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BPAL Madness!


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About curlsandpearls

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  • Favorite Scents
    Lurid, Dee, Winter of Our Discontent, The Antikythera Mechanism, A Dense and Frightful Darkness, Liz, Saturnalia Love Notes: tobacco, leather, vetiver, cedar, teakwood, oak, smoke, rosewood, tonka, black/white musk, cypress, balsam, vanilla


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  1. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: In the bottle, it's an almost medicinal dryness. Wet: Wet, there's an immediate warmth, like sun beating down on dry land. It's very grassy, with a hint of hay. But it's green, not golden, to me. It's almost like burnt out grass hitting damp patches of riverbed. There's a damp quality to this, almost an aquatic? There's a sharp, green "up" tinge to it that keeps the heat from settling. I agree with the "cleaning agent" comments - that's definitely how it hit me. Astringent, not acidic. Dry: This has lightened/warmed up considerably, and it. is. awesome. Sunny, warm. Still grassy, but more hay-grassy than green-grassy. Hay and suntan oil (the good kind) and lying out in the yard with a beer. -- nice and smoky. Mmm. Fabulous. A few hours later: Still warm, still dry, still can't stop sniffing my wrist. Not dusty, not grassy, not green -- definitely golden, definitely arid, not overly powdery. This is early fall to me -- like August/September -- still hot and dry and burnt out fields, hay rides and falling leaves and cider and crisp wind. Hot days and cool nights. I can see how people would view it as masculine, but it's got the kind of quality that curls around the edges, embracing the particularity of the wearer. Like an old plaid and beat up boots, honestly -- just depends on who's they are.
  2. curlsandpearls

    Vicomte de Valmont

    Bottle: Whoo boy, that’s sharp! Smells like a perfume counter at a department store. Yeah, I can definitely see how this is based on an old school men’s cologne. The orange (I think) it’s twisting the white musk and white sandalwood base in a “meh” way, and the ambergris is there with all the grit and grime, so I’m going to try this and… we’ll see. *is a little hesitant Wet: I only had to put a little on my wrist to get the wow, in-your-face power. Ambergris, white sandalwood, and orange with a little mint is what I can smell off of this right now. It’s a very, very sharp scent on me. It’s odd—I’m testing Tree of Life on my other wrist, and the orange is so soft it’s almost indistinguishable in that blend. This, on the other hand, is all grit and grime and citrus. Dry: Ooh, jasmine, hello, you were in cahoots with the orange! Yeah, this isn’t gonna work. I’m increasingly of a mind that ambergris is not something I can do (which is weird, since vetiver is kind of my BFFL), and the jasmine and orange notes are amping on my skin like no other, so… yeah. Later: Almost soap-like. Really expensive soap in a really expensive department store cosmetics/perfumes section. Swap pile.
  3. curlsandpearls

    Tree of Life

    Bottle: A heady, woodsy base with a distinct cocoa/tonka sweet note insisting on being center stage. Wet: The woodsy base is still there, but the green, earthy-citrus notes start peeking out: the sage and moss are prominent and the mandarin is distinguishable, twisting it in an interesting way—if you’re someone who likes mandarin-cocoa over woods. I’m not really feeling it, but let’s see how it dries. Dry: The green, citrus notes (and tea, which is discernable at this point) take a backseat to the heady, cocoa-tonka, woodsy scent that first emerged in the bottle. I’m usually not one for cocoa, but it’s interesting in this blend. Really subtle and lovely. Not much throw to this one; I put a good deal on my wrist but still have to get close to smell. Later: The woods base thins out over time, leaving the cocoa/tonka blend in the foreground, which is kind of unfortunate—I need the heady woods base to keep the foodiness in check. Alas, it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.
  4. curlsandpearls

    Le Lèthè

    Bottle: Interesting! A really intriguing blend—and it is a blend, although the red musk is discernable. Red musk is a risk for me. I’m not sure if this one will work, but let’s try it out. Wet: Spicy red musk and amber with discernable nutmeg-tobacco influence. Heady and yummy. Seriously, the nutmeg in particular makes this twist in really interesting ways—hints of foody spice that are tempered by the tobacco and thrown over the general foundation of amber and musk. Dry: Just a really sexy blend—not too dark, not too spicy. Just a hair too "red" for me, but I'll have the husband try it.
  5. curlsandpearls

    Variety of Pleasing Amusements

    In the bottle and wet, this smelled very much like Interfector - a strong foody tobacco note. For a while, I thought the leather might keep the sweetness in check, but it's rather like a tennis match, bouncing from honey-leather to honey-tobacco. I really wanted to love this. Alas.
  6. curlsandpearls

    The smell of night

    Nocnitsa has been mentioned, and it definitely has that lovely dark, damp forest smell. I will also say that usually I cannot do evergreen, pine type smells, but Nocnitsa is beautifully blended. A Dense and Frightful Darkness (one of the Frankenstein Yules from 2011) has a similar effect, only grittier/darker - no pine or evergreen or such. Another night scent, for me, is Saturnalia, which is all vetiver and violets - and I am not a floral person at all, so it definitely surprised me.
  7. curlsandpearls

