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BPAL Madness!


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About Rayleigh

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  • Favorite Scents
    Dee, Event Horizon, Bow & Crown of Conquest, Scherezade, Coyote, Tzadikim Nistarim, Death Cap, Morocco, Vixen, Cathedral, The Lights of Men's Lives, Paladin, No. 93 Engine, Inez, Loup Garou, Mme. Moriarty

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  1. Rayleigh

    I Wish I Were Your Mirror

    Love! I almost didn't try it at all because having lily water as the first listed component made me nervous, but I believe there is no such thing as a death note in the right company and this proves it. The lily here is identifiably lily, and distinctly lily water, but it's not overwhelming or high pitched, nor very aquatic. A little soapy right off the bat, but it doesn't stay that way. It blends perfectly with the resins and spice. It reminds me of the way lily petals feel, all hyper-smooth and soft. I love myrrh, and this is a great myrrh. It reminds me of the myrrh in Inez, which is rich and deep and spicy. I don't get much frankincense in the balance. The cardamom is more present when wet than dry, and then it all blends together so well I can't easily pick out other notes, and the dry spices get swept up in the creaminess of the lily. I don't get anything I can clearly identify as reeds or sand, though it does bring to mind an oasis scene, if mainly by power of suggestion and the contrast of the heat of the spices with the cooling lily water. Very unique in my collection. I like this more every time I wear it. Wonderful. Bottle for sure.
  2. Rayleigh

    To Lesbia

    If you like carnation and you like incense, have I ever got good news for you! This is a big, full bloom, living carnation, mingled with a dark, rich incense. I can't identify what makes up the incense, but it's deep and smoky and complements the spicy floral. The carnation starts off almost bitter in its strength, but it rapidly intertwines with the incense and finds a balance. One never overpowers the other from there on out, and this sticks around a long time -- this is one of those blends that I applied in the afternoon, and could still smell faintly after waking up the next morning. I had high hopes for this one, as carnation and incense are among my favorite notes, and this easily lived up to expectations. Gorgeous.
  3. Rayleigh

    Rendezvous With Her Lover Behind the Rice Straws

    Mmm. Smelling this is like getting a hug. The sugar has a bit of a citrusy note to it that I recognize from Dorian, and fortunately the sweetness is tamed by the creamy milk and a soothing, musky hay. It dries down to warm, vanilla-esque grains. It's a skin scent, with just enough throw that I can enjoy it throughout the day. This has broad appeal. Very cuddly-cozy, like taking a nap in the sunbeams.
  4. Rayleigh

    There Is No Bliss Like This

    Carnation mingled with vanilla and some added spices. The spices are softened by the vanilla and carnation. The first time I tried this, I found it surprisingly thin. It seems to have gained a bit of depth already, though it's still light. It is a joyful scent, for sure, and a pretty safe bet for anyone who likes spicy vanillas or carnation.
  5. Rayleigh

    Enchanting Diversion with a Wakashu

    Love the brandied apricots, which are heady and tart and not at all syrupy on me. The woodsy notes overtake the apricot shortly, with the smallest splash of vanilla. I'm sure the musk is there, but it isn't very prominent. For how strong it went on, this faded away fast. I enjoyed how realistic the apricot was, but it didn't stand a chance of lasting against my fruit-eating skin. Pass on a bottle, but a fun one to try and think about apricot season.
  6. Rayleigh

    The Sun Rising

    Very jasmine. The beeswax is in the background, and with a hint of neroli and myrrh smoke. The peppercorn is spicing up the jasmine. This one comes across as a smush of notes competing with each other (jasmine is winning) rather than a cohesive whole. I do like the freshness of the jasmine and the neroli mingled with the resins and beeswax that this settles into a few hours into the wear time. I expect it to settle and meld more with time -- the distant dry stage is promising for that -- but it isn't there yet.
  7. Rayleigh

