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Dancing Raven

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About Dancing Raven

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    wrist-sniffing wench
  • Birthday September 8

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  • Favorite Scents
    Anything smoky, earthy , resiny, dusty, or unusual is right up my alley. I love rose and carnation for florals. There are so many oils I love. Favorites include Yorick (which began my BPAL journey), Event Horizon, The Black Tower, Midnight Mass, Jacob's Ladder, Dreadful Lies, Voodoo, Bast, The Witches' Ride, etc.


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  • Western Zodiac Sign


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    United States

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  1. Dancing Raven

    Mary Read

    I didn't have high hopes for this one. Aquatics and ozone tend to go dryer sheets/detergent and men's cologne on me. Still, I have been on the hunt for the perfect non sun cream/ suntan lotion beach scent, so I finally got the courage to try it. Wet: sasaparilla and aquatic saltiness, but very well blended so no note stands out above the other. It very quickly begins to dry. Drydown: salty sea air. It's definitely aquatic, rather than ozonic. No dryer sheets or cologne here! An aquatic scent I can wear? I am over the moon! I detect something creamy and slightly woody under the salt air, but it's faint. Anne Bonney was almost 100% red sandalwood on me. Mary Read isn't doing that, in fact, the woody scent pretty much disappeared. About 15 minutes into the drydown, I get jasmine. This is added into a lot of sun care products, so now I am getting the perfect beach scent. Mainly sea air with just a bit of a beachy floral. There is a touch of cucumber lending to the aquatic aspect. About 30 minutes in I begin to get a very light leather. It's dancing with the salty breeze, taking turns at being in the forefront. However, for me this is first and foremost about the ocean air. The leather isn't strong at all. I never get the gunpowder, and the sasaparilla is so faint that I can only smell it if I put my nose to my arm, although it does show up more at the end. No patchouli on me, sadly. Overall, I wish that I had gotten some of the darker notes to come out, but this is such a beautiful, true salt air scent that works on me, that I am willing to overlook it. I think I will try layering it with AB. Full bottle worthy for sure, even though it becomes very much a skin scent within 30 minutes of applying. Perfect for hot summer days. Unisex, but leans feminine on my skin. 4.5 out of 5 stars. ETA: this stuff is tenacious despite sitting close to the skin. It survived a shower smelling just as good as when I had put it on hours before.
  2. Dancing Raven

    Les Fleurs du Mal

    I want to give a huge thank you to the lab for including this with my order. When they send things, they are definitely paying attention to what you purchased. I strongly believe that there are no casual toss ins. Everything is something they think you will like. I appreciate that kind of customer service and thoughtfulness. On to the review... Wet: fresh, sweet & pollen-y lilac. I thought I detected lily with fresh cut stems. Shortly after, a tart lemon joins in, so it may be the rose that my nose interprets as a lily. This smells like liquid sunshine and happiness. No doom and gloom here! You know how when you were little, and you would pop the top of a dandelion off? The smell on your fingers from the milky, green sap from the stems? There's an undertone of that. This blend is summery and refreshing. It reminds me a lot of Hope is the Thing with Feathers. I wonder if there is jasmine in this. Drydown: it remains fairly linear throughout. Throw is very good. I like this more than HITTWF because of the lemony rose which uplifts it. Later, vanilla adds to the base of the true- to- life florals. Just like someone else said - it's like walking into a florist's fridge. At this point, it reminds me of Lines Written in Early Spring (which I adore). It's different enough that I will definitely be keeping it. LWIES had more of a creamy, almost milky note, whereas Les Fleurs has a sweet nonfoody vanilla. On me, this is lilac, wisteria, and rose. I don't get a rosey or powdery scent, just crisp and citrusy. They are intertwined perfectly. Nothing stands out above the rest. There is nothing old ladyish about it. These are fresh flowers. The lilac and wisteria remain crisp and sweet throughout, and the rose is there to support and keep it from becoming cloying. If you love floral scents, this one is superb. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Dancing Raven


