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Found 15 results

  1. windbourne

    March

    🐇🐰 Whew. Okay, let's just hop back on this horse and go. March 1: The Air and The Ether -- This little guy is a white amber bomb that only settles into a soft ambergris and, as promised, a very light hint of lavender, after almost an hour of sweet and shimmering white amber. It's ...okay. White amber is a note that I am often a little sensitive to, sometimes to a point of nausea. This didn't quite hit that, but it was a bit of a narrow squeak. Late drydown is largely ambergris, as is usually the case with that note on my skin. This is definitely a nice one if you like white amber, maybe not so much if you were hoping for something bright and airy instead of clear and crystalline and sweet. (eta: 3/4 -- I picked up a low partial from Ajevie, and it's *much* stronger on the lavender and I like it a lot more than my previous decant. So there may be some batch variations present.) March 2: Gingerbread Dog -- I expected to like this a lot more than I do. The pecan & saffron are very weird with the gingerbread on me and it reminds me a bit of a savory pecan pie, which is not quite the vibe I was hoping. It seems the only nut scent I reliably like is still hazelnut. Also, I swear there’s a hint of red ginger in this year's gingerbread and that’s one of my least favorite notes of all time. It lasted a moderate amount of time and didn't have a lot of throw. But ...man, I was not expecting that pecan note to be so hefty. March 3: Chocolate Cat -- The vetiver in this is likewise a bit stronger than I expected and goes a bit peanut buttery with a background hint of hairspray, which I do not love. I'm inclined to blame the musk. The honey is likewise not being especially pleasant. It isn't the ultra-thick honey, it feels sort of...antiseptic is the word popping into my head, so I guess it'll do. It's too clean for these notes. I was expecting something thicker and richer and definitely sweeter, and it's not hitting any of that. I kind of like the drydown, as the cacao comes out a bit more and it does get a bit sweeter, but not enough to buy more. Hroom. I'm a little disappointed, tbh. I expected this series to be much nicer on me than the decants I got are indicating. March 4: Marshmallows, Gumdrops, and Peppermint Canes -- This is weirdly indistinct on me. The mint isn't very forward, but honestly, at first, nothing about this is. It takes almost fifteen minutes to smell like something other than a sweetish, very slightly mentholic blur on my wrists, and I wasn't shy about application. As it dries, I like it more. It develops into a sugary gumdrop fragrance with a fluffy sweet marshmallowy vibe, but like, really good marshmallows, guimauve not staypuft. ;} The clove and anise are soft and candied. ...the whole thing is soft and candied and dreamy, soft and vintage in a faded pastel way. It has no throw and poor lasting power, but it's a pleasant wear after it gets pasts the 'I just puffed sugar dust on my wrists, I guess?' point. March 5: The Garden of Shut-Eye Town -- IIiiii thought this would be a charming and understated sleepy blend and underestimated the power of the florals involved. I had to wash it off not five minutes in because something or some combination of things was making me feel very ill. It's interesting. I have a tea blend that contains many of the more herbal notes (lavender, passion flower, chamomile, lemon balm) without the more floral wisteria, poppy, or cowslip. It does include valerian root, and it knocks me out pretty darn quick. In the vial, this perfume smells surprisingly similar to the way that tea does when brewed. However, on my skin, it's a lavender-tinted Flower Power Party and...yeah. Not good. I picked up decants of all of this series except The Shore of the Lollypop Sea expecting to feel like I would need full bottles of more than one. Instead, I ended up with a low partial of one and will be chucking all the rest of my decants at friends or swaps. March 6: Gingerbread Sticky Buns -- Surprisingly yeasty. Sharply cinnamon and ginger -- and again, something like the red ginger note showing up in my nose, like a warm, slightly skanky ginger note rather than a sharp, bitey or rooty ginger note. Somewhat sticky icing-like note. Overall, not to my tastes. More throw than I liked, relatively low lasting power. March 7: Upslope Fog -- I like Upslope for about thirty seconds and then the stone note comes in and I can’t handle stone notes at all. It’s a funky combo of too sweet (NCD’s was worse for me in that way) and almost metallic? Anyway, that does eventually fade a little and it becomes a slightly muddled outdoorsy scent. I can smell a hint of the misty note I love, but mostly it’s a bit buried under the rest. I think I missed the craggy stones in the scent description when I picked my decants. For more on my thoughts about stone accord, see my distaste for Inganok Jewelers, 13 Hours, and Night's Bridge. Just...pleh. (This was originally written a few days ago. I did test it again, and lasted even less time. Knowing what it was about, I washed it off after a relatively short amount of time.) March 8: Sea Smoke -- Sea Smoke is pretty much Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife without the honey and with a little bit of ozone substituting for the barely-present mint. That one is much sexier due to the honey, but the later drydown for me is almost identical. Otherwise, this is BPAL’s ambergris & seaweed, straight up. I like it, but I like DotFW more. If I didn’t have that I’d totally pick up a bottle of Sea Smoke. If you were ever about DotFW, get some of this and layer it with something that’s a slightly skanky honey and you’ll have a pretty good approximation. This lasted quite a long time, and the throw was mild, but if DotFW is any indication, it'll get stronger over time. March 9: Cerise Fog -- This reminds me of a juicier, somewhat sweeter Akuma. The amber is golden and sweet and brightens and smoothes the scent in ways the neroli fights against in Akuma, though they definitely share the orange citrus + raspberry and a sweet, candy-like quality. Later on the sugariness really amps up and it mostly reminds me of flavored cotton candy. Curiously, after a few hours the amber becomes more prominent and I realllly like the way it lingers. This is going on my wishlist for later purchasing.
  2. windbourne

    February

    Happy birthday to me? 😀 (yes, it's actually my birthday) 🐇🐇 Also, happy new year~! 🎊 Hmmmm. Sorry for vaporizing unexpectedly. I've been having a problem, almost certainly hormonal, that has resulted in being unable to wear any perfume or most scented lotions because they're all too strong for my nose. Not weird or off, everything still smells correct, it's just too much right now, like my sense of smell has been turned up to eleven. I also had a migraine in there that made everything even worse. I'm not worried about it being Covid -- like I said, nothing smells off, and I haven't heard about things being too strong being a symptom -- nor am I pregnant, but it's really annoying, considering my favorite hobby. 😫 This isn't the first time this particular symptom has occurred, but it's been years since the last time. So when this weirdness ends, hopefully soon, I'll be backdating the last week of Arcana and catching up on whatever I miss of February. Next week is lightly iffy because I'm going in to have my wisdom teeth removed next Monday and I don't know how long that'll take me out. So, ah, I'm fine, more or less. But it'll be a few days until I'm back properly. -- Feb 15: Hohoho, so that sucked, and still continues to suck a bit, if I'm being totally honest. 😂 Long story short, one was fine and the other one was emphatically not (my dentist described it as one of the most difficult extractions he's performed after over 30 years in the business, lucky me), almost ten days later I still can't open my mouth fully and am still on a squishy foods-only diet, I immediately got a sinus infection due to smol holes between the holes and my sinus cavity...anyway, it's just been a vicodin-laced, deeply unpleasant adventure. I may just call February a wash at this point, though do not put it past me to backdate. 😂 I have learned that when I'm on painkillers I can't smell anything properly, though my sense of taste is weirdly unaffected. But I tested putting perfume on and it was just like, 'nah. Nothing there.' I suppose it did come with a sinus infection attached, so that may have played a part as well. 😅 Anyway, lesson here being: get your wisdom teeth out when you are young, if you even begin to think you might need to. Alternately, if you're older and only one is actually giving you problems, only take out the one, don't go 'eh, might as well do both while you're there!' because hahaahhahahahahahahah jfc. -- Feb 28: LOL, well, that sure was a month that happened. It's somewhat fallen into 'let us never speak of this again' territory, to be quite honest. My mouth hurts less, but is still not completely healed. ☹️I'll be picking back up again for March (in about an hour!), since my nose seems to have sorted itself out and I've got a few Yule decants to talk about. eta: Actually, hilariously, I'm not that far off track for the year overall, since I was running two scents a day in January. 😂
  3. windbourne

    January

    Picking it up fresh for the new year. I *just* put on my perfume for the next several hours, so I'll update with greater detail later, but here we go~ The following scents are all from Arcana Wildcraft or Arcana Craves or just Arcana Soaps, which is what she called the company before deciding to split the themes. I'll include the notes for all of these since they won't be easily searchable on the forum. It's worth noting that they close on the regular to catch up on orders & stock, so ordering from them can be a little difficult at times, but please trust me when I say it's easier now than it used to be when they were available at a number of etailers at random times, and more straightforward than when it was an ebay-based business. 😂 January 1: Scàiltìn -- A festive Gaelic beverage which was first introduced hundreds of years ago. Fresh milk and silky cream are heated and gently whipped with confectionary sugar, warmly spiced honey, Réunion Island vanilla beans, sweet tonka, Irish wh!skey, grated nutmeg, and a bit of butter. -- This is new and currently available in the Winter collection. In the bottle, it's quite boozy & the whiskey is very prominent. Once on the skin, it's a creamy sweet bliss. The honey is definitely present, as is the nutmeg and the vanilla-y/hay-like tonka. ....I'm strongly tempted to look up a recipe for this, holy cats. I love milk punch and hot cocktails, and this sounds like (and if it's anything like the perfume, smells like) something I would love to drink. As it dries, it becomes a sweet honeyed milk and the spices and whiskey completely drop away. I don't always get along with Julia's milk notes, but here, it's lovely. This is overall a very cozy and friendly scent for me, and I'm glad I picked up a full bottle of it. It has almost no throw, though it may develop more of one as it ages, it's quite new, but it's still going strong at six and a half hours later. (the ! in the notes is present on the AW website; I copy-pasted the description directly, in case you were wondering. XD) January 2: Rapunzel -- Imprisonment, innocence and ceaseless faith. Damascus rose and rose geranium are delicately stroked with vanilla, milk, sugar and a hint of soft white flowers. -- This one is one of my oldest Arcana bottles, from ~2008, and has been discontinued for around a decade. It's mostly a very lovely rose and rose geranium, lightly sweetened and a touch milky, but only a touch. It was beautiful fresh and is still beautiful aged and wears like a dream of flowing dresses, tall towers, and impossibly long hair. I have a second bottle from 2011 as well, one of the last ones she had available. It makes me think of milk baths with rose petals and Waterhouse paintings of girls with pale skin and rosy cheeks. It doesn't have a large throw, though I can smell it from a few inches away, so it's definitely got some, and it lasts for a few hours at strength then tapers off until it's gone ~hour 6 or so. (As an aside, I had a beverage the other night that was mostly rose geranium & black currant leaves and it was like drinking very delicious perfume because I'm so used to smelling that as a perfume note. I enjoyed it quite a bit.) January 3: Wolfling -- An innocently feral opening of sweet marzipan and wild cherry leads to a heart of warm cardamom, sugared vanilla beans, soft wolfing fur, Cashmeran, and gentle gourmand musk. -- Another newer one, originally a GWP, but went live as part of the 2021 Halloween collection later. This smells much stronger of cherry in the bottle than it does at any point on my skin, mostly it's like the first two notes disappear completely in favor of cardamon, vanilla, furry musk, and a particular odd note that I know is the cashmeran but also smells a bit like amber and play-doh (this may partly be the cherry/almond attempting to stage a comeback without really standing out). It's pretty good, but I find it reminds me a lot of a very old perfume from a very long-defunct company, Good Judy, Kemonomimi. The notes for that are: Vanilla bean, rum, chocolate covered cherries, black figs, amber, cardamom, coriander, so perhaps you can see how they might feel a bit similar. Wolfling is muskier and Kemonomimi is a bit sweeter with a pretty decent chocolate note, but the vanilla bean, cherry, cardamom, and amber combo brings them to similar places on my skin, at least until the late drydown of Wolfling, where the Cashmeran and cardamom are all that's left. It's got pretty good lasting power and an interestingly variable throw depending on how warm my skin is. I feel like I might wear this more as a layering perfume with something much sweeter, maybe Scàltìn, or something with a nice sandalwood note if I wanted it to lean that way. Possibly a fir or pine note would be nice, as well. Hm. January 4: Honey Craves Moonlit Paths -- All the scents of night-hiking in a deciduous forest with only the moon to light your way. Beeswax absolute, forest floor, damp, decaying leaves, fragrant mosses, wild honey, sleeping trees, and a whiff of feral fur. -- This was originally released a while back, I'm not entirely sure how long since I haven't tracked Craves as well as I have her Wildcraft line, but it came to me this year. I swapped for a sample and loved it, so when Craves reopened, I jumped on it. For me, this is heavy on the beeswax, which for Arcana is a very dense, sticky note that has a fairly massive throw and lingers. It's made one scent unwearable for me (Alhambra, the pomegranate/patchouli/rosemary/beeswax combo remains one of the worst things I've ever put on my skin, and the beeswax made it cling) and made a few absolute hits. This one's definitely my favorite of those. It's mostly beeswax and tree notes, though I'm not sure if it's the same as her Trees layering note or her Forest Floor layering note. Maybe it's both. Either way, it's a little damp, a little dirty, and entirely gorgeous. I don't get any honey at all, just wax. It doesn't smell so much like hiking to me, more like the way that a sleepaway camp cabin being used for larping does, with beeswax candles lit instead of electric lights. Brings back some memories from my late teens/early twenties. Lasts forever, throws like a monster, but mostly wax. (This one is, unfortunately, in her discontinued list, which probably means that there's a component she can't currently source. Things have been known to be resurrected before, however.) January 5: Her Faefolk -- The scent of the elves, fairies, nisser, and other supernatural beings who accompany The Great Herd. A soft bed of young green clover is sparked with bright raspberries, sugared coconut husks, and fuzzy peach skin. -- Another Winter 2021 release, purchased at the same time as Scàltìn. This is mostly sweet, soft peach with a bit of tart raspberry and a tiny bit of coconut on me. The clover is present in the bottle sniff, but doesn't really do much on my skin. It's a nice, pleasantly fruity little scent, but I would be lying if I said that at this point in the aging process it really felt evocative of the inspiration for me. However. Julia's scents often age into much greater depth and presence, so I'm keeping this around in hopes that it develops further in time. Currently it sticks extremely close to the skin and is completely gone after about four hours. January 6: Eleanor of Aquitaine -- The scent of vivacity, beauty, royalty, wisdom, and an absolute, unfaltering strength. Precious attar of roses, rare chandan wood, cinnamon leaf, cream accord, aged vetiver, and a hint of thorny green stems hidden under fragrant velvet petals. -- (Chandan appears to be another name for sandalwood) Another very old bottle, from 2011, and predictably long discontinued. This is one of my very favorite woods-and-rose scents that I own, and has been for a long time. It's very regal, rich, and deep, with a strong vetiver presence and very big, very dark, red rose notes assisted by the sandalwood and cinnamon. I've never actually gotten any cream from this, but it's probably there keeping the sharper notes in check. Interestingly, there's a similarity to a few BPAL scents with a thorn accord that I hadn't really noticed before, but I really took note of that one last year, so it stands out a bit more to me now. It lasts forever and has an extremely strong throw and I love it and will treasure this bottle as long as it lasts. : ) January 7: Blue Amber layering note -- Fresh white amber, crystal blue aquatic notes, sea air, and a bit of Egyptian blue chamomile. -- I'd contemplated this one on the site for a while, then a decanter whose circle I joined had this on their sale list, so I bought it. : ) The oil itself is blue, as is the case with most (all?) oils containing blue chamomile (or blue tansy, since apparently 'true' blue chamomile is German chamomile, and blue tansy is also known as Moroccan chamomile -- I swear to all the gods I don't believe in that the peculiarities of naming of essences, extracts, oils, and derivatives of various plants is one of the most fun and also incredibly annoying things about this hobby! There's always another ten sites/books/articles to look at, and half of them disagree with each other or are some variation of, yeah, they're almost the same, but actually derived from different plants in the same species, or the only difference is how they're processed. ANYWAY.) The strongest note is white amber, but there's a distinctive hay-like note (chamomile) and mostly in the throw, a hint of salt and ozone. It's very fresh, almost laundry-like, and the white amber is interestingly unsweet. I'm kind of torn on whether I really like it or not, but I am tempted to use it for layering sometime, if I can think of anything that needs a hint of ...this. Hm. Throw is powerful, lasts for ~four-five hours then completely vanishes without any fade. Overall: odd duck. Jan 8: Got my booster yesterday evening and could barely move all day. 😢 Jan 9: Still feeling bad, and my sense of smell is weirdly heightened? ...Idk, I'm just really uncomfortable right now. Feeling a little better today, so on with it. : ) January 10: Glittering Milk -- Sweet, chilled milk with our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk). -- This is another new one from the 2021 Winter collection, and will probably be available once she reopens. I have and have enjoyed other scents in the Glittering Collection, but this one's not really my jam. The milk is a bit sour and it ends up not really adding much to the base scent, imo. It does give me a very particular scent memory, of some gluten-free cookies one of my former coworkers made and the extremely weird but oddly tasty icing that, one year, they added a bit of mint extract to. ...Yeah, it really reminds me of those cookies. I'm glad I went for a sample size of this one instead of a full bottle, but I'm also very glad I tried it. No throw in particular, doesn't last that long, but will probably increase in strength over time. January 11: Glittering Lavender -- Smooth, sweet, buttery French lavender absolute with our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk). -- I have a few of the Glittering blends. I bought this one last year, but it was resurrected for this year as well. It's very mellow, the lavender is very soft and mild. Maybe a little too mild; after about fifteen minutes, all I can smell is the Glittering base and the barest hint of a lavender bud in the distance. This one is fine, I like it a bit more than Milk, and after a year of aging it has a bit of throw and lasts quite a while, but I'm not super-duper in love with it. January 12: Glittering Ginger -- Ginger cookies, gingerbread, and fresh gingerroot are blended with our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk). -- Another new one. It's got a lovely sharp and spicy ginger bite at first, but it doesn't last terribly long. I'm hoping that with a bit of age the ginger will deepen up and get some longevity, because otherwise, it's just a bottle of Glittering White with some top notes. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and I do really enjoy the ginger as well as the base, but in buying multiple bottles of scents with a similar base, you do generally hope they feel more distinct. Fairly low throw & longevity in general, but it's only a few weeks old at this point. January 13: Glittering Green -- The scent of eating mint-laced white chocolates in a huge old growth forest. Jammy fir balsam, a bit of black spruce, and our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk). -- I bought this last year as well, and it's also back again. This is my favorite of all the Glittering scents I have, the evergreen notes plus the sweeter notes is *chef's kiss* just gorgeous and both aspects stay balanced through the entire wearlength, which is about average, maybe 4-6 hours. January 14: Glittering Cherry -- Candied maraschino cherries with our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk). -- Second-to-last one, and probably my least favorite. I'm not averse to cherry perfumes, but I really prefer it to be darker, fruitier cherry, not the sticky candied maraschino note in this perfume. It reminds me a bit of chapstick or cough syrup, that kind of shiny red "cherry" note. Fortunately (?) the cherry doesn't last very long, and then it's just Glittering White for the next while. It's still pretty fresh and compared to some of my slightly older iterations, has little throw or longevity. This was a sample-sized GWP from the 2021 Winter release, though it may appear in a future update. I wouldn't have bought it on its own. January 15: Glittering Pink -- A sugary sweet melange of pink pistachio candy, pink peppermint ice cream, pink musk, and our Glittering White (an opening of cold peppermint settles into a heart of sugar cookies, marshmallows, white chocolate, and vanilla musk). -- Last one! I got this in a swap earlier this year, a decant in a small jar-style vial. I think it was on offer last year, but did not return for this year. The pink notes here really complement the base, the mint is stronger than in any of the other iterations I have, and the candy is very nougat-y on my skin. If it weren't for the doll-like pink musk, this would be extremely edible, but the musk pushes it past that almost into the realm of scented toys. Okay, maybe actually into it. 😂 It's giving me flashbacks to a peppermint-scented My Little Pony I had as a kid. Like Green, the balance stays pretty true through most of the wear time. Unlike any of the others, it fades into the pink notes instead of the base, which is a neat trick. I like this pretty well, but it's not actually that fantastic on my skin, since it leans just a bit towards the plastic. Whew, halfway through the month already? How is this possible? January 16: Cherry Blossom single/layering note -- Julia was running special request LNs last spring, and I picked this up then. She's since stopped doing them, and this isn't a note that shows up with great frequency in her catalogue, but I love it. BPAL's cherry blossom is very dry and clean on me, often leaning towards the dryer sheets side of the scent spectrum. This one is a little bit as well, but much damper and with a stronger cherry aspect. It's pinker in tone as well, and is the second most accurate to being in the PNW in March/April and standing in a grove of slightly damp sakura trees. The first one that made me !!!!! 🌸!!! when I sniffed it was Olympic Orchids Sakura. I've done hanami with friends for most of the last couple of decades and it just nailed it. This is very close, but a little heavier and more perfume-like, while Sakura is lighter. It has that pale and ethereal yet slightly fleshy aspect of the petals themselves. IDK if you've ever had anything made with sakura blossoms before, particularly pickled ones, but that's the sort of thing this reminds me of. Fairly low throw unless I really pour it on, low longevity, which I'd somewhat expect with nothing to tether it down -- it drifts off gracefully after maybe an hour or two. January 17: Pushpadhanva -- Our tribute to Pushpadhanva, Kamadeva, Manmatha, Ragavrinta: god of love, stalk of passion, shooter of arrows, churner of hearts. Scented with sweet, sharp ginger, mango juice, black tea, baked crumpets and a hint of milk. -- Another very, very old one, I bought this in 2008 and it was originally part of a Valentine's release. It's still very lovely, fruity and cake-like. Well. Not exactly, it actually does smell more like crumpets than cake, but even more than that -- there's a crumpet shop near where I worked for a long time and they make a scone that is more cake-like than the standard coffeeshop scone. It's baked in a round and not quite sweet and that, almost exactly, is what that note reminds me of. If I put ginger-mango jam on that scone and a little clotted cream and drank their house blend tea, that would perfectly represent this perfume. I have no particular connection to the specific inspiration, but it does feel like a really good midwinter perfume, a little golden brightness in the darker months. It's got a bit of throw, but impressive longevity. I can still smell it on me after work if I put it on in the morning. (I also bought this as a soap and loved it. ❤️ Good stuff.) January 18: Twirling the Pearl -- Rich, golden honey, marshmallow, lavender milk, soft musk, and a tiny hint of green galbanum. -- An older one, but one that's come back a few times. This was originally a Valentine's scent. I have both a very aged decant and a newer full (2 years-ish) bottle of it. There's more than a hint of galbanum here, that's the note that dominates on my skin for the first few minutes. It settles down to a background hum after that, but it never fully goes away. I love that note, so this is great for me. The honey is probably the next loudest note, followed by the lavender. The musk, marshmallow, and milk aspects mostly serve to settle it into a soft slightly-more-than-skin scent after it dries without being especially distinct. It's really nice, just on the lightly honeyed green side of my-skin-but-better for me. Throw varies a lot over the life of the scent, but ends up pretty mild after drydown, but that drydown lasts and lasts. January 19: White Bear -- Bourbon vanilla ice cream, coconut husks, coconut creme, and foraged wild blackberries. -- This came to me secondhand last year, but it looks like it was originally released in 2017. It's ...fine. I persist in having difficulty with blackberry notes, no matter how much I want them to work. But the blackberry here adds a very necessary tartness to an otherwise very sweet perfume. It's very creamy and I can't help but think it might be boosted a bit by adding a little sandalwood or possibly furry musk, because I don't usually think 'ice cream shop' when I think 'white bear' or even of the fairy tale that it was inspired by (East of the Sun, West of the Moon), so I may find a light scent with one of those aspects to try layering with it. Oddly, despite being full of coconut notes, it doesn't read as that coconutty on my skin. It's definitely present, but not forward. It reminds me a bit of ice cream made with coconut milk -- if you know you're eating coconut milk ice cream, even if it's chocolate or whatever, you can kind of tell, but if you didn't know, you might not think to say oh, yes, this tastes like coconut. This is vanilla-blackberry ice cream, and if I sniff very deeply and think coconut thoughts, I can tell there's some coconut in there as well. This is a lot of words for a perfume that is just okay on me. No throw, moderate longevity. As an aside, this came to me with a reducer cap. I don't know if it originally came with one, but none of my other Arcana scents have ever had them. I hate them and have a weird feeling (with zero evidence) that they may alter scents a little, so ngl, if this ever gets re-released, I'd probably buy a fresh one direct. Just, you know, to see. 😂 I love my perfume superstitions. 😂 January 20: Peaches Crave Haint -- The gossamer sweetness of delicate white peaches with Arcana Wildcraft's Haint (white musk, vanilla musk, Madagascar vanilla, sugarcane, and a faint trail of white pepper). -- This has been around a while, but I picked it up during the most recent Craves opening. I like this more than regular Haint, tbqh. The original scent is very lovely, but adding peach to it gives it a lot more interest for me and again, a bit of fruity tartness that I really enjoy. The peach lingers through the entire weartime, which considering how strong the musks and pepper are. It's a deceptively light scent at first, but the longer it's on my skin, the brighter and more intense it smells. Throw goes from meh to whoa over the course of about an hour, then tapers off again over the next hour or so, but the scent remains present for several hours. I really like this one. January 21: Snow Witch: Familiar -- The scent of a witch and her animal companions snuggling on a quiet, snow-muffled day. Cafe au lait, vanilla-infused cheesecake, a soft woolen blanket, and warm fur. -- I picked this up last winter and, honestly, I'm still pretty lukewarm on it. It's primarily a milky coffee scent with a hint of tang from the cheesecake note. There's a bit of furriness that comes out after it dries, but it remains mostly milky coffee. Which, I mean, it's nice, but it's not very interesting on my skin, and I like the idea of it more than I like the actual fragrance. Light but persistent throw, moderate longevity. My cat thinks it's interesting but stinky, in that she'll come up and sniff my hands when I wear it and then wince away with that 'eww!!' face that she normally reserves for citrus and mint. 😂 January 22: Dia de los Muertos -- Though Spanish conquistadores tried to put the kibosh on this Aztec ritual for the dead, the holiday not only endured but retained its flamingly pagan core. Celebrate, honor, and even laugh at death with our fusion of spices, honey, tobacco and dark chocolate. -- Another ancient bottle, though this scent has come back a few times since I bought it in '08. It is one of those scents that does exactly and precisely what it says it does on the tin. It is a spicy, chocolatey honey-with-tobacco scent. The spices are mostly cinnamon and maybe a little clove. There might be a tiny bit of nutmeg as well. It's so smoothly blended it almost feels like a layering note, but it's so huffable and delicious that I don't mind the relative simplicity. Medium throw that I can sort of taste in the back of my throat, very good longevity, 7+ hours. January 23: Tart -- Sweet lemon cakes, fluffy coconut frosting, and a dash of bergamot. -- I picked this up, if I recall correctly, winter/valentines of 2020 because I'd just gotten a lotion from another company that was lemon and coconut and was obsessed with it, and this had recently gotten a re-release and I wanted it. At first it was wayyyyy too lemony, but in the time since, it's mellowed a lot and become something I really enjoy. The bergamot threatens to go a little soapy for a few moments, but it never really materializes or gains any strength and that aspect eventually dissipates. It's not overly strong and doesn't have a lot of throw, but it lingers and smells like an amazing dessert, if you like lemony desserts. I enjoy this one a lot, and cheerfully layer it with the lotion, which I have since repurchased. January 24: Egyptian Musk single/layering note -- An exotic, sensual, honeyed, smooth Egyptian musk. -- I got this as part of a decant circle many years ago, but it's still available, or will be whenever Craves reopens. It's one of my favorite musks, very smooth and deep without being at all overpowering or too, er, musky, as it were. It resembles a skin musk and sits very close to the skin, but isn't quite a my-skin-but-better-scent on me. It doesn't smell of honey at all, if you're worried about that; I don't think that's a component, or if it is, it's not the usual Arcana honey note, but it is sweeter than many musks are. It's just a gorgeous pure musk. 10/10, would buy again once this very low partial runs out. When I see Egyptian musk as a note in another perfume, I will always give it a second look, unless it also has several notes I absolutely know I hate.
  4. windbourne

