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BPAL Madness!


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About alston78

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    a little too imp-ulsive

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  • Favorite Scents
    Queen Mab, Harlot, Nasty Woman, Alice, Brisingamen, Freak Show. Permanent fan of ambers, rose, vetiver, honey, and light musks!

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  1. alston78

    Recommendations for my husband?

    Thanks for all the recommendations! I did some hunting in my imp box and found Palmyra (from the old thread) and several of the GC recommendations in there, so I've set aside those for him to test. I'm also going to purchase a few imps and a couple of 5 mL bottles based on the recommendations here. Thank you so much!
  2. Hi all! I'm looking for a few recommendations for my husband. He wore Cool Water when we first met, but over the years his preferences have changed and he's become very interested in BPAL and open to trying new things. For the past couple of years, he has been wearing Golden Priapus regularly. I love it on him, but I noticed that he has tried a couple of other samples recently and I'm thinking a few new imps or bottles might be a fun gift. I'm looking for some manly recommendations! He and I both enjoy the notes in Golden Priapus. He has a new aftershave with a heavy, heavy fir scent, so it might make sense to try something that would coordinate well with it. I think a lot of the blends that are considered unisex would probably feel too feminine to him. Thanks for your help!
  3. alston78


    I really like this blend. The bottle and first application on skin were both very similar to me - there was an almost minty, cool, metallic note in the background that I really enjoyed. At first application, I would have said it was a unisex scent. As it dried down, it became distinctly masculine. Slightly spicy and definitely smoky/dirty on me, but I liked it. Not much throw for me, though I apply everything very lightly. However, it has lasted a while now - about 10 hours! Given the masculine drydown, I don't know that I would wear this myself - but I think I will try to talk my husband into trying it!
  4. alston78

    Bridal BPAL - BPAL for weddings?

    Saw this thread up and I had to chime in. I wore Brisingamen on my wedding day. It has been one of my GC favorites for years (the other big favorite being Queen Mab) and in addition to being appropriate in my opinion, it just made me feel like myself, which is not always easy once you're in the dress and being shuttled from place to place like some sort of museum display. Happily married for almost three years!
  5. alston78


    Just got my imp of Fruitcake today with my order - and promptly splashed half the imp all over my shirt. So I am in excellent shape to review Fruitcake, and only Fruitcake. I doubt I'll be smelling much else until tomorrow! I get a boozy cherry-almond blend, with something smoky behind it - I don't know if that's the booziness or something a bit more spicy. That's the up-close smell - when I move the waft scent is simpler and just sweet. It's delicious, though- straight-up food scents don't always work well with me, but I love this. I can't believe I wasted half!!!! I would absolutely buy a bottle if this was released!
  6. alston78

    The Darkling Thrush

    In the bottle: The violet and fir notes are dominant, making for an overall impression that is cool, sharp but oddly soft at the same time, and feminine. Wet: Decidedly aquatic, with violet underneath. I can't smell much of the amber at all. The aquatics and florals blend very nicely, though. Drydown: I think this blend really evokes the images and feel of the poem that inspired it. The aquatic scent, mixed with a bit of fir, stands out on top, and it is this scent that wafts the most for me (moderate throw - I can smell it as I type and I only dotted one wrist!). When I sniff underneath, I can smell the violet, mixed with something herbal that grounds it a bit. On me, the herbal smell and the faintest hint of amber keep the violet from becoming too powdery. I've had it on for an hour or so now and it is as strong as it was at application, with little morphing so far. I suspect it will last a while because aquatic scents usually do on me. Overall: This is a beautiful blend but it doesn't quite work for me - however, this is only because my skin amps aquatic notes so much that they tend to make me a bit queasy after a while. Aside from the personal reaction, this blend is really evocative of its poem, well blended, and the way the violet and amber gently peek out is charming. I'm glad I got to try this even though it didn't work out.
  7. alston78

