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BPAL Madness!


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About PurringPulsar

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    lunacy bin resident
  • Birthday 04/05/1985


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  1. PurringPulsar

    International Shipping Info+Questions

    Has anyone international received Liliths yet? I made a couple of orders around the time of their release but still haven’t received any shipping notices. I’m guessing the move is impacting things and my orders might be combined but I’m just curious if I’m the only one still waiting for my Lil order...
  2. PurringPulsar


    Morphine In the bottle: a thin opium smoke scent. On skin: this is pretty. Opium is dominant, unsurprisingly, but it’s not a heavy black opium scent, not floral but smoky. It makes me think of a thin, hazy curl of smoke, like a veil. Ghostly and ethereal, ‘skeletal haze’ is pretty much an accurate description. The orris and sandalwood add a dry, almost dusty or powdery scent. I can’t smell the plum or the tuberose yet but this is very pretty and has a vintage feel to it. It reminds me of When Nothing Was, that same haze of opium, but less dark. It also reminds me of the opium from Red Lantern, but without the caramel note that amps on my skin. Over time I still don’t smell the plum or the tuberose, but the opium has become a little smokier (but never overwhelming) and the musk seems to come out more. The crystalline musk is a soft white musk to me, and a gorgeous one. Slightly sweetish and close to the skin, it supports the opium beautifully. The scent speaks of faded yet timeless glamour and mystery. Really glad I bought this on a whim, normally these notes don’t grab me, but I’m really interested in Berlin Cabaret and the Weimar Republic (the scent is inspired by Anita Berber) so I had to try it and I’m so glad I have a bottle.
  3. PurringPulsar

    Smurf Essence

    I am so chuffed to have a bottle of this. And it's a cobalt bottle! In the bottle: BLUEBERRY. On the skin: BLUEBERRY. Sweet sweet blueberries. Like the kind found in muffins, or a blueberry jam, or really, really ripe to bursting point berries. Glorious blueberries with an extra sweetness but not sickly so. There's vanilla in here to boost the sweetness, it smells a bit like the vanilla-blackcurrant combo of Eat Me, but without the cake note. This smells like it could be the filling in a cake though. It's foody, I don't really get musk or non-gourmand notes, but the sweet undertone might also contain tonka or maybe an amber of some kind, along with vanilla. If you hate blueberry you won't like this at all. I myself am firmly in the love camp when it comes to blueberry, and this is the perfect showcase of this fruity note.
  4. PurringPulsar

    Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

    In the decant: bubblegum and smoke/metal. On the skin: at first, the bubblegum pops (pun intended) out immediately. It’s the same ‘urban bubblegum’ scent from Pop! in that it smells like strawberry bubblegum but with a scent underneath that evokes the city, a kind of metallic ozoney scent. but then it changes. Soon, the smoke from the gunpowder comes out and I swear I smell the sharp blades of swords clashing, and then some notes of cologne come out, like the perfumes of the past. Lilith the Explorer? More like Lilith the Time Lord! The perfumey backdrop gets stronger, I don’t smell powder as such but it does smell like a masculine cologne, with a gritty undertone. Not as much bubblegum now. The drydown is cologne. (I don’t really get the snuff, unless the cologne smell has a tobacco note of sorts?) Verdict: imagine if Doctor Who had smell-o-vision. This is would be an episode set in revolutionary France, in scent form. There are the smells of history exploding to life. Muskets and cannons fill the air of Paris with thick smoke, blades clash, sparks fly and the perfumes of soldiers and aristocrats collide. And over it all, the playful note of bubblegum, almost like the scent of the Doctor, whimsically anachronistic. This really is time travel in scent. Bottle? I think so, because it’s such a unique and unusual scent, the kind of evocative ‘story in perfume’ that Beth excels at.
  5. PurringPulsar


