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BPAL Madness!


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About Zorra

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    diabolical decanter
  • Birthday 06/27/1958


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  • BPAL of the Day
    Black Lily
  • Favorite Scents
    Snake Oil and many scents that carry Snake Oil; Mama-Ji; Black Lily; Xiuhtecuhtli; Cheshire Cat; The Scepter of the Empress; Passion Butterfly; Othello; The Witch's Garden; Mata Hari; The Turkish Village; Little Metalmark; to name a few.

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  1. Zorra


    I recently obtained a partial bottle of this and it's probably no longer what it was when it was fresh, but I really like it as it is now. Roses and Lilies with a spicy undertone.
  2. Zorra

    Black Lily

    I can't believe I never wrote a review for Black Lily. It's been a favorite for so long! When I was new to BPAL (2009?) a friend sent me 50 used imps, so I could find out what I liked. My first love was Tiger Lily but I soon found out it was discontinued. So I started a search for a lily scent i would love just as much. In the end Black Lily was the winner. In fact I think I love it even more than I loved Tiger Lily. Black Lily is a soft lily, 'grace in shadow' is a good description. It is a velvety lily. I would say it's a dark and mysterious lily, but I am not entirely sure if that is not because I know it's called Black Lily. Compared to other lily scents Black Lily is a very sophisticated lily. You could wear it to the opera (I do wear it to the opera). You could wear it to a reception at an embassy. On the other hand there is no reason not to wear it when you go for a picnic on a late summer afternoon. If you are not a fan of lily scents, try Black Lily. She might win you over.
  3. Zorra


    This is a strange one on me. From the imp I don't smell much, just something fruity kind of fresh. On my skin at first I smelled nothing, so I applied more. Then it was the same fresh fruitiness that I got from the imp. And then the fruitiness seemed to decide to a soft cinnamon apple? Well it must be the prickly pear, but why is my mind translating it to soft cinnamon apple? I can't blame it on any of the other notes, it must be my weird nose or mind. Or perhaps it's the age of my imp? It is a nice scent, I would take the imp with me on vacation. But I don't expect I would want a bottle of it once I finish the imp.
  4. Zorra


    Seraphim is a scent I have liked ever since I had just discovered BPAL 11 (?) years ago, but somehow always forgot to wear. Now that I rediscovered it I can't stop wearing it. Fortunately I have three imps. Seraphim is plural for seraph which mean burning one. That is not what Seraphim (the perfume) smells like. It is, however, a very angelic scent, a majestic angelic scent. The calla lily is the most obvious note but the frankincense and sandalwood make it majestic. The rose cannot compete with the lily on my skin, something I have noticed with other scents as well. The wisteria I cannot point out, but it's there. This is not just a lily with a frankincense and sandalwood base, there are other flowers in the game. But most important about this scent is that it's a majestic angelic scent. When I have finished my imps I WILL buy a bottle. I won't forget about Seraphim again.
  5. Zorra


    The first thing I smelled when I tried this from the imp, was neither of the notes, it was jasmine! Once on my skin it disappeared, but after a couple of hours the jasmine returned, not a screaming jasmine but a soft and well-behaved one. I wonder if the jasmine I smell is part of the narcissus note. In the early stages I smell a crisp green rose, but like the jasmine it is well-behaved and shares the stage with the other flowers. This is a very floral scent, and the different flowers blend with each other perfectly so that none of them is trying to steal the stage. Seeing what I have just written that doesn't sound much like pride, not trying to steal the stage? But it is what I smell. Pretty non-competing flowers.
  6. Zorra

    Strangler Fig

    I only have the imp, but I think I may need more. Strangler Fig is indeed rooty and woody and part of that is a fig note, but it's the fig wood, not the fig fruit. It doesn't smell very green to me, but compared to other scents with a fig note (which mostly feel dark purple to me) Strangler Fig could indeed be described as dark green. One last edit: I put this on in the morning. In the evening the fig note is the only note I can still smell. I am sorry the other notes have left, I miss the woody and rooty part.
  7. Zorra


    I watched the Tournement of Underdogs before I retried this scent. I knew I had an imp, and today I put it on, remembering it being described as a patchouli scent. So when it warmed on my skin I went 'What? What is this? This shouldn't be there?" I first thought I was smelling some herbal lemon like lemon verbena, but then the patchouli took the scene and I forgot about the strange note. Much later I reapplied a little because I was curious about the odd note, and I also looked at the notes in the description. And suddenly it all fell into place: I once bought rose essential oil that smelled like a beautiful rose from the bottle, but when I put it on my skin I smelled geranium. I think it was in fact attar of rose, a little rose oil in geranium oil. I think that in Rakshasa either the rose is in fact attar of rose, or the scent has a geranium note that is not mentioned. And I wonder why what I smell is so different from what most people smell. ETA: Perhaps I should add that I do smell a rose note as well as a sandalwood note, they are just not very strong.
  8. Zorra

    To My Dear and Loving Husband

    This is so lovely! The champaca is very present, but patchouli, frankincense and agarwood (not oud, just agarwood) keep it round and grounded and the copal and vanilla add some sweetness. My nose does not detect tea, but I am not a tea lover so perhaps I am just not very good at smelling it. In a way this scent reminds me of Smoky Moon 2012 which has quite a few notes in common. But To My Dear And Loving Husband is softer and rounder and more down to the ground. It is very comforting.
  9. Zorra

