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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by marared

  1. marared

    Lightning Struck a Flock of Witches

    This one is a bit odd and I've had a hard time putting my finger on it, even after letting it sit for a few weeks. It is definitely cool blue and airy, but I don't really get the ozone or the opoponax. Vanilla is there, yes - this particular vanilla reminds me a bit of Ghosts of Aldershot without the mint. I think "medicinal" is the right description here, but I've never gotten that from benzoin, so maybe it's the tobacco giving that particular impression on my skin? After about 10-15 minutes or so, there's the tobacco - it gets darker and more masculine, but there's still that creepy blue zing underneath.
  2. marared

    The Shadowed Veil

    2022 version: The pomegranate incense is what makes this for me. It's not very strong, but it's there, and it really elevates the blend. The pumpkin and leather are the strongest right off the bat, and the patchouli is an undercurrent, not too loud. After 20-30 minutes, it's mostly patchouli and leather, with a bit of butteriness from the pumpkin and the incense.
  3. marared

    Bobbing for Oblivion

    If you like the original Oblivion, you definitely want this. Apples really elevate this into something beautiful. It's almost like a high end craft cider - smooth, not too sweet, no effervesence, just really good apples. I've been waiting it out to see if the apple turns funky at all, and thankfully so far it does not. The apple has receded after a few minutes and the wood and spices peek out. The whole scent fades quite a bit 10-15 minutes in, but it's still lovely even close to the skin. I gotta run back to the Lab and order a couple more.
  4. marared

    Green Cardamom, Irish Fern, and Hinoki

    I like this one a lot. In the bottle, it's very green and almost swampy with the fern (in a fresh sort of way). On my skin, it's heavy on the cardamom to start, but the wood comes out and the two are in pretty equal balance after half an hour or so, but the fern disappears almost entirely after a few minutes. Medium to low throw - it is not nearly as pungent as Green Cardamom, Oakmoss, and Patchouli, that's for sure (which I also like, but boy you can smell me comin' from across the room).
  5. marared


    Frottle! I normally have trouble with fig, as it turns kinda chewy and nasty on my skin, but it behaves nicely here (after 15 years of aging!) I mostly get olive oil and a somewhat smoky amber, with a hint of honey and a hint of pastry. The fruit has mostly vanished from the scent, so I layered it with Pomegranate Sufganiyot for some extra yum.
  6. marared

    Oda a la Luz Encantada

    This is my favorite of the Liliths this year. It's a bright, happy, and fresh floral, definitely golden as the description says. There was a camphoric aspect to the lavender and chamomile that seems to have settled down in the few days since I got the box. The lavender is there, but the chamomile is definitely the stronger note. The cream, amber, and pear blossoms wash through the whole scent and give it warmth. It's really lovely.
  7. marared

    Read 10:42 PM

    The first time I tried this, I couldn't smell the blackberries at all. I smell them now in the bottle, loud and fruity as they are in the summer BPALs. On my skin, the blackberry vanishes right away and leaves a vaguely nail polish funk that I think is the cade plus the ylang ylang. I am not familiar with cade, but is described as being phenolic. It's not as frightening as oud can sometimes be, but you do have to ride it out for a little while. The patchouli is in there , the vanilla and labdanum not so much. I think this is a blend that will really benefit from aging, give everything a chance to settle and meld for 6-12 months.
  8. marared

    Hearts Are Not Had as a Gift But Hearts Are Earned

    I often amp rose blends, and unfortunately this is one of them. It's a pretty rose - a touch of floral powderiness, but otherwise smells quite natural - it's just so LOUD on my skin that I have a hard time picking out anything else in the blend. If I really inhale and think about it, the pepperberry is there lending a slightly fruity tang way down underneath it all, and there's a tiny bit of labdanum bringing up the back end, but no vanilla, no patchouli, just ROSE.
  9. marared

    This More Than Bloody Deed

    This is a nice, uncomplicated scent. Very definitely wildflower honey - it's got that rich tang to it that isn't in clover, orange blossom, etc. The labdanum does its usual fizzy soda thing, and the vanilla is not particularly noticeable. It's thick and sweet, but not overpoweringly so.
  10. marared


    I was really interested in this and it's not at ALL what I expected. I was hoping for a nice zingy citrus whoosh with the musk, but it's a harsh orange blossom on my skin. I let it sit for a while, hoping that more subtleties would develop, but alas, this is going straight to the NOPE pile.
  11. marared

    A Portrait

    This is, basically, strawberry scented incense. There's no floral aspect that I can detect at all, the patchouli is there but very gentle, the labdanum is not fizzy, and the strawberry is more jammy than fresh, but it doesn't smell artificial and it's not too sweet. I kinda like it.
  12. marared

    Strawberry Moon 2022

    Strawberry has never been one of my favorite BPALs - every one I've ever tried has not worked real well, but they've also been super sweet, either in a desserty or a plasticky way. This is a lot more of a *fresh* sweet. The strawberries are loud on immediate applications, but it turns green very quickly, with the vanilla sugar faint in the background. If this came in a shower gel I would buy multiple bottles. I might wear this more often than I initially thought when I first got it, too.
  13. (Since I am apparently the first reviewer, I'm not sure if we're lumping all four variants under a CTV title, or if we're going to split the topics for each base, so I went with the latter.) VIII Easily, it's Boomslang without the cocoa note. In the bottle, the oil is very gourmand - I initially thought it was hazelnut, but that's obviously not an option, as the Lab excluded major allergens like nuts. It's sweet, but a dry sweet, and when it's wet on my skin, it briefly takes on a woody note. I thought about it for a while, and when I hit on the Boomslang comparison, I realized that what I'm smelling is *rice*. It's Snake Oil and rice pudding! And it's actually pretty yummy too, so far. I'm gonna stash this for a while and see how I like it in a month or two.
  14. marared

