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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by portalkat

  1. portalkat

    All Souls

    ALL SOULS A day of remembrance and intercession. Without the prayers and sacrifices of their families and loved ones, the faithful departed may not be cleansed of their venal sins, and thereby cannot attain beatific vision. On November 2nd, prayers are sung and offerings are made to aid lost souls in transcending purgatory. An incense blend that invokes the higher qualities of mercy and compassion, mingled with the soft, sugared currant scent of offertory soul cakes. When I first put this on, I could mainly smell soft incense. I thought that it was my imagination until I re-read the description. I can smell buttery cake notes in the background, but mostly I smell soft incense and what I think is the currant note, rather sharp coming out from behind the incense. My skin will tend to amp the sweet, but maybe others will smell more of the foody notes. I think that this is a lovely combination of foody and incensy, which for me is the best of both worlds
  2. portalkat

    Purple Phoenix

    PURPLE PHOENIX Porphyrogenitus, indeed; we worked[/i] for it! Not simply the color of royalty, purple is also the color of sorrow and mourning, reconciliation and forgiveness. A regal, majestic, and somber blend of myrrh, plum blossom, African violet, cognac, fig, orris, lilac, wisteria, black plum, and Burgundy wine grapes. Purple Phoenix is a deep fruity violet. Often, violet perfumes tend to be sweet and cloying. In this blend, it is earthier because of the resin, the fig and the orris. The cognac keeps the fruits deep and heady. This is a very beautiful and sophisticated blend and very reminiscent of Queen of Spades.
  3. portalkat

    The Balcony

    Mother of memories, mistress of mistresses, O thou, my pleasure, thou, all my desire, Thou shalt recall the beauty of caresses, The charm of evenings by the gentle fire, Mother of memories, mistress of mistresses! The eves illumined by the burning coal, The balcony where veiled rose-vapour clings— How soft your breast was then, how sweet your soul! Ah, and we said imperishable things, Those eves illumined by the burning coal. Lovely the suns were in those twilights warm, And space profound, and strong life’s pulsing flood, In bending o’er you, queen of every charm, I thought I breathed the perfume in your blood. The suns were beauteous in those twilights warm. The film of night flowed round and over us, And my eyes in the dark did your eyes meet; I drank your breath, ah! sweet and poisonous, And in my hands fraternal slept your feet— Night, like a film, flowed round and over us. I can recall those happy days forgot, And see, with head bowed on your knees, my past. Your languid beauties now would move me not Did not your gentle heart and body cast The old spell of those happy days forgot. Can vows and perfumes, kisses infinite, Be reborn from the gulf we cannot sound; As rise to heaven suns once again made bright After being plunged in deep seas and profound? Ah, vows and perfumes, kisses infinite! - Charles Baudelauire Voluptuous darkness: Bourbon vetiver, red patchouli, honey, helichrysum, and black rose. I bought this because of the reviews in the west coast will call thread. I had no idea what this would smell like, but I kept reading things about wood notes and they are some of my favorites, so I took a chance. The rose is deep, but it is not the starring player here. The dusty wood notes are dominant and when I look at the notes in the description, I'm not sure what is combining to form this. I suspect that it might be the helichrysum and the vetiver. I am not really smelling the red patchouli in this and the honey is helping to sweeten the rose which stays quietly in the background. This is very pretty and it is like smelling the dusty wood balcony with the rose in the garden beneath.
  4. portalkat

    Thirteen (13): April 2012

    This 13 contains thirteen flowers of good luck swirled in white chocolate and a touch of honey: white carnation, stephanotis, blood-flower, yellow rose, eggplant flower, tiare, chamomile blossom, champaca flower, pink heather, wild orchid, pink peony, sweet basil flower, and Bells of Ireland. This 13 reminds me of the 7/07 release with the pink label and a bit of the one with the orange label. It has sort of the creamy tropical feel that of the 07, although the florals are not the same except for the orchid. I think that the tiare and wild orchid are giving it that same sort of feeling and they do both share the white chocolate which gives it that creaminess. The 7/07 release was always one of my favorites, so I am loving this newest one as well.
  5. portalkat

    Thirteen (13): January 2012

    In our paean to all the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic number, there are thirteen lucky and unlucky components in this fragrance: cacao absolute, Holy basil, Jamaican ginger, High John the Conqueror root, lucky hand root, manzanilla, nutmeg, Queen of the Meadow, star anise, thyme, frankincense, Irish moss, and huckleberry leaf. The west coast will call reviews kept mentioning something about this being a very woody blend. When I first saw the notes when it went live, I could not understand how this could possibly end up smelling woody - but it does! It's very woody with the cacao and ginger peeking through. I love all of the 13's and this one is no exception. It just keeps getting prettier and prettier the longer that it's on and it will also have a special meaning to me because this past Friday the 13th is the day that my FIL passed.
  6. portalkat

