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BPAL Madness!


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About boomtownrat

  • Rank
    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 05/12/1973


  • Location
    North Carolina
  • Country
    United States

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  • eBay
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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who, music, writing, poetry, singing, spooky things, cats of all sizes, all kinds of birds, cult movies, Marc Almond, U2, Klaus Nomi, The Chameleons, The Comsat Angels, Elvis Costello, 80s alternative music, 1970s punk, new wave, death rock, goth, industrial, coldwave, darkwave, synthpop, old-school rap, old-school country music, classic jazz, Dr. Martens, obsolete technology, short stories, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, e. e. cummings, Frank O'Hara, Torchwood, The Thick of It, Venture Brothers, CSI original recipe, Wire in the Blood, The Young Ones, music journalism, NaNoWriMo, pop culture of the 1970s-80s, the 18th century, the 1920s
  • Mood


  • Favorite Scents
    GC: Snake Oil, Vixen, Sin, Goblin, Haunted, Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat, Mania, Morocco LE: Gingerbread Snake, Third Charm, Sic Erit, Imaginer, Eve from OLLA, Saw-Scaled Viper, Black Temple Burlesque Troupe, Boo 2012, Mother Shub's Gingerbread Temples 2012, Pumpkin II 2012, #occupywallstreet


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  1. boomtownrat

    The Cat

    My bottle is secondhand and I'm not sure how old it is. I can say that I'd had it for about a year and it has mellowed considerably in that time, with more blending. I find it to be more musky than anything else, in a similar vein to Lil' Menes' Feline Entertainments, but it doesn't actually smell like a cat so much as remind me of a feline presence. Like a couple of others have said, it resembles Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo. That means it smells like I just washed my hair, not like I'm wearing a fragrance, and I'm okay with that. My husband had to use that shampoo to bathe one of our cats, and that's the association I'm getting now. Today I'm wearing it with one of my dresses that has a cat print on it, but it would also work with a t-shirt and jeans. Its throw is just enough that I don't need to huff my wrist, and I think someone would have to hug me in order to smell it. I feel as though it's my personal secret comfort, not a fragrance that I leave in my wake.
  2. boomtownrat


    Lyonesse is a perfectly blended, non-sweet vanilla/musk/sandalwood with an oceanic undertone that unfortunately gives me a little bit of pre-migraine queasiness. It's probably the orris root, the sea moss, or the ambergris that's affecting me. When I tested it on my wrists, I found it so gorgeous that I ambitiously slathered it on my collarbone area. Rather than wash it off completely, I tried rubbing some jojoba oil on it and wiping it off. That left just enough of the musk, vanilla, and sandalwood, which are the notes that made me try it in the first place. I'm going to try wearing it only on my wrists to see if that mitigates the problem, because the jojoba trick would be wasteful and I don't want to give up on something that smells so good. While I was wearing it, though, I had the impression that it would be an ideal thing to wear when I want to feel sophisticated without wearing something overpowering. It could be equally good for work or date nights. This would be a great scent to use if you're trying to enable someone who's never strayed from commercial perfumes. 😄
  3. boomtownrat

    Midwest Morning After Magical Wig Spray

    This really does smell like an extra creamy cream soda. It's not artificial or overpowering, and the emphasis is very much on the cream part rather than a fizzy soda. I think it fits the Jaymes Mansfield character well. I haven't sprayed it on a wig yet, but I'm probably just going to use it as an atmosphere spray with the exception of my one wig that I wear when I cosplay as the Thirteenth Doctor. (She probably wouldn't mind smelling like cream soda, so this will work well for that wig!)
  4. boomtownrat

    Snake's Kiss

    2018 version: This was a Lab-direct purchase that I've never gotten around to reviewing. When it was fresh, it was lemon-sugary, from what I can remember. Now that the bottle's more than a year old, I would swear that it's a variant of Dorian, not Snake Oil. I don't detect any of Snake Oil's spice or muskiness. The honey is light and lemony, not at all funky. The vanilla cream makes me think of freshly-made whipped cream. I'm getting a bit of confectioner's sugar. Somehow, though, it's not really that foodie. It's almost like Boo, but without the linen. There's a decent throw for something so light, which is where Snake's Kiss does resemble Snake Oil, but it has an airier type of sillage. SK has less staying power than most of the other SO blends. I like to reapply it after about three hours, which is pretty typical for the more ethereal scents I own. I would say that it's a variant for people who can't wear Snake Oil, only it bears little resemblance to the original. Considered on its own merits, I like Snake's Kiss a lot. It's just not what I expected, and that's no bad thing.
  5. boomtownrat

