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BPAL Madness!


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About Penance

  • Rank
    Stinky Hippie
  • Birthday 10/09/1982


  • Location
    Outside Chicago, IL
  • Country
    United States


  • BPAL of the Day
    Anne Bonny
  • Favorite Scents
    A lot. Like a LOT.

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  • Gender
  • Mood
    Doom, doom, doom


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  1. Penance


    I only have a sniffie of this, so I can't do a skin test, but this is nice! I like to eat mangoes, but didn't think I wanted to smell like one. I may have been wrong. This is sweet - much sweeter than I expected - and smooth and not overly "ripe" smelling. This would make a nice summer perfume on its own or blend well with lots of things.
  2. Penance

    La Fée Verte

    I've had (and loved) Hellion since it was released, but La Fée Verte never quite appealed to me, although the artwork is lovely. I honestly have absolutely no idea what most of the things in here smell like. Herbs? Flowers? The rest of it I know, obviously - vanilla, musk, honey and spices. All the herbs or flowers are throwing me, but since I unexpectedly came across this, I'm eager to give it a go! In the bottle and wet, this is lemony. Very lemony. I don't know what's responsible for that since there's no lemon listed, but it's almost like lemongrass rather than the fruit. Lemon and some muddled, slightly herbal, slightly sweet background? Odd. The "lemon" disappears as it dries down and it goes through a stage of being all soft herbs and what smells like tiny sprigs of delicate little flowers. The final dry down is unexpected and lovely! For some inexplicable reason, it smells a bit like Antique Lace on me. Sort of a chamomile-like faint herbal backing with faded flowers and soft, musky vanilla. This one was a morpher and unexpected. I'm glad I got to try this after all and I think I'll be keeping mine.
  3. Penance

    The Bear in the Cellar

    Whiskey, tobacco, and incensed bear musk. I'm looking forward to this one. I like Mad Sweeney, with its super heavy whiskey note, and I love tobacco and most musks. Wet and in the bottle, this is a whoosh of whiskey and basically nothing else. I'd be okay with that if I didn't have Mad Sweeney to do the same thing. Dried, though, this is different. Very different. The whiskey mostly burns off and a musk that's wonderfully soft and cozy comes out. No tobacco (sad face), but it's otherwise wonderful. But then The Powder shows up. I know it's the musk because this has happened more than once with musks like these. Enraged Bunny Musk did the same thing, for example. I'm not sure if this one will stay with me or go at this point.
  4. Penance


    I unexpectedly laid my hands on a bottle of this and couldn't wait to try it. I thought for sure I would like it. I was wrong. I love it! The patchouli is deep, dark and dirty (like in Owl Moon), the teak is a gorgeous, dark wood, the coffee adds just the slightest hint of depth and then the green cognac and white musk? Can't find them, but I don't care. The other notes were actually what attracted me to this one. The end result is a dark, earthy, deeply woody (not like polished wood; like the smell of a freshly sawn piece of hardwood) with just a bit of coffee depth. Beautiful. I wish I could track down a duplicate.
  5. Penance

    It Was Just a Cat

    Oh man, I was worried this was going to sound great but not work on me. I was wrong. This is so beautiful! 🖤 I get predominately amber - soft, golden, gently resinous - over a background of very soft resins and what smells like vanilla. I have no idea where the vanilla is coming from, but this is just so smooth and nice. It's a warm, snuggly scent. This is no scary, spooky cat - it's a soft, fluffy, amber tabby with fluffy toes, who likes to sit on your lap in front of the fire. I was hoping to like this, expecting to be somehow disappointed for reasons unexplainable and ended up loving it so much I'll be getting a backup.
  6. Penance

    Dead Leaves, White Sandalwood, and Cannabis

    First? Lucky me! I've never tried any of the Dead Leaves scents, so this is a first for me. Right off the bat, I do get a quite realistic dry leaf now, like jumping into a freshly raked pile. As it dries, I get some light sandalwood and an almost non-existent cannabis note that smells the same (but much weaker) as in Pumpkin Doob. This is a really nice, if a little weird, fall scent. I'm going to have to see how it ages.
  7. Penance

    Snow Bunny

    2008 version I can't remember if I tried the 2005 version. I most likely did, but I can't remember what I thought of it. So here we go again! I was afraid of the "girly perfume" in this since I'm decidedly not girly and hate perfumey scents, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. This is Mistletoe's younger, sweeter, girlier cousin. It's soft pine, what smells like holly berries and a hint of something very vaguely sweet underneath. I like this!
  8. Penance

