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BPAL Madness!


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About Seismogenic

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    San Francisco, California
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    seismology, geology, Western art music, Javanese gamelan, bluegrass, mariachi, drawing, writing music, wasting time on the internet
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    San Franciscan


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    Coyote, Tombstone, Aureus, Kumari Kandam, Priala the Human Phoenix, Sailing Stone of Death Valley, Pa-Pow, Windy Moon, Yorick, Faunalia


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  1. Seismogenic

    Hot, arid scents

    Gosh I have not logged in in forever. But desert scents happen to be a thing toward which I gravitate, so! In terms of GCs: *Lear is very arid to me. Dusty, dry, not hot but certainly not cold. The sage note in there is hugely reminiscent of the Mojave Desert. *51 is meant to be desert. The initial juicy green notes counter the aridness to some degree, but they disappear quickly on me, leaving dry salt flats and heat-steeped sand. *Ozymandias has already been suggested, I see. *To me, Aureus is desert-y. I understand that some people get more incense out of it, so your mileage may vary, but on me, it's the sun-baked cedars and Joshua trees on the eastern side of the San Gabriel Mountains. *This may be more scent association for me than for many other people, but Santa Eularia des Riu is very much the Inland Empire desert (ok, fine, coastal sage scrub) in spring. Arid, warm, with citrus on the breeze. As for LEs: *Sailing Stones of Death Valley legit smells like Death Valley. It's a yellow and tan rocky desert with just that hint of dry alkaline lake. I love it. *Kinnabari (prototype) is a red desert, a la Utah. *Windy Moon smells like dry hot Santa Ana Winds sucking the moisture out of everything and threatening it with smoke. I hear that some people get something aquatic in it, but to me, it is dry dry dry. *In logical sequence, Halloween: Los Angeles is a chaparral brushfire. Doesn't get hotter and drier than that. *Amicitia has sage and chaparral as notes, and is spot-on SoCal desert on me.
  2. Seismogenic


    I play a whole bunch of different kinds of music, and on performance days, I'll often try to pick a scent that's somehow relevant to something on the program that day. It could be something very literal - ie, I wore Danse Macabre for an orchestra concert in which we played Saint-Saens' piece by the same name. Sometimes it'll be wearing a Wanderlust scent related to where the music we're playing came from - I've worn Versailles for a concert of French Renaissance music, and Florence for a concert of Italian music. If we played a Russian program, you'd better believe I'd be wearing Country of Eternal Light. If there's something relevant in a literary way, I might wear that. I went through all the Illyria scents I have (which is, granted, not hugely many) the year we did a program of English Renaissance stuff. And there are times where I'll wear something that may not be relevant in name or inspiration, but have scents that I still associate with the music. As an example, the scents of clove and incense are ones I strongly associate with Javanese gamelan, since there's always incense in the rehearsal room, and since clove cigarettes are popular in Indonesia (and therefore among gamelan musicians). There's no Central Java BPAL (though that would rock), but Panther Moon has that clove-and-incense smell that's right for that in my mind.
  3. Seismogenic

    More 2011 Halloweenie Switch Witch!

