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BPAL Madness!


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About coulrophobe

  • Rank
    diabolical decanter
  • Birthday 03/18/1975


  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  • Country
    United States

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  • Favorite Scents
    Favorite notes: musk (especially white), amber, fig, apricot, iris, clove, white florals, berries, peach, vanilla, plum, oppoponax, sandalwood, carnationFavorite BPAL/TAL blends: Morocco, Noir, Snow White, Empyreal Mist, Antique Lace, Carnal, Queen of Spades, King of Spades, The Lion, Mabon, White Light, Black Pearl, Al-Azif

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  • Interests
    Sci-fi, Northern Ireland, fashion, crafty stuff (knitting, soapmaking), costume design & construction, Terry Pratchett, intellectual property law, travelling, Asian and Italian horror movies, psychology, music (eclectic - trance, opera, Irish, top 40, brit pop, classical, punk, electronica, whatever), jewelry-making, whiskey, cooking... and, you know, stuff. :)
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  1. coulrophobe

    Mouth So Sweet, So Poisonous

    In the bottle, I smell nothing but smoky opium. Wet on my skin, the honey starts to make an appearance - and after about two minutes, has completely taken over. I never get any hints of plum or berry - on me, this isn't dark or mysterious at all, but a light, golden, slightly powdery, honey skin-scent. Quite nice, but not at all what I was expecting based on the other reviews! Chemistry is a weird thing.
  2. coulrophobe

    Winds of Autumn

    In the bottle, this was a bit alarming to me - smoke but with an odd food note - not sweet foody, but more savory and sharp. Sort of like burnt cumin. On skin, that strange note is nowhere to be found - instead it's a burnt sugar scent with a bit of spice. As the blend continues to dry down, it becomes more rounded - a bit of apple and cinnamon, but not so overpowering that it smells like a fall candle. Scents like Samhain are a bit heavy for me, this one winds up being a bit sweeter, lighter, more airy. I really like it - I'm not a fan of the season, but this blend manages to make autumn more likeable for me!
  3. coulrophobe

    Violet Fog

    In the bottle, the lavender is pretty sharp and dominates the blend. Lavender doesn't tend to last long on me, so I am not deterred! On my skin, initially lavender/violet combine and the result is straight up soap. Very nice soap, but soap nonetheless. Luckily...I kind of like smelling soapy. Given a little time, the orris and sandalwood make themselves known, and the blend smells more complex. Still a bit soapy, but more of a "freshly showered and now I'm burning some incense" feel. Not my most poetic review, but I'm out of practice. I like this Fog, soapiness and all.
  4. coulrophobe

    Leaden Fog

    Leaden Fog somehow manages to be both smoky and clean on my skin, with the sandalwood becoming more prominent as it dries down. It's a fascinating blend and I'm liking it quite a bit. My chemistry often tends to sweeten things up, but this one stays pretty gender-neutral on me.
  5. coulrophobe

    The Cold Earth Slept Below

    Initially this one is way too jasmine-y for me, but once the night-blooming flowers calm down a bit, the orris/coconut comes out. That combo reminds me a little bit of Black Pearl, which is one of my longtime favorites. The lemon peel and eucalyptus aren't detectable on my skin - I was hoping they'd bring a cool/airy feel to the blend. Not a win for me, as even after drydown the jasmine is still a bit strong and makes me headachy.
  6. coulrophobe


    I'm one of the ones who amps litsea cubeba, apparently. In the imp, Lemon Pledge. Wet on my skin, Lemon Pledge. After 30 minutes or so it starts to settle down a bit, but the sharp lemony madness in the beginning is a bit alarming. That said, it's not one I got for myself - I got this for a boy (I'm trying to convince him he should smell like something other than just "boy" once in a while - he seems to be humoring me in this endeavor). Maybe it will work better with his chemistry? If it's just as lemony to his nose, I can't really imagine him having the patience to wait for the dry-down, though.
  7. That *totally* makes sense to me. And I've had whiskey, not wine, but I think we're in tune here. Bwahahaha... great minds think alike, my dear Floppy. *hijack* What kind of whiskey? I almost busted out the Redbreast tonight, but had some dry Gewurtz that needed to be finished off before it went off.
  8. Maybe I'm just overly literal... but I bifurcate the incense/resin conundrum (oooh, look at those big words! I've had wine and I'm trying to compensate for my resulting stupid) along tactile/sensory lines: Incense - airy, smokey, dry Resin - rich, sticky, wet And that probably only makes sense to me. In my scheme, something like Al-Azif would be an incense; things like Sloth or Jacob's Ladder would be resins.
  9. coulrophobe

