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plainjean

The Phoenix in Summer

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THE PHOENIX IN SUMMER
The Phoenix soars through a summer thunderstorm: Nepalese amber, galangal, red musk, saffron, ozone, and the scent of hot rain striking pavement.


For me, this scent is really evocative of summer in a city, during a heavy midafternoon rainstorm. The sun is beating down and suddenly there's a torrential downpour. This happens all the time here in Florida, so I suppose I could say this scent reminds me of home. I can't pick out a single note, it's so well-blended. Really, this scent is more of an image than a bunch of scent notes. Gah, first review, and I wish it was more helpful! I just can't seem to think of a way to describe this using scent terms rather than image terms. Hm..I guess I'd say that it's a tiny bit aquatic, but dry and warm at the same time.

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Well, this definitely has that famous BPAL aquatic note, but, believe it or not, it's very subdued. I agree with plainjean; this DOES smell like a rain storm in the summer in Florida. It really reminds me of wet pavement smell, only with a dry, crackly saffron note. As it dries down, it becomes more perfumey, and the aquatic note fades even more into the background. I wish there was more nepalese amber in this scent, as it's my favorite note, but I also love saffron and the saffron is really key in this blend. I haven't smelled anything like this in the entire BPAL catalog; it's very unique.

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I'm not sure which note(s) in this I'm finding disagreeable, but this really isn't for me. I think I'm fine with the amber and musk, which make it really rich and golden and warm, but the ozone/aquatic/saffron notes are probably what's making me wrinkle my nose every time I sniff my wrist. It's sort of musty and stale, with a murky humidity that sort of correlates with that "summer rain on pavement" concept. But... I don't want to smell musty or stale or murky! The combo is rather cloying, and the scent that's wrapped itself around me is more oppressive than soaring!

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I need to say that, first of all, my experience with BPAL Season-based scents is that by and large, I go for the Autumnal in general. But with this round of Phoenixes, it was Summer all the way. I tested it out and left the Will Call and had to go back three days later because I couldn't stop thinking about it, and knew I needed a bottle before it drove me mad with wanting. So here ya go:

 

 

 

In the bottle: The red musk and saffron are both the immediate notes. They come on strong, spicy and sexy and somehow have a creaminess to their heady mix. The ozone and wet/aqua notes are surely there, but amazingly, they stay in the background- a first in my personal experience with either of those aggressive notes. *fingers crossed*

 

 

Wet on skin: More of the same, but it's going deeper now. The warmth of my skin is somehow getting the notes to blend more, interact, open into another layer of complexity. the word that comes to mind is "heady".

 

 

Dry down: This is Summer In The City, in a bottle. Having grown up in New York City jumping into open fire hydrants far more often than jumping into the ocean at the beach, I can tell you, it's here. The hot wet asphalt, the charge in the air before the heat lightening comes, and the lurid smell of damp bodies in too-close proximity. Oh my YES. :yum:

 

 

In all: What Smut is to Wintertime sexiness Phoenix In Summer is to summertime sexiness. Medium throw, this is one that is clearly going to only get better with age. Not just a keeper, but possibly a scent to get several bottles of.

 

 

:wub2: :wub2: :wub2:

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Something in this scent is a bit cloying and smoky-spicy on me (maybe the saffron?). I can smell the slightly fruity red musk at first, but it's more subdued than usual and the ozone and aquatic keep it from smelling heated and warmly musky. The aquatic/ozone is chilly, clean, and sort of sharp and high pitched. All in all, the notes sort of clash on my skin in an odd and unpleasant way. I don't like the sweet spiciness mixed with the cold, clean notes.

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Fresh on my skin, this is hot & dry. The red musk (my nemesis) provides a fruity note, but is calm otherwise. Then there comes what must be ozone & rain, because 'soap' isn't listed in the description :P. It's a really different blend, and without the soap it would be spectacular. I guess this California girl just doesn't do summer rainstorms....

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I like the saffron and amber in this, making the scent smell warm, but the red musk and ozone combination really doesn't smell all that great on me. It just smells a little weird.

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Sniff: red musk and a bit tangy (guessing that's the saffron)

 

Wet: I get the aquatic note, but the earthy galangal holds it down. I normally don't like ozone scents, but combined with the other components in this blend, it's quite pleasant

 

Dry: I can't stop sniffing this. It really mellows out when dry and becomes a fascinating mix of warm and cool notes: like a rain shower cutting through humidity, or sweat cooling off skin. I have to agree with VioletChaos, there's a sexy side to this too. A surprise hit for me!

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First impression: whoa, spicy!! Also, it might be something the Man might like, since he tends to favor the more spicier scents that I am rather meh about. The musk starts coming out, and yeah, it is certainly the red stuff. Some musks just turn my stomach, and this is one of them. I mean, real nausea. (Nothing against the scent—it’s just me. I don’t like a lot of men’s perfume for that reason.) Pass.

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Alrighty, Phoenix anniversary blend test #1 - Phoenix in Summer.

