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BPAL Madness!


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About contrary_wise

  • Rank
    a little too imp-ulsive
  • Birthday 05/01/1975


  • Location
    paradise at mile end
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  • BPAL of the Day
  • Favorite Scents
    I'm learning more about what I like all the time. Favorites for today... Citrus. Apricot. Light sweet florals. Clean scents. Forest scents. Smoke. Cheshire Moon. Jabberwocky. Doc Constantine. Thalassa. Lightning. La Vague. Red Rose 07. Croquet.

Profile Information

  • Interests
    Attempting to write. Finding obscure information on the internet. Cooking. Reading. Reading cookbooks. Long soaks in the tub. Making myself smell good.
  • Mood
    addicted to scent


  • Astrological Info
    Taurus with Gemini rising. Why, yes, I am contrary!
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  1. contrary_wise

    MVJBA: Dog Days of Summer

    Dog Days of Summer in the bottle smells like fresh cut grasses. On my skin, it's a still quite grassy but I get a definite whiff of dead flowers. It smells like a bouquet of cut flowers dying in the vase. There's a definite dried blooms element, and at the same time there's a rotting stems note too. It's very true to its description. My partner really liked the scent in the bottle. I'm reserving judgment til I wear it a bit more. Right now, I'm not sure I want to smell like a rotting bouquet and cut grass. I'm more into herbal green scents rather than grassy ones. I'll keep wearing this to see if it morphs into something more appealing. I might pass it on if it doesn't grow on me more.
  2. contrary_wise


    The Tikis have been my go-to scents all summer long. Moana is my favorite for really humid days like today was. I've learned to slather it on and its aquatic sweetness lasts and lasts -- over 8 hours so far and it's still wafting around my body. Like other reviewers have said, Moana has notes of tropical fruit punch, almost a watered-down Hawaiian Punch scent. It also reminds me of a fresh, clean tropical shampoo. I don't really get salty or ocean out of this. It doesn't smell like a typical perfume either and that's just right in the heat. I want to scent body wash and lotion with this so I can layer it for even more staying power. Moana wasn't one to leap out and grab me but it's slowly winning a prized place in my BPAL collection.
  3. contrary_wise

    Death of the Grave Digger

    I was letting a friend try some of my new decants today and Death of the Grave Digger sloshed all over as he opened the vial. He shared the excess oil with my wrists and I'm glad he did. I haven't been into BPAL long enough to experience most of the snowy scents that people have referenced in other reviews of DotGD. Death of a Grave Digger is chilly, in a snowy ozone kind of way. I don't get much evergreen or dirt at all. Pretty quickly it becomes a sweet resinous slushy snow scent. I've been on kind of a myrrh kick lately so maybe that's why it seems so prominent in this blend. The myrrh gives weight to the snow, helps it stick around. I would say it smells like dirt, exactly, but it's not a clean scent either, despite the ozone notes. It's an unusual blend, and one that I'm definitely going to come back to.
  4. contrary_wise


    Akuma: In the imp, it's all bitter neroli. Wet on skin: I get a minute or so of a nice orange scent, but it's rapidly overpowered by raspberry. My skin amps berry notes like crazy and this is no exception. I smell like I've been steeped in raspberry herbal tea. It's a little bit sweet and at the same time, it's puckeringly tart. Drydown: A wrung-out raspberry tea bag. I bought this imp when I was first trying BPAL and thought I'd be into the berry notes. I've since learned better, but I am always hopeful. Alas even with my love of orange scents, Akuma just doesn't have enough citrus to beat back the berry.
  5. contrary_wise

    Oranges, Satsumas, Tangerines & Mandarins

    I thought it was time to bump this thread in order to sing the praises of Golden Wave. It's a fizzy tangerine tropical cocktail with a nice kick from the gin and tonic that keeps it from being too sweet. I love love love how intense the tangerine is in it. Lover's Parodies of Sumo Holds also starts out with a fantastic burst of juicy tangerine. Sadly, the rest of the notes quickly overpowered the citrus. Golden Wave, though, it takes that tangerine note and runs with it all day long. I'm so glad I've got a bottle of it to see me through the summer. Are there any other good new tangerine blends out there?
  6. contrary_wise