    Hope is the Thing With Feathers

    Light, sweet, soft, and downy. Slightly dusty. Calming. White honey is a more soft-spoken variant, because I wouldn't have identified this as a honey blend. Star jasmine is a lot more mellow than the other varieties of jasmine, as well. It smells like some sort of pale gold flower nectar. I'm rarely in a mood for florals, but this is a nice one for when I am. A walk through the wildflowers on a mild spring day. Alternatively, just after sunrise in the summer before the heat rolls in, reading poetry on the porch swing.
  8. Rayleigh

    Song of Hope

    Spicy, earthy carnation, given some grit around the edges by the leather, patchouli, and balsam. Unexpectedly fleeting. I had to search for it on my wrist to smell it, and it stayed quiet the whole wear time, though it ended up lasting a long time.
  9. Rayleigh


    This seems to be one of those hit-or-miss blends, and on me, it's a clear miss. I'm getting all of the advertised cynicism, and none of the redemptive softness others are finding. Bitter and medicinal, with a sharp edge and overlying dustiness. Opoponax, frankincense, and beeswax are usually safe notes for me, but they aren't strong enough to hold back the bitterness. I have not tried mimosa or linden blossom before, and I can't tell if one of those notes is going medicinal, or if it's some emergent property of the resins and flowers not agreeing with each other on my skin. This one isn't for me. It does make for a perfect partner to the poem that inspired it, though.
  10. Rayleigh

    After the Winter

    Goes on like rolling down a hill. A faceful of green grass! The grass is a cousin of the dead leaves note, similarly vegetal but distinctly green and fresh. Then comes the vanilla and coconut, and they play leapfrog with the grass for dominance for a while. It's not at all a suntan lotion coconut. The fig is very subtle, as I usually pick out fig immediately and I can barely find it here. The throw is all tropics, all the time. It's a strong throw, too. Long wear time, ending up as mostly a vanilla'd coconut. A scent to wear somewhere balmy and green, green, green.
  11. Rayleigh

    Kabe Ni Mimi Ga Aru, Shoki Ni Me Ga Aru

    Something in here reminds me of the Antikythera Mechanism? I don't know why. This is my first blend with copal, and I already love it. I haven't had a miss yet on my journey to become the number one fan of resins. But the issue is that Antikythera Mechanism had all the ingredients of something I would have loved, but it went funky on me. This has just a hint of that funk -- which I'm pretty sure was the tobacco there, so I'm not sure what it could be in this one. This is unfortunate, because I really like the blend otherwise. It's an earthy, resinous vanilla blend, which is my jam. Most sniffs are lovely, but that note keeps creeping in around the edges. I'll give my decant another whirl, because this is an almost hit on me, and I think it will be great on a lot of other people.
  12. Rayleigh

    Cooling Breeze

    Fresh, pale green sap. Lightly sweet and cool, like rubbing aloe gel between your fingers. The juniper is clean and berry-soft, not crisp or sharp as the non-berry version can be. The sandalwood is pretty subtle on me. Soothing and mellow. Unfortunately, fresh scents like this get eaten alive by my skin chemistry, so it's gone in a flash. I'm glad I tried it, though!
  13. Rayleigh

    Cafe au Lait & a Wool Blanket

    Cozy, milky, and soft. This is gentle and fuzzy. The creaminess and wool are apparent. The coffee is much less so, but it's there. The only issue is that this is vanishingly faint on me. It lasts longer on fabric, but it's also more perfume-y on fabric than it is on my skin. This seems to be the same wool note that I adore in Cozy Pumpkin Sweater, but minus the spices and with a glass of milk in their place.
  14. Rayleigh

    To My Dear and Loving Husband

    Beautifully blended. Champaca is the easiest note to identify, and the bourbon vanilla. This is a deep, smooth, resin-y incense. It's just a touch too strong on the grape-like note for me right now, but I have enjoyed it every time I tested it and I haven't ruled out a bottle. It gives me a steady, calm feeling, and I like how it seems to have layers in its waft, despite not morphing much throughout its long wear time.
  15. Rayleigh

    V'al Hanissim

    This really glows. Strong, radiant beeswax and amber. It lasts ages, all through the next day after applying, with powerful throw. This is the purest essence of beeswax, buffeted by a deep amber. It really feels like being surrounded in a circle of radiant warmth. It's a little overpowering, actually, but I find it compelling even so.