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BPAL Madness!


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About styro

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    evil enabler


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    Ontario, Canada
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  • Favorite Scents
    ... ~Signature Scents~ Anne Bonny, Dorian, Dublin, Phantom Queen, Singing Moon, Snake Charmer ~Other Favourites~ Aziraphale, Bewitched, Black Lily, Bordello, Calliope, Clio, Dee, Dirty, Glasgow, Himerus, The Jersey Devil, Juke Joint, La Bella Donna Della Mia Mente, Mme Moriarty, Nyarlathotep, Pele, Pirate Moon, Queen Mab, Red Moon, Regan, Scherezade, Swank, Thaleia, Tintagel, Xiuhtecuhtli ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My reviews often include scores from my three regular enablees, so here are their scent profiles as well... ~BlueMoon~ foodie/vanilla/berry/gardenia (e.g., Midway, Antique Lace, Dragon's Milk, Blood Countess)--hates patchouli but loves Snake Oil ~Verona~ patchouli/spice/rose (e.g., Sin, Snake Charmer, Bastet, Othello, Rose Red)--likes what BlueMoon hates and vice versa ~Ash~ woodsy/clean/spicy (e.g., Dublin, Embalming Fluid, Santo Domingo, TAL Lionheart)--a bit eclectic in her tastes


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  1. styro

    Scents to Curb Your Cravings

    I realize this is an obvious suggestion, but have you tried Detox? With regard to the regular catalogue scents, I seem to recall a reviewer of Shanghai noting that it helped to curb her cravings. Best of luck!
  2. styro

    Scents For The Stacks

    Just to clarify...have you tried any of the scents that are specifically library/book-themed, e.g., Dee, Aziraphale, The Lurid Library? I realize that Dee has leather as a note, but I also find that it's one of those strong, long-lasting scents that holds up well against various environmental conditions. And Aziraphale is very clean, especially in the early stages, if that's what you're looking for. Another thematically-appropriate GC would be Clio: it's got amber, but the orange-lavender combination definitely makes it clean and fresh.
  3. styro

    Discussion of all things Amber

    Same here! (And Tamora gets such raves--I really wanted to like it!) Hmm...maybe it's just my skin, then. I do keep scents topnote-y for a looong time, so perhaps I'm getting a prolonged version of the initial cologne-y phase that certain scents are described as having. I did order The Emathides based on your rec, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that one works out.
  4. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions and great stories! It's a bit of a conundrum, because--while there is a sailing connection that I'd like to draw on for her--she's also very much a girly-girl, and in my experience a lot of the pirate scents are either bold and woody or slightly masculine-cologne-ish. (Also, since I don't want to be forever known as The Bad Aunt, I need to avoid the ones with things like "harlot's perfume" in the description. *g*) I haven't tried Calico Jack yet: I'll definitely look into that one--thanks!
  5. styro

    Looking for something to complement London

    I really like Maiden layered with London: the rose of London is a bit much for me on its own, but it has a lovely softening effect on the sharp cleanness of Maiden...while Maiden, in turn, renders London a bit less like scented drawer-paper. (Conceptually, Maiden comes across to me as Jane Austen-like in its astringency, while "Maiden in London" is much more Georgette Heyer-ish. *g*)
  6. styro


    Bliss was the first-ever chocolate-scented BPAL to be sampled by me and my enablees, and my foodie-scent-loving friend in particular was looking forward to it. I read out some review excerpts--of the "OMG chocolate truffles!" "Chocolate cake batter!" "Wonderful scrumptious CHOCOLATE!!!" variety--to the group, and then we ceremoniously opened the imp and swiped ourselves with our little cocktail sticks. "It...smells like poo!" cried my foodie friend, aghast. Around the table, people grimaced in response: "Yes, poo, definitely poo," they murmured unhappily as they fled to wash off their forearms. The poo-smell must have got better on at least a couple of us, because I see from my notes that my foodie friend and I both wound up giving Bliss a 2 out of 6 (mild dislike). My woodsy/clean/spicy friend and my rose/patchouli/spicy friend both had to wash their arms, and accordingly gave Bliss a 0 out of 6. One guest enablee gave it a 1 (she thought it smelled like potato chips) and the other loved it and gave it a 6...so at least one of us got some bliss out of Bliss.
  7. styro


    A gentle white scent, breezes laced with the scent of springtime blooms and citrus. Lemon, lemon verbena, neroli, white musk, white florals, white sandalwood, China musk, bergamot and a drop of vanilla. Zephyr sounds like my kind of scent from the description, but something here smells very off on my skin. I'm guessing it's the musk: something similar happens to me with Black Pearl and Morocco--though not with all light/white/warm musk scents--so perhaps there's some subset of that category that I just can't wear. Like Black Pearl, Zephyr starts off better than Morocco on me, but the "off" note in it persists longer. I can't really describe this "off" note--it's not "sour milk" or "diapers" or anything I can put my finger on; it's just vaguely nauseating to me. I give Zephyr a 1 out of 6 (strong dislike). Surprisingly, my extremely picky rose/patchouli/spice-loving friend--who doesn't like citrus or vanilla and is nauseated by BPAL scents far more often than I am--gave Zephyr a 3 out of 6 (which is quite high for her). Skin chemistry is a mysterious thing. Edited to add scent description.
  8. styro


