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BPAL Madness!

madame royale

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About madame royale

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    a little too imp-ulsive
  1. madame royale

    Queen Mab

    Queen Mab takes me straight back to a very specific moment in college. It was twilight, the first temperate evening in early spring. I had just come out of the library after many hours hunched over my books and stopped to stare up at the faint light of stars winking down on me. There was a magnolia tree nearby, its branches casting a long shadow. I stood for a long time breathing everything in. I could smell the promise of summer and, at the same time, saw my latent future unfurl before me. Such a sweet, but fleeting moment of clarity. I wish, now, that life would always hold that sense of limitless potential. At least I can revisit that feeling with QM. QM—young but wise, sweet but dry—is my favorite floral. I’ll always keep some on hand.
  2. madame royale

    BPAL and pregnancy

    Ok, thanks for the tips everyone. My understanding was that perfume oil is comprised of essential oils. Guess I'll have to inquire with Beth.
  3. madame royale

    BPAL and pregnancy

    There was a brief mention of this on another thread, but thought I'd expand upon it. I'm thinking of gifting 2 people some BPAL, one of whom is definitely pregnant, the other is not yet sure. Should pregnant people really avoid essentials oils? Which ones? I can't begin to fathom which BPALs might best be avoided. Any suggestions on how to wear the scents off of your skin and hair (besides a scent locket b/c the one friend does not like to wear jewelry)?
  4. madame royale


    I don’t know what I was expecting from Sin. Maybe something a bit sweeter, something that incorporates the visceral pleasure of sinning. All I got was the aftermath—the penance in church—which is not necessarily a bad thing. The sandalwood is so dry I was half afraid it’d leech the blood out of my wrists. Cinnamon’s there, but not as a prominent note like the sandalwood and patchouli. I like it. I like churches (that’s the Catholic in me) and their smells. Even though the Monsieur said it smells like BO (what does he know—he says my vanilla lotion smells like roach killer), I’ll keep Sin for layering.
  5. madame royale


    Jebus. I’ve tried Veil a number of times and each time it turned out terrifically harsh on my skin. All I could smell was a bitter lavender (not the lovely lavender of Villain) and the same original-green-Palmolive scent that I got from Scorpio. I don’t mind soapiness sometimes, but this…this was beyond soapy.
  6. madame royale

    Baobhan Sith

    Make no mistake—I’m not a citrus or a white floral kind of gal. Then why do I like Baobhan Sith so much? Could it be because the grapefruit, while strong at first, fades quickly into the background? Could it be because the apple blossom isn’t so overwhelmingly creamy and flowery? Maybe it’s because the white tea is the dominant note. And maybe it’s because the ginger gives BS such a nice zing. Whatever the reason, I will be buying a bigger bottle next spring—oh yes, this is a warm weather scent to me (and I agree that it’s very reminiscent of White Linen)—but it may be a nice pick-me-up in the dead of winter. Although BS strikes me as being somewhat “mature,” it possesses a crispness that mitigates the old-lady feeling. BS is my light scent of choice: once bitten, now smitten.
  7. madame royale


    Tintagel is a merry scent. It seems to be composed of all top notes: minty pineyness of juniper and other greenery; high sharpness of leather; and the bright juicyness of the wine. After some time, a musky smoke wafts out. I’m not getting any cinnamon, but the wine is a spiced wine for sure. Sigh. I might have liked Tintagel if I liked juniper, leather, and wine. Yes, that’s right, put all the notes I don’t care for in a scent and you wind up with Tintagel. I certainly don't want to smell like a banquet hall. The quest for my holy grail oil continues.
  8. madame royale


    Kabuki captures the visuals of kabuki theatre in scent form. Bright red cherries covered with fuzzy vanilla and musk mimic the striking makeup—white and deep reds—usually seen in kabuki. Smells like the way Cherry Nibs taste. It starts with quite a bang (take a deep whiff of ammonia and you’ll get the same effect, though not smell, mind you), but finishes with a whimper. I’ll admit the anise is nice, but there’s an imbalance with too much an emphasis on musk IMO. I’ve also decided I don’t like cherries in my scents. No repeat performance for me.
  9. madame royale


