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BPAL Madness!


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About Bluestocking

  • Rank
    evil enabler
  • Birthday 06/06/1979


  • Location
    Northern Midwest, USA
  • Country
    United States

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  • BPAL of the Day
    Purple Spotted Swallowtail
  • Favorite Scents
    Berry Moon, Fledgling Raptor Moon, Winter of Our Discontent, Mlle Lilith, Paduan Killer Swarm, Mircalla, Kubla Khan, Ile de la Tortue, Violet Ray, Snow White, Dia, Symmakhia, Pothon Meter, Hermia, Titania, Earth Phoenix, the Antikythera Mechanism, Purple Phoenix, Versailles, The Bow and Crown of Conquest, The Host of the Air, Seraglio, Phantom Queen, White Rabbit, Death on a Pale Horse, Eden, Velvet Unicorn, Lyonesse, Shadow Witch Orchid. Shanghai, Queen Mab, Ashlultum, Agrat-Bat-Mahlaht, Smoky Moon, Dana O'Shee, Tristran, Aizen-Myoo, Giallo, Labores Solis, Marcilla, Cytherea, Crowley, Schwarzer Mond, Joyful Moon, Red Lantern, Tiki Princess

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    fiction, English literature, literary theory, French literature, British Comedy, fashion and style, shoes, period costumes, Victoriana, art, gender theory, history, cooking, baking, gardening, BPAL (duh), writing, food and wine, academia, ice hockey, travel, glam rock, punk rock, post-punk
  • Mood
    Incurably Curious


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  1. Bluestocking


    In the bottle: Red, juicy, fruity, tangy-sweet. I can see where you might get an impression of SweeTarts at first sniff, but it isn't powdery at all to my nose, and I think the more complex fruit aromas stand out after a few whiffs. The red musk is evident, but nice and light, like it's just sort of holding the different fruits together and smoothing them out. The herb notes don't really stand out, at this point. I get mostly pom and cranberry—ripe, tart red fruits—with the mango floating over the top. It's sweet but sheer, unpretentious and very cheerful. On, wet: MUCH less sweet on my skin, with a big, green, fresh blast of thyme and sage. (Not at all like a spice rack, but like you've just been harvesting in your herb garden.) It's a nice balance to the sweet fruitiness—in fact it's almost on the edge of taking over, but not quite—and it makes this a very refreshing blend, perfect for summer and hot weather. I still get tangy red fruits and mango here, but through a veil of herbs. The red musk remains very light, as does the throw. On, dry: The sweeter, fruity character has returned as this has dried down, and now there's a just-right ratio of fresh and herbal to juicy and fruity. The red musk stands out more now, but it's not heavy or pure sex, the way red musk can be—it's just smooth and silky, blending nicely with fruit and adding another dimension that keeps this from being too lightweight. The mango is still the most prominent fruit, as the berries and pomegranate blend seamlessly into each other. Later: More of the same, just smoother and better blended. The red musk is more of a feature now, while the herbal notes are softer. Still very lovely. Overall: This blend is really very pretty, a nice balance of fresh, juicy fruit and fresh, green herbal notes, tied together with a lovely sheer red musk. It's tangier and fresher on me than I expected, based on some of the reviews, but that's not at all a bad thing—it just makes the fruit notes more realistic and keeps the blend from feeling sugared or candyish. To me, this is an ideal summer scent, light and bright and playful and colorful, perfect for hot days and backyard barbecues. I foresee Io getting a lot of wear in the last remaining days of summer. It also has a similar feel to Berry Moon. If this ages as well as that one did for me, it's going to be a stunner.
  2. Bluestocking

