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BPAL Madness!


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About VioletChaos

  • Rank
    Lab Rat Oracle Extraordinaire
  • Birthday 12/30/1972


  • Location
    Philly, Pa.
  • Country
    United States

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  • eBay
  • ICQ
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  • BPAL of the Day
    Midnight Snowfall
  • Favorite Scents
    Fresh list of notes and thangs: Cacao; Bourbon Vanilla; Red Musk; Coffee; Ambergris; Sandalwood; Patchouli; Strawberry and Oudh. Think- Glowing Vulva; Dragon's Milk; Smut; Bah!; Gypsy Queen; Mme Moriarty; VooDoo Queen, Snake Charmer and Cacao Pod

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  • Interests
    Art (including, but not limited to: painting, jewelry design, metalwork, weaving, sculpture, collage); high fashion (think more harajuku and Elle, less Nordstrom and Cosmo); playing with makeup; listening to music I loved in High School (namely the Cure, Peter Murphy, U2); dancing, making out and writing. Not necessarily in that order.
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  1. VioletChaos

    Princess Hyacinth

    In the bottle, that sweet oakmoss is right at the front. I have to sniff a few times before I pick up anything else, but eventually I notice an edge of the orchid in there. Wet on skin, the scent immediately starts to shift, with the benison coming out to play almost immediately. As the fragrance continues to warm, further layers start to unfurl, blossoming outward- the ambers sweetening the scent, and the balsamic in particular is adding an interesting twist, in the same way that balsamic vinegar adds sweetness without being at all sugary (this is precisely what I was hoping it would do, so I'm delighted that it has come to pass!). Eventually the narcissus peeks out adding an interesting acrid undertone that keeps the scent from veering into cloying territory. Strangely, in spite of the name and ingredient list, I get no hyacinth on me. I've used pure essential hyacinth oil, so I'm familiar with that version of the scent- if it's in here it's either buried by the other notes or else my skin ate it. Anything is possible! However, even without the Princess Herself showing up for me, this scent is really, really lovely, one of those perfumes that's so well-blended that the individual notes blur entirely, creating a melange that's just its own beautiful, singular entity. And just in time for spring! This scent is low throw, but dense, so I'd still go easy on application until you see how it plays with your personal chemistry. Pure resin-filled love! ❤️
  2. VioletChaos

    Poet's Hearts Break So

    I'm a fan of violet, (if you couldn't tell from my screen name) and that alone grabbed my attention here. The addition of vanilla and bergamot plus the intrigue of..."what exactly does porcelain smell like?!" and I knew I had to snag a bottle. the scent in the bottle is deceptively floral, with that iris singing lous and clear- don't be fooled, she runs off upon contact. That's when the changes begin. First, the trickle of red musk here seems to be the same variety that stole my heart in Random Brothel, and I'm definitely not mad about it. Second, that violet leaf is more violet flower from what I can tell (the leaf tends to be quite 'green' smelling, whereas I'm definitely getting violets in this mix. The bourbon vanilla bites back the acrid note of the musk before it can get too intense or stuffy. And the porcelain? Well, several minutes after application, I kid you not, there was a moment where the scent smelled mostly of...wet clay. Yep. Straight up, 'throwing on the wheel' clay situation. It was strange and, as an artist that has played with ceramics, strangely comforting. And then it was gone, to be replaced with the violet / musk combination. Chalk it up to one of Beth's genius "how does she DO that?!" moments, and marvel for a moment. Then enjoy the rest of what the scent has to offer
  3. VioletChaos

    Delightful Gargantuan Vagina

    The mango comes on strong in the bottle but starts to fade upon contact with the skin. The scent changes rapidly, passing over the orange blossom completely, alas, and ending up a lightly spicy, vaguely incense-y pink musk, reminding me very much of the phlox-heavy Pink Moon. I'm in love with the Lab's mango note, but unfortunately for me, apart from in the bottle, it's nowhere to be found 😢
  4. VioletChaos

