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About Padparadscha

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    casual sniffer


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  1. Padparadscha

    Inside the Golden Amber of Her Eyeballs

    I fully intended to blind buy a bottle of this when it was live during the update based on notes alone, but I never got around to it before the 2018 Weenies came down. So, a quick thank you to the lovely forumite who sold me a new bottle of this after I missed it. In the bottle: Mostly ti leaf with a hint of something murky underneath--the black fur/musk note--and a gentle whiff of the resins. The fur note in here is vaguely reminiscent of The Cat from the Neil Gaiman/Coraline series. Wet/top notes: Strong, sharp black tea that quickly reveals that fur note. However, that similar fur note I smelt in the bottle has become something entirely different on my skin. It's much muskier and dirtier than The Cat; that's likely the amber interacting with it. Amber is sometimes powdery on me--not this amber, though. This is that rich, earthy amber, smoky and warm. It's dirtying that sleek fur note as if this cat rolled around on the ground, amplifying the "musk" in the black musk. The sillage is mostly black tea and myrrh with the black fur/musky amber staying close to my skin. This is primarily a musky black tea at the onset; everything else is supporting it. Dry down/middle notes: After about fifteen minutes, the musky amber is softer, cleaner, and more powdery as a result of that ti leaf. It's still mostly black tea on me, but the resins are starting to trade places with the musk near my skin. There's definitely a clean, vaguely floral vibe from the tea, but this is not a "clean" fragrance. It's a rich, dark, smoky, musky black tea. The kind of tea that a witch who lives alone in the woods serves you when you visit her. Sure, it's black tea, but it's also something else. Dry/bottom notes: At the hour mark, this continues to just be more of what it already was: musky black tea with a resinous support. It's definitely softer and less astringent than it was at the beginning, but I couldn't really pick out any specific notes other than the tea because the rest of it ends up being so well blended. It lasts f o r e v e r on me, but that's usually what black tea does on my skin. Verdict: Remind me to never sleep on black tea scents from the Lab because WOW. I am soooo in love with this. It's a fairly gender neutral, year round fragrance, and I see myself wearing this literally all of the time. I'm a little biased towards musky black tea scents--I wore Burberry's The Beat EDP everyday for years (and still do on special occasions!)--and this reminded me of why I love them so much. This is a dark, resinous, smoky, musky, spooky take on black tea. If you're iffy on black tea/ti leaf or if it tends to go soapy on you, you probably won't like this. If you're looking for something resin-forward, this isn't that either. This one is for all my fellow musky black tea brewers and drinkers--witch and non-witch alike.
  2. Padparadscha

    Western Pygmy Blue

    In the bottle: When I first got this from the Lab, it had a faint plastic quality that hung around a buttery, tropical, suntan lotion coconut mixed with berries and incense. I was super here for most of it, but I figured a little aging would take care of that mild plastic quality. It did. Wet/top notes: Coconut and blueberries. Holy god, this is delicious. Immediately it has a massive, coconutty sillage. The tobacco emerges first, followed by amber and patchouli. They're all playing so well together and staying in the background--this is surprising because patchouli almost always dominates on me. Actually, all three of those notes are historically pretty strong on me, but none of them are competing. The tobacco is the sweet and sticky kind and isn't going "smoky" at all. I have a tendency to read most tobacco notes as "stale smoke" on myself (I also used to be a smoker for a number of years), despite the fact that other people tend to read tobacco scents on me as spicy/masculine. Dry down/middle notes: Coconut calms down quite a bit, but it's still there in the sillage. The lilac is so soft and clean, and the blue lotus petal is adding a wonderful floral accent. The blue lotus blooms and is definitely more sweet than floral, bordering on that bubblegummy thing lotus can sometimes do, but that tobacco-amber-patch combo is keeping this firmly out of heady, overly floral, or cloying territory. The blueberry and blackcurrant are adding a delicious berry fruitiness to the whole thing. The khus is just a gentle aromatically green whisper on me, keeping this oil surprisingly fresh despite the heavy creaminess, but for those of you who fight with vetiver, I can't say for sure if this is a good thing: my skin likes vetiver, but it always stays mild and in the background on me. Dry/base notes: This settles into a slightly spicy, creamy coconut with berries and incense after about an hour and a half. It basically comes full circle from how it started in the bottle, but warmed, blended, and spiced on my skin. I couldn't pick out any one note anymore: it's so spicy and creamy and fruity/sweet all at once. Verdict: I dig this so much and I'm looking forward to layering it with other coconut, berry, and incense fragrances. If you don't like coconut, I'd steer clear, but if berries, incense, and coconut sound delicious to you, definitely track some down. It reminds me a lot of a bath bomb/body butter/body oil line from Witch Baby Soap called Third Eye (blueberries, vanilla bean, coconut milk, and sandalwood), but Western Pygmy Blue is a tiny bit spicier and more resinous, more mature. This is such a warm, sweet, creamy, fruity, summery fragrance with a little spice to ground it. It makes a lovely day time summer fragrance and transitions well into nights out. It didn't morph too much on me, but I did get all the notes at some point. Love!
  3. Padparadscha

