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BPAL Madness!


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About Astra

  • Rank
    wrist-sniffing wench
  • Birthday 12/17/1985

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  • Favorite Scents
    Old Cairo, Vixen, Bewitched, Ouija, Old Morocco, Cathode, Titania, Ophelia, Queen of Sheba, Alice, campfires, cat fur and the week in spring when lilac rides the breeze.

Profile Information

  • Interests
    Holy Mother, where do I start...<br><br>For as long as I can remember, I've always been interested in obscure ancient history, and, while I no longer plan to become and archaeologist, still like teaching myself obscure ancient languages. I've played soccer since I was 5, though I prefer rec to competitive.<br><br>During my high school years, I read the book The Great Cosmic Mother, which changed my life. I tentatively plan to go into environmental studies at U of C, which is where I'll be come this fall.
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  • Astrological Info
    I'm an expansive, Jupiter-ruled Sag who likes languages and travel. And on the Chinese calendar, an Ox.
  1. Astra


    While Old Venice is a nice scent in its own right, it does not for me capture the essence of what I would imagine Renaissance Venice to be. This is somewhat disconcerting since I tend to form an impression of the scents based on their name and inspiration. It begins as a burst of flowers on a rolling hillside of rural Italy--sunflowers perhaps. Wine bobs gently beneath this, giving it an appealing sharpness. To me this is warm and golden rather than red, as some mentioned. I see a gregarious family picnic in the country, sun-drenched in the late afternoon. Though not rich enough to be the cheeky decadence of a velvet-clad courtesan, it is an exquisite floral, made light and interesting by the wine.
  2. Astra


    Cordelia is a perfect example of how well the BPAL blends can tell the story of their inspiration. Initially the musk and wisteria dominate, soon followed by a sweet spiciness and more subtle floral. It's actually rather similar to Alice, except where Alice is rich with milky cakes, Cordelia is woody and grounded. This particular effect really gives it a homey Shakespearian aura. It summons the images of hard, dark wood in the Tudor style polished with years of everyday use and the heavy, burgundy brocade of a woman's dress. Not an ornate dress of the latest Elizabethan fashion, but a sturdy dress worn to do the things it takes to run a household. It speaks of domestic practicality rather than whimsical sumptuousness. In this respect, the blend perfectly characterizes the steadfast daughter of King Lear. It lasts a good while on me, though doesn't seem to fit as an everyday summer scent; I'll have to try it again during the winter (most kitchen-spicy scents seem to me wintery).
  3. Astra

    Dana O'Shee

    I love how this blend makes me feel like one big sugary almond confection! It's really a delicious scent. Almonds swell initially and dominate the mix, but eventually honey and milk (I don't get so much grain) emerge to twine lusciously around the almond. It doesn't change that much on me, and I think it's one of the less complex scents at BPAL. This isn't bad, but it does come off as rather one-dimensional to me. This scent is rather interesting with respect to its inspiration. It is definitely menacing in its mellifluous power of intoxication. I can totally imagine some hapless passer-by being seduced and lured by this scent, evoking the malevolent elves of the myth. In addition, it doesn't last long at all on me; I practically have to bathe in the stuff to acquire the appropriate wafting strength.
  4. Astra


    Old Amsterdam is indeed a bright, fresh scent which I think would work well as a room scent rather than perfume. Immediately it blossoms into green grasses and clean, cold water. In this respect, it is very similar to Rosalind, but where Rosalind is fruity, Old Amsterdam is flowery. This is the cool, clean sunlight of northern Europe. For me, this scent summons the image of a light-filled Vermeer, perhaps Girl with a Pitcher in which morning sunlight from a huge window falls across a...girl with a pitcher. For fresh, clean scents, Old Amsterdam is a must.
  5. Astra


    At first,Yuki-Onna is all sharp lemon and bergamot, snowy and ice-encrusted rather than fresh and citrusy. This deepens and eventually the richness of jasmine emerges, wispy and lingering beneath the cold. The overall effect is incredibly haunting. It evokes the terrible beauty and terrible cruelty of its namesake in its chilly indifference. Though it is a beautiful blend, it seems to me somewhat generic like some citrus scents end up. This could just be my preferences speaking, though, because I usually like richer, more robust scents. It might not be compelling, but at the very least, Yuki-Onna is worth a try.
  6. Astra

