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BPAL Madness!


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About Ashmedai

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    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 03/17/1983


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  • BPAL of the Day
    Feed Me and Fill Me With Pleasure
  • Favorite Scents
    All of 'em.

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    Magic, sensuality, tea, books, boys, bdsm, mind-numbing sexual tension, writing fiction, blogging, history, herbalism, hoodoo, cooking, aromatherapy, classical music, effete intellectual snobs
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  1. Ashmedai


    Fear of Church Suffocating clouds of shroud-thick frankincense and myrrh, sepulchral tolu balsam, black labdanum, and a sin-sick thread of jasmine sambac. Wow, this is strong and heady! On application I immediately smell tolu balsam, labdanum and jasmine sambac. The jasmine is more than just a "thread" on me, so either I amp it or there's a lot of it here, but despite the floral note, this gives off a dark, heavy almost brooding impression - "shroud thick" is a fitting descriptor. The jasmine is sweet, not the kind that goes sour on me, or that smells like soiled baby nappies; it's sweet, but not to the point of being cloying. Myrrh comes forward a bit as it dries, and now I can tell there's frankincense in here too (though barely), but it's still pretty jasmine-dominated, though that note does settle down a lot by final dry-down to let the resins through. Despite the jasmine, I'd say this is just this side of gender-neutral (well..I think I can pull it off as a guy, anyway). I'm liking this more, the more it dries down, in fact I like it a lot. It's dark, resin-heavy and with jasmine, and really damn good!
  2. Ashmedai

    Gelt-Smeared Dreidel

    [No additional description given.] This needs a good shaking before application because there are small globules of what appears to be cocoa floating in a rather thick, viscous oil. It's been years since I've sniffed the LE "Gelt", but I'm immediately reminded of it - that and wood, I think mainly cedar on application. The cocoa is just a wisp in the background, and I smell a mix of golden amber, cedar and maybe sandalwood. This is reminding me a lot of "Aureus" at this stage. By dry-down, there's some vanilla joining the mix, and a good deal of it. And a hint of dried fruit and baked goods (Fig Newtons came to mind), but it really is so barely-there I'm not sure I'm not just imagining it. Overall it's a warm, golden cedar and amber blend with vanilla and a bit of cocoa and rich pastry.
  3. Przeczucie! I'm just testing it, it's a very sweet pine and fir scent with some barely-there smoke. Or, if you can find it, The Most Magnificent Christmas Tree, a 2011 Yule LE. It's listed as having pine, silver birch and warm woods, but I swear it smells like a Christmas tree dusted in icing sugar.
  4. It's not easy to find, but a discontinued blend called "Tum" might be a good fit. It had the same "grape candy/floral" vibe for me as Purple Phoenix did. Maybe if you post an ISO, someone will turn up who has an unloved bottle, or a decant to test?
  5. Ashmedai

    Vegetal, Vegetable Scents

    I love smelling like a vegetable garden, or a root cellar! I got some great recs here a few years ago, and here are my favorites: Definitely Karme! It's all veg and sun-warmed soil and I can't get enough of it. All and any versions of Planting Moon - there's 2009, 2013, and Planting Moon v5 which may still be on Etsy. Hagsgate: rich black soil and hay, cucumber, tomato, red lettuce, summer squash, black eggplant, arugula, grape vine, artichoke, and a tangle of herbs marred by an undercurrent of vetiver, patchouli, and black moss. Garden of Death (2011 LE): belladonna accord, iris petals, red poppy, acanthus, manioc, parsley, yam, urd bean, chrysanthemum, acacia, and cypress wood rooted in dark, rich loam. Jerusalem Cherry Infused Honey (2010 LE): No scent description, but how I'd review it: Jerusalem cherries are related to cherry tomatoes, and this blend is all about tomato leaf, tomato and honey. The Norn's Farmhouse: Dusty, ancient wood, horehound, and sage, with viper's bugloss, mugwort, chamomile, nettle, apple blossom, chervil, and ashes. (more herbal than vegetal, but the combination does translate to "garden" for my nose) Pumpkin III 2009: Pumpkin, fir needle, pitch, rosemary, and tomato. (the tomato leaf really shines in this one) I love the smell of old-fashioned root cellars and these scents always remind me of my great-grandmother, who still kept one. The smell of dark earth, vegetables and herbs in these blends really does take me back there: Breathless Horror (2011 LE): icy white musk and thick olibanum with niaouli, carrot seed, white mint, and camphor. Mandrake (discontinued GC): http://www.bpal.org/topic/21892-mandrake/ Solitary and Abhorred (2011 LE): carrot seed, East Indian patchouli, white tea, and peru balsam. A Tremor Upon the Lips (2014 LE): Laotian oudh, carrot seed, white orris, and bitter raw frankincense chilled by elemi and eucalyptus blossom. The Mandrake Charm (2011 LE): Mandrake root, olibanum, myrrh, hyssop, basil linalool, and lemongrass.
  6. Ashmedai

