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BPAL Madness!


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About marared

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    1/32 too few
  • Birthday 07/24/1976


  • Location
    Apex, NC
  • Country
    United States

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  • Favorite Scents
    BPAL: original Dionysia, Banshee Beat, Mad Meg, Lady Una, Mead Moon, Morocco, Unicorn & Ram, Penumbra, Medb. Other: Tom Ford Plum Japonais, Serge Lutens Sidi-bel-ebbes, Hermes Un Jardin Mediterranee, Tokyomilk Bittersweet & Everything and Nothing, L'Occitane Labdanum


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  1. marared


    In the bottle, it's a gentle dark lavender. Freshly applied on my skin, it's a lot more ... herbal? It has more in common with Dreams Shape The World (which is sharper) than TKO, but it's still very different.. Once I've gone to bed, it develops this powerful, heady, almost opium-like cloud raising from my wrist that is completely different from the bottle. I remember thinking the first night that there was kind of a camphor aspect to it - which is, apparently, the blue tansy. Not lavender marshmallows by ANY measure. But it is indeed soporific! It doesn't make me sleepy or relaxed wearing it before bed, but I've worn it the last two nights and I have gone to sleep and STAYED asleep (other than a cat stepping on my face at 5am).
  2. marared

    Elderberry Flower & Sandhill Plum

    Super plummy, just as Tom & Galen mentioned in their review. It's very pretty, very purple. It smells a lot like the plum in my beloved Dionysia. However, the elderberry flower doesn't play quite so well with my chemistry - after 10-15 minutes it turns into a mild sort of Craft Store Ambience.
  3. marared

    Vanilla Cream and Pear

    Delicate and feminine. The vanilla is very light, not the bolder variety often found in the Yule and Luper blends. More pear than vanilla once it dries down - it's straight up fruit when it's fresh out of the bottle, but the cream makes it settle into more of a golden pear syrup impression with time - sweet, but not tooth-achingly so. I bet you could dress this up with a spicy scent like Kobold Barista to give it a cool-weather/holiday twist.
  4. marared

    Snake Smut

    Wet, this is very high-pitched musky Snake Oil, and I get that citrus/orange blossom zing that someone mentioned in an earlier review. Dry on skin, it's pretty much just Snake Oil with cardamom. That being said, I don't get the play-doh note from SO like I usually do, so that's something - but I feel like this needs to be layered with something else. I think I need to let it age for at least six months, and then try it with some gooey aged Haitian Vetiver or maybe a brighter citrus/floral... hmmm.
  5. marared

    The Elephant is Slow to Mate

    I gave this a shot because so many people are raving about it, and it's ... okay? Not bad? Not really my thing. It's extremely fruity and juicy at first sniff in the bottle - reminds me of a spicier Jovial Embrace. It's quite loud. I was worried about the tobacco, since BPAL's tobacco frequently is unappealingly gasoline-sweet to my nose, and I can smell it in the blend, but it mostly behaves itself. On my skin, it's HELLO RED/BURGUNDY MUSK. This was the other reason I was skeptical, because I amp red musk like crazy, About ten minutes in I can smell the smoke and the rose, but the opoponax, patch, and vanilla are nowhere to be found. Juicy fruity red musk is about the extent of it on me!
  6. marared

    The Emperor

    This imp is probably about 15-17 years old, and the oil is deep orange. Right off the bat, I get a clean and soapy floral that is probably frankincense, and I thought for a while that was rose, but now I think is some other heady flower (not jasmine, honeysuckle, or gardenia, but from there I don't know). I can't detect any of the dragon's blood that everyone else smelled. After letting it sit for 10-15 minutes, I start to smell a sweet woody note underneath it all - might be oakmoss. I'm not a fan of the soapy start, but it mellows out pretty nicely.
  7. marared

    The Man in Black

    For the first few minutes, it's mostly dark soil with leather. The vetiver and tobacco aren't noticeable to me in this, but the tonka is just barely there. The soil fades about 75% after a little while, and it smooths out to a gentle dirty leather scent with low throw. ETA that it's also very long-lasting - 16 hours later I can still smell leather.
  8. marared

