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BPAL Madness!

keileya

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About keileya

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    keileya

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  1. keileya

    Dark Rosaleen

    This is so weird, but this totally reminds me of a slightly simpler, more piney Eve (the Only Lovers Left Alive Eve, I mean). It's got the same heavy round frankincense base to it.
  2. keileya

    Pronouncing "BPAL" and scent names!

    It's Spanish (from a Federico Garcia Lorca poem), so it's "ga-CELL-uh", with the 'a' like the vowel in 'father', the 'cell' like a prison cell, and the 'uh' like the vowel in 'un'.
  3. keileya

    Allergy Questions, Allergies and other reactions to oils

    You can develop reactions to ingredients at any time, yeah. Or if what you're reacting to is a new bottle of something you've tried before, Beth might have switched to a different supplier for one of the ingredients in the accord, or slightly tweaked the accord, or or or... But if it's a case of "this is the very same bottle I was wearing before and now it's freaking out my skin", dry skin could definitely be part of it. Try pre-moisturizing: put some lotion or oil or whatever you use on about ten-fifteen minutes before you're going to put the perfume on. You can also switch to applying on sturdier skin that isn't quite so battered by winter, like further up your arm. (The top side of your arm, not the underside -- that skin is more delicate.)
  4. keileya

    Relics of Herself

    Peru balsam, myrrh, frankincense, and ashes. This is a beautiful light frankincense/myrrh resin incense, with the balsam keeping it from being too much like a Catholic church (seriously, sometimes with the right frankincense/myrrh blend I find myself looking around for a pew to genuflect in, but thankfully not with this one) and an underlying hint of ash -- not wood ash, but incense ash, the sort of scent that lingers when you've burned some resins on a charcoal. As it dries on my skin, the balsam starts to get more prominent -- up close, the balsam's pretty strong, although the edges of the throw keeps that nice incensy resiny vibe. It's a medium throw, present without being overwhelming. Overall, this is kept from being a true 'love' because my skin is amping the balsam a weeee bit too much, but that's just me being picky. If you, like me, love resins and are still on the quest for a good frankincense/myrrh incensy blend that doesn't send you into childhood flashbacks of Mass, give this one a try.
  5. keileya

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    Sometimes I get two different batches when decanting. I don't remember for absolute certain which one of the Ligeias this is, but comparing the # of decants in the pile to my signups sheet, it's probably Blacker Than The Raven Wings of Midnight. It was two bottles of the light yellow, and one bottle of the dark red. I triple-checked that I hadn't gotten a mislabelled bottle, but they did smell the same!
  6. Yes, answers@blackphoenixalchemylab.com is the address that's listed on the Contact page as the best address to use. I haven't gotten responses to my last 3 emails over 2 months to that address, though, so it's possibly not you: they're apparently very busy and more things appear to be falling through cracks. I'd suggest putting 'double billed - second attempt' in the subject line to make it stand out more. The wait is normal, yes, if irritating. It's been a bit longer lately because of the major holiday releases. They ship out of order sometimes based on availability, so if you have one scent that's holding things up because they need to order more components to make it or something, they'll set your order aside and come back to it later when they get the products back in stock. That's probably what happened here, however annoying it is to see things that people ordered a month after you shipping before any of your orders do.
  7. keileya

