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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Lucchesa

  1. Lucchesa

    The Enkindled Spring

    Enkindled Spring is really pretty. I didn't get as much peony as I had hoped for, but it's lots of spring flowers in pinks and yellows with some fresh green leaves. The florals outlast the greenery. It reminds me of 1950s era spring finery -- easter bonnets, white gloves, fitted bodices. It's not my usual thing but was fun to try, and I think floral lovers would really enjoy this.
  2. Lucchesa

    Lavender, Sea Salt & Rain

    Aquatics tend to go straight up laundry detergent on my skin, but about a year ago someone frimped me a tester of Aegir (lavender, salt water, guiac wood, and cedar) and it was magnificent on me, and since then I've been realizing how much I love the salt note, so I was hoping this would be similar to Aegir. Nope. I got only a little salt at the beginning, and a whole lot of upscale lavender laundry detergent. Sigh.
  3. Lucchesa

    Looking for complexity

    I just received a 51 as a frimp I can send you, and I’m sure I have an extra imp of Tzadikim Nistarim as well as Bastet and Blood Kiss (they didn’t make the short list, but they’re faves of mine). It looks like I have a duplicate of Aperotos Eros, too. And of The Carousel! If you PM me your address, I’ll get them off to you. That will pare down your list a little. And try the For Sale thread — it’s a great place to find $1 imps while you’re still figuring out what works on you and what doesn’t.
  4. Lucchesa


    Crucifixion is one of those blends where if I have the description in front of me, I can make out every last note. Wet, it was myrrh and frankincense and rose, and I worried because resins/rose combos usually turn the rose sour on my skin. Here that happened only briefly. I could smell the soft orris, and the cola-like labdanum, and a tiny bit of clove, though it didn't last long on me. The rose faded as well after an hour or two, at which point the myrrh and labdanum become the dominant notes. I'm not sure I have any other scents where they are combined -- there's the soft, murky myrrh, its powdery qualities enhanced by the orris, and the golden labdanum, and they work much better than I would have expected. It's a skin scent, no throw, which is basically normal on my skin, but it lasts quite a long time.
  5. Lucchesa

    Orpheus Charming Animals

    Wet, Orpheus Charming Animals is a lot of woody myrrh with some non-traditional florals, but as it dries down the cognac note becomes more and more prominent. It really does give the feeling of green cognac, which is a cooler variant of the usual warm brown liquor. Olive blossom can go soapy on me but does no such thing here. This actually works better on me than I had expected -- it doesn't read as floral after the first few minutes but as a smooth, mellow, perfectly unisex cologne. No throw (normal for my skin) and average wear length. ETA the painting was restored recently:
  6. Lucchesa

    Ira Bath Oil

    On me, used as an after-shower moisturizer, Ira is all about the vetiver. The blood orange is juicy, the patch is dry and a little gnarly, and the vetiver is dark and smoky and lasts for hours and hours. This is my fresh sample; I also recently purchased some aged Ira and will update when I've tried it. This is going to pair beautifully with Determination TAL for those days when I really need to get shit done.
  7. Lucchesa

