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BPAL Madness!


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About ivyblossom

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    wrist-sniffing wench
  • Birthday 08/02/1974


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    New York
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  • BPAL of the Day
  • Favorite Scents
    Door, Knave of Hearts, Stekkjarstaur, Cockaigne, Alice, Chimera, Halfling, Eat me, Lady Una, Bread-and-Butterfly, Thieves' Rosin, White Rabbit

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    Writing, reading, collaborative technology, online community
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  1. These long-dead scents are back for a limited time in a slightly tweaked form! `Crawling at your feet,' said the Gnat (Alice drew her feet back in some alarm), `you may observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar.' `And what does IT live on?' `Weak tea with cream in it.' Bread, lightly buttered, with weak tea, cream, and a lump of white sugar. The original Bread-and-Butterfly is one of my favourites, so I was very interested to see what the resurrected version would be like. I can definitely tell which ingredient is no longer available to the lab: it's the one the gave Bread-and-Butterfly it's (divisive?) licorice-y tea note. Without it, Bread-and-Butterfly Resurrected is much gentler and milkier. When I first sniffed it, I immediately though, "That's not it," but in retrospect I realize that's unfair of me. It can't be the original. What this is is a a re-envisioning of the concept, and it's a good one: it's white untoasted bread with butter (I sense butter CO2), a little bit of sugar, and cream. It's not the same Bread-and-Butterfly, but it's certainly a Bread-and-Butterfly.
  2. I am a huge fan of the smell of a London Plane Tree just after a rain. It is the smell of Hampstead Heath (North London) for me, and also every university campus I've ever stepped foot on, since campuses often plant the hardy and pollution-resistant London Plane along their walkways and streets. London Plane Trees are true Londoners; they are a hybrid of the Oriental Plane (from whom it gets its characteristic scent) and the American Sycamore, two trees from different parts of the world who met in a garden in Vauxhall in the 17th century. I think they're beautiful and the smell of them after a rain is absolutely magical. Anyone else know this smell? Is there a BPAL that smells like it?
  3. ivyblossom

    Ethereal Scents?

    Seconding Lady Una. Absolutely magical.
  4. ivyblossom

    The Knave of Hearts

    Pie. Definitely pie. I don't know if I can confidently pick out the smell of blackcurrant, but it's definitely a dark berry pie filling, like blackberry and blueberry. And it's got a pie crust in there, rough puff, not anything fancier. No rose so far. As a foody fan, I'm absolutely on board with this. I ordered it because of how many people found it too foody. Too foody is just foody enough for me!
  5. ivyblossom


    I just got this, and bizarrely, it smells exactly like Charlie as smelled by me in the very early 1980s. Charlie is not a chocolate scent at all. I'm not sure what happened here. Maybe it's because the bottles are still cold? I got El Dia De Los Reyes at the same time, and that one is obviously chocolate, but this one...nope. Charlie. Edited to add: Okay, it's less Charlie and more chocolate now. Hahahaha I don't know what that was about. Maybe my schnoz was off.
  6. ivyblossom


    Bit surprised I haven't reviewed this one yet, since it's my #1 absolute favourite. The moment it I first put it on I fell in love with it and I've been in love with it ever since. It seems that either honey works on you (smells like actual honey) or it doesn't (goes powdery, or smells like a dirty diaper, or some other terrible thing). Honey works perfectly on me, exactly as intended, lucky for me. Door is honey, with some depth and darkness from what I presume is the cistus. It's sweet, quirky, and a bit sneaky. It's gorgeous, and I adore it. I can't imagine not being able to wear it. I will probably always have handfuls of back up bottles. The best!
  7. ivyblossom

    Thieves' Rosin

    I just got this, literally just plucked it out of the mailbox. I tend to categorize my perfume oils by what feeling or state of mind I feel they induce, and I got this one thinking maybe it would feel sneaky to me. You never know when you'll need to feel sneaky. Initially it smells like wood, maybe a hint of nutmeg along the top, and warm beeswax. Sort of like a cross between Cathedral and The Lights of Men's Lives. As it dries I smells like the wood is charring slightly so that it has a faint smoke smell along the with a dry wood and beeswax. The hint of nutmeg blends away so that you don't smell it on its own. I think it's just adding some character to the woodiness. I don't get cologne, cinnamon, or even anything especially masculine in this. Instead what I get is a room in a medieval convent full of burning candles and with beams on the ceiling. With some manuscripts lining the walls. Not exactly the metaphor Beth was going for, I realize. Edited to add: This might sound strange, but as I'm wearing this one more it's reading a bit like Door to me. Which I suppose makes some sense, since Thieves' Rosin is beeswax with resin, and Door is honey with cistus (also a resin). Of course Door has blue chamomile and nicotiana as well, which aren't here. They smell just a bit related; cousins, or second cousins, rather than siblings. Door is my very favourite BPAL of all time, so that's seriously a compliment.
  8. ivyblossom


