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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Casablanca

  1. Casablanca


    Baklava, is that you? This blend is almost a ringer for the sweet, sticky, nutty baklava I used to get at a Mediterranean takeout place near my last home. It's a little more almond-scented, which is lovely, but otherwise quite like that pastry's aroma at first. Warm, syrupy honeyed almond pastry with some sweet fig and a little cinnamon. I don't notice any overt myrrh until after drydown; even then, it blends well and just gives the perfume a touch of the non-gourmand.
  2. Casablanca


    Cade leather! Surprisingly, I get a cade-juniper scent as the first impression, and a little smoky leather follows close after. Not a berry to be found (sadly). After a few minutes, black currant creeps out, but it's shy and hides under the leather. I love the Lab's black currant notes and always hope for a black currant-heavy blend that works on my skin. The leather has become the most prominent note in this by now, with just airy hints of cade and black currant. Later, I get more of a leathery, dark berry black musk. The berry remains faint, though. This one may fill out with time.
  3. Casablanca

    2020 Aesthetic

    Sweet and tart black raspberry and cherry (or raspberry and black cherry -- something smells like a darker fruit) jam. This is a fun fruity jam scent. I didn't anticipate the darker fruit scent I'm getting from something here, and I love it. I want to find the food version and smear it on a scone.
  4. Casablanca

    Gen Z Feminist Cenobite

    Feminist Cenobyte opens as a pink cherry ZOT to the nose, like a pink lightning strike in a comic. The cherry is pinkish-red, syrupy, and maraschino-like. I don't smell anything else at first. The cherry settles down quickly on me. It's still present after drydown, but as a cherry wisp, soft and close to the skin. Also after drydown, I get faint impressions of citrus, probably from the chypre. On the whole, the blend stays a bit faint and hollow on me after drydown, which has sometimes meant it needs time to rest... a week to a few months, maybe.
  5. Casablanca

    #2 Pencil

    I love this and it will definitely become a bottle. Tart Honeycrisp apples (with a bit of that honey quality to them that Honeycrisp has), a little clean tea, and lots of cedar pencil shavings or cedar chest. Jasmine is present, but only as a light accent note that blends well into the apples and tea. Some of the honey impression I'm getting from the Honeycrisp could be the honeycomb; it reads at first like a part of the Honeycrisp apple type. I also get a little pinkness in this, reminding me of little pink flowers. In drydown, the honey impression grows a little and the apple tartness settles down. After drydown, the cedar is the strongest note, but it's still blended with the melange of other notes and the whole smells sweet and delightful.
  6. Casablanca

    Between Classes

    Pink laundry: flowery, cottony, clean, and powdery. Between Classes is a floral, cottony-clean laundry blend. I'm getting a lot of floral from this -- more than just carnations and lavender, I think of peony and sweet pea and other such sweet, innocent blooms. The carnation is even only faintly spicy; everything in this blend has been gentled and softened for a gentle occasion. ETA: Long after drydown, I get pink roses from this.
  7. Casablanca

    Our Little Crypt Ghoul

    Oh, I like this. A lot. (Drat!) Cozy but tart apple cider, dried sage and grass, with a little backyard dirt and dandelions. A bit after drydown, it seems that there is also... a little light brown musk? Once this dries, I get occasional whiffs of soft, fuzzy, dry-grass musk that reminds me of Coyote. I wonder if "squirreltail" isn't just a grass, here... But then that settles back into the blend, if it was ever even a thing. Ghost squirrel! After that, this is a mild cider and dried grass blend. It's cider in a field, and it makes me want to drink a cold hard cider... in a field.
  8. Casablanca

    Étienne De Boray Oak

    Gorgeous country oak blend. Ellocentipede's description is spot on: This is a happy memory of oak trees, and the sun-limned fields and scattered woods around them, tinted a deeper gold in the remembering, like some honeyed sepia. Oak trees, Spanish moss, and golden honey on a natural ground of oakmoss and little mushrooms, and scattered other earth-stuff: faint impressions of leaves, grass, and needles, and even a little whiff of lavender. Alongside Forest of the Empress and the Forest in Winter at Sunset, this could become one of my favorite woodsy blends.
  9. Casablanca

