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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Ashmedai

  1. Ashmedai


    Cold - unending, heart-piercing cold - that slices through skin and muscle like a gleaming, razor-edged dagger until it penetrates bone and fills your marrow: white eucalyptus, frosted mint, raw frankincense, davana, iris petal, white grapefruit, and wormwood. I can smell every single note in this right on application. The eucalyptus and mint are both indeed "white", i.e., mild and sweet, not like an ice pick to the brain via the sinuses. The grapefruit is a bit bitter, like the peel more than the fruit, but it's very pleasant and off-sets the eucalyptus and mint perfectly. The frankincense fades quickly, and I smell almost no iris or wormwood at this stage, but there is a rich, sweet background of davana. The key players are mint, eucalyptus and grapefruit with darker, grounding undertones. There is a short phase where I think, "Huh? Wrigley's Doublemint gum?", but that settles as it dries. It smells more like a therapeutic or spa scent than a perfume, which I like. Not sure I'll keep this, since I have other blends that fit that slot, but it sure is nice!
  2. Ashmedai

    Solitary and Abhorred

    Another circumstance strengthened and confirmed these feelings. Soon after my arrival in the hovel I discovered some papers in the pocket of the dress which I had taken from your laboratory. At first I had neglected them, but now that I was able to decipher the characters in which they were written, I began to study them with diligence. It was your journal of the four months that preceded my creation. You minutely described in these papers every step you took in the progress of your work; this history was mingled with accounts of domestic occurrences. You doubtless recollect these papers. Here they are. Everything is related in them which bears reference to my accursed origin; the whole detail of that series of disgusting circumstances which produced it is set in view; the minutest description of my odious and loathsome person is given, in language which painted your own horrors and rendered mine indelible. I sickened as I read. `Hateful day when I received life!’ I exclaimed in agony. `Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even YOU turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid even from the very resemblance. Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred. Solitary and abhorred: carrot seed, East Indian patchouli, white tea, and peru balsam. Wow! Gorgeous patchouli and peru balsam, with the latter dominating more and more over the former as it starts to dry, this is a very resiny blend that reminds me of old, gnarled black wood with a hint of vanilla and olives from the balsam. Dried down, the carrot seed complements it perfectly, adding something earthy and vegetal (something that makes me think of root cellars...I love that smell). I don't get much white tea, but tbh, I don't miss it either. Friends of Mandrake, Garden of Death or The Mandrake Charm will probably love this one, and it's softer, less pungent and less "green" than any of them. Not the patchouli-heavy blend I expected, but I think it's gorgeous and wouldn't change it one iota from what it turned out to be.
  3. Ashmedai

    Vital Fluid

    The breath and tears and pulse of all life; the fluid that flows through all creation, permeating space and time and spirit: olibanum, red benzoin absolute, labdanum, betel leaf, galbanum, mastic, and angelica. Oh wow! Strong benzoin and labdanum, with a hint of angelica - this is stunning on application! Something slightly peppery comes out as it dries, I'm assuming this is the betel leaf (I have no clue what that smells like, so I'm guessing here), and it complements the sweet resins beautifully. Olibanum is very faint, I can barely tell it's there, but it gives this a smoky undertone. I don't smell any galbanum or mastic at this stage, but it's a great blend, especially for lovers of sweet incense resins, which I am. Near final dry-down I can detect a little more olibanum, a touch of mastic and now definitely some galbanum with its green-woody-rooty notes. Star players remain the benzoin and labdanum, making the blend sweet, dark-vanillic and rich, with the rooty, herbacious and deep green note of galbanum right alongside. I'm loving this already, and it's going to age spectacularly - very glad I got a bottle!
  4. Ashmedai

    The Fox Sisters

    For the sake of continuity the subsequent history of the Fox sisters will now be given after the events at Hydesville. It is a remarkable, and to Spiritualists a painful, story, but it bears its own lesson and should be faithfully recorded. When men have an honest and whole-hearted aspiration for truth there is no development which can ever leave them abashed or find no place in their scheme. For some years the two younger sisters, Kate and Margaret, gave séances at New York and other places, successfully meeting every test which was applied to them. Horace Greeley, afterwards a candidate for the United States presidency, was, as already shown, deeply interested in them and convinced of their entire honesty. He is said to have furnished the funds by which the younger girl completed her very imperfect education. During these years of public mediumship, when the girls were all the rage among those who had no conception of the religious significance of this new revelation, and who concerned themselves with it purely in the hope of worldly advantage, the sisters exposed themselves to the enervating influences of promiscuous séances in a way which no earnest Spiritualist could justify. The dangers of such practices were not then so clearly realized as now, nor had it occurred to people that it is unlikely that high spirits would descend to earth in order to advise as to the state of railway stocks or the issue of love affairs. The ignorance was universal, and there was no wise mentor at the elbow of these poor pioneers to point the higher and the safer path. Worst of all, their jaded energies were renewed by the offer of wine at a time when one at least of them was hardly more than a child. It is said that there was some family predisposition towards alcoholism, but even without such a taint their whole procedure and mode of life were rash to the last degree. Against their moral character there has never been a breath of suspicion, but they had taken a road which leads to degeneration of mind and character, though it was many years before the more serious effects were manifest. Some idea of the pressure upon the Fox girls at this time may be gathered from Mrs. Hardinge Britten's* description from her own observation. She talks of “pausing on the first floor to hear poor patient Kate Fox, in the midst of a captious, grumbling crowd of investigators, repeating hour after hour the letters of the alphabet, while the no less poor, patient spirits rapped out names, ages and dates to suit all comers.” Can one wonder that the girls, with vitality sapped, the beautiful, watchful influence of the mother removed, and harassed by enemies, succumbed to a gradually increasing temptation in the direction of stimulants? —Arthur Conan Doyle Deception and despair: rose geranium and tea roses with mahogany wood, bourbon vanilla, and apple peel. I can definitely smell the apple peel, but it's not that meekly-fruity apple note that I disliked in many BPALs - this is red, blood-red, juicy-blood-red apple that's almost aggressive in its boldness. Man, finally an apple scent I like! It settles back after a while, letting the geranium and mahogany have a chance, and what a perfect combination of notes this is! I smell almost no rose and vanilla is hiding back there somewhere, apparent but subtle. The main notes remain red apple, mahogany and geranium, and it's a brilliant blend. Polished, red and mouth-wateringly juicy. Very glad I got a bottle!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. Ashmedai