    Golden Wave

    Golden Wave is by far my favorite of the Tiki Bar scents. In the imp, it's got a strong tangerine kick that turns into decidedly fizzy tropical tangerine cocktail on my skin. It's almost like orange soda, but the gin and tonic notes keep it from being cloyingly sweet and one-dimensional. It's a great fun summer scent, light and bright and happy with surprising staying power. I practically want to eat myself when I wear this, it makes me so giddy with deliciousness. Golden Wave lifts even the worst mood at least a little. If I'd known how good it would be, I would've bought many, many more bottles.
  7. I'm waking up this old thread to chat about my favorite new BPAL for sickness. The Coil is seriously minty fresh and and clean. It's been fabulous today as I suffer though an icky stomach bug. The spearmint really helps with the nausea and the clean, almost-but-not-quite soapy freshness makes me feel a little more perky. Plus the eucalyptus and mint combo seems like it would be a good sinus-clearer. I've also worn the Coil when I'm healthy and I can attest that it's nice then too. But I think I might reserve this for when I'm feeling ill, cos it's such an excellent pick-me-up.
  8. contrary_wise

    Dyan Moon

    I couldn't pass up a bottle of Dyan Moon since my middle name is Diane. In the imp: I'm not sure how to describe this scent. I'm not very familiar with a lot of the specific notes in it. It's definitely got an herbal/green feel but also floral. Wet on skin: herbal roses. It's light and pretty, though more heady a floral than some of the other light pretty scents I like, if that makes sense. The rose and iris give it a bit more body, while the herbs keep it light. Drydown: This is such a complex blend. It has an outdoorsy feel, more herbal grassy than cooking herbs. And then there's a sweetness to it too. I usually like fairly delicate florals and the combo of rose, iris and lily in Dyan Moon is certainly not that. The previous reviewer described this as wildflowers, which is not an association I get from these floral scents. It doesn't smell like "perfume" florals either. These are more cultivated garden flowers in someone's yard. But there's something so intriguing about this. It morphs beautifully, emphasizing the different elements as it wears. And, happily, Dyan Moon has major staying power on me. I can still smell it on my cleavage over eight hours later. It's a scent I know I'm going to come back to again and again.
  9. contrary_wise


    Simplicity and innocence, gleefully despoiled! Sugared rose. In the imp: When I first got this decant, Hope smelled like sugar with a little bit of rose underneath. After six weeks or so, it now smells more like soft roses with a bit of sugar. Either way, very true to the lab's description. Wet on skin: This lovely soft rose scent peeks out some more. It dances back and forth with the sugar so sometimes I smell sweet and sometimes I smell floral and sometimes I smell both. I'm surprised at how happy this makes me. It's a little powdery, but powdery like floral candy covered in confectioner's sugar, like rose pastilles might be. Drydown: This, like previous reviews suggest, becomes creamy, almost vanilla rose. It's yet another of the light simple pretty feminine floral blends that I'm discovering I like so much. The rose calms down the longer this is on my skin, getting softer and creamier with a powdery edge. You'd think I'd hate this because I usually don't like powdery scents. But, like the powdery sweet lemon that Polyhymnia dries down to, Hope maintains that sugary note that pleases my nose. It's lovely, giving me a calm and centered feeling as I sniff Hope floating off my wrists all day. If it weren't labelled with the BPAL logo and accompanied by the story, I would totally turn up my nose at something labelled rose vanilla. But once again, the lab's magic has tricked me into trying something totally outside what I would think I'd like. I can see myself wearing this enough to warrant a full bottle. Edited to add lab description. -contrary_wise
  10. contrary_wise

    Doc Constantine (2006)

    In the imp: It's an incredibly sexy and warm fir scent. Wet on skin: This is rich and deep and dark. There's definitely a fir/woods type scent, but the musk is sweetening the blend a little. The first time I wore it, I got a plasticky note that I feared was the leather. I really don't like the smell of leather. But it died down in a few minutes and I've never gotten plastic from Doc again. Drydown: Wow. This is gorgeous. It's sweet and rich and thick with amber and musk, warm and slightly spiced. This is swoon-worthy. I totally agree with heartbeast. The Doc is commanding, not necessarily masculine. Sexy and not at all frilly. Seriously sexy, but not screaming for attention. Quietly commanding. Hot. It reminds me a little of a pared down Hexennacht 08, with the common fir, smoke, amber and musk notes. This is good stuff. I think I'm going to get a bottle.
  11. contrary_wise

