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BPAL Madness!


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About Ishtar

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    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday January 29


  • Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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  • BPAL of the Day
  • Favorite Scents
    Favourite notes: vanilla, black musk, amber, wood, tea, lemon, iris, coconut, incense, spice. Favourite blends at the moment: Bakeneko, Opuhi, Khandita, Golden Priapus, Tamora, Chimera, Pumpkin Queen.

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  • Interests
    Foreign languages (currently learning German). Cross-cultural studies. Applied psychology. Interior design. Vintage fashion. Sewing. Old house restoration.
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  1. Ishtar

    The Zieba Tree

    A very light green scent on me - the first comparison that comes to mind is high-end shampoo. Not unpleasant, but this is not my favourite fragrance family and I already have a couple of scents that fit the bill nicely on the rare occasion when I feel like wearing something green. Still, I am keeping the imp to scent some lotion or hand cream, as it really has that spotless modern spa vibe to it.
  2. Ishtar

    Implacable Beautiful Tyrant Hair Gloss

    I am with stellamaris on this - I can hardly smell it, alas. In the bottle, it is an unusual combination of airy, dry and cloying that is a bit offputting. As I apply it to my hair, I can tell it starts blooming to something else - there is an appealing dry leaves / smokiness autumnal theme going on here... and then - poof! It's gone. Oh well.
  3. Ishtar

    Banana Cream Pie Bath Oil

    I absolutely love this - my first BPAL bath oil! Like many people, I use it mainly as a moisturizer, but I have tried it both in the bathtub and applied directly to damp skin, and both ways work well for me. The cream / pie crust note is noticeable at first, but it is fairly unobtrusive and dissipates after a while. It reminds me of the pastry note in Blackberry Jam and Scones, only much milder. The banana smells fairly realistic to me. Overall, this is a fun, sunny scent that never fails to put me in a good mood! It's been wonderful at soothing the tight, itchy winter skin on my lower back, but I sometimes apply it to my hands only when I have a craving for the scent. It sinks in right away and doesn't leave my hands greasy. My only regret is not having ordered two, as the bottle is on the small side and sees almost daily use.
  4. La Befana (the version from several years ago, I haven't tried this year's) has a lovely violet-flavoured licorice tinge to it. It is a multilayered scent - at least to my nose - so the licorice is not necessarily front and centre, but it's definitely there! It's a quirky but not too bold gourmand-type scent that's very wearable.
  5. Ishtar

    Queen Alice

    This is fairly different from what I had imagined based on the scent description - which can only be a good thing, as I really dislike carnations! I was pleasantly surprised at first when I got the red fruit/apple cider combination several other people have described. The wine note seemed promising. Unfortunately, Queen Alice became fairly nondescript as soon as it started to dry down. The carnation did make its presence known for a moment or two, but melded back into the spicy background after a while. All in all this is not an unpleasant scent, but it tends towards musty and slightly soapy on my skin. While the spicy sweetness is an interesting twist on the usual floral blends, it is ultimately too old-fashioned and too similar to several other GC for me to keep.
  6. Ishtar


    This is very light on me, which perhaps was to be expected given the number of airy notes in this blend. Still, I was surprised to find the black musk unconspicuous to the point of being nearly unnoticeable. There's none of its usual lemon-tinged powderiness to be found here. The most prominent notes on my skin are the jonquil, tea leaf and clove. What I had pictured in my mind as an opulent, exotic scent turns out to be a well-behaved floral with a slight touch of honey. Very pretty and office-appropriate. - Updating this review several years later to mention that Liaison has aged spectacularly well. I didn't have high hopes in that department given how light this had started out, but... wow! The black musk and honey have both come into their own after years of aging, and the whole blend has blossomed into one of those warm, creamy florals with a touch of powderiness that BPAL does so well. It has gone from pretty and rather innocuous to sensual and elegant at the same time. Simply fantastic!
  7. Ishtar

    Creeper Dragon

    This is pretty low key for a leather and dragon's blood blend. All the notes listed seem to point to a sweet warm scent, but on me Creeper Dragon is unexpectedly dry and green. I get no honey nor cream, and the dragon's blood comes across as almost brittle - certainly a lot drier than the bold, fruity DB the Lab usually uses. The concept and the illustration were too good to pass up, although I wasn't convinced this was going to work on my skin. After wearing it a few times, I came to the conclusion it's not really "me". It's not bad by any means, but it's a bit disjointed and a touch too dry for me.
  8. Ishtar


