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BPAL Madness!

Graphica

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About Graphica

  • Rank
    implet
  • Birthday January 27

Location

  • Location
    Pacific Northwest
  • Country
    United States

BPAL

  • BPAL of the Day
    No. 93 Engine
  • Favorite Scents
    BPAL -- Darkness, Les Infortunes de la Vertu, No. 93 Engine General -- coffee, black tea, vanilla beans, tart anything, warm earth, cats, bruised Marigold leaves, bourbon, mock orange (Philadelphus), dried leaves on a cool day, leather, warm spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, etc...), good cigars, juniper berries, hot metal, fresh paint, wool blankets, bookstores, and a host of other comfy smells that wouldn't translate well to perfume. I also like the way the air smells before a thunderstorm and the way a foliage-heavy garden smells in the hot summer sun

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    reading, gardening, travel, movie nights with friends, chocolate, classic rock, western-style riding, being in remote places

Astrology

  • Chinese Zodiac Sign
    Nothing Selected
  • Western Zodiac Sign
    Nothing Selected
  1. Graphica

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    I ran across a perfume (online) that supposedly contains human pheromones -- which I'm not interested in -- but the description of the rest of the elements sounds lime ME: grapefruit, bergamot, pepper, lavender, and amber. I'd have bought this Erox the moment I read the description if it weren't for the pheromones. Any recommendations on a BPAL that might be similar in the other notes? Thanks!
  2. Graphica

    time for new toys

    Well, ok, I haven't reviewed -- or even tested -- all the imps I have (though I've smelled them all), but I'm ordering a new set. My SO and I went to a wood-working store with lots of exotics, and after following his nose to a stack of Spanish cedar, commented that any perfume that contained that would drive him wild. Alrighty! Ysabel, here I come. His comment is probably the only thing that could convince me to try a perfume with rose other than Les Infortunes. I'm also getting: Lampades Ulalume Black Opal Wrath Yggdrasil Can't wait!
  3. Graphica

    Untangling The Threads

    I have enough imps -- and plan on getting enough more -- that I should really start figuring out what works for me and what doesn't. I've learned that some things I like to smell don't necessarily work well on my skin (no surprise), and so far, nothing I dislike actually works on me (again, no surprise). Other conclusions follow. (This is an entry that I will be coming back to and modifying over the years.) avoid these elements: Dragon's Blood elements which may work very well for me, but which I need to try in other combinations before I'm sure: wax look for these elements specifically: tobacco leather these may or may not be deal-breakers in that they're scents I like (or don't dislike) but that amp to a point where they thuggishly take over a scent: amber sandalwood
  4. Graphica

    Perversion

    in the bottle: When I first got this imp (with 15 others) and did a "speed-smell", I commented that I couldn't pick anything distinct out of it, but that it smelled familiar to me one end to the other. Well, here I am months later trying it for real, and I find myself in the same position. In the bottle I get a melange of scent that seems sweet almost to the point of cloying, but not in a food-y kind of way, more like a sweet liqueur (which I despise, almost without exception). Not good as a start, But I'll run with it and see where it takes me. on wet: Again, overpowering sweet liqueur. Not good. drydown: Here we go with the different scents on different wrists. My left wrist smells faintly powdery and a little mildewed, my right wrist smells like fancy pipe tobacco. Bizarre. Now on my right wrist, after a few minutes, and at a distance, I smell something powdery and sweetish, but with my nose touching my wrist, I get leathery and tobacco-y with a faintly dusty-sweet base. At the same time, testing my left wrist, I get a warm vanilla-leather smell, with the vanilla dominant. My nose wants more leather, less vanilla. one hour later: Left wrist vanilla/leather. Right wrist vanilla/tobacco. I actually like it at this stage. The initial bottle scent and everything before about 15 minutes on was nauseating, but now I get a mellow, old-world, retire-to-the-smoking-room-and-discuss-serious-things kind of scent, but not overwhelmingly so. My SO commented that he could smell the tobacco when he walked into the room, but to my nose it doesn't appear to have much throw. I have to stick my nose right next to my wrists to get anything. end of day: Faint, mellow, vanilla-like tobacco and leather. compared to official description: I don't get chardonnay, though a hint of that with the rum (and tonka) probably gave me my ack! mixed drinks! reaction (I'm a straight bourbon kind of girl, myself.) I'm sure the tonka is what had me thinking vanilla. notes: The leather and tobacco ended up standing out in this one, which is what I've been looking for all along. Given the stomach-turning reaction I first had, I'm amazed that I ended up liking this one as much as I do. This is the complete opposite of most of the ones that seemed promising to me. I'll definitely be keeping this one, but it will never, ever, come anywhere near my locket. This one requires tempering on my skin to reach it's true potential (at least as far as my scent preferences are concerned).
  5. Graphica

