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BPAL Madness!


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About Juushika

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    sexy swapper
  • Birthday 08/18/1985


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    Oregon, USA
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  1. Juushika

    Dead Leaves and Vanilla Incense

    In vial: An airy, cold dead leaf scent; reminds me of October (Dry, cold autumn wind. A rustle of red leaves, a touch of smoke and sap in the air.).  On me: Like a few of the dead leaves blends, this has a weird, bitter tobacco-like note on application; it burns off pretty quickly. Dries down to a very faint vanillic dead leaves, sweet and fleeting in the throw, more smoke and dead leaves on the skin. The skin scent is pleasant, autumnal and slightly spicy. But this is so faint, and slathering doesn't do much to help except make it more perfumey. Verdict: Pleasant, especially right on the skin, but I have to strain to get anything out of it.
  2. Juushika


    In vial: Warm woods. On me: The forefront of this scent is a dry, vivid sandalwood, but it's backed by a solid blend of fleshy amber and rich massoia, with just a touch of honey. Not particularly sweet despite the massoia and honey; if I get any oude, it's just to round out the woods. It has a skin-scent-but-stronger feel to it, distinctly sensual, even sexual, hyperfeminine without being floral or girly; very Lupercalia. I sometimes get a little coconut/almost-fruitiness (no currant, though, which usually amps on me), probably from the massoia, and sometimes it leans towards pure sandalwood. Verdict: I'll need to be in the mood for strong sandalwood, but when I am this'll be gorgeous. I'm glad I don't get any currant tartness, which would probably ruin this for me.
  3. Juushika


    In vial: Orange with what's probably saffron--a warm, fleshy, opaque scent. On me: Slightly sweet orange, slightly perfumey saffron, and a slightly dark/almost-herbal tobacco. Described in one word, I'd call this "warm"--it's not quite a skin scent (a little too perfumey for that), but it has the sensual quality of O or the fleshiness of Khrysee; what sets it apart is the dark counterbalance of the tobacco. It's nicely balanced and not as sweet as the notes might imply. Verdict: A little too perfumey for my usual taste, but I I think this will be fantastic in the summer.
  4. Juushika

    Candied Pumpkin

    In vial: Sugar, spice, and a earthy pumpkin. On me: An earthy, vegetal pumpkin--not waxy or sickly sweet, as BPAL pumpkins sometimes go, but sugared and backed by a mixed spice. It reminds me almost of mulled pumpkin--that sort of mixed, indeterminate, gentled spice, but over a pumpkin base. I sometimes get something weird out of it, a sharpness or a vegetal rot. Amazing wear-length. Verdict: Given my description, I'd expect to love this, and it is pleasant; it's also the truest pumpkin I've tried. But the mulled-ness, that indistinct mixed spice, doesn't have the brightness or, well, spice that I want.
  5. Juushika


    Frimp from the Lab. In vial: A dusky, sweet/spicy floral. On me: Goes on as that same floral. Morphs into a pure clove--and I love this stage, it's almost one-note but distinctly sweet, spicy but not sharp, a hint of something almost creamy in the background, with a good throw. But after ~1 hour, this grows much sweeter and settles into a creamy, pale floral which reminds me distinctly of Antique Lace (a soft, wistful blend of dry flowers, aged linens, and the faint breath of long-faded perfumes)--a little grandma's bathroom, very sweet, slightly cloying--but with a gentle and welcome spike of clove. It cuts through some of that sweetness, but perhaps not enough. Verdict: While it can tend cloying, I think I'd like this on someone else--the creamy/sweet/floral/spice has a distinct character; I appreciate the clove. But I find it sort of gross on me.
  6. Juushika


    Frimp from the Lab. In vial: Clean, pale, ozone-y. On me: This is an incredibly faint scent. When sparingly applied, I get a beautiful but indistinct frankincense with a light, white vibe; a reverential but comforting scent that suits the inspiration. When slathered, it's still light and has no discernible throw, but goes more perfumey, more ozone, almost floral while still being distinctly frankincense; despite the lack of throw, it was too much for me and I had to wash it off. Verdict: I went searching the BPAL catalog for more frankincense-heavy blends as soon as I smelled this--frankincense is such a beautiful note, and there's a lot of potential in this pale take on it, especially alongside white musk. But the ozone/armor and the shyness of this scent kill it for me.
  7. Juushika

