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Tal Shachar

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About Tal Shachar

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    a little too imp-ulsive
  • Birthday 11/21/1982


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    Ontario, Canada
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  • BPAL of the Day
    Flame of the Bear

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    Astrology, Marxism, Latin, art galleries, writing, theology, RP, sweaty rock shows, Roman comedy
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  1. Tal Shachar

    Aristotle Beard Oil

    Oddly, the label on the bottle that I received lists the description for the Socrates perfume oil instead: "Inspired by anointing oils used in the philosopher’s time after partaking in public baths: orris root, ambergris accord, frankincense, olive blossom, black fig, and marjoram." Is that what's in the bottle? I feel like it might be, but then I doubt my nose. I do pick up the powderiness of orris and what I think is the fruitiness of the fig, but a good frankincense can have powdery/fruity qualities as well, so...idk? Not sure whether the website is wrong or the label. Whatever it is, it's certainly pleasant. At 18 months on T, I don't have a lot of beard yet (and it's all mostly on my neck so I shave it anyway), so I can't really comment on that aspect. I do like it a lot as a light post-shave moisturizer! It sinks in quickly, doesn't aggravate acne, and the scent is very smooth. Suave, herbal yet soft, quite unisex. If the amount of scent in the hair glosses is too much for you (I always found them overwhelming), the beard oils might be more your speed.
  2. Tal Shachar

    I am All in a Sea of Wonders

    This is so weird, and I love it, though I usually have to layer something with it. To me it smells silver, as people have said, a highly realistic metallic note backed with subtle frankincense, although it's well-blended enough that "metallic" is the overarching impression. Surprisingly, I can't smell the cannabis as a distinct note? But there's something vaguely herbal and medicinal about it, like a 19th century doctor's kit, which I really dig. I'm really curious to see how it will age. I like to layer it with Psionicist from the RPG line, which makes it feel a little more conventional/wearable to me, and also turns the vibe into "psychic Victorian doctor" which is even better.
  3. Tal Shachar

    A World of One Color

    The snow note smells sweet and almost champagney to me, the same as in Faunalia...and to me it doesn't smell like snow at all in the least, and doesn't evoke coldness or anything in the description. No frost, no ice. It's very pleasant as a warm and cozy scent, with cashmere-like soft cedar and coconut, but it evokes pretty much the exact opposite of the haiku. And I was hoping for something like the haiku! But I do reach for this fairly often and enjoy wearing it, so I can't call it a disappointment. It's lovely to catch it wafting from a scarf and perfect for the season.
  4. Tal Shachar

    The Un-dead Home of the King-Vampire Home & Linen Spray

    This is very subtle, or at least more so than the other atmo sprays I've tried. The main note when wet is the dirt note, which is damp but soft. I don't get much incense until the drydown, when there's a mysterious sweetness left in the air. I want to say benzoin and/or a very muted frank? If I unscrew the cap and just sniff straight from the bottle I can smell the leather, but when I spray it on my throw blanket there's very little sillage. I wish there was more oomph because it is a beautiful scent in the bottle, one that I'd wear as a perfume (and it's nice sprayed on a wool sweater). It reminds me of the mushroom blends too, and definitely evocative of a vampire crypt.
  5. Tal Shachar

    Wererat-Infested Sewer

    This is a clean but not sharp aquatic, a soft bluey-greeny moss smell. I don't get leather per se. The water is silty for sure, sweet (although the overall vibe is definitely masculine), a lot like the silty lake water note in Sturgeon Moon. It's more of a movie-set interpretation of rats and stagnant water, not the funky reality, and it is whatever the room-spray equivalent of "wearable" is. Very comforting and cozy sprayed on my favourite blanket.
  6. Tal Shachar


    A dribble of candle wax, distant hearth-smoke, a fleck of chocolate Yule log on a thick wool sweater, and aged, yellowing paper bound by well-loved leather that has passed through many gentle hands. I don't really like chocolate in scents tbh, but this really is only a little crumb of bûche de Noël, and it doesn't linger, which is good for me. Very, very soft leather and beeswax with wool and a slightly perfumey paper note. I don't get any smoke, at least not yet. Very gentle, soft, and cozy, but I'd still call it unisex. I'm going to be very interested to see how this ages. I got a perfectly well-worn paperback copy of Great Expectations (and I admit that a big reason for choosing this scent for me was the fun of getting a random used book).
  7. Tal Shachar