    Blue Morpho

    I'm going to preface this by saying that, of all the butterflies and moths, I was looking forward to this one the most, thanks to my Grandma B. She was a world traveler whose house was decorated with eccentric souvenirs from her travels, and one of those souvenirs was a collection of butterflies from a trip to South America. The centerpiece of that collection was a Blue Morpho, all brilliant blue, with this sort of iridescent violet shimmer on its wings. I thought it was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen, and it made this massive impression on me, so... basically, if this scent doesn't work out, I am going to be super-duper heartbroken. In the bottle: Beautiful, clean, cool, sweet-but-not-at-all-heady floral, with a very lightly aquatic feel that comes unmistakably from the orchid. Pikake and calla lily also stand out, along with a squirt of smooth, sweet agave, but on the whole it's very well blended and hard to pin down precise notes, aside from the orchid and white amber at the heart of it. It's a cool-colored, refreshing, elegant scent that brings to mind pale purples and greens and—especially—blues. Really, really lovely. Blue Morpho butterflies are nectar drinkers, and this brings that to mind. On, wet: A little more tartness on the skin, as the pink geranium and green-smelling violet leaf add complexity to the orchid, lily and pikake, with the amber underneath. The honeysuckle is VERY restrained, at least for me, just peeking out here and there. It's a gorgeous, lush, tropical floral that's brings to mind my beloved (and DC'd) Ile de la Tortue, with that same sense of cool ocean breezes, scented with rich, tropical blooms. Nice throw, too, without being aggressive. I feel like I'm on a posh veranda on an island, dressed up and drinking a sleek cocktail and enjoying an evening out. On, dry: This is more tart as it dries down, and the geranium-violet leaf duo has sort of fused with the orchid-pikake-lily combo, balancing it very nicely and keeping things from getting too sweet. The amber grounds everything beautifully without ever really standing out much as a note on its own, and the overall effect is amazingly cool and blue and shimmery and sheer—light and beautiful. Later: More of the same, just even smoother and better blended. Gorgeous. Overall: Love love love. It's a perfect summer floral, tropical and sheer and beautiful and lush, a coolly beautiful and refreshing antidote to heat and humidity. I don't know how Beth does it, but this is exactly the essence of that Blue Morpho butterfly that fascinated me as a kid, with its shimmery, brilliant, iridescent wings. I'm especially happy that the orchid stands out here (reminiscent of Ile de la Tortue and Christine, if you're a fan of either of those blends), because so many of my favorite orchid blends bit the dust over the last year. This eases the pain a lot!
  3. Bluestocking

    Schwarzer Mond

    Before I start, I should point out that my decant has aged for several years and isn't the 2011 version of the scent. In the imp: Sweet, but not overly so. Very complex but smooth and dark-feeling, which is entirely appropriate. I don't know if I'd call it masculine, necessarily, but it is very powerful, sort of virile feeling, like a dark, starless night in a forest filled with magic. I'm definitely getting some piney twang from the terebinth, with a dark swirl of opoponax, myrrh and musk, and the black amber to sweeten things up and balance the terebinth. Something a touch spicy here, too, which I like—maybe the pimenta? Not really getting patchouli at this point. On, wet: A blast of fresh terebinth as it's applied, and then it instantly sweetens on me to a myrrh-opoponax-amber-musk blend, with a pleasantly warm, spicy edge. It's decidedly dark-feeling, but not threatening or foreboding. There's something very comforting, sort of reassuring about it to me. I don't smell the patchouli per se, but I feel like it is there, in a subtle way, just keeping things grounded and earthy and not overly sweet. It's quite unisex on me; I'm perfectly comfortable wearing it, but I can also easily imagine it smelling gorgeous (and more cologne-like) on a man. On, dry: This one doesn’t morph much as all. The terebinth makes a revival for a little bit as it dries down, adding a nice piney quality to contrast against the sweeter resins, but it doesn't stick around for too long. For the most part, this is about the amber rising up and the spiciness becoming a bit less edgy, more rounded and mellow, though still warm and rich. It's taking on a very light, almost-floral quality over the top of things here, too, and I'm wondering if that's the zdravetz. (Not a note I have much experience with, so I can only speculate.) Still very handsome. Later: More of the same, just smoother and better blended balanced. A bit more amber and musk than myrrh and opoponax, but those four notes are still the heart of the scent, dark and deep and beautiful. Patchouli has never made a prominent entrance; it's just there down below, very low-key, adding that depth and keeping everything in balance, like the wizard behind the curtain. Beautifully done! Overall: I am so, so grateful to Juniperus for the generous decant of this, because it is absolutely wonderful and I'm so glad I got the chance to try it. I wasn't counting on anything going in, because I can go either way on myrrh and piney notes, but now I can easily see how Schwarzer Mond earned its reputation. It's like a velvety black night, dark but not frightening, deep and shadowy and yet somehow reassuring. It's beautifully blended and balanced, smooth and spicy-sweet with a beginning tinge of evergreen, a subtle hint of dark floral, and a warm, resinous heart. I'd think that even patchouli-haters could love this blend, because it's just SO subtle here, just hanging out in the base and keeping things grounded and barely even registering as an individual note. Totally unisex to me, too. I'd be very happy to wear this in the right mood, but I'm also going to look forward to trying it out on a male test subject—and then asking him to give me a hug. This decant will be cherished.
  4. Bluestocking

