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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by abejita

  1. abejita

    Snake's Tongue

    He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do, And looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do, And flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment, And stooped and drank a little more… Snake Oil with caramelized tobacco, davana, black amber, bourbon vanilla absolute, ambergris accord, oakmoss, and CO2 extract of oak wood. This one is so very quiet. In the bottle, all I can detect is some distant, indistinct resins. On my skin, the familiar Snake Oil base comes out. The other notes sort of peep through, then recede quickly. It's mostly a dark, extra-resinous, rich Snake Oil right now, with the oak, tobacco, etc. stepping in and out-- they're present, but elusive. I am thinking this needs a couple of weeks to settle into itself.
  2. abejita

    Benitoite Phoenix

    This is one of those blends that just lends itself to synesthesia. It's cool and starry, but not chill or minty. It has a distinct nighttime feel. Something about it reminds me of Kushiel's Dart, when Hyacinthe addresses Melisande, "O Star of the Evening." It's a clean musk, rather than a dirty one. I tend to prefer the dirty or skin type musks, but this is a very nice change from my usual. I'd like to pair it with Zorya P or one of my cooler vanillas.
  3. abejita

    Leo 2007

    Fixed Fire: the essence of pride. Egyptian amber, walnut bark, chamomile, frankincense, and saffron. In the bottle: nutty amber. Not just amber, Egyptian amber. My favorite. This bodes well. Wet: oh, yeah. Egyptian amber. I love this stuff. Saffron, too. Gentle woody/nuttiness. Dry: Did I mention Egyptian amber? You know, one of the Best Notes Ever? This is sweet, dark, dark golden, rich, and lovely. Saffron and Egyptian amber mix pefectly. The frankincense is subtle, but adds to the smooth resiny quality. The chamomile is gently sweet, like in Red Moon. I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those instant BPAL hits. I am going to look for a second bottle right away to age. It's just that good. This is the best of the zodiacs thusfar, and I loved me some Gemini. If you like the Pumpkin Queen or Bastet, get this. If you wanted to like them, but couldn't deal with the pumpkin note, or the lotus note, get this. Oh, hell, just get it. Edited to add the year to the title.
  4. abejita

    Alleviate the Frenzy

    Nor should you wonder at all these things which are natural to women, and are particularly expected of the condition of virgins; because of retention of the sexual fluid, the heart and surrounding areas are enveloped in a morbid and moist exudation: this is especially true of the more lascivious females, inclined to venery, passionate women who are most eager to experience physical pleasure; if she is of this type she cannot ever be relieved by any aid except that of her parents who are advised to find her a husband. Having done so the man’s strong and vigorous intercourse alleviated the frenzy. She married an energetic young man, who, having discharged his marital responsibilities with vigor, she took to this with enthusiasm; under this appropriate treatment she flourished, revived, bloomed with the rosy shade of well-being, and was entirely restored to health. – Zacutus Lusitanus, Praxis Medica Admiranda, 1637 Lascivious females! Are you suffering from morbid, moist exudations? Restore your health and the rosy glow of well-being! Heady peach musk aglow with sugared amber. Moist exudations, indeed. This scent is somehow very humid. The peach musk is both peach flesh and the skin. There is no trace of the overly sweet peach gummy candy, here. I can detect the amber, but it is very much in the background. I think it will come forth more as it ages. This scent wears close to the skin, but isn't faint. I'm glad I went for the blind bottle.
  5. abejita

    Red Amber & Oud

    From in the bottle to the long drydown, this one is lovely. It's a very warm skin scent. Something about it reminds me a little of Smut. The amber and oud seem balanced, and the amber's red character is very present. I don't get any barnyard or fecal scent to the oud, and neither did my partner, who is a little sensitive to that kind of note. It's a musky/woody oud, but the musk doesn't step over that line into dirty. It lasts a good long while, too. I put it on at 7am, and it's still easily detectable 12 hours later.
  6. abejita

    Tuberose & Mango

    In the bottle this is tuberose dominant. The mango is very light. Almost just a fruity character that doesn't specifically seem like mango to me. If I didn't know any better, at first on my skin I would think that this is tuberose single note. It's a lovely tuberose, but no detectable mango. After very long drydown, the mango comes forth. Tuberose is still the central player, though. I like it, but I'd prefer more of a balance with the mango.
  7. abejita


    Super juicy peach with rich, golden honey against a bright background of musk and slightly tart apricot. All the listed notes are evident to me. The frankincense is a little more present of a resin than the amber and seems to keep things from veering candy-like. No powdery feel on me at all. On dry-down, the rose comes out, and it is a distinctly honeyed one. The overall feeling is bright and sunny, happy, and joyful, which is what they were going for. It’s youthful without being childlike. I think this is my favorite peach blend that I’ve encountered so far.
  8. abejita

