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BPAL Madness!


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About septima_pica

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    sexy swapper

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    Octopod: Favourites: Laudanum, Nosferatu, Dee, Zombi, Sri Lanka, Athens, Nyarlathotep, Anubis, Perversion, Death Cap, Bess, Nemesis, Gaueko, Miskatonic University, Bezoar, Licwiglunga Good notes: dirt, tonka, patchouli, incenses/resins, honey, myrrh, fig, cypress, spices, bitter herbs, citrus, booze, coffee, leather, and most kinds of wood Dodgy notes: rose, vanilla, musk Bad notes: jasmine, dragon's-blood, grape, cocoa, amber, black/dark musk Kalirren: Favourites: Lilith, Spellbound, Dragon's Bone, Whitechapel, Baneberry, Prague, Bow and Crown of Conquest, Sea of Glass Good notes: sandalwood, rose, red musk, pine, amber, jasmine, white musk Bad notes: vetiver, cinnamon, cedar

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  1. septima_pica


    I think I know what you mean, actually. It seems to me that there are at least two main kinds of BPAL leather notes: there's what I've come to think of as the "stiff black" leather smell, like in Iago, De Sade, and Wanda, and then there's this "soft brown" leather, which I like a lot better. The latter shows up, for me at least, in Shrunken Heads, Hand of Glory, and Whip.
  2. septima_pica


    At first this is a really nice woody, resinous scent with a few sweet florals on top -- I'd wear it all the time if it stayed like this. Unfortunately, the orchid takes over and everything becomes a goopy, boring purple floral. Alas. I wish the juniper and rosewood would hang around a little longer.
  3. septima_pica

    El Dorado

    Right off the bat, I like this better than most metallics. It's got some kind of bitter herb -- black patchouli or vetiver -- in addition to the "metal" note and the gorgeous copal resin just like in Xiuhtecuhtli. Sharp and incensey but also sweet. Also, hella strong. And oddly, the sweetness seems to be coming and going -- when it's there, the scent is quite nice and complex, and when it's not, it smells like cologne. Not sure what to make of that; perhaps it'll stabilize with age. Into the box with you, gallant knight! You can come out once you're ready to make sense. For now you're just confusing me.
  4. septima_pica

    País de la Canela

    Where are you? Where did you go? Come back! You're supposed to have cinnamon! Did I get the wrong blend or something? I seriously smell NO cinnamon at all in this. Just a vague oceanic smell and some kind of greenery or other -- all amounting to something like a men's aquatic cologne on vacation in Hilo. Not bad, but scarcely the País de la Canela! I may have to try swapping for another imp of this to see if it's an error in this batch or something.
  5. septima_pica

    The Sluggard

    It's rather pretty, but the lavender and pear dominate a bit more than I'd like. Definitely going to Kalirren for testing -- probably much more his thing than mine. I do like the thistle note, though, and would love to see more of it in other scents. This one's just a bit too flowery-fruity for my tastes.
  6. septima_pica

    The Chicken-Legged Hut

    Oh maaaan. Hay and herbs drying in the sun, barnyard dust, fireplace ashes, pecans for some reason -- and yes, a distinct smell of cracked grain. Which, I suppose, is what chickens' feet probably smell like. I must confess to never having sniffed them. I like this scent way more than is reasonable. WTF. It's just so...dry and summery and bucolic.
  7. septima_pica

    Baba Yaga

    (Released version) One of those classic BPAL "apothecary's cabinet" scents -- a strange sweetness over a mass of dusty herbs. Patchouli root is particularly evident, and gives the blend a slight similarity to Badger. And...yeah, there's a suggestion of weed in there too. Good weed, though, resinous and fragrant, not too skunky. A little iron and ash at the bottom keep it a little dark, which is good. The sweetness is odd, though -- cold, round, blue, high, almost an aquatic sweetness somehow, I can't quite place it but I know I've smelt it before. Gardenia perhaps, or some kind of lily, or...screwpine maybe? I am puzzled. Good stuff though. I seem to be in the minority in liking this better than the weirdly pineappley prototype, but I definitely do.
  8. septima_pica

