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BPAL Madness!


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About Juliamon

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    evil enabler
  • Birthday 02/16/1984


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    United States

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  • Favorite Scents
    I love amber and vanilla, and my skin does too.I also enjoy myrrh, opoponax, dirt notes, fruit/berries, citrus (though lemon can be iffy), grassy nonfloral notes, petrichor, incense, pastry gourmands.I'm mostly indifferent to patchouli (because my skin just devours it), vetiver, champagne, cinnamon, non-almond nuts, tea (but it depends on the blend)I can do VERY sparingly: violet, lavender, balsam.DO NOT GIVE ME: almond, narcissus, rose, cedar, wine, blood musk. I amp the first two nauseatingly and the last two go rancid on me.


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  1. Juliamon


    This is one of those situations where, if I were still a complete and total perfume newbie, I would gush over how perfect Sin is. Everything blends together so well, it's all notes I enjoy (well, I mostly tolerate cinnamon because it's just awful when used heavy-handed in a blend), it's present without absolutely suffocating me, it has that BPAL vibe I love. But a couple years down the line, I'm finding it a little bit lacking. The cinnamon is at the perfect level, but it's not really enough to make me pick it over any number of other sandalwood/amber/patchouli fragrances I've amassed. Still, I appreciate its lightness where most would wish for more strength and will hold onto my imp for occasions where I might be craving something simple and reliable. Or maybe to give to someone just getting into BPAL, if they already know they like patchouli. I regret waiting as long as I did to give it a go, and now I'm curious to try the variants that are out there!
  2. Juliamon

    Fig & Cranberry Sufganiyot

    This opens with a wonderfully tangy but still reasonably sweet cranberry sauce vibe along with a good solid hit of pastry. "Ooh" I thought to myself, "so THIS is why people raved about sufs of the past!" Unfortunately the pastry does end up going plasticky after about half an hour. Fig stays totally MIA. Ultimately not a winner for me, but I want this cranberry note in more blends!! Keeping the decant for now anyway, it could end up a good scent locket option.
  3. Juliamon

    Golden Sunrise

    More cool-toned than the warmth you expect from "Golden" in the name. The bergamot makes this super fresh-feeling, like just-stepped-out-of-the-shower fresh, with a just-laundered robe wrapped around your body to protect you from the temperature shift between steamy hot water and cool ambient air. The ambrette is subtle at first but comes out stronger as it dries, pushing the bergamot aside and making the scent warmer. It's really lovely, despite not being my usual vibe! (I expected it to be a bit heavier, but I blame my skin and how it gobbles some of the lab's ambers, apparently including amber cream.)
  4. Juliamon

    Body, Remember

    2020 decant. Been meaning to try this for the last couple years but somehow never remembered to pick up a decant when I had the chance. Until now! This is one of those weird blends that I both love and despise at the same time. Freshly applied this is STRONG, aggressive "summer beach" with the coconut as a suntan lotion base and the sugar cane and champaca throwing a sweet (sometimes to the point of cloying) floral, almost rummy blast of warm air across it. I put it on before bed and when I woke up it had settled down to a beautiful, delicate (but still detectable) salt-tinged skin scent. I don't think I'll upsize, but I'll keep this decant for warmer weather when I want to feel like I'm on vacation.
  5. Juliamon

    In Dubiis Libertas

    I still need to try the third of this trio of scents but as the last one has orris in it I feel pretty confident saying this one is my favorite of the group. It would be just vanilla amber, but the cypress adds a prickly nearly-floral note that, combined with the smoke, reminds me of BPAL's more honey-forward blends without my skin amping it to high heaven. Nothing overly fancy or complex, but any more additions would unbalance it. A bit light but I think this would be suffocating otherwise. I would love to see this as a proper Activism scent!
  6. Juliamon

    In Splendoribus Sanctorum

    This is a fairly simple blend, but a beautiful one. Not loud nor too quiet, not heavy nor too light. Warm, sacred resin incense with a flicker of brightness from the bergamot. It doesn't stand out very much at first from other frankincense-heavy blends, but develops in the nicest way over the course of an hour into something more balanced between all the elements. A very meditative scent, one that could easily be a signature scent for someone with a strong spiritual lean.
  7. Juliamon

    V'al Hanissim

    This is a lovely, lovely beeswax scent. It's also a LOT, and very tenacious (there's still traces of it stuck to me a good 48 hours on). Make sure you're committed to smelling like beeswax for awhile if you put this on! I would have liked a bit more smokiness to show up on me, but it is what it is. And what it is, is a damn good beeswax single note.
  8. Juliamon

    In Necessarias Unitas

    This opens with an initial blast of acrid patchouli incense (I think the vetiver is reading as incense smoke here) but as it warms the woods and oakmoss come out to play. The overall vibe is of warmth, a darker russet feel than the actual color of the oil. I can see this as reading masculine, but it's not really a generic men's cologne to me. Then, about 15 minutes in, it starts to go... sour? I think it might be the oud or mahogany, I don't think I've tried many BPALs with mahogany (certainly can't think of any off the top of my head) so maybe theirs doesn't vibe with me. I'm conflicted because it started out so nice and maybe it would return to being nice if I leave it on, but it's uncomfortably sweat-adjacent so it's getting scrubbed off this time. Maybe I'll revisit it again at a later date, but if someone comes along looking for an imp of it I will be happy to offer it to them.
  9. Juliamon

