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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

    Walking My Daughter to Class

    You know how sugar cookies often have a little lemon in them? This smells like lavender sugar cookies in the imp. On my skin, it gets brighter and the bergamot and tea both get stronger, but it still retains that slightly sweet cookie aspect to it.
  2. marared

    Gloom Meeting

    I am in that small group of people that really enjoys vetiver, and I have always gotten along well with oakmoss and sandalwood of every variety, so I had high hopes for this scent and I was not at all disappointed. This is not scorched, smoky vetiver - it's quite mild and smooth - but if you are not a fan, this probably won't change your mind. The sandalwood is the most prominent note, and it's very dry. I don't know if "sweet" is really the descriptive I want for the oakmoss, but it counters the dryness of the sandalwood with something that's almost powdery. If I spray it on my skin, it starts to develop a craft store soap whiff to it, but in my hair it stays dry and woody. And unlike the other hair glosses I've tried so far, the scent really lasts - I've had it in for several hours and I can still smell it clearly.
  3. marared

    Liquid Gold is in the Air

    This is absolutely beautiful in the bottle and on application: bright, fresh, juicy apple and honey that is not syrupy. I reeeeeally have to inhale to pick up any amber or vanilla husk. No cedar, no oud, not even saffron which is normally a pretty assertive note. Very low throw. After a few minutes, the scent darkens up a bit. The vanilla starts showing up, and I think that must be the oud, because it's still not amber or cedar - but there's also no trace of indoles. Hooray! And then after about twenty minutes? It's gone. My skin ate it all, only the barest hint remains. It's a really gorgeous scent, with very little staying power.
  4. marared

    Dead Leaves, Marshmallow, and Pistachio Cream

    Mine is also 24 hours out of the mailbox. I don't like uber-sugary scents (at least not to wear), and this was exactly what I hoped for: the sweetness tamped down by the dryness of the leaves (although there is nothing definitively *leafy* here) and the warm nuttiness of the pistachio. And I can actually smell that it's PISTACHIO, too! I am pretty sure that this is going right into my fall/winter rotation. It's moderately strong when my nose is close to my wrist, but it doesn't have a lot of throw.
  5. marared

    Skin Musk, Cream, & Honey Dust

    I put this on by accident about ten minutes ago because I grabbed the wrong bottle with the Menage artwork (look, there's not a lot of light in my apartment first thing in the morning and the corner was dark!), and figured what the heck, I'll review it as long as it's on. And then when I sat down to do the review... the scent was almost completely gone. I reapplied a little more heavily, went to make breakfast, and when I sat back down, it's still extremely low throw and fading fast. It's warm, creamy, not milky, I think the honey dust helps give it that "toasty" impression. Very mild scent, very pretty, but not something you want to wear if you want everyone passing within a couple of feet of you to notice, and on me it's just about gone after ten minutes.
  6. marared

    Please Scream Inside Your Snake Oil

    Nope. Nope nope nope. The concept was almost exactly on the nose for me: it smells like I ate too much funnel cake at a cheap parking lot carnival and then I got on a pirate ship ride or something else that sends everything sloshing and I can taste it threatening to come back up. I had to scrub it off. I'm going to forget about it for 3-4 years to see if Snake Oil does its thing.
  7. marared

    Civil Twilight

    I smell the honeysuckle in the bottle - and almost mistook it for magnolia - but on my skin it's a lightly floral peach, and the peach is juicy, smells very much like actual fruit rather than syrup. The amber is barely there, and the lemon blossom doesn't come out until the honeysuckle fades a bit after a few minutes. It's soft, pretty, feminine, totally summery.
  8. marared

    Tomato Leaf, Black Pepper, & Hay Absolute

    I love this. It's one of the most interesting blends I've ever smelled from the Lab. Right off the bat, this is very strong, very sharp leafy black pepper on a bed of hay. There is no "tomato" note to it at all, it is strictly that intense green scent on your hands after you've brushed up against a tomato plant. It is extremely peppery. EXTREMELY. The hay sits way down at the bottom of the scent for quite a while. The leafiness starts to fade after about 10-15 minutes, and after a good while longer, the pepperiness finally recedes a little as well, and then the hay comes out - which is startlingly sweet, almost like amber but without being rich or powdery. It's pretty strong but it doesn't have a lot of throw, and the strength is purely in the pepper; once that fades after about 20-30 minutes, it's a much gentler scent.
  9. marared

    Cacao, Black Amber & Black Copal

    Chocolate soap, yep. Well, more like chocolate cleaning fluid rather than *soap* - it's not powdery, but it's high-pitched and unnatural and it smells like a very strange cookie. The amber is barely even noticeable and I typically amp amber a lot. I tried this after two weeks to see if it was just travel shock, and it has not improved for me. I can't even let it sit on my skin more than ten minutes.
  10. marared

    Mead Moon

    2008 Mead Moon is one of my top tier favorites and I'm running low on my last bottle, so I was looking forward to trying the new one. It is noticeably different, but not in a bad way at all. 2008 is fizzy and bright like soda, and the spices are more prominent - it has a fairly sharp zing to it, and I would have *sworn* it had labdanum, but it doesn't. 2020 is much sweeter, more syrupy, and much heavier on the fruit, but in a good way! It's not overpowering or too jammy. The fruits all blend well, it doesn't announce itself as distinctively berry OR citrus. It smells like a sangria mix without the wine. The spices are still there but they're much further down in the blend. This is delicious, I love it. I bought two, might have to get another couple before they come down...
  11. marared

    Le Lèthè

    In the imp, it's loud red musk. Directly applied, it's loud skin musk with the grapey red musk underneath it. After it dries, it's just powdery red musk, which dominates every other note in the blend, even amber.
  12. marared

    Caramel, Smoked Chilis, & Black Vanilla

    In the bottle: rich foodie vanilla caramel. Freshly applied, it smells like smoked caramel, almost chocolatey but not quite - loud, lots of throw. After a few minutes, it dries down a lot more like the bottle - dark syrupy vanilla. If I put my nose against my skin, inhale deeply, and think about it, I can detect the chili - this note is why I bought it, and I wish it was stronger, because it would give the blend more personality. It might strengthen with some age; we'll see.
  13. marared

    Lime & White Musk

    Startlingly invigorating like getting hit in the face with a musk-soaked lime. Loud, sharp, heavy throw. Smells more like lime zest than lime fruit, but either way it's eye-watering to the point that I can't wait for the drydown, even after a few months in the closet. Maybe in six more months...
  14. marared

    Raspberry & Red Benzoin

    Tart raspberry candy with an undercurrent of sour, slightly powdery GACK, and I'm not sure which note is causing it. I'm leaning towards the raspberry, because I've never had this reaction from benzoin, and the last couple times I've tried a raspberry-heavy blend from the lab, they didn't work out all that well. I'm gonna stick it in the closet for a couple of years and check every few months to see if the gack mellows out with age, because I really love a good smooth resiny raspberry.
  15. marared

    Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, & Vanilla Absolute

    So what I was hoping for here was a cousin to Bath and Body Works' Jasmine Vanilla - I still have some of the old formula, which is so much richer than it's been the last several years, the epitome of dark and sexy vanilla floral. This is much brighter. It was a little much on first application - nose-wrinklingly potent ylang ylang with high-pitched candyish vanilla behind it. But within ten minutes or so, the ylang ylang calms down, and the sandalwood comes out to mesh smoothly with the vanilla, and it becomes much more gentle and feminine. Not much throw at all, sits close to the skin, lasts for a good few hours but I have to put my nose to my wrist to really smell it. Probably going to order a backup bottle... A sister scent would be A Spirit, Katie.