    Aoedae, Melete, Mneme

    Aoedae seems to have something in it like the butter note from White Larry, and also something almost plastic-like. I can smell sugary vanilla cream, and a little caramel, and a little sandalwood if I hunt for it, but the odd butter-plastic is standing out in front. On the wand, Aoedae smells buttery to me, but not plasticky, so safe to say the latter part is my skin doing a thing. I don't usually have issues with blends turning plastic on me, but this appears to be an exception.
  10. Casablanca

    Banana Bread

    I smell the sticky-ripe banana-ness of this one even as I open it two feet away. This opens as the stickiest, banana-est bread you might ever know. It smells too sticky to detach from my finger into my mouth. As in DiesMali's review, the banana smells kinda overripe -- almost mushy -- but it's baked into a warm banana bread with a nice light spice to it. The spice and bread become more prominent for me as this dries. The sticky banana also settles down. This is a fun gourmand blend.
  11. Casablanca

    Baby’s First Chainsaw

    This is a curiosity and an oddity, the way black grease oozes out, and then blends right into chocolate. Brain: Urg, motor-oily black grease... brown grease... chocolate, is that you? The cookie note is there with the chocolate, but Brain is a little too hung up on the weird grease-to-chocolate progression to notice it much. With drydown, the notes become less sequential and more blended. This may not be for me, but it's definitely a Glad I Tried It.
  12. Casablanca

    Baby’s First Ballista

    Surprisingly oak-forward! Deep, rich oak -- an oak of antiquities -- set with a dish of vanilla beans. Perhaps for a spell. I'm barely catching any cookie. It's like a faint, sweet, fresh-baked fragrance drifting in from the kitchen, while you're studying at an oak desk. With a dish of vanilla beans beside you. The cookie scent grows as the blend develops, as though they've come out of the oven now. Cozy, domestic, contenting.
  13. Casablanca

    Perfectly Normal Childhood

    Sugar-cardamom fairy! Oodles of sugary, cake battery cardamom. And then, after a moment, floofs of vanilla marshmallows. Very foodie. The cardamom takes this down one notch from Xtreme Gourmand. Also, this is cozy. A dream scent for soft, enfolding winter blankets.
  14. Casablanca

    Walking My Daughter to Class

    This was quite pretty and would be a win for most Dorian lovers. On me, Dorian led the other notes in strength, but the orange-bergamot, lavender, and bourbon vanilla were close behind. I never noticed oakmoss. This blend is sweet, and almost made me think I'd layered Dorian with Pere Noel -- but this smelled more fresh and less candylike.
  15. Casablanca


    Starting out, this was teak laced with iron and pine resin, and just a whiff of tobacco. While drying, the metal grew to dominate the scent. After drydown, this went full cologne, with the earlier notes of wood and metal but minor players within it.
  16. Casablanca

    Black Fig, Oak Bark, & Brown Sugar

    I've let this sit a month or two to see how it would fill out, as it initially smelled fig-like but rather hollow. In that time, the brown sugar has been the main note to fill out and take the lead. Lots of sweet brown sugar, some fig (which smells more brown than black to me because... brown sugar), and a scarce hint of dark oak. And then more brown sugar. For an oak fix, I'd sooner recommend Cocoa and Oak Bark, which had lots of the lovely note. But if you seek a simple sweet brown sugar and fig, this could be the one.
  17. Casablanca

    Cedarwood, Vanilla Absolute, and Tolu Balsam

    I got to try this from a friend's bottle. On my skin, it was Tombstone with much more balsam and no root beer. I seemed to amp the balsamic quality more than my friend did. It wasn't as balsamic as balsamic vinegar, but definitely on the road, and less approachable than Tombstone. On my friend, this was more balanced -- a more user-friendly rustic.
  18. Casablanca

    Eucalyptus, White Mint, & Lemon Peel

    This blend is a fresh, ancient York Peppermint Patty commercial -- not the patty, but the person in white on a mountain top in the whistling wind. Sweet white mint and eucalyptus. The lemon is quieter on me at first. In drydown, the lemon comes out more. It reminds me of Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat more than straight-up lemon peel -- it's blending with the sweet mint and coming out like sugary lemon frosting. After an hour, this is mainly a soft sweet mint, with just hints of the other two notes.
  19. Casablanca


