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BPAL Madness!


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  1. tapestry

    Und wir Dachten der Toten

    In the bottle, I took this to be a strange mash-up of watered-down Snake Oil, fruity notes (not bright or particularly light, but not entirely dark, either), and mellow coffee. Very pretty, except for when it would occasionally remind me of super fruity bubble gum. Wet, the coffee, patchouli and what I'm assuming are the spice notes came out to play. I'm one of those people who amps any vanilla note to the point of drowning out all else, but this is one of the precious few instances where that hasn't been happening. Instead, I get something which reminds me of Villainess' Mudslide soap (A positively filthy mix of day-old coffee grounds and vetyver, blackened hazelnut, sweet graham, and rich cream), if Mudslide had a darker fruit note -- a hollowed-out pomegranate note, perhaps, where you get the shape and the feel of the fruit, but nothing actually tart or juicy about it. Dry, Und wir Dachten der Toten starts to calm down a bit and smell less like something I want to put in my mouth. The spices ramp up, figuratively hugging the bourbon vanilla and coffee notes. It has moderately decent throw for me, and is really interesting for how it morphs from one pleasant state to another, going from sweet-but-not-heavy to sweet-and-lickable, and finally spicy-sweet-slightly-dirty, courtesy the patchouli -- I do agree that the patchouli isn't your typical dirt-dirt-sexy-dirt, but rather something with just enough weight to prevent the blend from spiraling off into heady sweetness. It doesn't truly smell like masala chai, but it gives me the same feeling I get when I sit down with a steaming cup: spicy, sweet, warm.
  2. tapestry

    What scents are masculine? Gender-neutral?

    Hey, BPAListas. I've recently lucked into A Gentleman Friend with fondness for cologne, and to no surprise, am looking to turn him toward BPAL. He's currently wearing Realities ('Italian Grapefruit, Madarin, Wet Greens; Sueded Cedar Wood, Cashmere Woods; Nutmeg, Ginger, Tea'), though he's told me that his favorite cologne to date is actually Pi by Givenchy ('Citrus, Aromatic, Green, Floral; Magnetic Wood; Benzoin Crystals). Both smell nice on him, though Realities is typical-men's-cologne, and Pi felt a bit... powdery, maybe? A bit off, for lack of a better word. He's repeatedly mentioned a mad love affair with sandalwood, and at one point when I had a list of BPAL Tapestry is Interested in Trying open, he expressed curiosity about Arachne of Lydia. He's tested Dracul to decent effect (though it was washed off somewhat quickly), and also reacted favorably when I've worn The Illustrated Woman, Tombeur, Liz, Intrigue and Voodoo. With all that in mind, I'm trying to hunt down a few scents which carry some warmth to them, preferably with a strongly discernible sandalwood note. Unfortunately the catalogue is overwhelming me at the moment, so I was hoping to pick the forum's collective brain. Are there any sandalwood-heavy scents which you lot would suggest for a man who also seems to like vanilla, pine, clove, almond, and (maybe) musk? I will be pinning him down and testing my own bottles of The Illustrated Woman, Tombeur and Voodoo on him, but my tastes tend to run super dark -- as in patchouli, patchouli, and maybe a drop of vanilla on top of more patchouli -- whereas his appear to lean more wide, warm and comparatively 'fresh'. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
  3. tapestry


