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BPAL Madness!


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About myrrhmyrrh

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    a little too imp-ulsive


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    the garrett in the underwood
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  • Favorite Scents
    Marie, Juliet, The Raven, Nocturne, The Rose, Jasmine Cottage... ...

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    the poetics of memory, the past and its words, and have written 400 pages on how to paint perfume in the middle ages and the Renaissance
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  1. myrrhmyrrh


    In the vial: leather check, poison, check, something spicey-sweet as poison goes. On me, wet: gone cologne-y somehow, leather has disappeared – and where is that sweet and piquant poison? On me, just dried: lower notes now and the leather back, and now I smell the pitch, though sweetened with something fruity – there is certainly something dangerous here, something menacing lurking just around a dark corner, palace or alley I do not know, but it tempts you forward After 15 minutes: ooh sweet leather, full bodied and seductive! Pitch, yes and poison too, but you want to drink them in slow sweet sips, like a hot apple cider with cinnamon After 30 minutes: the sweetness now comes before the leather, takes it over, a leather that has been cured with cinnamon and apple. Pitch is gone. After 1 hour: much the same, this is one sexy assassin. After 3 hours: leather and apple, still present, still hanging in there- Has more staying power on me than most oils which are usually quite faint at this point, IME, at least for the kind of thing I generally favor. Verdict: very nice frimp – not for me but an interesting experience.
  2. myrrhmyrrh

    The Sea Foams Milk

    In the vial: salt air and dairy, lemony but gentle – not overly sweet at all On me, wet: clean – even verging on cleaning fluid though nothing harsh (maybe imagine instead a very old fashioned lemony clean smell) this vaguely milky film prevents that- still something that is maybe lemon trees near the sea. On me, just dried: seaside air, reinvigorating but again soft, from late spring or summer, the lemony-ness has subsided and only the thinnest hint of milk. After 15 minutes: lemony again, and again the seaside. Dairy is still very vague. The smell of some 19th C maiden regaining her health with constitutional walks at Lyme Regis, and coming home to a lemony tisane with a dash of milk After 30 minutes: standing in a garden of lemon balm, their broken leaves staining my hands as I gather them absently for tea, while looking out over the cliff for my lover to return from calm summer seas. After 1 hour: salt and lemon still - After 3 hours: now the milk veiling the lemon balm and ioded spray of the air, but all quite faint as we turn inland once more, the restorative stay behind us and health returned Verdict: What an unusual perfume! I was very happy with trying out this frimp – as always, there seems to be a story to be written about the unfolding of the scent and this will thrill someone. I don’ t think this is really a “me” kind of scent to invest in but it was unique and interesting and I know it will be perfect for someone else.
  3. myrrhmyrrh

    Hollywood Babylon

    In the vial: they discovered her at the counter of a soda fountain and now here she is making a splash at the big director’s party : a young girl trying to be sophisticated- trying to drink cognac when what she wants is a cherry coke or a strawberry float On me, wet: cherry and some musk/amber On me, just dried: amber now, the girl is in her heels and low cut gold lamé gown, swallowing down her sweetness under the mask of seen it all before, only a memory of the boy at the soda fountain After 15 minutes: dryer now with mainly the ambery musk but she is thinking a lot about the soda fountain boy and how he’d buy her cherry floats After 30 minutes: same ache of cherry struggling to break through the ambery musk. After 1 hour: little starlet is not getting her roles, no matter what she did to get them After 3 hours: she is a forgotten, a& mere footnote in cinema history. Verdict – I enjoyed it and the sad story it told, but would not invest in it.
  4. myrrhmyrrh


    In the vial: oh my! I’m excited! I honestly did not even want to try the frimp given the description of ingredients, that did not speak to me at all, but once the vial opened, it’s sweetness: apple, banana, pineappe and sugar cane, balanced with something sharper and muskier was intoxicating On me, wet: banana and pepper and some apple and sugar cane On me, just dried: ok the sweetness is evening out into something a bit dryer, maybe muskier, and this is a good thing, it’s kind of a banana musk or a banana incense After 15 minutes: this just gets more intriguing, a mix of apple and banana incense now –the sugar cane has subsided. I’d love to get more of the chili pepper however, which is only faintly present on me. However much the different ingredients pack a punch, the sum of the parts remains something subtle and not overwhelming at all. After 30 minutes: the description of the god Shango does not at all evoke what this, the ofrenda is like. Less incense/musk now than simply something soft and round and ripe, mostly banana, maybe, just maybe, some pineapple After 1 hour: dry banana incense once more, maybe ever so faintly the pepper After 3 hours: same Verdict : this is a great blend. It’s not me, or for me, so I’d never purchase it, but it was an olfactory experience I’m glad I had
  5. myrrhmyrrh