    Scent for Halloween?

    Definitely a special occasion, and Severin is a great choice! Snape is my favorite, too. I went with Winter of Our Discontent, which is my fave Snape scent. There's just something dark and billowing and mysterious about it.
  5. Bluestocking

    Fledgling Raptor Moon

    Note: this review was written for a fresh bottle, unaged. I'm just reeeeeeeeally late in posting it. In the bottle: On a purely superficial note, the label art for this one is stunning. Wow. It's lovely when I open the bottle, too. There something of Winter of Our Discontent here, because it has that same warm, spicy, slightly sweet clove right out front. It doesn't have the dark, moody depth of Winter—this is a very warm, brown scent, not a dark and shadowy one—but the similarity is there. Beyond the clove, it's hard to tell what's what, since it's all blended so well. My overall impression is one of spicy woods and barks. On, wet: Still clove-y and similar to Winter of Our Discontent, but some of the sandalwood and bay and massoia bark are coming out, which makes this deeper and softer at the same time. It's so well-blended that it's hard to pick out individual notes, but the spiciness is apparent at a sniff. On, dry: Oh, really, really pretty. The clove is still there, but it's blended so smoothly into the other notes, and there's something definitely soft and downy around the edges here. I don't get anything remotely powdery or soapy, but it's just… fluffy. Like baby bird feathers. It's warm and sweet and spicy and comforting. Snuggle-worthy! I'd call it gender-neutral, too. I'm happy wearing it, but I'd be equally happy to hug a man who smelled like this, you know? And snuggle. Later: Soft, brown, baby-bird fuzzy loveliness. It's warm and spicy and fantastic. Not overly sweet, but subtly so. This isn't a scent that shouts, either; it's a skin scent. It's not "HERE I AM," but rather, "Come and sniff me." Overall: This really fits the inspiration, and it's beautiful. I have no idea how Beth manages to capture the quality of downy brown feathers in scent, but that's exactly what this is. It's a soft, beautifully blended, spicy-sweet perfume that evokes comfort and cuddling and adorable little baby birds, more fledgling than deadly raptor—but that's just fine by me. The throw isn't massive on this one, and it's definitely a skin scent, but the staying power is impressive. I first put it on almost twelve hours ago, and it's still readily apparent on my skin. Also gave some of this to a convenient male test subject, to see whether it was as unisex as I thought. It smelled fantastic on him, too, and apparently grabbed him plenty of female attention! (I think that when a man wears this, it's a fragrance that says, "Trust me. I'm a woobie." )
  6. Bluestocking

