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BPAL Madness!

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The dawn of the Eddic and Skaldic poetry heralded Iceland’s long and rich history of literary culture. Since World War II, there has been a tradition in Iceland called Jólabókaflóðið, or the Christmas Book Flood. It begins with the release of Bokatidindi, a catalog of the season’s new publications. Gifts of books are exchanged on the 24th of December, and Christmas Day is spent reading with your loved ones.

 

This year, we’d like to add a few droplets to the flood. For every purchase of Svarta Fönix Bókaflóð, you receive the Svarta Fönix Bókaflóð perfume, a carefully selected used book purchased from Los Angeles booksellers, and a portion of the proceeds from each bottle will be donated to Project Night Night, an organization that provides security blankets, age-appropriate books, and plush toys to homeless youth.

 

A warm cup of chai, the purr of a bookstore cat, and a roaring fireplace nestled in a library, with books of every size, shape, age, and genre resting on the polished mahogany shelves.

 

In The Bottle: The sweet, smoky scent of the roaring fireplace and the rich smell of the mahogany. A nice start!

Wet On Skin: I'm not getting the chai *exactly* but a general warm, resiny spice is what the scent has shifted to. It's very cozy and rich, perfect for a cold, cold winter. I hope it holds!

Dry Down: Staying true from application onward, this scent is warm, smoky-sweet and cozy- everything it promises to be, and I'm sure will only get better with age!

PS for those interested, the book I received was Positive by David Wellington, which apparently is about zombies, pirates and death cults, among other things. Thanks, Puddin'! ;) :D 

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Svarta Fonix Bokaflod is breaking my heart. There are a few BPALs that don’t bother to show up on my skin — I’m thinking of Hellfire and Buggre All This Bible off the top of my head. This is one of them. I get a very faint vague sweet spice, almost imperceptible even a few minutes after application. So disappointed!

 

ETA My book is All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris. Since I’ve never read any of the Sookie Stackhouse books or seen True Blood, it will introduce me to a whole new world. Thanks, Puddin’ and Goblins!

Edited by Lucchesa

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I had a similar issue as Lucchesa. Svarta Fonix Bokaflod starts out with a wisp of smoke, one I’m not particularly fond of, which gets better in a few minutes. Unfortunately, that’s the only impression I get, and it stays so close to my skin, I have to scrap it off with my nose hairs to get a whiff! 

I can see this might get stronger with aging, but I don’t know if I would get the glorious scent I imagined from it. 

 

Book: A Murder on the Orient Express! 

I read very few murder mysteries, so I’m excited. 

 

Update: I tested another bottle that had rested longer and I did get a stronger scent! Mostly mahogany, a touch of paper and fur and a whisp of smokiness. Like an abandoned home library, mostly filled with empty shelves and the remnants of the past occupants (books & cats).  

I feel like this will be like Scholar’s Tower, which disappeared on me at first, but now is lovely. 

Edited by artisjok

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Sweet smoky mahogany, whiff of paper and vaguely touch of spicy fur. This smells like an older library. With cats. Medium throw and wear length.

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I wore this in my (new to me!) Clocket, plus on my skin. It's a really lovely, warm, very close-to-the-skin scent. On my arms it lasted all day, but very faintly. In the locket it was stronger, but not much. The actual scent is like sitting in a sun-warmed library (a nice old one) while a sun-warmed kitty sits in your lap or nearby on a windowsill while you read a well-loved book. It's that evocative. To try and describe...there's a light charred fire smokiness and something almost like paper, plus a faint perfume that brings the cat fur to mind, and then a subtle spice that I assume is the chai. 

 

I actually love that it's such a gentle scent since some days I'm just not in the mood to rock out with a strong scent. This one is lovely and comforting.

Edited by frizzlechicken

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So, I love this scent. I've only been wearing for about an hour now and I cannot stop sniffing my wrist - which is weird because I'm now at work having to hide doing this! I keep coming back to this being the masculine counterpart to Jólabókaflóðið. That being said, it's no so masculine that I feel like I'm wearing a man's cologne (but I actually really tend to love bpal's masculine scents on myself, so *shrug*). The scent description doesn't mention leather or vetiver but swear I detect a touch of vetiver and something in this reminds me of Jareth (which is why I'm leaning toward a semi-sweet leathery smell). This is slightly spicy, and a bit sweet on me and I just love it all around. I'm likely going to wear this for a few more days and come back with a more thought collected description. I agree that it's likely only going to get better with age!

 

Also, I received Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin!

 

 

Coming back here about 2ish weeks later to say, please don't give up on this scent after only a couple of days! Two weeks later it's almost a completely different scent for me that it was fresh from the mail. This is now much less "masculine cologne" and has a lot more of the warm spicy fur...it reminds me of another scent I have...I'm thinking I need to dig out my American Gods decants, as it may be the Buffalo Man it's reminding me off...not positive. Still an absolutely lovely scent!

Edited by ReineDeVampire

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Bottle fresh from the Trading Post.

