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BPAL Madness!


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About jj_j

  • Rank
    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 10/30/1974


  • Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
  • Country
    United States

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  • BPAL of the Day
    Embalming Fluid
  • Favorite Scents
    Snow White, Florence, and Morocco Single Notes - Heliotrope, Dandelion, Tomato Leaf, and Coffee

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  • Astrological Info
    Scorpio, with Leo rising and Taurus moon Tiger Standing Still
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  1. jj_j

    The Spell of Amorous Love

    Yes, yes, YES!!!! Fruity boozy floral heaven ... I am in love with Amorous Love! The other descriptions have covered it all; I can't add anything except that I am buying at least two more bottles so I can scent some lotion and layer this on in addition to wearing it in a scent locket. Soft and sweet, drydown on me is almost entirely sake and cherry blossom.
  2. jj_j

    Gula Bath Oil

    I rarely put these bath oils in my bathtub. I'm so dry this winter that I slather them on right out of the shower, wander around the bedroom naked for five minutes or so, and then go on about my day. And no, I don't imagine this would be a good thing for people with normal skin. I have a well-moisturized glow, but I can imagine someone else sliding around in their clothes all day. For me, it's worth getting up a little early because I no longer feel like a scaly, itchy pile of dr skin flakes, and I smell damn good all day long. It also means that I experience this more like a perfume, changing on my skin throughout the day, than a bath oil in the tub. BPAL's chocolate notes don't usually work for me. In fact, I opened the bottle of Gula and almost immediately decided to swap it away. A couple of days later I was going through bottles I intended to re-home and realized that I had a great match in Gula and El Dia de Reyes; since I have an obsession with layering (the same scent, rather than mixing and matching - soap, lotion, and finally perfume), I thought I'd give it a try. Not only was this better than any of the chocolate notes I'd found so far, I have new love for El Dia de Reyes (which I had inadvertently ordered in place of Noche Buena). I smelled sinfully good all day long - like pipe tobacco with warm chocolate and sweet brown sugar. By the mid-afternoon slump at 2:00, everyone else in the office had caved on their diets and had a chocolate fit. The professor sitting next to me in the morning meeting asked if I'd be offended if he gnawed on my arm, and wanted to know what I was wearing so he could get some for his wife, who might be tempted to let him gnaw on her arm if he included jewelry in the package. This was incredibly comforting, in a very indulgent and edible sort of way.
  3. jj_j

    Luxuria Bath Oil

    I rarely put these bath oils in my bathtub. I'm so dry this winter that I slather them on right out of the shower, wander around the bedroom naked for five minutes or so, and then go on about my day. And no, I don't imagine this would be a good thing for people with normal skin. I have a well-moisturized glow, but I can imagine someone else sliding around in their clothes all day. For me, it's worth getting up a little early because I no longer feel like a scaly, itchy pile of dr skin flakes, and I smell damn good all day long. It also means that I experience this more like a perfume, changing on my skin throughout the day, than a bath oil in the tub. Sniffing from the lid, Luxuria is heavy on the red musk and patchouli. I realize the pomegranate and red currant were a little further down the list of components, but I'd hoped to have those on the surface of the oil from the get-go. I hate to make scent comparisons, but I have to on this one. While it's not EXACTLY Madame Moriarty, Luxuria might be her older sister. A little more in your face (like every bossy big sister), Luxuria doesn't have the hint of sweetness that Madame Moriarty enjoys, and she's a little smokier, but they definitely share scent DNA. I'll be wearing Madame Moriarty in my scent locket when I use Luxuria to moisturize. Where Gula is a sensual but mostly comfort scent for me, Luxuria growls lust and unbridled passion. No "take me now" here; this is "I'LL take YOU now."
  4. jj_j


