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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by PurringPulsar

  1. 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.
  2. PurringPulsar

    Queen of the Nile

    Queen of the Nile Use in love magick when the object of your desire is a stranger. Opens up opportunities for communication, and entices people to be more responsive to your advances. In the bottle: musk! Dark, sweet, deep musk is what I get here. Maybe a red or more probably a black musk, with probably something like myrrh or spices deepening it. A very enticing 'come hither' scent! Wet on skin: today I will just see what this is like on the skin-I'm not sure if this is the right thing to do but it seems ok for this oil. It is a delicious sweet dark musk with a hint of something herbal or spicy. Dry on skin: whoa...this is intense! The scent is a dark, almost fruity musk with sweet, spicy and resinous aspects. I'm thinking it's black musk, sexy, slick, and sinuous. It smells almost like candy now-and I'm sure that's due to lotus. Yeah, lotus seems to be an appropriate ingredient in Egyptian themed ritual oil...I also get a cherry like scent as well. I think there may be myrrh in here as well, and I get a rich, deep amber note (or is it ambergris?), adding a smoky-golden aspect. and there are spices too-but I can't tell what they are but they add warmth to the blend. After a while: after half an hour, it's toned down and isn't as intense and it's also more balanced. The scent is of dark smoky amber or myrrh, sweet cherry-lotus with sweet black musk and spices smouldering away in the background. This is actually what I hoped Black Lotus would smell like on me-that scent turned burnt on my skin. This on the other hand is delicious amber-myrrh-lotus goodness, very much the alluring scent of an Egyptian temptress lying seductively on her golden couch at night, luring men closer with her mysterious scent. Over time, the scent smoothes out nicely and the candy-like scent mellows and doesn't smell as strong. Everything seems to be working very nicely! And it's still there after many hours, as a gentle sweet spicy amber/musk reminiscent of another Egyptian blend that isn't Black Lotus-probably Khephra. Verdict (scent): mystical, seductive, deep, rich and exotic, this scent is of sweet black musk mixed with smoky dark amber and myrrh, sweetened by an almost candy like lotus or cherry scent, with a hint of sultry spice. After a moment where it's so intense you can almost taste it at the back of the throat, it calms down and smells nicely balanced and all the notes mingle wonderfully. It's a beautiful, entrancing scent that makes me feel and smell like Cleopatra in the mood to kick some asp! Verdict (intent): will update when I use this stuff correctly, with candles and all! (I'm just waiting for the perfect opportunity to do so.) As for how the scent makes me feel...well I feel a lot more relaxed and at ease, and I feel like socialising (or even chatting guys up!) and I'm not as shy feeling or introverted as usual-another example of scent enhancing intent. All qualities I would need to pull the guys! Unfortunately at the time I'm trying this, I'm not doing anything very social...let alone with any blokes I fancy!
  3. 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…
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. PurringPulsar

    Lola Montez bath oil prototype

    Apologies if there's already a topic for this-I couldn't find it but if there is, please merge it! Lola Montez bath oil In bottle: sweet, musky and smoky. I’m guessing a dark or red musk with tobacco. On skin: whoa! This smells incredible! Smoky sexy sultry sweet musk. I smell a glorious red musky sort of scent, or maybe black amber, or a black musk? It reminds me of another scent but I can’t say which. There’s a smoky scent which is probably tobacco but it also reminds me of incense. There’s something spicy too, which I’m pretty sure is clove, and possibly cinnamon as well. Yes, I’m pretty sure there’s cinnamon and amber here because it reminds me of Sin. And there may be a touch of vanilla or tonka as well. This is so wonderful and it smells so sexy, and well blended too. I’d wear this as perfume; it’s too good to waste in the bath. I really hope it gets released one day!
  13. 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?
  14. PurringPulsar