    Pomegranate Grove: Snake Oil

    [No additional description provided.] This is very straightforward. The pomegranate note verges on candy-like, but stops just short of it. I had been wanting Snake Oil with a dark fruit note. This starts out bright and tart, the pomegranate dominating. It settles to darker, still tart, and more balanced with the Snake Oil. It's exactly what I was looking for.
  9. abejita

    Pumpkin Musk and Black Oudh

    A strangely romantic, disturbingly erotic perfume. This is a weird one, but in a good way. The pumpkin is not what I usually associate with BPAL pumpkin notes-- it's none of the usual super sweet and spice. It does have sweetness, though. Pumpkin musk is an odd concept, but, yeah, that is what I smell. It's a gentle, sweet musk. A touch sexy. The oudh is dark and rich without being heavy. It's a nice oudh-- I get neither band-aids nor barnyard. I really like this one. Every time I smell my wrist, I catch another nuance to it.
  10. abejita

    Lola Lee Loo

    I love this. First off, I get vanilla and a fig note that reminds me of Eden. As time goes on, the toastiness comes out, and after drydown, I suddenly get the riceflower and clove, very distinctly. Neither are heavy or overwhelming, but I can pick them out clearly. The patchouli is not strong at all. This is very gourmand but stops just short of foodie. Decent throw.
  11. abejita

    Harlow's Lace

    On smelling this in the bottle, my first, overwhelming impression is a rich, honey caramel/butterscotch. Once on my skin, the honey absolute and the tobacco absolute recede enough to be more distinct on their own. It dries down one of those scents that is gourmand, but not foody. Sweet vanilla musk and butterscotch tobacco honey.
  12. [No additional description provided.] Fresh from the Lab, this one is overwhelmingly rice in the bottle and on application. And specifically basmati rice. It's a very rich, savory grain smell. On the skin, the champaca comes out, and, to a much lesser degree, the honey. Moments after application, the savory and the floral/sweet are warring with each other, not quite meshing. As time wears on, the honey comes out more, and the rice decides to stop screaming, but that savory note is still there. It seems to be settling into center-stage champaca, with the other notes balancing and supporting. This one has a lot of throw. Beware-- that rice is STRONG at first. Edit: This is the first scent that my partner has physically recoiled from. The champaca is going very ammonia/urine-like on my skin. Edit 2: In the end, this scent was all heavily buttered popcorn and ammonia on my skin. Traded it away.
  13. abejita

    Pink Amber and Peony

    This has shot up to my top ten, like the previous reviewer. It is a vivid pink scent, with a lot of texture to it. There is something reminiscent to Sweetarts candies, but it's not a gourmand or candy-like scent. Sweetarts if they were somehow more botanical and fancy. The peony and amber notes complement and balance each other perfectly. I can't stop sniffing my wrist. This smells more "pink" to me than this year's Pink Moon did.
  14. Snake Oil with acai berry, amber, cardamom, neroli, and smoked vanilla. First impression in the bottle: Whoa, açai and neroli! On, wet: The açai is bright and vivid, berrylike without being at all candyish or cloying. It's just like the real thing. What a great note, I hope to see it in other things. The neroli is also bright and herbal. There is some sweetness and vanilla here, I suspect it will emerge more fully any moment... Dry: Oh, yes. Here is the vanilla and it is definitely smoky. The amber isn't so prominent, just adding a richness and a complement to the vanilla. The açai is calmer, but still a major player. The cardamom seems less spice and more round and full. Kind of like the cardamom in Bastet, as opposed to it in, say, Pumpkin Queen. As time goes on, I can pick out more Snake Oil-ish elements, but they are a backdrop. To me, this is more a scent in its own right than just a "Snake Oil variant." The Verdict: I am so happy with this. Predictably, I can see it aging beautifully, but it is more than wearable now. It's not like anything else I have tried, thusfar, but it still has that recognizable SO feel to it. I hope very much that this scent is representative of the beauty of the rest of the Snake Pit. If they are all this good, my wallet is sunk. ETA: Strong throw.
  15. abejita

    The Rights of Women

    I've always loved chypre the most when it's a non-traditional chypre. Or a traditional one paired with non-traditional notes. This is no exception. The red chypre dominates, and is as bold as the description claims. The other notes, though, tug the chypre into interesting directions, and keep it from smelling like men's generic cologne. It's not easy to detect individual notes here. I don't get a fruity burst of strawberry, for example. There's some sweetness from the vanilla, some richness/headiness from the tuberose, some musky depth from the labdanum and patchouli. It's very well-balanced and bright, and I'm definitely holding onto it.
  16. abejita

