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BPAL Madness!
jamcde03

The Cat

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Sleek, black, dark, and clever: benzoin, honey, cedar, and dark musk.

 

Wet: Cedar, which is briefly really sour, but then the honey warms and it sweetens right up. I take a gamble every time I try someone with cedar, but right now it's kind of nice. Sweet, hints of dark musk. It hasn't turned to pencil shavings yet, so we're off to a good start.

 

Dry: The honey and musk in this are to die for. The cedar just grounds it, it doesn't overwhelm. The benzoin is fairly prominent compared to other blends (on me) and gives it a resinous quality. I can't stop huffing my arm. This isn't really my usual kinda thing, and that may be one of the reasons I like it so much! I need to track down a bottle, I think.

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Starting out this is baby wipes )8

 

I can DETECT the black musk and benzoin trying, but the combination isn't working out. Maybe cedar is doing this.

 

And then once it's dry I get the same thing as Balame, a sweet comforting baby shampoo. Not offensive, just a warm, fresh-from bath skin smell that is actually??? Super beautiful, light, human, and pleasing. It doesn't smell anything like what I'm used to from any of the notes involved. I actually really like this... ||:

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I've been wearing this one a lot lately and figured I should say some things about it. This is one of those unique oils that truly smells like nothing else I've come across, bpal or niche in general. A carefully crafted treasure where honey and benzoin sweeten a sawdust cedar with barbershop musk and baby powder. It's a rich, thick, deep golden colored oil that goes on sticky like real honey itself. In many ways it doesn't smell like an intentional perfume/fragrance at all, and it wouldn't surprise me if someone were to smell this in passing and think it was a unique smell of place-or-time and not a personal fragrance. It's definitely an 'outside the box' scent and rather abstract smelling. Sometimes it smells like a simple but perfectly crafted combination of 4 or 5 notes, yet at other times it seems to have an unspeakable complexity to it. To me, this is ultimately a dark honey musk fragrance - like an avantgarde film noir version of Sed Non Satiata (which would be a hypersaturated modern crime/romance). The Cat also wins the award for longest lasting bpal I've tried. Not sure if it's due to the viscous nature of the oil itself or the ingredients, or both, but this stuff lasts and lasts and lasts. A must try.

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I don't know how Beth does it, but while The Cat doesn't actually smell like burying your face in kitty fur, it smells like the idea of it. It's musky and sleek thanks to the musk and cedar, but soft and sweet thanks to the honey and benzoin. The cedar and musk gain more prominence as the blend dries down and veers a bit too close toward pencil shavings, but as my bottle is lab fresh I'm sure more aging will smooth this out.

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The Cat is hard to pin down in the bottle. I couldn't pick of the notes out except a hint of honey.

 

Wet on my skin, it's a sweet herby-woody melange. The aromatic cedar teams up with the benzoin & honey to smell almost like root beer for a bit. There's also a near-citrus scent in there at the start.

 

As it dries, the musk begins to warm up and do its stuff. This is my favorite kind of BPAL musk; warm and furry. The cedar is warm, too, and sweet rather than sour and sharp.

 

As The Cat dries, the honey keeps everything smooth and sweet, and provides that animal hint. Very cat-like, very enjoyable.

 

ETA: Lasts all day :-).

Edited by Teamama

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I was a little nervous, after reading the reviews of this one, but I greatly enjoy it. I'm not sure it specifically calls to mind the Cat from Coraline, but I really like it.

 

Wet: Smells like a mixture of honey and cedar. I don't get any of the other notes in this on my skin, at all.

 

Dry: VERY strongly honey. Not sticky, bright honey, but a deep, woodsy honey. The cedar note all but vanishes, and I'm left with a musky honey, which is very, very nice, but I don't get the cedar or benzoin at all, which is kind of a bummer. Still a keeper, and a weekly wear.

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To echo a previous review: smells like J&J baby shampoo on me - sharp, powdery, overly sweet, clean yet just a little bit 'off'. Amps an unfortunate and strong baby powder odor when wet, after drying it's more Cedar-y but I'm still not a fan. I think the honey note is the culprit, I have a lot of honey blends I love but in some others it just doesn't work.

Edited by animalcules

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Why oh why do you do this on me honey?!

The honey has gone sweaty on me boooo, especially because I can smell the musk and benzoin underneath and it's beautiful.

It dries down nicely once the honey eases up but I just don't think I can endure that honey every time I wear it

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I'm on the fence about The Cat. It just arrived in the mail today, though secondhand, not fresh from the lab, so I probably should let it settle and test again next week. In the bottle I got a lot of benzoin and was very happy. But on my skin the cedar took over and really hasn't let up. It's a nice cedar, and as it dries it gets warm around with edges with some honey and benzoin. 90 minutes in I'm still waiting for the black musk to emerge.

