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BPAL Madness!


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About GhillieDhu

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    a little too imp-ulsive


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  1. GhillieDhu

    The Arabian Dance

    The Arabian Dance is fantasticakes. At least while it's wet. It's like walking in the city on a damp winter morning, nursing a delicious hazelnut latte and wearing a leather jacket borrowed from your sophisticated older boyfriend (who left one of his expensive cigars in the pocket). Comforting and sexy at the same time. There's something fresh and almost lemony-floral in here that I want to say is nutmeg or mace (the spice), or maaaybe coriander. (Edit: Looking at the previous review, I'm probably smelling cardamom, maybe in combination with one of the others..) And then, just when I'm thinking, "OMG, is this actually a BPAL leather I can wear?!" - it dries and goes straight to "leather" car freshener with a hint of clove tobacco underneath, and stays that way. *sigh* Might look for a full decant to use in a scent locket, though, just because it's SO gorgeous wet. Try if you liked: Pinched With Four Aces, Dee.
  2. GhillieDhu

    The Phoenix in Spring

    In the imp and wet on my skin, Phoenix in Spring smelled like airy sweet black cherries. As it dried, the cherry note shifted more toward blossoms, dandelion came out rapidly, and the combination was so perfectly SPRING for a few minutes... and then skin chemistry happened. It turned into bitter crushed dandelion stems under a ridiculously fluffy and flowery pink-and-white cherrysplosion. Neither of those elements is bad, per se, but the combination just didn't work for me as a perfume. So I passed the decant on to my mother, who said it smelled like perfect fresh-cut carnations, asked how long it was available, and promptly placed her first ever direct Lab order. And we all lived happily ever after.
  3. GhillieDhu

    The Phoenix in Autumn

    Disclaimer: This was tested from an exceedingly cold bottle, as my lovely postperson decided the box wouldn't go through my mail slot EVEN THOUGH THE LAST HALF DOZEN FIT JUST FINE. I may have to edit my impressions once the oil's settled - hope not, though! Ooh, Phoenix in Autumn is lovely. I wasn't quite sure about it wet, as the notes didn't quite seem to meld right, but it's getting nicer and nicer. Wet: Fresh-cut teak , smooth sweet patchouli, and bitter green ivy. Drying: The ivy fades into the background and the teak smooths out. Tonka is just starting to make an appearance. Smells like expensive teak furniture with a whisper of patchouli and crumbled leaves. Dry: This would be great on a man, but it's not so masculine that I feel uncomfortable wearing it. The notes blend so seamlessly now that it's hard to pick out individual scents, but this Phoenix is mostly a teak and tonka bean show with musty dry leaves underneath and a hint of green sweetness around the edges. Surprised the patchouli isn't more prominent on my skin, but I think it's just adding a harmonious middle note to the teak-and-tonka chord. Never did get any coffee. I like this, and I'm betting it will only get better with age. 4/5 Try if you liked: The Antikythera Mechanism, Falling Leaf Moon, Samhainophobia.
  4. GhillieDhu

    Shadows of What May Be

    Mostly wet, black, squishy earth with a bit of fungusy edge, very like the dirt note from Zombi. Dead brown grass trodden into the mud and crushed green stems, along with a hint of what's probably an aquatic note but is making me think of rotting cucumber vines. This isn't a frosty cold scent, just chilly and damp. I don't know whether this is more like turning over the ground for your spring garden, or like tromping through an overgrown field in late fall on the first clear day after a week of rain. Beautifully done. Not the sort of thing I'd wear as a perfume, but I'd like to have a room spray of this to use in hot, dry summer weather. I know Mom will love this one! Try if you like: Planting Moon, Graveyard Dirt, Zombi, Destroying Angel.
  5. GhillieDhu

    Christmas Eve on the Moor

    Purchased at my mother's request and tested on its way to her. This is the sort of scent that I love in theory but know better than to buy for myself, because 99% of watery or airy notes don't work on my skin. With that caveat... Aquatic cologne. Very nice cologne, though. It reminds me of Love's Rain scent, actually, except more grown-up and with a squeeze of lemon on top. If I wore Cool Water-type scents, I'd probably adore this. If your skin doesn't explode ozone and aquatics, I'm guessing this might resemble a fall version of Amsterdam - the flowers are gone and the grass is turning brown, but there's still that feeling of clear running water and open space.
  6. GhillieDhu

    The Russian Dance

    This sounded like it could be SO GOOD, but The Russian Dance does weird things on my skin. At first it smells like dry, leafy resinous patchouli, similar to Aureus and Greed. Then it turns into fresh-baked dark rye bread, which I suppose is appropriately Russian, and also is a nice smell, if unexpected. Unfortunately, there's a funky ammonia-ish hint of bathroom smell underneath it that comes out after half an hour. Tea just doesn't like my skin, and I suspect it's inciting one of the resins to bad behavior. Alas.
  7. GhillieDhu

