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BPAL Madness!


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About theshapeshifter

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    In comfortable denial
  • Birthday 07/09/1970


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    Detritus Humain

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  1. theshapeshifter

    Buck Moon 2021

    I am going to have to retry this one at a different point in my cycle, or once it's settled more from shipping, or something, because so far this one is confusing me. In the bottle I get an oddly 'baked goods, maybe pumpkin?' kind of scent to it, and so far on skin I can get a bit of the musk but it's mostly going baby powder on me. Will update if it plays better with my skin next time!
  2. theshapeshifter

    Personent Hodie

    Am I really first for this one? It's funny - when I first read over the Winter releases, there were several others that caught my eye first, but I set it aside and re-thought about it and changed my mind a few times. In the end, Personent Hodie, which hadn't initially made my shortlist at all, wound up being the only Winter scent in my order, and I'm so pleased that I reconsidered and bought it. It starts out far softer than I would have expected, but it seems to gain more oomph over time and has lots of staying power. I don't particularly get the cassia and to be honest I'm not familiar enough with olibanum and storax to be sure of what role they're playing here, but overall this is a really gorgeous balance between the purple-red fruits and warm, almost glowing resins, with just a hint of a candle-like smoke note. The fruit isn't overly sweet or jammy and the resins aren't aggressively "INCENSE!" (though there are some scents of both of those descriptions that I like a lot too.) It's really masterfully blended. Sexy, but skewing to the 'classy' side rather than raunchy or smutty (again, I love plenty of the latter scents too). To my nose it's just slightly to the feminine side of gender-neutral, but only slightly, and I could see this being a very cozy scent on a guy. I've worn it twice now, and it is going straight into the 'favourites' section of my collection.
  3. theshapeshifter

    In Necessarias Unitas

    In the imp and wet on skin, this had a more "men's cologne" feel, but now that it's been on a while, the honey/vetiver combo is predominant on me and I am SO HERE FOR IT. Warm, warm, sweet and woodsy. Please let this graduate into the GC (or an LE) one day because I will need a full bottle of this!!
  4. theshapeshifter

    Pumpkin Musk and Black Oudh

    Realizing I never reviewed this when I first got it last year. Retrying today as I get impatient for autumn. The pumpkin in this is spicy and not foody - which I'm liking, because although I like other foody scents, a gourmand pumpkin is usually a bit too much for me. Basically, the pumpkin is just giving a sweet edge to the gentle woodsy musk. The whole scent is surprisingly subtle and stays close to the skin.
  5. theshapeshifter

    Temple of the Raven of War

    (Note: reviewing for utility, not scent) After a year in which it was increasingly clear that The Morrigan was present in my life, and in anticipation of a conflict that I thought might arise, I bought a bottle of Temple of the Raven on War a few months ago. Honestly, I knew I was ordering it too late for it to have come by the date I was concerned about (but interestingly, the situation I was worried about never arose) and so it has sat in my box of "working oils" untouched till today. After a week of excruciating stress at work, today I was going to be walking into a situation that had the HIGH likelihood of being a complete and utter shitshow, and I just thought of an article I'd read a while ago about The Morrigan being the "goddess of necessary actions". I dabbed some of the oil on all my chakra points, visualized a cloak of black feathers round my shoulders, and headed off to work. And... everything went fine. Honestly, it was still a ridiculously hectic day (work is A LOT right now), but... I could deal. I defused a couple of situations and generally got through the day without the racing heart/choking throat feeling that's gone to work with me for the last several days. It was much needed. (BTW... for anyone who's tempted to say 'get a different job'... it's complicated...)
  6. theshapeshifter

    Hello, Salzburg!