    September 30th Witchee, would you like anything from this particular Haunt update? I've never looked at the Haunt site before! I can't tell which stuff is the new stuff. Who's interested in Halloween: Montreal? The candy notes involved make it less interesting to me. I would, however, love to try Hochelaga. That one sounds right up my alley. You get a package in the mail containing 3 things you have really wanted more than anything else you've mentioned so far in this thread. (they are all reasonably priced of course! ~$20 or less apiece). What are they? I'm going to have to think about this longer. I am leaning toward specific refill inks for my markers, because I'm burning out a lot of them on the illustrations for this calendar. how do you feel about hemp? jewelry, soap, etc? Neutral? September 29th What kind of purse do you prefer? Leather, cloth? over the shoulder or crossbody, or something that can do either? Do you like bold bright prints with fun things, or monochrome, solid colours? julep maven monthly boxes: No thanks. Your favorite restaurant or type of food to eat out. Would you use a restaurant.com voucher? Groupon? I love lots of kinds of food. If I had to pick one favorite, though, I'd have to go with Japanese. I would absolutely use vouchers/coupons for local restaurants. Like commercial socks? Socks are good. What kind of bear is best? Bear, as in the animal? Alas, the fate of the California grizzly! Is anyone interested in reading The Night Circus? I'd never heard of it before, but it sounds intriguing. Hershey's Pumpkin Spice kisses? HECK YES. (Even though I know I shouldn't. But they are THE BEST.) I have a not-so-secret love for The Broship of the Rings. Are there any prints from her store you'd like? Hahahahaha! I'd never heard of this before, but it's cracking me up now! I still think I'd like to hold off on new stuff for my walls until I move, but I am so linking people to this. The fixie Nazgul in particular has me laughing in particular. (And also Shark!Mystique.) Who here likes Stephanie Pui-Min Law's artwork? I'd never heard of her before either, but the stuff on her site is very pretty. Do you drink wine? I do. Not hugely often (when I'm not at a conference), but yes. Is it just me who is nervous at revealing herself to her witchee, and finding out who her witch is?! I'm excited to know who my Witch is, but I'm always nervous about revealing to my Witchee, in case they think I'm a screwup and then can put a name to the fail. Witches, did you lament NOT getting one of the condom case/imp cases that got released with the courtesan series??? Not really. I recently saw candy corn in non-candy corn flavors like CHOCOLATE and CARAMEL APPLE. It's not a fancy brand, I just saw it in the drugstore, but who here would like something like that? I'm intrigued by the caramel apple one, but chocolate-flavored stuff with a texture of candy corn just seems wrong. September 28th JONES SODA CO has LE soda packs for The Guild, Buffy, D&D, So Cute, etc. Would you be interested in these, Witchee? I'm not a big soda drinker. It'sBanned Books Week! Are there any books on the list you'd be interested in checking out? I've been meaning to check out the Hunger Games, since I have heard many good things. I have just been enlightened to THESE. Are these flavors relevant to your interests? Not so much. September 27th What is something people are always surprised to learn about you? Within the earth science community, people are surprised that I have a music degree. So who else watched Babylon 5? I've never seen it. If you had to decide what your stripper name was, what would it be? I'm not even gonna go there. Sorry. Sooooo Witchees, have you ever taken that particular personality test? If so, are you an Analytical, a Driver, an Expressive or an Amiable? Apparently I am equally a Driver and an Expressive. Is anyone else afraid of or creepy out by dummies/puppets/Muppets/etc? Other things you're squicked/freaked by that's best left by the wayside? Nothing particularly comes to mind. what level of contact were you hoping for? Whatever my Witch is doing now is great! Are there any local museums/attractions you keep never getting around to going to? Around here, I still haven't been to Griffith Park Observatory or the L.A. Museum of Natural History. In San Francisco, I've been meaning to go to the Exploratorium and the Cal Academy of Sciences for ages. September 26th Is there any kind of international candy you love or would like to try? No particular types come to mind, but I love trying different foods and candies from around the world. What is something totally random (yes, that thing that just popped into your head) that hasn't been covered by any previous questions? What is the average air speed velocity of an unladen swallow? Is there any cheesy/non-cheesy Canadian stuff you'd be interested in? Again, no particular things come to mind, but I have had a good time every time I've been to Canada. Canada good. If you were to go here and create your very own chocolate bar, what might it have in it? THAT IS A DANGEROUS WEBSITE. Zomg. I want to TRY ALL THE THINGS. I can't deciiiide. I am especially intrigued by the things in the herbs and spices category. Is there anything you're wanting from LPMP? What is this? When I google "LPMP," I get the Indonesian education council, which is not what I think you mean. say you stumbled into Camp Half Blood (or whatever the Roman camp ends up being named <bounces in anticipation>), which god claims you? I have no idea what this is, but probably whichever Roman god deals with geology. Is that Vulcan? I should know more about geology myths. September 25th Stuff you've been meaning to do: CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. Uh. Actually, that is probably the main one right now, along with filling out these questions and going grocery shopping and stuff. Would you be interested in regional jams, jellies, or other preserves? Yes! Definitely! Do you have any bedtime rituals? Is there any particular product you have to apply or a certain shirt you wear or an act you perform to get you in the "bedtime" mood? My usual bedtime ritual is to realize I might have already fallen asleep at the computer, then to get up, turn off the computer, and actually go to bed. Are you interested in today's/any recent Tee Fury shirts? I was unfamiliar with this site until now! None of the recent ones really jump out at me, though. Princess Bride? Yay or nay? Yay. I liked the book and the movie! I don't have anything to do with the fandom, though. What's your favorite classic fairytale, witches I'm not sure. September 24th how do you feel about ethical animal fiber, i.e. wool and the like? This is fine with me. What about little wee creatures for your desk or mantel? My desk is a black hole. These would probably disappear. Look down. What are you wearing, right now? …my pajamas. Kerchiefs? No thanks. It's the weekend, and you find yourself without a single chore or responsibility for a few hours. Right this very moment, what's the one thing you would do if you could do anything? I would go back to sleep, except I tried and it didn't work, because of the jet lag. It's something like 6 PM in my brain, but it's 9 AM here. I want to just sleep through the night again! YARGH. September 23rd Is there anything you'd like from the Mütter Museum Store? Uhhh. Ü? I just noticed that Cocoa Pink has 5 ml Perfume Atomizers. Yay or nay? Scents you would like? Scents you would NOT like? No atomizers, please. The spray stuff makes me sneeze. what's your favorite kind of pizza? The local pizza place has this fantastic spicy chicken pizza they call Blazing Chicken. who are your style/fashion icons? post pics if you want! I don't have a sense of style, so far as I can tell. Hahah. Are there any food items you're craving/aren't able to find around your area? I can get a lot of things around here, luckily enough. September 22nd If you're interested in a handmade pouch/cover for an item you have (phones, tablets, books, keys, kettles...), what would your ideal pouch/cover have? Design, material, additional functionality/features like pockets or lights or secret hidey-holes? It would need to be fairly indestructible, knowing me. Would you like a photo collage based around your interests/favorite colors/favorite themes? As much as I don't need more things for my walls right now, if this is your craft of choice, Witch, I would love one. Handmade things are win! If you're crafty, are you interested in spoonfeather? And if so, what things there delight your eyes? I can't find this site. I don't know what it is. Colors! What are your favorite colors and what colors do you not like? Pictures and links, people! In general, I like blues and greens, more toward the muted/greyish side than the bright screamy side, though. The vast majority of my clothing is blue, green, or grey. I also like international orange. I am not so into pink and purple. What is your favorite word? I don't know! What are the feelings on arm warmers? Color, style, texture, length? I don't live somewhere cold enough for these. Do you like tarts? tealights? jar candles? votives? Candles are pretty, but I don't trust my cats to not knock them over. I am best off not having open flame in my apartment. What's your favorite flavor? Sour, sweet, bitter, salty? I have to pick ONE? Variety is more fun. So, are there any online gaming witchees who covet purchasable in-game items or other gamer-y stuff? (yup, geek question) I've never really been a gamer. Anyone doing anything cool for Mabon (or the start of fall, if you aren't pagan? I missed this, didn't I? But I didn't do anything other than get ready for this conference. What is your favorite coffee blend at Starbucks? If you don't have one, what is your favorite roast of coffee? I almost never go to Starbucks, honestly. There are a few decent independent coffee places here, and when I go to San Francisco, there is fantastic locally-roasted coffee all over the place. I tend to buy my beans at Blue Bottle (favorite: Retrofit), Philz (favorite: Philharmonic), or Epicenter/Barefoot (favorite: Redcab). September 21st Cthulhu: yay or nay? I need to read more Lovecraft. Yay to what I have read so far! Is there something that you wish you could do, but you keep putting it off? I wish I could move to San Francisco now? (While still working with the same research advisor. Not gonna happen.) Put your current mp3player (I am the anti-apple, so no ipod ), winamp playlist, what have you, on shuffle, list the first 10 songs: 1. Minimum Wage - They Might Be Giants 2. Ode to Margot - Elissa P 3. So Long, Mom - Tom Lehrer 4. The House Upon the Hill - Secret Garden Original Broadway Cast 5. Tora Lille - Gjallarhorn 6. Yellow Submarine - The Beatles 7. No Mother Or Dad - The Osborne Brothers 8. Mandy Goes to Med School - The Dresden Dolls 9. Lukey - Great Big Sea 10. Hair - Lady Gaga (I'm amazed this picked up none of the earthquake songs and none of the San Francisco songs that lurk in my music library.) Witchee, have you made (or are you planning to make) any Lab or Trading post orders soon? And if you did (or plan