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VioletChaos

2004: Paper Phoenix

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On our second anniversary, the Lab moved from the Far Land of Spare Oom (gratuitous C.S. Lewis reference) to its first real location in Atwater Village. It was small, it was weird, and we all shared one space, but it was home.

In 2004, our real unreal home, bpal.org, was founded by slythwitch, and later that year, shrieking violet took over the helm. Bpal.org has been the source of so much love and joy in my life since its inception, and because of .org, my family bound by love and spirit expanded to include some of the finest human beings I have ever known. The community that grew from .org is incomparable, both on the internet and in the so-called real world; it is a safe haven of wise, witty, kind, compassionate souls, and without it and without the people that I met through it, my life would be so much darker.

2004 also heralded our first press mention (thank you, Bust Magazine!), our first Chaos Theory series, and the first Lunacies. Our first Blue Moon came out in July of 2004, launching the Lunacies that weve been doing ever since. Red Moon was our official first Lunacy blend, followed Harvest Moon, Hunter Moon, and a bajillion other Lunacies over the next eleven years!

(Ok, maybe not a bajillion, but Im not in the mood to do the math!)

Prior to September of 2004, we dressed our Imps a bit differently. We wrapped synthetic bull sinew around the vials and used handwritten parchment labels. Honestly, it looked amazing, but it was an incredibly time consuming process, and left me with a couple of imp-related battle scars. As of autumn, we switched to the paper labels you see today.
Our first activism scents also debuted in 2004: Cerberus (Animal Assistance League of Orange County), Chiroptera (Bat Conservation International), Corazon (Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land), Oisin (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), and Thunderbird (the Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program), kicking off over a decade of fundraising, advocacy, and charity work.

In 2004, Antique Lace first appeared and we introduced our first forum-only blend (Formula 54!). And on December 21, 2004, Dorian a hymn to my love for Ted went live.

A memory of Antique Lace, Formula 54s pink pepper, and a splash of Dorian's white tea and lavender fougere.

In the Bottle: Good lord- it's Dorian and Antique Lace, together at last! :laugh: There's also a bright rind of that pink pepper (never had the pleasure of sniffing Formula 54 but I have liked the pink pepper note in other blends. Here's it adds a nice bright bite!)

Wet On Skin: The Dorian aspect is strong with this one! But that's not the totality of this scent. The vanilla of Antique Lace is adding a layer of softness and warmth.

Dry Down: If you're among the masses that have wept bitter tears at the absence of Antique Lace and also of Dorian, then this is the scent for you. It takes the most beautiful and strong elements of each of those and combines them for a scent that is sweet and lovely and cuddly. It's a dream. :wub: :wub: :wub:

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Another hit from this series! Dorian fans should love this one. As it dries down, I start to smell the vanilla of Antique Lace. Like a sweet vanilla tea, this one is a winner!

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Do you like Dorian? Do you like Antique Lace? Then this should be a no brainer buy. It is gorgeous. I've worn it twice and I only got it yesterday. The is a hint of sweet lavender as well. It is such a relaxing sweet tea blend I can't recommend it enough.

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I havent experienced either Antique Lace or Dorian, so. (Can I even call myself a BPALer after 7 years and not smelling them?!)

 

Soft lavender (think lavender picked a few days ago and warmed in the sun) and some of the greenery that comes with it, along side a dainty cup of white tea, a sprinkle of pink pepper to give it just a tiny bit of a kick, all on a cloud of pillowy memories. Memories of soft perfume, ivory lace squares, more dried flowers.

 

This is one of those oh, siiiigh scents in that you wear it to feel pretty, special or melancholy.

 

I dont think one bottle is enough, this is going to be a forever scent.

 

Reminds me of: De Vos Unicorn and The Lilac Wood

Edited by yeoldecabinetofsmells

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I mainly got Dorian on wet, and then I got the vanilla from Antique Lace, and honestly, for about the first two hours it smells like aged Dorian to me. After about six hours, it's mainly very Antique Lacey.

 

So yeah, if you love either Dorian or Antique Lace, this is a get for you. Good throw, great wear length.

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It is, in a word, perfect. Antique Lace and Dorian. How much more do I really have to say? If you've tried them and you liked them, you'll like this.

 

This is a top ten for me. Instantly. Boom.

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Can't say anything else other than it really is Antique Lace and Dorian. It's perfect, I immediately put it on the second I got the bottle and I kept re applying throughout the day.

 

There is not a single thing about this scent that isn't amazing. If you love either scent, get this, please, you will regret it if you don't.

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Antique Lace and Dorian are BPAL classics and are in my top ten, so I thought this world be perfect. I was hoping for more creamy sweetness, but the citrus is quite strong. It is a lot brighter than I expected, heavy on the lemon and pink peppercorn. Its pretty, but not the intoxicating vanillic scent I was expecting. Smells like a lemon drop candy.