    Looking for complexity

    Thirding Tzadikim Nistarim! It’s one of my favorites!
  8. Lucchesa

    Looking for complexity

    @ladyphlogiston So, I went through my spreadsheet looking for currently available GCs with a lot going on. I avoided the foodies, heavy forest scents and florals -- I just don't wear florals and can't really weigh in on them. And the list tends towards the unisex because that's the way I roll. Also, some of my favorites are things like Haunted (amber and black musk) and Sloth (vetiver and myrrh) that are amazingly complex feeling for having only a couple of listed components. But here are some ideas! First I would think about the other Aztec-themed scents, as I've always considered them related: Centzon Tetochtin: Bittersweet Mexican cocoa with rum, red wine, and a scent redolent of sacrificial blood Tenochtitlan: Amber, hyssop, coriander, epazote, Mexican sage, prickly pear and Mexican tulip poppy Tezcatlipoca: Deep cocoa laced with patchouli, leather armor, ritual incense, and a touch of Xochiquetzal's flowers Xiuhtecuhtli: Copal, plumeria and sweet orange and the smoke of South American incense and crushed jungle blooms Aperotos Eros: benzoin, Indian musk, massoia bark, myrrh, ambrette seed, galbanum, bergamot, and fir. Baba Yaga: Spell-soaked herbs and flowers, cold iron, broom twigs, bundles of moss and patchouli root, and moth dust Bastet (cardamom! So good! As is the related Bast from American Gods, which is a little less sweet): Luxuriant amber, warm Egyptian musk, fierce saffron and soft myrrh, almond, cardamom and golden lotus Blood Kiss -- a little foodie with the cherry and vanilla but it's complex and sexy: vanilla and honey with clove, red cherries, vetiver, soporific poppy, blood red wine, and a skin-light pulse of feral musk Calico Jack if you're not averse to aquatics: Sea air, driftwood, waterlogged kelp, plundered spices over worn leathers, rough musk, and salty wooden floorboards Cleric (I can't wear this because of the champaca): Rose amber, frankincense, myrrh, champaca flower, Peru balsam, cistus, palisander, cananga, hyssop, and narcissus absolute Croquet if you like citrus: Pink lime, pink grapefruit, white nectarine, wild rose, sage, woody patchouli, bergamot, and ornery hedgehog musk --also, How Doth the Little Crocodile, Schrodinger's Cat Druid: Woolen robe, ancient trees, fertile soil, wild herbs, spring grasses, and burgundy pitch incense Elf (this I adore, despite the violet): Pale golden musk, honeycomb, amber, parma violet, hawthorne bark, aspen leaf, forest lily, life everlasting, white moss, and a hint of wild berry Evil (really good aged): opium tar, tobacco absolute, green tea, black plum, kush, ambergris accord, ambrette seed, and costus root Kali (my notes for this say only, "Too much going on."): sacred blooms of cassia, hibiscus, musk rose, Himalayan wild tulip, lotus and osmanthus swirled with offertory dark chocolate, red wine, tobacco, balsam and honey Kubla Khan (champaca AND jasmine, not for me): Through sunlit caves of ice, roses unfurl amidst opium smoke and amber tobacco, golden sandalwood, champaca, tea leaf, sugared lily, ginger, rich hay absolute, leather, dark vanilla, mandarin, peru balsam, and Moroccan jasmine Le Lethe if red musk isn't a problem for you: Red musk and sweat-damp golden skin musk with labdanum, golden amber, nutmeg, tobacco absolute, black orchid, and hemlock accord Lyonesse: Golden vanilla and gilded musk, stargazer lily, white sandalwood, grey amber, elemi, orris root, ambergris and sea moss. Mage : gurjum balsam, Sumatran dragon's blood resin, olibanum, galangal, oleo gum resin, and frankincense Morocco, a perennial favorite that has never worked on me: exotic incenses wafting on warm desert breezes. Arabian spices wind through a blend of warm musk, carnation, red sandalwood and cassia Nephilim (on me the cypress took over but there are a lot of great notes here including cardamom): Holy frankincense and hyssop in union with earthy fig, defiled by black patchouli and vetiver, with a chaotic infusion of lavender, cardamom, tamarind, rosemary, oakmoss and cypress No. 93 Engine: Balm of Gilead, benzoin, frankincense, balsam of peru, beeswax, saffron, galbanum, calamus, hyssop, mastic, lemon balm, and white sage Oblivion (my best friend's favorite, she's on her third bottle): Dark musk, wood spice, labdanum, patchouli, dark African woods, and saffron Old Demons of the First Class: Siberian musk, black clove, opoponax, tonka, black pepper, and neroli Ozymandias (looks like this is discontinued, though): Dry desert air, dry and hot, passing over crumbling stone megaliths and plundered golden monuments, bearing a hint of the incense of lost Gods Plunder (spices!): tea leaf, cassia, cinnamon bark, clove, allspice, sandalwood, tobacco, peppercorn, and nutmeg Seraglio: Sweet almond, Mysor sandalwood, Bulgarian Rose, neroli, nutmeg, clove and orange peel Sybaris if you can do violet (I can't): Bright violet with sweet clove, Mediterranean incense notes and tonka bean The Black Tower: white sandalwood, ambergris, wet ozone, galbanum and leather with ebony, teak, burnt grasses, English ivy and a hint of red wine The Bow and Crown of Conquest: sage, carnation and cedar with lavender, vanilla, white musk and leather The Caterpillar: Heavy incense notes, carnation, jasmine, bergamot, and neroli over dark mosses, iris blossom, deep patchouli and indolent vetiver The Great Sword of War: Mandarin, tonka, saffron, black tea, cocoa, tobacco leaf, sanguine red musk and five classical herbs of conflict The Scales of Deprivation: lemon peel, white sage, frankincense, lavender fougere, sandalwood, vetiver and labdanum Uruk: Thick bitter almond and heady night-blooming jasmine with saffron, cinnamon leaf, red patchouli, river lilies, bergamot, fig leaf and the sacred incense of Inanna I know it's super long but it's easier than working your way through the website -- hope this helps! ETA VetchVesper and I were answering at the same time! And our lists overlap a fair bit!
  9. Lucchesa

