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BPAL Madness!


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About Mandarin

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    evil enabler


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  • Favorite Scents
    The Unknown--Cat Allingham Capela Dos Ossos


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  1. Mandarin

    Nes Gadol Haya Sham

    In the bottle this came out sharply fruity, very cherry. The lemon verbena came up fast, and clung, along with a woody note that gave me the oddest feeling that I was wearing pot-pourri. That feeling never really faded, drydown was consistent with the pot-pourri scent, just getting less noticeable as time went on. I want to like this one, I really do, but I may need to swap or gift it.
  2. Mandarin

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    I love love love both Capela dos Ossos and Cat Allingham. Can anyone recommend BPAL scents that are similar? Both are very hard to find and *not* in the general catalog. Though if they were I'd kiss Beth's little buttoned-up boots. If she were wearing any.
  3. Mandarin

    Motivation help needed!

    I'd say anything that's got a citrus kick..especially with Bergamot. That's a well known mood-lifter and energizer. Other than that, something clean and citrusy with a dash of grapefruit--Shattered, maybe?
  4. For chilling out and calming down, I'd recommend Tiger Lily, lilies are calming and soothing, at least to me. And sandalwood scents like Tushnamatay soothe and help to defuse emotions. I know that when I was going through hurricane Charley I wore a scent locket with Chimera in it..it was very soothing. Amber scents help to calm and 'ground' you too..while helping you stay present.
  5. Mandarin

    Rain Scents

    For crappy, rainy days, when I just feel like GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! (not just hurricanes) I like to put on either Zephyr, because it makes me feel so pretty or Tushmanatay, because it's got that creamy-rich sandalwood kick that totally lifts my spirits. Sandalwood as a single scent is good too, I layer it with vanilla. YUM!
  6. Wow..Storm, maybe? It depends on whether by 'tropical blooms' you mean the muguet, or the white ginger or what have you.
  7. Two that I don't see here: Dana O'Shee which smelled intensely sweet, and almond-cherry-ish, and Black Phoenix Oil, which begins with a rush of pure, sweet almond. Black Phoenix settles into a sweetly spicy body like a spiced honey-cake and Dana O'Shee seems to do different things for different people, but on me it was pure sugared almonds. It gave me a headache, since I only get along with sweet almond in small doses. The other thought I had is: Ordering the single-notes Apricot and Vanilla will give you a very cotton-candy like scent. Strawberry and Vanilla would work also, and so would Almond and Honey. If you like sweet, sweet scents, I also recommend: Chimera: Sweet, sweet hints of cinnamon and spice with a flowery heart. The heliotrope in this one smells gently vanilla-ish. Bon Vivant: Strawberries and Champagne notes. The champagne was surprisingly gentle, and the strawberry wasn't tart but sweet, as if (as someone here has written) the strawberries were mashed in cream. Sudha Segara offers a milky honey-and-ginger scent that I haven't tried yet. Still, you might enjoy it very much if you like ginger. Blood Rose is rich, but it begins with notes of red-wine that smell to me much like grape candy. It morphs into deep rosey richness after that. Finally, Fae and Imp both begin with round, sweet peach notes. I like Imp better than Fae, it had a round, cheerful fruitiness that Fae seemed to lose in the winey notes. However, if you like peach, this will be sweet and light. Titania has been described as sweet, 'iced pears' though I've never tried it. Good luck on your search!
  8. Mandarin