    Dirty

    in the bottle: Okay, I have to say it: dryer sheets. It makes me think of fabric softener or dryer sheets; it's what warm, clean clothes used to smell like straight out of the dryer before I started going with unscented laundry products. Floral, but it's that light, breezy, not-obnoxiously-floral floral that definitely puts one in mind of laundry. As a matter of fact, I'm having trouble moving past the laundry connotations as some presence at the back of my brain is now reminding me insistently that I'm behind on laundry and need to start working on that NOW! I can't pick apart the notes. All I can really think is floral. Actually, this puts me in mind of a kind of jasmine. A little sharp. This could give me a headache, I think. on wet: Exactly the same. drydown: More rounded now, not so stabbing-me-repeatedly-with-flowers. Actually, even more like laundry products now than before. one hour later: I'm not interested in leaving this on for an hour. end of day: Definitely not interested in leaving it on all day. compared to official description: It really does have a "clean" feeling, but I know that's because of the whole "mmmm... fresh, clean laundry" connection. Psychologically, there's nothing quite like pulling warm clothes out of the dryer and draping them on yourself -- for me it's an instant mood lifter. Not because of the smell, but because of the feeling of clean and fresh. It's an enduring emotional scent connection for me, though I haven't used scented laundry products in years. This is a great scent for someone who wants to give themselves an instant hit of "fresh and clean". notes: To be frank, I stopped using scented detergents and dryer sheets (never used fabric softener) because I grew weary of the types of scents that are used for that category of product. It's interesting to see the connection between this scent and those things, but I in no way want to smell like this myself.
  6. Graphica

    Centzon Totochtin

    The Four Hundred divine rabbits of the Aztec pantheon that preside over parties and drunkenness. Bittersweet Mexican cocoa with rum, red wine, and a scent redolent of sacrificial blood. in the bottle: Rum! And a scent that I know must be cocoa, but that seems more like a toasted sweet nut. Actually, it reminds me strongly of Nutella. There's something a bit sharp running behind which I can't pin down at this point. There's also a sense of unpleasantly over-the-top (sort of sickly) sweetness, like rancid fruit. on wet: Nutella. 100%. drydown: The Nutella has faded into a slightly food-y, cozy, very comfortably enveloping scent, which strikes me as the scent equivalent of being wrapped in your favorite blanket on a cool autumn evening. Wow, that's pretty evocative; I'm surprising myself a little. I'm getting a warm, headshop-y undertone which I think is some sort of musk, though that's not listed. one hour later: I'll be going to bed with this on, so I'll have to start this review over another day to get the full day's worth of critique. G'night. end of day: compared to official description: notes:
  7. Graphica

    Lightning

    The electric tang of ozone, marine notes, and a drop of sharp rain. in the bottle: When I first smelled this, it smelled exactly like chapstick. Now, months later, it smells exactly (with no deviation) like an air freshener (can't remember brand) called Spring Rain. I don't like the scent. Not even a little. This is going straight to the trade pile. I know I should make an attempt to analyze it -- a scent is a scent -- but I'm too distracted by what I consider to be an overwhelmingly common commercial scent. I'm not feeling very generous today, I suppose.
  8. Graphica

