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Balame

Mastermind

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MASTERMIND
The first of the Grendel legacy, a stylish, best-selling author who leads a double life as a relentless assassin and all-powerful mob overlord.

An elegant cologne of olibanum, opoponax, leather accord, black amber, bois de jasmine, cade wood, pale balsam, orange blossom, oudh, black plum, bourbon vanilla, and sandalwood.


In the Bottle: A first first! Wish I could say I loved Mastermind more, but while he's not quite my style, he's still wonderfully unique. This scent is very jasmine intensive, but this is the jasmine I knew before BPAL. It's very wet, well-rounded, and "full" with a distinctly Middle Eastern harem sort of vibe. Not in a bad way, just that it's exceedingly indulgent. Makes you think of sensual nights in a lush garden. I've never smelled this sort of jasmine from BPAL before, to the point where I thought the other brands I'd tried years ago must have been substituting something else, and yet here it is. (BPAL's jasmines tend to turn "baby diaper" on me, sadly enough, and come across as much drier and powdery. Not sure if this is the "bois de jasmine" specifically, but I'd assume so.)

Wet: The jasmine is still largely predominant at this stage, and continues to smell languid with a touch of the sweet incense-y smell of opoponax. I can definitely tolerate this more than usual jasmine fare, plus the olibanum is hovering in the background giving this just the slightest smokey vibe.

Dry: Largely the same. Between the wet stage and now I could pick up a hint of the plum coming out, but it quickly got gobbled up by the other notes. The leather also made a brief appearance, but it's still come back down to the jasmine and incenses. It's sweet, yes, but not horribly overt. Never even got a whiff of the resins, vanilla or orange blossom.

Overall: Definitely a traveler of the night. Sexy, elegant and probably rich, Mastermind is the devilishly good-looking type you see in the movies, but you can't help but wonder if he or she has some questionable secrets. Highly recommended for those looking for a dramatic jasmine scent. Edited by Balame

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Starts out very bitter on my skin. After a couple minutes, I begin to pick up the wood note, but still very bitter scent. Gradually softens on dry down, and I also pick up a dry leather note. By the time it's fully dry, no bitterness remains and I am left with a woodsy, leather, herbal-esque scent.

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ZOMG. :thud:

 

Mastermind is a thick, lush jasmine and orange blossom bouquet spiked with heady incense, juicy plum, and warm leather. It's quite strong, so dab sparingly, but OH, I want to bathe in it. This is the smell of something luxurious and dare-I-say snobbishly high-class-old-money, yet dangerous, a roguish millionaire you meet whose family you sense obtained at least some of their fortune through nefarious means. I've smelled a scent similar to this that goes for nearly $400 for 50ml and even with this newish decant I'd say this BPAL blend is far superior to it, and can only get better. Bravo Lab, this is one of the best you've made/I've smelled. Want, NEED a bottle.

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Oh noes, another hit!!!! from Grendel for me. This one is fantastic, and although it is very "masculine" I still (as a girl) love it for myself, it's very complex and amazing. I could even smell it in the shower, after using actual soap. Need this.

Thanks to Melifluous for her gorgeous decant circle.

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So I got some half decants of all of the Grendel scents and didn't really look at the list of notes until after I got around to testing them. Mastermind on my skin is like tortilla chips and public restrooms - ORANGE BLOSSOM, you have to be in here... and sure enough, there it is. My skin hates orange blossom. Shame :(

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Wet: Leather Accord and something else that is light and clean. Refreshing in fact. Then the drydown is OMG headache inducing orange blossom mixed with an elegant light and clean men's cologne. :sick: I am so glad this going to a new home in a swap.

Edited by Dark Alice

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Mainly getting sandalwood here. I find that all these Grendel blends seem to be related somehow, they smell kind of similar, but different in their own way somehow. At first, this is kind of cologney and sharp, but then tones down a bit. I wish the vanilla and plum came out, but all in all, I love sandalwood, so I do like this. Probably not enough for a bottle, but I'll certainly enjoy the imp.

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YUM YUM YUM!! I'm LOVING this one!!