    Loved To Death

    I just got my bottle today and it was from the second batch shipment. I put some of my neck and I think that the heat from that part of my body is releasing more of the beeswax note, because that is what I am smelling swirling around me. I also get hints of the clove and cinnamon, but the strongest note is the beeswax. The blackened vanilla just pulls everything together. I'm going to try some on my wrists next time and see if it will tone down the beeswax note a bit so that I can smell the spices a bit more.
  7. portalkat

    International Shipping Info+Questions

    You shouldn't have any problems. I just got a package from Future Primitive in the UK last week with 13 5mm bottles of oils and a large bottle of hair conditioner.
  8. portalkat

    International Shipping Info+Questions

    Yes, the key word is "perfume." Either mark it as Bath & body or cosmetics.
  9. portalkat

    International Shipping Info+Questions

    I actually get oils from the UK all the time. I buy through the forum or from one company in particular, Future Primitive and even Lush, UK. I just looked at one of the boxes from Future Primitive and they mark the customs paperwork as bath and body products. I usually get 1-2 packages from them a month with no problem.
  10. portalkat

    The Wet Nurse and the Old Monk

    ZZ's review at the top of this page is what made me order a bottle of this. Now, I don't really recall what a Lush store smells like, but I wanted to smell like one. The first sniff from the bottle has me worried because "red" anything always smells harsh to me and red sandalwood is no exception. When I put some of, the change is drastic and the harshness is gone. I'm finding the peach note to be stronger than the champaca and I think that I would have liked it better the other way around, but I'm hoping that with some age behind it, that might change. The drydown is soft, fruity from the peach with just a hint of floral behind it. The red sandalwood keeps this from being too cloying and changes it from being just another peach blend. I love it and I'm actually considering a backup. I think that I'll hit the Lush store tomorrow and see if it smells like me.
  11. portalkat

    Water Dragon

    A new year’s blessing! Peony, China’s national flower, with bamboo for flexibility, Buddha’s Hand for introspective spiritual growth, plum blossom for perseverance, courage, and hope, coconut for camaraderie, chrysanthemum for a life free of grief and struggle, tangerine and orchid for wealth, orange for happiness, lychee for household peace, pine resin for constancy, golden kumquat, pussy willow, and quince for prosperity, sesame for sweetness, narcissus and King mandarin for good fortune, and peach blossom for longevity, with a splash of blazing red of dragon’s blood… to help you scare away the rampaging Nian. This is one that I would have ordered regardless of the notes because I am a water dragon. This is another happy fruity blend like the First Encounter. I find it to be mainly kumquat and quince with some peony and all of the other notes being supporting players. It's quite lovely and something that I will definitely wear in the warmer months. I like fruity blends when I reach outside of my usual woody,smoky, resiny dark scents, but I think that I enjoy the warm weather blends most.
  12. portalkat


    LIBERTY Liberty was created for the CBLDF, inspired by Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People: frankincense, beeswax, olive blossom, chamomile, sampaguita, magnolia, apple blossom, gunpowder, and smoke. This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle of Liberty go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community. My Fairy Godmother picked up a bottle of this for me at Comic Con. I wanted it for the beeswax, smoke and frankincense, but I was worried that it would come across as mainly a floral because of all the floral notes. When I first tried it, I found the strongest note to be the beeswax and I waited for it to dry and for the other notes to come forward. Well, they did, but just ever so gently and they stay in the background. I find that the florals just help to support the beeswax, just like the way that edible honey will take on the flavor of the host plant nectar. This is not at all a floral blend on me, but mainly a beeswax scent with the resin,smoke and florals mixing together in the background. This is gorgeous and I am so glad that it is available during the latest update so that I can snag a backup bottle. This is my favorite beeswax blend so far.
  13. portalkat

    Searching for the Perfect Vanilla?