    December

    🐰🐰 Last month of 2021. It's been a pretty wild ride, but it's been nice having this daily touchstone to look back on. Also, it's been great to really dig into my BPAL collection and find a few things to downsize, a few things to upsize, and a lovely reminder of the many beautiful things that I haven't touched in a while. I may take a bit of a break in January -- not from wearing perfume, but from keeping myself to a BPAL-only agenda. 😂 I've definitely worn things from other companies (Arcana's featured pretty heavily in the background, for example) but aside from a couple of blips, I haven't really talked about them. I definitely want to keep exploring my (ridiculous) collection, but ...like, BPAL's not the only company I collect, just the biggest one. I may also actually go back and retest a few things that I've said I would! But first, December. I'm wearing Phoenixes until my Weenies get here, which could be anywhere from 2-7 days. December 1: Pink Phoenix -- So sweet and sticky, but somehow not cloying on my skin, which surprised me a LOT the first time I tried it, because otherwise, after a brief burst of more distinct pear and honey and hint of sweet pea, this dries down to the odor you get when you open a fresh container of Dubble Bubble mixed flavor (original pink, watermelon, grape, green apple) bubble gum. Not the gum itself, but the lightly plasticky BLAST of fruity sugar that occurs when you peel back the seal. I actually really enjoy it. 😂 It is indeed a very silly, lighthearted scent, good for very fluffy days and when you feel kind of pooky. Pretty big throw, but it doesn't actually last that long on me, maybe 2-3 hours before all I can smell is the merest hint of sugar. December 2: Copper Phoenix -- This needed a bit of rolling to reblend it. The first application it was much softer and powdery, but after rolling and reapplying, more of the orange and pink pepper and apricot popped up. As it dries, it still does become a bit powdery, which I am generally attributing to the amber. Later, it becomes much more woody, and yes, very smooth. At one point I liked this enough to own two bottles, but I think I sold one at some point, and that's not a bad thing. I still like it, it's still very lovely, but when it was younger, it was a lot brighter and shinier. Now it wears like copper with a bit of a patina. I'm still pretty into it, but it isn't quite as lively a scent anymore. December 3: No. 93 Engine -- I'm pretty sure this is a repeat, but I really just wanted soothing, familiar, and comforting today. It's such a beautiful scent, golden and lightly waxy and a little woody -- and it lasts forever (at least eight hours and still going) with just enough throw to smell nice but not overwhelm people around you. It's perfect for most occasions, can smell both classy and just plain pleasant, (at least on me) and ....man, IDK, this has been a favorite of mine since I got a decant right after it was released. It's just that good. If I were forced to choose a signature scent, this would be in the running. December 4: Pothôn Mêtêr -- Also a repeat. I've been at a comic convention all weekend and really needed mellow & familiar to counteract the stress of so much public time. 😅 This is another one that's been a favorite for years. It's so lovely, with a really beautiful rose note punched up by pink pepper and accented by a wonderful balsam note. It's not really fruity, though it has a fruity quality, it's not exactly spicy, though it is a bit peppery, it is floral, but not a Big Floral, just a super-smooth rose. This is another that would be a strong contender for signature scent status, if I were ever to actually make that kind of choice. It's a little bit on the pink side, but in a way that I find appealing. Moderate throw, though I could smell it through my mask, and I can still smell it clearly after almost nine hours of wear. December 5: Purple Phoenix -- Still gloriously purple after all this time. This is possibly one of two or three grape/wine scents that I actively enjoy wearing? Halloween: Las Vegas and Saint Foutin de Varailles are the only other two I can think of off the top of my head. But this is cool and mellow and grape-y without ever verging into Dimetapp territory. It's a little sweet but not cloying as fig and plum can be on me, and never dusty despite having both violet and orris. It's funny -- if I were to look at this one now, with a firmer idea of my tastes, I'd probably skip it. But I'm really happy I own this, and it gives me such happy nostalgia when I look at it, since I got it quite soon after I started. December 6: Leather Phoenix -- Man, this one's intense, but also, has aged into something unbelievably good, provided you're into oudh, narcissus, and lightly smoky leather, among other things. I generally am not a big fan of most of these things (indeed, I was not a big fan of this when it was fresh), and the oudh is very indolic indeed, but somehow after the initial extreme whiffiness this manages to soften into matcha-rose-oudh glory once it's been on my skin for a while. People who don't like oudh should probably avoid this, since the one used is, if the description is accurate, 33 years old at this point, and very powerful. But if you like deep, intense scents that shift on your skin, this might be your jam. Good luck in locating a bottle. And that was exactly as many Phoenixes as I pulled out for this run. I have a lot more, but I also got my Weenie decants in today. So I'll be starting on those tomorrow. December 7: A Skull, A Music Book, A Snuffed-Out Candle -- First, tulips, very strong and a little damp and overblown. Next, a bit of very soft leather and sandalwood, followed immediately by a very bright burst of beeswax. I really like this, actually. I don't think I'll buy a full bottle of it, because I have a few other woody beeswax scents and I'm not really a huge fan of the tulip note, but it's very pleasant overall. Throw is mild and mostly wax, and the lasting power currently isn't great, but it's also very fresh and will almost certainly age into something much stronger. (Lol, bought Ajevie's leftover partial bottle. I couldn't stop contemplating it over the last few days and took it as a sign that it hadn't sold yet.) December 8: Chibi Skull with Last Will and Testament -- Starts as sweet red patchouli, ends as straight red patchouli. Not bad, and I like the way it smells from application to about two hours in, but I have the Sumatran Red Patchouli SN, and it's pretty great, but also not substantially different from the way this dries down. It does bear some resemblance to Départ Pour Le Sabbat, which someone mentioned in the review thread, but that one has greater depth & overall complexity, imo. I'd definitely rec this to patchouli-lovers who might like a hint of gourmand. Decent throw, lasts quite a while, but I sort of tuned it out after ~4 hours. I'll keep the decant to see what it does in a few months. (eta: gave it to a friend on whom it smelled incredible instead of just okay) December 9: Pandemic Vanitas -- What a goddamn strange scent. 😂 I got pure fries at first, hot oily potato GEH wafting off my wrists. It was really gross. That did fade, shifting slowly past fries into potato chips, and continuing into a slightly bready scent with a hint of cotton, but it eventually landed dead on in chocolate chip cookie dough, and that is where it stayed for the next few hours and I wanted to inhale my wrists. The last phase reminded me a bit of Trader Joe's chocolate chip pain au lait, which I love. So, to recap, it went from mildly nauseating to captivating. Which.... is not really common for me. 😂 I don't think I can handle the fries enough to want a bottle, but I'm really happy I tried it and will keep the decant for when I feel like making that journey and if anything else pops up with the raw cookie dough note listed, I will definitely be giving it a try. December 10: Pyramid of Skulls -- HOLY mice. So this is a very glorious scent that is just slightly more than the sum of its parts. On me it's quite heavy at first, deep, incense-y sandalwood that shifts as I wear it. I'm pretty sure there's at least red sandalwood, white sandalwood, and something like the golden sandalwood from Little Wooden Doll. As it dries, it gets both thicker and drier, as well as a little smoky, as the tobacco slowly takes over. It ends up a very woody, warm tobacco close to the skin with a very solid, mostly sandalwood throw. I'm not sure I need a bottle, since I have an All-Time Favorite Chonky Sandalwood perfume in the form of Madhat Under the Shade of Santal (though that also has rose, cinnamon, & lime, among other things) but I am strongly tempted. December 11: Pinched with Four Pumpkins -- I tested a decant of the original version of this back in January. It's a scent I like but I've never been desperate to get more of, in part because of the usual price it goes for and in part because it's nice, but not like, obsession-inducing for me. I was pretty curious to see how this fresh + pumpkin version would wear, and it turns out that it's fairly similar to the original (lightly coffee-scented woody cinnamon), but with that particular sweetened pumpkin note that I've gotten accustomed to in many Weenies. Aaaand I'm still pretty over pumpkin. 😂 I might buy a bottle of this to wear when I'm done being done with wearing pumpkin, but ...I might not. It's nice, but not obsession-inducing. 😉 Light throw that will probably strengthen with age, decent but not overwhelming longevity. December 12: Mystery Powder Fizzy Candy -- This is mostly whatever they use for their effervescent notes as in their soda/champagne scents + sugar. It's ...fine, I guess? I don't hate it but I don't love it, and it was surprisingly strong and lasted quite a long time, which was not super-great since I also am in the midst of a migraine developing. I thought it might be a little easier to handle than Pumpkinville but I was a little bit wrong. I'll definitely give this one a second sniff later. December 13: Migraine, so perfume was a no go. ~_~; December 14: Pumpkinville -- Finally felt better, so I threw this one on. I haven't tried Storyville. I've had the opportunity to get small amounts at reasonable prices and avoided it every time because it didn't sound like something I would like or wear and because the particular culture of overpricing certain scents makes my teeth itch a little, even if it's somewhat understandable at times. Still, it's hardly the only perfume that was released once over a brief time and will never be remade. That said, I disliked this for about thirty seconds while it pretended to be mostly made of fairly intense jasmine or oudh, and then immediately went for maximum huffing as soon as it dried enough to do so. The pumpkin isn't overwhelmingly sticky or vegetal, and it gets mostly buried under the wall of red musk and spices. It is sultry and it is sweet, and I do like it, but I also felt just a tinge annoyed by it. Very powerful throw & longevity. December 15: Innocent Souls Turned Carrion Birds -- Soft and grey and also just a bit soapy on my skin. I kind of like it, but I'm also a bit underwhelmed. I've enjoyed quite a few of the Lab's grey scents, but this one winds up feeling a lot more like a somewhat classic aftershave on me. I do like labdanum & sandalwood, but I think the grey musk is a bit much for me. It's okay, I don't hate it, but it doesn't inspire me to either buy a full bottle or wax especially poetic about it. Throw is moderate and inoffensive, doesn't shift much, nor does it overstay its welcome. I may try it again in a few months, just to see if a bit of age shifts it at all. It did make me want to pull out The Grey Columns again, though, so kudos for that. December 16: Her Mouth is Sinister and Red -- I tossed this into my order mostly on the strength of the idea of mugwort & roses, but on my skin it's all about the orchid and white musk and a whiffy bit of lilac-adjacent dragon's blood (daemonorops). Kind of laundry-fresh on my skin, with a hint of almost oily sweetness underneath. I expected this to be a much more intense and red scent than it is, but instead it's quite pale with the redder notes barely tinting the edges. The rose is extremely faint, and the mugwort doesn't really have much prominence late-late drydown, though it does lend a peculiar hint of mustiness that I kind of enjoy to some of the earlier stages. Overall, this is fine, but not something I'm likely to wear. Mildly soapy throw, unexceptional longevity. Might get better with a bit of aging, but it might not. ...The white musk is really strong here. >_>; That's the last of my Weenie decants. I think I'll fill up the rest of the month with seasonally-appropriate Yules and a last couple of Lilith & Weenies I ordered direct from the Lab. That order should get to me in a few days. December 17: A Breathless Chuckle -- ...Huh, this is actually a BPTP scent that managed to escape being put in with the rest of its fellows. It's still a Yule, though, so it counts. This is a foodie bomb of a scent, though my skin gives it a quasi-floral, almost rose-like quality while it's wet that is mildly baffling. I don't get a lot of chocolate from this, it's primarily marshmallow and a bit of background buttery shortbread. Later on it does give a sort of rice krispy treat-like impression, cereal qualities with sweet marshmallow and some vanilla. There might be a single chocolate chip in there somewhere. It's really soft, I have to sniff pretty deeply to even smell it on my wrists, and it vanished completely after a couple of sweetly pleasant hours. (full bottle) December 18: Whoop -- I managed to poison myself with potatoes today, so I spent the largest portion of the day passed out on Benadryl. =_=; Having woken up a bit, finally, I'm putting on perfume. I've got a low partial of this oldie from 2010, and since I did a Scrooge scent yesterday, why not one today? Wet, this is aggressively seasonal, like so very HOLIDAY -- pines and both cranberries and bayberry and a bit of ozone and amber, plus just a far-off hint of pie. As it dries, the pine steps back and the amber, honey, and pie step forward. It isn't exactly foodie, but it's not ...not foodie? I'm one of the people for whom this scent yells CHRISTMAS, but not a Christmas I ever particularly took part of, like, that far-off idealized Victorian Christmas in a manor house with an enormous tree, garlands of berries and popcorn and way too much gold decor, snow falling outside and the promise of a sleigh ride. I actually really like it, which is why I have this partial instead of just a decant. It's incredibly strong at first, but fades relatively quickly, with a moderate throw that is mostly sweet pine and good longevity. I swear it's gotten stronger over the years. ...Kind of wish I'd saved it for the 24th, tbh, though there's nothing stopping me from wearing it again then. :3 (low partial bottle) December 19: Sleipnir -- When I tested Plague-o-Ween I thought that Gunpowder was the only scent I had (I think, lurking in my decants drawers) that also had a carrot note, but I was wrong, this one does too, and it stands out much more. ...Honestly, this reminds me of the carrot cake cookies a local deli makes if someone kindly used elderberries and bilberries (a European blueberry relative, I've only ever had them in jam) instead of raisins for a tarter flavor. It has no particular spices, and as it dries the cookie-like aspect fades to honeyed berries and the hay comes out a bit more. Late drydown is honey & hay which, while not the most beautiful scent I've ever had softly wafting off my wrists, is still not bad. Low but present throw, moderate longevity. (~60% full bottle) My Black Friday order made it to me today, so I'm putting Yules on hold to give commentary on the six new-to-me scents from that, three bottles and the BF frimps. ...Well, except for the 25th. *caveat for the following few scents: these are fresh from the mailbox and will almost certainly shift over time. I may come back to them in a few months. December 20: Still Life with Dooting Skull -- My only Weenie from this order, and the only one I went for without a decant first. I was extremely gratified to poke the review thread and see that multiple people got smoke from this because that's what it smells like, both in the bottle and initially on my skin. Smoke and a hint of sharp medicinal licorice. I like the licorice, but this isn't quite like any of the other licorice (or anise, or fennel) scents I own. People aren't wrong in saying that it smells a bit like root beer, either. There's one I like a lot, Virgil's, that contains both anise and nutmeg, as well as bourbon vanilla and clove, among other herbs and spices. I don't know if that's quite what Beth was aiming for here, but that's pretty close to how it smells after the smoke fades, a matter of perhaps ten minutes. After about an hour most of that fades and I'm left with a rather thick honey, similar to the one in several scents in the Lupercalia release, and a bit of rooty licorice. I never do get much in the way of coconut except perhaps adding a hint of creaminess in the background. I'm not disappointed in this, but it did surprise me a bit. I'm pretty sure the smoke effect is at least partly from the honey, since I got some similar (albeit lighter) aspects of that from some of the Honey Pot scents I tried. I keep wanting to think I dislike it, but then I huff and get more licorice and feel very satisfied. 😂 I really love licorice scents, and there hasn't been one that felt strong enough for my tastes in a while (Black Licorice Smut was too much Smut and not enough licorice). This one might be it, after a bit of aging to see if the honey calms down. Throw is a little bit weak but will probably improve over time, longevity so far is pretty good, I'm at about five hours and it's still pretty strong. Something I might pull out to contrast with it: Paduan Killer Swarm. December 21: Tiramisu Funnel Cake -- Yuck. 😂 If it were just tiramisu, I'd be fine here, but I cannot stand the funnel cake note. It smells greasy and oily on me in the worst ways. So it's cocoa, coffee, a hint of booze, some cinnamon, and the oil used to deep-fry some dough. I put it on wishfully and washed it off immediately. Throw was pretty strong, but longevity is a mystery to me. 😂 December 22: Philopannyx -- Really beautiful enormous purple roses that I recognize from Flickering Lantern, champaca, and sweet, lightly powdery violets lead this one. The darker notes are currently just a low background hum, though I can tell they're there -- especially the black musk & myrrh -- because of the light sneeziness in the throw. The lavender starts showing up in later drydown a bit, but is never very prominent. The whole scent is very heady and velvety on my skin, very much something I could wear to the goth club. I'm pretty happy I jumped straight to a full bottle; it falls in a similar category for me as Flickering Lantern or Raptures and Roses of Vice -- big, sexy roses with deeper notes backing them up. It's not either smoky like FL or as aggressive as R&RoV, it's definitely (currently, anyway) more chill and a bit sweeter. This is exactly what I was hoping for -- a lovely, dark purple scent somewhere in the same realm as Purple Phoenix, but without the wine/grape notes or fig. Also, I really love those purple roses. I can't think of many things that's shown up in, and it is a very distinct note compared to the red, pink, or white ones. Throw is pretty strong, even for a fresh-from-the-mailbox scent, and it lasts a very long time. December 23: Urban Undine -- Salty! As it dries, salty + lavender! After it dries, ambergris! ...because that's what ambergris does on me almost every time. 😂 I really like this, though really only the lavender sets it apart from my fairly large collection of oceanic aquatic perfumes at this point. It does fill a niche, though, in that it's a bit brighter and more refreshing, without going into beachy vibes (for me, anyway). It settles comfortably about where I'd expect it to -- kayaking in summer -- and stays there. Lasts several hours, throw was pretty big for something as fresh as this is. December 24: Iced Apple Dumplings Plopped Into A Sweet Potato Pie -- Whew, a whole mouthful for one tiny imp. 😂 It's nice enough, but I like the bright spicy apple throw more than I like the up-close pastry-and-sweet potato scent. I'm not sure about the iced aspect, nothing here seems to reflect that. It's just warm apples, sweet potato, spice and pastry all the way down. As it dries, it develops a kind of raw dough effect that I find almost stomach-turning. Overall, this is fine but not something I'd have purchased on its own. Throw is massive and strongly reminiscent of apple pie filling, but the scent as a whole it doesn't last more than a few hours. December 25: Père Noël (2015) -- Sweet oranges that fade to quasi-milky lavender & anise candies. Pleasant, mild, and nice to wear to a small dinner party. Minimal throw, relatively short wearlength. (bottle, Lab purchase, personally decanted from) December 26: Cafè de Olla Fried Ice Cream Jammed into a Coconut Cream Pie -- ...There's that fried note again. >_>;; Plus sweet vanilla and a frosty note that almost comes across as fizzy. ....So, uh, this smells a bit like a cream soda float with a sidecar of fried dough for a while. The coconut shows up a bit later, and it's a very light, sweet coconut, almost floral in tone -- I haven't seen this one in a while, but it reminds me of the coconut in Tiki Princess? That phase is better for me, but the fried note never completely goes away and I really am not a fan. :))))))) Throw was weak, and I'm not sure about longevity because I stopped even trying to sniff it after about an hour, and then took a shower. December 27: Pumpkin I (2007) -- I know, this seems a bit odd to have in here, but it was a frottle with my most recent order. ....Despite being grape, pumpkin, and jasmine (tea), plus pear. .. . . . I'm digging this. The pumpkin is pretty laid back and the grapes are fresh and not overly wine-y, while the jasmine tea adds a light breath of floral to the otherwise very sweet & fruity scent. The pear's very nice, maybe a little more cooked than I usually like my pear, but not so much that it feels sticky. I do think I'd really love it without the pumpkin, but even with, this is pretty great. The pumpkin does stand out a bit more after it dries, but it sort of comes and goes, playing hide and seek with the fruity notes. It doesn't have a lot of throw, nor did it last an especially long time, but I enjoyed the ride & will probably keep the bottle, at least for a while. December 28: Mother Shub's Spiced Lait de Chèvre -- Thick, creamy eggnog with a faint hint of coffee and some spice (mostly nutmeg) that blooms up after a few minutes on the skin. Slightly plasticky at first, which is not uncommon for me with the goat milk note, but it fades. I wish it had a little more oomph overall, but it's a pleasant, if uncomplicated scent. Low throw, doesn't last more than a few hours. ...I wish I had some eggnog in the house now. (partial bottle) December 29: The Shivering Boy (2012) -- This is a big blast of the ozonic version of the Lab's frost/cold note at first, with some of the stone note (pleh) and a bit of distant greenery. As it dries it warms up some and the stone fades out, but it still maintains a slightly nose-tingling hint of ozone and something like eucalyptus leaves. There's a fruity note that pops up later, but it's never very strong on me, and some of whatever the Lab uses for thorny vines. It's ... fine, I guess. I can't imagine really wanting to wear this over some of my other snowy scents, but it's not offending my nose or making me want to wash it off. This was a frottle from the Lab with an order last March and I haven't dug it out until now, though I might consider trying this out during warm weather as a cooling scent. Hm. Only a little throw, lasts several hours before fading into oblivion. December 29 bonus: Arcana Köstlich (GWP Winter 2021) -- So, for the last week or so, once I've finished testing whatever bottle I've been testing, I've been wearing this. The notes are: roasted coffee beans, ginger cakes fresh from a warm oven, tobacco-gilded German amber, sweet vanilla, chai spices, and black Ostfriesentee. (I had to look that last one up, and it's apparently a particular blend of very strong black tea from Northwestern Germany, usually drunk with a rather large chunk of sugar and a dash of heavy cream, and emphatically not stirred.) It's somehow one of the best things I've ever smelled, at least to my nose right now. All of my Arcana Winter scents were winners, but this one beat them all by a large margin. It's somehow exactly what it says it is, all the notes in approximately the order listed, strong but not too strong, with a good throw and excellent longevity. I love it, and I hope it comes up for general purchase sometime so I can recommend it to people! December 30: Budding Realization -- This is a scent I got recently from the Rosebud Tarot Kickstarter. It's quite fresh still, but absolutely lovely. The rose is, predictably, the strongest note, but it's tempered by the clove and sandalwood, plus a rather great shock of pink pepper. As it dries, it warms up and the amber bumps up a bit. The atmosphere here is welcoming and open, even a bit calming, but not in a sleepy way. Later on, it becomes a beautifully woody rose-amber scent, though it's interesting, but because of what clove does on my skin, it ends up smelling a lot like carnation & reminds me a bit of both the BPTP Red Rose from the Unity set and, from what I recall of the last time I dug it out, Hod. I really like this, and I'm super-happy I went for the Kickstarter. Solid, very rosy throw, and good longevity for the relative age of the perfume. I fully expect this to become an extremely gorgeous, even more full-bodied rose scent as it ages. December 31: Exalted Sol: Confidence (Sphere & Sundry) -- My midnight perfume tonight is Eleutheria, because calm, soothing road opening is exactly the vibe I'm hoping for in the next year, but I put on this one before work this morning to give me the oomph I needed to face the day. It ...probably worked? I was able to successfully work through a migraine while I waited for my meds to kick in and then while they borked my equilibrium as they worked. I'll give it a real road test later on, but oh my GOD it smells so good. Beautiful wax and a very sturdy frankincense backed up by some sweetness, a hint of citrus, and later on a gorgeous hit of Balm of Gilead. Most TAL & related creations of Beth's I don't tend to judge very much on how they smell, but this one is a stack of my favorite notes blended into a golden aura. It's also got quite a lot of plant matter floating in it. I wasn't paying attention past the point I put on my mask except for a brief bit while I was at lunch, so I can't comment on throw or longevity (though it was certainly there after ~2 hours of wearing it while I worked, and gone after 8 hours) but ..man, I'll wear this again, for sure. ....And that's a wrap on 2021. I could go count up all the missed days and doubled days and the few repeats, but let's just say I think I wore at least 365 unique perfumes this year (including some OCYL perfumes I didn't talk about), sometimes two or three different ones each day. It got me to really dig into my collection in ways I haven't before this. I posted a few reviews in the relevant forums, though not many (but all the OLLAs!) and helped me choose a few to eliminate as well as added a few scents to my personal wishlist. It also gave me an even deeper insight into what I actually like to wear and let me know that, yeah, actually my sense of my own taste is pretty accurate. Also, it was really fun. In ten minutes from this writing, it'll be a new year, and a whole new set of perfumes to dig into. As I've commented, I could probably fill another two (maybe three??) years with the rest of my BPAL collection, including decants and Lab imps, but ...I do love other companies, so January will feature them, probably starting with Arcana, because I really love Julia's blends and have quite a few. Thanks for reading!
  5. windbourne