    Mother Ginger

    Wet, Mother Ginger smells like fresh ginger and cake, with just an edge of lemon. As it dries down it becomes more candied, buttery and pastryish, and more and more familiar... animal cookies? Graham crackers? Aha! Walker's Scottish stem ginger shortbread! Once dry, the buttery note intensifies and is joined by heaps of vanilla sugar. Now it's graham cracker pie crust and a big slab of ginger shortbread slathered in buttercream frosting. Not a bad smell, but I don't think I could even eat something this rich, let alone wear it. Oh well, someone else will love my bottle more. 2/5
  8. GhillieDhu

    Falling Leaf Moon

    Wow! ITA with those who said this smells like the best part of Samhain! The "rain" note is lovely and un-soapy, but unfortunately disappears within five minutes of hitting my skin. After that it's all smoky crisp leaf-pile (yes, apple and maple leaves!) shifting aside to reveal sweet, spicy resins. A neat midpoint between Beth's "perfumey" blends and her ultra-realistic nature scents. The resin/wood combination in this reminds me very much of Schwarzer Mond '08 without the sexified musk, and the rainy burning leaves note is what I hoped to get from October. Final word: OM NOM. One bottle might be enough... but then again, it might not be.
  9. GhillieDhu


    This is the more naturalistic Autumn to Passionate Shepherd's stylized Spring. (Looking at the notes, no surprise there... must be the ivy and heather.) A dark murky ivy green, a touch metallic from the sage, with bits of fresh-cut grass and snapped branches, and something dark and just a bit acrid. I can't quite place it... could be smoldering peat or wet leather. Can't pick out the anise, which is a relief. It smells like Scotland. Or at least how I imagine the Scottish Highlands would smell, anyway, on a misty still morning getting on toward winter. This is surprisingly wearable! I love "planty" scents, but often they don't love my skin...whatever the dark note is, it's grounding the fragrance just enough to keep it from going soapy. It should be nice in the oil burner as well, though.
  10. GhillieDhu

    Perfume to match songs?

    Dole of the King's Daughter (Red roses, blood-flecked lilies, upturned earth, yew branches, and blood mingled with river sand) sounds like a perfect match for Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue's "Where the Wild Roses Grow", especially the video.
  11. I got serious "lady musk" from Skuld. Even more so than O. I think it's the combination of honey and ylang, but I would not feel comfortable wearing it out of the house!
  12. GhillieDhu

    Scents for late summer into autumn

    October. Dead leaves, smoke, sap, and cool breezes... it's a 2007 LE, but worth tracking down if that's what you're looking for. I think it's still pretty easy to find. One of last year's Halloweenies, Ichabod Crane, might be worth a sniff if you like White Rabbit and lilies. For GC, I strongly recommend Nemesis. it doesn't get a lot of love, but it's a gorgeous complex scent, rich without being heavy, and the combination of fig with herbal and spicy resin notes is pretty autumnal. Verdandi is a nice crisp herbal apple. Second Yggdrasil as well, or Alecto if you can wear cedar. Penny Dreadful is very "fall" to my nose, like dirty baking spices with a bit of floral. Have you seen the new LEs? Some of those look good.
  13. GhillieDhu

    Whoso List To Hunt

    I have to say this isn't at all my usual type of scent, but I like it! The combination of rose, musk, and amber is old-fashioned in the way that, say, a vintage Guerlain is old-fashioned - goes straight past "grandma perfume" into "classic". Immediately upon applying, I get ROSE! tempered by something dry and powdery and barklike. The rose in this is rich and incensey like the one in Thanatos. The brown musk is a soft, "furry" musk, no trace of skank here. In the drydown, this is an inviting woodsy, dusty amber sweetened by just a hint of rose. Reminds me of the famous center panel of the Bayeux tapestry for some reason.
  14. GhillieDhu

    The Robotic Scarab

    This was a lab frimp, and I was terrified of it. I've had things turn to motor oil and metal on me that weren't supposed to, and don't like it at all. But the Robotic Scarab is lovely! It's mostly bright, volatile red-gold frankincense, with fiery spices (oddly, I smell more cinnamon than anise) and a touch of black leather. There's a hint of something that might almost be red wine in the background. This feels almost more like a ritual oil than a perfume to me. Not sure whom it would invoke... some bright, dangerous god of fire, artifice and sensuality. Another perspective: my mother tried this and gets mint and eucalyptus. ?!
  15. GhillieDhu

    Planting Moon

    On me, this is dirt for a few moments, then goes to freshly snapped delicious pole beans, just like the ones in my yard every summer. After 15 minutes or so, the beans fade and I'm left with soft wildflowers and misty rain. It's quite a lovely gentle floral, but not my style. This bottle was actually ordered for my mother, and on her it's long-lasting garden soil with green overtones of beans and tomato leaf, and no flowers whatsoever. We were both a little surprised, but she loves it, so that's good!