    They Shut Me Up in Prose

    I have this on fresh from the mailbox, and it's everything I was hoping for. It's sweet without being too sweet, distinctly vanilla, and very, very smooth. Maybe a tiny touch of golden? If this were a color, it might be a nice ivory. My fear was that the pale sandalwood and frankincense might push this to dry and thin, as they do sometimes. It seems like the mallow and osmanthus are adding a richness that strikes a nice chord. The notes are present, but blended into something that works well together. It reminds me a little of some other blends-- Edith Cushing, Crinoline and Lace, and maybe Celeste-- but it stands on its own. As it dries, the osmanthus becomes more prominent, but it doesn't take over. It remains primarily a vanilla and mallow scent.
  17. Snake Oil, orange blossom, wildflower honey, and cinnamon. I don't know how Beth manages to take scents that have almost the same notes and makes them so distinct from each other. This is Snake Oil + honey. But the honey is completely different from Snake's Kiss or Womb Furie. It's the most golden and straight up from-the-comb honey out of all three. The cinnamon is present, but not overwhelming. Same with the orange blossom. The overall impression is strongly of the scent's name-- basking in the sun. It's warm and sweet and bright. I love it.
  18. abejita

    Love's Philosophy

    LOVE'S PHILOSOPHY Percy Bysshe Shelley The fountains mingle with the river, And the rivers with the ocean; The winds of heaven mix forever, With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single; All things by a law divine In one another's being mingle; -- Why not I with thine? See! the mountains kiss high heaven, And the waves clasp one another; No sister flower would be forgiven, If it disdained it's brother; And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea; -- What are all these kissings worth, If thou kiss not me? Vanilla, saffron, and cream. In the bottle: Creamy vanilla. I can tell this is going to be really nice. Wet: A face full of creamy vanilla. There is a hint of Black Lace here. I think it's the same vanilla. The cream is also very apparent. Saffron is just a breath. Dry: This is more or less what I wished Underpants had been. Underpants had a really high-pitched, hairspray kind of note to it that just killed the blend for me. The blend is fairly simple and straightforward. From the notes, I feel like it should be a seriously foody blend, but while that gourmand element is there, this is not a foody like, say, Día de los reyes. I am a vanilla lover, and this is a great vanilla. Saffron is always a winner, too. Cream, though, is hit or miss (though when it hits, it hits BIG). I am pleased to say that the cream in this blend is just gorgeous. No sour milk or buttery weirdness whatsoever. I predict that this blend will be wildly popular.
  19. abejita

    Saw-Scaled Viper

    Snake Oil with cinnamon, cassia, and red ginger. First impression in the bottle: My eyes! Heh. It's just a very, very thick and intense woody cassia. That's all I get. Overwhelming enough to catch in my throat. It's the cassia of Monster Bait: Underbed with the dial set on 11. On, wet: My wrists are warm, but no burn. I would not suggest applying this right after a shower, though. The cassia is still howling, but not to the point where my throat feels scratchy sniffing it. I smell something sweet, but oh that cassia. Pipe down, you! Well, hello cinnamon. It's nice to make your acquaintance. The cinnamon is politely asserting itself, firmly telling the cassia to chill the fuck out. The cassia has decided to be sensible and take cinnamon's good advice and has receded, but not departed. Red ginger is peering in the doorway, probably trying to gauge cassia's mood. Dry: Red ginger has decided that it is safe to make an appearance. Cassia is contrite and apologizing like hell to red ginger. They have made up and are strongly joined in the scent. The cinnamon is a sweet cinnamon. Like in Australian Copperhead, the Snake Oil aspect is the backdrop. It's there, but not centerstage. Again, this will probably emerge more on aging. The Verdict: Even before aging, this is a great spicy, warm scent, just not as deep as I'd like. I have confidence that in a few weeks, this will be killer. I am not disappointed, I am looking forward to this one "maturing." ETA: Strong throw like whoa. I put my wrist down to my side and it still smells like I'm huffing it. Edited again to add: Hours later and the Snake Oil is much more apparent. It's a great mix with the spice.
  20. abejita

    Unicorn Junk

    This scent is extraordinarily loud in the bottle, surprisingly, a loud, super-buttery coconut. On the skin, at first it's still intensely buttery coconut, but the mallow and benzoin try to round it out. For awhile, they fail completely. Finally, the overwhelming butter draws back, and the delicate, creamy lilac shows up. The coconut is still there, but the lilac becomes its equal. If you're afraid of cedar, I can't detect it at all in this.
  21. abejita