    Please recommend powdery blends

    Anathema (black opium, vetiver, honeysuckle) starts out strong with silky-smooth vetiver but dries to a very powdery, dark floral (not baby powder). If you can do vetiver, it might be one to try.
  8. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: Strong, sharp, burnt ash or something. Wet: Vetiver. Swirling black with a golden edge. It’s dark and masculine, heady without being gritty. I’m used to vetiver being gritty, but it is smooth as silk here. Gorgeous. Dry: Silky smooth vetiver/opium with just enough honey to provide a sweetness around the edges—but not a foody sweet, a golden sweet that is just a lovely touch. Goodness, this is a beautiful blend. How they got vetiver to not be grainy is beyond me. Other reviews said it was a “rich, dark floral” and I totally agree. Not incense, not smoke (and I love those things)—just dark, smooth vetiver and opium with a touch of honey. Later: Damn. It went to a powdery dark floral on me. Swap pile.
  9. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: Light florals. Wet: Spicy floral—I don’t get vanilla or smoke. Some wet leather, maybe, but really just a spicy floral. I like it—kind of. Dry: Once it starts to dry, the vanilla starts coming out, along with some hints of smoke. Ooh, I like. It’s still got that light floral scent in the background, but the vanilla + smoke = lovely warmth. Later: This is a much “lighter” fragrance than I normally go for, but I’m intrigued enough to order a bottle.
  10. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: I definitely get the woods-frankincense-spice combo. Wet: Woods, spices, and an almost cocoa-chocolate tobacco—much sweeter than the dry, husky, smoky tobacco note I’m used to from the lab. It’ll be interesting to see how this dries. Dry: There’s a dry, spicy woods base to this scent, but the tobacco is just so sweet. It’s a rich, foody tobacco note that doesn't dry out with time. Not gonna work, which is a shame. For someone who’s okay with foody-tobacco, this would be great. Swap pile.
  11. curlsandpearls

    Burning Vulva

    Bottle: Orange-citrus-red-grainy smell. Wet: Initially, this is ginger-tropical-citrus fruit on me. However, it quickly goes to a darker, pepper-y amber-leather combo. Dry: It definitely dries into a “hot” smell, but it’s so blended I can’t make out notes. It’s no longer citrus-y, just a fiery note with light pepper. The leather must be prominent, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what is doing what. A sweet amber note comes out after a while, not my thing, though. Something almost Christmas-y about it, very reminiscent of Grandma’s house, candles burning. Smells like a less foody Interfector. Swap pile.
  12. curlsandpearls

    The Lion

    The dry, glorious warmth of the Savannah. A golden, spiced amber, proud, regal and ferocious. Bottle: Dry savannah. Sandalwood. Wet: Spicier. Dry, heady, Middle Eastern amber. I like. It’s dry enough so as not to be overwhelming with thick, redolent spice. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of throw – I’ve put it on my wrist, neck, and a bit in my cleavage and am having trouble smelling it. Dry: Still dry, warm, and spicy, but there’s almost a vanilla-sweetness to it. Subtle. Very nice. Later: Sadly, this had no throw on me whatsoever. I slathered it on my wrists and neck and my husband still couldn’t smell it. Sad face. Swap pile.
  13. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: an herbal-green cedar-sage mix. Nice and light. Wet: Clean linens and fresh air. Dewy grass, sunlight. I'm wanting more cedar, but this is nice. It does seem like it could go powder on me, but so far we're good. Dry: Has turned into laundry detergent clean. A very nice clean smell, mind, but not for me. The cedar never really showed up in full force, alas. Also, this faded very quickly. Swap pile.
  14. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: Ginger comes barreling out of this bottle, holy crap. Good thing I like ginger. Wet: Foody gingerbread, but a dark gingerbread. I usually don’t like foody, but I’m intrigued. Gonna keep this one on for a bit, see what it does. Dry: The gingerbread is fading, and I can barely smell anything on my skin but the lingering ginger and a bit of nutmeg-esque spice. Not much power at all; my skin ate this one.
  15. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: Warm, dry, musky, spicy. Wet: This is a desert, bone-dry scent. It's a really nice, relaxed blend of warmth and musk and spice and wood; it's not "light" but it's not really dark or in your face, either. I agree with reviews that suggest cedar or sandalwood. Wow, I like this. *hopes it stays good through the dry down* Dry: I don't know that I'm as big a fan through the dry-down. I can't even describe what it's doing right now (going limp? not weak, but like part of it isn't pulling its weight so it's not as well balanced?), but it's going to the swap pile. Darn. Later: It smells like the kind of cologne a 17-year-old guy would over-apply. The sandalwood is strooooong.