    They Shut Me Up in Prose

    They Shut Me Up in Prose was swoon-worthy from the moment it came out of the mailbox. It's not just that I love the way it smells; I'm also fully down with Emily Dickinson and what this whole line of scents represents. Most of the time I don't like to say a scent feels feminine, masculine, or unisex, but this is a scent that's about womanhood in all its forms—unbound, like the name of this collection. Dickinson herself echoes through it. Maybe I've finally found the best poetry-inspired scent for me. I'm not always able to wear vanilla scents because sometimes my skin turns them plastic or burnt, but this is a dry vanilla like the one in Sonnet D'Automne or Two Sheep and Two Goats Resting Together in a Field, both of which I also love, but this is significantly more ethereal than either of those. The floral, resin, and wood notes are all light and blended perfectly with the vanilla, and I fervently hope that balance doesn't change too much as it settles down and ages. This could require a backup or two, even though I'm trying to avoid that. It feels like it's part of the air around me, not overpowering, but making its presence known.
  6. boomtownrat


    Amber of any kind is one of my favourite smells, I love vetiver (maybe it's my earthy Taurus nature), I love cedarwood and saffron even more, and tangerine is delicious yet all too fleeting on my skin. I can't believe I never sought this one out on my own, but I'm glad that a friend gave me the imp. It reminds me: I'm pretty sure I've got another imp of Azathoth somewhere. I can see myself using up the imps I have. Crazily, Azathoth gives me a whiff of bubble gum, of all things, when I first apply it. I'm sure that's got something to do with the tangerine and saffron. That doesn't last, but what follows is a rooty, earthy, woodsy scent that makes me feel both comfortable and strong. It wears pretty close to the skin. As long as I don't apply it heavily, I don't think its earthiness will bother anyone. It's probably going to work best when I'm fresh out of the shower and it's not a hot, humid day. Otherwise, I might feel a bit grimy. Layering it with something like a dry vanilla or another citrus blend would probably be lovely. My Lovecraft knowledge is limited to what my Cthulhu-obsessed husband tells me, so I didn't have anything swaying my impression of it beforehand. So far, the darker and earthier Arkham scents work well for me.
  7. boomtownrat

    Snakes Basking in the First Sunbeams of Spring

    I wanted to see if this would be a Snaky cousin to Vixen, of which I have only one precious bottle and imp. In some ways it is, but without that ginger bite, of course. The honey and orange blossom stand out the most. I'm still getting over a cold and my sense of smell is probably at about 75%, so I think the cinnamon will emerge in a few days. It's going to be a gorgeous spring and summer scent, and when the weather is cold again, I'm going to try layering it with some of my BPAL gingerbread scents.
  8. boomtownrat

    Snakes in the Lemon Tree

    Snake Oil draped over lemon bark and vetiver, dotted with lemon peel. I opened up the bottle and my eyes rolled back in my head. This was destined to be a dream scent for me! Snake Oil is my favourite GC. I love lemons, both to eat and to smell. Vetiver is in many of my favourite scents, and it gives this a solid base, smoothing out the sweet and the sour. ETA 4/16/2019: Now that it's had some time to settle, it's changed so much that I had to delete part of what I wrote above, because I don't want to mislead anyone who might only skim reviews. The lemon is barely detectable now and it's more of the tree itself, with what might be a snake hiding up there in the branches. I'm less sure that I'm going to need any backups, but I'll certainly keep wearing what I have. It's not like any of the many other Snake Oil blends I've tried. I'm going to layer it with Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat to see if I can recreate that lemon-forward scent that it had for the first several days.
  9. boomtownrat


    This is one of the first scents that ever piqued my interest when I got into BPAL in 2011 and I'm surprised that I was able to get it for a great price on eBay. I don't get any patchouli and it's not at all snarling, feral, or deranged, but I'll bet it was all of those things when it was new! It's sweeter on the backs of my wrists, with the opoponax and a ghost of cinnamon bark emerging, but everywhere else I'm getting soft, well-blended woods with a hint of leather. That can read as aftershave, but I think it's much more subtle than that. Geek is unfortunately not quite what I dreamed it would be, but it's pleasant. My husband didn't think it would be very "him" but I want him to try it anyway, because I think it will be more his thing. If he doesn't like it, then I'll hang on to it anyway. Sometimes I do want to wear scents like this.
  10. boomtownrat

