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About valentina

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  1. valentina

    Sweet Patchouli, Labdanum & Ylang Ylang

    This smells like how I have always wanted one of the classic vintage perfumes to smell on me - but they never did. It’s beautifully blended, because I pick up on all of the components — the powder of the labdanum, the sharpness of perhaps a drier patchouli and the tropical, almost banana-like sweetness of the ylang ylang. It has nice lasting power but isn’t an overwhelmingly strong scent, but I just love its retro, feminine quality. Powder and red lipstick and a bit of an edge.
  2. valentina

    Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller (2015)

    I loved the original Mme. Moriarty, and I love the new Moriarty. The newer version isn't quite as much of a butt to the head (in a very, very good way) as the original, but it's lovely. I think there are fewer sharp edges in this blend, with the patchouli and the fruits being less dry, and the musk is more subdued. No aging is needed, IMO, it smells fabulous brand new out of the bottle. This Mme. Moriarty is juicy, voluptuous and sexy as hell.
  3. valentina


    I bought this because it made me laugh and the cause was an excellent one. Having watched all of James Comey's testimony, how could I not love the name and the concept? I purchased it with the intent of giving it to my spouse, but I also tested it, and it is indeed what it's described to be -- a classic mid-century men's cologne, but with strong whiffs of leather and slightly bitter coffee. My husband says he'll wear it when he wants something a little less dark and ominous than his usual favorites, or he wants to smell a bit more traditional, but still has the satisfaction of knowing he's wearing something from the Lab.
  4. valentina

    The Drunk Astronomers

    Credit for some of the first recorded accounts of eclipses are attributed to the legendary Drunk Astronomers, Ho and Hsi, circa 2137 BCE. Ho and Hsi were royal astronomers in the court of Chung Kang. They were in charge of predicting the celestial dance all movements of the Heavenly Bodies. They were also reprobates, and spent a fair amount of their time in debauch, drinking and carousing. In a drunken stupor though they knew an eclipse was imminent they failed to notify the emperor of the event, and they failed to perform the sacred rites that would prevent the celestial dragon from consuming the mighty sun. They were summarily decapitated for creating chaos and confusion in the celestial chain by leaving their duties unperformed. Here lie the bodies of Ho and Hsi, Whose fate, though sad, is risible; Being slain because they could not spy The eclipse which was invisible. Jasmine tea, blood musk, and pale yellow amber. I'm in the path of totality, and I'm wearing this. I'm not drunk (yet,) but I smell great. This is in general a perfect lighter summer scent. It smells sunny and indeed a bit boozy, as in a sweet, nectary liqueur. I usually can smell individual components jumping out at me, but other than the initial rush of amber, which is typical on my skin, the blend holds together beautifully. The dry-down is close to the skin and something that warms up with your skin and smells lovely, but not overwhelming. I'd say a bit more, but the eclipse is about to begin and the sun is shining -- thanks to Beth and Black Phoenix for giving me the perfect fragrance for the celebration!
  5. valentina

    Halloween: Los Angeles

    My spouse purchased this for himself at my urging, but I had to sample it myself, as the scent sounded too intriguing not to try! On me, Halloween Los Angeles is a dry, vaguely smoky sage and chaparral fragrance. It smells more like holding some crushed leaves in your hand and smelling a fire in the distance. On my spouse, it is certainly much more smoky, almost tar-like, rather akin to being in the city smelling a nearby fire, with the burning vegetation off in the distance. I find this to be a fairly masculine scent, but I would love to wear it on a day when I'm in a t-shirt, jeans and cowboy boots.
  6. valentina

    Pomegranate IV

    This is loverly! I am quite fond of Mme. Moriarty, and there is indeed a similarity between the Mme. and Pomegrante IV, except that the anise and thyme of Pom IV give it a not-too-sweet herbal infusion that goes nicely with the almost dusty dryness of the pomegranate and tobacco combination. The red musk and cognac give this scent the warmth that is needed to keep it from turning too bitter on my skin. There's something about this scent that is indeed evocative of that wonderful autumnal outdoors scent, when some vegetation is still green and other parts of the vegetation are drying out.
  7. valentina

    The Hag

    The Hag! She was a deceptively sweet old thing at first, in a rummy, raisiny sort of way. That lasted about 10 minutes and POW! The peppery black musk and earthy vetiver took over -- although not entirely, because normally those notes are too sharp and go bitter on me, and their edge was cut by the sweetness in the blend. There is just something about vetiver that smells like autumn to me, so this is a great chilly, woodsy scent for late autumn weather. It's also very unisex and has to smell equally wonderful on a man.
  8. valentina


