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BPAL Madness!


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About DiesMali

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    obsessive precious hoarder
  • Birthday 08/07/1986

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  1. DiesMali

    Wisteria Blossoms

    In the bottle: Heavy PURPLE flowers. Wet on my skin: Heavy PURPLE flowers and a little bit of musky smokiness. Dry: The lilac and wisteria in this, along with the vanilla, are so well-blended as to create their own new flower with characteristics of all three, and all of the other notes are this supporting haze of red-grey-purple musk with threads of silvery smoke and fragrant oakmoss. BPAL's indigo (especially indigo musk) note is gorgeous on me, and I specifically seek out new blends using that rare jewel, because they're literally always just beautiful. This is no exception. It's a "classy classic" sort of dark floral with that uniquely BPAL edginess to it. Picture an ancient mother-daughter vampire countess duo played by Dame Helen Mirren and Cate Blanchett; Helen Mirren's classy-classic vampire countess wears this perfume, and Cate Blanchett's edgier vampire countess wears A-Rovin' from last year's Anniversary series. Also, this might be the most PURPLE scent I own.
  2. In the bottle: Almost aquatic, vegetal, musky cologne. Wet on my skin: There's something in this that is very similar to the vegetal cologne notes in Pumpkin Chypre, a Halloweenie from a few years back. Unfortunately, that one never did work on me. This is better than that one so far, but it's still kind of oddly soapy on my skin, in a "handmade artisan soap" sort of way. Dry: I was hoping for more spice and smoke from this, and I might let it age for a few months and then come back to update this review, because I really wanted to like this more than I do so far. It's not bad, but it's also still got that odd, soapy feel to it. I remember now that currant is in this blend and is certainly the culprit there, as currant notes (and other berries) tend to push scents toward being like fruity-herbal Herbal Essences shampoo or body wash on my skin. Ginger can be either spicy or "clean" on me, and this seems to be a clean ginger note, which probably also contributes to the Herbal Essences feel to this. Overall, this is a fairly clean-green, smooth, chypre-like blend on me, and I must admit that I am a bit disappointed. Hopefully some aging will bring out the tobacco, myrrh, and pepper and dirty up that currant and clean ginger a bit.
  3. DiesMali

    Martial Arts

    In the bottle: A sweet, almost tangy wood scent. Wet on my skin: About the same as in the bottle. It's an almost cologney, sweet-tangy-shiny wood scent. Dry: I'm gonna admit right here that I'm not sure what in this is the lacquered bamboo, as I'm not familiar with those notes yet. This is slightly smoky, slightly salty, and also a little sweet, and is very much a "sum of its parts" sort of well-blended scent. If I inhale deeply, I can quickly pick out the smoked vanilla, oak, and a sort of spicy-tangy wood that must be the lacquered bamboo. The almond blossom, tonka, and amber sweeten it and give it this very smooth, almost cool feel, and I'm not entirely sure what the mushroom smells like by itself, but there's something in there giving everything a softer, slightly earthy-musky feel after it's been on my skin for 15-20 minutes. After this point, it doesn't change much through the rest of its wear, and it doesn't have a whole lot of throw even though it lingers for quite some time. It's on the masc side of unisex, at least on my skin. Overall, this joins the ranks of "very high-end cologne" type scents, which is something I personally enjoy!
  4. DiesMali

    Cacao, Palo Santo, and Copal

    In the bottle: Dark, almost liqueur-like chocolate. Wet on my skin: This goes on as a rich, dark, almost musky cacao with a hint of woody incense. Dry: This is a dark, slightly spicy, and fairly uncomplicated scent. Rich, dry cacao with spicy copal and a breeze of dry, almost airy-lemony palo santo. The cacao is definitely the leading note both in the bottle and on the skin, as the first thing I smell at the start of a sniff, but the copal and palo santo join it pretty quickly and are equally important to the end result, which is a well-blended, dark, masc-leaning cacao scent. I'd say this one is on the masc side of unisex, at least on me.
  5. DiesMali

    Stung By the Cock Tree in Hell

    In the bottle: A somewhat nondescript haze of mentholic evergreen and musky moss. Wet on my skin: This is actually fairly quiet as it goes on, but then blooms into this warm, dark, earthy, spicy haze after a minute or two on the skin. Dry: This is definitely what most people would consider to be a masculine scent. There's a green spice from that mentholic-piney wood and ti leaf and a red spice from the mahogany and red pepper, and underneath that is this gorgeous, almost tea-like earthiness. Almost like black tea leaves and tobacco mulched into rich, dark soil. The mahogany in this is the same rich, dark mahogany from A Hailstorm of Knitting Needles, and there's almost a salty quality to the hinoki, which is a new wood to my nose. After it's been on for 30+ minutes, everything is settled down into the skin and now it's a smooth, very well-blended "masculine earthy woods" scent, with mahogany, oud, and tobacco being the most easily discernible notes. Overall, it's in the territory of very high-end mens' cologne, like the kind I'd smell on opera singer friends at the opera-night afterparties where they schmooze with the wealthy opera patrons, which isn't something I personally mind at all. There isn't a whole lot of throw, and this would be a good scent for a "classy" event where you want to smell good enough to be memorable when you squeeze past someone, but not enough for it to linger in your wake. Like...a fancy opera afterparty.
  6. DiesMali