    When your favorite GC blends are discontinued

    I love both dragon's blood and vetiver, but didn't much care for Serpent's Kiss. That having been said, the fact I love both of those notes means I've tried a lot of the adjacent blends, so here, have a braindump! (I always go more than a little bit overboard on recommendations, heh.) It's a tossup whether you should go more with the vetiver end of Serpent's Kiss or the dragon's blood end, but here are a few GCs you might want to try: Fire For Thy Stepmother's Daughters: many of BPAL's 'fire' scents have vetiver in them, and this one's no exception, but I'm pretty positive there's dragon's blood in there too. This is maybe the most similar scent I can think of -- it's less on the cherry impression that dragon's blood can usually have, but a lot of the same feel. Very fast running on my skin (it only lasts about an hour and a half) but it's worth a try. (Caveat: on my wife, it turned into 'freshly buttered popcorn single note' and we could not figure out why. Ah, skin chemistry.) Sin: I hated (hated) this in the imp and was about to throw it in the giveaway box, but I'd got some on my fingers while opening the imp and ten minutes later it smelled glorious on me. A very well-rounded sandalwood/amber with just a breath of cinnamon and a hint of patchouli. It doesn't share any of the notes of Serpent's Kiss, but it had a lot of the same feel to it, and was in the same 'key' to my nose. Wrath: where Serpent's Kiss is vetiver + dragon's blood, this is clove + cinnamon + dragon's blood. The dragon's blood is really nicely grounding, and the spices aren't too overwhelming. This is the other one that's a candidate for "most similar", I think. Djinn: This one has none of the floral/cherry notes that dragon's blood often has, but it's heavy on the vetiver, and winds up smelling exactly like campfire woodsmoke and sage-and-sweetgrass ashes. Brimstone: Like Djinn, this is very campfire-woodsmoke, although it's a bit more challenging and less cozy. Heavy on the vetiver, with some spices in the background. It winds up smelling like dry stones and the aftermath of a renewing brushfire. I'm still not sure whether or not I like it, but boy, is it evocative. Iago: Leather and vetiver, and probably my favorite vetiver that's not a fire scent. Some people find it too masculine, but I find it very unisex and confident. You should probably check out all the Ars Draconis line -- they all have dragon's blood as a base. My favorites of them are: Dragon's Musk: a beautifully well-blended chord of musk and dragon's blood. Warm and cozy. Dragon's Claw: the sandalwood takes center stage here and the dragon's blood is a supporting player, but it winds up (on me at least) smelling interestingly like hot metal and iron over wood. Dragon's Hide: an earthy, sexy dragon's blood with leather and smoke underpinning it. Warm and dry, like curling up against a hulking big dragon against the side of his mountain cave for a lazy afternoon nap. And, the "GC, but imps not available" scents: The Stormhold: A very aquatic/watery scent, with a very true wet-stone note and a sort of furry grounding from the vetiver. It's not much like Serpent's Kiss, but if you like vetiver or are curious about aquatics, this might be worth tracking down a decant. The Ifrit: This is probably in my top 10 BPAL scents I've tried (definitely in the top 20). It's a very dry, deserty dragon's blood, much like actual desert sand warmed by the sun, with a breath of spices wafting through. I honestly think the only reason it's not one of their top sellers is that it's not available for imps. Definitely worth tracking down a decant. Agnes Nutter: this one's a bit of a stretch, but Agnes is one of my favorite vetiver blends. Vetiver and gunpowder and pistol blowback and rusty metal, and from that description it might sound really offputting, but it's a surprisingly warm and cozy scent. Honorable mention, if you're willing to track down old LEs: Time's Infliction of Eternity: This was one of the Century Guild scents; bottles of it turn up on eBay/in the for-sale forum pretty often. It's fabulous. I described it as "if this were one of the Ars Draconis scents, it would be Dragon's Smoke": it really does smell like a dragon having you over for a nice cuppa. (The water for which has been warmed by its breathing fire, of course.) The dragon's blood keeps the tea from being too astringent; the tea keeps the dragon's blood from being too floral. This one is definitely in my top 10.
  8. keileya

