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BPAL Madness!
Trickster

Bram Stoker

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No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.

Bourbon vetiver with opoponax, Italian bergamot, and hay absolute.

In the bottle: Vetiver and bergamot, an unlikely combination to my nose.

Wet: The bergamot comes out a little more, and ... something else sweet which might be the hay.

Dry: Sweet vetiver... this really mellows out into a nice classical men's perfume scent.

I like it!

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In the bottle - boozy hay and vetiver with a light citrus back

 

On the skin - First up, some boozy, peppery vetiver. The bergamot comes forward as it dries down and the vetiver calms down, giving this a classic cologne feel without the usually accompanying migraine. The throw/sillage of this one is pretty intense and rooms smell like it a little while after I walk out. Definitely not for the faint of heart or small spaces.

 

More like this, kinda, or at least related: Great Sword of War, Dracul (ha!,) Trevor Bruttenholm

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I smell mostly vetiver but for a vetiver-heavy scent this isn't like Death Adder, or Great He-Goat. It's not that earthy rooty vetiver, this seems to be more of a grassy, smooth vetiver, which I feel like I've smelled before, but I can't think of where. I get hints of chocolate in the very beginning when it's still wet, and I think that comes from the vetiver, I've encountered that before. I wasn't sure I liked it in the first 10 minutes or so, but then it really smooths out when it warms up and starts to dry on the skin.

 

The smooth, smooth vetiver connects with the hay and overall this is very dry, even with the bergamot. And even though the vetiver is strong, the other notes are blended very smoothly and in the end, nothing really stands out, they connect so well. I'm sorry, I'm trying to describe this but having trouble. When I wear this I think of a couple GC scents, Incantation and Scarecrow come to mind, but don't get me wrong, this is entirely its own thing. Very very nice for a man, but I think some of the girls will like this too.

 

I'm holding off on a bottle because I want to see what else comes along in this category, but I could easily wear this quite often and I have found myself wanting to revisit it a few times lately.

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In the bottle this smells very very like Incantation.

 

On, it becomes at first a much stronger, earthier vetiver - but then settles back into an area just in between these two. On first wearing at least I don't notice the other notes at all but I have a feeling I will detect these more as I get to know it - will update this if so.

 

However I'd say you need to love vetiver for this, and not be hoping that the other notes might be prominent.

 

ETA I agree that the throw is phenomenal - the most I've ever noticed.

Edited by Quillifer

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Vetiver and bergamot. On wet, its a smoky bacon vetiver with citrusy bergamot. It dries down to a smoky vetiver (sans the bacon) and hay.

 

Very masculine, assertive. And yet strange.

 

Probably one of the more intriguing male BPAL blends out there.

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Bourbon at first, then the vetiver comes out. This ends up being a slightly sweet vetiver, with a kick of bourbon. I'm not getting the hay. This would smell great on the right male vampire, but a bit too masculine for me. It smells mysterious and slightly dangerous. I like it!

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Crisp vetiver and bergamot with grassy hay in the background. It smells very layered. Classic, smoky and sharp and as mentioned by other reviewers Bram Stoker has a huge throw. Nice!

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In the bottle - A green smoky vetiver with a hint of aftershave

 

Wet on me - A soapy brusque aftershave type scent

 

Dry on me - Carbolic soap and Old Spice, warm dry masculinity

 

Overall - Bram Stoker smells like my dad :lol: Or at least my childhood memories of him. Which I like, but wouldn't necessarily want to wear

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Got this one as a lab freebie! Didn't look up the scent description, just opened the imp one morning while feeling adventurous. It was very masculine and refined in bottle, so I decided to give it a whirl and applied some just before walking out the door for my long morning commute.

 

Five minutes into my drive: ...oh god, is that orange? There was no orange in the bottle. Orange is THE Scent of Death to me. When someone near me peels an orange, I can FEEL the acid of the scent on the skin of my face. I really, really, really, hate citrus.