    Thirteen (13): April 2018

    Found a long-lost decant of this earlier today as I was looking for something entirely different, so as I was not one to pass on such a fortuitous event, I decided to give it a go. This opens right away with sweet red wine, though thankfully not so sweet as to be cloying as this note can sometimes be. Right behind it is a complicated blend of herbs and spices, with very few I can pick out (clove being the most prominent by just a bit). If I concentrate I can get a whiff of chocolate, but it (along with the coconut meat) is fleeting and not a note I would mention if someone asked what I was wearing. The sweet note is separating itself out from the wine and becoming a bit powdery as it dries down, I think it must be the marshmallow. The overall effect for me is, as Aveya helpfully pointed out, like Nosferatu with extra herbs, and unlike Nosferatu it actually lasts on my skin longer than a moment! It's still not a terribly long-lasting blend and I think it would have made for a great atmo spray, but I'll be holding onto this decant regardless--and putting it somewhere less likely to get lost this time!
  10. Juliamon

    Psalm 146:9

    I let my decant sit for a few weeks and the cacao separated out. Try as I might I couldn't get it to mix back in, it's stuck to the vial in little globules, so that may have affected my experience. But it's worth mentioning because it may be why not everyone is picking up on the cacao note--it may be stuck to the bottom of your bottle! Because I scraped at the cacao globs with the applicator wand this opened very chocolate-forward, with rich labdanum intertwined and a distant dusty vetiver. The vetiver pulls forward as the cocoa pulls back, but never enough to make this a "vetiver scent" and honestly it gives me kind of an orris vibe here as it's more powdery than smoky. I never really get a distinct vanilla, which is very odd considering my skin's penchant for amping it wildly. I'm on the fence about keeping the decant, as I don't really have the patience to stir and scrape every time I want to wear it. It's in the same family as Boomslang but with a more resinous presence, so if you're a Boomslang fan but want something less prone to skin-staining you should definitely give this a try!
  11. Juliamon

    Jazz Funeral

    This one has never been on my radar due to multiple mentions of florals in the description, but I've been getting a lot of fruity-floral samples from various houses lately and getting along reasonably well with most of them, so when this showed up as a frimp with my TLU bottles I actually got a bit excited! None of the booze shows up on me, nor does the moss really have much presence; it's all sweet dirt and clean, fruity florals. It dries down less fruity and a bit more floral, but not so much that I feel the need to scrub. It's gone entirely after a couple hours anyway (though the current heat wave may be affecting it) so it's not a big deal. The dirt note is what really makes this move from "meh, swap" to "oh, this'll be nice for special occasions!" BPAL's dirt note is absolutely my favorite of any house, it makes everything better IMO, and in this case adds a sophisticated edge to the otherwise-generic florals. Tucking the imp away for the next time I'm going somewhere where I need to make a good first impression. Thanks, labbies!
  12. Juliamon

    The Butterfly

    In the bottle: lots of petitgrain and some bergamot. Gives off a masculine vibe. On my skin, my first reaction is that this is a very "BPAL" scent. Upon asking myself "okay Julia but what does that even MEAN" I think it's that there's a good mix of resins and other elements that are exactly the sort of BPAL blends I usually gravitate towards. So of course it's gonna smell like a BPAL box to me! What makes this one stand out, though, is the use of tonka in place of the usual vanilla. My wrists amp vanilla and it often absolutely dominates a scent for me, especially in amber blends as BPAL's amber struggles on my skin already. Tonka, however? It behaves well, offering a vanillic buttery sweetness without suffocating the other notes. It also is remarkably fuzzy, bordering on musky. The bergamot comes out a bit more to add a nice zestiness. As a whole it's actually very gender-neutral. Very zingy and loud at first though, better suited to someone more extroverted than me unfortunately, even though it dries down to a lovely soft amber. It breaks my heart but I may need to pass this one along. Maybe I'll save a decant though...
  13. Juliamon

    The Lilac Wood

    In the bottle: Lilacs and rain-soaked plants. On my skin the plants dry off, keeping this from being an aquatic. They're still fresh, juicy, vibrant greenery though, a little bit spicy. If there are trees in here they are young and mostly leaf, if you're hoping for woodiness it's not to be found.. The lilacs (and I'm pretty sure there's another floral in there, but the lilacs are far and away the dominant one) are gorgeous and just bloomed, and they dance back and forth with the greens taking turns in the throw. There is magic afoot in this blend! Alas, even with slathering it barely lasts a couple of hours on me, but it's wooooorth it.
  14. Juliamon

    All Hallows Chaos: Samhain

    Grabbed a leftover Ajevie decant of #35 and then... uh, forgot about it. I mean, "aged" it. Unlike the previous reviewer I only get the slightest hint of mint, as though the Samhain spices took the last handful of months to really intensify. Especially the nutmeg. There is WAY more nutmeg in here than normal Samhain. I'm not sure I'm digging it.
  15. Juliamon

    Snake's Tongue

    I foolishly forgot to test my decant of this until it was too late to upgrade to a full bottle, because this may very well be my new favorite SO blend. There's a wonderfully smooth resinous streak right up front, with the tobacco having a tinge of caramel sweetness. The oak and oakmoss are both hidden beneath, not making a big deal of themselves but still definitely there when you look for them. There seems to be less vanilla than the traditional SO, which I think is to its benefit but could be a dealbreaker for some. The overall feel is much more sinuous, more subtle, more snakey than Snake Oil proper, and my overactive senses deeply appreciate it. I hope to see this make a return next year!