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BPAL Madness!

ka hulu

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About ka hulu

  • Rank
    a little too imp-ulsive


  • Location
    SF Bay Area
  • Country
    United States

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  • Interests
    Reef swimming, marine biology, neuroscience, nature’s rhythms, great horned owls, parenting, carved wood, quietude...
  • Mood


  • Favorite Scents
    tropical, luau, tiki, lava, ocean, aquatic, ozone, champagne, feathers, fur, coconut, woods, tobacco, the sacred, fruits, honey, vanilla, mint... I could go on forever


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  1. ka hulu

    A Howl In The Darkness

    Initially this reads as slushy flurries and cold icy pine, and then dries to almost a sweet vanilla mint. A faint howl of something like yuzu, which is probably the verbena. I don’t detect brown musk or labdanum, but it’s still cozy in a lovely cold way.
  2. ka hulu

    Nightmarchers v5

    I’d love to know the scent notes for this one someday. This morning it is very labdanum, with cooling threads of lavender. I don’t get incense or florals; it’s smoky, but like a distant wildfire, and with some lush greenery trampled beneath.
  3. ka hulu

    Candy Phoenix

    I see all the excellent elegant fruit notes in description, but for me, in bottle, wet on skin, and dry, I’ve got Cherry Zotz. Maybe warm from a summertime pocket or the cup holder in your car, but, a gleeful young cherry Zotz. Warm, fizzy, red, luscious. A scent of playful fizzy red joy. An hour or two after application, it lends to *almost* a cherry limeade; refreshing.
  4. ka hulu

    Peach Moon

    A random testing. Bottle: Musky, smells “peach-colored” but more like skin than anything fruit or blossom, and not like crayons although that’s the color I “see”. Wet: Sharp, almost acrid; tea and yelling jasmine and maybe green chrysanthemum stems or leaves, but not that flower. A bit “general cleaning product”, wet. Clean, though. Dry: Tea and jasmine vanish, and the scent coalesces into juicy ripe peach fruit, which surprises me. I don’t know what peach blossoms smell like. Peach Moon for me dries to sweet, almost syrupy peach, which I do like.
  5. ka hulu

    The Eternal Virgin

    I blind-test parts of my scent collection a lot, just unzip a random case and sniff-test bottle after bottle until something asks to be fully looked at and known by name. This morning I lingered eyes closed with a compelling scent that, once I identified what I was getting from it, turned out to be The Eternal Virgin. Bottle: Fruitcake. Old-school, rummy, candied fruit, Christmas with grandparents when you were five, fruitcake. Or maybe a grocery-bought panettone, if you like, but that’s too light for what this is. Really that old-school heavy dense rummy chewy kind that kids (maybe sensibly) turn up their nose at. More booze and candied fruit or fruit peel, more than any spices; no flowers at all. Wet: Chewy, heavy, boozy fruitcake. So much that I write the wrong date in my journal. Warm December cozy winter kitchen vibes, disorienting in nearly mid-July. Dry: Somehow this is where all the booze, fruit, and sugars recede, and now The Eternal Virgin is all clean sharp spicy pure carnation. A white carnation for sure, and somehow only one. Every so often, a hinted nutty element, so still getting Christmas fruitcake vibe. I wouldn’t have guessed fruitcake from scent description, at all, and yet maybe there is some valid leap from Virgin to Christmas to fruitcake? Soooo unexpected. Also truly joyous. I blind-purchased this one because of the notes; I like carnation, *love* cardamom, and my go-to drink at cafes or coffeeshops has always been steamed milk with honey. But I don’t detect even a pinch of cardamom or drop of honey milk (or even just honey, or just milk, or any kitchen spice), in Virgin. She is first and for a long time boozy fruitcake enough that now I am looking up traditional recipes, and then She is entirely a single perfect redolent white carnation, very sharp and flower-spicy and strong. Great throw, too, really lovely. I don’t need a backup bottle but am so glad I’ve got this in my collection.
  6. ka hulu

