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BPAL Madness!


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About theredshoes

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    evil enabler
  • Birthday November 3


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  • Favorite Scents
    Athens, Baghdad, Bastet, Bathsheba, Calliope, Cathedral, Clio, Darkling Thrush, Delphi, Defututa, Eden, Endymion, Erato, Erebos, Euphrosyne, Florence, Glasgow, Golden Priapus, Grief, Hades, Hamadryad, Hanerot Halalu, Hecate, Helena, Hermia, Hetairae, Hymn to Proserpine, I Died for Beauty, Jacob's Ladder, La Vita Nuova, London, Lucy's Kiss, Lyonesse, Midnight, Morocco, Namaste, Nocturne, Ode on Melancholy, Old Athens, On Darkness, Paris, Persephone, Phantom Queen, Polyhymnia, Pride, Psyche, Queen Mab, Regina Erebi, Rome, Sea of Glass, Sophia, Strength, Tamora, Terpsichore, Thalia, The Fruit of Paradise, The Hanging Gardens, The Hesperides, The Last Rose of Summer, The Lion, The Passionate Shepherd To His Love, The Peacock Queen, The Red Queen, The Witch Queen, Titania, TKO, To Autumn, Ultraviolet, Venice, Water of Notre Dame, Yggdrasil, ZoryaFavourite notes: apple, beeswax, bergamot, berries, cedarwood, frankincense, grape, honey, honeysuckle, incense, jasmine, LAVENDER, lilac, lotus, myrrh, olive leaf, plum, pomegranate, poppy, rose, sandalwood, tea, vanilla, wisteriaCannot deal with: alcohol (wine OK), ash, blood, carnation, cinnamon, cocoanut, chrysanthemum, clove, dirt, dragon's blood, grass, green notes in general, herbs, lily, metal (except gold), heavy musks, patchouli, smoke, vetiverI amp the hell out of honey, any green note (including "leaves" or "dried grasses"), and most citrus notes, so I'm cautious about blends heavy on those.Dislike foodie and "green" scents in general. Faint high white sharp florals set off migraines, so do most aquatics, snow, and ozone notes. Not a big fan of the comics/Gaiman/Lovecraft lines. Total sucker for anything with Classical or literary references (Hetairae, Titania, Delphi, Rosalind, Defututa, Polyhymnia, Lucy Westenra, I Died for Beauty, The Golden Apples of the Sun, the Poe/Dickens/Frankenstein series, Illyria, the Mad Tea Party, &c &c). Wanderlust is my favourite GC line.

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  1. theredshoes

    No Coward Soul is Mine

    Wow, I don't get lavender from this at all. Lavender is my favourite scent, and I was really hoping this would be heavy on it. Instead, there's a very sharp unpleasant note at first, and then something my husband said smelled "like pine needles, but not the good ones." I guess my skin's tendency to amp whatever woods/grass/leaves/any green stuff BPAL notes, plus whatever rockrose is, completely drowned it out! Oh well, at least I helped support a good cause and maybe the lavender will come out as this ages. Sometimes ugh scents morph into beautiful keepers.
  2. theredshoes

    Frostbitten Snake Oil

    I....wanted to love this? Especially after all the great descriptions here. I don't know what happened. I slathered it on and barely smelled anything. My husband said he smelled something, "really powdery" (while it was still wet). I kept barely smelling something, and then an hour later it was just gone. I tried slathering it on again, but nothing. It's weird because neither Snake Oil nor Snow White vanish on me, in fact Snow White turns into pure Play-Do. This smells like sharp musk in the bottle, but just really nothing on me. My skin tends to eat vanilla, so maybe that's what happened, although I thought the Snake Oil part would stand out more. Maybe after aging the invisible vanilla will ease up.
  3. theredshoes

    From: Aelopile

    Source: Aelopile
  4. theredshoes

    From: Apple Butter Rum

    Source: Apple Butter Rum
  5. theredshoes

    Apple Butter Rum

    In the bottle: Whoo! Knocked out with a strong butterscotch buttery rum scent. I was a little nervous about this one because I amp cinnamon and maybe nutmeg, but I absolutely loved Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee, so I was hoping for another neat spiced rum blend. Wet: On me the apple note starts coming out right away, and yeah, it's more of a pale green note than a deep red one. Not a lot of spice or rum. The vanilla cream makes this apple very light and sweet. Drydown: The spice notes start coming out and I get some of my spiced rum, although it does smell a little burnt, which I guess is the butter note. I thought this would be a lot more rich and heavy, it seems more like light apple-butter plus spiced rum. Dry: Not much throw, but okay staying power, and it keeps kind of shifting from sweet vanilla cream/apple close up to the more diffuse spiced rum note further out. A bit too sweet and light for me, I was expecting more of a cider note. Verdict: It is close to those caramel apple lollipops, but with sweet vanilla cream, not caramel. (Which is odd because the butterscotch note was SO strong in the bottle.) The buttery spiced rum note is good but it's too background for me. I guess the apple note drowned nearly everything else out -- I do like the apple blends (and have a lot of them!), I just wanted more of the spiced rum. For some reason this doesn't feel like a fall scent to me -- maybe more like a Yule? But I don't know why.
  6. theredshoes

