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BPAL Madness!


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About halation

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    sexy swapper
  • Birthday January 20

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  • Favorite Scents
    wet things. dark things. burnt things. autumn. the copper tinge of cold air. the moon.


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  1. halation

    Black Ice

    2016 version: On me, this starts out as a light, white floral and stays floral. It's a pleasant floral -- and I usually don't/can't wear them -- but no smoke, no asphalt, not much in the way of 'cold' at all, just a slightly icy aquatic hint. It's soothing and pleasant enough but I was looking for gritty, icy vetiver and I found soft and pretty bouquets and I am confused.
  2. halation

    The Forest in Winter at Sunset

    A beautifully colored oil, but no amber for me. In some ways, perhaps a blessing, because I often turn ambers to powder, and this stays true and non-powdery as it warms up and dries down on me. There's no snow note, and nothing particularly 'wintry' -- earthy and a little wet, but none of the mint or aquatic or snow notes that usually signal 'cold'. Lots of mossy, green, wet wood notes. I think there's a little evergreen but it's not overwhelmingly piney. To me this is a wintertime version of the GC scent Cathode. Similar lovely oakmoss, but none of the cooling mint. Instead of being chilling, it's cozy -- if Cathode is wading in a shady brook on a hot day, this is a walk past that same brook with all foliage down and the last of the sun peeking through to warm up the banks.
  3. halation

    Winter (de Tuin Van de Vicaris Onder Sneeuw)

    This is so delightful and clean, in the imp: this is what January should smell like. Fresh and *cold* without having a mint note or an obvious snow note -- it truly smells like fresh-cut evergreen branches and cold air. In my imp, there's some slight separation -- the oil itself is nearly transparent, with golden droplets at the very bottom. Slight agitation blends the oil, and after that, I can detect the benzoin much more strongly. It almost transforms the scent, curiously, but both ways are pleasing. On: still very clean, and much lighter than in the bottle -- it's almost piercing in the imp, but very gentle on the skin. Less cold, once it starts to warm up; the branches get sweeter. It really does smell like bringing a fresh-cut evergreen tree into one's home from the snowy outdoors. It fades as it warms, but that's where the leaves finally begin to come out for me. The evergreen stays true throughout. I have many evergreen scents, but this one is unique.
  4. halation

    In the Wild North

    I've had great expectations for this one -- hoping for something in the vein of Wolf Moon 07 or 11 -- but in the imp this one is scaring me a bit if I'm honest. There's spruce, but a strong plastic berry / fake grape scent, almost acrid, overwhelms it. I'm getting flashbacks to Soothing System, and I'm scared. It's *very* light when applied to my skin, and the Dimetapp notes are fading a little as it warms up and dries. It's a very pleasant snow / sweet evergreen after about ten minutes -- less heavy than a typical Wolf Moon, and with less body / warmth / 'furriness' (because there's no musk). It's a pretty scent, more refined than 'wild' to my nose, but still very natural. Throw is low. I'm very relieved that the berries just turn to a slight underlying sweetness, because they are AGGRESSIVE in the bottle. They do peek out every now and again but their fake quality is greatly reduced. Edit: after a bit of time to calm down, I am finally getting the sweet spruce party others have enjoyed! There's still about a minute of 'oh nooooo' when I first apply, and in the imp I still get an overwhelming fake-grape, but once on the skin, it becomes much nicer.
  5. halation

    Who do I email with questions? BPAL/BPTP contact info

    Oh no! Somehow my shipping address auto-defaulted to my billing address on an order I just now placed. I emailed answers@blackphoenixalchemylab.com but is that the correct address? I hope it's still possible to fix... having packages sent to my home is a bit of a nightmare and this is a gift for a friend...
  6. halation

    Dead Leaves and Sugared Cardamom

    In bottle: Sharp green cardamom and the sort of leaf note that threatens to go aquatic / dryer-sheets on my skin, but I'm being brave and pressing on because I want this to work, dangit Wet: Also getting the 'men's soap' / 'old-fashioned cologne' vibes mentioned above. The leaves are sweeter than I was expecting -- curiously, they feel more 'sugared' than the cardamom does -- and they threaten a little to go in to headachey-aquatic territory, but the spice of the cardamom cuts through the sweetness a bit As it dries, the throw lessens considerably -- it is STRONG when first applied, but tones down quickly. As it dries, it settles, and becomes something closer to the spicy, slightly sweet scent I hoped for. It's not fresh / wet / earthy enough to feel like a roll in a leaf pile, sadly, but it is a nice fall scent, and I'm hoping the leaves tame a bit as they age.
  7. halation

    Wulric, The Wolfman (2016)

    How does something that starts out so sharp blossom into something so perfect and smooth? In the bottle it smells like someone's dumped a lavender sachet into a box of chocolates, but on the skin it turns into such a rich, deep, elegant masterpiece. Very subtly sweet, very subtly musky, very subtly herbal, but the chocolate and lavender are perfectly tamed and even... polite. Not much of a mean streak to this one -- Wulric is very well behaved.
  8. halation

