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BPAL Madness!


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About Rayleigh

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    wrist-sniffing wench


  • 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

    Cozy Pumpkin Sweater

    It's pumpkiny! It's spicy! It's cozy! I thought at first it would be subtle and fleeting, but then I kept getting whiffs of it throughout the day. It's a close scent, but a long-lasting one, and it has presence without overwhelming. I've tested it a couple times, and each time it lasted from morning to evening without much loss of strength or change in character. I was concerned it might turn out too sweet or too foody on me, but it has a good balance. There's enough spice to keep it interesting without drying it out, and the cozy sweater aspect prevents it from smelling too edible for my tastes. It's a pumpkin-spiced pile of soft downy wool. Good for wrapping up in on those cool fall days.
  2. I just realized I never actually reported back on the results. Loup Garou is probably the most True Forest on me -- the eucalyptus keeps it cool and crisp, without being overtly minty, and it doesn't get very sweet. I really like Oblivion, though I don't get an impression of Forest so much as somehow standing inside a wooden spice cabinet in the best way. Yggdrasil is more herbal to me, but refreshing and clean. Arkham was a wildflower meadow on my skin -- not a lot of trees or shadows to it. Dee was one of the GCs I most looked forward to trying, though not for a forest scent. I love it as a comforting library/study incense oil, and it's one of my favorites. Another that I didn't expect to be as woodsy as it is is Burial. I tried it for curiosity about earthy scents, but the juniper and patchouli combine to make it smell like rolling around in the rich, dark dirt of the forest floor. Thanks for all of the suggestions! Now I can smell like I just went for a hike, even when I'm stuck indoors.
  3. Thank you for the feedback/suggestions! (And for the experiment, failed though it was.) My to-try list grows ever longer. Jersey Devil does sound a bit sweeter than I'm after. Brangwy, Oblivion and Robin Goodfellow all sound promising. And I'll have to check out Squirting Cucumber for that grassiness; sounds like a nice summer scent.
  4. Interesting, thank you! I'll take a look at those other suggestions, too. Decisions, decisions.
  5. Looking for suggestions -- I have tried two forest blends so far: Fenris Wolf and Black Forest. Both of them I enjoy a lot, but as they dry the amber turns them sweeter and the woodsiness retreats. The end result is cozy and pleasant, like tree sap, but I would like to find something that stays more in that early, true forest smell and doesn't get quite so sweet. Are there blends that are similar for the woods smell, but don't have the amber sweetening them up? Reading over this thread, I picked out three that sound like they could fit the bill: Thanatopsis, Loup Garou, and Yggdrasil. If anyone has other suggestions, or opinions on the relative woodsiness of those three possibilities, it would be appreciated. I'm also not so sure if it's the amber that gets stronger, or if the wood notes just get weaker on me with wear, so recommendations based on lasting power of the scent would also be nice. I much prefer to stick with impable recommendations, but I welcome any. I don't have any Big No notes. Even amber doesn't always go sweet on me, so it wouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker if it is a tame amber. The amber in Coyote, for example, is perfectly well behaved the whole way through. Thanks in advance!
  6. Rayleigh


