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Pandemonium

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Pandemonium, John Martin.
Smoke-tinged red and black musks, mahogany, ginger grass, black gum leaf, rue, star thistle, tomato leaf, black amber, and mandrake accord.


Sniffing from the decant: Pandemonium smells rich and dark, reminding me of a unified embodiment of the variety of notes that go into my favorite warm and musky blends.

Skin testing – I imagine this is what it smells like when you spend a day mixing up oils. Maybe a little smudge of this, a little smudge of that ending up on your hands and clothes and hair. The warm woody musks and woods (I think I detect both the red and black musks, mahogany, and amber) blend together with the lighter green elements (I seem to get the tomato leaf as well as a little ginger grass and mandrake). It ends up a delightful mix, not too heavy, not too green, not too many notes mixed together... it's the Goldilocks of mash-up blends. Sometimes scents that span such a spectrum end up feeling kind of muddled and indistinct, not so here.

It seems like this would be lovely for those days when you know you want to smell good but don't want to be locked into a particular dominating scheme. Versatile as well as beautiful, this scent is truly a masterpiece.

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Rich, dark musk, inky and spicy amber.

 

This smells like an Alchemical Workshop. Its got spices, its got amber, its musk, its golden, hot, and full of ink. There's a certain quality to it that does remind me to India Ink SN in it.

 

Spicy, inky, amber.

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This is an odd muddle. I can catch the black musk, maybe a pinch of the red musk, the ginger, and smokiness. It's dry, and a little bitter. I thought something with both black and red musks would be amazing, as those are two notes of win for me.

 

As it dries it becomes more herbal, flat, and even a tad soapy. Kind of unpleasant right now.

 

Also oddly hard to smell, as it seems to pull a disappearing act. It warms and rounds very slightly as it becomes almost too faint to smell.

 

This isn't for me. Too sour/harsh overall.

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Initially this is herbal in an unpleasant way. On my skin, it turns into smooth mahogany with a trace of smoke and some spice (the gingergrass, probably).

 

It's a very dark scent. I'd like this on my skin, except there's an aggressive, perfumy edge similar to the one I got in Lurid Library. I'm blaming the red musk. The lemony gingergrass may also be playing a part in making this faintly soapy.

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This is odd, I was expecting something warm but it's oddly cold on my skin. A cold, herbal scent, I can't make out any musk. Not for me.

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Yup, definitely smoky musk to start out with. Very dark. And then it gets weirdly herbal.Doesn't last long at all for such a dark blend. Not for me, will see if it plays nicer with the husband.

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Imp: Deep, dark, citrus smoke with gorgeous thick ginger and heavy curtains of incense. Umph. Good stuff right here. Thick and heady like some of the great GC incense blends.

 

Wet: Interesting combo of grass and smoke, almost like a dry meadow on fire. I'm getting something that I think is the black gum leaf-- smells like dried sap-- along with dusty roots (mandrake), bitterness (rue) and tomato leaf. Despite that, the musks and the amber make this sweet enough to be wearable. It's dark and witchy and wonderful, if many of the blends I love (Feb. 2010 13) are witches' kitchens, this is definitely their sabbath, with herbs and incense aplenty!

 

Dry: This ends up being a gorgeous, sweet incense blend, rather like Sin, but full of dark vegetation and a smell that smells extremely similar to all of my firefighting equipment. Needless to say, I like it! :lol: I will see how fast I go through my partial Imp, but I could see buying a decant or two of this no problem. If the heavy notes in this one scare you, don't be too afraid!

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On my skin wet: Herbal musk, I get the tomato leaf very clearly. It goes a bit minty after a while.

On my skin dry: Still minty herbs and sweet musk. It's not unpleasant but not something I would wear. Herbal lovers rejoice!

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Lots of red musk here at first, not sweet at all, kind of a masculine Hygiea at this point. After a bit, it is red musk and mahogany. This is a dude red musk blend for sure! Becomes powdery on me after twenty minutes or so, but I don't really mind powder. I'd love to smell this on a guy, but it is just too masculine for me to upgrade.

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Imp: I'm able to catch a whiff of the red musk before I start getting bitter herbals and green notes.

 

Wet: More red musk mixed with herbs and greenery. Very interesting and unlike my usual red musk loves.

 

Dry: Red musky herbal with a woodsy touch. It's different and I like it. Maybe need a decant or two.

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what a strange little blend. on skin, and close to skin throw, is singed woods. I like it, it reminds me of a much lighter Erich Zahn. Far throw is very sweet though, very, very sweet. Almost sugar sweet. The musks make this a very rich sugar, and it's very slightly green.

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I was expecting this to be strong red and black musk (as both of those are usually overpowering on my skin), but I'm getting a lot of the herbal, green notes (the spicy green of tomato leaf and gingergrass and something more herbal/dry that I'm guessing is the thistle). I get a bit of the black musk, which always reminds me of smoky men's cologne, and then a bit of sweetness from the red musk as it dries down and starts to fade.

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I bought a decant of this because I love gum trees, they remind me of childhood and, also, who doesn't want to wear something with mandrake accord in it??

 

On wet this encompasses all the characteristics of perfumes that I love, it's dark, smoky, musky, slightly earthy, resinous and a little bitter. Love.

 

As it dries the resinous smell becomes slightly bright, almost cold, I get this with a few other resin blends. It's not bad at all but I preferred that initial, darker, warmer smell. Unfortunately, it is also giving me a headache. Maybe I'm sniffing it too much.

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I was hoping that the red and black musks in Pandemonium would hold each other in balance, as they sometimes do, but red musk walks away with this one.  A really dark, pissed-off red musk.  It's a dark-brown oil.  Wet, I can smell the dry herbs and woods, tending much more to bitter than to sweet, but they become the background noise to the musks.  After about an hour the red musk backs off a bit, and the whole is really quite distinctive, unisex/masculine with almost no sweetness, a paean to dark power, and a perfect illustration of the source artwork. 

320px-John_Martin_Le_Pandemonium_Louvre.

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