    Cheshire Moon

    Cheshire Moon is the most delicious creamy fruity vanilla cake in the bottle. On my skin, I get that vanilla cake scent with a big whiff of pink grapefruit. The longer I wear it, the more I get the other notes. A hint of sweet tropical fruit from the guava. And a lingering whiff of soft blossoms, with the cherry blossom distinct among them. I am a big fan of the fruity but I'm also picky. Xanthe, to which several people have compared Cheshire Moon, is waaaay too cloyingly sweet for me. This is soft and sweet in its fruitiness, with a very happy vibe. I've gone through a shocking amount of my bottle already and I'm pretty sure I'll be seeking out more.
  12. contrary_wise


    A profound, complex scent that encapsulates the joy one finds in another's pain. Ylang ylang, clove, Indonesian red patchouli, and dark myrrh. I've been wearing lots of fresh, clean, clear spring scents from the lab lately in honor of the warmer weather of the season. But today I wanted to go for something different. My random pick from my stash of untested imps was Malice. Different indeed! In the imp: woody, slightly dusty patchouli. Very different than the dirty earthy patchouli in Depraved. Wet on skin: It's that dry patchouli and some floral. Iris, maybe, to my nose. That must be the ylang ylang. And a powdery note too. Drydown: This feels very dry and powdery, but not unpleasantly so. The myrrh is definitely present since the poweriness also has a little sweetness. There's a hint of spice and the patchouli is much lighter. I like Malice; I'm not rushing out to buy a bottle but I can see myself reaching for the imp again on cold dreary days. It's a warm scent, something to wear when I want to feel cozy. It's a far cry from the maliciousness of it's name. Thank you to the lab for helping me expand my scent horizons yet again! Edited to add lab description
  13. contrary_wise


    C. Auguste Dupin turned out to be totally leather on me. They didn't have testers out at Dark Delicacies when I bought it and somehow I didn't get leather from the bottle. My bad cos I really can't stand the smell of leather. But for leather lovers, it's worth seeking out.
  14. contrary_wise

    BPAL Fruit Blends - the many variations

    I'm still pretty new to BPAL, but I'm obsessed with the fruit blends. Dirty fruit, sugary fruit, fruit punch, I've tried more fruity scents than any other type! So far, among my fruity favorites are Croquet for the bubbly happy grapefruity-ness, and Katharina's apricot which smells just like the fruit from the apricot trees at my grandmother's house when I was a child. But the one that no one has mentioned? The most perfect calming soothing soft fruit-floral blend...La Vague. Creamy peach and sweet gentle grape with faint occasional hints of rose and jasmine. I just bought a bottle at Le Pink a week ago and already I know I need another. Is there anything else in the GC that smells creamy and fruity and just a little bit floral like this?
  15. contrary_wise


    In the imp: Intriguing, but slightly headache-inducing in its floral/incense blend. Wet on skin: Whoa, roses and generic incense. I'm surprised I'm not sneezing or getting a sinus headache; with every whiff, I get a little tickle in my nose. This is intense. Roses roses roses. Maybe there's a tiny bit of salt in there, but mostly it's just mega-roses. Old fashioned perfume roses, not the lovely juicy roses of my lovely Rose Red. Dry down: The longer I wear Penthus, the more I get hints of other notes, a little more salt tang to cut the rose intensity. This is heady but oddly calming. It's a very "perfume-y" blend which I don't usually much like. But there's an element of this that I find strangely haunting. I want to know how this will morph over a few more hours, cos it's definitely sticking around on my skin. I wrote that a few days ago, the first time I tried the frimp from the Lab. Since then, I've been thinking about Penthus and the lovely calming effect it had on me. I put more on today to see if my memories were worth a bottle before it disappears. The sneeze-inducing note is still there, along with the calm, so I don't think I need more. But I do like elements of Penthus, way more than I expected. Maybe another aquatic floral sans incense will have the same effect on my mood without the sneezing.