    Radiance of Ra

    Radiance of Ra Creates a nimbus of glittering solar energy. Aids in all healing work, unveiling lies and deceptions, promotes vigor and vitality, and grants blessings of joy and contentment. It's a horrible day today, cold, rainy, windy and dull. I feel like shit and I'm depressed. I need some serious sunshine in my life. The perfect time to give this TAL a try! In the imp: neroli! Or is that orange blossom? Whatever it is, it smells very similar to the GC oil Ra, which isn't surprising. There may be orange/citrus in here as well. The oil is a sunny gold colour. Wet on skin: tangy orange blossom and citrus. Sunny and zingy, this is a cheerful scent. I dabbed a bit of this on my solar plexus as well as my wrists. Dry: now I get some herbal scents coming through (similar to Ahatoor), also some frankincense, and some sweeter notes which I think could be amber and heliotrope. The scent is dry, hot, reminiscent of the desert, yet with a delicious sweetness like fruit covered in syrup. This scent is so warm, I'm wondering if there's a slight spice note in here-maybe saffron? Whatever it is, I feel a lot warmer and more positive already, and reassured as well. After a while: there's definitely frankincense in here, and I think I can also smell carnation now! Warm, spicy carnation, and possibly a sweet, soft touch of amber and a fruit note that could be sweet orange or apricot. There's a sweetness to the scent which is almost vanilla like, I'm guessing heliotrope is in here. There's also something sugary and sticky (in a good way), which might be amber or subtle honey. The scent is sweet, luminous and glistening but with a warm spiciness. The drydown of this scent is more herbal, very much like Ahathoor. It's not as sweet and amber-y any more, but I still like it, though not as much as when it was wet/just dry. Verdict (scent): this is liquid sunshine. The scent is like a cross between Ra and Ahathoor from the Stations of the Sun...it has the fruity, sweet, complex aspects of Ra, with the herbal dry warmth of Ahathoor. It's a complex scent with notes of orange blossom and possibly orange fruit, and herbs and subtle spices, frankincense, carnation and maybe some amber and sweet fruit notes. It's a very solar scent, warm, powerful, dry and golden-orange in colour. Effects/intent: this works. As soon as I put this on, I feel the oil's warmth-there's a definite feel of heat to this scent. I feel uplifted, energised, reassured, and more positive. I can already feel the depression lifting...I'm also hoping its healing aspects come into play. I know I'll be using this when I feel those winter blues/early morning blues come on. It may be dull, raining and cold outside. It may be February. But this oil has bought much needed sunshine into my life. When TAL goes live, I'm getting a bottle.
  15. PurringPulsar


    Clarity Brings your mind into sharper focus, banishes distractions and silences restless thoughts. In the imp: mint! A hint of lemongrass, though this is more minty (whereas Concentration was heavy on the lemongrass) and it smells very cool, fresh and clear. Wet on skin: a nice even balance of lemongrass and mint, but with another cool note that I can't recognise. As well as dabbing on my hands to inhale as I study (much like Concentration), I dabbed some on a tissue as well. Dry: a clean, clear, cool scent of mint, soft lemongrass, and something which I can't recognise but it smells clear, almost alcoholic or aquatic, and it's similar to a note I smelt in Catalyst. I'm wondering if this mystery note is wormwood, as it reminds me of BPAL Absinthe. But it may also be an ozone note. I don't know for sure. The scent is similar to, but less intense than Concentration, but sniffing it definitely seems to clear my mind and I know that this scent will work wonders on headaches as well. After a while: unfortunately the scent becomes quite soapy after a while-there may be an ozone note in this, as well a greenish note, and some lemon verbena. But effect-wise, I feel very, very alert right now. I'm switched on and I feel at ease with my studies, without that crushing ”˜oh crap, my brain is blocked' feeling I usually get! Verdict (scent): this starts out nicely, with mint and a bit of lemongrass, and another note that I can't quite pin down, it is cool, clear, and almost boozy or aquatic, I'm thinking there's either wormwood or ozone/ice notes in here. The drydown isn't as nice, it's quite soapy on my skin...it's much nicer on a tissue (or perhaps an oil burner.) Verdict (intent): this really seems to work! When I sniff this (especially in the wet/just dry stages), my brain seems to wake up and I become very alert. My thoughts are clearer, and I don't get those ”˜mental blockages' when I study-in fact, I felt like I understood my difficult physics studies much better after sniffing this. So what it lacks in scent it makes up in purpose-and that's the whole point. I already have a bottle of Concentration on the way, but I'll try this a few more times (in an oil burner and tissues as opposed to skin) and maybe I will need a bottle of this as well because it seems to work a treat!
  16. PurringPulsar


