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BPAL Madness!


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About tartsquid

  • Rank
    evil enabler
  • Birthday 06/29/1985


  • Location
    Reston, VA
  • Country
    United States

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  • Favorite Scents
    Favorite Scents: Womb Furie, Mme. Moriarty, Samhain 05, Hellion, Blood Moon, Queen of Clubs, Strawberry Moon (05), The Last Unicorn notes: plum, tea, citrus, cinnamon, ginger, spices, vanilla, almond, sweet but not foody, incense, resins disliked notes: honey, jasmine, most other florals, caramel, butter

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  • Interests
    I'm a nut for 16th and 17th Century English literature (nerdy lit student, here!), history and philosophy. I play a lot of video games (you don't wanna know how many 80s I have in WoW), sew, and knit.
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  1. tartsquid

    Captain Cully

    CAPTAIN CULLY "I'm merry twenty-four hours a day, Dick Fancy," Cully said coldly. "That is a fact." A cocky light musk with leather, tonka, a dusting of dry woods, and a splash of porter. Captain Cully was a surprise standout in the imp pack. I'm not usually into leather scents despite loving the smell of actual leather. They're typically very chemical to my nose. Captain Cully, however, smells almost exactly like a new saddle - sweet leather that hasn't had a chance to be dirtied up yet. I grew up on a farm with a dad who loved riding horses, and he's who my brain instantly goes to when I smell this. There's a bit of clean musk, but it's predominantly a sweet smelling leather. It reminds me of Quincy Morris minus the pear.
  2. tartsquid

    The Amorous Tree

    THE AMOROUS TREE “Gently, gently,” he counseled himself. “No man with the power to summon Robin Hood — indeed, to create him — can be bound for long. A word, a wish, and this tree must be an acorn on a branch again, this rope be green in a marsh.” But he knew before he called on it that whatever had visited him for a moment was gone again, leaving only an ache where it had been. He felt like an abandoned chrysalis. “Do as you will,” he said softly. Captain Cully roused at his voice, and sang the fourteenth stanza. “There are fifty swords without the house, and fifty more within, And I do fear me, captain, they are like to do us in.” “Ha’ done, ha’ done,” says Captain Cully, “and never fear again, For they may be a hundred swords, but we are seven men.” “I hope you get slaughtered,” the magician told him, but Cully was asleep again. Schmendrick attempted a few simple spells for escaping, but he could not use his hands, and he had no more heart for tricks. What happened instead was that the tree fell in love with him and began to murmur fondly of the joy to be found in the eternal embrace of a red oak. “Always, always,” it sighed, “faithfulness beyond any man’s deserving. I will keep the color of your eyes when no other in the world remembers your name. There is no immortality but a tree’s love.” “I’m engaged,” Schmendrick excused himself. “To a western larch. Since childhood. Marriage by contract, no choice in the matter. Hopeless. Our story is never to be.” A gust of fury shook the oak, as though a storm were coming to it alone. “Galls and fireblight on her!” it whispered savagely. “Damned softwood, cursed conifer, deceitful evergreen, she’ll never have you! We will perish together, and all trees shall treasure our tragedy!” Along his length Schmendrick could feel the tree heaving like a heart, and he feared that it might actually split in two with rage. The ropes were growing steadily tighter around him, and the night was beginning to turn red and yellow. He tried to explain to the oak that love was generous precisely because it could never be immortal, and then he tried to yell for Captain Cully, but he could only make a small, creaking sound, like a tree. She means well, he thought, and gave himself up for loved. A tree in love: misty, rose-flecked leaves, warm bark, and shuddering branches. When I first put this one on it smells a bit like cedar or maybe a different strong tree note - I'm not a big fan of woods so I'm terrible at identifying them! As it dries down it starts smelling like lime, which was unexpected from the description, so much so that I had to go double check to see if it were a listed note. I suppose it's possible that my brain reads wood plus rose as limes, because I don't actually smell roses when it's usually something I amp to death. I'm really surprised by this one! From the listed description I expected heavy woods with a cover of roses, but it's actually quite light and fresh. To me it smells like a very sweet lime with a slight aquatic bent from the "misty" part of the description. The woods and the rose aren't really showing up after it's dry.
  3. tartsquid