    Blood Amber

    I was delighted to see an imp of Blood Amber in the order that came today. In The Vial It's dragon's blood and just a hint of something faintly citric. Delicious. I'm going to hyperventilate, sniffing away to try to figure out what it is. Orange? Lemon? It's beautifully balanced. On Wet Wow..dragon's blood fruitiness, and that little kick of citrus is hanging around just *teasing* me, damn it. Now a hint of some gentle floral presence. Not obtrusive, not 'loud'..there's nothing about this scent that 'shouts' to me. It's warm and sweet, and slightly reminiscent of..honey? Honeysuckle? Something flowery, but it's subtle. There's something about this that reminds me of an amber bracelet I once had, where the amber was shaded clear and opaque. Nine pieces of amber, each slightly different, and I loved to watch the sun play through each one. This scent is like that..the first ray of sun hitting a clear amber rectangle, and shining like poured honey. Drying Is that *peony* that I smell? The flowery presence that reminds me a little of Old Amsterdam? Now the warmth of the amber is coming up, and a hint of something a little sharper, animalistic, like vetiver or even civet. There's a buttery hint to this too, something smoothing, and comforting. Dry My skin drinks this one up so fast you'd think I was a camel not a human being. There's always a wonderful complexity about BPAL's scents, but this is the first time I've been so puzzled and pleased by what was in the scent. Now it's settled down to smell slightly spicy, ambery, like honey and amber with a hint of cherries in the background. It's very pretty, very feminine, but to me there's absolutely nothing 'girly' here. Blood Amber knows who she is and what she's doing. She doesn't take any crap from anyone and she doesn't excuse or apologize. I like this. I like it a lot. I want to try this scent again, to make sure it's not my skin chemistry doing the wacky, but I can already tell that I like this scent. I don't know if I'll like it well enough to buy it. I need to think about it, but I definitely will make this imp last for as long as I possibly can. Note: It is now an ungodly hour of the morning. And from my skin there's the faintest, sweetest warmth. Blood Amber, making her presence known with that ladylike ease. This is a big bottle. A BIG bottle. Just back the truck up, baby.
  9. Mandarin

    Chaos Theory

    Chaos Theory LXV...I didn't expect to get this because I ordered late. Oh, but the label is cute..for a moment I thought it was a watercolor. In The Bottle Mm....what is that? Sharp and clean and yet deeply aquatic..is it pine and vetiver and something else.. Oh, Gods but this is so good. I'm sniffing so hard my nose hurts. There's an edge to it I love, something that just seems to knock the cobwebs loose, and rush like a clear, cold breeze through my brain. There's a hint of something citrusy, too. Wet Mm..that sharpness is still there, and there's a hint of more pine, more green, now. I'm remembering a moment during an SCA event I went to, where the darkness was so deep it was as if some giant had cupped a hand over the encampment, and the wind came rushing clear and cold through the pine trees. There was a hint then of watery scent from the lake nearby and a drift of incense from someone's camp but mostly it was this vast, clean, cold, almost scentless river of air, flowing through the camp, lifting my hair and making my gown flap and flutter in a glorious way. Dry This doesn't have a lot of staying power but that's okay. It's wonderful. It's drying softly, at first the same notes as wet, but now I'm getting a hint of woods, sandalwood maybe, and a sweet whisper of musk. Oh, I love this! I love it! And I am going to be so sad when it is gone! Beth is there any way I can petition you to make this a scent I can buy again? I am planning to add a few drops of this to some unscented lotion I have and so make it last a little longer. I will eke out every precious drop for as long as I can!
  10. Mandarin

    Hippiesh, spicy, musky scents - without patchouli

    What about Chimera? Or Wrath? Or Deimos?
  11. Mandarin


    In the bottle Tears smells green and clean and fresh. If it were a color it would be the hue of a *good* aquamarine, that perfect, pure, deep blue with just the faintest hint of green. Not turquoise, but darker, and transparent, an endless falling-into scent and color. On my skin it softens a bit, and it's gentler. This smells *supple*..(odd, yes, I know. But true.) Like some voices, which seem to move seamlessly up and down the scale. If it were music it would be Gregorian chant, that moment in "Puer Nobilis," when all the men's voices are blending together and folding against one another like a long, shimmering piece of silk. Tears is the smell of making up, of having cried yourself into shuddery exhaustion, and then tipping up your face to accept the making-up kiss from your lover like a blessing, tasting salt upon your mouth. Unfortunately my skin drinks this up and the scent fades fast, but it's so clean and unsweet that it's worth carrying around an imp just to top it up now and then.
  12. Mandarin


