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BPAL Madness!


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About garbagewitch

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    wrist-sniffing wench
  • Birthday October 12


  • BPAL of the Day
    Mr. Jacquel
  • Favorite Scents
    Persephone, Black Forest, The Gatekeeper Jareth, Blood Kiss, Centzon Totochtin, Fenris Wolf, Les Bijoux, Lawful+Mage, Shub-Nigguarth, Debauchery, Oberon, The Black Tower, Sin, Brimstone, The Forest Reverie, Dorian, Jack, Velvet

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  1. garbagewitch


    Freshly turned earth, dark and slightly damp—the kind of earth that smells alive, not just dirt, but soil. It gets sweeter and greener, like something living that’s been carefully dug out from the earth, with a little soil still clinging to its roots. Then the rosiness steps forward and takes over the whole scent, elegant and sweet, though the mossy, earthy notes are still definitely present. There’s an interesting contrast of dry and damp here: I don’t know how it was done, but the rose here is definitely a desiccated rose, while the earth keeps that damp, living quality to it. Not an inherently creepy scent to me, but a little unsettling—it could just be the scent that lingers on someone who's spent the morning at work in their garden, but it could also be the elegant perfume lingering on someone who’s just clawed themselves out of their grave. I originally shrugged it off as interesting!, but unlikely to see a lot of use. The more I try it, though, the more I really enjoy it. If you’d like to know what Lucy’s Kiss smells like when she’s heaving herself out of a shallow grave (or perhaps simply repotting a rose bush), give Zombi a try!
  2. garbagewitch


    Mage starts off warm and a little peppery—between this and No. 93 Engine, I’m starting to think that peppery note might be frankincense? Whatever it is, though, the peppery note isn’t as overwhelmingly biting as it was in No. 93 Engine. Instead, the whole scent is warm and sweet and incensey, with just the slightest kick. As it dries down, the spiciness smooths out a bit, but overall the scent stays warm and sweet. Like Lawful, it's very straightforward all though the drydown, which I suppose makes sense for layering. This isn’t an explosively magical or darkly mysterious scent—it actually reminds me of Dracula and Lisa’s labs in Castlevania, golden-warm and sparkling, as inviting as it is enchanting. I feel like this is what my Circle mages in Dragon Age would smell like, all well-organized spell components lined up on a rough wooden workspace alongside carefully sketched out rituals and precariously balanced cups of tea. I don’t wear Mage quite often enough to merit a full bottle y e t, but it’s definitely not out of the running. I have high hopes for layering this one, especially with the more exciting-looking alignment options. 😙
  3. garbagewitch


    Wet, Lawful smells just like the efficascent oil my mom used to rub on our stomachs when we were feeling ill: dark green, cool, and strongly medicinal. The main ingredients in it were camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, so I have no idea how it’s doing that. As it settles down, it gets sweeter and smoother, becoming more of a gentle woodsy-herbal scent. It’s a very calm, soothing scent, sort of what I imagine an apothecary on the edge of a forest might smell like: cool, faintly sweet, and gently medicinal. All the notes are pretty well-balanced, but it definitely gets more woodsy as it dries down—I’ve never thought of oak as very distinctive from other woods, but I think it stands out pretty well in Lawful. Overall, it’s subdued but pleasant, and I can see this working well for certain characters. I probably won’t buy a full bottle unless it layers amazingly well with something else, but I’ll definitely be snagging another imp if/when this one runs out.
  4. garbagewitch


    Opens up with a strong, intense red cherry that’s just soooooo good, sweet and wet and red, somewhere between a real ripe juicy cherry and a fluorescent red cherry lollipop. If we could just stay right here, it’d be perfect, but it’s chased almost immediately by a sharp black licorice that just gets stronger and stronger until it completely takes over. As it settles, the anise starts to chill out and become a little more wearable, but it’s still basically straight licorice quite a while. The cherry finally comes back for the final drydown, with just a sharp hint of anise to contrast it — I actually like this phase quite a bit, but it takes much too long to get to it. I wasn’t sure about the star anise, but I was hoping two notes I love up against one wildcard would be enough to balance things out. Unfortunately, the star anise kicked cherry’s ass, and red musk didn’t even show up to the party. I'm gonna give this one a couple more tries, but I think Kabuki is probably a scent for someone who likes licorice a lot more than I do.
  5. garbagewitch