    In the bottle, sweet flowers. Not to be unkind, but it's a little like the scent of my grandmother's bathroom air freshener. Crap-ola. I love the things Beth's been doing with olive and olive blossom, and that's not what I'd hoped for. I always try, though, so on it goes. No question I've been surprised more than once! Hmmm. I wish this were bolder and more in your face, because I definitely like the dry-down. Defututa's getting very warm and rich, more like smoky vanilla honeycomb than actual honey, and it's working its way toward sex-in-a-bottle without using musk. It's only floral in the sense of faded perfume that isn't in the foreground - think of perfume applied the night before and only sniffable by the person with their nose pressed up against your skin - and that perfume is a little green, for lack of a better term. I think the jasmine may be far enough down the list of components that I can wear this. Ouch. Good thing I didn't slather to see if this would have more throw; I have the jasmine-spike firmly planted in the middle of my forehead and coming out my temples. It was all good for about five minutes, though. In a perfect world, this would have more throw and not give me the jasmine headache (biggercritters is still the only one I can wear, apparently). It's good, though ... very sensual and langorous, rather than rabidly sexual, and my preference aside, not the kind of thing that should have a lot of throw because it's such an intimate scent. Makes me think of a lazy rainy day spent in bed.
  5. jj_j


    I need to order a new bottle of Charisma; I'm almost out. I try to be generous sharing this one, as it works so well, so I've decanted a lot of it out for others. Interviews, performance reviews or requesting a raise, first impressions - those are the sort of things for which I'll wear Charisma. I've never had it fail me, but here's one example of how well it works: I submitted seven online applications while searching for a job recently; annointed my chakra points with Charisma before I started submitting. Started getting interested e-mails about the applications; annointed myself with Charisma and made calls/returned e-mails. Ended up with three phone interviews; back to the Charisma just before each one. Three requests for face-to-face meetings; bring out the Charisma. Three interviews in one morning; three job offers. The last interview and offer was the funniest (and the one I accepted): at the end of the interview, they ask me if I'm interested at all, and I tell them they've really gotten my attention. However, because I have two other job offers on the table and the woman who does the hiring had broken her foot that morning when she fell on the way into the office, I realize it's going to be at least a week before they make a decision, and I really don't want to wait that long. The department head says, "So if we offered you the job, you'd take it? Hang on a second," and turns to the two other people at the conference table. "Suzie, Tina - you were in on the other interviews, and I wasn't ... is she the best candidate? I can't imagine that the others could possibly be any more perfect than she is." Nervous looks around the table - this obviously isn't the hiring norm at a university - and then one says, "Yes, she's absolutely the perfect fit for this. You'll be lucky if you can get her, though." Department head turns to me, apologizes for being so off-the-cuff about it, and offers me the absolute high end of the administrative pay scale because he has to have me for me the job because (I love this part) I am "absolutely the best-smelling candidate. Erm ... best qualified. I'm so sorry! I don't know where that came from. I'm just flustered because I've never had a better candidate come in for an admin position - unless you're a flat-out liar and your references hate you, and I can't imagine that to be the case - you seem to have no flaws in your experience at all." Charisma: good for interviews, good for first impressions, and good for your ego!
  6. jj_j

    Marshmallow Poof

    I have to agree with Delphine about the simple syrup, although fluffier ... sort of like inhaling the steam off of simple syrup that's cooking down ... through a cotton ball pressed to your nose. It's simple and straightforward, and I like the pure sugar Marshmallow part of this scent. Unfortunately, it's the Poof that resonates with me the most - slather some on, and poof! - my skin eats it and it's like it was never there. Come to think of it, though, isn't that the point of a late-night marshmallow binge?
  7. jj_j


    I used it for intent. My husband and I had an argument last night that had me incredibly frustrated, shaky, and close to tears - something we Scorpios despise! I fled upstairs and kicked my shoes off in the closet, and turned around to find myself looking at the shelf of TALs and Limited Editions on the closet wall, and I reached for Peace. I was barely able to think "Please, just a little personal peace ... even just for a minute" before I wrenched the bottle open. I took one shuddering sniff and instantly, the world was a better place. I could take a deeper breath by the second sniff, and by the third sniff it was a long, slow deep inhale and I wasn't shaking any more. The lump in my throat was gone by the next breath. I swiped this across my forehead and my heart, flopped across the bed, and realized My mother sometimes lectures me about "praying for the peace that passes all understanding." Not to offend anyone, but this is the closest I've ever come to that particular state. I've got Peace around my neck today, coming through my scent locket, because after last night I didn't know how I'd get through today without it. For the first time in weeks, I'm not obscenely stressed. I'm not desperately unhappy, because I'm able to tell myself some of these things are going to be all right, no matter what they seem like right now. I'm not irritated or frustrated, because I can see that some things I have control over, some things really matter, and some things are better for me to let go of right now - and that letting go of them is okay. Call it Peace, call it the ultimate stress-reliever, whatever. It has certainly soothed my frazzled nerves and brought serenity to my heart. As for the scent, it's a very soft-edged lavender; the first time I put this on I would have sworn some celery-seed gardenia flitted across the middle of things.
  8. jj_j