    The Wolf and the Rattlesnake

    Bought this for the name and the mystery! In the bottle: This is so oddly familiar, I know this from somewhere.... – it's a little like WILF, but that's not it... Anthelion! The TAL oil! It's not identical but the candy-sweet note reminds me very much of Anthelion. This makes me a little nervous, since Anthelion did not work for me as a ritual oil. But it's not just Anthelion. There is a LOT going on here: it’s WILF, it’s Anthelion, and there's something a bit like Tezcatlipoca – the sort of ‘peanut buttery’ note from Tezcatlipoca. The incense or the leather from Tez, maybe? It's not explicitly leathery, tho. On: very sweet, surprisingly light – incense, a little furry, but it's sweet fur – again not unlike a toned-down WILF. As it dries down, there's a curious stage on me where there's almost something like cedar -- cedar always goes to pencil shavings on me, and it's doing that here. But I'm also getting the 'craft store' potpourri / scented candle effect others have described here, plus a continued candy sweetness. Dry, it becomes a very quiet, cuddly, sweet and slightly musky scent -- similar to the drydowns of Snake Oil based blends. This is almost a younger sibling to WILF -- not complex in the way of WILF, more juvenile, and a little jumbled, but furry and cozy and sweet. Not really what I expected: I don't get much earth or musk, but it's sweet and comforting. Not a bedtime scent for me exactly, but reassuring, like a favourite blanket -- it does what it says on the tin!
  9. halation


    This one... let's say it definitely does what it says on the tin
  10. halation


    Oops. Should have checked the reviews first. I was in a bubblegum mood and couldn't find my imp of Aunt Caroline's Joy Mojo, so I reached for this frimp. It smelled promising, so I slathered. I do enjoy the scent, but my skin's turning red (from the cinnamon note?). That'll learn me, to slather so wantonly....
  11. halation


    2016 edition, tested fresh. In bottle: Pencil shavings, a little pine sap. Kind of sharp. Some funky musk in there, but mostly golden, fresh-cut hardwood. On, wet: Instantly sweetens up and something earthy comes out. Not exactly musk... more like... dirt? The honey comes out and really opens up as this begins to dry down, and now I'm getting the balsam, as well. Not over-musky, and the patchouli is not aggressive at all -- though it's there, and almost has a new-mown hay quality to it. Not as much throw as I was expecting; this is a close skin-scent on me, and my skin appears to be eating it up. The honey fades after a little, leaving a warm and quiet and slightly dusty pine-scent -- bright yellow pinewood, though, not juniper or evergreen needles. The overall scent impression is beeswax candles set on a pine desk. Not nearly as wild and raw and untamed as you might expect: a refined librarian could get away with this one. Very similar to Aureus, at least on me, though Aureus gets unbearably sharp on my skin, while this stays soft and wearable and golden -- with slight hints, every so often, of something rooty and herbal, like a forest floor.
  12. Undertow hated me -- somehow the lotus turned to an anise note, what even are you doing, skin? But Ultraviolet sounds fantastic, so I'll definitely give that one a try!
  13. halation

    Joyful Dalliances in the Underworld

    In bottle: hardly any leather. Cherry, and cognac, and a vetiver that reminds me of the sadly departed Devil's Claw, and a light spiced almost-peanut-butter note that reminds me of Tezcatlipoca (maybe that's how my nose is reading the leather?) Something about this feels quite syrupy -- the apricot? It's sweeter than I was expecting / hoping, so I'm a bit nervous. On, wet: Starting, a bit, to open up. The apricot is very sweet on me -- it's very definitely dried apricot, not fresh, so it's sweet instead of tart. It's going a bit scented-candle-store on me and I'm not sure how I feel about that. The leather *is* there, somewhere, but it's overwhelmed by the sweetness of the brown sugar and fruit. I feel like a pumpkin spice latte. Still no booze at all. As it dries: Oh, good, the vetiver is coming back in, and a little leather along with it. This is still quite sweet, maybe too sweet for me, but it could be a nice, cosy, winter scent. It's not sexy so much as snuggly, surprisingly. If I had to put it in a sentence: a warm hug from a kind person in a sexy leather jacket -- but very much a hug from a friend, not a lover. Drydown: Settling into a light cognac / spice. The apricot is quieting down and smoothing out to be a warm golden undertone. A little leather, but soft and well-worn, not new-boots or sharp black leather. Not the sexy date night scent I was expecting, but it's cuddly and comforting. I expect it to get better with age.
  14. halation

    Unmanageable Snowdrift

    Love. Love love love. This is my very favourite kind of snow note, and reminds me a little of Wolf Moon (without the pine and muskiness), or possibly The Phoenix In Winter (without the berry). There is a definite fizzy, freshly-opened-can-of-lemon-lime-soda effervescence to the scent, reminding me a little of Tin Foil Hat. There's a very clean mint note, not harsh and not sweet, bright but not sharp. It sweetens as it dries, but doesn't get sticky. I wish I'd bought a second bottle, because I will be living in this scent, come summertime.
  15. halation

    Imp and Bottle Cap Issues (breakage, leakage)

    Add me to the list: just received an order, and I had a frimp cap shear the first time I opened it to sniff. Alas, Beer From The Marshwoman's Brewery, I hardly knew ye. I've never had this happen before but it's just as people are describing. I'm also finding that the imp caps on this order are all kind of difficult to open, which is different and new.