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BPAL Madness!


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About wordortwo

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    a little too imp-ulsive
  • Birthday January 20

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  1. wordortwo

    Cycling for Pleasure

    After testing this decant periodically over several months, my impression remains the same: extra salty corn chips mashed with soapy water. Take that with a grain of salt: Other than R'lyeh, I have yet to meet an aquatic I enjoy on my skin.
  2. wordortwo


    When I first received this imp, I was expecting the smoky mid-mass Catholic Church incense I remember from childhood. This is not that. It is incense, but it is not smoldering. Perhaps that is what's meant by "pure resins." It also smells a bit like worn, polished woods, and a bit of pine sap peeks through (perhaps that is frankincense). Polished and murky at the same time. I find it quite dry, which I like.
  3. wordortwo

    Mari Lwyd

    2020 Winter version, decant purchased from a forumite in 2022. Mari Lwyd is a pleasant, warm lightly foodie scent. The lavender is strong at first, until a scone-like note smooths it out. It grows softer, a little powdery (like flour, not baby powder). Something berry-like says hello after a few hours. This feels somewhat more woody and powdery than foodie, which is fine by me. I wanted to try this just to try this, and I'm glad I did. It isn't the type of perfume I go for, but I will likely wear it to bed.
  4. wordortwo


    Oh, how I wanted to love this one. I love this movie and wanted an Adam to my Eve. However, I had an experience quite the polar opposite to that described by @windbourne. To me, Adam smells like aggressively strong, glossy, black leather, and that is all I can smell. There is something chewy-musky-sweet that rises to create a choking, syrup-sweet leather scent. If I sniff hard and up close, something cool and creamy reveals itself, but the leather won't quit. Everything else is lost on me, and it is so strong I can't wear it long enough to get to the dry down. I suspect this is an excellent match for someone who loves leather perfumes. If that is you, I recommend trying this.
  5. wordortwo

    Les Bijoux

    This is a surprisingly complex fruity rose scent, with the freshest, most realistic apple note I've experienced from BPAL. (I thought "Don't Touch" smelled like apple candy, for example). I recognize that powdery-sweet "skin musk" from O, as well as a light breath of honey. Like @Casablanca, I get the lightest tinge of a dirt note. The mood is a demure, sweet, and somehow a little mischevious. This is a grounded fruit scent, but it does get a little too sweet for me over time. I wish the rose asserted itself more on the drydown. That is more of a personal preference than a problem, though. If you, like me, are cautious about fruit scents, give this a try.
  6. wordortwo

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

    Oh this is fun. I wish I had some contributions to the thread above, but I don't think I have anything useful to offer. My top 5: 1.) Night; 2. Bien Loin D'Ici; 3.) Eve; 4.) Streets of Detroit; 5.) In Night When Colors All to Black Are Cast or Dee. I love them dearly, but I do not need more sweet, musky perfumes - I am looking for some "dry" options. Overall, I have learned that I enjoy BPAL's more complex perfumes. Though this list may tell you otherwise, I do like florals, particularly violet and rose. Thanks in advance!
  7. wordortwo

    Fuzzy Peach Sweater and A Mug of London Fog

    I had been wondering what BPAL's "sweater" note smelled like, and a generous forumite coincidentally frimped me a bit of this. The "sweater" in this smells like laundry musk - that typical clean laundry smell, a little powdery, a little green, a little fresh. After an initial blast of peach, that is really all I detect. If I sniff hard, I can smell a bit of black tea boosting the laundry smell. After a few hours, it does gain a bit of complexity, sweet tea tempering the sharpness of the laundry scent. This is not for me, but I'm glad I had the experience.
  8. wordortwo

    Cheshire Cat

    Grapefruit, red currant, dark musk, Roman chamomile, delphinium, and lavender. Cheshire Cat is one the first BPAL scents I tried, when I was on a quest for long-lasting perfumes with grapefruit notes. I've since learned citrus notes in perfume tend to be fleeting. This is no exception. Wet on the skin, it is rich with sweet citrus juice and light florals. There is a faint acidic bite. A juicy citrus-floral-herbal scent hangs around for maybe an hour, which makes it sound very mild and pale. However, the musk and a rich "red fruit" aspect prevent this from being a clean scent. After an hour, this perfume is gone. That's a shame, because it is a very nice scent, but I was not interested in short-lived perfumes when I tried this. I may have to buy another imp in the future to give it a try.
  9. wordortwo

    Laurel Hill

    During lockdown, I spent many weekends walking to and around Laurel Hill Cemetery. Most of the time, I was the only living person there, threading through gravestones and taking a shaded rest next to massive trees. My scent memory is of freshly mown grass, wet stone, early spring azaleas, and car exhaust. This perfume doesn't smell like my memory, (which is fine by me). However, it can evoke the mood of the cemetery's older mausoleums. They line a winding path dug into a slope of the hill and seem to always be a bit damp. Small trees and bushes (including mountain laurel, if I recall correctly) overhang them. This perfume sets the scene with a misty spring air quality that reminds me a bit of Apres l'Ondee by Guerlain. It opens with floral notes that briefly become a bit soapy, but in a pleasant way, and some green notes smooth then out. I cannot recognize the florals, but they are soft and earthy, not bright and sweet. This perfume fades into the background, hangs close to the skin with a scent like rain on a spring-green woody shrub. I'm not trying to wax poetic; I honestly don't know how else to describe this. Gentle, soft, comforting, clean. I particularly like the way it smells on my clothes. I see myself wearing this a lot on cold mornings and to work.
  10. wordortwo