    The Horned God

    Only one review? The Horned God is good stuff if you like cedar. It's strong cedar, like pushing your face into a cedar tree that someone has recently harvested bark from. There's other stuff growing in the grove around you -- nettles, which you don't want to push your face into, other green and woody things. I don't get lemon or florals, and the frankincense is the one in Cathedral that smells like cedar on me anyway. The Horned God sticks around a good long time. I will be putting this decant with my TALs but once in a rare while I may want to smell this gloriously of cedar.
  10. Lucchesa

    Her Strong Enchantments Failing

    Her Strong Enchantments Failing does smell like a fey scent. (Perfect for reading War of the Oaks with the BPAL bookclub!) Wet, it's purple fruit and smoky incense. I am perpetually in search of a blackberry that doesn't go all berry candy on my skin, and unfortunately this isn't quite it, because it goes through a phase which is pure berry Bubbalicious. But the drydown is worth it. The sweetness recedes and the blackberry gets entangled in the incense -- it's not a vetiver smoke or anything acrid. It's a pale, dry incense, not a nag champa. The effect is dark and light at the same time, earthy and ethereal. I'm going to try this in my scent locket to see if I can avoid the berry bubblegum phase.
  11. Lucchesa

    Two Westeners

    I generally can't do aquatics, but I have realized over the past few months how much I love the sea salt note, and that's the note that's uppermost when Two Westerners hits my skin. And it's glorious -- salt and wood and beeswax, vanilla and old books. I'm getting no red musk out of this, a note that usually dominates on me. Unisex and not too sweet. This was almost an instant bottle, except that it faded away in about two hours. I'm hanging onto my decant in case age improves the wear length -- I like it so much I almost don't care. I love zanzoku_zen's description as Lights of Men's Lives (probably my favorite GC) taking up a pirate's life.
  12. Lucchesa


    I received a decant marked Lotus SN in a circular swap from a super generous forumite and am just now getting around to skin testing it. It is sweet, sweet, sweet. It's that bubblegum floral I've come to expect when I see "lotus" as a component. I don't see myself wearing this as a perfume, but I'm delighted to have it to train my nose.
  13. Lucchesa

    Enchanting Diversion with a Wakashu

    I love the discontinued GC Grand Guignol (apricot brandy) and was hoping this would be a woody, musky variant on that theme. On me it starts out as FRUIT. Not even specifically apricot -- I would have guessed there was some berry in there as well. Fruit poached in a lot of sugar with a dollop of vanilla. Within a few moments I can recognize it more as apricot in heavy syrup -- nowhere near as boozy as Grand Guignol. And as it develops, the musk and wood come out and the apricot recedes. The final impression is a skin scent of vaguely apricot scented, slightly woody musk, and it doesn't last all that long on me. I may hang onto this decant to see if a few months of aging helps bring the various components into better balance, but Grand Guignol wins this round.
  14. Lucchesa

    Dalliance with an Amorous Bat Demon

    Ah, yes, here is the patchouli win of the Lupers. If you hate patchouli, you probably weren't going to try this one anyway. If you love it, don't miss Dalliance with an Amorous Bat Demon. It starts off all about the honeyed patchouli, which at first is pretty gnarly, but its edges are quickly softened by the other notes; within 30 minutes or so it reads as a more grown-up, safe-for-work patchouli, reminiscent of the patch in Fake News. It's sexy in a cozy way, not a dark scent on me, leveling out into soft patchouli, sweet labdanum and smooth sandalwood with very low throw (normal for my skin).
  15. Lucchesa

    To Lesbia

    One of my all time favorite Lupers is Delightful Visitor Among Haystacks (chrysanthemum incense and red carnation) and To Lesbia is the closest thing I have found. Like VetchVesper, I don't smell any nag champa, which is the one incense note I cannot do. Instead it is more of a Shunga-feeling incense with a spicy, smoky carnation. Really nice.
  16. Lucchesa


