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BPAL Madness!


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About alyelle

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    a little too imp-ulsive
  • Birthday January 14

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  • Favorite Scents
    ♥♥ Snow, Glass, Apples; Eve; Yvaine BLENDS: Strangler Fig, Mouses Long and Sad Tail, The Dormouse, Pomona, October, Dorian. NOTES: vanilla, amber, leather, tea, cedar, snow


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  1. alyelle


    Yet another scent that doesn't - and really should - have cinnamon listed in its ingredients on the website. This is a beautiful fragrance, objectively, but I ended up with horrible welts all over my skin when I patch tested. At this point, I just don't understand why blends containing cinnamon aren't marked as such - it's a common irritant, and so painful to discover the hard way. I learned long ago that I can't wear it and specifically don't purchase blends containing it, so it was really disappointing to receive this bottle and smell that tell-tale note when I opened it. I hoped, given that the description excluded it, that it was just my nose playing tricks on me, but alas - it was not. Into my sale pile. 5/5 for the blend itself, it is delicious. 0/5 for the execution of the product on site, please warn us for known irritants in future
  2. alyelle


    One that's been on my wishlist for ages and randomly showed up as a freebie with a recent lab order. Imp: almond, honey, and a little hint of fig tree and olive wood Wet: fig and sandalwood, incredibly sweet, with a toasty waft of coconut starting to emerge. Its a weirdly fleshy coconut, not at all like a dried, desiccated sort, which blends with the bitterness of the almond to create a lovely coco-marzipan effect. Dry: so hard to tell what the drydown is like, because Eden disappears almost as soon as I apply it. After only a few hours, I'm left with the faint after-smell of suntan lotion and a hint of sweetness. In the wet stages, the throw is pretty decent, and the overall mood is love, but the (lack of) longevity prevents me from giving this a higher rating. Stars: ★★★½
  3. alyelle


    Imp: sandalwood heavy, with a bitter tang of neroli Wet: a hint of sweetness from the champaca, which smells like amber on me, and very dominant sandalwood overtones. Incredibly, painfully, hippy. Dry: As this dries, it turns into every Tree of Life store I have ever walked into. (Also, I really like champaca flower.) Short-lived, barely 4 hours, with medium to strong throw. Keeping it because it's now discontinued, and my new age teenager heart secretly loved it. Stars: ★★★½
  4. alyelle

    Wolf's Heart

    Imp: sniffing blind is never my favourite, my nose plays such tricks. Dragon's blood resin, amber, hints of citrus and possibly orris? Wet: gilded something, a boat load of jasmine (seriously so much jasmine), and probably one of the musks as there is a powdery note starting to come out. Maybe also carnation, which has the same effect on me. Dry: quite generic once it's dried, and a bit powdery with a surprisingly short life span (just a few hours) given how strong the throw is at the outset (and boy is it strong). Not a winner for me; will be gifted or repurposed as a homemade atmos spray. Stars: ★★½
  5. alyelle


    This is the only reason I placed another order this year, because it sounded truly delightful - usually I limit my purchases to one massive one per year, due mainly to the $45 in shipping costs (hashtag thanks Australia). Imp: lavender cream with tiny bursts of sage and honey Wet: a calming scent for a stressful day; I wore this while working on code for our upcoming sale, which is a job I simultaneously love and hate. (Love because CSV's are so satisfying to finish, and hate because coding anything in our back end takes four times as long as it should and no one can tell me why). At first it is pure lavender, with wee drifts of honey creeping in gently, in a way that reminds me of the errant scent of fig trees during summer in Greece, wandering here and there on the meltemi. Not as sharp as TKO (which, honestly, is like a lavender-gloved punch in the face, and I love it) Dry: staggeringly beautiful - a soft, gentle lavender which stays this side of powdery at all times, tempered by sweet herbs. Long-ish lived, giving me eight hours of pure bliss, with a medium-tending-light throw. Stars: ★★★★★, would purchase this in a heartbeat if bottles were ever released
  6. alyelle

    Server Gremlins

    First time I've ever been "lucky" enough to get one of these apology oils, how exciting! It's ... certainly tricksy like a gremlin. In the imp: sandalwood and a hint of spice, with a light, sparkly fruitiness - my top guesses were peach, champagne grape, raspberry/blackberry. The spice may JUST be sandalwood; all my sandalwood bases have been smelling spicy of late. There's also a hint of bubblegum. Wet: given the lack of description, I went straight to reviews, and did a very cautious test patch after seeing so many people talk about cinnamon. I'm happy to bet on that not being in here - no redness and no reaction, even straight after a shower, thank goodness. I do agree there's a cinnamon-like smell at work, which I've narrowed down to pink pepper or maybe cassia, both of which have done similar things on me in other blends. The test patch smelled vaguely of Imperial Leather; a proper application gives notes of pine or cypress, thorny blackberry, and hay or spring grass. Sweetness layered over earthiness. Dry: I'll say pine or one of the resins for the base, and definitely a berry of some form; the effect reminds me of Black Forest, though much less piney. Life is good, still going strong at the ten hour mark, and the throw is mid-to-strong. Overall I love it, and am super glad to have had the chance to try this. Stars: ★★★★★ (rounded up just a touch for its olfactory trickery)
  7. alyelle