    In the vial: in an ectoplasmic swirl, there something vaguely medicinal that is dominant but I can’t figure out what element it would be coming from. On me, wet: ok this is going to be a hard sell. I love the idea of it and the individual ingredients as described but there is this medicinal scent that overwhelms all these things I love, like rose and lilac and wood. On me, just dried: medicinal scent is thankfully fading, in fact most of the scent is, and I still can’t smell the flowers or the rosewood. I’m not sure what it is I smell, but I’m not in love. After 15 minutes: I can smell something but I don’t even know what, happily that medicinal smell seems to have disappeared or I’d be scrubbing this. I have a headache now. I don’t know if that’s related. After 30 minutes: Now the florals just begin but ever so faintly. The medium cannot quite contact them so that they come through clearly After 1 hour: that medicinal feel is returning, faintly, but above and beyond anything else. I’m scrubbing Verdict. I don’t know what it is in my chemistry that made this such a flop, for reading through most others’ descriptions it sounds like just my kind of thing. At least a few of us did get that medicinal thing, though. And I could have blind bought a bottle of it from the site description alone. Happily this was a frimp, so no harm no foul.
  6. myrrhmyrrh

    The Black Rider

    In the vial: opoponax first and foremost and amber as an afterthought On me, wet: now I have put on leather boots and someone has taken out the fine tobacco, they run roughshod over the opoponax and even the amber On me, just dried: some low note, and tar-ry – what in the bottle seemed a very feminine scent has become to my mind) overwhelmingly masculine, until the opoponax peeps out again, just barely. A metamorphosis of gender. After 15 minutes: masculine and feminine intermingle now - I have not read the attached fairy tale (yet) but I am thinking of the bedroom scenes between Etta Place and The Sundance Kid from George Roy Hill’s 1969 film: there is the outlaw lover’s hard-riding, smoking, leather, and her delicate lace and heady undermuslins. After 30 minutes: I can now smell a swirl of all the discrete (but hardly discreet) elements – the leather, the tobacco, the opoponax, the amber…., all of it by turns and at once After 1 hour: leather and opoponax love and struggle and love again After 3 hours: faintly, faintly now for something that started with such a ruckus! Verdict : the leather and tobacco is not me at all, so I’m happy to have tried the frimp, but would never invest in a bottle, unless it were for my best fella, if only he would wear such things. Still it is magnificent, and for those who like mixes of this genre, both the mélange and the individual notes – absolutely, this is a keeper.
  7. myrrhmyrrh


    In the vial: honey and rose and santal On me, wet: something base amongst the flowers – something raw and carnal and that counters a certain sickly sweetness, without balancing it On me, just dried: orange blossom and sex: honey was certainly involved After 15 minutes: this base note – the sandalwood? - scratches my lower throat/nose, in spite of the sweetness of the orange blossom and honey After 30 minutes: I seek the roses in vain, all I have now is the sandalwood, clearly offered to strange gods seducing us into their worship After 1 hour: musky, primarily or maybe it’s the sandalwood – no more flowers to soften it, nor honey After 3 hours: smoky musky sandalwood- sexy still going strong Verdict – I was infatuated for a time with Jezebel but we fell out towards the end of a big bottle. All I have now is the remains of a frimp– she was too... something, a bold and scandalous seductress indeed, which is not me at all, so I suppose it should not come as a surprise that our relationship did not work out.
  8. myrrhmyrrh

    Santo Domingo

    In the vial: honeyed pipe tobacco, spiced rum: there seem to pirates around here... On me, wet: the spice of the rum comes forth,, almost independently from the rum, and the tobacco is more clearly the aroma of the dried leaf than cured with honey for a pipe, Pirates definitely On me, just dried: the spices still, the honeyed pipe smoke again – the flowers don’t declare themselves yet. After 15 minutes: heady heady golden honey tobacco of a pirate lover and his spiced rum. After 30 minutes: it seems to become a kind of musk, made of the distilled elements above, still no flowers though. After 1 hour: I still smell no flowers, and still a kind of musky spiced rum and honeyed tobacco smoke After 3 hours: I believe there’s a breath of vanilla in that rum, or is that Madagascar finally on the horizon? Verdict- this frimp was certainly a fun adventure and must have many fans, but I don’t think I’ll be going on this ride again, unless for giggles. I could smell it perhaps on my partner more agreeably, if I could get him to don perfume. I think I would find it very sexy, indeed
  9. myrrhmyrrh