    My first thought was Lyonesse, but you probably have already tried that one.
  14. I just wanted to say that star anise smells nothing like licorice or regular anise to me, so that is probably why you did not recognize it. It is one of the main ingredients in Chinese 5 spice powder, so you can acquaint yourself with the smell. I know that the lab has used it in some things, but with the other notes added, it might not be that noticeable.
  15. portalkat

    La Lugubre Gondola

    I will need a backup of this. I love amber, but sometimes it just seems a bit too much. I love how the other notes give it depth and complexity and temper some of the sweetness. I am also getting some deep woodiness in there, which I know will not please some, but it floats my boat.
  16. portalkat

    Single Note: Burning Book

    When I first tried this at the CBLDF party, it smelled a bit cologny. I really wanted to buy it in order to support the CBLDF, so I bought a couple of bottles of it. I tried it again when I got home from the party - I only work 10 minutes away from the Con. It was still strong on the cologne smell, but from the previous application, I could smell the dry paper note and a bit of leather. I tested it more that night and the next day and it seems to have developed in that short period. Now it opens up with that sweet leather note, the paper note follows and then it ends up with the sweet smoke smell. This is actually something that I would wear, but I wasn't sure from the initial testing. I'm glad that I was able to get my hands on a bottle.
  17. portalkat

    Nag Champa scent in a BPAL blend?

    BPAL champa blends for me are Urd, Panther Moon and Temple Viper.
  18. portalkat

    Thieves' Rosin

    I do not get the men's cologne which is a good thing. This opens up with the rosin note with a bit of dry dusty wood in the background once it starts to dry down. The one thing that I have not seen in any review is that the drydown for me is a very strong beeswax note. I am loving this a lot. Thieve's Rosin for me is rosin, light wood and a generous helping of gentle sweet beeswax.
  19. portalkat

    How to make a paypal order.

    Do you mean acknowledged by the Lab or by Paypal? If you mean Paypal, then yes, you should get a notice. I ask this because on my last couple of Lab orders, my PP notifications were delayed as much as a couple of days. I've never gotten an acknowledgement from the Lab.
  20. portalkat

    Searching for the Perfect Vanilla?

    There is a thread here with BPAL recommendations to commercial perfumes. I saw that someone asked about Saint, but I did not find any replies. You might want to look through there, though. That person also listed the notes for Saint - Mirabelle Plum and mandarin are top notes. Tiare flower and caramel with jasmine are the mid. And vanilla combines with a cream type musk with sandalwood for the base. So, even though you might not like florals or fruity perfumes, you might not want to rule them all out.
  21. portalkat

    Using BPAL to negate the smell of death?

    Yep, I was going to say the same thing. Don't use something that you love, because you might associate the smell with death or whatever you are trying to not smell.
  22. portalkat

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    Here is part of my review from 2006 - "This scent brings up so many images and memories. The first thing that I smell is the wood note, perhaps cedar. It reminds me of a church, but not a cathedral. It reminds me of the churches in the missions in Southern California. I can smell the San Juan Capistrano and Santa Barbara missions. It smells old, but not dusty, just old wood, aged old wood. I can smell the incense notes behind it and it conjures up images of monks in prayer in earlier centuries. I also had an image of the woods down along the Little Sur River. I could smell the wood of the trees and the sweet smell of the leaves. The Big Sur area is like a cathedral of sorts." It doesn't have the benzoin and vanilla from EM and I haven't tried layering them yet. On its own, it's very different from EM, but it is one of my top 10 BPALs. If you can get your hands on silver haired Bat, that is pretty much benzoin and cedar on me - if you layered this with cathedral, it might get you closer! ... Or layer Banshee Beat with Cathedral to add the Van/Patch element. I've never smelled EM, but based on the notes and your descriptions, it might work! ! I happen to have a bottle of Silver Haired Bat thanks to my lovely faerie, so I pulled out Banshee Beat and Cathedral and tried layering them with SHB, but they are all too sweet. Encens Mystic is not very sweet. The closest I've come so far is layering a tiny bit of SHB with Empire from Haunt. Encens Mystic is just so different from anything else that I have ever had and it really does have an incense quality about it. I think that I just need to order a sample of CdG Avignon to see how it compares.
  23. portalkat

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    Have you checked EBay? I have found many discontinued perfumes and cosmetics on there... There has only been on one ebay for the last couple of years.....trust me on that.
  24. portalkat

    Vegetal, Vegetable Scents

    Another LE, but Pumpkin Patch III from 2009 had tomato leaf. The description is: Pumpkin, fir needle, pitch, rosemary, and tomato. I love it. It's one of my favorite pumpkins because of the tomato leaf.
  25. portalkat

    Villainess and BPAL

    I haven't smelled Neisthai, but IMO, Jai Mahal does not smell anything like Snake Oil. I find it to smell like sweet, a little boozy, cardamom wood. I love the way that Brooke does wood, resins and smoke and I have most of her extraits with those notes.