    On me, Öndurdis is very, very similar to Snow Bunny, only a bit sharper and more bracing. It has that same fragrant pine and berry combination hovering above a pristine bed of fresh snow. As airy and crisp as it is, it has quite a bit of substance to it. Far from being ethereal, this is a full-bodied fruity/green scent that still manages to smell cold, wintry and wild. Really lovely, and quite fitting for Ôndurdis!
  9. Ishtar

    Playful Wooden Mallets

    Playful Wooden Mallets has always smelled outrageously sexy to me and it is one of my all-time favourites. However, I would only recommend it to dedicated black musk fans. It does go powdery on me, but when powder is this warm, deep and sophisticated, I happen to love it. One thing is for sure, there is nothing coy about this scent - it is powerful, both in mood and throw. A little goes a very long way on my skin, although I do tend to amp black musk. The cinnamon plays a supporting role, but it does so quite beautifully, adding a welcome edge and depth to the blend. Wonderfully complex and gorgeous, especially for such a (seemingly) simple blend.
  10. Ishtar

    Venus Genetrix

    Venus Genetrix seems to be getting mixed reviews, but to me it is absolutely gorgeous. I am a big fan of tea-based scents, and this one is no exception. The jasmine in this is very soft, and it melds seamlessly with the tea - an elegant combination. The amber and vanilla blur into a sweet accord that forms a soft, tender base for the jasmine tea to rest on. This is one of these two-register scents, with the florals hovering above a heavier base. In this particular case, it reads as a sugared note that reminds me of a jasmine version of Faith. I very seldom upgrade from decant to bottle as decants tend to last me a while, but I will probably make an exception for Venus Genetrix if I see a bottle up for swaps
  11. Ishtar

    For Each Ecstatic Instant

    Strong jasmine and a hint of rose, with thick, almost chewy amber in the very background. Given all its deeper base notes, I expected this one would be a morpher, but other than becoming slightly darker after drydown, it pretty much stays the same throughout. The resins and other richer notes never get a chance to shine, and I have to sniff my arm really closely to even detect the presence of patchouli. Too bad, as I would have loved to get the full olfactory experience all these lovely notes had to offer.
  12. Ishtar

    Pleasant Embrace

    White musk and fruit is usually a reliably good combination on my skin, and this is no exception. I was curious to see how different it would be from Endymion and, while they are definitely similar, Pleasant Embrace has an added fizziness and slight hint of spice that I am liking a lot. The lemon works exceptionally well with the pear here. The two notes harmonise yet always remain distinct from each other. Pleasant Embrace dries into a fairly classic sparkly / fruity clean musk, but the interplay of lemon and pear adds tension and interest to the blend. Truly well done!
  13. Ishtar

    Aristocratic Couple

    This is initially nothing but an intense burst of concentrated, sweet apricot. Like a tidal wave, the apricot engulfs everything in its wake, and it takes a good long while before a tiny hint of spice and vanilla manage to make their presence felt. For a moment, Aristocratic Couple is very reminiscent of Tamora - one of my favourite GCs - but as it dries, the scent sort of collapses on itself and suddenly goes flat. What remains of it after complete drydown is a pleasant, if rather faint, apricot version of the very last stages of Tamora.
  14. Revisiting Prosperous Flowers after a few months' aging, I was suprised at how much more prominent the leather has become. Right after applying, I get a big blast of really nice sweet patchouli. For a short while, it feels like this could be one of these fabulously deep and complex fruity/woodsy blends, and i can't wait to see where it's going to take me. Then the leather takes over. To be fair, this is a soft, sophisticated, unobtrusive brown leather note that will probably smell lovely to leather aficionados. Unfortunately, this is a note that I can only take in small doses, and it is just a tad too front and centre here for me to fully enjoy it. It's really too bad, as this is an otherwise gorgeous scent.
  15. Ishtar

    Mars Ultor

    I wasn't totally in love with Mars Ultor when I first got it, but the notes looked like they could have excellent aging potential, so I decided to let it sit for a few months before trying it again. That certainly did the trick. The initial soapiness has completely disappeared, and Mars Ultor has mellowed into a rather unisex, wonderfully well-blended scent. It is sophisticated yet fresh, and very easy to wear. The dark amber is beautiful in this, and melds very well with the warm woodsiness of the cistus. Definitely a keeper!