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BPAL Madness!


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About simpletwice

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    wrist-sniffing wench


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  1. simpletwice

    Lights, Camera, Something

    This one has really grown on me. Initially I went "okay, lavender vanilla cardamom. Does what is says on the tin." Medium throw, average wear length. Pleasant, but predictable. But ooh it's one of those ones that sneaks up on you, and a couple days later you're absolutely craving it. The vanilla keeps the lavender-cardamom from being too sharp and herbal, the cardamom keeps lavender-vanilla from being too childish, the lavender keeps the cardamom-vanilla from being too foodie. Sweet but haughty. I can easily see this becoming a signature scent.
  2. simpletwice

    The Empress and the Chariot

    I keep going back and forth on this one. It reads very masculine to me - which is interesting because other reviews don't seem to share that? I have big love for oak and leather, and don't generally shy away from masculine blends, but this one may be Too Much for me. That said, wow, this is SEXY. It's a sharp, slick, lavender-sweet cologne, and I'm not sure I want to wear it, but I am in full swoon over it. Prolly going to save my decant for when I need to roar around on an imaginary badass motorcycle.
  3. simpletwice

    Pinched With Four Pumpkins

    Somehow the cinnamon/tobacco/coffee (and maybe the pumpkin?) are contributing to sort of a fall air freshener vibe. How did caramel/butterscotch get in there? This goes straight into unpleasantly strong candle territory on my skin. The tobacco note here is really cronchy and when I can trick myself into thinking of this as a tobacco scent it's almost charming, but whew this baby is POTENT and not interested in whether I want to warm up to its charms slowly. I'm not bold enough to join this poker table.
  4. simpletwice

    Every Day is Halloween

    Oh hell yeah, that's the stuff. Warm aromatics from the sandalwood backed with a little smooooooth pumpkin earthiness. I was surprised to see only two notes listed, this reads much more complex. As with a couple above reviews, I'm also picking up a cashmere quality. Almost a little nutty. Really just warm and glowing and lovely.
  5. simpletwice

    Ring of Light

    Wow okay, this is NOT a delicate pretty pretty. Yeah sure, okay, there's citrus-lavender in there. But mostly what I'm getting is something musky and astringent. I agree that it isn't as sharp as it could be, it hold together really well as a concept. But I also agree that it's a little cleaning-product-esque. I can't shake the feeling this is not something I should be handling without protective gloves. Some of my favorite BPALs fall into the category of "WHAT am I smelling." Not a scent you recognize immediately or have a preconceived frame of reference for, but one that is just so interesting that it grows on you until it becomes a signature for a certain type of mood that you didn't even know needed its own scent. This one, I think, could play that role for somebody. Not me. But if you need a signature power scent that commands people to look at you? Ring of Light, baby.
  6. simpletwice

    Frostbite with Polar Bear Attack

    There's strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold... Frostbite w/PBA is minty and mossy. An mysterious combination of airy and earthy, zingy and grounded. Possibly some ozone? Never sure what ozone smells like but I feel like, if anything, it's this. I'm not finding the "coppery gout of blood" at all. There may be a bit of a redmusk rumble in the background serving the purpose, but it's faint. This reminds me strongly of the discontinued General Catalog scent Cathode. The notes in Cathode are: "ambergris, spanish Moss, oakmoss and three electric mints". There are no literal notes listed for FBw/PBA, it's presented with poetic evocation, but this is quite similar. I dug through my BPAL box for an ancient imp of Cathode to do a side-by-side. Cathode is sweeter and longer-lasting, although much of that at this point may be due to aging. I love this because I love mint! But mint, as a scent component, tends to disappear quickly -- it's very volatile. Blending it here with a mossy component TOTALLY works, it convinces the mint to stick around and results in one of the most wearable mint blends I've ever encountered.
  7. simpletwice

    Painted Scars

    I'm getting primarily dry, powdered fruit from this. A real sweet-and-sour vibe. Musky plum on lead vocals with everything else harmonizing in the background. It's cool to see how some of my faves (lavender, sandalwood and BPAL's wine interpretation) add atmosphere as purely background players, but ultimately this is not for me. As a perfume. If you handed me something that smelled like this as a cocktail and called it a blackberry-plum sour, I'd be all over it.
  8. simpletwice

