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BPAL Madness!


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About torischroeder9

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    a little too imp-ulsive


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    United States


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    Bengal, Katharina, Scherezade, Vixen


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  1. torischroeder9

    Frostbitten Jack

    Note: The only Lab snow note I've tried is the one in the 2018 Frostbitten series. I've tried Frostbitten Snake Oil, Frostbitten Dorian, and now Frostbitten Jack. To my nose, the note is consistent across these blends (in this year). I would call it softly creamy and softly sweet. If I refer to the "snow" note in this review, it is the one I am describing here. In the decant: The snow note, as above, is most prominent, but I don't have too much trouble detecting the pumpkin, nutmeg, and clove underneath. They're in the background, but they're not absent for me. On my skin: Wet, it's snow, nutmeg, and pumpkin, in that order. As it dries, the snow is the portion of the blend that continues to have the most throw. However, if I bring my nose close to my arm to sniff, the pumpkin and nutmeg are most prominent. After about half an hour, the notes blend together more. The snow still has more throw, and the pumpkin-nutmeg is still prominent near the skin, but the balance is much closer. The snow is detectable close up, and the pumpkin-nutmeg is detectable sniffing further out. And there's a range of "sniffing distance" when the blend is pretty well equalized. As it wears on my skin, the pumpkin-nutmeg of Jack becomes more dominant at any sniff length. The snow note never becomes a non-player.
  2. torischroeder9

    Frostbitten Dorian

    2018 version Also worth noting: It's been a while since I tested regular Dorian. In the decant: Tea and white musk in the foreground, the same snow note as in this year's Frostbitten Snake Oil in the background. (I have also not actually ever tried straight Snow White or possibly any of the Lab's snow-prominent perfumes.) On my skin: Wet, the snow note gains more prominence so it's at least an equal player with the tea. The white musk has temporarily receded. In the early dry phase, it becomes so much snow that I also lose the tea. The snow is beautiful, though, so I am not complaining. After about half an hour, I notice that I'm getting a pretty good amount of throw from this. I wonder if it's the snow note itself or if one of the light musks (I often amp musk) is helping to boost it on my skin. It takes about forty-five minutes for anything like Dorian (or like my memory of Dorian, light musk and sweet light tea) to come through, and when it does, it's still well-balanced by the sweet, creamy snow note. I like this a lot, and it works better for me than I remember Dorian itself working (I amp musk but eat tea, so Dorian isn't balanced on me). The additional "frostbitten" notes give it more depth. On me, this is light enough -- in character; it still has good throw -- to be a warm weather scent.
  3. torischroeder9

    Gingerbread and More Ginger

    In the decant: Fresh ginger at first, followed by the gingerbread smell. I'm distinguishing "gingerbread" because there is an element of baked good, sweetness, and additional complementary spices (maybe brown sugar and allspice, just a bit?). On my skin: Wet, I get the gingerbread note first, to the exclusion of the fresh ginger I experienced in the decant. Through the initial drydown, at least, it stays the same way. I mean, it's a very gingery gingerbread -- and I like my gingerbread with a lot of ginger (and that's sort of why I got this scent) -- but I'm missing the distinct "more ginger" note I seemed to get in the decant. Aaaannd... yeah, half an hour after the previous paragraph, and it doesn't seem to be morphing at all. It's a very gingery gingerbread. It's a nice warm, gingery scent with some pretty good throw. It's possibly my favorite scent from the selection of Yule 2018 decants I purchased. I do want a bottle of this, but I might have to look long and hard at both my finances and my spicy, wintry perfumes to determine whether I really should get one. Definitely hanging onto this decant, though.
  4. torischroeder9