    Paduan Killer Swarm

    In the bottle: This is GLORIOUS. I think I just had a nose-gasm. Extremely well-blended, always shifting, just when I think I have it… kind of like a swarm of bees! So much prettier, though. It's sweet and rich and spicy and just… guh. My first impression is of the tonka, which reminds me of Ashlultum (not a bad thing). Then I get a slight bite from the spices, specifically a hint of darkness from the clove (one of my favorite notes) and then warm, smooth gingery goodness from the ginger cream. There's a faint aura of coconut sweetness, which isn't so distinctive in itself but seems to enhance all the other notes, giving them this great aura. And last but not least, almost a sort of after-smell, I get the licorice beneath, dark and smooth and shockingly beautiful. I was wary of licorice as a note, but I don't think I ever will be again. On, wet: Less overtly sweet, and distinctly more herbal… the sweet elements are there, but they're lighter. The nettle and cinnamon bark are definitely more prominent, sitting on top of a cloud of tonka-coconut-ginger-clove amazingness. But now I get the sting, that hit of the herbal that's soothed by the softer sweetness. Still loving this. On, dry: It's sweetened up again, but it isn't sugary or truly foody. It's still primarily tonka, ginger, clove, coconut and licorice, though I know the other notes are in there; it's just so well-blended that it's tough to pick them out. The coconut is doing the same sort of wonderful thing that it does for me in Mlle Lilith, going a little bit woody (well, it is the shell) and just adding this lightly sweet, beautiful haze over everything. And the black licorice is still there at the tail end, making things just that little bit more complex and interesting. The throw is decent, and quite pretty. Later: The sandalwood has come out on dry down, and it's beautiful, the sort of almost creamy golden sandalwood that I like in Tamora. Less of the spiciness now (not so much clove or ginger), but the tonka and coconut shell are still sweet and rich/sweet and woody, with just a tiny twinge of licorice. It's different now, but still beautiful. Overall: Instant love. Instant favorite. I don't know what more I can say that I haven't gushed about already. This is a masterpiece of blending, and I think the licorice note is a stroke of actual genius.
  7. Bluestocking


    In the imp: Beautiful. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to try this one, because it's right up my alley! 'Gentle' is a good description; it's a white/pale yellow sort of scent, with the zing of fresh citrus (mainly lemon) offset by the sweeter florals and musks. It's not unlike a softer, more nuanced Lolita. On, wet: More from the vanilla and musks, but the citrus elements are still hanging around, giving everything a bright, springy feel and keeping it from getting too sweet. The florals aren't overpowering at all, and the combination of them with the vanilla makes me think of heliotrope. It's well-blended and very gentle, fresh and clean and a bit shimmery, in the way white musk scents often are. On, dry: Less citrus overall, although I still get some of the neroli. The sandalwood is slightly more prominent; it's still very subtle for me, as white sandalwood usually is, but I can sense it there, adding to the blend. Other than that, there's not much change, aside from being slightly sweeter and more melded. This is not a scent that morphs, but it's so pretty that I honestly am not disappointed by that. *g* Nice throw without being heavy or overpowering. Later: Vanilla, sandalwood, musks, and a whisper of the florals. This is the sweetest it's been, but it certainly isn't too sweet. It's just… quietly lovely, if very close to the skin. Exactly the sort of scent you'd like somebody to lean in and sniff. Overall: Gorgeous. This doesn't really smell the same as Dia (it shares very few notes with it), but something in the character of this scent reminds me of Dia—a luminous, smooth, gossamer white floral. It's very feminine, and I think it's classic enough to be worn even in very conservative settings. Where Lolita comes across as a girl trying a bit too hard to be a woman—brasher, sharper, more in-your-face—Zephyr strikes me as the kind of woman Lolita aspires to be: effortlessly elegant and refined, confident enough not to scream when she knows that a whisper can be just as powerful. It's a lovely perfume, and definitely going into my rotation once the weather warms up.
  8. Bluestocking


