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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Lunasariel

  1. Lunasariel

    Cedarwood & Smoked Vanilla

    In the imp: I think my eyes may have rolled back in my head when I took my first whiff of this. This is liquid gold - the vanilla is subtle & smoky, and the cedarwood is mellow & aged (no lumber rooms or pencil shavings here!). Wet: A little drier and more woodsy. It starts out about 65/35 cedar/vanilla, but quickly equalizes until it's this beautiful blend that's something entirely its own. The vanilla here isn't as crystalline or ethereal as in Zorya Polunochnaya, but it has a similar elusive, smoke-on-the-wind kind of feel to it. Dry: Very well-blended, equally balanced between the two notes. It's not quite a warm & snuggly scent, but there's something comforting about it nonetheless. Stability, maybe? It's a pretty Lawful Good kind of scent.
  2. Lunasariel

    Red Oud & Balsam

    In the imp: Woody, but a dried and dusty sort of woody - maybe more dried resins? I get the impression of my old wooden incense burner, where so many sticks have burned down that there's a little ring of resins built up around the hole. Wet: The dustiness/dryness has mostly gone, leaving straight resins/woods. It now smells like the incense casket where I keep unburned sticks - years of residual resins building up inside aromatic wood. (Although I believe my incense casket is cedar, and this scent isn't specifically cedar.) Dry: Pretty linear - dry-ish woods and aromatic resins. Although perhaps leaning more towards the resins as time goes on?
  3. Lunasariel

    Whiskey & Apple

    In the imp: Apples definitely, and whiskey, yes, but there's a delicious, almost caramelized note that I think is the interplay between the two. An elegant, sexy, fruity combination. (Man, I wish that whiskey tasted like it smells! Like coffee, I can't stand the taste but I loooooove the smell.) Wet: Much boozier and traditionally "perfumey," while still distinctly fruity. This smells like something that should come out of a cut-glass bottle on a lady's vanity. Dry: The apple burns off after a few hours, leaving an oddly...perfumey whiskey? It almost reads as leather or smooth woods; it brings to mind the phrase "barrel-aged."
  4. Lunasariel

    Honeysuckle & Patchouli

    In the imp: Simple, as Duets tend to be. In this case, it's honeysuckle and wet earth. There was an initial strong blast of patchouli as I uncorked the imp, but this dissipated quickly, and the patchouli read as earthier. Wet: More honeysuckle, less patchouli. The earthy elements are still there, but much toned down - without knowing what it was, I'm not sure I could even identify it as patch. Dry: Seems to kind of swing between the two extremes. Sometimes it's straight-up honeysuckle, and sometimes it's a seriously earthy patchouli, but most of the time it's honeysuckle and wet earth, fairly similar to ITI.
  5. Lunasariel

    Hay & Clove

    In the imp: Mainly clove, but...alcohol-y clove? Clove extract? It smells the way vanilla extract tastes, with that sharp, surprising bite of alcohol under the sweetness. Otherwise, it is a very holiday-sweet kind of scent. Wet: Still primarily a clove scent (reminds me of pomanders, actually!), but hey, the hay shows up! That particular soft, golden, dried-grasses scent plays wonderfully with the clove, taking it out of the kitchen and into the field. Dry: A warm, golden, slightly spiced scent. If I didn't know better, I would call this amber instead of hay.
  6. Lunasariel

    In Omnibus Caritas

    In the imp: A creamy, honey-sweet scent, reminiscent of Good from the RPG line. Wet: A golden core of strength (I think this is the sandalwood?) with a golden, hazy cloud of sweetness wrapped around it. I'm getting quite a bit of honey and creamy mallow flower, but also some vanillic sweetness. If the orris is here, it's as a subtle backup note, reining in the sweeter elements and stopping them from going syrupy. Which I'm both delighted and surprised by, because orris has a tendency to go overwhelmingly powdery on me. There's also an interesting zingy, lively note, almost like citrus but not quite; this could be either the honey (especially if it's orange blossom honey, which smells quite citrusy IRL) or the mallow flower (which I'm not super familiar with). Dry: The creamy mallow flower note is more dominant, making this mainly a mallow and honey blend with hints of vanilla. Still very sweet, in a zingy, uplifting kind of way.
  7. Lunasariel