    Sin starts out with a flash of amber, warm and sweet and golden, which is quickly overtaken by cinnamon and sandalwood. The cinnamon and sandalwood blend together seamlessly—sweet, spicy, and a little rough. Something about this sandalwood feels almost unfinished, like a carving that hasn’t been sanded down, and it’s gorgeous in a very raw way. As it dries down, the amber starts to come back out to give it this halo of light golden sweetness. Between the amber and the cinnamon, it’s dangerously close to smelling like hard candy, but the sandalwood keeps them in check and prevents the whole scent from getting too candied. Beneath the spicy-sweet rasp of the other notes, something that has to be the black patchouli peeks out. It’s dark and earthy and smooth, and it tips Sin just over the line into ‘jump me!’ territory; I’m definitely going to have to try more scents with black patchouli. To me, this is more comforting than truly sinful, though it is pretty sexy. It smells like snuggling up in the flannel shirt of someone much sturdier than you, like running away to the mountains with someone who makes you feel safe and protected. It smells like shuffling out of a cabin still half-asleep to see someone with rough, capable hands chopping wood, haloed by the morning sun. Wearing this makes me feel like the buff, capable flannel-wearing lumberjack of my dreams. Would recommend to anyone who wants to smell like Steve Rogers ripping a log apart with his bare hands.
  6. garbagewitch

    Les Bijoux

    Les Bijoux starts out delicious, sweet and golden with a slight spicy-floral edge, honey mingling with frankincense and orange blossom; this opening actually reminds me a bit of a lighter, brighter Blood Kiss. As it dries down, the spiciness of the incense backs off and the fruits come forward, creating a sweet, delicate scent that’s a perfect blend of floral and fruity and honeyed. It strikes a lovely balance between the fresh, juicy sweetness of an apple and the thick, golden sweetness of honey. Once it’s dried down, the honey gets a little lighter and the musk warms everything up, making this sheer, golden veil of scent that’s just unbelievably alluring. This smells like sitting in the middle of fragrant garden with someone radiantly beautiful, eating crisp, pale slices of apples and peaches drizzled with ribbons of golden honey. It smells like licking honey and juice from their fingertips and breathing in the scent of their skin, flushed and glowing in the sunlight. Sweet and golden and ripe, Les Bijoux occupies that space of unselfconscious sensuality that so much of Victorian porn seems to take place in; it’s the kind of scent you instinctively want to sink your teeth into, the kind of scent you just want to ravish. Like Oberon, this one straddles the line between smelling perfumey and natural pretty well, though it veers a little closer to perfumey than Oberon does. I think it could work whether you want to smell like you’re making an effort or you want to smell like you’re not trying at all. A+, would recommend to anyone who wants to smell delicious and biteable.
  7. garbagewitch

    All Night Long

    Cinnamon, hot and tingly, with just the barest hint of something sweet and floral behind it. Red, hot, and strong, this is the kind of scent you can almost taste—it’s like chewing an entire pack of Big Red while a breeze carries the scent of a faraway bouquet of flowers to you. The florals gradually get stronger, but the cinnamon never calms down. The final drydown smells like Big Red put out a limited edition jasmine flavor. Odd, but fun! Leaves my skin feeling warm, tingly, and just a little irritated; it wasn’t especially bothersome, but I would definitely recommend a carrier oil to anyone with sensitive skin. Doesn’t seem to do much for sexual inhibitions in my experience, but then, neither my partner nor I have all that many to begin with. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  8. garbagewitch