    In the imp: Very myrrh-centric, but also some toasty sandalwood and the sort of cocoa that I also got from Love-Lies-Bleeding, the sort that smells woody at first, rather than foody. It's pretty, but very different and unusual. It does have a warm sense about it—I can see it being deep and velvety once on. On, wet: The cocoa vanilla is much more apparent on the skin, sort of soaring to the top, sweetening and smoothing everything out. But the myrrh is right beneath, making it more complicated and keeping it from being a foody scent. The sandalwood isn't very apparent right now, and probably won't be until later (sandalwood is a subtle note on my skin), but there's a still a mild woodiness to it. It's very soft and smooth and comforting, but strangely enough, it doesn't feel heavy or cloying. On, dry: Cocoa-vanilla-sandalwood goodness, with a sheer veil of myrrh over the top. It's very well-blended now, and honestly… kind of gorgeous. Wow. I didn't expect to love this one, but the combination of notes is really working for me, just the right amount of sweet and woody and incesensy, and yet still light enough that I would wear this in warm weather, too. It's an instant pick-me-up! Later: I can only describe this as choco-vanilla incense. I'm still getting all the notes, and they're all working together very well. The throw isn't massive, but I'm glad for that—this works well as the sort of skin scent that you wear to please yourself. Something about it reminds me of a particular favorite kind of incense that I used to burn in college. Overall: I'm indifferent to myrrh, and I've never found a cocoa note that I've really loved (aside from Tezcatlipoca, which is a very, very different sort of cocoa), so I wasn't expecting much from Velvet. But it has completely won me over! It's delicious and addictive, what with the cocoa vanilla component, but yet the overall scent doesn't strike me as foody, and it's not at all heavy or cloying. (It probably helps that the throw is relatively low, but even so, it's a sheer, soft sort of scent that doesn't overwhelm.) By turns, it's sweet, woody and incense-like, and the overall effect is warm and beautiful, even sensual. As I said, this perfume is comforting , and I think it's definitely going into my winter rotation. I'll wear it whenever the grey skies and cold air are threatening to dent my mood, and just bliss out instead.
  9. Bluestocking

    The Night-Raven

    In the imp: Very, very interesting. Lightly sweet, but not nearly as heavy or heady as I'd expected, based on the notes. The patchouli isn't strong or out front, and yet it makes its presence known by grounding everything and adding just a touch of darkness and bite. Other than that, it's so well-blended that I have a hard time picking out individual notes, although I do get a familiar tang from the rose geranium. There is a sense of darkness here that makes me think of the night sky and blue shadows… or maybe the sheen of moonlight on a raven's feathers. On, wet: Oh my god, the geranium! It's just… perfect. My grandmother used to grow rose geraniums, and this is like being in her garden. This has that distinctively tart smell of fresh geraniums, with a very faint breath of jasmine to add sweetness, and a smooth, woody patchouli that makes this feel deep and dark. The musk is very subtle and makes it all silky-smooth. Beautifully blended, beautifully balanced. On, dry: This has become even smoother and better-rounded as it's dried down and the benzoin has come out and added a hint more sweetness, but the geranium, patchouli and musk are still here, doing their fresh-woody-smooth thing. I only get a slight hint of something juicy and fruity from the plum—again, it's very subtle, which is interesting, because I tend to amp plum. Still very beautiful and different, and not overly sweet at all. I'd swear there was rosewood in here, which is a favorite note of mine, although that's probably just the combination of patchouli and rose geranium. It reminds me, oddly enough, of the woody not-quite-floral of Séance. (Another fave of mine.) Later: Light, spicy-sweet benzoin and woody patchouli, with a slight fresh bite from the rose geranium. Overall: This one intrigued me when it was first added to the general catalogue, and I have to say that it's more than lived up to its promise. (For me, at least. Looking over the other reviews, it seems like I'm one of the few who feels that way!) It's such an unusual floral, very sleek and elegant and darkly beautiful, without being too heavy or brooding or sickly sweet. It's mysterious, and it strikes me as definitively feminine, though not at all girly. Your mileage may vary, but I found the jasmine to be very light and restrained, and ditto for the plum. This patchouli is dry and woody and deep, just the way I like it. The musk isn't heavy or overpowering, and I'm frankly kind of in love the with rose geranium note, which places distinct emphasis on the geranium. Would definitely consider this one for a bottle purchase, and when I wear it, I will feel like a dark sorceress, wearing a cloak made of midnight.
  10. Bluestocking


