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BPAL Madness!


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About The_Merf

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    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 05/14/1981


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    Graduate School
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  • Astrological Info
    ASC-20 Scorpio; Sun-24 Taurus; Moon-10 Libra; Mercury-12 Gemini; Venus-3 Gemini; Mars-14 Taurus; Jupiter-0 Libra; Saturn-3 Libra; Uranus-28 Scorpio; Neptune-24 Sagittarius; Pluto-22 Libra; Midheaven-2 Virgo Chart ruler is Pluto; Uranus and Saturn are in exaltation; Mercury is in rulership; Mars is in detriment
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  1. The_Merf

    Love's Philosophy

    In the imp and on me at first this is a dead ringer for Villainess's Scintillating smooch--creamy minty weirdness. I'm very lukewarm on that scent, and I'm not terribly excited about putting this on my skin, but if I tried Grog, I can try anything. I'll admit that this isn't half as bad on me as I thought it would be--it looks like I'm going to be one of the few people who is sort of ambivalent about this particular scent. I'm just not a fan of minty perfumes, and this does end up minty on me (even though the mint dies down as the scent dries), so I'm probably not going to go with a 5mL bottle. Still, this is a very interesting scent and the combination of vanilla and mint ends up being less unpleasant that I initially thought it would be.
  2. The_Merf

    Her Voice

    Do I have the same blend as everyone else on this page? All I can smell in the imp is vanilla and amber, and I get the same effect on my skin. This starts out as a really foody vanilla with a touch of besswax (honey) on me--I mean golden, cakey vanilla. This blend eventually sort of starts to smell floral on me, but the floral notes are just in the background of the vanilla/amber combination. In terms of the florals, I can pick out a little bit of carnation and a little bit of lily and a bit of honeysuckle. Indeed, the florals do get stronger as the blend dies down, and the lilies and honeysuckle are the strongest florals of all in this blend for me. This one has a really odd path on my skin--it's quite a morpher! This one is much warmer than the other fresh floral that I've tried from this collection (Passionate Shepherd).
  3. The_Merf

    A Farewell to False Love

    I too get a blast of lavender upon initial application, but I was sort of expecting that. However, I was hoping for a nice "purple" scent of lavender, paperwhites and lilac. Instead, I get a very weird mix of lavender and balsam. I think I may need to just completely avoid Balsam of Peru in the future, as it's tanked a couple of scents for me at this point. The overall effect is very dry (like orris, almost) lavender--I feel like I'm breathing in dust! I think this is just another one done in by my skin chemistry.
  4. The_Merf

    Night Thoughts

    I was very excited about Night Thoughts--I thought it could be a slightly warmer and more feminine version of Lear. Alas, in the wet stage it is literally nothing but cedar. I do love the smell of cedar, but not when I'm suppose to get lilac, herbs and other goodies as well! Even in the dry-down, when the cedar isn't completely overpowering, all I get is a generic floral smell instead of the specific loveliness of lilac. When the floral starts to become prominent on my skin, the cedar is almost gone. My skin chemistry just wrecks the complexities of this scent. Bah.
  5. The_Merf


    Initially I smell a rose--a velvety, dried rose, not fresh--with a spike of cinnamon. However, the cinnamon goes away rather quickly and gives way to a floral/musk/incense/rum combination. This is an insanely hard scent for me to review because I'm having a terrible time picking out all the different notes. Like the reviewer above me, I think this blend does sort of remind me of Morocco, though with a different kind of kick. This really is a very unique blend--I'm going to have to test it again side-by-side with Morocco to see if there is enough of a difference to warrant a bottle, but the cinnamon and...something...give this a dusty rose color in my mind, while Morocco has always been off-white or linen. Maybe the blends use similar--but not identical--musks? At any rate, an interesting oil, to be sure!
  6. The_Merf

    The Passionate Shepherd To His Love

    Wow, this was not one of the decants I was expecting to be hot about, but I really like this. At first it's all green--ivy and clover...really beautiful. Very quickly, I start to smell both florals, but the carnation is stronger than the rose. This oil comes the closest to approximating fresh cut flowers as any BPAL that I have tried. I love, love, love the fact that the carnation is so prominent here--it's a lovely deep pink smelling oil, and the greenery surrounds it beautifully. It's very "English" in a romanticized way--I'd love to wear this to tea. I'm pretty sure that I'll grab a bottle of this!
  7. The_Merf

    Valentine of Rome

    I almost, almost, almost bought a bottle of this straightaway, but Old Rome was sharp on me, and I feared that this one might be as well. I'm glad I waited for the decant because while it is a really awesome "natural churchy" blend (as someone said upthread) in the vial, on my skin it is hardcore cypress. Cypress is a difficult note for me--it often comes off as metallic on my skin, and I've never really liked that effect. I'm getting that with this blend--it really does remind me of a combination of Old Rome, Heavenly Love and Earthly Love (in terms of how the incense smells on my skin--it's that very strong and cleansing incense, which I like) and cypress. After I've had the scent on for a little while, the cypress is less prominent (though there is a metallic afterglow) and I can sense a bit of the olive. I generally don't like to keep decants around--I either swap them or get a bottle--but I think I might keep what I have here for judicious use on candles or something.
  8. The_Merf