    Roses, Pearls, and Sapphires

    I splurged on two from the Roses and Pearls line, and this is one of them (the other being Rubies). Neither had disappointed, but Roses, Pearls, and Sapphires may prove to be my favorite, not just of this mini series, but Lupercalia 2024 as a whole (apart from the triumphant return of Glowing Vulva, but c'mon. That's a whole other realm.) In the bottle, the lavender rose (the 'rose' is a formality- this reads as lavender to my nose) and blueberry play elegantly together in a surprisingly delicate dance. Not that either note is known for being so aggressive, but I've certainly encountered scents where one of these two could be quite loud given the chance. Wet, then warming, on the skin both notes blossom and unfurl some, with lavender gently edging blueberry out for top spot, for a spell, until the coconut husk comes to reign lavender back in. "Husk" is important here: this is NOT coconut-coconut. Not the candied coconut or suntan lotion coconut you might be anticipating, so you must do away with such notions immediately. This is the scratchy, earthy bit outside of all that and here it has the not-insubstantial task of grounding this scent, to keep it from all floating away, too high, into the stratosphere. Only after husk and fully done that task does the cerulean musk stroll in, and not a moment too soon. I've been on a big ol' blue musk deep dive for about the past year, and it was THE note that made me snatch up a bottle of this here elixir and it does NOT disappoint. Every blend I try a blue musk variant in is wildly different than the last, so there's no direct comparisons here, except to say that I continue to feel vindicated by each new exploration into this lesser-known entry into the musk family. It's not a mistake that nearly all the notes in a scent with "Sapphires" in the name would have a blue allusion, but here its especially overt, a sparkling blue gem of a scent, it has a shine and hardness that align it with the crystalline icicles of late winter, but there's also a warmth here that slinks in once the scent has settled in completely, something to snuggle into when the ice outside all seems a bit too much.
  5. VioletChaos

    The Froth of the Serpents

    The red wine is strong with this one! When sniffed in the bottle, all the way through to complete drydown, the red wine note is front and center. The note itself is one I've adored in the past, in the old-time Yule treat, Glüwein, and so I can only hope that this will age just as magnificently as that one has. There *is* quite a lot to hope for with this blend, notably the oakmoss and mandarin notes, which both play the part of insuring this scent is not a one-note wonder, even if they are working more or less behind the scenes. (I've tried one-note wine scents and they come across more or less as fussy grape juice, which is definitely NOT what's happening here, by the way.) Oakmoss is a note I personally love, adding a rich, vaguely sweet and unusually spicy depth. The Spanish mandarin is not here to lend a foodie tone, but rather a bit of tart acid, which brightens the scent and keeps it from getting lost in a sticky haze. Hours later, and it's still going strong: a little goes a long way, both with staying power and with throw, which is definitely one of the highest I've encountered: dab lightly until you know how it'll bloom on your skin. The end game is a languid and sultry drift into sweet oblivion, whether you leave enticing traces behind you during a leisurely stroll, or on a silky pillowcase after a decadent sleepover. Whichever path chosen, you'll leave them wanting
  6. VioletChaos

    Rhubarb Custard Muffins

    If you took the yummy baked goods note from my most beloved Crumpet Rebellion and added in a healthy chomp of rhubarb, you come pretty close to getting the gourmand delight that is Rhubarb Custard Muffins. In the bottle and freshly applied, this scent is VERYY heavy on the tangy, tart rhubarb. It takes w while to settle into anything more balanced, and frankly, I'm glad for it, because the fresh, sharp aspect is a lovely surprise as we ease out of the darkness at the end of winter and into lighter, brighter spring. Once settled in, the scent takes on a lovely second stage, joining the ranks of other great baked goods fragrances for those of us that like to sometimes smell like we are completely edible. If you are looking for a foodie scent for daytime wear, or if you have a special place in your heart for the old BPAL greats like the afore-mentioned Crumpet Rebellion or Blackberry Jam and Scones, then you will be quite excited to add this to your repertoire.
  7. VioletChaos

    Roses, Pearls, and Rubies

    Full disclosure, as soon as I saw that rhubarb was in the mix, this bottle fell directly into my shopping cart, but I also was definitely worried in equal measure about rose being a dominant force in this blend, as roses and I have an a tumultuous relationship over the long years. so now you know. Onward! In the bottle, I am immediately surprised, pleasantly, with the dominance of the red amber and labdanum. At this stage its not overpowering as labdanum can sometimes be. Instead it's sweet in a non-sugary way, and resinous but not overly intense. Once warmed up and dried down on the skin, the scent becomes more of a melange: the labdanum is still the front, but even less aggressively than before. The rose peeks out, but it's the incense aspect that is actually more present than the floral here. I get little whiffs that indicate the dried strawberries here, the tang of the rhubarb there. (Side note: not mad about the subtlety of the rhubarb here, partly because the slivers of tartness feel appropriate in this blend overall and partly because I picked up a bottle of the Rhubarb Custard Muffins which are GLORIOUSLY and INTENSELY an ode to rhubarb and flaky pastry, so I feel both ends of the rhubarb scent spectrum have been thoroughly satisfied with this Luper update ). Once the scent had fully and completely settled into my skin, the scents has morphed a bit further, becoming, in the end, a spicy sexy scent that has a low-medium throw that allows, with careful wear, to use during the day, like a smexy chastity belt secreted away under a corporate suit but, worn with a touch more reckless abandon, transforms easily into nighttime debauchery at the drop of a hat...or any other clothing item your devious heart desires
  8. VioletChaos