    Visions of Autumn VI

    Oakmoss, lavender absolute, petitgrain, rockrose, white patchouli, and sage. In the bottle it's gorgeous -- lavender and sweet sage with a hint of something warm underneath it. As soon as it hits my skin the sage and lavender really bloom, and the lavender picks up the more dark and spicy end that Beth's lavender can get sometimes. I was worried about the patchouli, but it's white patchouli and not dark patchouli -- it's a simulataneously very warm and ethereal patchouli that just underpins the whole deal. I wound up liking about half of the Visions of Autumns in the bottle, but I think VI might be my favorite. It's more a spicy herbal than a flowery herbal. It's great now, and I think it's going to be even greater with another few months of aging.
  9. Your likes sound very similar to mine, with the exception of Rapture (too flowery for me)! I've tried most of the Lab's dragon's blood scents by now -- it's one of my favorite notes -- and I love vetiver. Things you might want to try: GCs: Sin (Sin and Salvation): "amber, sandalwood, black patchouli, and cinnamon". I expected to hate it, because I dislike patchouli and it dislikes me, but I tugged open the imp to sniff it before tossing it in the giveaway box and ten minutes later had to fish it out because the imp spit on my fingers smelled so damn good. It's warm and fuzzy, well rounded with a hint of velvet. My wife called it a "date night" perfume and she's totally right: it's grown up, sophisticated, and sexy. Fire for Thy Stepmother's Daughters (Marchen): no notes listed, but from what I can tell, there's a heavy dose of dragon's blood underpinning this, and the Lab uses vetiver in a lot of their smoke/fire/burning scents and this one is no exception. To the best of my ability to figure it out, though, there's also lotus in here, which gives it a sort of, hrm, bright and chilly overlay to it -- the whole thing comes out as sort of the sense-impression of long-cold ashes. (That sounds less appealing than it really is. It's the sort of perfume you don't necessarily wear to be alluring, and I think some people would find it prickly, but I found the whole thing very comforting.) Rogue (RPG): "Soft, well-worn black leather, hemp, and rosin." Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. It's definitely a black leather, and it's definitely well-worn and soft and completely broken in; the hemp rope is very very new-smelling. The rosin is a little bit piney, and depending on how your skin chemistry works might be a dealbreaker -- every friend of mine who's tried this one has loved it except one for whom it turned into hamster shavings -- but it's still a fabulous leather scent. I described it as "the very best kind of S&M dungeon". Djinn (Diabolus): "The scent of black smoke, of crackling flames, and smoldering ashes." Another vetiver-containing smoke/fire scent. This one starts out as a bit cold and austere, then takes a left turn into being this glorious smoky herbal/sweetgrass smell with a hint of vanilla underneath. A lot of people in the review topic called this one acrid or unpleasant, but on me it's not at all: it's more "mankind's first tool" fire than uncontrolled wildfire. I find it very warm and comforting. Brimstone (Bewitching Brews): no notes given, but it's another vetiver-heavy smoke/fire scent. My review of this in my sniff log is really hysterical, because I spent an hour trying to figure out just what the fuck I was smelling. (There's a sentence in there that sums it up nicely: "I'm having real trouble describing this one. It's a dozen different scents over the course of five minutes and I'm still not sure if it's something I'd wear, but gosh is the performance fascinating.") Definitely start with an imp first and not a bottle, since this is something of an acquired taste, but on me it was wet wood and baked-dry dirt and long-burning campfire and the faintest hint of something green and growing after the wildfire. As I noted by the end, "everything is still on fire and I can't stop smelling myself and this perfume confuses me. A lot." All of this is probably not selling it very well! But despite being really confused by it, I was also fascinated, and I keep coming back to it -- it's incredibly compelling. Iago (Illyria): "black musk, wet leather and vetiver." Newly-tanned brown leather boots with green and