    November

    🐇🐇 New month, time to test all the decants I accumulated during October. Maybe I'll make November All Decants All The Time. I certainly have enough of them! November 1: Jiaolong -- Surprisingly smooth! The Lab's coffee notes can go kind of funky on me, but this one starts with a warm cup of very good coffee with three or four sugars and then blooms into an exquisite black musk. Black musk often smells a little citrus-like to me, and this is no exception, but it melds beautifully with the sugar (which also can smell a touch lemony) and the coffee bean. As it dries I lose most of the coffee, and it simplifies into a sweet black musk, still warm and almost a touch sweaty. I feel like this would make a really good layering scent to deepen and add some sweetness. Oddly, despite liking this one, I'm not sure if I'll buy a bottle. It's not quite my aesthetic, though I have some friends I think it might smell amazing on, and I have a few other coffee scents that stay more coffee, if that's what I'm after. But I might end up deathmatching one of my LE coffees; this one is really nice. 🤔 Hmm. November 2: The Grindhouse -- On paper, this should be a great love for me. I like or love nearly all the notes and there's nothing in here that is solidly awful for me. On my skin, though it's really not my style. It's very mature, sexy and blossomy in a way I can't quite pull off. It has aspects in common with some other scents I do love -- Mme. Moriarty, Blood Pearl -- and others I'm not so fond of -- Smut, Hell's Belle -- but mashes them together in a way that mostly makes me feel very neutral about the entire experience. The florals are strong and fleshy except for the rose, which chills at the very back of this scent, but the iris and red musk are the strongest notes by far. It has a pretty solid throw for a while, but poor longevity, which is really odd for something with red musk at this strength. I'm used to that note hanging out forever. Hm, yeah. Glad I tried it, but not one I'll buy more of. November 3: Jaawi -- Interesting. This is a pretty nice scent in the abstract, but really not suited to my skin and something in it is making my eyes itch to the point where I'm not sure I can really give it a fair review, tbh. I'm guessing it's the bay leaf? There's nothing else in there that I haven't worn in some other scent in the recent past that I can think of, and, of course, it might be some other environmental or internal factor, but oof. Anyway, before my eyes started itching it seemed like a pleasantly woody/champaca scent with an undertone of dark coconut husk and a very gentle waft of lavender wayyyyy in the back. It's a little ....raspy? It's not a smooth scent, it's rougher to my nose. Anyway, I'm going to go wash my hands and face and put this in the 'test again later' box. November 4: Vanilla Cream & Pear -- If I didn't have The Vine, I'd be all over this, but I do and The Vine blows it out of the water completely in terms of how I want pear to smell on me. It's a soft, sweet, creamy pear, very simple, very basic, no surprises on me at all. The cream note isn't super distinct, but backs up the pear in a pleasant way, thankfully. Very poor longevity and throw, completely gone in less than an hour. It's fine, but also a bit boring. November 5: Elderberry Flower & Sandhill Plum -- This is a no from me as well. It smells like expensive soap. I feel like I just washed my hands in a very fancy hotel. This plum is definitely a bit different from other plum notes, thinner and sharper, and I'm not really enjoying the way it smells on my skin. Throw is moderate, longevity is pretty good, but overall not to my tastes. Definitely passing this one along. November 6: The Best Lies (American Gods) -- Another simple scent, but this one I like. 😂 Sweet pink roses with a waft of almost-citrus-like sugar and something that, on me, reads more as honey dust than liquid honey. A few of the reviews mention a makeup-like scent, and I get that too briefly, like the scent of some classic rose-scented face lotion or scented body powder or something like that. Urban Decay had a honey-scented body powder many years ago, and if that had a hint of rose, it'd be a bit like this. Eventually the powder fades and it becomes a lovely candied rose scent. I have quite a few of these kinds of scents, so I probably won't buy a bottle, but if you are lacking in that sort of thing, this is a wonderful example of it. Good longevity and moderate throw. November 7: Today's a migraine day. I kind of looked at my decants and winced, so I'm not even going to try. >_>; Hopefully it'll be done by tomorrow; I got things to do. x_x;;;; November 8: Yeaaaaah, no. v_v;;;;;;; November 9: The Small Brown Cat (American Gods) -- Huh, I probably could have handled this one yesterday, it's extremely mellow. Cedar isn't a big favorite of mine, as it tends to go pencil shavings on my skin, but this has a very lovely fluffy fur musk (similar to those in deer-related scents like Ivanushka or Buck Moon prior to 2021) and cardamom-scented vanilla to smooth the cedar out to the point where it really is just a touch, and a nice, more live cedar tree touch rather than processed and shredded wood. I don't necessarily get 'cat' out of this scent, but it's very laid-back and calming. I like it quite a bit! I don't know that I'll need more than this full decant, but I'm happy I went for it. Very low throw, it stays close to my skin, but solid staying power. I can still smell it on my wrist several hours later, at which point it's a soft furry vanilla. I'm also a bit curious about how this is going to age. It's maybe a month or two old at this point, but I'm betting it'll be either gorgeous in a year or two, or the cedar will take over and it will be less to my tastes. Definitely going to keep it and find out! November 10: The Silver Dollar (American Gods) -- First: wow, iris!! Followed rapidly by gently tart and slightly bitter white tea, a very clean and laundry-like white musk, and a faint hint of actual citrus from the bergamot. The benzoin primarily makes it a little smoother than it might otherwise be, though that does make it an essential part of the blend because whoooof this would probably be screechy without it. I like it, mostly? There was a particular phase of my collecting experience where I would have been all over this, but the fact is that I don't like wearing most tea scents very much. White tea in particular smells real funky on my skin, and not a lot like tea at all. The iris is very big here, giving it a lot more throw than I might have expected, but it starts fading out after maybe three hours. Six hours later, it's just a dusting of slightly tart iris. Very interesting. I'll keep the decant for now, but I don't think I'll buy more. November 11: Bast (AG) -- For me this starts with a powerful hit of myrrh and some of the dry desert note that I love in the oldest bottles of The Ifrit. I haven't bought or sniffed a new one in years, but there were *definitely* batch variations for that one, and, I suspect, for this one, based on the variance in reviews. There's a very perfumey aspect to it, mostly from the amber, but the cardamom is playing assist there, too. As it dries it gets sweeter, though, and the honey/cacao combo gives it a kind of weird undertone on me, one that I'm not sure I entirely like. Eventually it all blends together into a warm, sweetly resinous fragrance that hovers over my skin and just smells lovely. This is another I feel is probably going to age well, but possibly into something I don't like. I'm definitely holding onto this one, because I love that desert note and there's not much that has it. November 12: The Forgettable God (AG) -- I'm having a bit of an allergy problem at the moment, so perhaps a scent that is described as being faint and light both in reviews and in the actual description was not a good choice for today. But here I am, wearing it anyway! It is indeed aquatic, a lot fresher than I normally prefer, but also I'm pretty sure contains some of what composes their glass accord (as in House of Mirrors) ... actually, having pulled out House of Mirrors (description: Antique amber frames a series of distorted, eternally warping clear crystal and glass notes), this remarkably similar. HoM is a little sweeter from the amber component, while this has an almost vegetal note that I suspect may get stronger over time. Interesting. I'm definitely going to test this again when my sniffer is back in complete working order. Others I might test this against: Sea of Glass, maybe some of the misty scents, though it doesn't have the pear-like quality, it does have the slight citrus tang that some of them do. November 13: Coin Trick (AG) -- Wore this yesterday and then forgot to write it up. ^^; This sits somewhere between Media and The Forgettable God for me -- it does smell like something you might pick up at a department store, but it's also got some distinctive BPAL flair that Media worked hard to cover up. It's got moderate throw, though not overwhelming at the amount I typically use, and is very clean and bright, but there's a bit of the metal note and a touch of citrus, possibly grapefruit or bergamot rather than orange or lemon. Longevity is lacking, though. Overall, it's fine, but I probably won't keep it. It's just not really to my tastes. November 14: Zorya Polunochnaya (AG) -- I was really expecting to love this, and I somehow don't. A few people in the review thread mention that it goes powdery or play-doh-like on their skin, and I am unfortunately in that group. The white amber ("pale amber" ...yeah, it's white amber.) is very strong and doesn't mesh well with the other notes on my skin. I can tell this would be lovely on someone else, pale and hypnotic and wispy, but unfortunately, on me it's pretty much just loud white amber with a fragrant floral background. Even the ambergris, which normally takes over on me, can't compete in this one, at least until almost ten hours on. Throw is potent, longevity is good. (See also: The Girl, to which it bears some similarity.) November 15: Kind of a loss, I've been sneezing all day because I was cleaning and there was a lot of dust, so my nose is laughing gently at the idea of being able to wear anything and have it smell like ...anything, really. I put on The Carousel (AG) but it's a kind of greenish-ambery muddle to me right now. Time for a nasal rinse, then trying again tomorrow, probably the same thing, since I'm determined to get through these American Gods decants and this is the last one. As of right now, it kind of reminds me of The Apothecary, but I'm 90% sure there's some subtleties I'm missing because I am full of ooze. I'm expecting it to remind me a bit of Eve, and right now it doesn't. ^^; November 16: The Carousel (AG) -- Yeah, that's better. It really does remind me of Eve (OLLA), with less rose, a gentle hit of cinnamon, and more ozone in amongst the mishmash of green and earthy and resinous notes. I don't really get much in the way of the blood note, but it's got a bit of sweetness that brings dragon's blood to mind. Overall, this isn't bad. I do already have two bottles of Eve and they're definitely different scents, but similar enough in overall effect, as well as the feeling of age and mystery that I probably don't need to buy more. I'm keeping this for sure, though, I have *got* to see what this does as it ages. November 17: Calligraphy Practise ('12) -- This was a 1/2 decant the decanter kindly included with my AG requests, but I feel somewhat certain that I've got one somewhere lurking in my Lupers drawer, or at least, the notes seem mostly like the sort of thing I'd want to try. Under any circumstances, this is primarily a woody/resinous herbal scent on me; the beeswax surprises me by being extremely tame and sitting wayyyy at the back under the sandalwood, oud, and sage. As it wears, it develops into a very incense-like scent, completely with a hint of smokiness. Overall, it's ...nice. I didn't really have a strong reaction to it, either positive or negative. I don't hate it, it's pleasant, but man, I have at this point smelled so many variously similar scents that I'm just like, yeah, pleasant, shrug? A bit of throw, lasted for a few hours before my nose tuned it out, but if I sniffed deeply ~six hours in, traces of lightly waxy wood were still pretty clear on my wrist. November 18: Eleutheria (TAL) -- This isn't really a perfume, by my lights. It's bright and herbal and feels ...thoughtful. It doesn't smell like something I'd want to wear to smell nice, it smells like something I'd use to dress a candle or put in a diffuser to bring a particular energy to the table. I've got Road Opener and a couple of other inspiration and rebirth types of TALs (including Libertas, which feels a bit like a rougher, more active and brilliant sister-scent to this), but this one really does feel gentle, milder than the others, even though the scent itself is somewhat pungent. ...I might actually want to buy a bottle of this one, actually, for various reasons, I feel like it might be a really useful thing to have around next year. Hm. November 19: Apparently this month is a two migraine month. =_= I feel pretty awful, so no perfume today. November 20: Geek.Goth -- All-decant November continues with some event exclusives I haven't touched in a while, and some I completely forgot I owned. This is, by the description, intended to evoke Mtn. Dew or Surge or similar, but what I get from it at first is lime-scented champagne. It doesn't quite smell sugary enough to be a soda pop, and on my skin it's just a bit dry. Curiously, what that note does after a short time (and this is almost certainly the same carbonation note that gave most of the fizzy Tiki & Champagne and... scents their oomph, as well as the same effect) is turn into something that reminds me of a particular incense. This isn't weird aging, this is just what that accord smells like on my skin and to my nose. So this turns into a peculiar limey incense on me and ...it's okay? No throw, doesn't last too long, but it's interesting, at least, even if it doesn't exactly say 'geeky goth' to me. November 21: Loli.Goth -- The throw on this smells like a particular strawberry shampoo I used for about a month in or slightly before high school. The up-close sniff smells like gummy candy, but really good gummy candy, not like gummy worms or gummy bears, plus some very light woodsy notes and a soft hint of iris. I don't actually like this very much but it's not awful, I guess? It does seem like it would be nice to wear if you happened to be into that style of clothing, particularly if it were a high-end dress with real soft cotton lace and maybe a print of a tea set with strawberries on it. Definite throw, lasts an acceptable few hours before fading into a wisp of pink. November 22: ....Honestly, I was too wiped to wear perfume today, much less talk about it. Don't work retail during the holidays with nebulous exhaustion-related body problems, kids. It really doesn't feel very good. November 23: A Noiseless Patient Spider -- My Lilith decants arrived! Time to test 'em! Some of them will definitely fall under the category 'needs rest before final judgement' but mailbox sniffing is a time-honored tradition in my house. This one is very interesting, at least at first, mostly lavender and sandalwood. If it had a fruitier aspect, it would remind me a lot of Drow Yoga Instructor. The rest of the notes are pretty mild at this point, but after a while the lavender starts fading out and it becomes surprisingly sweet. Late drydown is mellow woods & resins and very gentle hints of cardamom and iris. It didn't have much throw, but it's also quite fresh, relatively speaking. I deeply suspect this one will age into something very lovely. I'm at about four and a half hours of wear and I can still smell it clearly. Pretty good! November 24: A Place of Seeing -- Definitely needs some time to meld, right now it's pretty but a little bit too disparate, the notes aren't quite harmonizing. This isn't as sweet as I was expecting, the sandalwood and amber are much stronger than the marshmallow and vanilla bean notes, and the bergamot clashes a bit with the rest of it on my skin. It often reads as soapy to me, and it, probably combined with the lavender, lends the whole scent a really weird, almost medicinal tone that I'm not very into. I don't get any rose at all. I'm definitely going to let this sit in a box for a while, but I suspect this is not a bottle scent for me. Throw is pretty mild, but will probably get a bit stronger over time. I've been wearing it for about two hours now, and it's still going strong, so based on my general experiences, I expect this will have good longevity. ETA: it lasted ~6 hours, so ....yep, decent. November 24 pt 2: Cerberus'ish -- Days at home means testing two perfumes in one day. >D Gotta do a little catch up somewhere, and I'd like to get at least 6/12 tested before the end of the BF frimps. I love looking at reviews and marveling at the way the same perfume can smell so different on different people. This, for me, is solidly and distinctly extremely buttery buttercream when wet. The spices are very background. As it dries, the buttercream melts away and it becomes first warm, then slightly burned honey. The marshmallow and stick are both mild, but complement the other notes. Endgame is smoky honey, which was not what I expected, but is pretty nice! As with all of these so far, it is very fresh and has little throw. This one didn't stick around very long, it was fading quick at ~2 12 hours and gone by four. November 25: The Empress and Their Heckhound -- I really liked this, mostly. It's pleasantly nutty, with a gentle lavender and cozy cardamom. Somehow over time it becomes sharper and sharper on my skin, and honestly I'm not sure what outside of the lavender might be causing that. It's not something I'd generally attribute to any of the listed notes. Perhaps there's a hidden white musk in there or something. It'll probably mellow out over time, and the first hour or so was perfect, but ....idk. This is one I'm sitting on to retest in a week or so. November 26: Lights, Camera, Something -- Look, more lavender, vanilla, and cardamom! 🤔 Actually, I loved this. I'm going to test it again to be certain about it, but this will probably be joining my to-be-bottled list. Very simple, but really nice, calming and mellow. No hidden soapiness or mystery sharp notes. It lasted for hours and ended in a mild waft of sweetened lavender. I could probably wear this as a sleep scent (if I didn't have Sopor which I love) but I'd miss the journey and huffing my wrist. Throw was moderate, I could smell it as I typed, but it didn't leave a trail. November 26 pt 2: Lavender Lightning -- I....huh. This was way sweeter than I expected it to be from the notes. On me this is a very floral, almost honey-like lavender, brilliant and intense ozone (similar to the one in Becoming Thunder, which I love), and a hint of feathery greenery. Absolutely fascinating and kind of hypnotic. I'm pretty sure I don't own anything exactly like this, but I think I want to. 💜 Humorously, this was already in my wishlist because I forgot I'd gotten a decant, so it'll just stay there and when I do my add-all-to-cart in a day or so, I'll get a bottle. I might think about it a little harder, but I'm pretty sure I need more of this in my life, if not now, then before the Liliths go down. It is indeed a pretty loud scent, with very solid lasting power, and it remains pretty true through the whole weartime. November 27: O Hushed October Morning Mild -- Intriguing. On me, at its current level of aging (not very) this is a warm, bright, very green scent with just a hint of garden-fresh dirt. I'm having a hard time deciding if I like it or not, though. I like the green, I like the wisps of thyme and fig, especially, but I'm not a very big fan of grass or dirt scents. There's something about it that's reminding me of some old Lush scent, as well, though I can't think of which one. I don't think it's Grass, but it might be. The lavender and coffee notes weave beautifully with the rest, never really coming to the front, but noticeable in the throw. ...Yeah, I think this one is not for me, but my SO might like it very much. If it had a deeper green, galbanum or something like that, I think I'd like it more. November 27 pt 2: Painted Scars -- This is just kid's grape Dimetapp on me. I can tell there's some other, more perfume-like notes underneath the thick syrupy wine accord, but the way the plum & blackberry meld on my skin is ...yeah. grape cough syrup, for almost an hour. After that it destickies a bit and the sandalwood comes up a bit more but this is a no from me. Of course it has good throw and lasts probably well-past the three hour mark at which I was tired of smelling it wafting around the room and washed it off. I've said before that I have trouble with blackberry, and it's still definitely a thing. It is a very purple scent, which makes me a bit sad that I don't like it more, but at least I have Purple Phoenix already. (I should do a few of my anniversary bottles after I'm done with Liliths! It's right about that time of year. :D) November 28: Plague-O-Ween -- Fruity! It makes me think a bit of a much less buttery Jack. I never get a specific carroty note (though I should dig out Gunpowder, which I think might be the only other scent I have with that note, to cross-ref), but the cranberries, pumpkin, and orange blossom are all quite distinct at first, then meld into a bright, tart orangey (the color, not the fruit) scent on my wrist. It didn't have a lot of throw, and didn't last very long, and I am still so very pumpkin'd out, but I might keep this for a bit and see where it lands after six months or so. November 28 pt. 2 -- Ring of Light -- Can I get a hell yes? This is a gorgeous, warm, absolutely brilliant scent, very pale and glowy with a nice hit of that aldehyde pop. The artemisia (mugwort) sits underneath, giving it a pleasantly green undertone, and the fragrance as a whole really reflects the appearance of a ring light. The lavender here is much milder than the purple lavenders in most of the other scents I've tried this year. I'm a little surprised this isn't sharper, but it's quite mellow on my skin, scintillating, even. I'm definitely buying a bottle. I want to compare this to White Phoenix, which also manages to pull off a bunch of white or pale notes while remaining very wearable for me. I don't think that they'll be that similar, largely because of the strong magnolia & florals in White Phoenix, but they have a similar warmth and bright aura. Good throw, mediocre longevity that I bet will improve with time. November 29: Rite of Passage -- ...........It smells like a diet version of Pumpkin Latte. 😕 Hits all the same notes on me, but with 30% less density and a weird aspartame-like tang (the vanilla powder? the whipped cream?). I don't like it much. I didn't wash it off, as it faded very quickly, and it wasn't bad, but I really prefer the darker, deeper, spicier Pumpkin Latte. November 29 pt. 2 -- Thirteen: LVB -- What a glorious muddle. A lot of the Thirteens are a bit like that, and this lives in the same space as them without actually being similar to any of them. As most of the folks in the review thread commented, this shifts around pretty wildly, with different notes being stronger, then receding, then returning. For me, on first wear, it started with a fruity blue note, like Blue Raspberry flavored slushies, then evolved into lavender chocolate chip cookies, strawberry ice cream, and a little bouquet of honey-doused carnations. Things only got more jumbled from there. It was a pretty fun ride, but not actually the sort of thing I'm likely to wear often. I do enjoy sweet scents, but mostly simpler ones that are a bit more distinct. No throw, moderate lasting power. ...And that's it for my Lilith decants this year. I ordered five total bottles -- Urban Undine, Philopannyx, Ring of Light (which I am wearing again), Lights, Camera, Something, and Lavender Lightning. Feels like a pretty decent year for me. November 30: White Phoenix -- ...Have I just not touched my Anniversaries at all so far? How startling! I have quite a few. I did just get notification that my Weenie decants are on their way, which is nice, but still. Phoenixes! I got this one at a meet'n'sniff fairly early on in my collecting days. The person who had it had a few bottles up for grabs and I sniffed this, then sniffed deeper, and asked if I could snag it. I really love this perfume, both for the memory of generosity and kindness (which I have passed on more than a few times since. ) and because it's just a beautiful scent. You would think, with all the white florals involved, that I would dislike it, but no. It doesn't smell like a classic Big White Floral, it smells soft and clean and feathery and a little woody and a little sweet and a little musky and just so good. I did pop a bit of Ring of Light on the backs of my wrists to compare, and indeed, they don't smell much alike, and they do give off similar auras -- but Ring of Light is like a neon halo, and White Phoenix is like an actual halo. Big, beautiful, but somehow mellow throw, lasts a very long time, fades very gracefully. This was the perfume that said, hey, you like magnolia, and it was right.
  6. windbourne

    October

    Hooray! October! It's Weenie season! 🦇🎃💀 October 1: The Haunted Beach -- Salty-sweet ambergris and musk. I got a decant when this came out, but didn't pick up a full bottle until it popped up on the Lab's Etsy recently. It was so worth it. This is lovely, a little like Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, but less overtly sexy. Mild throw, but the ambergris lasts for a very long time after the salt and pale musks have faded. (This is normal for me. My skin clings to that note really ferociously.) If this beach is haunted, it's haunted by wisps of pale mist, not anything especially ferocious. (decant/bottle) October 2: Pumpkin IV (2008) -- Pumpkin with white sage, cherry tobacco, honey, smoky vanilla, cedar, and pine. -- I wore this all day and alternated between wrinkling my nose and enjoying it a great deal. It was so sticky on and off! Sticky and almost medicinal, it was very weird. But sometimes it settled down and was a beautiful woody warm pumpkin with a hint of smoke! And then it would shift and smell like cough syrup in an antique store. Very odd. Throw was mild, but it lasted the entire day and then some. (decant) October 3: The Gorobble -- I always expect to like this more than I do, but it turns out that, while I enjoy eating slightly burnt marshmallows, I'm not super fond of wearing them. It's reasonably accurate rendition of that scent, I get the sweetness, the charcoal crispiness, a hint of smoke, and the slightly sour odor that I often get from having left my marshmallow over a gas flame for too long. My skin really brings out the smokiness, and the combination is almost stomach-turning until it dries fully. It lasts several hours, and the burning fades after a while, leaving a faint sugary fragrance behind. (decant) October 4: Pumpkin I (2014) -- Pumpkin cream with cardamom, black tea, allspice, and ginger milk. -- Pumpkin Chai Latte, made with pumpkin puree and not "pumpkin spice syrup". That's the whole story on me. It smells like it's been sweetened with honey or maple syrup rather than sugar, mostly because the Lab's pumpkin note used here is pretty thick on me and it gives a gooey aspect to everything it touches. Pleasant, foodie, pretty decent throw, doesn't last that long, though, maybe 3-4 hours. (bottle) October 5: Visions of Autumn III (2014) -- Bourbon vanilla, aged patchouli, honey, and Ceylon cinnamon. -- This is really beautiful, though the patch is quite strong at first and makes the initial twenty minutes or so a little more intense than I'm generally in the mood for. After that it lightens up considerably and becomes more balanced honey-patch. There's something in it that's reminding me of cedar, though; it's a little bit pencil shavings on my skin for a while. I'm a bit surprised it's not sweeter at any phase, tbqh. It fades relatively quickly, maybe five hours before completely giving up the patchouli-scented ghost. (bottle) October 6: Dr. John Seward (Order of the Dragon 2006) -- Like some (but not all) of my older BPAL bottles, this takes a few minutes to really get going on my skin. At first, it's almost transparent, but it ramps up fast, hitting me with sweet opium smoke with a bit of gingery bite. The champaca follows at a more sedate pace, then takes over as it dries. It remains sweeter than some of my other champaca-heavy scents; the tonka is very present, sweet and vanillic with a hint of hay. The sandalwood is not very strong at all, mostly acting as a support rather than a featured player. It's nice, but not a major favorite. Throw isn't terribly strong, but it's lasts quite a while. I'm still getting whiffs of soft champaca several hours later. (bottle) October 7: Jo(h)nathan Harker (OotD 2006) -- Apparently his name is misspelled 'Johnathan' on the label, and so on the review thread. 😂 But it's right (Jonathan) on my decant. Anyway. At this point in time, Mr. Harker's scent is a pleasant light herbal cologne, mostly lavender and lemon verbena. It's a little soapy at first, but the sandalwood and late-blooming iris help mitigate that somewhat on me, though the white tea makes a brave attempt to fight back and pull it towards astringency. This has a number of cousins in the GC, many of them called out in the review thread: Embalming Fluid, Shanghai, Zephyr, Villain, and so on. None exactly the same, but if it sounds nice to you, I'd recommend trying one of those. Pleasant little scent, generally inoffensive unless those notes smell like cleaning fluid to you; would probably be lovely to smell on your favorite person, but only if you really cuddled up to them. Lasts 2-3 hours at decent strength, trails off into a fuzzy orris-sandalwood haze for an additional hour or so after. (decant) (ETA: I ended up really enjoying wearing this one. I'd consider a bottle if one caught my eye at a reasonable price.) October 8: Count Dracula (OotD 2006) -- I have 6 out of the 11 scents from this series, three bottles and three decants, and I'm just goin' through 'em. ...Though my nose is extremely borked today, because I am really, really tired and having some allergy problems, so I may have to come back to this one at a later time for a proper test. Right now this smells mostly like black musk and a hint of clove and maybe like...cumin? I'm pretty sure it's a little more than that, but ... not right this minute for my poor sense of smell. 😅 I'm glad I picked this one instead of one I know I love. >_>;; (decant) October 9: Wilhemina Murray (OotD 2006) -- Sure did snooze out before posting yesterday. >_<;; Anyway, this is a beautiful perfume. It starts off all billowy pale blossoms and then pulls a radical shift on my skin into a dark, currant-y myrrh and musk. It's really neat! It lasts only a few hours before fading away, but the entire journey is lovely and evocative. (bottle) October 10: Brides of Dracula (OotD 2006) -- If I loved lily & plum blossom, I would be in heaven about now. Unfortunately, lily has grown to be a scent-ruiner for me and plum blossoms are often as laundry-ish as cherry blossoms are. I can smell the rest of the notes under the heady floral and honey blast, but they're faint by comparison. As it dries, the lily backs off a bit and the skin musk steps up a notch, accompanied by the not-quite-peachiness of the osmanthus and a hint of white amber. It really would be lovely on someone who isn't me, I think. Pretty good throw & lasting power. (decant) October 11: Lucy Westenra (OotD 2006) -- An interesting, citrus-floral scent that warms over time on my skin to a surprisingly deep floral. This is one that can smell wildly different on me depending on the time of month -- sometimes it's very bitter and the jasmine feels like it overwhelms the other floral notes, sometimes it feels like it's mostly white musk, and sometimes I get a beautiful bloom of magnolia and rose as it dries. This is one that I never expect to like but defies those expectations once it's on my skin. Fascinating. Minimal throw, lasts for several hours but fades differently almost every time. (bottle) October 12: Hypnotize Me (Order of the Dragon II 2019) -- This is the only perfume I picked up from the second Dracula series. I love mugwort, and this is a very, very mugwort perfume. It has that unique herbal mustiness, almost furriness, in absolute spades, combined with a very pure and light lavender note. It isn't sweet at all, but the combo isn't sharp on my skin either. It's soothing in a ...well, hypnotic way. I can (and do) wear this as a sleep scent, but I also wear it out and about when I want to feel serene and detached. It belongs in the anti-social sector of my collection. :} Very low throw, fairly short wearlength at strength, but the mugwort is still detectable hours later. (bottle) The next several will be decants from various years. I'm making a certain effort to note when something is a decant, partial, or bottle because scents can age differently depending on their source and manner of storage. I've often found that, for various reasons, bottles tend to age more gracefully and stay most like their original scent. October 13: The Gambols of Ghosts (2016) -- Ooh, I can tell both why I picked up a decant of this and why I didn't buy a bottle. The beeswax is very lovely and the olive blossom is mellow and smooth but then the violet and a very oddly metallic amber pipe up and it becomes increasingly dusty and mildly unpleasant on my skin. I'm not a big fan of violet, which is hilarious, because I am a fan of orris, and the two are often compared to each other. Orris is, for me, a more silvery, usually smooth scent, while violet is more greenish and often smells dusty but also pale, like the dust left in an empty packet of those pressed-sugar violet candies. Sometimes it's tolerable and sometimes it takes a scent I think I might otherwise really love and makes it smell a bit like a lightly floral beeswax candle that's been gathering dust in your Nana's guest room for at least thirty years. It's fairly bright and sort of vintage in nature, and suits the name very well. Very good throw, lasts for quite a long time. Would I buy a bottle, hell no, but I'm not sad I kept this decant for five years so I could test it definitively against my current tastes. October 14: The Witches (2015) -- ...You know what isn't awesome, at least to my tastes? Plasticky sugared pumpkin. You know what this smells like on me? Got it in one. 😂 Pumpkin isn't my favorite note, and I prefer it a bit more vegetal than what this has going on, because this version of the pumpkin note (especially plus cream & honey, yikes) really hits that fake, oversweetened scent. It's so thick it almost reminds me of maple syrup? Or like, pumpkin spice syrup, without any particular spice notes. It's pretty much the same from wet to late, late drydown, and it fades gracefully and at some length, maybe 4-5 hours to finish up. I'm a little tempted to skip a decant day and compare this to Pumpkin V (2012), which is: "Lightly spiced pumpkin pulp swirled with bourbon vanilla, French vanilla, and raw vanilla bean." vs The Witches: "Pumpkin cream, honey, vanilla sugar, and smoked vanilla bean." .... Honestly, having a bottle of that Pumpkin Patch scent might be why I only got a decant of this one. 😂 Y'know what, sure. Next four scents are a bottles-only pumpkin party: the aforementioned Pumpkin V, Blue Pumpkin Floss and Pumpkin Latte (both '10), and Theme in Yellow ('13). Come on, pumpkins, let's go. 🎃 I probably have more pumpkins in my decant stash, but four (five including today) in a row of pumpkin is probably enough for one October for me. October 15: Pumpkin V (2012) -- Lightly spiced pumpkin pulp swirled with bourbon vanilla, French vanilla, and raw vanilla bean. -- As promised. This is, indeed, possessed of the promised spice (cinnamon and a little nutmeg, maybe?) and a much gourd-ier pumpkin than the uber-sweet one in The Witches, so despite the rest of the notes, this feels much lighter and brighter. It's not unsweet, but the sweetness isn't overwhelming, nor is it excessively spicy on me, it's just right. This was one that I tried first at a Will-Call, rejected a few times, then tested over and over until I finally gave in and bought a bottle. 😂 It's really nice, and exactly the kind of pumpkin I like to smell. It's not quite my favorite pumpkin scent, but it's up there. The only downside to it is that it has zero throw and very little longevity. It's great for days at home and repeat applications, though! October 16: Blue Pumpkin Floss (2010) -- Nowhere in the description does it indicate how initially cinnamony-spicy this is. 😂 But most of the reviews mention it, so at least my nose isn't bonkers. Otherwise, this is a medium-strong, very spice-addled pumpkin that is extremely sweet but in a fluffy way (as suits the candyfloss/cotton candy part of the description). The berry part is pretty light until it's fully dry, and then it becomes a very weird ever-so-slightly-plastic but surprisingly delicious scent. Do I love it? I'm not actually sure. At one point I definitely kept it because it has very cute label art and was the first of the Pumpkin Floss series (the rest are all BPTP), but I do like it once in a while. Pretty low throw, but extremely long-wearing. I wore it to work and could still smell it very clearly almost nine hours later. October 17: Pumpkin Latte (2010) -- That year was first outing for this one, which has come back a couple more times since. This starts as a very deep, heavily spiced coffee (though not as much as Kobold Barista) then the sweetness and pumpkin notes bloom out. There's a gently smoky/dusty aspect on my skin which is interesting, but not unexpected considering it has both milk and 'smoky vanilla bean' as listed notes. It's pretty perfect for exactly this time of year, when the pumpkin latte craze is peak and the leaves are still in the process of turning. As it dries, it loses a lot of the coffee, and turns into a more milky pumpkin with a hint of coffee. I think I like it best at that point. I do like this quite a bit (and the label is very cute), though being mostly coffee and nearly-maple-like sweet pumpkin, I don't want to smell like it very often. Starts with a big chonkers throw that fades into a mild one, lasts for a few hours at strength then sits politely on my wrists for another few. As an aside, I'm not getting anything from this year's Weenies that contains pumpkin, whenever they drop. I'm feeling pretty pumpkin'd out. I've typed the word pumpkin so many times it's starting to lose meaning. 🎃 I have one more bottle of pumpkin to go, and then I think I'll avoid it until the 31st, if I can. October 18: Theme in Yellow -- For a pumpkin perfume, this is really, really nice. 🎃 It's got a lovely orange-yellow glow to it, a hint of almost fleshy sweetness, but no sugary notes, and no spice at all. There's a bit of wax in there, and maybe just a hint of smoke. For me, this is just a perfect, round, nicely squashy pumpkin with a pleasant smile carved in & a candle lit to tell children that they can ask for candy at that home. It always fascinates me when reviews show such a sharp division -- half say this smells spicy/cinnamon on them, and half don't -- is this batch variations, or are people smelling what they expect rather than what is actually present, or what? If it's over time or the reviews cover versions from multiple years, sometimes it's aging enhancing or diminishing certain notes. But this was a single release and the reviews cover about five years with the same differences of opinion. For this, I'm inclined to suspect batch variation. I'd be curious to try a sniffie of one that has a review that claims spice, because my bottle just doesn't have any. Pretty hefty throw, solid longevity. Whew! Made it through my pumpkins! I saw the Weenies drop (briefly) and I think I'll try samples of Pumpkinville and Pinched with Four Pumpkins, but that's it for pumpkins for me for a while. October 19: Goblin Market -- Turns out I have a bunch of things in my Weenie decant drawer that aren't actually in the Weenie collection. 😂 They may have been released around the right time, but they aren't tagged as Weenies, so I had to shuffle a few things around. I still have more than enough for the month, though. This Weenie from 2013 is based on a poem that I love, so I got a decant despite being pretty sure the fragrance would not be to my tastes. This reminds me of the scent of a Lush store during times when they have a lot of fruity soaps & bath goods available. It has that slightly dusty bathbomb aspect, mixed fruits, and a slightly musky-sweet undertone. Takes me back to working there and how the storage room smelled during the holidays. I don't really like this as a perfume, but it might make an interesting room scent. Moderate throw (I could smell it as I was working on the computer), sort of mediocre longevity (faded fast, vanished after three hours). October 20: Noctiphobia -- Gotta be square with you, I can barely smell this. I haven't run into many things that I'm completely anosmic to, but at the moment, this seems to be one of them. I can smell other things perfectly fine, so I haven't lost my sense of smell, it's just this one thing. It doesn't smell bad, or like it's turned, it's like absolute nothing on my wrist and in the vial, like I dropped water on my wrist instead of perfume. This is one, like Count Dracula, that I'm going to have to come back to later. Ah, well. ^-^; (ETA: So I slept on it, and in the morning it was a very lovely, subtle, lightly woodsy cologne. I don't even know what happened last night but ...it's pleasant and apparently lasts a very long time.) (decant) October 21: The Byronic Antihero -- This reminds me a lot of Peter Quint + a really strong carnation note. I'm not quite sure how it manages that, without (probably) containing any leather or ambergris, but here we are. I think perhaps the way the particular vetiver & patchouli are blending is giving me the impression of a slightly smoky leathery note? I'm a little surprised at how pleasantly this is wearing on my skin; carnation is pretty frequently a weirdly spicy-sweet mess for me, but something here is keeping it tamed. This is really nice, and if I'd had my current tastes when this came out, I probably would've picked up a bottle. I'm pretty happy I have the decant, though! Strong throw, amps up as it dries, good lasting power. October 22: Sugar Skull '04 -- So I have already reviewed a Sugar Skull, and they do have the same notes, but many of them are just slightly different. This is the OG, first release, cobalt bottle version, and it's real nice. It is a very low partial (at this point there's maybe a single decant left?) and I got it secondhand, which is why it has a reducer cap. I hate reducer caps with a violent passion. This one dumped a colossal amount of oil on my wrist (by which I mean maybe a full drop or two; I tend towards extremely light applications), so I'm smeared with Sugar Skull to the elbow on both arms and am living in a beautiful brown sugary halo. If I do a super-discerning sniff, I think there may be some of that mildly lemony white sugar note in with the darker, deeper sugared notes, plus some softer confectioner's sugar, but that may also be partly the fruit notes. It's a little boozy, and a little fermented, but mostly it's sugary sweet and amazing. I'll run out of this soon enough and have to decide if I want to find another bottle, probably not of '04, but I've got ...eleven different versions to choose from (per the tag on the review post + 2020), so it probably won't be too hard to find one. October 23: The School-House ('08) -- I only have a couple of bottles from the Sleepy Hollow release, and this one was picked up as a half-bottle somewhat after the fact, due to the fact that I found I really enjoyed the birch note in the decant I got. It's a lovely fragrance, sweetly green and gently outdoorsy, more meadow than forest, but not at all grassy to me, which is nice because I'm not really a fan of grass notes. This would be perfect for late summer or early autumn, when the shadows are getting longer but before the leaves have really started changing. It smells warm and fresh and bright, but with just a hint of darker things (fir) around the edges. Virtually no throw, but I can still smell a hint of soft green on my wrists several hours later. October 24: The Girl ('09) -- Another scent featuring birch, but this one I'm not as fond of. Immediately on application it's bright and pale and lovely, but after a while the immortelle & ylang ylang crank up the syrup and this becomes a weird mash of floral notes and gooey sap on my skin. Later on the jasmine gets stronger and that's almost nice, but it's still got a slightly odd funk to it. This was a massive hit the year it was released, and continues to be a bit legendary, but like many of those that get compared to Antique Lace and the like, it's not especially good on me. Good throw, mostly jasmine and amber, dries to white amber/musk and stays lively and fragrant for quite a long time. (decant) October 25: Halloween: New Orleans ('10) -- Ahh, this is still so lovely! I mentioned it when I wore A Little Piece of Eternity, so I was looking forward to pulling it out. It's a beautiful, densely humid scent, with a wonderful sweet olive (osmanthus) note over a deep and murky aquatic with a hint of almost-musty moss in the background. As it dries, the moss comes forward a bit more and the later drydown is mostly a light haze of moss over water and a hint of peachy-almost-citrus olive blossom wayyyyy in the back. The overall effect is very tea-like, in a way. I have some osmanthus oolong that smells a little like this if I oversteep it. I got this (and the matching atmo spray) after sniffing the protos at a Will-Call and have never once regretted it. Lasts many hours, with a throw that starts very strong and tapers off gently. (bottle) October 26: The Glittering Apple of the Stars ('11) -- I'm not a big apple fan in general, but this one has a fresh, almost crisp apple note that doesn't show up in many other places and I enjoy quite a bit. Most of the rest of the notes have blurred some over the years, and where it was once extremely bright and twinkly, as it dries down it's now more subdued and sweeter, a little more perfumey with tiare and the musks. It's still a very lovely perfume, though it's never had strong throw or longevity, but it's nice to reapply on days I wear it for that apple burst. Bright, fugitive, shiny. (bottle) October 27: The Tears of Lilith ('12) -- This starts with a big syrupy blast of honey-sweetened wine and red musk and dries down to a gorgeous silvery ambergris with a lightly bitter undertone and a hint of rose petals. The opening and early drydown are a little hard for me to sit through, it's really sweet, sticky, and intensely grape-y, but fortunately that phase only lasts ~40 minutes to an hour (depending on how warm I am and what my hormones are doing at the time) and then it gets really beautiful. Late (4-6 hours) drydown is all ambergris all the time, like it usually is on me. This was another I picked up after testing at a Will-Call, and it was definitely the drydown that sold me. Lasts a very long time, throw is pretty hefty. (bottle) The thing that I love about ambergris, and why I have so many scents that feature it even though it really does take over almost every time, is that the end result is always just a little different. Still noticeably and decidedly the Lab's ambergris accord, but touched with a hint of whatever else is in the perfume. Tears of Lilith ends with a light reddish bleed through the otherwise silvery-gray ambergris core, in contrast to say, Dream of The Fisherman's Wife, which ends with a salty seaweed undertone to the ambergris. I do have the SN and it's just as shifty and changeable. It's really fascinating and I love it a lot. October 28: A World Where There Are Octobers ('13) -- I don't really like the dead/dry/autumn leaves note in general, but this one is a rare exception. I still don't like it much initially, as it has that very sharp, prickly aspect at first and for maybe twenty minutes or so until it dries fully, but as it goes the maple -- and I should say, I don't really like maple in general either, especially in foody perfumes -- the maple brightens and sweetens it and it becomes a lovely early fall day with a brisk breeze rattling the leaves. It's a wonderful atmospheric scent, makes a good room scent as well, and the maple is subtle and not too sticky. IDK, this is just one of those where the name and the inspiration and the scent meld together and I don't even care if the notes aren't the sort of thing I usually wear. It's beautiful. Minimal throw, moderate longevity. (bottle) October 29: The Ghost of Darius Appearing to Atossa ('16) -- When this was fresh, this was much sharper and less pleasant, but with a few years on it, it's an amazing deep resinous scent that throws like a beast and lasts forever. In the bottle and for the first few minutes or so, the galbanum is very strong and green, but it settles to the back after a bit. I'm always really happy to get a dark scent that doesn't contain any patchouli, and this is a very good one, up there with Minotaur for me in this particular field. Minotaur is muskier and sweeter, but they both have really beautiful myrrh notes. (Lingum aloes is also known as aloeswood, agarwood or oudh; onycha is an ancient incense component, most likely thought to be derived from a part of sea snail shells. Beth probably composed an accord for that one, since the real deal would not be vegan.) (partial bottle fr. decanter) October 30: This Wan White Humming Hive ('16) -- Hhhhhhhhhhh I love this. Beeswax, delicate pale patch, and light incense (champa & maybe a hint of sandalwood, I think?) plus a low buzz of ambergris that comes up saltier as it dries. It's warm and sweet in a very honeyed way, rather than containing any sugary notes. This is a combination that is really beautiful and very much to my tastes most of the time. Once in a while it's a little too heavy. Throw comes and goes, sometimes very strong and sometimes barely noticeable, but it lasts a very long time, fading to a soft sweetly honeyed ambergris on my wrists. (bottle) October 31: Samhain ('08) -- Textbook 'nice scent and I don't like the way it smells on me'. 🎃 It's a lovely, atmospheric, autumnal scent, with a medium-strong apple note and pleasantly woody waft, but something in it ends up smelling strongly smoky on me and it ends up almost ashtray-like. Skin chem weird. It's possible that sometime I should try some other years (I might have one or two lurking in my decant box, I should check again) but after I tried this one and it was entirely meh on me, I sort of stopped. It's just not the sort of thing that I enjoy wearing, unfortunately. Good throw and solid weartime, though.
  7. windbourne

