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Saffron-infused bourbon vanilla, blackened honey, Kashmir wood, Atlas cedar, ambrette seed, hay, and Egyptian jasmine absolute.

 

Thoughts before testing: I purchased this bottle back in 2015 and immediately put it away to age after the first sniff. It was nothing but loud, indolic jasmine and sharp screechy woods and I knew that it desperately needed aging before it would even have a chance of working on me. So here we are, almost exactly 2 years to the day later and I'm ready to take this baby for a test drive. Looking back at the note list, I'm not exactly sure why I bought this. It's practically a list of notes guaranteed to not work on my skin. But having said that I have noticed some pretty significant skin chemistry changes since I miscarried last winter, so maybe it'll turn out ok!

 

Wet: Heady jasmine that's still pretty indolic. I get a little honey and a little bourbon vanilla, making it a really lovely sweetened floral with a hint of earthiness.

 

Dry down: The woods start to come out more and the jasmine starts to recede. It's pretty hypnotic actually and feels like super slinky, super sexy, Serious Perfume. The honey and vanilla sweeten everything, This is shockingly lovely.

 

Dry: Much heavier on the woods and honey now, but this one lasted forever on my skin (6 hours and still going strong).

 

Final thoughts: This is so far out of my normal perfume range, but I'm shocked at how much I like it. Keeping!

 

Edited for spelling.

Edited by Alethia

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The jasmine in this smells a lot like the one in Mare Vaporum (a favorite of mine). Wet it's very strong but as it dries it get shadowy? I don't know how else to describe it. It's extremely well blended and it's hard to pick out the notes, other than jasmine. It's woody, spicy, and sweet, and floral but everything is incredibly well balanced. But if I put my nose right up to my arm I can pick out smooth honey and some hay. A beautiful dark jasmine scent but not at all heavy.

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From the 2018 restock:

 

I'm a jasmine fan. I agree with Roseus that Hal's flower smells a lot like the jasmine in Mare Vaporum. Mare is a blend I enjoy; I like to wear it for supermoons. I'm liking this one, too.

 

Hal opens as this jasmine single note on me but, after a few minutes, I start to get some warm, hay-like woodiness, too. A breath of hay, with indistinct woods.

 

After drydown, a little smooth honey comes out.

 

Hal remains this woody, hay-rustic, and slightly honeyed jasmine throughout the rest of its life on my skin.

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This is the 2018 reissue.

 

On my skin, Hal is a fairly short-lived whisper of jasmine and honey with a base of wood. I want it to last longer, to speak up just a little more without getting too loud. With time, or perhaps on a hot day, maybe that will happen. Having said that, this is the quality of jasmine that I wanted. I'm sure it will work wonderfully for those times when I want to smell of jasmine without knocking myself or anyone around me for a loop.

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In The Bottle: Dry sweet woods. Thankful, so far the cedar is staying put instead of jumping out at me. Here's hoping that continues...

Wet On Skin: The jasmine is coming round now. It's not the light floral jasmine, it's the thick, dark Indian jasmine for sure, which I guess must be similar to an Egyptian variable. I like both, but here the darker one seems more appropriate to hold its own against those other deep notes.

 

Dry Down: Deep jasmine grounded by wood. Possibly a *hint* of saffron bitten off at the end. Sadly I don't get any honey or vanilla. But I'm willing to wait, to see what happens with aging. It's not a bad scent, just surprisingly simple on my skin. I'm hoping some complexities come out by waiting around. ;)

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I ordered my bottle of Hal back when the OLLAs first went live, during the Great Forum Crash of '14. I posted my review on a FB page that no longer exists, and forgot to post one here after the forums returned months later. So this overdue review is for my OG Hal.

 

I rarely buy decants, but in the case of Hal, I got a decant first. The reason is simple: jasmine, spoiler of scents for me. I adore the song in the movie and just had to at least try the scent. Imagine my delight when it was a luscious exotic floral without the "bad jasmine" association! I promptly ordered a bottle. Unfortunately, in the full bottle, my experience was quite different. All jasmine, the "bad kind", and there was no way I could wear it. I swapped it away a few months later and never looked back. Sorry jasmine, you and I are never going to be friends. I did manage to use up my lovely decant over the years, but don't think I want to risk another try. Let the good memory remain.

