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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Shollin

  1. Shollin


    Ravenous, from Love Potions: An utterly feral, thoroughly rousing perfume. Red patchouli sweetened by orange blossom. First sniff: Only thing I can think of is “it smells like an evil orange.” Made me giggle, but that might just be at my own craziness. Wearing: Orange liqueur, but the sharpness seems to be less on my skin – not softened, but swallowed up in something warm and velvet-soft (if that's red patchouli I need to get me some more!). It’s a teensy bit reminiscent of the “feeling” of Snake Oil – not the same scent, but the same sort of warm slinky feeling. It’s definitely warm, but warm like drinking whiskey on a cold night, not warm like baking cookies in your grandmother’s kitchen. Ravenous and Lush's Karma are both orange and patchouli, but Karma is bright and bubbly and cheerful – this might be Karma’s older sister who wears black eyeliner and tall boots. I think I’m wearing this one to New Year’s Eve. On second wearing (New Year’s Eve) this is now my official “wear when I want to feel sexy” perfume, and will probably go in my car for slinkiness emergencies. I want to roll around in the stuff. It’s still a bit sharp on first touch, but it gets warm and velvety so quickly… mmmmmm.
  2. From the Twilight review: I'm trying to keep other comments out of the review threads, so I moved this down here. I think it's interesting you made this comparison, Goth - when I placed this order, I put in the comments box that I was having a hard time deciding between Twilight and Old New Orleans, and asked them to pick for me. (They sent me both, of course. Crazy lovely people. Same thing happened with Seance and The Hermit, incidentally.) It'll be interesting to see what sort of evening it turns into on my skin.
  3. Shollin


    Masquerade, from Bewitching Brews: A festive, dazzling blend, layered in mystery and intrigue. Patchouli, ambergris, carnation and orange blossom. First sniff: I’m reluctant to say this for fear all the Lushies will rush out and buy it and then not sniff it the same, but… Masquerade reminds me very much of Icon soap, if it were brushed with orange. It has the same sort of dark mysterious Renaissance-angel feel to it without being sharply incensey. Wearing: I can smell the orange more, but it’s still wrapped in soft black feathers and guttering candlelight, with a wisp of the smoke of burning herbs curling overhead. It’s not as darkly-purple as Icon, definitely, but the same feel is there. It reminds me a bit of the good parts of Anne Bonny before my skin futzed the incense up – that same intriguing-as-hell combination of dark and bright. I cannot figure this one out… and I LIKE that. I suspect this one will go into heavy rotation, as it's completely unlike any other BP scents I have, and I really must try it after showering with the remnants of my Icon soap.
  4. Shollin


    Fae, from Bewitching Brews: A brilliant, ethereal scent: white musk, bergamot, heliotrope, peach and oakmoss. I quoted Laivine's Fae review (posted in the Welcome thread) over to here so it'd be easy to find. --Shollin
  5. Shollin

    The Apothecary

    Tea leaf with three mosses, green grass, a medley of herbal notes, and a drop of ginger and fig. First sniff: For some reason I was expecting another dusty scent like Seance. This one is anything but. It’s very round and solid and warm, and there’s a fruitiness or an herbiness to it – nothing musty-old-bookish at all. I like this one a lot out of the bottle and it'll be interesting to see how it does on me. Seems very unisex. Wearing: A nice unisex clean scent with a hint of soft lemon and possibly herbal tea. It reminded me of a lighter Oberon, which is weird, because there’s none of the wildness Oberon has; it’s much more restrained and tame. Didn’t last very long on my skin – I’ll have to try putting more on next time.
  6. Shollin


    Cathedral, from Sin & Salvation: Venerable and solemn: the scent of incense smoke wafting through an ancient church. A true ecclesiatical blend of pure resins. First sniff: Hard to pin down - definitely warm, spicy, a bit sweet. An old stone church at midnight Mass. Wearing: Quite sweet on my skin. Maybe a bit too much. Warm and comforting at first, but I've discovered that resin scents don't like me - it turned unpleasantly sharp-sweet within a few minutes. Diffuser: Very, very incensey and a bit woody. Mostly incense. Might be too strong even as a room scent.
  7. Shollin