    Dirty

    A wonderful antidote to an all-nighter oozing with drunken, addled perversion and debauchery. A fresh, crisp white linen scent: perfectly clean, perfectly breezy. in the bottle: Okay, I have to say it: dryer sheets. It makes me think of fabric softener or dryer sheets; it's what warm, clean clothes used to smell like straight out of the dryer before I started using unscented laundry products. Floral, but it's that light, breezy, not-obnoxiously-floral floral that definitely puts one in mind of clean laundry. As a matter of fact, I'm having trouble moving past the laundry connotations as some part of my brain is now reminding me insistently that I'm behind on laundry and need to start working on that NOW! I can't pick apart the notes. All I can really think is floral. Actually, this puts me in mind of a kind of jasmine. Or maybe orange blossom. A little sharp. This could give me a headache, I think. on wet: Exactly the same. drydown: More rounded now, not so stabbing-me-repeatedly-with-flowers. Actually, even more like laundry products now than before. one hour later: I'm not interested in leaving this on for an hour. end of day: Definitely not interested in leaving it on all day. compared to official description: It really does have a "clean" feeling, but I know that's because of the whole "mmmm... fresh, clean laundry" connection. Psychologically, there's nothing quite like pulling warm clothes out of the dryer and draping them on yourself -- for me it's an instant mood lifter. Not because of the smell, but because of the feeling of clean. It's an enduring emotional scent connection for me. This is a great scent for someone who wants to give themselves an instant hit of "fresh and clean". notes: To be frank, I stopped using scented detergents and dryer sheets (never used fabric softener) because I grew weary of the types of scents that are used for that category of product. It's interesting to see the connection between this scent and those things, but I in no way want to smell like this myself. added to forum reviews
  9. Graphica

    Dracul

    Black musk, tobacco, fir, balsam of peru, cumin, bitter clove, crushed mint, and orange blossom. re-sniffed on 6/24/10 in the bottle: Amazingly, I pick out most of the listed scents. This is uncommon, but it might be because the components are uncommonly strong and distinctive. Tobacco. A warm spice: clove. Something musky. A wood. A kind of catch-in-my-throat dryness; don't know where that's coming from. I will admit that I smell something that reminds me strongly of some kind of alcohol, but it hovers somewhere -- strangely -- between red wine and whiskey, even though neither is listed. Second try: Now I don't smell anything remotely like alcohol, rather it's all about wood and very strong clove. Really, this is predominantly clove. on wet: A little floral. Tobacco. drydown: The floral has gone creamy in a vanilla-smooth kind of way. What I'm smelling now, at a slight distance, just 2 minutes later, is nothing like what I smelled in the bottle. If I put my nose right on my wrist and inhale deeply, I get the clove and tobacco, but they're ghosts. OK, clove and wood, in that order. There are definitely other scents in the background, but they're almost "transparent". one hour later: The scent is dominated by clove, with a deep, dark undertone which is almost impossible to focus on -- I know it's there, affecting my response, but it's almost subliminal. I'm going to say it's the musk and tobacco working together, but that's purely a guess; I can't, in all honesty, smell musk and tobacco. before too long: I can barely smell anything on myself. I suspect that the scent is just as strong (if my SO walked in right now I'm sure he'd notice the scent immediately) but my nose has become immune to it. That's disheartening. I wear perfume primarily for its effect on me. Maybe today isn't a good day to be testing. I'll probably have to revisit this one yet again. end of day: compared to official description: I've never, to my knowledge, smelled Balsam of Peru, though it seems from my research that it's a fairly common component in scents, so it'd probably be more truthful to say that if I've smelled it before, I wouldn't have know that was what I was smelling. Second time around, I detected no floral notes in this. I'm pretty happy that I didn't pick the cumin scent out of this. I like cumin as a culinary addition, but I always notice it at the top of every spice mix, so I need very little to get the full effect. It so easily could have been overkill, but I don't smell it at all in this oil. What I do smell strongly is the clove, which is fine; I like clove so much I've even been known to chew the plain dried cloves like candy. notes: I started this a little too late in the day to do a full review. I'll have to come back to it. This is pretty close to gender neutral to my nose. Having said that: It's hard to tell when it's just me wearing it, but I suspect that I would find this drop-dead, oh-my-god-take-me-now sexy on the right man.
  10. Graphica

