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BPAL Madness!


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About greywind

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    a little too imp-ulsive

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  1. greywind


    Chimera inspired me to come back here and post a review after a long absence! This isn't just any Chimera, however, but *aged* Chimera. I like spices and incense, but I amp sweetness and I'm not a fan of foody scents. Consequently I bought a bottle of Chimera roughly seven years ago and wore it in spring and fall. Fresh on me it smells vaguely like sweet oatmeal, which I blame on the honeysuckle. Otherwise it has spices and resins which I love, and it's a soothing, comforting, quiet scent that sticks close. At some point I mislaid this original bottle of Chimera. It ended up in the back corner of the drawer that I use to store BPAL and I must have thought I'd used it up because I bought a second bottle and have been wearing that for some time. Last spring in sorting out the drawer I discovered the lost bottle, but I've absent-mindedly kept using the newer. Today I decided to use up the older bottle before the new bottle is half finished. It's been long enough that the lid was stuck and took some time under a hot tap to be able to open it. The results of this aging are superlative. Where it's usually a little too sweet on me for me to adore it, now the sweetness dies away almost instantly, leaving incredibly rich, smooth, spicy resin.The copal has intensified, the myrrh has become more smoky, and the cinnamon is woody as well as spicy. There are no edges to the scent either, everything blends into one warm, sensuous whole. The oil has darkened too, from a pale gold tinged with red to something that's much browner, similar to Snake Oil. Now my only problem is what to do with this loveliness because I don't want to wait another however-many years to get the same effect. By comparison the "new" bottle (which is also a couple of years old) is very floral and brash. Maybe I will blend my old bottle with my newer one, in hopes of increasing the glory, and buy a new fresh bottle to cellar!
  2. greywind

    In Templum Dei

    I'm a frankincence lover. I'm a sandalwood lover. I like incense and woods in general. From this you can gather that trying _In Templum Dei_ was a safe bet for me, but this exceeded all expectations. It's smooth, slightly sweet woody incense with a nice citrus tang from the frankincence and I am *delighted* with it. This is very much a new favourite!
  3. greywind


    In the imp: vetiver, myrrh, and patchouli On, wet: it starts very woody, and then oddly enough smells like *straw*. I wasn't thinking of the fairy tale itself to make that association, I was thinking that it reminded me of a clean barnyard, and only secondarily made the olfactory connection. Drying: the interesting staw smell goes away, and it's all bitter campfire, the smell of the ashes, not the smoke. Dry: pepper and patchouli over myrrh. Not bad, but not fascinating, either. Maybe aging will help bring out the complexity.
  4. greywind


    Anthelion works for me in a way that White Light didn't. Scent wise it's a gentle, candied lavender with a hint of camphor and spices (primarily clove). Overall, it's a soft, fresh, soothing scent. In regards to effects, it also works gently, as opposed to sudden drama. My life has been full of complications lately: there have been deaths, illnesses, and crises in my extended family, I've had a number of vehicle and veterinary expenses, and most recently I lost my beloved dog, who I doted on. Opportunities have opened up where needed, though -- overtime and a side contract are paying the bills, and wearing Anthelion makes even the worst of the grief more bearable. It's not a startling or quick acting blend, but it works. Highly recommended.
  5. greywind


    This one is difficult to describe. Since I like everything after the lily in the description I was willing to take the risk and try it. In the imp: unpromising, floral and sweet. On wet: much nicer -- smooth and complex, not smelling of any one thing in particular, but very nice. Drying: *Amazing*. Absolutely gorgeous. I can pick out the amber, sandalwood, musk, and green notes, and they're breathtaking in this combination. Not floral, not foody, not overyly sweet. Dry: The crashing disappointment. What was incredibly lovely on me gradually, inexorably turns to the scent of candy floss. Warm, sticky candy floss -- and it stays that way. If only I could keep the middle portion of the scent drydown I would praise this to the skies. As it is, it's sadly not for me.
  6. greywind

    Where is this scent?

    The Gratiae are a sub-category in Excolo, about two thirds of the way down. Edited to add: Oops! Too slow!
  7. greywind

    White Light

    While the scent is lovely, and it certainly induces tranquility initially, this TAL is not one which works for me. My life lately has been hectic -- between work and a death in the family, things have been more than a little chaotic. Initially using White Light accompanied by meditation was effective in inducing a sense of calm, but I found that protracted use (for a couple of weeks) induced a feeling of passivity. If things weren't going well, I wasn't particularly affected because I didn't want to do anything to fix it. Eventually a slow, grinding anger welled up accompanying the passivity, and that was the point where I stopped using the oil. In my world view, it's acceptable to be angry about things one can't change, and remain passive, but it's not right to be passively angry about things when you can do something to fix it. When I stopped using the oil the slow burning anger disipated, as did my passive outlook. I'm willing to accept that the problem lies with me, and not with the oil, but we just don't get along and I won't be using it again.
  8. greywind