    Rapture, from Love Potions: Sensual ecstasy, the blinding red fire of the apex of sexual pleasure: Moroccan rose, Sumatran rose, mandarin, Egyptian myrrh, night-blooming jasmine, bergamot and neroli thrust into Arabian musk. First sniff: Mmmm… warm, soft and quietly sensual, like being wrapped in a longtime lover’s embrace just to enjoy each other's closeness with no fooling around. There’s a food scent in here too, a spicy/baked-goods sort that I can’t pin down. Wearing: This scent absolutely screams afterglow to me… not the moment of the rapture in question, but later, when you cuddle up together and you’re all warm and breathless and sleepy in such a good way. I definitely smell rose, but what a rose… warm and velvety like the caress of petals across your skin, a big bold wide-open rose still warm from the sun in the garden, not the little buds from the florist. In that sense it reminds me of the feel of the flowers in Old Venice. I’m wearing this to bed… we’ll see what sorts of dreams it brings.
  8. Shollin

    Baobhan Sith

    Baobhan Sith, from Diabolus: The ghostly White Women of the Scottish highlands. They seduce unwary travelers by night with their unearthly beauty and mesmerizing dancing. They engage their victims in a wild, hypnotic dance, and once they reach exhaustion, the demonesses exsanguinate their partners with their vampiric kiss. Talk about a quick courtship. Grapefruit, white tea, apple blossom and ginger. First sniff: Definite grapefruit, with a bite – it almost smells like grapefruit peel rather than the fruit inside. The inside of the grapefruit when you’re done eating it and all the sugar is gone. Wearing: The feel of this reminds me very much of Phantasm – they both have a misty, wispy quality to the citrus, but Phantasm is much brighter, where this one is in shadow. The ginger is very restrained, not biting like Siren but a very faint note of spice under the fruit, so slight I wasn't sure I was really smelling it. I really enjoyed this one, even if it did fade a bit quickly.
  9. Shollin


    Hellfire, take II, from Sin and Salvation: A scent celebrating Sir Francis Dashwood's Order of the Knights of St. Francis of Wycombe, also known as the Hellfire Club. A swirl of pipe tobacco, hot leather, ambergris, dark musk and the lingering incense smoke from their Black Mass. First sniff: A fancy glass of expensive brandy spilled on a thick deep-red carpet beside a leather armchair in front of the wide fireplace. It smells like one of those snooty gentlemen’s clubs for snooty old rich men, complete with a butler in tailcoat and cravat. Wearing: It’s late in the evening, the pipes have been lit and the snooty old rich men are sitting back in front of the fireplace discussing politics. Despite the snobbery, this is a strangely comforting scent – I can see my grandfather sitting in his red leather chair in his living room, the one that usually stands empty because everyone feels weird about sitting in his chair even though he’s been gone since I was twelve. I’m quite pleasantly surprised that I like it as much as I do - now that it's dried it's quite soft but somehow still very solid, a good kind of smoky, and that leather armchair will not be moved. Not an everyday scent, definitely, but one I’ll turn to now and then when I need that sort of comforting. On my guy: As soon as it dries, it smells like I dabbed single-malt Scotch behind his ears. EDIT: Please note that this thread is for the new version of Hellfire, the one that smells like leather and booze. If you're looking for the old Hellfire, which has often been described as smelling like buttered popcorn, you need to go here. (And if you've managed to get your hands on the original, be proud, 'cause it's hard to find!) --Shollin
  10. Shollin


    A meditation upon death. Inspired by William Cullen Bryant's poem. A deep, solemn earthen scent containing pine, juniper and musk. First sniff: Very masculine. Incensey and cologney. A hint of citrus. Second impression in the bottle: cedarwood. Wearing: Too sharp and dark to be me. Might make a good Halloweeny oil-burner scent.
  11. Shollin


