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The Harpy Celaeno

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THE HARPY CELAENO
The unicorn began to walk toward the harpy’s cage. Schmendrick the Magician, tiny and pale, kept opening and closing his mouth at her, and she knew what he was shrieking, though she could not hear him. “She will kill you, she will kill you! Run, you fool, while she’s still a prisoner! She will kill you if you set her free!” But the unicorn walked on, following the light of her horn, until she stood before Celaeno, the Dark One.

For an instant the icy wings hung silent in the air, like clouds, and the harpy’s old yellow eyes sank into the unicorn’s heart and drew her close. “I will kill you if you set me free,” the eyes said. “Set me free.”

The unicorn lowered her head until her horn touched the lock of the harpy’s cage. The door did not swing open, and the iron bars did not thaw into starlight. But the harpy lifted her wings, and the four sides of the cage fell slowly away and down, like the petals of some great flower waking at night. And out of the wreckage the harpy bloomed, terrible and free, screaming, her hair swinging like a sword. The moon withered and fled.

The unicorn heard herself cry out, not in terror but in wonder, “Oh, you are like me!” She reared joyously to meet the harpy’s stoop, and her horn leaped up into the wicked wind. The harpy struck once, missed, and swung away, her wings clanging and her breath warm and stinking. She burned overhead, and the unicorn saw herself reflected on the harpy’s bronze breast and felt the monster shining from her own body. So they circled one another like a double star, and under the shrunken sky there was nothing real but the two of them. The harpy laughed with delight, and her eyes turned the color of honey. The unicorn knew that she was going to strike again.

Clanging metal, smouldering hatred, and terror: vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, tolu balsam, black clove, bergamot, orange flower, and horseradish.


Despite the truly unappealing-sounding notes, I was most excited to try this oil out of this round of The Last Unicorn scents. I love the books and Celaeno is the name of one of my World of Warcraft characters, so there's a nerdy connection there.

In the vial this smells sharply metallic, even moreso than The Ninth Cage did. However, on me it blossoms into something much more complex and not nearly as dark as I was expecting from the listed notes (though it's true that vetiver, myrrh, and patchouli are all notes that get along wonderfully with my chemistry). The orange flower and bergamot come to the forefront with a tinge of the darker notes lurking underneath. It's actually a quite light scent and ... surprisingly pretty.

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The Harpy Celaeno - This is a lot prettier than I expected after sniffing it in the vial. In the vial, it's dank and vetivery. However, the vetiver is barely noticeable when I first apply it, and the dominant notes seem to be the myrrh, tolu balsam, and orange flower. Upon drydown, the clove and metal both become a little more noticeable and add a nice layer of texture to the blend, but it really doesn't change much other than that. It's very pretty and feminine in mature kind of way.

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In the bottle: This is much lighter than I expected from the notes. The horseradish is the standout, but underneath it is a deep herbal sweetness. I hardly get any vetiver from this at all, strangely enough.

 

Wet: There is a burst of horseradish, then it disappears. If I stick my nose right to my skin, I can smell the warm burning smell I associate with the vetiver-myrrh combination, but it's soooooo faint. I can only hope this blooms again once dry.

 

Dry: It is definitely present, on dry-down, but again it is much lighter than I would have expected. I'm having a hard time picking out individual notes. There is a slight skunkiness from the new vetiver (something that usually ages out after a month or so), along with the lit-candle smell of the vetiver-myrrh. But there's also this intense sweetness hovering around the edges, something I can't place, with maybe the barest hint of clove.

 

Later: It becomes an almost herbal-spice blend as the vetiver passes and the patchouli comes out. There is still a lot of green, but the spices are definitely there. The throw is fairly light, and it doesn't last long on me -- though that may change as it ages.

 

I was worried about the metal mentioned in the description, but although I get something vaguely metallic, I don't get the usual slick metal note. It's more organic than that, the way sometimes body-smells are almost metallic.

 

This doesn't smell at all like what I was expecting, but I still love it. I don't get hatred or terror from this, though it does make me think of force and strength. I am so looking forward to smelling this as it ages.