    Molly Grue

    MOLLY GRUE Molly said something strange then, for a woman who never slept a night through without waking many times to see if the unicorn was still there, and whose dreams were all of golden bridles and gentle young thieves. “It’s the princesses who have no time,” she said. “The sky spins and drags everything along with it, princesses and magicians and poor Cully and all, but you stand still. You never see anything just once. I wish you could be a princess for a little while, or a flower, or a duck. Something that can’t wait.” She sang a verse of a doleful, limping song, halting after each line as she tried to recall the next. Who has choices need not choose. We must, who have none. We can love but what we lose — What is gone is gone. Schmendrick peered over the unicorn’s back into Molly’s territory. “Where did you hear that song?” he demanded. It was the first he had spoken to her since the dawn when she joined the journey. Molly shook her head. “I don’t remember. I’ve known it a long time.” The land had grown leaner day by day as they traveled on, and the faces of the folk they met had grown bitter with the brown grass; but to the unicorn’s eyes Molly was becoming a softer country, full of pools and caves, where old flowers came burning out of the ground. Under the dirt and indifference, she appeared only thirty-seven or thirty-eight years old — no older than Schmendrick, surely, despite the magician’s birthdayless face. Her rough hair bloomed, her skin quickened, and her voice was nearly as gentle to all things as it was when she spoke to the unicorn. The eyes would never be joyous, any more than they could ever turn green or blue, but they too had wakened in the earth. She walked eagerly into King Haggard’s realm on bare, blistered feet, and she sang often. An angry little beetle with her own kitchen beauty: fig, sesame, hazelnut, and cooking spices softened by rice flower. The fig is the first thing that jumps out to me in Molly Grue - it's definitely the dominant note on my skin, followed by the kitchen spices joining in merrily and pushing it from fruity territory into foody, a bit like baking tarts but without the smell of the pastry. The sesame peeks out as it dries down, tempering the sweetness of the fig and giving it a more earthy feel. For those worried about hazelnut, I can't detect it at all, but your mileage may vary, especially if it's something you amp. It's not a particularly complex scent on me, and it actually reminds me a bit of a candle scent. It's almost all rich fig with a little depth. I don't know if I would immediately associate it with Molly the way that some of the other scents were strongly evocative of their character.
  4. tartsquid

    Magic, Do As You Will

    MAGIC, DO AS YOU WILL Cully smiled impatiently, and Jack Jingly dozed, but it startled the magician to see the disappointment in Molly Grue’s restless eyes. Sudden anger made him laugh. He dropped seven spinning balls that had been glowing brighter and brighter as he juggled them (on a good evening, he could make them catch fire), let go all his hated skills, and closed his eyes. “Do as you will,” he whispered to the magic. “Do as you will.” It sighed through him, beginning somewhere secret — in his shoulderblade, perhaps, or in the marrow of his shinbone. His heart filled and tautened like a sail, and something moved more surely in his body than he ever had. It spoke with his voice, commanding. Weak with power, he sank to his knees and waited to be Schmendrick again. I wonder what I did. I did something. He opened his eyes. Most of the outlaws were chuckling and tapping their temples, glad of the chance to mock him. Captain Cully had risen, anxious to pronounce that part of the entertainment ended. Then Molly Grue cried out in a soft, shaking voice, and all turned to see what she saw. The ecstasy of magic and the power of transformation: frankincense, guggul gum, onycha accord, styrax, and deep purple fruits. The description sounds great - purple fruits and frankincense are typically good notes for me. When I first put it on it smells strangely chemical and a bit like ... nail polish remover? How strange. As it dries down it begins to remind me very much of The Midnight Carnival - they seem to share a peppery incense sort of feeling, but Magic, Do As You Will is sweeter and the purple fruits are definitely there. It actually strikes me as a mix between The Midnight Carnival and Nahemoth, which is one of my favorite blends. I think this is a blend to sit on and let age - the complexities might reveal themselves after it's had more time to settle (and my nose isn't fatigued by trying all the things!).
  5. tartsquid

    The Harpy Celaeno

    THE HARPY CELAENO The unicorn began to walk toward the harpy’s cage. Schmendrick the Magician, tiny and pale, kept opening and closing his mouth at her, and she knew what he was shrieking, though she could not hear him. “She will kill you, she will kill you! Run, you fool, while she’s still a prisoner! She will kill you if you set her free!” But the unicorn walked on, following the light of her horn, until she stood before Celaeno, the Dark One. For an instant the icy wings hung silent in the air, like clouds, and the harpy’s old yellow eyes sank into the unicorn’s heart and drew her close. “I will kill you if you set me free,” the eyes said. “Set me free.” The unicorn lowered her head until her horn touched the lock of the harpy’s cage. The door did not swing open, and the iron bars did not thaw into starlight. But the harpy lifted her wings, and the four sides of the cage fell slowly away and down, like the petals of some great flower waking at night. And out of the wreckage the harpy bloomed, terrible and free, screaming, her hair swinging like a sword. The moon withered and fled. The unicorn heard herself cry out, not in terror but in wonder, “Oh, you are like me!” She reared joyously to meet the harpy’s stoop, and her horn leaped up into the wicked wind. The harpy struck once, missed, and swung away, her wings clanging and her breath warm and stinking. She burned overhead, and the unicorn saw herself reflected on the harpy’s bronze breast and felt the monster shining from her own body. So they circled one another like a double star, and under the shrunken sky there was nothing real but the two of them. The harpy laughed with delight, and her eyes turned the color of honey. The unicorn knew that she was going to strike again. Clanging metal, smouldering hatred, and terror: vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, tolu balsam, black clove, bergamot, orange flower, and horseradish. Despite the truly unappealing-sounding notes, I was most excited to try this oil out of this round of The Last Unicorn scents. I love the books and Celaeno is the name of one of my World of Warcraft characters, so there's a nerdy connection there. In the vial this smells sharply metallic, even moreso than The Ninth Cage did. However, on me it blossoms into something much more complex and not nearly as dark as I was expecting from the listed notes (though it's true that vetiver, myrrh, and patchouli are all notes that get along wonderfully with my chemistry). The orange flower and bergamot come to the forefront with a tinge of the darker notes lurking underneath. It's actually a quite light scent and ... surprisingly pretty.
  6. tartsquid

