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BPAL Madness!


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About Shadowdawn

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  1. Shadowdawn

    The Poinsettia Gown 2023

    This is an extremely beautiful, gloriously elegant, hyper-feminine perfume. It smells like a true perfumer's parfum, but with that special little BPAL something in the background. It's gorgeous, it is beautiful, and smells delicate-- very creamy, and softly floral all over. However, the rose is very breathy, and very subdued, not harsh or cloying at all. This isn't an old school "grandma" type of floral, or a screaming white floral (the jasmine behaves); it's young and sweet if anything. But it is also just exceedingly beautiful and elegant in general. I do get heaping tons of gossamer vanilla from this, in cottony billows (as opposed to the foody vanilla, or the dark bourbon/woody type), a light crystalline amber, and the two florals in the background. The mallow I'm not sure I'm getting unless it is contributing to the overwhelming creaminess of this blend. Straight out of the bottle I'm almost reminded of the likes of Katrina Van Tassle in this one, but it's definitely not a white rose but a deep and super lush red rose in the rose element. This smells "juicier" somehow. Unfortunately on me it very sadly does that thing that often bpal amber does (mainly when combined with cream and/or musk notes), and goes to baby powder on me, on the drydown. At least it is a skin-musk type of baby powder with some super powdery vanilla left over. It does make it smell fabric-like in a sense. Not sure if I will keep it for a decade or so and see if the baby powder thing mellows out. But with such a delicate and soft blend I worry about the baby powder drydown going full plastic too, sigh. I love this so much in the first hour/half hour of application. It almost makes me think of a late winter wedding scent, full of romance and soft, creamy sensuality.
  2. Shadowdawn

    Block Buster

    Hmmm, interesting. I sniffed and tested before reading what it was meant to be, and so I am reviewing just based on scent for now and not magickal purpose. I also thought it was referencing either a movie-rental shop (now long defunct lol), or just a popular movie/Hollywood situation lol. So... immediately in the bottle, candy. Very tootie fruity. Like some kind of fruit flavor gummy candy.... and grass? Citrus? Hubby said Mike n Ikes, but I don't know what those smell like, so maybe. I didn't really love it at first sniff, but at least it was interesting. When it started calming down all of the upfront sweet, syrupy preserved fruit notes died down and I did get some red-hots type of cinnamon peaking through. And then sadly it somehow turned to dryer sheets? I don't know, but that "fresh" component from the initial sniff test must have surged again to create the linen/fresh washed sheets type of "clean"/ozone type smell. Which I truly don't care for. After sitting for a while and getting half washed off it did begin to remind me of shampoo actually. Between the mystery herbs, resins(?), and fruits, somehow (at least fresh in the vial) it's making a vaguely bubblegum scent. Then I looked into the purpose and what this IS. Thinking about it I can understand the cinnamon, but I struggle to place the fruit and "clean" smelling fresh component. Maybe something like apples or berries mixed with specific herbs (not sure which ones though, perhaps something minty or camphor-like), lemon, and verdant greens or "air" of some type? I will try it ritualistically however and see how it does as anointing oil or maybe in candle magic or something similar to that. Overcoming obstacles and manifesting positive change, as well as enhancing mental attributes makes me think of the air element, so maybe some of the notes here tie to the air element. There also might be a water or aquatic quality in it. The greenery-- maybe new growth or cleansing? Is it an evergreen component? The candy/sweet/syrup component could be possibly honey, which can be great for all the mentioned purposes associated with this blend as well as attraction and prosperity. I will say it's familiar smelling but I can't figure it out exactly. I think this is meant to be more purposeful than yummy smelling.
  3. Shadowdawn

    Coffee Cream Pie

    Delicious!! Absolutely one of the yummiest gourmands of all time. I don't always go for the heavily gourmand scents because I worry about them being too sweet/buttery/cloying in some way, but I am beyond thrilled I decided on this one! It's fantastic. I also adore coffee in all its forms, especially with cacao, so I really had to jump for this one. I think it's far more wearable than "pie" would suggest or denote in a fragrance, but the focus is really on the dark chocolate first and foremost, then the coffee, then the creamy sweetened vanilla ("pudding like" I'm guessing, but it doesn't really smell like pudding to me). Thankfully I'm not really getting the cookies either and the whole thing, while sounding like a total sugar bomb, is actually remarkably grounded and not overly sweet at all! Even fresh out of the bottle it's one of the yummiest dark chocolate cacao and coffee fragrances I've ever smelled in my life, with a gorgeous bitterness in the freshly ground coffee bean/freshly roasted coffee note. The silage is good but the bitter coffee bean softens down and gets enveloped by the sweet, thick vanilla in the dry down, letting the scent of warming, steaming hot cocoa, or perhaps a good mocha, prevail. As time goes on honestly the vanilla just seems to thicken and develop more and more, but the coffee and chocolate are keeping it earthy and "dark" and definitely not a candy-bar type vanilla. At no point did it smell like pudding, thankfully, more like a skin-musk bourbon vanilla bean.
  4. Shadowdawn

    Hearth 2023

    Hearth is very interesting, extremely well rounded, and straight up delicious--both in a sexy/spicy/sultry way, and an edible way! I adore it. Hubby adores it. We both love it on ourselves and on one another so much that we can twin with this scent 😄. I will say, for some reason, though it is not listed, we both get a strong, ultra-dark chocolate out of this. A dry, deep, resinous, dark cacao type of chocolate. Especially sniffing the bottle. It almost smells like cacao absolute. But the funny thing is, on the skin, on hubby it turns into pure leather with a hint of spicy smoke in the background with barely a dusting of cacao wood type notes. On me, I amp the "chocolate" like element completely and get almost no leather. Maybe more of a smoked lapsang cacao situation. Which is nearly mouthwatering as far as we're both concerned. I wouldn't call it sweet or overly gourmand, but well balanced for sure, and quite deep and moody, borderline gourmand. 9/10 Edit to add: In the final ultimate dry down the sweet cherry wood finally emerges and holds on until the end, become more and more incense-like as it fades. This is truly very beautiful.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 😉.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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?).
  14. 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.
  15. 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.