    No. 93 Engine

    No. 93 Engine starts off very sharp, in way that reminds me of accidentally pouring out way too much black pepper, with something warm and sweet underneath. After a while, that peppery-sharpness gradually starts to calm down a little, and the warm sweetness that was in the background starts to become more prominent—it’s very well-blended, but I can pick out benzoin and frankincense. As it dries down more, the warmth starts to take on more of a woodsy quality, with a cool edge that I’m guessing is the lemon balm. I actually really enjoy the final drydown: it's warm and smooth and just a little sweet, with a touch of minty-coolness that keeps it interesting, and that biting peppery note has finally backed off enough that I don't feel like I'm going to sneeze with every sniff. Unfortunately, it takes a few hours to get to this phase, and that's much too long to spend smelling like I've just been a party to kitchen crimes. A well-blended and interesting scent; if it weren’t for that pepper-sharp note, I think I could actually love it, or at least like it enough to finish off the imp. Unfortunately, whatever is giving me that black pepper vibe doesn't do anything for me except distract from the notes I actually enjoy. Not quite a scrubber, but I’m definitely passing this one on to a friend who wears it much better than I do.
  9. garbagewitch


    Sweet and crisp! I'm not super familiar with the scent of juniper berries, but I’m guessing this is juniper berries mingling with bergamot. It gets a little more floral as it dries down, but stays very light and crisp. If the patchouli and white musk are around, they’re too well-blended into the other notes for me to pick them out individually. With the way other very light, airy scents have gone on me, though, I suspect they might be responsible for keeping this one from feeling like it’s about to turn into soap or just float away. Oberon is cool and clean and refreshing in a way that makes me imagine a stream running through the woods, tempting you to wade in on a warm day: the gentle babble of flowing water, the way the sunlight glints off the surface, the perfect clarity that lets you see straight down to the pebbles lining the bottom. I really wouldn’t be surprised to find a fae king or a river god smelling like this; it’s just the right blend of innocuous and inviting, refinement with a touch of nature. The fairy queen’s consort is a good fit for this, but if I was going to assign a character to this scent, my first choice would probably be Haku, the dragon from Spirited Away. I don’t typically like very clean scents on myself, but I’ve been wanting something crisp and fresh to wear in hot weather and I think Oberon is it for me. It straddles the line between perfumey and natural really well, manages to be clean without ever veering into soapy, and feels ethereal without seeming like it’s going to disappear. It's pretty much everything I wanted out of a ~refreshing~ scent.
  10. garbagewitch


    In my early perfume days, just the idea of florals made me wrinkle my nose, and rose seemed the most flowery of them all. Then I got into BPAL and Persephone just sounded too good to pass up; I loved the goddess, I loved pomegranate, and maybe the rose wouldn’t be too strong? That first order arrived and I realized I actually really like rose, when it’s done by someone who knows how to treat a rose right. That was years ago, though, so when my friend snagged an imp in her first order, I wasn’t expecting it to live up to the memory I have of it. Spoiler alert: it absolutely does. Persephone starts off with an intense sweetness, that’s only kept from being candied by how juicy it is. The rosiness comes forward almost immediately after the initial explosion of sweetness, and it’s one hell of a rose, full and blooming with perfectly pink, ruffled petals. The sweetness and juiciness of pomegranate blends seamlessly with the rose; this smells like what I imagine a rose would taste like if it was a fruit. There’s also a slight green, leafy edge that makes me think this rose is still on the bush. As it dries down, the green edge eventually disappears and juiciness calms down a little, but it stays sweet and pink and lush all the way through. It isn’t at all a sexual scent, but the juiciness of the pomegranate makes it almost unbearably sensual to me. If I smelled this on someone else, I’d want to bite them. It wouldn’t be an aggressive or sexual impulse, it would just be automatic, the way I would want to sink my teeth into a ripe strawberry. If Lucy's Kiss is the scent of a demure young woman half-dressed and fresh from bathing in rosewater, then Persephone is the scent that trails off that same young woman as she leads you on a playful chase through the garden on a rainy night, bare feet dancing across the damp grass and laughter sparkling alongside the patter of rain. Not at all wild, but playful and carefree in a way that's only possible when propriety has been thrown decisively out the window. Fresher, cooler, and not quite as clean as Lucy’s Kiss, with a crisp, ripe sweetness that makes you want to nuzzle in closer, to lick and bite once you've caught her. Along with Dorian, this is one of those scents I’m so crazy about, I can’t help but recommend it indiscriminately. Try it if you like rose, try it if you think you don't like rose, try it if you like sweet scents or fruity scents, try it if you haven't already tried it, just try it.
  11. garbagewitch