    The Flame of the Bear

    "Flame of the bear" is an interesting phrase that turns up nothing much on google, although curiously a lot of the results are for male enhancement ads. The flame definitely hasn't been kindled yet in this scent. It's quite dark (though not heavy at all) and cold-feeling, without any smokiness, so this is unlit incense. Very low sillage, although that may just be the bottle needing to settle a bit after going through the post in -24 C weather. I love bayberry as a note, and can usually only find it in Yankee Candle form, and luckily this scent has no Yankee-Candle-ness about it. Clean, but not too clean (the myrrh and oak bark darken it), very masc, not intrusive, very evocative of winter woods at night. Edit 7/24/20: I left this on the shelf for a long time because while I liked it overall, the oak bark note just clashed a bit...I understood why it was there, and it wasn't bad per se, but it kept it from being a favourite. Trying it again now, that note has merged with the rest of the blend and it's truly beautiful. It does remind me of a TAL blend, specifically Jupiter. Something very special. Is there armoise/mugwort in this? I've been working with an armoise EO all day and there's a similar silvery green note in here. Anyway, yeah, all hail the aging process.
  8. Tal Shachar

    The Air and the Ether

    My favourite lavender blend used to be Yvaine, may she rest in peace, but this is an extremely strong contender for Best Lavender. It's floral while still having the strength and structure of a good herbal lavender; at the same time, I feel like someone who doesn't like medicinal lavenders would still appreciate this. (That is mere speculation, because I happen to love the stuff when it smells like a medieval doctor's cabinet.) I'd been expecting the amber and ambergris to dominate the blend, since the description only said "threads", but they're in a supporting role and it works amazingly well. The amber adds depth and dimension to the lavender and also gives it some great lasting power–still smelling this faintly on my wrists after fourteen hours. Can't afford more bottles but that's the only thing holding me back.
  9. Tal Shachar


    Yvaine but with cedar! Perhaps a slightly less flowery lavender than in the dearly departed Yvaine (miss u every day, friend), and I think the gardenia's slightly stronger, but the cedar balances out the florals. The drydown exposes more of the pillowy white softness of the gardenia, with the cedar lingering last like the smell of a nice linen closet. I would love this so much as a permanent part of the Somnus collection or a TAL, but alas.
  10. Tal Shachar


    This didn't hit my nose as foresty, just woody with a cool, herbal lavender base. I might have guessed that some type of white musk was in here, based on the way it wafts and sticks around on my skin, but nope. The individual notes don't poke out too much, though--it's just something calm, refined, elegant, and simple. I agree that it smells expensive, somehow, like being in a luxurious place. It's seriously beautiful and I'm a little heartbroken that I can only have an imp of it.
  11. Tal Shachar