    In the bottle: spicy chocolate biscuits! On the skin: HOLY MOLY this takes me back to the Marche de Noel in Strasbourg. It’s because of the biscuity note. Other than the lebkuchen (I don't smell much gingerbread for the moment), I’m not familiar with the other sweet treats listed in here but on my skin it reminds me of ‘bredeles d’Alsace’. They are the Christmas biscuits of Alsace and they come in nutty, cinnamon-y, chocolate and gingerbread-y varieties. I remember trying them out in Strasbourg, many of the stalls giving out samples, and this reminds me of that experience! It’s floury, a bit buttery (but not overwhelmingly so!), sugary and nutty and chocolaty and spicy. There’s also an oaty/cereal-like note that reminds me of Full Moon Flakes, but in here the chocolate is stronger and the oat scent is less dusty. Then the scent changes again…and it smells like fried doughnuts! I smell icing sugar on top of something hot and sweetly greasy. Now it reminds me of Salzburg. I had some doughnut-like fried pastry things there, maybe that’s the mutzenmandel? They were fluffier and lighter than the usual fried doughnuts. In there, the smell isn’t overwhelmingly greasy, the powdered sugar seems to dominate (there’s some cinnamon sprinkled in there as well), along with a cup of dark hot chocolate. I don’t get much of the lebkuchen (gingerbread) but what I do smell is yummy enough. Verdict: like a winter version of Midway. This is a scented trip to some of my favourite Christmas markets in Europe. There’s one thing missing from this…gluhwein. A mulled wine note will really make it smell like a festive market. I might try layering this with Gluhwein or another wine-centred scent, and a gingerbread scent, and maybe a snow scent, for the full Weihnachtsmarkt experience. Backup: oh yeah.
  6. PurringPulsar

    Snow of the Gravestones at Petersfriedhof

    In the bottle: incense-think a cross between resins and incense ashes. On the skin: this is so pretty. I was expecting something a bit like the old Salon scent, Cloister Graveyard in the Snow, but this is a little different. Less snow, more incense. The first thing it reminds me of is Under the Mosquito Netting from the Shungas. It’s incense with something that reminds me of lemon. Though in here it smells a bit more like pine or even a snow note? It is subtle, a ‘breeze’ as the description states. The incense is dominant here, a soft smoke wafting from a church. I smell sandalwood or some kind of wood, as well as frankincense, but it’s not RESINS, rather it’s more like the wisps of smoke left behind after a service. In fact, it smells almost a bit more like Eastern incense (more like fragrant wood). Not nag champa per se, but something that burns in a stick rather than a censer. It also reminds me of the incense note used in Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie, but without the cookie. Over time this smells like hazy incense and…candle smoke! Yes! That’s what I get here, the scent of votives that have just burnt out. I love that smell, combined with incense it gives a very meditative fragrance. The cool icy note has toned down, so it’s like being inside the church rather than out in the cold. Then it switches back to a lightly frosty scent mingled with candle smoke and incense. It still has that lovely lemon-like note that adds something almost golden to the scent. Verdict: like the Barrials, I too went to that graveyard in Salzburg as it was snowing. It was haunting, everything was quiet save the soft crunch of snow underfoot…and then the bells rang. This is a gorgeous scent picture of a beautiful, peaceful experience. It makes me feel calm just smelling it. Backup: definitely.
  7. PurringPulsar

    Thutmose’s Nefertiti

    In the bottle: heady gluhwein. I know it’s meant to be kyphi but it has a spiced mulled wine scent that fits with the whole Euro-Christmas theme of the series! On the skin: fizzy? I know ‘lime spar’ is mineral lime, not fruity, but I swear I smell lime fruit here. It smells very effervescent. In fact it has a similar overtone to the Bears of Berlin scent. Maybe it’s the labdanum? At times it smells like white wine and then juniper and a scent that’s almost metallic, which I guess is the iron oxide or the copper. Underneath it, the scent of warm spiced red wine and aged resins-the myrrh is strongest. I get a sense of past and present, ancient Egypt meets modern Germany. Desert spices and embalming resins with overtones of metal and bright city lights and a steaming cup of mulled wine. The beautiful queen has awoken after thousands of years in a strange new era, a strange new town. Gradually the resin and spice comes to the fore. The myrrh and cinnamon are dominant, but then the labdanum really makes itself known. The fizzy metallic note from before has toned down a lot and now it’s all about the spicy myrrh with sticky sweet labdanum. Verdict: this is gorgeous. I wasn’t sure what to think of the metal-mineral fizz at the beginning but then the myrrh and wine and spices turned this into a thing of beauty. Backup? Most likely. I bet this will age like a dream.
  8. PurringPulsar