    A scent of bright fortune through abundant resources: wheat accord, hay absolute, and petitgrain with roasted nuts, toasted vanilla, golden honey, and sweet vetiver. The first impression of Himalia on my skin is of toasted nuts and grain floating in creamy vanilla, like some otherwordly oatmeal. Then I smell the honey and hay mixed in, the former blending into the vanilla, and the latter into the grain. The creamy grain reminds me of Dana O'Shee, but this is, on the whole, more rich. It's been a while since I sampled Dana, and I should do a side-by-side, but this seems a bit like Dana but more complex and rich, and with less overt almond. There's an almost chalky texture in the sniff -- not in a bad way. It makes me think of oatmeal softening and breaking down into smaller and smaller parts, very slowly, in milk. And then, on the end of a sniff, I get an undercurrent of vetiver. There's a goodly amount of sweetness in the rest of the blend, and it's hard to tell where that ends and the sweet part of the vetiver begins, but after a minute or two, the specific tone of it reminds me an awful lot of Death Adder. The Death Adder vetiver in this grows as Himalia dries on me. This is a harvest vetiver blend! Completely dried, Himalia softens considerably, with even its vetiver snake resting its head on its coils and going to sleep. It doesn't vanish, but blends in. The fragrance goes Full Cozy. I like it.
  20. Casablanca

    Harvest Moon 2020

    Harvest Moon comes out complex and lovely, dries down to more simplicity. Freshly applied, this blend brings spiced and smoky apples with a smear of warm pumpkin. A little black fig (definitely the black sort of fig) and red wine are soft but present over a distant background of... woodsiness. Leafy tree stuff. This phase is nuanced and multilayered, like many of the Moons. After drydown, I get mainly a sweet plum wine, with a touch of lingering smoke and Other-stuff-ness. Occasional sage whiffs, even. This later life of the blend is more simple and straightforward on my skin.
  21. Casablanca

    Zorya Polunochnaya

    Her hair was pale and colorless in the moon's thin light. She wore a white cotton nightgown, with a high lace neck and a hem that swept the ground. Shadow sat up, entirely awake. "You are Zorya Polu . . . ," he hesitated. "The sister who was asleep." "I am Zorya Polunochnaya, yes. And you are called Shadow, yes? That was what Zorya Vechernyaya told me, when I woke." "Yes. What were you looking at, out there?" She looked at him, then she beckoned him to join her by the window. She turned her back while he pulled on his jeans. He walked over to her. It seemed a long walk, for such a small room. He could not tell her age. Her skin was unlined, her eyes were dark, her lashes were long, her hair was to her waist and white. The moonlight drained colors into ghosts of themselves. She was taller than either of her sisters. She pointed up into the night sky. "I was looking at that," she said, pointing to the Big Dipper. "See?" "Ursa Major," he said. "The Great Bear." "That is one way of looking at it," she said. "But it is not the way from where I come from. I am going to sit on the roof. Would you like to come with me?" Pale amber and ambergris, gossamer vanilla, moonflower, and white tobacco petals. This one will get a lot of love. Gossamer is the perfect word for Zorya P. I get mostly what I'm thinking of as a lunar vanilla. Moonflower, ethereal vanilla, evoking bluish-white colors for me. Everything else is too blended for me to pick anything out. I'm amazed at what seems to be the tobacco petals -- for anything tobacco-like, it's such a light touch. But there is a slight grounding influence it's giving. I keep getting a stronger floral impression than just moonflower, and I think it's that. I'm relieved not to get saltiness from the ambergris; the note comes out more on my skin as this dries. I don't smell amber but there's a fullness to the blend that I associate with it. This is gorgeous and smells to me like the signature blend of underworld's kindest ghost.
  22. Casablanca