    From: The Marquis de Carabas

    Source: The Marquis de Carabas
  7. theredshoes

    The Marquis de Carabas

    My Marquis! I love him, he's my favourite character in the book, I could read a whole other book or two or three just all about him. (I had the same feeling about Silas the vampire.) (I do not have a bad boy thing.) However, after a mere decade or so of BPAL testing (has it really been that long? goodness) I am now a little bit better informed about what does not smell good on me. So I got a for-curiosity's-sake imp from my decant circle. In the imp: Cologne. Uh-oh. Wet: Very spicy, very sharp cologne. I'm guessing this is the bay rum. Not getting any leather, opium, wool, dust, or sweet/cocoanut from the massoia bark. OUR HEROINE, hopefully: Does this smell like a beloved old leather jacket? SPOUSAL OVERUNIT: Sure.... (wait for it, wait for it -- ) SPOUSAL OVERUNIT: ....if you doused it in bad cologne. SIGH. As in BPAL, so in life, the Marquis and I are destined to remain forever apart, due to my weird skin chemistry. I guess my skin's amping the hell out of on note and eating at least a few others, but heck if I know what exactly. Drydown: This faded FAST on me, I have no idea why. I got something that might be leather? but is also so faint it's hard to tell. It also smells very fake and chemical-y. It was just faint, yet bad. Fortunately, it faded quickly....but for some of us, not quickly enough. SPOUSAL OVERUNIT, a couple of hours later: Could you wash that off? It's giving me a headache. -- With the dishwashing liquid. SIGH.
  8. theredshoes


    I figured the citrus and verbena would stomp on the amber, cedar, labdanum and oud. sigh. Wanted to try it anyway, because I like the Steampunk line. In the imp: Citrus and something like tea. Wet: Lemon bathroom cleaner. The cats left the room. Drydown: The citrus has died down a bit and something vaguely amber-wood-resin is in the background, but it's still all about the lemon bathroom cleaner. There's also a faintly sour note -- almost oily, definitely unpleasant. (Husband: "It's definitely changing. Less lemon, less bathroom cleaner.") Verdict: Total miss, sadly. About the only thing this was good for was when one cat chased another into the bedroom, I was able to get the aggressor to turn tail immediately by putting my hand down near the floor. It's good cat repellent, I guess.
  9. theredshoes

    From: Zorya

    Source: Zorya
  10. theredshoes


    I LOVE jasmine. //rubs hands //slathers In the imp: Heady musky gorgeous overblown floral. Come to mama, baby, this is gonna be good. Wet: Nooo there's some kind of acrid almost plasticky note coming up -- this isn't the jasmine, as it doesn't go to cat pee on me. THANK GOD, that's going away. Might be the iris or the night-blooming whatsit. It dies down and a hint of musk comes up and a lot of pretty pretty jasmine. Still slightly sharp, but it's an interestingly dark -- dusky -- floral. Drydown: Gets both fainter and sweeter. Decent throw, fairly long-lasting. As a friend of mine noted, the throw is sweeter than the on-skin smell (I've noticed this with a number of BPAL sharp florals). A little bit of that sharpness stays, which makes me sad, and it goes slightly soapy, too. Flowery and femme, but sophisticated. The musk definitely comes up more. Hours later: Much sweeter, and the musks and spice really come out. Very very pretty. Almost creamy. Verdict: I could've sworn I tested another imp of this years back and it was more flowery, less plastic. Maybe it ages well? I might try it in a scent locket to see if I can get that gorgeous in-the-imp blast to stick around. I'm guessing either the iris or the primrose is the culprit here. If you're looking for an old-fashioned big sweet WHOOM! FLORAL scent, this is a good one. ("Perfumey, in a good way" is very accurate.) It'd be great in summer, or on a late-night date in a cafe, a midnight rendezvous on a verandah....sorry, got carried away there. It reminds me a lot of walking on summer nights in Santa Fe, when we'd pass a big lilac bush and there'd be this sudden wall of heavy sweet scent you could almost see, and kept smelling after you walked through it. Substitute jasmine for lilac and this feels very similar. I wish the on-skin smell wasn't as sharp/green, but the move from floral into sweetened musk is interesting. Husbandly verdict: "You smell like flowery hotel soap in a plastic bottle." SIGH. (He likes O. No, he loves O. If every BPAL were like O, with very slight variations, he'd love it.)
  11. theredshoes