    Monster Bait: biggerCritters

    White florals, especially jasmine, are not something I do well with. I tend to get a headache, and they amp on my skin like crazy, which increases the headache to a railroad spike through my brain. Needless to say, I ordered my critter for love of my critter, and figured someone else would enjoy the scent. That said, I will not be giving up my bottle of biggerCritters. It's jasmine, but it's the first jasmine I can wear, and I love it. Definitely soft and sweet, and I love the citrus scent that flits in and out in the first half-hour of wear. I don't ever get the waxy celery seed note I expect from the gardenia, just soft, sweet, vanilla-y floral fluff. My mother used to buy glass jars of marshmallow fluff when I was a kid, and every once in a while, when she wasn't looking, my father and brother and I would dip our fingers in and lick the fluff right off of them. biggerCritters smells like marshmallow fluff feels on your tongue.
  9. jj_j

    Lilium Inter Spinas

    My body chemistry changed this into something completely different from everyone else. No obvious fig, no obvious florals; nothing from the description, actually. I started out with a gently fruity lily in the vial, but as soon as I put it on, I had gorgeous, soft clean soap. If you know Creative Scentualizations' Perfect Veil, then you'll know Lilium ... except Lilium's much, much better. This radiated off of me in lightly sweetened waves of cleanliness and sunshine - like laundry just off the line. I'm not a fan of soapy or "clean" scents - they don't do much for me, and if I wanted them, I'd grab a bar of Dove and lather up. Even though Lilium Inter Spinas wasn't at all what I'd expected it to be, I adore it. I'll be wearing this often!
  10. jj_j

    Your Best-Bet "Must Try" Enabling Scents

    In no particular order, mind you. If I had to put the list in order of best first, my head would explode. I tried to pick a range of "classics" so almost any scent preference (foody, green, etc.) would be included. Snow White. Perfection! Lughnasadh. So hard to find, but I like it even better than Samhain; it doesn't have the sharpness of Samhain and other similar scents. The Lion. Gorgeous, soft warmth. Beth's amazing Egyptian Amber is so beautifully showcased in this one. Tamora. Foody and velvet-textured all at the same time; it makes the wearer feel decadent and soft. Xiuhuleculti . Partly because it's un-spellable, and partly because it combines smoky and fruity in the most amazing way. Florence. Earthy grandeur that smells like you paid a fortune. L'Artisan should make something so good. Black Phoenix. For the "perfumey" perfume lover. This is all the good things about classic Chanel scents with none of the aldehydes and other less-than-stellar qualities. Black Opal. Feminine, soft, and clean; much better than those $60 soap-smelling retail attempts at clean. Kumari Kundam. A new classic. This is gorgeous, and just sweet enough to grab people who wear retail scents like Angel. Strangler Fig. Green, but also very figgy. Not foody at all, but good for those who aren't sure about green-ish scents and for whom something like Envy might be to strong. ETA: Oh, it's an even dozen! I get two more!! Unseelie. Soft dried grasses stirring in the breeze, with a sophisticated feel. Smells like a good Ralph Lauren ad might look. Sed Non Satiata. Woods, without being dry, and sexy as hell.
  11. jj_j


