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BPAL Madness!


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About hexnut

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    a little too imp-ulsive


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  1. hexnut

    Theoi Nomioi

    This is gorgeous. I guessed Theoi Nomioi would be conifer and little else on me, and I would have purchased it anyway, but this surpasses my expectations. There is conifer but it is balanced by a sweet herbal note that I think is White sage, and the whole both is comforting and piercing. I want to walk surrounded by a cloud of this scent, like an aura and an aegis against corruption.
  2. In Vitro The scent of the roasted seeds of Coffea arabica, so intoxicating in real life, has resisted capture again. What I do get from sniffing the bottle is the sweet and playful smell of coffee-flavored candy, and that is not a bad thing. ETA: on skin The sweet note was first, but almost immediately something else swelled up. Something slightly scorched and somewhat acrid that was strongest next to my wrist. It's not as bad on me as Miskatonic University or The Two Old Men, but it is not pleasant. second addendum: Eight hours after application, having literally slept on it, the unpleasant note is gone and what remains on my wrist is faint but slightly sweet and smells almost like - dare I say it - brewed coffee. Now this, I like! If only it was stronger. If I can figure out a way around the thuggish middle note, I will declare GVCB a success. As with any Single Note, I need to make a room spray of it before I pass final judgement.
  3. hexnut

    The Large Harem

    Damask rose, white carnation, lychee, Himalayan cedar, and white honey. In a final battle with The Dream at Will Call last night, this came out on top. Fresh on my skin this was all rose. After a bit the carnation poked up a bit, a pleasant surprise because the Spanish Red Carnation single note of a few years ago was nearly odorless on me. Later on I got bits of the cedar, and although rose remained dominant it combined with the other notes to make an overall lovely scent. It lasted a good while on my skin, all through the drive home and long after the smell of The Dream had faded away from my other arm. I don't know what lychee smells like - I only know it's an Asian fruit - but possibly it was reinforcing the citrusy quality that I get from some rose blossoms. Whatever it was doing in the Large Harem, it can keep on doing it. I'm delighted to have a bottle of this.
  4. hexnut

    The Two Old Men

    Sweet brown leather, cacao absolute, coffee bean absolute, and teakwood. Blind tested on my right wrist, and accidentally slathered instead of dabbed. In Vitro Pleasant but not strong. Wet Immediate deep sniffing: sweet and spicy. An earthy note joined in a few minutes later for a very nice scent overall. Unfortunately it faded significantly by the twenty minute mark despite the relatively large amount still gleaming on my skin. Drying Again with the plastic note. It's now one hour and twenty five minutes since application and what remains is vague and sweet with a faint whiff of plastic. Despite the disappointing drydown I have high hopes for this on my hair and/or clothing, and I will edit to reflect further tests. Even on my wretched skin, the wet phase started out beautifully.
  5. hexnut

    Phallus Parade

    Leather and black tea with champa blossom, incense, ambrette seed, and black truffle accord. Blind tested on my left wrist. In Vitro Rich and resinous, and somehow reminiscent of Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit despite lacking the cola/incense note. Wet Still resinous, but joined by a floral note that came to predominate over the next six minutes. Drying Aw, crud. Plastic, although thankfully faint. After a half hour I was getting some sweetness again, but it's now an hour and fifteen minutes after application and what remains is unremarkable sweetness with a hint of plastic. I refuse to be discouraged because my other Shungas aren't at their best on my skin (nothing is!) and I have yet to test this on clothing or hair.
  6. hexnut