    Inspired by the deep purple hues of the night we arrived in Austria: icy air, plum musk, and blackberry with a beam of amber light.  Am I first? This truly is a purple type of scent. The plum musk jumps out first, with the blackberry just adding some extra fruitiness, then mellows into the warmth of the amber as it dries down. Light to medium intensity and throw, so I predict I will be slathering this one! Will be interesting to see how it ages.
  7. theshapeshifter

    Pallid Bat

    I want my rooftop filled with Pallid Bats. Not only are they cute as hell, but their favored meal is the Arizona bark scorpion, whose sting is the most venomous to be found in North America. Bats > Scorpions (Sorry, Scorpios!) Tea leaf, bourbon, a sting of white ginger, and Italian bergamot swirled in amber incense smoke. I was hoping that the tea note would be similar to the tea in Theodosius the Legerdemain, and I was not disappointed. It's that lovely tea, with a very bright and zingy HELLO I'M GINGER. This might be my favourite of all the Weenies I bought this year.
  8. theshapeshifter

    Samhain V1: the Original 2002 Prototype

    It's very similar to my (almost-finished) bottle of 2005 Samhain. I'm curious to do a side-by-side comparison. This version is a little more forward with the pumpkin/hay note that I get from 2005.
  9. theshapeshifter

    Kinda Sorta Snake Oil Cream Soda

    It's like Snake Oil's (mostly) innocent little sister. The vanilla is in the foreground and it's generally more subdued in the throw than regular SO. Will be interesting to see how it ages.
  10. theshapeshifter

    Pomegranate Grove: Snake Oil

    It starts out as a swoon-worthy dark fruit, with just a hint of Snake Oil hovering in the background. In the drydown, the balance slowly reverses till it's primarily Snake Oil with just a hint of fruitiness. I find it's overall more subtle than straight-up SO, and seems to fade more quickly. (However, my bottle of SO is VERY aged, so not necessarily a fair comparison). I absolutely love this, so I predict it will be slathered...
  11. theshapeshifter

    Fortuna Praecantatrix

    A Witches Luck The fortune of a nasty woman: patchouli and pomegranate rind with vetiver, red oudh, tonka bean, green cognac, and honey. Am I first? Fortuna Praecantatrix arrived today (along with a few others, but this was the one I was keenest to try). In the bottle: Smells like an occult shop. Which feels very on-brand for the scent theme! Wet: Complicated. I get the patchouli and a hint of the vetiver right away, with something else that's woodsy/musky that I can't quite put my finger on. I'm assuming that's the oudh, as it's not a scent I'm super-familiar with picking out. Drydown: Even more complicated. It's quite fascinating. It's very rich and dark and not exactly sweet, but sort of (definitely a honey in the background, not sugary), and then the pomegranate comes in as a fruity edge - and at moments the throw almost has a hint of aquatic. Overall, at a quick sniff it's still fairly true to my initial 'occult shop' impression - all the different incenses and other smells melding together into something quite unique - but this is a Fancy Upscale Occult Shop, not your around-the-corner one. I hesitated over buying this, as I already have a lot of patchouli-vetiver blends, but this is very different from anything else I have. Win!
  12. theshapeshifter

    Wednesday's Child is Full of Woe

    In the bottle, I got a really weird, almost chemically smell from this (maybe what someone upthread described as magic markers?), but as soon as it hit skin it was SUGARY CLOVE with a backing band of patchouli, just a hint of the cocoa and vanilla - and no rose, which is fine by me. It pretty much stayed the same through the drydown and the rest of the evening. I couldn't stop sniffing my wrist - definitely a hit! Very intrigued to see how this will age, too.
  13. theshapeshifter

    In Templum Dei

    Lovely resins. It was sweeter (maybe the liquidambar?) and softer on than I expected. I need to give this one another try and slather a bit more generously.
  14. theshapeshifter

    This is Your Wilderness

    Wet: Aggressively pine. Staying *just* this side of 'pine cleaner'. Can't really make out any other notes. Drydown: About half an hour in, it went through a cedar shavings phase where it reminded me a fair bit of Disappointing Pencil. However, further on the patchouli started coming out and now it's a lovely dry earthy evergreen forest smell, like being in a sun-warmed cabin in the woods. If I really huff my wrist I get just a hint of the honey. I'm not getting the tobacco at all - which is okay with me, as tobacco is usually a note that gives me pause about ordering a scent.
  15. theshapeshifter

    Dark Chocolate, Whiskey, and Cardamom-Infused Caramel

    Based on the smell in the bottle, I was worried that the caramel would be super-aggressive, but on me it completely chilled out and just gave a lovely sweetness to the chocolate. The whisky and spice stayed in the background, giving it some depth and mystery. Overall this comes off like a very grownup, smooth, expensive dark chocolate.