    An enigmatic, otherworldly scent, brimming with power and mystery. Lavender and jasmine, with a touch of glowing honeysuckle. First sniff: This one is very hard to pin down. A definite floral, with a high yellow note that has a bit of bite to it and almost makes my nose itch. I thought at first it was a very warm summer evening, but it cooled off a bit as I sniffed. September, maybe, just as the leaves are starting to turn. Wearing: Caressingly warm, softer and darker on me than in the bottle, which is a good thing. Warm soft purple. My kinda floral. Over the course of the evening it upgraded itself from “just trying it on” to “definite keeper” to “must have more!” About halfway through work, four or five hours in, it developed an intriguing wet green smell around the flowers, like a garden in the rain. That stage didn't last long, but it was decidedly nice. After one wearing, it's gone on my favourites list.
  12. Shollin

    RPG Combos

    Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s RPG scent series was designed to emulate the character creation process, and are meant to be layered in order to create a character concept. In short: you layer your class, race, and the two fragrances that compose your alignment to construct your character scent. The RPG scents are designed to be layered! Are you a Neutral Good Half-Elf Ranger? Are you a Chaotic Evil Orc Mage? Whatever combination you try on, this is the place to review it! (Please note that nonreview comments and questions are still off-topic here and will be moved.)
  13. Shollin


    Deep, luscious green and berry scents that evoke images of woodland witchcraft and the raw power of nature: blackberry, sage, green tea, wild berries and dark musk. First sniff: Fruity berries. "I like that a LOT." Bright? Wearing: A very pretty berry scent, lasted all night and strong enough to smell through my exploding sinuses the first time I tried it. This one has since gone on my "gotta rebuy" list. If y'all are familiar with the Republic of Tea, Bewitched smells like a softer, darker version of their Blackberry Sage. Entirely edible.
  14. Shollin


    Orchid, white musk, and bergamot wafting over juniper berries, with a gentle touch of soft, earthy patchouli. First sniff: Ooh. Something fey about this one. It smells like camping or the mountains or something outdoorsy and rugged without being overly macho. A wild scent, wind-tossed hair and sunlight filtered through pine needles. Wearing: I just tried on my Oberon, and it’s so impossibly YUM I have to add to my previous review. (I’m trying to find a word other than “beautiful,” because while it is, that word just isn’t right - far too soft and feminine. This is manly-beautiful like a guy you’d drool over from across a crowded bar.) It’s gorgeous! There’s an evergreen sort of smell that I can’t pin down – it’s not pine or cedar, it might be juniper. Woodsy, but in a wild stormy way, not in a peaceful reflective way. It does kinda remind me of rain – but again, a primal downpour thunderstorm thing, not a gentle April-showers-bring-May-flowers kind of rain... primal is definitely the word. Mmmmmm. I’d love to smell this on a guy (and I wish I had one I could buy it for) – I doubt I’d be able to keep my hands off him. Not so overtly masculine that I feel uncomfortable wearing it, but I’m betting it’d be terrifically swoon-inducing on a boy. Seems to be getting brighter, fresher and greener as it dries. Definitely a keeper. A clean scent – not sterile hospital clean, but mountain air clean, rain-washed clean.
  15. Shollin


    Ouija, from Bewitching Brews: Lush parlor rooms draped in thick velvets and gilded in gold, unearthly whispering in the distance, fleeting flashes of wraithlike figures rushing just outside your vision, the chill of a phantom presence brushing by your cheek, the inscrutable knowledge that disembodied eyes are peering at you from darkened corners… this is the essence of Victorian-era spiritualism: rosewood, oak and teak notes with wispy blue lilac, tea rose, dried white rose and ethereal osmanthus. First sniff: Dark wood paneling surrounding a room full of spiced pipesmoke, with a dry edge to it. This is what I expect Ollivander’s wand shop would smell like. If there are flowers here, their brightness is obscured by dry wood… though there might be a hint of dried flowers. Wearing: Immediately I smell cigarette smoke. I don’t think that would be allowed at Ollivander’s, especially around all those wooden wands! That seems to be just the first-skin-touch scent though, because it swirls up and then vanishes quickly, and in its wake come the dried flowers, much more distinct now than in the vial. White roses and lilies with a wee bit of greenery, all crisped and sere (I’ve been reading Ulalume too much…) They’ve almost overwhelmed the dark woodiness, and I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a good thing. An hour or so later I think it’s probably not – another one for my floral friend Barbara, I’ll just have to convince her to sit through the dark-wood part of it.
  16. Shollin