    In the imp: Oh Lordy, how yummy. I do love the smell of almond. I think Uruk smells absolutely delcious and perfect. On my skin: Totally changes. Usually I'm an almond and jasmine amper, but when lilies and figs are involved, not so much. They just take over. I get a low-key incense, but I do believe fig is the big offender as far as this blend is concerned. Fig is getting to be a enemy note of mine, because it just blows itself out of proportion. Nuts. After a while my old friend patchouli shows up to help kick the fig's ass into line, but it's too late, the original balance of the scent is gone. Conclusion: I am hanging on to this imp and using it to scent some potporri that I will make from dried flower petals from my garden. That way I will get to enjoy this gorgeous scent the way it should be appreciated. I've never really considered getting a scent locket, but Uruk really make me rethink that decision. My body chemistry can't hold the scent the way that it smells in the bottle, but if I could keep it off of my skin and have that smell around me, I would feel exotic and wonderful.
  9. valentina

    Feeding The Dead

    In the bottle, Feeding The Dead smells a lot like Cockaigne. That sweet cakey booziness. Once it goes on, it gets sharp and fermented really fast, but dries down to become very, very sweet and foody. It smells a lot like the honey and spice syrup that is poured over baklava. That lasts for about 5 or 10 minutes and then the fermentation gets much stronger and sharpens up the scent. Shortly after that, the incense notes appear, and they remind me a lot of the incense notes in past Halloweenies like All Soul's. Pretty! A couple of hours into wearing this, I found that the sweetness and booze had worn off and what I was left with was sweet incense, which is fine with me. My skin does tend to eat sweet scents like a fiend, so my experience with this scent might be different than yours. I found the throw to be relatively strong at first, and then it mellows out a great deal -- this might be a scent that needs a bit of re-application as the day goes on. However, I think it is worth it, especially if you're a fan of those food-and-incense fragrances. I also suspect that this might age nicely and become mellower, smoother and more intense with a bit of time.
  10. valentina

    The Last Rose of Summer

    THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER 'Tis the last rose of summer Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone; No flower of her kindred, No rosebud is nigh, To reflect back her blushes, To give sigh for sigh. I'll not leave thee, thou lone one! To pine on the stem; Since the lovely are sleeping, Go, sleep thou with them. Thus kindly I scatter, Thy leaves o'er the bed, Where thy mates of the garden Lie scentless and dead. So soon may I follow, When friendships decay, From Love's shining circle The gems drop away. When true hearts lie withered And fond ones are flown, Oh! who would inhabit, This bleak world alone? A quiet, solitary scent: white rose, frankincense, Arabian sandalwood, neroli, orris root, and patchouli. What? I'm first? *Looks around nervously* I hope this scent doesn't get lost in the Halloweenie frenzy, for it, like the last days of summer, deserves love and attention. I am so not a fan of florals and I consider rose to be a problem note almost all the time, but this scent was too intriguing to pass up. I've found that a "dirty rose" scent can work on me from time to time, and this seemed close enough, although I suspected that this might be more of a dusty rose scent. In the bottle, my nose smelled all rose and very little in the way of resins. The initial drydown reminds me a bit of what you might get if you blended rose and Anne Bonny -- the sandalwood and frankincese are dry and sharp. After 20 minutes or so, the resins lose some of the edge and it indeed smells like a dusty rose. The scent is lovely, austere and has a rather solitary feel about it, not unlike a lone rose on a rosebush that refuses to stop blooming. This it is not a head-shoppy sweet rose incense scent (and no offense to headshoppy scents, 'cause I love them.) Instead, it is a muted, cool, dusty rose that has an elegance and dignity all its own. It also has wonderful lasting power and good sillage. People who love rose should try this scent and people who are afraid of rose should fear not. Go pay some attention to this fragrance, it deserves it!
  11. valentina