to), you should share what you're getting I'm going to the next West Coast Will Call. I'm planning on picking up either Pallas Athene or Tree of Life, whichever I prefer upon second testing (I last tested them a few months ago). I'm going to test a bunch of Halloweenies, but I probably won't buy any until November Will Call, because I like time to think about it. I also plan on picking some stuff up for my Witchee! Mwahaha. Do you have any interest in rocks? Not like, polished colorful stones.. but like... rocks. With geologic significance! This question was MADE for me, wasn't it? That is to say, DUH. (I am surprised I didn't ASK this question.) If your witch were to knit you a scarf/shawl/cowl, which would you prefer, and what features would you want? Would you prefer something light and drape-y or thick and warm? What kind of colors would you prefer? Do you have any fiber allergies or preferences? Scarves are nice, but it doesn't get very cold here, so it would have to be a light scarf. As I've mentioned ad nauseum, I like blues, greens, greys, and international orange. If you have a pet, could you please post a photo of it? I really need to see what your pet, if you have one, looks like. Andreas: Garlock: Do you like/own/wear/want fairy wings or something of the like? No thank you. How do you feel about terrariums? My cats would think it was a box of live food. Or they might be scared of it. What's your favorite horror movie? I don't really have one. I've never been much of a horror movie person. If your witch was the practical type and wanted to include one or more of your everyday essentials, what would those include? I'm talking about the bath products, lotions, face lotions, teas, food, etc that you really use every day. I am running low on bar soap. Jane Austen .. Yay or Nay? I am woefully underread in this department. I put up quotes I love in my office and studio to get me going, They range from goofy to sarcastic to inspirational... Are you interested in a hand painted quote? Do you have one in mind, or a topic in mind? I am always interested in things my Witch made! But no particular quotes come to mind. Goofy is good. Do you like period or period-styled paraphernalia? Stuff like postcards, notecards, jewelry, office supplies, what-have-you? I like art noveau and art deco. I don't wear jewelry, though, and I don't really need more office supplies right now. If you like manga, comics, and/or graphic novels, what is it about them that you like, in general? The story, the art/style, etc? I enjoy comics and graphic novels in general, because I love the premise of combining words and still pictures to convey action and motion. You can show things that are harder to convey in words alone, and the still scenes and composition are very different from the visual approach done on film. The medium allows for a different kind of storytelling. But all of that said, if the story isn't compelling, even the best art can only keep it going for so long. On the flip side, less technically-proficient art can still sustain a really excellent story. I try to draw comics, in addition to reading them. I don't know how successful I am, but I enjoy the process. If you could choose a Smack, what would it have in it? if you could have a salon scent made, based on any artwork(s) what would it be? I'm going to cheat badly and say how much I'd love to see scents based on the concert hall, in addition to the art museum. I'd adore a set based on Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. All six movements, musically and textually, are very evocative and some even mention smells. Are you scientifically curious and/or process-oriented? Would you like a project-type gift that allowed you do do something like make soap from scratch, take and (nontoxic-ly) develop photographs using a pinhole camera, use plant dyes on yarn or fabric, etc.? Yes! All of those sound awesome! What's 'your' song/your theme song? Uh. I don't know. I like too many songs to pick one. (But a lot of my friends have emailed me recently saying they heard that Train song "Save Me, San Francisco" and that it reminded them of me. Because I am a little fixated on certain cities…) What would be your superpower? If I could choose one? I'd love to be able to teleport. I could go anywhere, without travel time, without jet lag, without cost of gas and tickets, without carbon footprint. I could live in San Francisco and commute to Riverside! Witchee, would you like a gently used BPAL tshirt? Sure, though it would depend on the design! None of the really cutesy/overtly feminine ones, please. Do you like homemade snack mixes? I know Puppy Chow was mentioned in a previous question, but what about healthier and more natural type snacks like granola or trail mix? You can put a lot of delicious and fun things into trail mix, yeah? If you say "Sure, I'd love some!" what kinds of things do you like/not like in those kinds of snacks, ie coconut flakes, raisins, certain nuts (allergies??), candy, etc. Give us your list of DO's and DON'Ts! Snack mix is good! My only restriction is no stone fruits, dried or fresh. No cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, or apricots. I'm allergic to those. Do you like charm bracelets? If you had a bracelet, what sort of charms would you want on it? Favorite hobbies, symbols, whatever? I don't wear jewelry. September 20th Would you like any ecotools makeup brushes? They're kinda one of my favorite things ever, and they're animal-friendly and the handles are bamboo. And to top it all off, they work really well for applying makeup. I don't wear makeup. Do you like Legos? Especially mini-fig key chains, Lego block keychains, small Lego sets, etc? They were fun when I was a little kid, but I haven't played with them in a good twenty years. Since the previous question about "what would you buy from the Lab if you had unlimited funds, etc" left WAY too much to the imagination with no limitations (my answer was pretty much BUY ALL THE THINGS!), what would you do if you found a $50 bill on the ground and a nagging voice in the back of your mind told you that you HAD to spend it on BPAL or else face Death. Also, say they had free shipping (LOL) so don't factor that in. What would you get? And spend it all! Or as close to $50 as you can get. Bottle of Carceri d'Invenzione, bottle of whichever of the Weenies I end up liking best, and an imp of Ameles Potamos. I think that puts me at $52, but I can spare the extra $2. Haha. Are there any characters that you love or identify with? There are certainly ones I've identified with in things I've read/watched, but they're not coming to mind right now. They haven't been close life-long identifications or anything. A question! If you are crafty, what's your personal art style? I'm not talking just about what art you like to look at, but what kind of art do you like creating? Do you have a "process" while you're creating beauty? I draw comicy/cartoony things, using ink and markers. I do other crafty stuff, but these drawings are the things I do the most often. In particular, I tend to come up with characters that are personifications of non-human things, like buildings or geologic features. My character design process is that I look at the thing I'm about to personify and try to incorporate as many of its shapes and colors into the character as possible. A building with a lot of angles and points will lead to a character with angular pointy features. Something painted red-orange (*cough*) will have red-orange hair and an orangey skin tone. A fault that cuts through granite is going to have granitic colors/spots. In terms of actually sitting down and drawing, I do pencils first, then an outline, then colors. I often lose track of time. Are there any Arcana Weenies that you MUST HAVE? A lot of them sound good, but none are MUST HAVE NOW. So what say you? IS an "unexpected" visit/in-person witching OK? Please, no unexpected! I love meeting BPAL people, and meeting my Witch would be cool, I would prefer for it to be scheduled/planned! I would be very awkward otherwise (and may be anyway, heh), but just showing up, well, my apartment is a disaster and I'd be embarrassed. I might also not be home, since I'm in the lab a lot. September 19th What strange misc. items would you love to receive that you just haven't gotten for yourself?: I don't tend to think of the strange miscellaneous stuff until I see it in the store. How do you feel about franken polish? Are you okay with all chemicals, or would you prefer 3 free? Would you want glitter or holographic glitter? What colors would interest you? I don't wear nail polish. Dear witchee, how do you feel about lip balm? Favorite style (twist up tube, pot, tube with wand, etc.)? Favorite flavors? Flavors to avoid? Favorite brand? Do you need more right now or are you set? Are you one of those people who could never have enough lip balm even though you have a bowl on your dresser overflowing with them and 10 in your purse and an order for more on the way? I don't need lip balm now. My lips get cracked and bloody when it gets chilly and dry, but I have plenty of lip balm from last winter. Would you be interested in getting fountain pen inks or art supplies via JetPens and or DickBlick? (I know I have a wishlist on JetPens and just love using fountain pens in my artwork) YES PLEASE. -For those interested in watercolors, how would you feel about getting a palette filled with paint from my watercolor tubes but not getting the paint tube itself? (kind of like this but without the covers for the compartments and bigger http://www.flickr.co.../in/photostream) I am kind of fail at watercolor, but I love trying! This would be win! -How do you feel about getting art supplies in general? (copic markers, watercolor, brushes, paint, sketchbooks etc.) YES YES YES. -How do you feel about Threadless tshirts? I have a few! If you were turned loose in a basic drug store (CVS, Walgreens - a pharmacy with attached mini-mart, basically!) with a $20 bill, what would you pick up? Toilet paper, kitty literal, a pack of gum, and envelopes. Darling Witchee, would you enjoy farmer's market pickled veggies (green beans, garlic, asparagus, etc) or fresh canned peaches or something of that nature? Pickled things are good! Farmer's market stuff is good in general. No peaches, though. I'm allergic to peaches. Do you prefer color or white photographs? Nature or abstract? This really depends on the subject and composition of the photo! would you be interested in something like this? https://lostcrates.com/how-it-works This looks very cool, but so expensive! Amigurumi, yes or no? These are cute, but I suspect my cats would appropriate them. I have a question! What are some of your favorite paintings? (famous or undiscovered?) Feel free to link to examples! I actually am not sure. If you could have an image painted for you - sky is the limit - what would it be? Oh jeez. I don't know. Name your 3 favorite scents for candles I don't burn candles, because I don't trust my cats to not knock them over. Name your 3 favorite types/flavors of tea Lapsang souchong Genmaicha Spiced chai
  4. Seismogenic