    I bought two bottles of TKO for my husband. He has ADHD and is a terrible insomniac - he just can't shut his brain off at night; in fact, it seems to go into high gear about 11 p.m. Not only does he have a terrible time getting to sleep, now that he's finally weaned off Ambien (his stupid GP prscribed it for over four years, and he was absolutely addicted; couldn't sleep without it, and had nasty withdrawal symptoms when he quit taking it), he doesn't sleep deeply - if I roll over in my sleep, if the rats stir around in their cage, if the cat comes in and jumps on the bed, he's wide awake. Somnus helped some, but not much. If he was absolutely exhausted but couldn't get to sleep, Somnus would push him over the edge, but it didn't do anything for the four or five days leading up to total exhaustion. Needless to say, there was absolutely no thinking about whether to buy a bottle of TKO; I clicked on the "buy" button instantly. Since I know Beth has problems sleeping, too, anything that she came up with had to be better than how things were. I love the scent of TKO on me - warm, round lavender and vanilla that's yummy and soothing all at once. It smells very different on my husband - an almost charred combination of lavender and vanilla comes off of him. He doesn't smell that at all, and says he smells sleepy warm marshmallows ... and I honestly think (this sounds strange, but I don't know a better way to explain) that it's because the TKO has to work so much harder for him. Yes, it puts him to sleep, and for that I am incredibly grateful. He has to slather it on, but after 15 or 20 minutes, he's able to fall into a restful and moderately deep sleep. Enough that he sleeps most of the night through, anyhow. I usually fall asleep thirty seconds after my head hits the pillow, and sleep like a rock for 7 or 8 hours. There have been a few nights after late gym sessions that I am completely awake and can't get to sleep, and when I use TKO, I'm out like a light in five minutes. For me, though, TKO makes it hard to get up in the morning. I hit the snooze button four or five times, rather than my usual leap from bed. TKO gets rave reviews from our household - it smells delightful, works like a charm, and the rest it provides puts my husband in a much better mood, day in and day out.
  12. jj_j


    I've had Determination for quite a while, and it always smelled like lime and heavy vetiver to me. Not a scent I'm fond of, but these are all about making things happen, so I've sucked it up and used Determination when I really needed it. I learned very quickly that you've got to be VERY specific when using Determination. The first time I used it, I was trying to make myself sit down and do a particularly unpleasant homework assignment that I'd been putting off until it was nearly overdue. I didn't really sit down and focus on what I wanted to be determined about, and when I went down to our office to get started on the homework, I found myself unable to resist cleaning and organizing my desk. It needed it desperately, but I needed to be doing something else! I couldn't seem to pull away from the desk project; in the end, the office looked fabulous and I could find things ... and the homework was late after all. Several months later, I find myself in a homework slump again. I'm on the edge of - not burnout, exactly, but melting a little, maybe? - after 9 months of balancing school 12 hours a week after work, all the accompanying homework, three kids, my husband's new firm, and life in general. I want to be a sloth and spend quality time with my family on the two evenings a week I don't have class, which doesn't lead to getting homework and papers finished. This time I sat down in the closet floor, got out the bottle of Determination, and started thinking about the homework I had to get finished and why it was important to do it. I thought about how tired I was and how I knew I was nine months into an eighteen-month program and couldn't throw it all away over exhaustion and disillusionment. Oddly enough, Determination smelled completely different as I put it on. Yes, there was a brief flash of vetiver, but this time I smelled like a really nice, if earthy, man's cologne. I marched downstairs, grabbed an oil burner, added some Determination to it, and settled myself into the office. In spite of my husband doing very loud remodeling work in the living room, my steno machine's electric mode going out, and my software being unable to read what I was putting into my machine, I got the homework finished. I got the homework that was past due finished, too. Four hours of really good, really solid practice time, and all the homework finished. I even enjoyed it, for a wonderful change. The office smelled of manly cologne and a beautiful powdery wood note, and I slathered on some more Determination as I set out in a thunderstorm and terrible downpour for a two-hour drive to pick up my daughter from a weekend with her father. Determination worked beautifully for me. I was serious about it, made sure the oil knew what I needed, and made sure *I* knew what I needed. When I put it on Monday morning in an attempt to power through all the crap that I knew would be waiting at work, I smelled like I'd been dipped in vetiver. Blech. My best explanation is that Determination knew what I could handle on my own and what I really needed help with, and when I don't really need it, I can expect the joys of plain, old vetiver.
  13. jj_j


