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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...
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  • 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

    Recommendations for Liquor and Wine Scents

    Dead Leaves, Bourbon, Black Cherry and An Orange Twist! You might also like Oak King v4 prototype; rather than oak, it smells like opening a great-grandfather’s liquor cabinet. Whew!
  2. ka hulu

    Sugar Cookie

    2011 version, with reindeer label. I bought in hopes of boozy snickerdoodle, but on opening this one in the dark, unexpectedly got something even more perfect (for me): Pepparkakor! With all the spices, including pepper, a dark gingery peppery cookie. Fans of black or white pepper might love this version. Spicy!
  3. ka hulu


    By the notes, this will sound all wrong, but — in bottle, blind-testing, I got something like green banana, creamy, a sweet clean banana purée. That was endearing enough to try it on. Wet, this is creamy and sweet, fruity but in a musky dusky banana way. If a tea, one with sweetened condensed milk or maybe a lime-sugared whipping cream. But overall, and on walking outside when it was dry, I still sense pear as green creamy, dreamy banana. Luna is like walking out into an early tropical morning full of flowers, mist, and fruiting trees. Carnation and thyme don’t feature at all; there’s no crisp or zing, just soft comfort. The scent vanishes within the hour, but while it lasts, it’s beautiful.
  4. ka hulu


    Hunter, just wow. Reminiscent of standing in a vast open plains, alone at barely dawn or just past dusk. Clean tawny soft suede, maybe a generations-old hand-sewn medicine bag, rolled in sage and the dust of places of prehistoric and fossilized trees. I don’t get amber or clove, nor element of sweet or hot spice here. Just …very clean, very natural, and very wise. Deliberate and self-contained. The scent is light and also light-wearing, turns to a skin scent in too short a time. Faintly resembling SL Daim Blond, but much more subtle. Like a riffling of a thick stack of freshly-minted (or freshly-laundered!) hundred-dollar bills. I bought this a million years ago and for the label art and story excerpt, although to be honest, I don’t know Neverwhere and also didn’t know this was not a scent that would be continually available. The art and words resonated at the time, and they do now again — and the scent, while fleeting, is so lovely and clean, taut, confidence-inspiring. My guess is that if the Gaiman character appeals to you, you’ll find this scent appealing too. I was sorry to find it’s no longer listed on the shop site! Hunter is sly, beautiful, and divine.
  5. ka hulu

    Cheshire Moon

    During early pandemic I made a guava chiffon cake from scratch, whipping guava-flavored cream in a grandmother’s cold steel bowl with a simple fork, the way a great-grandmother had done in an old farmstead kitchen long ago. Cheshire Moon 2008 smells like that — quietly intentional, endearing, a bit mischievous; a lovely light blush pink, guava-sweet, slightly vanillic, with soft hibiscus petal breaths that come and go. Dreamy, restful, calming; good for a quiet grey Sunday morning too. A fae or fairy godmother scent, magical, timeless, and kindly.
  6. ka hulu

    Murderous Frogs

    You like green apples? You want Murderous Frogs. POW! SO GOOD.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!