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BPAL Madness!


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About hhelix

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    evil enabler


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    United States

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  • Favorite Scents
    Haunted, Morocco, Scherezade, Jacob's Ladder. Interested in trying almost anything with an opium or poppy (tar) note. Likes: patchouli, amber, frankincense, resins, smoke, oudh, violet, carnation, spices, saffron, the dead leaves note, almost anything blackened or scorched, vetiver, most dark scents. Dislikes: most florals, aquatics, dairy, white musk, soapy/laundry scents, ozone, cake, most gourmands, most anything "white" or crystaline. Depends: booze, wine, weed, fruit, red musk, honey, vanilla, sandalwood, tobacco, leather.


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  1. hhelix

    Poisoned Apple

    This is a beautiful, mysterious, well balanced, autumnal apple with bitter herbs and smoky opium haze, and I absolutely love it. I wish it lasted longer, but it's nice getting that fresh apple hit every time I reapply. It's out of stock on the web site right now but it's on my full bottle list should it ever return.
  2. hhelix

    Midnight Bonfire

    I had to take this off of my sales page after I tried it again yesterday. It's so good. The smoke is more like fireplace soot or the remnants of a campfire, tempered by a sweet soft watery jasmine. The night-blooming variety is not as heady and indolic as sambac or absolute -- it's more of a clear, light, Elvin note (think Galadriel from LOTR). Mostly the scent was the interplay between the smoke and jasmine. Maybe later in the day I sensed the groundedness of patchouli leaf or leaves, although this is definitely not the typical cologne-y Lab dead leaves note here. I don't have anything like this in my collection, so I'll be keeping it. I don't typically like "summer" perfumes, but this one fits the bill as something I can wear on the hottest days, but still maintain an edge of darkness and a nod to autumn. For me, one swipe on skin resulted in low throw, about 4-5 hours of wear.
  3. hhelix

    blends containing that coveted lemony vanilla?

    Oooh, No. 93 Engine has a lemony beeswaxy vanilla vibe (Balm of Gilead, benzoin, frankincense, balsam of peru, beeswax, saffron, galbanum, calamus, hyssop, mastic, lemon balm, and white sage.). The balm of Gilead and Peru balsam are somewhat non-foodie resinous vanilla-esq.
  4. hhelix

    No. 93 Engine

    No. 93 Engine is all smooth, rounded, burnished tones on me, sweet and almost pastry-like while not quite crossing into foodie territory. The benzoin, balm of Gilead, and Peru balsam translate as vanilla, and the lemon balm brings out the lemony effervescence of the frankincense. So it's a lemony, vanillic, herbal, resinous scent that is very uplifting and soothing at the same time. It has modest throw and is short lived -- about 3-4 hours on my skin. It's a wonderful comfort scent. BTW, for a really beautiful tribute to this perfume, go read @VetchVesper's review on BPAL's web site. Then put it in your cart.
  5. hhelix


    I can't believe there are only two pages of reviews for this one. I had an imp of it and fell in love with the dark, chocolatey incense -- so complex and unique, on par with a Luper. So I bought a bottle. Perhaps it needs to age, or maybe it was not mixed properly, but it is lacking the depth of the aged imp. The cotton blossom registers as laundry musk, which is usually a death note for me, but here is tempered by the resinous copal. Chapapote translates as asphalt, and comes through as a tarry cement note. I wish the cocoa were stronger, like it was in my imp. I am not getting the honey at all. While my bottle experience was not quite up to my expectations, I still enjoyed wearing this scent, and I will give it another chance after it's aged. I'm hoping to recapture the magical experience I had when testing the imp -- I mean, just read the earlier reviews on this thread and you will get a sense of the complexity and poetry of this scent. It's more like a LE than a GC, and should be celebrated as such.
  6. hhelix

    Faster Kittycat?