 

In the bottle:. Just for a second, I get a whiff of vanilla, then chai spices, before it all quickly turns into 100% lavender.  WTH?

 

On my skin, wet:.  Yep, all lavender.

 

At 5 minutes: There are hints of other things here - it doesn't smell EXACTLY like lavender oil, but it's pretty darn close.  Nothing else is identifiable.

 

At 10 minutes:. Very little change.  If anything, it has edged even closer to pure lavender oil.  The bright sharpness of the lavender (perhaps with some chai spices as well?) gives it a definite men's-cologne vibe.  

 

At 20 minutes: Lavender and men's cologne.  There's the tiniest hint of smoke, barely detectable.  Not enough to warm up the scent.  It is cool and bright like aftershave.

 

At 30 minutes:  This is nothing like I expected, and nothing like the description.  I was hoping for a warm chai scent.  But I get no chai, no cat, no mahogany, and no books.  Mostly just lavender and men's cologne.  The smokiness has come out more, so I can sort of imagine a fireplace, but I have to work at it.  Fortunately I do like lavender.

 

At 45 minutes:  The smokiness has increased almost to the strength of the lavender, making this a warm scent now.  It's interesting - you don't find too many smoky lavender fragrances.  It still has a definite men's-cologne vibe, though.

 

At 1 hour:  The overall fragrance has lighted up, and especially the smokiness.  This is edging back towards the lavender aftershave that it was earlier.  But for now there is still a noticeable smoke note.

 

At about 1 1/2 hours:  I asked my niece to sniff my wrist and tell me what it smelled like to her, without telling her anything about the perfume.  She said instantly, "Vanilla and lavender."  So it's not just me.  She must have a better nose than I do.  I haven't noticed any vanilla since that first split-second whiff in the bottle.  BTW, she is my niece by marriage, so we don't have any shared genes that I could blame the lavender-note-that-isn't-supposed-to-be-there on!  

At this point, I also pick up a bit of the chai spices.  But they are almost concealed behind the lavender.

 

At 2 hours:  Very faded.  Mostly lavender, with just a trace of spices and smoke.

 

At 3 hours:  Some of the lavender has evaporated now, leaving behind a lovely warm scent that includes spices, smoke, and wood.  This is more like what I had imagined.  Too bad it is quite faint.

 

 

The book I got was How to Survive a Robot Uprising, by Daniel H. Wilson.  It is in perfect condition, looks brand new.  And I'm in a large online book club where we read books selected by keyword tags rather than title.  Our tag for this month is "geek read", so this book is perfect!  Synchronicity!  Thank you, Posties!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predominant Note:  Lavender

 

Character: Men's cologne, lavender, smoky, consistent

 

4 out of 6 stars.  This is a pleasing and interesting smoky lavender scent, but too men's-cologne-like to really be me.  It will be nice for when I'm in the mood for something different.

Edited by Ghost of a Rose

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I really wanted to love this, with the chai, books, and BOOKSTORE CAT in the description. Unfortunately, this scent isn't for me.

I tested this twice: once, the day after it arrived, and again a few days later. Both times, once applied, the fireplace note is the strongest on me, followed by leather books, and then mahogany shelves. It's somewhat smoky, sharp (like, it begins to start giving me a headache whenever I smell it during the first hour), and cologne-like on me, and I think the latter two things can be attributed to the leather and mahogany notes. The first time I tested it, there was just a soft spice beneath the roaring fireplace note to represent the chai. The second time I tested it, I got a little more of the chai spices, but the chai remained in a background role... which is too bad, because I was hoping for lots of it! After a while, I get what I believe is the bookstore cat note. The scent is tagged with amber on the website, and I think that may be it, or perhaps an amber musk. The scent is much lighter by the time that note gains prominence, but there's still too much smoky fireplace, leather, and mahogany in here without any sweetness or stronger chai spices to make those notes more bearable for me. Even though this scent didn't work out for me, I am still happy that I supported the cause and participated in the Bokaflod!

The book I received with my bottle is Scoop by Evelyn Waugh.

Edited by doomsday_disco

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I love this.  It's super cozy and comforting.  To me it smells like gentle milky chai, soft worn leather, and old books.  It's very wearable and makes me want to curl up in an arm chair and read with a warm drink, a puppy, and a fire.  

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In the bottle I smell a light, sweet ambery-ness. Fresh out of the bottle it's as if I've been handed a large stack of leather bound books of various ages, next to a fireplace. Drying out, the blend becomes rounder and more cohesive: smoother, sweeter, and cozy...an ever so slightly musky floral, resinous perfume faded on my wrists, mixed with the scent of leather books left on my hands, chai foam in the empty cup by my side, a silky cat on my lap. I'm delighted that it reminds me of a more distinguished Picture Books in Winter which is one of my all time favorite Yules, now quite hard to find. It has a light throw and medium wear length, perfect for a weekend afternoon at home. I also received a copy of Game of Thrones. So much yes!

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Wet: The mahogany is the strongest note here. Something warm, sweet and spicy as well; it's not reading as chai to me, but I'm sure that's part of it.

