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BPAL Madness!


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About Ilex

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    obsessive precious hoarder

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  • Favorite Scents
    Absinthe, Bess, Kathmandu, Loup Garou, Mandrake, Malediction, Masquerade, Occupy Wall St., Ruddy Daggerwing, Eve (OLLA) Favorite notes: patchouli, spices, orange blossom, cedar, mandrake, cocoa, rosemary, coffee, osmanthus, osage orange, citrus


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  1. Ilex

    The Phoenix, Having Burst Her Shell

    I have been looking for a patchoulli citrus scent for a while, there is a soap I like that is orange and patch, and I was hoping for something that matches that. In the bottle I was dubious. Really fakey jolly rancher orange. But, on, another story. I can definitely pick out the tangerine versus the orange, it kind of gives the orange an edge. But its not fruity, the amber is definitely in the house. I'm noticing the amber more than the patch, but both are in play, the patch is a good base note here, it doesn't overwhelm. I don't get any musk (thank heavens). You really do have to like amber though, that is the dominant player, especially in the longer dry down when the citrus receeds. This is excellent in the first while. I'm afraid in the far dry down though amber does what it is wont to do on my skin which is have a play doh party. Which is a pity. I'm glad I have a bottle though, its really fabulous up until then.
  2. Ilex

    If your top 5 scents are... Then try these!

    Hmm... this looks like fun. I wish I had more suggestions for folks but I guess I haven't tried as many as I thought. My top five: Quincy Morris Ruddy Daggerwing Occupy Wallstreet Mandrake Eve (OLLA) Honorable mention to Masquerade, Peach VII and Black Annis
  3. Ilex

    Little Metalmark

    Initially I'm sort of reminded of permanent marker smell. Harsh. It quickly mellows though. Mostly musk, kind of oily almost. Cologne-y. A little old incense like. But somehow compelling. Its more complicated than I thought at first. There is something powdery about it. Hmm... I wish this was more herbal/woody on me, but the musk is really dominating and it is super sweet. I really don't have a strong verdict on this. I alternate between finding it interesting and kind of ho hum. It did kick off a headache, but I don't know if that was the perfume or the weather.
  4. Ilex

    Eastern Comma

    It is a super juicy orange to start with. The orange really smells like the juice, not pithy or sharp. But it doesn't stick around on my skin for more than five minutes. Which is a real bummer, because I love the orange. The tabacco is nice too, but after the orange bails its all tabacco, and that is a bit much. The hay may be sweetening things. Hay is not a note I can usually pick out, so it may be there with the tabacco, but mostly I read tabacco. If the orange had stuck around for me I would have really been into this, but eh, not sure I need a bottle.
  5. Ilex

    Question Mark

    Hmm... this is not very dynamic on me, which usually I'm okay with, I like it when things are pretty simple and notes stick out. But in this case its vanilla and orange blossom. Orange blossom and vanilla, stealing the show. And unfortunately, sometimes vanilla goes off on my skin. It is a little play-doh like. The tabacco is helping, but its really in the background, and it may be going a bit tarry. Thankfully the myrrh is pretty modest (otherwise I'd be sneezing, its a risk with myrrh). I wish the cinnamon was there at all, it just isn't. Its not bad, its just not wowing me.
  6. Ilex

    Peach VII

    This was unexpectedly excellent. I normally am not a fruit sort of person (jolly ranchers ahoy) but this is indeed, a drier, more realistic sort of peach. The quality of the peach reminded me of some peach incense or peach black tea. The spices are as described, dark. Labdanum maybe? These are not foody spices. And there is something tannic that makes me think of tea going on here. Miracle of miracles, the black musk is pretty tame - its not overwhelming. But on the far dry down, the blend does take on a putty/playdoh cast, which is what often happens with the dark musks on my skin. Its good for about an hour, and then I need to refresh. Which I normally don't have patience for, but this is quite the scent, so its worthwhile.
  7. Ilex

    Wooden Bullet

    I thought this was going to be a lot more interesting than it was. Sandalwood? Powdery sandalwood dominates (or at least something that comes off like that) and the rest is just "perfumy" without being distinctive. I was really hoping for the metal to come into play and make it more evocative, but I didn't catch a whiff of that component at all. Its inoffensive, not amazing or interesting.
  8. Ilex


    This absolutely shouldn't work on me. No way. Sandalwood usually goes to powder, saffron turns to putty, musk is ugh, so there are some death notes for me in this. But I love the character of Eve so had to take a chance. And it works on me and my husband doesn't hate it. A miracle. The rose is like the memory of roses, faint and barely there. Everything is rather understated, and aged, but lovely. It kind of reminds me of my mothers jewelery box, which she had used to store incense and old perfumes as well as jewlery and it was always a very mysterious, very grown up smell that wafted out of it. It perfectly fits the character of Eve. This is in my top five, for sure.
  9. Yeah, the rose take over happens to me too. Patchouli is about the only thing that can tame it for me. Its really too bad, I like rose, especially a green fresh smelling rose.
  10. Ilex