    Fall 2011 SW ketchup!

    September 15th interested in anything from Lush? Nothing immediately comes to mind, but I've used some of their soap before, and it's nice. Do you blog? Would you like a header for your blog, a layout, etc? I've been meaning to get back into blogging, but I haven't really done so yet. When I do, I'd rather come up with my own design, I think. Would you be interested in a handmade bookmark? Yes! do you like chex puppy chow or muddie buddies (ingredients: semi-sweet chocolate chips, PB, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, chex cereal)? would you want to get some from your witch / nacho witch? Om nom nom nom. How would you feel about receiving a Groupon deal for something in your local area? If there is anything you WOULDN'T like, mention that also. I've never looked at Groupon before. I am intrigued! September 14th Can you sum yourself (whether it be personality, life's goals, ethics, whatever) in 10 words or less? Nerdy awkward scientist musician cartoonist Californian cat-owner asexual How about little bottles of booze? Ya wanna? What kind? I think you need a permit to ship alcohol within/to California, so this is probably a bad idea. What are your views on fudge and brownies? (Also, if you live in a warm place, where the fudge might melt, that'd be helpful to know. Or, if you're diabetic and fudge is death, that'd be useful to know, too.) I definitely live somewhere where the fudge would melt, but I do love fudge. Brownies a little less so; for some reason, chocolatey cakey things kind of knock me out. Also, what about mochi? Love it, hate it, baffled by it? Love it! Anything from the update ya'll are liking? BPTP UPDATE Does anyone like kimchi? Yes! Would you be interested in a sample box(from somewhere like Birchbox or loosebutton)? Not particularly. You have to place a Lab and Trading Post order. Right fuckin' now. No spending limits. What do you buy? Oh dear. Uh. From the Lab, bottles of Tree of Life, Pallas Athene, Carceri d'Invenzione, Elegy IX: The Autumnal, Mictecacihuatl, Nothing But Death, The Night Hag Visiting the Lapland Witches, Triumph of Death, The Seekim, and the Zoom. Go go Salons and LEs! Paintbox Soapworks - anything you're interested in, in general or from the latest update? I'd never heard of them before. That Old Masters set looks interesting; I love how it's packaged. Also intrigued by Cicada, all the more so because BPAL's Brood XIX didn't work on me. Do you guys have any sports that you follow obsessively? How about favorite teams and/or athletes I wouldn't say I'm obsessive, but I follow the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL and the San Francisco Giants in MLB. How do you feel about notebooks/journals/stationery? Anything you need or particularly like? I really like nice notebooks and writing paper. My problem is that I'm never completely sure what to put in them. I figure I should use nice paper for out-of-the-ordinary things, and then I never figure out what the things are. I need to convince myself it's totally fine to take physics notes in a Moleskine, for example! Does confetti/glitter make you angry or fill you with glee? I'd rather not have it all over my apartment. It's already messy enough in here! Fabulous witches and witchees, perhaps you all could note of you've received MeiLin's goodies? Or if you want? What is this? Do tell? How do you feel about stuffed animals/plushies/general soft, cuddly things? If you like them, what kind of animals would you be interested in? I have two real cats. They'd probably chew on any plush toys that showed up. (Either that or they'd be afraid of them. They're a little pathetic.) how interested would you be on somewhat personalized bottle cap labels? Like these that I did? I like those! But I've already labeled all my BPAL bottles. When you're miserably sick (*sniffle, cough!*) what are the things that comfort you the most? Sleep! And tea. And my purring cats. What constitutes ultimate luxury to you? (go crazy!) I'm actually really not terribly fixated on creature comforts, for the most part. I like a nice comfortable bed in a room that's a little bit chilly, so I can curl up and sleep. None of this it's-85-degrees-at-night crap. I am far more interested in places and experience than little comforts. I would love for my comfy bed in a slightly chilly room to be in San Francisco, with a window that looks out onto some picturesque part of the cityscape. I would also love for the room to have an infinite coffee supply, and a computer chair that doesn't make my back sore. Simple things, I guess! (Oh, wait, does finding clothing that actually fits me count here? I would love to find pants that I don't have to get hemmed or shirts that aren't too long, even if they're the right width.) What do you really NOT want? No makeup! I'm a guy, and I won't wear it! September 13th How would you feel about kitchen towels and other similar household objects, if they are pretty or a souvenir? Kitchen towels are always useful. If they're really pretty/artistic, though, I'd feel bad about actually using them for kitchen cleanup. How did you dress up for your last party or compulsory-formal-dress occasion? Grey khakis, grey shoes, button down shirt that's plaid in shades of dark and light greyish green, blue, and white. I hate getting dressed up, honestly. Do you enjoy puzzles/riddles? (Cryptograms, Sudoku, Crossword, Jigsaw, etc) Yes! They're especially nice for long plane rides, and I've been traveling a lot lately. Witchee, would you be interested in having a special tea cup/coffee mug/glass to drink out of? Definitely! I drink lots of coffee and tea. September 12th Would you like to receive e-books? And if so, in what format? No thanks. I don't have an e-reader. I'd much prefer actual paper books. If you have kids, would you be interested in getting things for them? And if so, what are they interested and what sizes are the wearing now? I don't have kids, and I have no plans to ever have them. Would you be interested in a felted handbag? Do any of these styles appeal to you? http://tinyurl.com/3o2epzl (there's at least one guy-friendly style, too!) I have so many bags. I probably do not need more bags. Are there are patterns, motifs, etc that you especially like? I'm not sure if this counts as pattern or motif so much as theme, but if it's related to geology or to San Francisco, that's a good thing! I also like the idea of incorporating patterns related to these things (ie. mineral structures or seismograms or elements of the architectural design of various SF landmarks) more subtly into, say, an article of clothing. If you're a tea drinker, is there any specific tea you would like to receive, not just the kind/flavor but also the type/packing--i.e., tea bags, loose tea, compressed, etc? I like trying all sorts of tea! This includes black, green, white, red, tisane, etc. I'm good with loose or bagged. September 11th I am fond of the thrift. Do you mind lightly used goods? Please be specific! For instance, I'm a little squicked by used clothing, but I don't mind any other used goods (i.e. books, glassware, games, DVDs, whatever.) I don't mind them! Even used clothing, if it's in good condition, doesn't bother me. Do you have an Etsy shop? Do you know of any Etsy shops that are Switch Witch friendly? I don't have one. The idea occasionally crosses my mind, but then I think about how little time I'd have to consistently make things to sell in it, I convince myself to not even try. I also try not to browse the site that often, because I don't have a whole lot of extra money. It's a dangerous place! Haha. Would a gift or a postcard from Disneyland make you squee with delight or puke into your mail box? A postcard from my Witch is always good! Disneyland specifically doesn't excite me that much, though, since it's quite local to me. What are your favorite types of Halloween candy? I am a fan of candy in general. In terms of very Halloween-specific, though? Those pumpkin spice Hershey kisses are fantastic. Do you prefer soap or shower gel? Please give examples of your favorite scents or brands. How do you like your chocolate? For example with nuts, mint, peanut butter, caramel? All of the above. Beads! Do you use them? Would you want some? What sorts of beads do you like? I've never really gotten into bead craft. Anyone here like caramels? Sea salted caramels?!?! Love! Would you like a hand dyed or hand painted scarf or wrap or other item? If so, what colors/designs/fabrics do you like? Handmade things are awesome! That said, it is almost never scarf weather here. This was a question before, but does anyone here like stones? Just pretty polished stones for use in whatever purposes? I like rocks! Though, as a geologist, I like them even better in their natural unpolished state. And another question; anyone like anything in particular from Think Geek? Think Geek is another site at which I don't look too closely, because then I'll be tempted to buy things. So, no particular thing comes to mind, but I'm always struck by the OOH SHINY GADGET factor whenever I do visit the site. Pinterest, do you have boards you want to share or are you following anyone with great boards you want to share? Boards? In what context? Message boards? September 10th What #1 actor, director, author and/or musician are you obsessed with? I'm not even sure! I would say I'm obsessing most over a place, not a person. are you interested in anything from the Villainness Bad Apples update? Discord and Proscription both sound very good. If you have a pet, would he/she/they like to receive a treat or a toy as a gift? Does your pet have any dietary restrictions or other preferences w.r.t. said treat? Both of my cats adore catnip. One of my previous witches sent them catnip beanbags, which led to hilarious behavior. They like small toys they can bat around, but they sometimes get bored with those in favor of random strips of plastic, because they're weirdos. They both like dangly feathery toys, too. What are your top three "I want to try them but I think I'll never get to try them" (or, "I've tried them and I want moar moar moar, but I don't think I'll ever get any") scents/bath oils/sprays? Oh jeez, I don't know. There are a few Salons I haven't bought because they're more expensive, but I could still get them. As for stuff I'm definitely not getting more of? I do wish I could've had bottles, not just frimps, of Tinfoil Hat and Leipreachan. I also have a little bitty bit of Skadi, which is gorgeous. Is there a particular artist and piece that you would like