 

Edit: Now I know what it's reminding me of! Whatever the top notes in Nanshe were, it smells very close to that.

Edited by vodkawitch

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In the bottle: The bright, citrus-y white tea note jumps out to me, with Dorian's lavender fougere, and a bit of pink pepper.

 

Wet: On my skin, the white tea note is still really strong, but I'm also getting more of the pink pepper with the lavender fougere and the aged linens of Antique Lace. As the scent begins its drydown, the lavender fougere gains strength, but doesn't overtake the white tea, and Antique Lace's vanilla begins to emerge.

 

Dry: The white tea and lavender fougere remain the most prominent notes on me, with Antique Lace's vanilla residing in the background.

 

After several hours of wear, the white tea and lavender fougere of the Dorian are still going strong in the crooks of my elbows, while Antique Lace's vanilla is queen on my wrists, backed by the Dorian notes.

 

Verdict: If you're a fan of Dorian or Antique Lace and aren't averse to the white tea note (it's pretty strong on me), you're going to want a bottle of this. I'm happy to have a bottle, and I am sure it will age marvelously.

Edited by dementia_divine

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I only got into BPAL this year so I didn't get to try the original Antique Lace, though I do have a smidgen of original Dorian. When AL was re-released I excitedly bought a bottle but ended up swapping it away because I was thoroughly underwhelmed - on my skin it was no different to Burberry Brit EDT.

 

For me Paper Phoenix elevates AL to what I was expecting it to be. The Dorian tea note is strong but it blends beautifully with the vanilla of AL, and on my skin there is just a hint of pink peppercorn and lavender to add a little bit of complexity. It lasts all day on me, and has decent throw too.

 

In short, this is perfection. It may have even knocked Hesiod's Phoenix off the top spot in my BPAL all-time favourites list!

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Thoughts before testing: Literally everything here is a win. Dorian is one of my all time favorites, Antique Lace is one of the best vanillas I've ever smelled, and pink pepper is true love. I don't see how this can go wrong!

 

Wet: Hellloooooo Dorian! This is a huge hit of bright, sweetly musky, citrusy Dorian smacked in the face with the delicious fruity sharpness of the pink pepper. A little sharp, but not unpleasantly so.

 

Dry down: Everything starts to mellow and I can start to smell a hint of the linens and vanilla of Antique Lace.

 

Dry: By several hours in, Dorian and Antique Lace have melded to become this really outstanding scent. I don't even know if I can properly describe it except to say that it's creamy and sweet and slightly citrus/herbal and just really lovely. This one lasted forever on my skin. I put it on around 8 am and could still smell it 10 hours later. The husband loved it (no surprise as Dorian and Antique Lace are his favorites on me) and has already ordered me a backup bottle.

 

Final thoughts: When I originally got into BPAL, I was thrilled at the idea of having dozens of perfumes to choose from each day and loved trying out new things and new personas with each scent. But now eight years later (where did the time go?!), I want a small stable of 3-5 perfumes, scents that I love and that make me feel the most authentically me. Paper Phoenix definitely fits that bill.

 

Verdict: Hoarding.

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Sugared crystal lemon comes out for me, floating to the top from Dorian's lavender white tea. It almost makes my mouth water its so tart. For some reason Kumiho comes to mind and I wore that everyday a decade ago. I'm also getting Antique Lace and a delicate spice in the background. Really, the lavender here is the star of the show. It literally sparkles and glistens and pushes this into AMAZING UNICORN territory. This has certainly become my new scent obsession and somebody just grabbed 2 backup bottles.

Edited by Jenjin

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Quite lemony it first. It reminds me of fresh Dorian, but not as musky with tea and lavender. Not getting the AL, though this may come out with a bit of aging. This is lovely, and I'm betting will just get even better with age. It reminds me of Serpentine as well, though this one is more lemony. A true win, and I think I may need a backup or three.

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Paper Phoenix starts out as a dry Dorian with a hit of pink pepper. As it starts to dry, an echo of the creamy vanilla linens of Antique Lace come forward. At all stages, this is primarily a tea scent on me, gentle but with a backbone. It's refined and classic, but also intensely wearable and comforting. Really lovely, and if all the anniversary phoenixes are as good as the first two, I'm in real trouble.