    From: A Lady Tall and White

    Source: A Lady Tall and White
  12. theredshoes

    A Lady Tall and White

    I'm normally cautious about snow and ozone notes, but this is one of my favourite fairytales, so I went for a decant. In the imp: An almost-clear oil, not that thick. First sniff is sweet but sharp, not unpleasant but pretty intense. It's really hard for me to describe or analyze. I got almost a faint citrusy note, but my husband didn't (his opinion: "Smells like Christmas....no, I don't know why"). Definitely a chilly smell. I get no mint. Wet: Sweetens up a tiny bit, but not much -- I'm still waiting for the vanilla and sandalwood. I don't get pine -- it's still a pretty sharp bright cold scent, with maybe some of the juniper. Not a heavy smell, but definitely sort of piercing. Usually "high white" scents give me a headache, but not this one -- maybe the vanilla's softening it up a little? This smells the way bright sunlight looks on snow. Drydown: My husband could definitely smell the sandalwood long before me ("Incense.....smoky? I like it, it's not sweet like your other perfumes," HAHAAHAH //cries). I finally got the sandalwood note, smoky-sweet, but it took a while, and was mixed with the juniper (?) in a really interesting way. I don't think this has a lot of throw, but it hung on for quite a while. Verdict: Definitely a wintry cold smell and it suits the subject perfectly. Not something I'd want a bottle of but I'm really glad I got the decant. Bright, icy, snowy, faintly sweet but a deep chill underneath. I think the sandalwood and vanilla darken this down and sweeten it up a lot, because other snow scents just don't work on me (Snow White goes right to the infamous Play-Do).
  13. theredshoes

    Against Idleness and Mischief

    (One of my 2015 NYRs is to write more BPAL reviews! I slacked off sadly during 2014.) Frimp from my lovely decanter! I love the Alice line and it's one of my favourite books ever, so this seemed like a good scent to start the New Year off with. I also love the BPAL honey note. In the imp: A barely yellow thin oil, almost clear. I get a nice whiff of golden honey, and some flowers, maybe a little spice. Wet: Rather faint honey, sweet but not cloying. I really slathered it (accidentally, and there went the label) but it's still quite faint. Definitely not that golden rich heavy honey, but a nice unsyrupy sweetness. (Husband thinks it smells powdery, boo. Also: "Wow, that's really faint.") Drydown: This doesn't fade too much, but remains very light. Husband thought almost a light musk came out, I got more powder -- we might both be picking up on the tonka. Green turns to instant ugly blech on my skin, so I was worried about the chamomile and hyssop, but I also amp honey so I guess it's drowning out the green. I don't get the honey-in-tea smell, but this is definitely sweet honeyed herbs, rather than herbed honey. It might be much sweeter on people who have less trouble with green notes. Not a lot of throw, but pretty good staying power for something so faint. Verdict: It's sunny out but really cold here, and we have the blinds drawn all the way up but the windows tightly closed to catch the sunshine, which is fading but a little bit warm. Pathetic Fallacy Alert: this reminds me of very early spring, when the sky is that pale clear blue and you see a promising haze of green on trees more than actual leaves or buds. This would be a nice light, slightly green, honey for those who don't want that big sweet blast. Not bottle-worthy for me, but I'm glad to have tried it -- I might get another imp of it.
  14. theredshoes

    From: Love-In-Idleness

    Frimp from the lab. I absolutely love Midsummer Night's Dream and have always wanted to try this. Unfortunately, it was rather disastrous. In the imp: Faint sweet floral with a harsh chemical undertone. Wet: YO, something went terribly wrong immediately. I don't know if it was the green note (?) or the pansy or the carnation (which hates me) or what, but I got almost no floral and a kind of awful wet swampy chemical smell. Husband said it was like bathroom air freshener from the eighties! Thankfully it didn't cause a headache, but this is really unpleasant. Drydown: After a while it seems to get a little sweeter, but that awful chemical note remains, and I can't tell whether the perfume is sweetening or just fading. Weirdly, it also wears off very quickly but the nasty note hangs on and on and is really difficult to wash off. It smells something like floral hairspray. Verdict: NO NO NO NO NO cat. Like someone else said, I wish I knew what notes were in this so I could avoid them forever, because something in this really doesn't go with my skin. I think it's probably a green note, beause those really really don't work on me, but usually they don't smell like some kind of awful spray. Source: Love-In-Idleness