a print of? If so, what is your max size that you could spare on your walls? I hesitate to speak for wall space, because I don't know how much I'll have once I move. I'd steer away from stuff to hang on walls for this round, really. If you are in to beauty and makeup related stuff, what kind of stuff do you like? What is your skintone and hair color? Are there any beauty products you've wanted to try but just never purchase? I'm not into this stuff. Do you like coffee or tea? Would you be interested in trying some different types? YES. Very much yes. Are there any CDs/Albums you've been wanting but haven't bought yet? What format do you prefer? (i.e. mp3, actual cd, record, etc) Ever since I went on a long road trip with a friend who had a bunch of this stuff in his car, I've been meaning to get some Decemberists, Iron & Wine, and Death Cab for Cutie albums. I am always glad to be exposed to new music, also! In terms of format, I like actual CDs, but mp3s are good, too. Are you going away for any part of this round? I will be away from 22-29 September, 15-18 October, and 11-13 November. Would you like to receive a mix-CD from your Witch? Absolutely yes! If your witch were going somewhere on a vacation during the round, would you want a little souvenir? Sure! And I'm likely to include such things in my own witching activities, unless told not to. Do you enjoy any outdoor activities? Do you have a favorite form of "exercise"? I do! I like going for walks when the weather permits. I also like hiking. I recently bought a bicycle, and have been enjoying riding it. Exercise activities that allow me to be outside and see things in the process are my favorites, definitely, though I do also go to the gym, in all its boring glory. Any witchee's with a ravelry account have any favourited patterns that cost money that would be a welcome gift? I don't have a Ravelry account. I did learn to knit this summer, but I am still very much a n00b. Do you work/study at a desk and enjoy interesting or cute office supplies? I spend SO much time at my desk. I appreciate nice pens and things, but my desk tends to eat supplies. Witchee, are you a fan of musicals? If so, which ones? I am! Some of my particular favorites are Into the Woods, Wicked, The Secret Garden, Fiddler on the Roof, Spamalot, and Chicago. I haven't been to see one in a while, and I should fix that. September 9th Do you like to burn incense? If so, what are your favorite kinds...sticks? cones? resins? What are your favorite scents? I don't burn incense. It makes me a little sneezy. - Harry Potter - a fan? If so, what house are you? I enjoy the series! I've never been heavily involved in the fandom, but I like it, and I'm definitely a Ravenclaw. SUCH a Ravenclaw. - If you were to receive a gift card, what places would you like to get one from? The main things that come to mind are Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Blick, Blue Bottle Coffee, and REI. Is there a particular myth/folktale/legend/fairytale/godstory that you're drawn to? Not particularly, but in a more general sense, the idea of animism appeals to me. It's kind of a natural extension of all of those personified inanimate things that I draw, I guess. If you RP, tabletop, forum, or otherwise... Do you have any original characters you'd like to see art of? If so, please give information! Even if it's a link to a web page or a profile or picture! I haven't been RPing lately. I'd say any of my RP characters are outdated at this point. If you could see anything, what would it be? Can be a person, an event, a landmark or monument, an object, etc. And it doesn't have to be on this planet, or in this time period, or in this reality! When you are having a really rough day, what do you like to do/have to make it a little brighter? I like to sit down with my cats and just relax. I'll usually have some TV on in the background and may draw some pictures, but I may also just spend the time looking at mindless things online. Depending on what kind of day it was, tea, chocolate, or wine might be involved. But at the very least, just sitting and petting the cats. What are your thoughts on comics? Any you like? Any you have been wanting to try? Favorite characters? I love comics! Some particular favorites of mine are Sandman, Fables, Watchmen, The Unwritten, Irredeemable, Scott Pilgrim. I've been meaning to read Y: The Last Man, and also Incorruptible. There are others I always think look interesting when I go to a comic store, but I can't think of them off the top of my head. Are you musical? Do you play an instrument, and if so, what? If not, what do you wish you could play or do? I play entirely too many musical instruments: violin, viola, piano, viola da gamba, recorder, crumhorn, guitarron, mandolin, and several Javanese gamelan instruments. Does anyone garden? And if you do, what do you grow? If not, would a starter garden kit be something you'd be interested in? I don't garden. I'd love to, but I don't have space in which to grow things. Do you decorate for Halloween? Is your decorating taste elegant, kitschy and fun, or scary? I don't decorate for Halloween. I really only have an apartment door facing the rest of the apartment complex, anyway. Witchee, do you have any symbols or totems that have special meaning for you? I'm not sure if these really count, but San Francisco's landmarks in general are meaningful to me. Also, seismograms. Is anyone fond of programs like Adopt a Tree/Highway/Library/Manatee/Acre of Rainforest/etc?: I like them on principle, but I've never really done any of them. September 8th From the Weenie Update....what are you most wanting to try? Elegy IX: The Autumnal, Nothing But Death, Black Apple of Saturn, The Night Hag Visiting the Lapland Witches, Triumph of Death, Mictecacihuatl, The Seekim, The Zoom. Who's into nail polish? What colors/brands? I'm not. Is there a quote (or lyric or part of a poem) that really resonates with you or is your favorite? I don't have a single favorite. Dream candle? Scent, color, type (tealight, votive, pillar, jar, etc.), throw... Hmm. I've never really used candles, so I don't know. It would be fantastic to have one that captured the scent of a cool foggy night by the water, especially since I live in the desert. I guess it would have to be blueish grey. Do you like knitted goodies? If so, what would you like and what colors? It generally doesn't get cold enough here to warrant wearing knitted things, but socks are still good. I like blues and greens and greasy. Would you be interested in homemade edibles that are NOT sweets? Any specifics? Sure! No specifics come to mind, though. What GC do you live in mortal terror of the lab discontinuing, but never get around to buying? Uhh. There are a couple. Tenochtitlan, Lear, Yorick, and Cathode immediately come to mind. Yo, yarnies! Do you Ravelry? If so, who are you over thar? I don't do Ravelry. I am an epic n00b at knitting. I am still in the "knit rectangular things" phase. Social Media? I'm on Twitter pretty regularly, same username as here. I'm also on Tumblr, with this same username. I have a Facebook, but I rarely check it. I've been meaning to start a more standard blog. Do you have wishlists for non-BPAL e-tailers? And if so, could you provide a link or a list? Not at the moment. Thinking of pulling one together for Blick art supplies, though. Witchee, do you use a PC or a Mac? I have a Mac. What is your favorite animal? Oh jeez, I have no idea. I guess I could cop out and say my two particular cats are my favorites. Some more general favorites: foxes, otters, martens, cheetahs. What are you going to be for Halloween? Probably a personified cable car. Like so, except not Christmasy: http://mitya.deviantart.com/art/Cable-Car-olers-190931587 If you could have a piece of oil painting jewelry (pendant, pair of earrings, or ring) with absolutely anything painted on it, what would it be? (If you prefer wall art instead, same question as above.) I don't wear jewelry. I also hesitate to get new wall art right before I move. How do you feel about nick-knacks? I like small goofy stuff! It is always in danger of being appropriated by the cats, though. What traditions (family, holiday, or otherwise) are important to you? My family actually doesn't have much in the way of traditions. There was a general sequence of events and guests associate with Christmas, but even that has dissipated in the past few years. I have no real individual traditions, either, though I'm trying to make a habit of going to San Francisco for major anniversaries related to its history. I can't wait until I live there, though, and don't have to travel for these things. Do you like going to the movies? I always enjoy myself when I do go, but I rarely go. What are your favorite restaurants? There's a tapas place called Sevilla that's basically the best restaurant in Riverside. This really isn't much of a restaurant town, though. In Los Angeles, I like Kobawoo House for Korean food. In San Francisco, I like Borobudur, House of Nanking, Fang, Higher Grounds, Moki's Sushi, Epicenter Cafe, and plenty of others. Do you play any video games? Not really. Do you like any anime? I don't really know any anime. Do you have an E-reader/iPad/something similar that you need a cover/case for? I don't have any of those. how much do you like jewelry? like, if you were to get a shit ton of it during the round, how excited would you be? I don't wear jewelry. How would you like to receive some of your Witch's favorite recipes, tailored to your likes/dietary restrictions? And specific wants? Recipes are good, especially if they're fairly foolproof. I am not terribly good at cooking, and would love to be able to make tasty things without screwing up. Do you need any boxes to store your smellies in? What would you store in said hypothetical box--imps, bottles, supplies, all of the above? I am doing pretty well for storage space right now, but I would never turn down a handmade box. Muppets: yea or nay? Yea. Do you have an affinity for Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, The Far Side, and other comic strips? If so, which is your favorite? I like all of those. Calvin and Hobbes is my favorite among those. Favorite Mythological Creature?: I dunno. Gryphons are pretty cool. Do you like hair things barrettes, headbands, flowers No thanks. Expanding on the hair question - does anyone like those flower clips for the hair that are big right now?? Still no thanks.
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    BPAL for Costume Parties, Halloween Costumes

