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BPAL Madness!

Your Best-Bet "Must Try" Enabling Scents

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If you could create an Imp Sextuplet to best introduce someone to BPAL and get them hooked forever, which 6 imps would you include, and why?


My six would be:


1. Snake Oil (universally loved scent of seduction)

*subs: Black Phoenix, Bordello


2. Lady MacBeth (so unusual, deep and beautiful)

*subs: none. Lady Mac is a must for me.


3. Persephone (light, flowers, fresh, sweet, innocent)

*subs: The Hesperides, Alice


4. Veil (deep, purple, soft, dusky, ladylike)

*subs: Kitsune-Tsuki, The Unicorn, Old Glasgow


5. Vice / Gluttony (give 'em a delicious foody one)

*subs: Jack, Samhain, Dana O'shee (I haven't smelled these 3, but I think they fit the bill)


6. Baobhan Sith (something citrussy or tart)

*subs: Whitechapel, Old Shangai


But I don't like woody/chypre/smokey/incensey, so I have naturally not included those types of fragrances, since I can't tell the difference; I just smell "yuck".


What would you choose?

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what a great topic!


i think a good variety sampler pack would be:


snake oil - the sexy vanilla one

the raven or old sybaris - the violet one

blood rose - the rose one and the dragon's blood resin one

o - o

kumiho, old shanghai, hakkotsu, or embalming fluid - the clean crisp one


and for the last one, one of the really complex tour de force new ones: desire, kali, nephilim, or one of the kindly ones.

Edited by Ms. MSGirl

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1. Old Morocco - Sexy substitute for Snake Oil, which is a little less cloying to me.

2. Queen Mab - Good all around scent.

3. Embalming Fluid - "Interesting" name, but who doesn't love a light lemon scent?

4. Come to Me - Introduction to the Voodoos, plus, who wouldn't like a little help in this area?

5. Include the receiver's sign, so it may vary, obviously.


I know that's only five, but I need to work on the rest.

Edited by friendthegirl

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1. Something Sweet-- Jezabel, just cause I love it so. But also Snake Oil, O, Alice, Dana O'Shee, Dragon's Milk


2. Something Floral-- Tiger Lily (I think this is a very universal pretty scent), but also Eve, Queen Mab, Venus, Magadalene


3. Something "Green" or light-- The Apocothary, but also Embalming Fluid, Whitechapel, The Unicorn


4. Something Spicy/Resiny-- Greed, but also Old Moracco, Haunted, Saturn, Dragon's Heart, Cathedral, Kali


5. Something Fruity-- Carnal but also Baobhan Sith. That's about all I can think of because I don't normally go for citrus/fruit


6. A Rose Scent (just because Beth does them so well)-- Persephone, but also Black Rose


I think it really depends on the person though. I have been thinking about getting some for my mom, and I think I would stick with 2 sweet, 2 Floral and 2 Lights or Greens.

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Since the holiday deadline is approaching, I was thinking of getting a set of imps if I end up needing to give a random gift or if I just want to give a friend one imp to try or something like that.


Does anyone do anything like that? What do you think would be a good set of imps to have on hand for "gift emergencies"?

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That's a lovely idea.


The essential imp pack would include...

Snake Oil

a rose scent like Harlot or Delirium

something sweet and fruity a'la Hollywood Babylon, Tamora, Imp or Fae

a white floral like Magdalene

a deep floral like Phantom Queen

and something with a fun and funky name like Sin or Perversion.




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That is a nice idea. If I were doing it, I'd include the following:


- Snake Oil

- An herbal/incensey/wood scent (Cathedral?)

- An acquatic scent

- A fruity scent (Persephone?)

- A floral (Queen Mab?)

- Something else, to be determined. :P

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If I were to order an "essential" pack for someone, it would contain:


a vanilla scent [snake Oil, etc.]

a rose scent [probably Pride or Spellbound]

a fruit + floral scent [maybe Persephone]

a floral [most likely Sacred Whore of Babylon]

a dragon's blood scent [most likely Dragon's Heart or Dragon's Bone]

a resin/wood/musk scent or combination thereof [Old Morocco, Penitence, etc.]

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I think that if I were to order an essential BPAL starter set for anyone, it would have to have:


Snake Oil


Queen Mab

Embalming Fluid


Tarot: The Star


That's just based on popularity, eliminating the less popular ones with similar notes/feelings/etc.


If I were to give a starter set based on scent preference, I'd probably include:


Floral: Queen Mab

Fruity: Bordello

Incence: Scherezade

Fresh: Embalming Fluid

Gourmand: Snake Oil

Animalistic: Wanda

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I think I'd go with...