    September

    Starting with a week of Luper bottles. 🌹 This batch has a few notes in common: hay, rice milk, and roses make repeat appearances, and all of them are in the category of scents that, whenever I wear them, I always think, "Omg, why don't I wear this more often???" (the answer is that my collection is silly-big. that is all.) September 1: Trois -- If you've been following along, at this point you're probably aware of my fondness for obsession with ambergris and white roses. I have a LOT of scents featuring one or both of those. I also have a lot of scents that feature orris or iris. This one is all three in a beautiful, simple, straightforward blend. Salty pale roses with a light dusting of orris powder. Just flippin' beautiful. I mean, provided that you're into that sort of thing. ;} Reasonable wear length, fairly low throw. September 2: Flickering Lantern -- Taking advantage of a day off to wear something that I absolutely cannot wear to work. 😂 This is a very, very strong scent on me, a glorious, heady mix of sweet tobacco, big densely-petaled purple roses, and, above all, a really thick, lightly smoky beeswax. Time has given this one intense throw -- I left a room and my SO commented on my perfume still being present five minutes later -- and fantastic longevity. It feels like dimly lit rooms and velvet curtains. It's a little dirty. I love it. 💜 September 3: Cinq -- If I'd have thought this through a little harder, I'd have worn Trois today and this two days from now. But, no, I was not clever with my picks this week and went with gut feelings instead of brains. Anyway, this is a slightly tart biiiiiig fluffy pink tea rose perfume that dries down to shortbread cookies on me. It's pretty fun; I actually like it more now than when I first got it, though tea rose remains my least favorite rose. If this one were made with white or red rose notes instead, I'd love it even more, but the way it shifts abruptly and absolutely on my skin is something of a delight as it is. I wore it to work because it only has significant throw for maybe five minutes, then settles down to a soft, inoffensive buttery cookie scent. It lasted almost all day, and now, eight and a half hours later (including transit time), there is only the memory of shortbread and I really have to sniff hard to get that much. September 4: Parlement of Foules '08 -- Oh, why not. One more rose before I move on to the hay and rice milk. (I actually swapped a couple bottles out because I felt like I had too much rose for one week. ...not that there's really any such thing BUT ANYWAY.) Another very simple rose blend: white rose and soft resins. I'm pretty certain the resins are frankincense, myrrh, and a bit of benzoin. The balance here is very nice, both aspects are distinct and present and, on me at least, neither overwhelms the other. It feels very pure, very smooth, and very delicate without ever being faint or weak. This was one of my first big rose loves (along with To Helen and Her Voice) and I still really enjoy wearing it. It's one that definitely needs rolling before wear -- the resins settle to the bottom over time. Throw is fragrant but not overwhelming, and it has a good weartime. September 5: Round Dance -- This one hit me a bit out of left field, tbqh. About half the notes are ones I don't especially like (carnation, strawberry, pink ["blush"] amber) and the rest (lavender, hay, vanilla cream, candyfloss) are often iffy. But somehow, somehow this pulls itself out the realm of sticky sweet plasticky candle, which is what I expected when I originally tested the decant, and draws me into a softly sweet quasi-floral pink haze that drifts around me for hours, shifting slowly but constantly. The hay and lavender do a great job balancing out the sweetness and the whole thing is very smooth. I was very glad I took a chance on this one. I tested it three times before I committed to a full bottle because it was so generally outside of my usual tolerances, but it really does smell great on me. September 6: Kitten with a Shamisen Daydreams of a Phallus Palanquin -- Obviously a Shunga. 😂 Soft, springtime pear with a background of cool rice milk blended with white musk. It really does what it says it does on the package. The pear is very mellow, more Bartlett than anything else, but not quite ripe, so it isn't too sweet; the rice milk is light and translucent and not as dense as the standard milk or cream notes; the white musk is clean and very slightly laundry-fresh. It's a very pleasant blend, with low enough throw that it's worksafe for me. The wearlength and tenacity is pretty impressive, though. I took a shower and the rice milk & white musk survived, though the pear completely vanished. Good stuff. September 7: Rendevous With Her Lover Behind the Rice Straws -- The notes are hay absolute, rice milk, and sugar. It smells, on me, a bit like a scented eraser intended to smell like a bowl of cereal milk. This isn't a bad thing! 😂 It has the slightly lemony sugar note and a warm, almost herbal sweetness from the hay, plus that delightful rice note, but it doesn't smell natural, if that makes sense. It smells like perfume, and it has a very slightly plasticky aspect on my skin. So, scented eraser by association. I do like it quite a bit, and it has a decent throw and long wear time. It was very sharp when it was new, but a year and a half later, it's mellowed considerably. September 8: Pericardium -- One more Luper snuck in. :3 I'm pretty sure I got this mostly looking at the rice milk, but it's primarily a pale woods and resins scent with a punch of clove. The first review mentions a similarity to Liz (Hellboy) and I can see it. Liz is stronger and much more smoky, but I would consider recommending this to someone who wants something in the same ballpark, but maybe a little less on fire. As it were. The white amber, very perfumey, amps up as it sits on my skin. It never quite goes single note, remaining a lovely, complex blend throughout the wear (5-6 hours) but most of the other notes take a back seat. I find this one a moderately strong blend, but I'm also weirdly neutral about it. It's nice, but kind of boring after a while. September 9: Öndurdis -- It was sweaty today, so I picked a cooling perfume. This is yet another one of the Lab's wintry wonders, bracing pine and snow first, but unlike some of the others, this really fades sweet on me. Towards the end it's almost entirely something like honey and berries with a hint of pine. Low throw, but good lasting power. I can still smell a hint of it on my wrists after a full day of work. This isn't a huge favorite, but it's nice and worth keeping a partial for days like this. September 10: Scorched Oak & Blonde Tobacco -- I almost didn't want to put this on my skin. 😂 I know several people who loved this, so I'm glad to have gotten to test it, but hoo boy, it is not for me. It smells as it sounds like it ought, lightly burnt oak wood, perhaps hit by lightning, since there's some ozone that comes out on my skin, bolstered by pale, slightly damp tobacco, but on my skin that doesn't translate into something I want to smell like. It's perfumey and slightly tannic in the wrong ways and sniffing it makes my nose kind of wrinkle. Not into it. It has a moderate throw, but I'm not sure about the full wear length because I covered it up after an hour or so because I was tired of smelling it. 😅 The good news is that layered with NCD Ceraunophilia, the oak mellows out and it instead adds an extra 'this lightning definitely hit a tree' aspect to that scent, which is much more pleasant for me. September 11: Mochitsuki Tanuki (proto 2012) -- Let's do some weird stuff! So in 2011/12 there was a Will-Call location near where I lived and they regularly got protos for upcoming series and sometimes allowed regulars to snag those bottles afterwards. Once in a while, those scents never actually materialized, and so there are some bottles floating around that are permanent protos. This is one of those. If you search 'mochitsuki' on the forum, you'll find a few references to it (some of which are me, lol). There was a Tanuki-centric release that spring, and I assume this was intended to be part of it, but didn't make the cut for whatever reason. I'll always be a bit sad about that, but not too sad, since, well, I have this bottle. It's mostly a mildly sweet rice scent -- having eaten fresh mochi, it does smell like a perfumer's interpretation of that -- possibly with a hint of light musk and a little sandalwood. I really love it. (As an aside, if you do that search, you'll see people speculating that it was supposed to be a Lunacy because tsuki means moon. They are 99% likely wrong. ^___^ Tsuki can mean moon, but 'mochitsuki' means 'mochi pounding', and is a traditional part of Japanese New Year's festivities.) September 12: Great Hole Full of Stardust (Map of Dreams/proto 2012) -- The next three are a series. There was small collection that was based on Sydney Sime's Map of Dreams that came out around the right time, but they have different names and smell quite different from the ones that were released (I have decants of three of the four), so I suspect these ones were scrapped rather than renamed. I would honestly love to see The Lab revisit this map; there are a TON of amazing possible perfume names that could be pulled from it, both ridiculous and evocative. This one smells fizzy, to my nose, a bit gingery, with possibly some myrrh and a cooler aquatic note. One of the Will-Call reviews mentioned tea, and I could see that as well, it has some of the earthiness on late drydown that matcha can have. The bottle I have of this is a very, very low partial because at some point it spilled all over the others in this batch of protos. You can poke around the internet and find pics of these specific bottles (I got these three secondhand but Mochitsuki firsthand, long story) ...the labels on them over the Lab's labels are my handwriting because I helped clean up. 😂 September 13: Nightmare Brink (Map of Dreams/proto 2012) -- The source for this is the same as yesterday's scent. I said in my Will-Call review that it reminded me of Chaotic, and it still does, albeit without the sharp pungency of the wasabi. But I'm inclined to suspect a few musks (at the very least, brown) and some element that brings out a dried fruit scent as well as some woody notes, probably not sandalwood, but possibly cedar. Very, very late drydown I get something reminiscent of leather as well, but I don't think it's strong enough to be one of The Lab's actual leather notes, it's more like ... fruit leather. I know there's something fairly common that gives a leathery impression but isn't leather (like benzoin gives a vanillic impression but isn't actually vanilla) but I'm excruciatingly tired and can't remember what it is atm. ^^; September 14: Sea of Moon Dew (Map of Dreams/proto 2012) -- So I thought this was waxy when I initially sniffed it, but now, several years later, I think it's mostly florals. It has that particular funk that lilies, especially, have on my skin, plus some very shimmering musk, possibly white musk and/or skin musk. I still think there's a bit of white rose in here, as well as some other pale floral. It's very soft, dreamy, and almost misty. Late drydown is mostly a soft musk. It's not bad at all, but I actually like it more in the bottle than I do on my skin. Next up, I'll test the three that I have four scents from the actually released Land of Dreams collection. I'm missing Wake, but I have the others. Lol, actually, I do have Wake. I have a low partial instead of a decant. Friends, don't let your collection get like this. 😂 September 15: Sleep (Land of Dreams LE 2012) -- I poked my email archive to see what the Lab had to say about this release, and this is what I found: "As a preview for the upcoming addition to Somnium, we present the compass points of Sidney Sime's map of the Land of Dreams." But instead, a couple of things were DC'd and the expansion never happened. ^^; These were LE and have largely quietly vanished from the BPAL consciousness. I've got them, though, so I may as well wear them! This is almost entirely very herbal lavender on me. The zdravetz is present but not overwhelming, enhancing the herbaceousness and adding a bit of woodiness. After it fully dries down, a hint of the lotus sweetness and darker tobacco and vetiver slide in, but by and large, it's a cool, mellow woody lavender, not sweet at all, and very relaxing. I was already tired when I put it on (*after* work, like a sensible person) and I ended up snoozing out on the couch for a few hours. So, ah, I guess it works, though given my state prior, I'm not sure if that should be used as a metric. 😂 Judging by the amount I've used from this decant vs the other two, I'm guessing I must have worn it quite a bit for a while, but I'd be lying if I said I remembered it. This is not that unusual for me with sleep scents, however, since they're there primarily to assist in going to sleep so I don't pay as much attention to the experience of wearing them as I do those that I wear for the scent. I should have a bottle of Sopor, the recent TAL sleep scent, in the mail & arriving Friday (along with a number of other things, hooray!) so I'll be curious to see how that one does for me. :3 Wellllllllll...my Lab order(s -- it was three combined >_>;; ) arrived today instead of tomorrow. Soooo.... I'm going to let 'em rest a bit and finish this series and then it'll be a few new things. :3 (In case you were curious, Sopor, sniffed fresh outta the mailbox, smells approximately halfway between TKO and Sleep. It's sweeter than Sleep, but less so than TKO and much more herbal. Also, there's a ton of lavender buds and other small plant bits in my bottle. ) September 16: Dream (Land of Dreams LE 2012) -- This one's interesting. It starts with a burst of very fresh lavender, but that fades fairly quickly and it rapidly becomes a warm, fascinating, incense-like scent. If I sniff extremely hard, I can still smell a little lavender, but otherwise, it's buried under the other notes. The rose and white musk are purely assists here, I can only tell the rose is there because I obsess about it. I looked up shamama attar and found that it's a bit of a trade secret, apparently, each place that produces it does so with slightly different ingredients. There's a pretty neat article about it here on Fragrantica (login needed) but other articles mentioned the same thing. But it's definitely a part of this scent, giving it a much more musky aura than the rest of the notes would indicate. I wore it during the day, so I can't say if it might result in odd dreams, but it's a very pleasant scent, lasts quite a long time, and is very fragrant. I can still smell it (5+ hours later) wafting off my wrists as I type. September 17: Nightmare (Land of Dreams LE 2012) -- Hm. I do not especially like this one at first. It's very sharp on me, with thick, almost syrupy background. As it dries it gets nicer, the resins start coming up and softening it considerably. Late drydown the champaca takes over. It's fine, but not something I'm likely to seek out more of in the future. The lavender in this is quite mellow and chills in the background here; I never even get the burst like I did with Dream. Decent wear time, low to moderate throw. September 18: Wake (Land of Dreams LE 2012) -- I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but man, I really do not like tuberose. 😂 It's thick, unpleasantly waxy (not like beeswax, like paraffin), and just so gross on my skin. And this, despite a very bright poppy beginning featuring a lot of citrus and a good hit of mint, goes strong on the tuberose for me. I wore it for a couple of hours, wrinkling my nose every time I caught a whiff, and after that, as it started to fade, I covered it up with something else. Tuberose smells fab on my bestie, however, so I will be passing this partial along to her to see if she likes it. September 19: Drow Yoga Instructor -- I picked up this bottle and imps of all the rest of the new RPG releases, even the ones I'm pretty sure I won't like (*coughbeholderoptician*), but this one especially because my current D&D character is a Drow Druid. :3 V. soft boy, very adorable, and this scent suits him pretty well. It's going to be even better after it's had time to mellow out a bit, but even right now, I like this quite a bit. It's got a big, dark lavender waft that you think is going to steamroller everything else, but then it recedes and a pleasantly tart plummy note pops up. After a while, the sandalwood incense starts to dominate the scent, but it's so mellow about it, it's lovely. The whole experience is indeed very calming, chill, and meditative, very faded purple in tone. I feel very comfortable wearing it, like I'm in my comfiest pants getting ready to chill out. Zero regrets on buying a full bottle of this untested. September 20: Drider Crossing Guard -- When I was in high school-ish, I had a solid perfume from a mall shop -- Garden Botanika maybe? -- that was primarily plum, pomegranate, and some spicy notes. I loved it a lot. ...You can see where this is going. (almost) I love the way this smells in the vial, and hate the way it smells for the first half-hour or so on my skin. The plum is very commercial, like plum-scented candles, and a little too sweet, and the pepper is giving me a reason to call it a note I dislike. But then, after that time has passed, suddenly it's a dead ringer for that solid perfume (which I still had until quite recently, I'm embarrassed to say). I'm not going to lie and say I suddenly absolutely adore it, as black pepper is still a note I'm not super-fond of on my skin. But I like it a lot more, and huffed happily until it faded out completely after about six hours. Will I buy a bottle, probably not. Am I weirdly happy to have this imp? Yeah, you bet I am. September 21: Kobold Barista -- Oh, this one needs aging. It's an already an earthy coffee and spices, but I'm betting a little time will give it a lot more heft and throw. It smells like the grounds at the bottom of a cup of spiced espresso, no sugar, no milk. Very nice. If I liked wearing coffee perfumes more I'd jump all over it, but I have a few others already and I rarely wear them because most of them smell just a bit odd on me. I like this, though, and if you feel sad about missing some of the LE coffee scents like Bah! or The Turkish Village, or find the shisha in Café Mille et une Nuits to be too much, this may just be your cup of quality espresso. September 22: Lizardfolk Park Ranger -- This is really nice. The sniff from the vial was not overly exciting, mostly a foresty scent like many other BPAL foresty scents, but on my skin, the various woody and leafy notes really bloom, and especially the hazelnut, which I really enjoy in Blackbear Moon, and the mossy notes. As it dries, the other notes take turns being stand-outs, and the stone note, which I generally do not like, stays muted and soft, like a moss-covered stone. I feel like I should pull out Theoi Nomioi to compare notes with this, but IIRC that one doesn't have the lovely nuttiness that this does and is more purely forest. This gives an excellent sense memory of being a kid and getting into mischief while on family vacations to the North Cascades National Park, so I'd say it feels like a good scent for the name. Lasts quite a long time and has a mild-to-moderate throw. IDK if I'll get a bottle, since I have Blackbear and Theoi, but ... It's really good, and if I didn't have them (and Wolf Moon, and Oborot, and...), I'd scoop it up. It's an excellent addition to the GC, and very worth a try if you like these kinds of scents. September 23: Bugbear Doula -- I'm kind of torn on this one. Part of me wants to like it and the other part is like, 'ew'. It reminds me a bit of some of the Metamorphosis (Butterflies & Moths, various years) blends, a couple of the Sasquatch blends, or even some of the Mad Tea Party. It's interesting. Ah, I know why it reminds me of Metamorphosis -- Paper Kite has angelica in it. Anyway, this is interesting. The motherwort is very bitter -- I've never smelled it fresh, only as a tea, but it's not really a note I'd ever have wanted as a perfume? -- and a little earthy. The angelica is brighter, along with the tea, which has that slightly citric acid-like note I associate with white tea on my skin. The chamomile is mild and brings a pleasant fruit-adjacent aspect, and the furry notes blend it all together in similar ways to Lady Cecily, though in a milder way. Later drydown is very mild and furry. The overall effect is very soothing and comforting and I find it very, very gently repellent. 😂 It's a very pleasant scent, but I don't like it. I'll give it some time and a few more tests before flinging this imp at someone else, but right now: 🙃. September 24: Beholder Optician -- AHhahahahahahaa I hate this. 😂 I was pretty sure it would smell more or less fine in the vial and like hairspray and strawberry hard candy on my skin and I was completely correct. It's definitely translucent, it's not a thick or dense smell at all. On someone else or possibly to someone else's nose, this is probably lovely. On me and for me, aw hell no. ...Yep, hairspray and strawberry hard candy, the kind that's very smooth and shiny and clear, not the opaque kind that has a chewy center. ...Please excuse, I'm just going to go wipe this one off my skin. September 25: Tiefling Therapist -- This really reminds me of a new age store that I used to frequent during high school. Like, really reminds me of it. They usually had incense of various types burning in various corners of the shop, which was very clean and brightly lit, and the scents blended together into a peculiarly bright incense with a hint of smoke, and that's what this is like on me. Very clean, very bright, weirdly safe despite the Satanist's bibles mingling with the books about angels and astrology. This therapist will listen to you with zero judgement, and has created a very safe, cozy space for their clients. There may be a hint of brimstone in the air, but after a while, it doesn't matter at all. You're in good hands. (Minimal throw, so-so longevity, but as it ages that will probably change. Those notes are built to last.) September 26: Sopor (TAL) -- Smells amazing, very lightly sweet lavender and chamomile and hops, plus a bit of additional soft woodiness. The vetiver sits low on my skin at first, but comes out more as the lighter herbal notes fade, until finally it's a beautiful earthy-almost-smoky scent with a bit of very soft lavender. It's very good. It doesn't make me sleepy at all, but once I get to sleep, I stay there, which is nice. I've been thinking of it as TKO++ because it's a little like TKO, but so much more. I've worn it to bed several times since I got it, and I'm pleased that I went straight for a bottle. As an additional note, there's quite a bit of plant matter floating in my bottle, mostly lavender buds, but bits of a few other things as well. The Lab warns for it with TALs pretty frequently, but this is the first time I've bought one that had this much. I think it's charming. :). September 27: This is a Perfume About My Dog Eating Peaches -- I picked up two from this year's DragonCon scents, this one and Fuzzy Sweater. Fuzzy Sweater will be waiting a while, quite a long while. But I wore this one today for a ...third time, I think, since I got it? It's a really lovely little perfume, the peach is mostly sweet and not very sweat on me, and otherwise smells pretty deliciously creamy and marshmallowy with a bit of a tangy nibble. I'm pretty happy I elected to pick up this bottle. Also, the photo is adorable. I keep calling it a lot of different things: Peach Doggo, Peach-Dog Perfume, Dog Eats Peaches (news at 11!), etc. ^w^ Longevity is medium, throw is minimal on me. Late drydown is just a sweet haze. September 28: Bliss -- I'm on vacation so I grabbed a couple of random GC imps I've gotten recently in Lab orders. Both are things I've tried and felt neutral about in the past, but figured why not, I'll try them again. This batch of Bliss smells more like cocoa powder, to me, really good cocoa powder. However, on my skin, it goes a bit sharp, then a bit tart, and then a bit waxy, like perfectly acceptable but sort of cheap chocolate. As it dries the powder aspect comes back, until after about an hour, it smells more like it does in the vial. I can't help compare it to some of the thicker, richer chocolate scents I own, and here Bliss comes up lacking. It does have a reasonably powerful throw, but only moderate longevity and very little depth. It definitely gives me SN vibes. I do have chocolate SNs, both absolute and accords, from other companies, and they're not quite the same as this, but the absolute has certain similarities that make me think that there is a bit of chocolate absolute in Bliss, but it's softened by other components, possibly a milk or cream note, since those not infrequently smell a bit dusty on me. Anyway, lovely scent, but my skin chem laughs at it a bit. I still wouldn't buy a bottle. September 29: ...I was just wondering where my migraine was, and now it is here. 😐 I've got meds with me so it should pass, but bleh. September 30: Goblin — The migraine subsided suspiciously easily compared to my recent experiences, but I’m not complaining. This fresh Goblin on me is mostly barely sweetened patchouli, very thick and a bit funky. The coconut is similar to the one in Tiki King, but I like that one more than this. …idk, this is just fine for me, not great, not awful, just okay. I like it a lot more with the added spicy-sweet gingerbread note. It’s got decent lasting power & a bit of throw, but it’s mostly patch after a fairly short time. Nine months down, now it’s time to see if I can manage (or stand) a whole month of Weenies. I have enough scents to do it, even with the ones I’ve already worn, but can I live with one theme for 31 days? Let’s find out!
  8. windbourne

    January

    I figure I might as well paste the previous three months in for continuity. -- Jan 1: Winter-Time ‘10 — my perfect snow scent. It’s all rain here right now, but I remember one day a few years ago where I walked out in the weather right before the flakes started coming down, and the air smelled just like this. Jan 2: The Shadowy and the Sublime — This came out in a year where there was a Will-Call in my area, and I disliked it at first, but I kept coming back to sniff it, and eventually, test it, and the drydown hit me in the best way, so I ordered a bottle. The name matches it perfectly; it is both shadowy and sublime. Jan 3: Beaver Moon ‘05 — One of my oldest bottles, and the only Beaver Moon I bought secondhand. It still smells like cheesecake-y cupcakes, even fifteen years on, though it seems a little fainter than I remember. I have a couple of bottles of Beaverversary lurking around as well, but this one’s the original, cobalt-bottled deal. Jan 4: Mother Shub’s Stygian Nougat — Gosh, I haven’t worn this in ages. Nougat, honey, lavender, thyme, all present and still lovely. I used it as a sleep scent for quite a while until it got packed away during one move or another. I’m happy to see it again! Jan 5: Kourabiedes — I haven't eaten one in years now, but this perfume sure does take me back to being a kid while my grandparents were baking these particular cookies. I bought enough of the imp pack it came from to put together a full bottle, that's how much this one affected me. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. ;3 Jan 6: Neutral — I just really needed a soft, pleasant scent today. Jan 7: Humbug -- Vanilla licorice! It's so simple and so lovely. Licorice is a very divisive scent (and food!) but I enjoy it a lot and have quite a few licorice scents. Oddly, in sorting my collection the other day, I noticed that a large percentage of them are either Yule or BPTP or, like this one, both. Jan 8: Give Me Thy Breath, My Sister -- I can't explain to you how much I love this oddball scent. The combination of almost-powdery sweetness and intense, damp, almost musty greenery is just beautiful. It improves my mood immediately when I wear it, and I love that the inspiration was caring for carnivorous plants. Jan 9: Blackbear Moon -- I've had two black cats, and this precious beast always reminds me of putting my face in their soft little bellies and huffing. I have two bottles and they are very dear to me. It's also got crazy longevity on me -- I'm putting it on before bed, but I know from past experience that it'll still be quite strong in the morning. Jan 10: (I really wanted to wear a scent from a different company today, so I did. ^^; Some days you just have particular things you want to wear, and Arcana's Love was it for yesterday.) Jan 11: White Rose (BPTP '09) -- I'm really on a binge of soft, pretty, or comforting scents lately. I bought the pair, but I've been more likely to wear White Rose alone, whereas Red Rose I pretty much only wear layered with its companion. I really love BPAL's white rose scents & I have quite a lot of them, but this is one of my faves. Jan 12: The Vine -- A lovely, rich, sweet pear scent, probably my favorite of the several I've tried. It's gotten a bit denser over the years, and almost smells more like pear jam or something similar to me. I first tried this one at a Will-Call as well, and bought it as soon as the Lupers went live that year. Jan 13: Love in the Asylum -- It's very stormy tonight, so again I went with something soothing, in a way. It's a softer scent than you'd think, based on the notes. (two roses, tolu balsam and ambergris with vanilla, labdanum, tobacco leaf, carnation and tonka) -- I got this ....in a blog sale, I think? Or something similar. I like it a lot; it bears some small resemblance to White Rose, but I'd call them more distant cousins than immediate family. Jan 14: Huesos de Santo '08 -- I've gone through one and a half bottles of this one because it's one of the very few scents I can wear always and anytime. ❤️ Jan 15: Bah! -- I went through a phase where I desperately wanted All The Coffee Scents, so this was what I was hoping for from that Inquisition. (I bought Humbug secondhand later.) I miss the Inquisitions; there was something fun about not knowing exactly what you were going to get until you got it, though I always wrote something that indicated which I wanted and always got that one. Jan 16: Bones Trombone -- This occupies a very strange place in my collection. I don't like clowns, I don't usually like lemon, and at the time, I wasn't really sure about blueberry, either. But I do like things that combine sweet and green, and this hits that right on the clown nose, plus a big hit of tart & bitter. I only have a half-bottle, because I waffled over it too long when that series was live, but I do dig it out and wear it every so often. Like today. Jan 17: Pinched With Four Aces -- I was poking around in my stash of older April Fool's decants and discovered that I have a 3/4 full decant of this that I don't remember acquiring. This says something about my collection, probably. It was one I was sure I'd never be able to find, but at some point, I clearly did. O_o; It's real nice, though, woody cinnamon with just a half-hint of sweetness. Jan 18: The Bear Prince '15 -- I blind-bottled this one when it came out because I love rose, snow, and fur notes, but I feel like it's one that is more than the sum of its parts. It's only gotten more beautiful and long-lasting as it's aged. Jan 19: Door -- Chamomile and honey. That's what's going in my teacup today, and that's what's on my wrists. I just gotta chill. Jan 19.5: Valse Finale et Apothèose -- Door lasts forever on me. It's mostly faded after about 10 hours, though there's still a hint of cistus and honey if I sniff closely, but I want something new, so I'm following it up with something related to it, to my nose. Valse lacks the herbal notes, but makes up for it by being twice as sweet, with more honey and apple blossom. Good for sweet dreams, hopefully. Jan 20: Take A Knee — I bought this at Will-Call in 2019. It’s one of the few apple scents I enjoy wearing. Jan 21: Hanami -- This was one of the two bottles in my very first Lab-direct order in 2008 (The other was Spider!). The description -- A scent of peace, reflection, and renewal of the spirit: sakura, ume blossoms, and wisteria -- was what I wanted to feel like today. Jan 22: Gy**y (Moth) -- Still one of the best cardamom scents I own. It's just beautiful, sweet and simple and gently musky. Jan 23: Lump of Coal '19 -- I wanted something thick, sticky, sweet, and CHOCOLATE. So, Lump of Coal. I don't have an oven at the moment, or I'd actually be making brownies. Jan 24: No. 93 Engine -- I feel like I've been wearing a lot of Yules/Winter, so I pulled out an old GC fave. I was genuinely startled when it showed up in the Tournament of Underdogs, because it's just so gorgeous. ^_^; I ordered another bottle to age with my Winter order. ;3 Jan 25: Lán Yuèliàng -- Something very new for a change. While Luna Azul remains my uncontested top Blue Moon variation, this one's not bad. Jan 26: Aoede, Melete, Mneme -- Man, this is so good. I got a decant hoping I'd like it and immediately turned around and went for a full bottle. It's like a smooth, rich, melted caramel, but grounded and just a little earthy. Jan 27: Bite Me -- I'm in such a foodie mood right now. ^^; Give me all the pastries and candy and cookies! This one's interesting in that it's got a very floral impression that you wouldn't expect from the notes. But it dies down after a little while and I'm left with light almondy pastry cream and a hint of caramel. ...Time to go eat dinner. Jan 28: The Ifrit -- This bottle's from '08 at the latest and it's so dry and so spicy and so good. I've been wearing too much sugar lately, which feel both seasonal and also like a very necessary comfort move. But I think I'll continue this habit on into February at least, so I should start branching out further into my collection. :3 Jan 29: Blood Moon '05 -- Spicy & cool is another thing I like a lot in a perfume, and this one is exactly that. It's foresty and mellow, but definitely has some cinnamon to brighten it up, and it gets sweeter on drydown. Jan 30: El dia de Reys '07 -- Back on my sweets kick. ;} This was one of my very first BPAL chocolatey loves! It's come back a few times, and I think I still have a decant of at least one other year lurking somewhere in my stash, but for me, the first one is the best one, and the only one I have a full bottle of. It's almost boozy on me, but I'm pretty sure that's just the brown sugar doing that thing it does. Jan 31: Snow, Glass, Apples -- I did it. A full month, noting what I wore every day! Tomorrow's my birthday, and I felt like wearing something special for the end of January. So, this little cobalt bottle. Still smells like sexy vampire apples, even over a decade from first release. It's not the kind of perfume I gravitate towards, but I'm glad I have it and I'm glad I kept it all this time.
  9. windbourne