    In Dubiis Libertas

    In the imp: An elegant, cool amber, backlit by benzoin and embellished by wafts of a delicate and, yes, smoky vanilla. Wet: Primarily a fresh, outdoorsy cypress and that lovely smoked vanilla, with the resins as a glowing golden backdrop. Apparently vanilla + any sort of (non-abrasive) wood = a total win on me, but the combinations of the cypress and the smoky elements of the vanilla is particularly delightful. Dry: Soft amber, with just a touch of vanilla.
  8. Lunasariel

    In Necessarias Unitas

    In the imp: A big ol' swirl of resins and woods. I think I'm picking up on the patchouli and honey, but otherwise, individual notes are hard to distinguish - it's just one big, golden mélange. And yet, it's cooler and lighter than you would expect - I don't think this would feel heavy or overwhelming on a summer day. Wet: Aha, there we go! The patchouli is still playing *very* nicely with the honey, but the oud is now more distinct, as are warm, polished-to-a-shine woods. I'm not getting any vetiver or oakmoss yet - unless it's the oakmoss giving it that lightness? This is a rich, expansive, generous scent - what I imagine the Ghost of Christmas Present would smell like. Dry: Huh, that was quick! Within four or five hours, it's dried down to a very soft honeyed patch, with maybe the barest hints of oud and woods. But really, I have to huff to get a scent at all - this is a surprisingly quick fade for a woody/resinous blend, which tend to stick around on me for a while. It is a lovely scent, though - warmer and cuddlier than the wet stage, although not as sophisticated or complex.
  9. Lunasariel

    Bits of Birnam Wood

    In the imp: A good honest apple scent, with an underlying woodsiness. And I almost want to say a hint of caramel? Something goopy-thick and sweet, anyway; looking at the other reviews, I can easily see either mashed or baked apples. Wet: Still primarily apple, but an It's Complicated apple. There's an almost woozy note, like cider or fermenting apple juice, the woody notes are stronger, and a lovely, delicate apple blossom note wafts in and out. There's a lot going on here, but it's harmonious - like Soupy Twist says, it's all of appledom in one perfume. Dry: A softer, warmer apple scent, slightly spiced and definitely woodsy. I'm still getting a cider-y/fermented feel, and the florals have faded almost entirely.
  10. Lunasariel

    Lazy Daisy

    In the imp: Light and clean, almost soapy but not quite. There's a waft of jasmine but no more, and if this is tea, it must be the dried leaves rather than a cup of brewed tea. Wet: A flash of astringency, and then it settles down into exactly what I imagine an airing cupboard full of freshly washed cotton sheets would smell like, with maybe a couple of dried jasmine and lavender flowers sprinkled between them. The florals are very light and non-intrusive, but present nonetheless. Interestingly, I asked my fiancé what he thought at this stage, and he, not knowing any of the notes said, "like wet tree bark, just after rain." I can...kinda see it? The tea comes out after a few minutes, and I could see that reading as woody. Dry: Very soft tea and cotton, very clean, but in an...organic kind of way, not like soap or laundry detergent. Like sun-dried sheets, as above. Quietly responsible, demure, and understated. A great scent to wear to brunch with your in-laws when you don't have time to shower (like I may have done today).
  11. Lunasariel

    Server Gremlins

    In the imp: An earthy, mineral, vegetal scent with a bit of zip to it - is that ginger? peppercorns? I'm kinda leaning towards black pepper, as seen in Black Pepper and Sandalwood. Wet: A flash of greenery and ozone, before it settles into a musty, zingy kind of scent. I'm totally willing to believe sandalwood, and I'm thinking ginger or cinnamon for the zing, rather than pepper. Dry: That probably-sandalwood note comes to the fore, along with maybe a hint of patchouli or musk. A soft, mellow, woody scent, which I would not have expected from the zingy opening.
  12. Lunasariel

