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BPAL Madness!


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About renfair

  • Rank
    evil enabler
  • Birthday 02/25/1982


  • Location
    Northern Virginia
  • Country
    United States

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  • eBay
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  • BPAL of the Day
  • Favorite Scents
    The Serpentine, Dorian, Lilith's Hair Gloss, Antique Lace, TKO, Nasty Woman, Lady Amalthea, Baobhan Sith, Moon Reflected Gloss, Diligent Instruction for the Bridal Night, A Moment in Time, The Last Unicorn, Fake News, Almost Anything Dead Leaves.

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  • Interests
    Fantasy in general (Harry Potter and Tanith Lee especially!), writing, video games, Renaissance Faires, Japanese culture, and symphonic metal.


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  1. renfair

    Blossoming Vulva

    First Sniff Impression: Sweet, slightly candy-like floral Wet in Vial: The amber and bourbon vanilla mix really well to make a creamy sweetness, and the tea blossom adds fresh sweetness along with the lotus. Drying Down: Wet the tea blossom comes out most prominent. At the moment it's also pretty close to the skin and subtle. What must be the sweet oak or blue lotus starts to come out more strongly on skin than in the vial, though it's still all pretty well blended. It's really pretty. Dry: Dry it goes a touch powdery on me, which is a little disappointing but also not unexpected with the blue lotus because I think I've had that happen before with that note. The tea blossom note seems pretty much gone. The amber also isn't very strong compared to how much the amber came out on me with Ivory Vulva. Overall it's a slightly sweet, powdery floral on me. Conclusion: Kind of hoping this would stay the way it smelled on the bottle for me, but my experiences with the Vulva perfumes so far seem to be that they morph quite a bit with the least dominant note in the bottle coming out strongly on skin. It's pretty but I don't feel the need to have more of it at this point.
  2. renfair

    A Mirror of Spring Pleasures on Kites (2016)

    First Sniff Impression: Cologne-y floral with strawberry and maybe a hint of red musk? Wet in Vial: Ok I think the "red musk" I thought I might be getting was the wine mixed with frankincense. The strawberry is definitely not a strong one. But it all seems pretty balanced. Drying Down: Wet on skin nothing jumps out right away. It's definitely a different, "pink" strawberry than the note the Lab usually uses from my own experience. The gardenia and champaca are fortunately pretty far in the background with the frankincense since all of those are things that tend to amp on me with BPAL. Nothing is amping so far. It's surprisingly well blended. I thought one of these notes would shoot out and ruin it. Dry: Dry it's still very blended. It's kind of a fruity floral with an incense edge. It's actually really pretty but I'd have to be in the right mood for it. Kind of a warm fall version of Kamisuki or something (Kamisuki always being the fruity/floral I tend to compare things to). The frankincense stays nice and subtle. The strawberry and blackberry with the vanilla are perfectly balanced with the floral champaca and gardenia. The florals give it a slightly tropical/heavy edge which works nice for a Japanese-inspired scent. It brings to mind a woman's perfume in the air of a hot, heady Japanese summer. Conclusion: Not one that really stands out in general, but it's pretty enough that I wouldn't mind a very low partial bottle of it to put the decant I have into. Glad I tested it!
  3. I got a set of Dead Leaves gloss decants cause Dead Leaves is one of my favorite collections and I wanted to TRY THEM ALL before picking out a favorite or two to buy "big." This was the third one I tried: not my usual go-to set of notes, but I'll try anything with Dead Leaves in it! First Sniff Impression: Very sharp and "yellow" Wet in Vial: Sharp, herbal, and yellow-green straight away. Drying Down: Drying down some notes are combining to make almost an orchid note to me. There's something incredibly familiar about the general scent, but I can't place it. The gloss is smelling amazingly "pretty" wafting from my hair, since the spray on my hands still is sharper and more like incense. I didn't get any of the honey specifically straight off, but I'm sure it's there warming up and sweetening the overall scent. Dry: Dry, this scent is well blended, but it's not my personal style. I'm not great at describing it since I don't usually wear these sort of notes often. I'd say it's pretty heavy on the saffron, from what I can tell. I don't get much outright patchouli at all, and I'm terrible at picking out oudh (I get more of a "feeling" from scents with oudh instead of an actual scent). The honey does seem to be giving everything a sweet, golden glow though I don't get a strong honey note like in Hair Loosened and Soiled gloss. And honestly I don't really get much dead leaves at all. I feel like the other notes are overpowering them, but it may be one of those instances if I smelled the same thing without the dead leaves then I'd notice and miss them. Conclusion: Glad to try it, because I love stepping out of my comfort zone to experience different things. But overall something about these notes together reminded me of my grandmother (and hey, that's not a bad thing. She was amazing and always smelled really nice. I just kind of don't want to smell like her, you know?) I think I'll be passing this decant on to someone who's appreciate it better.
  4. [No additional description provided.] I got a set of Dead Leaves gloss decants cause Dead Leaves is one of my favorite collections and I wanted to TRY THEM ALL before picking out a favorite or two to buy "big." This was the second one I tried: yay SUGAR!! First Sniff Impression: Very, very subtle. Hard to smell anything really. Wet in Vial: This pretty much smells just like dead leaves, but very subdued. The almost peanutty note I got in DL & Burnt Marshmallow is there, which makes me think it may be from the DL themselves or a base oil. It adds a bit of depth and warmness, and fades very quickly in case anyone is worried you end up smelling like peanut butter Drying Down: Drying down some of the sweetness starts to come out, so the leaves are sort of calm, warm, and subtle still. Like the scent coming off a leaf pile that's sitting in the sun. Dry: Dry this gets really pretty. It's like a sweet, floral dead leaves perfume, but somehow different from the Lab's actual dead leaves perfumes. It's really just like a delicate, sweetened leaves bouquet. SO PRETTY! Conclusion: I don't know if I'd need an entire bottle of this, but it's such a pretty one I'd want to have a bit of it around. It seems like a fresh, inoffensive way to wear a very nature-y scent without it screaming HEY I'VE BEEN ROLLING AROUND ON THE FOREST FLOOR! Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially if you have company, lol. I think this would be a wonderful introductory scent to someone who hasn't tried the Dead Leaves note yet and is nervous about it.
  5. renfair