    A Cozy Sweater and an Apple Cider

    I really wasn't sure I was going to like this, but the concept of it was lovely, so I gave it a shot and... It's not working for me. I get a very nice clean laundry smell (not laundry detergent or that fake "clean linen" scent you smell in candles and bathroom sprays) that slowly, slowly lets through more and more apple cider until it's probably 85% sweater / 15% apple cider. The cider is really nice and would have made a nice single note. Ultimately, though, this, as it stands, just isn't my style.
  9. Penance

    Pumpkin Doob

    I know what the individual components smell like here, but can't imagine quite what it was going to smell like. I just had to have it. 😂 This is by far the strongest cannabis scent I've smelled from the Lab. It's a very fresh, green, sticky weed scent mixed with autumn spices. I also get a little bit of what smells like pumpkin pie filling every now and then, which is interesting. This is exactly what it says on the tin. It's weird, but it's good!
  10. Penance

    Unsettling Portraits

    Boy, I did NOT know what to expect from this one since the ingredients are so strange. Well, this one's weird, folks. I think we all expected that, but it's weird. Not unwearable, though, but I'll get to that! This starts off smelling like minerals and sooty powderiness (not baby powder, more like the very fine ash out of a coal bin) in the bottle. As soon as I apply it, I get hit with a huge thwack of turpentine, which, thankfully, passes quite quickly. The scent from there is linear: it settles into what's ultimately a sort of ashy sandalwood with a slight amber base over something I'd read as old paper but is probably canvas. It doesn't really read as "perfume" (as in a scent I'd wear on my body, not a perfumey type scent), but could be awesome for an atmo spray. I think since it reads more masculine, it could potentially be a good scent for a man who doesn't like the run of the mill.
  11. Penance

    Resin Cast Meat Skull

    Wet on my skin, this is unbelievably strong, TART, blast you in the face red currant. Like all red currant all the time. And did I mention the tartness? Luckily, as it dries, the currant, while still being very tart, starts to be balanced by a mix of sweet meringue and cream. Yes, cream. Not cream cheese. I really need to slather this one, otherwise it's essentially a HEY, I HEARD YOU LIKE SOUR CURRANTS! single note. In the bottle and dried are fine; very similar, but not quite the same. Wet, though, is a rollercoaster. Still a winner. 🏅
  12. Penance


    This is one of those scents that has me scratching my head because I smell something in it that's not there, according to the notes. I smell amaretto in this. Light, and backed up dark fruits (a dark cherry with a sort of macerated quality stands out), but amaretto all the same. I'm sure it's some combination of the notes confusing my notes, but here we are. This whole scent reminds me of a cousin to Countess Willie of all things (hear me out, folks; my nose is interpreting this one strangely, apparently.) Willie had her chocolate plum and amaretto and here I'm getting amaretto plus a sort of macerated dark cherry with maybe something almost like faint chocolate, that's probably actually leather? This is lovely (though I hate amaretto), but confusing. I don't smell any of the listed notes at all, unless the "macerated cherry" is blackcurrant (though I don't think so as it's not a new note to me). For what it's worth, I asked my husband what he smelled and he said "sort of a dark cherry thing with something behind it." He agreed that what he smelled was what I was smelling, but our interpretations were just a little different. He said that it was like the "dark cherry thing with something behind it" and "chocolate?" and I said sort of an unexpected macerated dark cherry-amaretto mixed with faint chocolate or maybe some sort of leather. His overall impression was a good one. I'm undecided on this one in spite of multiple tests, so I'm going to sit on it and see what it turns into as it grows up.
  13. Penance


    Sweet cream, honey dust (almost like Skin Musk, Cream and Honey Dust) and and a very soft herbal-floral lavender. The puppy paws seems to be a soft "fur" musk, like in Ivanushka. I'm not getting the white patchouli here, or maybe I'm not familiar enough to recognize it.
  14. Penance

    Priestess of Depravity

    Why did I get this? I hate rose. I hate florals, but roses are especially big offenders. And yet when I saw the other two notes - ether and chloroform! - I had to try. At first PoD is a very fresh rose bouquet, like waking into a florist's shop. Then it transitions very quickly into a slightly more powdery rose with something somewhat sickly sweet that I can almost taste it in the back of my throat (the ether) and a tiny touch of something almost chemical (the chloroform). The anaesthetic notes make me think of an old-fashioned dentist's office. Being in the chair, looking at the apothecary bottles on the shelves. That makes it sound unwearable and weird. Well, it is kind of weird, but not unwearable! I'm thinking I may keep mine, actually, rose-hate be damned.
  15. Penance


    I was intrigued by the notes in this one, but confused about exactly what it would smell like. Heavy notes mixed with light, airy ones. This is lovely and so well-blended. The description is spot-on, even though I have a hard time identifying exact notes. It's strange. I get airy, light golden resins and Incense, a touch of apple peel (something golden-green), a little musk and the most gentle, subtle bed of cedar and patchouli. Patchouli haters have no fear, though, it's not a big deal.