    In the imp: Bright and peachy! There's no missing the peach here, though there's a creamy sweetness to it that reminds me a bit of Tamora. I suspect that's the amber. I get just a graceful touch of myrtle, but for the most part, it's sweet, juicy peaches and cream. Very bright, cheerful, feminine summer scent, perhaps a little sweeter than I would have guessed or wanted… a bit like peach candy something, rather than the peach itself. On, wet: Okay, this is definitely real peach. It's a VERY realistic, true-to-life ripe peach aroma on my skin, tangy-sweet, with a green tinge from the myrtle. It's like… standing in a farmer's market next to a big pile of fresh-picked peaches, ripening in the warm sun. The musk and amber are right underneath, sweeter and softer, and they keep this from striking me as a foody scent. On, dry: Essentially the same, just better blended. The fresh peach quality is still there, but it's less overt, as it blends with the musk and amber. Still very golden and summery and lovely. Throw and longevity appear to be good, though it's a surprisingly light, clean sort of scent, not cloying or overwhelming. There's something elegant about it—"splendour" is definitely the right word for it. Later: Essentially unchanged—musky amber and peaches. This is not a scent that morphs much, if at all. Overall: I've never been a huge fan of peach scents, with a few rare exceptions, so I expected to be very "meh" about Aglaea. Clearly, that was me being stupid, because this has totally won me over! There's something very classically beautiful and graceful about Aglaea, and yet she's very approachable, not at all a snooty or haughty scent. Fruity scents often come off as more youthful or girly, but this one is all grown woman to me—a handsome woman who's old enough to be supremely confident in her skin, who has a wise, welcoming smile and laughter in her eyes. Gorgeous!
  11. Bluestocking


    In the imp: It is a pale green scent, very sparkly and fun, but my first thought on sniffing it was of bubblegum! I think it's the sweetness of the mango that strikes me that way—it’s candy-sweet, almost lotus-like. A second sniff reveals more complexity beneath that initial sweetness, though it's still a very juicy, fruity scent. Mostly ripe mango and green tea, with the green tea adding that clean, sheer, summery quality. Nice. I'm not crazy for it, but it's very pleasant. On, wet: Wow, this changes immediately on my skin, but not in a bad way. There's a whoosh of sweetness, and then the patchouli comes out in a BIG way. It's a dry, woody patchouli, amazingly light, with no hint of dirt or grunginess… maybe that's the green tea influence? Anyway, the mango is very subdued, just a lightly fruity counterpoint that brings out the woody sweetness of the patchouli. And the fig seems to be slowly warming up, maybe. This just got upgraded from 'okay' to 'very interesting'. On, dry: Mmm, very nice. The mango fades and the fig comes forward during the dry down, which darkens the scent somewhat—it's still sweet and fruity, but in a more sophisticated way, not candy-ish at all. It's earthy sweetness, which blends very nicely with that steady, woody patchouli backbone. The combination of patchouli and fig reminds me slightly of Gomorrah, but I prefer this blend of those notes, where the green tea and mango can lighten things up and smooth them out. It's not a heavy fragrance, even though it's darker now, and the throw is moderate to light. Later: Rounder, well blended—smooth and fruity, but still with some subtle patchouli to balance the sweetness. Overall: Cheerful, bright and good-natured, although more sophisticated than it seems at first sniff. I liked this one a lot more than I would have anticipated from the imp. This might look like a strange mix of notes in theory, but in practice, they work very well together, each balancing out the others. The green tea keeps this clean and light feeling, the patchouli adds a darker, woody aspect, the fig is a pleasantly earthy compliment to the patchouli and the lighter, juicier mango note adds sweetness. It's very summery to my nose, and I especially like that it's a patchouli blend that's really suitable for warmer weather. Wear length is about 5 hours or so, so it does need to be reapplied periodically.
  12. Bluestocking