    Dead Leaves and Burnt Marshmallows Hair Gloss

    I got a set of Dead Leaves gloss decants cause Dead Leaves is one of my favorite collections and I wanted to TRY THEM ALL before picking out a favorite or two to buy "big." And of course cause MARSHMALLOW this was the one I tested first. First Sniff Impression: The NICE Dead Leaves note I love, with some nommie sweetness. Wet in Vial: The Dead Leaves are thankfully the fresh, dry, crisp ones I like, not the cologne-variety that utterly hates me. The burnt marshmallow is interesting because it smells almost nutty like peanut butter. Drying Down: The peanut-type note is actually nice, because it seems like it's like the caramelization of the marshmallow when it starts to really toast, bubble, and burn. [ETA: I've since tried DL & Sugar Crystals too and got the same slightly peanut note. I think it's probably a from a base oil or the DL themselves. It's very subtle, though, and fades quickly. Adds a bit of warmth to the scent!] Dry: Dry it's such a surprisingly light, amazing blend. The burnt marshmallow seems like it could've gone sicky-sweet, but it's super fresh, sweet, and light almost like cotton candy. The leaves are a subtle, outdoorsy backdrop. Conclusion: I was hoping to love this one simply cause MARSHMALLOW but was reserving judgement since I've had marshmallow notes that haven't ended up working for me. This one was YUMMY! Perfect soft, light, fluffy, toasted sweetness with my favorite Dead Leaves gloss note. HEAVEN IN A BOTTLE!
  6. renfair