 

Ten minutes into my drive: Orange-scented cleaning solution. Dishwashing soap and citric acid burn.

 

The next forty-five minutes: I want to claw my way out of this car. Eyes, skin, nose burning. Omg I am never making this mistake again.

 

Get to the office: Scrub everything madly. Apply vast quantities of Hecate with rollerball I keep in purse.

 

Entire rest of day: Still feel citric acidity burn nose every so often. Can't get rid of it until I shower.

 

Granted, I have an obviously very strong reaction to citric acid, and I know this about myself. Probably this is a very lovely scent for some people. For me, NEVER AGAIN.

Edited by OneEyeAskew

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  • ITI: I get hay in late fall, vetiver, and bergamot - it's distinguished, gentlemanly, but approachable.

Wet: Smoky vetiver is followed by a really delightful but full-bodied opoponax note, steeped in bergamot. Yum!

Dry: It's an odd mix between clean (hay and bergamot) and smoky vetiver, but as a whole, it's a nicely refined scent that does seem to evoke its namesake relatively well.

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This is very strange, but so addictive - I've reapplied it twice and I can't stop huffing the back of my hand! In the bottle there's the tiniest hint of Dracul, which is pleasing, but on it's very...rainy, and British. Not cultured Victorian London English, like Dorian and London with their elegant refined sweet tea notes, this is much more rough around the edges, soggy and countrysidey!

 

I honestly have no idea what to liken it to, note-wise, it just makes me think of dismal, squelchy countrywise walks (I guess that's the hay!) and dripping rain-coats, and pipe smoke, and creaky decrepit old houses. It smells like a very anti-social, eccentric and brooding sort of chap, and it's rather wonderfully bizarre. I probably wouldn't wear it *out*, just because it's more of a mature-smelling masculine scent than I like, but it's so evocative and strange that I'll definitely grab some more imps. Wonderful sulky, DON'T TALK TO ME I'M WRITING, rainy day smell! :)

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Oh, this is quite lovely. Strong - yet refined - bergamot at first, soon giving way to vetiver. I initially thought the vetiver would be too smoky for my liking, but the hay showed up just at the right time to impart some welcome freshness to the blend.

 

After drydown, it mellows into a fresh, elegant men's cologne that feels very classic in style - reminiscent of the original Eaux de Cologne you can buy in Germany.

However, there is also a very peculiar energy surrounding it. It's smooth yet restless, stolid yet full of tension. For all its apparent mature sophistication, this scent is full of contradictions. It also happens to be very wearable, and very, very nice!

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never gave much thought to this scent, but a bit of it came my way yesterday so dutifully i'm trying it. i sniffed it last night and thought it smelled ok so today i put on a tiny drop from the tip of the imp-wand on the top of my left hand.

 

and oh my boy howdy gee did this amp up like whoa. i feel like i walked into a cloud of Axe bodyspray or the cloud from one of the fellows who believes cologne is as good as a shower.

 

i like the smell of hay, and i like bergamot. i never had a real opinion of opoponax until a few years back there was a bit of a smelling circle that included a vial of it in a sticky, extremely stinky resin form and, well, i get a lot of that in this. i like bourbon, but hate vetiver...i confess to having no clue what "bourbon vetiver" is but i'm guessing i don't like it.

 

 

and srsly the throw on this is astounding. i've been trying to let it settle in for an hour or so now but i just can't take it, it's too strong.

 

 

i imagine fans of Drakkar Noir will like this. that cologne was instant migraine for me back in high school.

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Got a frimp of this today from an ebay purchase, and boy was tthat nice of them cause this is gorgeous. Like hot guy fresh out of a shower with some kind of something excellent going on with his soap or aftershave or both. Wow.

 

I really don't know much about the individual notes but I definitely don't get any of the hay I've smelled in other scents. Love what all the rest of these notes are doing though.