    I got an imp directly from the lab, so either this is mislabeled or my skin chemistry is wonky. I am guessing it's the latter. I was expecting lovely myrrh mixed with something green and herbal. This was none of those things. Wet, I get coconut. Sweet coconut - what? Soon, I get the scent of gardenia and ylang ylang with coconut backing it up. It's lush and summery. It stays this way for hours, but throw is almost nonexistent. The final stage is chocolatey amber. Amber isn't listed, so I suppose it could be the myrrh mixing with some honey since I didn't really smell any myrrh at any stage. I have other florals like this, and I am not fond of coconut. I have so many spicy and resinous oils, that I was looking for something more herbal to get out of my comfort zone and change things up. This doesn't provide that for me. It's a beautiful fragrance, however. If you have the skin chemistry to pull out the balsam and herbs from this, I envy you. 5 out of 5 stars. Lovely, just not what I was looking for.
  4. Dancing Raven

    Penny Dreadful

    Wet, it starts out as super sweet sugar cookies and butter. Within a minute, the loam mixes in with the buttery richness to create a very realistic vomit odor. I'm not trying to be gross, but I am an RN and mother, and I am uncomfortably familiar with that scent. If this would have been my first BPAL experience, it most likely would have been my last. Luckily for me, I knew to wait. It did take me a couple of minutes before I was brave enough to sniff again. The loam was getting stronger, but the less pleasant aspect remained for about 10 minutes. I was rewarded for my patience in spades. The loam took over (spicy, almost moss like, wet earth). Soon, it was a wonderful cinnamony and slightly powdered scent. I wonder if there is carnation in here as well as amber. It's a creamy (thankfully not butter at this point!) spice. I think there may be some allspice, too. I get a sort of gingerbreadish impression. It's not particularly foody to me, and I am not one who likes to smell like baked goods. There's nothing wrong with those who do, it's just not my type of scent. It's a dry sort of spice, but not so dry you feel like you need a glass of water (sometimes dry scents make my mouth feel dry, too). Throw is good for hours. At the end, it's a sweet, but not powdery amber with some spice lingering in the background. I really like it. I love Yorick, so I don't know what took so long to try this. Despite the very rocky first few minutes, this is full bottle worthy. 4.5 out of 5 stars because of the beginning.
  5. Dancing Raven

    Miss Lizzie

    I saw dried ruby fruits in the description, and didn't expect to like it all that much. This is really good! It starts out as a sweet honey, soft floral carnation with just a hint of smoke. Then the carnation turns spicy. I feel like there may be cardamom in this as well. The spice isn't overwhelming, just a little extra warmth and oomph than carnation alone. All of the stages are lovely, but it's the late mid to base stages where the magic happens on my skin. I get the most beautiful sweet incense, woodsmoke, warm aroma wafting off of my arm. It's like a smoked honey with a chocolate undertone. I don't know if there's tobacco mixing with the honey to create the incensey smoke, but it is fantastic. Throw is very good, as is wear time. 5 out of 5 stars.
  6. Dancing Raven


    When it's wet I definitely get a very strong almond/cherry soda. It quickly becomes a citrusy wine note which reminds me of plum. This stays wet on my skin for quite some time. It morphs into a powdery sweet scent that is reminiscent of sweet tart candies. For a brief moment in the drydown, I have hope that it won't be super sweet and foody. I can smell the amber and musk mixing to create a beautiful, powdery scent. Then the almond comes back with a vengeance, and I smell Play Doh. I love the listed notes, but this is far too sweet and almond heavy for me. 3 out of 5 stars.
  7. Dancing Raven

