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BPAL Madness!


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About Shadowdawn

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    evil enabler


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  1. Shadowdawn

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    If anyone is looking for something similar to Carner Barcelona RIMA IX, honestly, I find it to be very similar to beloved Morocco, if anyone was interested in anything that felt like it was in the same family. Supposedly it has vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, amber, saffron, black pepper, mint, coriander, jasmine, and cedar.
  2. Shadowdawn

    Old Demons of the First Class

    Fresh imp from the lab: Astringent menthols with a hint of soapy floral in the background anchored with an odd, sweet spice, but generally reminiscent of honied earth and grass or sap perhaps. Quite strong and heady in general. Kind of reminds me of some poisonous plants, the stems in specific but maybe even the flowers, though I can't point to which ones. I think it's the dark pepperiness working with the green notes that makes me think of bitter, black-stemmed murder flowers.
  3. Shadowdawn


    Herbal, medicinal, resinous; dirt, dirt, dirt, soil, topsoil, potting soil, earth, ground, grass, and some kind of strange bitter sweetness like from mashed up evergreen with sap? Very acrid in general. Maybe would work as a winter cologne on some, but it's just so sweet and earthy and bracing.
  4. Shadowdawn

    Vicomte de Valmont

    Tested on my hubby: Oh my, oh my, oh my. Incredibly lovely, addicting, and downright sexy men's cologne. It is SO alluring and charming I am hard pressed to find anything that smells so good on his skin as this does. Holy hells, what a beautiful, fresh, aquatic, well rounded cologne. There are also yummy colognes that are to the spicy/musky/sweet side as well, but this could wear any time day or night, anywhere, and be delicious without being too overpowering or heavy. I would agree that it is an aquatic citrus with the verdant hint of minty woods that brings a certain mouthwatering earthiness to the forefront. Clean and nothing like soap or detergent, but mouthwatering, refined, elegant, classy--classic without being at all too "mature" or dated. There is definitely a playful, evocative element here 😉.
  5. Shadowdawn


    In the shortest review I may have ever written, I can sum Chaotic up in one word (and I'm not the first to mention it) -- Gain laundry detergent. Maybe the "Moonlight Breeze" variety, but still definitely 100% good ol' Gain. I never noticed how Gain smelled vaguely of grapes, musk, mint, and purple blooms, but here we are.
  6. Shadowdawn


    Fresh Imp from the lab: Oh boy Jasmine. This smells like walking through a field of pure jasmine under the moonlight, it's so strong it almost smells like a single note accord of night-blooming jasmine, and can't be mistaken for anything else. There is a slightest, tiniest hint of something plastic-like in the background tempering the sweet dewy scent of jasmine just a tad. Sadly within ten minutes it turns to straight floral soap on me. I never do get the rose but I wonder if the myrrh is the "slightly plastic note" bringing down the dewy nectar of pure jasmine.
  7. Shadowdawn

    Dark-Eyed, Delightful

    Oh no, this is so sad for me. Woooh she stonky. 😵 On me and to me nose what I get is patchouli. Really heavy, dark, aged, dirty, acrid, astringent patchouli. I adore brown sugar, cacao, vanilla, and cardamom so I had hoped they would star, with a drop of grounding green or lightly spicy patchouli in the back. I somehow get burnt soil from this and I'm not really sure how. Sniffing from the bottle (so that my skin chemistry doesn't come into play) I do get some hint of molasses sweetness (bitter and sweet) and heavily toasted spices. I would say the brown sugar is extremely dark, and the toasted cardamom is blackened toasted. When I sniff past the initial "this is very perfumey" stage I do get a resemblance of strong, heavy gingerbread crisps. Not sure how, but the cacao and vanilla are drowned, for me. If anything it may be described as a foody black patchouli. Not sure if should attempt to swap or age it for the next 10 years and see if it turns into something heavenly and delicious... Perhaps of interest, I had the SO sniff without sharing any of the notes and he gave me a one-word review: Chocolate. Very sweet, artificial, but not like chocolate syrup. So take that as you will.
  8. Shadowdawn