 

Wet on skin: saffron and hot pavement indeed! also a hint of sweet galangal lurking underneath.

 

Dry on skin: This is really pretty, and the embodiment of a hot summer day right after a brief thunderstorm that spritzed just enough rain to wet the pavement. The aquatic note in this is just gorgeous; it's warm while still evoking that feeling of rain and heavy summer humidity. Also, the red musk in this is noticeable, but for a change it doesn't go foul on me! Unfortunately though, I just don't think that I'm a fan of red musk in general, even when it's playing nice.

 

After a while: The Aquatic feel is fading, or perhaps morphing, because I'm now detecting a fairly strong green stem-yness at the base of the blend. However, the humidity tinged hot dry saffron and red musk is still what is most noticeable in this blend, and it's just lovely.

 

Final Verdict: I really like Phoenix in Summer for the way it evokes a feeling of the hottest of summer days and those quick summer thunderstorms, even in the depths of winter (with a snowstorm brewing outside!), but as an actual perfume for wearing? This just isn't the sort of scent that I see myself wearing, regardless of the fact that I really do like this blend. If you're the sort of person that LOVES to wear red musk, and is a real lover of summer, then this might just be a HG scent.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

 

If you like this, try: Midnight Kiss, Fire Phoenix, Infernal Lover, VILF, MME. Moriarty Misfortune Teller, To Autumn

 

Using a slightly altered yeahbutnobut review formatting, because it is the epitome of awesome and helpful.

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This reminds me a bit of Red Moon '07, however, the thing that really makes this blend unique is the aquatic/ozone feeling added to all those warm summery notes. I'm impressed that the ozone note is not doing that dryer sheet thing it can do on my skin, and the scent is sort of a balance between these warm and dry and cool and wet aspects.

 

Although it's unique, it's not the kind of thing I really reach for to wear, but if you love summer scents and enjoyed Red Moon '07, this is lighter on the musk and the aquatic/ozone really adds something special. I'm glad I tried it, but I'll be happy with my bottle of Red Moon. :)

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Red Musk (light) Ozone (light) Cement-heavy :ack: This smells like hot cement. With a splash of rain and red musk. Evocative...but sadly not for me.

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:::PHOENIX IN SUMMER:::

 

Purchasing 5 ml of Phoenix In Summer (unsniffed, of course) was an absolute must!

There is a great capacity for love when it comes to the Lab's Amber notes.

There has yet to be the slightest disappointment when Amber is included anywhere in a formula.

Ozone also generates loads of excitement. Other reviewers have made plain that Ozone notes are not dear to them; that they are "head-achey" etcetera ad nauseum...

Ozone has rocked anything encountered so far and taken it into entirely new dimensions of fragrance.

Surely Phoenix In Summer will be no exception.

From the Bottle: For the briefest of moments, nothing could be detected... And then the Ozone sang out like the disembodied voice of a spirit that dwells inside a desert boulder...

This is the driest Ozone encountered to date!

While there is no mistaking this as Ozone, it is a far cry from the Ozone that one can find in aquatic or elemental formulas...

There is also a dessicated and herbal quality to this that must be the thready petals of the Saffron.

Amber is here too of course, but it is surprisingly diminuative at this phase of the experience... The sweetness of the Amber, when added to the dry Ozone and Saffron, almost gives the impression of sun-baked Hay!

The Galangal lends a nice sharpness that totally compliments the Ozone, but you have to put your nose right up to the Bottle and really lean into it to make that detection from the neck.

What an incredible fragrance!

Phoenix In Summer totally transports at this phase. This is like owning a time machine and ensuring yourself of an endless summer regardless of which side of the Equator your preference lies.

On the Skin: Amazing! Phoenix In Summer is beyond incredible!

The Ozone and the Saffron are the biggest ampers in this formula and, for a moment, take on an earthy, almost celery-like quality.

The Galangal sends ripples across the fragrance like sunlight reflected onto the underside of a porch roof from where someone has tossed a pebble into a puddle; disturbing the surface.

Though it is clear that the "Phoenix" referred to in this blend is the mythological bird of resurrection, this scent transports across time and space to the Summer of 1990... While visiting a cousin in Phoenix, Arizona.

A series of storms came through that the locals were calling "Monsoons".

The smell was very much like this.Elizabeth's description of "hot rain striking the pavement" was one that weilded the most intrigue and most strongly influenced the purchase of Phoenix In Summer from this most recent order...

From personal experience, the fragrance is very much like that, but the element of dried Saffron ad Galangal provide the added depth of that same hot rain striking desert rock and terra cotta tile as well.

On the Wife's Skin: She Amps the Ginger (Galangal)!

Big time no fair!

She thinks it's girly and foody (possibly the Galangal).

She said it reminds her of the caramel corn at DisneyLand o_0 .

After a couple more wrist-huffings, she wrinkled her nose and said that it also reminds her too much of a stinky "Indian store" (e.g. Nag Champa, head-shoppy, etc.)Phoenix In Summer is wonderfully unisex: Bright and exotic on Her, mystical and mischeivous on Him.