    In the vial: sensual musk of a smokey red feel, incense in the chamber of the Sultan. The scene is set. On me, wet: The story proper begins: sultry, sulfurous (not the smell of sulfur, just the heat of it) the red hot coals upon which a resin burns and desire too- On me, just dried: is the cinnamon? I am reminded of red hot cinnamon hearts I delighted in as a child, if such could be translated into the rarefied atmosphere I feel with this scent, that climbs sinuous white smoke from a stick of of incense. This is a very sexy number, this one. After 15 minutes: The cinnamon fades but the story teller draws you in just like the burning resin that smoulders in the incense holder – all musk now floating in waves, you cannot resist. After 30 minutes: what happens next you wonder? The plot thickens as the cinnamon resurrects from its recent past, twisting &and turning from musk to incense and back again(and omg is that just a strand of vanilla now?), ever-shifting as though under a dinn’s spell After 1 hour: a djinn’s kiss, still smouldering on After 3 hours: djinn breath, faint but still hot.
  10. myrrhmyrrh

    The Rose

    In the vial: the sap of the broken green stem and the reddest of luscious roses are one heady entity that makes the head spin with what you’ve done, (stolen roses are sweetest)- but how can you regret anything so beautiful? On me, wet: Running away from the forbidden rose bush, the greensap fades more to the flower nw: if this is the stolen rose from the Beast’s garden, the scent on my wrist is proof of my guilt, even if it was an act of love for another- there is no disguising it, it will give me away. The Beast caught up with me purely by following its trail, so strong is the throw. On me, just dried: So Red the Rose – pure, pure absolute of Rose abducted from an enchanted garden where I had no right to go; to be, to pluck After 15 minutes: the rose -still absolute- has softened somewhat, not so sharp, the stemsap is still there as a highlighting contrast as green does to red After 30 minutes: the rose is still calming down, and calming me down too – the green stemsap has largely faded, the rose having been stolen half an hour back After 1 hour: the rose too has fled, escaped, a ghost rose left on my wrist, haunting me After 3 hours: not even a phantom rose anymore Verdict – Even though this is not a long lived scent (on me) it is so luscious that I buy it in a full bottle again and again, and just reapply. It really is an extraordinary creation with the sharp green against the velvety full bodied rose.
  11. myrrhmyrrh


    In the vial: so sweet, demure even – I don’t get the debauchery at all. If this is the namesake at all, this is innocent Antoinette the dauphine exchanged at the border before Versailles affected her. So much for the character- for the scent itself, it’s as though rose and violet grew upon the same vine, one twining round the other, again very very sweet, in both senses On me, wet: that same sweetness and intertwining rose and violet that seems to form its own scent, more than the sum of its parts On me, just dried: an old scent, but not an old lady scent as it’s too young, just a perfume from another era. I don’t get Marie Antoinette out of it (- would need orange blossom for me for that), for me it would be more Gigi as she is learning without realizing it how to be a demi-mondaine, though perhaps too shy, still, for Gigi. After 15 minutes: the florals begin to come into their own, individualize as they grow up a bit, becoming more sensual, now violet, now rose, by turns, telling a tale of time gone by, of something graceful and slow, douceur de vivre After 30 minutes: no real difference from the last phase, still that tantalizing twin talk of the violet and the rose. After 1 hour: It doesn’t really morph, I find, on me at least. But it’s just as lovely as when I put it on. I am infatuated. After 3 hours: for a dainty thing she holds on, for a shy thing she makes herself heard, though fading into something faintly powdery Verdict- this is a regular big bottle purchase for me and something of a signature scent, as much as you can decide on anything as a signature scent in the embarassment of riches that is bpal …. In reviews above it has been called an “old lady perfume” but, as far as I’m concerned, this is applicable only in the sense of that Parisian apartment found locked for seventy years that had belonged to a courtesan, and even that, something she wore when she was much younger.
  12. myrrhmyrrh