    In the imp: Clean, sweet, slightly soapy florals. Wet on my skin: This goes on very much lily and pear, with an undertone of sweet pea. Dry: As far as lily and/or pear blends go, this is actually a well-behaved, inoffensive one on me. Youthful and light, pretty, and sweet. My skin often blows up pear and lily notes into "entire mortuary worth of flowers" and/or soap, but here, it's fairly quiet, realistic flowers and a hint of juicy pear. I can pick out lilies, honeysuckle, and sweet pea if I try, but overall it's a well-blended bouquet. I think the white musk and some hints of 'green' stem notes in the flowers must be taming this just enough that it actually works on me! There's a slightly powdery quality to it as it wears, and that is (to me) reminiscent of the thick, fuzzy yellow pollen you get in those big, floppy lilies of various types. The scent overall isn't really something I would wear more than once in a blue moon, as fruity-florals are not quite "me," but this is really pretty and I'll be happy to have it on my skin while (re)testing it! Might pull out the imp from time to time, who knows.
  7. DiesMali

    Black Annis

    HOLY HECK HOW DID I NEVER TRY OR REVIEW THIS BEFORE? OMG. I'm gonna preface this review by stating I need a bottle of this yesterday. In the imp: Thick, dark, spicy-musky anise. Wet on my skin: Thick, dark, spicy-sweet anise with a musky, feral edge to it. Oh, it's gorgeous even at this early stage! Dry: This scent doesn't change a whole lot for the first hour or two. It remains that thick, dark, sweet anise with a feral musk, now with the dark vetiver forest and deceptively soft clumps of lichen and oak leaves, which combine to be quite reminiscent of oakmoss. These are all notes that are generally good to great on me, and SOMEHOW I skipped trying this one for years, even though I got my first imp of it in...2015. Oops. Anyway! I like this even better when dry, because those oakmossy oak-lichen and vetiver notes are *such* a fantastic complement to the sharp, spicy-sweet, feral duet of anise and civet. It's a dark, dangerous, probably seductive blend whose seductive properties I wouldn't mind testing at some point. At least, I'd be seduced a bit if someone I was getting to know wore this. Maybe it'll work the opposite way...? Time to go order some GCs this week, I guess! Black Annis can't ride alone.
  8. DiesMali

    Famous Kabuki Actors in Imagined Scenes of Lovemaking

    In the bottle: Spicy shampoo and dry wood. Wet on my skin: This is fairly shampoo-like for the first few minutes, for some strange reason. Like, expensive herbal shampoo though, not cheap Suave or something. It quickly morphs into something sensual, sweet, and boozy. Dry: I think my skin might be weird tonight, because this smells like a close cousin to Perversion and Pleasures of the Imagination III, despite only sharing a couple of notes with either. Apparently, something in this combines to smell like sweet booze on me - honey and something, because it's fairly mead-like. It's a lot sweeter and, well, boozier than I thought it would be, and while I can pick out the honey, vanilla, goat's milk, and tobacco, the darker/heavier notes are kinda just supporting them in the background at this point. I think that wood/vetiver/cardamom combination is going leathery on me, which, when combined with the spicy, boozy top notes, would explain why it smells oddly related to Perversion and Pleasures III. Not quite what I was expecting, but not bad at all! Hopefully that vetiver and tobacco come out a little more as this ages, but I'm happy with it now as well.
  9. DiesMali

    Gingerbread Wolfman

    In the bottle: ...BBQ sauce? Huh? Wet on my skin: Peanut butter and BBQ sauce. Oh dear. Dry: 5 hours in, and this has faded from strong peanut butter and BBQ sauce to slightly spicy peanut butter with a hint of what I can only describe as ball sweat (sorry). I can't smell any of the sweet notes; it's all salty, sweaty nut butter and a bit of spice, no hint of gingerbread. I...think this one's gonna need to age for a while. This is the first blind bottle purchase that has gone this wonky on me since Pumpkin Chypre in 2017, which eventually aged into something wearable, so it's gonna go sit in the timeout corner aging box for a month or three (or more).
  10. DiesMali

    Winter Night. Figure on the Bridge

    Of all the Yules I ordered this go-round, THIS - not the sexy gingerbreads or the sufganiyot - was the one I was most looking forward to! Indigo musk is my favourite of the BPAL musks, and yes. Yespls. In the bottle: Dark, slightly soapy-aquatic lilac and plum. Wet on my skin: My immediate thought is "this could be something from The Last Unicorn" series. Dry: This is a deep, dark, evocative lilac with a gleaming edge of purple-black plum. Indigo musk, opium, and tobacco flower give it a very velvety-smooth, slightly hypnotic quality, and the slushy snow note gives it a very slightly ozonic/aquatic feel, like a snowy bridge over a half-frozen creek that looks black and shimmery under the moonlight peeking out from behind grey-black winter clouds. The dark lilac and plum remain at the forefront, tempered mostly by the opium and musk, which is what I was hoping for, and I love it. Just a beautiful scent, and it will definitely be going into wear rotation as we get into the spring lilac season here.
  11. DiesMali