    The Naturally Possible and Impossible

    This has occurred in my presence on four occasions in darkness. The test conditions under which they took place were quite satisfactory, so far as the judgment was concerned; but ocular demonstration of such a fact is so necessary to disturb our pre-formed opinions as to the naturally possible and impossible, that I will here only mention cases in which the deductions of reason were confirmed by the sense of sight. On one occasion I witnessed a chair, with a lady sitting on it, rise several inches from the ground. On another occasion, to avoid the suspicion of this being in some way performed by herself, the lady knelt on the chair in such a manner that its four feet were visible to us. It then rose about three inches, remained suspended for about ten seconds, and then slowly descended. At another time two children, on separate occasions, rose from the floor with their chairs, in full daylight, under (to me) most satisfactory conditions; for I was kneeling and keeping close watch upon the feet of the chair, and observing that no one might touch them. The most striking cases of levitation which I have witnessed have been with Mr. Home, on three separate occasions have I seen him raised completely from the floor of the room. Once sitting in an easy chair, once kneeling on his chair, and once standing up. On each occasion I had full opportunity of watching the occurrence as it was taking place. There are at least a hundred recorded instances of Mr. Homes rising from the ground, in the presence of as many separate persons, and I have heard from the lips of the three witnesses to the most striking occurrence of this kind the Earl of Dunraven, Lord Lindsay, and Captain C. Wynne their own most minute accounts of what took place. To reject the recorded evidence on this subject is to reject all human testimony whatever; for no fact in sacred or profane history is supported by a stronger array of proofs. The accumulated testimony establishing Mr. Homes levitations is overwhelming. It is greatly to be desired that some person, whose evidence would be accepted as conclusive by the scientific world if indeed there lives a person whose testimony in favour of such phenomena would be taken would seriously and patiently examine the alleged facts. Most of the eyewitnesses to these levitations are now living, and would, doubtless, be willing to give their evidence. But, in a few years, such direct evidence will be difficult, if not impossible, to be obtained. Notes of an Enquiry into the Phenomena called Spiritual during the years 1870-1873, William Crookes Well-worn leather, bay rum, vetiver, cigar smoke, and amber oudh. The tobacco note here is the same as the one in Gaueko, because in the bottle they both read to me as a slightly chemical caramel flavour. That doesn't happen on my skin, thankfully, just a weirdness in vitro (love me a Gaueko). The leather is soft and not at all shiny or "new-smelling", receding into the background as the tobacco and bay rum form the foreground. Amber bridges the two and I can't tell where exactly the vetiver is lurking, but it's not prominent. It could be my skin doing strange things, but on me this was very sweet, and not as masculine as you'd think from the notes. I loved the image of 19th century Mulder types in a gentlemen's club talking about ghosts and such, so I was actually hoping for a bit more dudeliness, but I'd say this is just a spicy, warm unisex scent.
  12. Tal Shachar


    Sword aloft, eternally resting beside Andromeda, Algol flickering in the gorgon's head. Greek sage and iris, leather, and ambergris, with a dark gleam of patchouli-soaked blackcurrant. The sage dominates in this muted, close-wearing blend. I expected the leather and ambergris to be prominent, but even after several days of testing I can't pick it up on my skin. The patchouli has the very faintest hint of fruity purpleness to it, and stays in the background. I love this because the sage note is truly beautiful, soft-edged and grey-green, cozy rather than harshly herbal. Sage is one of my favourite notes and there aren't enough BPALs that bust it out. But I wish there was more throw or lasting power, and in fact I'm puzzled that there isn't, given the notes. Aging might bring out some more depth.
  13. Tal Shachar

    Unicorn and Ram

    Almost a dead ringer for Ivanushka for me, the same "furry musk" note that I've also found in Coyote, Faunalia, and Hunter Moon. Sometimes on me this musk keeps amping and doesn't stop, but it stays mild in Unicorn and Ram. I can't easily pick up the cardamom and oudh, but that may happen later as it ages. But yeah, if you missed Ivanushka and want something like that, go for this one.
  14. Tal Shachar


    Looking at the other reviews, the scent of this one must vary wildly with people's skin chemistry. I get no honey, brown sugar, heliotrope, or even hops -- I do get amber and some weird note that's kinda like burning rubber and definitely not pleasant. I layered it with some aged Mme Moriarty to try to mask the smell from myself. But it does work. I'm shy and have a lot of trouble with small talk, mind going blank, awkward stumbling, occasionally a mild stutter for colour. Today everyone I ran into wanted to chitchat more than normal, and I was...able to do it? I was able to volunteer details and not just act like I was being interrogated, and I didn't obsess over how I was coming across, and people seemed more animated with me. Maybe that doesn't seem like much, but I usually have to have a couple of drinks in me before I get to that level. This saves my liver! I'm not sure if I'd want to wear this all the time because I feel like it makes me more visible (yeah, obviously, self), but this will be a lifesaver for parties and other social events where I need to smooth the conversations along and boost my confidence.
  15. Tal Shachar


    Is there possibly civet (accord) in this? Something like that? This is almost a dead ringer for the old BPAL Saturn, with the same pungent, animalic note under the (very powerful) vetiver. I'd have to smell them both at once to pin down differences, but it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of the notes were the same, since Saturn is all about nose to the grindstone. As others have said, this is not a blend to make you happy and inspired about what you're doing -- it just kicks out the procrastination. I used it to force myself to meet a deadline...and then immediately scrubbed it off once I was finished, because that animalic note was grossing me out. Next time I might get my work done even quicker just so I don't have to smell that note while wearing Determination. So...yeah, pretty effective.