Snake Oil (because it's the most popular)

Swank, Glitter, Aizen-Myoo, or maybe Lolita - something feminine and fruity

Alecto or Intrigue (something woody and gender neutral)

Wrath, Three Witches, or another cinnamon/spicey scent

Harlot, Rapture, or Endymion - something floral, those being a few I really liked

Chesire Cat, Perversion, Kali - something complex and different

OR something incensey/meditative, like Old Kathmandu or The Coiled Serpent

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Somewhat along these lines, I am giving BPAL sets to my three sisters for Christmas:


Kumiho (everyone's getting this)

Snake Oil (everyone's also getting this)

Resin: O, La Petite Mort, Haunted

Spicy: Scherezade, Morroco, one to be chosen from Othello, Voodoo, Florence or Black Phoenix

Fruity: Apocathery, Bewitched, Persephone

Floral: Pele, Spellbound, one to be chosen from Lady of Shallot, Viola, Iambe, Muse or Zephyr

Wild card: Machu Picchu, Xiuhtecuhtli, Tamora


I stuck in the wild card category because I couldn't pick just 6 imps and also because some BPALs are hard to place in just one category. I also didn't pick any strongly woody scents because I haven't had any good experiences with this particular category - I figure that my sisters can pick those out on their own afterward, if they choose to explore BPAL further.


But to get back on topic, I have bought or will buy 5 ml bottles of most of these scents, so I might decant some for 'gift emergencies'.

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I've actually bought an introductory six-pack of imps for my MIL2B for Christmas, along with a bottle of Hunger (which she said she liked when she smelled it on me). I picked these ones:


O (because it was my very first big BPAL love and I want to pimp it on everyone)

Wicked (because it's a warm, sexy, 'grown-up' smell)

Snake Oil (no explanations needed)

Black Rose (again, this seemed to be a more grown-up rose scent)

Jezebel (a sweet floral blend, but with some depth)

Old Shanghai (a citrussy scent to counterbalance all the richer ones).


I didn't go for any of the more resiny, incensey ones, because when I first discovered BPAL it took me a while to adjust my nose to those ones and not immediately go 'ugh, hippy!', so I wouldn't want to scare her off immediately. :P

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I'm kinda-sorta doing this... most of my "random" picks are imps that I didn't care for on the initial sniff, though! I also had a few duplicates that I thought I would pass along as well. I'm getting a few 5 mls for people, and giving two or three imps' ears to provide a small sampling.


All the ideas that I've seen so far are really good picks. Here's my six-pack list for a female:



-Embalming Fluid





For a male, I would recommend:

-Old Port-Au-Prince

-Vicomte de Valmont

-Hurricane (again)

-The Hermit

-Val San Retour (not an official scent yet, but it ROCKS)



For a random imp pack, I think I'm echoing most everyone else when recommending a collection comprised of fragrances that differ from each other. I didn't include Snake Oil, as I haven't tried it yet (four orders deep and I STILL haven't gotten it, I know...), but since it's supposed to have a vanilla element you could substitute it for Zephyr, and so on. Lampades could be substituted with something like Hollywood Babylon or Hamadryad, Delight with Seraglio, Hurricane with Lorelai... etc.



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Sorry if there's already a recs thread for this; I couldn't find anything quite like it.


I want to get my sister some BPAL for her birthday. I suspect her skin chemistry will be a lot like mine (incense/resin, sweet, spice = good; jasmine, lily of the valley, and probably some other flowers = bad), but I don't know that for sure. So I want to get her six imps of scents that are widely liked but as different from each other as possible, so that she has a good chance of finding one she loves. (She lives a couple thousand miles away and I need to order soon, so her sampling my collection's not an option).


A lot of the forum favorites fall into the category of sweet and/or vanilla -- O, Snake Oil, Dorian, and Dragon's Milk, for example. I wouldn't want to get her more than two of those.


I'd like something light and clean: Embalming Fluid? Empyreal Mist? (Those are both good on me)


Something lush and foody: Velvet? Hellcat? (Haven't tried either one yet)


A rich floral: Sacred Whore of Babylon? (Love it!) Spellbound? (Haven't tried it yet)


And what notes should I look for in the last one or two that would be as different as possible from these? Something woody, maybe? Hamadryad? (Haven't tried it.)


Thanks for your ideas!

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Well, it might help to also take a look at the "scent families" listed in the advanced mode of the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab website's search engine:



The scent families are:










You've already made scent categories of your own, but you can also search for scents at the URL above in this way. My suggestions:


Forum favorites - Snake Oil, O

Light and clean - Neo-Tokyo (or Embalming Fluid...I think I have that somewhere)

Lush and foody - Dana O'shee (so long as she's okay with almond)

Rich floral - Queen Mab


I think Hamadryad may be a good choice for your last imp. I haven't tried it either, to be honest...

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I was just thinking about this today too, doing an imp pack for my 18-year-old niece. Velvet is a great scent in the "foody' category, with just enough chocolate to make you go yum but not enough to make someone ask, Are you eating chocolate?


I think I'd pay attention to names of scents for a newcomer, and not choose things like Embalming Fluid, or other names that provoke an ewwww response or worse.


Tintagel is another one I would probably include.