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I quite like this, but like Dorian and Antique Lace would wear it only in specific situations. It's both delicate and commanding–a beautiful blend meant to captivate, for sure. It is strongly Dorian with some Antique Lace components—but I think I also smell some minty lavender every once in a whiff. Who knows! I've smelled too many things today between the boardwalk on the beach and dinner and perfumes. I feel like a puppy whose nose is both happy but possibly overwhelmed. Therefore YMMV. :)

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In the bottle, I get mainly the pink pepper note, bright and fresh. On my skin, it is almost exactly like a layered Dorian and Antique Lace - they don’t blend together to create a different fragrance, they swirl around each other, sometimes with Dorianmoreprominent, sometimes Antique Lace coming out on top. Beautiful.

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This reminds me quite a bit of The Atrocious Attic from the 2007 Weenies, with its vanilla, linen and dried-bouquet nuances. The top notes of pink pepper and Earl Grey are fun in the beginning, though they don't last long. There's also something that reminds me of one of the early Lilith series, that baby lavender note. The whole effect is very soft and comforting.

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i am a fan of dorian, but antique lace is just ok on me. this is pretty gorgeous from the get-go though. it starts off with strong lavender, tea and vanilla...it's like dorian and TKO, and it's beautiful! it's basically dorian with extra pumped lavender on me, which makes me think i should try this as a bedtime scent. after about 15-20 minutes on the skin, i can sense more of the antique lace component, and the lavender has calmed down a bit. the lavender seems to get softer and stronger, with the white tea remaining fairly constant. i don't get the pink pepper till maybe a half an hour in, and it adds a pretty element to the whole scent, but now it smells more like antique lace and i am not really a fan of antique lace, so i guess i'd say the beginning stage is good and the drydown is just ok.

Edited by theseagrows

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I expected this to be very vanilla-y with the Dorian and Antique Lace, but the citrusy tea and lavender aspects are strongest to my nose. Sugared, lemony tea and powdery, clean lavender.

I'm glad that I have several bottles of original Dorian hoarded, because I love how vanilla-heavy it used to be. The Dorian blends and newer Dorian releases are more fresh and musky-citrus-tea-dominant to me.

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This by far is the most foul scent I have ever had the displeasure of smelling. It smells of stale, cold lemon tea with sugar. The antique lace note is nauseating. I am so sad b/c I thought this would be wonderful! :(

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Interesting to read such varied reviews! This is by far my favorite of the four anniversaries I have tried. It starts out as pure Dorian, but a Dorian amped on vanilla. As it wears, the Dorian is still very much present, but with the vanilla taking more center stage. It does remind me very much of Antique Lace...but better because of the Dorian nuances. I get no sharp lemon, pink pepper or heavy lavender as others have mentioned. I may have to get another bottle.

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(I'm not familiar with Dorian...do I get my membership card revoked?) (Also I consistently misspell "lavender" -- you'd think I would've learned by now, since it's a favorite note.)

 

Initially it's all lavender, then the vanilla-antique lace comes out and blends so nicely with the lavender. Antique Lace was always a little too sugary-sweet on me, so the Dorian component settles it down into something good: pretty without being super feminine, vanilla-y without seeming like a pastry, and light without fading (tea notes fade really fast for me.) Wow.

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Straight out of the gate, all lavender. Within less than a minute, this transitions to a very strong, sharp sugared lemon and tea. It's recognizably Dorian, but not as cozy and smooth as I'm used to. I'm hoping it just needs a chance to age as I haven't sniffed fresh bottle of Dorian in quite a while.

 

Given enough time, the sugary vanilla of Antique Lace becomes perceptible beneath the glowing lemony lavender haze. It's definitely there but seems to stay secondary to Dorian for me. I don't pick up on any pink pepper.

 

I think the two scents round each other out quite nicely. And the scent settles into a warm, sweet, and subtle wear. I'm not going to need any backups, but I'm happy to have a bottle.

 

I think lovers of either Dorian or Antique Lace will find this completes their collection quite nicely.

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I adore this! A perfect blend of Dorian and Antique Lace, without the too-sweet quality each scent has on me individually. I get zero pink pepper and zero lavender - or the latter blends so well with the vanilla and tea that it's indistinct, which is fine by me.

 

Feminine and pretty, with fairly decent wear and a nice throw. I'll reach for this one a lot.

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I must admit that I was very on the fence about getting this one. Dorian and Antique Lace are probably tied for my all-time favorite scent, but I still have original bottles of both, and I was underwhelmed by the recent incarnation of AL, so I thought this would be much of a muchness for me.

 

Boy, was I wrong.

 

The glowing reviews tempted me into picking up a bottle in my most recent order, and I am instantly in love. This scent takes the best of Dorian and AL and elevates them into a whole other realm of gloriousness. I get an initial lemony note that is a bit overpowering on first application (and I say that as a citrus lover), but it soon mellows out, and I suspect that aging will settle it down even more. It's a sugary cloud of AL, with the occasional waft of Dorian's tea, and the florals in AL combine into perfection with Dorian's fougere. Let the hoarding commence.

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