    Spice me, baby! The spiciest BPAL blends

    I'm also a spice lover, so this thread attracted me. Out of the newer scents I can recommend Tanin'iver. Spicy cinnamon-ish cassia, and dragon's blood that stays resinous and doesn't go to loud, plasticy lilacs on me.
  9. greywind

    And There Was A Great Cry In Egypt

    Initially this smelled alarmingly generic cologne-y to me. Then I put it on. Soft spiced woods and incense bloomed. The range is subtle, but it clings for *hours*, with no sign of becoming too loud or too sweet. On me the myrrh becomes something reminiscent of the deep richness of coffee or dark chocolate, without being foody -- perhaps cocoa liqueur? Oooh. This one gets added to the "favorites" list as well. If you like subtle wood and resin scents that are gender neutral this is definitely one which you shouldn't neglect.
  10. greywind

    Carceri d'Invenzione

    This is *exactly* the type of scent I was looking for when I first came to BPAL over a year ago. On me it's subtle woods and resins with a kick of spice, and remains that way from wet through dry down. Had it been available at first, and had I tried it right away, I might never have ordered anything else. Why bother, when you've found perfection? (Yes, I know this is BPAL heresy. I can only plead ignorance!) Since it wasn't, and I didn't, my scent horizons have expanded to things I would have never though I would like before. That doesn't mean that this absolute jewel won't be given pride of place in what I chose to wear.
  11. greywind

    White Rabbit

    White Rabbit is something I ordered because I *might* like it. I like spices and citrus, but I don't like sweet scents -- which is a trial because I turn even non-sweet scents sweet. So I uncapped this imp with trepidation. In the vial: lemon and spices and milk and something which reminds me strongly of pie crust? Wet: Oh dear. I don't like milk, and I'm not caring for how milky this is. I'm also not a fan of very foody smells, and something (the honey and linen perhaps) is strongly remeniscent of pie crust. Not a baked pie with filling, but the pre-baked crust how it smells fresh out of the oven. Drying: the black tea scent is becoming stronger, as are the spices. The unfortunate milk and pie crust have faded into the back ground. Dry: black tea and spices over milk and pie crust. Humph. Well, I wasn't counting on liking the scent, so I'm not crushed. There's actually nothing wrong with it, I just don't think I care for smelling like baked goods. Perhaps I'll let the imp sit a while to see if the tea and spices element get stronger.
  12. greywind

    Queen of Sheba

    ... Her scent is a bounty of golden honeyed almonds and a whisper of African and Middle Eastern spices. In the imp: bitter, cloying almond extract This was actually a trial to put on since I found the initial scent revolting. So many blends change so much on me, however, that I perservered. Drying: the cyanotic almond dies down to a sweeter almond with a honey note and some pleasant spices emerge. Dry: what happened? The loud, cloying almond is gone, and I can't smell any honey, either. Just wafting, sweet spices and my own skin. This stage is very subtle and very pleasant. I don't know if I can stomach the initial stages, but I'll keep this interesting frimp and see how it ages. If the spices get stronger and the almond looses it's potency this one has promise for me.
  13. greywind

    Has No Hanna

    This scent is slightly intimidating for me for personal reasons. Out of the vial it was flowery with a greenish background. On it's a strong, sweet floral with a twinge of bitterness. I'm not fond of flowers so I'm no good at identifying them but this is very, very familiar. Rose and jasmine? Or is it jasmine and ylang ylang? Dry it's the same astringent flowers over bitter herbs. As for the intimidating bit: this scent reminds me strongly of my maternal grandmother. She was a stern, formidable woman, so there are no cuddly associations here. In terms of the voodoo effects I really can't say having only worn it once, but my Grandmother's response to low spirits would be chastisement, not comfort. In her opinion the solution to any problem was to *go do something* so I'm going to quit sniffing and thinking and get moving.
  14. This, and the above comment about Scherezade tally with my experience with Baghdad. Personally, I find it's complex and beautiful on me but sensual rather than sexy. The man-friend, however, had a different reaction unique in my experience with BPAL. I held out my wrist for him to sniff saying something like "I really like this one, what do you think?". He dutifully sniffed, and then sat up, clutched my wrist, and sniffed deeply again. His comment was a strangled "That one really, really works on you." He was actually *embarrassed* by the strength of his reaction, but that doesn't stop him from asking me to wear it frequently.
  15. greywind

    Roger & Gallet Gingembre

    You may also want to try an imps of the general catalogue scents Kumiho and Bengal. Kumiho is what I would consider a unisex tea and ginger scent, and Bengal is wonderfully spicy. Depending on how your husband's chemistry handles the honey in the latter, it could also be nice without being too sweet. Sudha Segara is also very gingery, but something in it had a perspiration note to me. That doesn't mean it wouldn't potentially be fabulous on someone else.