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BPAL Madness!


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About Rayleigh

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    a little too imp-ulsive

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  • Favorite Scents
    GC: Event Horizon, DEE, Bow & Crown of Conquest, Scherezade, Coyote, Tzadikim Nistarim, Death Cap, Sin, Cathedral, Bewitched, Paladin, No. 93 Engine, Snake Oil, Mme. Moriarty. LE: Snow White, Raven Moon, Death of Autumn, Milk Moon 2020, Chestnuts & Hearth Smoke, To Lesbia, I Wish I Were Your Mirror, Hope & Fear Set Free

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  1. Rayleigh

    To a Wreath of Snow

    To a Wreath of Snow starts out sharp, with little kitten teeth made of lavender and mint. The tobacco flower, a note I particularly like, is recognizable from A Vision of the Courtesan. The sharpness recedes as the ambergris warms up. The comparisons to A Vision are apt, though this is less spicy/creamy and more icy from the minty lavender. They are definitely distinct scents, but they share a family. In this class of scents, my preference is still for Zorya Pulonochnaya and A Vision of the Courtesan, but this is a welcome addition. I expect it will grow on me in cooler months and as the ambergris matures.
  2. Rayleigh

    Like the Very Gods

    Sniffing from the vial, this had a sweaty top note that made me nervous. Fortunately, none of that is present on the skin. It turns into a golden, musky vanilla. The olive blossom gives it a lightly fruity cast. The woods are subtle -- I like cedar and wouldn't mind if it were stronger, but if anyone is leery of finding pencil shavings here, there is nothing like that here. I hope the wood notes strengthen with time, but even if this stays exactly as it is, I'm enjoying it immensely. Airy, golden, and effortlessly pretty.
  3. Rayleigh

    In Night When Colors All to Black Are Cast

    This is such a deep, mysterious, velvety dark scent. The plum honey is neither too fruity nor too sweet. The incense is gloriously rich. Myrrh is one of my favorite anchoring notes, and it is particularly beautiful here. The nagarmotha -- similar to patchouli, from what I can find -- gives it an earthiness, contrasting with the wispy dark musk. This is how midnight should smell. The lab does these melancholy, dark purple, resin/incense scents so well, and this is an excellent realization of that theme.
  4. Rayleigh

    It’s All I Have to Bring Today

    Interestingly, this dries down to smell exactly like an orange blossom tea I once had. Not that I am at all sure there's orange blossom in this, mind; the florals are a whirly melange of things I can't identify. The honey is very subtle, as honey sometimes is on me, and the breezy aspect has the freshness of inhaling steam rising from a cup of tea. What an unexpected connection. It's not to my tastes, but it's nicely fresh and the florals are tame.
  5. Rayleigh

    Blood Rose

    This is a frimp I've had for a while. I have been running across it a lot lately, so I figured it was time to give it a try. Until I actually opened the imp and recognized the rose note, I kept reading the name like it was an ominous verb phrase. This is the juiciest rose ever. The wine and dragon's blood aren't very strong, but provide a dewy, fruity haze surrounding the central rose. It's not as dark as the name suggests, but it's intense and velvety. I would have appreciated more bitterness from the wine to balance the headiness of the rose, but this is impressively powerful, and not at all soapy. Good for anyone who wants a rose that shows no mercy, or anyone who wants the phrase the days of wine and roses to run through the minds of everybody who encounters them while wearing this.
  6. Rayleigh

    Disembodied Malevolent Laughter

    This reminds me of the GC blend Lurid, but without the ozone and with the currant/lavender replaced with cool lemon/grape. My skin eats the citrus right away, of course. A little soapy at first, then drying into a classic resin blend with some brightness for contrast. Not too fruity, and far less clashing than the description might lead one to believe. It actually smells quite refined.
  7. Rayleigh

    You Are Not Alone

    Soft, papery, cuddles in a bottle. Vanillic aged paper, fuzzy fabric, and a hint of lavender, but it all blends together into soft. It has plenty of throw, but the texture of the scent is downy and smooth. The hoodie note doesn't give me any laundry vibes. It seems similar to the wool blanket from 2019's Cafe Au Lait and a Wool Blanket -- a reflection of how pulling on your favorite hoodie feels. The lavender is mild, but sticks around, which is more than lavender usually does on me. As a hoarder of books, I'm always surprised by how strong leather notes are in book blends. This paperback note rings truer to my nose to what I think of as booksmell, though smoothed out by the lavender/textiles, and I would love to see more of it. Wonderful.
  8. Rayleigh

    Life, the Sculptor, Moulds Unceasingly

    Holy Basil, Batman! I could really stop at the pun and let that stand as my review, but there genuinely is much more going on here. The sandalwood is dry and meditative. The mitti attar is so serenely earthy. The tulsi, though, is easily the strongest note on my skin. It's not unpleasant, but it's not working for me. If this were a room scent, I would adore it. But the tulsi gives it this vegetal sweetness that I find distracting from the solemn beauty of the mitti attar/sandalwood. I have liked tulsi/basil in other blends, but it isn't my favorite in this company. I'll certainly use my decant, and I suspect this is one of those blends I may eventually be sorry I didn't bottle when I had the chance. Now on the lookout for more blends that showcase mitti attar...
  9. Rayleigh