    Jacob's Ladder

    Oh, I could cry! I remember sniffing and lightly testing Jacob's Ladder when I first got it in my Yule order, and I really thought it was going to be wonderful - a close second to my favorite, Brisingamen. The decided presence of amber (probably my favorite note) was enhanced by a very delicate sweetness, and something about the blend smelled like light, if that makes any sense. This week, I put it on for the second time I gave Jacob's ladder a little more of a lavish test than usual, since I was so confident about it. The same sweet/light amber smell was present when I opened the bottle, and I was excited. But within fifteen minutes, the blend morphed - it smelled musky (way too musky for me) and masculine. All of the sweetness and lightness were gone. Not only that, it was wafting on me very strongly, and I was in a crowded class! I actually had to go wash my wrists, which has happened only once or twice with BPAL blends. I tested lightly again last night just to be sure that something weird hadn't happened on my trip to class, and got the same results. I do agree with everyone else that the scent lasts quite a long time. Twelve hours at least on my skin. After the initial drydown the wafting calmed down, and the scent was closer to my skin. The musky smell wasn't so strong anymore, either. But this one still just isn't me. It is warm and cozy, and comforting - but it's the type of smell I would cuddle up to rather than wear myself.
  8. alston78


    In the imp: The lemon is very strong - it smells somewhat chemical and sharp. On skin, wet: The lemon starts to mellow out almost immediately and takes on a creamy undertone (the honeysuckle, maybe?). Still much more citrus than sweet or floral, though. Dry-down: On me, this blend only became sweeter as time passed - however, it did not acquire the baby powder smell that orange blossom usually produces on my skin. In the first hour after application, I thought this was the perfect olfactory representation of too much lipstick and Bazooka bubble gum. After the first hour, it lightened into something sweet and delicate, which wafted a bit (I thought I could actually smell it better by waving my hand than by sniffing my wrist). At the end of three hours now, it is almost gone, with just a slight sugary sniff left. Overall impression - I am happy that I found a blend with orange blossom that didn't turn to powder. I probably wouldn't wear this too often because it feels a little young to me (I prefer resin/sweet/floral blends), but I'm glad I got to try it.
  9. alston78


    In the bottle: I get a nice whiff of the whole blend, actually. The sweetness and buttery scents are on top, but the pine is grounding them underneath. There's just a hint of smokiness, too. On the skin: while wet, Hearth '05 was very well balanced. The sweet notes weren't *too* sweet, the smokiness was faint, there was a delicate sharpness that kept the whole impression from being foody. Drydown: As this dried on my skin, the smokiness and buttery sweetness became more pronounced. I didn't smell the fir so much. It reminded me a bit of toasted marshmallows - not because the scent is similar, more because it evoked the memory and feeling of a gently browned marshmallow with tiny burnt bits. I agree with others that this is a nice room scent. On me, the smokiness was too pronounced and eventually gave me a bit of a headache, but the initial smell was delightful and right in line with my winter memories.
  10. alston78

    Ode on Melancholy

    Finally getting around to reviewing scents again after a long break... First impression - light, floral, lovely in the bottle. Very gentle, and the lavender is strongest to my nose. Wet - the floral notes were strongest on me at first, but not "strong" in the sense of other BPAL notes. The overall scent remained light. The blend did change in terms of the mood it conveyed once on my skin - in the bottle I didn't pick up on the gently despondent air that Ode has, but it comes out more on the skin. Very nice and very descriptive of the name and poem, but perhaps not for everyday wear. Drydown - After about one to 1.5 hours, I was in class being drowned in a vale of tears! The floral notes left quickly, which was surprising since lavender is usually long-lasting and strong on me. I was left with what I think was the white musk - whatever it was, it was aquatic to the nth degree! The throw was quite strong as well, at least to my nose. 3.5 hours and running - Unlike some of the other reviews, Ode to Melancholy is lasting on me - just not the notes I'd prefer to keep around. The aquatic note (musk?) is still rather strong. I can smell the sandalwood in the background, which lends a helpful spicy note but can't quite balance out the aquatic scent. ETA: After huffing my wrist for a second, the lavender is still present. Just a thought - it might be the lavender/musk combo that's giving off the aquatic scent. Overall - if you enjoy aquatic notes, this is probably a nice one. The initial blend was beautiful, and it might just be the specific drydown on me that is throwing the scent off - but this one just isn't going to work for me.
  11. alston78