    Smell like a Greenhouse

    Oh man, I love that scent category! Here's what comes to mind: Witch-Cursed Castle (The Last Unicorn) Hagsgate (The Last Unicorn) Smite All Thy Borders With Frogges (LE) Virgo 2007 (LE) A Tremor Upon the Lips (LE) The Norn's Farmhouse (Neil Gaiman) Jasmine Cottage (Neil Gaiman) Any version of Planting Moon (including the prototype) are also great, though those smell more vegetal and less like stems or flowers. Same for the LEs Garden of Death, Breathless Horror, Solitary and Abhorred, Mandrake Charm, and the DC'd GC blend Mandrake.
  7. With one exception, these aren't GC's, but it might be worth a look around the forum to find them second-hand: A Blade of Grass: Autumn leaves scattered among blades of grass. (I didn't smell any autumn leaves, just grass) Flying Kites (BPTP): Crushed grass, sweet pine sap, and California wildflowers. Jasmine Cottage (GC, Good Omens): Camellia, jasmine, heather, orange blossom, osmanthus, wisteria, thyme, angelica, freesia, granny’s nightcap, and English wildflowers. (Don't let the name scare you off, I barely smell any jasmine in this, or any florals. Just grasses and fresh herbs, and I could swear this has dandelion too) Venus Murcia: Crushed grass, honey myrtle, and dew-touched green musk. Venus Verticordia: Fickle dandelion florets dancing through honey-drenched wildflowers. Wild Dandelion Single Note
  8. Ashmedai

    International Shipping Info+Questions

    Recently, I ordered from the Lab and from TAL, they were so kind as to combine the order. Same as my last package, which was a combined order from the Lab's Etsy site, the TP Etsy site and the Lab itself. BPAL customer service really is incredible, and it never hurts to e-mail and ask, or put a request into the Paypal notes to the seller. I did pay shipping on each of the five orders, but I was refunded promptly since the orders were combined. I sympathize, I'm international too and often missed out because of the shipping costs.
  9. Ashmedai

    Autumn Scents - recommend the ones you love

    I'm already wearing my various Harvest Moons, Samhains, and Octobers. And Pile of Fallen Leaves SN, La Calvera Catrina, Falling Leaf Moon, etc., etc. It's finally cool here after a vicious summer, the leaves are just beginning to turn and the air already has THAT scent and feel. I love autumn!
  10. Ashmedai

    Chaos Theory VII: Fougere

    Sharply fernlike lavenders and lilacs with a herbaceous, oakmoss-tinted touch. I only bought one bottle of this one since fougères are a little dicey on me, and I don't like the more traditional men's cologne scents in general, which fougères tend to be. I needn't have worried, this one isn't. On application, there's a spitload of honey. I don't like honey and I amp it, so.... This is quite NOT what I expected to be in a fougère at all. I do get a little bit of oakmoss, and a hint of something mildly spicy as it dries down. Allspice? It's too faint to pin down. There seems to be some fern in here too, but it's not fresh and green, it's dark and somehow a little brooding due to the oakmoss and honey. The latter really tamps down everything, and this reminds me a lot of Honey Moon, or Door without the chamomile. The fern does get a little fresher and grassier on final dry-down, but it's still thick with honey and reminds me of a honey-sweetened herbal tea. I'm also picking up a bit of tonka at this stage. It's nice, even comforting, but it's just not "me". It's too honey-sweet and verging too much on the feminine side for me to wear, so off to swaps and sales it'll go.
  11. Ashmedai