    Wow, I'm first with this one... Ourobouros (hope I spelt that right) Brings aspects of your life to completion. Helps you tie up loose ends, bring things full circle, and find balance. (Note: I won this decant on eBay, but I have no idea what it's intent or magickal purpose is, so for now I'm reviewing the oil on its scent here-I hope this is ok?) In the imp: fresh and green, slightly lemony, and I think I get a bit of pepper. A clean, almost soapy scent. Wet on skin: pepper or ginger, a soapy lemon scent (maybe lemon verbena?) and something moist and green and quite floral, possibly a lily note. Dry on skin: yup, I'm sure there's a ginger note here, it's warm and spicy in a slightly savoury way, there may also be a mild pepper note here as well. It's a strange scent because behind this gingery scent, I get a soapy scent of lemon verbena and a green note and possibly a lily of some sort. It's both clean and fresh and warm and savoury-spicy, reminds me of a recently cleaned kitchen where spicy food is regularly cooked… After a while: I now think there may be some cumin or coriander in this? I get another savoury spice note here that isn't ginger or pepper, it may be one of those. I still get the lemon soap aspect, but now I also think there's a bit of vetiver underneath it all…this vetiver becomes more noticeable on drydown. Verdict (scent): The only thing I know is that the Ourobouros is the ancient symbol of the serpent that eats it's tail, and I think it's also an alchemical symbol? Other than that, I have no idea of the oil's purpose yet, but as for it's fragrance…this is an unusual scent! It has both a savoury-spicy aspect which to me smells of pepper and ginger, and a soapy scent of something lemony and clean, along with a moist green-floral like a lily, with vetiver undertones which strengthen as time passes. A strange combination of scents, it's not something I'd wear as perfume-but then again it's not perfume, and if I knew what it's intent was, I could wear it for that. For now, I'll wait for a mod to put a description up and maybe try it again for intent if it's purpose appeals to me. edit: after reading the description, it seems this oil has come at a perfect time-the end of 2005 no less. A nice TAL to end the old year with-and it felt right as well. EDIT: Description added. --Shollin
  17. PurringPulsar


    A useful aid in study and ritual. Dot this oil onto your palms and then rub them together vigorously. Then inhale the scent to intensify your mental focus and clear your mind of errant thoughts. This blend will sometimes provoke sudden insight into problems, and consequentially can be used for inspiration. *does the first review post dance* Concentration In the imp: lemongrass and mint. Maybe some other herbs but mainly lemongrass and mint. My old physics teacher used to burn lemongrass oil in the class to help us concentrate...so it makes sense that this is the main scent. Wet on skin: whoa, this is some powerful lemongrass-it smells just like the pure essential oil I have of it. I like this-it's a very cool, piercing, bright and clearing scent of lemongrass and mint. And like most mint blends, it feels cool on the skin-perfect on this hot summer day. Dry on skin: this doesn't change much, but I think the mint gets stronger-it adds a chill to the back of my throat. Still lemongrass and mint though. After a while: the mint fades and sweetens a bit, the lemongrass stays, I think there may be some lemon verbena too. I think there are also some other herbs in this. Verdict: as a student revising for exams (maths and physics, meep!), this is the blend for me. This is pure lemongrass and mint, maybe with some other things like pine and eucalyptus, but predominantly piercing lemongrass and chilly mint. My physics teacher knew that lemongrass is good for concentration, so it makes sense to use it here. The mint also has the lovely effect of clearing my clogged up brain. This is something I will experiment with when revising for those nasty maths exams, hopefully it will help! Edit: this worked wonders for my A-level physics exam, and also one of my 1st year degree papers. It was a great revision aid, keeping me alert and focused on my work, but I used it on a tissue as opposed to my palms (lasts longer that way). Little wafts of scent emanate from the tissue and with each waft comes a moment of mental clarity. It didn't help much on my maths paper (that was way too complicated, even for Concentration) but even so, I regularly sniff the bottle when I'm studying and it almost always works a treat!
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    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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. PurringPulsar

    Siberian Musk

    In the imp: definitely reminiscent of Snake Oil/Charmer, but it also reminds me of WILF and Smut and the other sweet and darkly sexy musk scents. Wet on skin: this sweetens and starts to develop hints of black musk. Dry on skin: this is very similar to the first incarnation of Siberian Musk I tried, except there’s something a bit sweet here, almost like it has a tonka or vanilla component. Like that, it seems like the perfect balance of red and black musk (though I think the previous SM was more like red and dark musk, which is less sweet than black musk). I find this much more intense and syrupy than Snake Oil and the black musk aspect of this musk smells a bit like sweet cologne (in a nice way) with a touch of something resinous. It reminds me of the black musk in Minotaur. I am also reminded of Luna Negra, in that there’s an almost fruity feel to this. It’s a very rich, heady musk but I fear it will turn to powder or manly cologne (though that doesn’t happen with Old Demons or Smut). After a while: the lovely fruity/dark berry scent from before has gone, and it doesn’t turn powdery, but it does smell much more animalistic, more like an untamed dark musk than a sleek black musk or spicy red musk. Not pungently animalistic like civet, but in that feral way that’s found in some of the heavy musk scents or some of the furry, mammal themed scents-though I wouldn’t call this scent ‘cuddly’. I am sure that this is the main musk in Satyr. Verdict: I think this is slightly stronger and sweeter than the original Siberian musk, but that could be down to aging? They do smell very similar in that ‘blend of red and black musk’ way. Even though I love heavy musky scents similar to this and these blends I feel are the kind Beth really excels at, as a single note I think that this particular musk is a bit too intense? I think it works better in a blend, but without other notes it becomes too much, and there’s a slight cologney/perfumey aspect I’m not sure I’m keen on, as well as a heavily animalistic backdrop which is very sexual and heady but a bit overwhelming too. I think I prefer red musk anyway, which tends to have spicy, fruity or incense-like aspects in addition to being intensely musky. Is it a keeper? I like it but I prefer this note in blends. It’s too intense on its own, I’d rather it was tamed by other notes. If you like this, try: Old Demons of the First Class, Smut, Satyr, Snake Oil, Luna Negra, Enraged Orangutan Musk, WILF
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    Haitian Vetiver