    Titania makes me imagine the most whimsical, soft-focus spring picnic: an assortment of soft fruit, chilled and slightly damp from sitting on a bed of ice, each one perfectly ripe and juicy and sweet. The scent of the juice on your fingertips mingles with that drifting off of the sprays of sweet pea twined in your hair and surrounding your dainty fest. Instead of a regular picnic blanket, you've got mismatched, slightly threadbare velvet cushions laid out in the shade. If there's also a cooler full of ice and Four Lokos that you lugged up with you, it's certainly not sitting where any of your selfies are going to catch it. Titania reminds me a bit of the girls in high school who seemed almost like manic pixie dream girls come to life, soft and pretty and picture perfect, not a rough edge in sight. Twee as fuck, but if you're looking down your nose at her, it's probably because you're still jealously trying to figure out how she sanded down her jagged corners. (She didn't; she just figured out those flattering angles a lot sooner than you did.) The most intriguing part of this scent to me is that damp, chilled note; between Titania and 504 Gateway, I'm dying to find it in a blend that works on me. Everything else was... pretty, but not quite right. Wearing Titania made me feel like it needed something to pin it down, a grounding note or maybe just a more fitting personality. My friend and I both agreed it would probably smell better on the kind of person who wears fluttery cotton maxi dresses and flower crowns, the kind of person who loves things like sunshine and being outside, and also probably regularly updates their instagram with reminders about how much they love those things. (Which I realize makes us sound like absolute vampires, but. Well. That's only one of us.) If you're looking for a fruity-floral that manages to go harder on the fruits without ever getting cloyingly sweet, or just a nice airy springtime scent, I'd say Titania might be a good bet for you.
  12. garbagewitch


    Sensual ecstasy, the blinding red fire of the apex of sexual pleasure: Moroccan rose, Sumatran rose, mandarin, Egyptian myrrh, night-blooming jasmine, bergamot and neroli thrust into Arabian musk. Very fresh and clean and pretty, all sweet white jasmine and sharp bergamot at the start. My friend said Rapture reminded them of laundry soap, and I have to agree; the crispness of the bergamot and the floral freshness of the jasmine come together to make me think of clean, neatly folded linen. It's a lovely laundry soap, though! Not a gallon bottle of Tide, but a jar of homemade laundry soap with dried flower petals and curls of orange peel mixed in. It gets sweeter as it dries down, and I think that's the mandarin coming forward more. The extra sweetness makes it smell a bit less like laundry, but never takes it into candied / fruity territory. Rapture is clean and light all the way to the end, just warmer and sweeter, like a sundress going from freshly laundered to being worn out to a picnic on a sunny day. Though I don't think they actually smell all that similar, the feeling it evokes makes me think of a less prim, more exuberant Endymion. They both have that tidy femme feeling to me, the one that makes me imagine fluttering lace curtains and freshly cut flowers. Where Endymion would wear a pencil skirt and a subtle pinky-brown lipstick, though, Rapture would probably choose a swishy sundress and a brighter pink lipgloss. This one isn't for me, but if sweet, fresh florals are your thing, I think it's definitely worth a try.
  13. garbagewitch