    Christmas Rose

    I got this from TrailerTrashPrincess, and thankfully I don't smell styrofoam and celery! 😄 Wet: I get pine/fir and something sweet (violet?), along with aldehydes. I was extremely worried at this point because aldehydes don't work on my skin at all! I was considering scrubbing it, but I know that if you can make it through the opening you can end up with something terrific. It was definitely worth the 20 minutes of unpleasantness. The aldehydes lighten up, and now they are just there creating a sweet effervescence. It's sparkly and citrusy. Someone mentioned 7-Up, and I tend to agree. Either that or ginger ale. I wonder if there is ginger or lime, or both. I think there may be orris, pine, lime, ginger, frankincense, and possibly even some myrrh in here. The evergreen scent only lasted for a brief part of the wet stage, and I didn't get a snow note (unless that was what the orris represents). Hellebore itself doesn't have a scent unless crushed, and you don't want to smell that! It is one of the many fantasy floral notes in perfumes. What I'm left with is a sparkling citrus/resinous blend with just a touch of non powdery sweetness. It actually reminds me a lot of Voodoo, which I love. If you are a fan of Voodoo, Hell's Belle, or Jazz Funeral, you will most likely enjoy this one. It's really pretty! 5 out of 5 stars despite the beginning.
  8. Dancing Raven

    Rose Red

    This is for the 2019 version. Wet: sour, sharp, bitter rose GERANIUM. It mellows out after about 20 minutes, but it remains a green rose geranium, rather than rose on my skin. About 1.5 hours after applying, I get something that smells salty in the background, and an hour after that, a mellow white musk. Perhaps there is some ambergris in here to make a skin musk that isn't listed? It's at this point that it becomes a much softer rose (no longer geranium) scent. It retains its crisp green quality. This reminds me a lot of ELDO's Eau de Protection. It takes a few hours, but the green softens, and it becomes a bright, crisp red rose along with sweeter roses mingling in the background. Just beneath the roses, a mild musk serves as the backbone. Once dried, it is quite nice despite the rocky start. I love roses, so I will hold onto it in hopes that the geranium chills out with age. 4 out of 5 stars.
  9. Dancing Raven

    In Splendoribus Sanctorum

    This one doesn't morph a whole lot. From the start it is a beautiful, sweet (but not powdery) frankincense and amber. About one hour in, I get a faint mint and cinnamon in the background. The cinnamon fades away quickly, but the minty smell - which is so small that I think it's probably just notes mingling and confusing my nose - stays for around 30 minutes. It sounds odd, but it's pleasant. 2.5 hours later I can smell myrrh. Frankincense, sweet amber, and myrrh all joining together to create an intoxicating, resinous scent. Lovely. That is how it remains for hours. There isn't a lot of throw, but it lasted well over 10 hours on me. If you like Midnight Mass, you will adore this one. They smell very similar to me. Even though I already own MM, I will be holding on to this. There's enough of a difference for me to warrant owning both, and it is just a fantastic scent regardless. I didn't get any bergamot. 5 out of 5 stars.
  10. Dancing Raven

    Wan Wan

    Wet, I get jonquil with a soft spicy clove. It's not overly spicy at this point, and is threatening to go soapy, but never does. Drying down, the spicy carnation comes out. The jonquil disappears completely. I think some of the spices may be cardamom and nutmeg. It's reading a bit masculine to my nose. Once the spices settle down it becomes a lot more unisex. The final stage is close to the skin. It's actually quite pleasant. Either there is non powdery amber in here, or the vanilla husk and myrrh are blending together to give that impression. The carnation is stronger and has a nice, creamy spice. I get a hint of something slightly smoky, but it's a mere whisper. It could be the hay because it's a dry, husky sort of "smoke". It's nice, but not one I would wear unless the mood struck me. 4 out of 5 stars.
  11. Dancing Raven

    My Country

    It goes on like dryer sheets, and it stays that way for about an hour. Then, I get a wonderful ozonic/beachy scent. Not suntan lotion. It's like standing on the beach beside the sea and taking a deep breath. And... five minutes later it is a faint skin scent. No rose showed up, and some of you may know by now that I amp it. Also, no amber. If you avoid rose scents, you are probably safe to try this. I am so disappointed with my skin chemistry with this one. I'm not ready to give up on it yet. The five minutes of salty, beachy goodness was totally worth the hour of laundry. I am hoping that with time the part I adore gets stronger. 2 out of 5 stars with fingers crossed that it gets better.
  12. Dancing Raven

