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BPAL Madness!


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About Gateau

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    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday June 28


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  • BPAL of the Day
    Lady in Speckled Pink Kimono
  • Favorite Scents
    vanilla, peony, grass, tuberose, lemon, sheer/white/glittering amber, anise, absinthe, fruit, tiare, orchid, honey, cinnamon, carnation, a teeny bit of wood, lily of the valley, chai, incense, tulip, a touch of soft leather, creamy florals, earthy patchouli, pink peppercorn, deep smoky musk, lavender

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    knitting, cooking, reading, trying to turn A Midsummer Night's Dream into a young adult bestseller, sniffing my children's necks
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  1. Gateau

    An Exercise for Healthier Living Atmosphere Spray

    I completely agree with Amoraexcena -- this is a heavy, smoky, incense-y rich vanilla. There is something very "goth bedroom" about it. If that's your sort of thing, or if you loved Black Vanilla and Cardamom Hair Gloss, you will be all over this.
  2. Gateau

    French Vanilla

    I jumped on 3 bottles to stash, but it's not my favorite vanilla (which will forever be the Madagascar vanilla in Celeste). This is really a smell-a-like with Love's Philosophy for me. It starts out with a sort of plasticky or pasty edge that I associate with Tonka. Once it fully dries down and settles in, though, it's a very nice and rich vanilla with a lot of staying power. So I'll muddle through that first half hour in order to enjoy the results.
  3. Gateau

    Sugar Plum Fairy v3

    I got this in a swap from LIzziesLuck, and I hadn't even read the reviews on it before I tried it. I lurrrrve the released version -- that sugary, fruity tiare just screams, well, twirly ballerina fairy to me. It takes me right back to seeing The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center every year. v3 is a totally different beast, but perfect in its own way. This one has a sweet, spicy, fruity vibe, and feels much more Christmassy to me than the released version does. I definitely pick up that lotusy bubblegum scent to it, and miss the tiare. It makes me think of a kid's version of mulled wine with fruit, spice, and candy. I think this will get play from me around Yule time, whereas the released scent feels more like a spring and summer thing to me. So much fun to try the different versions.
  4. Gateau

    Blood and Judgment So Well Commeddled

    I have a super hard time with leather scents, to my eternal frustration, because along with tobacco, there is nothing I like more than the scent of leather. The only ones that ever have the slightest hope of working on me are the ones described as brown, soft, worn, or suede. I love tonka, vanilla, almond, and many ambers, so this was a blind bottle purchase. I don't get the bad cherry-almond scent that others get, but it does start out like a jar of maraschino cherries on me, mixed with that distinctive leather scent that goes a bit......minty. On the drydown, this is very leathery with wafts of vanilla. Still don't love the leather, but it's not the kind I can't work with. Fully dry, this is rather sweet and ambery-vanilla. It's not particularly leathery, but it's sort of soft and I can see the suededness of it. It's the syrupy kind of amber that is my least favourite, but again, not bad. It's staying quite close to the skin, and I like that quality. It's sweet but fairly unisex. Verdict -- I'm going to stick this in a box and not take it out for 3 months. I suspect that what I like about it will come out more with age, and what I don't like will blend itself down.
  5. Gateau

    Apple V

    I really love this wet. It's a glorious tropical whiff of fresh tart apple and sweet tiare, with the warmth and softness of coconut and fig. Then I get what always happens to me with coconut scents -- it turns into a fake coconut plastic. As with all apple scents on me, the apple is going pretty quickly. But once it's dry, it's a really delicious coconut-vanilla on my skin with no remnant of apple or plastic. If I can manage to ignore it when it's in plastic mode, I think I'll enjoy this.
  6. Gateau

    Apple IV

    I really had high hopes for this, because I love blackcurrant, clove, and vanilla bourbon, but it's just not working. I think dark fruits like blackcurrant just do not love my skin -- they tend to turn into a "perfumey" mash. This is a perfect example of that. Apple is always lovely at first sniff, but it disappears really quickly and leaves me with this weirdly sharp fruity perfume. I don't make out any clove or vanilla. I hope someone else will love this bottle, because it really should be lovely on the right person.
  7. Gateau

    Sonnet D'Automne

    I think I order a decant of Sonnet d'Automne every year and then promptly forget how it smelled on me. Hence, i will write a review so I can remember for next year! White musk is not a great note for me, tends to go sharp and soapy. It's doing that again here, and it doesn't bring out the best in the dead leaves note either, which already tends to be a little aquatic and floral on my skin. I'm really not getting any of the amber incense, vanilla, or white cocoa, either. It's a shame, because in theory this one should work very well for me, but it just gets off balance on my skin. Verdict: will keep the decant so I can remind myself next year that I don't need another!
  8. Gateau