    I was very lucky to procure a bottle of F#&K from a kind fairy from the event! First Sniff Impression: A rich, full cherry. Not too much like cough syrup, with a baked crust behind it. Wet in Vial: I can definitely get the crust, though it feels more like a regular pie crust than a sugar crust. The cherry is pretty rich and warm, not too sicky sweet or medicinal. There is some kind of scent in the background that's making me think of like cherry cigarettes or something. Like a hint of tobacco. Or maybe someone I used to know who smoked and smelled like cherries and I barely remember it? Drying Down on Skin: Yeah, there's definitely some kind of smokiness to the cherries, at least to my nose. It's not bad, but it definitely makes it more seductive and less girlish like candy. Dry on Skin: After about an hour a lot of the POW CHERRY sexiness has mellowed out. It's a lot more subtle now, though still with pretty much the same fragrance. Being worn, however, I have to say I'm not really getting any of the crust smell. It's more just sweetening the cherry. Conclusion: This scent is fine, but not really anything I'm excited about mainly because I'm personally just not a huge cherry person. That said, if you like cherry you will probably LOVE this one! It had none of the medicinal or plasticy associations I usually get with cherry scents. It's definitely great for a hot date night!
  7. renfair

    St. Clare

    First Sniff Impression: Mellow and fragrant. Reminds me of maybe tobacco or a very subtle suede. Wet in Vial: I feel like I can get most of the notes in this one, though no sandalwood, but that might amp and come out. Definitely the tonka and tobacco incense, the sweet mahogany and the booziness of the rum. Drying Down on Skin: Drying down it's immediately much sweeter. There's still the "mellowness" of the tobacco and the other notes combined are making this pretty masculine for now. As it continued to dry, some of the golden-ness of the oudh is there and it grows warmer from the vanilla mahogany. Dry on Skin: Dry it eventually had a sort of balance between the tobacco/rum and the golden notes. After a couple hours the sweet golden vanilla plus oudh came out even more strongly. Conclusion: I think I prefer this to Gluggagaegir, which it reminded me of, but I don't really know honestly when I'd put either of them on again to actually wear. They seem more for writing-scent-inspiration or something, or if I can ever get some BPAL on my husband
  8. renfair

    De Vos’ Unicorn

    First Sniff Impression: Pretty, inoffensive. A nice, floral perfume. Reminds me of those "bath beads" that I used to have in the 90's. Wet in Vial: The rose is strongest for me, but fortunately there's enough else in it to cut the rose a bit Drying Down on Skin: Drying down the rose is still strongest, a very pink girly rose, though I feel there's another pink floral so probably the peony. No lavender or apricot yet. Dry on Skin: Fully dry the floral notes definitely seem more "sugared" than how fresh they were at first. It's awesome the sweetness is coming out more strongly and it's not amping rose on me, cause usually I just CAN'T wear rose as much as I want to love it. But I love this the way it is! Conclusion: I was so worried the rose would completely trample the other notes, even though it's pretty, but fortunately it remained pretty balanced. I don't think I need to have more than I already do, but it's a lovely scent! I think it would be even more amazing layered with a sweet vanilla like Antique Lace.
  9. renfair

    Zorya Polunochnaya

    I got Zorya P as a half bottle from a decant circle. I was really looking forward to trying it because I've become a total sucker for vanilla. First Sniff Impression: More "perfumey" than I thought it would be, less heavy on the vanilla. More linen floral? Wet in Vial: All I can think of in the vial is that it's mainly a sort of fake "fresh linens" smell. Like it smells more like what I thought Antique Lace would be like before I tried that one and loved it. Drying Down on Skin: This seems fairly heavy on the floral part, probably the moon flower. There's definitely something there "softening" it, but I don't get any overt vanilla note. It's definitely an interesting scent where it feels old yet innocent at the same time. Dry on Skin: This is really just amped super sweet floral on me. In a much lighter dose it would be pretty, but it's giving me a headache the way it is. A review here said it was like "vanilla dryer sheet" which is pretty much what I'm getting. It kind of smells like a nicer version of the scent you get walking through the cleaning/air freshener aisle at the store. Conclusion: I really, really wanted to love this one since it seems like the run away favorite of the American Gods line, but it either doesn't like me or I have a personal preference for not really loving it. I'll probably let it sit for a few months and see if aging bring the vanilla more to the forefront. Honestly I want to just smell someone else's too because it SO heavy on the floral and so light on the vanilla I almost feel like I got a different scent than what everyone else here is describing (and I want THAT ONE!). I do have to say that the next day what was left was a gorgeous soft, floral vanilla. I wish I was like that straight off :/
  10. renfair

