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BPAL Madness!

I've tried 20+ scents and only liked 2. Help!

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I suppose I've actually liked four scents total, but only two do I wear regularly. I'm really new to buying perfumes and I want advice before I make another shot-in-the-dark order. This post is rather long, but I thought a scent profile might help.


What I'm looking for:

  • Green, sweet, fruity, mossy scents for daily wear
  • Something that smells like the California coast with a lot of greenery (sea air, sagebrush?)
  • Gourmand - I want to smell like dessert without it being cloying
  • Some notes that I like - lavender, tonka, rosemary, guava, fig, pumpkin, apple, citrus juice


Avoid maybe:

  • Amber, honey, sugar - as dominant notes, these tend to become cloying, powdery, and sickly on me
  • Soapy florals 
  • Musk
  • Vetiver - I want to smell like a forest, but not like wood?


Daily wear:

  • Poisoned Apple - it's a cooler scent than I expected, but I really like it
  • The Apothecary - reminds me of LUSH's Guardian of the Forest. 


Occasional wear: 

  • Eat Me - it mellows on my skin, so it never turns cloying. I'd wear it to a tea party.
  • Centzon Totochtin - the kind of scent I'd wear to a dinner party where I hate everyone invited. It's a mean scent.


Didn't Like (all aged between 3-6 months):

  • Baku - I love lavender, but the anise and eucalyptus notes make it too sharp and sickly-medicinal
  • Shanghai - I expected to love this, but it smells like household cleaner
  • Carnal -  I dislike that the mandarin note smells more like the rind than the flesh, and the fig turns into Double Bubble
  • Jack - this never smelled like pumpkins or peaches on me, just weirdly sweet, and then the bottle broke
  • Persephone - the rose turns powdery
  • La Belle Au Bois Dormant - smells like white soap
  • The Red Queen - now that it's aged six months, the cherry note completely disappears on my skin
  • Cardamom Cream Pumpkin Cake - it mellows on me, but it doesn't mellow enough. I thought I liked cardamom more than I actually do.
  • Vice - it's... plasticky?
  • Baobhan Sith - the grapefruit isn't sweet at all, and I dislike the florals
  • Apple Butter Rum - it smells waxy to me
  • Death on a Pale Horse - sharp and woody
  • Coyote - turns into flat amber
  • Berzerker - also plasticky



  • Golden Priapus - I really liked this at first, but now I can't stand it
  • Dorian - cloying
  • O - cloying, baby powder, ugh


Scent families from LUSH that I like:

  • Rose Jam
  • Twilight/Sleepy
  • So White/Once Upon A Time/Santa's Belly
  • Guardian of the Forest
  • Seanik
Edited by rosekill
i can't count

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Twenty isn't much, honestly. My database has, uh... close to 1300 entries. :blush:  You just have to take notes, cross-reference, and keep track. Start a spreadsheet and create a rating system. You should be able to narrow things down after a while.





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I'll see if I can come up with some suggestions for you to try...maybe in the interest of saving cash,  you can score some inexpensive second hand imps via sales on forums.  I would try to narrow down imps for 1 or 2$ or get discounts for buying in bulk. White Musk may be the culprit smelling soapy.  And you probably have figured out that your skin turns things sweet. 


  • Green, sweet, fruity, mossy scents for daily wear

Squirting cucumber 

Tweedledee &Tweedledee 

Cheshire Cat


The Dormouse 

Strangler Fig


Y'ha Nthlei 





Titus Andronicus 



Vicomte de Valmont 



  • Something that smells like the California coast with a lot of greenery (sea air, sagebrush?)

Not sure,  maybe 







Windward Passage 

Lady of Shallot 

Sea of Glass

Two Five and Seven 

Kumari Kandem 


  • Gourmand - I want to smell like dessert without it being cloying

Queen Alice 




Drink Me 

Knave of Hearts 


White Rabbit 

Shub Niggurath 


Queen of Sheba 

Death Cap

Penny Dreadful 


Stimulating Sassafras Strengther 

  • Some notes that I like - lavender, tonka, rosemary, guava, fig, pumpkin, apple, citrus juice



Zeiba Tree











Hope this helps 



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It actually sounds like you've kind of got a scent profile down.  I was about to recommend The Apothecary and Eat Me before I looked at what had worked for you, so that makes me think I'm on the right track.  Our senses of smell differ, so your mileage may vary, but I would recommend trying - 


Green, sweet, fruity, mossy scents for daily wear

Cheshire Cat, Envy, Machu Pichu, Mad Hatter (Mossy mint w/Black Musk), Maenad, Pele, Tenochtitlan, Titania, Verdandi 


These are a little different from what you listed, but you might also like - Alice's Evidence (if you like cinnamon), Arcana, Baba Yaga, Cairo, Nephilim, Queen Alice, The Isle of Demons, Tweedledum


Something that smells like the California coast with a lot of greenery (sea air, sagebrush?)


I love Santa Eularia Des Riu for this.  It's not an aquatic smell, but for some reason, it really reminds me of the coast.  It's out of stock right now.  Hopefully, they will bring it back.  Ranger and Rome are very nice foresty scents.  Ogygia reminds some of the seaside.  To me, it's a bit soapy, but not bad.  I'd recommend 51 except for the white musk and amber.  You might keep it in mind though.


Gourmand - I want to smell like dessert without it being cloying


Strait up baked goods and candy - Bliss, Blood (cherry candy), Cockaigne, Miskatonic University, Shango (Fruit smoothie or fruit candy), Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat (Sprite and Midori) 


These are not strait up dessert smells, but they have that quality to them. - Chimera (cinnamon bun incense), Eclipse (Almond/Amaretto), Eden (Warm creamy sandalwood and fig), Hollywood Babylon (red musk strawberry milkshake), How Doth the Little Crocodile (if you like cedar), Shub-Niggurath (gingerbread incense)



A sidenote - "Musk" covers a LOT of territory.  By looking at the list of things that didn't work for you, it seems like you don't like "white musk, and white musk tends to be one that can go soapy on people. 


Perfumeries use all sorts of different "musks" with secret house blends and all-what-not.  Musk is sort of the "curry" of perfumes.  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is not always great about telling you exactly which musk they're using.  Sometimes they get inventive, (My favorite is "ornery hedgehog musk.")  but you should definitely check out their "red" and "black" musks.  These two are BPAL staples, and they smell completely different. 


Also, just because a note doesn't work for you once, or even twice, doesn't mean it never will.  Notes can be created in different ways and/or come from different sources.  Vanilla, for example, can be a dark, rich, heady smell, or it can be light, sweet and powdery.  It depends on what type of vanilla is being used in the fragrance.  You'll start to figure out which versions of things you like.  Sometimes the lab will actually tell you "dark rich vanilla" and make it easy, but looking at people's reviews on the forum is very helpful when you aren't sure.


Anywho, good luck and happy sniffing!  ;)


Edited by VetchVesper

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Wow, I feel like I have a good amount of the imps listed here. Mind if I send you some? I have so many!

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