    Parlement of Foules

    just rose - well, not just rose because it's an absolutely lovely rose - but it's not sharp to me, nor is it the wet rose smell from some of the other blends. On the skin, it reminds me of a rose-scented doll I had when I was young - her hair smelled like this, only more synthetic. To me the blend is soft, happy, gentle, romantic. As it fades a sweeter note creeps in with the rose - I suppose those are the resins? This fades steadily and gently - I'm noticing a change several hours later, but I can't really say when it happened. It wafts around me lightly, which I like. Overall, a beautiful blend. I'll likely keep my bottle around.
  12. alston78

    The Perfumed Garden

    The fruit smells really popped out at me when I opened the bottle. On first application, too, the apple and lemon smells were strongest - probably a little too much so for me. The myrrh also seemed heavier when I first applied the oil. After about an hour, the scent had morphed into a really pleasant fruit/floral blend, with jasmine and apple peel being the predominant notes. The blend became more floral and musky with time, wafted nicely on me (I can smell it when I move but it's not filling my space), and has lasted a long time today (10 hours and counting!) I tend to like spicier blends, but I agree with everyone else that this is wonderfully blended, and each note seems to contribute noticeably and have its own time for display. The jasmine seems particularly nice in this blend - I like it anyway but it doesn't seem to have the same "soapy" smell I've noticed in other blends.
  13. alston78


    In the bottle: Sharp and minty. The anise is evident as well, and the overall impression is more herbal than sweet. I have no idea what real absinthe smells like, so I can't evaluate from that angle. On my wrist - first sniffs: The anise comes out strongly, as do the mints and other herbs. There is a faint floral note in the background. Nice - I tend to like warmer scents but this is pleasant. This stage lasted about an hour. Later: The scent faded after an hour - after that I smelled a green floral scent, if that makes any sense. The mint and anise smells were gone and a soft, slightly sweet floral smell remained.
  14. alston78

    Chaos Theory II : The Butterfly Effect

    I got two bottles, and will review both here: Chaos Theory CCXLII (242): In the bottle, it smells like a minty Lunacy blend, if that makes sense...mint over top of that buttery-sweet blend in some of the recent Lunacy blends. Smells yummy, but I wasn't sure how it would work on the skin. On my wrist...whoa, that's not mint, that's eucalyptus!!! The sweetness faded over time and on me, the eucalyptus overwhelmed me. I got whiffs of it from my wrist for at least 8 hours afterwards. Behind were some gentle floral notes, some real mint, and a touch of sweetness. If I liked eucalyptus, I'm sure I would be delighted - but I don't, so this will be going up for grabs. Chaos Theory CCLXIX (269): In the bottle, I catch a masculine note I can't quite place, sandalwood, something sweet, and maybe a slight alcohol smell, like a dash of rum? I'm not very good at identifying specific notes, especially in the bottle. Overally I would classify this as woody-spicy-sweet. I don't detect any strong florals or cinnamon. On my skin...the sweetness is not as obvious. This is a nice warm spicy scent at first...maybe some of the lighter musk, sandalwood, other light spicy smells? It reminds me of Queen of Sheba or Bastet, but a more masculine version. AFter two hours or so, what sweetness is present gives way to a more woody scent, which means there's more than sandalwood in this blend because my skin wouldn't pull this note out from just sandalwood. On me I found it became more masculine over time- too much so for me, in fact. It would be a lovely blend if you find the above mentioned oils too sweet, or would like something like them for a special guy. I'll be doing something with this blend as well. Though my scents didn't work out for me, I have to applaud the idea and system overall. Getting something unique and having the fun of trying it with no expectations was terrific!
  15. alston78

    How do I buy forum-only oils?

    Hi, They're usually posted in the same place where you read Beth's note - the "Announcements" section that's only open to lab members and the mods. I do remember that for the K and Q of Diamonds, there was a special link to a hidden page on the BPAL website, so that we could still use the online ordering system to order the oils.