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BPAL Madness!


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About autumnal

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    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 12/09/1962


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    United States

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  • Interests
    General: Art, metalsmithing, dogs, guinea pigs, d.i.y. (especially making things out of "nothing").

    Music... Love, love love The Cure. Joy Division, Interpol, Editors, Echo and The Bunnymen, Dead Can Dance, Clan of Xymox, Suuns, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Skywave, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Gang of Four, Siglo XX,- other stuff too of course...

    TV series: Mr. Robot, The Mighty Boosh (!!!), The IT Crowd, Arrested Development, Black Books, Big Train, My Hero, Father Ted.

    Movies: The Science of Sleep, Stardust, Amelie, The Lives of Others, Everything is Illuminated, Best in Show...

    Comedy: Dylan Moran (!!), Steven Wright, Lewis Black ...
  • Mood
    Outside of outside


  • Favorite Scents
    Deep and mysterious are watchwords. Woods, incense, bitter clove, tobacco (but not blonde), spices, foresty, mosses, musks, some leathers (mellow). Love scents: The Bow and Crown of Conquest, Cathedral, The Smiling Spider, The Pit and the Pendulum, Nanny Ashtoreth, Dee, Carfax Abbey, Midnight Mass, Magus, Tombstone, No. 93 Engine, Penitence, Sri Lanka, ... for starters... ;-)On the flip side, scents I cannot stand: almond, pumpkin, cocoa, butter (wouldn't dream of using margarine, but as a scent?! Eeek!) and overtly foodie scents in general. (Oh, and florals? Usually an amped out disaster, especially rose, though I love them as flowers in the garden, just can't wear them. Not at all me.) Vive la difference! Trade ya! :-)


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  1. autumnal

    How do you apply your BPAL oils?

    Yeah... this brings to mind red wine, which is why it's served room temperature. It brings out the flavors that are "hidden" by a chill. Perhaps it has something to do with the depth there is to something. So I guess that it's possible that the lighter components *could* shine a bit longer with a lighter, cooler touch, but I doubt it's substantial, and would take a far finer sense of smell than I can imagine. Still, I'm totally a masher and go for the deeper scents, so maybe it is some subconcious thing to warm and develop them to their potential. I agree with the others that the usual force of distribution seems hardly sufficient to scientifically do anything to such small components. And regardless of anyone's perceptions on application, the fact remains that we all smell great!
  2. autumnal

    Watery &/or Aquatic Florals

    Hi Beatrice33! Even as a confirmed floral avoider, I make an exception for Amsterdam. Think you are on the right track there. Light and easy to take --very spring-y-- watery is a good word, yet I don't think of it as aquatic at all (yeah, that doesn't *really* make sense...). Guess that is to say that it's not cologney at all. It's a good one to try. (Not really "sparkling", but others may have some layering ideas for that aspect. Something with a champagne note maybe???)
  3. Omg, I just realized that I've been so focused on the costume (and working with a neighbor on costuming 15 people in a themed thing as well as decorating one of the local bars) that I hadn't even considered what BPAL to wear!!! <gasp!> Going to be a vampire. A tall one, with platform boots, corset top, velvet jacket, fishnets and black skirt. Likely *moderately* short. (aka just above knee, consider my age after all. And all the ones I have are wrong or too big, so I'll whip one up or maybe even go with a long red taffeta skirt. We'll see. Oh yeah, and bat glasses as a matter of disguise...) Oh, and a long black wig with 2 white streaks. Initial idea is to wear Nanny Ashtoreth, as it's my go-to sexy scent, but I'm totally open to suggestions. (I'm an incense, leather, wood, neutral or guy-type scent person, if that helps.) Oh crap! I have Doc Constantine. This weekend though, huh? Will try anyway. Fingers crossed. (Have a backup plan though! ) Vampire slayer? Oh no! (I'm going as a vampire! LOL) Seems like something with a dirt note maybe. Dirt and blood. Hey, it's messy work clearing out these dang vampires(!) Do these notes ring a bell for anyone? Scents that are just randomly popping to mind are War (Red ginger, black spices, patchouli, honeysuckle, and three blood-soaked red musks.) or maybe Tintagel?? (The scent of a castle's great hall in the midst of joyous feasting. Spicy mulled wine flowing through the musky heat, warm leather and bright clash of armor, the damp branches of Cornish hawthorn, blackthorn, juniper, English elm and bayberry, and the magical tingle of dragon's blood resin.) Not sure why that one's coming to mind. Probably other forumites have ideas on this one.
  4. And let's not forget The Lurid Library! It's like the forbidden section... (Lol, but reading this thread has reminded me that I seriously need to study up before the new one comes out! It seems like it's been so long!)
  5. Um, try Mad Hatter? It's got pennyroyal, which I've found useful for repelling mosquitos, and I think it has a general anti-bug reputation. (In fact, I've got 3 imps just for that purpose -- it's sure better smelling than any mosquito repellent I know of!) Fleas are a major league drag. Best of luck!
  6. autumnal