Edited by Poenari

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Source: Decant Circle

Preconceptions: Honey amps, wood = #2 pencil, ambrette seed & hay = foody gloop, Jasmine = nemesis. I uh, yeah don't know. I heard rave things about Hal though? So wanted to try a sample.

 

Vial: Floral honey?

Skin: OH wow. This is all kinds of... perfect blend. F the individual notes here. This becomes a sort of encompassing, warm, sticky, heady, beautiful creation.

Drydown: Honey prominent, but by no means sticky cloying. I'm thinking the Jasmine is keeping the honey from going too dark and sticky? Honey is cut through by a light floral (that doesn't read as "floral" to my nose - just a gentle natural lightness) and allows it to reveal an earthy/woody undertone to this sweet honey. The longer it sits the less honey there is and the more woodyness it becomes. Which is opposite most honey blends on me.

 

Verdict: This is beautiful. Warm, engulfing, honey-wood. Dark and sweet. Deep and mysterious. Earthy and surreal.

 

Swapping out only because this won't win out over the others in my keep box. I know I'll go for twenty scents before this one. But - still beautiful.

Edited by Aveya

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Almost every note in Hal is pretty surefire on me, the huge exception being the last one: jasmine. And when I opened the imp, jasmine was all I could smell. Someone once described Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings as one long, loud blast of sex; Hal was one long, loud blast of jasmine. I gritted my teeth and applied it to my wrist. And, sure enough, jasmine. But - wait - this is the good jasmine. The well-behaved, non-indolic jasmine. The jasmine that shows up maybe 8 percent of the time and that I can actually wear, though I rarely choose to do so. Still, the "good" jasmine was stomping all over all the other lovely notes. Stomp, stomp, stomp. Okay, I could smell the honey, though not that it was particularly blackened. After about 45 minutes, as the long loud blast began to wane, I could begin to make out the bourbon vanilla. Maybe a hint of hinoki wood and hay, though I can't make out the ambrette and strangely the cedar seems to be absent on me. I'm sure the subtleties will continue to emerge with time, and perhaps with aging, but the heavy jasmine of the opening is probably too much for me.

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2018 release.

 

In the decant: Upon opening the decant, I am hit with a blast of jasmine, accompanied by some of the saffron-infused bourbon vanilla and honey. But mostly, JASMINE.

 

Wet: The jasmine note is the most prominent note on my skin, followed by the honey. I can also smell the saffron aspect of the bourbon vanilla and the musky ambrette seed. Oddly enough, I’m not able to pick out either of the wood notes, but I suspect they’re adding some more warmth to the scent.

 

Dry: The jasmine continues to reign, but it is softer now, and so is the honey (which is also a main player). I get more of the saffron-infused bourbon vanilla than before (especially the saffron), and I can still smell the musky ambrette. I’m still not able to pick out the woods or hay, but the scent is even warmer than before, and I am sure they likely have something to do with it. I really like this phase of the scent.

 

Verdict: While I enjoyed the dry phase of this scent, I’m not sure if I’d want to endure the blast of jasmine and honey that I get when I apply it and wait for it to settle down. This isn’t something I feel the need to obtain more of, but I’m glad that I got a chance to try it!

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In many ways, this reminds me of Morocco. Warm, floral but not headache enduringly so.

 

I'm still trying to pick out individual notes, but I get the sense of wood and a touch of dark vanilla. It's sweet, but not cloying. The jasmine is playing nice but is definitely the starring note here, vying for the spotlight above everything else. I'm not sure I get the honey, at least not yet, but it's also a scent I've never thought to get to know before. It could be the something I can only describe as golden I catch when I put my nose to my wrist.

 

Lovely scent that I think I'll hold onto for cooler weather. I'll keep hold of this to see how it ages, but as of now, I wouldn't be compelled to grab a back-up.

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