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BPAL Madness!


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Everything posted by Lucchesa

  1. Lucchesa

    The Ghost of a Ghost’s Ghost

    Ghost of a Ghost's Ghost is lovely and unusual, a light, fresh lavender that becomes more masculine on my skin against a backdrop of oakmoss and patchouli. I'm not really appreciating any oudh, which is fine, as agarwood occasionally ruins a scent for me. Unfortunately, as with nearly every BPAL that has the word "Ghost" in the title, my skin eats this up in a couple of hours.
  2. Lucchesa

    El Amor y la Muerte

    El Amor y la Muerte is nice but not outstanding on me. This decant is by now 12 years old, and any sharp edges it might once have had have worn smooth with age as its component parts have melded together. Warm woods and sweet resins with mellow clove and a little bit of rose that flirts with soap but doesn't quite go there. It stays very close to the skin.
  3. Lucchesa

    Scent Recs based on your PERSONALITY!

    Hi, ShleepySnorlax! Teamama's recs are great. I also thought of the Mad Tea Party for you -- the first scent that resonated for me personally was Alice. It's got the innocence you sometimes project, and it's very comforting. If carnation works well for you, Maiden is another innocent-projecting scent to try. The foodier Mad Tea Party scents (Eat Me, Drink Me, Knave of Tarts) don't work on me but might be comforting if they work on your skin. The Lion belongs right in Teamama's list of gender neutral comfort scents like Coyote. It fits with love of animals, too. Also, if you like The Lion, Bengal and Bastet (appropriate for your ancient Egypt tattoo!) would be good blends to try, and Bast from American Gods - they all have that warm amber feel. An animal and fantasy lover is probably fond of dragons, so you might like the Ars Draconis scents, many of which are gender fluid. Since you enjoy fall and winter, do you like pumpkin as a note? Jack comes to mind (same category in my head as Dwarven Ale, and Hoggle from the Labyrinth, the only other GC pumpkin blends I can think of.). And Chimera and Sin and other warm spicy blends. I would have said Miskatonic U as a warm winter scent but I looked on your profile and that showed up as a fail. Weenies and Yules are probably your best updates. Oh -- have you tried Lights of Men's Lives? It's candles, so slightly smoky beeswax. I find it warming and wonderful.
  4. Female Nude, Three-Quarter Length is really surprisingly beautiful, besides having one of the all-time great BPAL names. I don't generally do apple scents; they tend to go fake on me. I was the beneficiary of the above reviewer's tester imp, just enough to skin test, and dabbed a bit on about 90 minutes ago. Morning plans went awry and just now I was sniffing my wrist thinking, wait, wow, what did I put on? In the imp I didn't smell apple much at all but mainly rosewood, and now the apple has bloomed but is perfectly entwined with the woods. Looking at the above reviews, I don't find this girlish at all -- of course, it's 8 years older than it was back then, and it has aged into something quite elegant. Not fruity and not rosy -- the apple has become understated, and the rosewood and mahogany are polished woods, and a lovely and grown-up combination. (Mahogany on my skin always strikes me as classy.) This is perfectly boardroom appropriate but in my opinion could go out for an intimate dinner and drinks afterwards.
  5. Lucchesa

    Lawn Gnome

    Lawn Gnome is a little sweeter and a lot fruitier than what I usually wear. (Switch the patch and the red currant in the description, and that's more me.) But it sounded like a fun combination of notes. It behaves really well on my skin -- the cream doesn't go off, I get more throw than usual for my skin chemistry, and it sticks around all day. It really is red currant out in front, sweetened by the vanilla cream and molasses; I could barely detect the patchouli at all. The moss is what makes it wearable for me though, just that little bit of grounded earthiness that keeps the other notes from being girlishly candy sweet. I'm really glad I got to try this one.
  6. Lucchesa

    All Head, All Spine, All Limb, All Loin

    I thought I'd tested all my spring snakes. How did this one slither by me? It's fantastic! (No surprise -- my favorite SO blends are Snake Skin and Western Diamondback.) In the imp it's mostly Snake Oil, then once it hits my skin it's SO and leather in lockstep, sweet, sexy, with great throw for the first hour or so. There's something almost chewy about the amber and musks that are backing up the two main components; I'm not sure I can distinguish the sandalwood at all. Basically this is a beautifully balanced Snake Oil and leather blend. To my chagrin I didn't get great longevity from this, so I'll just have to slather and reapply.
  7. Lucchesa

