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zankoku_zen

Balancing the Sake Cup

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This isn't what I expected but I do really like it.  This is not a sweet or "lemony" ginger like you often find with Bpal ginger scents.  Either they use different ginger accords or the orange blossom is playing tricks on my nose..  This is a very dry herbal scent and I was reminded of Sweet Ginger and Patchouli hair gloss.  In fact this is a great scent to pair with that hg.  After some time passes, it becomes softer and the clove definitely comes out.  Kind of reminds me of a carnation scent to be honest (I know it's just the clove doing that).  I can tell the benzoin is a light incense-y backdrop.

 

Overall, I was expecting warm, sweet and cozy, and after I got over my expectations I find this to be dry, herbal, sophisticated, with very little floral.  Not a gourmand scent at all to my nose.  I'll really enjoy wearing this.

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My initial impression of Balancing the Sake Cup was of sticky honey and ginger, or possibly wasabi.  The ginger has an earthy bite to it.  It's not quite fresh, but not quite dry spice either, giving it a texture that makes me think of wasabi paste. Honey isn't listed as a note, but my brain really wants to put it there. Perhaps the "candied" bit contains undeclared honey, or perhaps my tricksy nose is registering the sweet, stickiness of orange blossom and adding honey by itself.  Either way, in the bottle, this smells like it could almost be some sort of sweet, oriental sauce.  

 

It changes drastically on my skin, immediately becoming far less sweet, and FAR more spicy.  The ginger pops right out, along with a bit of clove, giving this a delightful warmth.  At this point, it's no longer what I'd call feminine.  I don't really smell honey anymore either.  This faze lasts about an hours on me, though it fades in strength and becomes closer to the skin.  It's not like any ginger I've smelled in other BPAL's, so if you're a fan of that note - definitely check this one out.  

 

The sweetness reappears, after an hour or so, as almost a bubblegum-honey, threading its way through the sillage.  When I sniff close, the scent is still all earthy ginger dusted by clove. This was very much a surprise winner for me. :heart:  

 

I highly recommend this one for ginger lovers.  Spice lovers and orange-blossom lovers might also take note.  

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Wet: mostly orange blossom, with a spicy twinge.
Dry: The neroli has all the throw but up close this is spicy/clove and lovely. Hm. I can't tell if I like it or not! I think I err on the side of liking it but mostly because clove makes me happy.

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This oil is bright orangey-yellow.

 

Freshly on, it only smells like peppery ginger root. Peppery like the heat of raw, dry ginger root, but also like wasabi, or like the way that good-quality olive oil tastes a bit peppery.

 

Dried, the orange blossom and a little clove have come out. 

 

Balancing makes me think of cooking a gourmet dish with spices and orange olive oil. I don't ever notice benzoin or get a candied impression of the ginger.

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The first hour of this is really strange to me. Like bright orange-colored kitchen spices, maybe curry powder mixed with powdered ginger and annatto. It's so foodie in a spicy way, I just...feel really weird wearing it. Like I got some curry sauce on me and was wearing it as a perfume. Not sweet at all, just very powerfully hot-spiced. I don't like this phase.

 

The drydown goes quite jasminey orange blossom, with a hint of spice, the clove and ginger keeping it from turning too floral-y. I do like this orange blossom quite a lot. It's indolic in a humid summer night in Florida kind of way. However, much as I love orange blossom, that early phase means I don't think I'll be keeping this one.

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Orange blossom, and a whiff of jasmine, ginger, and clove. This smells like a hot summer night in Florida. Medium throw and wear length.

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