    Jack of Hearts

    Predominantly a strong, long-wearing carnation and honey blend. This opens with a delightful burst of jellied fruit, spice, and carnation. The black cherry, which is quickly becoming my favorite BPAL fruit note, is bold and jammy, but doesn't have the staying power of the carnation and honey. The spice winds in and out, with the inherent spicy nature of carnation playing nicely off the peppercorn. The honey makes everything a little dirtier (in a good way). My initial evaluation is that this is quite lovely but it just doesn't GRAB me - but this may well be a sleeper agent that activates with aging. Carnation lovers should adore this, and honey does some sexy mellowing with a little aging, so if either of those are your signature notes this should be a real winner.
  9. simpletwice

    Lavender Lightning

    Smells like I just washed my hair with a lavender-eucalyptus-mint shampoo and baby, you can just tell, that shampoo was EXPENSIVE. You know, shampoo from when you were visiting that one friend who has two different guest bathrooms in their lake house. Never gonna find it in any grocery store that mortals can enter. I'm not sure how, but this perfume oil gave me a quick shoulder massage and told me my hair looks great.
  10. simpletwice

    A Place of Seeing

    I pronounce this: delightful! A very pretty, girly sort of scent that still has a nice level of intrigue. These florals are strong but the TEXTURE is soft and sweet. Vanilla/sandalwood/amber makes it smooth and very approachable, and keeps it from reading as overly youthful. There's a bit of zing and marshmallow sweetness in there too. This lasts for a good, long time. There aren't any scent surprises here, the notes read true to themselves, but it is just pretty beyond belief - a real waltzing dress of a perfume.
  11. simpletwice


    Three intensely different stages to this one. Wet, it's super sweet, decadent buttercream: all richness and frosting, gently spiced. Yum! Dry, the sweetness is suddenly gone - how?! so quickly! - and I'm getting a scent that reminds me of a room where a stick of incense has been burning. Incense scents are not my jam, so unfortunately I can't tease it apart more finely to tell you what it is exactly is going on here, but I suspect it may be the "stick". Something about the wood with a dry smoke/spice undertone. This stage lasts for an average amount of time. After a couple hours, I get the third stage - a close-to-skin scent that's a classic BPAL gourmand drydown. The sweetness has somehow crept back in, the spices which were previously background players find their balance, and there's a hint of creamy woods smoothing it out. This is the first stage where I really detect the honey. This stage is soft, and lasts.
  12. simpletwice

    Thirteen (13): March 2020

    Citrusy! I'm a dabber, and this scent wants a slatherer. A dab of this 13 is a bit wan - a faint and dry citrus, with a hint of brown sugar tinge. Somehow a large glop of it becomes a totally different scent - bright, sticky, gooey, chewy, lemon candy.
  13. simpletwice

    A Vigilant Eye at Heaven’s Center

    If I saw a bottle of dark blue shower gel with no label, this is how I'd expect it to smell. Apple open, "zingy" sweet drydown. Bright and clean.
  14. simpletwice

    Artist's Entrance

    This is a GLORIOUS wood scent! Oh my gosh. Extremely pretty and glowing, like a box made of aromatic woods. I'm not great at identifying individual woods, but let's note that I get very little piney-ness from the fir. The leather/amber are wonderfully complementary notes here. I couldn't tell you what steel or roisin smell like, so no idea how those factor in, but everything balances perfectly and overall this blend just WORKS. An exceptionally evocative wood/leather scent that wears true to concept.
  15. simpletwice

    Gen Z Feminist Cenobite

    This goes through three pretty distinct phases. Wet, it starts off as a SUPER strong, sweet cherry. slightly on the artificial side but not annoyingly so, enough complexity to be interesting. The cherry settles down after a few minutes to a recognizable, exactly-what-you'd-expect cherry smell fronting a chypre background (powdery, herbal, old-fashioned, slightly amber). This stage lasts for a good long while. The last stage is just the chypre, which is quite elegant and lasted overnight. This is fun and pleasant, but it doesn't have the depth that I prefer in a fruit scent.