    At the Krampuslauf

    I know I’ve talked about Lilith’s experiences with Krampus for years, so I hesitate to reiterate them here. She loves Krampus. Her love for Krampus easily equals her love for Santa, so in 2017, we took her to the Gnigl Krampuslauf in Salzburg (which we memorialized in our 12 Lashes From Krampus and Perchtenläufe series). She was enraptured. She was charmed by the wee little kid Krampuses, the Perchten, the switches, and the chains. She loved the snow and icicles, the roadside cider vendors and the bitterly cold air. I love this photo; it really seems to encapsulate her joy that night: the sparkle in her eyes and her bursts of laughter. Ice, leather, and snow warmed by a steaming stein of children’s glühwein.  At The Krampuslauf In the bottle: fruity snow with grape juice. On the skin: this is very snowy! The snow note in here is like the one in Snow Bunny or Snow Angel, a sweet, slushy note with pine and berry accents to it. the berry-like nature of the scent is enhanced by the children’s gluhwein, which is a kind of red grape juice on my skin. Sweeter and less heady than the usual BPAL red wine, this is a kind of fruit punch scent with a little bit of what could be citrus peel? But the snowy note dominates. I don’t smell leather, but compared to Ted’s Krampuslauf scent, this is much more fruity and heavier on the ‘BPAL Snow’ accord whereas Ted’s is more frosted lavender Dorian with a hint of leather. Gradually the red fruity note morphs from grape into something almost like maraschino cherry on me, before it ends up smelling a bit like the port note from past Yules, maybe the Port Jelly scent from the Miskatonic collection. The snow note has turned into a crisp icy juniper now. It’s interesting but I smell something in here that reminds me of plastic, like the plastic of a Krampus mask perhaps? Normally I’m not keen on it but it works here. Verdict: this is a fun, playful Yule scent! I was kind of hoping for more of the leather to add depth and darkness, but the snow and fruitiness go nicely together. Backup? I’ll keep this bottle, but I prefer the Post’s Salzburg Krampuslauf scent. I might experiment with layering the two…
  9. PurringPulsar

    Hohensalzburg Fortress

    An absolutely stunning view of the Baroque historical district from high atop the Festungsberg. A shiver of iced chocolate and white amber.  In the bottle: yummy milk chocolate! On the skin: ohhh! This is the perfect milk chocolate and amber. It’s like Gelt, but with a paler, cooler amber note. The white amber has a more perfumey smell (it’s the amber from 51), less vanilla-like than the golden Gelt amber, but it blends really nicely with that milk chocolate, which smells creamy and smooth like a Galaxy bar. It’s not icy like the Chocolate Slush smell, I don’t smell any obvious snow or frost notes here other than the slightly chilly amber note. The amber is almost skin musk-like to me, weirdly warm and cool at once. It almost reminds me of Bastet’s Amber by NAVA, but a bit stronger and more upfront on my skin. Chocolate and amber are in equilibrium for a while. Over time it becomes a crystal shard of amber dusted with chocolate. Not too sweet. There’s a dry quality to the amber, in the way that white wine is dry (but it doesn’t smell like white wine.) Then the chocolate and amber seem to take it in turns as to which one is strongest. Verdict: I think this might be my favourite chocolate-amber because the white amber note tempers the chocolate’s sweetness and makes it a sophisticated gourmand, rather than a purely foody scent. If you like Gelt or Chad, you must try this. Backup: Very likely.
  10. PurringPulsar