    Such glowing reviews for Sundew! I was so excited about trying this one, but sadly my experience of the scent was very different. Sundew was a mildly pleasant wake-up morning scent on me at first, but then went a little funky on the drydown. I gave it a 3 ouf 6 (neutral/meh). Also out of 6... My foodie friend gave Sundew a 1 (strong dislike). My woodsy/clean/spicy friend gave it a 3. My rose/patchouli/spicy friend gave it a 2 initially, then a 0 (it was perky shampoo on her at first, then she had to wash it off). A guest enablee gave it a 3.5...so she got the imp.
  9. styro

    Strangler Fig

    I found Strangler Fig pleasant enough when I first tried it at a meet 'n' sniff, so I initially gave it a 3.5 out of 6--but on testing it again at leisure, and comparing it against other fig scents, I found that I'm not as fond of Strangler Fig as I am of Hetairae, The Apothecary, or Nemesis. Strangler Fig wafts like mad, which is nice, but there's a low-key but nevertheless somewhat cloying earthy-powdery sweetness to it that I'm not enjoying, so I'm giving it a 2 out of 6 (mild dislike). [Note: my skin does tend to amp the sweetness in scents.] Also out of 6... My foodie friend gave SF a 1 (strong dislike). My woodsy/clean/spicy friend gave it a 3 (neutral/meh). My rose/patchouli/spicy friend gave it a 0 (after smelling it in the imp, refused to try it on her skin). And a guest enablee also gave it a 0 (had to wash it off).
  10. styro


    Another Canadian here, so I really wanted to love this scent... Vinland's clean and fresh to start, with a minty aspect to it which I imagine is from the birch bark; the blend becomes noticeably sweeter after a few minutes (my skin doing its usual sweetness-amping thing?), then gets very rosy--in a bath-beady way--on drydown. This is...not as bold as I was expecting. From the reviews and the concept, I was hoping for in-your-face icy-wind woodsy-meadowy outdoorsy freshness, but for me, Vinland pales next to Dublin or even Glasgow. In its minty-cool early stages, I give this a 3 out of 6, but the pretty rosiness of the drydown is really not me, so at that point, Vinland is more like a 2. My foodie-loving friend gives Vinland a 2 out of 6; my friend-who-also-loves-Dublin gives it a 1; and my rose/spice/patchouli-loving friend gives it a 1.
  11. styro


    Red rose isn't a great note on me, and sure enough, Whip is "meh" on my skin--I give it a 2 out of 6. My foodie-loving friend gives it a 1; my clean-and-spicy friend gives it a 2.5; and my rose/spice/patchouli-loving friend gives it a 4 out of 6 (which is a really high score for her; she's hard to please). I was afraid the leather would turn her off, but she says she gets no leather from Whip--just rose, and she likes the rose.
  12. styro

    Nuclear Winter

    I like mint scents, and this one's nice enough scent-wise, but I found myself too weirded-out by the name and concept to wear it. I gave it to friends who are made of sterner stuff, and they said it was a great scent for the oil burner. So, 2 out of 6 from me, and at least 4 out of 6 from them. *shudder*
  13. I may be putting imp packs together for a couple of nieces, and I've taken note of the earlier recommendations in this thread, but I just wanted to ask whether anyone has any recs for pre-teen-appropriate scents from among the newer GCs (or easier-to-find LEs). Hermia, for example, sounds great, but what about Helena? And would any of the new flowers in Rappaccini's Garden be suitable? (Do I need to watch out for inappropriate double entendres in any of the names? *g*) And a more specific question: out of all the nautical/pirate/sailing-themed scents available, which strikes you as most wearable by a preteen girl? Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  14. styro

    Queen Gertrude

    Queen Gertrude is the scent that introduced me to the dreaded "going soapy" reaction: she was pleasant enough on my skin for about half an hour--then, soap. (Useful for washing off the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, perhaps, but not otherwise enjoyable.) 1 out of 6 from me...and from five of my enablees, QG got three 2s and two 1s. Sorry, beauteous majesty of Denmark.
  15. styro


    I test BPALs with a few enablee friends: we all have different tastes, so it's not unusual for only one out of the four of us to like a scent. It is rare for all of us to strongly dislike a scent (and usually, in such cases, jasmine is the culprit). And then there's Aeval. Before swapping away a frimp I later received of this scent, I actually had to come back and read the positive reviews in this thread to remind myself that skin chemistry is different and that many people love Aeval--because I personally have had such a negative experience with it. My three regular enablees and I all rated it a 1 out of 6, while two other friends each gave it a 0. I get a slightly sharp/astringent/bitter herbal note from Aeval at first, combined with a sweetness--the sharp note fades on drydown to leave the sweetness behind. This is one of those scents that smells different on my skin and in the air, though: still too sharp and bitter up close, definitely too sweet when wafting. I've enjoyed three out of Aeval's four listed notes in other scents, so I'm guessing my problem is with the sweet pea. My enablees found it soapy. I have an ammo box for "misfit BPALs" that didn't really work for me or any of my friends. Aeval, however, I keep in a separate container entirely so that its scent can't get on even my unloved imps. (Yep, on the Island of my Misfit BPALs, Aeval is Piggy.)