    Queen of Sheba

    Queen of Sheba is indeed a beautiful, rich blend, but dry rather than luxurious. At first the almonds are bitter and almost astringent in their sharpness, but this quickly fades to richer honey and almonds. Wafting around this is an exotic spiciness exquisite for its mellowness. For me, this scent is all hot, dry desert winds--incredibly silky and lively rather than violent. This scent is quite interesting, and remains distinct from the other exotic desert scents at BPAL. It fades rather quickly, but the effect is well worth it.
  7. Astra

    Ace of Cups

    As a result of my chemistry, this scent comes off as cherry cough medicine with something richer underneath similar to Yuki-Onna (jasmine?). I can imagine it would be nice on other people, but I can't get over the medicine quality.
  8. Astra


    On me, the Saggittarius spices were far too heavy to wear in the summer (definitely a fire sign!); I imagine it will be perfect in the depths of winter when I want to be robed in spicy warmth. This scent doesn't change that much as it dries, and it lasts for hours upon hours. I can't wait to wear it with a nice fuzzy sweater for my December birthday!
  9. Astra


    Old Cairo is a very complex and unusual blend, which isn't surprising since original Kyphi incense is a complicated mixture of about 20 ingredients. Consequently it's hard to separate individual noted from the effect of the creation as a whole. Lemon is the first to emerge; it's not a pert, refreshing lemon, but rather a dessicated, archaic lemon floating above wine, raisins and resin. Eventually hard, sere wood emerges and I picture honey-soaked wood burning slowly on the brazier of a great stone temple. I really love this scent. I like to wear it on the hottest summer days, because it ultimately evokes the dry dusty heat of the desert.
  10. Astra

    Queen Gertrude

    This seems like it would be a very cool, delicate floral with a hint of stately queenliness. Unfortunately on myskin this turns into Palmolive dish soap so I can't wear it.
  11. Astra


    This is one of the most interesting scents I've come across. It demonstrates again the try-multiple-times principle most BPAL scents exhibit because I wasn't too fond of it but now I really love it. It's a strange combination of soft and rounded with spicy and prickly. Alice's innocence comes across in the milk, rose and honey, while the bergamot and carnation are the pertness that led her through the adventure. It never fails to fascinate me when I wear it. This is definitely a scent for those willing to follow the white rabbit... It doesn't last that long on my skin, but it does hang around nicely with a few streaks through my hair.
  12. Astra


    I love to wallow in this scent, preferably in semi-darkness and scantily clad. It is immediately heavy and rich like the way oil feels on your skin (almost liquor-like, as others mentioned), and the only scent I can really pick out is the orange flower. As it dries and matures, it suffuses my skin with a sensual warmth owing to the patchouli, etc. The orange flower is still noticeable but it is so well blended that individual notes are hard to distinguish. The overall effect is an intoxicating, luscious, pulsating glow. Highly recommended!
  13. Astra


    I'm still trying to figure out if I like Psyche. Immediately the musk, lavendar and frankincense summon the image of gray, craggy cliffs above a churning sea. Fortunately, for to me this is harsh and overpowering, a dry dusty rose quickly emerges. I like how the scent turns out (dead, dry roses buffeted by a cold wind). It creates a very solemn, wistful mood. I just don't know if I'd be able to get used to the initial effect. I'll keep trying it--you really can end up liking scents you never thought you'd wear. It wears off really fast, though; the roses don't linger long.
  14. Astra


    I loved Bewitched, which is surprising because I usually don't go for the sweet, fruity scents; it works well with my skin, though, and lasts quite a long time on me. When I wear this, I picture ancient plant dust drifting lazily through a ray of afternoon sunlight hitting a woodland floor. A swell of sweet but not overpowering wildberries rises up from the underbrush. The lively innocence of the berries is anchored by a somber forest wisdom. It is a perfect scent for summer, and as the berries mature, the scent fairly glows. I would definitely get more of this!