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BPAL Madness!

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Azathoth is the blind, idiot god who sits on a black throne at the center of Chaos. His scent is high-pitched and screeching, both impenetrably dark and searingly bright with the clarity of madness: tangerine, saffron, vetiver, black amber and cedarwood.

 

This is dark, dark burnt incense. Not burning--this is the ashes. I get the burnt tone of vetiver I've smelled in lots of BPALs, with some extra smoke in the background that smells like a bonfire/controlled burn on a cold day. It's stark and reminiscent of the opening of Djinn. Eventually the cedar comes in and makes it slightly warmer and softer, and the amber develops even slower. This is not a powdery or sweet amber, and just serves to make the whole thing even darker and gooey. Together they almost smell piney at a distance, and the whole thing continues to smell like aromatic woods being burned. Surprisingly nice!

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I've been going back and forth about how I feel about this one. It does smell distinctly charred. It feels like bundles of dry grasses were burned and is now haunted by the ghost of citrus. I wish I could describe it better than that. I just can't, because the vague suggestion of some kind of citrus fruit hovers through the scent. It doesn't have the bite or zing I usually associate with citrus, but that's definitely what it is. I know it's listed as tangerine, but it really could be any of the sweeter citrus fruits. Have I said citrus enough?

 

Anyway, the main note that really defines itself on me is the vetiver hands down. It burns the amber and the cedar till the whole thing resembles burnt woods with the aforementioned tangerine ghost. It's not bad to me, just not what I was hoping for. I like burnt, smoky scents but there is a strangeness with this one on me that I can't completely pin down.

 

I asked my husband to sniff because I think it does lean a little masculine. He thought it smelled like a hotel hallway. He says it's not like cleaning fluid or anything so I'm not sure where the connection is being made, but he swears up and down that's all he can think of. Take from that what you will.

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mmmm, cola sweet resins and a touch vetiver and some cedarwood (thankfully as cedar is usually pencil shavings on me). The tangerine is so subtle, that the cola note I find some resins to be could almost be orange crush.

 

BOTTLE ME UP SCOTTY. Guh, this is awesome, as long as the damn cedar behaves, which it SO FAR seems to be doing but that cedar is an asshole. Can't trust him.

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This was a frimp from a Post purchase. And man am I happy they sent it. Its dairly masculine on me, and the vetiver sings on my skin. I love love vetiver and it usually does nice things for me, and this is no different than usual. The tangerine, which was a worrisome factor, is completely quiet and soft. Well blended and yummy, I love it. GC scents for the win.

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In the imp: Cedar and tangerine are the most prominent notes, followed by the saffron and black amber. I'm surprised that I'm not getting lots of vetiver from the imp, since it is usually so strong!

 

Wet: The black amber note is the first to emerge, followed by the tangerine and smoky vetiver. Then, the cedar and saffron join in. The cedar, amber, and vetiver are now the strongest notes.

 

Dry: This actually stays really close to the skin. The black amber reigns, warmed by a bit of cedar, and backed by the tangerine note, which hasn't burnt off yet, and some saffron. The vetiver note is really light now, surprisingly, and just adds a bit of smokiness.

 

Verdict: This one is okay. I was worried about the vetiver and cedar, but they didn't end up being problematic here. It's not something that I think I need more of, but I'm glad I was able to try it.

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Azathoth is black, charred vetiver on me and lots of it. Then the cedar comes out to meet it, and it's a forest fire. (I say that like it's a bad thing, but it's not, necessarily.) Then I can make out the saffron, but it's all very, very dry. I put this on last night about an hour before bedtime, and then thought that it was one of those vetiver scents that needed at least two hours to develop into something gorgeous, so I stayed up another hour, but it never quite got there on me.

 

What this scent needs is something juicy and sweet, something like, oh, tangerine. That would be perfect. But I'm getting no citrus here at all. This was a swap frimp, so I have no idea how old it is. It's possible a lab-fresh imp would have a lot more tangerine on board. I may keep this around for days when "forest fire" matches my mood, but I suspect one imp will last me years.

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In the imp: Sweet citrus clouded and shadowed by something smoky, with a subtle wood note in the background.

 

On my skin:

 

As it's drying, tangerine struggles to be the base note while the vetiver, black amber, and cedar all vie to become most prominent. I can't pick out the saffron note at all. Soon my skin eats up the tangerine (as it tends to do with orange citrus notes), and I'm left with cedar and vetiver. The result is a dry, woodsy, smoky scent, much like a cedar log freshly sat on a campfire. It's an interesting concept, but without a stronger brighter base note, it's not something I'm likely to want to wear as perfume.

 

Fairly low throw, which in this case is more good than bad.

 

Edit: After a few hours, the scent becomes more woods and less smoke, which improves what I'd like from it. However, as there are other woodsy scents I prefer to this one, it's still probably not one I'll keep using.

Edited by Tori

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In this review, I am testing and comparing two different frimps from the Lab.  One is aged about 6 years.  The other is a fresh frimp from the Lab, that I received just a few days ago.

 

In the imp:. The fresh oil is a clear golden amber color.  The aged one is also clear, but much darker; a deep brown-amber.

- Aged: Before mixing, I could smell vetiver and saffron strongly, with a backdrop of wood.  After rolling the imp to mix the oil, it is 100% cedar.

- Fresh: Wow, this is a totally different perfume!  Tangerine and cedar, which go very well together.  And I like that this is very clearly tangerine, not just plain old orange.  But something in here is super sweet, much too sweet for my taste.