    A quiet scent, soft, calm and enigmatic. A perfume of mystery, of whispers, and of secrets behind secrets. White sandalwood, lilac, gardenia, violet, orris, lavender and ylang ylang. I got this in a swap, and I was very curious, because I love the smell of violets. Wet this smelled sweet and sharp, like a breath of bath salts. I couldn't catch the lilac but the violet and the gardenia and the lavender were definitely there. It had a voraciously soapy bite, but I figured I'd give it a chance, since I do like some 'soapy-clean' blends. On my forehead: I wondered why this was called "Veil." It seemed like there was nothing concealing about this scent. Instead it was all about opening up, like a brisk person flinging wide windows and pushing open the curtains to let the fresh air in. I am not a lavender person..I used to love it, but now it makes me queasy, so that the lavender in this was a big stumbling block. The violets are sharp and sweet, but there's something there that reminds me of Parma violets--the candy. I want to wash this off but I tell myself to be patient..it's a beautiful blend in the bottle and doubtless it will change when the base notes come out to play. The sandalwood is coming out now and the gardenia and the sandalwood are coming together. It's a strangely musky, 'old lady smell' now..one that reminds me of my Aunt Jean. I liked her but her sense of smell dimmed as she got older and she didn't wear perfume so much as *bathe* in perfume. All in all not for me. It's a perfectly brilliant blend, and for someone who loves lavender and violet and gardenia, it will probably be favorite. My funky chemistry has done unpardonable things to this, and I think the bottle will go to a friend who can wear gardenias and smell richly floral, instead of 'instant old lady'.
  13. Mandarin

    Tiger Lily

    Sweet, sweet, sweet, this is. Warm and sweet, like a bite of perfumed honey on toast, where the heat from the toast has mingled all the flavors of flowers and butter and bread, and each bite leaves a sticky smear on your face. In the bottle it's almost dizzying, pure lilies without the 'cool, dry' note I usually associate with lilies. This is warm and rich, and regal. Golden light filtering through pale petals and every conceiveable surface dusted with that heavy golden pollen. On my skin the honey notes fade slightly and the lilies soften, but it's gentle and almost (not quite) powdery. Not a baby-powder sort of scent but the *feeling* of powder on your skin, cool and smooth and dry and utterly comfortable. It smells to me like a little girl on Easter morning, all prim and proper in her stiff Easter frock, trying so hard to hide her big grin and pretend that she *always* looks this nice. It's a wonderful scent, one that evokes innocence without making it seem mawkish. It's elegant and clean and soft. I am glad I got the big bottle.
  14. Mandarin

    March Hare

    I got this in a swap (thank you, Mrs. Black!) and it was one of the three scents I daydreamed most about getting (along with Three Witches and Black Widow). I opened it first when I got it, avoiding even the imps. I was so excited! I love apricot and I couldn't wait to see what Beth had conjured up. The apricot smell in the bottle is deep and rich and tart. There's no syrupy sweetness here, it smells precisely like a 'real' dried apricot. There's even a hint in the scent of the 'fuzziness' of an apricot, that almost-dusty brush on your tongue before you bite into it. I took a couple deep breeaths. I loved it, and I was so afraid that it would turn weird on my skin as so many things do. One drop, just one, was enough..this stuff is *strong.* I put a bit on my forehead--it's easy to smell there, and unlike my hands, doesn't have to contact the wheels of my wheelchair. The rich sweet apricot smell just snaked out, seductively, wrapping me up in memories of dried apricots in the bins in the health food store, their flesh glowing in the sun like carnelians. After a little bit the clove did come out shyly to play..just a little bit. Not enough to overwhelm. The apricot stayed true on my skin, just got fainter as time went on. I smelled so freaking good, warm and fruity and rich and wonderful. After about three hours, the scent faded almost entirely, though my husband did stop to ask me 'what smelled so good' on his way in from work.
  15. Mandarin


    This was a bottle I purchased from someone who was making room in her closet. I expected the amber, I was delighted by the vanilla..but then I hit --honey. You have to understand I *LOVE* honey. I buy beeswax just to smell the honeyish odor. I actually bought beeswax absolute and honey absolute, only to discover in them odd, animalistic, almost fecal overtones to the scents. Ugh. I have made do with a little bottle of synthetic called 'Tupelo honey'..one of those candy-sweet smelling oils that were really popular in the eighties. (and the seventies. Yes, children, Mandarin is old. Not just 'old' but 'damn old'.) I love this. Out of the bottle I keep sniffing my wet wrist, to catch those sweet sweet honey notes. On my wrist it warms and the vanilla comes to the forefront, and then the amber, so the honey fades a bit but I don't mind. I have had my honey fix. I LOVE O..and oddly enough, while I can't really connect the scent to the character in the book (I always thought she'd wear something like ylang-ylang or violets, something very feminine, and a little too sweet) I think this scent comes damn close to capturing the feeling of anticipation and delight, when you *think* about your favorite sexual fantasy.