    Dead Leaves and Tobacco

    This was my year of going for everything hat had dry leaves or tobacco in it, so this was an obvious choice. Beth's dry leaves note is growing on me. There is something about it that strikes me as autumn floral with a touch of aquatic more than a dead ringer for crunchy leaves on the ground with a hint of chill air, but it gives me a feeling that's close to that anyway. And then it dries down into someone sort of powdery and soft and cosy, like a sweater. Mixed with the crazy-awesome tobacco note, this is a real winner for me. It's a softer alternative to my beloved French Tobacco.
  9. Gateau

    Traveling with BPAL

    I can't imagine any issue. I moved from New York to Vancouver and itemized my entire collection on our manifest of belongings, and it wasn't remotely a question. I just traveled to and from the States to visit family with about 12 bottles, and nobody cared. Don't give it another thought!
  10. Gateau

    Carnaval Diabolique

    Wet, this is SUPER LEMON! It's a lemon curd kind of lemon, very confectionary and strong. Drydown -- the lemon is still very present, but I'm starting to get tropical flowers as well. Dry -- This has morphed into a very lovely, smooth floral. I get mostly heliotrope and tuberose, and the opium smoke blends very beautifully with the richness of tuberose to add a smokiness. I can't really pick out the black musk, coconut, apricot flower, or vanilla, but they're all contributing to the overall smoothness and warmth, and I'm not getting any of the powderiness I get often with black musk. A hint of lemon remains, which brightens it up and keeps it from being murky. It reminds me of a darker, more tropical version of Manhattan, with the floral and the lemon and the darker notes. I really like this, but it doesn't evoke anything like a diabolical carnival midway to me -- it's more a going on a dinner date on a posh beach vacation. But since that's at least an equal fantasy of mine, I'm fine with that!
  11. Wet, this is much heavier on the incense than the almond cookie. Drydown -- Definitely a more incense-heavy scent. There is a longish period where the almond cookie aspect serves only to add a sort of Play-Doh-ish aspect to the incense. Not that appealing to me. A couple hours later -- I like where this ends up. It smells like nice fresh warm almond cookies eaten nearby an incense burner. The doughiness goes away. I need to see if this final phase has enough strength and staying power with a fuller slather to be worth it.
  12. Gateau

    Jiggery Pokery

    Wet I really like this -- I can make out the pink pepper and sugary, creamy cotton candy, with a really nice blast of orange peel. Drydown -- uh oh, this turns into a dead ringer for the Sprinklecake fail -- that bad musky fruitiness I got from the fruity version. I think sugary scents and I have a troubled relationship. Dry, a couple hours later -- now it's what I really wanted -- a warm, creamy, vanilla cotton candy with a hint of pink pepper and orange. The question is -- is it worth getting through a couple hours of strong dislike to get to the final phase? Is the ultimate cotton candy scent strong and long-lasting enough to put up with it? Only time will tell.
  13. Gateau

    Alma Venus

    Now that my bottle has been sitting and settling for a couple of months I've been able to give it a proper wearing. In the bottle and wet, this is quite orangey. There is a lot of orange rind and oil, rather than a juicy sort of orange. I always love how that orangey bitterness combines with tuberose and wood notes (this is what I love about Geisha in an Orange Kimono). There is also a light breeze of the blossoms. Dry, the orange notes fade away, which is typical on me with orange scents. What is left behind is an ambery, musky richness in which the depth of tuberose is softened by the beeswax. I don't get a strong cedar at any point (so no worries if you are a cedar=pencil shavings person), but it's there contributing to the depth. This also isn't a strong honey scent on me, so none of that cloyingness or powderiness you can get witih honey. Verdict -- this is a very wearable floriental type fragrance on me. It's rich but not too heavy or showy. I'd love it if there was such thing as a long-lasting orange scent on me, but since there isn't I can just enjoy it while it lasts.
  14. Gateau

    A Lady Tall and White

    In the bottle and wet, this is a total blast of aquatic, ozone snow, and honestly, it's not my favorite smell. I was hoping for vanilla with rich sandalwood and a kiss of snow. Once it's dry, that snow recedes, and now I'm getitng mostly sharp, white sandalwood. This is not my skin's preferred sandalwood, and I probably should have anticipated it since this is a very white scent description. Well into the dry down, I smell the vanilla on more equal footing with the sandalwood -- a good thing, because often scents describing their vanilla content don't leave me smelling it at all except as some kind of grounding note. Definitely a chilly scent -- this is not something I'd put on when I want to wrap myself in vanilla. But if I can tolerate that opening aquatic phase, it could turn into something quite nice. Wintery and a little less intimate than other vanillas I like. I'll hold on and see what kind of settling it does.
  15. Gateau

    Sugar Plum and Vanilla Bean Atmosphere Spray

    Just got my eagerly awaited Sugar Plum and Vanilla Bean, and sprayed around my bedroom. It smells like I crawled into a bottle of Sugar Plum Fairy, and that makes me super happy. It's sweet, but it's not all sugar, and I suspect that people wandering through (aka husband and children) will just notice that is smells NICE in there, not that it smells like a Fairy Princess or anything.