    Twenty-Four Paragons of Filial Piety

    Oops, I guess I never hit Submit to post this review. I love Startled Toad and always am on the lookout for coconut Shungas. This is a beauty. Twenty-Four Paragons is slightly sharp fir and cypress at first and reminded me of the bright green tips that grow on fir trees in spring. Not hoary old pines but young, growing, tender needles. Before long the foremost note on me is green coconut. It's different from the coconut note in Startled Toad and most of the other coconut blends I've tried -- it really is a young, green coconut, and the interaction with the evergreen notes adds to the green feeling. This is a unique scent -- if you like coconut at all, I highly recommend trying it.
  8. Lucchesa

    Pleasures of the Imagination III

    Pleasures of the Imagination III is so very very sexy and delicious. I get only the tiniest hint of cinnamon; it's really all sweet smoky tobacco/leather, but a warmer leather than the usual "black leather" note. It's totally unisex; if a man smelled like this, I would fall at his feet and beg. I love this, and it lasts really well on me.
  9. Lucchesa


    Tissue is such a shunga, and such a beauty. Heady gardenia (one of the only white florals that works on me) floats over pale honey and what smells to me like rice milk. This is one of those creamy sweet florals Beth does so magnificently. It's not my usual sort of scent at all -- it's the kind I bust out on rare spring days when I'm feeling really femme -- but it's gorgeous, even if it only lasts a couple of hours on my skin.
  10. Lucchesa

    Couple Enjoying a Summer Breeze

    Couple Enjoying a Summer Breeze was not on my radar at all last year. I'm not sure I realized then how much I like labdanum. Testing blind, I got cedar and sparkling labdanum with its cola-like sweetness, which the brown sugar (once I looked at the notes) melds with seamlessly. I never really perceive the patchouli, and while sage can be a problematic note on me, it behaves perfectly here, dry and herbal but warm, a perfect balance for the sweet notes. Anyway, it's fantastic on me, outdoorsy, cozy, deeply satisfying. This goes on my list of things I'd be delighted to have more of.
  11. Lucchesa

    Joyous Middle-Aged Couple

    I really wanted to love Joyous Middle-Aged Couple, but it doesn't work on me. In the imp it's gorgeous, rich mandarin and white tea with a backdrop of woods, but once it hits my skin it's higher pitched than I usually enjoy and quickly goes to soap. Really elegant, fancy, triple-milled French clementine soap maybe, but still soap. I'm not sure which component or combination of components is at fault, but I'm jealous of the skin chemistry of the other reviewers.
  12. Lucchesa

    Honey, Italian Bergamot and Frankincense

    The only other Honey Pot I've tried is Sweet Labdanum, which was primarily about the labdanum. Honey, Italian Bergamot and Frankincense is more of a honey-forward scent on me. At first I can mainly pick out warm honey grounded with frankincense, but as it dries down the bergamot becomes more perceptible, adding some brightness. After eight hours or so, the citrus has receded again and left me with a skin scent of honey and frankincense -- this is a sweeter frank, not the super dry one. I don't get much throw (rarely do with my chemistry), but this is really good wear length for me. A beautifully balanced daytime scent I can see wearing all year round.
  13. Lucchesa

    Honey and Sweet Labdanum

    I am just loving labdanum lately, and it really shines here. It's that sweet, syrupy, cola-like labdanum with a little honey, and it's lovely. I don't get a lot of throw, but I rarely do with my skin chemistry, and as is true for many of the Lab's honey blends, this last a long time. Sweet but not gourmand, sunny, and work-appropriate.
  14. Lucchesa