    Perversion

    Smoky rum and black tobacco with a whisper of steamy leather with a splash of crystalline chardonnay, layered over a sensual, sweet, and deceptively magnetic base of tonka. in the bottle: When I first got this imp (with 15 others) and did a "speed-smell", I commented that I couldn't pick anything distinct out of it, but that it smelled familiar to me one end to the other. Well, here I am months later trying it for real, and I find myself in the same position. In the bottle I get a melange of scent that seems sweet almost to the point of cloying, but not in a food-y kind of way, more like a sweet liquor (which I despise, almost without exception). Not good as a start, But I'll run with it and see where it takes me. on wet: Again, overpowering sweet liquour. Not good. drydown: Here we go with the different scents on different wrists. My left wrist smells faintly powdery and a little mildewed, my right wrist smells like fancy pipe tobacco. Bizarre. Now on my right wrist, after a few minutes, and at a distance, I smell something powdery and sweetish, but with my nose touching my wrist, I get leathery and tobacco-y with a faintly dusty-sweet base. At the same time, testing my left wrist, I get a warm vanilla-leather smell, with the vanilla dominant. My nose wants more leather, less vanilla. one hour later: Left wrist vanilla/leather. Right wrist vanilla/tobacco. I actually like it at this stage. The initial bottle scent and everything before about 15 minutes on was nauseating, but now I get a mellow, old-world, retire-to-the-smoking-room-and-discuss-serious-things kind of scent, but not overwhelmingly so. My SO commented that he could smell the tobacco when he walked into the room, but to my nose it doesn't appear to have much throw. I have to stick my nose right next to my wrists to get anything. end of day: Faint, mellow, vanilla-like tobacco and leather. compared to official description: I don't get chardonnay, though a hint of that with the rum (and tonka) probably gave me my ack! mixed drinks! reaction (I'm a straight bourbon kind of girl, myself.) I'm sure the tonka is what had me thinking vanilla. notes: The leather and tobacco ended up standing out in this one, which is what I've been looking for all along. Given the stomach-turning reaction I first had, I'm amazed that I ended up liking this one as much as I do. This is the complete opposite of most of the ones that seemed promising to me. I'll definitely be keeping this one, but it will never, ever, come anywhere near my locket. This one requires tempering on my skin to reach it's true potential (at least as far as my scent preferences are concerned). added to forum reviews
  11. Graphica

    Dragon's Milk

    in the bottle: I haven't researched to see what Dragon's Blood is, but I've learned to associate it with a strangely mellow/spicy/sweet scent that resides somewhere near the intersection of amber, cinnamon and almond -- at least to my nose. This is that, with a kind of creamy, smooth undertone. on wet: Exactly the same as in the bottle. drydown: The sweetish component (almond-y) and the creamy component have come to the fore. I get the amber-like scent too, which (as amber always does) reminds me of soap. one hour later: This has mellowed out to a lighter version of what I smelled in the bottle, which is interesting to me; this is the first BPAL fragrance I've smelled that is, on me, exactly what it seems to be initially -- all the rest change, many dramatically. end of day: Light, sweetish, mellow, creamy, hint of spice. compared to official description: The creamy/smooth component has to be the vanilla, but it doesn't stand out to me as vanilla; perhaps that has something to do with the "honeyed" component. [Edit:In the end the vanilla did stand out. I'm not sure this is a vanilla that I'm fond of -- a little too ... I don't know. I can't really describe what it it that I don't like about it.] notes: I would call this scent "not me", or at least atypical of scents I like, but there's something about it that appeals to me. Jury's out. I'll have to try it again later.
  12. Graphica

