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BPAL Madness!


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About girlcalledmoment

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    wrist-sniffing wench


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    United Kingdom

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  • Favorite Scents
    notes: vanilla, amber, dark rose, blackberry, milky tea, lemon, powder, chocolate, lime, apple, musk, mint, anise, pepper, hazelnut, orange blossom, violet, coconut, fig, white flowers, gardenia, ozone, mimosa, strawberry, teak, pipe tobacco, leather, apricot, grass, hay, cream, orange, mandarin, pear, peach...


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  1. girlcalledmoment


    To ORDER list: RPG Good Dorian Morocco Alice Lemon-scented Sticky Bat Katharine Fae Would love recommendations for BPAL gourmands.
  2. girlcalledmoment


    Cinnamon is not a note I love unless it's incredibly light and just warming up an oriental scent, like in Frederic Malle's Musc Ravageur, so unsurprisingly, on application of Sin, I was resigned to feel indifferent. I think cinnamon is indeed the loudest note in this blend, but what holds my interest is a bready, doughy heart that brings to mind L'Artisan's Safran Troublant. On my skin the breadiness is very prominent, lightly yeasty and incredibly pleasant. Far from being sinful it reminds me of baking cinnamon bread with my mum when I was little. I find the patchouli to be quiet and grounding. I am trying to imagine a situation or person that could make Sin sinful. A tryst in the pantry between the cook and the master of the house. 3.7/5
  3. girlcalledmoment


    Titania is really nice; sweet, fruity and fresh at once. There is a stemmy element amid a juicy fruit salad of melon, peach, grapes and strawberries (the latter might be my imagination, but I truly smell a touch of strawberry). It's not quite as sweet as an Escada fragrance, but nearly is. The green, fresh element makes it better - more unique. Titania isn't a million miles away from the first Paris Hilton scent, which I do own so am able to do a side-by-side comparison. Titania is less harsh, softer, prettier, but they are of the same ilk - modern fruity-florals with fresh aspects. This scent doesn't have an emotional tug on me in the same way that Fae, Katharina and Alice do, but nevertheless, it's so utterly wearable for someone who likes very sweet, pretty and girlie sillage. I will be sporting this over the summer. I should mention that my boyfriend was unusually enthusiastic about this scent, which he said was 'fresh and melony'. This contributes to its winning status. 4.1/5
  4. girlcalledmoment


    A pretty, true rose, which is voluptuous but somewhat linear. I really like rose fragrances and so I like this one also, but not as much as some of my very favourite rose scents. This is a contender though. It's got that juicy rose element to it I struggle to find in fragrances - unlike some other reviewers I don't find it dusty in the least. London has just the right amount of sweetness; just as sweet as a rose. Catching the scent of this on the breeze would be a wonderful thing. 3.8/5
  5. girlcalledmoment


    This is a very sweet scent which brings back memories of my early teens - hanging around outside shops sucking on Mr. Freeze ice-pops. There is something in this that smells exactly like those - a fruity tang. I like the hint of banana - it makes me smile, but it's not quite the scent I hoped it would be. It's a morpher, most definitely, oscillating between ice-pops and nappy-like jasmine. I do like it; it's just it doesn't move me quite as much as some BPAL scents. The green element is there - a ferny jungle tangle beneath fruit and blooms - but it's just too sticky to be sexy. Unless worn by a Mila Kunis type - I can see it on the girl she plays in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I'm not completely decided on whether it's something I'll get a large bottle of, but at the moment there are other priorities. 3.5/5
  6. girlcalledmoment


    The way Fae applies to the skin is nothing like how she comes to smell after being on the skin a while. Within a few minutes the sweet, fruity icing sugar - thick, pungent and incredibly saccharine - recedes to leave a warm, soft, woody and powdery scent. In its dry-down, Fae smells just like Lorenzo Villoresi's Musk, which is a divine, luminous skin-scent. That one has less sweetness, so one might say Fae is the feminine version of an Italian unisex niche classic. Other reference points outside BPAL may be Ava Luxe's Doll Face and Angel Face, which have an almondy powderiness akin to the heliotrope and musk combination in this. I like those scents, but Fae has a gentle beauty that nuzzles and appeases in a beatific manner - something special. She's a comfort in the crook of your arm. I must admit that I don't get any peach at all, bar the opening. It's so subtle. I get more heliotrope than oak moss, but it all comes together in such a seamless way. This would make a perfect everyday scent for all-year-round usage. After the bizarre and thick pie-like opening, Fae smells very expensive and refined. Gently sweet, woody, musky, powdery and poetic. 4.7/5
  7. girlcalledmoment