    Seven Word Story: Wrath

    Boozy clean black patch with a sly snap of Big Red cinnamon gum (not sure where that is coming from, but it’s there). Wrath lingers a while, simmering patiently, then dries off (on me) to negligible, a trace of almond. Not a keeper for me, but I’m glad to have tried it.
  7. This is one of my favorite poems even before becoming a parent; it’s been a favorite since I was a child. I love how it is represented here, for the activism and in the color scent note text. Like, thank you so much for You May House. In bottle, to me this is almost a smoky sacramental wine. Sacred. Wet, it’s strong vanilla amber patch, almost boozy, or maybe just rich with the wild innocence or purity of children’s expressed joy. Dry and still hours after application, for me it’s something like cola blended with labdanum, woody in the sense of a living tree, deeply sweet, strong, and alive. I don’t get patchouli even a little at this stage, but if you’re a patch enthusiast, don’t let that stop you — this is a beautiful blend and I think really different, special. It’s suitably earthy and sweet, and has a zing to it that conjures images or sensation of yes, the arrow leaving the bow and flying fast, hitting the mark, then being briefly retrieved to let fly again. Some “air” element that isn’t quite explained in the notes. For me, worthy of a second bottle. I don’t usually plan to age scents, but this one I can see being both a daily wear and also ever more glorious and softly, deeply rich over time. 10/10; ardent loves for this one.
  8. ka hulu

    The Buffalo Man

    [Disclaimer: I really do like this scent; I just ...never anticipated what I got in first acquaintance with it.] In bottle: ??! A light, sweet, viscous summery vinaigrette. Like for a cold cucumber salad. Wet: ...Um. Hold on. Wet: Pure barbecue sauce. Excellent barbecue sauce. But only and definitely 100% barbecue sauce. Tons of it, sweet and smoky and with a peppery bite. But absolute barbecue sauce, as if I poured it directly out of the bottle in my kitchen fridge. Some small part of me is horrified and thinks “Scrub it, that’s weird!” — but I can’t stop laughing and my whole brain is lit up in just ...w h o a. I have to leave the house and get outdoors to deal with whatever is on my wrists. Drydown: The barbecue sauce backs off; nothing here but a lovely campfire smoke. Only after the woodsmoke recedes entirely does the labdanum comes fully forward, first fiery and then powdery. After all the other scent qualities burn off, the brown musk turns up, warm and small, like a solitary mouse. I don’t care for it; I want the campfire or labdanum back. I like the label and love labdanum, and that’s why I’ll keep this guy. The Buffalo Man definitely did his own thing with those notes. A must-try for anyone who wants to smell even briefly like a bottle of really good BBQ sauce.
  9. ka hulu


    I almost never test the frimps from the Lab, preferring instead to keep them neat and tidy and available for the young person in my house. There are many, and so periodically I browse and send a few off in any bottle sale. For whatever reason, Czernobog goes away a lot, but I received him again in a recent Lab order, and today he called for examination. In vial: Syrupy and with a sharp herbal or piney edge. Wet: Syrupy still and ...deep, warming, elusive. Final: Soft, almost melting, like a dark cola dressed in amber. I have no idea how any of the scent description is morphing into what it is on me, but Czernobog is apt for right now and wears well with staid black. Not sure about throw, seems stronger than most of my collection. Lasts for hours. Will be full-sizing this one in next order, and reclaiming all but one of the imps!
  10. ka hulu

    Almond Blossoms

    Not marzipan, not burnt almond cake, not blossomy or bakery, for me. This is steamed whole milk with orgeat, and somehow a bit of honey. I was hoping for “almond tree”, which this isn’t — but the scent in this bottle thoroughly fills my cup. Warm, cozy, light, beautiful.
  11. ka hulu

    Anise Swallowtail

    This butterfly translates on me as light rootbeer float with quality vanilla bean ice cream, lightly spritzed with lemon, garnished with a sprig of spearmint. Stays close to the skin, but doesn’t stay long. Not at all what I expected, but delightful nonetheless!
  12. ka hulu