    Carnal, from Love Potions: Bold, bright mandarin paired with the sweet, sensual earthiness of fig. First sniff: Very bright orange with a shadow of something more reserved backing it up. Wearing: At first touch the orange is much lighter than I expected – it doesn’t leap out and bite you on the nose, it’s just floating generally around you. It’s a paler, more reserved orange than the aggressiveness of Ravenous... rather ironic from something named Carnal. But I like the warmth of this one a lot. I can definitely smell the fig, though if I didn’t know that’s what it was I would never have been able to define it. It’s making me hungry, and confirming that orange scents really do work well on me, though I’d never have thunk it. I should find more.
  17. Shollin


    The devil's herb, which he cultivates with skill and pleasure. According to lore, the spirit of this plant may take the form of a breathtaking, achingly beautiful woman, deadly to behold. This scent is a tribute to such a dark and magnificent plant: a rich green and floral blend, earthy and haunting. First sniff: This is another scent that was very familiar but I couldn't pin down specifically what it was making me think of. Dark, green, mysterious. Wearing: A little spicy and a little churchy. Seems to get darker and slightly bitter. Second wearing: I swear this is sharper than before. The sharpness calms quickly though, and fades to a mysterious, slightly spicy dark-green smell. The woods at night, in midsummer – the feel of the scent is muggy rather than fresh.
  18. Shollin


    Old Amsterdam, from Wanderlust: Tulips, peony, fresh flowing water and crisp green grasses. First sniff: Fresh and sunny, bright flowers floating on clear water. Wearing: It’s been quite a while since I smelled a tulip, but I’m pretty sure this is them. I love the freshness of this scent – it’s not room-full-of-flowers-y, it’s definitely an outdoor-flowers scent, with sun shining on a watermill.
  19. Shollin


    Cathode, from Bewitching Brews: A negatively charged scent. Ambergris, Spanish Moss, oakmoss and three electric mints. The version I tried is a prototype. First sniff: Zingy and bright! Makes my nose tingle. Very minty. Wearing: Bright white mint in the sun, with flickers of green around the edges. It’s a softer mint than Mad Hatter, more diffuse and less crisp. Before it faded it went very softly sweet on my wrists. I'll definitely be wearing it again.
  20. Shollin


    Jupiter, from Celestials - Planetary Oils. Characteristics listed on the site: Majesty - Expansion - OptimismPolitics - Civic & Religious Leadership - Health Prosperity - Advancement - Justice - Benevolent Power - Responsibility Sagacity - Sworn Oaths First sniff: This smells more like Mercury to me -- sharp-edged and mischievous, in a chaotic rather than playful way. It's not the steady regal scent I'd expect for the king of the gods. (But then, Jupiter wasn't exactly steady and regal when he was off boffing all the mortal women he could get his divine paws on... *quickly dodges the lightning*) Wearing: Definitely sharp and a bit haughty. It's masculine, but not in the typical way -- it's arrogant and withdrawn rather than husky and macho. Much darker on me than in the bottle -- at first touch it's bright green but quickly dulls to something almost sullen. After a few minutes on, it smells exactly like pencil shavings (which to my brain fits perfectly with the "politics" aspect, though I really can't explain why).
  21. Shollin


    Malediction, from Sin & Salvation: Evil incarnate. Revel in your dark side with this romantically cruel scent. Contains red patchouli and vetivert. First sniff: Dark, earthy, slightly spicy - sandalwood? But pleasant, and I've discovered I don’t like sandalwood - must be the patchouli. Incensey. A hint of sweetness too. Wearing: Very dark, almost wood-y. A bit much at first but gets softer and warmer - was very nice at work. Very promising. Second try: For a while it’s cedarwood, like putting your head into an old cedar closet and smelling the coats. After a couple of hours there’s something sharp underneath – almost citrusy but not quite. I can’t pin it down. I might not like this one as much as I thought I did.
  22. Shollin