    Mata Hari

    Quoting my own post of 2016, which I already edited in February of this year. But I must make my love for Mata Hari more visible now that she is in the #tournementofunderdogs. On first sniff, I still don't smell a single rose in Mata Hari. But then I reconsidered and really, the roses are there and it's the roses that soften the jasmine! I do not smell a bright rose, but I do smell a soft jasmine and softness is not exactly something one would usually describe jasmine with. It's the roses that soften her! And then there is the coffee as a dark bitter balance to the florals, and the tonka and vanilla sweetening up the coffee without making this is sweet scent. Mata Hari is not sweet, she is dark and strong with a floral edge. There is a woody base (which no doubt includes the fig note) on which the flowers move elegantly with the coffee. There is no doubt that Mata Hari is one of my most favorite BPAL scents. I can wear her in any season and in any situation. I can take her to the opera or she can accompany me to bed. She really deserves more attention!
  10. Zorra


    I don't know how old my imp is, so I may be missing the more volatile notes. I am glad I don't smell something like orange candy, as I read in a review above. Moscow is a pretty floral on me, with not one of the floral notes standing out. I don't really find a link between what I smell and the city of Moscow, when I think Moscow I don't think pretty floral. It would be interesting to know what the link is.
  11. Zorra

    The Coiled Serpent

    I know I have tried The Coiled Serpent before and for some reason in my memory it was a herbal lemon scent. I don't know how it got tagged like that because it isn't at all. The first thing I smell when I put it on is not the patchouli that everybody seems to get at once, it's vetiver! Perhaps I mistook vetiver for herbal lemon when the imp was fresher and I less experienced, I don't know. What I now smell is vetiver, followed by indeed the patchouli that everybody smells. They are a good team. They are a wonderful team. Together they are woody, sweet in a resiny way, sweet wood. Goodness, I think I need a bottle of this!
  12. Zorra


    I tried Vice before, but in those days chocolate notes immediately went to plastic on me. The good news is: it doesn't do that any more. Hormonal changes can do good. However: the other two notes smell like sweet candy on me. I am not sure if they are both doing it, or just the orange blossom. I have learned by experience that although orange blossom and neroli should be just different names for the same thing, that orange blossom is a candy note on me, and neroli usually is true neroli. So I am deeply suspecting the orange blossom for the candy sweetness, but I would not be surprised if the cherry happily joined in. I might have washed it off, but my cat was sitting ion me so I endured the candy longer than I normally would. And fortunately it does get softer. After an hour the notes have found each other and the result is really nice. However, I don't think I'll wear it often because of the hour of candy before it gets to this stage.
  13. Zorra

    Schrodinger's Cat

    I had never heard of Schrödinger's cat until it appeared in a Dutch book for older children or YA. It appears in a world where those who exist but logically cannot exist fins a place. Plus some visitors from the regular world, who pop in and out when they find the right door at the right time. Even in that world, Schrödinger's cat one moment is there, and the next it isn't. Or as it is referred to in the book: he or she or it, because even that is not certain about this cat. Of course I had to try the scent. It took me a while to get an imp and I did not like it. I don't remember why I didn't like it but I didn't and I put it with my other imps and didn't wear it again. Until today. Because of the Tournement of Underdogs and the fact that I really would love to love this cat (and it has cute bottle art too!) I am trying it again and this time I love it. When I just put it on I thought I rather liked it, it was minty, a bit fruity, a bit floral, something woody underneath. But when it warmed on my skin it got better and better! There are moment when I can smell the chocolate and I am happy to say it doesn't go to plastic - I have been avoiding chocolate notes for that reason but this chocolate behaves on me now. True to the nature of the cat it is hard to say what I am smelling each moment, one moment I think it's the citrus notes, but then I smell flowers, the chocolate and mint are sometimes there and a moment later I wonder if they still are. None of the notes are loud, they are all there but they aren't fighting or screaming. Imagine Schrödinger's cat in a place where there is no time, sleeping on the bench in the kitchen, but when you look again it isn't there and you wonder if you have seen it. that is how it smells to me. (But if you haven't read the book you may imagine it in its box with the fatal vial.) ETA: Reading some of the other reviews I think what I did not like before may have been that some notes DID scream at first. So if that is why you don't like it: allow it to age a little. It will stop screaming.
  14. Zorra

    Squirting Cucumber

    I was on vacation in the south of Spain when I touched the pod of a plant I had never seen before and it exploded in a spurt of wet... well, just that really, wet. Which was quite amazing given the fact that the summer in that area is hot and dry, unless you go to the ocean you don't see a lot of wet. I made some photos and once home searched what plant it could have been. It was then that I discovered that Squirting Cucumber wasn't just a funny name, it's a real plant! I immediately dug up my imp of Squirting Cucumber and realized that I not only liked the image that I now had with the name, I liked the scent as well. I soon bought myself a bottle. This really is a lovely summer scent. It's green, and it smells fresh, but it also has a slight sweetness underneath that is (to me) reminiscent of vanilla. Now I am not saying it's a vanilla scent, but it certainly has a softness you would not expect from the description. I really think Squirting Cucumber deserves more love than it has been getting. I hope it will win more than one round in the Tournament of Underdogs!
  15. Zorra

    A Complex, Wiggly Sigil

    Pomegranate. Perhaps the pomegranate is less sweet because somewhere there are these other notes, perhaps, but I don't smell either ink or oudh - and I am especially sorry about the oudh. I have some oudh scents that I love and I was hoping to add one to them. I even waited for I don't remember how long to allow it to show more notes. But it's still just a lot of pomegranate. This sigil is not complex at all on my skin.