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Myrrh, my arch-nemisis. Powdery resin with a bit of smoke behind it, making it stronger. The orange blossom in this is very nice and stays quite true to form but it is almost nearly overcome by the myrrh for me. Great to try, not for me.

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Oh Harpy, you are like a more orangey blossom form type of Gun Moll on me.

 

It's smoky, slightly floral (hello orange blossom), slight citrus and slight metal. This is a strong female scent.

 

And after 15 minutes... its' GONE. :(

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I was worried about the vetiver here, but I can't pick out the vetiver at all. This actually smells like a fresh and summery version of Priala to me. The myrrh and clove have that warm, deliciously spicy, sweet resin, and the bergamot and orange flower give it a fresh, fruity-floral lift that's a bit like orange blossoms and creamy lemon with a hint of green stem. Complex and very well put together. It's a very strong and long lasting fragrance as well.

 

ETA: My husband asked me to edit this review and say that he loves this scent on me. I think that means it's a winner, lol. :wub2:

Edited by Little Bird

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This starts out really vegetal and off-putting wet; I think it's the horseradish, and I can't stand horseradish. As it dries down the sharp vegetal quality takes a backseat and it becomes something of a minty (I have no idea where I'm getting any mintiness from) clove blend with a bit of florals and resins. Maybe it's the bergamot that's giving me the minty effect. This ends up being a very discordant blend on my skin. Not for me.

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In the vial: Vetiver, my love, I can smell you. I find it hard to focus on the other notes, because I really love vetiver, but I can tell there is a spicy edge to this, probably from the clove. On a second sniff, there's also a smoky myrrh veil.

 

On my wrist: The bergamot emerges around a sharp green wood scent. The perfume is surprisingly faint and delicate when it dries.

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In the bottle - vetiver and patchouli, maybe a bit of balsam and horseradish.

Wet - vetiver, patchouli, and clove.

Dry - the bergamot and orange come out and turns this into an intoxicating, dark, spicy floral. This screams "seduction" to me and I don't know why.

 

I don't get a ton of balsam or myrrh from this. I don't smell the horseradish at all, but I feel the sinus-clearing fumes I associate with horseradish.

 

I love the way it morphs. I think I've noticed more changes in Harpy than in any other BPAL oil I have so far.

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In the imp: Very sharp, an almost oily tar scent that bites the nose. I was more than a little nervous to put this on, wondering what it would turn into on me or whether it might burn my skin. It smelled like it could.

 

Wet: At first, this was extremely unpleasant on my skin. That oily, tarry odor became nearly overwhelming, almost like burnt rubber. Fortunately, within a couple of minutes that went away. Suddenly it was all incense, smoke, and something amazingly seductive and spicy. I could definitely pick out the clove at this stage.

 

Dry down: It had almost a wood note to it and something earthy and grounding. Usually, I can pick patchouli out in a blend in a heartbeat, especially the way my skin amps it. This wasn't obvious patch at all, just an earthy low note to ground the brighter citrus. I also usually hate citrus. This didn't become obviously screaming orange anything. The throw was good. It lasted around six hours or so before finally fading away. My husband said it was sexy and incense-y, and when I told him what character from the novel inspired it, he looked a little dumbfounded. If harpies smelled like this, people would seek out their company and bask in it.

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In the Imp (ITI): Ooh, that’s horseradish right there. It reminds me a little of the wasabi scent in Velvet Cthulhu, which is one of my all-time favorite scents. There is also a lovely greenness underneath (from the vetiver I imagine) that makes me think of a jungle for some reason (or Lush’s Jungle)

 

Wet: I get chills when I sniff this. I think The Harpy Calaeno is the first scent since I started testing 149 days ago that has evoked a visceral, positive response such as this. The spiciness of the horseradish and the wonderful combination of bergamot, vetiver, and orange I guess make my nose extraordinarily happy. I tested out the wet scent again, and yes, I’m still getting chills every time

 

Dry: Yum! Spicy horseradish, patchouli, balsam, and clove-infused orange. After a couple hours, the horseradish calms down and I’m left with a wonderfully resiny scent of patchouli, clove, orange, and just a little vetiver.