    Queen Butterfly

    I amp honey and patchouli a lot, but I also love both of them. I tend to gravitate towards fragrances with those two notes (Zoe and the Goat) and both sweet/sugary/honey patchoulis (Fate's Jester, Silkybat, Owl Moon) and spicy honeys (The Eternal Virgin) in general. Orange is one of the only citrus notes that survives on my skin, though it tends to go very sweet on me. In the bottle: This is mostly orange blossom honey in the bottle--and it's the realest orange blossom honey scent I've ever smelt. I grew up in Florida and we always bought locally made honey that came from orange blossoms. It's so comforting and sweet and citrus-y with a pollen-esque dustiness. If I inhale really deeply, there's a slightly candy-ish effect due to the orange/sweet honey combo. I get hints of that red laudanum, golden musk and russet amber, but this is almost an orange blossom honey single note in the bottle to my nose. There's also something sliiightly reminiscent of the honeyed note in The Scroll (though without the myrrh and cinnamon) and the beeswax/patchouli/incense combo in This Wan White Humming Hive (2018 version). Wet/top notes: This starts off strongly with that orange blossom honey, bordering on a fresh orange note, but it quickly settles into something more green and earthy, a combination of the wild plum, red laudanum, and patchouli root. Unsurprising as I usually amp patchouli, but I also tend to amp honey as well (how many times in one review can I tell you I amp honey and patchouli? Let's find out!). I really hope that orange blossom honey comes back. The wild plum gently reminds me of the plum blossom in Earth Pig 2019, but slightly less green and vegetal. Dry down/middle notes: After about twenty minutes, it's all orange blossom honey (!!!). That russet amber and golden musk are creating a lovely, musky, sweet-but-not-cloying combo around that orange blossom honey. Patchouli settled into a nice, gently woody accent on me, which makes sense because it can sometimes go almost like cedar on my skin. Surprised I'm not amping this patch more, but I guess honey > patchouli on my skin. The russet amber is adding a creaminess to the honey and the red laudanum is supporting it so well. Dry/base notes: After about an hour, this turns into a lovely, soft, musky, honeyed, resinous orange blossom on my skin. The sillage isn't quite as strong as it started, but it's still that almost candy sweet orange blossom honey grounded by amber, musk, and patchouli. The orange blossom reminds me a little bit of LUSH's Karma, though the aromatic lavender note in that turns its orange blossom into SweeTARTS candy on me. By the two hour mark, this has settled even further into a sweet, citrus-y, patch (patch always wins on my skin, I guess) with a floral hint. Verdict: This is so well blended (which has been my experience across the board with the Genius Loci Butterflies) and I am absolutely in love with this scent. It feels great for early, mid, and late summer and maybe even early fall. So sunny and energizing. Orange blossom lovers, this one's for you. And for my fellow honey/patchouli babes, track this down. For real.
  4. Padparadscha