    Another Salon scent with notes I adore - iris, black amber, mandarin, violet - and one that sounds pretty good (vanilla musk) since I love Beth's vanilla and white musks. In the vial, I get ... wine? Not quite the wine of Lady MacBeth, but a definite wine note. Where that comes from, I don't know, because it's obviously not in the list of components. So I put on Lucretia, and I get ... wine. Where the hell did that come from? I can't find any of those notes I adore, with the exception of the mandarin; this is becoming mandarin wine. I keep sniffing. And sniffing. Waiting and sniffing. This wine thing is making me crazy, but I'm not giving up on Lucretia. There's no way so many of these particular notes can end up a wine scent. And finally ... the mandarin fades out, and I get violets and wine. A little more time, and the wine fades out. Where it came from, I don't know, but I'm glad it's gone just so I can get to the scents I love. It was actually a lovely variation on a wine scent, but because I was looking for all those other notes, it made me a little insane. Violets, iris, and an anchoring wooden note finally emerge. I can only guess that's Kashmir woods; it's warm and woody, regardless of where they came from. Mostly iris and woods; just enough violet to peppery-powdery the scent a bit and give it a little more "refined" and a little less "earthy". No sign of Beth's vanilla, but vanilla musk is obviously not the same thing as vanilla plus musk; I was taking a guess on that one. This ends up as rich woods that seem to be dry and faded - like an old wooden box made of precious wood that's dried and cracked as it's handed down over the years, but still smells faintly when you open it - and a slightly peppery powder note that contradicts itself by being a little warm. I suppose you could think of it as a very expensive, beautiful potpourri in that wooden box that's faded and lightened up over time, but still makes you think of how rich and elegant it once was. I'm actually glad I didn't purchase this one, all those favorite notes of mine combined in a totally unexpected way. While that's not a bad thing - in fact, this is a beautiful blend - Lucretia wasn't any of the things I love about those notes when they stand alone.
  14. jj_j

    Resurrection of the Flesh

    I live for Beth's frankincense single note, and there were several other notes in The Resurrection of the Flesh that I enjoy, so I almost purchased a bottle straight off. The "complete general catalog swap" allowed me to test this, and I'm completely enamoured; I just wish I hadn't waited but had gone ahead and purchased the bottle last month! Out of the vial, I get glorious frankincense and hyssop ... this is absolutely beautiful. Warm, clean, faintly herbal, and no sign of the ylang-ylang. If my flesh ever gets resurrected, this is what I want it to smell like. I wait for the usual morph that comes a few minutes into most of scents (thank you, funky skin chemistry), and though it comes, it takes much longer than usual. For a while, I thought I was going to get to keep the pure frankincense and hyssop that I adore. There's a very pure, soft, and almost fuzzy-textured floral that emerges - such a soft and graceful note that it doesn't seem like a floral - and adds a touch of warm sunshine to the coolness of the frankincense and hyssop. They blend together so beautifully that once the morphing takes place, you can't imagine that the scent was ever anything else. Luckily, I never find the ylang-ylang in Resurrection of the Flesh; it would have done terrible things on my skin and ruined this for me. I like rose geranium, but didn't find it wafting off my wrist, either, so I can only guess that the floral note I found was angelica. I don't love all frankincense, but I love Beth's. This is a sure-fire purchase bottle for me, and so far my favorite of the Salon scents. Not a ton of throw, but my nose is glued to my wrist and I feel like I'm wrapped in a blanket of luxury as well as an aura of being comforted. All is right in the world while I'm breathing in Resurrection of the Flesh.
  15. jj_j


    Gorgeous greenery in the vial; seems a little sharp, so I'll hope this doesn't get brittle and bitter on me. No worries about sharpness once I put this on; it's really a perfect green scent. My very first "favorite" perfume was Estee Lauder's Private Collection, which is about as green as you can get. Orpheus takes all the nasty aldehydes out, softens them up with the white musk, and is pure green stems for the first few minutes - I'm in love with this stage. After about five minutes, the stephanotis and narcissus start to come through. Orpheus goes from being my green dream to a gentle and very dreamy soft, sweet floral over fading green stems. The stephanotis starts to take over, and this makes a lovely combination. In the end, I've decided against a bottle of Orpheus. If the green had stuck around for me, I would have to have multiple bottles and would slather like a fiend. As lovely as this is in the end, I think I'd always be disappointed by the morphing from my "fantasy green" to light floral.