    SO, I've got an unusual one for you guys! You may recall me posting two years ago about suggestions for an anthropomorphic fault line. Well, I'm at that whole anthropomorphization trick again, but this time, the character is a bridge. Specifically, he is the personification of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. If you're curious, he's the guy on the right in this drawing. Naturally, my question is what BPAL best suits an insecure anthropomorphic suspension bridge with a bad knee. I had a couple of thoughts already: Halloween: San Francisco would be obvious enough, since this is a Halloween costume of a San Francisco landmark. I would go for that no question if not for the fact that a big steel bridge should probably smell metallic. Phantom Cow of Yerba Buena Island was another thought, since Yerba Buena Island is the Bay Bridge's midpoint; a tunnel through the island connects the cantilever span with the suspension span. But again, I think there should be some metal involved, and not so sure about the milk note in this context. Tinfoil Hat has nothing to do with San Francisco, but it's both metallic and aquatic on me, which makes the most sense without considering the context of conspiracy theories. So, what would you say to this? One of those three? Layering? Or is there something else both metallic and aquatic that I should be considering? Thanks!
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    Halloween: Los Angeles

    I grew up in Los Angeles, and spent most of my Halloweens here. Of all the Halloween nights, one stands out the strongest in my memory. When I was in third grade, the hills behind my parent’s house were on fire. The fire was growing, and it was close; we were on evacuation watch all that night. The fire was massive: the skyline was vibrant, electric orange, and I couldn’t stop staring at it. It felt like noon at midnight to me. The smoke penetrated everything, drowning out the scent of my grandmother’s caramel apples. Halloween in Los Angeles has a peculiar scent, and there always seems to be something ablaze here. To me, Halloween in Los Angeles will forever smell like fire and fascination. The sky on fire: a strange incense of burning brush, junegrass, tumbleweeds, chaparral, and wild sage. I am so incredibly excited about this one. I believe that the first thing I ever posted in the "Fantasy Island" part of the board was the hope for a Santa Ana Wind or California wildfire scent. I effectively got Santa Anas with Windy Moon last year (that's how it smells on me, anyway!), and now here's the fire! The fact that Halloween: Los Angeles is thus tagged with time and place makes it even more appealing to me, since Southern California + October = Fire in my mind. The Esperanza Fire in 2006 was huge and occurred in the last week of October and was my first exposure to this phenomenon; the series of fires in 2007 were even bigger, and led to blood red moons right around Halloween. The 2008 season got worse in November, and 2009 did its worst in September, but the connection between fire and Halloween in the greater L.A. area was already set for me. So I'm excited for that, but also for the notes - all of the desert-y scents I've tried so far have been good on me, and I also generally do well with smoke scents, so this bodes well. In the bottle: First sniff is actually kind of syrupy sweet, but it becomes more smoky before I even finish breathing in. There is definitely oh-so-familiar dried grasses and brush behind that smoke. Wet on skin: The initial impression of sweetness is gone. This is all about smoke and dry brush right now. There's maybe something a little spicy about the brush, but really, it's dry dry dry and incendiary. I can't pick out the individual plants, but this definitely smells like a southern California hillside. Drydown: Freshly dry, the initial sweet note is sort of back, though nowhere near as strong as in the bottle. It still goes away quickly within one sniff, and leaves smoke and dry brush. I still can't pick out one plant from another, but that's the chaparral ecosystem for you! At one hour in, the sweet note has disappeared again. The smoke has also become more intense, which totally makes sense, since that's generally what happens the longer a fire burns! It's a very dry smoke, and underneath it is still all that dry chaparral. Five hours later: There's no appreciable difference between now and the one hour mark, actually. It's the same blend of smoke and heated dry grasses and brush. Not much of a change in intensity, either. End of the day: A bit of smoke and a bit of ozone. Still very present. Overall: Funny thing here: if I were to go outside and the air smelled like this, I would go, "OH CRAP" and start thinking about evacuation routes while loading irreplaceable things into my car. But the air does not smell like this right now; it's the oil on my wrist, and in this context, it's an awesome smell. That is to say, this really well and truly does smell like a late summer California brushfire. It's exactly the right combination of plants under the right ridiculous heat, and from there, it only makes sense that there's a lot of smoke. When the smell is not coming from an actual fire, I can appreciate how it's a sort of strange semi-arid incense; I don't have to feel bad about thinking it's a good smell like I would if there were actually a wall of flame advancing down the mountain toward campus or something. In terms of related scents, I'd say the nearest relative is Windy Moon, which makes sense, since that was meant to be a hot dry wind with a hint of smoke (and since it smells like Santa Ana weather on me). This is a more specific scent, though - it really does get a location and a time of year into that bottle. Even if it weren't good on me, I'd keep it, for that association with what fall in southern California means. Luckily, it's actually good on me, too!
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    Halloween: San Francisco