    Half Elf v5

    This reminds me of another scent but I can't quite put my finger on which one. It's creamy and vaguely powdery - definitely a soft scent. I'm terrible at note identification but my nose tags this one as vanilla and some sort of musk, maybe skin musk. It's very pretty but lacks throw and staying power.
  7. tartsquid

    The Ninth Cage

    This actually smells more like a deep woods note than anything metallic to me. I generally prefer scents with a bit of sweetness, so I'm surprised to find that this one is actually pretty nice. It's a very masculine smell to me.
  8. tartsquid

    The Lilac Wood

    This is a very fresh, green scent that instantly transports me back to my childhood, when the lilacs bloomed in our front yard. It's gorgeous and smells like fresh, green lilacs the way that Rose Red is a fresh green rose. Not perfumey or soapy at all the way that some florals can be, but just pure essence of the flower itself.
  9. tartsquid

    Arachne of Lydia

    I know that I amp clove and don't care for it much, so this is the one scent in my imp pack that I could do without. If you like cloves, you will probably love this scent. For me it's a single note of sweet clove, not as blech as clove tends to be on me in spicier scents, but still all clove all the time.
  10. tartsquid

    The Last Unicorn

    I'm bowled over by how gorgeous this one is. On my skin it's predominantly lilac petals (my favorite floral!) with the white chocolate as the second strongest note. It's very sweet, and well blended so that the other notes don't stick out so much. Like someone else mentioned, it's a much stronger and deeper scent than the notes would suggest, and that makes it perfect for me as someone who usually sticks with strong, red musk based scents. This is a gorgeous floral that's not TOO floral, as the lilac sinks into the other notes.
  11. tartsquid

    The Butterfly

    This does smell fuzzy and brown! The bergamot gives it a very bright note and makes me think of the Butterfly flitting around and singing his songs (perfect!). Petitgrain gives it a touch of a woodsy smell and the tonka keeps things sweet. It strikes me as a sweet herbal scent, spring-like and very fitting for the Butterfly.
  12. tartsquid

    The Midnight Carnival

    THE MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL There were nine wagons, each draped in black, each drawn by a lean black horse, and each baring barred sides like teeth when the wind blew through the black hangings. The lead wagon was driven by a squat old woman, and it bore signs on its shrouded sides that said in big letters: MOMMY FORTUNA’S MIDNIGHT CARNIVAL. And below, in smaller print: Creatures of night, brought to light. Cruelty and confinement, small magics and penny illusions: galbanum, teak, myrrh, narcissus, patchouli, cacao, labdanum, agarwood, lavender, neroli, and black moss. I was looking forward to this one most of all, as it seems to be in the resinous scent family that I usually love. I should note that I have a raging sinus infection at the moment, so that might be altering my first impressions. That said, this comes across as a slightly fruity incense on my skin. I think that what my nose reads as fruit comes from the neroli and lavender. I can hardly smell the cacao and the wood and patchouli notes give a sense of incense smoke. Dried down it smells like soft and powdery resins with just a bit of incense. I think this one has the potential to get much more interesting and have more depth with age.
  13. tartsquid

    Mommy Fortuna

    For me this is primarily honey until it dries down - the super sweet honey smell covers everything else. As it dries down it smells a bit metallic, from what I'm guessing is the gunpowder note I haven't smelled before. Two hours after I put it on it's become a close to the skin honey with a little touch of an herbal and metallic undertone. It's not something that I would usually be a fan of, but it's interesting a fairly unique!
  14. tartsquid

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    I have a 3 year old bottle of Mme. Moriarty that smells amazing on me. I'd say that the dominant notes are the patchouli leaf and red musk. I just got a 1 year old bottle from a sale and it smells completely different - like a lighter version of some of the notes from my original bottle covered with something really sweet that reminds me of August 2010's 13. It's so strange, they smell almost nothing alike! Even fresh Mme. smells more like woods that super sweet things on me.
  15. tartsquid

    Spice me, baby! The spiciest BPAL blends

    I find And There Was a Great Cry In Egypt to be very resinous and spicey - it's not a cinnamon or pepper spice but the spice is there. It's more incense than musk but it might appeal to you.