    Gingerbread Poppet

    It's not like I wasn't around the forum during in the years that Gingerbread Poppet was offered, but I'm not a foody fan and cinnamon and my skin don't agree, so I always ignored it. Fool that I was. Last week I was frimped a sniffie of GP, and there was a bit of the oil in the bottom of the imp. It was an abnormally cool summer day and it smelled so good to me that I swiped some on my wrist. Then I fell in love. What a warm, wonderful, comfort scent this is -- foody, yet not too foody. And since the dregs of this imp are at least approaching 2 years old, it's aged into a spicy, buttery scent (with a touch of vanilla mellowness?) that is sweet but not cloying. It smells like fall and comfort and cool brisk days. I put a bit more on yesterday and was stricken with rigor wrist-to-the-nose-itis. It is just that lovely. Not having smelled the fresh-from-the-Lab version of this scent, I'm unable to compare new GP to aged GP, but I am happy to report the aged version is a thing of beauty. It led me on a hunting expedition on the forum and I actually tracked down a partial bottle, to my great joy. It won't be an everyday scent for me, but it will be utter perfection on the right kind of autumn day. I fervently hope that the Lab brings it back this Yule season so I can buy a couple of bottles and tuck them away for aging. **fingers crossed**
  12. valentina

    Velvet Bandito

    Thanks to eBay and a kind seller, I was able to get a bottle of this scent for my spouse's birthday. And of course I had to test it, even though don't like cedar or dusty scents, and from reading the reviews, I knew it had clove in it. And my skin dislikes clove. So in the face of all of that, I did the ol' tootpick test and initially got that hit of clove that has already been reported by previous reviewers. I am a clove amper, so I thought it would only get stronger, but on me, it mellowed nicely in a minute or two. I am also a cedar amper, and expected it to leap out at me, and it didn't. I thought it would get acrid on me as the dust scents rose to the top, and it didn't. OMG! Good things are happening! I find this scent to be a dusty, low-key clove with hints of cedar in the background. I also get a little nose tickle of tobacco. I also agree with the prior reviewers who detect a sweetness from sasparilla or tonka; for me, it adds the velvet touch to the fragrance. And it just morphs into a mellower, deeper richness as the tobacco becomes more robust. I think this is a beautifully blended scent. I would happily wear this as a fall scent on a cool day when I decide to put on jeans and cowboy boots. (I may have to borrow it in October.) And naturally, it is very unisex and would smell great on a man. I am very very happy that I found a bottle.
  13. valentina

    The Two-Headed Goat

    I got this scent for my spouse as a birthday gift, but I went and did the toothpick test because y'know, curiosity and all. I'm sort of surprised that more people haven't reviewed this, and maybe they think it is going to smell like a stinky old goat. Hardly. This scent is a clean man scent and I find it very pleasant. By "clean man," I mean a guy who is fresh out of shower and just put on a bit of a vaguely peppery and smoky musk cologne. I say that because this scent has a clean deodorant soap quality, and yet I also whiff the black musk, woods and pepper. I'm sure I'm smelling some pimento, but it doesn't jump out at me. I think this should be a top pick when someone is looking for a starter BPAL scent for a person of the male variety. It's a clean skin scent with a touch of darkness. It gives off a nice clean guy scent that most men get utterly by accident, when their deodorant and cologne merge into something sort of divergent yet interesting. And that isn't goaty, not one little bit!
  14. valentina

    Crypt Queen

    Very,very, very late to the ball I am. Or maybe I should say funeral, since it is Crypt Queen, after all. I received this scent thanks to the wonders of Ebay and the fact that I am not as spooked by fruits and florals as I used to be. When I first put it on, the words "evil Juicy Fruit" come to mind. It has that really juicy, sweet fruity smell, but with a sinister undertone. When the scent dries, it smells very much like a drier, dustier Mme. Moriarty. The pomegranate predominates, but it indeed reminds me of the smell of a queen's crypt, where the fragrance of drying flowers and fruits, anointing oils and dust evoke a somber, austere beauty.
  15. valentina

    Giant Vulva

    Well, at least on my skin, vanilla flower does not equate to vanilla. It equates more towards to other florals, perhaps in an orchid-exotic sort of way. And my skin does not like that sort of floral, not at all. Nuts. And my skin also amps the crap out of anything vaguely floral, overpowering all the other elements of a scent. Double nuts. So on me, that means that GV gets super-intense, in a sort of bitter, grassy way. It takes a long time to burn off that element, and then I get the pretty, honeyed incense notes that everyone is talking about. But it takes way too long. For anyone whose skin does not do unmerciful things to this fragrance, it should be lovely for you. I had such high hopes, but if I want my honey fix, I'll just grab a bottle of O!