    Pomegranate and Vetiver

    In the imp: Pomegranate - dark, fruity, and juicy. It's not exactly a fruitsplosion (unlike The Red Queen, which I tried recently and started out as a CHERRY BOMB!), but it's very single-note-dominant, at least at this stage. Wet: Still mainly pomegranate. For a little while, there was an odd waxy note, like pomegranate-scented candles, but then it morphed into...vetiver, I guess? But I agree with zankoku_zen - I get more leather than vetiver. Pomegranate and vetiver. Dry: ...Huh. The leather note was unexpected, but so is where it ended up. A dark green, foresty blend with subtle fruity accents, not dissimilar to Druid or Bewitched. Both of which I LOVE, but I wasn't expecting to find a similar blend here.
  13. Lunasariel

    Strawberry and Rosebud

    In the imp: Mainly fruity, juicy strawberry, with some just-beginning-to-bloom rose around the edges. Both are very realistic and alive-smelling, if that makes any sense. Wet: It quickly does a switcheroo and becomes mainly rose, with some strawberry around the edges. Dry: Unsurprisingly, the rose outlasts the strawberry. But this isn't a "perfumey" rose - it smells like a rose garden in spring, before the heat really brings out the biggest, most voluptuous scents. It's soft, subtle, and very, very lovely.
  14. Lunasariel

    Lemongrass & Tonka

    In the imp: My very first whiff was almost foody - why TF do I get coconut from this?? After that, though, it's mainly lemongrass, although the tonka is definitely present as well. It's not a main player, but there's something smooth and almost creamy-sweet, but not quite, rounding out the edges of the lemongrass. Wet: Still like 80-85% lemongrass, but I do get the tonka. It takes the scent from pure, bright, citrus-y lemongrass to Lemongrass Plus. The tonka grounds it and gives it some body, and I love it! Dry: The tonka becomes more and more prominent, although it never eclipses the lemongrass. Sweet and earthy indeed! Although, in this case, "earthy" = "herbal and citrus-y."
  15. Lunasariel

    The Red Queen

    In the imp: Hello, daddy, hello, mom, I'm your ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! This is a big splash of sweet, syrupy, cherries, and that's about it. Occasionally I think I get just a hint of very perfumey rose, but I have a lot of blends that mix roses and fruit, particularly cherries, so I think that might just be my nose having certain expectations. Wet: Ah, there's the mahogany! It balances the cherry bomb out wonderfully. "Lacquered" is definitely the right word for this one - it's definitely a heavy, opulent, red-velvet-drapes-and-lacquered-furniture kind of scent. Dry: The mahogany becomes more and more dominant, going from 60/40 to 80/20. There's a subtle, fruity presence throughout, but now it's soft enough that I can't tell whether it's cherry, currant, or both. This one has a surprisingly good throw! All throughout today, I kept getting whiffs of something elegantly fruity and elusive, and towards the end of the day, I realized it was me. This rarely happens to me, so I learned two things today: that the throw is much fruitier than the skin level scent, and that, especially from afar, this smells AWESOME. The throw is such that I might not be able to wear it in to work, which strongly discourages perfumes or other strong smells, though.
  16. Lunasariel


    In the imp: Woody and smoky, with a very subtle figgy sweetness. Leaving the imp uncorked, I get wafts of a fascinating sort of smoked cocoa butter. Wet: At first, there's a blast of dry, woody notes. Then it settles into...the exact scent of a Lush store! That subtly fruity, herbal, sandalwood-y, cocoa butter-y smell is EXACTLY how it feels walking into a Lush. I can almost feel the texture of a bath bomb in my hand. Dry: Less Lush, more definitively sandalwood. The cocoa butter is soft but still present, and I wouldn't be able to identify the vague background sweetness as fig without help, but it's still there as well.
  17. Lunasariel

