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BPAL Madness!


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About bheansidhe

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    diabolical decanter
  • Birthday 09/01/1971

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  • Favorite Scents
    ALL-STARS: Aradia, Badger, Dead Leaves and Anything, Hesiod's Phoenix, Hope and Fear Set Free, The Magician's Wand, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Lovers with Rutting Cats, The Silence of the Woods. KNOCKOUTS: Autumn Overlooked My Knitting, Banded Sea Snake, Black Hellebore, Dorian, Freak Show, Habu, Imp, Jack, Kanishta, King Pursued By a Unicorn, Kumari Kandam, The Girl, Loviatar, Men Ringing Bells With Penises, Midnight on the Midway, Pinched with Four Aces, Snake Charmer, Three Witches, Tanuki No Orai. PECULIAR FANCIES: Gomorrah, Kumiho, Nosferatu, Opuhi, Pele, Jester, Sudha Segara. ARCHENEMIES: most jasmines, most myrrh, honey, galbanums, civet, "scorched," French tobacco, and red currant, particularly as manifest in Debauchery, Cathode, Montresor, Samhain, and Sugar Skull. NEMESIS: O.

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  1. bheansidhe

    Dead Leaves, White Sandalwood & White Moss

    This has an unexpectedly cool, jammy fir, Christmas tree vibe to it when freshly applied, which is probably the white moss. This quickly settles into a damp, woodsy, mossy sweetness. It has fairly low throw but great sillage. I'm not wild about it as a perfume, but I tried some in an oil burner, and it turned my living room into a cozy, moss-grown clearing in the deep fir woods.
  2. bheansidhe


    Where are the reviews...?? Is this thing even on? Superstition is good! It's SO good! I'm not by nature a huge leather fan; I'm not opposed to it, but it's not a "sink into my background aura" smell for me the way amber and other resins are. For me, wearing a leather blend is An Event that will constantly tap me on the shoulder, reminding me that I Smell Like Leather Right now. For that reason, I don't need a variety of leather perfumes; I really just need one or two reliable standbys. Of the lab's various leathers, "well-worn" is always going to be my preference, but other well-worn leather blends like The Black Rider and Rogue fail due to other notes that always go wrong on me. Paladin and Gingerbread Jolly Roger are my two standby leathers... to which rank I add Superstition. Don't get me wrong; it's definitely, unmistakably leather in there, soft and supple but distinct, like standing in a room of vintage riding tack in an old but clean barn. This is a sweet leather, sweetened further in the marriage with roots and wild grasses (I believe I get some mandrake accord, dried hay, sweetgrass, and a touch of the dewy grass note). Frankincense rounds it out deliciously, and there's a dusty woodsiness as well that could be the blackthorn. I'm never good at picking out balsam, but I'm sure it's contributing to the herbalness. The herbishness (let's just continue to make up words, shall we?) is in no way culinary or spicy; you have gone into the fields and pastures and harvested the summer-fresh plants, then dried them all season in your creaking wooden attic. Honestly, I know all of the herbals and woods are modifying it, but this smells like the perfect Single Note Soft Leather on me. Buy it, buy it.
  3. bheansidhe

    Pumpkin Spice Hot Buttered Rum

    Imagine that you are sitting at a New Orleans hotel with the waiter preparing Bananas Foster tableside. To begin, they drop a whole-ass stick of butter in the sizzling pan, dump in cupfuls of sugar, toss in the banana, drench it with rum, and light it all on fire. Once the caramels are scorched and the butter is browned, they plate it and serve it piping hot topped with ice-cold vanilla bean ice-cream -- and, buddy, MINUS the bananas, that experience is THIS perfume. It's rummy but not rum-forward; it's butter-and-caramelized-sugars with some powdered ginger and cardamom in the background, fresh scraped vanilla bean, and - wait a minute, yes - the moist, yeasty heart of a cinnamon roll drenched in buttercream icing. Booziness: 2/5. Spiciness: 5/5. Foodiness: off the charts. Bottle: bought. I'd say it was distinctly different from Bonfire Toffee, which is dark caramalized sugar notes and a touch of smokiness. PS HBR is giving me more cinnamon and clove on this application. It starts out all the sweet butter and rum (sweet, but not too boozy), but the drydown is distinctly layered with PS. PS HBR doesn't dry down to resemble Pumpkin Spice Everything, either. I'm sorry, but you're just going to have to skin-test them all.
  4. bheansidhe

    Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini

    1. Unscrew the bottle lid. 2. ....... wait for the FIREBALL BLAST OF ALCOHOL to roll up and past your nostrils. Snort out the singed nose hairs. 3. Sit back and sip the COFFEE. This is black and bitter espresso with black and bitter chocolate notes that gradually modulate with the addition of a buttery caramel syrup. This is the thick, chewy Turkish coffee with extra grinds and Eastern European spices. It reminds me of the coffee notes from The Turkish Village (minus the roses). Once on the skin, the entire experience mellows out. The alcohol notes clearly got overcaffeinated and jittered out the door. My wearing experience is blackened espresso silt and cardamom, followed by caramel drizzle. This would be amazing layered with Pumpkin Latte (to boost the coffee element) or PS Hot Buttered Rum (to amp the butter and caramel) or, imagine the three together! Booziness: 8/5. Pumpkin Pie Spiciness: 1/5 (it reads Eastern European spicy, not American Thanksgiving.) Experience: extra demitasse.
  5. bheansidhe

    Pumpkin Spice Dark ‘N Stormy

    Across the board I found that the boozy Pumpkin Patch blends have a lot of volatile alcohol top notes that boil out when you uncap, but the blend will smell almost completely different after some gentle oxidation. Based on my experience, I suggest you let the bottles sit uncapped and breathe for a good 15 minutes before testing - or hey, just shoot it straight! Pumpkin Spice Dark n' Stormy comes out of the bottle swinging mad, so let him cool off. Sniffed: treacley black rum as advertised, plus fizzy ginger beer and lime rind. Pumpkin pie married to a dark syrup pecan pie, boozier than a Christmas fruitcake and twice as drunk as your uncle. BIG booze mood here. BIG mad, BIG throw...blimey, this is LIMEY. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, PS D&S is like having a pirate smash your brains out with a slice of lime wrapped around a solid gold brick. ...hold on, this trip is WILD. Now I smell butter in the vial, so add key lime pie to the scent profile (but there's no butter on my skin). In fact, the longer I leave the bottle open, the more I'm smelling a buttery richness down in the depths. It's like peering through the seas of dark rum to the shipwrecked pie ten fathoms down. Otherwise, this BIG GINGER BIG SPICES KEY LIME ARRRR. Drydown: The most ... realistic .. grapefruit I've ever smelled. Grapefruit? Yes. Ruby Red grapefruit, to be exact, plus the aforementioned ginger beer and nutmeg. Booziness: 5/5. Pumpkin Pie Spiciness: 5/5. Trippiness: 3.5 hits.
  6. bheansidhe

    Pumpkin Spice Absinthe

    2023 version! (If there's another review thread that I missed, please point me at it.) I was nervous to skin-test the boozy Pumpkin Patch blends because I don't, as a rule, play well with alcohol notes. Well, the joke's on me, because this was the one I was most afraid of, and now I want a bottle. Sniffed: spicy and pleasant, with top notes of cardamom, nutmeg, and something that smells like a warm, woodsy cologne. There's some round pumpkin pulp in the center married to the anise, sweet fennel, and black licorice notes of the absinthe itself. Wormwood itself is bitter and green, and I get a tiny bit of herbal greenery, but not bitterness. At one point I'm thinking I smell palo santo? Sandalwood? Bay leaf? The overall effect has the warm burn of fine liquor in your gullet. I love, actually this blend. "Would you like to smell like a nutmeg and licorice cologne?" "Yes, yes, I -- I had no IDEA how much I wanted to smell like a nutmeg and licorice cologne!" Booziness: 3/5. Pumpkin Pie Spiciness: 4/5. Balls: pure brass.
  7. bheansidhe

    Things Are Fine

    Woodsy dry sandalwood and lovely white tea in equal measure, plus jammy cypress bough. Cushioned by the dead leaves note, but not dominated by it. This has a surprising amount of throw on me. It smells clean and a little wistful, like staring out of a window at a rainy fall evening from the comfort of your warm armchair. While it doesn't seem to share any notes, it has the same luxury-spa-day-for-your-mind feel of Blackout Blinds. This would be a lovely wind-down, meditation, or sleep scent.
  8. bheansidhe

    Goat 17

    Obviously bottled in 2010, so considerable bottle-aged by now. I do not (blessedly) get meat. Primarily I get chocolate that vibes as both a creamy milk chocolate and a sprinkle of dark bittersweet shavings. It's modulated with some spice - allspice, or ginger and/or cardamom - plus something that could be a tiny tinge of a dark, animalistic or "smutty" musk. Sniffed in the bottle there are in fact some lemony-herbal notes (like verbena) that don't translate to my skin. This reads like a Box of Bonbons proto, and is actually quite a pleasant chocolate blend.
  9. bheansidhe

    Vintage Frankenstein Blow Mold

    Another standout blend. Wet: Mint chocolate chip ice cream blanketed in a heavy drift of unsweetened dutched cocoa - very minty, very chocolatey. It's like a gourmet version of the generic brand mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches you got at kids' parties. That's the smell right there, the gummy chocolate wafer and the mint chocolate chip filling. After a while I realize the amber is buried in there, cradling the chocolate like a ring setting. It has a similar cocoa-and-amber base as Gelt, but the mint and cream make this distinctly different. It's gourmand but not overly foody, especially in the drydown. It swaps back and forth between the chocolate and the mint several times - this is honestly the longest a mint note has persisted on my skin - and ends in a surprise poof of dry, ambery cocoa powder. Just reward yourself with frequent reapplication to keep the show going, because it fades fast, but it's worth it.
  10. bheansidhe

