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Tesseljoan

Black Forest

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This is the captured scent of a cold, moonless night, lost deep within the darkest wood. Haunting and desolate, this scent evokes images of fairy tale tragedy and half-remembered nightmares. Thick, viscous pine with ambergris, black musk, juniper and cypress.

 

Very strong pine and cypress right off the bat. I get a little juniper as it dries though. It's almost a romanticized version of what a moonlit forest would be. I don't think it's particularly true to life, but the suggestion that it evokes "fairy tale tragedy" is spot on. Describing it as artificial doen't really do it justice, but as I said it's not realistic either. Fairy tale horror is kind of perfect. And I do really like the notes. Pine, juniper, and cypress with a ribbon of black musk to tie it all up. Lovely.

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2 yo Black Forest:

Just put on: A mix of pine needles coated in amber, lots of amber. 10 minutes: Second smell it seems more likely it's the cypress I'm smelling. I remember this smell, as they used to be planted around the school playground, and my hands used to get all sticky with this smell when trying to pull off cypress branches. Loving it.
30 minutes in: smell has softened a lot, and while I'm not too familiar with the specific smell of juniper and ambergris, I'm fairly sure what I'm smelling now is the juniper come out to play. The pine and such is still in the background, but this is a scent of berries you picked as a kid that your parents would tell you not to eat.
50 minutes: the floor of a fir forest, completely covered in pine needles, as fragrant as you ever had it. Slightly earthy, as if the essence of all the pine needles has seeped into the ground some.
70 minutes in: Still pine-y, seems to have grown sweeter. Is this the musk?
4 hours in (fell asleep to it): the mix is still there softly, slightly headachy.

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I have two versions of this, one I believe I ordered as part of my first imp collection, and one a frimp from 2016. This is for the later one, which I had planned to swap but never got a chance to.

 

Imp: in 2016, I had a note that this was too resinous, and that C. didn't like it. Two years on, it's much sweeter, and slightly alcoholic - pine, juniper, and cypress.

 

Wet: on my skin, it behaves exactly like the smell of the 2009 imp - salty and damp, with a twang of earth and truffles, and a deep, rich fragrance of pine.

 

Dry: I'm actually quite glad I allowed this to age, because it's morphed into a gorgeous soft pine and cypress blend.

 

I don't get vetiver at all from this, which is quite odd for me, but in the end works well - knowing how that behaves on my skin, I think it would actually drown out the pine, and the pine is what makes this. Always fresh, but not fresh enough to be considered bathroom cleaner. A beautiful mimic for the 2007 Capricorn, and still my go-to pine scent after a decade. I recommend a year or so of aging to bring out the nuances.

 

Stars: ★★★★ (this version)

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Lots of pine, with a hazy sweet incensey note gradually creeping in like fog. I thought it might be opoponax at first, eventually settled on opium, and now that I'm reading the note list, I think it's the black musk. It's definitely evocative, but it's enough of a specific-mood scent that I probably only need an imp.

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This was one of my first Bpal purchases, as I was on the hunt to smell like greenery in all its forms. Unlike many of its fellows, Black Forest has remained a favorite. I love the mix of the ambergris and the pine, and it stays cool and forest like throughout the day in all types of weather. I love this, and its one of my favorites for a day where I need to feel centered and peaceful, in my beloved forest, if only in a sense.

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This imp was one of the things that motivated me to give in and make my first order. Luckily, I do quite like it!

 

In the imp: Quite strong on the pine, I can pick out juniper and a mix of resinous, herbaceous, and woodsy notes.

 

10 minute dry down: VERY strong pine/juniper with hints of something perfumed underneath, probably the ambergris or musk. The juniper amps on me on dry down and keeps it from getting christmas-y with the pine. The musk, for me, shows in up in waft, but not directly on the wrist.

 

1 hour out: Softened, still foremost with pine and juniper, but growing more blended together with each other and the musk and ambergris. Soft, woodsy, like a deep old growth forest and lovely.

 

This is still one of my favorites, although I've found that how much I like it can vary - at some points my body chemistry amps the juniper to the point where it's almost too bracing and biting, other times it stays that soft, deep forest that I just want to find a spot of dappled sunlight in and lie down to nap.

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Sharp, clean pine right off the bat. As it dries down, the pine doesn't budge an inch, but the black musk sort of blooms behind it, giving it a soft, shadowy backdrop. The juniper and cypress come out to mingle with the pine, giving it a bit more dimension (and I think a hint of sweetness?), making it less clean and more foresty. Meanwhile, the black musk just gets warmer and fuzzier, more animal than shadow. It manages to be very cool and crisp, but at the same time, soft and lived-in.

 

Black Forest is definitely a scent that lives up to its description: it's freshly fallen snow, looming woods, and dark figures that could be shadow or beast. Not overtly menacing, but certainly wild and unknown--and what's more frightening than the wolf that might be there?

 

It's also an unsettlingly perfect fit for a character I've been writing: a shapeshifter who spends a substantial amount of time trekking through the woods. It's the pine needles she collects for tea, the snow caught in the wild tangle of her hair; it's her clean, damp fur at one moment and, at another, her bare skin flushed red from cold and exertion. I've taken to wearing Black Forest almost anytime I write about her, especially when it's from someone else's perspective, because it's pretty much the exact scent that would waft off of her when she walked into a room.

 

Though they don't actually smell that much alike, this and Dracul feel slightly related to me; I think it's the contrast between cool, crisp woods (pine in Black Forest, fir in Dracul) and the soft, fuzzy black musk. But where Dracul is a gentleman who knows what it's like to wear the skin of a wolf, Black Forest is simply the wolf, pure and untamed.

 

Between this and Dracul, I've also realized I really enjoy black musk. It has a soft, yet very animal quality that makes me think of clean fur, or maybe not-quite-clean skin. It's distinctly wild without being aggressive or dirty, which fills a niche I didn't even know I wanted filled.

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Wow, I have the privilege of following two new forumites who are already writing stunning reviews. Welcome to the community, DryFrogPills and conflagrantThief!

 

Black Forest was one of the earlier imps I purchased, and I realized today that A. I felt like wearing it and B. I'd never reviewed it, so here goes. Wet, it is sharp, realistic evergreens, broken boughs, trailing sap. I'm not going to pretend I can prise apart pine, juniper and cypress; it is just dark forest to me, and it stays this way for an hour or so. Gradually, the evergreens soften and the ambergris sweetens so that the drydown resembles a favorite GC of mine, Golden Priapus, but with black musk instead of vanilla, making Black Forest darker and dreamier. This is absolutely unisex: outdoorsy and vital at first, soft and cozy with longer wear. Lovely.

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