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BPAL Madness!


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About lucycat

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  1. lucycat

    Gingerbread Snek

    I can barely smell the Snake Oil in this. I have Gingerbread Snake and this Snek is different: the patchouli and musk are most prominent, and the gingerbread smells like almost pure cinnamon to me. Which means that this blend smells very much like Gingerbread Sin to my nose. In fact, if I hadn’t known this was a Snake Oil blend, I would have guessed it was a new version of Gingerbread Sin. If you need more Gingerbread Sin or have wanted to try it, give Gingerbread Snek a try. I’ll be interested to see if the two blends continue to smell so similar once this one ages.
  2. lucycat

    Cozy scents

    I find Velvet, which on me is primarily sandalwood and cocoa, a very cozy scent.
  3. lucycat

    Storyboard: Julius Caesar

    I wanted to try this scent entirely for the concept: this summer I went to a local production of "Julius Caesar," and I wanted an appropriate scent to wear then (I suppose I could have worn Antony.) The rose is the most prominent note on my skin, and lasts for hours. I had hoped for a more of the myrrh and the frankincense, but eventually the myrrh does make itself known, and I get a myrrh and rose blend. After a few more hours, this dries down to a resinous skin scent, just tinged with rose. I never do smell the iris or the blood notes. I won't need more than my decant of this, since my skin amps rose and I don't love rose. Storyboard: Julius Caesar is a pretty blend, though, and I will keep the decant so I'm prepared the next time I go to see the play.
  4. lucycat

    'Tis The Voice Of The Lobster

    This was a frimp from the Lab. In the imp I smell that “woody, musky-weird base,” which makes me think it’s going to smell very weird on my skin, but it doesn’t. It smells like fruit salad with an extra helping of blackberries. As it dries down, it morphs to musky blackberry, very like Bewitched. I never do smell gardenia, which is a relief, because I prefer fruit notes to florals. The woodsy musky note sticks around but also stays close to the skin. This Lobster is very nice for a warm summer day.
  5. lucycat

    La Prostitution et la Folie Dominent le Monde

    Almost every year I try another jasmine blend, hoping it will be like Venus Genetrix: the jasmine and vanilla blend I can actually wear because the vanilla keeps the jasmine in check. La Prostitution et la Folie Dominent la Monde is not it. In the decant, this is almost pure creamy, sweet vanilla. The comparison to frosting is apt. Within moments of being applied to my skin, boom! The jasmine comes forward and dominates everything. It is a very pure, true jasmine. I do get just a little bit of star anise when I touch my nose to my skin. This is a beautiful blend. It’s for someone who truly loves jasmine, though. I was hoping for a sweet, creamy vanilla anise with just a touch of jasmine; what I got was jasmine with just a touch of everything else.
  6. lucycat

    The Magi

    To my surprise, the white wine grape is the most easily identifiable note here. It’s the same grape note as in Bess, one of my favorite GC blends, and it really sweetens the frankincense. Frankincense can be sharp, but it isn’t in this blend. The Magi is sweet, resinous, and sparkling. I'm the first person to review The Magi in three years, and my review doesn't express how much I like this blend. See the first review on the first page, by Sarada back in 2008, which expresses, better than I can, what I like about The Magi.
  7. lucycat

    Desert Places

    The first three notes in this blend are among my favorites—and I like orris just fine; I just don’t usually get excited about it—so Desert Places was an almost guaranteed winner. It’s primarily a white tea scent, given some sweetness by the vanilla and grounded by the sandalwood. It’s light, fresh, clean, and pretty. Though this is a Yule, like most white or green tea scents, it feels like more of a warm-weather blend. I think it will really shine in the summer.
  8. lucycat

    Four Seasons: Winter

    In the decant, I smell apricot and chypre most strongly. On my arm, this dries down to orange, apricot and amber, while on the back of my hand, it’s virtually identical to Aristocratic Couple, one of my favorite Lupers. On the second test, about a week after the first, the lavender is more apparent. This doesn't sound like the most enthusiastic review, but I liked Four Seasons: Winter enough to upgrade to a bottle.
  9. lucycat

    Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry

    This is simple, pretty, and just what the notes say: the familiar BPAL snow note and blue musk. Especially when it’s freshly applied, I get a hint of citrus. There’s no citrus listed in the notes, so I think it’s more the combination of the snow and musk giving the impression of citrus. This is very similar to Winter-Time, without the strong mint note. Here it’s just an impression of mint. For several years I’ve been looking for a snow blend to wear in hot weather, and I think Trés Riches Heures might be it.
  10. lucycat

