest

    This was a frimp from the Lab in my last order. Thanks, Lab! In the imp: Sweet carnation and lavender, with maybe a bit of cedar. The listed notes aren't ones I'd think to put together, but this smells promising. Wet on skin: The leather adds itself to the mix. It's a bit stronger than I'd like, but not overpowering. Drying: I can smell the creamy sweetness of the vanilla (that's probably why the carnation smelled so sweet in the imp), which happily doesn't over-sweeten the blend, and the white musk starts to peek out. I'd had bad luck with leather before, but here it behaves itself admirably. Dry: It's harder to identify individual notes as the oil dries, but the musk, vanilla, and leather wind up being dominant on me by the end. I was excited to smell carnation when the oil was wet, but it faded into the background and provided support with the herbs. The only note I never really picked out was the sage, which is a bit sad, but the overall affect was so great that I don't mind. I applied it last night around 8 and over twelve hours later, I still have a faint vanilla/lavender/leather scent clinging to my hands. This may be a new favorite.
  13. Is there anything in the GC that even comes close to Winter of Our Discontent? I just bought an imp of this and really love the smokiness of it. When I have it on, I feel like I'm walking outside in the winter, smelling pine needles underfoot and the smoke from neighbors' fireplaces, mixed with just a hint of holiday spice and orange rind. Any thoughts on something I could replicate this with?
  14. ranyart

    The Carpathian Mountains

    In the bottle: wintergreen and a hint of mossy/heathery florals. Wet: an onslaught of wintergreen with just a bit of soft florals and pine. Sadly, to me wintergreen smells like rotting mint so this wet period is pretty rough. I was hoping the mint would fade away as the oil dried. Drydown: I can't really pick out individuals from the forest of listed notes, but they blend very well into what I'd expect from a clear spring day in the mountains somewhere; perhaps where a field of wildflowers and brambles meets with the beginnings of a tall stretch of snowy peaks. "mountain breeze" fabric softener wishes it smelled half as good. This may be a bit too light for me but I still really like it. I will probably use it as a going-to-bed scent; I often put on lighter blends at night to help me relax. As long as I keep my hands away from my face while the wintergreen dries, it should serve that purpose well.
  15. ranyart

    Brown Jenkin

    In the imp, all I can smell is sandalwood. Wet: light coconut, sandalwood, and a general "woody" scent. Drydown: this is still very warm, with a bit of coconut, spice from the incense, and now the musk is joining the sandalwood. Very nice! I was afraid this would be a bit too beachy with the coconut, but it isn't at all. I thought that was it, but about ten minutes later I sniffed myself again, and the musk is much stronger now. I've come to realize that most musks smell amazing on me, so this is definitely a plus! The coconut is more of a background note now, adding a bit more interest to the incense and sandalwood. I was pretty sure I'd like this scent, but it didn't jump out at me as one I needed to try immediately out of all the imps I received recently. Now I'm thinking I may need to buy a bottle of this.