    August

    New month, new perfumes! August 1: ....starting tomorrow, hopefully. This month starts with a migraine, which is very not awesome. Hopefully it'll be gone by tomorrow. v_v; August 2: Arrival at the Sabbath and Homage to the Devil -- Feeling better (heck yeah, sumatriptan), jumping back in with a couple more Salons before heading back to bats. ^-^! On me, this one is a moderately sweet but mostly sandalwood and patchouli with a bit of lightly powdery iris that gets stronger as it dries. It starts pretty sticky, but that dials wayyyy back after a relatively short amount of time, letting the woodier notes come through. I'm pretty sure there are a few batch variations for this one, since I had a decant of it that was much sweeter and more caramel-heavy. I bought this right after the discontinuation announcement came through along with most of the rest of my Salons, so it's about nine years old or so. I'm pretty satisfied with how it's aged! August 3: Itasô Kansei Nenkan Jorô No Fûzoku -- Soft, lightly fruity in the way that osmanthus & hibiscus can be, a little (but not too) sweet, a little tart, curiously not especially distinct on my skin. It's not exactly a skin scent, but it's not far from it. Like, I can tell I'm wearing perfume, but it almost slides past my attention. Very odd. No throw to speak of, lasts ??? amount of time because I wore it to work and it wore off sometime during the day. I think I'd end up describing it as a slightly bitter floral, which doesn't sound all that appealing but is somehow nice. I think this is a 'my skin' thing, because I put it on my SO and it was much more noticeable! On him, the osmanthus is much peachier and the whole thing is sweeter. ...It's not very him, but it's nicer than it is on me. August 4: Cupid Complaining to Venus -- I honestly thought I'd worn this one already, but I went all the way back, and I hadn't written it up. This doesn't actually mean I haven't worn it, since I do pretty frequently wear multiple scents in a day, but still, what an oversight. 😂 This is one of my favorite Salons, despite containing multiple notes that have turned other blends into sadness on me. The notes are: apple blossom, fig, white peach, honey absolute, red sandalwood, and wild thyme. On my skin it is a faintly herbal-tinged and slightly sandalwoody peach, very ripe and sweet. Drydown brings the sandalwood and fig out more. I can see, through the weartime, comparisons that have been made to both Les Bijoux and Eden (though Eden has a strong coconut note that makes it very different, the fig notes are similar). Blessedly, the apple blossom is only really noticeable for a brief period of time, since that's a note I don't like much, and the peach never turns sweaty, which is a problem I've had with a few other peachy scents. I really like the way the thyme affects the scent as a whole -- it makes me want to eat some kind of pastry with peaches and a little thyme in it. Fruity and savory is a combo I like pretty well on occasion. This perfume lasts all day on me, but after it dries fully the throw is very mild. I wore it to work and no one commented in particular, but while I was checking my mail before work, I could definitely smell it as I typed. The other distinction this bottle has is that it is one of maybe two or three Lab bottles that has leaked on me. Based on observations of the others, I'm pretty sure that the problem lies in a faulty cap. Oil gets in underneath the seal when I roll or tilt it prior to application and can then potentially slowly leak out through the threads. Luckily every bottle I've observed this on is a permanent resident of my collection, and it's an easy fix. All I need to do is buy new caps! I wouldn't say I've ever lost more than a few drops from any bottle like this. Wandcaps on the other hand. =_=; I've received very messy bottles in swaps because of wandcaps. Don't ship with wandcaps. This has been a psa? ^^; August 5: Sunrise with Sea-Monsters -- (yes, there are two links, one to a larger picture of the painting, and one to the wiki page where they talk about it) Last Salon for now. I like this. I like the name, I like the painting, I like the scent ...but I don't love it. I like the salt and ocean mist and general experience of wearing it, but I'd like it so much more without the freesia. 😅 The pear is very light, more like what gets described as pear (and may actually be pear) in scents like Empyreal Mist, and the amber is barely there, just giving the scent a hint of almost-resin and sweetness. Then there's the freesia and osmanthus. The clean floral notes do their level best to murder this scent into something very fresh and bright and commercial on my skin. After a while they leave, and it's back to salt and kelp, and, eventually, just ambergris. Every time I wear it, my feelings go like this: mmm, GYERK, mmmmm. I really do enjoy ocean scents, but sticking a wreath of spring florals on a sea monster results in a slightly peculiar experience for me. August 6: Coconut Meat SN -- Thought I'd give my nose a little rest and pull out some scents that take simple to the apex -- single notes. I don't actually like SNs that much as I have a very strong preference for my scents to have a story behind them, but I do own a few mostly out of curiosity for what the Lab's versions of things smell like alone. I rarely layer my perfumes so that purpose is nil for me, but sometimes there is something calming in putting on something this base level. This one is extremely low-throw, with a weartime of usually less than an hour, and is just the odor of coconut meat, diluted in oil and bottled. Several of the reviews mention that it smells oily to them, but fresh coconut does have a bit of that aspect to it! It can be unctuous, almost buttery, depending on the freshness and the quality. (Whole Foods often has it in the cut fruit case in my area; I buy it now and then because I haven't got the energy to take a drill and hammer to a whole one myself anymore. XD). It's not a dried coconut flake scent, and it doesn't smell like a baked good to me. It's not that sweet and it's much milder. I don't wear it very often, but I do take it out and sniff it from time to time because it's such a nostalgic scent for me. August 7: King Mandarin SN ('13) -- Smells like my fingers after peeling a satsuma/mandarin/clementine/etc. Poor longevity, but it's big, bright, and beautiful while it lasts. Fun fact: I have no idea where I got this, which means I probably got it via Will-Call (no email receipts if I bought it there), but if I did, it should be full, and it's not. Did it evaporate somehow? Did I decant a bunch out and forget about it? Did I buy a partial at some point and can't remember/don't have email records of it? Was it a partial frottle from someone? Who knows?? August 8: (Iranian) Galbanum SN -- Getting into the deeper stuff now. I adore this one beyond measure. It's so green and faintly musty and weird! There's a slight aspect of cut greenery, a little sap-like, but it's not bright, instead it's a bit dirty. It almost tickles the nose. As it wears, it starts smelling more dried, a little more grassy. There's something almost licorice root-like to it, not quite sweet, but adjacent and a little woody. Unlike the fruity SNs, this one sticks around for a long time. I definitely got this one at a Will-Call, and the reviews reflect my experience sniffing this there. It's a nose-wrinkler for a lot of people, but if you like it, there's a good chance that you really like it. August 9: Golgothan Myrrh SN -- Smoooth not-quite spicy resinousness, sticks around forever, and you can smell it across the room. It's aged into something deep and fragrant, with hints of leather, floral, and citrus without actually being anything other than itself. I've seen it a number of times over the years, and I always find the comparison of myrrh to cola interesting, so this time I sniffed it with that specifically in mind, and I can kind of see it. It's not a connection I would make myself without prompting, but I can see the similarities to a cola syrup. Did I actually need a bottle of this, given how many myrrh scents I own? No, probably not. Do I ever wear it instead of one of those many, many scents? No, I rarely do. But I love it anyway and I sniff it on the regular. August 10: TKO -- I'm so tired. It's time to toss on an old tried-and-true and pass directly out. If you've never tried TKO, it's a soft but powerful lavender & sweet vanilla or possibly marshmallow blend, it does what you'd expect it to, and it lasts a surprisingly long time while also having a moderate-to-monstrous throw, depending on temperature, where you apply it, and how much you use. August 11: Frankincense & Ginger Root -- Got a bunch of decants in, so I'm going to sample a few of those while I'm still in simplicity mode. This one is has a lovely bitey ginger note backed up by a smooth golden frankincense. I really like both notes, and together they're quite pleasant. I get just a hint of snap in my nose if I sniff my wrist very deeply, but it's not so much that it feels overwhelming. After a while the scent becomes sweeter and sweeter, without ever losing the ginger completely. Eventually it reminds me of rooty candied ginger, even more than Balancing the Sake Cup, which has an actual candied ginger note listed. I like that one more, so I probably won't go for a bottle of this, but it's pretty nice. August 12: Burnt Sugar & Blackberry -- Both of these notes fall into the category of 'notes I would love to love but rarely do.' They both reliably do weird things on my skin and, to no particular surprise, together they are a little funky. This turns very sour and smells like burning sugar, rather than burnt sugar and I do not love it. Late drydown is a little bit like cotton candy, but that doesn't really save the rest of the scent for me. Blackberries in general are awkward for me -- I've tried a lot of scents with that note and almost all of them go wrong, though interestingly, not all in the same way! Sometimes they're uber-tart, and sometimes they smell candy-like and artificial. The ones that have been better have mostly featured baked good notes (MB: Closet, for example) or the berry has been a very minor part of the scent. Curiously, I do love blackberry-scented bath goods! It's just my skin that turns the perfumes into ??? why this ???. 😂 August 13: 13 (8/10) -- I mean, why not! It's this bottle's birthday, after all! ^__^! ...And I'm the first review on it, even, pfft. It's got a bit more chocolate at the outset than it did when I reviewed it, but afterwards it goes pretty much the same. It's really nice! I love the way the bright peppery notes have aged with the honey. The champaca's calmed down a lot, though it definitely pops up in later drydown along with the tobacco. Still a very good Thirteen in my book. I do wonder a bit if there's not some lotus hidden in the thirteen notes (only eight are listed, after all) because of the way this hits a particular sweet note that I've started associating with lotus after trying a number of scents that contain it. August 14: Buck Moon '21 -- So... peeping the reviews is a wild ride, considering the notes. 😂 I was pretty curious and glad I'd gotten a decant rather than just ordering a bottle. I love. Buck Moon '05, and this is not very much like it. That Buck Moon is musky and leafy and musky. This one starts out nutty, in some ways pretty similar to Blackbear Moon (which is one of my long-time forever loves) and then goes musky, woodsy, and furry, with none of the cooler notes that I would have expected to pop up. It isn't smoky, either. It ends up a pleasant, soft musky waft, vaguely forest-ish, but with no specific notes that jump out. It's fine, but between a mostly full bottle of '05 and two bottles of Blackbear, I think I'm good. This sits pretty much squarely between the two and they, respectively, beat it on all levels. Throw is soft but present and longevity is good. August 15: Glass Eye (American Gods) -- This is perfect for days when you want to smell like a slightly sinister new age or gothic goods store, the kind that does sage smudges regularly and also has dried leaves all over the floor, where the owner is extremely sweet and kind but there's a semi-constant aura of smoke around the space. ... I realized while I was typing this up that this reminds me exactly of a shop precisely like that in my city. I was there not long ago and ...yep, that's Glass Eye. No wonder I like it so much! I mean, I'm partial to most of the notes anyway, but I hadn't recognized the nostalgia factor here until just now. Beautiful. Throw isn't strong, but it is aromatic, and it doesn't last more than a couple of hours before vanishing. I got this as part of a decant circle, but I also added a bottle to my most recent Lab order, if that says anything. August 16: Media (American Gods) -- It's been a little bit of a struggle to pick a BPAL because I just got in some really wonderful things from other companies and I keep wanting to wear them. That said, this is absolutely a scrubber for me. It smells like you'd expect it to -- super-mainstream, almost hyper-mainstream, like something you'd spritz on at Sephora and idly sniff as you wander around the aisles and then just forget what you put on -- it could have been any one of a hundred different things. It lingers, but not in a distinctive way, in a pretty, kind of inoffensive way that makes my skin crawl. What's worst for me is that the vial leaks, so if I'm not very careful about keeping it upright, it gets all over my desk and it does have a pretty potent throw. I want to swap or sell it but I'll have to decant it into a different vial first. I have no idea how long it actually lasts because I've attempted it three times and washed it off after thirty-forty minutes every time. ....at least it doesn't give me a headache? 🤔 (Yet.) To be a little more concrete about how it smells: it's an aldehydes-and-floral bomb like thousands of others. It smells both indistinct and extremely fixed, with a hint of ozone and maybe calone? It's very fresh and bright and clean. To reiterate: I hate it. I respect it, but this is the opposite of what I want to wear on a daily basis. August 16: Bonus scent -- For Strange Women Mint Tea Undersea -- (spearmint, matcha, mugwort, kombu [a type of seaweed], oceanic elements, yuzu -- this is an edt, not an oil) I don't like spearmint usually, but this is wonderful, very vegetal-minty and not at all toothpaste-minty, vivid and bright with a pleasantly salty undertone that grows over time until it's a salty, seaweed-y scent with a bright undertone. It's all-natural, so the lasting power isn't the greatest, maybe an hour, but I don't mind reapplying often. I love the slight earthy grassiness of the matcha and the way this scent shifts on my skin. August 17: Self-Portrait -- Today I opened up a random drawer in my BPAL collection and pulled out an almost-random (the first one was something I've already posted about this year) perfume. And here we are. Once again, I'm the first review on the post, and I don't have a whole lot to add to it. It's remained pretty steady for eight years and change. Maybe a little more towards powdery, but I don't mind that. Still sweetly soft honey dust with light florals and some very fluffy orris. The throw has increased quite a bit over time, though, and it wears for a long time, so aging has produced a couple of improvements, at least. August 18: The Crossed Keys -- Somehow this is sweeter than I expected it to be. 🤔 I don't get anything stony at all from this bottle (I am not a big fan of BPAL's stone accord, so I'm happy it isn't there). It smells like bright powdery not-quite-floral honey, soft, mellow resins, and a light undertone of barely-there sandalwood that gets stronger as it wears. It doesn't have a lot of throw, though it might get better with time, and late drydown is just light sandalwood and a bit of dust. I'm giving this bottle a few months of time to mellow to see if it becomes a bit more distinct, but this chappie might be destined for swaps. August 19: Sumatran Red Patchouli SN -- Inspired by conversation on Discord, I pulled this guy out of hiding today. It's a dense, woody patchouli at first, but ...I gotta agree with a number of the reviews, there's something very rosy about it, though to me it doesn't actually smell like a rose or like there's rose in it, but it is rosy, especially once it's dried. It's a neat trick. It's definitely a strong patch, no confusing it for anything else, though brighter and a little tarter than the black patch. I'm not a massive fan of patchouli, but this is a lovely iteration of it, it lasts for a very long time, and has a strong but not overwhelming throw. It's very ...idk. I feel cozy when I wear it in a way I don't usually associate with this note. (ETA: 12 hours after application it was still going strong. Guaahhhhhh.....) August 20: A Thought from Propertius (Luper '13) -- I needed something light after yesterday, so I poked around until I lit on this one. It's very simple, the notes are: Sweet honey, white apricot, and a touch of cayenne pepper. On me, it's mostly honey, with just a tiny kick of cayenne. The apricot is softer than many BPAL apricots, a little less tangy; it doesn't start to stand out until it's mostly dry, and vanishes extremely quickly, leaving only the vaguest hint of fruitiness to the honey and still-very-background spice. It kind of reminds me of somewhat old fruit-scented dolls in a way, though I don't think I ever had one that was apricot, but it has that fugitive quality that they got after a while. It sticks around for quite a long time, but it whispers instead of yelling. "Lightly spiced honey" is my three word review. August 21: Pink Snowballs 2011 -- Let's Yule for a few days. I'm feeling it. This is such a cute perfume, all soft pink petals and delicate icy snow with a tiny hint of vanilla that pops up after it dries. It's a little bit more than Snow White + rose, but not a lot, and by-and-large does exactly what the notes would make you think it does. I have a very low partial of this, plus a decant lurking somewhere, and I will never need more than that. Mild throw, moderate longevity, great for when you want something mild, adorable, and a little frilly. August 22: Yule Cookies -- Soft, mostly sweet, but with a big hit of caraway that makes me think more of loaves than of cookies. Something in this is playing up as smoky on my skin which is fascinating. I like it, but it's not very distinct to my nose; it feels very airy and that's not what I'm generally looking for in a gourmand perfume. It does develop a surprisingly powerful throw over time, though, mostly cream cheese frosting and a bit of orange and ginger. It's a little weird; I feel nearly anosmic to it when I sniff my wrist, but I'm also floating in a cloud of the memory of cookies (and one loaf of rye bread). August 23: Yellow Snowballs -- A pop of mint followed immediately by creamy citrus. I'm not a huge fan of what lemon does on my skin a lot of the time, and this is not an exception. I feel like the citrus has faded some over the years as well; I remember it being a bit sharper when it was newer. At this point, this reminds me a bit of what you'd get if you took Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat and threw it in a snowdrift. As it dries, I definitely experience the dryer sheets effect, and weirdly, that makes it feel warmer and sort of cuddly for me, like, fresh from the dryer towels or, yes, sheets. I feel like I might really like this as a room spray? 🤔 It gets stronger for a couple of hours, peaking ~2.5 hours and then wanes fairly quickly. August 24: Mrs. Grose — Spiced rose tea, very classic, simple, and elegant. Not too strong, but with better throw & longevity than Harlot. August 25: Peter Quint -- Soft, worn leather, warm ambergris, and a big hit of peppery bay laurel, with a bit of balsam that hovers in the sappy gap between pine and vanilla. It gets a bit sweet and spicy as it goes, but after it's been on for a few hours it's almost entirely a mild ambergris, because that's what that note does on me. I've worn both of my Turn of the Screw scents from full to the neck down to the shoulder; I like them both immensely. Neither is overwhelming, and both are just barely more than skin scents and yet have excellent longevity which makes them more versatile for me than many of my other stronger leather or rose scents. Neither is weak, however -- they both feel like they've been made with the intention to feel ...idk, ghostly? They're both very much present! on! my! skin! but they're very chill and sit back and let me be the only person who can smell them. I didn't try any of the others from that series because the notes didn't appeal to me, but I do wonder if they had some of the same effect. August 26: Lines Written Among the Euganean Hills -- This was a favorite of mine from the first year of new Yules I experienced, 2008. Wearing this now, several years later (and I'm pretty sure I haven't worn this in multiple years, sheesh) is interesting because of how both my tastes and the scent has changed. In the bottle, it's got a very distinct whiff of pine, and I remember it being much more wintry and green, but now on my skin it's mostly berries and skin musk with a background of pale woods. There have been phases where the white amber was really too strong for me, but it's mellowed a lot. I can tell it's there, but it's light. The throw has diminished a bit, as well. As an experiment I dabbed a bit of this on a piece of paper, and the snowy woods were much stronger there, and much more like the bottle, so I think my skin is wrecking this a bit at the moment. :< It does do that at certain times of my hormonal cycle (see also: Ivanushka and the way it smells like pickles on me sometimes), and I usually stick to gourmand perfumes during that phase. I'm not in any danger of offloading this due to pleasant nostalgia, but I'm definitely digging it out again in a couple of weeks. Relatedly, I'm starting to feel that migraine sensation in the right side of my head and neck, so the next two-three days may be a no perfume zone. >_<;; August 27: Yep. August 28: I slept all day except for getting up to eat something and take a sumatriptan. 🙃 It was no bueno. Buuuut I woke up really late feeling better, so here's a very brief after-midnight perfume snoof. -- Snow-Flakes '06 -- Almost exactly the same as Snow White initially, but it makes a divergence once it dries, taking it into the territory covered by Winter-Time. This lives an ephemeral life directly between those two scents. It's definitelyone of the Lab's mentholic winter snow scents, but it's cooler than SW and warmer than W-T. It doesn't have a lot of throw, but it lasts a surprisingly long time. August 29: I grabbed a decant from the wrong company. ^^; I'm really enjoying it and I don't want to wash it off, so from Astrid Perfumes: Afterglow (Sage, amber, dry wood, vetiver, Argentine lemon, lavender, vanilla, and a whisper of velvety musk) -- This is from her Lemon Summer III collection. I'm not generally very big on lemon perfumes, but Astrid's sold me on them before, so I ordered a few decants from Ajevie. This is bright and warm, with a little bite from the lemon and a lot of softness from the rest of the notes. After the lemon mellows out, I'm left with a pleasantly dry, gently sweet (but not sugary-sweet, more amber-sweet) fragrance that melds into my skin. The sage drifts in and out, and the vetiver is very grassy rather than smoky and not harsh at all. After it dries fully, it does have just a hint of furniture polish (this is not unusual for me and lemon, especially when it's lemon + woods) but it isn't offensive. Overall a really pleasant, meditative scent. She's closed at the moment, but I'm contemplating ordering this when she's back, or possibly seeing if Ajevie has any leftovers when that time comes. ^-^; August 30: A Little Piece of Eternity -- I had a moment looking at the list of notes on this decant where I wondered why I didn't pick it up, either from Ajevie or direct from the Lab. Then I dabbed it on and was glad that I hadn't. So there's an older Weenie called Halloween: New Orleans that is river water, sweet olive (osmanthus), and Spanish moss, and I have a bottle of that and also most of a bottle of the matching atmo spray. It's mostly a hefty olive blossom and murky aquatic scent, with some moss on the drydown. This is extremely similar for the first hour or so, minus a tiny blip of orris that pops up at the beginning, vanishing for most of the rest of the weartime and then reappearing at the very end. The oak bark is very faint. Longevity and throw are both average. So ... this is pretty much identical to something I have quite a bit of and am not remotely in danger of running out of. It's nice to know that there's something that might be a little easier to find than another bottle of Halloween: NOLA if I ever manage to use it up, but otherwise, easy pass. August 31: Love and Sleep -- Ending the month with a random pull from my second Luper decant drawer. This is from 2014 and ... huh. It's actually beautiful. The notes are: Fig milk, vanilla, orchid, and ylang ylang. It's bright, gently floral scent with a warm milk vibe and very slight background figginess. Fig is a sometimes-note for me, in that sometimes it's a overly sweet, sticky mess and sometimes I really like it. This, I really like. It almost reminds me of a fig pudding I once had, if someone had decorated that pudding with an orchid and a ylang ylang blossom. After it dries, it becomes more distinctively tropical in feel, but it remains mellow and milky. I start to understand why I didn't buy a bottle about an hour in, when the fig starts taking over, and late-late drydown is a breath away from unpleasantly sweet, but by that point it's quite faint, so it hardly matters. It doesn't have a strong throw at any point, and fades quite quickly. It's very nice, but I'm pretty happy with just a decant. I might consider tossing it in some unscented lotion, actually. I think it would be a really lovely bath & body scent! ...Time to start September. 🐇🐇
  10. windbourne