    Midnight Snowfall

    Frost-dappled night-blooming petals, Oman frankincense, champaca orchid resin, and opium tar accord. Oh. Oh MYYYYYYYY. To be honest, although my interest was piqued instantly when I read the notes, I also was concerned. Frost? Is that going to be like water or ozone? Because those notes almost never work with my skin chemistry. And the champaca could go either way. But the opium tar and night-blooming petals had my hopes up. And it paid off! In the bottle, I noticed right away that the scent was lighter than I'd expected given some of the notes but also given this was a Bloodmilk scent, since many of the ones I've tried tend to be very dense and rich and moody (just like their jewelry!) but this really was quite light, and even slightly powdery. As the scent warmed up and then fully dried on my skin, it just got better and better, those florals mixing gorgeously with the tar and resins to create this dreamy encounter, reminding me somehow of a passionflower incense I adored in high school. I have not been able to stop huffing myself and it's literally hours and hours later. Total, beautiful, win.
  9. VioletChaos

    The Lantern Bearers

    I got this entirely because of the cerulean musk, as I've become fairly obsessed with blue musks in the past year or so, AND, It definitely does NOT disappoint in this regard! In the bottle and when freshly applied, the orchid dominates- the flower is almost...juicy...somehow in its depth. I was a little worried about that floral before ordering but I find in application that I'm intrigued more than anything. It settles back pretty quickly and the amber, plum and musk all move into the foreground together. I definitely feel this to be the same plum note as appears in Mme Moriarty but the vibe here is *completely* different, so no worries of overlap or repetition for sure. The ivy isn't out front but I get the sense (scents!) she's keeping everything from heading into hippy-girl-incense territory and instead elevates the whole party to a sweetly sexy affair instead. I am *supremely* delighted to have gotten this and can't wait to see how it ages!
  10. VioletChaos


    Seconding the claim of "sexy"- this scent is sexy as hell in a somehow casually understated way. There's also something in here that, on my skin, makes it a very close cousin of Night after about 30 minutes. I'm deeply perplexed because there's not a single note of overlap between the two scents, and the note in question in Night is the inky musk, and there's nothing in Blizzard that seems like it would come close to that, and yet, there it is. I've no objections over a sexier version of Night, since that scent is one of my ride-or-die fragrances, so that just makes me love Blizzard that much more.
  11. VioletChaos

    Pomegranate Ink

    This. Scent. So. My past experience with pomegranate notes has been extremely hit or miss. Fruit notes all too frequently go full plastic on me, alas. Even when a fruit doesn't go off the deep end, I'm lucky to get anything other than fruit candy(ish) from the equation (Strawberries Moon and Suf notwithstanding). But there's that Ink to consider. Full disclosure: if you've ever wondered to yourself, "Who the HELL was interested in an India Ink Single Note, anyway?!" allow me to introduce myself, for *I* am that person. I am *SO* that person that I have BACKUP bottles of India Ink single note (and if you've got any you'd like to pawn off? I'm your person, right here ). I don't know if it's so easily explained just that I am, in fact, a visual artist (a visual artist that also ::collects:: bottles of ink at a rate only out-paced by my BPAL collection, thankyouverymuch) but regardless, the ink note is one of those extra-special BPAL mysteries that makes me go, "How does Beth DOOOO that???" So, you know, I knew I needed to try this at the very least. The scent won't be pinned down. When I first sniffed it in the vial, my heart dropped a little cause all I was getting was a vague olfactory sensation of Red Vines. 🤷‍♀️ But shortly after application, that ink, that glorious, industrial (to use Failmingo's term) ink: it took me right back to that love-at-first-sniff experience I had when India Ink SN first waltzed into my life and stole a little piece of my dark, smudgy heart. Even after full dry down, there's so much vacillating between the two points, and no settling between them! Each sniff bring s different countenance, a different configuration on the grayscale (bloodscale? That would be closer in truth, given the two notes. Hmmm...): one sniff, it's almost entirely pomm, with just a hair of metallic ink showing up as an afterthought. The next sniff, 90% ink, the fruit adding just a touch of sweet to smooth out those harsh edges. A sniff after that, and the two are in balance- or, if not in balance then at least in something resembling an uneasy truce. But every step (sniff?) of the way, I. Can't. Stop. Smelling. Myself. So, you know, I'll be getting me some backups for sure. ❤️
  12. VioletChaos

