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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Mandarin

  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.
  16. Mandarin

    Allergy Questions, Allergies and other reactions to oils

    Lemongrass, Benzoin and clove are also known skin sensitizers (possibly causing irritation). The lotion idea is a very good one. Or have you considered daubing some on a strip of paper and then pinning the paper to your bra? Scents the area, but doesn't touch skin. I have sensitive skin too. I empathize.
  17. Mandarin

    BPAL for Good Luck, Good Fortune, Good Karma

    Chupa, Lobban is also a good oil..and there's another possibility. Has she considered giving her house a good cleaning, with some ammonia? Ammonia, in Voudoun is supposed to break up and clear *all* magic. Like wiping the slate and starting fresh. Other than that, she might consider filling a 'witch's jar' to keep bad luck away.
  18. Mandarin


    Ordinarily I love woodsy scents. But there was something in Hamadryad that I just couldn't cuddle up to. A hint of something that smelled a bit like oakmoss, I think. Not my favorite scent. I will probably swap my imp as soon as I find someone who wants it.
  19. Mandarin


    I love this! The initial bite of saffron is ameliorated by the spices coming up, sweetened and warmed by the musk. This is a wonderful scent, warm and rich and clean. It also happens to go incredibly well with Darkswan's Egyptian Dragon. This is an amazing scent, full of bravura but still amazingly feminine.
  20. Mandarin


    I got this in a swap, and like most of the swaps I've gotten as opposed to the ones I order, this is bloody magnificent. First out of the bottle it's lemony-clean, like crushing a handful of lemon verbena in your hands and taking a deep breath while it's still wet. The vanilla's there, to sweeten and round things a bit but it's not on the forefront. The musk is hanging back, maybe waiting for it's musical cue. On my skin: Oh..oh..this is *beautiful*. Soft and feminine and powdery and just mmmm..it's lemon and musk and vanilla and nothing's 'bigger' or more than any other and the lemon's staying present, and not disappearing into the musk and vanilla as usually happens. I'm in love, this is so sophisticated and girly and clean. It's femme-y without having to try so damn hard, which is what I didn't like about Glasya. I wore a bit of it yesterday, the barest trace and I was still catching tiny whiffs and thinking 'what is that' hours later. Now I've put it on, and I feel gloriously clean and sweet and smelling wonderful. Thank you Beth, for this and thank you my swapee, who kindly let me buy da BIG bottle. YES! ::does the happy dance::
  21. I mix a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil with isoproyl alcohol and anoint temples, the back of my neck and just at the base of my spine. It helps to ease the pain. It also helps with migraine. As far as sinusitis, smoking does aggravate it. I've also found that cutting down on caffeine helps, and so does avoiding incense smoke. (I don't smoke but I used to burn *tons* of incense). As far as a remedy, you can actually get a headache dome (crystals of menthol compressed into a handy tablet shape to rub gently on your temples through Caswell-Massey.com.
  22. For achey feet, and even the sinus pain and congestion, I'd honestly suggest that you need to drink more water. Don't drink sodas or caffeinated beverages, since they contain heaps of salt and sugar and that can make you thirstier, but drink plain old water. As far as the sinus pain, I get a lot of help with essence of peppermint, but I also take plain old aspirin. I know there are nasal sprays out there that will help but I hesitate to recommend any because everyone's body chemistry's different and I don't want to recommend something that could just make your problem worse. For menstrual cramps..this may or may not go over well, and if it offends anyone, I apologize. But sex is a wonderful easer of cramps. However you choose to partake of it, it eases cramps and makes you just feel all around better. I know I have probably placed myself well beyond the pale here, but I used to have horrible cramps as a young woman, and spent days balled up with a heating pad. Apart from that, chamomile tea has a mild antispasmodic, which will ease cramps. And any hot drink that's gentle to your tummy can work wonders on a sinus headache, because you get the benefit of the steam wafting upward. Good luck. My heart really goes out to you in your hurting. By the way, elevating achy feet higher than your heart can help ease pain there too.
  23. Mandarin

    Black Widow

    I ordered this, thinking "Jasmine, I like jasmine! And sandalwood! I like sandalwood." When I opened the bottle, I was assaulted by the most piercing sweetness..something strange and strong, and almost queasy-making to me. It was a strangely unsettling smell, very heady and almost narcotic. I definitely did not want to put it on. However I figured that I'd bought it, I might as well try it on properly. I dabbed just a little bit on my hand, near the webbing between thumb and first finger. It was convenient to do it there, and I wouldn't be always sniffing my wrist. I was a bit surprised by the rush of warmth I felt when I put it on my skin but I thought perhaps it was just psychology, since I was still without power from the hurricane, and stress was a tad high. The dry down was slow..that queasy, piercing sweetness was tenacious. However, the sandalwood was starting to show up, and things were gentling down. Not much, but they were losing that jittery, manic edge. I noticed then that the warmth was a patch of reddened skin that was slowly swelling, so I went and washed. The Black Widow is strong enough that I could still smell it. The jasmine was becoming more pleasant and that strange skittery schizo feeling was gone. The Widow wasn't tamed but she was submitting, albeit none too gracefully. This is one of those perfumes that I imagine a *really* interesting, if mental villainess to wear. Cruella de Ville. Poison Ivy. Someone beautiful in a rather shellacked way, slender and dangerous and seductive, in a way that grates just a little. But there was precious little softness in the Widow, and little vulnerability. I'll have to sell or swap this, but it was well worth the effort and expense to try it.
  24. Mandarin

    Red Moon 2004

    I don't recommend trying new oils when you have a hurricane on the way. It does something strange to perception, and probably body chemistry. However, I received my order of Red Moon and I thought 'what the hey' I'll give it a go. I mean Charley wasn't supposed to go anywhere near Orlando, and frankly it's been ages since a hurricane came over Orlando. So I put a bit on. And the first thought I had was 'cherry cough syrup!'. Now as time went on, and things got tenser and tenser, I'd smell the cherries and what I thought might have been a bit of eucalyptus, and wonder why this mixture was so oddly appealing. It wasn't bad and it wasn't good but it made me keep sniffing my arm. Okay. No power. The acid test for your body chemistry. Fear and ninty plus degree heat. The Red Moon lasted like a champion, the dry down was as pleasant as it was wet, although I am not sure how much I'll savor smelling like cherries as time goes on. I liked the hint of cinnamon/dragon's blood I got from the dry down, and the eucalyptus went away after it dried down, leaving a pleasant, fruity/cinnamony scent. I like Red Moon. Not enough to wear it every day but enough that I was pleased I bought it.
  25. Mandarin


    There are nights in Florida, in the late winter, early spring, when the wind comes skirling out of nowhere and the air is so cold it stings to breathe it. This is the smell of that kind of night, if nights like that had a smell..all cold swirling winds and the stars glinting up above as hard as chips of glass in a black velvet sky. I love this scent. It's sweeping vetiver and something else, airy and fresh and it really lifts my spirits.