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BPAL Madness!


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About tamburlaine

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    sexy swapper
  • Birthday July 26


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    New York, New York
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    United States

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    Perfume (surprise!), medicine, snakes, New York City, swords, Herman Melville, Deadwood, Martin Scorsese, hoodoo, tarot, tea, William Blake, whales, baseball, beauty/skincare, harm reduction.
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    pineapple soda!


  • Favorite Scents
    Aries 2007, Snake Oil, TKO, All Night Long, Giant Vulva, Depraved, TAL Amor, TAL Blinding Glory of Love, TAL Lionheart. But really, I see the good in all of them!


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  1. tamburlaine

    Encroaching Madness

    I got a decant of this because "The Yellow Wallpaper" is one of my favorite short stories ever. Really good gothic feminist stuff, if that's what you're into! This does smell lovely on the skin, but very sad. The honeysuckle is clearly there but tempered into powdery, Victorian timidity by the balsam and , which also makes the blend a little stickier. Encroaching Madness is very floral, and has a faint scent of urine as is mentioned, but it's the same kind of urine-ish smell that accompanies a good jasmine, so never fear. I'm guessing that scent is from the chrysanthemums. I really like this; it's my first BPAL in a while where I may purchase a bottle for poetic reasons. It's very pleasant, if tame and soapy (helichrysum/immortelle tends towards soapy on me). Honeysuckle is one of the only floral synthetics that I consistently appreciate, so I am very happy with this. Encroaching Madness is a kind blend, if unsettling, just like "The Yellow Wallpaper" -- it would smell soothing mixed into a bath oil, but I actually think it's a better nighttime blend than one for day. Something about it says, "I'm a crazy woman in 1899 who wants to party. Quietly." I suggested wearing this while drinking a box of white wine and see what happens.
  2. Topic title says it all! I'm looking for a GC that smells similar to THE TELL-TALE HEART. This is a swollen, pulsating, thudding scent, heavy with dread; a steady, unceasing, throbbing harbinger of retribution and doom: blood musk, cocoa, black pepper, allspice, dragon’s blood resin and vetiver. Emphasis on the cocoa, black pepper, allspice, and dragon's blood. spice/chocolate/major black pepper = for tamburlaine! Help? I've searched the forum and can't find a good rec! Please PM me if you have any suggestions! mod note - original thread title: GC/recent LE similar to The Tell-Tale Heart?
  3. tamburlaine


    Unfortunately I was let down by Ms. Khrysee. On me, she is too sweet. "Vanilla amber" is a very apt description for the notes that dominate this blend. There is the amber, which I usually think of as sweet, but with some bite and a special something something unlike any other note that exempts it from "sugary sweet." The vanilla of course amps up the sweetness of the amber, making it "sugary sweet" (which I don't really like) and adds to the powdery texture that amber has, but making that powder more creamy and seductively innocent. The amber in here is made tart by orange blossom in the drydown. Orange blossom isn't really a tart ingredient, but here it seems to complement the amber more than the vanilla. It's actually pretty hard to sense out the orange blossom because the amber overwhelms the more delicate note. I wish there were more of that whispering floral citrus in here; it would have taken the blend up a notch. So Khrysee smells neither delicate nor sexy, but would suit young women seeking to try out more sensual fragrances. It's a good first "grown-up" scent, but for those who have smelled and worn more than their share of perfumes, Khrysee is not a revelation. I'm sorry to say that it's a rather standard amber blend. It smells familiar and is similar to a few other scents out there.
  4. tamburlaine


    I'm so happy I got a hold of a decant of this! In the imp, my first impression is, "Sweeter than I thought it would be." I thought that with the anise, which I can usually smell at first whiff, would sober this blend, but you can't stop vanilla! It smells like a fuzzy sweater. Creamy, like Dana O'Shee. That kinda vanilla, not sexy vanilla. French-ish vanilla, without the French kissing. The anise stays at bay for only 3 seconds. It blossoms once it has time to warm up on my skin, and at first it's a little sharp against the fuzzy vanilla, but it makes this blend so unique, and awesome because of it. It's warm and soft, with a kick of licorice that makes the blend edgy and actually something I've never smelled before. After this dries down, the vanilla turns a little too sweet and the anise seems to contrast with the vanilla a little too much. I love this blend for its simple innovativeness, but sniffing it... and this is gonna sound a little weird... it's like my nose smells it in two acts, like two parts of my olfactory bulb are processing first the soft and sweet vanilla, and second the sneaky and sharp anise. WEIRD. The anise also turns bitter when it dries down, but that's my skin being a menace. This blend is great and I'll be wearing it and keeping it around, but it's not perfect for me. A jarring contrast of too sweet and too bitter, simultaneously. I'd give it a 3 out of 5.
  5. tamburlaine