    From Whose Eyes As They Glance Flowed Love

    Oh my, this is intensely beautiful and also very nostalgic (for me). I completely agree that it's a very close match for Katrina Van Tassel (which was a bottle in my very first order from BPAL ever and a reigning favorite for years!). I find it to be a brighter, slightly more fresh and more complex version of KVT. I had thought perhaps I outgrew KVT, or at the very least some dairy notes stopped playing nice on my skin (doesn't appear to be any in this-- and yet it's unbelievably creamy, on the dry side). But this is just comforting and pretty to wear. Fresh enough to not be overly sweet or cloying, but creamy and dry enough to not be at all astringent. I know it doesn't say white rose... but it definitely smells like white rose to me in this blend. Either that or very pale pink; light, creamy, and not obtrusive at all. The sugar, musk, orris, amber, and vanilla are an incredible balanced symphony upholding the rose (they seem to create the perfect non-foody cream scent imaginable) and while it remains light it somehow also has a touch of complexity I thought KVT lacked.
  9. Shadowdawn

    Precious Beauty

    So, immediately upon sniffing I got... baklava for some reason. I absolutely get the comparison to almond cake that's been talked about. But for me my mind went to baklava. Once on, it smelled like baklava with dried fruits (or maybe a nutty version of Turkish Delight) and a depth of familiarity that I was struggling to put my finger on... until I did... Milk Moon (2007, but probably other iterations too). Is it the fig creating that undertone of dry fruit? It is actually quite light on me and fades fairly fast, for a cake-like smell, which usually sticks to me. I somehow have once again missed the vanilla (and also the oats this time). After some time: The foodiness and indeed nuts in this settle down and take a back seat, morphing into something lovely and slightly less sweet. It becomes more powdery (vanilla silk?) and almost a little floral (blossom honey?).
  10. I feel you! It hasn't been quite a decade for me, but a good number of years all the same. Turns out, I have discovered, that my chemistry and scent preferences changed wildly in the interim, and I suppose as I'm getting older! It's been crazy, I think I'm going to love things I could never wear, and some of my old favorites I find I just don't care for as much anymore. As far as what's new with real florals blended with some light aquatics, honestly, Sunyashniki is awesome. Incense and Leather; well, cannot go wrong with Perversion (even though incense isn't a listed note), it is blended so well IMO. It's an oldy though.
  11. Shadowdawn

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    I have recently gotten a chance to have a sample of Sandalwood in Oak (from Scents of Wood): Sandalwood, Guaiacwood, Burnt Sugar, Smoked Sage, Pink Pepper, Iris, Vanilla Bean. Omg I have never been so obsessed in my life, and of course, it's expensive as all hells, with apparently no dupes anywhere. Is there anything like that? I will say, to me/on me it is mostly the creamy vanilla and pepper with the soft woods/resin notes in the background keeping it grounded. It's apparently aged in oak barrels but I wouldn't say the oak note stands out most strongly. The sage I don't get at all, thankfully.
  12. Shadowdawn

    The Jersey Devil

    This smells so, so, so sweet. Syrupy sweet even, and yet incredibly green and fresh and plant-like. Leafy I guess. Sap perhaps from plant stems. Not at all for me, but it does remind me of some men's cologne for the somewhat astringent quality. I don't think there is a candy element or a woody element to it, it just smells ~ sweet ~ . And then green. I couldn't detect any berries in specific, but it's heavy on leaves. Actually reminds me of some of the fall dead leaf scents if they were way, way too sweet and doused in syrup. Also less musky/damp/moldy than the dead variety. More completely fresh and mashed until bitter. Which is a bit hard to detect over all the syrup, I suppose. I really wish I got any kind of hint of holiday scent with cedar and pine, cranberry, all that good winter stuff, sigh.
  13. Shadowdawn

    Deep in Earth

    The whole thing definitely smells like digging a deep hole in a sopping wet yard. Very, very astringent and honestly smells truly like actual freshly turned soil. That's about the very first thing that blasted my nose until I coughed. This must be the scent of druids, fantasy or otherwise, or maybe necromancers. The scent of an old school vampire rising from the fresh grave? Or maybe just innocent gardeners who have been toiling, creating new soil beds with their bare hands for eight hours. As for the rose geranium, yes, it is there and smelling exactly like a holistic anti-mosquito candle... along with maybe mulched lawn grass somewhere in there with the dirt. Actually it becomes a little bit woody and spicy on the drydown. The acrid quality of dirt does definitely die down, revealing more of the geranium (which always reminds me some of citronella). Night digging in summertime, what can I say, I think the bugs might actually be repelled if I wore this outside.
  14. Shadowdawn