    In the imp: For one bizarre moment, it smells like dill pickles! Not quite sure what that is, but thankfully, it doesn't last. The palmarosa is very apparent, distinctively sweet and grassy, and the patchouli is right behind it—more dirty patchouli than woody, almost vetiver-like, and the combination gives this a dark, unsettling feel. It's not something I love or find especially sexy, though I can get the dirty angle. I don't smell the red sandalwood at all in the imp, but the rose is here, faint and sweet… kind of manhandled by the palmarosa and patchouli, but we'll see where the testing takes us. On, wet: Rose is picking up strength and joining with the palmarosa—a little bit more balanced than in the imp. Underneath is the patchouli, grounding it and making the sweet, slightly grassy floral actually rather dark and dirty. Beware this patchouli if you sometimes think it smells like BO; I never get that, but I have to admit that up right next to the skin, huffing this one… yeah, it's sort of funky. Ew. On, dry: More rose, less patchouli. The palmarosa has lightened up and let the rose take the lead here, and the red sandalwood is slowly warming up and adding a more sexy, slightly spicy quality. The patchouli is still present, but it's less "dirty" and more of a deep grounding note that keeps the sweet rose and palmarosa from getting too cloying. I still think there's something vetiver-ish about the patchouli, though, and I don't care for that at all. Later: Soft rose and sandalwood, with some sheer palmarosa. The patchouli is very faint now; I occasionally get whiffs of it, but that's all. This is the best balance it's had, not as high and sharp as the palmarosa pushed it in the earlier stages. This is lower and more sensual, though I still hesitate to call it sexy. It's a pleasant enough rose, though—not my fave by far, but not grandma's-dusting-powder-ish, either. Overall: Not quite what I was expecting from the description, but better than I anticipated from the imp. It's a nice blend, though I prefer it in the later stages, when the sandalwood wakes up and the palmarosa chills out. It never struck me as a blend that made me feel especially sexy—palmarose is too high and thin a note for me to get that vibe—but I can see how it would work for the right person. Your feelings on this scent may depend on how dirty you prefer your patchouli and how much palmarosa you like.
  13. Bluestocking

    Bite Me

    In the bottle: CARAMEL and almond. So, yeah, pretty much as advertised. It's a clear, sweet, distinctly almond-centric scent swathed in a buttery, brown sugar caramel note. I get some of the pastry, but it's a dry pastry, if that makes sense—toasty or yeasty, but not buttery in the way Knave of Hearts is. It is a foody scent, but not so much that it overwhelms me with super-sweetness, the way Cockaigne did. On, wet: Much more almond than anything else, and it's delicious. It reminds me of a marzipan coffee cake that my grandmother used to buy for special occasions, kind of a sweet pastry filled with almond paste. It's less heavy and overtly sweet than it was in the bottle, with only a light hint of the caramel. On, dry: The caramel is back and blended very smoothly with the almond, though the pastry aspect is basically gone. It increasingly reminds me of a less boozy-heavy, more strongly almond-centric version of Hellcat, which is not a bad thing. This is lighter and (imo) easier to wear, but it has the same general feel, and the caramel does have a dark honey-ish aspect. Later: Essentially unchanged: caramelized almonds. Medium-to-light throw, but lots of staying power. Overall: This really does develop as a lighter, no-booze, more almondy version of Hellcat on me, and I like it. It's not such a heavily sweet sort of fragrance, which makes it much more wearable; it smells like yummy candied almonds without me having to worry that I'm sending everybody around me into sugar shock. The almond note lasts much, much longer for me here than it usually does, which is another plus, and the pastry/cream puff note is appropriately subdued—no buttery overkill here, thank goodness. I like it! It's nice to find a scent with such a strong almond note that actually has staying power. I don't know where the rose mentions are coming from, though, because I don't get anything even REMOTELY floral from this; it's straight-up foody.
  14. Bluestocking