    Note: On my bottle, the name is spelled "Michtecacihuatl"; the label bears the likeness of a statue of La Huesuda (an image of a skull face atop a female body -- but never fear, I hear she's pretty benevolent), surrounded by yellow flowers. Quick n' Dirty summary: An experiment in mixing watery green floral-esque fruit and dry balsamic spice; turns out powdery and a little too sweet on my skin. In the bottle: Immediate to my nose is the fresh green *tingle* of the agave nectar, followed by a woodsy feel mingled with that slightly acrid smell tobacco notes always leave in my nose. Lingering in the background is the promise of some floral-tinged sweetness. On my skin: Wet, Mictecacihuatl goes straight from sort of non-descript tobacco/woodsy ~something~ to a spiky green cactus. Watery-sweet agave nectar flowing straight from the cactus, the fragrance still retains the unique scent of that fruity bite of agave juice. Mictecacihuatl remains sweet throughout and doesn't give way to the spices and the dark balsamic qualities copal can have; the spiciness here is tempered by the agave and the brush of a powdery rose. Now I can smell the spice only through the woods components though, and I might identify those spices as chile? Maybe a pinch of pink pepper? The spices are by-and-large dry, in any case, and mingle almost seamlessly with the wood. In the drydown, the spicy-floralish balsamic copal appears and darkens the oil, though not making this a pure balsamic blend to my nose per se. Mictecacihuatl is hard to classify. It starts out with the watery greenish fructose of agave nectar -- a fragrance that is hard to explain but definitely smells "prickly" -- then ultimately dries down to powdery sweetness with a balsamic resin quality. The spiciness and smoke have gotten half-swallowed by the sweetness of the agave nectar and the rose (that doesn't smell like rose on me, just powder). I was expecting Mictecacihuatl to be more balsamic, spicy, smoky, and warm and got a pleasant surprise with the initial taste of lush bright green fruit. However, the longer the blend wears on my skin the less surprising it becomes. The final product is a fall/winter woman's perfume dominated by an unidentifiable sweetness (coming from fruit or floral or overexpressive copal, but which one is hard to tell) stifling and nearly snuffing out the existence of the spices and woods. You can smell the latter notes if you sniff hard enough, but upon first waft, Mictecacihuatl is powdery sweet agave touched by a molasses-colored copal balsamic floral. I bet the dry woods and spices contribute to the powdery quality. Their virtues aren't truly expressed in the blend until 30 minutes on. I didn't get the cigar tobacco in here, probably because it was chillin' with the "spice n' woods" crew and got drowned out. After a good while, I finally smell the spices and woods approaching the foreground. Dry, though still powdery, Mictecacihuatl has merged into something balsamic-n'-spicy comforting and not too loud on my skin with sugary nectar. Balsam has two heads: spicy and sweet. In this blend, the sweet comes first, then after approx. 30 minutes you get the spicy. I prefer the spicy, so that's obviously biased my review. If you huff hard enough, Mictecacihuatl offers a great palate of scents, but it's not to my taste for everyday (i.e. "non-experimental") use. In the winter, this Lady of Death might actually prove comforting and relaxing (because copal to me just makes me feel warm and fuzzy), but for the time being not so much. Something to note is that resinous copal ages well, so Mictecacihuatl might be a keeper to age and the powdery smell might evolve into something warmer and spicier upon initial application.
  6. tamburlaine


    I'm a pretty consummate summer baby, but L'Estate didn't evoke summer imagery to me. It was much more of a heady floral than I expected. Heady floral blends don't remind me of summer, they remind me of autumn and winter and ladies who lunch. I saw sunshine in this blend, but it was obstructed by the vanilla and honey that made L'Estate cloying and too sweet. The lily added a dimension to the blend that didn't suit my skin either; I expected it and the sunflower to add a touch of refreshment to this , but they melted into the very strong ambers that I personally don't think are that great for a summer picnic in the park on a sunny day. I wouldn't want to sweat while wearing L'Estate. I'd probably knock someone out with its intense throw. L'Estate was so strongly floral on my skin that it reminded me of my grandmother's Fracas (even though Fracas and L'Estate don't have listed notes in common.) What I think makes this blend a little similar to Fracas is the overwhelming "floralness" that can be mistaken for adulterated jasmine; jasmine is a big part of Fracas' appeal (which frankly I've never understood, but so be it.) There's a creamy, sort of tropical (but not fruity) part of L'Estate that probably comes from the mingling of the vanilla infused amber and the florals. L'Estate doesn't smell like "summer" as much as it smells like a sweltering greenhouse for those tropical blooms with overwhelmingly strong perfumes kicked into overdrive. Unfortunately, the L'Estate perfume oil is a swapper.
  7. tamburlaine