    True, perfect golden light, refined into an incomparably glorious scent. First sniff: Incensey and ecclesiastical, but bright rather than mysterious - a wood church, not a stone church, on a weekday afternoon when no one is there and the sunlight is turning the pews stained-glass-coloured. It's a bit Cathedralish, but lighter, and with a bit of a bite. Wearing: I just don't think these resiny scents are for me, unfortunately. Wish I knew what it is I don't like about them on my skin, but I'm guessing it's the amber, in which case I know to avoid it in future. Aureus isn't offensively bad on me, but it's definitely not overly pleasant. Too sharp and something my nose wants to define as "sweet" but isn't really. I got another freebie imp in a recent order, so: Trying again: It really is a very golden scent, warm and enveloping – it's warm like the warmth of sunlight without being a sunny scent. The incenseyness of it still doesn't agree with my skin, sadly, and it seems like there's a hint of cedar too, which I haven't noticed before and might be making up just because it smells sharp and a bit woody. Oddly, toward the end of the night, the scent directly on my wrists started smelling decidedly bakery-ish and made me a bit hungry.
  23. Shollin

    Phantom Queen

    Phantom Queen, from Diabolus: An epithet of the Morrigan, crow-winged Celtic goddess of war, strife and fertility. Adoration of this Goddess is expressed both through the ecstasy of battle lust and the ecstasy of sexual regeneration. Black orchid, apple blossom, meadowsweet, and rue over Irish moss, hawthorn and red clover. First sniff: The same berry idea as in Bewitched, but much darker, stronger, warmer and wilder. There’s a hint of something that reminds me of the slinkiness of Ravenous. I cannot wait to smell this on my skin. (And again I’m smelling fruit that isn’t there, because there’s no berry in the description.) Wearing: As strong and heady as this is in the bottle, it just doesn’t want to stick to my skin. I can smell it if I sniff my wrist, but it doesn’t waft up to my nose at all. Drat. Diffuser: Can’t smell it here either. I’ll let it all burn off, because I did put it in water (silliness), but I’m disappointed. I swapped for another imp of this scent after deciding I hadn't given it a fair chance. Trying again: I must not have put much on the first time I tried this many months ago, or my chemistry was out of whack or something, because now it’s sticking to me wonderfully and is just gorgeous. Dark wild berries and deep purple blooms, with just a hint of powder sprinkled over. This is Unseelie’s older and more assertive sister. It behaved on me the same way Jezebel did, in that after several hours I couldn’t smell it on my wrists but I kept getting wafts of the aura, which stayed surprisingly solid throughout the night. I’m so glad I gave the Queen another try – she’s mine this time.
  24. Shollin


    Phantasm, from Bewitching Brews: This delicate, spectral perfume gives rise to an eerie distortion of of the senses. It bestows an ephemeral, ghostly, and truly haunting quality to your presence. Green tea, lemon verbena, jasmine and neroli. First sniff: Smells like Lush's Avobath ballistic or lemon tea. Fresh, clean scent. Wearing: Very nice, a clean fresh smell. A definite lemon, but softened and misty around the edges, so it smells like limoncello, not like Lysol. A spring scent. Very pretty. Seemed to fade a bit quickly. Must get a bigger bottle - it'll be amazing when it warms up a bit outside.
  25. Shollin


    Lolita, from Love Potions: Bright, sweet and youthful, but swelling with a poisonous sexuality. Glittering heliotrope, honeysuckle, orange blossom and lemon verbena. First sniff: Sweet - I smell oranges more than anything else. Voluptuous. Wearing: Very citrus at first touch, somewhere between orange and lemon, a sharper lemon than the soft misty Phantasm. After a bit I can smell the florals winding around the fruits. Growing on me, but not a favourite. Diffuser: Bright and bubbly. Once the initial orange wears off I can definitely smell the juicy strawberry.