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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by curlsandpearls

  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.
  16. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: Spicy-warm-nutmeg, like a candle shop. Wet: Nutmeg is dominant for me; I can sense sandalwood but am not getting any other notes at all. This is the kind of smell I'd *love* in a candle, not so much on my skin. It's spicy-foody, weirdly enough, which is totally not what I was expecting. Dry: Cinnamon red hots. Huh. Odd. Swap pile.
  17. curlsandpearls

    Calico Jack

    Bottle: Smells like a mix of sea and sweet, verdant landscape. Wet: The kelp immediately comes out swinging, but spices barge in soon after. The lab has nailed the "pirate ship" smell, all sea and spice and salt and sweat. It's "green" enough, though, that I'm not sure I'm a fan. We'll see how it develops. The musky texture is present, but not the overt musk smell, if that makes sense. And I'm not getting any leather yet. Dry: Honestly, there's something a little "perfumey" about this to me -- like that indiscriminate perfume smell you get when walking through the cosmetics and perfume section at a department store. It's an interesting smell, but it's not for me, personally.
  18. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: Exactly what it’s listed as—spicy frankincense and myrrh, very Middle Eastern. Wet: Oh, that is nice. It’s spicy but it isn’t sharp; it’s warm but not too dark. Not grainy or gritty—very smooth. I like this. Frankincense and myrrh have been iffy in blends for me, but together, ooh boy. That is nice. And I swear there’s some kind of tobacco in there; something is really tobacco-y. I get a bit of incense, but more tobacco. Dry: Oh, don’t be like that. It's only been ten minutes, and I'm getting whiffs of soap. No, no, no! Oh man, you guys. This is turning into a very strong man’s soap. Damn! It started out so good! Swap pile.
  19. curlsandpearls

    The Raven

    Bottle: I’m getting something syrup-sweet from the bottle. Odd. Wet: A “high,” sweet violet. It’s got that musky base but it’s much lighter than I was expecting. Maybe the iris and white sandalwood? It’s definitely got a gritty-grainy texture to it. Dry: A few minutes into the dry-down, it starts to blend in a lovely way. It’s the violet at the forefront with dark musk in the background and a “high” pitch that can only be the iris. I’m not sure how much I like this scent, personally, as it’s not as dark/smoky as I like my scents to be, even though it’s advertised as dark. Also, the iris—I think it’s the iris?—is starting to remind me of Dove soap. Like it’s violet, dark musk, and Dove soap. Eep. Swap pile.
  20. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: It smells like a nice blend of all four notes. Wet: Violet, vetiver—very vetiver heavy. Oh, how I love vetiver. It’s similar to Saturnalia, only it’s a little lighter, presumably due to the white musk and lavender. Dry: It smells like Saturnalia, only not as good. Honestly, I think it’s the slightly light twist the lavender throws in that is “messing” this up for me. And it’s not a mess, not by any means—the violet and vetiver are glorious. It’s just that those are the notes that I love in this scent, and they happen to be performing by themselves in Saturnalia. So, much as I’d love to wear a scent called Bluebeard, I think this will go in the swap pile.
  21. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: First off, the green color is awesome. I can’t decide whether this is floral/foody-sweet or herbal, or some weird mix of the two. It’s got a definite foody sweetness to it, weirdly enough. I can’t put my finger on it. Plums? Intriguing. Wet: The minute it got on my skin, it went herbal-astringent. Woo, that’s pungent. Washing it off; swap pile.
  22. curlsandpearls

    The Jersey Devil

    Bottle: Blackberries and cranberries. Usually pine comes out in full swing, dressed as Pine Sol or Vap-o-Rub to knock me down flat, but just berries... hmm... will have to try this. Wet: Ooh, those berries are pungent. I’m not getting anything woodsy yet. Am really intrigued by this. It’s so not me, and I was nervous about the pine, but I’m not getting any pine, just lots of winter-fresh berries. Swap pile, but it’s interesting that the pine didn’t come out. Dry: I didn't get any woodsy notes, just berries. So strange! Still swap pile.
  23. curlsandpearls

    Silk Road

    Bottle: Spice, some florals. A blend so blended I can’t pick out notes. Wet: A very “high” spice, if that makes sense. Not musky or dark or grainy, but a high, spicy floral. Smells like a cross between Hallmark, a really nice antique store, and an organic food co-op, if that makes sense. Not too interested in this one. Washing it off; swap pile.
  24. curlsandpearls


    Bottle: I definitely get the currant—it’s a musky floral scent that’s really thick and promising. I'm nervous about the currant and purported lavender, but it's so interesting that I have to put it on... Wet: Here come the resins. I’m liking this more than I thought I would. It has currant and lavender but the musk is working on them in a really interesting way. Dry: This is blending beautifully. The musk and resin work to darken the currant and lavender in layered, lovely ways. It’s just so well blended, I can hardly pick things out, but I like it. It’s flirting with the edge of being too fruity with the currant, but I really have liked it so far and am hopeful that it’s a doable scent. Later: It airs out into a spicier currant-musk smell. Thankfully, it retreated from the edge of fruitiness. This scent was a pleasant surprise; hanging onto this one.
  25. curlsandpearls

    The Great Sword of War

    Bottle: Musk with a sharp mandarin-orange layer. Wet: The same—mandarin is prominent, but there’s a warm musky-cocoa base underneath. I’m not a big citrus person so I knew I was taking a risk with the mandarin, but the rest of the components, to me, justified the purchase. We shall see if any other notes emerge as it dries. Dry: I’m getting whiffs of tonka in between the mandarin and musky-cocoa. It’s not full-on foody, but there are foody elements mixing with the citrus (with a musky base) that make this a really interesting scent. It’s a noticeably complex blend. Also: it says there’s no patchouli, but at times I swear I’m getting patchouli. Maybe it’s the red musk—herbal mix? And about fifteen minutes into the dry-down, tobacco leaf finally comes out. Hello, friend. The lab’s tobacco notes are works of art, and this one is no exception, but I doubt that this glorious note alone will be able to save the blend for me. Later: An hour in, it’s become a fully realized tobacco-tonka blend, and it just gets better from there. Somewhat reminiscent of The Antikythera Mechanism, only with a slight citrus undertone that augments the scent. I really, really like this stage—it’s just that the mandarin is so strong early on I’m not sure if I’d do a bottle. Hanging onto the imp, though.