    Dead Leaves, Vetiver, and Hinoki

    On me, this opens green, bright, and almost lemon-zesty. This is quickly smoothed by a lightly smoky, earthy, grass scent. The green qualities fade to what I think is hinoki: soft, fresh wood, almost like incense. Throughout the life of the fragrance, a light smokiness and green spiciness endures. If I were to guess, I would say the fragrance develops according to the order of the listed notes -- it is linear that way. It isn't that nothing changes, but the phases are quite distinct. It remains quite strong for at least four hours. Unlike many the many themed or atmospheric BPALs, this feels like perfume for perfume's sake. I understand why people describe the Dead Leaves blends as "perfumey" or reminiscent of "men's" fragrances. (Edit: all of this is positive to me). Edited to add: I realized this reminds me a bit of Lalique Encre Noir. That might just be the strong vetiver, though.
  11. wordortwo

    Death Is Death

    I was confused when I opened this bottle for the first time. Something was surprisingly sweet, almost caramelized. That phase doesn't last long, and the perfume becomes a little cooler over time, with a slightly astringent element. The incense note is more apparent from afar. I wore a liberal amount of this today, and at times I would notice it hanging around me, as if sandalwood incense smoke were in my hair and clothes. After about four hours, it is a mellow sandalwood incense that clings quite close to the skin. This could almost be a stripped-down version of Eve from the OLLA collection. Remove the saffron, honey, and herbs, and you might have something like Death is Death. Overall, this perfume is simple, sweetly balsamic, creamy, and lightly woody. It didn't knock my socks off, but I think I'll use it the same way I do O, mixed with lotion or jojoba oil for days when I want a light, simple scent. Edit: So, this quickly became my go-to, gentle work scent. I've actually put an alarming dent in the bottle. However, I'm trying to set it aside to age - I'm not big on aging perfumes, but I figure the resin might benefit from extra maceration time.
  12. wordortwo


    While walking through a greenhouse at a massive botanical garden, I thought I caught a whiff of Hal. I looked around and realized I was eye level with a hanging, voluptuous jasmine plant. I could easily smell it through my mask. That is to say: the jasmine in Hal is apparently realistic, not to mention rich and complex. It dominates for the first hour or so, and then the honey and vanilla dominate. However, it never quite becomes cloying. This is exactly the sort of floral I love - rich and anchored with woods. The longevity is middling and the projection is low; the longer-term dry down is a mild honey. I've tried two second-hand versions of Hal - an older bottle with a few drops left, and a newer, almost full bottle. The older bottle was smoother, and the newer bottle is much more honey-forward and funkier (indolic? I'm not going to pretend to know exactly how to apply that term). I enjoy "funky," but I preferred the smoother version of Hal. This may just be perception, though.
  13. wordortwo

    Don't Touch

    I purchased a decant of this (from 2019) from a fellow forumite. For a couple months, I could not get myself to test it further than a mild dab on my hand. The apple smell was overpowering, and it reminded me of a green apple candy or air freshener rather than apple blossom or pulp. I'm glad I forced myself to give it a proper try. That apple candy scent fades fast, thank goodness, and becomes much more of a fresh smashed apple smell. This is not a sweet and fermented smell like a trampled crab apple, but more like you just smashed an apple with a mallet and can smell the flesh and freshly bruised skin. The apple fades back further and a spicy-green smell takes over, which reminds of firm, shiny leaves crushed between your fingers. At this point, I start getting whiffs of the sweet-tart pomegranate and the frankincense. After reading the review above, I get that creamy apply blossom note just below everything else. All in all, it is not something I will necessarily buy a bottle of - I don't know how often I would wear it. However, I see myself using up this decant this summer.
  14. wordortwo

    Since There’s No Help

    I tried this one shortly after I received a decant and was simply bored by it. A month of rest has improved it, made it smoother and crisper -- the scent of a clean break. Wet on the skin, this is clean, bright, and clear lemon peel and green-grassy juniper. The lemon fades fast and is replaced by a tannic bitterness and something almost like a wisp of smoke, all of which I love. Something else, that I can only seem to describe as "elegant," steps in alongside the juniper and takes this fragrance out of air freshener territory. I agree with the spa and sauna references above. It is a bit like walking into a sauna from the cold, with some bracing essential oils wafting in behind you. Maybe, like SophieCedar, I am just extra goth, but I find this uplifting and relaxing. Unfortunately, this behaves on me the way many tea fragrances do. The dry down is faint, hollow, and flat (I know that description is not terribly helpful, but that's the best way I can describe it). I should say my S.O. actually said this phase smelled nice - I think he understood it as the scent of light tea, which I do not. Though I find the first 30-60 minutes spent with this fragrance to be interesting and fresh, the dry down disappoints me. Update: Ultimately, I found this unwearable, even after resting. Too flat, too scented candle-ish. Update 2: Months later, I lost and found this decant. I find it quite nice, more like my initial impression of a lemony spa scent.
  15. wordortwo

    Hunger Moon 2021

    I have had a decant of this kicking around, but it took me a while to properly wear it rather than just dab on a test swipe. Now that my local weather is hot and muggy, this scent is a refreshing elixir. When first applied, I find the camphor and eucalyptus most prominent. That sounds like a bracing, medicinal combination, but I feel like they mellow each other out a little bit. The eucalyptus isn't so green, and the camphor doesn't quite have that sinus-clearing quality. It is certainly cool. Yet riding alongside these icy notes is a bright citrus note, which I find almost mouth watering in its juicy sweetness. As it dries, I momentarily smell something I interpret as musky, but that rises and retreats within a few minutes. Then, the herbal sage and verbena rise and blend with the eucalyptus and camphor. After an hour or so, this has faded to a sweet amber-verbena scent that wears close to the skin (my S.O. couldn't really smell it when asked). It does warm up quite a bit. The dry down reminds me of Since There's No Help from the 2021 Lupers, but I like this better (because there is no tea note). Still, I find this too sweet and short-lived. A nice momentary pick-me-up.