    TKO decant means TKO bottle is not too far off for me. Unf. I can see the lavender marshmallow comparison, but upon smelling TKO I find that I agree more with the lavender branches covered in vanilla-scented crystal sugar mental imagery instead. Usually I can't handle scents this sweet, but there's something zen about TKO (lavender), something endearing. My sleeping problems are that no matter when I go to sleep, I get up at almost exactly the same time daily. The older I get, the earlier that time becomes, so that on a workday I find myself waking up in between 4 - 4:30 regardless of when I actually fall asleep. I'm a chronic waker -- in between six and eight times a night is average for me -- and on weekends I'm lucky to sleep 'til 6. Well, I tried TKO Friday and Saturday evenings. Friday I woke twice (one to feed the cats, which is unavoidable), and rather than leaping out of bed as per my norm, I kind of staggered around blearily in hopes of going back to sleep. I think I was out of bed by 7. Saturday evening I woke once(!!), and gave up right before 8 AM. Which, uh, is basically like the sleeping lottery. TKO leaves me a little fuzzy around the edges, but that is because I am sleeping hard, something i hardly ever do. The blend itself is very pretty, but what's sold me is the effect it had on my sleep thus far. I'm actually a little scared to use it on a work night! Even if the effects are psychosomatic, I've every intention of saving up for a bottle.
  4. tapestry

    Velvet Bandito

    I'm going to make another Lush comparison here. I had an impromptu MnS at a friend's house last night where I got to test her bottle of Bandito. I liked it very much, but found that it smelled almost exactly like Lush's Skinny Dip shower gel to me. There was a bit of a woodier note during drydown, but it was faint and so I found myself huffing my arm over and again marveling at how similar the two smelled. So if you love Skinny Dip, I definitely recommend Bandito for you. It's a very lovely blend, but there's something about the similarity which makes me okay with not picking up a bottle.
  5. tapestry

    Monster Bait: Tokyo Stomp

    Definitely not my cuppa. What smelled like Thin Mints in the imp turned into this weird combination of cloying and sour on my skin. This is especially weird because I amp vanilla like no one's business, so at worst the mint should have just been overwhelmed. Instead, I smelled like a variation on the stereotypical old lady theme and actually had to wash it off. Definitely not the worst BPAL experience I've ever had (Florence, I'm looking at you!), but it wasn't pleasant and I was happy to rehome my imp somewhere more loving.
  6. tapestry

    Red Rose

    Where with White Rose I didn't smell much at all in the bottle, Red Rose immediately gives me flashbacks to The Illustrated Woman. I'm assuming it's the fir note here standing in for Illustrated Woman's pine, tonka standing in for IW's vanilla, plus similar musks and tobacco t'boot. It's intriguing and sexy without question, the kind of scent you want to wear on a night of conquest. Mentally I associate the color amber and dark, dark reds with this oil. Wet I still get a lot of Illustrated Woman vibe, but the cloves come out to play. Although every now and again I feel like I can catch a whiff of rose, it's always fleeting and always faint. And it really isn't rose buds as the Lab describes, but more like a bastard child of rose and carnation -- a vaguely rosy scent that has carnation's spice (the cloves, presumably), and brings to mind a full rose that has bloomed and blown, having reached its peak. After some wear, this is a gorgeous blend of notes where one flows into the other without any real noticeable points... except for the rose. I lose a lot of the rose on drydown and walk away with a deliciously spicy scent, but not a rose one. This does wear for awhile, though, which is nice. White Rose disappeared quickly on me, but the heavier notes in Red Rose almost guarantee that it won't need to be reapplied quite as often. (My skin chemistry eats lighter notes, though, so your mileage may vary.) I haven't layered the two Unity blends yet -- that's tomorrow -- so I'll be updating my reviews to add that impression later.
  7. tapestry

    White Rose

    In the bottle, I actually find that I don't smell very much at all. Not so with Red Rose, which is spicy and strong -- White Rose is soft and barely there. Wet, however, is another story entirely. The listed vanilla tea is, as so many others have already mentioned, very Dorian. It lacks the added twang of musk or fougere, and where those notes are in Dorian, in White Rose we have -- surprise! -- a pale and soft rose. I love the smell of real roses, but in perfume I'm usually a bit hesitant. White Rose lands me in middle ground territory since it doesn't smell real to me and does in fact make me think of perfumey roses, but not in a way which is actually unpleasant. At first I was unable to pick up any kind of coconut, but after huffing my wrist a couple of times I think that it's there... just faint and in the background, rounding the scent out without making its presence known. That's clever as hell, IMO, because it prevents things from getting too cloying or so over-the-top feminine that I get the vapors. When it comes to identifying notes that aren't common as dust... er, well, I'm piss-poor at it. So I can't find much of the frankincense, orris or benzoin in this blend -- it's too sweet, too pale and airy. Drydown sees White Rose turning a bit creamy, and methinks that might be the vanilla and coconut more than anything. It's sweet and girlish, something I would encourage ladies to wear in the springtime with cotton dresses and bare feet. I haven't layered this with Red Rose yet -- that'll come after wearing both blends separately -- so I'll update my review to reflect those thoughts later.
  8. tapestry