growing things underneath, confident and cocksure. The Black Rider (Marchen): "Black leather, oppoponax, tobacco, and black amber." This is a very outdoorsy and resinous scent without being at all green or herbal or floral. It smells a bit like riding through an old-growth forest at sunset in late autumn. It's rich, thick, warm, and golden, and I love it to death. And the Ars Draconis category gets its own bullet points: Dragon's Musk (Ars Draconis): "Dragon’s blood and five deep musks." I've tried all the Ars Draconis scents and I liked pretty much exactly half of them; this isn't my absolute favorite but it's pretty high up there. The musk tames the floral end of the dragon's blood, while the dragon's blood sweetens up the musk and keeps it from being oppressive. It's a very well-balanced chord that just keeps getting better and better as you wear it. Dragon's Heart (Ars Draconis): "dragon’s blood resin, red and black musks, a throb of fig and a sliver of black currant." This one is very similar to Dragon's Musk, but a bit sweeter, very body-smell and animalic. I described it as "comforting, in the way that having a large dragon on your side can be comforting". Dragon's Claw (Ars Draconis): "dragon’s blood resin and three sandalwoods." Starts off as sweet and resiny sandalwood, sun-warmed and faintly smoky; picks up an iron/metallic note that smells like a draconic blacksmithery. Dragon's Hide (Ars Draconis): "Dragon’s blood, leather and a hint of smoke". Possibly my favorite of the Ars Draconis scents. Lots of subtle undercurrents; leather and smoke and tanned hide. An earthy, sexy smell that manages to be both warm and dry at once, like curling up against a big hulking dragon in sandy scrublands up against the side of a mountain cave. I think this is what Charlie Weasley (from the Harry Potter books) smells like! And LEs/unimpables, if you want to try tracking them down/finding decants: Kit (Only Lovers Left Alive): "Mysore sandalwood, a tattered and patched 16th century waistcoat, inkstained, still scented with the marjoram and benzoin dry perfumes of his youth." The sandalwood in this is a very thick and encompassing scent, low-pitched and enveloping, with just the smallest hint of brightness from the benzoin and marjoram. I described this one as very aggressive and decisive: this is a perfume that knows what the fuck it wants and isn't going to let anything else stand in its way. Hatta (Century Guild): "Copaiba balsam, battered brown leather, and Ceylon cinnamon." This one is absolutely amazing on me, and all my friends who have tried it have also loved it. It's like an old battered leather bomber jacket that's perfectly broken in, that's been hanging up next to the spice rack. On me it's a close-hugging, snuggly scent that feels just the right amount of dangerous, like that bad boy/bad girl your parents never wanted you to date but who got your heart fluttering like nobody's business. One of my favorites. The Ifrit (Neil Gaiman/American Gods): "Desert sand, red musk, blackened ginger, dragon's blood resin, black pepper, cinnamon, and tobacco." This one really does smell like desert sand warmed by the sun: hot, dry, and bright, the scent equivalent of lying out on a big old rock in the summer desert heat and soaking up the warmth. Agnes Nutter (Neil Gaiman/Good Omens): "Gunpowder, charred wood, smoke, and rusty nails." This is one of those BPAL scents that utterly floor me with how precisely Beth can ping particular scents that you'd never expect to find in a bottle: this one really is exactly what it says on the tin. The wood is a sweetwood and the nails really are rusty, but it's a softer burning scent than some of the others, and the vetiver in it is the soft fuzzy version and not the sharp challenging version. This one also gets a shoutout for being the first perfume I've ever tried to contain a note that is exactly like what pistol blowback smells like on skin. Time's Infliction of Eternity (Century Guild): "A sanguine blend of Dragon’s Blood sedum and black tea." This is the resiny end of dragon's blood (as opposed to the floral end), counterbalanced neatly by the slightly-astringent note of black tea. Resinous but just a tiny bit sweet, a hint of tannin, a little bit of the fruity/floral end of dragon's blood in the background. It's probably one of my top five BPAL scents ever.
  10. keileya