    Bears of Berlin

    Even in utero, Lilith had a full head of hair. She looked like a Monchhichi when she was born, and from the moment I first saw her, I called her Bear. She’s my Baby Bear, Bunnybear, Bearington, Beanie Bear. I made up bear bedtime stories for her – we still tell each other bear jokes all the time. Every time I see a bear video or meme, I save it for her, my little Princess Bear. While we were in Berlin, we made a point of taking photos with as many Buddy Bears as possible. They’re intended to symbolize peace, tolerance, and understanding between religions, nations, and cultures worldwide, and Lilith knows how important that is – especially now. Sweet buttered rum, brown musk, wildflower honey, tonka bean, labdanum, and clove.  In the bottle: buttered rum with a bit of honey. On the skin: is there cider in here? I smell something reminiscent of a crisp fizzy apple. But it’s predominantly the buttered rum, which isn’t as strong and cloying as Kill Devil or Grog were on me. This rum is sweet and caramelised, a dark spiced rum with golden honey on top. The whole thing reminds me of a mix of hot mead, mulled cider and rum punch, like what you’d have at a European Christmas market. The clove isn’t blatant, but its warm spiciness seems to enhance the scent’s festive feel. The weirdly cider-like note then tones down and the rum and honey melt into each other really nicely. The labdanum is there, that syrupy resinous base grounding the sweeter notes, and I think there’s a hint of tonka (in here, it has an almost woody smell) and furry musk too. Over time I smell more of the musk, it’s similar to the musk in Black Bear Moon, but without the berries. It definitely smells furry though, a bit like the brown fuzzy musk in the Little Brown Cat. The labdanum’s sticky sweet scent seems to enhance the treacle-like undertone of the rum. The tonka’s a bit more prominent as well. Verdict: a winner! This is a cosy fuzzy scent that is perfect for the winter months. It’s also one of the few caramelised/rum-based scents that I can pull off. Backup? Maybe. But I think I prefer Berliner Dom Antics as my favourite Berlin-themed scent of the collection (that I've tried so far).
  11. PurringPulsar

    What Scent Is This?

    Does anyone know of a scent called DENN DIE TODTEN REITEN SCHNELL? It's the name of one of the new claw polishes. As all the others are named after scents, is this one also based on a scent or is it just a stand-alone polish? I do not recall a scent-general or limited-with that name. Is this an unreleased/future scent?
  12. PurringPulsar

    Practical Occultism

    Practical Occultism consists, first, of a perfect mastery of the individual’s own spirit. No advance whatever can be made in acquiring power over other spirits, such as controlling the lower or supplicating the higher, until the spirit within has acquired such perfect mastery of itself, that it can never be moved to anger or emotion—realizes no pleasure, cares for no pain; experiences no mortification at insult, loss, or disappointment—in a word, subdues every emotion that stirs common men’s minds. To arrive at this state, severe and painful as well as long continued discipline is necessary. Having acquired this perfect equilibrium, the next step is power. The individual must be able to wake when he pleases and sleep when he pleases; go in spirit during bodily sleep where he will, and visit—as well as remember when awake—distant scenes. He must be enabled by practice, to telegraph, mentally, with his fellow associates, and present himself, spiritually, in their midst. He must, by practice, acquire psychological control over the minds of any persons—not his associates—beneath his own calibre of mind. He must be able to still a crying infant, subdue fierce animals or angry men, and by will, transfer his thought without speech or outward sign to any person of a mental calibre below himself; he must be enabled to summon to his presence elementary spirits, and if he desires to do so (knowing the penalties attached), to make them serve him in the special departments of Nature to which they belong. He must, by virtue of complete subjugation of his earthly nature, be able to invoke Planetary and even Solar Spirits, and commune with them to a certain degree. To attain these degrees of power the processes are so difficult that a thorough practical occultist can scarcely become one and yet continue his relations with his fellow-men. He must continue, from the first to the last degree, a long series of exercises, each one of which must be perfected before another is undertaken. A practical occultist may be of either sex, but must observe as the first law inviolable chastity—and that with a view of conserving all the virile powers of the organism. No aged person, especially one who has not lived the life of strict chastity, can acquire the full sum of the powers above named. It is better to commence practice in early youth, for after the meridian of life, when the processes of waste prevail over repair, few of the powers above described can be attained; the full sum never. Strict abstinence from animal food and all stimulants is necessary. Frequent ablutions and long periods of silent contemplation are essential. Codes of exercises for the attainment of these powers can be prescribed, but few, if any, of the self-indulgent livers of modern times can perform their routine. The arts necessary for study to the practical occultist are, in addition to those prescribed in speculative occultism, a knowledge of the qualities of drugs, vapors, minerals, electricity, perfumes, fumigations, and all kinds of anæsthetics. And now, having given in brief as much as is consistent with my position—as the former associate of a secret society—I have simply to add, that, whilst there are, as in Masonry, certain preliminary degrees to pass through, there are numerous others to which a thoroughly well organized and faithful association might advance. In each degree there are some valuable elements of practical occultism demanded, whilst the teachings conveyed are essential preliminaries. In a word, speculative occultism must precede practical occultism; the former is love and wisdom, the latter, simply power. A Victorian occultist’s incense, invoking the Four Archangels: precious wildcrafted Indian frankincense with myrrh, cassia, sandarac, palmarosa, white sage, red sandalwood, elemi, and drops of star anise bound with grains of kyphi. In the bottle: kyphi! A fruity, wine-y kyphi scent with lots of cassia and a bit of anise. On skin: glorious spicy kyphi. This smells less like Cairo’s lemongrassy-rosy take on kyphi, not as wine-y or ashen as Philosopher in Meditation, it’s more like the kyphi note from the Oak and Kyphi atmosphere spray, or the Chthonic Kyphi incense from TAL. It’s spicy, resinous and complex. Cinnamon/cassia is the most obvious note, but it’s also full of myrrh, frankincense, red wine and honeyed raisins, there’s also a hint of fuzzy sage to it as well. The anise isn’t there any more. I absolutely love the resinous spicy scent this has. It reminds me a bit of Haloa but without the foody notes. It also reminds me of Egg Moon’s cinnamon frankincense. After a while: it doesn’t change too much but I think the honey and wine aspects of the kyphi become more obvious. The resins deepen further, the cassia becomes warmer. The myrrh is wonderful in here, it reminds me of the myrrh in Priala, especially with the cinnamon, but not as smoky. Something about it reminds me of a couple of last year’s phoenix scents. Verdict: probably the best kyphi scent by BPAL so far. If you are a kyphi lover, you must get this. It’s brimming with spice and resin and honeyed wine, all in balance. Yule is a perfect time for this scent to be on sale, there’s something almost festive to it because of the combination of red wine and cinnamon, frankincense and myrrh, at times it reminds me of mulled wine in a church during a Christmas service, but it’s got that undertone of mystery and darkness hinting at more ancient, occult origins for this particular incense blend. The great thing is that it’s cinnamony but doesn’t burn my skin. I’m glad I took a chance on this as it’s perfect, I think it will age amazingly. Is it a keeper? for sure. Maybe a backup? If you like this, try: Egg Moon, Pliny’s Phoenix, Tacitus’s Phoenix, Priala the Human Phoenix, Oak Leaves and Kyphi atmosphere spray, Saturnian Phoenix, Philosopher in Meditation, Haloa, Cairo, Saint Foutin de Varailles, Valentine of Rome
  13. PurringPulsar