    Inside the Golden Amber of Her Eyeballs

    In vial: Astringent, lemony, with something darker hidden underneath. This reminds me of Haunted (soft golden amber darkened with a touch of murky black musk) before drydown, which has a similar lemony topnote. On me: Lemony and astringent when wet, drying down into a more complex scent: a sharp lemony/green golden topnote overlaying a darker, fuzzier combination of myrrh, amber, and (I would argue) musk. It reminds me of Haunted-with-additions; the amber/musk is familiar. I'm not convinced I like the top note (which may be ti leaf?); I'm not a fan of astringency and it goes sharp, almost citrus. Verdict: The first time I tested this, almost all I could get was a Haunted-clone, which was pleasant but redundant; I can pick out more notes from the blend now, and admire how it fits the inspiration, a glowing light, a sharpness, against a convincingly fuzzy base. But I don't really like it.
  8. Juushika

    Dead Leaves and Coffee Beans

    In vial: Coffee overtone, dead leaf undertone. On me: A morpher. I've been getting a weird wet note from some of the dead leaf blends which is a sharp, dirty cousin to tobacco. It's gross, and in full force here. Things settle out in drydown, becoming a rich, roasted coffee/leaves combo, deep and warm and red. It reminds me of The Ta-Ta (boiled leather, carnation blossom, coffee absolute, and tobacco), but without the spicy carnation to add texture and bite to the dirty, rich vegetal coffee; this is samey in tone, but I like its warmth. After an hour or two the scent leans sweeter, dead leaves losing the battle to creamy, sugared coffee. I'm not convinced I like it--the creamy/sweet/vegetal combo is a little off-putting. This final stage is long-lasting but has minimal throw. Verdict: If it were just that roasted coffee/dead leaves combo, I'd enjoy this--but the other stages are a little icky. I'm curious if this will come into itself with aging, so I'll hold onto my imp.
  9. Juushika

    The Phoenix, Having Burst Her Shell

    In vial: Bright orange, almost an orange peel, with something darker hiding behind. On me: Wet, this sings--a bright, almost sharp citrus, a deeper and warmer patchouli, and an amber base--pungent, glowing, beautiful. Dry, the citrus loses some of that freshness. It's a patchouli base, an almost-traditional patch/amber/musk combo which is solid and bodied but not overpowering. Lucchesa is spot-on in calling it "a structural patchouli, a scaffold for the amber and oranges." Citrus is still the star, not juicy or sweet but dry, golden, warm, bright. Tobacco is a hint of darkness that flatters the citrus beautifully. Verdict: One of the better citrus blends I've tried, particularly citrus/amber blends--I think because amber isn't the predominate base note; patchouli is, and it's a better base, less samey in texture and tone, holding up to the citrus and balancing it with something darker and richer. This is beautiful, a Klimt-esque dark/bright combo which has depth but also a glowing vivid heart. Part of me wishes the tobacco were a little stronger, or for a contrasting spice like pepper, to flatter the bright citrus even more.
  10. Juushika


    In vial: Coffee. On me: An entirely different beast wet and dry. Wet, this is a smokey coffee blooming into a sort of tobacco dirtiness; masculine, but not too cologne-y. Dry, this reminds me distinctly of over-applied Lurid Library (the incense-tinged scent of forbidden tomes and the musk-laden remnants of infernal servants), which goes almost floral and distinctly sweet while retaining that library/parchment scent; Soceraphobia is darker in shade and more intense, a sort of vanilla'd, masculine, bookish almost-floral. Throw is low and wearlength is minimal--not much more than an hour. On cloth: For a few hours this is a whisper of smooth, rich vetiver with a vanilla sweetness, a little cologne-y and almost floral; no coffee to speak of. The lingering, long-term scent is much more potent, that overapplied-Lurid Library's darker, sweeter, more masculine cousin, a vanillic/incense almost-floral. Verdict: A strange scent. It has so much potential, but that floral late-stage doesn't fulfill it, and it vanishes on the skin. That said, Lurid Library (when not overapplied) is one of my top ten scents, so the overlap in my impressions(/the notes?) intrigues me. All of these notes also age well. I'd be interested to come back to this in another few years and see if it's settled into itself.
  11. Juushika

