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BPAL Madness!

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Sweet red vetiver, 13-year aged patchouli, mahogany oudh, and shadow musk.

In The Bottle: Strong, dirty patchouli, sweet and smoky vetiver, rich oudh.

Wet On Skin: The smokiness of the vetiver is front and center now, though the richness of the oudh is coming in close behind. The patch seems to have moved waaaay into the background at this stage.

Dry Down: The smoky aspect of the vetiver has tones down, though the vetiver is still very present. The shadow musk has come out of hiding to create something that is dark, dense and lush. This reads as extremely powerful to me, something that I'll likely wear when I want others to leave me the hell alone. Yet, the vetiver adds its own sinister sexiness- I could definitely see wearing this out to a club, either alone if I just want to hang with my friends or layered with a clove-rich scent to give a message of "Come closer if you like, but I just might be a black widow in disguise, chump."

In All: A strong scent for those that know themselves. <3 Edited by VioletChaos

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In the Bottle:

Definitely vetiver but smells nice and smooth. Very woody


On the Skin:

The mahogany oudh is the note evident at first, not the vetiver but the vetiver kicks in pretty quickly. I do pick up on the musk as well which keeps this from going too earthy. The shadow musk is really lovely and cool. The patchouli (and it is a lovely smooth patchouli) is late to the party but more than makes up for it.


On the Drydown:

Everything merges so well in this blend while each element still retains a distinct presence. The shadow musk is the master stroke, elevating this blend to dark, night-cool elegance. Although, if you are a vetiver-phobe you might want to avoid.

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Had to try this almost immediately after opening my package from the Lab!

 

In the bottle: VETIVER. Doing that funky, smoky, swampy-vegetal thing that it does in Highwayman.

 

Wet: Vetiver is still predominating, though the greenness goes away and it starts to smell more lush. This is very strong.

 

Drydown: I was a little concerned that it might be overpowering, but after about 20-30 minutes the vetiver calmed right down and let the patchouli (super smooth) and wood notes come out to play. It's now a really lovely deep dark skin scent - this must be the shadow musk bringing the other notes together. I would love to smell this on a man... I have yet to convince my husband to try BPAL but maybe I should ask again.

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I should have known this wouldn't work for me, but I HAD to take a chance because patchouli is my weakness (and some musks... wasn't sure what a "shadow musk" would smell like though!).

 

Wet on application it's straight up vetiver and lasts without any morphing for the first ten minutes. I wanted to wash it off, but I needed to see what this would do. Around the twelve to fifteen minute mark, the mahogany oudh came out, and though I thought I hated the vetiver alone... the oudh made it worse. :*( It smelled like a BBQ on my wrist and made me want to wash it off. Of course I trudged through---unless I get a migraine, I always stay with the fragrance through its whole journey at least once---and am happy I did. At about 30 minutes in, the patchouli started to temper everything and mellowed it all out. In this stage, it begins to take shape into something workable if you're experiencing the same thing I did, so stick it out to see if it's something you can handle! Throughout the rest of the wear, I get weaker ick elements and stronger yay elements (patchouli looooove).

 

Ultimately, I wont be getting a bottle of this, but I'll probably wear my imp a few more times before passing it on to my father whom I think will like it.

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This is only vetiver-y for a couple of minutes on application; the smokiness dies away quickly, and the oudh/musk turns to powder. Fortunately, it's not the obnoxious sort of powder that comes from frankincense or amber, it's a far richer resinous powder... but still powder. Kind of like high-class deodorant for men.

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I should preface my review by noting that I am a vetiver lover, and scents such as malediction and devils claw are among my favorites, along with a penchant for layering everything with the vetiver SN. I am also a heavy patchouli lover, so I was all kinds of excited to see the notes in this!

 

By the notes, this should be the most amazing thing on my skin. But it flopped for me.

 

Wet, it is a raw power with at least a 40 ft throw. But not a vetiver-power, or at least not the kind I would expect. I can smell the notes I love, but they are pungent as if they went to the gym 3x a day for a month and never once took a shower, then rubber their sweaty nethers on my nose. My dogs actually recoiled, and I did almost wash it off. But I'm nothing if not stubborn with a skin test.