    Chaos Theory VII: Woods

    No numbers, so I labled the bottles "A" and "B". This is bottle "A": Oh wow, this one I'm liking a lot right off the bat! Here is the lab's "earth/soil" note as a base and a bit of juniper and...ash? A second light-scented wood I'm not sure I can pin down. I think there's some carrot seed in here too, and that, alongside the soil note, makes it almost more vegetal than woody, and I love BPAL's vegetal blends to bits. As it dries, a bit of dark greenery appears, and at first I thought it was ivy and oak wood, but no, it's oakmoss. I'm loving every note in this blend, whatever they are. It's like a deep, dark and mysterious forest filled with things growing in the warm, black earth, and here and there a dapple of sunlight. Beautiful! This one's a keeper. Bottle "B": Pine, and loads of it, and some other notes that are scrabbling around underneath, hoping to see the light of day. I'll let this dry down for a bit. Okay, there's definitely ivy and I think a tiny bit of cedar too, or redwood (I'm betting it's either the latter or both). The pine softens and gets a bit sweeter as it dries, and this is starting to smell damn good. There's a slight bit of non-flowery floral wafting around too, and I'd bet it's helichrysum and cistus or possibly both. I usually amp honey, but even though here I don't amp it, I'm betting on a tiny bit of wildflower honey in the background, sweetening things up and giving the ghost of the impression of bluebell and phlox. This is really, really good, and I wasn't even expecting to like it. Unlike bottle "A", this isn't a dark scent, more like the scent of a forest and meadows on a mountaintop. Another keeper.
  12. Ashmedai

    Chaos Theory VII: Oriental

    There are no numbers on this year's Chaos Theory bottles, so I just labled mine "A" and "B". Here's my review on "A". In the bottle I smell some aquatic note, which didn't bode well at all, but wet on skin, this turns into a sweet, smoky scent. There's definitely amber and vanilla here, and it's either the Lab's "grey amber" note or ambergris giving me that aquatic note, and I think it's the latter because I recognize it from the Ambergris Single Note. In fact, just sniffing it reminded me of a previous limited edition, and I'm very sure it's that one. As it dries more, I smell a beautiful balsam of Peru note taking shape in the background, and something smoky and incens-y. Frankincense and a tiny bit of cedar, I think, but not the pencil-shavings kind of cedar at all, it's rich and creamy with the vanilla and Peru balsam. Still, I don't like ambergris, and there's still a very slight salty/aquatic note hovering in the background, but I tend to amp notes I don't like, and I amp ambergris to high heaven. So this one is probably going to swaps and sales. Final dry-down is such a perfect blend of all the notes, though, that I'm having second thoughts about swapping or selling it. It's a blend that manages to be clean and dirty-sexual at once, and so perfectly gender-neutral there's no way to decide whether it's more masculine or feminine. I think I'd sniff a man who smelled like this all day, but somehow it's not "me" either. We'll see when it's had some time to settle a bit. Bottle "B": This one is so hard to pin down, it's ambery and sweet with a hint of some sort of red berry. Strawberry? But the more it dries, the more I get watermelon and not a berry at all. Something about it reminds me a lot of Snake Oil (more from the vibe than the scent itself), and there's a little Indonesian patchouli here and a dark, creamy something that could be vanilla but is probably benzoin. There's a bit of white sandalwood too. I like it, but I'm not crazy about it, and the fruit note, subtle as it is, is making this a little too feminine for me, which is a pity because this is actually damn sexy. So this one will go to swaps and sales.
  13. I second Against Idleness and Mischief and Sachs. I'm also thinking of Door from the Neil Gaiman/Neverwhere section: "Golden honey, nicotiana, blue chamomile and cistus". To me it smells like a honeyed chamomile tea.
  14. Ashmedai

    Sleepytime BPAL

    *detective hat on* BPTP had bath- and massage oils called "Holiday Stress Relief" in '08, '09 and '10. and there's an unreleased scent from BPAL called "Winter Holiday Stress Elixir" from 2007 And I second Capax Infiniti for a great sleepy times scent! It's so soothing and creamy. I don't get much lavender from it though. "...there's an unreleased scent from BPAL called "Winter Holiday Stress Elixir" from 2007" That's the one I meant, thank you!
  15. Ashmedai

    Sleepytime BPAL

    I second all of the above recs. One of my favorites is Sleepy Moon. It's hard to find since it's an LE from 2006 (I believe), but somebody may have it to swap or sell. I also have something that seems to be called "Winter Holiday Stress Relief Elixir" (the label is so hard to read). I can't find it in reviews, so I don't know which update that's from, but it's also a nice herbaceous lavender blend.