    Red Moon 2007

    August is a month of reflection. It is the month of rest before the harvest, and it holds for us a time between toils, a brief period of relaxation before we take up the burden of our work again. It is the Time of the Phoenix, a season of celebrating health, vitality, warmth and joy, but it is also the time at which the Corn God dies for the sake of the land, his blood soaking the earth to ensure a bountiful harvest in the fall. The Full Red Moon of August was named thus by some Native American tribes because as the moon rises, it dons a reddish veil, visible through the hot, sweltering summer evening haze. Our blend for this Moon mixes traditional lunar oils with the warmth of amber, red musk, and heliotrope, the russet haze of dragon's blood resin, sunflower, and crushed orange peel, with a dusting of summertime herbs: chamomile, rue, elder flower and marigold. In the bottle: orange peel, heliotrope, chamomile. Orange dominates, and this is the scent of the peel, not the flower, not the juice. Wet: Sunflower! The dragon's blood is evident, as is a musk/amber duo. The orange peel has receded a lot. Dry: This is becoming more of an amber-y scent. The various notes now seem much more blended and smooth. The orange peel is nearly gone, just a tiny hint of tartness. The herbs are warm and dry, the chamomile is a little sweet. Dragon's blood, which I almost always amp like crazy, is there, but it's just one more note in a well-balanced chorus of warmth. There is something a little decadent about this, lush and opulent. This scent is a gold-tinged red to me, shimmery and rippling. It's very evocative of summer. I have never smelled the first Red Moon, so I can't compare the two, unfortunately.
  22. abejita


    She finished the drink, hefted the sword over one shoulder, and looked around at the puzzled factions, who now encircled her completely. 'Sorry to run out on you, chaps,' she said. 'Would love to stay and get to know you better.' The men in the room suddenly realized they didn't want to know her better. She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, but not up close. And she held her sword, and she smiled like a knife. Red ginger, black spices, patchouli, honeysuckle, and three blood-soaked red musks. The label is a woman's face, smiling wickedly. She has long, red hair. In the bottle: a mishmash of patchouli/spice/musk with a piping note of honeysuckle. Wet: oh, my. This is gonna be a good one. The ginger is making its presence known, with everything else lying coiled beneath it. Dry: Round, warm velvety red musks and red ginger, with a gentle patchouli. The honeysuckle sweetens it, but floral-haters, don't be afraid. Not foody, not floral. Spicy and round, rich. There is something indolent, cat-like about this. It's a lioness who could lay you open from neck to groin, if she wanted, but for now she'd prefer to roll on her back and bask in the sun. For now. Edited to add: A few days later, a sharp black peppery note has emerged. I really can't stand pepper, so this bottle has found a new home.
  23. Dark chocolate and key lime truffle. The Chocolatier series is very straight-forward, as I think they should be. This one is exactly as described, down to the specific (very juicy) key lime note. It's no other kind of lime, it's very much that breed. The chocolate takes more of a background here, but I think that's the nature of a citrus note in perfumery. I anticipate the lime losing its aggression just a little bit. The longer I wear it, the sweeter it gets, though it's still not a blend I'd describe primarily as sweet (not sugary at all).
  24. abejita


    Osmanthus, honey, golden musk, vanilla flower, and ginger. In the bottle: Musk and osmanthus. Very flower/musk. Hmmm. Not a huge floral fan, so this isn't promising. Wet: Flowery flowers. Dammit. It's all osmanthus at this point. Damn its apricotty fruity flowery self. I was hoping for a honey-musk-vanilla-spice kind of thing. But this is all floral, all the time. I think that osmanthus just does not appeal to me. It seems to overtake a blend, unless there are a lot of other bold notes (like Dark Delicacies). I can tell now that it's why I didn't care for Itasô Kansei Nenkan Jorô No Fûzoku and Shoggoth. Dry: Fruity, floral. There is some honey here. The osmanthus is finally mellowing and I like the blend a whole lot more. It ends up smelling like a very mild apricot/peach blend with a bare hint of gold musk. I don't dislike it the way I did wet, but I don't think I will hold onto it.
  25. abejita

    Flower Moon 2009

    April, too, marks the apex of the year's fertility, expresses the reawakening of the sexuality of the Earth and her inhabitants, and May's full moon celebrates both the fecundity of the creatures and flora of this world and the vibrancy, rejuvenation and life-affirming energy of Spring. Flower Moon embodies the unrestrained bliss, energy and color of the season: a bouquet of vivid, sexy blooms, coated in thick, golden honey... wisteria, swamp jasmine, honeysuckle, daffodil, rhododendron, phlox, and a mix of California wildflowers. I do not like florals. You hear me? I do NOT like florals. I like scents that may have a floral element, but stick too many flowers in there, and it's all downhill. The only all floral I've liked until now has been Beltane '06. Until now. Oh, my word. This is just beautiful. It's so intensely fresh and innocent and sexy the way that a nymph would be sexy, delighting in one's own skin. This blend has the same juiciness as Beltane, but this is not the same blend. These aren't hothouse exotic flowers, they are definitely wild. The honey holds everything together, enhancing the fresh/sexy thing it has going on. The mood is so joyful, it really captures a wildly blooming spring. I am actually keeping a floral blend. Holy shit.