    Honey, Sweet Orange, and Orange Blossom

    I like orange blossom but it doesn't always like me. Fortunately, this doesn't go sour, but it's also not very strong. Like Mahogany & Incense Smoke, this starts out pretty sweet, but it mellows with time and leaves a slight honey funk. I would have liked a stronger citrus note in this - I have to sniff pretty deeply to pick up the orange under the blossom. It's pretty, but it just doesn't have a lot of zing or personality.
  9. marared

    Honey, Mahogany, and Incense Smoke

    I had to let this sit for a couple months because it was so gacky and high-pitched. It's calmed down a little, and now it smells like honey-sweetened cereal at first. After 20-30 seconds, the mahogany asserts itself, and yes, that is definitely *smoke* wrapped around it. It gets darker and sharper, and the honey fades more and more, as time passes, until it just leaves a slight funk on the mahogany and smoke. It definitely gets more interesting with time and not something you want to judge on immediate application!
  10. marared

    Rice Milk & Mango

    Beautiful - delicate and mildly sweet, not strongly fruity. The rice milk makes Peach Vulva smell kinda like peach yogurt, and it has kind of the same effect here, but the rice is more detectable. Mango rice yogurt? I think this will be fantastic for layering with other gentle scents.
  11. marared

    Tonka Bean, Black Tea & Vetiver

    Cozy tea sweater. So glad I grabbed this one. If you aren't sure about vetiver, this is a great one to try, because it's barely there - it's a supporting note, a warm smoothness under the tonka and the tea. No smoke, no stank, just delicious.
  12. marared

    Blue Cypress & Haitian Vetiver

    Straight out of the mailbox, this is bitter and woody, with an underpinning of something kinda piney, kinda medicinal. I double checked what blue cypress smells like, and the second descriptive word is medicinal! This is like an aromatic bitter that you'd put in your cocktail, or a funky alcoholic botanical that you'd find in Eastern Europe. The vetiver is smooth, not scorched or vegetal, but it is definitely second fiddle to the cypress in this blend. Definitely very bitey, and I am not sure if this is something that will calm down with time.
  13. marared


    "Floriental" is a good word for this one. I bought it to support the cause, because I'm not usually a fan of flowerbomb scents, but I've been surprised by stranger blends, so I gave it a try. It is a BLAST of stanky jasmine right out of the bottle and a little terrifying, to be honest. But if you can survive the first minute of HOLY COW JASMINE, it suddenly morphs into something else entirely. The jasmine is still there, but it takes a backseat to honeyed carnation. Even the red musk, normally a note that I amp to high heaven, is way down there in the mix. The leather & sandalwood are a supporting base that keeps the flowers from running amok, and the final result is very classy, a very adult woman who's got her sh*t (and probably everyone else's) under control. Queen of the Honeyed Heart is a sister scent that's pinker and sweeter, but that same Fabulous Woman In Control kind of floral.
  14. marared

    Boney Was a Warrior

    When I first opened the box, I had just arrived home from work, so I dabbed a tiny bit from the cap on my hand without checking the notes, and bustled about my evening chores. It smelled gently masculine - wood-based cologne with a slight floral touch. It was the kind of masculine that's probably straight but not afraid to wear pink or a feather boa. Sat down after ten minutes and dabbed a little more on the same spot, and suddenly it's not even the same scent. It's a lot of dry oakmoss, and less almond that THANKFULLY doesn't (or hasn't yet) turned into that cherry-adjacent gack that I hate. I can't smell the rosemary, and rosemary is usually kinda pungent - there's no herby tang to this at all. Nor can I smell the jasmine - A' Rovin has that immediately identifiable slighly indolic zing, but not here. It's just a slight breath of floral that gentles the oakmoss a bit. I am gonna come back to this one in 6-8 months and see if the almond calms down, because it's a little too sharp right now.
  15. marared


    2015 version. It took FIVE YEARS for this scent to be wearable. FIVE. I bought this after testing a friend's bottle from ...2006? 2007? Whichever version she had, I was in love with it. When I got this, I said GACK because it was so strong and overwhelming, and put it away. I tested it a couple times a year after that, and around 2018 it started to get more tolerable. It's still not the same as the older version I tried, but I like it much more now. It's a cool, resinous apple and slightly buttery pumpkin. The spices and the wood have melded together to give a generally dry effect.