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Blood Kiss

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Lush, creamy vanilla and the honey of the sweetest kiss smeared with the vital throb of husky clove, swollen red cherries, but darkened with the vampiric sensuality of vetiver, soporific poppy and blood red wine, and a skin-light pulse of feral musk.

 

I really wanted to like this blend. Sadly, it becomes a sickly sweet mess on my skin.

 

Wet: Holy cherries. Red, juicy cherries--the kind of cherries you top off a cheesecake with.

Dry: Here the cloves and the vetiver come out to play. Sharp and kind of cedar, with a nasal-clearing quality like eucalyptus. There's some deep, musky note underneath it all but it's hard to pin down. The cherries have receded a bit and the combination of smells makes me think of cough drops. Or hospitals.

Drying: There is a hint of honey in there, too, but after a few tests I've come to find that Beth's honey note turns rancid on me. This is truly awful. I smell like a sick person who has been in bed for days with a bag of cough drops.

 

Ended up scrubbing this one off. When I first tried it, all I got was cherry. After letting it rest for a week it turned into cherry cough syrup. No good.

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Starts out sharp and sweet, vetiver enveloped in a really lovely, golden sweetness—honey, with vanilla and cherry making it sweeter and brighter, and keeping it from going soft and powdery. It stays sweet as it dries down, but starts to go from gold to red, the cherry coming forward more and maybe the red wine peeking its head out a little? That sharp center is still around, but it’s not so piercing as it was in the beginning—the clove starts tempering the vetiver, making it more of a low rasp than a high-pitched shriek.

Something about this reminds me of chocolate; it doesn’t actually smell like chocolate, but there’s something here that’s pushing one of the same buttons in my head that the scent of chocolate hits?

 

I think it’s the fact that the intensely sweet cherry is reminding me of chocolate-covered cherries, the ones that just overflow with cherry juice and syrup when you bite into them. It's deep red, plump cherries, drenched in a sweet syrup of honey and red wine, and there's every element of those chocolate-covered cherries except the chocolate itself, but then my mind catches that vetiver-clove sharpness and slides it right into the slot a good bittersweet dark chocolate would go in. It's decadence taken almost to the point of obscenity.

 

I absolutely love this scent, but it took me a really long time to figure out how I felt and I think that's partly because of how well-blended it is (it took me forever to be able to pick out any individual notes) and partly because of how intense it is. All that being said, Blood Kiss absolutely lives up to that near-pornographic description.

 

It's the kind of scent that’s so thick it’s almost a taste; it's much, much sweeter than I prefer my scents these days, but the sharpness of the vetiver manages to pin it down and keep it from being cloying, while the vetiver is so sharp, it would be unpleasant if it wasn't illuminated by such a brilliant sweetness. Together, though, they're like an enchantingly beautiful person with a viciously cruel edge—both shocking and alluring in a way that just wouldn't be possible if only one of those elements was present.

 

If it were a person, Blood Kiss would be the woman Lucrezia Borgia is remembered for being (quite different from who she likely actually was): poisonously deadly, but so charming and beautiful that you don't even notice the blade until it's already sliding between your ribs.

Edited by conflagrantThief

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Romantically gothic; a fey beast hiding in human form.

 

In the bottle: boozy blood orange. Kind of reminds me of a brandy old fashioned a little actually.

 

Wet: Still boozy blood orange, but as it dries it looses the booze and replaces it with something sweet.

 

Warming: The booze is fully gone, and smells exactly like those Sanpellegrino italian sodas (the blood orange one specifically.)

 

Drydown: The orange is retreating, and I'm getting this super lovely creamy spice. My oh my this smells amazing. Sweet, spicy, and a little bit feral. Definitely the clove coming out (and bringing the vanilla and honey with it.) I'm also getting the faintest hint of what might be the musk. It's the slightest hint of fur beneath the sweet and spice.

 

This one is going on the list of to-buy for full bottles. I love orange, especially blood orange. And the way it's dancing between sweet and spicy is fantastic.

 

Side note: This one belongs to my (male) roommate. On him it starts like orange sweet tarts, mellows into a cherry orange punch, and then nose dives straight into spicy vanilla. While I've got a nice sweet and spicy balance when dry, he goes straight from super sweet to super spicy. It reminds me of this "Venetian Vanilla" bath soap I had for awhile on him - vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg..aka vanilla and pie spices.

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In Imp: Dried Tart Cherries, much like the kind you'd use in holiday baking. Getting clove as well, and what might be some wine peeking out.

 

Wet on Skin: A cherry base, but one that seems almost artificial. I'm getting a good amount of clove and vetiver backing it up, and something in it is just screaming the candle you burn between thanksgiving and christmas. I do get a sorta blood orangey vibe some other reviewers are getting, but this is threatining to turn december in a JoAnne crafts store on me.

 

Dry-Down: I'm getting cherry candle. Or maybe one of those sangrea candles, all wine and spices, and maybe some orange? I don't know what it is that's screaming candle, but that's what it is. I want a soap that smells like this, but I'm not sure about how it is on me. As it's aging it seems to be going more vanilla, which is a blessing, so we'll see how that goes.

 

Hour or so later. Vanilla! Finally Vanilla! A deep spicy rich vanilla, but still a nice one. I am mostly just getting craft store fragrance off of this though. I'd love this as a room spray or a body wash, and I'd probably love it on someone else, but this one just... Isn't for me.