    The Forest in Winter at Sunset

    From first sniff in the decant, this is just lovely. The amber is warm and bright. I don’t have that many blends with moss—offhand, I can only think of Whoso List to Hunt—and they give a very classic feel to the blend. I almost expect there to be a snow note here, because once it dries down a bit, there’s an almost aquatic note that I wouldn’t expect from any of the other notes. As it dries down, it feels more and more like men’s cologne, not the one I usually get from the BPAL leaf note, but a softer, almost fuzzy one. There being different batches of this blend may explain the aquatic note. I ordered my decant from Ajevie very early, and received it at the beginning of January, so this should be an early version, not a later one. The amber, while noticeable at first, is never strong, so I don’t think this is the amber-heavy version: disappointing, because I love amber. It also lasts only about half a day on my skin, while many amber blends have much better longevity.
  11. lucycat

    Winter: My Secret

    Bright, sweet resin. Like Anne, I find different notes are prominent depending on where the oil is applied: it’s all labdanum on my arms, and myrrh on the back of my hand. I don’t smell the bourbon vanilla at all, but I have found that the Lab’s bourbon vanilla note is often not strong when fresh, and strengthens with age.
  12. lucycat

    It Sifts from Leaden Sieves

    In the decant, I can’t smell anything but patchouli, the strong, pencil-shaving kind. Patchouli continues to dominate once this is on my skin, though the sandalwood comes out after a little while. I can just smell the frankincense on my hand, and only there; it’s very soft. If I didn’t know the “tuft of coconut-tinged snow” was in this blend, I wouldn’t be able to identify the slight sweetness as coconut at all.
  13. lucycat


    In the bottle this is primarily chocolate; there is a small amount of residue at the bottom of the bottle as there often is with chocolate scents. When first applied, this becomes chocolate paper, which is delicious. On my arms, a few minutes after application, I got a very strong greenish smell I at first thought was snowdrop or another bulb flower. I think I was associating with Picture Books in Winter, which strikes me as a cousin of this scent, but there are no flower notes in Jólabókaflóðið. I thought it was the leather, coming on strong, but now I see I'm not the only one who smelled a floral note in this. After a bit it settles into papery chocolate and leather. Yum. It’s always soft and close to the skin, but has good longevity. I am a librarian and lifelong bibliophile, so I just had to have Jólabókaflóðið. There are few things I enjoy more than a cozy winter evening spent reading a good book with a tasty sweet to snack on and a scented candle burning in the room, and this blend evokes that experience beautifully. I also love that the donations from this scent went to a charity that puts books into the hands of children. With my bottle I received a copy of Soul Catcher by Frank Herbert. I’ve never read a book by him, so this will be my first.
  14. lucycat

    Nasty Woman

    I ordered a bottle of Nasty Woman on principle. It didn’t arrive in time for me to wear it on Election Day, so I postponed testing till Inauguration Day (sigh), meaning my bottle has now aged a couple of months. It’s rich, sweet, chewy fig and patchouli. Fig often seems like a more sophisticated fruit smell than many others, if that makes sense, and that is definitely the case here. The patchouli is not at all the sharp, cedary kind. I’m one of the many who gets a tobacco impression from this. I think it’s really the combination of the patch and the amber. On the back of my hand, the honeyed amber oudh smells just like Hesiod’s Phoenix, one of my favorites. Incidentally, I’m very glad I didn’t know loukhoum was Turkish delight before I ordered. It would have put me off, but though Nasty Woman is a sweet-smelling blend, I don’t detect any rose in it, nor do I get the cloyingness I associate with Turkish delight.
  15. lucycat

    Road to Versailles at Louveciennes

    In the decant, this is sweet vanilla cream: delicious. On second sniff, all I could think was “something from the 80s.” I can’t put my finger on what, but there was a scented toy or a dessert or something in my childhood that smelled like this. The various herbs are present beneath the vanilla, and it’s both interesting and pretty. And then…boom. The wintry musk comes forward and drowns out everything. It becomes pure laundry detergent. After a little while, I can smell a musky vanilla sandalwood on the back of my hand. If it were like that everywhere, Road to Versailles would be pretty nearly perfect, but on my arms, it remains laundry detergent. Curse you, wintry musk.