    Sweet Alyssum

    Sweet Alyssum In the imp: a sweet, endearing floral. Very springy! Wet on skin: now it’s a bit greener and also a bit soapy (in a pleasant way). Dry on skin: a sweet, slightly greenish, slightly honeyed, bubbly floral. It has a kind of ‘soap suds’ or ‘children’s bubble bath’ that I quite like. It has a similar sweetness to some other floral scents like heliotrope or hellebore, but it’s a bit more of a nectar scent, it could get too sweet for me. I am sure this is one of the flowers in Chaste Moon (both versions). There is something underneath it all that could turn to plastic or bitterness, but I hope that doesn’t happen. I must say this is very accurate, it smells like real alyssum! After a while: this unfortunately develops a slightly bitter plastic with a slightly cloying sweetness. The bitterness underneath reminds me of a similar reaction I got with Evening Stock, but not as intense. I much prefer this to Evening Stock. It still manages to stay quite alyssum-y despite the hints of plastic. This would be much nicer if it wasn’t on my skin! Though with a few more wears it does improve a little, smelling more like the warm and pleasantly soapy smell from before. Verdict: my friend recently got some alyssum to plant in her garden, and I couldn’t resist the chance to smell it…and I have to say, this note is spot on! It smells just like the sweet, honeyed, candied but also earthy/green smell of real alyssum. The word that comes to mind is ‘frothy’, because it reminds me both of an almost effervescent mass of tiny alyssum blooms bursting from the cracks of garden paving, and also because it reminds me of bubble bath! It’s a very pretty and complex single note but my skin does some strange things to it, making it a bit too soapy and sweet. I have a feeling this would be even nicer as part of a blend rather than on its own. As this smells much nicer before I apply this to my skin, I think I would love this in a room spray or even a candle! Is it a keeper? on its own with nothing added, probably not, having said that, it is growing on me…I’d love to see more blends with alyssum in it. If you like this, try: Fairy Hordes Attacking a Bat spray, Chaste Moon (both), other floral single notes such as Devil’s Trumpet and Evening Stock
  14. PurringPulsar