    Red Currant, Black Currant & Cassis scents

    If you can get your hands on some Montresor (from the Descent into the Maelstrom series), it's the only blend I've gotten a strong blackcurrant vibe from. The description only says "black fruit," not blackcurrant specifically... but it's all blackcurrant and vanilla on me.
  10. coulrophobe

    Harvest Moon 2006

    In the bottle: Light, herby - green tea and bamboo. On: A hint of fruit behind all the green tea and bamboo at first - then *poof* - I'm obviously in the distinct minority here, but I'm getting no apple or spice. Drydown: There's the sweetness of sugar cane in the background, and a grainy feeling from the wheat - and the green notes have mellowed down a bit. I'm left with a light, sweet scent, with that "lunar herbal" smell the lunacies share. Mabon is one of my favorites, so I got excited when I saw those comparisons - but no, not on me. Doing a direct wrist-to-wrist comparison, Mabon is a much deeper, darker scent on my skin - deep leafy notes, hops, and a hint of spicy-sweet apples and blackberries, and with my chemistry, there's absolutely no similarity. I love fruit, and I'm bummed that none shows up on my skin - but it's a pretty blend all the same.
  11. coulrophobe

    Orange Blossom and Neroli Recs

    If you can get your hands on a bottle of Neptune, that one is very orange blossomy to my nose. And I agree, orange blossom is a floral note to my nose - I don't get any citrus or fruity-ness at all.
  12. coulrophobe

    Searching for the Perfect Vanilla?

    To me, Mouse's Long and Sad Tale is like Antique Lace without the musk. I don't get sweet pea per se - just vanilla and a bit of floral. Very pretty, but I'm such a musk fiend, I can't help liking Antique Lace better. As for Eat Me... I don't smell any resemblance to the other two. Smells like cake. Which isn't a bad thing at all. Foody scents are iffy for me, since I can't wear chocolate or buttery blends, but Eat Me isn't too bad. Like Monsterbait: Closet, but with less currant.
  13. coulrophobe

    Et Lux Fuit

    In the bottle: faint lemony-floral On: This blend amps up quite a bit on my skin, into a perfumey floral with a sharpness to it. This smells very similar to a commercial fragrance I'm familiar with... but I can't put my finger on which one (since discovering BPAL, I haven't worn ANY commercial perfumes, so I'm out of practice). As it dries down I can smell the daisy, and I think the ylang ylang - but not any of the notes I was hoping for (amber, carnation, musk). I end up with a heavy floral that's a bit too commercial smelling for me... curse my chemistry. It's driving me crazy that I can't put my finger on what this reminds me of. It's so familiar smelling!
  14. coulrophobe

    Hungry Ghost Moon 2006

    In the bottle: Sharp citrus On: Ah, that's better! The grapefruit loses it's sharpness quickly, and it becomes a sweet, fruity blend. There's a "roundness" to it that I'm attributing to the musk and vanilla - those notes aren't pronounced, but I can smell them if I sniff deeply. It starts off a bit "green" to my nose, but after it's dried down the color association I'm drawing from it is a mellow peachy color. Basically, I'm echoing everyone else here. HGM is lovely.
  15. I've had excellent luck with Al-Araaf, but it's getting hard to find these days (luckily I have a few bottles stashed away). And I haven't had any guy-feedback on them per se, but I'll second Morocco, Antique Lace, Dorian, Regan and Snake Oil as great "all occasion" scents that are clean enough for the office but still have a little something sexy to 'em (I'm a big fan of light musks and vanilla, obviously). The one scent that had the somewhat surprising effect of making my very platonic guy-friend say, "Um... please don't wear that one, it's making me think impure thoughts" -- Yerevan!? So I guess it just goes to show, kind of depends on the guy when you're talking about what turns their cranks.