    July

    July 1: Lycaon -- Well, honestly, I feel the same about this as I did in my review. An additional nine years of aging hasn't really changed it at all. It's still a myrrh party with hints of black musk and some additional woody notes. ...Yep. So, the reason I have all of these is ebay. I got very lucky in that someone was purging all of them in one lot about ten years ago. I have a bit of an emotional attachment to shapeshifters, and this set was running alongside the Lunacies for the year prior to when I got into BPAL, so I'd hunted a few decants and a couple of precious bottles, but that was an opportunity I could not pass up. So. Not quite two weeks of Lunacy-adjacent shapeshifter perfumes, all of which I've reviewed already in their respective threads. I'll be curious to see if my mind has changed about any of them. This one, though? Not at all. July 2: Bakeneko — Once again, my previous review is still pretty accurate. Spicy tea, brightened with cherry blossoms, that fades into cinnamusky tea. But this time, I’m really enjoying it. Sometime in the last several years I made peace with cherry blossom notes. n_n I still don’t get much citrus. The throw is considerable and mostly cinnamon tea, and it lasts for quite a long time. This is one of the two scents in this collection that I have more than one bottle of — I had one before I made the ebay purchase — so I’m glad I like it more now. July 3: Oborot -- Here's my review. My current impressions of it are still pretty similar. I'm not very big on foresty scents in general, though of course I have quite a few, but this is one of my very favorites. Something about the salt and moss and underlying delicate sweetness brings it into a beautiful place on my skin. I'm not entirely certain how the Greek Mountain tea flower fits in there -- I've drunk the tea many times, but I can't quite fit it into a perfume note. A little googling indicates that it may be adding a mild herbal note, maybe something reminiscent of sage. I can't recall it being used in anything else; I searched alternate names (sideritis, ironwort) and got nothing. This bottle is probably the one I've used the most out of all twelve because I find it very calming and used it quite a lot at work. July 4: Roux-Ga-Roux -- Ha! For once, my review is actually pretty different from how this is hitting me now. This time, it's a burst of soggy-but-fresh florals, followed by some stagnant water and heavy hickory. This is still a swamp beauty, deep and marshy and mossy, but it remains peppered with yellow and white flowers throughout the duration of the scent, and the wood never takes over. I was completely right about this one, it's much better in summer heat than it was in winter! It has better throw, it lasts longer, and whether the change from mostly woods and mosses on me is due to aging (me or the perfume? who can say? :P), I like it much better than I did at the time I reviewed it. Good times. July 5: Minotaur -- Review. I haven't changed my mind that much about this one, but I know a bit more about a couple of the notes involved now, specifically galbanum and tsori, which a bit of poking (and my nose!) seems to indicate is another name for balm of Gilead. Both of which are now notes I actively seek out, so if I didn't have this, I'd be despairing of ever finding a bottle. :3 It is still very dark, very resinous, and the galbanum is more of an undertone than its usual HI I'M GREEN (and a little funky) self. But holy cats, it's really good. Still very strong, still lasts forever, aahhh, I love it. ❤️ July 6: Tamamo-no-Mae -- So in my review I mentioned that I preferred the decant to the bottle(s, this is the other one I have two of) and contemplated force-aging one of them? ...Well. 😎 I did not do that, I just waited another nine years. It's softened up, the rice flower is more prominent, the sharpness has receded, and it's much, much sweeter. One thing that features in this that I don't recall seeing anywhere else is Amacha, which is apparently a type of naturally sweet tea made from fermented/processed hydrangea leaves. O_O! ...I have some on order now because I'm terribly curious. It's interesting noting that a lot of these do have notes that haven't shown up anywhere else in the catalogue. Black locust is another name for acacia, the 'white sandalwood kodo smoke' refers to a particular style of incense where the materials (usually woods or resins) are heated but not actually burned (though to be fair, in this I think it smells like white sandalwood and the rest is mostly flavor text. It may have been a particular accord or something that Beth sourced and hasn't had since, of course.). Anyway, long story short, this is boss and I'm happy I have it. Soft but toothy, gentle but insistent, good for feeling a little sexy, not too much throw but lasts a long time. Happy Tanabata! July 7: Selkie -- My review is all over the place, but still feels accurate to the way this smells on me now. Once again, this fragrance contains notes that are unique (as far as I can tell) within BPAL's enormous catalogue. Grass-of-Parnassus is a European wildflower that is said to have a distinctive honey-like scent. Sea Aster doesn't seem to have much of a fragrance looking at scientific sites, but the foliage seems to have a salty flavor, possibly related to the marshy saltwater areas it usually grows. I wasn't able to find a specific scent for Scottish Primrose, but primroses in general are slightly sweet, with some types smelling slightly citrus-like. We used to have primroses when I was a kid, but for the life of me I cannot remember them having a notable scent, though I do remember the texture of their petals. I don't get any fruitiness at all, but I do get a mild salty note. It's not beachy, either. True to the unique notes, I can't think of anything else that smells quite like this. Anyway. Long story short, for me this is a honey, clear salt water, and mild florals & foliage scent. It's lovely. July 8: Allison Gross -- I was very neutral on this one before, and I am still very neutral on it now. 😂 A lot of these mixed florals are not to my tastes (Her Voice is the only significant exception I can think of?), mostly because they always contain one or more flowers I just don't like. ^^;; Muguet (lily of the valley) is up there with tuberose as one of my least favorites, and it sure is present here. Towards later drydown it becomes a floral-spicy soft ambergris that I quite enjoy for the very brief time it lasts before vaporizing into the ether. This one doesn't have good longevity on me, nor does it have a strong throw. ...I think this one sums up as 'just okay' for me. ^^; It's fine, I don't hate it, but if I were doing a chopping block of these scents, this would probably be on it. Getting to the nice part requires wading through something vaguely unpleasant first, and it doesn't last long enough to make that worthwhile. July 9: The Emathides -- Soft, mildly powdery black amber + a really gorgeous lavender + sweet florals + gentle woods ...really, it's just a beautiful perfume, entirely lovely. I was actively excited to wear it today. It was such a surprise for me when I got it, but now I know what to expect. ;3 I really enjoy the entire experience of this, from the initial smooth lavender to the last dregs of black amber, and, for a change, neither the cedar nor the violet fuck it up for me. It's got a pretty decent throw and lasts for quite a while. July 10: Aeaea -- ....I did, in fact, use Pikachu as a way to describe this. 😂 I don't disagree with it now, it gives my nose a ticklish feeling, but it's really mellowed out or aged into mellow in the last nine years. (I don't think I've actually worn it once in that time, tbh.) It's also gotten sweeter, and the aloe is closer to the front of the scent while the cedar has receded. Later on, after it's been dry for a while, the berry note starts to pop up. ....I like this now. I didn't very much before, but once again either my tastes have changed or the scent has, and I'm finding it a really pleasant scent. Low throw, fades after about three hours. Nice for summer, even though it was an October Lunacy accompaniment. July 11: Swan Maiden -- I was in a phase where I loved magnolia and was trying to be as positive as I could about this one when I reviewed it before, but now? .... This is half composed of notes I don't like and it's reflecting that extremely accurately. Here's the note list, with the notes I don't like crossed out: White gardenia, white iris, sandalwood, calla lily, French magnolia, muguet, jonquil, and orchid. You know what this smells like on my skin? Mostly those crossed out notes. There's a hint of magnolia, a tiny dusting of iris, and what might have been a stick of sandalwood lightly brushed against the whole thing. It's a big white floral party, and I think, if you've been reading any of these, you've probably already noticed that I don't like very many big white floral parties. 😂 This would be gorgeous on someone who enjoys wearing them, it's got a pretty beefy throw these days, and feels like it would last for a long time. Unfortunately I can feel it beginning to give me a headache, so I'm going to go wash it off (it's been ~40 minutes; I think I lasted longer the last time I reviewed it, but also, it was cold weather and now it is warm.) July 12: Ivanushka -- "...but when it is bad, it is pickles." 😂 I wasn't kidding, though. Fortunately, today this was in the lovely form, soft and woodsy and lightly furry. It's really beautiful, just a touch powdery, with a mild-to-moderate throw and very solid weartime. July 13: Tanuki -- Yeah, there's thirteen of them. For some reason I always forget about Tanuki, but it's definitely part of the same series! I did review it here, and by and large, my impression remains accurate. It's bright and fruity with a bit of pine, it goes to dryer sheets (wisteria & plum and cherry blossom for the lose on my skin) for a while, gets piney, then goes back to dryer sheets. It's fine. I don't love it, but it's not offensive to me at all. Mild throw, lasts about three and a half hours. July 14: Famous Kabuki Actors in Imagined Scenes of Lovemaking -- I swapped for another Shunga decant, so I'm testing it today. Not really into this one; goat milk is a maybe-note on me, as are oak, tobacco, and vetiver, and cardamom can overwhelm my nose if it's too strong. Cedar is an almost never, leaving these two notes -- honey dust, vanilla husk -- as things I actively enjoy. This is a bit like sweet, smoky milk on me, which to be quite honest, is pretty terrible. It keeps having a dim promise of being something lovely, but the overall experience is leaving me pretty cold. Fortunately it doesn't have a lot of throw and is promising to fade pretty quickly, but I'm contemplating washing it off anyway. July 15: Giant Squid -- Figured I'd hit some of my event exclusives, starting with Sakura-con 2010. Again, these four I've reviewed before, but I'll be curious to see if my feelings have changed over the years. This one has one of the best labels ever, in my extremely biased opinion, featuring a giant squid attacking the Space Needle. It's real cute. The scent is interesting -- a lot of people interpreted it as spicy apple, but I've never gotten that from it at all. ^^; I can sort of see it from sniffing the bottle, but I get way too much salt water to really think 'apple'. (Apple would have been totally appropriate to the area, but ...this is good, too.) I think the best way I can describe it is that it reminds me of the appearance and texture of bladderwrack. It's a bit salty and round and my nose/brain interpret it as that color and shape. It's aged out of a lot of the sweetness, and while I can tell the tobacco and frankincense are there, they still aren't major players. Mild to moderate throw, lasts a few hours but doesn't stay strong for more than an hour. Mostly this is a murky green-brown aquatic on me. July 16: Shirafuji Genta With a Kappa -- I didn't like this when I originally tried it. My review is pretty neutral, but it was the only one of the four (I fairied and also decanted the set) that I didn't keep more than a half a decant for myself. However, sometime over the years my tastes changed a bit, and recently I tested that bit of decant, I found that I liked it and had a Regret. So the next time I saw it for sale, I bought a bottle. It's aged pretty nicely, in my opinion. The lavender has died down a lot and it's much mintier than what I had! It also shifts a lot more on my skin, so one minute it's more grassy, and the next there's a bright almost-citrus note that pops up (the lansium, I presume). As it wears, the lightly peachy-floral osmanthus comes in as well. Late drydown is a bit woodier, with the juniper berry making a play. This is pretty nice, and I'm happy to have it, both as a collection completer and as a scent on its own. July 17: Fuwa Bansaku in Ruined Temple with Black Monster on Umbrella -- Whew, that's a mouthful. The review thread title is actually incorrect (as was the announcement, both said Fuwu Bansaku), but the bottle labels were right. So... anyway, the scent. It's really quite nice! This is another where my tastes have changed and I'm happy I kept this nearly-full bottle. It's still dominated by smoky-sweet vetiver, but the black coconut is standing out to me more and it feels more balanced. I can definitely smell the oud as well, and it's really lovely. All in all, I'm really enjoying wearing this. Good stuff! July 18: The Wrestler Onogawa Kisaburo Blowing Smoke at a One-Eyed Monster -- ...I usually don't like black pepper at all, but here, now, I'm pretty into it, and besides, it fades out pretty quickly. 😂 I had no idea what to make of this when it was fresh and my nose was newer, but now, I think it's fab. Bodark is also known as osage orange or mock orange. I was unable to find anything specific about tupelo gum trees' scent, but I've eaten tupelo honey and it's pretty distinctive. The sandalwood is amazing now, soft and sweet, with that notable Mysore creaminess. And the honey that comes out later on is ... wow. Just...man, it's real good, the whole thing. This one is a bit of an odd fit in some ways, since most of the notes are fairly East Coast-y rather than West, but whatever. I originally kept three of these mostly out of sentimentality and because, iirc, it was the first con I ever saw the Lab at, as well as their first and last Sakura-con (that con is so poorly run lol, I don't blame them at ALL -- source, I volunteered for it for several years early on and then had multiple friends who were vendors up until ~2017.). But now, I'm just happy I have them. I keep sniffing my wrists lightly from about six inches away and then bringing it in for a closer deep huff. This one, especially, has aged gloriously. Throw is medium, longevity still isn't that great, but I'm very happy to reapply throughout a day. July 19: The Grey Columns -- Got a few Ajevie decants in, so I'm pausing my event exclusives to test them out. :3 This is fascinating -- it's barely present up close, but the throw is exquisite. Sniffing my wrist, it's a soft, almost play-doh-y, faint sweet smoky amber. But the the way it smells from a slight distance is gorgeous, and it gets stronger over time. It does, however, also remind me of a less complex iteration of Solstice Scents Tenebrous Mist -- both are skin scents that feature amber and smoke, but TM comes out of the gate much stronger. This reminds me of the late drydown of that scent. July 20: The Heirophant's Benediction -- Huh. This feels like something I should really like. And yet somehow I'm just ehhhh about it. It's not bad; the almond/coconut/vanilla/sandalwood combo is pleasant enough, but I'm not super-enjoying the way the lighter greenish angelica and the warmer almost-floral storax blend. I may retest this a couple of times before making a final decision -- it did come out of the mailbox yesterday, after all -- but I suspect this one is not destined to be a full bottle for me. Almost no throw, almost completely gone after ~3 hours. July 21: Wild Rose and Dandelion Sap -- At first it is definitely wild roses -- the kind that are dark pink or white with five or so very thin petals and very obvious stamens + the milky sap of a freshly-picked dandelion. After a while it turns into french-milled rose soap. It's fine? The rose is one I haven't seen often (at all? but the Lab has a TON of different rose notes) and the dandelion is ... well, I have the SN, and it doesn't do this on me. I'm not especially enamored of it, but there are relatively few of the SN/duet/trios that I have been. I just prefer perfumes with a bit of story behind them. ^^; I took a nap maybe an hour after applying it, well into the soap phase, and it was still faint soap on my wrist when I woke up three hours later. No particular throw. July 22: Aubin Grandpied Bunmanchi, Childhood Playmate -- The next four are from ECCC 2014. This one's absolutely beautiful. Here are the notes: Pale fur, lavender water, Corsican immortelle, white thyme, benzoin absolute, ambergris accord, and sorrowful carrot seed. Definitely in my wheelhouse. 😂 The lavender combined with the sweetness of the benzoin and immortelle does make me think of a TKO relative, but the carrot seed and thyme give it a more herbal feeling than TKO. The fur and ambergris show up much later for me, and by late drydown it's almost all ambergris (this is what my skin does nearly every time there's ambergris in something. If you hate that note, but don't amp it, you might like this more than you think). The fur feels clean, silky, and pale, more like Bear Prince and less like any of the wolf or deer scents; it's not very musky. There are moments where the immortelle wants to do that syrupy thing that it sometimes does, but everything else holds it in check and it's much more pleasant on me than some others are. It has a decent but not exuberant throw and solid lasting power. Really nice. Also, Abigail Larson drawing yeti. Pretty cool. >D July 23: Edgar Miche, Mysterious Adventurer -- Soft, gently spicy brown leather. It reminds me of several other leathery scents I've worn in the recent past, though it isn't identical to any of them. It's most, on my skin, like a simpler Adam without the dust or plastic notes. Pleasant, but not all that remarkable. I'm enjoying wearing it, but it isn't a new favorite or anything like that. Low throw, lasts for a while, but I stopped noticing it unless I sniffed my wrists deeply after about two hours. I think I'd like it more if it were the fur note that's in Aubin instead of (or possibly in addition to) the leather. July 24: Lady Cecily Sasquets, The Ingenue -- As a side note, this oil has darkened with age. It hasn't gone off at all, it still smells lovely, but it's darkened in the same way my bottle of De Vos' Unicorn has, so I suspect there's something in whatever peony note is in both that results in a darker oil over time, because I don't remember either being dark originally. Lady Cecily starts with the tawny fur note as in Ivanushka or other similar things, think deer or the lighter wolf scents, then pours a bouquet of pale roses and peonies over it. Nothing here is dark or menacing, she's truly an ingenue, just ... a furry one. Over time the fur fades and I'm left with an aura of ghost flowers hovering around me. Very lovely. Moderate throw, though the fur is stronger than the flowers at first, lasts a few hours before drifting into the ether. I was expecting this one to be my favorite, but Aubin's more to my taste these days. July 25: Leopold Freiherr Von Tsemekwes, The Poet Rapscallion -- L e a t h e r, black leather, the kind I don't especially like, at least, not without something sweet to settle it a bit. 😂 Leather to the point where I re-rolled the bottle a bit more vigorously and then reapplied, just in case something was settling to the bottom and I was missing it. After that, I got a tiny hint of something else, a little chamomile, a hint of labdanum, but still, mostly leather. It took almost forty minutes for anything else to show up (oakmoss, a little bit of tobacco, a vague waft of vetiver), and it's still weaker than the leather. After an hour and change, I'm finally being allowed a bit of patch and black musk. After almost two hours, the leather finally gives way and it becomes gorgeous. Smoky sweetened patchouli/labdanum/oakmoss all covered in a fine layer of smoky vetiver. Too bad it takes so long to get here. =_=;; Throw is pretty chonky, lasts well into the night. Will I wear it again? Man, I don't know. I like the way it ends up, but the leather festival is a lot to wade through. July 26: Dysopes Tenuis -- Time for some bats! This is the set from Bat's Day 2013. This one's so lovely. I really like the combination of the dark musk and black currant with the brighter pops of rose and tonka. There's a slight hint of soapiness that I've associated with crystalline notes in the past, but it's not off-putting at all. I find it refreshing and pleasant, a good scent for a summer evening. The throw isn't heavy, but it's got pretty good longevity. Fruit and rose can sometimes go wrong on my skin, but this one's good. The overall effect is dark but translucent, and almost effervescent, like a black currant soda with rose petals sprinkled on it. July 27: Gingerbread, Matcha Tea, and Raw Mint -- I'm having some weird nausea problems and all the rest of the bats are too strong for me right now, so I'm wearing something mild, soothing, and lightly minty. I really like gingerbread scents. I have several, and this and vanilla sugar & pink pepper are some of my favorites, high up there in my 'I can wear these whenever, wherever' list. At one point I was without my perfume collection for several weeks and this was one of the few bottles to stay with me the entire time. I enjoy the earthy grassiness of the matcha and the very light hint of mint that mostly presents itself in the throw, which is not super-strong, but just enough to catch whiffs as I type. This generally lasts ~4 hours or so before fading. Definitely a permanent collection bottle. July 28: Go To Sleep, Darlings -- Same hat today. 😕 I'm probably working my way towards a migraine, since that's a pretty common initial symptom for me these days. =_=; So, again, mild, soothing, lightly minty. Go To Sleep, Darlings is a very soft, fluffy, minty snow, very light, with a gentle throw and surprising longevity. It's in the same family as Snow White, Snow-Flakes, and the Snowballs. There's a hint of sweetness, but it's not the lemon-esque sugar that shows up semi-regularly. It's more like ...someone sprinkled a little confectioner's sugar on a bowl of snow. I like it, but I'm content with the partial I have, since I have bottles of other similar scents. I don't mind a certain amount of redundancy in my collection, I've never been the type who only wants one, perfect iteration of any given type of scent or note, but there's a point past which you start looking askance at yourself. Like, do I realllly need full bottles of five scents that all smell pretty similar ? (See also: my continued debate over whether I need a bottle of Asses Plus Long from this years' Lupers. XD) July 29: Fox Fires on New Year's Eve at the Garment Tree at Oji -- Still feeling a little gghhkk, so I've pulled out a few DC'd Salons that are lighter to work with for a couple of days until the migraine stops threatening and does its thing. Though thinking about it, it may also be my recent turn back towards coffee-drinking. >_>; I should go back to tea and see if it improves. It turns out I really like bamboo scents sometimes. Fantôme's Arashiyama has a lovely bamboo note, and so does this. I'll have to contemplate those a little more carefully in the future! Otherwise once the bamboo dries off, this is primarily a lovely green tea incense blend on me, soft but distinct and beautiful. The cherry tree and lilac notes are very background, brightening it up a bit, and the rice wine is noticeable as a pleasant bright spark. This one's probably one of my favorite of the Salons, both for art and scent, and the scent does a wonderful job of evoking the art. It's linked in the name, if you're curious, as are the three Sakura-con Japanese art-inspired pieces. It doesn't throw too fiercely but it does last all day. July 30: Spirit of the Komachi Cherry Tree — A beautiful pale floral with a hint of honey and fruit that dries down to a sandalwood haze. It has a very strong initial presence that backs off rapidly, but maintains a pretty strong throw. I can smell it when I move my arms even a few hours later. This is one I do have to apply fairly lightly because of the throw, especially if I’m wearing it in public. It’s very pleasant, and one of my favorite cherry blossom scents. It reminds me of an incense I bought in Yokohama. July 31: The migraine has arrived, and even looking at perfume is making me feel sort of ill, so nothing today and possibly tomorrow. =_=;;
  11. windbourne

    April

    April 1: Monsterbait Underpants -- I only have a drop or so of this left, so once again it is time to upend this vial on my wrist in the name of... uh... science? Testing everything in my stash over the course of the next, like, two years? IDK, it's the first of April, this is the last of this theme, and I wanted to. It's a wear-your-rares day or something like that. This is interesting. I remember it being sweeter than it is now, and if I stick my nose to my wrist, at first it smells mostly of slightly sour saffron and a bit of sandalwood, but the throw as it dries is amazing... for a while. For about fifteen minutes I really get that soft gorgeous golden sweet-but-not-too-sweet aura. Then it pulls a joke on me. This shares a number of notes with Love's Philosophy, which is terrrrrrrrrible on me. This is better (thank you sandalwood), but still ends up slightly root beer-ish in a bad way. The Lab's older cream notes often smell dusty on me. Sooo what I end up with might be best described as Butterbeer, drunk in a corner that needs dusting, while wearing a mild sandalwood perfume. Happy April? April 2: Red Lace -- I decided to pull out all the bottles of scents in the Dark Delicacies-exclusive Lace series that I own. I've had a few others pass through my hands, but right now I have exactly seven. Perfect. ^___^ This is definitely a Lace, but the dried pomegranate, all tart and red, makes this feel like a distant (living?) relative of the Crypt Royalty, especially on later drydown. I've never gotten much in the way of raspberry from it; it's much heavier on the woods/tobacco/patch than it is any fruity notes, at least on me. April 3: Pink Lace -- I bought this at Dark Delicacies. I'm endlessly grateful that I've been able to visit several times and never left empty-handed. This is not exactly the kind of scent that I enjoy wearing, however. It's not bad, I'm not contemplating washing it off or anything, but tea rose is my least favorite rose and strawberry often smells unappealing on me. The tobacco and champaca are pleasant, but as a whole, this might not be one I need in my collection. ...hm. Well, I guess part of the point of this exercise is to winnow out a few of the things I've never or rarely touched. April 4: Mourning Lace -- Probably my favorite Lace that I own. I like all the notes, and the clove, especially, is pleasantly strong on me. I did wear it out clubbing a few times for that 'we can't smoke cloves in here anymore, who smells like that?' factor, and because it's better and warmer (and safer!) than the clove EO I sometimes used to dab on when I was much younger. The oak is pleasantly mild, woody, and adds a little more tannic oomph to the delicate vanilla flower. It makes me smile when I wear it. It's just so nice. ❤️ April 5: Absinthe & Lace -- Soft, green, very gently smoky. The label on this one really wants to peel off. :< I like this, but I like L'Heure Verte more, and they're definitely in the same wheelhouse. The light florals in L'Heure give it just a bit more punch and I love it. That said, I can never have too many absinthe scents. :3 April 6: Summer Lace -- This is quite lovely, though there are a good several minutes where the apple blossom wants to come in and exude SWEET all over everything. Eventually it all calms down to a pleasant vanilla-tobacco-you know, that LACE thing sort of experience. April 7: Pumpkin Lace -- This feels so out of season! Warm, autumnal, sweet, very thick pumpkin with tobacco. It's a bit buttery and sticky, like pumpkin puree with sugary maple syrup. It somewhat more resembles what rum does on my skin, like, you could tell me this was a rum-pumpkin scent with tobacco and I'd believe you. I'm not really feeling it today, but then, I've been on a lighter, springtime florals and light baked goods scent kick lately (maybe I should hit up my Luper bottles after this) and I bet I'll love it again in late summer/fall. April 8: Harlow's Lace -- ........ I hate to admit it, but there are a couple of comments in the reviews saying that this one has similarities to Lush's HIWTK and, to my nose, at least, they are not wrong. It's got a similar sort of thick sweetness and honey-but-a-little-extra feeling. This, fortunately, has some grounding tobacco and a little bright pop from the cognac, so it's not identical, but I can see the point being made. And that's the last of my Lace bottles. I think I will pull some Lupers next, I'm really feeling some bright kicky florals after all this tobacco and booze. April 9: The Raptures and Roses of Vice -- ...so I immediately start with something that is a deep, very heady floral. I picked seven Luper bottles to play with for the next week, and three of them are from '08, the year I got into BPAL, so I sorted them alternating between '08 and not. This one's from 2013, the Our Lady of Pain update, and it is still mind-bendingly gorgeous to me. Deep, dark roses, bright magnolia, a lilt of tobacco tar under it all. I just *will smith pose* love this perfume. The only downsides are that it is quite strong and I have to be in a bit of a Mood to really wear it, and I could not wear it to work. I have worn it clubbing and it was pretty great for that. ....I keep sniffing my wrists and thinking GODDAMN I love this scent and the Lab's magnolia, wow holy heck. ....Obviously, this one's a keeper. 😉 April 10: Her Voice '08 -- Surprisingly, given how old it is, this sweetheart is still a fresh, watery floral bloom plus some beeswax. It stands as one of the only perfumes I own with a strong lily presence that I actually like. 😂 But here, the lily is overwhelmed by the other sweet flowers and it just smells like a gorgeous spring bouquet. This is my second bottle of Her Voice; my first one was my only (so far) casualty of knocking something over while decanting. 😭 April 11: Venus Caelestis '15 -- I sure do like blue lotus as a note. 💙 This is a beautiful, softly resinous scent that I'm surprised I have because it came out when I was nearing the end of school and in a terrible mental state, not to mention too busy for words. It feels soothing to me, perhaps a little melancholic, at least until the lemon becomes more apparent later on. ;D April 12: Dream of the Fisherman's Wife '08 -- IDK how a perfume that's so heavy on seaweed manages to be one of the sexiest perfumes I own, but it remains the truth. April 13: Somewhere or Other '16 -- I have a mild obsession with the Lab's misty scents. Empyreal Mist is my epitome for that particular theme, but I do have several others, like this one, which is misty pale rose. It's got a hint of citrus that I sometimes associate with their white rose note, in contrast to pink, which is often sweeter, or red, which is big and round and more like a 'true' rose. It amuses me that I love these so much, since they're almost all so light and largely fairly feminine, but hey, my strike zone is extremely broad, so why the heck not. April 14: To Helen '08 -- This week is reading like a personal best-of in some ways. 😂 There's a few that I already hit in previous months, but I sure do love me some Lupers, and have since the beginning of my BPAL fandom. It might be partly nostalgia, since the Lupers were the first big release after I really got into it, but it's still one of the updates I look forward to most. This scent, right here, is definitely one of my low-key but all-time faves. It's just beautiful, pale and perfect, but not cold. April 15: Unsubtle Euphemism '21 -- Finishing up my week of Luper bottles with a newbie. I really love this one! For sweet-but-not-too-sweet bready scents, this one's at the top of my list currently. It reminds me of Easter or New Year's bread like my grandparents used to make, and that makes me feel cheerful and nostalgic. But it also reminds me of the milk breads I bought at convenience stores in Japan, at least the base of it. I've never had Japanese milk bread with cardamom like this. ;D It's the only Luper bottle I've picked up so far, but it probably won't be the last. This year has some excellent-sounding things that I'm looking forward to testing as decants! April 16: Ü (read as 'Umlaut', per an old blog post on their site) - I went with a collection of bottled oddities for this week: Kickstarter, retail limited, and one lucky raffle win. This was a retail exclusive to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, though I believe it has since been discontinued and hasn't been back for quite some time. ETA: actually, they've restocked it twice in the last few months! I cannot for the life of me remember if I bought this secondhand or if I ordered it direct. ^^; Either way, it's a marvelous scent, a bit over eleven years old, sweet and gently, greenly spicy by turns. I never get much leather from it (though it is there, wayyyyy in the back), but it does remind me of piles of aged paperbacks and dust. April 17: Clockwork Couture: Female -- ...With my current tastes, I'd probably be buying the Male scent, but at the time, this one sounded more my style, and I do still love it. The clay note, especially, is very soft and pleasant. ...Vanilla-y clay is not something I would have imagined wanting to smell like, but here I am. A good friend of mine loved ordering from CC at the time and I was able to jump onto an order they were making for the low cost of making them a decant of the scent. I'll always have a bit of affection for this bottle for that reason. April 18: The Orchard — If I recall correctly, this was the first Kickstarter scent the Lab did, all the way back in 2012. I was not very fond of it when it was fresh, but now it’s very beautiful. I like the way the notes have melded with age. The plum is a bit softer, which is nice. April 19: Pursue Rabbit -- A very limited (50 bottles) Kickstarter release for Century Guild. I bought mine secondhand, since I wasn't fast enough. It's actually pretty harsh on me for quite a while, to the point where every time I wear it I have almost an hour of contemplating selling it off. But the drydown is beautiful, soft opium smoke and, on me, at least, matcha tea, and I love it. April 20: Off -- This is probably the lowest batch BPAL bottle I own. It was a raffle prize, limited to 25 bottles. To enter, you had to purchase another Century Guild limited perfume during a set period and they would include a raffle ticket to be drawn later. I got lucky. I'm the first review on the post, and honestly I don't have much more to say except that it has aged gloriously. It's still exactly what you'd expect, still not a unique scent profile, but it's really settled into itself. Dark, smoky, resinous rose -- of course it was going to smell great several years later. April 21: Black Silk -- Pretty Indulgent exclusive, originally limited to 50 bottles, but it got restocked a couple of times. The first half-hour of this one is rough for me, almost nauseating, but the drydown is so worth it. Otherwise, well... my review says almost everything else I have to say about it. It's a keeper forever, but hoooo boy, immortelle is kind of syrupy sweet anyway and it's only gotten stronger over time. It still smells like that dress, though. 🖤 April 22: Denna -- For the next three days, I'll be testing the three Kingkiller scents. I donated for them when they were live on the Geeks Doing Good Indiegogo campaign in 2016 and I was very deeply entrenched in reading the books. H o w e v e r, I don't think I've ever actually worn any of them. 😂 So I'm going to remedy that now. First is Denna because it's the one I'm least likely to like, based on the reviews. ...And indeed, I don't. I'm not very fond of grass, dirt, or leather in combination with those (though we've established by now that I do actually like leather in other combos, lol) and I prefer my aquatics more oceanic than rain-like. I also think that reviewers who think that lilies may be a component of the "pale petals" are completely correct. I also don't like lily. 😂 I put it on anyway, and yes, it's got that fresh rain note, a green grassy haze, and then a whole heap of white petals. There might be some tuberose in there too, as it almost gives me a headache, which is pretty common with that note. Anyway, I hate to break up the trio, but Denna's going in the swap box. There's no purpose in keeping something I will definitely never wear. We'll see how Kvothe goes tomorrow. April 23: Kvothe -- This really reminds me of a simpler version of an old spring LE, The Traveller, or, a bit, of some of the pirate-y GCs like Jolly Roger minus the salty sea spray. Or, really, any of a TON of other fragrances that are leather + (balsam, bay rum) spices. It's not really a scent family I love, with a few exceptions -- Peter Quint, which adds ambergris or Hatta, which has a lovely warm cinnamon; both share the softer leather that Kvothe has -- and it pops up pretty frequently. I have both of those, and I like both of them better, so... IDK, Kvothe. You may be a victim of your timing. If I didn't have multiple things in this wheelhouse already, I might love you. As it is, please join Denna in the box of those to be eliminated. (It is entirely likely that, had my affection for the books survived the last five years, I would feel far more sentimental about the perfumes, but it didn't, so I'm not.) April 24: Bast (Kingkiller) -- M u s k y. Strangely hypnotic after a bit of dry time. I think this may have some Siberian or maybe black musk with its almost lemony tinge, as well as a few others -- some of the lighter animalics, none of the colorful ones (red, pink, blue, green). Definitely a bit of leather at first, but it fades away eventually. It ends up reminding me of a sweeter, like, Buck Moon or similar, but lacking the woodsiness. I actually like this one a lot, so I guess we're breaking up the band, so to speak. April 25: Priala, The Human Phoenix '08 -- Time for eight days of Carnaval Diabolique bottles, six old and two new. I'm starting with one of the first perfumes I ever full-sized after trying a decant. Priala's still gorgeous. ❤️ Warm, spicy, maybe a little woody, definitely some mildly sneezy myrrh. Priala's the only scent that anyone ever gave me as a surprise holiday gift. I already had a bottle at the time, but I'll keep the second one forever because of that. Also, because it got reformulated a bit and I prefer this version. 😅 April 26: Zarita, The Doll Girl '08 -- Holy heck, this girl may be small, but she packs a punch. This is another bottle I bought in '08 after sampling a few Carnavals and dithering over the decant for months. Over time, I've decanted out about half the bottle, and what's left feels like a concentrated sugary orange blossom caramel right hook to the nose. It's kind of amazing, but also really intense. I used to say that she was one of the exceptions to a number of my usual no's, like, she shouldn't work at all on me -- carnation, cream, and, at the time, often iris, were not notes I loved -- but I'm almost rethinking that. My tastes have definitely changed over time, as has my skin chemistry. I do have a decant of the current version, which adds 'poisonous pale white berries' (mistletoe???) to the notes, and I should try it again sometime soon. As it dries, it loses some of the extreme KAPOW and becomes much more pleasant. Ah, what a tiny little monster of a perfume. 💜 (eta, later: She lasted for almost fourteen hours, and mellowed into beautiful soft iris gaaah Zaritaaaaa) April 27: Green Tree Viper '11 -- The only Snake I picked up because it smelled good both to and on me. 😂 I am not a fan of Snake Oil, and it and most variants are various degrees of naaaah on my skin, but this one's pretty great. I stopped fussing over whether I needed it because the Carnaval was going away and I decided I would rather have and not need than want and be unable to acquire. Zero regrets! April 28: Shakarri '17 -- A newer Carnaval release! Finally. I have somewhat mixed feelings about this -- the notes that I got it because I love them (pear, absinthe) aren't very present for me. She's mostly a somewhat resinous sea-tinged scent with a touch of patch. As it dries, it reminds me a bit of clay. I like it, but I was definitely hoping for a slightly different balance when I bought it. I do love the bottle art, and it's hypnotic, in a way, as many oceanic scents are to me. I find myself wishing it had a bit of ambergris or seaweed or something to really seal the deal and make it really an octopus-woman in a bottle. But it's nice....and gets nicer the longer it's on. Hum. (eta: I ended up not being enamored with late drydown. This one's probably destined for the go-away box. v_v ) April 29: Licwiglunga '08 -- I hope the Wunderkammer makes a reappearance sometime. I can't say most of the scents in it were to my tastes, but some of them, like this one are bizarre and worth investigation, and it would be a shame if they were lost forever. ^^; I feel like this has sweetened with age; I remember it being drier and sharper than it is now. It's still pretty dry, but it's got a very strong dried fruits vibe. The review thread contains gems like this one -- and I agree, it really is an odd duck, even in the wild world of indies & niche perfumes. April 30: L'Heure Verte '10 -- Absinthe, sugar, and rose with a hint of opium, we love to see it. I didn't like it at all the first time I tried it. I got a decant when it came out and a couple of years later, decided to sell it. Before I did, I sniffed it one last time and either my tastes had changed or the scent had, and I thought it was gorgeous. I still sold it, albeit a little sadly; what's done is done, in my mind, but I also bought a bottle shortly after, with the specific intent to age, the first (and only) I ever bought for that purpose. I stuck it in my bottle box and ignored it, and ignored it, and then took it out a couple of years later and loved it, just as expected. Now, eleven years later, it's stood up to the passage of time and is still lovely. I win. 😉 Tomorrow I'm kicking it off with a Mme. Moriarty battle. I have bottles of both the old version and the new, and I'll be comparing and contrasting for funsies to start May.
  12. windbourne

