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BPAL Madness!


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Shining black leather, gleaming metal, labdanum, and myrrh.


On: Heavily alcoholic (from the labdanum, I think) with tons of leather, metal, and myrrh.
1 hour in: Lots of myrrh and leather.
1.5 hours in: Tons of black leather. This definitely isn't the soft, well-worn, dusty brown leather of Dead Man's Hand.
2.5 hours in: All black leather.
3 hours in: Black leather with a hint of metal.
Overall: I'm not a huge fan of leather, in general, and the addition of the other notes doesn't really help.

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5mL bought on LJ.


Preconceived notions:


This one intrigues me, but it has the potential to go wrong on me. Leather is a hit or miss note for me (since I stopped wearing leather years ago, the smell of it can sometimes make me a little queasy) and metal is generally not so great on me. But labdanum is generally good (although I couldn't explain what it smells like) and myrrh is always good.


I'm more hopeful because of the reviews than I am because of the listed notes. I love patchouli and I like vetiver quite a bit, too, although I seem to be the only person I know who does, so I don't wear it as often as I'd like. It took me a while to track down Kroenen, but I had to get a bottle when the opportunity to get it cheap presented itself.


First sniff:


I smell vetiver very strongly here, but based on my experience with Priala, I'm thinking that it might just be the myrrh I'm smelling. There's apparently one kind of myrrh that smells very similar to vetiver to my nose. Kroenen is ashy, dark and slightly earthy right out of the bottle. It's right up my alley, but I can see my family being repelled by it at this point. Not that that would stop me from wearing it. It would just mean that I wouldn't wear it all the time or at family gatherings.


Wet on skin:


Strong vetiver/myrrh at first and then a metallic, almost chemical note creeps in. It's strange and oddly menacing smelling, although I can't pin down why it feels that way to me. Kroenen is truly weird at this point. It reminds me almost of Geek mixed with Bed of Nails with a dash of Tarot: Death thrown in for good measure.


Dry down:


Kroenen is a morpher. No doubt about it. As it dries, the leather slowly amps up until it's a dominant part of the scent. It's an unusual leather, too, almost oily or greasy smelling...motor oil or heavy black grease, but very faint. I also get that strange, almost chemical metal scent (I think it may be the metal combining with the leather that I'm smelling), but it's much fainter at this point. The myrrh (or vetiver) is still there, but it's hiding behind the leather, adding a strange smokiness.


The bottom line:


I like Kroenen a lot, but it's definitely a strange scent. It feels weirdly foreboding somehow, but in a good way. Very evocative, although not evocative of pleasant things (unless you're into weird, probably painful experiments and men in leather masks, which some people are). I love BPAL's offbeat, creepy scents and this definitely fits the bill. I don't think I'll be wearing Kroenen to any family gatherings, but it's earned a place in my collection for sure.

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Vetimyrrh. From wet to drydown. Unlike all of you, i'm not even really getting the leather over the thick, resiny, stab-me-in-the-nose pair of vetiver and myrrh.

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I received a bottle of Kroenen, and while it didn't meet my initial preconceptions, I do really like this blend a lot!

I had been waffling on buying a bottle of Sloth, but held off because it felt a little too static and simple—well this is the myrrh scent from Sloth, dialed down a little, and instead of vetiver, it has been paired with labdanum in this bottle. The labdanum is resinous and a little smokey, and mixes well with the strong black leather. Altogether, it's a very dark, black scent, well-rounded, and a touch sweet.

Smelling it on my skin reminds me of goth clubs, with a gaggle of leather clad folk coming in from smoking cigarettes outside—their leather jackets gleaming with metal studs and zippers. The blend could fit in well with the Steamworks scents, the mix of labdanum and myrrh smell medicinal, in an old-timey, licorice way, and when paired with the shiny black leather, it's almost like shoe-polish... the sort that can buff up a pair of 20-hole Docs for ultimate ass-kickery.


Overall, I'm impressed and can't stop sniffing this steam-punky, leather-clad, cyborg!

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This was much softer and a bit soapier than expected. I would call this a clean, woodsy aquatic. It's pretty traditionally masculine in the sense of a nice cologne or one of the more pleasant commercial deodorants, something between "sport" and "woods" with a touch of spice around the edges. The myrrh and labdanum sweeten and soften the edges of the leather. It's not harsh at all and there's nothing particularly weird or unpleasant about this, in fact I'd call it one of the more generic leather blends. It's nice, but I think I was expecting something harsher and grittier with more of an edge to it. 

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