    Ms. Aeronwen's Carnaval card reads: We are no guiltier in following the primitive impulses that govern us than is the Nile for her floods or the sea for her waves. Quick n' Dirty summary: I would categorize Aeronwen as a ... Green Woody Soft Oriental? She breaks boundaries not currently defined outright. The notes that are most prominent on my skin are fig, redwood, and black musk. In the bottle: Right out of the gate, I can smell the green-violet smell of fig with some tarragon backing it up. Fig to me smells like juicy musky dust, and I go crazy for it. It hasn't worked so well for me in the past with BPAL blends, but I had to go for it here because of the added awesomeness of nutmeg, amber, and orange, which all do great jobs complementing the sexy earthy aspects of fig and playing down the more "green" or fruity aspects. On my skin: Immediately, Aeronwen wet is fig with sweet amber and myrrh. The amber and myrrh aren't incensey or particularly sexy here, but charming and very interesting when mixed with the hard-to-classify scent of fig. Traditional soft oriental notes put together with a non-traditional green note? Always breakin' boundaries, that BPAL. And then, as usual on me, the woods and musks show up and amp their hearts out. Myrrh and amber recede to the back of the blend and the middle notes of redwood, nutmeg, and black musk appear on the scene and take the fig note for another ride. In this episode: Fig turns more leafy and almost masculine with the addition of redwood (which smells akin to cedar when put on me), and black musk (which adds further mystery and a shade of ominous winds sweeping through the orchard of fig trees.) I never get the orange explicitly, but I know it's there anchoring the fig note with its citrusy goodness. Even until the drydown, you can still tell this is first and foremost a blend devoted to fig and all the experiments one can do with it. Aeronwen was not a smashing success on me. I thought the black musk would complement the fig, but I suspect that it was what turned the blend sour on me after ten minutes. In its final stages, Aeronwen is a wee green fig seeking shelter under a redwood shrouded by a cloud of black musk. The aromatic notes linger softly, the amber has turned powdery, and the myrrh is in cahoots with the musk.
  8. tamburlaine

    No. 93 Engine

    Let's start at the very beginning: There is only one note in here that I'm not particularly fond of. One note. And it's not even like I hate that note. I'm close to saying that No. 93 Engine is perfect for me, but I'm a woman of many perfume tastes, so I won't say that. What I will say is that this is the only balsam and beeswax scent I've smelled that has hit a grand slam. An atomic grand slam. (Just to prevent explosion from suspense, the only dubious note listed is hyssop. Not a big fan of hyssop.) I'm a champion of those sticky balms and waxes and resins, those rich, earthy, spicy notes. Ooh yes. No. 93 Engine delivers. Duh. Most of the notes in No. 93 Engine are used as anchoring base notes: benzoin, frankincense, peru balsam, beeswax, mastic. They make this blend heavy and balsamic, bittersweet like molasses and spicy like toasted honey stirred with pepper and saffron. I can't give enough praise to this blend. I've been waiting for the Lab to come up with a great balsamic blend and here it is. Hell, I've been waiting for a great beeswax blend but those things are few and far between; that beeswax (one of my favorite notes) is in here is just the perfume god smiling on me. A good balsamic blend should be in everyone's fragrance cabinet, and frankly I'm surprised BPAL hasn't come up with something as awesome as this before. No. 93 Engine? OMG I'M HOARDING THIS FOREVER AND EVER.
  9. tamburlaine


    Clémence's Carnaval card reads: All universal moral principles are idle fancies. Quick n' Dirty summary: I would categorize Clémence as a dry woody oriental blend, emphasis on "dry woody." The dominant notes on me are patchouli, carnation, and black pepper. In the bottle: I can smell patchouli immediately. Its earthy, almost acrid smell comes out first, followed quickly by the scent of the dry Kashmiri tea and a brief whiff of spicy carnation that adds a floral color to this blend. On my skin: I bought Ms. Clémence because black pepper is easily one of my favorite notes -- it's probably one of the only notes that, when I see it in a description, I snap up the perfume without a second thought. Perfume-lovers' shopping hysteria, you know you know what I'm talkin' bout. Black pepper is one of those spice notes that is deceptively subtle; it's a little difficult for me to smell it in the bottle, but once it hits my skin: HELLOOO~ Its dry spice scent comes out as a top note aggressively. Patchouli and carnation, however, are the anchors of Clémence. I've really warmed up to patchouli recently and this blend definitely delivers on that: this patchouli is especially earthy and woodsy (no stanky headshop smell, this is what real patchouli smells like,) no doubt because it's being enhanced by the dry tea and pepper notes that keep it close to the ground and especially elemental in that way. The carnation is there, keeping this blend sexy as well as earthy -- it takes Clémence from a dry scrub desert to a patch of earth taking its reviving breath after the first drops of rain following a drought. Also sexin' up this blend is the teeeeeeensiest bit of dried cloves. I smell only the briefest hints of this in the drydown. Throw is existent, but not strong. Clémence stays close to your skin. A spikey snuggle. 20 minutes later, this lady is almost all patchouli with unsweetened Kashmiri tea's bitter aspects keeping the blend from getting powdery. The carnation stays around too, also keeping the blend from getting powdery, but the unique spiciness of this floral has dimmed somewhat. I'm extremely pleased with Clémence. She's a very alluring but secretive and suspicious lady. She's soft and earthy and sensual but insidiously spiked with a ferocious temper and a dry, unforgiving wit. The bottle's label, with a woman (shriekingviolet!) smiling warmly at you while showing off the fierce bondage, sexuality, and decadence of her boudoir... perfect for sensually earthy dry blend. I knew Clémence was gonna be good, but I didn't expect to be so happy to have her. I look forward to seeking out her services especially during the fall months.
  10. tamburlaine