    Schwarzer Mond

    In the imp and wet, this is a shockingly sweet scent reminiscent of almonds. There's some resiny goodness to it which ultimately makes me think of some of the Snake Pit blends -- Snake Oil with who knows what. Maybe it's the myrrh, maybe one of the many notes I'm not readily familiar with, but I actually found myself worried about how sweet it was. After appliation but before drydown, some of the sweetness cut out and I picked up on notes which made me think of Shub-Niggurath's gingery zing. In fact, during the hour or so that impression was there, I told myself "you don't need to find a bottle of Schwarzer Mond; just buy a bottle of Shub already!" I wouldn't really call this Shub Lite since it's a darker scent, but that gingery hint of spice lasted awhile. I'm now at the point of drydown a few hours later, and what I walk away with is a faint but dark perfume which is very reminiscent of incense. It's very lovely, and were it a stronger wear or throw I'd probably want to hold on to this. As it is, I went through all stages of perfume in about four hours, and I just can't be bothered to reapply that often. I might just look into layering Shub with another GC to achieve a similar effect. Schwarzer Mond is very lovely, but this isn't one I can justify hunting down.
  9. tapestry


    I hardly have experience with all the GC blends, but I've worked through a good number of them and think that Voodoo is one of the most complex scents available. My nose isn't incredible, but I'm okay when it comes to picking out notes... Except for with Voodoo. To me, this initially smells rich and deep, reminiscent of Coca-Cola syrup or the flavored Cokes you can get at soda fountains. I know that it's some strange bastard combination of what Beth put into the perfume, but for the very life of me I can't pick individual notes out! Instead there's nothing but mental associations with Voodoo. It's a sex scent, something to put on when you want to seduce, to be in control, to be on top, to strut away sweaty but satisfied. How in heaven's name I manage to simultaneously think "Coca-Cola!" and "sex!", I have no idea. There's something about these notes thrown together which causes magic to happen. I think in the imp and wet, Voodoo strikes me mostly with pine, myrrh, patchouli, lime and clove, with vanilla to sweeten it all. The almond does not smell remotely like almonds, but it's present and lurking, lending something rich. After application when there's been some wait time, a bit of the sweetness fades -- and that in itself is impressive, because I amp the Lab's vanilla notes like you wouldn't believe. I get a heady, deep and dark scent. It's reminiscent of incense, and although they really don't smell anything alike, I think of Mme. Moriarty and how she also fades into a sexy, confident incense scent. I think that's the vetiver coming out to play, but it's well-balanced and not harsh. Voodoo is, as a lot of other folks have said, quite the morpher. It also lasts and lasts with the right skin chemistry. It does fade on me a bit, but never much, and this is one of those perfumes I can wear for ten hours without having to reapply. Love, love, love Voodoo.
  10. tapestry


    I bought this during my first BPAL-apalooza experience back in '04, because I like anise/licorice and enjoy cherries (though am on the fence about smelling like them) -- I didn't know much about musk at the time. Blasphemy, I know! I was a heathen back then who literally shoved her imp back into the closet and forgot about it, so the damn thing aged four years before I found it again. Aged Kabuki is much like fresh Kabuki. It smells gorgeous, dark and just a bit hedonistic. Unfortunately, Kabuki is not for me. There is some component in this blend which gives me the same reaction as the Lab's cinnamon and cassia notes -- when I put this stuff on, it burned. Within minutes I was covered in welts and had to wash it off, only for them to last a good long while. If you have sensitivies, I'd stress caution with Kabuki. It's a beautiful, rich and heady perfume, but for skin contact us wussy folk (who knew I was one!) ought to be careful. Aged Kabuki: Not for the faint-hearted. The red musk deepens, darkens, the cherries become richer and less medicinal and the anise turns into something you desperately want to either eat or make love to. It's really hard to tell.
  11. tapestry