    Gingerbread Tobacco

    No additional description provided.] It's Christmas Day at the North Pole. All of the deliveries are done. Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves are chilling with some gingerbread, and Santa is filling his pipe with the good tobacco, the kind that he always saves for this day. I'm a big fan of ginger and gingerbread, whether it's for consuming or smelling. The smell of tobacco has always been pleasant to me. This combination was irresistible. Out of the handful of BPALs I've tried with a tobacco note, this is most similar to Autumn Moon of the Mirror Stand. At every stage, gingerbread is in the background, adding a bit of spice to the tobacco. Gingerbread Tobacco is warm and inviting. I could see myself wearing it anytime I want to feel like wearing an olfactory Snuggie.
  11. boomtownrat

    Blueberry Sufganiyot

    This is every bit as scrumptious as the name and description say. I put some on in the early afternoon and could still smell the sugary, fried-doughy, blueberry-gooey goodness at bedtime. I've tried all the previous Sufganiyots, and Blueberry is second only to Strawberry, for me.
  12. boomtownrat

    Gingerbread and More Ginger

    [No additional description provided.] This has only been off the mail truck for about two hours, because I couldn't wait any longer. In the bottle it's pure, luscious gingerbread. When it's freshly applied, I smell like my favorite kind of gingersnap: thin and a little crispy, like a pepparkakor from Sweden. There's even a little bit of a lemony note, but that subsides as it dries. It ends up as a perfect gingerbread that I want to eat.
  13. boomtownrat


    This is fresh off the truck because I couldn't wait to try my Yules and frimps. If the Lab's lavender is too herbal, if you think that the addition of sweet sage will make it too green, but you otherwise want to track down an imp and try it, I think you should. After a couple of minutes, the bright lavender and sage settle down into a softer blend. The warm honeyed patchouli and bourbon vanilla sweeten this up and ground it, but the lavender and sage keep it from being cloying. No one note overpowers the others. I can see this being a relaxing evening scent or a calming daytime scent for those who can wear fragrance at work. Incolumitas is a warmer, softer sibling to TKO, and it's Banshee Beat's first cousin once removed. Two imps don't seem like they're going to be enough.
  14. boomtownrat

    Dragon's Musk

    Happy sixth birthday to my bottle of Dragon's Musk! 😄 I'm glad that I gave it so long before reviewing it, because over time it's turned into the scent that I wanted it to be. Lately I've been in a musky mood and in need of empowering scents. I hadn't worn Dragon's Musk in a while, as the dragon's blood resin note has always been more cherry-floral than I'd like it to be. Then someone mentioned in another thread that they think of DM as an autumnal scent and it reminded me that I should try mine again. Coincidentally, I reached for it and saw that I've had it for six years as of this month. Dragon's Musk used to be weirdly salty on me, in addition to that flowery, sweet DBR. I guess the musks were combining in an unusual way, or my nose just got confused, but in any case, it was consistent overy many attempts. But I wanted it to work and I thought it might change a lot with age, so I stored it in my cabinet and waited. I'm glad I did, because at some point, the saltiness faded into the background and the musks have blended gorgeously. As for what musks are in it, I can identify the sensual sweetness of red (or maybe Siberian?) and the lemony tang of black. It's not as heady as you'd think, with so many musks present. Now that it's an older bottle, it's mellowed into something a little more potent than a skin scent, which is why I believe there's skin musk in it. Green musk would make sense and could be the reason for the saltiness. That would leave one last musk, and it could be the "dark musk" note that's also in Titus Andronicus, which feels like a distant cousin to this. It took a few years, but Dragon's Musk is worth the wait. I could wear this everyday as a default scent.
  15. boomtownrat

    Kinda Sorta Snake Oil Cream Soda

    It's exactly like a spicy cream soda in the bottle. When I put it on, the cream soda kind of floats away after it's dry. Then it's like a softer Snake Oil that seems to disappear into my skin too quickly. I'll need to try it again when I'm not in a Halloween costume and have moisturized well.