    Death on a Pale Horse

    I believe this was a frimp in my last order, as I have zero recollection of ordering it, and none of my receipts show it anywhere. Received back in May, so aged around 6 months. In the imp: this one tricked me entirely - I got leather, spice, and bay from the imp, none of which are listed in the scent notes, along with white funeral flowers. Wet: ah, there's the bourbon and sandalwood, which I think is what must have been giving off the spice notes in the bottle. A tiny splash of the lime, and a lovely dark undercurrent of vetiver (which I will again say is an absolute WINNER on my skin, and I have no idea what I did to deserve such great chemistry with that tricky little bastard). Dry: a beautifully smokey fougere. heavy enough on the sandalwood that the vetiver is all but drowned out - an impressive feat since that's another note I tend to amp. A good strong dose of Catholic church incense, which I love, yet the whole event is very short lived. Life is barely 4 hours, and reapplication doesn't help; my skin just eats this up. Throw is incredibly mild, blink-and-you'll-forget-it. I love it so much, but realistically, I'd never buy a bottle since it doesn't have the staying power. Stars: ★★★★
  8. alyelle


    This one has been on my wishlist since at least 2014 - so glad to finally tick it off! In the imp: deep rose (the deliciously soft, wet red petals kind) and a heart of amber Wet: blushing pink roses - thankfully not yet powdery - lightly tinged with amber Dry: heavy on the rose, which is no surprise as I amp it like crazy. I can discern two of the three - there's the powdery one, which I think of as pot pourri pink, which was the disaster note in so many Bewitching Brews releases. There's also a dewy, red rose, which was the one I fell in love with in the 2014 and 2015 Lupercalia releases. I'm not sure what the third one is, but thankfully those latter two stop the first from becoming unbearable; "pot pourri pink" is a hot mess of grandma talcum powder on me. Life is pretty good, 6-8 hours in long sleeves, with a strong throw - I definitely wouldn't forget I was wearing this. It reminds me overall of Between Your Heart and Mine (original release), and would make a nice sub for anyone who missed that. Stars: ★★★★
  9. alyelle


    A frimp with my last order, tested all the way back in May but apparently never properly reviewed here! In the imp: very light and herbaceous, a sandalwood-eque base with moss overtones and perhaps a hint of tobacco flower or nagchampa. Wet: white florals (calla/linden) which seems very off-theme. I'd put money on tobacco flower or oleander; it has the same resinous gasoline smell as my Rapacini's Apiary collection. Possibly lemon balm or bay, there's hints of Bard about this one too. Dry: I never took proper notes in the dry-down, as this sort of faded into a nothing scent after a few hours. Overall it was nothing special on me, and nothing I'll ever buy; I ended up turning it into an atmos spray for our linen cupboard, and it has done quite nicely in that function. Short-lived and soft, so definitely a good choice if you want a quick blend for meditating. As a wearable scent, less impressive. Stars: ★★★
  10. alyelle

    Mata Hari

    Imp: slightly talc-like, jasmine that borders on orris, and a tonka that insist on impersonating sandalwood. It reminds me a little of Follow Me Boy. Wet: much more rosey (I get none from the imp) - so much so that it drowns out any other note. Dry: a soft, unfortunately generic, rose and talcum powder, though thankfully without ever turning into the rancid baby smell I got from Follow Me Boy. Not really one I'd wear, or repurchase, as it smells like many others I've turned into atmos sprays. Throw is strong, with a life of 10+ hours. Stars: ★★★
  11. alyelle


    Another lab freebie with my order this month, and another one I'm testing purely out of curiosity - I learned long ago that if the description says "spice" and the forum thinks it smells of cinnamon, it's not for me. In the imp: lavender, lotus, and I do get the bubblegum flavour others have mentioned. No spice yet. Wet: lotus, the barest hint of lavender, a faint talc scent. I'm not sure what the spices are, but they emerge predominantly as sweetness, tempering the aquatic notes of the lotus. I might actually try this out as a proper wear; so far, there's no hint of burning and I'm not convinced that any of the notes I'm smelling are cinnamon. It's more like gentle star anise and nutmeg. ETA - I did actually wear this for a proper test. There is definitely no cinnamon in here, wrists and neck are welt free Dry: lotus, mostly, and incredibly long-lived. This is one of the few lavender scents I've tried where the lavender doesn't amp, and I like it. I was going to give the imp to a friend to try, and I may still, but I'll definitely keep it in my list of imps to repurchase in the future. Stars: ★★★★
  12. alyelle