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Evidently I never reviewed Blood Kiss. Wow. It seems like you either love it or you hate it, and I love it. It was the first vetiver blend I fell in love with after scents like Rumpelstilzchen had me running away screaming. It's one of the very few red wine scents that works on my skin, and the clove stays joined at the hip with the vetiver so that it doesn't go all spice cabinet. All that darkness -- wine, vetiver, clove -- is tempered by the sweetness of cherry, honey and vanilla, and probably opium as well, which is usually both dark and sweet on me. It all combines into one of the most unabashedly sensual scents in my collection. I don't wear this to work because it has some throw and I would get distracted by sniffing my wrists. Blood Kiss makes me feel ridiculously sexy. Think Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger. It's a brilliant Halloween-month scent, too. Just, love.

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I am confused by the most recent bottle I ordered last spring. I have had 2 previous bottles one of which still has about 1/4 left (I've only been ordering BPAL since 2015 so it's only aged a couple years). It went out of stock for a while and when it came back briefly I was able to place an order....this new bottle smells quite different from the previous ones! I know this one ages a lot, but the initial smell was not what I remembered at all. It smells almost like "Blood Kiss Lite", almost like a component is missing. I get a lot of orange and cherry, but this new one is lacking the vanilla and dark depth which is what I loved.

 

Has anyone else experienced this?

 

In my most recent (Halloweenie) order, I received a Blood Kiss imp and it is definitely more akin to my older bottles than the new one is.

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In imp: Deep dark red fruit.

 

On me: This has an immediate and welcome hit of vetiver as it goes on. As this settles in, the red fruit is hinted at in the throw, moderately bright, slightly sweet; the skin scent is more distinct and well-tamed by vetiver, a deep rich red, warm and smokey and spiced. I don't get either the fruity/floral/perfumey quality (like dragon's blood resin) or red sharp tartness (of berries) that I get from most of BPAL's red fruits and berries. The cloves and vetiver, with a hint of poppy, balance things beautifully.

 

Verdict: A solid 8/10. I liked this more on my first test just because it exceeded expectations; after spending a while with it, I'm not as blown away but I am pleasantly surprised. This is a cherry for people who don't like fruits, beautifully blended and complex without having a heady perfuminess, rich and warm and deep, cut through by a hint of brightness.

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Nope. Nope nope nope. Not for me. 

Mostly cherry, wine, clover, and vetiver. The combo of juicy, fruity reds and musty browns is not super coherent, if that makes sense? The layers are separate, and don't really mix with each other. It might be the honey + opium poking through that's putting me off.

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Imp purchased from a forumite, date stamped March 12, 2016. 

 

In the imp: Vanilla, honey, vetiver, and wine. The overall impression is darkly sweet. 

 

On my skin:

 

Wet, this is completely wine. As it dries, both the honey and the vetiver creep out. At this point, the throw is mostly honey wine while the skin scent holds most of the vetiver. Gradually, the vetiver strengthens until it's the dominant note. At this point, the scent is pretty much vetiver and wine on me. I get just the barest hint of honey, clove, and vanilla in the background -- when that's the side of the blend I wanted most. 

 

It actually makes my eyes water every time I put my nose to my skin and sniff. 

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I received an imp of this with my most recent order - the Lupercalia 2019 Madness In Which I Spent WAY Too Much: 

 

In the imp: I can smell a darker, lingering hint of cherries under the honey and vanilla. It's sweet in a food way.

 

On the skin: VANILLA AND HONEY FOR DAYS. Seriously. The vanilla throw on this was wild for a while. Not a bad thing - just a first note. It lasted for about 15-30 minutes, then died down into almost nothing, which seems to be my particular fate with BPAL fragrances. 

 

About 2 hours later: The honey is still there, but it's faint. The other notes of spice and musk are nowhere to really be found, which is surprising to me, as my skin usually takes musk and runs with it (much to my dismay). I think the sweetness of the vanilla / honey have overpowered the other notes. 

 

Over all: It's a bummer that this one, as many of my others, doesn't have much of a staying power. While I can't smell the cherry, clove, vetiver, poppy, wine, OR musk as individual notes that linger on the skin, I think the combination of all of the above keeps this fragrance from being overall sickeningly sweet, which it might have otherwise been. On me, it smells like a more grown up version of "O", without the baby powder aftermath that O has on me.

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On me, it smells like honeyed red wine.. ohh so sexy! I get no cherry, no cloves, a tiny bit of vanilla. Very vampiric indeed! 

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In the bottle:

Bright cherry. Not sickly sweet but definitive cherry. Like grown up cherry.

 

Wet: Cherries and musk.

 

Dry Down: Cherry. But matured? The musk blooms and there's a spice to it that plays well.

 

Definitely a keeper for me. Going to let it age a little/try a few more times before I decide if I want a full bottle.

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The poetic description for this one definitely drew me to it. It's very strong in the bottle and remains bold on my skin. It isn't really my type of scent---dark, heady, sexy. That being said, it totally succeeds at conveying that sensual vampire vibe, and once I got over the scent-shock of how strong it is (and the honey dries down), it's actually quite pleasant (mmm, I think I like vetiver). I think my sister will like it because she likes bold, "red" scents, though if she doesn't, I will gladly hang onto it.

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