    The Antikythera Mechanism

    I think MisterShrapnel summed The Antikythera Mechanism up perfectly with Kate Beaton's comic (<3 beatonna!), and ephemera nailed it with "warm but not soft". I <3 steampunk and tobacco and vanilla in small doses and wood besides, so this perfume is magic to me. And thanks a million to my Winter Switch Witch for the gift of a bottle! <333 In the bottle and wet, The Antikythera Mechanism reminds me of something I made with a perfume kit as a child. It's mostly woods, teak and oak, with the barest hint of tobacco and no real vanilla to speak of. It's interesting. Captivating, actually, because in writing this paragraph alone I have opened, closed and opened my bottle again and again to catch another whiff of the perfume. This is well-oiled wood furniture in the perfect library with a warm fire burning in the background and the evening outside at bay. It is the glow of light off of smooth wood surfaces, bright and light and full of life. Applied it doesn't so much morph as bloom for me. The tobacco comes further into play and everything is sweetened by vanilla. And oh, the vanilla! It's magical -- I amp the Lab's vanilla notes beyond 11, but that's not the case here. With this perfume the vanilla doesn't leap out and scream for attention so much as wind through and wrap itself around the remaining notes, making the whole thing come together in a heady, blissful mix. Drydown is similar, and damn but this lasts for hours upon hours. In my mind, this is a man's cologne. It's burnished brass and polished wood, leather chairs and a pipe in front of the fire, as well as the unspoken possibility of sex on top of that carefully polished desk. I could wear for a very long time and not get tired of it.
  12. tapestry

    Crypt Queen

    So long story short, I am a whore for pomegranate. When I read about Crypt Queen for the first time, I think I might have actually widdled myself in excitement. Of course it was relatively rare, so chances of ever coming across a pomegranate-patchouli scent of magic and win seemed pretty slim. Then! Someone was kind enough to swap me her half-bottle, and lo... it was mine! In the bottle and wet, Crypt Queen is rich and red -- not fire engine red, but dark shades of burgundy, of dark pinks, of tousled bed sheets made from silk and sheer veils and perhaps some velvet thrown in for contrast. The pomegranate and rose happily leaps out at me, with the raspberry giving a little extra zing just to mix things up, and down deep at the bottom in rich soil is the patchouli, just waiting. Basically it's like a stiletto heels version of Persephone, IMO. I had the misfortune of being a spastic, so I over-applied (re: spilled) on myself and my desk, which meant a lot of oil to make use of (and a lot of waste <sigh>). A couple of hours after application, I'm sad to say that Crypt Queen wears a helluva lot lighter than I'd like. I'm not swimming in a cloud of perfume, which I had seriously expected after this morning's accidental drenching. What I can pick up are faint, occasional wafts where rose, pomegranate and raspberry are happily marinating in patchouli. The patchouli is smooth, though, earthy without being heavy. There might be some plum kicking in now and again, but the overall impression is like the bastard child of Persephone and Mme. Moriarty. I like it. A lot. And feel like an utter goof for spilling so much without even realizing it. Boo! But win for Crypt Queen. She's gorgeous and lovely.
  13. tapestry