    Lunar Eclipse: April 2013

    Lunar Eclipse (April 2013) In the imp: pale, cool, musky iris with something sharp and perfumey. Wet on skin: herbal notes reminiscent of camomile and hay, iris and blue musk. Dry on skin: this is very pretty! This has a similar ‘chilled pale musk and iris’ note to Yaksh and the Cold Hour of Dawn, but the white tea makes it even sharper. This tea note can be quite piercing, and it is quite strident in here. I think the blackcurrant also adds a tart fruity scent. The yarrow and mugwort have a kind of ‘herbal tea’ smell in here, they remind me of camomile and sage. The white musk is more like blue musk to me; it has that airy freshness to it. It is pretty but I hope that the amber and patchouli make an appearance. After a while: nooo, my skin is eating this up! I hoped the darker, deeper notes would show up, but it seems not. The scent seems to be disappearing, it’s like a faint iris and white tea perfume now, with a bit of blackcurrant. Eventually it becomes a bit amber-y but it’s still dominated by that white tea, which is quite astringent, too sharp for my tastes. The scent overall is still too faint. Where’s the patchouli? Verdict: I tried this a few times because I really wanted to like it, I collect the eclipse scents, but as far as throw/scent strength goes it’s the weakest of the eclipse blends. I suppose this fits the event itself, which was the subtlest of eclipses, the umbra just about touched the moon. But the scent is too faint for me to appreciate it; I’m surprised by how little patchouli and amber I get here. I really like the blue musk and iris combination, but the white tea note used in here seems to be similar to the one in Half Elf, which was a really sour white tea. It’s not as sour here as it was in Half Elf but it’s still too piercing and insistent. I think the currant is sharper than usual, I hoped for dark sweet fruitiness but it’s more like tangy redcurrant than blackcurrant. A shame, I hoped this would be a nice ‘lighter’ take on the eclipse scents, but it didn’t work out. Is it a keeper? no. I’ll stick to the original Lunar Eclipse, Penumbra and Senelion for now. If you like this, try: Blue Moon (any), Black Moon 2011, The Phoenix at Midnight, Yaksh, The Cold Hour of Dawn
  15. Mayan Chocolate with Annatto Seed, Anaheim Pepper, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean In the imp: rich spicy chocolate fudge with a hint of fresh green chilli pepper. Wet on skin: a dusty, almost grainy note comes out-I’m guessing that’s annatto? It’s still very chocolatey though. Dry on skin: interesting. It makes me think of chocolate bread (not pain au chocolat, this isn’t buttery) or even a kind of chocolate flour, or dry cocoa mix. The annatto seed is an unusual note-grainy and dusty but not unpleasant. The chocolate is gorgeous-rich and almost fudgy and reminiscent of cake, full of cinnamon and pepper, with the sweetness of vanilla rounding it off. I’ll have to see how the annatto plays out because this has potential to be really amazing. After a while: it still smells grainy but now smells more like a kind of raw chocolate or freshly ground cocoa beans with a lovely vanilla and cinnamon undertone, and a warm peppery note that reminds me of those chilli flavoured chocolates. This gets warmer, drier and sweeter over time. Eventually this turns into a glorious spiced brownie! I want to gnaw on my wrist…it has a similar vibe to Boomslang actually. It doesn’t smell like Snake Oil but it has a spicy vanilla and chocolate combination that is reminiscent of Boomslang (as well as the fact that both scents turn to brownies on me). Verdict: I’m glad I went straight for a bottle of this one. I wasn’t sure about the floury, dusty, almost earthy scent of the annatto at first but it eventually grew on me and the scent developed very nicely on my skin from a dry spicy cocoa mix to something fabulously gourmand and comforting at the end. I love the richness of the chocolate note in here, no doubt given a boost by the vanilla, and the spice notes well balanced-the cinnamon is just perfect here-and they give the chocolate a warm, exotic feel. I have the urge to make ‘Mayan Brownies’ inspired by this scent! Is it a keeper? Definitely! If you like this, try: Boomslang, 13 (April 2007), Lump of Coal, Dia de los Reyes, Feast of the Greatly Revered Ones