    Smokestack

    In the imp: vetiver. VETIVER. Wet on skin: ....in thirty seconds on my skin, it lost all the glorious vetiver and turned into a gallon jug of maple syrup. I gave it 10 minutes to see if the maple syrup went away, but nope.
  11. I am so, so not a floral person either -- to the point where I will automatically discard any scent that has certain notes like jasmine and ylang ylang without even testing. To me, usually the problem is that perfume-flowers don't smell like the actual flower, and wind up very fake-smelling with my skin chemistry (and that's saying nothing of the fact that my skin chemistry turns jasmine into smelling like decaying rotting flowers, funeral home, and cat pee). But I've found a few that are exceptions to that rule. From the GC: The other day I was sniffing a giant pile of imps I bought off eBay in preparation for putting them in the "frimps for decant circles" box, and I accidentally got a bit of Cobra Lily (Rappacini's Garden) on my fingers. I grumbled and went to go wash it off, and halfway on my way to the bathroom I said "wait a second, I actually ... really like this?" It's the exception to every one of my rules in terms of what I like and don't like: fresh, green-growing flowers, a hint of rain, and something darker underneath that has a hell of a lot of attitude. The Enterprise of Night (Kabuki) is like a patch of green and growing flowers in the heart of a city. (I don't know if you've ever played the video game Final Fantasy 7, but if you have: it's what I imagine Aerith's church smells like, with the only growing things in all of Midgar.) It had a bit of blankness to it, while I was decanting it, that makes me think it will be much better with another six months' aging, but it smells like spring just after the rain and a bit like somebody dangerous lolling around in a field of flowers, and a bit like the heart of a city, constantly changing and growing and shifting. It wound up being my favorite of the Kabuki scents. I definitely recommend tracking down a decant. The Harlot's House (Bewitching Brews) is another one I expected to hate and really wound up liking, although it runs very quickly on me. Lush and green like walking into a florist's display case, with something spicy underneath it all like an old penny candy bin. It's an overwhelming blast of FLOWERS! at first, but that blast clears off quickly and it winds up as a mossy, slightly-spicy, cozy green-and-growing-things. Two, Five, and Seven (Mad Tea Party) is one of the only rose-dominant scents I've tried that I've actually liked. (I, too, amp rose to the ends of the earth and beyond, and it turns so artificial on me it's not funny -- I get this effect that I call "Body Shop Tea Rose" because it's this fake artificial sharp plasticky cheap smell on me. This generally happens no matter how high-quality the rose note really is.) This one comes across more as the greenery -- leaves and stems -- than the rose, though; wet grass and stems and leaves and a surprisingly mannerly rose that does not smell fake on me. And since it's pretty much just rose and stems, you don't have to worry about the rose taking over everything else. Juliet (Illyria) is a blast of fruity pear and very in-your-face white flowers for five minutes on me, then settles down into a very quiet, soft, candied floral with the musk grounding it nicely. (As I put in my notes: "The pear and flowers keeps the white musk from being too Bounty-dryer-sheet; the white musk keeps the pear and flowers from being too omg!flowers.") Dirty (Sin and Salvation) has the white musk and plumeria that many people's noses can read as "Bounty dryer sheet" -- white musk is a common laundry-detergent scent because it can be commercially manufactured cheaply and quickly, and it's got a lot of staying power, so scents containing white musk tend to read as "laundry detergent" to American noses -- but that having been said, I found it very pleasant: a bit peppery, a bit metallic, a bit aquatic, a bit heady, and kind of hard to describe. The flowers in here are primarily plumeria, I'm pretty sure, and I was really surprised it managed to be heady and floral without tripping my "get it off me" reaction. Venice (Wanderlust) is the only jasmine-containing scent I've tried so far that did not make me bust out the alcohol wipes immediately! This sounds like damning with faint praise, but the jasmine in this is a very midnight, spicy floral, not the aldehydic rotting-petals that jasmine often turns into. My wife and I were really divided as to how this one reads, gender-wise -- I think it's way too femme for me, she thinks it's more masculine -- but even though it wound up as too femme for me, I liked it a lot. Seraglio (Ars Amatoria) is the only other of BPAL's rose scents I've liked. I didn't get any of the almond at all, which is good because I think it would have made me dislike it, but the first act of it was this complex woodsy floral with a bit of spice to the background, with the orange peel lightening the whole thing up just enough. What really made me love it, though, was the third act: it faded into thickets of old-growth roses that are just about to tip over the edge to dying but haven't yet, growing wild around an abandoned castle, with the occasional waft of nutmeg and clove from the copse of spice trees at the edge of the kitchens' garden -- Briar Rose, ninety years in to her hundred-year sleep. (The original fairy tale, not the Disney version.) If you want a hint of floral without being actual floral, The Ifrit (Neil Gaiman) comes out on me as all the floral end of dragon's blood, with a dry and deserty, sand-warmed-by-sun primary sense-feel and a waft of spices on the air to balance out the floral bits. Discontinued GCs or older LEs: Eve (Only Lovers Left Alive) is layers and layers of the history of perfume in one bottle, a well-rounded and sophisticated scent that manages somehow to be both thick and rich and sweet and resinous all at once. There's a reason it was the first one to sell out from the collection! Likewise, Neo-Tokyo, though long discontinued and highly sought-after, absolutely deserves its reputation: cherry blossom and ozone and ... well, my sniff notes call it "flowery without being OMG!FLOWERZ, light without being quick to disappear, crisp without being sharp, ozone-ish without being nose-burning, and the "urban metallics" really do smell like a city's best face." The Emathides is well-rounded woods, amber, and musk with the florals there to warm it up and keep it from being a dank oppressive cloud; it settles into a light mezzo-soprano woodsy sweetness that's just sweet enough, just creamy enough, just floral enough, just assertive enough. La Vita Nuova, I described as "really classy fruity/floral shampoo" -- more the fruity end than the floral, but it's very light and refreshing, the fruits smell like actual fruits and not fakeish approximations, and it's a rose-containing blend that did not become All About The Rose on me in three seconds or less. Hopefully that will help.
  12. keileya