    Gingerbread, White Cedar, and Gunpowder

    In the decant: Gunpowder hits my nose first. As I continue to sniff, I realize it's a cedar core with a gunpowder accent -- but the gunpowder hits a part of my nose/olfactory processing that noplace else gets. On my skin: Wet, it's all gunpowder, like cannons on my arm. This Cannon SN continues well into the drydown. After about half an hour, the cedar once again makes itself known. But now it's gunpowder-gilded cedar... Pirate Ship SN? (I know pirate ships weren't made out of cedar, but it's a fun thought.) Still not getting anything I can call gingerbread. Aaaand... after another half an hour, gunpowder cedar is where it seems to stay. I think this is a case where some aging might be in order.
  5. torischroeder9

    A Measurement of the Soul

    (2018 version) In the decant: Cedar, something like a light pine scent, and a bit of sage. On my skin: Wet, it's the light pine, cedar, and sage. As it dries, the warmth and roundness of the fig note starts to come out. Given some time to dry and settle down, the fig warms and comes out as the dominant note on my skin. It's the same sensuous fig as in Carnal. Only this time, instead of being the grounding note, the fig is the top note. At this point, the cedar and sage aren't detectable on me except to know that something earthy is grounding the fig. About half an hour later, the fig remains the only detectable note. At this point, I could be wearing Carnal (since the mandarin there disappears on me) and never know the difference. I like fig well enough as a scent (in fact, I like fig very well as a scent, and I'd wear it more often if it wasn't such a low-throw note on me), but I don't know that this is distinct enough on me to warrant a separate purchase.
  6. torischroeder9


    (2018 version) In the decant: Something sweet and almost fruity, like an orange hard candy. On my skin: The scent is somewhere between an orange candy and an orange cleaner, not necessarily in an unpleasant way. Twenty minutes later, the candy note is gone, and I smell white musk over wood. There might be a tinge of sweetness left, but it's an accent on the blend rather than the main note. Given as much time again, the white musk increases and the sweetness fades until this is just white musk over... polished wood. I've just now, as I've been sniffing and typing, had the realization that this scent is white musk, wood, and just the tiniest tinge of orange oil, as if the wood had been regularly but not super-recently oiled and polished. The effect, to me, is that of smelling polished wood through the veil of something else. It's cleaner than dust or powder but not so wet or clean as is water. It's softer than ozone. It's evocative of a piece of wood that's been regularly polished but also regularly touched -- like, for example, a wooden bannister in the staircase of an old house, especially one that held a large family -- over a lot of years. The white musk element of the blend has pretty good throw. If it's typical of white musk for me, it will also have pretty good wear length. Will check back after a couple of wears to see if that holds true.
  7. torischroeder9

    The Ghost of a Ghost’s Ghost

    In the decant: Oakmoss with lavender. On my skin: Wet, oakmoss is still dominant with the lavender still detectable and becoming a bit sharper as it dries. About fifteen minutes later, as it settles on my skin, lavender is in the forefront. Now the patchouli is also detectable as a grounding note. I can still pick out the oakmoss tying these scents together, but the "pallid oakmoss" descriptor is apt. It's just barely there enough to be a unifying presence. Given additional time to settle and warm, it becomes lavender as a top note for something almost powdery on my skin. But, like, very fine, high-end, grown-up powder -- not the baby powder I sometimes get when a note like amber doesn't play nice on my skin. Much later (sorry, I left periodic arm-sniffing long enough to cook and eat dinner), the scent is a very light, powdery floral. The top note is something like a very light rose. (A quick Google tells me cistus is rockrose?) The lavender is detectable as a base; at this point, I cannot detect any patchouli or wood fulfilling this role. I can't tell what's leading to the powder note on me (none of the listed notes usually do this, and the quality of the powder is different than I've ever experienced from perfume oil). Once it's in powder-lavender-rose stage, the throw is pretty low, but the wear length seems to be at least average.
  8. torischroeder9