    Dragon's Milk

    Dragon's blood resin and honeyed vanilla. Okay, after an embarrassing absence, I'm back to fulfill my obligations as a BPALer. in the bottle: I haven't researched to see what Dragon's Blood is, but I've learned to associate it with a strangely mellow/spicy/sweet scent that resides somewhere near the intersection of amber, cinnamon and almond -- at least to my nose. This is that, with a kind of creamy, smooth undertone. on wet: Exactly the same as in the bottle. drydown: The sweetish component (almond-y) and the creamy component have come to the fore. I get the amber-like scent too, which (as amber always does) reminds me of soap. one hour later: This has mellowed out to a lighter version of what I smelled in the bottle, which is interesting to me; this is the first BPAL fragrance I've smelled that is, on me, exactly what it seems to be initially -- all the rest change, many dramatically. end of day: Light, sweetish, mellow, creamy, hint of spice. compared to official description: The creamy/smooth component has to be the vanilla, but it doesn't stand out to me as vanilla; perhaps that has something to do with the "honeyed" component. [Edit: In the end the vanilla did stand out. I'm not sure this is a vanilla that I'm fond of -- a little too ... I don't know. I can't really describe what it it that I don't like about it.] notes: I would call this scent "not me", or at least atypical of scents I like, but there's something about it that appeals to me. Jury's out. I'll have to try it again later. added to forum reviews
  13. Graphica

    so I ordered a scent locket

    [she says, casually] and it arrived. And it's a beauty -- the phoenix design. And I should mention that I got no less than 6 frimps with it. And they even sent one that's on my list of ones to try. Here's what I got: Lilium Inter Spinas Czernobog Thanatopsis The Last Squished Jellybean Tenochtitlan Dragon's Milk I've already speed-sniffed through all of them, and the one that stood out most positively was Dragon's Milk. Tenochtitlan had an instant, really unpleasant, old, dried sweat undertone. The rest I'll have to spend more time with.
  14. Graphica

    The Apothecary

    in the bottle: Tea and herbs. Nice, actually. I'm hoping the tea scent lasts longer for me in this than in Embalming Fluid. on wet: Mostly tea. The herbs have gone. drydown: This is interesting. The tea no longer stands out enough to distinguish; instead, I'm getting a well-meshed clean scent that reminds me of having just stepped out of a shower after using a nice, expensive, french-milled herbal soap. It doesn't smell soapy, just clean. Seriously -- clean. If I had to define the scent of clean skin with a scented oil, this would be exactly it. one hour later: Still clean, though there's some light sweetness asserting itself. I don't think it's a particular component (or maybe it is -- perhaps the fig?), but rather the sum of the whole. The whole thing is very light in a way which makes me think it might not last the day. end of day: Still here. The herbal effect went away and left me with a sort of light, sweet tea thing. Not sweet tea as in sugar added, but more like a cup of non-tannic, delicate tea with ... or, near ... it's really hard to describe. Just ... sweet. And light. compared to official description: I didn't really get the ginger, which is a shame. I'm thinking now that the fig contributed to the sense of sweetness, but I never once thought "Oh, that's fig!" notes: The final result was a tad too sweet for me. I like how light it was, though. This might be a good one for the locket.
  15. Graphica

    The Apothecary

    Tea leaf with three mosses, green grass, a medley of herbal notes, and a drop of ginger and fig. in the bottle: Tea and herbs. Nice, actually. I'm hoping the tea scent lasts longer for me in this than in Embalming Fluid. on wet: Mostly tea. The herbs have gone. drydown: This is interesting. The tea no longer stands out enough to distinguish; instead I'm getting a well-meshed clean scent that reminds me of having just stepped out of a shower after using a nice, expensive, french-milled herbal soap. It doesn't smell soapy, just clean. Seriously -- clean. If I had to define the scent of clean skin with a scented oil, this would be exactly it. one hour later: Still clean, though there's some light sweetness asserting itself. I don't think it's a particular component (or maybe it is -- perhaps the fig?), but rather the sum of the whole. The whole thing is very light in a way which makes me think it might not last the day. end of day: Still here. The herbal effect went away and left me with a sort of light, sweet tea thing. Not sweet tea as in sugar added, but more like a cup of non-tannic, delicate tea with ... or, near ... it's really hard to describe. Just ... sweet. And light. compared to official description: I didn't really get the ginger, which is a shame. I'm thinking now that the fig contributed to the sense of sweetness, but I never once thought "Oh, that's fig!" notes: The final result was a tad too sweet for me. I like how light it was, though. This might be a good one for the locket. added to forum reviews
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