    Snake Oil

    Reviewing an aged version I know this is the first BPAL scent for a lot of people. Mine was Yorick, so take my review with a grain of salt. Wet: vanilla cake batter, something almond/nutty, and a liquer note. Drydown: sugar cookies. Throw is excellent. Later, I get lemon, leather, and a touch of powder. It's like a super light version of Shalimar's opening if I sniff my wrist. At arm's length it is still a very strong vanilla. It's sweet, but dry. I think there may be some benzoin and coumarin in it. Blonde tobacco may be adding to the sweet dryness. I'm guessing there is amber in this as well. I detect a slight saltiness, so maybe some ambergris? It stays citrusy/leathery/sweet for quite some time. At some point the vanilla fades, and it is now a dupe for Emeraude, which is a tamer version of Shalimar. Almond is giving it a slight Play Doh vibe. It's nice, just not for me. I have my big bottle of vintage Shalimar (now that's a beast!), and I don't smell like a bakery when I wear it. I adore so many of Beth's creations, but this isn't one of them. More for everyone else! 4 out of 5 stars on my skin. 5 out of 5 stars for the scent itself. It really is lovely, and I can see why it's adored. I just can't wear foody scents. ETA: I woke up this morning and the scent is still there. Now it smells like Cuir Beluga, which I love, but also own. If you can handle the foody sweetness of the beginning you will end up with a scent that is every bit as beautiful as two expensive perfumes. For less than $30. That's one thing I noticed as someone who has only been aware of this company for about 3 years. They make some high quality stuff that smells as good, if not better than a lot of more expensive perfumes.
  13. Dancing Raven

    To Lesbia

    Wet, and for several hours thereafter, it is a beautiful, spicy carnation. For a brief period I get the creamier aspects, but for the most part it is warm, clovey goodness. This is no shy wallflower. It packs a big punch. After a couple of hours I begin to smell opoponax mixing with the clove. The final stages are warm and balsamic. I am thinking there may be some peru balsam in this. I believe there may also be some labdanum. Wet, I got a fleeting whiff of what I thought was frankincense, and labdanum can start out like frank on me. I am also getting an effervescence like sasparilla/cola that labdanum sometimes does on my skin. This is yummy! This is a very warm, spicy, resinous scent. I have a ton of oils with this scent profile, but I am keeping this one, too. I'm hoping the creamier aspects of the carnation will come out more with aging after the resins have time to settle down. Even if it doesn't, I am totally ok with that. 5 out of 5 stars. Absolute spicy, balsamic perfection!
  14. Dancing Raven

    One Girl

    This starts out cheerful and bright. I get a tangy cherry note that may be coming from the poppy? Apple shows up briefly. Then I am hit with a strong hairspray note. It does tone down, but remains for a good hour. There has to be white musk in this. I really don't get any incense or orchid. I do get hours of lovely, sweet wisteria. I can smell something indolic, but it isn't overwhelming (I abhor indoles, so it shouldn't be an issue for those with an appreciation). It remains sweet and musky for hours. Throw is average/above average. I may try it again at a later date, as it is a newer bottle before I decide. For now, there is just too much high pitched musk for me. 3 out of 5 stars.
  15. Dancing Raven

    Hope is the Thing With Feathers

    Oh, how I wish I got the soft, dusty floral that others are getting! It starts with promise. The white honey mixing with the flowers reminds me of Lily of the Valley at first. It's soft, gentle, and very pretty. About 5 minutes later... wow, this is potent! It's not screechy, and it's not a scrubber. However, when I go in closer to sniff, I can actually taste it. A lot. That lasts about 10 minutes before jasmine comes forward to soften it up again. The honey is bringing an almost milky note as a support for the intense florals. I swear I get a light cucumber scent as well. Something delicately green and juicy. I definitely detect some indoles, but barely. At some point, it becomes very "perfumey". I don't get any osmanthus, nor any orris. The orris may be in the base with the amber, but at this point it's so faint I can barely smell it. The amber and honey are mixing together to give a patchouli - like dry chocolate impression. Perhaps that is the orris - dusted amber at play. Ultimately, this is a little too loudly floral for me. If it had stayed the way it was for the first 5 minutes, it would have been a keeper. 3.5 out of 5 stars.