    Ok. I've (believe it or not!) never done a review. Not so good at picking out notes, you know? But Magus came up on the new posts and... well here goes.... This was the very first BPAL (of 300 -ish now) I ever smelled Ahhh, first loves.... Noted that in the imp it smelled rather sharp, probably sandalwood (?) But in the drydown, it brings a vision. "I am in a room with an old unfinished wooden floor, old furniture and books. Very old fashioned and calmly studious feeling." That's what the notes say. It truly does smell as one might imagine the study of a magus to smell._ I LOVE this scent._ There's just something very grounded and always right about it. My car thinks so too! While I love it, it is not a scent I tend to wear, but it is sublimely perfect in scenting a space. Like the car! Or a room. Just very grounded yet mystical.
  7. autumnal


    Oh yes, another wood lover here. I was surprised to see a few people mention Cathedral, because, although I love it dearly, it doesn't list wood, so I never suspected. Also a big hear hear to Sri Lanka. On first testing (before I got too lazy), notes say..."Exotic cargo in aromatic wooden boxes". That's what it smells like to me, anyway(!) Especially like it in summer for some reason. A few that haven't been mentioned yet... Most "woody"...(it has to be pretty obvious, my nose remains ignorant sussing out notes) Magus galangal, high john essence, frankincense, cedar and sandalwood Carfax Abbey heavy woods and thin dusty herbs touched by incense. Um, I almost hate to mention any LEs enablement-wise -- Git yer mitts off, it's mine, all mine! Lear white cedarwood, blue sage and bay leaf. If you love cedar, you must try this. Very cedary. Odin dry elm bark, amaranth, warrior's musk and Odin's 9 herbs of power. On me, this was lighter than expected, but definite wood. Tristan redwood, tonka bean, white sandalwood, lemon peel, patchouli, rosewood, coriander, crushed mint. Although this one isn't so much "me", it is very evocative of the character and does have 3 woods. Thanatos dry white sandalwood, soft Siamese benzoin, myrrh, Moroccan rose, mastic, tomb moss and Greek incense. Normally rose amps to the stratosphere on me, but not this one. Must not have anyway, or I wouldn't have it in the keepers pile! Notes say "dry and highly wearable", unisex" Nanny Ashtoreth middle eastern flowers, amber, honey, blood red berries, whip leather, polished paddle wood. This is one that SO should not work on me. Flowers? Berries? Usually death notes for me. Amber? Honey? The odds aren't great here either. But my chemistry just takes hold of the wood and leather here, and omg. Others favorites where wood is listed in notes, though it may not predominate (disclaimer again though for the Nose of Little Note DistinctionTM) Oblivion dark musk, wood spice, labdanum, patchouli, African woods and saffron Incantation vetiver, dark woods, crumbling and burnt black sandalwood and a drop of lemon rind (Rind makes all the difference here. NOT just lemon.) It is very evocative in the imagery of a candle to me (not scent-wise, but imagery-wise) -- a bright yellow light in inpenetrable darkness. Dee Soft English leather, rosewood, tonka, incense, parchment, soft woods. Tried some other scent (can't remember what it was) the other day that had rosewood in it and it went totally rose-gaga. This surprised me, knowing that Dee has rosewood, because it plays very nicely and "woodily" here (yes, made up word, you know what I mean!) It is one of those scents that is so well blended that the woods are just playing with the other notes as opposed to dominating though. Hmm, Aureus. If Apple says it smells like standing in a lumber yard, must try it! edited to make sense
  8. Funny I should be responding on this thread at all, and doubly so when you see what the recommendation is...Can't stand florals, you know. See, I tend to like fairly masculine in-your-face-scents. Still, I'm inclined to give a major nod to Amsterdam as one that is light but lovely. Not me at all, mind you, but it fills the bill for the thread. I can't stand florals and *still* it gets the nod. Besides, hadn't seen it mentioned on this thread. Should be. Try it. Simply light and lovely. (I know this is ancient, but just had to give it an . Crack me up.
  9. autumnal

    Refreshing *and* relaxing?

