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BPAL Madness!


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About emshort

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    casual sniffer


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    United States


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  1. emshort

    The High Priest Not To Be Described

    Antiseptic in the bottle: it doesn't smell like something you would wear voluntarily, but like an antidote for festering wounds and unhealthy thinking. The color of the oil is a pale pink, pink for Peculiar. Applied, wet, it goes all manly and cologne-ish. I don't particularly distinguish the chamomile, but I can smell the cypress and pepper and a little of the leather. I like this smell, but it is more masculine than I would ordinarily wear. As it starts to dry, the peppery notes fade and it turns heavily musk and spice, like a male version of Scherezade. Since I find Scherezade incredibly nice, HPNTBD is also incredibly nice and just a little bit less indolent.
  2. emshort

    Devil's Night

    ... This is the scent of autumn night, fires in the distance, with a touch of boozy swoon, playful sugar and thuggish musk. (2005 version.) From the bottle, this wafts up as pure, unalleviated sweetness, liquid candy. Wet on the skin, it's sweet and rummy, one of those highly sugared cocktails you know you'll regret horribly in the morning. I was worried about it at this point. Fortunately, it doesn't stay at this cloying phase for long. Very soon after application, the smokiness begins to emerge, and it begins to suggest the bonfires and long red cloaks, the distant voices talking after nightfall, promised by the bottle and description. I like it, but it's probably not one that I'll wear very frequently.
  3. emshort

    Holiday Moon

    Very light and fair scent, which doesn't change very much. In the bottle, on my wrist, wet or dry, it has that light deceptive citrus quality that comes from tea blends (how come I misidentify teas as citrus?). It's a very restrained scent, and makes me think of this field trip I took in school to a Japanese garden. There's also something else there, though, a deeper note (maybe the oude, since I don't know what that's supposed to smell like) which grounds the scent and makes it seem a little less shallow and superficial than similar blends. I think I actually like this better than, say, Embalming Fluid, precisely for its slightly stronger sense of permanence. And because it hasn't got that slightly artificial note that E.F. has.
  4. emshort

    The Death of Autumn

    I was a little worried when I won auctions for both this and Devil's Night that I was going to be maxing out the same general category of autumnal odor. I shouldn't have been concerned. Devil's Night is sweet, warm, and boozy. Death of Autumn is completely the opposite, a thin, cold, bitter scent that evokes snow and dying leaves really strongly. Then gradually you become acclimatized and the initial bitterness mellows out. Eventually -- as in, after several hours -- it dries down to something that smells more like a person and less like a manifestation of some particularly unfriendly nature goddess: a spicy, still-bitter blend of amber, khus, and clove. Dry, it continues to be detectable for a long time, sending up little waves of rich amber-clove smell. I really like this -- it's got so many stages that it almost feels like a little story in perfume form. In fact, it makes me think of being out in the woods for a walk, getting really cold and a bit numb, and then coming indoors to a comforting evening with friends.
  5. emshort

    All Souls

    ... An incense blend that invokes the higher qualities of mercy and compassion, mingled with the soft, sugared currant scent of offertory soul cakes. 2007 Version: Hmm. Hm hm hm. In the bottle, this smells luscious: cakey, but not madly oversweet. A lot of BPAL's food smells amp the sugar intolerably on me, or just give me a lust for baked goods that I cannot satisfy. When it goes on, it's mostly incense, though, and a pretty dry incense at that. It's not an unpleasant smell; it's just not at all full-bodied, and there's something a little scratchy about it. Throw is minimal, even at first application. As it dries down, it mellows a bit into a rounder scent, but it also fades really fast, so that the dry-down stage I can really only smell if I have my nose to the skin. Hm. I may need to pass this bottle on to someone who will love it more.
  6. emshort