    Worm Moon 2019

    In the bottle: I get mostly dirt and moss with the citrus tang of the pink grapefruit. Wet/top notes: I'm still getting lots of dirt and moss, but it's softened a little bit on my skin. The grapefruit blends well with the dirt, but it's starting to go into the background. I didn't expect it to last long as a citrus note, though I wish it were stronger. After about two minutes, the blackberry emerges. Decent sillage--I'm getting occasional whiffs of a grapefruit wedge rolled in dirt whenever I move my arm. Dry down/middle notes: Sillage is the same in strength. The moss and fruits are taking a back seat to dirt and sandalwood. If I inhale while nearly pressing my nose to my wrist, I get a hint of something metallic--rusty coffin nails?--but other than that, the metallic note is very faint and it's mostly adding depth to the dirt-moss-fruit combo. The blackberry starts showing up in a big way and these are definitely ripe and fallen-off-the-bush blackberries that are sitting in the dirt. But they are magical with that sandalwood and dirt combo, damn. I'm getting less moss on my skin, but it's definitely present in the sillage. Twenty minutes in, I'm getting something like a metallic-tinged powder around the edges and I'm guessing that's the congealed blood/decomposing organic matter combo because the Lab's blood note tends to go a little powdery on me. But in a nice way? I dunno, it reminds me of a metallic powder note I get in Blood Popsicle from OLLA, though on BP, this note is 1000x stronger than Worm Moon 2019. It also veers into talc territory in BP--not getting any talc here at all, but I am getting powder in the sillage here like I do in BP. Guessing that's a skin chemistry thing. Dry/base notes: This is mostly sandalwood, blackberries, and dirt with a hint of something powdery and musky. The sillage is still considerably mossy over an hour after application, but otherwise, the moss is taking a backseat on my skin. This eventually becomes a powdery/musky sandalwood dominant scent, but the blackberries and dirt frequently pop back in and say hello. Sillage stays medium. Verdict: I am digging this in a major way. I wish I got a little more grapefruit at the onset, but I didn't expect much because my skin gobbles up most citrus notes (except for lemon, orange, and bergamot--go figure). Over all, though, this is exactly what I hoped it would be. If you love dirt notes, sandalwood, or mossy/green scents (or chypres for that matter actually), this is for you. I wouldn't say it's particularly fruit dominant compared to the other notes for me--though they definitely add a sweetness the entire time. I found the blackberries to blend well, but fellow berry lovers, rejoice! This is a very unique berry that sticks around the entire time on my skin. It never dominates, but it's definitely there.
  5. Padparadscha

    Vernal Equinox Full Moon

    Quick disclaimer that I am unsure what the distinction is for glory-of-the-snow or life everlasting flowers, but I should be able to identify the rest. In the bottle: Cold florals and grasses. None of the florals are standing out in particular; everything seems well blended. Wet/top notes: This starts off with white florals as soon as I apply it, but not powdery, which is nice for me because I tend to amp iris. The coldness has warmed to something just cool, like dew on flower petals. About ten minutes in, I get tulips and daffodils more distinctly. Dry down/middle notes: This is mostly tulips, crocus, and daffodils on me, but the sillage is iris. The cool note (glory-of-the-snow perhaps?) is keeping the iris from going powdery, but the coolness faded in strength by about half within 20 minutes. The crocus is coming out more and I like it. The tulips and daffodils are making a nice blend, though, and they remind me of spring when I was in undergrad and lived in Washington, DC. Around 30 minutes, the cool note is extremely faint, almost gone completely by this point. Dry/base notes: Mostly crocus and iris with a hint of dew and something like grass (life everlasting maybe?). I'm almost certain the crocus is responsible for the dewiness; it's a gentle aquatic touch that's keeping the other florals from going too powdery. Around forty minutes in, the tulips and daffodils come back, but over all, these flowers are nicely blended and playing well together--like I walked past a bouquet sitting out on a table and the windows are open and there's a cross-breeze. I'm getting a very, very faint hint of amber, more powder than resin, and I'm wondering if that's what grounded these florals and kept them from getting headache-inducing. It's also starting to replace the space left by the cool notes. That amber is super faint though; I cannot stress that enough. The sillage is medium to low and it fades considerably by the hour mark. Verdict: Gotta say, I think it's pretty cool how this slowly went from cool to warm--like watching the sunrise and smelling flowers at dawn in spring. I'm not normally drawn to florals/floral focused fragrances, but I had to have this because the Full Moon from this year's Vernal Equinox made some major aspects in my astrological natal chart (I'm a 0 degree Libra sun), so I took a chance on it. I'm really glad I did because it's unique in my collection (which is pretty bare on floral focused scents) and it's a very inoffensive/office safe scent (not that this is relevant to me because I am in the arts and everyone I know thinks I always smell like incense). If you like fresh florals or cool notes, I'd say this is for you. If you're worried about iris or amber going powdery, I'd say give this a sniff and a test because it never went into insane powdery territory on me. It doesn't last very long at all (around 2 hours), but I prefer that because it's so floral. Any longer might be too much for me.
  6. Padparadscha