    In the bottle: Straight from the bottle, Pomona is strong and NUTTY. This is, hands down, the most nut-centric BPAL I've ever smelled; not even the walnut in Wood Phoenix is this pronounced. It's a deep, rich, warm and earthy nut smell, sort of a dark brown and velvety scent, and it has a nearly chocoatey aspect to me. When I sniff a bit more, I get tart red apple and a touch of the berries, which blends really nicely with the rich nuts. VERY autumnal. On, wet: Crisp apples and berries, backed by all those warm, strong nutty notes. The overall result isn't overly fruity at all, and it lacks the light, airy quality that apple blossom can bring; Pomona has more gravitas. It makes me think of those rich burgundy and purple and brown shades of autumn. As I sniff, the pomegranate is finally becoming increasingly apparent, adding more bright red tartness to the mix. On, dry: Tart-sweet autumn fruits, enriched with the deep, dark nuts and just enough lighter apple blossom to keep it from getting too heavy. It isn't as apple-centric as I expected; the pomegranate and berries are equally as strong, and they blend together very well. The nuts ground the scent and make it smooth and maybe just a touch chocolatey. Later: Deep, dark berries and nuts and chocolate. Surprisingly, mulberry is the dominant note now, and it's very nice—sweet, but not at all a sickly sweet, mulberry candle aroma. It's just sort of deep and mellow. Overall: Pomona is super-strong in the bottle, but she mellows almost instantly on my skin. I was a bit worried after reading some of the early reviews, but I think she's gorgeous and absolutely perfect for the season. I had the thought that this would be more apple than anything, but this actually brings to mind the harvest bounty, an overflowing cornucopia of ripe apples and berries and toasty nuts. There's a nice balance between sweet (berries and apple blossom), tart (pomegranate juice) and toasty-earthy (nuts). This is a rich, velvety scent, well blended and with tons of depth, and I have a strong feeling that it's going to age very well. I already love it!
  15. Bluestocking


    In the bottle: Very well blended and very green. It has a certain sort of airy, floral quality that is very strongly similar to The Host of the Air (I think it's the heather and possibly the snapdragons creating that effect), but with a definite darker, colder edge. It's difficult to tell where one green element begins and another ends, but the black sage is a standout, and something else adds a peppery undertone. I don't get much of anything from the anise, but that's not a disappointment. On, wet: Darker, greener, less sweet and floral. The rowan and sage are strongest now, but they're still backed by the sweeter, lighter florals, which is keeping this from going entirely dark. It's pretty but in a wild, free way. On, dry: Much softer and somewhat sweeter, though still in a very natural, green way. I get a lot more of the floral notes here, and they do have that airy aspect from Host of the Air, though the anise is giving them a different spin. The sage and rowan remain just beneath, adding some darker bite and keeping the florals from getting too airy. Later: Mostly heather and the other florals. The strong green streak is nearly gone, but it's still very pretty, and the throw remains very decent. Overall: I was hoping to find a darker, cold-weather counterpart to the Host of the Air, and this is pretty much exactly that. It isn't identical to HotA, but if you loved the "airy" quality of that one, I think the chances are good that you'll like Carlin as much as I do. (Conversely, if you were one of those who thought that HotA smelled like fabric softener, Carlin is probably not for you, either.) The rowan stands out most when it's wet; it has a very deep green, almost spicy, peppery feel then, but it dries down to light, soft, beautiful florals with an undercurrent of that same green. It's feminine, but not fussy or even particularly domestic; it makes me think of naked tree limbs and rambling fields and a chill in the air.