    Haitian Vetiver In the vial: the darkest scent ever. Smoky, gritty, sombre, intense, the thickest and heaviest of vetiver notes. The oil itself is gritty and dark. Wet on skin: still vetiver, now it’s even smokier. Dry on skin: this may be the vetiver I tend to call ‘evil’ in reviews, but on it’s own it is very multifaceted. The scent is darkly earthy and ashen with nuances of tar, bonfire, charred grasses, and even something vaguely boozy like aged whisky. Or maybe Guinness. This is not the ‘green’ vetiver with its hint of citrus, nor is it the ‘chocolate’ vetiver, there’s no sweetness in here. It’s also a world away from the sandalwood and incense-tinged ‘khus’ note. This vetiver is almost savoury-there’s even something to it that reminds me a bit of Marmite, of all things. After a while: there is a moment when it turns unnervingly meaty-almost like beef stock or Bovril (beef extract), which is not something I want to smell like! It also develops metallic undertones, as well as smelling like ashes and burning. I am sure this vetiver is used in Malediction, Brimstone and Saturnalia. Verdict: this is a little bit like ‘getting to know my note nemesis’, but I’m glad I tried this-it’s a fascinating note. If it were a colour it would be so black that light cannot escape it. If it were a sound it would be that of an erupting volcano, the distant thunder of an approaching storm, the rumble of an earthquake-something primal or even apocalyptic. It seems sinister yet oddly grounding, gloomy and full of forboding with its heavy smoke and ash and brimstone notes, but also rich and organic with almost stout-y or even meaty aspects, but it lacks the chocolate nuances I get from some of the heavy vetivers (I think the Bourbon vetiver may be the sweet one?) Needless to say it’s not something I’d wear much but again I’m in awe at the complexity of these single notes. Is it a keeper? No-it’s not my favourite note, but testing it was an interesting adventure for my nose… If you like this, try: Brimstone, Malediction, Saturnalia, Sloth, Love’s Torments, Nephilim, Samhainophobia
  23. PurringPulsar

    Solar Phoenix

    Solar Phoenix In the imp: a mix of sweet golden fruit, camomile tea and savoury bay. Wet on skin: very reminiscent of some other sun-themed scents like Labores Solis and Helios, but more herbal and with added pineapple. Dry on skin: I love this! It’s warm, balmy, fruity and golden. The pineapple is there but it is subtle-adding a sweet undertone without smelling like a pina colada. The camomile is a very soothing scent here, and it reminds me a bit of sun-warmed hay. The bay isn’t as heavy as in Delphi, but it adds a hint of pleasant herbiness. There’s a gorgeous rose note-reminiscent of white rose, but smoother and softer. The frankincense is that wonderful, golden variety from Helios, it smells almost like it’s been infused with saffron. Not much cinnamon or heliotrope yet. This has a feel to it that reminds me of a lazy sunny afternoon. After a while: the bay note slinks away into the background leaving a lovely, shimmering, almost fuzzy scent of rose and camomile tea with sweet, juicy pineapple, and a fantastic spiced frankincense note. It reminds me of Pallas Athene by now, probably because of the frankincense and cinnamon. Verdict: this is a wonderful solar scent-resinous, herbal and a tiny bit floral-reminds me of Helios, Ahathoor, Labores Solis and Sol Niger (prototype), but it’s different to the fruity/sweet/amber-y sun scents lik Ra and Sol Invictus. It’s a scent that captures the laid back, happy aspects of the sun…the scent of warm dried grasses and herbs, freshly bloomed roses and notes that remind me of holidays in far away warmer climes, be it by the Mediterranean (the bay laurel) or somewhere closer to the equator (the pineapple). Perfect for those dreary days when I feel like I need a bit of instant sunshine. Is it a keeper? Yup-I can’t wait to get my bottle! If you like this, try: Sachs, Against Idleness and Mischief, Helios, Labores Solis, Pallas Athene, Ahathoor
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    Cheshire Moon 2013