    Nevertheless, She Persisted

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. A rallying call: golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel. Proceeds from this scent benefit EMILYs List, an organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. This hasn't been long out of the mailbox, but it's late in the day and around 60 F outside, mild and temperate. In the bottle, I smell soft resins and a hint of metal. Fresh on my skin, this smells to me like the oudh from Bestla, but lightened and softened considerably. The slight fecal note in the oudh is quieter and burns off almost entirely from me in a couple minutes (Bestla's ripe phase lasts longer on me). Frankincense is there, golden-toned, and the rest is so far just a faint softness, barely showing up. Once this dries it fills out nicely. The oudh abides, like the Dude. It's only a little stronger on my skin than the frank, and there's a vanillic golden impression that reminds me of benzoin. Iris I find at first only from hunting around: it starts out more or less on the outskirts of the blend, adding a little powdery femininity, but after some dry-time it comes out more. There's also a grey metallic background that brings Ganymede to mind. Nevertheless' wet phase underwhelms for now, but I think its full life on my skin will likely improve with age. I like it already, though.
  23. Casablanca


    A liquid iron core encased by swirls of iced lavender swimming through a subsurface ocean, dotted by palimpsests of dark oudh. Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system at more than twice the mass of Earth's moon, appears here as an almost clear oil. I'd like to say its water ice and iron-rich core are well represented here, but I don't pick up much of either of those. The first impression on my skin is a burst of lavender, a bit harsh, with a faint tint of ice when I look for it. Around 10 minutes later, an earthy, smooth note comes out, which I'm guessing is the lab's oudh. It's less heavy than oudhs I've tried from other perfumers in the past, and friendlier on the nose. I still get lavender, but nothing else now. I like this, but I don't smell the metal I had hoped for. I'll see how it settles. Edit: On a retest after this cooled off in my dark basement for a few days, I smell lots of iron in the bottle, and on me, there is also iron in that cool lavender. It's an interesting effect for a planet theme, though very simple-smelling. The lavender isn't as harsh now, either, but the metal gives it a bit of hard personality: like, this is the lavender that sets its fist on the table and won't budge on anything. This lavender doesn't care what you think of it; it just does what it means to do, uncomplicated, not mysterious. At around 15 mins when the oudh comes into play, it's downright friendly, comparatively. Lavender after hours, still a command character, but more relaxed and less steely-eyed. I think aging will help.
  24. Casablanca

    Pegasus Junk

    White tea, Mysore sandalwood, orris concrete, rice absolute, hinoki wood, and amber. TIL the junk of a pegasus is glorious. Creamy rice, orris, and amber lead on my skin, with hints of white tea and wood. The creamy rice is really the Empress of this domain. For the other notes, the orris seems to contribute to the creaminess, and does not go powdery on me. I pick up a bit more of the tea on the wand than on my skin in this case; the tea and wood are part of the background. This is so smooth, creamy, and cultured. This could be a sister or cousin to Alabaster Vulva (white amber, sheer vanilla, orris butter, Italian bergamot, narcissus); they're of similar moods and I'd put them in the same family. The rice and wood give Pegasus Junk more of a Shunga feel; it seems that the pegasus is the spirit creature of Heian-era Japanese aristocracy.
  25. Casablanca

    Blue Unicorn Moon

    Lilith's interpretation. From the Littlest Perfumer: “It's a happy moon. It is beautiful, shiny and it makes me think of magical blueberries. It makes wishes come true, and puts a smile on your face.” Vanilla blueberry bubblegum. From the bottle, Blue Unicorn Moon reads to me as lots of pink bubblegum mingling with blueberry. On my skin, especially when wet, it's similar. The way the bubblegum combines with the blueberry reminds me of the lotus and blueberry in Jinbari from last year's Lupers. That was my favorite lotus -- it smelled very pink, and a little fruity and bubblegummy, but not strongly bubblegum. This reminds me of that, but with more gumminess. I just also get a fruity-floral tone to it, which I associate with pink lotus. I get a little sweet vanilla, barely, but the pink bubblegum + blueberry is really up front and center. Like Jinbari, this blend is very potent on me at first. But Blue Unicorn is mostly gone from my skin in under an hour. I can still find it, but it's faint. (However, if I apply it again, the second dose lingers much longer.) This is super fun and playful.