    Lilith's Loli Dragon

    Mod Note: This perfume was first available at the August 2017 LA Lunacy event, and a small release was also made available on the BPTP Etsy store. Dragon's blood lollipop with a touch of strawberry! Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow! This is my first "first" review! I'll try to do it justice, since this is such a special little scent First Sniff Impression: Not what I was expecting? Like a light lollipop smell with something floral like honeysuckle. Wet in Vial: It a light, fruity floral in the bottle. Almost like a nice shampoo or similar to Kamisuki. Drying Down on Skin: Drying down I'm wondering "Where's the dragon's blood?" or really "Do I even know what dragon's blood smells like?!" Cause it's like this nice lily of the valley meets honeysuckle floral with pink strawberry lollipop. So then I went and looked up Dragon's Blood and found out I don't think I've ever tried a BPAL Dragon's Blood before, except for Bloodlust, which to me was very overpowering with the red musk, patch, and vetiver. So this is an interesting experience! It's definitely not what I was expecting it to be looking at the notes after I went ahead and blind bought it on an impulse Dry on Skin: Dry this really reminds me a lot of Kamisuki Hair Gloss from this past year's Trading Post Lupers: a similar blend of floral plus fruity that can't be classified as only one or the other. The floral aspect is a little more "wildflower" than the Kamisuki Asian floral is to me, but the strawberry note is very similar. It has a "nice shampoo" type smell, very "commercial-friendly" if you needed a scent that doesn't scream PATCHOULI! or something for the workplace. I'm also pleasantly surprised because about 2/3 of the time with a floral scent I tend to amp those notes until I can't get anything else and it becomes sort of ruined old lady cologne on me. And I'm not getting that at all here. It's very balanced. Conclusion: I was very, very happy to get to try this. Knowing the story behind its creation was super cute, too! It's really a great one for people who want something pretty, fruity, and feminine. And it makes me really want to try other BPAL blends with Dragon's Blood in it! Brava, Lilith!
  11. renfair

    Fae Forest Atmosphere Spray

    I ordered a goblin of this from the Post because the notes sounded absolutely lovely. First Sniff Impression: Bright, light, fruity. Wet in Vial: I couldn't smell this one in the vial because of the spray nozzle. Wet on a blanket it's super light and bright. Effervescent. Drying Down on Blanket: Immediately this smelled very spritely and energetic, like grapefruit or a fruit spritzer or something like that (so maybe the bergamot and thimbleberry?). Drying down some of the pine and leaves are becoming more prominent, giving it more of a forest feel than a bright field or something. The scent is pretty strong. It must be concentrated to fill a whole room. A little goes a long way. Dry on Blanket: Fully dry it's a citrusy pine. I think next time I'd want to spray it way up in the air and let it diffuse. It was too strong sprayed all on one spot on a blanket. Conclusion: This is a really nice scent, but it seems best for a blanket or a room during the day. I don't think it would be good on a pillow for sleep. It's too energetic.
  12. renfair

    Tea and Music

    First Sniff Impression: Smells weird in the bottle, but it also smells like it has awesome promise. Wet in Vial: An almost sour chocolate. I'm pretty sure it's just the tea note giving it sourness. Drying Down on Skin: So far this stays really close to the skin. But the notes begin to separate almost immediately, with the dark chocolate and black tea, slightly sweetened by honey and all tied together with a thin thread of leather. It's a very dark scent. It makes me think of a late party at a shadowy inn during wintertime. After a couple minutes some of the chocolate starts to recede, which is ok because it was almost too bitter with the tea and leather. The tea becomes spicier, which is nice. Dry on Skin: Fully dry a lot of the bitterness and sourness is gone, leaving behind this very unique smell that's honestly hard to describe. I keep getting that image of a super dark inn. So maybe it's like resinous old, dark wood mixed with all the sweet cooking smells of holiday baking and the aroma of what I imagine pipe smoke in a fantasy novel would be like. Conclusion: I like this one, but I think it needs a dose of sweetness to make it fully wearable for me. I'm going to re-test it later with some French Vanilla added. I have to say, hours later it did have a wonderful, sweet, comforting bit of smell left.
  13. renfair