    The Black Rider

    Powder bomb, waaagh! Serves me right for trying a black musk scent un-aged. I'll try this again in a year and see if it's become palatable.
  9. septima_pica

    The Red Rider

    That's definitely red musk. Absolutely no doubt about it. And contrary to what I was fearing after these other reviews, the balsam is plenty present -- awesome! The leather, oddly enough, is somewhat covered up by the RED MUSK WHOA, even though it should be a primary feature of the blend. And there's something...salty? Not sure; maybe that's just the red musk playing tricks on my nose, which it sometimes does. Dry, spicy, rather animal-smelling. I like everything in here, and I like it together. I think I'll hang onto it for a while, though, and let it blend. The red musk may decide to hold back a little and play nice with a bit more time.
  10. septima_pica

    Jolly Roger

    It's like Mary Read took a shower using drugstore soap! Like, Ivory or Dove or something like that. She's a clean pirate now. No thanks. I'll stick with Mary Read herself -- it's got more rum and less Bay Rum. Still, this is pretty nice.
  11. septima_pica

    The Lights of Men's Lives

    Yep, that's beeswax. No smoke, just sweet wax. Not quite as potent as taking a whiff of a fresh beeswax candle, which is what I was hoping for -- more honey and less pollen than that. Ultimately, not as interesting as I was hoping for. Ah well -- I'm happy with my No. 93 Engine. ::shrugs::
  12. septima_pica


    Very sweet plum dominates right away, with just a little lilac and the soft, light-brown leather from Whip and Shrunken Heads. Something here is keeping it from being as teenage-girly as I would expect from the description -- perhaps it's the leather? Somehow I had managed to avoid trying anything with the Lab's plum note until now, and it's surprising me a bit. It's not the sweet-sour little backyard plums that I'm used to picking, or the honey-floral-scented Santa Rosas that you usually see being grown commercially; it's something else with a less sour skin and more of a vanillic scent -- I wonder what kind? Is this what European plums are like, as compared to the Japanese varieties? There's still a tartness to it, unmistakably, but it's got a brown-sugary middle note that I don't ever think I've smelt in a fresh plum. Interesting. Anyhow, Central Valley stone-fruit geekery aside, I rather like this. While I thought about plums, the leather note developed and the lilac died down; plum and leather now dominate. Good stuff, and not nearly so excessively sweet and fruity as I initially feared it would be. Not an instant love, but merits further testing.
  13. septima_pica

    Love's Torments

    Scary in the bottle, but when applied, rather nice. An initial pulse of very smokey (á la Agnes Nutter) vetiver, which subsides quickly, leaving the high notes to dominate. I'd agree with whoever said there's a lemon or lemon balm note in here. The sandalwood is in there somewhere, but gives just a general impression of Chinese-temple ambience; perhaps it's coming off as a fake sandalwood for some reason? Very tea-like, somehow. Weak lapsang souchong with lemon balm in it, outside a temple that uses cheap sandalwood incense. Not a combination I'd think of, but it's not unpleasant. I think I'll stick it in the aging box to try later, though, once the notes have melded a bit more.
  14. septima_pica


    Oh man. I love balsam. Sounds like I need to try Ü. Bezoar, No. 93 Engine, Anubis, and Tombstone, and to some extent Dracul, are all good for balsam, in my experience. Especially Bezoar, where it's really the main thing going on in the scent -- the cardamom and wood are just a subtle accent to it. (And I'll try Enyalios and Luperci at WC next weekend -- Seismo spoke highly of the former, and I've been wanting to try the latter -- and post in this thread if I remember.)
  15. septima_pica

    Recommending a BPAL pumpkin blend...

    I bet Jack and Chimera would play well together, for starters...