    Gingerbread Vampire

    So I didn't just buy one sexy gingerbread...I bought three. This is the second I'm testing. AHEM. In the bottle: THICK, dark molasses gingerbread with extra spice from the cinnamon. Wet on my skin: STAR ANISE is very star anise for the first few minutes, and that's a bit concerning, because I had a slight incident with sambuca a few years ago and have been a little wary of anise scents since then. Thankfully, as it starts to dry, that molasses gingerbread and cinnamon rejoin the show. Dry: The dark, dark chocolate (like 85% cacao dark chocolate) tempers the spiciness of the cinnamon-anise-gingerbread, which was close to being overwhelming when I first put it on. It's very much a dense molasses-heavy gingerbread, with extra oomph from the star anise and cinnamon. Darkly seductive, not at all subtle, and probably something you'd want to wear if you were on a date with a foodie and wanted to test whether or not the "vampire" part of the title meant getting bitten later. I wanted sexy gingerbread, and I got ANOTHER sexy, dark gingerbread! HUZZAH.
  12. DiesMali

    Gingerbread and Leather

    In the bottle: Spicy tobacco gingerbread. Wet on my skin: Spicy, clove-heavy gingerbread and sweet tobacco...and leather! Soft black leather. Mmmm. Dry: Okay, so I have a thing for these dark, sexy gingerbread perfumes. I don't even care that I already own Gingerbread Tobacco, Gingerbread, Patchouli, Leather, and Dark Musk, and Gingerbread, Vetiver, and Black Clove. I NEEDED THIS. This is dark, spicy, sexy clove gingerbread with sweet, smooth tobacco and soft black leather. I wanted sexy gingerbread. I got sexy gingerbread. YEAH!!!
  13. DiesMali

    Muddy Armadillo

    In the bottle: Dry chocolate and tobacco...and DIRT. Wet on my skin: DIRT. And cacao-tobacco! But lots of mud! Dry: This calls up a specific memory for me! The dirt note in this is, at least to my memory, reminiscent of the Crayola dirt scented crayon from when I was a kid! 1994ish, colouring and drawing in the spare bedroom in my grandma's house (the summer after grandpa died) while my parents and uncle chatted with her in the living room. They were watching and discussing Beavis and Butthead, horrified that people would let their kids watch such a show, and I was secretly listening to the episode playing while colouring all that dirt and trees and sky. I LOVED that dirt crayon, and the leather one, and a few others! It was actually quite a realistic dirt smell, for being a crayon. And this...is like that, at first, and then becomes this ball of thick, mud-caked tobacco and dry, woody cacao. I actually really like this. And I love the memory it conjures up. ❤️
  14. DiesMali

    Baby’s First Chainsaw

    In the bottle: Gooey cookies and thick, black grease. Wet on my skin: This starts off with strong, black, slightly metallic grease glooped all over a plate of fresh chocolate chip cookies, still warm from the oven. It's almost a bit concerning at first! Dry: The grease, thankfully, mellows as this dries down, and now it is very unusual but also very yummy. It smells like eating freshly baked chocolate chip cookies inside the workroom of an independent auto shop! Not the huge, slick, unusually clean sort of auto shop, but rather the sort that you'd find in a small town or a backroad in a larger city, run by a couple of guys who just really love tinkering with cars. I take my car to one of those shops, and this smells like I brought a plate of cookies to them...which honestly isn't a bad idea, actually. The grease remains prominent but not overpowering for a while, but as it wears, it smooths out and sort of melts into the cookies, and gives the impression that maybe one of your batches of cookies got a little more dark and crispy than you were going for...but they're still delicious, even if a few of them have burnt edges. Dark, foodie, strange, and strangely delicious. I'm not even gonna test anything else tonight; I wanna just slather this on and wear it to bed.
  15. DiesMali

    Leave Her, Jonny

    In the bottle: Soft, figgy-sweet spiced rum and cedar. Mmmm. Wet on my skin: Goes on the same, with a soft, fig-sweetened spiced rum and a really nice cedar. Mmmm. Dry: I will preface by saying that my skin usually does great things with patchouli and oudh, so I was expecting this to be good. I was absolutely right. This is very well blended, with each note contributing about equally to the whole of the spicy, woody, slightly chewy-sweet scent! This is definitely a dark, chewy fig and coconut rum sort of sweetness, not a sugary sweetness, and it's also gloriously warm and spicy. I'd say it is in the same "scent-mood" family as Palmyra, Gluggagaegir, Mary Read/Anne Bonny (layered together), and St. Clare. Warm, spicy, fragrant, and a bit on the masculine side of the unisex center of the perfume spectrum. This is just gorgeous on me, and I can definitely see this going into the more frequent wear rotation! I bet some aging and summer warmth will make it even better, too!