    Lola Lee Loo

    In the imp: Creamy vanilla-fig, but nothing like you'd imagine. It's not really a foodie scent, for one, and for another, this is a gentle, mellow fig, not growly like in Nasty Woman or humid and sensual, like in Eden. Combined, they almost read as coconut. Rice flower is a note I'm unfamiliar with, but there's something light, floral, and almost but not quite mouth-watering here, rounding out the vanilla and fig and keeping them from going sticky-sweet, and I'd bet this is it. Wet: Uh, wat? I get an effervescent, pleasantly chilled, fruity tropical drink. I can almost get something like the dash of pineapple juice added to smoothies and drinks to make them taste "tropical" without being definitively pineapple. Where did this come from??? I still get a whiff of vanilla way down at the base, which is about the only thing that I was expecting. Dry: Ah, there's the clove and patchouli, roughly in that order. Neither are too far forward, though - it's a softly creamy, fruity scent, with that light, ethereal rice flower proving unexpectedly tenacious.
  18. Lunasariel

    Harlow's Lace

    In the bottle: My first impression was "warm cookies," but after reading all of the "caramel/butterscotch" descriptions, I can see butterscotch chip cookies, warm from the oven and making the whole house smell amazing. It's a warm, sweet, vanillic hug in a bottle - thanks, doomsday_disco! Wet: From afar, it's still sweet, sweet butterscotch cookies. Up close, that effervescent note that I think is the cognac briefly comes to dominate, and distinctly honey and tobacco notes also emerge. Oooooohhh boy, this is delicious! I would have been 100% happy with a sweet, warm, foody hug of a scent, but up close it's an intriguing medley of sweet, smoky, and effervescent - especially once the cognac calms down. Dry: It settles into a honeyed-burnt sugar-tobacco scent, with just a lingering hint of cognac-y effervescence and the tobacco becoming stronger as time goes on. It's still a sweet scent, but less of a foodie, butterscotch-y kind of sweet, and more resinous and honeyed. This is an AMAZING warm, sweet, comforting scent, as well as being for a great cause.
  19. Lunasariel

    Pink Amber and Peony

    In the imp: Yep, this right here is the smell of the color pink. A bright, sparkly, fun floral, it brings to mind ruffled sundresses and picnics in the park. It's lighthearted and carefree. I don't think I've ever smelled pink amber before, but I like it! Wet: WYSIWYG. Amber and peony, yup. It's still very light, bright, and sparkling. The floral note is almost fruity, but not quite. There's energy and zing to this scent, but it's not at all citrusy. Dry: Pretty linear - soft, pretty amber and florals all the way down. It gets quieter and mellower over time, but no less pretty. A simple, lovely scent.
  20. Lunasariel

    Black Pepper and Sandalwood

    In the imp: Spicy, but not distinctly peppery, with a cozy, woody warmth hiding out at the base. Wet: Mellower, with the spices fading back and the sandalwood taking center stage. I keep going back and forth on whether this is a more incense-y/resinous sandalwood, or a more woody sandalwood, but sandalwood it is, rounded out by the ghost of omnidirectional spices. Dry: This one gets real soft, real fast. It dries down to a soft, cozy, barely-there sandalwood with just a hint of spices. This one would be great for layering!
  21. Lunasariel

    Patchouli and Vetiver

    In the imp: A dark, musty-dusty, feral scent. Occasional hints of burning-rubber vetiver, but the almost syrupy or sticky patchouli is dominant. Wet: I almost thought mesquite or some other barbecue-adjacent scent when it first hit my skin; it's that smoky! This is definitely a dark, growly, smoky, feral scent - extremely sexy, under the right circumstances. Exactly as it says on the tin (which I just mistyped as "sin" - hello, Freudian slip!) - filthy. Aggressive and definitely not office-appropriate. My SO said he got something dark and foresty in addition to the patch. Dry: Pretty linear. The vetiver chills way way out, and I can now definitely pick up on those amazing vegetal notes, but other than that, it pretty much just gets softer and gentler over time. After eight or nine hours, it finally burns down to this lovely, mellow, sweet-ish patch; it's almost honeyed but not quite. Wow, this was an Experience! It came on a lot stronger than I'd anticipated (although, given that we're talking both vetiver and patchouli here, I don't know why I was surprised), but also ended up a lot mellower than I would have thought.
  22. Lunasariel