    HALLOWEEN: SAN FRANCISCO I spent two Halloweens in San Francisco. It was a sad, strange time in my life, as I was still grieving over the death of my father, and the scent of those nights evokes a sense of melancholy for me still. Rain battering leaves that are already soaked by rain, and the salty mist coming from the Pacific. Salt air wafting in from the bay. Rain falling on rain-soaked leaves. The mere fact that this scent exists makes me ridiculously happy. Maybe I should feel a little bad, since the Halloweens that inspired this scent were not Beth's happiest, but that doesn't change the fact that San Francisco is my very favorite of cities. I am madly in love with the place - it's somewhere completely comfortable to me, and I sincerely hope I end up here permanently. I know I'd posted on the forum in the past that I hoped there'd be a San Francisco scent some day, so my squee was over the top when this was released. Honestly, this could have smelled like all of my death notes plus cat litterbox and I still would've ordered it, because it's San Francisco, but even aside from the inspiration, the notes in this sound beautiful. I do well with rain notes and leaf notes, and the description of this is very evocative, even without a mention of the specific cityscape. I admit I haven't been in San Francisco actually on Halloween, but I've been here in all four seasons at some point, and I'm excited to see how this matches up. In the bottle: Absolutely and completely dead on for a pile of wet leaves. Not leaves that are wet and still on trees, but leaves that have fallen and soaked in the rain. Not getting anything but the subtlest hint of the salt air, though. Wet on skin: Wet leaves still, but also rain. It's definitely raining fresh new water on those leaves now. It's a clean and soft rain. The salt air is still very very very subtle, perhaps even more so now that there's the freshwater note. Drydown: Freshly dry, the salt air is a little more obvious. It's still not as strong as the rain or the leaves, but it's back there - and this makes sense, since it's harder to smell the ocean if it's pouring freshwater from the sky. I think the rain note is more prominent than the leaves right now, if anything, but this balance still works beautifully. At one hour in, all three main components are playing well together: rain and wet leaves are pretty evenly balanced, and salt air is subtler over them, but is still present. It's a soft scent, pretty close to the skin, but not actually anywhere near disappearing. Five hours later: Largely the same balance as at one hour. If anything, the saltwater is more prominent now, and the leaves are less prominent, but everything is still there. It's softer than before, but I don't have to sniff hard to tell it's still there. End of the day: Salty air, mostly, with maybe a little rain behind it. No more leaves. Very very soft now. I'm only picking up these notes at this point because I'm shoving my nose on my wrist. Overall: This is a soft, somewhat melancholy, gorgeously evocative scent. It's a blend with distinct components, but in the case of any cityscape - visual or olfactory - it's specific elements rather than a homogeneous whole that really represents the place. I am still so so thrilled with how exactly the opening stages of this smell like piles of wet leaves - I'd say the leaf note is comparable to October or to what I remember of Falling Leaf Moon (though less spicy than the latter), and the rain note is the same one from Visiting the Temple of Auspicious Fortune Alone on the Winter Solstice. At first, to be honest, before the saltwater showed up, that combination didn't so much remind me of San Francisco as of the piles of damp wet leaves I helped rake as a kid in northern Virginia. Once the salt air did come out though - and it's the same salty note as in Phantom Cow of Yerba Buena Island, which totally makes sense, since these scents represent the same Bay - that shifted this to definitely representing a rainy day late in the year in the City by the Bay. My only "complaint," if you could even call it that, is that I wish this had a bit more throw, but I might not be giving that aspect the most fair assessment, since I did wear this through a very busy day (that included walking on the Golden Gate Bridge, riding a cable car, eating chowder in a bread bowl by the wharf, milkshakes in Ghirardelli Square, and general wandering around the Mission District, among other things - really!). But the reason I'd like more throw is because I want to smell this more, and that's because it's gorgeous. San Francisco or no San Francisco, this smells really beautiful. The fact that it represents this City just ices the cake. Thank you so much for this one, Beth!
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    Staged Moon Landing

    Based on the notes alone, this is probably not a scent I would have picked up. Given the inspiration behind it, though, how could I not? The whole Black Helicopters line cracked me up, but this one has the added bonus of being a geological conspiracy of sorts. That is enough to make me need to test it, even in the face of being a bit allergic to white sandalwood! In the bottle: Extremely dry and dusty, with a sweet undertone. Wet on skin: Much the same as wet in the bottle - dry dry dry, and ever so slightly sweet. It's a powdered sugar kind of sweet, for certain. Drydown: Freshly dry, the sweet note is a little more prominent. It is, however, still an incredibly dry sort of sweet, and it mixes well with the extremely dry stuff that was more prominent when the scent was wet. Picking out specific notes within this is proving difficult! One hour later, the sweetness has calmed down again, though it hasn't entirely dissipated. My primary impression is dry dry dry and pale. Five hours later: This is getting very faint, but it still has the same quality as in the one hour mark: very dry, dusty, and pale, with only a subtle hint of sweetness. End of the day: Very very faint sweetness. Overall: As I said before, this isn't the kind of scent I would have necessarily picked up on its own, but I like it quite well! It's soft and comforting, actually, and my fears about the white sandalwood and my allergies were unfounded. Most importantly, though, I think this scent absolutely spot-on nails the concept it's going for. It comes very very close to some of the Lab's other geological scents - Black Opal in particular, though also a similar soft feel to Death Cap - but that bit of sugar-sweetness is just enough to make those rocks seem fake. And that is what this is meant to be - fake rocks on the fake moon! If I were not in on that joke, I'd probably be grumbling that this isn't mineral enough for me, but knowing the exact inspiration…pardon the pun, but this rocks. And makes me smile. I'm glad to have it!
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    Sky City (After)

    I'm not going to even pretend that I didn't immediately think "1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire" when I read the description of this scent. It should surprise nobody that my mind went there before I even finished reading the list of notes. It's a fascinating and terrifying event that relates my field of my study and one of my favorite cities in the world, and I squee'd out loud to see a BPAL oil that could so easily be construed as representing it, even if that wasn't the actual intent. (Though, I should also note, the oil was available exclusively on 16-18 April, and the 1906 earthquake was on 18 April. Also, the label art even looks like San Francisco! Behold: ) SO aaaaanyway, I had to try it for that reason alone! Also, the notes themselves do sound good… In the bottle: Dark and smoky, with some smashed wood and creosote, but also surprisingly sweet. At times, oddly reminiscent of cola, or, at least, cola with FIRE. Wet on skin: Immediately far less sweet, which is a good thing. I'm definitely getting the burned wood and creosote loud and clear, with dry ash and smoke backing it up. The sweetness isn't entirely gone, though; it's become a bit spicy now. I'm wondering if that's the blood note, perhaps? Drydown: Freshly dry, it's even less sweet, though still somewhat spicy. The ash and cinder notes come out a lot more, overtop what is definitely charred wood. Less creosote now, but I think the tar and asphalt are starting to make themselves known. At one hour in, things have settled into a combination of slightly spicy smoke, dry ashes/charred wood, on top of a hint of hot tarry asphalt. Five hours later: Fainter, but largely the same blend as at the one hour mark. It's a warm blend of burnt wood and scalded tarry asphalt. Still spicy, though I can't quite figure where the spice is coming from. End of the day: Very faint charred wood with just a hint of tar. Not particularly spicy anymore. Overall: Should I feel bad about thinking that a scent meant to emulate a city that has been knocked down and burned up smells good? Particularly if the concept of that scent reminds me of a very real thing that happened to my favorite real city? Well, uh. Maybe I should be feeling bad, but that doesn't change that I think this scent is awesome on me. I think it nails how one would imagine the post-fire combination of heat and spent combustibles (that hot asphalt note is particularly striking), which is intense and a little freaky. But at the same time, it's warm and smoky and woody and spicy, and those are a kind of scent that I love and that work well on me. So yes, I will say that I like smelling like this particular destroyed city. Maybe that's part of the whole fascination with cataclysmic events that so many people seem to have. I dunno. Long story short, Sky City After == win. (Aaand I will probably wear this every April 18th for ever or for as long as I still have some of this. And I will probably wear Sky City (Before) every April 17th. But I'll have to follow this up with Priala or some other phoenix scent, because San Francisco rose from the ashes after the quake and fire and…AHH I AM SUCH A NERD.)
  10. Seismogenic