    I was surprised to see that I hadn't tried this and it wasn't on my w/l; I can't see anything on the note list that would have led me to exclude it! When the blend is wet, it's a really gorgeous carnation. I love carnation to death; it's one of my favorite floral notes, so I am pleased by this. The plum and the musk blend very well in this blend, and I think that the musk note has the edge on my skin. This smells like a fine piece of fabric skimming over my skin. The notes blend together very well, and I would still call this a carnation/musk blend on me, but the plum adds a depth that distinguishes this from Othello (which is similar, but I prefer this). The plum also gets stronger in the last stage of the scent. I'm definitely going to hold this one over for future testing. It's so nice to happen upon lovely GC surprises like this, and I thank the Lab for the frimp!
  9. The_Merf

    Santa Muerte

    At first I thought this would just be another soapy rose blend and I was ready to dash it off the list rather quickly. However, as the scent dries (i.e., just a few minutes after I put it on), it becomes a fuller rose--more akin to the nice red, velvety roses that I like. The mums are the secondary note in this blend--on my skin the notes go as listed in the scent description...rose and mum are most prominent, and there is a dash of vetiver and not much else. The vetiver is pleasant here; it adds a unique quality to the blend. It's not too green/grassy, but does add a nice sense of "soil" for the rose and mum.
  10. The_Merf

    The Clod and the Pebble

    This one was almost all rose on me. During the early stages, the rose mixed with the patchouli, so I thought there was hope that the blend would go more in the spicy direction, but it remained so sharp. No pretty sandalwood, no warm clove. The cedar and rose combined for a very sharp and soapy blend on my skin. Alas, as this was the Lupercalia scent I was most excited about.
  11. The_Merf

    Lunar Eclipse

    The Lunar Eclipse behaves like quite a few other blends that have tons of notes (Faiza, Kubla Khan, Ostara). First, the worst possible note for my skin dominates during the wet stage--with this blend it was a combination of red musk and what smelled like old fruit. After that, the scent quickly goes to a characterless muddle. I love so many of the notes here, but there were no resins, no orchid, no tea, no spice. After the red musk/fruit blast, my test spot smelled vaguely mossy. Alas, my skin is very unsophisticated, it would seem.
  12. The_Merf

    Planetary Magick: Venus

    No description listed at the Twilight Alchemy Lab website Scent: I've smelled this and I've smelled PM: Saturn, and I think that the PM blends have a similar scent to their Celestials counterparts. The PM: Venus oil is characterized by a combination of lotus, which gives it that "pink" feel, and herbal notes. I think there are also some other florals in the blend, but I'm still not great with picking out particular floral notes. The Celestial: Venus review thread can provide further comments on the scent. Personally, I don't think PM: Venus smells as candy-like as Celestial: Venus. I feel that the scent of the oil made it a very good match for the pink candle I used in my ritual. Ritual/Use: On Saturday I had an exact transiting Venus conjunct natal Neptune aspect, and decided that would be an appropriate first use for the oil. Not only did I want to gain insight on various dimensions of Venusian energy, I also wanted those insights to lead me to conclusions about Neptune, which has traditionally been a difficult planet for me to comprehend. I anointed one pink candle with PM: Venus, one grey candle with Glamour and one grey candle with Veils and Mist. I carved the Venus glyph on the pink candle and the Neptune glyph on the grey candles. I specifically petitioned for the ability to use Venusian energy, which is close to the individual (and seeing as how I am a Taurus Sun/Libra Moon...) to understand and begin to assert control over the glamorous and obfuscating powers of Neptune. I had an incredibly productive session while these candles burned. I read from a number of my favorite astrological texts, and was able to draw some new and important conclusions, despite having read those texts many times before. I was able to arrive at the type of insights I was looking for, and one of the reasons I was able to do so was because I found myself able to focus on aspects of Venus (particularly her connection to the 2nd house and possessions) in a much more subtle and advanced light than I had previously. I found that I was able to access these insights in an intellectual way, which is consistent with my Venus in Gemini placement, but my conclusions were not necessarily "limited" by what a typical Venus in Gemini might feel safe doing. The effectiveness of this oil has made me very excited to try other Planetary Magick oils, both as an aid for concentrating on aspects and other specifically astrological events and as a way to interact with different types of energies.
  13. The_Merf

    Bastet's Laughter

    I had the same problem with this that I had with Amor and Lionheart--the red/yellow/orange color ritual scents just don't click with me as much as do the blue/grey/purple/white scents. I mean, the blend does smell very pretty, very cherry and citrus (it really reminds me a lot of Amor), and while it's burning on the candles and when I get a whiff, it is an uplifting scent. However, in terms of creating a connection or facilitating my concentration/meditation on how to direct my intent to make a happier home area, I had a very hard time using the blend. I think I'll have to take the Peace/blue and silver candle approach, or somehow work on myself to make these yellow/red/orange blends work better for me.
  14. The_Merf


    This is very soapy herbs and very clean earth (literally, like if soil went through the washing machine--I think it's the herbs that are giving a bit of a detergent throw). This doesn't morph on me a lot and fades very quickly, but herbal notes are tricky on my skin, so that's not 100% surprising.
  15. The_Merf

    Black Ice

    Wow, that is some harsh, harsh vetiver, my goodness. The vetiver on its own is enough to remind me of asphalt. I don't know what the asphalt notes themselves might contain, but they do a fine job of evoking what they're supposed to! The vetiver is so strong on me (and this often happens) that it drowns out everything else. I don't get any of the mint/sleet notes; in fact, this becomes a warmish vetiver on my skin. My chemistry is just not going to let me appreciate this one, alas.