    That's Black Forest for me, but YMMV. How about Squirting Cucumber or Slobbering Pine? Good luck btw, we had our first still-hot-trying-to-go-to-sleep night, a vivid reminder of their challenges...
  10. autumnal

    Spice me, baby! The spiciest BPAL blends

    I totally second the Mama Ji recommendation! It's just a wonderful dry warm exotic spice without any incense I can smell.
  11. autumnal

    Looking for the scent of a cave...

    Slight hijack here, but I tend to amp florals to the obliteration of all else... and I don't get ANY in Kumari Kandam (same with Kubla Khan.... roses being particularly problematic for me... and happily I just don't get that from it.) So try it, you'll love it! Yours sincerely, The Kumari Kandam Enablement Society (p.s. samarablackcat watch your mail...goodies on the way!)
  12. autumnal

    Looking for the scent of a cave...

    Hmm, cold wet stone and clay? The one that comes to mind for that for me anyway is Kumari Kandam. I am going to try a layering experiment right now to get another major element in there and see what happens! Be right back! ETA: 'K, Keeping in mind, I've never been in a Florida cave, but for in the mind's eye from your post, the most sucessful blend was Kumari Kandam with Omen. Omen is very dark and oakmossy and Kumari Kandam is very wet clay and stone. In the interest of science, I just added a wee dab of The Ghastly Garden for the decay.... holy cow, that's a lot going on. To do my blends, I just dabbed a little of each next to each other on my arm then rubbed my finger around to mix them. Other blends I tried were Kumari with Burial (too piney methinks) and Kumari with Mandrake (Mandrake being so dry it sucked all the scently moisture from Kumari(!)), but more importantly those blends just didn't jibe together correctly somehow. The Kumari Kandam and Omen worked quite nicely and adding The Ghastly Garden just put in a bit of decaying greenery, so you could take or leave that third element. Smells like a cave to me! YMMV Good luck and let us know how it goes!
  13. autumnal

    Choosing a scent for an antique trunk

    (n00blet!, love that!) One that comes to mind right away is Magus, personally. (I like the thought of Aziraphale too, but you're right, it's a lighter fragrance and, well, yes, it is more expensive.) Something about Magus -- and it truly is unique -- is very evocative of ancient learning and mystery. Lurrrrrve! I have this scent in my car and always take a big, eye-closing breath upon getting in. As far as amount, experiment. I made a little container with a design cut out of the metal on the sides that I can stuff a piece of scrap fabric (panne velvet as it happens) in and just dabbed the imp stick all over it, tried that for concentration and added a bit more later on to get it to the level wanted. Since a trunk is a rather small enclosed space, it may not take terribly much to get it right where you want it. (This was the first BPAL I ever smelled... and the notes immediately gave me a mental image... "I am in a room with old unfinished wooden floor, old furniture and books. Ancient and calmly studious feeling." Another is coming to mind too.... checking notes here... Ah yes, Sri Lanka.... "Exotic yet comforting, dry and mysterious. Exotic cargo in aromatic wooden boxes." Let us know how it goes! A cargo trunk filled with small treasures and redolent of BPAL goodness.... mmm mmm!
  14. autumnal

    Springtime scents

    Oh what a pain in the arse! One that surprised me the other day was Sagittarius(!) I hadn't thought of it in the general spring sense, but upon wearing it, it just had some kind of feel like early spring when plants are just pushing out of the ground. Perhaps it's the dandelion note(!) The notes seem to avoid your problem note-zones, which is good, but I just peeked at your page and you're not a Sagittarius, don't know how you feel about wearing "other" sign scents, but if you get to try it, see what you think. Another atypical spring one is Incantation. It makes me see a candle flame in the dark, that whole small warming and light against the darkness thing. The lemon peel is a nice steady sharp scent on me... sometimes other lemony things go dank on me, but not this one. These ain't exactly screaming tweety birds and blooming abundance are they? What can I say, I live in the north and while we've been spoiled with some lovely weather, but several days of snow are in the forecast. Pooey! (Good thing the repairman was able to fix the non-running furnace today!)