    June

    Happy June! 🏳️‍🌈 June 1: Frostbitten Dorian '17 -- I decided to go through seven bottles of GC variations this week. :3 The ones I have come in four flavors -- frostbitten, pumpkin patch, gingerbread, and pumpkin spice. I'm alternating them. Dorian's one of the GCs I go back and forth on. Sometimes I really love it and sometimes it's almost too sweet. I've bought and sold or swapped a few bottles of it over the years. This one, however, has stuck. Unlike some of the other Frostbitten scents in which the frosty notes take over the scent of the base GC, Dorian stays pretty powerful, if somewhat chillier. It maintains Dorian's vanilla tea & lavender-green cologne and adds a chilly undertone as it dries. The last faded notes on my wrist when I woke up (I put it on a few hours before I went to sleep) were mostly snow. I had a similar experience with Frostbitten TKO; that note has tenacity. Wear length is excellent, throw is solid. June 2: Alice in the Pumpkin Patch -- I do not love Alice on her own; I've always wanted to, but the carnation interacts weirdly with the milk and it just ends up smelling funky. But this, this I love. Somehow, adding pumpkin to it turns it magical. This weirds me out on multiple levels, because fairly frequently pumpkin goes odd on my skin, too. But ignoring all the base notes of this perfume, what it smells like on me is a cup of sweet, very slightly milky rose tea steaming at a table with a jar of honey open somewhere nearby. There may or may not be a pumpkin pie at the table, sometimes you think one is there, but when you look again it's not. It still manages to be very Wonderland-y while also being a lovely fall scent. It's really amazing. It's never that spicy, it doesn't feel like Pumpkin Spice. There might be a drop of clove, but that could just be the carnation doing that thing it does. Wears like a dream, lasts until the end of the tea party. June 3: Gingerbread Goblin -- Goblin's another GC I'm not super fond of. It's pretty simple and composed of things I generally like, but it's just kind of scratchy patchouli and thick coconut on me and feels kind of ...boring? Is that the word I want? I don't sniff it and go ahhhh, yum; I go, eh. Adding gingerbread elevates to something pretty awesome, though. It gets sweeter and thicker, like proper gingerbread made with molasses, or even ultra-sticky steamed brown bread, if you took out the raisins and added coconut shreds. The patchouli is still back there, being patchouli. It's less prominent than in regular Goblin, but it gets stronger over time. It has fairly good wearlength, though I re-applied halfway through the day because I wanted more sticky coconut gingerbread action, so I can't give an accurate impression. Not much throw, though, it sticks pretty close to my skin. Definitely more of a treat than a trickster, overall. Yum. June 4: Pumpkin Spice Harlot -- I actually like the base of Harlot, it's super-simple, just roses and cinnamon, but it wears very briefly, maybe three hours tops. I bought this, I admit, partly out of curiosity because I didn't think it would change that much. 😂 In the bottle, the blend smells like a rose-scented non-acetone nail polish remover I once bought. It's better on the skin, but the balance is way shifted to favor the spices, as you would probably expect. After it dries, it shifts back. And then forth. I really feel that if you have regular Harlot, this isn't an improvement, just a tonal shift. Regular Harlot dries down pretty gracefully into a puff of rose petals, this one vanishes after about two and a half hours. It was like I never put on perfume. I like it, but if I want spicy roses, I have other things that accomplish that better and are more grounded. June 5: Gingerbread Villain -- Hey, look, another GC that I'm not that into, but adding something else to it turns it into an I LOVE IT. Villain itself was strongly cologne on me and while I don't mind that general scent profile, something about it made me slightly headachy. Adding sweet gingerbread ameliorated that aspect entirely. These early gingerbread scents had very spicy & delicious (and prominent!) gingerbread, and this one adds a pleasantly citrus & floral aspect that makes me very happy to sniff. It's a wrist-huffer. Good throw, moderate wearlength, stays yummy the whole time, though it's mostly just gingerbread crumbs by about four hours in. June 6: Miskatonic University's Pumpkin Patch -- Take the thick, sweet, coffee and mild woods of Misk. U and add pumpkin & a bit of spice. It's my preferred kind of pumpkin, the more squashy one, that smells more like pumpkin puree. There's a couple of places in the city that do lattes with pumpkin puree in the fall, and if you added a half-pump of Irish Cream syrup and drank it in a library, this would be almost exactly the scent memory of that experience. It's pretty strong and goes through a brief phase of being All Spice All The Time, but then it goes back to being mostly coffee and woods. Good throw, decent longevity. It is quite similar to Pumpkin Latte, though with a slightly greater depth from the very slight woody undertone, so if you're kicking yourself for missing this, just get a bottle of that & you'll be set. June 7: Frostbitten Black Phoenix -- The core notes of Black Phoenix stay very apparent, so it ends up smelling a lot like someone dunked Snow White in big bucket of almondy myrrh and perhaps a hint of rosewood or similar. After a while the frost notes almost completely recede aside from a very slight twang at the edges and it's just Black Phoenix hanging out being what it usually is. However, the very late drydown is all almondy frost, same as FB Dorian and FB TKO. I don't regret buying it, but it's not really different enough for me to call it a must-buy unless you really love Black Phoenix and the frosty note. Strength & lasting power are both moderate to strong. And that does it for this week! I think I'm going to test some Luper decants next. June 8: Asses Plus Long, Qu’un Siècle Platonique -- This sounded exactly like something I would like, so I snagged a decant. And I was right! It's exactly something I would like! Beautiful pale roses, scintillating and very fresh, dewy vanilla blossoms, sweet, almost-vanilla benzoin...yep, it's great. If you like lovely sweet (but not at all foody) florals you should definitely grab it. It's lovely, has a very delicate but distinct throw, and fairly good longevity. However, because I like things like this, I have at least three things that are in the same scent family already (maybe more) -- Opuhi (ginger blossom & vanilla orchid; the initial scent is more tropical but the drydown is quite similar); White Rose (BPTP; White rose buds, with vanilla tea, benzoin, orris, coconut meat, and frankincense; for this one the initial white rose is similar, but the coconut & orris change the drydown); and To Helen (Electric ozone, opaline notes, moonflower, white amber, beeswax, and three roses; has the opal & roses and a very similar...atmosphere, I guess? but the beeswax & white amber warm it up as it dries). So I don't think I need a bottle. It is really lovely, though, and I'll keep the decant to test a few more times before it goes away. You know, just in case. June 9: Honey Marzipan -- One of the two honey scents I picked up. Thicccck, sweet, lightly floral honey (I agree, this is absolutely the same stuff that's in Harlow's Lace) and creamy marzipan (sweetened almond paste). 😂 It's pretty nice but knowing my tastes, I will never wear it. Delicious throw, lasts a while, fades gracefully. June 10: Like the Very Gods -- I also got this one because it sounded like something I would like. ;3 I mean, why else do I pick decants these days? (Sometimes it really is just curiosity, tbh, but I sure do skip a lot more than I used to.) So... this reminds me of Lush's The Olive Branch. They don't share many notes, but they definitely share a vibe, and that vibe is Mediterranean woody freshness. I do really like this. The musk(s?) are mild, the blossoms are sweet and bright, the cedar is very tame, the sandalwood is mellow, and the orris is an excellent binder, bringing it all together without feeling dusty as it sometimes does. As it dries, it develops a more distinctly honeyed aspect and the orris gets stronger. Later drydown is a whiff of orris and honey. It's real good. The only thing is that it really reminds me of The Olive Branch. I have a solid perfume of Pansy, which is, depending on where you're looking, either Olive Branch 2.0 or just the same scent with a different name, so I pulled it out and put a bit on and it's very similar. Pansy ends in a place that's greener than this does, but they are definitely in the same scent family. I think this one may end up being a keep-the-decant-but-no-bottle for me as well. It's real nice, though. I might change my mind. June 11: Cacao and Sugared Roses -- Man, DOES WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN. Sweet not-quite-chocolate and sugary pink roses, slightly heavier on the roses in the vial and chocolate on my skin, at least for the first while. The roses take over on drydown and just dominate after that. I don't have anything else major to say about it because it's so basic. It's a nice blend and I'm seriously considering buying a bottle, because I love the combo. Throw is pretty chonky, lasts a while, but not too long. June 12: Honey, Sweet Orange, and Orange Blossom -- Seriously, the honey used in, at the very least, the two of these that I got, is incredibly thick, dark honey. I was expecting this to be a much lighter scent than it is, but it is not! It is quite dense and it completely dominates the orange & orange blossom.The other two notes are there, but they serve as adjuncts at best, and fade out almost completely within about an hour. I'd describe this more as honey made from orange blossoms rather than honey with added orange or orange blossom. It's ...fine? But the near-single-note-ness of it makes it a little boring for me. Throw is sticky, longevity is just okay. June 13: Peach Vulva -- I've tried almost every Vulva they've released over the years and exactly zero of them have worked on me, and this one did not change that record. 😅 It's pretty nice in the vial and for about thirty seconds after it hits my skin. Big, juicy peach & apricot, lightly sweetened, a hint of cardamom... and then it goes sour and tangy and smells like sweat, and it does that for the next four hours. After about six hours, the weirdness fades and it becomes a soft peachy skin scent, and that phase I like a lot, but this is basically a world of no for me. It has excellent throw, naturally. June 14: Cacao, Sandalwood, Clove, and Hemp -- This is almost entirely cacao and clove on me. There's a very slight creamy woodiness that lets me know there's sandalwood in there somewhere, but the hemp is completely buried. It's very nice example of what it is, and if you're into a not overly sweet, clove-spicy chocolate scent, do give it a try. For myself, I've got a few other chocolate & clove scents from various companies and this doesn't do anything new, so it's an easy pass. It sticks pretty close to my skin, though I get a whiff of clove every once in a while as I move around, and lasts a few hours. June 15: Travelers Under a Tree Observed by Foxes -- Pretty simple; starts with soft coconut & rice milk, turns into mild creamy tea scent. It does remind me of a non-dairy milk tea! Tea notes almost always smell kind of off on my skin (super-astringent, green more than white, white more than black), so I'd be more inclined to use this if it were a room spray*. Low throw, but it smells better from a distance than it does up close, and on me, pretty low longevity -- I put it on and could smell it strongly for about a half-hour, then I took a two hour nap and when I woke up it was gone. *There's a jasmine milk tea scent from another company that smelled AWFUL on my skin, but I put it on before bed and my pillow smelled amazing the next morning. This is less immediately awful, but I'm betting if I put some on my sheets/clothes it'd be the same deal. June 16: Balancing the Sake Cup -- I don't comment on the color of the oils very often, but this one is a bright turmeric yellow-orange. It's kind of neat. Anyway, it goes on with a big chonky sniff of waxy orange blossom and ginger, then turns into a mass of sweet sugary ginger (like candied ginger root) and clove with a delicate orange blossom throw, then dries down a soft gingery vanillic/resinous fragrance that lasts quite a while. There's something interestingly vegetal about it; sometimes it almost smells earthy, like...carrots, or something similar. I'm pretty into it and already picked up a bottle. June 17: It's All I Have to Bring Today -- One big blast of air freshener flowers and then it somehow settles down? This scent really confuses my nose. I simultaneously want to BLRGH and mmm, nice about it. This was one of my three 'wellll, I probably won't like it, but I'm curious so why not?" decants (the other two are the Vulvas). And yet somehow I'm not disliking it at all. It's brighter and sweeter than I was expecting and the honey is very different from the honey used in the other LuperShungas from this year that I've tried. I usually avoid non-specific flowers, due to a strong dislike of a few common ones (lily, especially), but mostly what I smell here is a very sweet carnation and perhaps some sunflowers, along with some other indeterminate blossoms. There is a distinct but not overwhelming ozone note, as well. The amber and the honey are pretty mellow and quite light, compared to the flowers. I don't think I'm inclined towards a bottle, but this is a much more interesting blend than I thought it would be. June 18: Cherry Blossom Vulva -- I figured going into this that this would not be good for me, but I feel compelled to keep trying the vulvas anyway. 😂 And I do like cherry blossom (more or less) and honeysuckle (sometimes) and even cream (less often), so ...maybe the plum blossom and gardenia would magically become not sour flowers once they hit my skin? ...Yeah, right. It's fine in the vial, very lovely pale pink & white floral, and then it touches my skin and immediately devolves into pickled blossoms. The cream isn't helping here, just adding a bit of extra milkiness to the whole mess. This scent sits, radiating warm pink unpleasantness for around an hour until finally the cherry blossom & cream take over and lead everything else offstage. At this point it's actually more or less fine, if a bit dryer sheets and milk. Not something I'm ever going to wear again, but fine. June 19: No perfume today; got a real bad migraine. :< June 20: Migraine continues. Finally, after three days (it started the evening of the 18th), it's gone. Worst one I've had in a long, long time. >_<;; June 21: Quies (TAL) -- Quies is a fairly neutral scent, very mellow. It feels like what it is, a ritual oil designed for peace and quiet, especially when stressed or overwhelmed. I don't tend to think about TAL scents in terms of how they smell or wear as perfumes (though sometimes they smell very nice! This one does, soft and woody with vegetal and resinous notes.) but rather as how they feel and wear with the intention behind them. After the stress of the last few weeks (my grandfather passed away recently) and pain of the last three days, this was perfect for me. I've used TAL Peace before, and it's different. If Peace is like someone holding your hands and leading you in a meditation ritual, this one is like someone giving you soft pillows and a cup of warm tea and putting you in a dimly-lit room with a bit of incense in the corner then leaving you the fuck alone because you need some time to decompress. It's good. June 22: Vaginal Tales of the Nocturnal Palace -- Or, as the Discord has taken to calling it, Vaggie Tales. 😂 This is a little too sweet for me -- or rather, on my skin, sweet in a way I don't like, pale, floral-sweet, very much like Volcano in Springtime plus a bit of rather lovely blue lotus. It's nice, but ...just nice. I don't find it compelling, though I can certainly see how it would be absolutely beautiful on someone with different skin chemistry or with different tastes. This decant's going into the swap box. June 23: The Elephant is Slow to Mate -- Lovely. Dark red fruit and musk over deeper resinous notes, sweetened up by vanilla bean. This reminds me a bit of the older version of Mme. Moriarty, but a bit more complex, and overall sweeter. Same scent family, though, and they have similar auras, like a person in very dark red lipstick smiling at you charmingly through a smoky room. I never get much in the way of rose, though there is a smoky aspect to the scent. As you might expect, it has pretty fierce throw and lasts forever. I always enjoy these red, heavy scents when I wear them, but I spent so long unable to wear them at work that I almost never wear them even now, when I can wear whatever I want. June 24: The Shell Box -- This one is overall not for me. I like certain aspects of it a lot: the saltiness, the blue lotus, the sandalwood, precious and pale. But the motia attar and champaca absolutely crush everything else after a fairly short time on my skin. It's a bright, pale-sands beachy sort of scent, the kind of thing that goes well with salt spray in your hair, swimsuits, sunglasses, and a cocktail at the cabana later. Throw starts quiet and then ramps up and it wears fairly long, but after a while it's just a champaca party. June 25: Adventuresome Encounters -- I'm going to need to test this one again before I make a final judgement. It's interesting, much more perfume-y and less foody than I had expected based on notes & reviews. My first impressions are strong cinnamon and oakmoss, followed by fairly intense amber. The yam is there, and comes out more with wear, but it's not especially prominent on my skin. I like it, I think, but it's something I'll need to wear a few times to really make up my mind. I've only had it on for a couple of hours, so I can't comment on wear time, but it does have a nice throw. Eta: Yeaaah, this ended up being mostly sticky amber, cinnamon, and oakmoss on me. Wore for several hours and I ended up not liking the final result that much. June 26: Becoming Thunder (American Gods) -- I just got a fairly large order in and I'm pretty excited about it. It's a bit of a mix of everything, a GC, some LEs, a Lunacy, a TAL, and this. Bottle sniff and the immediate thirty seconds or so of wear are a big burst of green -- to my nose, it's the same as Give Me Thy Breath, My Sister's bog-moist greenery, which is neat -- and then it settles into a fairly glorious skin-musky frankincense with a hit of not-unpleasant ozone. I'm enjoying it a lot fresh, but I'm terribly excited to see what this is going to be like in a year or so. June 27: The Country of Eternal Light -- It's too hot and my sense of smell is kind of borky today, so I went with something chilly that I hadn't worn in a while. It's from the Frankenstein series, from 2011, and it's minty-cold, slightly mossy ozone all the way down. It doesn't have a lot of depth, but right now, all I need is the perception of a chilly breeze wafting off my wrist, so this is fine! It's probably got a bit of white musk in there somewhere as well. It's not terribly distinctive among the many, many cold-snowy-icy scents, but it's pleasant. June 28: Unmanageable Snowdrift -- Yep, still hot out, so ...this. This is a surprisingly bright and sparkly snow, at least at first, but there's a piney component to it as well as a hint of something almost dirt-like, at least on me. It definitely gives the impression of snow piled high against the window, which is a thing I've only experienced when visiting family in Idaho. It's clean, cool, and refreshing and makes me want to make mint iced tea. Later drydown is a bit reminiscent of clean laundry, but not quite in a white musk way. June 29: Mountain Temple: I wanted something light and pleasant and aggressively inoffensive today, so I hit this one up. This was my personal biggest hit from Yule 2019; I bought a bottle untested and then later went back and bought a second one. I love it, and I can wear it most of the time. Soft incense, lightly piney snow, low throw but persistent. June 30: Bloody Corridor -- I didn't actually like Endless Corridor that much; the smoke & vetiver made it a little dirtier than I'm usually fond of with beeswax. But I wanted to give this a try anyway! I thought the red musk would give it a different focus and feel and wow, I was really right about that. The red musk completely overpowers the smokiness on me, giving me a deep red beeswax scent that I'm pretty into. There's a hint of quasi-fruitiness and a little spiciness to this that Endless doesn't have. Later on the vetiver does come out more, but not quite in the same way. Like... okay, when I was a teenager I had these candles that were a couple of layers of black wax on the outside covering a red core, and when they dripped, it was intended to look sort of bloody. That's what this reminds me of, but with the colors reversed -- red outside covering a blackened center. Endless Corridors was a once-pale beeswax pillar candle that had turned mostly gray from smoke and grime. Chonkers throw, good longevity. Whew, six months of a new perfume almost every day and yet I feel like I've barely gotten into my collection. ...Maybe it's time to hit the Therianthropics! ....I did review all twelve of them at one point, but I haven't worn any of them yet this year. It's a good opportunity to see how I feel about them now.
  13. windbourne

    May

    May 1: Mme. Moriarty Misfortune Teller '08 (Red musk, vanilla bean, pomegranate, patchouli leaf and wild plum.) vs Mme. Moriarty Misfortune Teller '15 (Red musk, vanilla bean, pomegranate, black currant, patchouli leaf and wild plum.) -- '15 is on my left wrist, '08 is on my right wrist. Both bottles were purchased by me from the Lab. They are definitely the same basic scent, sweet, red, musky, and rich, with a fruity undertone that makes me think more incense and not so much fruit. '08 is smoother, with a stronger vanilla waft, even from the bottle, and almost reads as woody on my skin. '15 is a bit sharper, and the plum & currant combine to add a deeper, purplish aura that '08 doesn't have. I feel sure that some of the differences are because of age, which often softens notes, and I'll be curious to see where the '15 is in about five years, but as it stands, I do prefer the '08. If I'd never tried '08, I'd probably still love '15. It's a gorgeous scent, especially if you like red musk. I'm going to spend the next twenty-three days going through the Only Lovers Left Alive scents alphabetically. I have a full set from the first release -- my SO very, very kindly enabled me into buying them in two batches -- plus one bottle of re-released Eve, and I've worn some of them quite a bit (Eve, of course, but also Adam, Quintessence of Dust, Café Mille et une Nuits, and Shelley, Byron, and Keats) but never reviewed any of them. So. 😄 May 2: OLLA Adam '14 -- Leather and ambergris -- like the leather in Peter Quint or Kvothe or Hatta, soft and worn, but sweeter & more complex than any of those -- gently laced with dust, wood, wool, and chemicals. It doesn't sound that pleasant, but for me, it is. It goes on leathery, but it backs way, way off fairly quickly, until it's more like the memory of wearing a leather jacket, not necessarily a classic moto, but a leather blazer that might have been in a closet for a long time. The ambergris is surprisingly present early on, along with the magnetic tape scent, and a slightly earthy note. I suspect there's a bit of costus in this for the wooly note. It's not a very strong scent, nor does it have powerful throw, but it smells so nice up close. As is usual on me, the late drydown is dominated by wispy ambergris. Good stuff, great interpretation of the character. May 3: OLLA Ava '14 -- This was never going to be a favorite of mine because I cannot stand tuberose. 😂 Buuuuut it's not bad and I don't hate it. It's a somewhat thick vanilla musk at first -- I have a very, very old ('95 or so) vial of Moroccan Vanilla Musk from a long-gone local oil blender, and it reminds me of that at first -- but then it lightens up and becomes the tuberose-vanilla very modern concoction that I expected it would be. I don't find either mandarin or almond as separate notes, it all blurs together into a sweet floral Perfume Smell. It's a bit impressive to me, tbh, that Beth can make all the wonderful weird atmospheric and unusual blends, but still be able to construct the ones that wouldn't feel out of place spritzed out of a fancy glass bottle and representing a first big splurge into the wild world of adult perfumes for some young person. For me, personally, it's fine. I could wear it, but it's not really very me. (That said, this set I am keeping as a set because I do have an emotional attachment to the inspiration.) May 4: OLLA Blood Popsicle '14 -- ...I'm kind of surprised at how many of the reviews, especially the early ones, aren't pegging this as mostly dragon's blood with a bit of the Lab's frost/frozen note, even though a lot of people are describing it the same way that DB always gets described: slightly floral, fruity, reminiscent of red musk, etc. It has that distinctive BPAL dragon's blood hint-of-sweetened-lilac on me, plus the slightly piney version of cold. The frozen aspect wears off pretty quickly, maybe twenty minutes in, and it starts smelling more like dragon's blood incense. There's probably some actual red musk in there as well, or the blend that comprises blood musk, as it does get muskier & thicker as it wears, then tapers off until it vanishes. Man, IDK what else to say about it; this one feels pretty 'does what it says on the tin'-ish to me. It's nice, it suits the theme, and I like it, but I've always found it difficult to wax poetic about dragon's blood. May 5: OLLA Café Mille et une Nuits '14 -- This fragrance has always been stronger on the sweet, sticky shisha tobacco & spices on me. The coffee note is there, and it's darker and deeper than most other BPAL coffees I've tried (except for The Turkish Village), but it's not and never has been the most prominent note. It's very atmospheric in that it doesn't smell like coffee and tobacco smoke, it smells like you've been in a hookah lounge, surrounded by people drinking coffee and smoking for hours. I find it calming. The late late drydown is a dark-roast coffee bean sort of scent, but it takes quite a while to get there. This is one of the few OLLA bottles I've made a noticeable dent in. ;3 I'm not usually that into tobacco, but this one's really lovely. May 6: OLLA Diamond Star '14 -- This has aged into thick & sticky territory, which is kind of neat. I've barely touched it, which is slightly odd considering it's fairly solidly in my wheelhouse of scent types I like. The bottle sniff is a bit sharp and myrrh-heavy, almost sneezy, but on the skin it blooms beautifully. It's an interesting contrast, both heavy and light in almost equal parts -- woody and resinous with a vanilla-esque sweetness and dim background salty skin-like undertone. It doesn't have huge throw, but it lasts for hours and as always, the last note to go is the ambergris. I think I know why I've mostly ignored it, though -- the immortelle almost pushes it into sickly territory at times and doesn't (imo) mesh well with the other notes on my skin. Once that fades, I love it a lot, but it takes a while to get there. May 7: OLLA Eve '14 & '18 -- I always feel a bit bemused when my favorites are everyone else's faves. 😂 But honestly, in all ways, Eve is my favorite from this series. It's a beautiful perfume, complex and both deep and bright; herbal, resinous, woody, and rosy by turns. It shifts and flickers on my wrists, with different facets coming out throughout the fairly long weartime. It doesn't have strong sillage, but every so often I catch a whiff of it as I type. I have '14 on one wrist and '18 on the other and they're pretty much indistinguishable. I love it as an interpretation of the character, as a scent completely divorced from the source material, and for the way it makes me feel when I wear it. It's great in all weather, for most occasions, and I could wear it to work without offending anyone. This, as they say, is the good stuff. May 8: OLLA Funnel of Love '14 -- I've never been able to make up my mind about this particular scent. It's simultaneously beautiful and nauseating on me, full of both notes I hate and notes I enjoy, and all of them are present. It wavers between something I like to wear, a rich, spicy patch with a backing of red musk and champaca and other good things and a rather indolic jasmine with bitey black pepper and strappy leather. Later drydown (because of course this lasts a long time, of course it does) is mostly woody patch and musk and champaca. Oh, you know what -- ...I smell like going to a club, like, everything about it. The sweat and the way decades of smoke have seeped into the walls, the kind of gross toilets that you don't care about after three or four drinks, the low lights and and close whispers and grinding on the floor with someone you don't know, and they sure are wearing leather pants and that's hot, but also you can practically taste their perfume, which is neat but also a bit much. Nothing's going to come of that dance-that-isn't-really-dancing, but it's pretty intense while you're in the moment. Yeah. Anyway, that's what Funnel of Love is to me. ^___^;;; An experience I don't regret, but would be pressed to say that I really enjoy. May 9: I'm skipping today -- I got my second vaccine dose yesterday and I feel awful. May 10: Same today. =_= Plus nausea! … 🙃 May 11: OLLA Hal '14 -- Well, the last two days pretty much sucked, but I'm feeling much better today. So. Hal. Gorgeous, yes. Mildly funky jasmine backed up by woods and a whole lot of sweet, sticky honey. The overall effect is a deep but still translucent amber with black flecks. It has a lightly toasted aspect to it -- Leo '07 has a little of that on me as well, so I suspect the saffron is playing into it -- but not burnt. I agree with a number of other reviewers, tbh: this shouldn't work on me, but it's absolutely beautiful. This one is good times, sexy and warm and not too much, at least on me. Eta: Well...Hal only lasted about 4 hours on me, so I've washed off my wrist to clear the last vague hints of it and now I'm moving on to... May 11b: OLLA Ian '14 -- Compared to many of the other character scents in this series, Ian is so simple. Leather, sweetened (but not spiced) rum, bit of very distant, slightly dirty patch that gets stronger the longer it wears. ...and that's it. No surprises, no oddities, just a simple perfume for a simple boy. I've worn this a few times over the years, but I'm not actually that fond of rum in perfumes as it usually ends up pretty cloying on me. It's not bad for cooler weather, but it's a bit dense for late spring according to my tastes. ^_^; The leather reminds me of a fringed buckskin jacket I thrifted in high school, slightly musty and worn, sueded, not smooth or dry. The patchouli is also rough & woody. It has moderate throw, and I probably wouldn't wear it to work, but it's nice. May 12: OLLA In Templum Dei '14 -- Woodsnresinswoodsnresins -- okay, but seriously though. For a mellow, meditative incense blend, this one is difficult to beat. Starts a little sweet, then dries out until it reminds me of a soft drift of incense smoke curling off my wrist. It's just complex enough to reward deep huffing; I can tease out just a bit of the labdanum after a while, but it doesn't ever overtake the pale sandalwood & frankincense. It does fall into the category of scents I think of as 'antisocial' in that, when I wear them, I prefer to be alone and not have to talk to anyone. Most of those scents are cold or have chilly notes, but this one is soft and warm. Gentle throw, lasts forever, clean, patient, holy. May 13: OLLA June 23, 1868 '14 -- That just looks like number hash. And the scent, on my skin is a mess of flower hash. =_=; It's not surprising, I don't get on at all well with most of these big white floral fragrances. I have a moonflower SN from another company, and a similar note is very much present. I can tell the warmer notes are under there -- the slightly sweaty costus (and a need to give it a full chance) is about the only thing keeping me from just washing it off because that note is like catnip for me -- but mostly this is about pungent white florals. The hilarious thing about this perfume to me is that it encapsulates an experience I would love. Being in gardens full of night-blooming flowers is a wonderful experience and I treasure many of these notes as actual flowers. I just don't love those scents on my skin. Late, late drydown, I do get a hint of tobacco, and the whole experience is probably sweeter because of the tonka and vanilla notes, but overall, very fragrant white floral. In the end, I took a bath, and it vanished. So I'm moving on (gotta catch up on those two lost days) -- May 13b: OLLA Kit '14 -- Ah, Kit is much more to my taste. It starts out a bit sharp and very distinctively inky (with a hint of parchment, perhaps?), but that fades pretty fast. Mysore sandalwood is often sweeter than other sandalwoods, and here it is very sweet & creamy, backed up by some not-terribly-sweet benzoin, aged fabric notes, and ink, with just a tiny hint of marjoram. It seems a little smoky to my nose, slightly diffuse and very old. I really love it. It's largely a skin scent, with minimal throw, unobtrusive but so pleasant to huff. It keeps my interest and is pleasant to wear, and lasts for several hours while fading gracefully. I've worn it several times over the last few years and each time I pull it out I want to sigh happily. Calming, complex, ancient, mottled green/brown, evocative. May 14: OLLA Our Hearts Condemn Us '14 -- I really wish this were something I liked and wanted to wear, but I just don't enjoy cedar or teak and those are the strongest notes on my skin. The rose otto and oudh are there, but this is almost entirely pencil shavings, antique store, and sadness on me. Low throw, doesn't last too long on me, better for those who like *waves hands* that sort of thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against wood & rose scents, but I really prefer sandalwood or pine or rosewood or literally anything other than cedar or teak. Later on it becomes mostly rose oudh, which is fine and I like much more, but I also have Elizabeth of Bohemia, which is that from the get-go and skips the parts I don't like. ^^; May 15: OLLA Quintessence of Dust '14 -- I went through a very long phase where I was absolutely obsessed with beeswax scents. I still like quite a few, but I've discovered that it doesn't always work for me anymore. Even a few scents that I went berserk over a few years ago are now surprisingly cloying on my skin. I don't think it's the scents aging, I think it's my tastes (and possibly skin chemistry) shifting. 😕 Anyway, this is one of those. I wore it a lot shortly after I got it and loved it to death. Now, it's stickier to my nose and I'm not as in love with the particular leather -- it's not the softer worn-jacket leather of Adam or the fuzzy suede leather of Ian -- it's smooth, brown, and ...well, it does smell like libraries. Old books, slightly musty. Unfortunately, the blood is on the sweeter side as well, and the salt isn't quite enough to counteract it. The ink is nice, lending a blackened swirl to the scent, and the way it dries down is still beautiful (especially once the leather settles down a bit)....but it's no longer a favorite. It doesn't have major throw and lasts 4-5 hours. I don't get the incense until about the midway point, at which point it's mostly a slightly smoky, dusty haze. May 16: OLLA Shelley, Byron, and Keats '14 -- This reminds me quite a bit of L'Heure Verte, but that one is strongly absinthe with a bit of rose and this one is strongly rose and carnation with a bit of absinthe. Both feature opium, though, and both have a heady, brooding aspect that evokes a similar time period and aesthetic. I do prefer the lilac in L'Heure to the carnation in SBK, but unlike many carnation scents that end up too sweet and unpleasant on me, that note is tempered by the rest. The mercury note is very low-key on me, lending a silvery cast to the whole experience without standing out. It's got a fairly significant throw -- I can smell it without bending my arms at all, and my SO has commented on it from across the room -- and lasts several hours. I like it a lot, but I have to be in a Mood to wear it. I used to wear velvet blazers and ruffled shirts more often and this felt just right. :3 May 17: OLLA Spooky Action at a Distance '14 -- Starts as a burst of rosy sandalwood, much like The Little Wooden Doll, but fresher and brighter and better. This one is very harmonious on me, everything blends well and feels intentional. There's a mild citrus-like aspect to it, making it one of the cleaner scents from this series, and the geranium is pleasantly herbal but not bitter. I really like it! Elemi can develop a slightly peppery note as it dries, and that's what happens on my skin, buoyed by the geranium & violet leaf & not-quite-coniferous frankincense. It's not a deep scent, it's not thick or rich or heavy at all. It's light, but not airy -- it kind of....echoes? I guess? is the way I want to describe it. Like, when you walk into a open air temple? I've only been to those in Japan, and this isn't a Japanese scent at all, but it has that sort of feeling. It clears my head. Throw is very mild, I can't smell it unless I lift my wrists near my face, but it's got a surprisingly decent lasting power. Late drydown is just a wisp of sandalwood. I'm not really shocked that this one doesn't, overall, have great reviews, but I enjoyed this slightly spare, softly resinous scent journey, and I'll wear it again for sure. May 18: OLLA Streets of Detroit '14 -- Good lord, this is incredibly strong. It's dark, a little dirty, and very thick, with throw and lasting power for days. Black musk often has a slightly lemony tinge to me, and that aspect is present here; the combo of the musk with the myrrh and motor oil is very intense. I'm learning (slowly) that oil notes are a bit iffy for me at times, and this isn't really increasing my confidence in it. Once it's dried and has been on for a while, the motor oil fades and I like it a lot more, but the oil makes me almost a little queasy while it's damp. It's odd, because the throw is captivating. What I smell from a slight distance is absolutely fantastic, but when I sniff close up, blergh. It's like, on me, it's a scent that was meant to be smelled by someone else. And it lasts forever: it lasted through a shower, it beat my fairly strong lotion into submission, it wore through the night and was still strongly present when I woke up. It's just a beast. The only thing I can think of that I have that begins to compare is Minotaur, which is also black musk & resin, but that one is a baby compared to this, and the other notes mellow it out a lot. May 19: OLLA The Diamond's Gong '14 -- After the initial white musk & pale champaca blast, like a brilliant white KABOOM on my wrist, it subsides into a mild, twinkling, almost-soapy-but-make-it-incense scent. I'm neither a fan of nor do I dislike white musk, and likewise with champaca, so this is fine for me, but just fine, and not exceptional in either direction. I have some tagetes SN, and I think here it's giving the fragrance a little more body rather than being a primary note -- tagetes is remarkably bitter, and this skews sweeter on me -- but there is a hint of it that comes out periodically. It never feels specifically fruity to me, but it has a fruitiness to it that comes and goes. The scent as a whole is scintillating on my skin, in that I can smell it very strongly one moment and then it seems to vanish almost completely the next, and which note seems strongest varies wildly as well. Throw is variable, and longevity is fairly strong in that it continues the peekaboo act for several hours before it decides it's done. May 20: OLLA The Edge of Doom '14 -- This is a peculiar scent. It's very pale and plasticky, hitting me as a very beige scent at first, but there's something underneath that feels darker and muddled green. It's not really very pleasant, but as a person who has been on a whole lot of airplanes over the years, it hits right in that spot of clean and slightly off-putting that being on one often has. It's not a scent for the place you've been or the place you're going, it's that odd, liminal perfume of the non-place that air travel represents. I get a hint of rosemary, green and prickling my nose, and the faintest hint of almost grassy, slightly cucumber-y violet leaf. There's a saltiness to it, almost sweatiness, that starts appearing in later drydown that I find weirdly appealing. The opoponax, I suspect, has melded itself to the bottom of the bottle, as there's a thick opaque layer that won't budge no matter how much I roll or shake it, and the decant I have has similar sludge. This is definitely unique in my BPAL collection. It feels closer to a niche-style perfume. No throw to speak of, lasts a short time at strength but then pops up mysteriously hours later. Fascinating. May 21: OLLA The Hourglass '14 -- The opening is a pleasant orange blossom and white rose pop, and then it sours and the lily takes over. Fortunately, that stage doesn't last too long -- after it dries, the darker notes come out and it gets sweeter and suddenly I love it. The myrrh/opoponax form a soft, round resinous warmth at base of the scent, and there's an almost musky woodiness over that, with the clove and violet a vague dusty overlay that comes and goes. But the dominant note wafting off my wrist is a soft, glowing white rose. It has a pretty strong throw; I can smell it very clearly as I move around, but it doesn't have a lot of staying power for me. By the end it's just a hint of myrrh and rose. I do have quite a few rose and resin scents, even one specifically white rose and resin (Parlement of Foules), but this one is sweeter and more languid than most of them. However, The Hourglass, unlike most of the rest of the OLLA perfumes, feels very much like it could have come from a normal BPAL release; specifically, it feels like it could've been a Luper. May 22: OLLA There's Water Here '14 -- That sure is cement. This starts out very gray and very tough, but it melts into a softer, sweeter, greener scent in under ten minutes. There's a strong (expected) aquatic element, and a milder metallic note, plus some light florals. As it wears it starts developing some murky aspects, like pondweed or algae blooms, but it isn't a salty aquatic at all, it feels very fresh. It's not bad, however something in this is giving me a mild headache, so it isn't getting a full weartime. The throw, for as long as I lasted, was considerable, but I can't comment on true longevity because I had to wash it off after two hours. I feel pretty lucky that this is the first of the OLLA series that I've had a bad reaction to, and based on the notes for the two that remain, probably the only one. May 23: OLLA This is Your Wilderness '14 -- Cool, mentholic, green, foresty with a soft, sweetened patchouli that shows up as it dries and a mild tobacco underlying it all. Holy mackerel, this is lovely. It was a little sharp when it was newer, but it's aged into something truly glorious. It shifts gently once it's fully dry, with the pine and patchouli taking turns to be the dominant note. It has a good, solid throw and lasted for about six hours before fading away cleanly. I consider this a bit of a trilogy with In Templum Dei and Our Hearts Condemn us (and maybe Spooky Action), all are woody and contemplative. Wear this one for hiking, meditation, calming, or reminding yourself that the world is large, but not that large, and you can find wilderness anywhere. Just one left, and then I'll have to think of something new. Maybe a week of Lunacies or something to finish off May. May 24: OLLA Wooden Bullet '14 -- I really liked this for about two minutes. The balance of wood and metal notes was lovely, smooth and rounded. Then it went very wrong -- cocobolo has a slightly floral woody scent (it's a rosewood relation) and it did not mix well with the lighter brassy notes for me; it became very sour and unpleasant on my skin. I don't get anything smoky from this at all, just polished wood and brass. It had a pretty solid throw and got louder with wear. It was giving me a bit of a headache, so I ended up layering it with a different scent that was also mostly wood plus actual rose notes and that toned it down, but that scent wore off and Wooden Bullet was still there underneath. It's still there now, twelve hours later. Have you ever had an brass figurine or pendant and played with it for a bit and then smelled your hands? I used to wear a pendant that was a hand-me-down from my mother, who I think got it at a garage sale; I fidgeted with it constantly and my fingers used to smell like the brass note in this. Excellent ratings for being evocative, but wearable for me, not so much. May 25: Sugar Cookie '08 -- I'm doing Yules. We're creeping on towards the beginning of summer, so what better time to dig out some old Yule decants (and one bottle). ....I thought I remembered this one being kind of weak, but it is not. The blast of buttery sugar cookie wafting off my wrists is pretty impressive! It's not especially complex, but it's definitely a Good Cookie. This is another that, up close, is not amazing, but the throw is fantastic; I smell freshly baked. This was one I swapped for extremely early in my BPAL habit, the label is torn and stained and it's still about half-full. If I liked these pure cookie scents a bit more, I'd buy a bottle of 2020, but obviously, while I do enjoy them, they aren't high on my wear-list. I might toss the remainder of this one in the bath because I looooove bakery-scented bath goods. :3 May 26: Nowhere in Particular -- The Wind in the Willows collection is one I slightly regret not buying more bottles from. It's a bit late now, twelve years later, but I do periodically keep my eyes out for them. This one's very soft and lovely, slightly dusty and with a hint of the mist note I love so much. It's a little soapy ozone for a bit, but it evolves into pale green leaves and yes, just a hint of apple. At first it smells distant, even with my nose pressed to my wrist, like I'm smelling something from far away, but it's not faint, if that makes sense. Over time it strengthens, as if I'm getting closer. It morphs a bit at this stage, developing a stronger apple with a slight hint of spice (not cinnamon, maybe a drop or two of carnation in the blend?) and a bit of dirt. It has mild throw and only lasts a few hours, but while it's there, it's a very fine wandering scent. I should wear it on one of the days I go aimlessly walking around in the evening; I think it'd be perfect for that. May 27: The Last Evening of the Year (The Little Match Girl) -- Did you remember that they did this series? Because I sure didn't until I pulled out this partial decant. 😅 This is one of the Lab's pale, frosty rose scents, plus a bit of skin musk and some white musk masquerading as fabric softener. It manages to be pale, thin, and melancholic -- definitely giving the impression of a waif in rags in the snow, dreaming of warmth. It's not by any means unpleasant as a scent, but it has an aura of misery that makes me somewhat averse to wearing it; I suspect part of the reason I didn't buy bottles of any of these at the time is that it's a pretty miserable story. Even if you take comfort in her spirit being swept up to heaven to be with her grandmother, the story makes it clear that her corpse remains on earth, and that she died alone in the cold on a day that for most represents hope and renewal. I was not raised in a church-going family, so this particular fairy tale has always given me nightmares. Fragile throw, fades out quickly. May 28: Braving the Ice -- Mmm, more cookies, sweet, buttery, and bright with a hint of pomegranate tartness. Decent throw, solid wear time, does entirely and precisely what it says on the tin, though the mint is not especially strong. I'm marking this confection down as another that's pleasant enough for a decant, but didn't distinguish itself enough for me to buy a bottle. It does, however, tempt me to try to make something with these flavors as an actual dessert. I feel like I'd enjoy eating it more than I enjoy it as a perfume. (I loved the brief time when the Trading Post offered candies inspired by various perfumes. I still have the empty tin for at least one lurking somewhere. Knowing my tendencies, it's probably full of imps. XD) May 29: Snow Bunny '05 -- This one is another I got very early on in my BPAL journey and haven't touched in years. It's pretty straightforward and mellow -- a soft, piney, snowy top with some indistinct light floral base. From the reviews it sounds like it's chilled out a lot from when it was fresh. ...though, to be fair, the reviews are all over the place. ^^; The place this gets fun for me is in the later drydown, where it warms up to a soft powder with a hint of skin musk, like the ghost of perfume. It's a weirdly meta little fragrance, constructed to be a perfume that smells like a perfume that has been worn for a while and partly sweated off. Whether this was intentional or not, only Beth can say. I'm not sure I can say I like it more than a decant's worth, but it was definitely interesting. May 30: Skadi '04 & '13 -- When '13 came out, the decanter I purchased from included a 1/2 decant of '04 along with it, because they were amazing and generous, so I have both versions to test. The good news is that they're pretty much identical. '13 is a little bit more sharply minty at first but both go from snow to pine to berry with a little pause at delicate white musk at pretty much the same pace. The later drydown is mostly a cool berry with a hint of pine. It's pretty nice, I like it, but it's not in my personal OMG LEGENDARY list; there are just so many pine & snow scents out there, and the berries aren't distinct enough to my nose to make it pop. March 31: Visiting the Temple of Auspicious Fortune Alone on the Winter Solstice -- Finishing this run of Yules (and the month!) off with a winner in the longest names club. I had a decant of this and used it up, but I recently acquired a bottle so I can wear it again. ^__^ It's a very quiet, mellow perfume. The incense is soft and hazy, not distinct, and mostly hides under the rain and dust and ozone until late drydown. I'm very fond of this kind of thing. It has similarities to many of the misty scents, Nowhere in Particular, Mountain Temple, etc. None of them are clones of each other, but they all have a light presence without being flowery or overly bright. They're like neutrals in the color palette. This one is sort of middling brown and grey, and I really like the way it's aged. Low throw, but surprisingly decent longevity; I can still smell faint smoky incense after several hours. As a person who enjoys being alone, and who wears perfume primarily for my own enjoyment, fragrances like this really appeal to me. *happy sigh*
  14. windbourne