    A sultry and unruly blend that emulates the ambient scent of the markets in ancient Bengal: skin musk with honey, peppers, clove, cinnamon bark and ginger. Firstly, this is incredibly long-lasting. It's 24 hours after I put it on now, and if I put my wrist to my nose, I can still distinctly smell the warm, musky-spice-and-honey fragrance that is still lingering. On first applying, it is very dry. Cinnamon bark, heavy on the bark. I didn't like it much at first. It was too dry, too cinnamon heavy, and I kept getting a whiff of something that reminded me of sunscreen (don't read much into that; my nose-brain connection sometimes has weird glitches in the circuitry -- last week, something in Bow & Crown of Conquest was reminding me of burnt peanut butter for no explicable reason on earth, which I have never smelled in it before or since then.) After about an hour, the honey steps up to temper the dryness, but it never gets too sweet. I'm still amazed that honey actually behaves on my skin, but it does its part well and doesn't make this smell like cinnamon simple syrup at all. The sweetness is just enough. One of the things that impresses me most about BPAL oils is how they settle into the skin in a way I'm not quite sure how to describe. After a while, this doesn't smell like perfume, and it seems very natural. It never smells like chai to me, but I can see how it would on someone who amps the cloves and honey more. This is a nice blend, though I wish I got more clove and pepper. Much as I like cinnamon, it is hogging all the attention, and I would love it if the other spices had a chance in the spotlight. I do really like this current, much-faded incarnation, too, where it is very subtle but pretty. If you like lightly sweetened, cinnamon-rich spice scents that don't veer into foody territory, this is worth checking out. Just be patient with the initial rasp of the cinnamon bark until the other components have time to catch up.
  7. Rayleigh


    So cuddly. Soooooooo cuddly. Reading reviews made me a little wary to try this, since I'm not a fan of incense, and it smelled sharp in the bottle. And it definitely has an incense vibe to it, but this isn't any cheap and overpowering incense. The sharpness vanishes completely once applied, and it's all saffron-colored silk from there. Spicy, warm, not too sweet. I'm still a little nervous about smelling like incense, but the more it dries, the less I care about that because it's just so dang soothing. I'm really glad to like this as much as I do, since I it's named for a character I idolized since childhood. Really does make me want to curl up and listen to stories read out loud. So cuddly.
  8. Rayleigh

    Fenris Wolf

    For the first two hours after putting this on, I walked around my modern city home like I was the big bad wolf prowling the untamed forest in the dead of night. Pine-y woods with a smoothing background touch of amber. Slinky, confident, fearless. Gave me the two conflicting images of wandering the wild frontier and sitting safely in a wood-paneled study. Very wolfish and emboldening. Then the big bad wolf got tired, remembered the joys of domestic life, and went back home to nap on a rug by the fire and maybe gnaw on a slipper or two. My skin played it usual trick of amping sweet notes. The amber came out full force, the woods slunk back to the tangled unknown, and this was nothing but warm amber. Certainly not bad -- quite soothing, really -- but I was enjoying the wilder scent. I'm going to experiment to get that early stage to last longer.
  9. Rayleigh


    Goes to classy shaving cream on me. Pity. I can smell the potential there, but can't get past the soapy fog over it. I can definitely see how this would smell great on someone with the right skin chemistry. I never get any lime, which would probably go a long way to cutting the shaving cream back. I may let it age and give it another try, or consider giving Whitechapel a whirl.
  10. Rayleigh

    The Bow & Crown of Conquest

    In the imp, all cedar and sage. Nice and clean, without the alcohol sting I usually get smelling straight from the imp, but as much as I love the smell of a woodshop, I'm feeling cautious about it. It hits my skin the same - cedar, cedar, cedar, with sage singing background vocals. But within seconds, it blooms -- it expands as it unfurls, and in comes a warm, gentle vanilla, and what must be carnation blending with the cedar top note. I think the leather is there as a smooth, slinky foundation. The leather gets stronger as it dries, but all the notes are harmonizing beautifully. The throw is mostly a subtly spicy, woodsy scent grounded in vanilla. Vanilla always plays so nice on my skin; it does exactly what it's supposed to without overwhelming any other notes or turning too sweet. This lasted a good eight hours on me from when I put it on until a shower, through dishwashing and exercising, though it did fade, of course. It's probably a little sharp for regular use for me, but I'll definitely love using up the imp, and I highly recommend it to others. It has to be one of the most well-crafted and nuanced scents I have ever experienced. Actually, forget everything I just said about it being too sharp -- I was originally thinking it wasn't "me", but I like it, so I'm deciding it is. It's definitely given me reason to try other scents with similar notes (particularly leather; I wasn't sure how that would play out on me). I look forward to wearing this again. In defiance of its inspiration, it is simply divine.