Spectrally, Phoenix In Summer is stone, rain, rust, indigo, and sage.

Amazing Stuff!

Phoenix In Summer gets a 5 out of 5!

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In the bottle: Red musk, saffron, a hint of ozone.

 

Wet: Sweet red musk, but the amber, galangal, and saffron are holding their own.

 

The dry-down: Not so much like a thunderstorm, as that hot sweet smell of drying fields in the summer countryside, where the crops, especially the corn and the hay, need a little water to keep going. I suspect the amber and the saffron are giving that dry note in combination. I think that I will appreciate this more in July. The cover art is of a red-orange phoenix, that looks to be flying over green hills topped by thunderclouds, with a fork of lighting in the distance.

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Ozone, red musk and saffron.

 

This smells like a summer storm in a desert city. It's clean ozone, hot sweet musk and makes me think of thunderclouds over a desert.

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At first, this is red musk with a fresh aquatic feel. I've never smelled red musk with an aquatic note, so this is kind of interesting to me. After a bit, I only get the aquatic, and it's like a 'warm' aquatic, if that makes sense, like warm rain striking a scorching hot pavement. I kind of liked the red musk phase, and don't have enough of the sniffie to further test, but I think the red musk will amp with age. I don't normally like aquatics, but I think I'm going to take a chance with this one, as I really like the wet phase. The Phoeni have been really great this year!

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Somehow Beth captured the scent of a summer thunderstorm and lush greenery in the deep south in a perfume. I would love to have this as a room spray because it reminds me of my childhood home. Unfortunately, I don't really want to smell like this.

Edited by MelanieSuzanne

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I'm usually fond of ozone, but I find the notes in this one too tangy and cloying to really enjoy. Sadly, this is the only one of the four Phoenix anniversary blends that I didn't really like. :(

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At first....whoa! Coppertone all the way. Then somehow it settles down and softens into the amber. Then the ozone pops up. I can't decide if I like this or not. Normally I really lot torpid pavement scents so I'm going to let this one age a little bit and see what happens.

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This is my favorite of the four. This smells like Summer rain in Phoenix (ironically), after the asphalt smell dissipates. LOVE. 5/5

Edited by Herb Girl

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I knew I had to risk this one because I love red musk, and I was right; it isn't that nauseating smell of humid rain on asphalt at all. It's actually a sensual red musk and amber on me, with highlights of galangal and saffron adding mor eintrigue. I actually don't get much ozone but then again I don't amp it; I tend to amp musks and resins, especially red musk--not like I mind because it worked out to my advantage. :D

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In the vial: Fresh! Ozone and galangal, I believe.

 

On: Super-fresh, and it really reminds me of a passing rainstorm. It's similar to "Stormclouds over the Midway", but that one is heavier and smoky, and has a hint of fruitiness to it, whereas this has a fresh, gingery ozone. They do seem to be the same scent category to me, though, probably because of the ozone.

 

Later: This doesn't change at all. Fresh, ever-so-slightly gingery ozone. Totally unisex. I like it, but I don't think it smells bottleworthy on me.

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Very amber and ozonic - a kind of bronzy scent. Doesn't suit my skin and it's not something I'd wear very often, if at all.

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In bottle: Resinous ozone.

Wet: Red musk, strong and warm. The only other blend I own that contains red musk is Red Lace, and I can clearly smell the resemblance. Phoenix in Summer's amber is lovely, not powdery on me at all.

Dry: This is a rare blend for me, the ozone is just a little zap, not overpowering at all. I haven't sneezed once which is usually my reaction to ozone blends! It's mainly a musky, sun-drenched sidewalk on me.

 

Verdict: The overall feeling of this scent is definitely summer- dry, hot, sweet. This is the first ozone I've found that actually agrees with me, so it may earn a place in my permanent collection. Then again, Red Lace does already meet my red musk needs quite well.

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Sniffed: Ugh! Peppery! Where are my beloved ozone/rain notes?

 

On skin: Nothing but angry pepper. What baffles me is that this is the second time I've tested Phoenix in Summer; the first test smelled drastically different: more ozonic/watery and stony, completely in line with the notes list. I'm hard-pressed to pinpoint what is causing this angry, peppery scent, it's like no other note I've smelled before. Vetiver, perhaps? I suspect it's a component in one of BPAL's "rain" notes, as Szepasszony pulled the same stunt on me. Phoenix in Summer is the only other blend that has done this, though. Anyway, all I smell is this peppery note, perhaps touched with some inorganicity from the stone/pavement. It's thoroughly repulsive, and unwearable -- I'm going to wash it off now.

 

Verdict: What a disaster. I have no idea what happened to Phoenix in Summer between the first and second tests, and I'm not interested in finding out. I'm glad this peppery note is a rare occurrence! But this was quite a horrible experience and my decant is going straight to the swaps box.

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