    Vegetal, Vegetable Scents

    Yes I want to smell like a vegetable garden. From last year's Halloween and Yule updates, I ordered Garden of Death, Mandrake Charm, Breathless Horror and Solitary and Abhorred. All of these have vegetable notes, and I've gone absolutely bonkers over them. From the GC I've also found Mandrake, Beer From the Marshwoman's Brewery and Garden Path With Chickens, which I love just as much. I'm curious if there are any other vegetable garden scents that have gone under my radar, ones that can (but don't have to) contain herbs as well, preferably ones where the soil note isn't all that prominent, there are no fruit notes and where any florals are muted or not present. Eh - that may sound a little nitpicky and too specific, but I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. Ashmedai

    A Tremor Upon the Lips

    The stirring of another’s heartbeat within your chest, the vacuum of a stranger’s breath within your lungs: Laotian oudh, carrot seed, white orris, and bitter raw frankincense chilled by elemi and eucalyptus blossom. Mix carrot seed and oudh into any blend and I'm going to jump on it, but let's see how it works with the more chilly notes here. First thing to hit my nose on application is what I love best - a beautiful woody, softly balsam-like oudh and carrot seed, combining to smell like those root cellars dug underground before the days of refrigerators (my great-grandmother had, and my grandmother still has, such a root cellar, so this evokes some childhood memories for me). I can barely, barely smell the frankincense and eucalyptus blossom as it dries, and neither are sharp or as cold as I expected. On the contrary, they're a perfect and subtle showcase for that gorgeous oudh and the rooty-sweet carrot seed. Thankfully, I get no orris at all, since that's ruined more than one blend for me. The frankincense and eucalyptus blossom come out a little more on final dry-down, but still don't manage to take over the oudh and carrot seed, just enhance it. This is all I hoped it would be, and I might need a back-up bottle.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. Ashmedai

    Witch-Cursed Castle

    Going by the listed notes and reviews, I was sure I'd love this. But somehow the combination of notes turns to single-note RHUBARB on my skin! And it's not shy about it (throw is unusually strong). But I stick it out and by the time it dried down, I'm left with a most intriguing mix of very soft oak, redwood, a soft smoky note of olibanum and a whole lot of what smells to me like tomato leaf and something herbal (thyme?). I'm on the fence about whether to swap it out or put it into my rotation of "vegetal" blends that I like very much. It's very much along the lines of "Karme" or the two "Planting Moon" editions (minus the yummy dirt note), all of which I love. That rhubarb phase though? Oy veh.
  23. Ashmedai

    Sugared incense

    About Midnight from the current Plagues of Egypt fits the bill for me. From start to finish, it's a sweet, sweet incense on my skin, that smells almost exactly like the great scent that wafts out when I open a box of Japanese incense. From reviews I gather it's very different depending on skin chemistry, but for me it's glorious and the best "sweet incense" blend I've tried, next to Loi Krathong, which I'd also rec.
  24. Ashmedai


    NOCTURNUS French lavender, spike lavender, and French lavender absolute, Roman chamomile, wild-harvested frankincense, styrax, bourbon vanilla absolute, bourbon geranium, ethically harvested Australian sandalwood, oudh, mugwort, and opium tar. Wow, no reviews on this yet? Thanks, Honey, for the generous tester of this beautiful scent! This is unexpectedly sweet and light, not nearly as sharply lavender as I was expecting (I normally amp lavender like nobody's business). The sandalwood and vanilla do a lot to tone down the lavender, and so this is more similar to TKO than to anything in the Somnus line, which is what I was actually expecting. I do smell a bit of geranium, chamomile and mugwort, but more as a backdrop for the lavender-vanilla notes, which remain the star players for a while. Dried down, the herbal notes fade, the oudh and opium tar are most prominent, and now I can smell the styrax and frankincense too (at this point it almost reminds me of a lighter, fluffier version of Midnight Mass, more an incense blend than the typical lavender-heavy "sleep" blends I'm familiar with. This is also the best oudh note I've ever smelled in a blend). The vanilla-lavender comes back on final dry-down and joins the incense and light wood notes - this is great! I'd describe it as a much more complex, multi-layered, very incensy version of TKO. The only down-side is that it's extremely light and doesn't have much lasting power. Really beautiful while it lasts, though, and I'm all mellowed out after a stressy day at work, sniffing this - wish I had a bottle. Or six dozen bottles. Nah, make that a vat.
  25. Ashmedai

    Sugared pink grapefruit?

    I second Hungry Ghost Moon '06, also Vampire Tears, an older LE that smells like sugary, incensy grapefruit on my skin. Also Lustration from the GC! It smells exactly like grapefruit to me, peel and all, with lots of sugar and a good dash of vanilla.