 

The only shame is that apparently my skin devours perfume Oils, especially mmasculine scents. Maybe half an hour after applying, it's already almost totally gone.

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This is as delicious as I was hoping it would be! I'm always on the hunt for good hay blends, and this one is fantastic. Goes on as a slightly soapy cologne, then explodes into this rush of intriguing scent with hay and bergamot blasting at you with both barrels. Love it. I've returned to it again and again this past week. True love.

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Received as a frimp from the Lab

 

In the imp, I get bergamot and something unidentifiable that's maybe the bourbon vetiver? But not at all dirt-like, which is what I usually associate with vetiver. Apparently opoponax is a kind of resin in the myrrh family – I can see that giving the scent its wet quality; I get just the teeeeeniest whiff of dry hay in the background. This blend smells super masculine, though not in a department store way; very strong – I'm almost afraid to test it, though the little bit that got on my fingers when opening the imp is pretty delicious

 

Wet: sharp and peppery men's cologne; incredibly masculine

 

Initial dry: mostly still cologne/vetiver/strong bergamot, but something a teeny bit sweeter, almost like a citrusy tea scent, is dancing around the edges – there's a lot here that reminds me of the citrus and tea cologne aspect of Dorian, without the sweetness of the vanilla – Stoker is Dorian's more powerful, more masculine cousin – if Dorian is looking to debauch you in the parlor, Stoker throws you over a pile of wet, freshly mown hay and has his wicked way with you

Dry: sweet, peppery cologne – amazing throw – this scent may be too masculine for me to wear out and about, but I'll make the SO try it since it's making me think naughty thoughts!

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I've been wanting to try this, so I was very happy to receive a frimp in my latest Trading Post package. Upon application and for a good 30 minutes afterward, this has some serious waft and throw! On my skin, the bourbon vetiver is all I smell. That variety of vetiver is the sweet, grassy kind, not the smoky sometimes burning kind of vetiver. I love vetiver in general, but this one is really the good stuff! Remember way back when B&BW had a scent called Vetyver. Blasphemy to mention it here, but that was before I discovered BPAL (besides, it was only available in 2003) and I loved that scent. This is very reminiscent of it!

 

There is almost a floral quality to the cologne in this, between the sweetness of the opoponax, hay and vetiver. I don't detect any of the citrus I usually amp from bergamot, but that's not a bad thing. Overall, I could wear this scent easily as it isn't too masculine. But I really want to try to convince my husband to give it a go. I think it would be amazing with his skin chemistry.

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In the imp: On the first sniff, I mainly detected the bourbon vetiver and hay notes (especially the 'bourbon' part of the vetiver note). On subsequent sniffs, those notes are still present, but the bergamot is pretty strong too, adding a sharp citrus quality to the scent. I'm not getting much opoponax from the blend in the imp.

 

Wet: At first, the hay note, which I recognize from Eastern Comma, is the most prominent. The bergamot is pretty strong as well. I am often wary of blends containing vetiver, but this one doesn't seem to be screaming vetiver at the moment. The scent is somewhat sharp and rather masculine to my nose.

 

Dry: In this stage, the hay and bergamot still reign. The hay note adds a warmth to the scent. I can detect more of the opoponax now that the scent is dry, and the vetiver note, while still present, is more of an herbal type of the note (as opposed to a smoky vetiver or smells-like-a-farm-get-it-off-me vetiver).

 

Verdict: I really didn't think I would like this one based off of the notes. It's a nice masculine scent, but not really one that I could see myself reaching for as far as masculine scents go.

Edited by dementia_divine

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This was such an overwhelming fail on me. I love veviter, hay, bergamot and masculine scents, so I thought for sure this would be a huge winner. I get no bergamot or hay, and somehow the veviter and opoponax combine into some sort of super strong, sharp, headache-y cologne stench, that stays the same wet through drydown. Not sure if it's my nose or my chemistry, but I'm super disappointed. Boo.

