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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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  • Pronouns
    Prefer Not To Answer


  • Favorite Scents
    GC: DEE, Bow & Crown of Conquest, Death Cap, Scherezade, Coyote, Tzadikim Nistarim, Zorya Polunochnaya, Sin, Event Horizon, Cathedral, Bewitched, Paladin, No. 93 Engine, Inez, Snake Oil, Mme. Moriarty. LE: Snow White, Raven Moon, You Are Not Alone, Milk Moon 2020, Chestnuts & Hearth Smoke, To Lesbia, I Wish I Were Your Mirror, Hope & Fear Set Free

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  1. Rayleigh

    Zorya Utrennyaya

    Sweet, musky, heady coffee. This is a strong, brooding, captivating scent. The coffee isn't too bitter, and the ambrette adds an interesting, nutty musk without veering too perfumey. It reminds me of one of my teachers, who kept a charmingly crowded, dusty office and always had a massive carafe of strong black coffee at hand. It's a little too sweet for my tastes, but I love the vibe.
  2. Rayleigh

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    I haven't gotten any popcorn from the Snake Oil variants I've tried, fortunately. Only from the bottle. Which is good, because the variants tend to work well on me. When Snake Oil comes back in stock, I'm planning on trying a fresh imp and seeing if it has any popcorn to it. It's a shame if they had to change something permanent; I'm sure it wasn't by choice.
  3. Rayleigh

    Different smells/colors, same perfume

    My bottle of Snake Oil from October 2019 is thin and light in color. It still smells different than the fresh imp of Snake Oil I first tried, and it's rather weak. It has been developing a bit more depth with time, losing some of its initial popcorn-ish note, but it is a slow, slow process. I only noticed a shift in the last month or two. My imp, though, is from around the same time as your bottle -- January or February 2019, and it became rich and dark and extremely potent. So if your bottle is from the same batch as my imp, it may yet change. Maybe we did just end up with an extra slow aging batch.
  4. Rayleigh

    Snake Smut

    This baby packs a real punch -- it's one of those scents that's still going strong 24 hours after applying. Still fresh, this is a good blend of the two scents. Smut is maybe a bit stronger, but it's afforded depth by the resinous Snake Oil. The leather is smoothly sinuous. The lab's fresh leather sometimes has a plastic tang that fortunately disappears with a little age, and that plastic is already barely a presence here. The cardamom is not very strong, but I can find it if I focus on it, and it gives a welcome earthy spice that tames down some of that sparkly sugar of Smut. Both Smut and Snake Oil are known for aging phenomenally. I'm happy with this blend just as it is, but once the Snake Oil starts to rev up, it can only get better.
  5. Rayleigh

    Buck Moon 2021

    I had high hopes given reviews of previous years' Buck Moon, but alas. Bread. Salty, slightly sour bread. Long after dry down, I get maybe a bit of musk, but the sourness also increases. The salt is what puts me off of this more than anything. I'm not opposed to grain scents, and in fact some of my favorites fit that description, but this is not working even as a bread blend. Thank goodness for decants -- and fortunate that I already have some excellent BPAL blends that capture the woodsy vibe I was hoping to find here. I'll give this a rest and try it again, but unless the story changes, this one's not for me.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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...
  14. 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.
  15. 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.