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BPAL Madness!


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About Betula

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    a little too imp-ulsive
  • Birthday October 2


  • BPAL of the Day
    Wax Cylinders
  • Favorite Scents

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    Gardening, botany, medieval literature


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  1. Betula


    I will say that this benefits from age. Back when I first got it, waaaaay back in the olden days, it smelled so strongly of cedar and patchouli, it almost had a ... burnt rubber scent to it? It was bad, y'all. It's likely the strongest BPAL I've ever smelled (second only to Titania, maybe). Time has mellowed it significantly. It's been what, nine years? Now, the burning tire smell is gone. The cedar smell has only amped, but it's nicer now. I ALMOST GET A HINT OF COCOA AND VANILLA, which I didn't before! The tobacco has come out as well. There is definitely a brown sludge at the bottom of my bottle, and no amount of mixing gets it off of the glass. I think I enjoy this now more than when I first got it, but only in small, small doses. Be careful with this one. I might have to try layering it with Bliss to see if it smells better with more cocoa.
  2. Betula

    Dapper Scents?

    Thanks so much, guys!!! I now have a long list of things to try. I'm excited to start ordering lots of imps, haha!
  3. Betula

    Dapper Scents?

    Hi, everyone! I was wondering if anyone has recommendation for 'dapper' scents? Scents that lean masculine or gender-neutral, and seem like they'd go well with a sharp suit. I like 'Wax Cylinders', as an example! Notes that work great on me: leather, grass, beeswax, pepper. I can do aquatics, but don't like to be clubbed over the head with them. I also like florals (I firmly believe flowers are for any gender). I've been exploring my non-binary-ness lately, and BPAL has been a great resource for that. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! : D
  4. Try Chanukkiyah! It's got beeswax, olive oil, amber, sufganiyot, fig, and pomegranate! It's a lovely, warm blend, without a flower in sight.
  5. Betula


    This scent has been at the heart of a long search. In 2010, flush with my first official paycheck in college, I bought a bunch of BPAL. At the time, there was a tiki collection out, and I was torn between buying Tiki Princess and Yvaine. I bought Tiki Princess, thinking to myself, "Well, Yvaine's general catalogue, right? I can always buy it later!" Talk about bad timing. I managed to get a tiny dribble of a sample from a generous forumite, and after that, I spent ten. years. hunting this scent down, finally managing to procure a bottle. Today, I slathered it on. Yvaine goes on very sharp. The lavender, an aquatic, and a lot of musk clash together, clawing for your attention. Then, the harshest of the lavender burns off, and the skies clear, and Yvaine enters its dreamy stage. It smells like velvet, and cool air, and how violin music sounds. It smells like the way a pillow feels. It smells like something your crush would wear, a delicious skin scent that you only really notice when you hug them close. It honestly sparkles. The scent is gray, and silver, and purple, with a hint of blue. The lavender keeps it from being too sweet. The magnolia keeps it from being too harsh. The musk is a soft blanket lying underneath it all. It feels like looking up at the stars. Yvaine doesn't have a lot of throw, and its main 'oomph' stage doesn't last very long, but it lingers. The skin scent phase is reluctant to leave. If you can get your hands on this, do it. It's so beautiful. I think it's the prettiest scent BPAL has released, and its attitude is just like the character it's named after. Thank you so much, to the generous forumite who gifted me a sample all those years ago, and the one who gifted me an empty bottle. Thanks, most of all, to the forumites who let me buy a bottle and a partial of this. You guys have let me rest easy, knowing my perfume search is finished.
  6. Betula

    Abalone Vulva

    This is such a pretty perfume. I think it's one of the prettiest perfumes I've tried from BPAL. It's fresh and sweet, with top notes of sugar and grapefruit. The salt note really is a 'trickle', as described in a review above. I don't get any bubblegum from the lotus, just a glowing freshness. The pink musk is very upbeat. I've always been bad at picking up wood notes, but I think it's in there keeping it all from flying off the rails into too sweet territory. On the dry-down, this has a musk note that is IDENTICAL to the musk in Faith (I haven't tried Hope, but I presume it's the same one). Honestly, this is one of the most 'commercial' BPAL's I've tried, but not in a bad way! Sometimes, accessible perfumes are popular for a reason. I always feel so pretty when I wear this. I think I may get through a whole bottle (which is rare for me!)
  7. Betula

    Fae Forest Atmosphere Spray

    Fae Forest is so comforting. It's everything I wanted Elf to be: sweet, soft, musky, floral, fruity, with a powerful evergreen angle. There's some musk or something in here that reads as warm sunlight. I spray it on my sheets, and I find myself huffing my bedclothes every time I come near, ha! The thimbleberry (a near relative of the raspberry) is the star for me. If you like the berry in Elf, you'll love it here. Overall, it's like an idealized scent memory of my time at summer camp as a kid. Perfect for snuggling down to sleep in. I ordered a goblin squirt, but one day I will save up enough for a bottle in an order!
  8. Betula