    The Jeweled Spider

    I would never have tried The Jeweled Spider because of the curried goat (vegetarian here), but I was gifted some, and it is surprisingly great. Like a sweet, smoky tropical fruit mocha. The curry is detectable if you really try, like a little cumin & turmeric, maybe, but it's not obtrusive on me. It has a little throw (more than I usually get). I haven't been wearing it long enough to comment on wear length. But this is much more appealing than I would have expected.
  15. I can only comment on BPAL, and baked goods and fruits don't often work on me personally, but I'll try! BPAL has a gourmand imp pack that contains, besides Eat Me, Bliss (chocolate), Blood Kiss (I don't consider this one gourmand but I love it -- ok, it does have cherry and honey and vanilla but it goes in a different direction with the vetiver), Knave of Hearts (blackcurrant tarts and rose), Cockaigne (the baked goods note that doesn't work on me), and Miskatonic University (Irish coffee in a library, love this one too!). There's a fruit imp pack too, and a vanilla one, and a citrus one if you enjoy citrus. Read the notes of the scents in the packs and see what you think. Other GC foodies you might like include Drink Me, Shub-Niggurath (evil gingerbread), Hellcat (hazelnut, buttercream, honey mead, rum and sweet almond), Vice (chocolate, cherry and orange blossom), Halfling (porridge, kukui nuts and pastry), Sudha Segara (milk, honey and ginger), White Rabbit (spicy milky tea and linen)... If rose seems too mature for you, you might like Alice, which is very young at heart: Milk and honey, rose and carnation and bergamot. Maiden is a sister scent: white tea, carnation, rose. Both feel youthful to me. Do you like spices? Booze? Those open up whole new categories. Baron Samedi is a take on bay rum. Port-au-Prince: buttered rum flavored with almond, bay, clove and sassafras. Chimera is likened by many to red-hots. Jack (pumpkin, peach & spices). Plunder (all the spices a pirate's boat might carry). Bengal (honey & spices). Inferno (can't wear this, it burned my skin). Kill-Devil (rum punch). Elegba (coconut, tobacco and sweet, sugared rum). Grog, what it says. Once you start mixing foodie elements with other components, your choices increase dramatically. Al-Shairan: clove, peach and orange with cinnamon, patchouli and dark incense notes. Voodoo: myrrh, patchouli, vetiver, lime, vanilla, pine, almond and clove. Eclipse, Wrath, Antikythera Mechanism, Bastet, Sin, Uruk, O, Dorian, How Doth the Little Crocodile, Tombstone, Good, Paladin, Velvet, Centzon Totochtin, Tezcatlipoca, Intrigue, Belle Epoque, Desire, Fae, Imp, Aglaea, Tamora... Just go to the website and search a component you like, say vanilla. If you try Dragon's Milk, which is dragon's blood & vanilla, you'll find out if you like dragon's blood. If you like apricot and try Depraved, you'll get a pretty good handle on whether you enjoy patchouli. And so on. Unimpables and LEs expand your horizons even more. Just with chocolate, there's Chad, The Other Hot Chocolate, Candy Butcher, Boomslang, Wulric, Gelt, Dia de los Reyes, all the 13s, My best advice, if you're on a budget, would be to buy a lot of $1-2 imps from the sales pages here on the forums to get a better idea of what works on you. Most buyers will include frimps, as does the Lab -- skin test them all, even if you don't think they're your style. You can always wash them off, but you may be pleasantly surprised (Troll...). Then once you have a lot of GC under your belt, you can join a decant circle with more confidence. And for me, I really enjoy not just the end result of the perfect scent, but the learning process and the opportunity to try lots and lots of different things. But I'm a Gemini. Have fun! And check back in with what you like because that will really help people tailor recommendations to you.
  16. It may not just be the amber -- on my skin, pine notes, and maybe evergreens in general, tend to soften and sweeten over time. (I happen to like this effect.) I think all three of those are good to try. Yggdrasil has a wintergreen feel that didn't work on me, Thanatopsis starts very foresty and does that softening I mentioned, and it may be that the eucalyptus in Loup Garou keeps it a little sharper. You might also consider The Jersey Devil and Robin Goodfellow, or even Troll if you like dark smokiness with your woods.
  17. Lucchesa