    Lune Noire

    I am so delighted with this beautiful fragrance, which really showcases Beth's talent as an expert parfumer. I bought it on ebay and didn't really know what to expect, as we all know BPAL is hit-and-miss, since it caters for so many tastes. Looking at the notes, I reasoned I could equally love or hate Lune Noire. I have found it to be a phenomenal piece of artistry which references iconic fragrances of the mainstream, betters them, and makes them translucent and dreamy. This is an elegant, powerhouse floral; not at all sharp though - rather warm and rounded. The predominant notes on my skin are the pear, narcissus, a touch of honey, and some incredibly well-blended gardenia, over a warm and creamy base. It's a purple-smelling blend, and shares a good deal with the similar Dior Poison. It took me a while to spot it, but it's unmistakable - however, if Poison was being worn by someone who suited it completely, whose skin chemistry allowed it to bloom in the most perfect and poetic way, I still can't imagine it smelling as good as Lune Noire. This is lighter, pearlier, more modern, and actually rather heartbreaking. It takes me to a room with white walls, wooden floorboards and French doors thrown open on a dazzling summer day. It smells like the day I took my flute exam. It smells like open artists studios and the colours on geometric fabric. I have noticed that this layers beautifully with Emporio Armani's Acqua di Gio. Hear me out. The Acqua di Gio contains notes of pear, muscat grapes (most people think Poison smells heavily of grape soda), aquatic notes like sea air, tart pineapple and citrus, and translucent white floral accords. It's sparkling, unhampered, casual and actually, though most people left it in the nineties like Poison, it's aged incredibly well. I have been putting Lune Noire on my wrists, neck, behind my ears, and spraying a fine mist of Acqua di Gio on my clothes - just the smallest amount. It is a sensational combination, and most importantly, it's a timely antidote to the fruity-florals of recent years. It all comes together beautifully on cotton, in the sun, with oversized sunglasses and my new Revlon All Fired Up nail varnish. Sniffing myself now, I'm swooning. 5/5
  8. girlcalledmoment


    Obatala smells as I expected, I suppose, though slightly more savoury. The coconut milk is a note I'm familiar with through The Body Shop's Coconut Oil, Harajuku Lovers' G and Estee Lauder's Azuree Soleil/ Bronze Goddess. The more coconutty scents I sample, the more I find the coconut accord is pretty alike in them all, and that includes the ridiculously expensive Creed's Virgin Island Water. Well, Obatala has the same note, I think, but it's the first one I've tried that is just coconut - no tropical fruit and flowers - just white. Well, I say that, but as I breathe it in, I can see the smallest similarity to BPAL's Black Opal, which to me has an almost undetectable veil of bandages and lime going on (not at all unpleasant). But then, moments later, that olfactory illusion is gone again, and Obatala is coconut meat, milk and cream once more. I think Obatala's coconut is slightly less synthetic-smelling than The Body Shop's oil, which I do enjoy and wear from time to time. The creaminess is comforting, and the absence of sweetness somehow makes me think of Indian sweets, which makes no sense, because they are, of course, sweet by nature. I think I imagine a tiny bit of cardamom in Obatala, but I can assure you this is my imagination. I think it's more a ghee thing, but not buttery. Obatala is equally appealing and strange. It's very white; rich and yet pure. I'm going to continue my dalliance and see how we pan out. So far, I'm intrigued. 3.8/5
  9. girlcalledmoment


    Oh Alice, the more I wear you, the more I like you. I was one person who loved LUSH's Potion Lotion, but the solid perfume version was way too clovey and harsh for me. Alice takes the good parts of Potion Lotion, softens them, and adds her very own brilliance to the mix. I have a soft spot for the name Alice, so I was geared up to like this. However, I'd had a bad run of experience with random imps I'd bought from Ebay, and so when my beautiful BPAL box came in the post I was rather tentative, wondering if I'd made a mistake in coveting the lab. Luckily the imps in my own order are more suited to my tastes, and Alice is quite beautiful to me. I am a fan of roses (my absolute favourite is Juliette has a Gun's Lady Vengeance), and like them even more when they have a creamy, warm aspect to them. Here the mix between rose and carnation makes a gloriously good floral marriage, and it's very muted indeed, amid a milky, creamy musk and the ghost of tea cakes (no butter, no toastedness, and yet, the ghost of them is there). Alice is soft and contemplative; thoughtful and not too sweet. A real grower. 4.4/5
  10. girlcalledmoment


    BPAL's description of Katharina is charmingly understated - 'a strong wilful blend with a soft, utterly lovely soul'. Well, this is an understatement. Katharina is an accomplishment! Wow. I am very smitten with this super creation, which is warmly peachy, gently shampooey, softly musky, subtly floral and supremely self-assured. A clean scent, but not at all harsh in the way that some BPAL blends can be; rather this is a golden halo of freshly washed hair and the sweet glow of contentment. I like the likes of the Dormouse, and Black Hellebore, which have soapy aspects that I find myself yielding to because of their strength; here we have a whole new level of technique which is almost moving in its artistry. I think Katharina is a splendid, peachy skin-scent, which is warm and confident, utterly beguiling, and quite frankly, a work of brilliance. I have no idea how it manages to smell so orb-like. 5/5
  11. girlcalledmoment