    Warrior Unicorn Florals

    So, context: I am not a florals person at all. Like, at ALL. They don't mesh with my gender presentation in the least and they tend to go "rotting pile of vegetation" on me in a heartbeat. But I do love resins, woods, etc, and a lot of the notes you mention as really working for you also really work for me. So I'm thinking that some of what I think is "way too much floral" might be "not enough floral" for you! But, with that in mind, some GCs that might suit: Dragon's Tears: salty aquatic notes bursting with dragon's blood. This wound up entirely the floral end of dragon's blood on me, and not very aquatic at all -- it came out as a resiny white floral. Much of the Ars Draconis line lept immediately to mind when you said "warrior unicorn florals", really; it depends on whether you get the floral notes out of the Lab's dragon's blood or not. Dirty: A fresh, crisp white linen scent: perfectly clean, perfectly breezy. Not as kickass as you want, but on me this was entirely white musk and plumeria, and managed to stay juuuuust the right side of "Bounty dryer sheet accord". The plumeria is very flowery without being overwhelmingly floral, and very nicely "morning dew just after rain". Venice: lemon, red currant, wisteria, red rose petals, heady jasmine, Florentine orris root, waterlily, red sandalwood, violet plum, and violet leaf. I expected to hate this as being way too floral for me, especially with the jasmine, which is the biggest culprit in the "let's smell like rotting heaps of vegetation" game. To my utter surprise, it really worked for me. It's a very spicy floral, and very sophisticated. If you've ever read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart series: the minute I put this on, I immediately said, this is what the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers smells like. Paris: Lavender, softly underscored by lotus and spice. On my wife it went all nutmeg and cinnamon and bakeryish, but on me it was a lovely spicy-candied floral. Not too sweet, not too spicy, not too overwhelming. And finally, the first scent that lept to mind when I read this: Seraglio: Sweet almond and Mysor sandalwood enveloped by a heady veil of Bulgarian Rose, neroli, nutmeg, clove and orange peel. On me this was very rose at first instead of the spice, but the spice was enough to keep me from noping the hell on out of there, and I'm glad: after about an hour, this turned into heavy, woodsy rose-cane that hasn't been pruned back in years, right next to the kitchen spice garden. The image it brought to mind was Sleeping Beauty's tower, ninety years into her hundred-year sleep: not Disney-princess Sleeping Beauty, the original Sleeping Beauty of the older darker fairy tales. It's a beautiful, complex scent that I'm really sad is entirely too femme for me to wear regularly, but I can't bear to get rid of my imp because it's so incredibly evocative. If you're more floral-tolerant than I am, this might really work for you.
  13. keileya

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

    Of those, I've only smelled (and loved) Brisangamen, but if you like that, you might also like Bastet, Bengal, or Anubis.
  14. keileya