    Pyramid of Skulls

    I can’t for the life of me distinguish the sandalwoods from one another or smell the tobacco note specifically in this blend. What I get instead, in bottle and on skin, is the sacred sting and clearing I get from incense during Mass on a Holy day of solemnity — and the equally sacred holiness of wet tobacco leaves, still on rain-soaked living stems, somewhere in a cold deep forest. With a side of something familiar from 13 (August 2021), and nothing in the scent descriptions tells me what that is. I bet @Threemoons is onto something with the cocoa layering idea, though; “chocolate” was among my first thoughts. Overall, just sacred, fresh, cold. Clean bones blessed by fire, smoke, and rain.
  13. ka hulu

    Hammy Northern Mockingbird

    I thought I detested violet, and orris root too. But I definitely couldn’t stand what happened in the Lone Star state this winter. And I love the mockingbird that sings all night outside my bedroom window every season, and I’m moving away from that nesting place soon. So I had to have this scent no matter what, for my heart, and for the good cause. Maybe it’s just me or maybe I should have let this little guy rest out of the mailbox. The one outside my bedroom window never seems to sleep, though, so I tested HNM immediately. Wet: neither dry nor dusty, but exuberant with something clean and bright. I think this must be what living violets smell like. Just beautiful. If this is orris root, it’s the irises you dug up from the yard to give to a dear one on Easter Sunday. Not dirty: just real. Dry: the cardamom gives it just a touch of fire, and the sandalwood and cedar play nicely together, graceful flourishes in this season’s tailored melody. This is a scent for leaping off the tops of telephone poles for aerial displays at sunrise, and for nuzzling the lovely cohort or the littles in the nest. I’d bought a partial here just to try it, and look: now there are two brand new ones in my cart. If you love any of the notes, I bet you’ll love the whole song.
  14. ka hulu

    Green Phoenix

    Every note in the scent description sounds really nice and what I like. I have two bottles of Green Phoenix, though, and I don’t perceive any of these notes. From start to finish, this is the scent of broad green walnut leaves. In the early mornings in early summer, when the air is still hung with mist or the yard freshly watered and still somewhat cool. Each summer, I’ve wished for our walnut tree’s scent to be bottled somehow so I might keep it forever. And Green Phoenix is it. I sometimes double-check the oil against the leafy branches to make sure I’m not imagining it, but I’m not. Broad green walnut leaves in the mornings of early summer. For me, this one’s a joyful stunner.
  15. ka hulu

    Banana Cream, Black Coconut & Raw Chocolate

    Total fan of all three notes, at least in theory. In the bottle: This one is *so* familiar, I think it is a kissing cousin of Sloth, which I adore. Wet: Someone poked open a can of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and poured it invisibly all over my wrists. Which, I’ll be honest, I’m ok with that, too. I now wish I had that little dark chocolate colored can in my fridge or pantry, but I know I don’t. Secretly revising grocery list for next run. Drydown/dry: Uh-oh...what?!??! What just *happened* here, on my skin. I know this scent very well too — but it’s not banana cream, it’s not coconut anything, and it’s *definitely* no longer chocolate. It takes me a bit to figure this out, and I don’t know why or how my chemistry did it, but... On me, this scent goes from chocolate to suddenly...maybe a frozen chocolate covered banana? And then converts pretty quickly to snorkeling equipment drying in the garage, then even more specifically, the anti-fog we rub into the masks before positioning them and sliding into the sea. My skin chemistry must be whack right now. Final result is straight-up No More Tears in a salty snorkeling mask, with a hint of high performance sport SPF, the kind that doesn’t smell at all like coconut, and maybe smells more like a clean island drugstore or like the guy on the boat who you borrowed it from, who is a guy’s guy or a little bit shy of you and who says he doesn’t care what it smells like as long as it works. I realize that all may sound horrible, but I’m laughing: I can’t say that I hate it or that it doesn’t work for me. On the contrary, I love it! Just not for any of the reasons I expected. A weird and happy surprise. I’ll update if it’s different the next time I wear it!