    Thirteen (13): September 2013

    This is amazing. A very sexy blend. Dark chocolate, so strong and full it is almost like musk, dominates. I really did not pick up on the catnip at all, so not really as herby as spicy. The spices and herbs blend well- I can pull out the copal as an incense note, the rice as a sort of sweet undertone (this I don't like, its a little cloying, but its not too noticeable) and the cumin on the far dry down, but everything hangs together. Normally I like individual notes to stick out but here I don't mind the effect of things melding. I really wish I had a bottle rather than an imp of this.
  11. Ilex


    Well. I was hoping I'd adore this, I love licorice and patch, but I only think its good, not omg I must have a bottle (yay for decanters and decant circles, ralenth in this case). It a bit too well blended for my tastes, I was hoping the notes would distinuish themselves a little more, early on the licorice jutted out some, but in the dry down it was less present. The juicy fruits reference worried me, but it just lends extra sweetness in a nondescript way. The stinker of the bunch was the sandalwood. Stupid powdery generic perfume sandalwood messed up the whole party and kept this from awesomeness. It was strong with some good throw, almost too much, I had to wash it off for dinner. The other perfume it reminds me of is Masquerade with licorice playing the role of ambergris and a much milder patch, and less orange blossom. Though with the sandalwood the analogy is not perfect. Masquerade is a favorite, and this may grow on me a bit too. It gets bonus points for not being perky and sicky sweet on me, it is a darker, velvety sort of scent and my husband said he thought it was sweet, but still good (and he is super hard to please).
  12. Ilex

    Mrs. Grose

    Wet and in the imp, burnt? What is that about? Its a little worrying. Drydown: No more burnt smell. A whiff of roses and cinnamon jolly ranchers. Very sweet. The rose doesn't amp up, which usually happens with rose for me. I don't smell the black tea but that's normal, its usually an invisible note on me. My husband just asked me to wash this off. "It smells like bad candy." I asked him if he could smell the rose, and he said "Maybe? Faintly." Hmm... not a keeper.
  13. Ilex

    The Perilous Parlor

    2012 version, never tried the 2007 Wet/first 10 minutes: Very syrupy pear. Not like the pear in Quincy Morris I was hoping for. And the vanilla is strong. Dry down: The pear is sort of vague and lost compared with the blast of vanilla. There is a waxy quality to this, like a vanilla scented candle. Vanilla can be an iffy note for me, so going waxy isn't so bad, its not playdoh putty plastic smell at least. Overall its almost marshmallow like, very sweet, very simple. I am not huge on this, but my husband sniffed it and said "Oh, vanilla. I like this!" and got very huffy ("You never like the ones I do" kind of adorable that he cares and he is picky about scents) when I was critical of it. I'm disappointed the pear wasn't more prominent and it is so sweet. Perhaps it could be layered with something to make it more interesting.
  14. Ilex


    Got this as a frimp from the lab. In the imp: Coconut and butter. Uh oh. I don't like the smell of that butter. Early dry down- it really didn't want to settle in, I think that must be the shea. Yeah, I concur with other folks that are mentioning natural sunscreen. The shea butter is pretty strong. There is kind of a hint of plastic somewhere, which may be the coconut. Longer dry down- this isn't awful, its nice, but it is sunscreen-like and I'm not digging it as perfume. If you really like coconut, this might be for you. I think layering it with something chocolate might add positively, or maybe a light floral, or even mint. But it needs something to jazz it up a bit past sunscreen. That said, the neutrality of the scent evokes white and fits the offerings, so points for execution of concept.
  15. Ilex


    A great undersea metropolis located below Devil's Reef. A swirling, lightless, effervescent scent: the deepest marine notes with bergamot, eucalyptus and foamy ambergris. In the imp, ahoy! its Irish Spring Soap On, better than I expected. Aquatics usually are a laundry detergent/air freshener scent for me, and this has that but its being aggressively tempered by the eucalyptus, mint and tang of bergamot. "Effervescent" is right, and it is very emerald green. But unfortunately its doing the sweet thing, a lot of blends go to candy on my skin, and the added sugar isn't doing it any favors. A pleasant surprise in that it wasn't pure soap, but not something I'm huge on wearing for very long. If had stayed a bit truer to its initial scent, it might have been a winner, but the sweet soap is not working for me.