    Because this is one of those scents that everyone just gushes about, I had to give it a try myself when I was able to, somehow, find a decant of it. First Sniff Impression: Light sweetness with a touch of softness I know is wool from the notes. Wet in Vial: Subtle in the vial. Sweet, but not overly sweet. I wouldn't be able to tell there was wool if I didn't read the notes. Drying Down on Skin: It's immediately sweeter, more marshmallow, and woolly on application. It's VERY nice. Dry on Skin: It does stay close to the skin, however. I have to sniff almost touching my arm with my nose to get the full range of the scent. The wool is a lot softer and more subtle than the cashmere in Hoiru, which almost smelled damp. This is lighter and fluffier, like the marshmallow. But it doesn't have much staying power, at least the marshmallow part. Conclusion: I liked this one a lot, but not enough to fork over $50 a bottle or whatever it goes for. Really, in its fully dried state it smelled similar to some of the coffee or sweet Lilith blends once they start to fade. I'd rather have a scent that makes more of an impact. But hey, if someone threw a cheap bottle my way, I wouldn't say no!
  14. renfair

    Loved To Death

    I bought this at the actual Loved to Death store, while I was in San Francisco for a wedding. It was awesome to be able to sniff so many BPAL perfumes right there, though I decided in the end to just go with their signature fragrance. First Sniff Impression: Like Nasty Woman without the booze and fig. Incense. Wet in Vial: Some kind of incense (must be clove and cinnamon), a smear of honey and a dash of licorice. Drying Down on Skin: This has a really nice blend of incense in it. The honey (or beeswax, I guess) becomes stronger. It's obviously reminiscent of Nasty Woman to me because I hadn't tried many other scents yet, but it's somehow lighter and has less of a throw, maybe cause there's no actual patchouli in it. An excellent balance of sweet and spicy. Barest hint of a floral in there. Dry on Skin: This remained just so warm and sweet. It had a fairly long strength to it as well, and remained pleasant and balanced throughout. Conclusion: I'm definitely glad I picked up some Loved to Death at their store. It did end up being a super awesome scent, and being able to buy it in person and also sniff their other BPAL scents in stock was really cool!
  15. renfair


    Ok, have to preface this by saying The Phantom of the Opera is my absolute favorite book of all time, and I've been obsessed with it since second grade. So getting this perfume and Christine were kind of a huge deal to me. First Sniff Impression: Clean, cool, men's cologne. I love it! Wet in Vial: Cooler than I was expecting. More aquatic. I was expecting dusty and dry, and it's kind of the opposite, which I love. I can definitely get the wood, and there's almost a sweet decay to it, which is just perfect for the character. Drying Down on Skin: Oooh, I think I'm getting the leather now (heaven!!) It's almost floral in a way (someone in reviews said beeswax, so maybe that's it). But it's getting a little more bitter and dry, some of the aqua is going away. The resin-wood is coming out more strongly, and I think I can actually smell the kerosene note. It really is making me think of backstage an old theater, with all of the contruction going on, and the gas lamps. It's starting to feel like something older, that's been shut away for a long time. Dry on Skin: Dry, the oil and kerosene (and maybe leather/resin?) are really prominent and have the most throw. Honestly, it's now not a scent I would want to wear, but it's still excellent for the character, especially if you consider how Erik's sanity really deteriorated as the story went on. It's now gone from a sort of seductive men's cologne to straight up BURN DOWN THE MOTHER #$@&ING OPERA HOUSE! But now, about an hour after that, he's starting to sweeten up again ... LIKE IN THE BOOK. Conclusion: Erik had a very strong strength, which is fitting even though it changed a lot from wet to fully dry and fading hours later. Like Christine, I really felt like Erik told a story, and one that was very reminiscent of the character the perfume is named after. I wouldn't wear Erik again as a personal scent, but I'd still like to smell it once in a while. I'm going to try layering it with Christine and see how that goes.