    Margaret Magdalena Muffinhead

    It's fudgy in the bottle, but the coffee appears immediately on my skin. It takes a little while for the amber to peep out, and the cardamom mostly just holds the scent together rather than being a noticeable ingredient, but this is mostly cocoa-tinged coffee on me - and I am totally okay with this. It's a somewhat dry scent, and it lasts several hours, but it doesn't have a lot of throw. I particularly like dabbing it in my hair and getting a nice whiff when I take it down after work.
  15. marared


    Frottled in an order. Bright, fresh, agree that that's probably rose geranium, might be bergamot too. Not sure what the underlying sweet note is but probably floral. I might dab this on my wool dryer balls, but I don't think I'll wear it for myself.
  16. marared

    Pleasure Abundant

    Starts out as loud powdery orange blossom, but morphs pretty drastically over the course of 10-15 minutes through the amber and into a very frankincense-forward with the orange blossom entwined underneath. Surprisingly, it doesn't end up as powdery as I expected. It's also not nearly as loud as it was at first. Basically, don't let the opening salvo scare you off - let it sit on your skin for a while and see if it's more to your liking.
  17. marared

    Green Cardamom, Oakmoss, and Patchouli

    This immediately reminds me of Stung By The Cock Tree In Hell, so I assume it must be the same patchouli. It is loud, fuzzy, and unrepentantly masculine - a very Billy Butcher blend! Oakmoss really takes the spotlight here, and the cardamom keeps it dry. I kind of wish it had a more sparkle - a ginger, citrus, or labdanum might be good layering options. I dabbed a little Hanksite Phoenix on it to see how that worked, and now I have Billy Butcher who bothered to put on some deodorant this morning. I don't think I could wear this on its own, but there is definite layering potential.
  18. marared

    Le Pater

    Yesterday when I took it out of the box, it was patchouli. Today, it's sandalwood, oakmoss, and just a ping of vetiver. No vanilla or leather, or at least it's not noticeable. It is a much, much drier scent than I expected - I thought it would be fruitier, and I do kinda wish there was just a little more plum/berry to it, but that's why we layer! (I've got a bottle of Elderberry Flower & Sandhill Plum, that might go well with this...)
  19. marared

    Marshmallow and Black Plum

    I'm normally not a fan of sweeter scents, but I wanted to give this a shot. I agree with an earlier comment that this would be great for canoodling - the marshmallow is lovely and soft, and the plum gives it a nice dark feel - it's more almost more purple-musk than purple-fruit to me. It avoids being ghastly sweet AND the plum does not turn the whole thing into craft store ambience, which is a win.
  20. marared

    Tobacco Honey

    Tobacco honey. Wow. This was totally not what I was expecting. Fresh out of the bottle, it's nauseatingly gasoline-sweet. I suppose it should have occurred to me that honey comes from the flowers, not from the dried leaves, because what I think I was hoping for was that rich, smoky, cured tobacco + honey. I'm not even sure I can leave this on long enough for the drydown, let alone stash it for aging.
  21. marared

    Dark Chocolate, Whiskey, and Hazelnut Cream

    This is super rich and chocolatey in the bottle and freshly applied, with the whiskey a zingy undercurrent, but the long-term drydown is much different. It's still rich but much less sweet. It reminds me a little of TokyoMilk's Bittersweet, which has totally different secondary notes, but also turns into a dry, non-gourmand cocoa scent. It has a bit of throw at first, sticks close to the skin once it dries, and lasts several hours.
  22. The skin musk and amber dominate here. The patchouli is very light and the vanilla ... is not nonexistent, but it takes a while to show up and it it takes quite a back seat to the musk and amber. If you want something cozy that doesn't depend on fur or wool, or radiant golden warmth without anything floral, this is a good one to try. I imagine this will warm up and become quite sensual with some body heat.
  23. marared

    Shadow Games

    First thing I smell in the bottle is black pepper in oudh. Pepper usually burns off with a little time, but this has held on for 15+ minutes although it is less sharp. The oudh is very gentle but is clearly the "shadow" part of this. I would probably have mistaken this for patchouli rather than oudh. It takes a minute for the honey to peek out but it's barely noticeable, and I can't even smell the vanilla in this. Very soft, gentle, low throw.
  24. marared

    Bronze Dildo

    Oh I like this. I am not usually fond of anything "metallic" because it can be high-pitched and screechy to my nose, but this is a well-loved, well-cared-for dildo that smells more foresty-woody than bronze-y. Musk and oakmoss are at the forefront, with the cardamom giving it just a little zing, and the amber/patchouli/tonka keep it smooth. This reminds me of some of my Serge Lutens perfumes - it smells really expensive. Depending on how this ages over the next few weeks, I might have to get another bottle in my next order...
  25. marared

    Stung By the Cock Tree in Hell

    This one is really interesting and I'm not sure what to make out of it at first. This is very dark and foresty. There's something very slightly camphoric - not much but on a deep inhale it tickles the top of my nose. The hinoki and mahogany are dominant but it's not a clean wood smell, it's very ... fuzzy, textured, like you rolled an old log out of its resting place, that's the combined effort of the rest of the notes. I think it's probably the oud giving it the darkness - and it is NOT stanky! - and the moss/patch/tobacco/mushroom carrying it the rest of the way. This is what an Ent would smell like. The hinoki is what makes this so interesting, I think. I've loved other blends in the past with this note, and it really conveys the "ancient" sense behind this.