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In Imp: Pale yellow. Grassy male fragrance. Aquatic. Astringent.

Wet: Smoky male. Cool Water cologne? A touch of spice.

Dry: A bit like Irish Springs soap, but with a deep manly note. This is how I would imagine a British-born soccer player to smell after a shower. It’s almost a grassy musk. It’s polite but has muscles. I wouldn’t mind this on my guy.

Later: Astringent note and a bit more musk. Reminds me a bit of a note in the Rumeur perfume.

Even Later: Glue?

 

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MANLY MEN'S COLOGNE OF MANLINESS. POUR HOMME.

 

OK, I hate to sound so gender essentialist, since of course anybody can wear anything they want, but perfume is so much about scent associations, and this is, for me, a giant whomping whiff of "DUDE." In my earlier BPAL days, when I thought I hated vetiver, it was because I didn't like vetiver in this type of incarnation. It's super aftershavey and super strong. It's well-blended and I can't really tease out all the separate notes, and I can step into my objectivity shoes and see that this is a classic cologne scent and wouldn't be out of place in any department store, but it's not for me. TTP mentions Drakkar and I think she's dead right. I can connect it to Stoker in that Dracula would wear this when trying to pick up women. That and it's a classic type scent that probably existed in some form during Stoker's lifetime.

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Frimp from the Lab!

 

 

Wet: This smells a bit like cologne..... (lol @ Lady_P above me).

 

But seriously. It's manly. It's nice though, clean and fresh. a bit citrusy. Maybe more like an aftershave than cologne, but definitely a man thing, to my nose at least. I will admit though, that I like really feminine blends for the most part.

I am getting primarily the bergamot. No vetiver to speak of, but then again I have discovered my skin DEVOURS it, so I almost never get to actually smell it. I can't really pick out hay, but I wonder if that is what is sweetening this up a bit.

This is not sexy man cologne. This is clean man cologne. Like, just got out of the shower, smelling like man-soap kind of smell. I like it. But I don't want to smell like it.

 

Dry: The same as wet really, not much of a morpher on me.

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This one was very quick. Here's how it went:

 

1. Sniff imp: Hmm, very strong, like citronella bourbon.

2. Swipe on outer wrist: Ack, medicinal vetiver! Must free my skin!

3. Washes off.

 

This may settle down into something nice, but when it's that bad wet, I don't bother waiting when there are so many other BPALs begging for me to take them in.

 

This is like the epitome of Dracula getting all the attention though it's a flagrant rip off of Carmilla, but that one had a lead female character so it doesn't get the love that Dracula does. Yes, this is the patriarchy at work, or so my skin tells me.

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Aquatic, slightly soapy, generic men's cologne muskiness with hints of smoky vetiver and lemony bergamot & hay (the lab's hay note usually smells like dead grass, dry wood and lemons to me, and I get that impression here too). I don't really like the clean cologne mixed with a darker smokiness here. Opoponax is usually super strong on me, but I don't smell it at all for about the first hour on my skin, and then I started catching wafts of resinous, syrupy sweetness. Still, this is mostly lemony, cologne-like, and slightly soapy, with a weird, dark undertone of smoke and resin. The parts don't mesh well to me.

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I almost laughed when I put this on, because I thought, "This smells like a vampire." Not a laugh from humor as much as one from recognition.

The first impression is a cologne with green bergamot -- a little bitter -- and hay, and some vetiver offering its darkness. How could hay contribute so well to a gothic scent? I wouldn't have guessed it but, in this combination, it does. I don't pick out opoponax but there seem to be a few things in with the vetiver base.

This is very cologney, and smells almost like alcohol-based perfume products. The intriguing bergamot-hay-vetiver combo is great for drawing me in, and the balance is lovely, but this amount of boozy cologne isn't going to work for me personally. Fabulous on someone else. Glad I got this freebie to try.

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