    In the decant: Dark chocolate and something almost minty, but a complementary mint -- like an Andes mint. On my skin: Dark chocolate when it's wet, but as soon as it dries, pepper becomes the dominant note. However, left alone for a few minutes, the chocolate reemerges. It's definitely a dark chocolate -- almost bitter dark -- and spicy. About fifteen minutes after the initial drydown, the scent on me is fairly balanced between dark chocolate and pepper. Slowly, the note that I think must be the green cardamom peeks out. In this blend, it's what's causing the suggestion of a creamy minty smell to me. It actually feels like the softest note in this blend to me, and it does a good job of bringing together the sharp pepper and the rich dark chocolate. And then, after about an hour -- and rather suddenly, all timelines considered -- this shifts to a nice cardamom with a solidly medium amount of throw. (When the chocolate note was present, it was a very skin-close scent on me.) I can believe that black pepper also graces the scent, but I can't prove it. I do like the final drydown quite a lot. I'm just not sure about the whole path it takes to get there.
  9. torischroeder9

    Hod v2

    (I think this is the correct place for this review. Purchased a bottle of this on eBay from a seller from whom I've purchased before.) In the bottle: Very sweet vanilla creamy. It reminds me of the smell of, like, an entire tub or bowl of creamy vanilla frosting. If there are other notes, they are hiding under that. On my skin: First, as I apply, the oil's consistency is thicker than I've experienced from most BPAL vials. It's not as thick as my aged Boomslang, but it's getting toward that. Wet, the vanilla dissipates almost immediately, revealing a softly spiced scent underneath. It's the kind of spice that would be at home in a room full of sweet baked goods, but there's no actual "baked good" note (like, no cake or bread or that sort of thing -- just the spice). Also, something's tickling my nose in a floral kind of way, but it's not identifiable at this stage. Once it's had several minutes to settle and warm, the spiciness is foremost on me. I'm actually not reading it as carnation as it's spicier than carnation usually is on me. A great deal of the vanilla creaminess comes back, though not the jolt of sugar sweetness. Up close, I also get whiffs of a high floral -- but not overly sweet -- top note. Settling down some more, the carnation note becomes more apparent. I'm also detecting a note that I'm interpreting as a soft wood (sandalwood?). There's also something (amber? this would be characteristic on my skin) that's letting the vanilla note waft on me. The vanilla isn't strong at this point in the blend, but it does have a goodly amount of throw. I expect this will disappear on me sooner rather than later (though maybe not super soon), but it is lovely. Comparisons to Morocco are apt.
  10. torischroeder9

    A Thought from Propertius

    In the decant: Apricot, cayenne, honey. On my skin: Wet, it's sweetened cayenne. As it dries, the apricot becomes detectable again as well. In this early stage, something in the blend -- I'd actually guess the cayenne (since I've never experienced this with honey or apricot before) -- has a quality almost like menthol. After about fifteen minutes, however, the blend settles down, and the menthol aspect disappears. It is apricot and honey with a touch of cayenne. On me, the apricot-honey pairing is very sweet, and I imagine that without the spice of the cayenne, this blend might be cloying. I would tell you that throw is low to medium on me. However, last time I tested it, my husband commented about the strength of the BPAL I was wearing. So maybe some aspect of the blend is stronger than I notice?
  11. torischroeder9


    In the decant: Blood orange and accompanying sweetness (maybe fruity, maybe honey). On my skin: Apricot springs up first wet. As it dries, also blood orange, dragon's blood, and vanilla. A few minutes after it's dry, the dragon's blood and vanilla both fade from detection. The blood orange is still present but cedes dominance to the apricot. The blood orange note is sweeter than I expect, but I can't tell if that's due to the sweetness of the apricot or to one of the other sweet notes, such as the honey. As it settles and warms on me (about 15 minutes after the previous paragraph), it's apricot being amped but sweetened blood orange closer (but not only super close) to my skin. I can't pinpoint a single origin to the sweet note. It could be just the apricot. Could also be dragon's blood and/or honey. Could also even be a bit of the vanilla acting to round out the orange. The result is both fruity and grounded.
  12. torischroeder9

    Redoul Honey

    In the imp: A berry scent with something sweet as a top note. I can believe that note is honey, but I can't actually identify it independently. On my skin: Wet, it's a berry-scent. It feels somewhere between blueberry and blackberry, though closest to blackberry. As it dries, the honey begins to warm it. Aaand... fifteen minutes later, it's basically gone before it started.
  13. torischroeder9