    Finding a BPAL fragrance for myself

    These are all great suggestions. Because you like citrus, I would also add Mad Hatter, Villain and Whitechapel, all of which are unisex trending dudely with a citrus component. This recent thread has some other good GC suggestions: https://www.bpal.org/topic/95327-recommendations-for-a-single-man/?tab=comments#comment-2773104 I cannot agree more with the advice to try a lot of GC imps and learn what you like. And it will change. What I thought I liked when I started trying BPAL and what I know I love now overlap but are by no means identical. Enjoy the journey!
  18. Lucchesa

    I Die of Love

    I think this may be my favorite of this year's lupers (though I haven't finished testing all my decants). On me, I Die of Love is not a manly leather at all. In fact, as I was sniffing my wrists and making mental notes on the bus today, I decided it was an unusually femme leather. Like mauve driving gloves, maybe. Very soft leather, a haze of lilac which is one of the few florals that work on me, the softest musky bay rum. Cubeb is usually very lemony on me, but here it's just a little bit of zing. This has nice throw, which I rarely get with my skin chemistry. Gorgeous.
  19. Lucchesa

    Tricuspid Valve

    When I put Tricuspid Valve on, it was all oudh. Stinky oudh. I couldn't even remember oudh being in the components, but when I looked there it was, in one of its aliases: agarwood. I would guess black oudh, from the way my skin was amping it. In the imp I can smell the patchouli and oakmoss, but it's all oudh on me. It settles down in a couple of hours, but my decant will go to someone who can wear oudh more successfully than I can.
  20. Lucchesa

    Gargoyle Junk

    Frankincense! The frank is the dominant note on me here. I had A Woman Practicing Calligraphy on my other wrist, and while that is definitely a rose scent on me, the rose component in Gargoyle Junk is much fainter on my skin. (Plus I'm not really sure what rockrose smells like.) This is a lovely ecclesiastical frank that twines together with a dry patchouli and the cool stone note. I think it captures the medieval architecture feel very well.
  21. I was hoping A Woman Practicing Calligraphy would be mainly an ink and moss scent on me, but of course it's mostly a rose scent. It's a really beautiful one, and the rose stays true, kind of a deep purple rose, or maybe that's red rose plus black ink. At any rate, there's no sourness to it whatsoever. I don't need a bottle because I don't wear rose-forward scents that often, but if rose is your jam, this is unusual and compelling.
  22. Lucchesa

    The Pancake Bell

    So I get gingerbread -- not the heavy, blackstrap molasses kind but a light honey spice cake -- and mead. Cakes and ale. Curiously, it takes about an hour for the roasted nuts note to emerge on me, so it's not almond, which always shows up at the beginning and burns off quickly. Maybe roasted walnuts. Super nice, rich foodie and quite long lasting, too.
  23. Lucchesa

    Excellent Pancakes

    Excellent Pancakes reminds me of the phrase "comfort me with apples." BPAL's cooked apple note works better on me than fresh apple, and this is warm comfort food of a scent, caramelized apples and baked goods (a note which is never great on me, but fine here) and maybe berry jam -- when I applied there was a hint of red fruit I wasn't expecting, and I checked the notes and that's my best guess. The spices are really mellow, and I'm not getting a cream note from the mascarpone. Medium wear length on me -- I wish I got doomsday_disco's longevity! Very foodie, very warm and comforting.
  24. Lucchesa

    Snakes Slithering Through Stinging Nettle

    Snakes Slithering doesn't smell swampy to me but more like a meadow in April. It's very green in feel -- the GC I'm reminded of, though I haven't sniffed it in quite a while, is The Apothecary. I can barely make out the Snake Oil at first. This is a fresh springtime snake, slithering through that almost violent green first growth of grass. Because it's fresh and gently outdoorsy, it's work appropriate. If sweet greenness that eventually mellows into pale green, very soft SO appeals to you, this is your snake.
  25. Lucchesa


    I don't know if I'm getting any intercession from Cito. I am definitely getting honey, slightly floral honey with warm, mellow spices. And the red musk is being such a team player here! I can smell it now that I know it's there (tested without looking at notes), but it's definitely in the background. I would not have picked it out, nor the ginger specifically. I don't get the huge throw everyone else is mentioning, but I never do. Sigh. Rich warm honey, though. Very nice.