    March

    March 1: Deathly Pride -- Starting the month with a Naughty result from an Inquisition. For some reason, when this was live, I completely overlooked it, even though it is composed entirely of things I like a lot. Later, I got a decant and realized my mistake. Now I have one and a half bottles. ^__^ March 2: Mitzvah -- And ending my BPTP bottle week with a Nice perfume. This was a legend I was pretty sure I'd never get to sample as well, but I found it in a blog sale a few years ago along with my biggest discontinued GC lemming, Empyreal Mist. It's simple, sweet, and charming. I feel like a lot of these ancient perfumes have lost their mystique in the wave of newer perfumes that share similar notes or vibes, but I've been a fan long enough that I still feel that little thrill of "Omg, I have this" about them. March 3: Irrelevant and Disturbing Surreal Crawdad Dream '08 -- I decided to poke into the Liliths drawer of my decant collection (I keep my LE decants in an old Vosges chocolate advent calendar that has perfectly decant-sized drawers) for the next nine days or so, and I'm starting with this one, which is a sort of pre-Lilith-Lilith. It's the scent that Beth released when she was pregnant with her, and it's definitely a bit of an oddball perfume, as you might expect. Since then, I've often wished I'd bought a bottle, but at the time my finances were much less consistent and I *really* didn't know how I felt about the notes. It's pretty nice, though red currant is not great on me and it's pretty strong to my nose. ^^;;;;; March 4: Cake Smash '09 -- I always expect to like this one more than I do. I've had the decant since '09 and every so often I sniff it because it smells really good in the vial, but on my skin the cupcake almost disappears under the Dorian/Doc Constantine/Snake Oil. It's not bad, by any means, but it isn't great on me, either. Textbook 'keep the decant, don't need a bottle' situation for me. March 5: Lilith's Feel Better Flowers '13 -- This is a great bedtime scent. However, I have quite a few of those (one of my all-time faves is Gladdener of All Hearts, with which this shares a few notes, and that one reads far less soapy on me), so I never felt compelled to buy a bottle, but the name and story are so cute that I never gave up the decant, either. ^_^; March 6: A Very Pink Surprise Cake '14 -- So! Very! Pink! Quite accurate to the smell of strawberry-ish-flavored cake. It does remind me just a touch of Golletes, but that one is drier and I like it more, hence why I never bottled this one. March 7: A Vast Similitude Interlocks All '15 -- ...Wow, mixed feelings about this one. I like aquatics, but usually darker, grittier ones with lots of seaweed, kelp, or brine. My main exception to this is Selkie, which is light and watery and full of greenery. This is neither of those. It's very bright and salty and beachy, but with a distinctly perfume note from the amber. It's not awful, but it's a very not-me perfume, and I can't imagine actually wearing it out. March 8: Heel '16 -- In a turnabout, this is mostly things I don't usually like (jasmine and grass), with only one note I'm okay with (honeysuckle), but I like it pretty well. This is another from the "I don't remember testing this before" file. I don't even remember buying it, but I'm happy I did. ETA: well, it vanished within two hours. So, er... March 8b: A Vigilant Eye At Heaven's Center '20 -- When I first tried this I didn't like it at all, but after chilling in my new decants box for a few months, it's much nicer. It's still a mass of green with a slightly funky undertone, but the mint is much brighter and it feels mellower. March 9: Rose Quartz Bedroom '20 -- Well, it does feel very translucent and pink. The white musk is pretty strong here, giving it a very clean, laundry-esque quality. Again, not bad, I'm not feeling the urge to wash it off or anything, but not very me-appropriate. March 10: Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards '20 -- Last one for this theme for now. ;} Finishing it off with a bouquet of very woody & clove-y tea roses. It's pleasant, though tea roses are my least favorite kind and I wish the red or white were a bit stronger to my nose. I'm not sad I tested it, but I'm glad I didn't blind-bottle. It's good, but doesn't hit me as OMG GOOD the way some other roses-and-woods scents have. Nice to see the thorny note again, though. I bought a bottle of Thorns (the dc'd Marchen, not the clove ciggies [though I do have that too]) not long ago and really enjoyed it. March 11: Serpent's Kiss -- After mentioning Thorns yesterday, I decided to pick out seven dc'd GC bottles for this week. Man, this stuff is strong. The vetiver has mellowed out a lot since I bought this (2014, just after the dc announcement), so it's not as smoky, and the dragon's blood is much stronger and more floral. It's still a brutal scent, both cold and spicy. March 12: L'Ecole des Filles -- Still one of the prettiest orange blossom-forward scents I've ever tried. March 13: The Little Sparrow -- Soft, fluffy, beige, but so pleasant. It took me a long time and a few misadventures to get this one. I've also accumulated probably six or seven imps of it, so I doubt I'll ever run out. March 14: Thorns (Marchen) -- This and Serpent's Kiss have similar openings -- vetiver & dragon's blood, very intense -- but this one dries down softer and woodier, with a bit of that lovely salty tears note. I really love the later drydown, when the blood has mostly faded and it's soft saltwater and wood. This was way too much for me when it was first released, but I've learned more about my tastes since then, and I'm happy Ajevie had a bottle of this in the charity sale. March 15: Ides of March '12 (proto)-- WELL, YES. This is one of those bottles I dig out once a year and smile happily about, then tuck back away and forget about. It's pretty nice, though, herbalish and almost sweaty by turns. Costus root is a fascinating note; Beth doesn't use it very often, and I usually don't like the things it gets paired with, but it's not quite like anything else. I'll go back to my dc'd gcs tomorrow. ;} (ETA: The drydown on this was just gorgeous. I really ought to pull it out more often.) March 16: The Unicorn (Mad Tea Party) -- Aaah, this one is so lovely, a barely-sweet, misty-pale floral. I like linden about half the time, and the other half it makes me think laundry thoughts. This is one that does not leave me with that impression. I really love the Lab's misty scents. Too bad they get discontinued fairly often. 😕 March 17: Three Witches (Illyria) -- While I do have some of the Bards of Ireland series, I'm sticking with my theme today. ;3 This one's a great layering scent, but quite pleasant alone, too. I like wearing it during colder weather. March 18: Empyreal Mist -- It took me seven years of missing or being outbid on ebay and sales posts to finally manage to catch a full bottle, but I finally did. I had swapped and sold for several imps (and a bottle of v3!) and would have been happy with a partial or empty, but I finally managed it, and now it's one of my personal BPAL treasures. I just really, really enjoy that mist note. It's so nice. March 19: Sara Pezzini (Witchblade) -- I picked out seven collab/licensed scents I have bottles of to play with this week. Much to my surprise, considering that I usually don't think I like it that much, four of them have leather as a distinct or primary note. This one definitely does! It's very sexy scent, moreso than I usually go for. I don't wear it often, but I'm happy to have the low partial I have, because it's amazing. March 20: Sweets to the Sweet (Clive Barker) -- Tart, sugary, conspiratorial. I blind-bottled this and have never regretted it. It's got commonalities with the March '20 13, but it lacks the depth that the darker sugars add. It's a bit hypnotic, and almost, but not quite, floral. March 21: The Book (Paranorman) -- I have a low partial of this, which is good, because I'm not sure I've ever worn it before. ^^; I have a few other book-type scents I like a lot (Ü is my favorite!) and this one has a musty quality I'm not very into. March 22: Channel Snow (Kabuki) -- It's mellowed some since I bought the bottle (2016), but it's still that gorgeous galbanum fuzz it was when I first tried a decant of it. Love love love. March 23: Jareth -- What even needs saying about it? ^__^ There was no possible way I was going to not buy this, even if it were somehow composed of every note I hate, but luckily I think it's pretty great. March 24: Alcie (Pandora) -- I distinctly remember disliking this, but testing it now, it's not bad. It still smells very soapy until it's completely dry (green musk, you are not my friend), but afterwards, it's very nice. March 25: Liz (Hellboy) -- The first couple of times I sniffed Liz I thought I was safe forever, but at Will-Call in...2018, I think? I skin-tested it a bit and discovered that she was beautiful. I deeply suspect that this scent has a few batch variations, and I would definitely want to sniff it in person before buying. But the sweet, smoky, leathery, vaguely floral drydown is so worth it. Seriously, though, how did I end up with so many leather scents? It's not a note I thought I was especially fond of, but ...perhaps I was mistaken. March 26: Monsterbait: Underbed -- I'm doing a decant countdown to April Fool's this week. ;} IDK if the Lab will do an April Fool release this year, but I love them and enjoy seeing what shenanigans they come up with! I got this a long, long time ago, thinking it sounded pretty amazing, but it was one of two or three attempts to be friendly with the Lab's cassia note that didn't go well. It's fine, I like the rest of the notes, but I'd like it a lot better if it were normal cinnamon instead of cassia, which smells slightly of dirt on me. 😅 March 27: Velvet Nudie -- Super-simple, but very interesting. The throw increases over time, so I can barely smell it at first, then my SO is asking me what I'm wearing after two hours. I'm not sure I'd want a bottle (I didn't get any bottles from the Velvet Salon, though I have or have had decants of all of them), but I'm definitely keeping this decant. March 28: Teatime in Roswell -- This is very confusing. I tested it twice, and the first time it vanished without a trace, to the point that I forgot I'd put it on and put on something else. The second time it was definitely cucumber sandwiches at first, but then later it shifted, becoming almost floral and very nice. I went into it thinking I'd give it one last chance and probably toss it in the swap box, but instead, I think I'll keep it. It's just weird enough to keep my attention. March 29: Opuhi -- So, funny story, I opened the vial to sniff this and it smelled weird, off, not at all the beautiful pale tropical glory of Opuhi I know. The label was fully wrapped around and taped, so I cut it open and there were barely two drops left in it. I've definitely noticed that the lower the amount of oil (hence the greater amount of air in the vial), the more likely an older scent is to go strange, so in the spirit of adventure I just dumped those last two drops on my arm to see how it actually still smelled. It was pretty close to fine! I have a bottle of this as well, and I may return to it again this year -- it's a gorgeous summer scent -- but this imp is now empty. March 30: Knockout Drops -- The notes for this, on paper, are a list of a bunch of things I love, but the actual scent on me is reminding me why I never sought out a bottle. It's kind of clean minty lemony vague and a little vanilla, no absinthe to speak of. I'd blame age, but it's always been like this. It's neither good nor bad, it's just kind of ...there. The reviews indicate that I'm not the only one who got this impression, and I'm a little jealous of the folks who get a more distinct fragrance. March 31: Tiki King -- Really nice, woody, dark, coconut. I like this a lot, tbh. I'm a little surprise I never went for a bottle, though to be fair, it's a little darker than most of the coconut scents I really love, and more suitable to my tastes now than around the time it was available. I'm happy I have this! (eta: This also lasted f o r e v e r. I could still smell a bit of coconut incense-ish on my wrist twelve hours later -- tbqh, it reminded me a lot of the drydown of Deathly Pride!)
  15. windbourne

    February

    Feb 1: Pothôn Mêtêr -- It is, in fact, my birthday, it is nearly Luper season, and so I have pulled out one of my all-time favorite scents, from any company ever. I love it so much, and wear it pretty regularly and yet somehow, miraculously, it is barely below the shoulder. Magic. Feb 2: Gingerbread Zombie -- I have three gingerbread-and-mint combo scents now, including this one (matcha & raw mint and peppermint candies are the other two), so apparently this is something I'm really drawn to. Good thing that they are all very distinct from each other! This one is the softest and sweetest, and dries down to gently spicy chocolate. Feb 3: Endless Corridors -- I went through a phase of wanting to buy ALL THE BEESWAX scents pretty early on, so I have quite a number of them, and this is not my favorite. It does smell like dirty, smoky wax, which accomplishes the atmosphere for sure, but is not something I feel like wearing on a regular basis. It might make a nice room scent, however, or like, as background scent for a tabletop rpg session. Feb 4: Flickering Lights, Fluttering Curtains -- Oh, no I love this. It's lovely, and the white amber is only very gently soapy. It does remind me of some of the Lace scents, but it feels so airy compared to most of the ones I have. It's interesting; it feels like many of these haunted house scents should be layered with each other. Like, I may try adding Endless Corridors to this, though I may end up with something resembling a lighter Young Edith's Bedroom. Which...appropriate, no? Feb 5: The Cherry-Tree Carol -- This was the one I laser-focused on from the Winter collection this year. I'm not sure why, exactly, since I don't generally gravitate towards, and usually avoid, cherry scents. This one is cherry, but it's also woody and resinous and slightly floral and yeah, I really like it. ^___^ I always seem to have luck when I go with my gut on a particular scent! Feb 6: The Icebergs -- Peach & pine! ....I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's very odd. I can pick out a lot of the notes, but right now it's blending together on my skin in a way that reminds me of pine-scented cleaning products and clay. ...hm. May have to give this some time and test it again later. (eta: it dried down lovely. ) Feb 7: Rose-Tinted Mirror (TAL) -- I'm giving myself a sort of mental spa day today so this felt both thematically and emotionally correct. It's very soothing and pretty. Feb 8: 13 (March 2020) -- Sugar sugar sugar!! It's hard to believe this one's less than a year old! But it's already one of my favorites from this series, and completely different from all the rest. I really enjoy the journey through the various sugars on my skin. Feb 9: Sugar Skull '08 -- I'm going to test a week of old Weenie decants (including one I full-sized), because why not. ^__^ Kicking it off with a classic. It's not one of my faves, and the only bottle I have is a very low partial of '04, which is dark and sticky and more brown sugar than this one, but it's weirdly nice. It hasn't made an appearance in a few years, but it was a solid presence in the Weenies for quite a long time! It's good for when you want sweet and fruity but not foodie, if that makes sense? I like it, but I don't find it compelling. (Lol, it's there this year; I forgot to check. ^^; ) Feb 10: Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookie -- ...yep, that sure is what it is. I've gotten a lot less enamored by pumpkin-y scents as time has gone by, but this is still pretty nice. Extremely autumnal and very distinctively frosting-y; I can almost taste it. I'm happy I pulled this one out! It's delicious. Feb 11: All Souls '07 -- How to put it. This smells like a box of BPAL imps. Incense, slightly sweetened, but mostly just blurry, vaguely curranty, incense. I don't think it's turned, it still smells like what All Souls smells like, but the age and leakiness of this imp may mean it's time to chuck it into my freebies box instead of putting it back in the collection. I'm not sure I'm likely to wear it again after this, I have scents with both incense and curranty cake notes that I like much better. (eta: LOL, joke's on me. It dried down absolutely gorgeous and lasted for hours. This is what happens when you have too much perfume, folks. You forget.) Feb 12: Dead Leaves, Chamomile, Red Roses, & White Tea -- I'm not a huge fan of the Dead Leaves series. It's not bad, but every time I try one I just feel kind of eh about it. This was one of a few I picked as decants in 2016, and I still feel pretty eh about it. I like the Lab's chamomile note a lot, and it's very present, but I do not love this scent on me. Feb 13: Perilous Parlor '07 -- This was my first pear scent and I didn't love it. But in early 2012 The Vine was released and I suddenly discovered that I adored pear. But PP was re-released that fall and ...I still didn't love it, and didn't buy a bottle. It had a dusty, slightly perfumey quality to it (to my nose), even fresh. That said, this decant is perfectly pleasant, and I won't be pitching it post-haste. Feb 14: The Bride (Luper '16) -- Well, it's Valentine's Day, it would be more thematic to pick a Luper, right? This one is so light and lovely and romantic. I love magnolia as a note and it really shines here. Feb 15: The Changeling -- Back to the Weenies for two more days. This is a decant I don't actually remember ever trying before. I probably did, at the time (it's from 2011, when my collection was much smaller and I tried every decant I got as soon as I got it, covering my arms in dots of oil!) but I have no memory of it at all. ...And it turns out it's great. It's pumpkin without spices, plus pale wood and a soft linen note. Reading the reviews makes it sound like it was pretty rough going when it was fresh, but the passage of ten years has made this one smooth and beautiful to my nose. Thanks for the present, past-me! Feb 16: Ooky -- I was a little surprised to find I still had this decant, because I used about half of it in less than two weeks and promptly bought a bottle. ;3 I love almond on my skin -- when I was a kid, my mom let me use vanilla and almond extracts as perfume, and that association has never quite gone away -- and this is a delightful little nostalgia bomb of pumpkin and marzipan. Feb 17: Volcano in Springtime -- It's Luper week! I hear rumors they're due to go live soon. This one, from 2016, is pretty meh on me. It's very faint, fairly sweet, and not very interesting. The cream note in it smells a bit chemical on my skin. I do like some of these light, pale, pretty scents, but this one is not a good one for me. Feb 18: Venus Victrix -- Pretty roses and red musk and patch and sandalwood. I think, if I had been newer to BPAL when this came out, I would have really loved it, but it came out in 2015, and I already had several blends in this general wheelhouse by then. Dried down very nice, but still not something I'd have bought a full bottle of. Feb 19: Lady in Speckled Pink Kimono -- Once again, pale, pretty, though fairly distinctively pink. Starts sugary, ends floral, not much else in between. I had to look up the notes and reviews because this was another one I couldn't even remember trying. ... It's fine, I guess? It's funny, for how much I love a number of Lupers and how much variation there is within any given release, I managed to grab a random handful containing a few similar scents and at least two of the remaining four I know I didn't like. ^^; Feb 20: Pontia -- A little while back I finally identified bergamot as one of the notes that makes me think 'soapy' on my skin, so this one really just smells like an exquisite hand soap to me. Welp. ^_^; Feb 21: Inganok Jewelers -- This is one of the two I don't like. I am not really a fan of the 'stone' accord (seen also in Night's Bridge and 13 Hours) and tend to want to wash it off pretty quickly. Adding silver (which I have liked in other combinations) doesn't make me like it any more. I'm putting this one on before a bath because I know it lasts forever and I don't want it to be around later on. Feb 22: Milk Chocolate, Raw Ginger, and Butterscotch -- Pretty nice, no surprises here. It is, however, a little too buttery-sweet and I love this ginger note more in other things, particularly Mother Ginger and Vespertilio Proterus. I know why I kept this decant, and I also know why I didn't buy a bottle. Feb 23: Love's Philosophy ('16) -- This was one that became somewhat legendary because it didn't come around again for 8 years after its first release. But I hated the first release and got rid of my first decant fairly shortly after getting it. I picked it up again when it finally reappeared just to see if maybe a slightly more adjusted nose would find it more pleasant, but nope. It's very odd, because all the notes (vanilla, saffron, cream) I have enjoyed in other blends, but somehow, all together in this one, they are awful on me. So, verdict from Luper week is that I have four decants to put in the swap/sale box and three to put back into collection. Cool. Feb 24: Licorice Bats -- I think I'll spend this week exploring some of my BPTP bottles. (also I have a migraine and this scent is very mild, which is very necessary right now) This li'l guy is soft and soothing and very gently fruity and doesn't do anything weird on me. It has better throw and staying power than it did fresh, which is nice. It's not one I go for terribly often, but when I do, I'm glad to have the full bottle. Feb 25: Crypt Princess -- Yes, I do have her coffin somewhere in storage. This takes a while to settle on my skin, and the first few minutes are pretty terrible, but then it's pretty good, though still a bit tart, as you would expect from the pomegranate. Definitely related to Crypt Queen and King (I'll get to them later this week), but a bit more floral. Feb 26: L'Estate -- I got this in an Inquisition just a few months after really getting into BPAL. I actually bought two sets, this and L'Inverno, but ended up disliking the latter and sold the full set (perfume, atmo, bath oil) off at some point along the way. This set I kept (and later ended up picking up L'Autunno secondhand) but I never understood until now why it wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, and why it was so lightly soapy for so long on my skin. The answer is lily. ^_^;; It's still pretty nice, but I prefer the bath oil/atmo spray, neither of which have lily. (As a sidenote, the Four Seasons Inquisition was absolutely brilliant. Three [technically four, since there were also extremely limited matching soaps] iterations on a theme, all working together in a delightful whole.) Feb 27: Crypt King -- I'd kind of forgotten how much of a fuss there was about this one until I read the review thread, though checking my email, I actually bought it a few months after the initial release, sans coffin, but direct via the BPTP Etsy shop. It's quite pleasant, that lovely earthy pomegranate with more masculine, cologne-ish notes. I'm pretty happy I have all three members of this royal family; I should pull them out more often! Feb 28: Crypt Queen -- Started the month with one fave, ending it with another, though I still have two more days in my BPTP theme week. This was something I originally got as a decant very early on and didn't like, but a few years later, someone gifted me a low partial of it and I fell in love. It's one of those ones that defies all my usual likes and turns them into a deep love. Everything about it is beautiful.
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