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BPAL Madness!

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In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob-tree
I came down the steps with my pitcher
And must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.

 

Snake Oil, black oudh, labdanum, vetiver, and 10-year aged patchouli.

 

In The Bottle: Labdanum and oudh.

 

Wet On Skin: The oudh is strong with this one. It's really so far out front that as it warms on my skin, I can get nothing else from it. Help us Snake Oil, you're our only hope!

 

Dry Down: no vetiver, no patch that I can detect. The oudh is still definitely at the front, but traces of Snake Oil are, in fact, coming through, as is the sweetness of the labdanum. I'm going to let this settle for at least a month before retest, I am one of the masses for whom,e fresh Snake Oil does not generally cooperate. I choose to hold out hope, and if not, I've got some very fine aged SO that I can layer with this bad boy to get the party started ;) 

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DARKNESS. This about that oudh, vanilla, and a whiff of vetiver. I get mainly a vanilla oudh, with all of its oudhiness. Which isn't really my jam. Great throw and wear length, of course, because my skin likes to be loved by things my nose doesn't.

 

 

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Hmmm. This is def oudh. Its such a weird smell, but I find it kind of addictive. It has the slightest mentholic edge but isnt sharp at all. I Like the way it plays with the vanilla, i find it really smooth. I love it, but im also a little grossed out. Go figure

 

*** i got a second bottle of this that just doesnt have that oud smell. I like both but wth

Edited by Vaporeon

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Ok..disclaimer: I'm one of the unlucky few for which oudh smells like a freshly popped septic tank, when wet.  That said, Snake's Shadow is worth the horror.  I could smell something "sparkly" underneath the poop stink, immediately.  It helped my endurance for sure!

 

When finally dry, its lovely. ❤️ I found a gorgeous jeweled mantle at the bottom of a septic tank! Wow! Worth the pain every time.

 

Snake Oil, something sparkly (labdanum) and effervescent like the lab's champagne note, deep resinous base. Its cascade is pretty wide and complex.  It takes some getting used to, but I place this in the Leather Phoenix category: not sure why I'm repeatedly drawn back...complex, addictive, intriguing.  This will age VERY well. :wub2:

 

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I like oudh!

 

That said, this heavy oudh plus vetiver is also unfortunately poopy at first on me. I do get the sparkling labdanum and I could see aging and deepening Snake Oil completely solving the poop problem but those first few seconds are a little alarming.

 

As the snake oil warms up and the vanilla scent wafts the vetiver poop transforms into something s lot more palatable, sweet, brown, warm, and a little powdery.

Edited by patina

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Had pretty much the same reaction as patina, except I cannot smell any of the labda... oh wait there it is now. Oudh really dominates this blend. It's a lot like jasmine in that the initial sniff is like "whoa wtf gross," but it settles down very quickly as it melds with the other notes. BUT, the "ick" still reaches out and slaps me in the face every so often, which means I am not going to wear this again. 

 

*adds oudh to the "not a death note but probably should avoid" list*

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funky oud and smoky vetiver a first out of the gate, causing the snake oil/labdanum that follows to play like weird dr pepper soda.  drinking spiced cola near a smoldering barn fire?  honestly a little too sweet for me to test fully and properly. sorry! 

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Foiled again by black oudh!  I don't have trouble with some oudhs, but the black variety seems to be my nemesis, and Snake's Shadow when wet is all black oudh.  To quote SophieCedar:  "I'm one of the unlucky few for which oudh smells like a freshly popped septic tank, when wet."  It took 20-30 minutes for the poopy oudh to settle, and then it transformed into something really deep and lovely and complex -- some SO, some sweet syrupy labdanum, a little vetiver.  I never did get much patch.   I suspect it will get much better with age, but that first 20 minutes was a hard slog.  

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i dunno why i decided to try this one, because bpal's black oudh note gets very barnyard-y on me but i was sucked in by the labdanum and was interested how that would work with snake oil. i can't really do snake oil but love a lot of the snake oil adjacent blends. anyway yeah, that stanky oudh is about all i can smell at the outset, with maaaybe hints of vetiver. after about 20 minutes the oudh finally dissipates (yay) and it's mostly labdanum with patchouli. it's nice and does lean a bit more traditionally masculine. the oudh is still there a little bit, in and out but not nearly as strong.

 

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Ok, I must love oudh! This is amazing. In the bottle and first on it even reads a little chocolatey to me (and my boyfriend too!). Soon though, it settles into a smooth, velvety sweet Snake Oil version that I adore. It’s sexy and warm. Can’t wait to see how it ages! I’m snagging bottle #2 today!

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Much like Tricuspid Valve, the oudh in this screams from the bottle, and it says one word -- 💩. Scrubbed off with haste. 

 

Two months later, right as I was about to put it up on the swaps list, I decided to give it one more try. The oudh this time, while still strong wet, dissipated much faster than it did the first time, and the other notes started coming out. The result is something rich, dark, heady, buttery. Like the darkest Snake Oil imaginable. There's still the stank underneath, but this is much better and I like where it's headed.

 

So if you're freaked out by the barnyard/septic tank smell, give it a few more months. Store it somewhere, forget about it, then come back.

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Oudh is more of a yes than a no with me, but there are moments when it's just too much to deal with. Oddly, considering the reviews above, this is not one of them - the oudh in this blend plays very nicely, and the overall impression is all labdanum with a hint of Snake Oil (maybe the reason this works on me has to do with patchouli typically "cleaning up" and smelling more like cedar on me...perhaps that note neutralizes the oudh). The cola references in the reviews above are right - there is also seemingly a ghost coconut note along with the vanilla. Most Snake Oil derivatives turn to play-doh on me after a while, but whatever is going on with this one keeps that from happening, putting it into a magical category with Snake Charmer as a blend I'm happy to wear. I cannot stop smelling my wrists. I smell like delicious incense candy.

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Oudh. I smell oudh, first it's rather poopy and overwhelming but that is only for a short time. Then it behaves and is a good oudh. But there is something odd here, I smell a lemony note, not lemon peel, not a herbal lemon, if it were stronger it could get really horrible like a cleaning product, but it behaves, like the oudh. And that's it. I do not get any patchouli or vetiver (unless there is a vetiver variety that smells lemony) and I am beginning to doubt if I know what labdanum smells like. Whatever I called labdanum before I don't smell in this blend. I don't smell Snake Oil either, but I do not smell Snake Oil in any of the recent spring snake oil blends. Not the Snake Oil I know as Snake Oil, not the Snake Oil I smell in the Snake Pit scents. There is a note that is in all of the Spring Serpents and I came back to Snake's Shadow because I wondered if it would have the same note. I cannot really tell because the oudh is so strong, but it could be. I wonder if Beth has created a Spring variation of Snake Oil.

 

Edit to add: an hour later the lemony note has rolled back into the Snake's Shadow. Now this does smell shadowy. The oudh has softened. There is no Snake Oil, but I think I can smell the spring variation of snake oil which to me is completely different. I do not smell patchouli, nor vetiver, nor labdanum, but together they may be making the oudh shadowy.

Edited by Zorra

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