    Defututa is one of the funniest words ever to be invented or uttered. I remember discovering it in a Catullus poem when I took Latin in grade school. There isn't a single word for it in English as far as I know; the best translation my friends and I could come up with was "all f*cked out," or more delicately, "exhausted from much passionate sexual congress." Like I said, it's one of the best words ever. Defututa. I had to get an imp, in tribute to this word and all the giggles it provided me and my grade school friends. In the vial: Sexy and narcotic honey with wisps of jasmine. Heady, sweet, similar to O and other BPAL honey blends. On my skin: The honey remains a strong middle/base note, but the heady (but not that overwhelming) jasmine and champaca flowers (a little more overwhelming) blossom upon hitting my skin. There is a fresh, almost citrusy tang here that I'm going to attribute to the olive blossom. This note keeps the blend bright and dynamic; without it, the narcotic jasmine, champaca, and honey might weigh it down. In the drydown I get only the vaguest hints of cinnamon, and I honestly wish there were more of it in here. Cinnamon + honey is sooooo sexy. Here cinnamon is used as an afterthought. This whole blend was conceived to represent an afterglow, though -- at least that's what "defututa" is supposed to describe -- so if this blend were too red hot and spicy it wouldn't seem right. There's spice here, but it's cushioned on an orgasm cloud of languid honey and sensual flowers that always smell especially great when one's senses are at their most stimulated. After fifteen minutes, Defututa has eased up on the florals and reveals more of its dry cinnamon, youthful olive blossom, and a calmed honey note. At this stage the perfume is at its best. Before the drydown, it was rather unremarkable. Defututa is very well-blended, but it reminds me of many other BPAL blends. The honey note that BPAL uses is common in a lot of their sexy perfumes and tends to overwhelm the other notes. It took a few strong sniffs to get past that note to smell the heart of this blend. I doubt people sniffing me would be able to differentiate between Defututa and O, for example. Its originality is unmistakably BPAL, but it's not a standout in the Lab's catalog.
  11. tamburlaine

    Recommmendations for Green Scents

    Thanks again everyone for your help!
  12. tamburlaine

    Recommmendations for Green Scents

    Oh wow I didn't even see that and I did a search and everything. Thanks! Lemme know if you're going to merge threads.
  13. tamburlaine

    Recommmendations for Green Scents

    I should have bought her Cancer when it came out. I mean, she IS a Cancer... but she also told me she "didn't want perfume" when I asked her what she wanted, so I let it slide. Booo. :/ And you're right about 51; I forgot about that blend. Nice. I'll have to get her an imp pack. *does the enabling dance*
  14. tamburlaine

    Recommmendations for Green Scents

    So I've been trying to enable my sister, but it's been in vain thus far because she has the complete opposite taste from mine. I like dark and sexy resins and oriental blends, but Hannah likes very light flowers and things that smell "white" and "green". Because I WILL NOT REST until my sister's been properly indoctrinated to the BPAL way, the time has come to officially ask you all for recommendations. I'm thinking that right now Green Phoenix is a must-have for my sister, but I'm seeking GCs for her too. I'm thinking Squirting Cucumber, but what else is there that's green and youthful and fresh but also a little more exotic and likely for a 16-year old to wear? My sister also likes things that smell like melon or like water -- but not in that "Cool Water" manly aftershave way -- in a fresh and sunny way. She doesn't like things that are too sugary-sweet. Unbelievably, my sister seems to be the only 16-year old I know who doesn't want to smell like frosting and cookies every day. She wants to smell like sweet freshly-cut grass, watery and juicy not-yet-totally-ripe watermelons, and spring afternoons. Suggestions, anyone?
  15. tamburlaine

    Oh how she loves the pretty pepper

    Aries 2007 was black black black pepper with sweet resin. So perfect if you're looking for black pepper. It's one of my favorite BPALs ever. Yay pepper lovers.