    I just got imps of the entire RPG series from the lab and the imp of Gnome is light colored and smells like ginger. I'm disappointed to see that it may no longer be representative of Gnome because so far this is easily my favorite of the RPG scents. Fabulous! Good to know, thanks!
  9. ivyblossom

    Orgy with Nine Women

    The magnolia along the top lets this one casually present itself as an above-board kind of smell, feminine and delicate. The vanilla and honey ground it and give it some depth and sensuality. But what makes this the orgy is the tobacco. It's less smoky and more...well, dirty. Filthy, actually. Not in an unwashed way, but in a debauched way. It's stealth filth; I can wear it to work and call it a floral smell, but there's that underground twist to it, that subtle naughtiness, that people can feel is there but can't quite place. I'm glad it stocked up on bottles of this. I hope Beth brings it back one day. It's really amazing.
  10. ivyblossom

    Miss Forcible

    I ordered this one because of the disappointed reviews it got here. Bread-and-butter-fly is one of my favourites, so anything that gets compared to that is going to end up on my must-have list. True to form, I absolutely adore Miss Forcible. It's like an older lady's purse. An older lady who always smells like some ancient and mild musk that rubs off on everything eventually. An older lady who reads smutty novels and keeps them shoved in her purse, along with an open packet of butter cookies. These are priorities I can get behind. I aspire to be that older lady. And thus I embrace Miss Forcible with love and joy.
  11. ivyblossom

    Rational scents?

    I definitely use BPAL to remind myself of the attitude I need for the day. You can certainly open up what you think it means to smell like rational thought; physical media isn't necessarily very rational, after all. I find The Antikythera Mechanism to be the most academic and challenging of the smells I've got so far, and I wear it when I need to be sharp and take no prisoners. To stay academic but more quirky and approachable, and a little softer while still controlled and intelligent, I go for White Rabbit. It's a very proper clean tablecloth and a recently-filled cup of tea. Miskatonic U goes mostly to oak on me, not so much booze, so I wear it when I need to get a lot of writing done.
  12. ivyblossom

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    (bold mine) Beth has explained the why of the batch variations back in the first pages of this thread, it's from 2004 (I can't believe it's 10 years ago ) but I presume the reasons are still the same? Here is a link (scroll down to see her replies, there's a few): http://www.bpal.org/topic/3142-different-smellscolors-same-perfume/page__st__25 Also from the lab's FAQ's: I totally understand the frustration though! Especially when it happens to scents you love. It's happened to me more than a few times and it's been disappointing. But when I first read up on the issue it made more a lot more understanding of what goes into the process and why these batch variations are sometimes inevitable. Yeah, I completely understand batch variation. That seems entirely reasonable when the essential oils shift slightly themselves or they switch suppliers. No one wants BPAL to be McDonalds! What's perplexing is when it's not minor, slight changes, but a new version that is entirely different from start to finish from the bottle you're replacing, but the lab tells you you're just wrong, this is how it's always been. That's a bit weird.
  13. ivyblossom

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    I keep wondering if it's safe to order a bottle again in the hopes of getting the oil I actually wanted. This dark one seems like an error no one will cop to, frankly. It doesn't match the description at all, while the older one did. It would be nice if someone would acknowledge an official change and alter the scent description to reflect it, or acknowledge the mistake and fix it. I don't even begrudge the money, frankly, I just want the bubbly ginger. This sounds like the issue I had with Dee last year. I have an ancient 4oz bottle and a 5ml from 2012 that smell amazing, and 2 bottles from 2013 that don't remotely smell the same. Did that ever resolve? Dee's unavailable right now, I wonder if it will be as it was when it comes back...
  14. ivyblossom


    If anyone manages to get a bottle or imps delivered straight from the lab that are light in colour and smell like ginger again, please post and let us know! I'll sign up for multiple bottles of that one.
  15. ivyblossom

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    I keep wondering if it's safe to order a bottle again in the hopes of getting the oil I actually wanted. This dark one seems like an error no one will cop to, frankly. It doesn't match the description at all, while the older one did. It would be nice if someone would acknowledge an official change and alter the scent description to reflect it, or acknowledge the mistake and fix it. I don't even begrudge the money, frankly, I just want the bubbly ginger.