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BPAL Madness!


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About strahlend

  • Rank
    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 03/05/1976


  • Location
    Portland, OR
  • Country
    United States

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  • BPAL of the Day
    Mad Hatter
  • Favorite Scents
    The Macabray, Lysander, Pisces, MAD HATTER, Anne Bonny, Jolly Roger, Marquis de Carabas, Vixen, Ravenous, Muse of the NIght, Inextinguishable Hatred, Black Lily, Cathedral, Penitence, Tombstone, Rogue, Our Lady of Pain, Heretic, Snake Oil, Crowley, Mlle Lilith Fortune Teller .... and many, many more. ♥ BPAL makes me love notes I've never loved before ♥

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  1. strahlend

    A Witch Riding on a Dragon

    First sniff – dragon's blood and patchouli are what I smell first. I like it very much. Testing – I would think that there was a drop of ginger in here? I get a bit of the scorched oak, but just a hint to darken it up a bit, not overwhelming. Mostly a dark dirty patch and the dragon's blood that smells like it has a snap of ginger in it. Dries down to a nice sweet, if somewhat powdery, dragon's blood.
  2. strahlend

    Dead Leaves, Bourbon Vanilla, and Myrrh

    Testing – at first it's autumn leaves as featured in many other blends, but!!! on the skin that immediately burns off and I'm smelling the most gorgeous myrrh and smokey musky vanilla. This really is quite lovely. In the dry down I feel like I'm smelling a finish of oakmoss.
  3. strahlend

    Départ Pour Le Sabbat (Aufbruch Zum Hexensabbat)

    First sniff – very vanilla sweet with just a hint of the patch. Testing – On the skin this reads very much like Velvet Dogs Playing Poker Lite. Although, it is quite strong and might not be Lite at all. Thick and sweet with a syrupy patch and what might be oudh. I might guess that the smooth wood in VDPP is oudh and that Irish coffee is cousins with goat's milk accord w/ honey. If you would like to try Velvet Dogs and can't find it, this would be a very acceptable substitute.
  4. strahlend

    Witches' Kitchen

    When scents have this many listed notes I sometimes worry that it will be more of a cacophony than a wearable scent. Such is NOT the case with this scent. There is a very real, sweet, herbaceous, soft, green feel to this scent. No note in particular sticks out - it reminds me of a mild, leafy, green, sweet sort of scent that feels like a blend of lettuce leaf and sweet pea flowers. I would never pin this as a honey, bay rum, or myrrh scent. The whole really is an amazing effect. I would say that is it soothing, gently refreshing, and amazingly beautiful.
  5. strahlend

    A Grievous Swarm

    First impression – vetiver and black pepper come through clearly. Skin testing – it is strong vetiver, but not as scary as it would seem in the decant. The bit of tobacco does sweeten it up and round it out. The cardamom is throwing me off, it just doesn't seem to fit with the other notes, unfortunately it has quite a presence in the blend, at least initially. After a few minutes the vetiver does come back and interwine with the cardamom, thankfully. It is now striking me as a spiced dry wood scent. It's bringing to mind things like understated aftershave and the inside of a cozy wood cabin. The vanilla and tobacco seem to be the base of this scent and they really come in and save the day. I wasn't even going to skin test this because it seemed so strong and plain in the decant, but it has developed into an unexpectedly delightful scent. This is why we always skin test, I should know by now. It's still not something I think I need a bottle of, but it is very different and much nicer than I thought.
  6. strahlend

    Upon Man and Upon Beast

    First impression – this one is hard to pin down. It does kind of smell like lite patchouli and cherries, but the notes in the decant are rather elusive. Skin testing – warm and sweet patchouli. The resins are lending a bit of sharpness to the background. A few minutes later and something more astringent is coming forward, smells like vetiver, but must be the opoponax? A few minutes later and things are mellowing out again, but still predominantly the kind of astringent, sharp opoponax mixing with the dry patchouli. It's a dry patchouli without any the sweetness. And that seems to be where it sits in the late dry down, dry sharp resin with a bit of dry sharp patchouli.
  7. strahlend

    Three Dayes

    First impression – like spilled sour wine in an old ashtray. Skin testing – initial impression plus the undercurrent of whiskey, which is actually an improvement. Whiskey, a splash of wine, and some additional red currents. Not as bad as I suspected. The ashtray does come back though. It seems like there are a wide variety of interpretations of this scent, it certainly is an interesting experience.
  8. strahlend