    Cheshire Moon 2013 In the imp: grapefruit, lemon…and SNOW? Yes, this appears to have the snow note-the one from Blue/Yellow Snowballs. It also reminds me a bit of fizzy lime. Wet on skin: much tangier and less sweet than the original. It still smells snowy. Dry on skin: this is very heavy on the citrus, with the zesty, juicy grapefruit taking the lead. It smells like fresh grapefruit juice, not too bitter but it is tart. Lemongrass is also more obvious but isn’t shrieking its head off like it can do-this is more like the gentle lemongrass from Skytyping with Chemtrails. The lemon balm also adds to the citrus feel. It feels very effervescent, a bit like lemonade or 7up. I can’t smell much cherry blossom or guava and I was hoping to smell papaya but I can’t detect that either. The most surprising thing about this scent is that it has a snow/ice/winter air note, a bit like Whirling Wind Moon, but with fruit instead of flowers. Something about that snowy backdrop seems to turn to ozone on me and it’s also a bit soapy. Maybe that’s the lunar herbs? After a while: the snow/ozone/floral backdrop gets really soapy and perfume-y. The lemongrass is also sharper than before, and the grapefruit now has a bitter peel scent to it. I’m not so keen on this by this point. I much preferred the sweet pinkness of the original. I was hoping to get papaya and guava here but there’s nothing that reminds me of that in here. Verdict: if the original CM is a scent reminiscent of spring, this is most definitely a winter scent-which I suppose would fit as this scent was released in January. Very different to the original, which was all about the cherry blossom and guava, a fluffy, fun pink scent with very slight accents of citrus. This is the other way round-it has a yellowish-white-silver feel, cold and airy with frosted citrus and only subtle hints of sweeter fruit and cherry blossoms. I was a bit surprised as to how ‘snowy’ this scent is, reminiscent of some of the Yule scents, and it’s the ozone-scented snow note that I’m not so keen on. The citrus notes are also a bit too overwhelming, turning to cologne at times. I loved the original so I’m a bit let down by this version-maybe if I got more of the papaya and guava I would have preferred it. Is it a keeper? no, I’ll stick with the first release. If you like this, try: Cheshire Moon (original), Aizen Myoo, Schrodinger’s Cat, Skytyping with Chemtrails, Yellow Snowballs, Whirling Wind Moon, Night Gaunt
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    Pumpkin II

    Pumpkin II 2012 In the imp: this reminds me of L’Autunno bath oil meets Pumpkin Latte. Sweet patchouli and mossy wood with pumpkin and coffee. Wet on skin: very reminiscent of the more autumnal patchouli scents, but with a buttery pumpkin backdrop. Dry on skin: this is very much like the autumnal ‘forest floor with a foody sweetness’ patchouli in Tricksy and L’Autunno bath oils, and also reminds me of Falling Leaf Moon. But the scent this reminds me of most of all is Arcana’s Leaves Falling Like Rain! It lacks the spices, and it is a bit more pumpkin-y, but there is a similarity in that coffee and earth and decaying vegetation smell. It suits today’s weather (foggy, damp, grey, mild) perfectly. The teak adds a rich woody undertone, and the tonka sweetens everything up. After a while: now the cypress comes out, and it has that wonderful sappy/resinous scent to it, gives the whole scent a touch of evergreen, warmer than pine or juniper. The patchouli-tonka-teak (which is similar in feel to Antikythera Mechanism) scent is still going strong but the pumpkin latte smell isn’t as obvious now. The patchouli and wood get stronger and it eventually becomes a kind of warm teak with earthy patchouli underneath, and a waft of something that reminds me of incense. Verdict: this is a perfect scent for one of those grey autumn days when the fallen leaves are wet and squishy underfoot, it combines the smell of pumpkin latte (not spiced) with that classic October/November forest scent-damp woods, patchouli evoking the forest soil, a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. It smells dark and humid and mysterious, but the teak and tonka smooth out and sweeten the scent, making it feel cosy. I may well get more of this. Is it a keeper? it’s potentially bottleworthy, and I’m keeping the tester. If you like this, try: Halloween at Miskatonic University, Falling Leaf Moon, Pumpkin Latte, L’Autunno, Tricksy bath oil, Samhain, Elegy IX The Autumnal