    The Grindhouse

    In the bottle, this is faint but lovely. It makes me think "blue" and water -- deep, dark water like a lake at night, ringed by lights. I don't love it. Hell, I don't even particularly like it all that much, but for some reason I almost feel compelled to lick the bottle in hopes of getting that water, that texture that this scent fills my head with. On application, I had a hell of a time picking up the scent. The bottle top gave me rather a lot of oil to smear around, and even then it was faint. For a good quarter of an hour or so, I then got soap. Afterwards The Grindhouse got stronger and I could pick out the magnolia, rose and what I am assuming is the iris. They were blended rather well into a floral that I'm on the fence about, but no clove jumped out at me, nor any red musk. If there's vanilla, I'm not finding it. And that's damn impressive since I amp vanilla to high heaven. Having worn this the better part of an hour now, it's now a skin-hugging scent that I really have to huff in order to find, and when I do find it there's not much else than bare-bones florals. I can see how this would be quite lovely on the right woman (or the wrong one, I suppose), but this resin-loving girl is just not able to work with the Madame of the Grindhouse.
  14. tapestry


    Unf, Yvaine. That could basically be my review right there. I have loved Neil Gaiman for what feels like half my life. I have loved Stardust for years, Yvaine for just as long. I deeply and truly love when the Lab collaborates with Neil, and I am such a whore for Lab blends that only have a small number of notes. So yeah, this sounded like heaven when I first read about it. I received an imp in a swap, and from the moment I took a whiff I was bowled over. Yvaine took me over completely -- I had never smelled anything quite like it before, and all I could think of were indigo skies deep in the night, bright stars, silvery silk, lush blue velvet, and yes, the word "crystalline" did spring to mind. I wore it on my way to work the next day and could have wept for its beauty. It was like hearing Mozart after a lifetime of no music. It was also completely gone by the end of my 20-minute commute. Months passed, and I basically just hoarded my two leaky imps, huffing them once a month or two while my eyes rolled back into my head and I dreamt beautiful waking dreams. I tried wearing Yvaine again once or twice, but it was always heartbreaking since the damn thing wouldn't last on me. Why I swapped for a bottle of it, I still don't know. The crazy things BPAL makes us do, I guess. When I wore it... lo! A miracle occurred! The seas parted, war ended and best of all the perfume lasted! It became a little less chilly when I wore it -- the star coming down from the sky to the earth below, I guess, if you want to be poetic about it -- and changed slightly from crystalline to something a bit more floral, a bit warmer, a bit more approachable. Florals typically do not like me, so I was shocked when it lasted the entire workday well into the evening. Unfortunately I developed a monster headache that day which may or may not have been Yvaine. I'll be testing it again to see if this beautiful perfume has gone from ignoring me to trying to kill me. Either way, I really recommend picking up a decant of this if you're interested in the notes or the character. It's something everyone should sniff at least once. This is a perfume that is, to me, about the character is conveys as much as the scent itself. It's a masterpiece.
  15. tapestry


    I'm a lot like Pottersville in the sense that my skin chemistry amps sweet notes. And yet I can't help but love Elegba... so long as it's fresh from the Lab. This perfume seems to come in two flavors. There's Lab-fresh -- how I was introduced to Elegba and all his glory. It's my favorite option, and is to me very much a summer scent. There's a strange, bitey kind of tang to the coconut, almost like a musk (the white musk effect on Dorian comes to mind). The coconut is fresh rather than toasted or sweetened, as it's the rum and tobacco which lend their sweetness to the fruit. This will wear for hours and hours and glorious hours, and wafts like nobody's business. There isn't much morph, and what I walk away with tends to be rummy (but not boozy) coconut with the barest hints of tobacco to further ground the scent. Aged Elegba is, IMO, very different. When I first received an imp of this, I actually recoiled. What had happened to my beloved Elegba?? It smelled thick and rich, like the coconut sunblock I had grown up with. This wasn't the almost sharp thing I'd come to love! Well, I have an aged bottle of Elegba now and while I think it's very wearable -- foodie fans, you should love it -- it's still not the magical being the fresher oil is to me. Aged, this sees the coconut as much stronger, much richer, much more foodie. A lot of the sweetness is amplified into something edible, so it's almost like having coconut rum cake or something to that effect. Positively (I guess), it continues to be a long-lasting scent so a little application goes a ridiculously long way. I'd still rather have my new Elegba, though.