    They Shall Eate the Residue of that which is Escaped

    First impression – very much vanilla mint as in the “Lick It” series, but I'm guessing that this one really develops on the skin when the mint blast wares off. Skin testing – goes on smelling as described above. Vanilla mint lick it. After just a few minutes I think I'm getting the slightest hint of rosewood. It's really mild and adds an interesting dimension to the vanilla mint, a bit of depth. It is used very sparingly, and somehow bridges the sweetness of the vanilla and sharpness of the mint. Not a combination I would have expected to work. Something about the sweet/sour/ astringent of the rosewood combines with the sweet/mint/sharpness and brings it all together. In the dry down, the rosewood has merged into the vanilla mint, creating a whole new beast out of the whole lot. It's quite lovely and unusual. I can smell the roseyness of the rosewood in there, but the other notes have rendered it an interesting feature rather than the stage hog that it usually becomes. Far more prominent is a sort of sweet, woody, mint. I lump all the green notes in with mint because I'm sure that they are what is making this lovely green note come together and hold rather than fade away. Quite lovely. One of my two favorites from this series.
  9. strahlend

    Smite All Thy Borders with Frogges

    First impression – reminds me of other bog smells but without the putrid element. It's like a green oakmoss with a little bit of spice, I think the vetiver, cucumber, tomato leaf – those make sense for this sort of chlorophil juicy green notes. Interesting. Skin testing – goes on weird, but not unpleasant. Boy, this is a hands down winner for most unusual. I feel like little bits of all the notes show up here and there. There is a top that is a little bog gas unpleasant and a bottom that is holding it all together just barely. Not something I would call wearable. Ends up way late in the dry down being a sort of faintly green musk. For a while there though it almost made me feel sick to my stomach. An interesting sniffing experience, but not all together pleasant.
  10. strahlend

    Fire Mingled with the Haile

    First impression – reminds me of the hay note in Gunpowder with a sweet and soapy aquatic note. My impulse is to love it, but I know that after a time this usually smells like cloying bathroom soap on my skin. There's also something just a little minty toothpaste in here. Skin testing – This smells as bad on my skin as I feared it would. It unfortunately reminds me of strongly scented toiletry products, like it's designed to cover unpleasant odors.
  11. strahlend

    Blood Throughout All the Land

    First impression – sort of medicinal and green, also a bit sour/astringent smelling. I think it's mostly the olive wood and juniper. Skin testing – a little bit of green, a little bit of vicks vapo rub, a little bit rooty, a little bit sour wood. Even when it mellows out a bit it still smells rooty and sickly green. The notes just clash in an unpleasant way. Mellows out a bit and sweetens up. The “blood” is coming up and saving this blend. It's still not good, but it's a lot better. There are probably at least 10 other "blood" blends that smell better than this, so it brings nothing necessary to my collection.
  12. strahlend

    All the Dust of the Land

    First impression – lots of almond. Skin testing – goes on smelling acrid, sharp, kind of unpleasant. Pungent patchouli, perhaps? After a few minutes it does start to calm down a bit, as is the way of our people. Still not an appealing scent. The bitter almond and black patchouli with the bitter cinnamon. It all combines into a pungent mess. No thank you.
  13. strahlend

    About Midnight

    First impression – vanilla sandalwood, as stated. Skin testing – super vanilla, but certainly not foody. I think I'm smelling mostly the cedar and sandalwood, which I like. A vanilla scent is never going to set my world on fire, but it's nice to smell a nice non-foody vanilla. It's rather light, I have to get my nose right there to be able to smell it. Fades off pretty quickly.
  14. strahlend

    A Very Grievous Murraine

    First impression – very much that cherry red musk that reminds me of head shops. Skin testing – same as in the decant. It's like a summertime red musk though because often times it is paired with heavier or spicier notes that make it seem rather thick. This is much lighter and more wearable. I'm not getting myrrh. Any brown musk and leather are soft and smooth. They do come forward after a few minutes, the musk and leather. But all together this still feels on the lighter side of musky leather blends and it is a welcome alternative to the super thick heavy blends those notes usually appear in. Pretty and nice. Much more on the incense side. Late in the dry down it's still a lovely incensey presence wafting around. Long lasting, but never overpowering, an unusual combination. One of my two favorites in this series.
  15. strahlend


    Review of scent only: Lemongrass is the dominant scent. It combines with the lavender to create a sort of sweet and tart fragrance. (not sweet-tarts candy)