 - Later ETA:  I found another imp of this.  I received it recently, but don't remember if it is a fresh frimp from the Lab or a possibly aged one from a forumite.  I only sniffed the imp.  No tangerine, so it's probably aged.  But there is a strong whiff of cat pee., pee-yoo!  It may be past its "expiration date."  But I know that it could smell differently on me, or change over time. So I put it in the duplicates box.

How interesting that all three imps smell completely different.  It goes to show how much perfumes can change over time, and/or from different batches.

 

On me, wet: 

- Aged (left wrist): Mostly cedar, but there is an accent of something bright, almost tangy.  But definitely NOT tangerine. It's kind of chemical-ish.

- Fresh (right wrist):. Tangerine, with saffron - ah, that's what I was smelling in the aged oil.  It just wasn't as defined there.

 

At 5 minutes:

- Aged: All cedar.

- Fresh: Still mostly tangerine and saffron.  And smoky - that's the vetiver, of course.  And things I can't identify, which is strange since I know all the listed notes. It IS a strange scent, like nothing else I've ever smelled.  Nice, though.  Sweet, but not too sweet.

 

At 10 minutes:

- Aged:  For a little while I smelled something else, too. Something slightly sweet.  I couldn't identify it, but it was lovely.  But it's gone now.  Back to all cedar.

- Fresh: Same as at 5 minutes.

 

At 20 minutes:

- Aged: Pretty much still all cedar, but there's a subtle undertone to it now.

- Fresh: The tangerine is fading, lighter and less realistic, but still citrusy. The cedar has appeared, and together with the saffron, is the main event now.  The two notes blend together beautifully.  There's still some smoke in the background.  It is no longer so sweet, or mysterious.  But still lovely.

 

At 30 minutes:

- Aged:  Still mostly cedar, but it is a gentler cedar.  A fine old cedar chest rather than fresh pencil shavings. With touches of smoke and amber to warm it up.  I liked it before, but like it a lot now. It is more nuanced, as well as being gentler and warmer.

- Fresh: This is becoming much more similar to the aged version.  But it is still slightly sweeter, and there is still a faint hint of citrus. And the cedar is a little fresher, sharper.

 

At 45 minutes:  

- Aged:. Same as at 30 minutes:  A gentle, aged cedar with touches of smoke and amber to warm it up.

- Fresh: The tangerine is completely gone now.  The cedar is a little sharper and smokier than the aged version and the scent is slightly stronger.  Otherwise they are much the same.

 

At 1 hour:

- Aged:  Gentle aged cedar with a little smoke.

- Fresh:  Freshly-cut cedar with more smoke.  

 

At 2 hours:

- Aged:  Except for the lovely addition of a little powdery amber, no further change.

- Fresh: The cedar note has mellowed, and no longer smells fresh-cut.  But it is still slightly sharper than the rich aged cedar of the older version.  There is some powdery amber here, too.  It is a little stronger in the fresh perfume, but here it is also masked to some extent by the sharper cedar.

 

At 3 hours:  Azathoth has surprised me.  I expected the two versions to keep getting more alike, until they were identical. Instead, the difference has become more marked than it was an hour ago, probably because the aged cedar note has lost a lot more strength than the fresh one has.

- Aged:  The amber is now equal to the cedar, maybe even a little stronger. There's just a breath of smoke left, like a memory.  The scent on this wrist is prettier than ever!

- Fresh:  The cedar-y sharpness now seems strident, compared to the aged one.  It continues to overwhelm the amber. The vetiver smokiness is also stronger than in the aged version, but not nearly as strong as the cedar.

 

The fragrance lasted many more hours on my skin, but with no further change, just a slow fade.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predominant Notes:

- Aged: Cedar

- Fresh: Cedar, tangerine 

 

Character: 

- Aged:  Woody, smoky, warm.  Unisex leaning towards masculine.

- Fresh:  Fruity and unique at first, then warm, woody and smoky.  Unisex.

 

4 out of 6 stars. This isn't really me - I'm more of a girly-girl.  But I do like it a lot. I like that it has no men-'s-aftershave vibe, and will enjoy it as a variation from my usual florals.

 

Comparison:

For the first twenty minutes, I like the fresh one best.  I love the unusual authenticity of the tangerine note, especially when wet.  And even after drying, the brightness that note gives, goes so well with the saffron and cedar, and helps restrain the fragrance from veering from unisex into masculine.  And the very unusual and mysterious scent that occurs at five minutes is fascinating.  The overall fragrance is much more nuanced and interesting than the almost single-note scent of the aged oil during this time.

 

From 30 minutes on (once the tangerine note has burned off),  I prefer the aged version.  It is smoother, gentler, richer, more blended and polished.  It is a subtle difference for a while. But in late drydown, I much prefer the aged.  It allows the amber to come out clearly, and has none of the sharpness of the fresh cedar note.

 

The tangerine note was completely lost from the aged oil.  Which is just what one would expect.  Citrus notes don't have a long life expectancy in perfumes, either on the skin, or over time in the bottle.  The cedar note improved with age, losing the sharpness while retaining its identity. The vetiver changed very little in character, but lost some strength, mellowing over time. (Which many people consider an improvement.  I like it both ways.) The amber also lost a bit of strength but was otherwise unchanged.  I couldn't tell if the saffron note changed, since it was not a very distinct presence in the blend.

Edited by Ghost of a Rose

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