 

Ok, now about 2 hours in, The Cat is coming into its own, which is kind of amazing because with my skin, many BPALs are toast well within two hours. I'm starting to get the musk, the cedar is backing off, it's turning into a lovely warm deep comfort scent, but still with an outdoorsy vibe from the cedar. And it lasted nine hours. I think The Cat and I are going to be good friends.

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(Side note - cedar is one of my death notes... but I've still been wanting to try this out for a loooong time.)

 

Wet: Cedar! Also, more cedar.

 

Dry: Warm, musky, sweet.... cedar. Too much cedar for me; but if you're a fan of cedar, I think this is the nicest cedar-prominent blend I've tried. I just wish the cedar would have been kept more in check.

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This is, apparently, a miracle scent on me.

 

See, I'm allergic to cedar. Not fall-over-and-stop-breathing allergic, but allergic enough that I got an exemption from the "you must use only the pencils we provide you" rule my school had during standardized tests (although honestly, being in the same room with all those cedar pencils still gave me my fair share of itches and sniffles), and allergic enough that I started sneezing the second after I (foolishly) opened my imp of Tombstone.

 

But I didn't remember that The Cat had a cedar note, so when I was running feverishly around Lunacy skin-testing all sorts of things, I decided to give it a try. It smelled nice in the bottle, and I remember it smelled rather nice on my skin, but the important part of this story is that a big drop of it fell on my shirt, and I recently had to rescue that shirt off the top of the hamper to wear to a particular event. (Hey, it happens!)

 

That shirt. Smelled. So good. SO GOOD, YOU GUYS. Warm, cozy, almost chocolate-tinged musk, a spicy edge of cedar that somehow did not make my nose run like a broken fountain, and a little bit of benzoin rounding it out. It's delicious and perfect, and I'm hoping that it ends up being just as delicious and perfect (and non-allergy-triggering) when I finally get a bottle.

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Unfortunately, The Cat is doing the baby wipe act on me. 😕 When wet, I got an awesome sweet mouthwatering cedar (like Tombstone sans sassafras), and I loved it! Then the dry down comes in quick and cedar flees, never to re-emerge. The idea of musky honey benzoin sounds awesome, but doesn’t work out on my skin. Boo. Really wanted this kitty to like me! 

Seems to have good staying power though. Haha

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Still wet, The Cat starts out spicy and warm, a rough but friendly rasp of cedar and benzoin that reminds me of being ‘bathed’ by one of my cats. As it dries, it stays warm and sweet, but the cedar calms down to just a slight sharp edge, and the whole scent takes on a soft-focus powdery quality—I’m guessing that’s either the black musk or the honey. It’s definitely not a foody scent, but something about it reminds me of chocolate—I think it’s the sweetness of the benzoin/honey mingling with the spicy-sharp cedar.

 

It dries down to a soft, warm woodsy-skin scent—very natural and pretty, not the kind of thing you smell on someone and register as ‘deliberate’ or ‘perfumey’. The benzoin, musk, and cedar blend perfectly to create something that’s warm and fuzzy, but just a little shadowy, and the honey adds just the slightest touch of sweetness. I can certainly see a very clean cat smelling like this.

 

I was hoping for something darker, deeper, a little more animal, but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised—the Cat in the movie was more of a comforting presence than anything else. I’m on the fence about keeping it, but even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I’ve definitely enjoyed wearing it and I think it fits its concept perfectly! The Cat is a good scent if you want to smell like you’re not trying at all—clean but not overly fresh, warm and lived in and friendly. Wear it when you want to be as approachable as a kitten snoozing in the sun.

Edited by garbagewitch

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My bottle is secondhand and I'm not sure how old it is. I can say that I'd had it for about a year and it has mellowed considerably in that time, with more blending. I find it to be more musky than anything else, in a similar vein to Lil' Menes' Feline Entertainments, but it doesn't actually smell like a cat so much as remind me of a feline presence. Like a couple of others have said, it resembles Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo. That means it smells like I just washed my hair, not like I'm wearing a fragrance, and I'm okay with that. My husband had to use that shampoo to bathe one of our cats, and that's the association I'm getting now.

 

Today I'm wearing it with one of my dresses that has a cat print on it, but it would also work with a t-shirt and jeans. Its throw is just enough that I don't need to huff my wrist, and I think someone would have to hug me in order to smell it. I feel as though it's my personal secret comfort, not a fragrance that I leave in my wake.

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