    The scent of warm, glowing jack o’lanterns on a warm autumn night: true Halloween pumpkin, spiced with nutmeg, glowing peach and murky clove. Nutmeg, warm and spicy, right out of the gate! As it dries down, it starts to sweeten up, and I can make out the pumpkin and clove, too. God, I know July’s just begun, but this scent makes me want autumn to happen. Right! Now! I want to wrap myself up in a heavy coat I don’t actually own and complain about cold weather I was dying for just a few weeks earlier. I want to start knitting and baking like a witch getting ready to hibernate. I want to dive headfirst into a pumpkin pie. It keeps on getting sweeter, but it’s a very light, almost syrupy kind of sweet—definitely the peach. Seeing that note really threw me off the first time I tried it, but now that I’ve been wearing it a while, I think it’s the peach that makes this scent really stand out. It gives Jack that glowing aura that makes it more than just pumpkin spice, all liquid and golden, like someone managed to pour the earliest part of an autumn sunset into a mug. This makes me think of what I always imagined going to the local corn maze with my high school friends would be like, before I actually did it and realized both the corn maze and my high school friends were actually kind of shitty. It’s a pure distillation of the ideal fall, the hot drinks and heavy knitwear and fiery sunsets that guard you against the approaching chill. If Jack were a person, it would be someone who wears worn-in flannel shirts and sturdy boots, someone who always has a hand-knit scarf to wrap around your neck and a pie waiting in the oven for you, someone who knows how to stoke a fire and make a hot toddy to banish the nastiest of colds. Warm and gentle and welcoming, in a way that verges on transcendent, with rough edges that only highlight the beauty they're framing. (Bon Iver, is what I’m saying. I’m saying that it would be Bon Iver.)
  14. garbagewitch

    Blood Kiss

    Starts out sharp and sweet, vetiver enveloped in a really lovely, golden sweetness—honey, with vanilla and cherry making it sweeter and brighter, and keeping it from going soft and powdery. It stays sweet as it dries down, but starts to go from gold to red, the cherry coming forward more and maybe the red wine peeking its head out a little? That sharp center is still around, but it’s not so piercing as it was in the beginning—the clove starts tempering the vetiver, making it more of a low rasp than a high-pitched shriek. Something about this reminds me of chocolate; it doesn’t actually smell like chocolate, but there’s something here that’s pushing one of the same buttons in my head that the scent of chocolate hits? I think it’s the fact that the intensely sweet cherry is reminding me of chocolate-covered cherries, the ones that just overflow with cherry juice and syrup when you bite into them. It's deep red, plump cherries, drenched in a sweet syrup of honey and red wine, and there's every element of those chocolate-covered cherries except the chocolate itself, but then my mind catches that vetiver-clove sharpness and slides it right into the slot a good bittersweet dark chocolate would go in. It's decadence taken almost to the point of obscenity. I absolutely love this scent, but it took me a really long time to figure out how I felt and I think that's partly because of how well-blended it is (it took me forever to be able to pick out any individual notes) and partly because of how intense it is. All that being said, Blood Kiss absolutely lives up to that near-pornographic description. It's the kind of scent that’s so thick it’s almost a taste; it's much, much sweeter than I prefer my scents these days, but the sharpness of the vetiver manages to pin it down and keep it from being cloying, while the vetiver is so sharp, it would be unpleasant if it wasn't illuminated by such a brilliant sweetness. Together, though, they're like an enchantingly beautiful person with a viciously cruel edge—both shocking and alluring in a way that just wouldn't be possible if only one of those elements was present. If it were a person, Blood Kiss would be the woman Lucrezia Borgia is remembered for being (quite different from who she likely actually was): poisonously deadly, but so charming and beautiful that you don't even notice the blade until it's already sliding between your ribs.
  15. garbagewitch


    At the start, Velvet is pure chocolate, with just a hint sharp sandalwood. I almost want to call it powdery, but that's not the right word, it's just very dry—not chocolate, cocoa powder, straight from the tin. As it settles, the sandalwood comes forward more, accompanied by the shadowy rasp of myrrh. The cocoa smells exactly like the main ingredient to hot chocolate, but the sandalwood and myrrh keep it from ever feeling truly edible. Though it started out almost all cocoa, the drydown ends up mostly sandalwood, with the cocoa just softening up the edges and the myrrh lending some weight and shadow to it all. Velvet is the perfect name for this scent, it’s dry and soft and warm, everything velvet should be. Something about this scent makes me think of a church; it’s dark and somber and still, but at the same time warm and peaceful—like pews carved from dark wood and draped in the silence and shadow of night. It would be eerie, but there's such a sense of safety, the quiet can't be anything but calming. It's a gentle touch hiding behind austerity, it's peace dressed in the formal garb of ritual, it's finding comfort in supplication.