    This is gorgeous. It’s got light throw and wears close to the skin, but it’s the perfect snuggly skin/sweater scent. Just lovely. Very good for fall. Smells more like a commercial perfume than most BPALs, but niche. It’s simple, classic, the little black dress of perfume.
  7. hhelix


    I love the smell of real lilacs and here in the Pacific Northwest they are just getting done blooming. Silenti (from the VILF collection) is a good one (Spanish moss, lilac, wisteria, myrrh, and olibanum) -- the incense darkens and elevates the lilac into something mysterious and undead.
  8. hhelix

    Autumn girl seeks summer scent

    We have similar tastes -- I am an autumn girl too. These are my "summer" suggestions: Bastet - luxuriant amber, warm Egyptian musk, fierce saffron and soft myrrh, almond, cardamom and golden lotus. Black Lotus - black lotus flower, amber, myrrh, and sandalwood Eden - fig leaf, fig fruit, honeyed almond milk, toasted coconut and sandalwood No. 93 Engine - balm of Gilead, benzoin, frankincense, balsam of Peru, beeswax, saffron, galbanum, calamus, hyssop, mastic, lemon balm with white sage The Caterpillar - heavy incense notes waft lazily through a mix of carnation, jasmine, bergamot, and neroli, over a lush bed of dark mosses, iris blossom, deep patchouli and indolent vetiver Vixen - orange blossom, ginger, patchouli Cognac-Stained Sheet Ghost - from the Halloween collection that's still up - vanilla-infused balsam, white cognac, and tumbleweeds Frog Moon 2021 - maybe you could find it on the forums - green tea, wet green musks, pine moss, fresh patchouli leaf, bamboo leaf, tulsi, pond grasses, and a pinch of wasabi I also agree with the above posters about Brisingamen and Smut. The Lab's website still has this one available -- one of my favorite Snake variants: Snake Eyes Gleaming in Spring's First Twilight - Snake Oil and threads of pale lavender with shadowy oudh, sweet oakmoss, violet leaf, and rose geranium. Thanks for the question -- it was fun thinking about summer scents!
  9. hhelix

    Masculine orris

    I'm not sure if orris and iris are the same thing in BPAL world, but Nevertheless She Persisted (golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel) from the Activism series is still available on the web site and is decidedly masculine-leaning. You would have to be OK with stinky p'oud though. You might be able to find a decant to test of Autumn Song from the recent Weenies: oak dust, violet leaf, orris root, white benzoin, vetiver, and dry ambrette seed.
  10. hhelix

    Sed Non Satiata

    A soft honeyed floral, very Luper-esque. I did not get the patchouli or darker notes, but that is typical for me. The main floral player is the buttery tuberose. The geranium did not show up. I amp honey, so it became a bit much by midday and I had to wash it off. If you are looking for a sweet, smooth, creamy white floral with a load of honey, this is your gal.
  11. hhelix

    Cognac-Stained Sheet Ghost

    Everyone seems to smell something different in this. I, too, LOVE it and am wondering how many bottles I need so that I never run out for the rest of my life. At first I caught a whiff of cedary balsam, but the main player the whole time on me was a Snake Oil-esque vanilla, a naked Snake Oil stripped of its spices and patchouli. Like Snake Oil at an outdoor spa, who then wraps up in a cashmere robe and sips cognac. The scent kept getting stronger and more complex throughout the day. Could this be my holy grail?
  12. hhelix

    Looking for a BPAL that Resembles a Favorite Perfume

    @Maggi I don't know of one but I want that.
  13. hhelix

    Event Horizon

    Love all these notes, love dark vintage-leaning incensey scents. Event Horizon delivers. Smooth, seamlessly blended, deep, inky, and heavy. It's slightly floral, along the lines of Black Lotus or Morgause -- floral enough but the incense and resins outweigh the floral. Event Horizon reminds me of something I've smelled before, or is in the same genre as those heavy floriental vintage perfumes your grandmother wore. Strong throw and average wear length. It morphed very little during wear. This one's a keeper for when I'm in this kind of mood.
  14. hhelix

    If your top 5 scents are... Then try these!

    @VetchVesper Thank you for all the thoughtful suggestions! I will have to dig around in my imp box and see what I have. Some of the ones you mention have been on my list for a long time, and some escaped my notice, so I appreciate your bringing them to my attention. I also love Philopannyx -- the comparison to Poison is right on. I came of age in the 1980s so all those EXTRA clear-out-a-room perfumes are dear to my heart. And yes, I do like more traditionally masculine-leaning scents -- I think many of us on this forum agree that scents have no gender. It's interesting that mainstream perfumes marketed toward women throughout the 20th century were often "masculine" compositions (Bandit, Mitsouko, Rochas Femme, Cuir de Russie, the list goes on). I have heard you rave about Satyr in other posts too, so I will definitely have to try that one! Aren't scent memories amazing? I have not tried Ava but am intrigued by the reviews. Thanks for your suggestion!