    Hearth 2023

    I'm always surprised at how radically different notes can be with small variations. The pipe tobacco in this is a RADICAL departure from, say, the blond tobacco note of Pinched With Four Aces, or the French Tobacco Single Note. I sometimes amp tobacco, so I was hesitant about this, but I also was feeling a pang of regret for having swapped my OG 2004 Hearth a bajillion years ago, so I wanted to give this update a try. And the scent does NOT disappoint. The tobacco and cherrywood set the stage for the tone of this scent, which indeed invokes feeling of warm coziness in front of a roaring fire. I in fact get a vibe more in line with the scene being set in a comfy, quiet study or private library, floor-to-ceiling cases completely filled with well-loved leather-bound volumes. A note about the leather: on me, in this blend, it's virtually non-existent, which was another surprise- given that leather notes far too frequently become a HAI I'M TANNED HIDE affair, drowning out all else. The smoke note is a mid-range, omni-present aspect, adding substantially to the overall effect and general ambience, but not overpowering the blend, merely adding a welcome extra dimension. After full dry down, the scent has morphed little, merely settling a bit more firmly into itself. I'm going to play around with my decant a bit more in the next month: if it ages in a way that deepens the scent, I will likely spring for a full bottle. If not, I will happily pull my vial out when the mood strikes on an especially cold or snowy day.
  13. VioletChaos

    Batty Lace

    I am simply delighted with this latest Lace acquisition. Normally, I amp leather notes, so I was wary, but willing to try for my beloved Antique Lace's sake, and I'm really glad I did. In the bottle and through to dry-down after application, the dominant note is a rich caramel. I get *zero* leather at any point, but that caramel is warm and creamy, like the best caramels are. Even at the height of caramel's power, though, is the Antique Lace shining through. A.L. increases as caramel begins to slowly, slowly pull back some. Hours later evidence of the caramel note is still present, but quite faint, while Antique Lace's power remains in that gorgeous, lingering way it has. Most surprising of all to me, is that the formulation of Antique Lace present in this Batty edition is MILES closer to the OG I've missed for so very long. I am a fan of the 2017 re-release, don't get me wrong. When I travel I have 2017 with me, to help me sleep at night. But it always rested on my skin in a way that I can only describe as..."sugary". There's a granulated sugar element to that version that OG never had on my skin. And this Batty-ed up version doesn't have that granulated sugar in it either- especially remarkable, considering that *caramel* is a primary note in the composition! In all, as I stated at the outset, I am simply delighted with the latest Lace, and I'm going to re-test in a month or so- if it goes as I think it will, there shall be back up bottles in my future!
  14. VioletChaos


    A decadent, sultry oakmoss and sandalwood chypre with black velvet amber, russet musk, and ambergris accord. In the bottle, the oakmoss in an especially 'green' aspect is the primary note I get, and there's something lurking in the background that reads as a thin, cologne-heavy tang, that, looking through the notes, I cannot for the life of me pick as one, unless it's a seriously debauched bit of the black velvet amber. It doesn't matter a ton, because as soon as it hits my skin and warms up, it morphs *dramatically*, becoming warm, and rather sultry. The sandalwood is sweet and resinous (that's where the "chypre" part comes in- take note! This is not your typical astringent, woody sandalwood!). and it's this note that becomes the star of the show. Not that the scent is without depth- on the contrary, the amber and russet musk (NOT a red musk, so don't expect that, this is definitely a different animal) both act as great supporting players. Because of the nature of some of these notes, I anticipate this is going to get better and better with age. This scent has a solid medium throw, and that's with only the smallest drop applied from the lid, so definitely tread lightly until you see how it reacts with your chemistry- a little goes a long way from my experience here. In all, a lovely, deep scent for those that like sweet woods and resins- a must-have. ❤️
  15. VioletChaos

    Bringer of Evil

    I got this because I needed to know what "violet grapefruit" could possibly smell like and I'm so glad I did! This is one of the more unusual scents I've encountered in a good, long while, in all the best possible ways. In the bottle and when first applied, the grating-bitter-tart aspect of real grapefruit pith is front and center, and while I wasn't sure I *liked* it, I was suuuuuper surprised, yet again, at Beth's level of genius. Seriously: who ELSE can create something as specific to the natural world as grapefruit pith? That's some next level shit right there. Once the scent had a chance to warm up and dry down, it shifted to include the flesh of the grapefruit (still bitter, but now with an edge of sweetness added in) plus the mimosa comes out to play, which I was definitely glad to see, because I've not, until now, found a mimosa that actually reads like my favorite Seussian puff-flower of summertime. Once deep into the drydown the cerulean musk joins the party, making this scent a complex, slightly sweet yet sinister fruit-floral as prior reviews noted. Although it only shares one unlikely note, Bringer of Evil reminds me, at least in spirit, of 2009's Black Butterfly Moon. They share a lightness that confuses the senses by obscuring the darkness that lurks beneath- and while I let that old chestnut slip away, I won't make the same mistake this time!