    Lovers and a Fan

    In Vitro Coconut, sweet but not cloying. Wet A nearly colorless oil. The throw was coconut, but up close I got honey and spice for the first few minutes. The skin scent then morphed into a mildly sweet woody note, but the throw remained coconut dominant for a bit longer. Drying Twelve minutes after application the coconut was gone. There was still a bit of throw but it was a faint and sweeter version of the scent on my skin, which remained woody. It was reminiscent of the GC oil Intrigue ("Black palm, with cocoa, fig, and shadowy wooded notes") despite the dissimilar notes. I would have liked the coconut to stick around longer but it's one of those "volatile" BPAL notes on me. As a skin scent Lovers and a Fan is quite nice, if perplexing, and although I don't need another bottle I'll happily use this one.
  7. PROSPEROUS FLOWERS OF THE ELEGANT TWELVE SEASONS Patchouli and honeyed saffron with labdanum, leather accord, and wood vanilla. In Vitro A very rich honey and resin kind of scent. I should mention that I have not checked the notes list recently and all I remembered going into the test was patchouli, honey, and saffron. Wet The oil is light orange-brown. Freshly applied it was slightly less intense but gained and almost creamy sweetness. This subsided after a minute or two and and the overall scent was more spicy. Drying It became less sweet and hinted at a woody or even musty quality, but was not at all unpleasant. ETA: Two hours after application, the leather is prominent but not harsh, with underlying sweetness. This is both lovely and sexy.
  8. hexnut


    In Vitro Sweet mild cedar. skin test Two separate trials on my wrist, first on the day I received the bottle and then a few days later. The cedar was joined by a sweet floral note, and soon the cedar faded out to leave a very soft woody/herbal floral scent. Drying down, the individual notes became less distinct. During the second test it went through a phase of the dreaded plastic smell, but this passed after less than an hour. Many hours after application the scent remained very faint and skin-close but persistent. Sometimes I imagined I smelled white sage, and the cedar bobbed up again a few times. scent locket A very soft but pretty floral with faint cedar and herbal tones, never strong but lasting a long time (almost 24 hours as of this writing). room spray 1:1 mix with distilled water. A subtle but beautiful sweet herbal floral. I chanced a blind purchase of this mainly for the chaparral and white sage, hoping that these two components would be prominent, but they are not. The remaining notes are proven winners for me in BPAL blends and if the overall result was stronger I would try for backups. As it is, Amicitia is an absolutely gorgeous blend and I want it to work so badly... but it's just too weak, and I can't justify the purchase of another bottle. However am glad that I bought this one, especially if it encourages Beth to use more chaparral and other California natives in the future.
  9. hexnut


    A frimp from Will Call, at least five months old when tested. The oil is brown. In Vitro A rich sweet scent. That usually means vanilla, tobacco, or spice, but I couldn't detect any of those. I did get a soap association. Wet "Masculine soap" was my first impression; a sweet "brown" scent, rather pleasant. After two minutes I thought there might be lemon balm underneath. Drying Man soap and lemon balm. It stayed that way for the first hour or so, and faded to a sweet vanilla-ish trace. I can see getting lemon balm out of this because certain roses have a citrus component to my nose, and amber often reads as vanilla. That leaves red musk as the primary candidate for the men's soap association. Spellbound is nice and didn't go bad on my skin but it's not my style.
  10. hexnut

    The Robotic Scarab

    A frimp that was at least five months old when I blind tested it. The oil is orange-brown. In Vitro Floral? Dragon's blood? Wet A mild spicy floral that developed a "commercial perfume" smell. This was fairly strong during the wet phase. Drying Slightly powdery "perfume spice" that faded away over the next two hours. The label reveal was a surprise. I would have bet money that there was dragon's blood in this, and I didn't get leather at all. On the bright side I didn't detect frankincense or star anise either, but while The Robotic Scarab wasn't bad on me it isn't a scent I'd reach for.
  11. hexnut

    Embalming Fluid

    A frimp from a Will Call, tested blind. The oil is very pale yellow. In Vitro Citrus, possibly floral as well. Wet A pleasant but weak citrus scent. A few minutes on I thought it might contain grapefruit. Drying Faint citrus with a soapy note. Embalming Fluid was on my want-to-try list from way back, so I'm glad I received as a sample instead of buying it. That would have been a big disappointment.
  12. hexnut

    The Harvesters

    Not a blind test, but all I remembered of the notes were grain and pears. In Vitro Mild, possibly floral. Wet A short-ranged, sweet throw during application. On my wrist it was pears and spice. The throw actually strengthened, which has not happened for me before, and on the skin the pear was joined by a rich wine-like scent. Very, very good. Drying The throw lasted for half an hour, which for me is unprecedented. This initially dried to pear and spice and possible floral, with less of the wine note, but still very good. As the overall scent weakened the "floral" was replaced by wine, and it settled to a rich and lovely blend of pears, spice, and wine as it faded away. Aside from opening once for a sniff when I received it, my bottle of the Harvesters has been untouched until this week so I can't compare aged to fresh. But I know I love the stuff I have now, and I will absolutely cherish this while it lasts because it not only smells great but also behaves beautifully on me.
  13. hexnut

    Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit

    DESTRUCTIVE VAGINA OF THE FOX SPIRIT In Vitro Chocolate and incense. I hoped to smell coffee bean, but it stubbornly reads as chocolate to my nose. Since I love the Lab's chocolate note, this is still a winning combination. Wet Fresh on, wonderful chocolate and incense. If only it would stay this way... Over the next few minutes the chocolate faded and the incense was joined by a floral or woody note, which soon faded in its turn as the scent became a bit spicier. There was some throw in this phase. Drying Very faded and... oh no, nooo. Plastic. Faint plastic close up. Although if I backed off about 10 cm from my wrist I got a sweet throw. Fortunately the plastic retreated gradually until I could only catch it very close up, but the remaining scent was faint and undistinguishable sweetness. Four hours after application a tiny hint of plastic remained but a pseudo-chocolate note was at the forefront. Six hours on, there was a soft incense smell and no plastic at all. The final version, some fifteen hours after putting on a few drops, was a soft sweet smell that I associate with musk. Hair On the same day as the skin test I put a bit of DVotFS on the end of my ponytail and the initial scent was utterly fabulous cola incense. The elusive BPAL "cola" note, which I've only smelled before in Steamworks' No. 93 Engine, was just as fleeting here as in that oil. The final lingering hair scent was mild incense, and as usual was more noticeable when I showered. To sum up: mildly disappointed by absence of coffee, thrilled by combination of chocolate and incense, crushed by appearance of plastic, relieved by eventual sweetening, and tantalized by cola. I'm glad I bought this, and I am curious to see how it ages.
  14. hexnut

    The Sword of Surtur

    THE SWORD OF SURTUR In Vitro Lemony, and not very sweet. Wet Immediately on it was sharp, lemony ginger, which over the next few minutes lost the lemon smell and became true fresh ginger root, pungent and almost bitter. I have complained reported here before that BPAL's ginger turns to citrus on me, so I was delighted to smell the real thing. Ten minutes after application my wrist began to itch; I had used more oil than usual, so I blotted off the excess with a tissue, but the itch continued for at least ten more minutes. Fortunately there was no lingering pain and no redness, so this seems to have been an irritant but not an allergen. Drying Still slightly bitter ginger root, fading slowly. At the half hour mark the scent finally began to sweeten up, and at forty-five minutes I got a hint of the dreaded plastic note but fortunately it didn't last. Finally, later in the day and when the scent was almost gone, some of the other components dared to come out and made this sweet and nice. This isn't the first time an oil that I brought home has behaved quite differently than it did at Will Call, but I refuse to be discouraged. The ginger is painfully strong and sharp - appropriate for a blade! - but I think The Sword of Surtur will be a great one for combining with sweeter scents that could use a punch, and it should age well.
  15. hexnut

    Deadly Nightshade Honey Bonbon

    DEADLY NIGHTSHADE HONEY BONBON In Vitro Dark sweet chocolate. Wet Freshly applied this was honey with chocolate. Over the next few minutes the chocolate was replaced by a herbal background, which in turn faded to just a suggestion of chocolate in the honey. There was some throw during this phase. Drying Slightly herbal honey, lacking the sharpness that I get from more "pure" honey scents. As it faded it was less distinguishable as honey until, an hour and a half on, there remained a faint sweet scent. I was testing this before bedtime, and sometime during the night I awoke and smelled faint chocolate on my wrist. I love BPAL's chocolate and its honey, so it was a good bet that I'd like this and I certainly do. The nightshade part made me hesitate because of my skin's issues with floral notes, but this was more of a leafy tone than a flowery one. It occurs to me that the way this scent unfolded was like consuming an actual bonbon - the initial burst of chocolate coating, mixed with and eventually washed away by sweet honey filling that lingered in the mouth. And finally just a smidge more chocolate from the crumbs licked of the candy wrapper. I'm looking forward to slathering this.