    Horreur Sympathique

    A frimp from the Lab. In vial: Bitter, sharp fruitiness. On me: Wet this is a bitter, herbal resin over a dark, well-bodied fruitiness; ominous but surprisingly wearable. Dry, the wine comes out, slightly boozy, rich purple-red--but it's well balanced by benzoin/opoponax/oakmoss/tobacco flower, with a touch of beautiful blood musk. I get only a slight sweetness. This is a warm, deep wine against a multi-note resinous, almost-herbal, almost-bitter base that adds a productive complexity and darkness. Verdict: I tested this right before I meant to shower because I expected it to be horrible or at least horrible on me; it's not! It fits the inspiration well, a dark, rich, ~evil~ wine; I appreciate that it's not a tart or sweet fruitness. This isn't remotely my style, so I don't expect to wear it again, but I'm pleasantly surprised.
  12. Juushika

    Dead Leaves and Red Carnations

    In vial: What it says on the tin: dead leaves and carnations, spicy and vegetal and lovely. On me: Carnation as it goes on, so distinctive, spicy and gently sweet and very red, with an undercurrent of dead leaves. Some of the carnation dies back during drydown, and this becomes a smoothly balanced blend: spicy red carnation, gently sweet and almost hot, against a drier, wider, more bitter, more vegetal and earthy base of dead leaves. It's simultaneously deceptively complicated and seamlessly united; a lovely blend. But throw and wear length are both pretty limited. Verdict: I love this. The only reasons I didn't get a bottle are because of the limited throw & longevity, and because I have a lot of very good carnation scents already. Of them, this is closest to the Spanish Red Carnation single note, but replaces that carnation's freshness and greenery with the richer, earthier scent of dead leaves.
  13. Juushika

    Maison En Pain d’Épices

    2011 version. In vial: Warm, spicy, bready. On me: This goes on as warm spice with a jumble of other notes--a hint of El Dia de los Reyes (hot cocoa with cinnamon, coffee, and brown sugar)-style powdery chocolate with cinnamon, a distinct sweetness; no mint or fruit to speak of. But it stabilizes after drydown to a warm, spicy, nose-tickling, slightly powdery gingerbread with a top note of candied red fruit. Despite the different notes, it feels very like Enraged Groundhog Musk (cranky groundhog musk sweetened up by chocolate-covered black cherries, cardamom, French vanilla, and caramel), a powdery/spicy brown base with a sticky-sweet tart red heart. Verdict: Red fruits amp on me, and I particularly regret that here. The gingerbread is heavily spiced and I really want to enjoy it, but I find that fruitiness a distracting and unwelcome addition.
  14. Juushika

    Horn of Plenty

    In vial: Sweet, gently fruity, with a hidden herbal note. On me: A warm red scent, almost but not quite fruity-floral, certainly dragon's blood resin or DBR-adjacent, with a smooth, sweet cream or honey backdrop. It has a gentle spice, which helps complicate the scent. Distinctly similar to Dragon's Milk (dragon's blood resin and honeyed vanilla), but I find Dragon's Milk to be more intense, more sweet-but-spicy--a little harder to wear, but more interesting. Great longevity, but after a few hours this goes a little stale/sour/grape-like, echoing the cough syrup others have reported. Verdict: Pretty and wearable enough that I wouldn't be adverse to wearing this for its intended practical use. As a perfume, it's a lesser Dragon's Milk.
  15. Juushika

    Witch Dance

    2012 version. In vial: Red musk and--sometimes I get sandalwood, or at least a powdery resin; sometime a touch of incense. On me: Red musk backed up by a smokey vetiver. Red musk tends to amp on me and this is no exception, but it's almost balanced here. A distinctly red scent, warm, smokey, resinous; a little spicy, a little sweet; it tends powdery, but the thin vetiver helps balance that. The throw is enticing and a touch elusive, thin as smoke; the skin scent is distinctive and prickly in the nose. Verdict: Not quite so good as the description (I love musk, but wish red musk weren't so overpowering on me), but still a success. The witchy, slightly feral warmth of this is pleasant when I'm in the mood for red musk. The bonfire smoke is its saving grace.