    Rickety Staircase

    This staircase may be rickety, but it's also spotless. Oak and the faintest fringe of amber. This smells like just-mopped hardwood. I like that smell, though it's odd to have it emanating from my wrists instead of, well, hardwood. If you are ever fleeing an eldritch monster and need to take cover in a well-maintained wood-paneled room, this is the skin scent you apply to help you blend in with your surroundings.
  10. Rayleigh

    Die Flamme Reinigt Sich Vom Rauch

    I seem to be getting a nice middle ground in the impressions here, and this is gorgeous. It smells like a spicy, friendly little fire. A good balance of sweet and savory. Extremely natural and evocative. If you piled a heap of dried brush, threw some acorns and nuts on top, and burned it, this would be the idealized memory of that smell that you would think of later. It strikes me as nostalgic. I compared this in another thread to a controlled burn, because there's something clean about this. Out with the bad so that better things can take root. The nutty notes make this stand apart from other woodsmoke blends. I initially got this because I wanted a smoke note that would knock me clear across the room. I'm not getting that, but I am happy to have this gentle warm glow in its place.
  11. Rayleigh


    The lab's cedar is so nice on me. It's green, pliant, living cedar. The vanilla and sassafras balance the cedar nicely. With wear, this sweetens up. It lasts a good long while on me, and eventually it's a root beer float that you're drinking on a cedar porch. I prefer the sharper early stage, but this is beautiful nonetheless, and the sassafras makes it stand out from other vanilla/cedar scents I have tried. It's sweeter than its cousin, How Doth the Little Crocodile, and less dry than its other cousin, The Small Brown Cat. I don't get the ruggedness that others get, but I do enjoy pretending that the root beer float is being enjoyed by a world-weary gunslinger who gave up alcohol and now carries around a flask full of root beer to keep up appearances.
  12. Rayleigh

    Milk Moon 2020

    Milk Moon is Good Odd. In the vial, it smells like sour milk, and I found it off-putting on first sniff. On the skin, the sourness mellows right away. I get the dates and figs, but they don't take over. Fig can be weird on me -- not unpleasant, but it can distract from any other notes. Here, it's just a hint, and doesn't get in the way of the rest of the blend at all. The honey is subtle, as is the cedar. There is good balance between the sweetness of the honey and fruits, the sturdy woods, and the tangy milk. The tang that put me off in the bottle becomes my favorite part on my skin -- it makes this blend unique and interesting. I usually wear perfume when unwinding in the evening, so every scent ends up becoming a sleep scent. It usually doesn't make much difference one way or the other in my sleep quality. Milk Moon is the exception -- it knocks me out. I noticed I sleep deeper and feel more rested when I am wearing it, and it lasts long enough that I can still smell it in the morning. I wish I had figured out that fringe benefit earlier, because I would have been tempted to get a rare back up bottle.
  13. Rayleigh

    Winter and Yule in the GC

    Most of these I'll wear happily year round, but give me colder weather vibes. Apparently, the notes that make me think "winter" seem to be beeswax, spices, evergreens. Probably the strongest winter association for me is No. 93 Engine. The warm resins work well with the crisp mastic and balsam. Spellbound is too much for me when it's warm out, but I like it when it's cold out. Rose in general I like a lot more in the colder months. Sin has a cozy, cinnamon-tea-and-a-blanket feel to it. Also Shub! And Hellfire should always be worn when there's a wicked, blustery storm outside, and you're standing by a crackling fireplace conspiring whilst decked out in fancy attire -- so that's holiday-esque, right? Lights of Men's Lives for softly burning candles. Dee is a perennial favorite, but it best suits autumn/winter, and brings to mind a comfy study, surrounded by aged paper. And I agree that Elf works well in both summer and winter. It has enough of each season to be welcome either way.
  14. Rayleigh

    Between Classes

    Soft, clean, floral laundry. Gentle and mild. Considering that "clean" and "floral" are not usually my favorite things, I like this better than expected. It reminds me a bit of the lily water from I Wish I Were Your Mirror, for being a smooth, misty floral that manages to avoid being soapy. It stays very close to the skin. I want my sheets to smell like this at the end of a long day. Given my usual scent preferences, I'm not sure this is one I will reach for much, but it merits more testing before the Liliths come down.
  15. Rayleigh


    I seem to amp honey dust, though not regular old honey. In the bottle, this is a lovely, nuanced scent, with lots of the same milk note I love in Milk Moon 2020, toasty honeyed warmth, and a wisp of lavender. Unfortunately, on my skin, the honey dust turns to butterscotch candies and drowns out the other notes. I had the same issue with the recent honey dust trio. After an hour or two, it starts to get some nuance back, but it never loses the candied aspect. The wear time and throw are impressive. I just wish my skin would let me keep the way it smelled in the bottle.