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BPAL Madness!


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About marared

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


  • Location
    Wilmington, 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, A Spirit Katie, La Calavera Catrina other: Tom Ford Plum Japonais, Serge Lutens 5 o' clock au gingembre & Sidi-bel-ebbes, Hermes Un Jardin Mediterranee, Tokyomilk Bittersweet & Everything and Nothing


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  1. marared

    British Invasion

    This one morphs a LOT. On my skin, it smells like luxury pencil shavings with the black suede in the background, and it's a little too sharp and fresh for a good ten or fifteen minutes. But then, abruptly, it smooths out into delicious deep rich sandalwood thoroughly blended into the musk. No leather, no bergamot, even the cedar vanishes. I can't believe how *different* it becomes in so short a time.
  2. marared

    The Rights of Women

    This suffered badly from travel shock - when I first got it, and even now on first sniff, it was an unappealingly loud jumble of scents. But it calms down after a few minutes, and while it is initially very rich, it becomes cool, smooth, slightly musky and woody labdanum. The fruit and the tuberose are just undertones, the vanilla isn't particularly noticeable, and the neroli fades after the initial blast. It morphs a lot, and I think it's going to get even smoother over a couple of years.
  3. marared

    Patchouli and Vetiver

    Ooh boy. Filthy is a good word for this. Both notes smell like they have some age on them - they're strong, but they're not sharp, and masterfully blended. The vetiver is by far the dominant note in both the bottle and the skin, and it's rich with slight hint of dark vegetation. The patchouli holds it down and smooths it out. If you don't like vetiver, this won't change your mind - it's not swampy or scorched, but it's still definitive and forceful. It's about as Dirty Hippie as you can get without sandalwood.
  4. marared


    Whenever I order decants, I always get one that's outside my comfort zone, because I am regularly surprised by things I shouldn't like. This was my experiment, but unfortunately it didn't work out on my skin. When it's fresh, it's a really juicy and sweet floral, and not even all that much rose. It has almost more of a ... hibiscus tang to it. But once it dries down, it goes through a slightly ammonia phase (like jasmine but not nearly so strong) and then turns to powdery apricot.
  5. marared

    Right Ventricle

    Fresh application is bright zingy orange and lime as promised, and the ylang ylang shows up a few minutes later. Aaaaand then the citrus fades away, leaving a slightly resinous floral with only the ghost of fruit beneath it.
  6. marared

    Closing the Bamboo Curtain

    Fresh, green, almost effervescent/citrus. Very zingy. Not very strong, nor much throw, but it lingers for quite a while. It gets a little darker and more resiny with time, but still retains that green freshness.
  7. marared

    Snake's Tongue

    This is a less obnoxious Boomslang. Boomslang, at least the original, is LOUD. Waving the bottle in the general direction of your skin is almost too much, and when it warms up on your skin, people can smell you for an entire city block. (or maybe that's just me.) Snake's Shadow has that same rich tone to it, minus the cocoa, but it's so much calmer. Snake Oil has never worked for me in any form, but this might be the one that finally cooperates on my skin.
  8. marared

    Snake's Shadow

    Had pretty much the same reaction as patina, except I cannot smell any of the labda... oh wait there it is now. Oudh really dominates this blend. It's a lot like jasmine in that the initial sniff is like "whoa wtf gross," but it settles down very quickly as it melds with the other notes. BUT, the "ick" still reaches out and slaps me in the face every so often, which means I am not going to wear this again. *adds oudh to the "not a death note but probably should avoid" list*
  9. marared

    Honey and Sweet Labdanum

    Yep, this is a total blast of rich, sweet labdanum. It's slightly fizzy, almost like a honey cream soda. It's very strong on the skin, but it doesn't have a lot of throw. And yes, this will age like a monster.
  10. marared

    The Temptation of St. Nick

    Dry spiced cacao, and - shockingly - it does NOT go sour like most spiced scents do! This is not especially *chocolatey*, but I definitely get the chili pepper and the clove. I am NOT sorry I got a bottle.
  11. Leafy vetiver. It's not as sharp and smoky as fresh vetiver can be, nor as rich and gooey as the aged sort, more like what I would expect a vetiver *plant* to smell like. I would never have known there was any vanilla in this, but I think maybe that's what's softening the vetiver and the dead leaves, both of which can be a little harsh, especially fresh.
  12. marared

    Dead Leaves and Vanilla Incense

    One day, I will find my perfect dark, not-too-sweet vanilla, but this isn't quite it. It's a nice dusty sweetness (I actually kinda sorta get that bell pepper impression someone else mentioned, although I wouldn't have thought of it that way) and it's got medium throw that doesn't announce itself, but it doesn't really have a whole lot of personality, either.
  13. marared

    Dead Leaves, Sweet Oakmoss, White Sage, and Chaparral

    Smoky sage. Nothing identifiably oakmoss, and I don't know what chaparral smells like on its own. Mellow, slightly sweet, easily masculine if someone leans that way.
  14. marared

    A Boar and a Goat

    18th century Russian lubok, illustrator unknown Red amber, frankincense C02 absolute, green fig, labdanum, King mandarin, Atlas cedar, and bitter almond. I got this because it has some similarities to a long discontinued favorite of mine, Mad Meg. Almond is usually a straight up NOPE before it even gets to my skin, but MM surprised me, and I hoped Boar and Goat would as well. And the almond is very definitely prominent at first. It settles down quickly, though, and then the frankincense/cedar/labdanum peek through just a bit. The fig and the mandarin blend together into a high-pitched, light-fruity note. Juicy, not jammy. The amber is undetectable, which is strange because I usually amp amber like crazy. After it's been on my skin for a while, it starts to remind me of ... Swank, maybe? I don't have an imp anymore to cross-reference, but it has that alcoholic fruity thing going on now, and the almond has disappeared.
  15. marared

    Two Sheep and Two Goats Resting Together in a Field

    I have barely tested any of my decants, but this is almost a guaranteed bottle purchase. It reminds me a lot of Unicorn & Ram without the leather, and the sweetness of the cardamom is replaced by the vanilla here. If you aren't a fan of vetiver but it isn't an instant death note, this is a good one to try - while it is pretty strong when freshly applied, it eventually fades into the background and doesn't dominate the scent. The vanilla peeks out after a while and the whole thing morphs into a much gentler scent.