 

Dry, same....

 

2 hours later, same...

 

8 hours later, THIS IS AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL AND STUNNING! I smell like a shadow of smoke and earth, a memory of fire and darkness. I am spirit, I am darkness, I am primeval beauty.

 

 

I have never had a vetiver/patch blend come off so foul on me. This also did have the strongest throw and lasting power of any oil I have tried, as I can still smell it on my skin 36 hours later. And it did turn beautiful and has stayed that way for at least 28 hours of it.... but those first 8?

 

Man. I just don't think it's gonna be worth those first 8 hours to me, unless I plan ahead and put it on before bed so the in-your-face can die down overnight.

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Vetiver, you and I just can't get along...you overpowered everything as this dried down. I'll never know what lovely shadows this could smell like without the vetiver, but on me, at least, it overpowers everything, leaving just wisps of the other notes in the background struggling to make themselves known. That's what you get when your skin amps vetiver.

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I got this as a decant from a Luper circle, and I'm going to have to defend my negative review by saying I must have either thought I was ordering a different scent (Humanite, maybe?) or because I hadn't done a lot of BPAL testing yet and literally had zero idea what these notes meant. Knowing what I know now, I would've left this one for the vetiver lovers and stayed far away from it.

First Sniff Impression: Really dark, musky patchouli

Wet in Vial: This is a very dark, heavy, musk. I'm actually not sure why I bought it, looking at the notes now. It might've just been ignorance at the time.

Drying Down on Skin: This is very strong when applied. I think it's the vetiver, patchouli, and musk combination that's giving me a super Bloodlust vibe, which is not great since that's one of my least favorite scents. Actually I think this is worse. There's absolutely no sweetness at all to this. It's very dry and ashy, like something that's been charred.

 

Dry on Skin: There's something almost medicinal to this scent, too. It somehow reminds me of hospitals. Maybe it's a kind of latex-type scent? After a little bit I think maybe the patchouli is winning out, for it's slightly less charred and a bit more like incense, but I'm afraid I have to go wash this off. I really can't stand it.

Conclusion: This is possibly my least favorite BPAL of all time. As soon as I applied it, I wanted to wash it off. And I did wash it off about five minutes later. This will definitely jive with some people's tastes, but it's sooooo not mine.

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I love the name of this!

 

 

Wet: Tons of sweet, smooth vetiver. More of the woody variety than the real smoky stuff, but still have some smokiness to it. It's OK, but overpowering the other notes. My skin tends to eat vetiver, so we'll see how it dries I guess.

 

Dry: This turns really sickly on me. Medicinal, harsh, chemical. Not nice at all. It sadly had no chance to rest before I tested it. Not sure if that's the issue or not. But it's not a winner on me today, that's for sure.

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This patchouli packs a serious punch--if you're not a fan, stay far away! The oudh is earthy and a bit stinky (I say this lovingly, of course), and the vetiver is smoother than I'm used to but still adds a sharp, herbal bite that I think of as being rather masculine. It's a great woody scent but very strong and heavy, without anything to balance the dark notes. I think I'll pass on a bottle.

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MMMMMmmmmmmm.

I love this, but bear in mind I'm a huge fan of vetiver and patch, and there aren't many musks I don't love. ;) The patchouli is very smooth and the vetiver is wrapped around it like a shroud. The musk is in the black family, probably, but it's almost like smoke here. There is a slightly dry quality, which I like, and not even a hint of sweetness - also good, in my book.

 

A strong, assertive scent.

 

:wub3:

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I just opened up my bottle for the first time in forever, and it was almost glued shut with sticky, gooey residue... so I knew this was gonna be GOOD.

 

And it is! Everything I originally liked about this is still present and blended smooooth and mellow with time. UNGH!

 

That is all. 

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I grabbed a decant of this in a swap, and I’m wavering on wether it’s a scent I can pull off or not... 

Dark! Vetiver and patchouli and oudh. Smooth with some smoke some funk, yet smooth thick woods. 
I think I’m going to slather on my man, as he’s the darker one of our pair, also the masculine :P 

 

Edited by artisjok

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