Edited by mymymai

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On wet: Very green and veggie-like; kind of like smelling a freshly cut radish. Lots of horseradish nostril-clearing.

 

Drydown: It doesn't smell soapy, but when I sniff it I taste soap in my mouth. :/

 

Dry: Sharp metallic note - what is doing this? I should love this based on the notes, but it is doing very weird things. The scent is making my teeth hurt, and I'm still tasting soap in my mouth. o_O

 

10 min: Starting to calm down - mostly it's just orange blossom now, with a little bit of clove peeking through. It also kind of smells like honey, although that's not a listed note.

 

I wanted to love this, but it starts out with the weird soap thing and then just becomes very sweet and light...I didn't get any of the vetiver, balsam, or patchouli, which were what drew me to this scent. Oh well.

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In the imp: Sharp and bitter, eye-watering.

 

Wet on my skin: Yep, that's horseradish! My sinuses are clearing up as I sniff this while wet. It's mostly horseradish and something very tangy and green.

 

Dry: This still packs quite a kick on me when dry, sending a chill of the horseradish through my sinuses when I put my nose close to my wrist and inhale. The citrus notes actually seem to be behaving on me, which is a welcome relief! Below the horseradish, the primary notes on my skin are smoky incense, clove, myrrh, and orange blossom. It's a very sharp scent wet and now dry, something that might be good to wear during martial arts training or somewhere else you need a clear head and keen senses. That said, it's not unpleasant, and I'll definitely have to try it at least a few more times because it's a very complicated blend and I want to know how my skin does with it at various times of the month.

Edited by DiesMali

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Not too vetiver-y, which is high praise. Spicy, clashing, a bit of a cacophony. The horseradish is there, and it's kind of a fascinating note to have in a perfume, and it's what really makes this fly! I don't know if this is something I'd wear every day, but it's surprisingly pleasing and dynamic.

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Worried about this one, because I LOATHE horseradish irl. Like, the smell of it literally makes me vomit loathe, so "hatred and terror" is apt. The other notes are so good, though, that I'm going to risk at least sniffing it...

 

In the vial: ohhh..kayyy...bitter greens, real back-of-the-throat-and-nose bitter, but no gagging yet. Closer to torn-up spinach leaves than horseradish per se, though there *is* something unpleasantly horseradishy lurking in the back of my nostrils. I am *so* suspicious of this.

 

Wet: pungent pungent pungent bitter greens with that nasty after-scent. Something reminds me of bpal's ivy note. Now horseradishy peppery-ness is storming up hard. Snapped stems and pepper and motor oil? This is...not what I was expecting. The tolu balsam, bergamot and clove (and maybe vetiver?) are combining to, strangely, give it the kind of hot-cold note I associate with menthol.

 

Dry: ...diesel. No, seriously: this is chainsaw & lawnmower fuel, and the lawnmower has definitely been put into play. This is the smell of using a strimmer on an overgrown verge, diesel fumes and chewed-up stems. And, yup, nasty peppery horseradish bringing up the rear. WHY.

 

As it wears in, it's starting to smell less like the process of strimming itself than the air on a summer's day after the strimming's been done. The diesel fumes are lingering a bit, yeah, but there's a cut-grass-in-the-sun note too. The resins and patch and clove are beginning to come out to play a bit, giving it what I can only describe as - inexplicably - an evening air scent. But it's still far too harsh & chemically to be pleasant or wearable at all. My partner sniffed my arm and went, "Ugh, industrial oven cleaner." Apparently this line and I are simply not meant to be.

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This smells brown, like sun cracked earth.  It's a lot gentler than I expected, but I do smell that horseradish.  Also that clove.  The blend is sort of peppery and minty at the same time.  Definitely an unusual melange, but not for me.  

 

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