    Vintage Ghost Blow Mold

    "If amber were vanilla candy" is the best way I can think to describe this. It's sweet, but not bag of candy corn sweet. As with Vintage Frankenstein BM, the milk veils and softens the other notes, but it doesn't read as a milk perfume either. The result is surprisingly sophisticated and not childish at all. This one, sadly, goes through a brief plastic vanilla stage on me, then settles into sweetened, milky vanilla amber. Very light in a way that feels ghostly and brittle (like a plastic mold); I have to get my nose right on my skin to smell it, but it's a standout light, dry amber. This is a surprise bottle purchase for me; I can't get enough of that final ghostly amber drydown. I could smell like this 24/7 and be happy.
  11. bheansidhe

    All of their Heads Fell Off

    All of Their Heads Fell Off: sometimes Beth releases a humdinger of a blend with such an off-putting name that I want to go around grabbing people by the collar and earnestly explaining that no, really, Wererat-Infested Sewer is an amaaaaazing room spray and not a fetid stench. All Of Their Heads Fell Off is not a slasher flick or a campy horror poster; it's a true Space Oddity of a desert poem. I literally keep getting wafts from my desk and wondering what the hell smells SO good and unfamiliar, and realizing it's AOTHFO. If you've never walked in the Mojave or Chihuahua deserts, you might not know the smell of creosote bush. It's dry, like a cross between fresh pine terpenes, brimstone, and white sage, but lighter and more eerie than any of those. This is not a creosote-soaked railroad tie in the sun; not a gasoline smell (hello, Pumpkin Gas Can) but a dry, faintly alien wind. AOTHFO is sweeter than I was expecting. It starts off at least fifty percent "cactus flesh," which smells like, well, edible cacti, like prickly pear and dragonfruit: green, sweet, watery melon notes. The creosote/dust notes are a distinctly separate waft that never marries the cactus pulp, but layers it like a sandwich. The "blood musk" makes the perfume the exact shade of a delicate rose. I'm not sure what it adds except an incense vibe? I don't get dragon's blood, but I'm not always good at finding that. It's startling how desiccating and yet liquid this blend is, like a gush of clear water through a concrete channel; it smells like slaking your thirst at a playground water fountain in summer. And a touch of desert smoke. I can't think of another BPAL that smells like this.
  12. bheansidhe

    Don’t Play Fetch with a Teenage Werewolf

    Both sniffed and skin-tested: the richest, milkiest milk-chocolate chocolate note. You, literally, arising from a vat of churning, freshly made milk chocolate in a chocolate factory like Aphrodite born of the waves, except you're being born aloft on a fresh-baked honey graham cracker. You can smell it down to the crispy snap of the perforations, note-perfect. I normally have to avoid "honey" notes due to skin fuckery, but not here. The russet fur component is just enough to drag it into gourmand perfume territory. Drydown: tray of freshly baked brownies drowned in maple sap. Run, don't walk, to acquire this if any of those notes appeal.
  13. bheansidhe

    Hay Absolute, Cacao, & Cardamom

    Dry, spicy Mexican hot chocolate without any sugar or milk notes to hide the glorious cacao/cardamom - if Mexican hot chocolate were incense, it'd smell like this. I get almost no hay, though it may be softening the background. If you want to smell like fall without the pumpkin spice, get this blend. ETA: the cardamom, while glorious, is short-lived on my skin. The far drydown has a sweet, incense-y dried hay vibe, with the earthy cacao grounding the blend throughout the day.
  14. bheansidhe

    White Honey, Cucumber, & Wild Lettuce

    Absolutely charming, and a blend that could settle down seamlessly with the Mad Tea Party. It conjures billowy white muslin dresses, ridiculous straw sunhats, and high tea set out on the patio table on a lace tablecloth. This is a very green-toned honey - obviously, given the notes - with a salty tinge that reminds me of pulling haygrass stems and splitting them with my thumbnail and sucking the juice out. There's a vinegary waft of cucumber tea sandwich and a thin, clear, sweet honey note that floats on top. Sweet, but not foody.
  15. bheansidhe

    Jillions of Peaches

    I spoke to Ted at the event. He said that Beth didn't write down any notes for this blend because it essentially consists of every peach in her arsenal. All of them. It's 1000% peach juice. I don't use hair glosses as a rule, but I bought a bottle just to use as a body oil and a bath oil. It is absolutely delicious. Peaches all the way down.