    Sky City (Before)

    I'll say right off the bat that I'm not familiar with Irredeemable. I do, however, draw a lot of cityscapes for non-fictional places, and I like the idea of trying to portray a cityscape in scent. I'm a little wary of some of the listed floral notes going in to this review, but at the same time, a lack of any sort of greenery in a city is kind of sad, so I will not let those gardens deter me! In the bottle: Light, airy, and clean. There's a soft and sweet plant component, but there's definitely also that bit of metal and asphalt also sharing what is clearly spring air. Wet on skin: Cool spring air, the sort of flowers that are more for visuals than for smell but still have a sort of crisp smell anyway, a bit of asphalt, and that glass note I recognize from a few other scents. The metal is still there, but subtle. Drydown: Freshly dry, I immediately get more of the marble/asphalt note, but the other notes remain mostly the same in balance. It's more obviously a fresh spring day in a city rather than just outside in general. At one hour in, the plant notes have faded to near oblivion. I'm pretty much left with just the cityscape - asphalt and marble, that glass note, and the slightest hint of something metallic. It's still a fresh spring morning, and this is a very clean city. Five hours later: Mostly asphalt now, with that little bit of metal still hanging in there. There's a bit of ozone in conjunction with both of these, but it hasn't taken over. Not really getting the glass anymore, and the plants are looong gone. End of the day: A subtle hint of ozoney asphalt. Overall: This is awesome! It is very clearly urban, with the asphalt and metal and glass all present and accounted for, but these are not dark and oppressive tightly-lined buildings. This scent gives me a clear mental image of impeccably-maintained streets lined with light-colored structures, with an open and blue (and smogless!) sky visible between the buildings. The plant notes add to the impression of being outside, but they don't make this too rural. I'm going to have to agree with the Lab's "urban paradise" description here. Very much a keeper!
  11. Seismogenic

    Panther Moon

    As the owner of a large black cat with yellow eyes, I would have been remiss not to try Panther Moon on principle. However, the notes also sounded like winners to me, so I gave this a test at Will Call and at Bat's Day. I liked it immediately, so I decided to pick up a bottle and write a more proper review! In the bottle: I definitely get the musk, the mandrake, and a whole bunch of resins, but those resins are blended so well together that it's hard to tell which is which. There's a hint of the anise, but it's subtle. Wet on skin: Whoa, the oil itself is a dark golden color! Predominantly resiny, dark and a bit sweet. The musk smooths it out, but there's still some dryness that I suspect comes from the mandrake. Drydown: Freshly dry, the champaca comes strongly forward. It's not overwhelming the other things, but it's quite prominent. The resins, still very homogeneous, are the second most prominent thing, and the musk's still smoothing it all out. On the whole, it's a strong scent. At one hour in, everything has calmed down quite a bit, though the scent's still very present. At this point, it's champaca on top of smooth resins and overlaid with a little musk. On the whole, it's dark, but not murky. Five hours later: Still very present, though now it's definitely a dark resin blend with an edge of champaca, as opposed to vice versa. The musk is still there, but remains more in the background. Still very smooth and and well-blended. End of the day: A light presence of a smell that still qualifies as dark: resiny, spicy, and warm. Overall: I agree with everyone who says this scent really bottles the panther. It's dark, smooth, and warm, and it certainly does have a bite! This is powerful stuff, and a little goes a long way, but the way it goes is wonderful. It's the right combination of incense, resin, and musk so that I can't really categorize it as one of the three above others. I'm very glad to have this one! I'm also guessing it's going to age wonderfully.
  12. Seismogenic

    What do bottles and labels look like?

    Oh my goodness. That label art for Giant Squid. LAWL, I tell you. EL OH EL. ! I...am kind of curious about the scent, but I may just have to try and get my hands on an empty bottle, just for that label.
  13. Seismogenic

    Meadow scents!

    If you can get your hands on a bottle of Pa-Pow (which is a pretty recent LE), there are definitely plenty of grass and wildflower notes along with the sunshine and puppy fur. It's very much a California meadow in particular, and I love it.
  14. Seismogenic


    I was gifted this one by a friend, and I'm not entirely sure what to make of the notes just yet. That is to say, I'm wary of the florals, but hopeful that the other notes might temper them. However, I'm a little concerned that vetiver being listed as the first note means it's the only thing I'll smell. Time to test and find out! In the imp: Predominantly vetiver, though perhaps a little sweeter and drier than usual. Wet on skin: Still almost entirely vetiver, with the slightest floral edge. Drydown: Freshly dry, there's still a heck of a lot of vetiver, but the florals are coming through more clearly. It's the rose in particular, but there's a whiter floral edge as well. I'm not picking up any cinnamon, but it's not impossible that leather is part of why this is a little drier than vetiver usually is. At one hour in, it's vetiver with a little bit of rose and jasmine, now backed up more clearly by leather. None of the other notes come close to taking over from the vetiver, though. Five hours later: Still plenty of vetiver! The leather's about as prominent as the vetiver by this point, though. There are still subtle hints of flowers, but nothing overt. End of the day: Hint of vetiver. Overall: I think this combination of notes works very well for the poem that inspired the scent. The dirty vetiver and worn leather mixed with flowers definitely makes sense for the sort of roguish outlaw romanticism here. That said, I don't particularly like how this scent works on me. The vetiver is just a bit too overpowering, but at the same time, I don't particularly want to smell like jasmine or gardenia, either. I appreciate this one on principle, but I think I'll be swapping it.
  15. Seismogenic


    I'd been eyeing this one for a while, though I hadn't jumped forth to test it sooner because no notes were listed. But more recently, I saw (or heard, I can't quite recall) a review comparing Aureus to the scent of walking among ponderosa pines on a sunlit afternoon, and that kind of sealed the deal that I needed to get an imp and try it. In the imp: Warm amber, light spices, some sort of light wood. Wet on skin: Amber and light wood, slightly dry but not completely parched. I'm now not sure if I'm getting spices or some other resin that's a little sharper than amber. Drydown: Freshly dry, the light wood may be more prominent than the amber now, though both are still quite evident. I'm also getting a hint of something smoky now, though it's a sweet gentle smoke. Still uncertain on the presence of spices or other resins. At one hour in, things are quite similar to the freshly dry stage - gently smoky light wood, amber, and perhaps a bit of dust. Five hours later: Still not much has changed, other than everything fading a bit. Light wood, amber, dust, maaaaybe a little less of the smoky note than before. End of the day: Amber, with just a hint of wood. Overall: Gorgeous. I like wood, amber, smoke, and dust/dirt notes all on their own, so the combination of them has to be a win. I also may still have been swayed by that description of trees, though, because Aureus gives me a mental image of hiking leisurely along the back of the San Gabriel Mountains with bright light filtering through the trees and onto the dust stirred up by walking. The smoke must be from campfires; it's not the malevolent smoke of the kind of fires that the San Gabriels tend to get. I could sum up how this smells to me with a picture, even: (Yes, that picture also happens to contain the San Andreas Fault. Shutuuuuup.) So yes. Gorgeous! I can see myself using this imp and upgrading it at some point.