    Time's Infliction of Eternity

    I bought this unsniffed off eBay on the strength of reviews + knowing that dragon's blood is one of my top super awesome amazing fantabulous frabjous calloo-callay notes. This has proven to be an excellent lifestyle choice. I only regret that I have but one bottle to give for my ...quest of smelling awesome, I guess. In the bottle, it smells very much like well-steeped (almost oversteeped) black tea and a very faint hint of dragon's blood, with a teeny tiny bit of anise hiding in the background like it's part of the tea blend. Wet on skin, the astringency of the tea note comes out full-force -- I swear I can smell the tannins. It's kept from being mouth-puckeringly polyphenolic by the warmth of the dragon's blood, though: the end result is a smoky, steamy, warm cloud of coziness. The astringency of the black tea keeps the dragon's blood from being too sweet/fruity, and the dragon's blood keeps the black tea from being too tart/astringent. If this scent were a GC in the Ars Draconis line, it would be called Dragon's Smoke or Dragon's Steam: the smoke note isn't the harsher almost-acrid burning of Brimstone or Djinn, it's the warm waft of fragrant steam from a nice cuppa. In the drydown, the hint-of-anise from earlier moves back in, and this time it's brought all its friends: the blend picks up hints of fruit, but not the usual floral/fruit of all the Lab's dragon's blood blends I've tried so far, instead being the ripe, juicy fruitness of plums or grapes that were picked at the perfect moment. Over the first hour, that fruity, licoricey, tea-like goodness softens slowly and blooms into a meld of resin with just enough sweetness. The throw is decent, but mannerly -- not a punch-you-in-the-nose cloud of PERFUME!, but the same sort of gentle fragrant steam of a well-brewed cup of tea. (That is, with moderate application, it's enough for my wife to smell seven or eight feet away on the other side of the office, but only as a hint.) It's a concentric-circles scent, too: with my wrist up close to my nose I get the full fruit/anise/tea/musk/dragon's-blood deal, while when my hands are on the keyboard typing I get a near single-note dragon's blood. (The resiny, low-pitched notes of the dragon's blood chord, not the floral soprano notes that sometimes overwhelm. Considering the bass notes of dragon's blood is my favorite part of the chord, this is a good thing.) After an hour or two, it settles in to being soft musk and dragon's blood, with a rich, almost vanilla, overtone to it -- just a touch of cream in the cup of tea. It stays there for quite some time: at eight hours I was still getting noticeable scent, and it didn't fade entirely until ten or eleven hours. (That's impressively long on me: between chronically-dry skin and a genetic disorder that affects my body's collagen production, thus changing the chemistry and composition of my skin and its pH balance, my skin eats perfume oils like nobody's business.) By the time it finishes on me, it's a mannerly, resinous incense with lingering hints of the smoke still managing to stick around. I spent the entire time I was wearing this sniffing myself and declaring "Oh my God, I smell amazing." Because: Oh my God, I smell amazing. I may have to pause for a week or two in my quest to smell Every BPAL Blend I Can Get My Hot Little Hands On (I, uh, may have had a critical failure of willpower on the last few orders) and just roll around in this one for a while.
  15. keileya

    Miskatonic University

    In the bottle: Hazelnut and Bailey's Irish Cream with a tiny tiny hint of whiskey behind it. Wet on skin: hazelnut creamer. Artificial hazelnut creamer. As it dries, it loses the artificial impression and starts to get deeper and nuttier, more 'actual cream' than 'creamer pod'. Dry: cream and Bailey's, lightly sugared, hint of vanilla ice cream. 15 minutes: the oakwood is starting to creep in, smelling kind of like a bottle of Bailey's dropped on a wooden floor and only partially cleaned up, so you get wet wood and Bailey's. The vanilla is warming up, too -- now it smells like melted vanilla ice cream, or like vanilla syrup (not vanilla extract, I'm talking more like the stuff they put in your coffee at Starbucks). I'm not smelling any of the coffee, just the stuff you put in the coffee. My wife called it "like a vanilla hazelnut candle". I don't hate the way it smells, but it really does smell like I spilled vanilla hazelnut creamer on my skin. I can't fault it for that, because it's a very well constructed vanilla hazelnut creamer, but it's nothing I would ever wear: it's more of a scent performance than a perfume, and I don't wear perfume for the performance, I wear it for the perfume. This is not looking promising. A little later: It's going very toffee-ish, or possibly buttered rum. I'm finally getting a tidge of the "dusty old books" at the very edge of the throw, but only a very little bit. Final assessment: Fairly long-lasting -- I was still getting bits of hazelnut 12-13 hours later when I finally scrubbed it off because I was tired of it. My opinion didn't change: it's a very good execution of the scent performance, but it's just not something I want to smell like. I really don't see the Miskatonic University connection, either; with a name like that I would've expected way more books and paper than just the barest hint that's in there. I have to call this one a "nope".
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