    I am starting to think that in the last couple of years my body chemistry has completely morphed making the previously unwearable wearable, and very concerningly, possibly the opposite too. I recall having an imp of this over a decade ago but it seems as if I didn't comment on it at all at the time. I've just received a fresh frimp from the Lab and decided to give it a whirl (without reading the notes beforehand). At first sniff I got strong fruity/floral vibes, kind of making me think of Herbal Essences from nearly 20 years previous lol. It definitely smelled a lot like "fresh" scented shampoo of some kind. Kind of like a garden orchard mix, in a way. Sweet/fresh, almost aquatic, instead of sweet/edible. Reading the notes I can see where I got shampoo/soap vibes from but I can't really pick out the individual apple, rose, and lemon. The apple and lemon may be adding themselves to some sort of sweet citrus note, but if so it's definitely an over-ripe red apple. I think it's just that I like my apple scents spiced pretty much all of the time. Maybe a hint of dry, powdery lemon? Not fresh zested lemon oil or anything like that. The rose is likely morphing everything else into a sort of homogenous "fruity floral" ensemble because to me this could be any combination of flowers in the garden mashed together. As time goes on it just gets too, too floral, kind of dry and cloying as an old bar of soap may, and a little headache inducing.
  15. Shadowdawn


    After a BPAL break that went on for too long I got this one more on principal than actually for the notes. Since I normally totally avoid blends with a lot of the listed notes (looking at you Neroli) this is not something I really knew what to expect of because I don't smell these combos a lot. So wow, um, yeah. Wild! To me anyway. It is floral but far, far from a single note predominantly floral thing, and not a pure "white floral" by any means. It is a little heavy. Honestly it does smell like expensive department store perfume, especially on the drydown. Like perfume that smells like ~perfume~, if that makes sense. It's quite elegant and somewhere between an older classic and newer brightness/freshness. To be completely honest I think this is making me think that Chanel (the OG eau de parfum) was lightened up a tad with a summery, golden vibe that does evoke sunflowers actually. It does carry the whole "old timey perfume" heaviness that makes me think of the 20s and 30s (and for some reason Chanel No5), but then it also really makes me think of summertime breezes in an almost topical kind of way. It is a floral bouquet way too complex and well balanced to pick out any one flower. I was concerned about the addition of leaves as well but there is no hint of greenness to me, thank heavens. It's a citrus floral in the sense that it feels like "Yeah, this is a perfume", and less like there is a bowl of lemons somewhere with flower petals strewn over it. I'm thinking it's all the musk and amber coming through. That is probably where the old school vibe is coming from as well. There is also something in the combination of sweetness and cedar that smells familiar to me, both from BPAL and other scents, specifically cologne. Sticks very close to my skin, for some reason I eat this one up although a heady, strong, old timey floral would usually follow me relentlessly for days. By contrast my skin amps Nightingale like crazy and wearing them together had muted Sunyashniki. I don't know about joy necessarily, but there is a clean element after the drydown. I fear the neroli might be manifesting in its full power, but there is still somehow a tropical note going on. Or maybe summertime in the Mediterranean? I'm settling in on "Chanel, the summer vacation edition" with this one. Longterm dry down: Upon another, completely isolated, day-long wear I have to say.... it both morphs completely, and beautifully, after a full drydown. From first application until the end of the day Sunyashniki stays very light on me, close to the skin, and barely noticeable. I do have to huff my arm to pick it up after twelve hours, but, what lingers is absolutely gorgeous. It goes sweeter, and creamy, on me. All potentially soapy notes, strong florals, old lady spice, etc. completely vanish (possibly due to the lack of a heavily resinous base to fall back on), leaving behind mainly a gorgeous, perfect blend of soft, sweet golden amber and light white musk with the barest breath of petals.