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BPAL Madness!


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About octopusgrrl

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  • Birthday 05/07/1971


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    New Zealand

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  • BPAL of the Day
  • Favorite Scents
    Wanda, Voodoo, Eclipse, Kali

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    2000AD, arthouse films, Asatru, Bad Badtz Maru, big stompy boots, Billy Bragg, boardgames, British comedy, Caitlìn R Kiernan, cats, Charles de Lint, chartreuse, cheese, China Mièville, Claudia Black, comics, cooking, corsetry, corsets, crime fiction, crochet, cyberpunk, Daniel Clowes, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, David Lynch, Dead Can Dance, Dead Kennedys, defensive pessimism, Depeche Mode, Donna Demente, Dunedin, Edward Gorey, Eightball, essential oils, ethnic food, family history, fantasy, Farscape, folk music, foreign films, forensic science, Frida Kahlo, Fur Patrol, genealogy, goth, graphic design, Harry Potter, Headless Chickens, history, hoodoo, horror, indie, Ioan Gruffudd, Jamie Hewlett, Japan, Jello Biafra, Jude Law, Kim Wilkins, kitsch, latex, Los Bros Hernandez, Lush, Machine Gun Fellatio, Manic Street Preachers, Mark Ryden, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Neil Gaiman, New Orleans, Nick Cave, Nutella, op shopping, organic gardening, patchwork, peace, perfumes, Placebo, Poppy Z Brite, Pre-Raphaelite Art, quilting, Ralph Hotere, religious imagery, Renaissance, Restoration, retro, robot wars, Sanrio, Santeria, Shag, sleeping, Smallville, speculative fiction, spiders, steampunk, Stephen Fry, the Cure, the Smiths, the Whitlams, tiki art, Tim Burton, travel, Twin Peaks, UK TV, victorian clothing, victoriana, vodou, voudoun, witchcraft, zines
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  1. octopusgrrl


    I've just started systematically going through a whole lot of old imps (and when I say 'old', I mean 2004!) I didn't review Anubis back when I first got it, but when I picked it out this morning my brain instantly associated it with being very dry, woody and 'hot' and one that I wasn't keen to wear again, so I was a bit worried. But oh my! When I put it on, my favourite cherry/almondy fruits wafted up, layered with some sandalwood and myrrh - it was just glorious! I don't know whether I'd mixed the name up with another oil, or whether Anubis has just matured beautifully in my favour, but it's wonderful. A few hours in and the initial fruitiness has worn off, but it's still a lovely warm myrrh and honey scent which I'm happy to wear all day. This one's a keeper, and makes me want to give some of the other oils that I wasn't too keen on back in the day another chance.
  2. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: strong spicy resins with a slight mint tang, of all things Wet: mmm, spicy and resinous, but not too warm or dry - more of a pure resin scent. There's a hint of tropical flowers as well, but not as overwhelming as they often become on me Dry: sweet creamy vanilla Verdict: I really like this one - it's a great blend of all the scents I like, and it's such a relief to not have the white floral notes take over!
  3. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: soft tearose Wet: starts to smell powdery as soon as it hits my skin Dry: grandmotherly lilac and tearose talc Verdict: unfortunately, this is another BPAL rose scent that turns to instant powder on me
  4. octopusgrrl

    Val Sans Retour

    In the bottle: very gentle grapefruit/lemon citrus Wet: a pretty light citrus scent with hints of spring flowers - daffodils and freesias Dry: disappeared in about half an hour Verdict: this was really nice when I first applied it, but I wish it was a lot stronger, then it would be perfect.
  5. octopusgrrl

    The Caterpillar

    In the bottle: strong incense Wet: a mix of dark roses and patchouli Dry: the patchouli dries to an earthy scent, reminding me a lot of Zombi Verdict: intriguing and complex, but not really me. The drydown ends up too powdery and earthy for my liking.
  6. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: strong bergamot Wet: spicy tangy neroli Dry: a powdery floral that disappears after an hour Verdict: it's not unpleasant, although when it's first applied the orange blossom scent is way too strong, but it's not really for me.
  7. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: soft, spicy almond Wet: spices and flowers, reminiscent of Queen of Sheba but smoother and more rounded Dry: gentle spicy vanilla with hints of floral Verdict: very nice, but a bit similar on my skin to both Queen of Sheba and Old Kathmandu - I'll have to try them out against each other to see which I prefer.
  8. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: jasmine Wet: more jasmine Dry: yet still more jasmine Verdict: I really need to steer clear of jasmine in oils: my skin grabs on to it and amps it up, and it's really not my favourite scent to start with. This is not as overwhelming as Black Widow on me but it's ultimately disappointing - all the other notes sound lovely and they're completely drowned by the jasmine
  9. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: almond and rum Wet: buttery rum spice mixture Dry: strong clove and, I assume, sassafras - ugh, smells like a dentists office I like clove usually, but not this strong. Verdict: this comes out way too medicinal on me and is quite unpleasant. I ended up layering some Blood Amber over the top after an hour or so to tone it down.
  10. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: bitter almond Wet: cedar and sandalwood with a hint of pine Dry: dries to a creamy spicy vanilla Verdict: this starts off smelling like Queen of Sheba on me, but it's not as "dry" a scent, and turns out quite delicious as it dries.
  11. octopusgrrl


    A festive, dazzling blend, layered in mystery and intrigue. Patchouli, ambergris, carnation and orange blossom. In the bottle: very strong orange blossom Wet: orange blossom with a hint of spiciness Dry: up close, it's orange and warm patchouli (a really nice rounded patchouli, not incensey like most), but from a distance I keep smelling tobacco! Verdict: This is a really interesting combination - the first BPAL oil I've tried that has two distinct halves. I like both the original orange blossom and the dried-off orangey tobacco, though, and I'll be wearing this again.
  12. octopusgrrl

    Sudha Segara

    In the bottle: "clean", almost scentless Wet: vanilla and gentle floral Dry: vanilla fading to nothingness Verdict: a lovely scent. It's the first oil I've tried where the vanilla is more milky and ice-creamy than spicy and it's really unusual. I just wish it was stronger and lasted a bit longer
  13. octopusgrrl

    Mata Hari

    In the bottle: jasmine with a hint of something aldehyde, like lavender - maybe that's the coffee? Wet: jasmine and patchouli - quite an unusual combination Dry: spicy jasmine with a little vanilla smoothness developing into vanilla-tonka creaminess Verdict: What is it with me and rose? Maybe it's because I've worn plain rose oil for a number of years, but BPAL's rose scents always come out too subtle on me. Mind you, maybe it's the jasmine that overwhelms the gentler rose. This is quite a pleasant scent especially once it's been on for a few hours, but the jasmine is too much for me in the beginning, so this one might be a swapper.
  14. octopusgrrl

    Blood Amber

    In the bottle: a very resinous, syrupy, voluptuous fragrance Wet: more amber warmth coming through - I recognise the scent from Spellbound. This is such a strong, heady oil! Dry: the "roundedness" of the scent wears off, leaving a drier spicy incense that lasts for ages Verdict: I really like this oil - it's quite addictive, but so powerful that I don't think I could wear it as an everyday oil. However, it will be a great exotic indulgence every so often.
  15. octopusgrrl


    In the bottle: very sweet, like candied apples Wet: sweet, reminding me of strawberry flavouring, with a hint of rose Dry: dries off to a powdery rose-musk Verdict: This is like Spellbound jnr. on me, but not as overpowering. It doesn't set my world on fire, I'm afraid. I don't hate it but I don't love it either.