    An Incubus Leaving Two Sleeping Women

    EditIn the decant: Wow, there's a lot going on here. Vanilla, honey, floral, patchouli, beeswax. Even though I can smell the floral notes, the overall feel of this is on the deeper end of honey scents to me. Initially comparable to a more complex O. On my skin: Wet, it's deep vanilla honey, beeswax, and patchouli. Not getting any of the florals or musk right away, but with how good this smells right now, I don't care if they ever get here. Once it dries, the vanilla disappears on me (vanilla, we really must have a talk about this one day), and the magnolia becomes detectable. Warmed on my skin, the notes that stand out are the magnolia and the beeswax. Honey is definitely tying both of those notes together, and a touch of patchouli is present as a grounding note, but they're supports rather than the stars here. Huh. Another half hour, and it's shifted again, though subtly. The beeswax is now the most prominent note on my skin, though the magnolia is still gracing the top of it. The honey stays fairly steady while the patchouli becomes a bit more prominent. There may be something gently spicy (kurundu? brown musk?) as well. This is a lovely, warm blend on me -- sweet without being cloying. Throw is low to medium: It's not a skin scent, but I'm also not amping it so that I can smell myself all over the room. Edit 1/10 -- I wore this to work today in the hopes that it would be a honey blend suitable for such a location (meaning, one that doesn't amp too much on me). This was fabulous for that purpose. The throw remains low on me, but the wear length is several hours (I actually have to wash it off after work and errands in order to scent test this evening). After a few hours, it settles down to a mainly honey-beeswax scent on me.
  14. torischroeder9

    Fortuna Restitutrix

    In the decant: Clove and sweetness, which I presume is the olive blossom. On my skin: Lots of clove and the same sweetness. Several minutes in, the clove still dominates, with a nice sweet floral top note. If there's leather here, it's very possible the strength of the clove on me is covering it up. After another half hour or so, the clove dies down so that it's more balanced with the olive blossom. Though the clove has toned down a bit, it's still very pleasant, and I still cannot pick out a leather note. In the next phase, a soft leather note does emerge -- and it is soft, against the spice of the clove and the sweetness of the olive blossom. Here, it has almost the quality of a soft black musk. Unfortunately, from this point, the clove and olive blossom continue to fade while the leather note either remains behind or strengthens. At this point, the whole blend starts to go a little powdery and a little soapy. Sadly, it dries down to nondescript leather with a faint floral top note. The clove is present only in a tiny amount and only very close to my skin. It's not unpleasant -- and I certainly wouldn't mind this if it was a "morning after" or even "several hours after" type of scent -- but it's a far cry from the glorious clove that was its debut.
  15. torischroeder9

    Dead Leaves, Red Musk, and Neroli

    This is my first experience with BPAL's dead leaves note. In the decant: Neroli is dominant, with a little red musk detectable, along with another dusty note (I'm assuming the dead leaves). On my skin: Wet, it's neroli first with a tinge of red musk emerging as it dries. As it dries, the neroli settles down though it remains the dominant note on my skin. The dusty dead leaves note is also present, and the barest hint of red musk curls around the edges. About fifteen minutes later, it's mostly dead leaves. The red musk is on the uptick, and the neroli is on the decline. (Some of these notes came for a sprint, and some showed up for a marathon.) Another thirty minutes, and the blend balances between red musk and dead leaves (which now smell a little more like actual dead leaves to me, but the brown kind late in autumn, not leaves in the midst of color-changing and falling). The neroli is now undetectable to my nose. Hrm. I think the Lab's dead leaves note is pleasant enough, at least as I encounter it in this blend, but it doesn't evoke the particular type of autumn leaves for which I was hoping (at least, it doesn't end up working that way on my skin). As for red musk blends, again, this becomes pleasant enough within a few minutes (and neroli isn't a bad note on me -- it's just that red musk is much better), but it's not my favorite red musk blend.