    The Hanging Gardens

    The Hanging Gardens is a thick, rich, fruity, lightly powdery, tropical concoction which brings to mind a niche classic, Sacrebleu, by Parfums de Nicolai. I am doing a side-by-side comparison as I type, and the main difference I can spot is that Sacrebleu has an addition of incense, which the Hanging Gardens doesn't. My decant of Sacrebleu has aged slightly, and improved; however, I recall some years ago I wrote a rather petulant review on Makeupalley (where I am Pennypencil) about it being juvenile/ PEZ dispensery/ crayons on car seats/ Wrigley's Juicy Fruit. The Hanging Gardens has a touch of this about it too. It's as sweet as an Escada scent, though the gentle powder, which is very subtle, grounds it way more than those neon offerings. The fruit itself in Sacrebleu purports to be mandarin and red fruit, but I also get a peachy, cinnamon aspect I find in The Hanging Gardens - possibly from the two pears. Anyway, this isn't meant to be a comparative review, but I wanted to mention that I'd smelled something like this before, and where. The Hanging Gardens has a fair amount of throw and is long-lasting. I'm glad I don't get much fig, because I don't think I like the lab's fig note when it's prominent - here it just warms things up. The description speaks of plum, but I fancy I pick up red fruits in general - tart currants and perhaps the tiniest, remotest hint of pie. It's way too swollen with ripe fruit to pick up much green, but there is a quiet woodiness. It fits into the fruity floral category well, and isn't that different to Britney Spears' Midnight Fantasy or Katy Perry's Purr - the latter of which shares a whole host of notes with The Hanging Garden: Gardenia, forbidden fruit and rose. I suppose what I am saying is that The Hanging Gardens is about as close to the mainstream as BPAL gets, and I appreciate the thrill of that. I like to dabble in the mainstream - into gym bags weighed down by Salon Selectives, pink bed sheets, ceramic hair straighteners and nail wraps. 3.9/5
  12. girlcalledmoment

    Bon Vivant

    I was expecting to like Bon Vivant, because I've been on a strawberry kick, but I wasn't expecting to be as enamoured with it as I am. This fragrance immediately reminds me of sticky red sweets - the kind your mum never let you eat a lot of because of the additives, but then, as the gumminess recedes, the champagne loveliness bubbles into action, softening the edges enough to make the sweet strawberry assume a ladylike, elegantly boozy quality. It speaks of strawberry bellinis in small hands, little red nails and heart-shaped sunglasses - Lolita, perhaps, or a beauty pageant princess from the fifties. I say the fifties because she's sporting a gingham playsuit. The fragrance this is most like, and I think it's very much like it, is Yves Saint Laurent's Yvresse, formally called Champagne (before Champagne threatened a lawsuit or somesuch), which actually smells like a peach bellini and not a strawberry one. I've always flirted with the idea of owning Yvresse, which dries down a bit more powdery after a chypre-length (i.e. tenacious) top and middle note period. Of course, Bob Vivant is far more linear and fleeting, but it's not a fickle puppy either. Though lacking the chypre element, Bob Vivant's fizzy joy is still multifaceted, and supplies enough holiday snaps for a daydreamer. 4.2/5
  13. girlcalledmoment

    Black Opal

    I don't know how it is possible, but I can actually see that this smells like Black Opal. You know - that clinical, cold exterior stone has, with bolts of luminescent colour beneath - in this case, pearly lime green. At first I thought this was a floral blend, but it's a lightly creamy citrus on sparkling vanilla. There is an additional bandage scent to this. You know - like when you stand next to the bandage section in the chemist's? Only it's not at all unpleasant. It's kind of beguiling. I mean, I'm not sure bandages soaked in in vanilla and lime could ever come across as sexy, but I can't stop sniffing. The only issue with this is how fleeting it is. I'm almost exhausting my imp in the one wear. 3.3/5
  14. girlcalledmoment


    I don't find this as abhorrant as some, probably because though I'm fairly new to BPAL, I've been collecting fragrances for years, including oddball boutique offerings that most people would blanche at. Saturnalia doesn't smell completely weird to me. It's like a quite expensive herby, savory and woody candle. The sandalwood is very dry and high in the mix, and the violet is creepy, non-sweet and rooty. I have encountered a violet like this, though much *much* sweeter, in Creed's Love in Black. The vetiver is salty and spooky, and cloaked in must. Weirdly, on the skin it turned out to be something entirely different than it promised wet in the vial. Sniffing from the bottle I thought it would be a green, figgy, sappy and fresh scent. My boyfriend mentioned it smelled like ladybirds. It isn't really for me, but I think I'll include it as an extra when swapping non-BPAL scents, as I think some of my niche fragrance friends will be intrigued by this one. 2/5
  15. girlcalledmoment


    Lampades was a disappointment for me. I usually enjoy berry fragrances, but this smells a good deal like Blackcurrant Tunes, cough syrup and Lemsip all rolled up in one flu remedy. There's a mild clovey aspect to it too, lurking below the boiled sweet surface. It's almost good, to me, but there's something cloying and medicinal that turns me more off than on. 3/5