    Event Horizon

    I wanted to like this. The description sounds fabulous. I love opium- and labdanum-based scents; Oblivion and Laudanum are favorites of mine. When it goes on, it smells a lot like Laudanum, only less sweet. Then the back of my throat starts to get scratchy, like I have a sore throat coming on. This becomes so intolerable that I wash it off. I tested again this morning just to be sure, because I really hate to write this one off, but something about it really really does not work for me. Boo.
  7. emshort


    I am a big fan both of Scherezade and of wood/patchouli scents, so I was right on this when it came out. And wow, it's lovely. Sexy, rich, sophisticated, but wearable by both genders; distinct enough from Scherezade to be worth having on its own. I'm still not sure I know what laudanum really smells like, though.
  8. emshort

    Sudha Segara

    Very mild, a little milder than I like under normal circumstances, but the other night I was feeling a bit sick (stressed, bad stomach) so I put on a bunch of Sudha Segara before bed and it was just right. The ginger-milk smell is extremely soothing to mild nausea.
  9. emshort


    Citrus backed with floral sweetness and vanilla. For me, this resolves after a few sniffs to the exact smell of lemon cake, probably with white frosting and those little white-and-yellow candy flowers that your mom buys at the supermarket to spruce up your birthday cake when you are five. This is not an unpleasant smell, but I have the same problem with it that I have with all scent-of-baked-product smells: they make me think about getting another helping of dessert.
  10. emshort


    This is... essence of antique store. Rows upon rows of slightly damaged dinner tables, bed frames, hatracks, china hutches; fedoras with bent brims; adorable gowns from 1925 that you only wish you had the (lack of) figure for; boxes of faded postcards, advertisements, ephemera; rhinestone brooches, chub-cheeked cameos, pocket watches that don't keep time. It happens that I like antique stores, but I think Magus has many of the same things and is kickier overall.
  11. emshort


    Ummmmm. Okay, first of all, in bottle this is about the least appealing BPAL I have encountered. It is thick, sludgy, and black -- if you watched the X-Files faithfully then you may remember a black oil alien that could flow into people's bodies and possess them, and that's pretty much what Czernobog reminded me of. When you put it on it leaves polluting brown-black smears on your innocent wrist. Then it hits you: a smell of Lysol, possibly backed with a few notes of urinal. Then, and here's the freaky part, it sort of starts to grow on you. I mean, you're aware that it still smells increeeedibly foul, but there's something tangy and daring about this Lysol/public toilet scent that makes you contemplate NOT scrubbing it instantly from your flesh. That's when you realize that the alien mind-control thing is ALL TOO TRUE. I'm gonna wash this off in just a minute. As soon as I'm done appreciating its awfulness. Daaaamn.
  12. emshort


    I have not had a huge amount of luck with other lusty scents -- Lust just smells kind of manky and weird on me, and Snake Oil is overwhelmingly sugary. But Scherezade is awesome, sexy in this subtle and classy way. I held off sampling it because in the bottle it has a strange, almost mildewy character, like a load of laundry I put through the wash and then forgot to dry until two days later. But after a short dry-down period it turns completely lovely and remains that way.
  13. emshort


    On me, this really smells amazingly like a big heap of paper money. I do pick up the woodsiness and patchouli as separate scents if I concentrate, but the MONEY MONEY MONEY smell is the main thing. I'm not sure I'm going to want to wear this a lot, but it is appealing in a weird way.
  14. emshort


    I hadn't previously tried any scents with amber in them, so I'm not sure I'm identifying the smell correctly, but I believe that's the main thing I'm smelling here, with only a light touch of the lavender identifiable. I have to say, I really, really like the scent of this, which is subtle, delicious, and pretty consistent over several hours of wearing. The only problem is that it says MAN to me; I would find this a very attractive scent on a male friend, but on my own wrist it's a littttle bit confusing.
  15. emshort


    Very soothing, pleasant, calming: I pick up the sandalwood and then the lavender, and not much else specifically. If I were going to scent my sheets with anything, it would be this. (Still thinking about the best way to do that.) Reminds me of Thanatos, but with a softer edge.