    I really, really wanted to like Boots, since it has so many notes I like (leather, grass, wood, lavender), it's gotten great reviews, and I have my own pair of Doc Martens that I wear all the time. This seemed like a sure winner! Alas, it just doesn't work on me. I don't get almost any lavender at all. The grass here isn't the sweet, mown lawn kind found in Queen's Croquet Ground; it's bitter, like someone crushed some ivy leaves in their hands. The dust note is STRONG on me, and it's not really pleasant. I don't smell any leather either, not for a loooong time. Opening the bottle, I'm hit with a woody, bitter, dusty smell. As it dries, the wood becomes stronger. After half an hour of dry-down, it's almost nice! There's a little leather peaking out, and it combines well with the wood. It's still kinda head-achy and dusty on me, though. And it's not worth getting through the powerfully bitter, green smell at the beginning. My search for the perfume grass/leather combo continues.
  9. Betula


    I really want to like Rogue, and it doesn't smell BAD, it just ... Stay with me here, it smells like the inside of a new car. Like you just got into a new car at the car dealership, and there's a fancy car air freshener hanging from the mirror, and the salesman's sitting next to you, and he's NOT greasy or anything, he's actually very well put together (you think maybe he moisturizes with cocoa butter). But. It's still new car smell. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME, I want this to smell like daring misdeeds, not a Honda dealership! 😭 Maybe this will smell better on my husband. Who knows. I believe skin chemistry can be a wild thing sometimes.
  10. Betula

    The Peacock Queen

    I was curious to try Peacock Queen out, so I could compare it to my favorite BPAL rose scent, Rose Red. This is the 2019 version. I think it's a blend of several different roses; there's a hint of the fuzzy, wilted one from Whip in there. There's also some red wine, maybe some skin musk, maybe a hint of wood, but it's all beautifully blended. I enjoy Peacock Queen, but it's almost a little TOO mature for me, you know what I mean? Like something I could pull off better once I'm 45 and have a mortgage and a wine decanter. It smells like rose petals that have been crushed by your body as you've been dancing all night, warm and wilted and debauched. It doesn't last long, but while it's there, it makes its presence felt. If you want a rose scent that takes no prisoners, this is the one you're looking for.
  11. Betula

    Rose Red Hair Gloss

    I hadn't reviewed this yet, but after almost losing my bottle in the holiday shuffle this year, I thought I'd finally talk about how much I love this gloss. Rose Red is pure, sweet, and very strong. It is the most realistic rose scent I've ever smelled before. It doesn't smell like roses from a florist's, which often have almost no smell. It smells like a rose in a garden, one of the antique varieties that knocks your socks off with its strength. It's so pretty! It goes on with a heavy dose of greenery and dew drops, but as it settles and warms up, gradually you can sense it unfolding into a true, glossy red rose smell. It's much fresher than Peacock Queen, which smells wilted in comparison (to my nose, anyway). I think one of the earlier reviews mentioned a hint of raspberry? There's definitely a bit of that as the scent settles. This scent makes my heart happy. It's so strong that I've barely used up even a sixth of my bottle, but not for lack of trying! I hope they release it again sometime, maybe in the 2020 season. It's become one of my signature scents. It's in my BPAL top 3.
  12. Betula

    Apple Sugar

    I must be the only person who doesn't like this. It's high-pitched and artificial smelling. It smells like Yankee candle apple air freshener, with no hint of the 'sugar' aspect. I tried some on my wrist, and it was the only BPAL I've ever been tempted to scrub off. Maybe my chemistry is not working with this one, or maybe my nose is wonky? I wish I got what everyone else was smelling in this one.
  13. Betula


    Bard is delightful. DELIGHTFUL. It's sweet, warm honey and soft musk and maybe a touch of amber? It jumps out of the imp at you, all sweetness and light. The bay rum reads as manly spice to me, which keeps it from being too cloyingly sweet. There's a touch of woods underneath. If there's metal, I'm not smelling it. I am charmed by this bard. It makes me happy when I wear it. It fades into a delicious skin scent on me.
  14. Betula


    I bought this in the expectation that the rose might be the same type of rose in "Rose Red", but it's not. It's higher-pitched and ... sneezy? Drier? It makes my nose tingle. I guess I get why people smell it as a 'wet' rose 'cause it smells wilted, but on me, it's dry at the same time, somehow? Weird. The leather's very cologne-y. It takes a while for me to like this, but when it's just right, the rose is balanced with the leather, and it smells like a sexy cologne. Unisex, could easily be worn by a man, a woman, or anyone in between. I loved this, but it wasn't what I thought it would be.
  15. Betula


    This is the first BPAL scent that I've hated. It was aggressive, the smell gushing out of the imp and filling the whole room. It was BAM flowers, and BAM pear, sickeningly sweet and cloying. I was hesitant to skin-test, but I did ... and I had to wash it off. I have NEVER encountered a scent from the lab as powerful as Titania (a testament to the strength of this mighty queen of the fairies, perhaps?) I'm glad everyone else is enjoying her, but this scent is not for me (no offense, Titania; you're an amazing character, and a strong ruler).