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Actually, for my first imp pack, I did the same thing, tried a variety to start to figure out what works. (I tried Lady MacBeth, Dublin, Dragon's Heart, Jezebel, Snake Oil, Baobhan Sith and Undertow. Got Hamadryad as a gimp).


What I would recommend:

Dublin-refreshing, clean, herby

Spellbound-soft, beautiful red musk and rose

Ulalume-light, clean, hint of flowers, hint of wood

Florence-warm amber and hint of berry,

Alice-spicy carnation, floral but not a bad one

Bathsheba-plum and carnation, not too sweet

Lightning-ozone, clean laundry hanging up to dry


I've tried Hamadryad, and got the cinnamon red hots that a few others get. But that's also how I discovered I like cinnamon. :P



Eidted to add, I second Tintagel!


Good luck!

Edited by empi girl

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Thanks for all the great ideas! (Especially Dublin -- I didn't have anything foresty, and people seem really passionate about that one.)


So here's my tentative list:


Snake Oil -- vanilla & "exotic Indonesian oils"

Dana o'Shee -- milk & honey

Dublin -- Cool foresty smells

Neo-Tokyo -- crisp & light

Spellbound -- rich roses, amber, & musk

Velvet -- sandalwood & cocoa


I think there's a bit of vanilla, musk, and rose crossing over from one scent to another, but hardly any of the dominant notes are duplicated.


Plus, the bonus for me: I need to order this week if I want to be sure to get it before her birthday in August, but I'll be seeing her a month from now. I can bring a bunch of stuff for her to smell then, and when she gets her order, if there's anything she doesn't like, she can trade with me for something of mine that she's already smelled. I haven't yet smelled *a single one* of the ones I'm getting for her, so I'm almost hoping there's something she won't like!


(I won't be ordering until The Update, at the very earliest, so if people want to argue for alternates to this list, feel free!)

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So here's my tentative list:


Snake Oil -- vanilla & "exotic Indonesian oils"

Dana o'Shee -- milk & honey

Dublin -- Cool foresty smells

Neo-Tokyo -- crisp & light

Spellbound -- rich roses, amber, & musk

Velvet -- sandalwood & cocoa

The sandalwood can be quite strong in Velvet and make it smell like wood shavings on some people. Also, you have two scents with strong creamy foody vibes (Dana O'Shee and Velvet), so it might be good to replace one with say, a fruity one that isn't over-the-top-B&BW-fruity. Fae (peach, oakmoss, heliotrope and white musk) and Bewitched (berries, green tea, some other green notes, dark musk) are my favourite fruity BPALs because they balance the sweet fruity notes with other components. Others have mentioned Bordello as a favourite fruity BPAL.


I'm not so fond of Neo-Tokyo myself because of the cherry blossom which always turns too fruity and sweet on my skin. I would suggest Kumiho (white tea and ginger) as your crisp and light scent, but I'm a little biased because I think that everyone should slather themselves once a week in Kumiho.


Finally, some forumites classify both Snake Oil and Spellbound as headshoppy. In addition, Spellbound can be too overwhelming for some people (not me, I adore it). You might want to go with a floral that contains less or is lacking in red musk (which can be an acquired taste) and amber until your sister has a better idea of what she likes. I'm no good in the floral department in general, so suggestions will have to come from someone else.

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I'm still new at this but here are some of my suggestions. I have a passion for roses and tend to dislike "foody" scents so I may have a different take than some.


Ophelia goes in the light white rose slightly haunting category for me.


Eternal and Nocturne are two more in the lighter scents to me. I prefer Nocturne slightly over Eternal and I'd say they both have a bit more of a foresty-garden-y scent than some of the others.


I have't smelled Snake Oil or Dorian yet but on me, O has the slightest bit of an unpleasant musk about it that may be too much for someone who isn't in that sex bomb mood so I'd recommend probably Snake Oil for a first time tryer outer.


I'd recommend either Alice or the Dormouse for your foody-ish scent.


Leanan Sidhe might be a nice alternative choice for a spicy, musky fragrance.


There's also Hemlock or Absinthe as opposed to Embalming Fluid.


And finally, I adore Iambe. *g*

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Alice (Innocent, creamy, girly floral.)

Dublin (Woodsy.)

Queen Mab (Mature, rich floral.)

Shanghai (Fresh, clean. It's like Embalming Fluid with oomph.)

Snake Oil (Sexy, softly spicy, slightly resinous. Plus, it's Snake Oil.)

Velvet (Foody without smelling like a bakery, which can make some people feel sicky [like moi].)


That's probably what I'd opt for if I were introducing somebody to BPAL via a 6-pack, though I'd probably throw in some "freebie" imps: Bordello (for an introduction to the Lab's "red"/berry-ish scents), Dana O'Shee (just because it's so mild, about as neutral as a scent can be), Morocco (for a drier, spicier scent), and Titania (fruity).

Edited by riddel

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