    I find violets to be too sweet for me, but Marie’s violets are quite fresh. The rose gives it a spicy kick, while the tea adds some dimension. This is a surprisingly straightforward scent, from start to finish. According to Antonia Frasier’s revisionist biography “Marie Antoinette: The Journey,” MA was a fiend for flowers and liked to wear floral essences as opposed to the musk everyone else at court wore. This is definitely Marie Antoinette at the height of her reign at Versaille—languidly playing her harp, enjoying her garden at Le Petit Trianon—not the little Hapsburg girl growing up at Schoenbrunn under Maria Teresa’s iron fist. I’ll reach for Marie whenever I need a little sweetness. Oh, read the biography, it’s great. It will debunk all of the myths surrounding MA and give you a more realistic and, hence, engaging picture of a much-maligned queen.
  10. madame royale

    Bon Vivant

    Bon Vivant is quite the sybarite. It’s a slightly tipsy strawberry blonde who just wants to have a good time; you don’t even have to buy her dinner first. When you first meet her, she *sparkles* so--you don’t mind if she spills her drink on you. Then you get to know her a little better and realize she hasn’t any depth and giggles a bit too much. Her perfume? Sweet, but you probably won’t respect it in the morning. Time to leave the party, alone.
  11. madame royale

    The Hermit

    A quiet, verdant scent, The Hermit is. It’s pungent in the manner of plants (and the air around these plants) after a rainstorm. The plants are a mystery to me--strange flora that hasn’t yet been categorized. Something is also lurking beneath the surface, a darkness. Hermits aren’t necessarily benevolent, and many can be menacing after all those years of living only with their thoughts. The woods are lovely dark and deep, this imp I’ll definitely keep.
  12. madame royale


    Villain is Victorian in all of the classic Victorian ways: stiff, proper, buttoned-up. This strikes me as being a scent for a man who cares about his toilette. There’s nothing harsh about Villain—all smooth and soft. Lavender is the predominant note, with the musk giving it depth. Unfortunately, the citrus (lime, was it?) fades quite fast. On me, it smells like expensive Fortnum & Mason lavender soap, on Monsieur Royale, it smells très soigné. I would have him wear this on civilized and formal occasions. His response? *shrug* "Smells good." High praise from him. 5 ml is on order.
  13. madame royale

    Kweku Anansi

    This was the last imp I tried since, quite frankly, I had no idea what it was and what notes were contained therein (thanks for the freebie Lab goddess). Two words: burnished wood. Cedar, to be exact. This is not the same cedar of Lear. Where Lear was freshly shaved cedar slapped around by a bunch of herbs, KA is a deeply polished cedar, rubbed with a little lemon and peppercorns. Lear is spring & summer, KA is fall & winter. The vetiver is most noticeable when wet, but when dry it prevents the wood from drying this scent out too much. This would be unusual and elegant on a woman, urbane and polished on a man. Very nice. Very, very nice. Me likey. Will use up my imp and decide from there.
  14. madame royale


    Scorpio smells poisonous to me—something about it buzzes. Like a Scorpio, this oil is biting, but subtly sweet; overwhelming, but aloof; green, but dark. Although I admire Beth’s ability to translate the essence of a sign into a scent, particularly this one, Scorpio does not appeal to me aesthetically. Pity, really, as I truly wanted an oil for my sign. What does this smell like on me? Original green Palmolive.
  15. madame royale


    This was also a freebie in my first order and it happened to be the first BPAL oil I ever tried. My first reaction was that it was dry and unremarkable. I must have been anxious to try all of the other *flashier* imps since I set this aside without much thought. Now, the prodigal nose has returned to it and I don’t remember it smelling this good. Strike that, I don’t remember it smelling this great! In the vial, it’s subdued spicy: woods, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Wet, very woody and dry, but a green woodiness. As it dries, wildflowers pop up along with a sweet cinnamon. The moss lends a brightness to this oil that otherwise would have been overshadowed by the woods. This is what you’d smell like if you spent a day wandering through a forest, rolling around on mossy earth, picking flowers to put in your hair. I, myself, don’t do this very often, but it sure doesn’t hurt to smell like I do. If you love subtle (but long-lasting) non-girly girl scents, this one’s for you. A big bottle for me please.