    Drop Dead Ghoulish

    This arrived in the day before yesterday's post fresh from the Lab's Etsy. And this is my first review here on the forum! In the bottle: First and foremost, I smell the apple. It's not the sugary apple I expected, but almost an acidic and dare I say apple-cider-vinegar-esque apple... As someone who loves vinegar in general, it's not unpleasant per se (nor nearly as strong as actual apple cider vinegar), but it's surprising and sharp in this context. It reminds me a little bit of the way Keogh's Sea Salt and Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps smell when you first open a bag: kinda sweet, kinda sour, weirdly delicious. I think it's the tartness of the apple playing tricks on my nose, though I'd definitely say this is a green apple. Underneath it I can smell the blueberry and sweet cream softening it and rounding it out. Wet/top notes: As I suspected it would, the sharply acidic quality disappears the second this touches my skin and a lovely sour green apple candy scent dominates. It's not at all what I expected from "sugared apple", though I absolutely love it and it's giving me major nostalgia for this specific sour apple rock candy flavor I use to buy from the gift shop of a local science museum (MOSI for any of you Floridians) during summer camp field trips. Underneath it, I can still smell the blueberry and sweet cream tempering the sour apple's acidity. After about five minutes, the blast of sour green apple rock candy softens and the blueberry comes forward. I was a little worried the blueberry would either go too syrupy or disappear completely, but it's delicious and it is also giving me major nostalgic vibes--this time for the 90's Bonne Bell Blueberry Lip Smacker. Seriously, this is exactly like that blueberry: sweet, sugary, blue, and slightly waxy. The sweet cream is starting to get stronger, but so far, it's just been a sweet and creamy backdrop to this sugary, fruity walk down memory lane. It might be where the waxiness is coming from actually. Dry down/middle notes: The apple has softened to more of a green apple Skittle scent (a sugared green apple instead of sour green apple) and taken a backseat to the blueberry and sweet cream. When I press my nose to my skin, I can still get a touch of that sour apple rock candy tempered by a little waxiness and cream, but for the most part, blueberry is the star now. It's still a Blueberry Lip Smacker and I am 1000% here for it. The sweet cream is also getting stronger. There's still a waxy quality that may be the Lab's cream note, so if you're someone for whom that goes plasticky, this might not be for you. The sillage is massive and nothing but a sweet and delicious vanilla cream cloud around me. Dry/base notes: After about an hour, the sillage has decreased slightly and the apple has disappeared along with the hint of wax. I'm getting mostly a sweet and creamy scent with a touch of blueberry. It stays this way for about an hour. By hour 2 1/2, it turns into a sweet and creamy skin scent with a softly creamy sillage before fading completely by hour 4. Total wear time on me was about 3-4 hours. Not bad, though I wish it lasted a bit longer. Verdict: I love this for obvious and personal nostalgic reasons. It's exactly the way I wanted to smell at Lilith's age and it's deeply appealing to my inner child. I get all three of the notes listed, though they (luckily!) blend well with my skin chemistry. I'm unsure how this will age, but I can see myself reaching for this regularly through spring and summer as a daytime or casual scent. If you're a lover of candy, fruity, or creamy scents, this is for you. If the Lab's cream note turns into plastic on you, avoid this.