    Lemon honey. Bright, cheerful -- a very light musk, a little beeswax, some sticky leaves. On my wrist, Chushu-no-Meigetstu flirts with Lemon Pledge throughout its wear length, though it never became all-out cleanser that needed be be scrubbed off. Still, my decant can probably find a better home with a lemon lover whose skin chemistry is kinder to it.
  17. Lucchesa

    A Vision of the Courtesan

    A Vision of the Courtesan went on brighter and more lemony than I expected. It settles down into creamy rice milk, soft sweet tobacco and a touch of frankincense. It has terrific throw, something I'm not used to with my skin chemistry, and good wear length -- in fact, I could still make it out this morning after wearing it all day yesterday. Really beautiful -- I see why it is getting so much love!
  18. Lucchesa

    The Death Grapple

    The Death Grapple, though the throw is low, has given me a solid nine hours of wear time, which is excellent for my skin chemistry. Lavender and sandalwood are the strongest notes on me at first, then the lavender and sandalwood recede and the cola-like labdanum take center stage. So cool vanilla labdanum grounded with herbal lavender and sandalwood.
  19. Lucchesa

    Cola de Mono

    I'm not familiar with aguardiente but am very fond of Strega and other anise liqueurs and was hoping for a lot of anise from this. I didn't get it, but I still like this quite a bit. It starts out really boozy, with what smells to me more like a coffee bean note than a brewed coffee one. The milk note behaves and doesn't turn on my skin. Cola de Mono settles into boozy coffee on me, agreeably spiced and with a dash of vanilla, and the coffee note hangs around a lot longer than it does in several of the Kaffeeklatsch scents. I would love to drink this, but I'm enjoying wearing it too.
  20. Lucchesa

    Thirteen (13): March 2020

    I love the chocolate-based 13s, but I was excited to get to try this one. It's lemony sugar on me, not as ridiculously sweet as you'd imagine, and very cheerful. It's like Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat with the proportions of lemon and sugar reversed. I've not tried layering it because my life is complicated enough already, but this would be a delightful summer scent to wear on its own.
  21. Lucchesa

    Mayhem at the Battlefront

    I am conflicted about Mayhem at the Battlefield. On the one hand, I love it. It's weird and wonderful, and it somehow smells quintessentially BPAL to me, and like no other perfume I had ever smelled prior to BPAL. Earthy and musky and spicy. The ginger and the hippie patchouli rub elbows with the funky mushroom note and the honey musk, which is not like the fae honey musk of Lady Una. It's way earthier. It's not for everyone, but I really enjoy it. The reason I'm not in line for a bottle, though, is that something in here (and I'm betting on the mushroom note as it's the one I have least prior exposure too) seems to be making me sneeze. But I'm going to keep wearing the decant, and if I find I can't live without it, I may have to put up with the sneezing.
  22. Lucchesa

    A Glimpse

    Is there stealth oudh in here? I accidentally ordered two decants of A Glimpse, so I'm going to wait until the next one gets here, but my first glimpse is stinky oudh, probably black oudh as that's the worst on me. I guess some of the other reviewers are having the same reaction.
  23. Lucchesa

    Pleasure Boat

    When I retested Pleasure Boat, it was pleasant but I wasn't sure why I had adored it so much on first try. I do love carnation; the carnation here feels like a fresh-cut greenish note rather than a spicy clove-like carnation. I got amber and vanilla (not overly sweet) but I wouldn't have said rose. There's also understated sandalwood and some green notes. It's nice. But an hour later, it's amazing. It's still carnation-forward, but everything has melded together into something that transcends the individual components, and it lasts a long time without morphing further. AprilB's description of this as like a golden brocade is spot on. Definitely a spring/summer scent (which are underrepresented in my collection), mood-lifting, my favorite so far of the Lupers (though many of my decants were delayed and I'm still waiting...). Definitely bottle-worthy.
  24. Lucchesa

    Thought Photography

    Thought Photography on me, as with so many lavender BPALs, went on with a big blast of lavender, this one with a slightly metallic patina. I was hoping something interesting would develop with the palo santo and ambrette, but unfortunately, my skin ate Thought Photography right up. Not only the lavender but the whole thing was gone within about 90 minutes. I'm delighted I got to try it but will pass this decant on.
  25. Lucchesa

    Saturday Morning

    Saturday Morning is delightful. It's a beachy lemony coconut with some bright green notes and a little lavender. On me, lavender usually comes on strong at first and fades immediately; this lavender was never strong but didn't disappear either. Super cheerful, which makes it an excellent shelter in place scent, with better throw than I usually get and great wear length.