 

Dry: NOW it's reading more like chai to me. The mahogany stuck around, but (thankfully for me) it's not as dominant as before. Kind of a warm, spicy library scent. I wish that I was getting some type of fur note, that would have made it extra cozy!

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Surprisingly, I get no chai spice or anything tea-like from this. It's also missing that vanillic sweetness of old books and aged paper. It's really not a sweet fragrance in any way. I'm surprised that there's no tobacco listed, because it has a persistent, gritty tobacco and slight smokiness that is like cigarette smoke and a hint of ash on my skin, which must be the 'roaring fireplace.' Then there's something like a nip of whiskey and an overwhelming presence of black leather recliners saturated with cigarette smoke. It's the scent of a man's smoking room to me. I wanted something warmer and more cuddly, with some milky chai tea. The leather dominant drydown isn't awful, but I'm not loving the ashy, smoky parts, and I do like at least a little sweetness in my fragrances.  I probably won't wear this again, but I do love the free book that came with it.

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right off i smell chai and the fireplace, i think, with a hint of the cat's fur. this isn't sweet, milky chai, but is drier and more spicy. there is a bit of mahogany far in the background. this definitely does call to mind a library with a cat and roaring fireplace somehow. all in all it's a spicy woods scent on me.

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Lovely library scent. A hint of chai and wood accompanies a sweet fur musk and the gluey vanilla-y scent of books, with a hint of leather covers. Really pretty.

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I am so glad I did not judge this scent by how it smelled the first time I wore it. It was not freshly shipped, but perhaps needed settling a bit. It didn't seem to hit the mark.

 

Today is a whole different story! I applied it much more heavily this go around and I think that helped. This might be one of the coziest blends I have ever worn. I just want to wrap myself in a think sweater and sniff myself all day. There isn't one specific note that sticks out for me. Everything is so well balanced and blended. It reminds me, not so much of a public library, but of sitting in front of a fire while reading a book at a lodge or very old home. There is an aged-ness to it. It smells like my idea of an ideal day: cozy blanket, kitty on my lap, a cup of tea, and a really good book. Home and comfort and contentedness.

 

Super double bonus that it is the only bottle of bpal that my internet-shopping-shy mother has ever ordered for me!

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Books, fireplaces, wood, chai tea, and cozy, furry cats?! This sounds like it should be heaven. I was envisioning something creamy, spicy and a little incensey, rustic, leathery, comforting, all that good stuff. 

Alas... no. I don't know what happened here... but this is such a heavy, intense, old cloying perfume smell. First off, it smells purely like alcohol to me (or rather, like alcohol based perfume). As soon as I open the bottle, the first thing I smell is strong, astringent alcohol with an undertone of "classic" perfume.  Actually, to me it smells exactly like a forgotten 30 year old bottle of Eau de perfume, Chanel No 5. Very heady, very musky/musty, and alcoholic. Somehow I am detecting heavy white florals and musk?? I will say, it does smell very expensive, like a premium classic/noxious perfume. I smell no chai, no cats, no books, and no fireplaces... but maybe a soapy, cologne-like kind of wood. Some time after my (very cautious) application, it simmers down into a... clean, fully soap and flowers cologne smell.  I don't know how.  

The book I received was " The Wind is Not a River" (Brian Payton) about a married couple trying to reconcile and deal with loss in a hypothetical WW2 scenario in Alaska. Hmm.... not exactly my genre, but I was glad to participate all the same. In an odd way the perfume actually really, really goes with the book lol....

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Wow, this is perfect for me.

First of all, I really like the idea of getting presents (a book and a PO).

Second, this winter scent is not heavy on my skin, and I appreciate that very much.

 

In the bottle:
fresh, clean
dark red berries (not listed)

 

Wet on skin:
mahogany, vanilla

 

Dry on skin, initial:

clean, stable scent, office-worthy

it is extremely cozy and comforting

(no smoke or fireplace, no cat (good, i don't like cats that much), no chai tea )

 

Throughout time, this changes in between these images, for me:

- a library (the entire one, neither a single book, nor a single paper smell)

- a clean place and light aquatic, with polished mahogany furniture, an androgyn silver alien with wet skin and red silk dress walks past (...huh...)

- a more settled cottage with a woollen carpet (maybe thats the whole "cat" idea in this scent). Knowing there chai is supposed to be in this, ok yes, I can actually smell chai now. But. Not knowing this, i wouldn't have captured that and rather thought "something buttery with very slight and aquatic spice that warms up to be comforting yet fresh later on"

 

Once stable

a faint scent lasting for a long time that gives an extremely comforting feeling for a whole day; can be worn at the office

 

Book

My book was Photographing Fairies by Steve Szilagyi (1992), a plot happening in the 20's and having allures of Arthur Conan Doyles work, with a bit of weirdness, noir, but also interesting - felt like it suited me very much somehow. Interestingly I got a fairy garden sample with it. Thank you so much, that was heartwarming.

 

Edited to state this: By the way, I really love the label as well.

Edited by zazkea
edited to give hail to artwork

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