    Dripping Mountain

    In the imp: A light, cool, almost watery scent. Is this BPAL's snow note?? I'm actually pretty unfamiliar with this note, but it does kinda remind me of Pink Snowballs, the only other snow note I have. Otherwise, I'm getting mostly terebinth pine (I think? definitely resin/sap, not wood) and omnidirectional white florals. I wouldn't be able to identify them as magnolia and just a whiff of jasmine without knowing that's what they are beforehand. Wet: This gives a very early-spring impression, like icemelt swelling a stream or grass and flowers just starting to peek out from the snow at the roots of a tree, but at first it's so well-blended that I cannot for the life of me pick out any distinct notes. After a few minutes, the magnolia makes itself known, and just a breath of jasmine, subtle but distinctive, arrives shortly thereafter. Terebinth pine is a note I'm also not super familiar with, but if that's whatever is rounding out and grounding the florals, not overwhelming them but giving them another dimension, then sign me up! Dry: I'd say that by now the terebinth resin (lighter and less abrasive than other pines) is dominant; the florals are soft but still present. The jasmine might be eclipsing the magnolia, but again, it's so well-blended that it's hard to tell. This is a wonderfully subtle scent overall; it wears close to the skin but I get the most lovely, elusive whiff every so often to remind me that I'm wearing something gorgeous.
  23. Lunasariel

    Honey, Hay Absolute, and Amber

    In the imp: Mellow, bright, omnidirectional greenery; I keep going back and forth on whether it's fresh-cut or dried. If there's any honey or amber present at this stage, I think my nose is just picking them up as facets of the greenery. Wet: The greenery resolves itself into hay, like shoving your face into a big pile of cut grass that's been left out to dry for a good long while. The amber just barely starts to peek out at the base, giving the hay a fascinatingly elegant, perfumey aspect. I'm still not getting a lot of honey - if it's here, it's cool and bright, mingling with the hay, rather than the usual golden syrupy sweetness. In fact, there's almost an aquatic element here, fresh and cool, that I really can't place. It's very "unicorn's enchanted forest"-smelling - could this be the amber??? Dry: It stays hay and amber for most of its 8-hour (or so) duration, with the honey only putting in an appearance towards the end. That fresh, aquatic element also proves surprisingly tenacious. I came for hay, and hay I got! The greener, fresher notes were a delightful surprise, and the amber brought an elegant aspect that I loved. I hope some aging will bring out the honey as well - that's all I need for this to be my perfect "sunlight in fall" scent.
  24. Lunasariel

    I Die of Love

    In the imp: I don't think I'm getting any leather at all??? Instead, this is a soft, cologney-y/perfume-y scent, with light, almost aquatic florals, an enticing hint of a smoky/peppery kick, and a general feel of soap just washed off of skin. Wet: An initial flash of aggressive black leather and smoke, tempered by lilac, before it settles down into a very close-to-the-skin scent, with everything very soft and well-blended. I think I can pick out the leather, musk, lilac, and maybe even the bay rum, but it's actually hard to tell. Dry: Ah, now this is the black leather/bay rum/musk scent I was expecting, with an unexpectedly prominent but undeniably sexy smoky note. As time goes on, the leather and smoke fade away, leaving a soft, resinous, faintly musky scent. Looooooove this!
  25. Lunasariel

    Come Slowly—Eden!

    In the imp: A voluptuously floral apple - I'm totally willing to see jasmine in this, but sniffing it blind, I'd be tempted to say apple blossom. I'm also getting notes of honey (light and springtime-floral, not heavy or sticky) and beeswax, as well as a hint of uplifting, clarifying sage, with amber way down at the base - present, but not overwhelming. Overall, this scent reminds me quite a bit of Brisingamen, one of my all-time favorites. Wet: Way more herbal, albeit with a floral edge. I think I'm mainly getting the sage, with copoiba and champa giving it a vaguely incense-y (but not hippie) vibe. More beeswax than honey now, and amber still glowing at the base. I get occasional, surprising hints of apple and (more commonly) jasmine. I definitely need to test this one against Brisingamen. Dry: A good balance between honey, floral, and amber notes. The champa becomes more prominent over time, and an interesting honey-fig(-sage?) scent develops on my right wrist, but not my left. Fascinating! Eventually, it , deepens into a sexy, herbal-honey musk.