    Freebie from the lab with my OLLA order. I won't be able to wear this due to the cinnamon, but the reviews are so intriguing that I have to at least give it a sniff. In the imp: weirdly floral, heavy on the dragon's blood resin, and topped off with pepper and clove. Wet: I'm risking welts on the back of my hands but - sweet cinnamon buns, summer flowers, and a warm, sultry beach smell (coconut? ocean salt?) This is not at all what I expected; it's not wrath on me by a long shot, it's gluttony, sloth, and lust. And annoyingly, it's starting to morph into something really lovely at around the 2-3 minute mark ... but it's also starting to burn like mad. For the sniffs alone, ★★★½. I'd really love to know what this does over a full day, but nothing is worth that level of pain.
  13. alyelle

    Black Forest

    I have two versions of this, one I believe I ordered as part of my first imp collection, and one a frimp from 2016. This is for the later one, which I had planned to swap but never got a chance to. Imp: in 2016, I had a note that this was too resinous, and that C. didn't like it. Two years on, it's much sweeter, and slightly alcoholic - pine, juniper, and cypress. Wet: on my skin, it behaves exactly like the smell of the 2009 imp - salty and damp, with a twang of earth and truffles, and a deep, rich fragrance of pine. Dry: I'm actually quite glad I allowed this to age, because it's morphed into a gorgeous soft pine and cypress blend. I don't get vetiver at all from this, which is quite odd for me, but in the end works well - knowing how that behaves on my skin, I think it would actually drown out the pine, and the pine is what makes this. Always fresh, but not fresh enough to be considered bathroom cleaner. A beautiful mimic for the 2007 Capricorn, and still my go-to pine scent after a decade. I recommend a year or so of aging to bring out the nuances. Stars: ★★★★ (this version)
  14. alyelle


    Another one I've had for years and somehow never officially reviewed. Expect a lot of these as I organise my masterlists, ha. This is from a late 2009 purchase and I've soft-reviewed it four times in my journal - in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2018. In the imp: during the early years, a very sweet apple juice scent, topped off with apple blossoms. As the imp aged, a hint of grass or straw, and by 2015, a wee hint of soap. That's probably the dragon's blood. Wet: soap, heavily, during the initial tests, which balances out a bit. As of today's test, there is still a laundry detergent quality, but barely. Dry: as a young imp, a buttery and rich apple, like apple pie, heavily covered in soapiness. As it aged, a series of grassy, meadow scents, apple blossom, fresh dew, and by 2015, a contender for my permanent apple scent. Today it was soapier than my past testing notes led me to believe - but having said that, my all time favourite apple is extremely hard to come by (Snow, Glass, Apples) and my backup is now discontinued (The Hesperides). Despite my dislike of most DBR scents, this one works quite well, so I'd stick by that assessment, perhaps with the caveat that 3-6 years is the ultimate age to be using this. Staying power is decent, about 6-8 hours. Stars: ★★★★½
  15. alyelle


    First purchased in 2009, worn many times since then! Somehow I've neglected my reviewing duties - though I'm not sure how as this very quickly became a favourite of mine (impulse purchasing done right). In the bottle: a strong lavender, with faint soapy overtones in my initial early notes; these died down after a few years, as the magnolia softened out. Wet: early on it was magnolia and musk, with a trace of airy aquatics. It's become more magnolia-dominant during the aging process, though always with a solid helping of lavender and blue musk. There's less vanilla than TKO but the overall effect is quite similar and when I ran out of my sleep helper one time, this proved a very useful substitute. (Let it be known I do not sub in discontinued LE's except in extreme cases; at that time, I had been about three weeks without decent sleep and was at my wit's end.) Dry: this one has definitely benefited from aging - my early notes read "soft floral blend, nothing exciting". Yvaine really was a slow grower and surprise for me; I didn't love it nearly as much as I do now, as it didn't really do anything special til about 2012. Very careful storage has resulted in an utterly delightful scent now - the blueness of the musk fades off as the day progresses into a lovely mauve, leaving a mellow and stable blend of vanilla-tinged lavender and magnolia. Very long lived, and perfect for sultry summer days and balmy autumn nights. Absolute fave, will be keeping for as long as I'm able. Stars: ★★★★★