 

Mastermind has some of my most-loved notes in it.. leather, black amber, oudh, and bourbon vanilla - it was only the jasmine that I was worried about. Oh, and the mention of 'cologne' - that almost put me off. But oh happy day - I'm not picking up any jasmine at all here, thankfully my skin has decided to dispose of it completely! And cologne? What cologne?? :thumbsup:

 

Something in here smells like a bit like dark chocolate when I first apply it - I wonder what that is! I suspect it's all those dark notes mixing with the bourbon vanilla, but I'm not complaining because it smells divine! I can pick up the leather (warm and 'new' as opposed to worn), the black amber is dark and dusky, the oudh is adding a lush smokey vibe, and the orange blossom is just adding a faint touch of sweetness.

 

On full dry-down, this actually reminds me very much of Hellion.. but I tend to amp plum, so I guess that's why I can smell it so strongly here. I do think that Mastermind has a strong similarity to Hellion.. but where Hellion on me was very golden and warm in tone, Mastermind is more dark and definitely devilishly handsome.

 

So far, this is my fave of the Grendel scents. I just might need a bottle :)

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In the bottle this smells mostly of jasmine. It's like a vanilla-d, slightly smoky jasmine. Reminds me of Follow Me Boy a bit.

 

On my skin, the jasmine amps up and turns slightly sour (which doesn't happen with Follow Me Boy) and the whole thing gets too perfumey and headache-inducing. The amber adds a touch of baby powder and there's a bit of resinous sweetness from the opoponax, but mostly a perfumey, slightly sour jasmine.

 

I had high hopes for this, but the jasmine gives me a headache. I don't smell any leather, orange blossom, woods, or plum in this.

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I bought Mastermind for my boyfriend, but I love it and kind of want to keep the bottle for myself. After opening and sniffing, I was pretty much transported back to 1989 because there's something about Mastermind that reminds me of Benetton Colors, the perfume I wore for many years as a teen. But I like this better. On, the woods and resins and floral notes swim together in the most delightful way. I catch sandalwood, then a bit of leather, then orange blossom, then the black amber. Woven through, there's that subverted, darkened jasmine that's so sexy. It's sophisticated, but it doesn't mess around. So good.

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Mastermind is a sophisticated men's cologne. Its got that jasmine overlay, but the leather note is fairly dominant on me. It warms up considerably on the drydown with touches of vanilla, sandalwood and plum softening the leather note quite a bit.

 

Dark, dangerous, manly.

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This smelled okay in the decant, awesome wet, and then very quickly turned to something unpleasantly familiar. It took me awhile to work it out, but... bug spray. This scent turned to bug spray on my skin. Sigh.

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Curious about "Bois de jasmine", I looked it up. "Bois de" means wood of. Also curious about Oudh, I found it is also known as agarwood or eaglewood; incense woods.

 

In decant, a medium golden oil, I smell resins, wood and orange blossom. Wet on skin – very nice, the orange blossom is calmed by the resins yet the vanilla and sandalwood sweeten it back up in a different way. Incense and flowers, tending toward incense.

 

15 minutes later, very much resins/incense with leather and just a hint of flowers.

 

An hour later – softly sweet, woody, incensy, and a hint of sex. Not sure what it is that does that on my skin, it's kind of like what Fire of Love does.

 

Reapplied about 9 hours later and it had much better throw, could smell it the whole 2 hours we watched TV. Still hints of it at 7AM the next day. No notes of doom, and this worked out really well for me; my favorite of the series overall even though I like the wet stage of Exorcist best.

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hmm, this is an interesting scent. it's very potent on me, too much so. it smells very cologne-y and kind of masculine. i guess i am getting the balsam, resins and jasmine the most? though i'm not positive. none of the notes smell very familiar. the weird thing is, that at one point, it smelled exactly like smoky skin. as in, the way my skin would smell after i've been smoking (i've quit for the most part now), but that's really what it smelled like! now it's back to this strong and somewhat cloying perfumy scent, and i don't like it. i think i liked the smoke stage the best, because it was nostalgic for me.

 

 

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Going to sound odd, but to me, in the bottle and on my skin, this smells like dark, bitter honeysuckle. I don't get any of the listed notes, but it's lovely, with a sort of a smokey feel to it (it doesn't smell smokey, but it smells like it should be smokey).

 

It's got good lasting power, I get at least six hours before it fades to barely-there sweetness.

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