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BPAL Madness!


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About firefae

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  1. firefae

    A Night In the French Quarter

    I blind-bottled this based on reviews even though florals are super iffy on me and I'm not sure I have a reference in my brain for what benzoin smells like. But I tend to love purply-plummy scents, and have generally had good luck with ones that include some violet, so...here we are. I'm not sure what I was expecting, exactly, but in the bottle sniff this is a little more pale floral and more watery somehow than whatever those expectations might have been. On my skin, this takes about 10 minutes to settle into something really gorgeous. It's a more "perfumey" scent than I usually reach for, but this is just such a lovely overall experience I don't particularly care about that right now. This is...a dusky watercolor painting captured in perfume form. Or maybe not even a watercolor, necessarily, but impressionistic in the ways wet-surface reflections are streaked impressions of the things they're reflecting? The florals are the most prominent element to me, both violet and osmanthus about equally present, but their prominence might be as much about florals in general tending to read pretty loudly on/to me (a reason I don't reach for them much) as about them really being the main act. There's also a blurred-edges quality grounding it, contributing to that watercolor effect, that I would guess is in the universe of a white or maybe blue musk (although I don't see musk in the scent notes so could be way off base there...maybe this is what benzoin smells like?), a slightly tart fruity bit tangled up way in the background, and that lovely asphalt-after-a-rainstorm layer. I don't get really any lavender, and the plum is way down in there but kind of drowned out by the louder floral notes. A few hours in, it's still going strong, and the flowers are amping a little further...actually dangerously close to headache territory, which is unfortunate. Will definitely be trying this again, though, as it's so complex and evocative and just flat-out pretty, and I can easily imagine it not flirting with headache-ville on some other day. I love how different it is from really anything else I have in bottle form, and think I'll reach for it most in March-April, those weeks of early spring blooms and rainstorms.
  2. firefae

    Candy Corn Smut

    OG Smut and I have a complicated relationship--sometimes it's some kind of sexy musky magic and sometimes it goes straight-up soap on me. So I wasn't sure what to expect, but I enjoy the Candy Corn Snake Oil from last year and couldn't resist at least giving this a try. In the bottle, fresh from the mailbox: yep, coffee. Black, a little creamy, maybe espresso? But "coffee" is the only note I get here. I'm kind of relieved to see I'm not alone in this experience, because I was really wondering what was up with my nose at first! In the bottle, two days later: oh heyhihelloooo *that* is some candy corn. Actually, the exact image this conjures up is the pumpkins made from...essence of candy corn? what is this? candy corn, but shaped like pumpkins? is this even a different smell than corn-shaped candy corn?...in the bulk candy bins at a local grocery store. Where did the coffee go? It's fine, I'm into this candy corn thing. On the skin, wet: Boozy McBoozerson. There's a sweet, murky cloud behind the alcohol burn, but yow this wet stage is something I would probably be asked to explain in the workplace. On the skin, no longer wet: Oh! The woozy booziness dissipates and I love what it leaves behind. It's musk on a sugar rush, with that distinct candy corn edge. An hour and a half or so in, the musk and candy feel pretty evenly balanced and are playing so well together. After the first 15-ish minutes, this is lower throw than I would have expected from a Smut blend, but it's definitely still present and seems like one that might gain some staying power as it ages. I want to wear this a couple more times to make sure it's going to play nice consistently with my skin. If it keeps doing this playful sexy-sugar thing in future wears, though, this is an easy bottle upgrade for me.
  3. firefae

    You Are Not Alone

    This is so gently cozy. Wet, the "book" element reads as almost smoky to me (a smoked vanilla vibe), but as it dries I think what this most reminds me of is the warm toner-and-paper smell of copies fresh off the machine...in a room someone just walked through wearing a slightly sweet vanilla-lavender scent. I don't know yet if I need a bottle of this, but it really is comforting to sniff!
  4. firefae

    Bits of Birnam Wood

    I blind-bottled this last year after reading some reviews and deciding a non-spice-affiliated apple scent was a need in my life...and then never quite reached for it. It's got just a little bit of almost-sour tartness in the bottle to me that doesn't quite lure me in when I'm making "what to wear today" sniff decisions. I pulled it out today, though, and it settles in so nicely! It's unapologetically APPLE, somewhere in the Golden Delicious universe, but also the peel and seeds and leaves and some woody pulp and maaayyybe even some lightly floral apple blossom on me. It's such an excellent apple smell, with fairly low throw but good staying power. Will definitely not wait so long to reach for this one again!
  5. firefae

    The Last of the Spirits

    I'm experiencing this for the first time ten years (!!) after release, so don't have an experience with its younger self to compare it to, but wow this IS an experience. It's definitely separated in the bottle, and once given a gentle shake it comes out a murky black-brown, one of the darker BPAL oils I've seen. The scent starts out on some shaky ground for me. (Pickles? Am I smelling pickles and smoke? What's happening here?) But there's enough deep, dark promise behind it for me to stick with the ride and I'm so glad I did. The first hour or so isn't bad, exactly, but it's unsettled. Yeah, there are occasional pickle-and-smoke vibes, but I also do get vetiver and resins, which are loves for me and make the inconsistency of the early dry down not-intolerable. But then! Oh, wow. I'm about four hours in now and the dusty richness of the myrrh is tangled up so sweetly in the grassy shadows of the vetiver and it's just very much my jam. One other note: I would never have guessed there is blackcurrant in here--not sure whether age or my skin chemistry are the culprit, but not even a wisp of it has shown up.
  6. firefae

    Blueberries, Cream, & Cardamom

    I keep thinking I'll jump in and review scents here and then...don't. But for whatever reason, this one has compelled me. Pre-wear thoughts: "Baked goods" smells aren't usually ones I reach for, but I've had some really excellent experiences with cardamom in general and at least *a* cream note the lab uses (I'm imagining there is probably more than one in their repertoire), and blueberries are just so summer-hopeful! I couldn't resist the possibilities, so blind-bottled this and am hoping it doesn't have any of the bready elements that I think have been my primary "no" component in baked-goods scents. In the bottle: Creamy, dark blueberry. The cardamom is just a promise of spice in the background rather than an actual spice presence for me here. No bread! Feeling good about this so far. On my skin: The cream shines for a wet minute, then the cardamom warms up and comes out to play, and then it all moves quickly into blueberry pie filling meets...wasn't there a blueberry-scented doll in the Strawberry Shortcake dolls from the 80's? This is tapping hard into some scent-memory, and I'm pretty sure that's the one. This is both cozy and playful to me, and I'm so glad to find I'm (so far, anyway) liking it as much as I hoped I would. 3-4 hours later: This hasn't shifted much. It's a little more doll-smell and a little less real blueberry/blueberry pie than it was 5-10 minutes after applying, but all three components are still hanging in there and still have a bit of throw (it hasn't had big throw at any point, and has contracted some over time since applying, but I don't have to search for it even now). Overall, this is a really nice sweet and cozy scent that I'm glad to have a bottle of!