    Les Fleurs du Mal

    In the vial: oh YES, yesyesyes, heady headstrong, headspinning – rose dominant and something else powdery (if you like that kind of thing, and I do) – I could follow Baudelaire’s order to be drunk on this; let's see if it inspires: On me, wet: a darker, lower note, I don’t know what, comes to anchor the heady Rose and her floral accomplices: this is the Mal, then, after the original bouquet drew you in and seduced you. It’s in your flesh now, and there’s no escaping it. I understand now that this is in Ars Moriendi On me, just dried: what has entered your flesh is now part of your soul, and it is not a shy thing (no powder now), it will make you its own. Rose, yes, but a rose close to the earth, a rose close to rotting, though still deeply sensual. The other flowers are there, I can sense them but they don’t announce themselves, are content to bear witness to the Rose’s sins. After 15 minutes: The powder is back but cannot absolve the Rose. Still, she bears her head proudly, Wisteria and Lilac whisper consolations, but behind her back After 30 minutes: Wisteria and Lilac come forth to defend the Rose; they speak but their words revolve around her, echo her deeds. After 1 hour: Powder now, a rosy powder: the rose herself has absconded leaving only her memory, but what a memory, all the low notes underneath the powder After 3 hours: The legend of the Rose and her deeds will be spoken of by Wisteria and Lilac’s descendants, echoing dowsn through many generations Verdict lovelovelove – will definitely order a big bottle again.
  13. myrrhmyrrh


    Nocturne In the vial: Sister scent to the Raven, but Odile to her Odette. Violets but while somewhat melancholical not as somber, the tuberose lifts it up out of its grief and gives it hope in the dusk On me, wet: lilac steps forth to say she’s there, to count her with the violets and tuberose, three sisters, as is the opening of so many novels and this sets the scene as twilight settles in On me, just dried: Still the three sisters sit in their parlor and exchange somewhat gnomic interlocking pleasantries, as though rhyming together, as the dusk grows bluer After 15 minutes: Tuberose brings up a point and leads the discussion, but Violet responds. Lilac is reduced to the occasional ‘mm-hmm’ ‘mm-mmm’ After 30 minutes: low chatter amongst the three of them, no voice rises above the others and I cannot make out what they are saying precisely as no one is speaking over the other After 1 hour: conversation fades to a murmur After 3 hours: comfortable silence and echoes as we retire to bed, exhausted. Verdict – On the promise of the description I bought a big bottle and I do love it – I’m not disappointed but at it’s lack of staying power and for that can’t countenance buying it again. Similar to The Raven, though somewhat lighter in mood, though the raven caws and caws all night long and this gives out to an early night despite it’s name, or at least it does on me.
  14. myrrhmyrrh

    The Raven

    In the vial: all the violets, but blooming at midnight. Dark-winged, somber, a raven feather with violet highlights bouncing off of it. On me, wet: those somber violets overwhelmingly, but in serious discussion with the sandalwood and musk On me, just dried: the sandalwood comes to the fore but remembers every word the violets said, echo of musk, or a candle just snuffed out After 15 minutes: the return of the violets, still with the snuffed candle-musk, this counterpoint of a floral with something darker and smokier After 30 minutes: still the intertwining of violets and musk – After 1 hour: The violets make their presence felt above musk and sandalwood, but the latter still remain After 3 hours: violets tempered by the dark, complicated grief of sandalwood, violets in mourning musk. Unresolved grief that will not pass with time. Verdict – I LOVE this. It is hypnotic as an Anish Kapoor black, draws you in and absorbs you with all light. A long poem ensues of love lost to death, haunting the skin of one living for nearly evermore
  15. myrrhmyrrh

    The Harlot's House

    In the vial: I fell in love with title and description and so bought a big bottle. Uh oh. Something very bright here, a yellow feel. More so than flowers or incense or tea or anything announced in the description. I have a feeling this will be too bold for me On me, wet: Brassy, like both a big band and a bad hair-blonding job. On me, just dried: Some of the tea comes forth to pacify the brassiness, but this is a sharp tongued and sassy whipper snapper of a perfume. I smell no violet, for nothing shrinks here. Except perhaps me. After 15 minutes: more tea thankfully, as I think I now have a hangover. After 30 minutes: tea still, but the brassy yellow is refusing it for something stronger. After 1 hour: Some individual flowers are coming out, with less fanfare, but I don’t know them by name After 3 hours: The brazen hussy has gone pale and may faint but will persist in her vocal seductions no matter what - as said above this is the perfume in a harlot's house that has gotten into the fabric of throw pillows and curtains and will not was out. Verdict. I should have known that a name of this sort would not go in for subtlety - I did use the whole bottle or almost (so there is that), not wanting to waste my purchase and hoping it would grow on me, but it never did. Won’t go looking for it again.