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BPAL Madness!

What would you put in a BPAL starter pack?

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What’s on your BPAL “must try” list?


Let’s say 5-10 imps and maybe 1-3 full bottles… but who’s counting?


Gold stars given for justifications. (Gold stars can be exchanged for brownie points which are good for absolutely nothing other than feeling a little more awesome about yourself.)


(dearest mods, I searched for “starter pack” and didn’t find anything, but if this is a duplicate, please merge or point me in the right direction THANK YOU!!!)

Edited by Estamets

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Ooo fun! Trying to think of a selection of things I think show off the breadth of BPAL's catalogue - biased towards scents I've actually tried myself. Probably mostly GCs just because they are easier to find. When I think of BPAL I think of something Tom said in one of the 15 min of Fume videos about being clean but smelling dirty, so there's capturing that, but also a little something for everyone.


In no particular order:


1. No. 93 Engine from Steamworks - a bunch of notes you may not have heard of but should definitely try

2. Alecto from Excolo - also kind of weird and unique

3. Les Bijoux from Ars Amatoria - sexy without containing red musk

4. Mag Mell from Wanderlust - refreshing

5. Plunder or another one of the GC pirate related scents

6. A black patchouli blend like Depraved, Nephilim, or Sin - get a little dirty

7. Anything from The Mad Tea Party - I haven't tried everything from this collection, but it seems generally kind of fun/playful

8. Anything from Picnic in Arkham - Something horror inspired seems appropriate

9. Something from the Liliths, since that's a recurring collection that's 100% unique to BPAL

10. An activism scent (personally,  I'm partial to Theoi Nomioi, but I think Civil Twilight is a popular one)

11. Snake oil and/or Smut or a variant of either/both


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Okay, I'm going to do imps only, with a justification being that there's so much variation in individual skin chemistry. For every "surefire winner" BPAL has, there's someone who finds it just doesn't work for them. 

  1. Snake Oil -- I think it's fair to include it just because the Lab calls it their signature scent. I also happen to love it. There also happen to be a number of SO variants, so I think it makes sense to include the base scent in a starter pack. 
  2. Dorian -- Another BPAL classic, this time of the more clean and sophisticated variety. This also happens to be The One that smells AH-mazing in the imp for me but that my skin chemistry turns to mediocrity. 
  3. Spellbound -- Though you could convince me there are better BPAL roses and better BPAL red musks, I've seen this work for a lot of folks who didn't think they could wear rose (like me) and folks who didn't think they could wear red musk. (I don't know if I've seen it work for folk who list both of those as ungood notes, though.)
  4. Vixen -- This works as a "Snake Oil-like" scent for a lot of folks for whom SO doesn't work. I also love the way it uses orange blossom and ginger. First, I love that this is such a rounded three-note perfume. Second, I love that I never would have pictured these particular three notes together, but it does create a beautiful whole. 
  5. Zombi -- I feel like this is BPAL's most "beginner-friendly" scent with a dirt/soil/earth note, which is also something I want folks new to BPAL to experience. (I haven't found it yet, but someday, I intend to find the BPAL with just the right amount of dirt on me that it smells like something while it's growing in soil. I'm not there yet, but I think Zombi probably started me on this quest.)
  6. Iago -- For me, this is a scent that's fairly raw, without any smooth edges. I think it's very stereotypically masculine, and I'd want to include something with that evocation to get beyond the idea that perfume oils are predominantly oriented around the feminine. 
  7. Katharina -- This is probably my favorite scent of the light and airy floral variety.
  8. The Antikythera Mechanism -- Tobacco is another note I think the Lab does extremely well, and I feel like this is the most accessible GC tobacco scent. By "accessible," I mean that it has few enough notes that the tobacco stands out but enough notes that it's not likely to go Tobacco SN on anyone. 

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If I could curate the ultimate starter pack:


1. Snake Oil (must have)

2. Dorian (the other must have)

3. Spellbound or Scherezade (sexy incense)

4. Zombi (earthy)

5. Vixen or Hell's Belle (unique florals)

6. No. 93 Engine or Tavern of Hell (unique/complex GC favorites)

7. Mme. Moriarty (I associate this with Beth and to me its quintessential bpal)

8. Alice, The Caterpillar, The Mad Hatter, or White Rabbit (Gotta have the Mad Tea Party!)

9. Elf (RPG fave)

10. Bewitched or The Apothecary (something green and fresh)

Edited by ziggystardust13

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My wishlist is grooooooowing!!!!


@a_bear I haven't tried any of the specific scents you mention! Although a few are in the order I placed last week :D I've tried several from the Tea Party, though, and I have a couple of Activism bottles. 


@torischroeder9 & @ziggystardust13 AM is one of the first bottles I bought! I love it sooooo much. I haven't tried the other scents you listed, but I'm on the waitlist for Snake Oil and Dorian, and I just added some of the others to my wishlist :D



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Ooh, what a fun idea! I think the previous lists are good and I'll copy a few. I think I would recommend things that the lab does a lot of, and things that either stretch people's perceptions of what works on them, or solidifies if they like something or not. Skin chemistry is so interesting and varied. I think the Imp Ears packs are a great reference for the different categories.

  1. Snake Oil (you either love it or hate it, but getting on the snake oil train is fun when 'weenies and yules come around)
  2. Dead Leaves & ____ (for the same reason as above)
  3. Dorian (i feel like this is a good way to test if fougere is your thing)
  4. Kabuki (Red musk and cherry) this will tell you if you like red musk and/or cherries/ and what your skin chemistry does with fruits or just cherries
  5. Cthulu (aquatic) again, love or hate, it's good to know what your skin chemistry does with these notes
  6. The Lion (amber) same as above
  7. I think the Booze, Citrus, Vanillas are so varied that I can't pick specific. This requires lots of playing.
  8. Florals: I'm the worst person to make any recommendations in this category
  9. Dirty: the perfect way to find out if you like the "Fresh" category.
  10. Alice (do you like rose?)

Now that I'm reading your signature, I see that you're a gourmand/herbal/woody fan, which is kinda similar to me. That changes my list a bit.

  1. Snake Oil (big fan of Snake Oil)
  2. Booze: skin chemistry does interesting things with different spirits. Try rum, wine, whiskey, and cognac separately. Rum doesn't do much for me, and I hate the way cognac smells on me.
  3. Rum: Piratey things available from GC ( Port-Au-Prince ).
  4. Wine: Hands-down fave: Dark Chocolate with Merlot-Infused Black Cherries (hard to find, message me if you'd like to try a decant, but there's other wine ones out there that aren't L.E.) Blood Kiss, i think has wine, is GC.
  5. Whiskey: Mad Sweeney (GC)
  6. Kabuki: love it (GC)
  7. Leather: Perversion (GC) (never thought in a million years I would love this as much as I do, highly recommend)
  8. Standard Gourmand: Eat Me (GC) (there's a million imps of this floating around in people's sales pages)
  9. Bakery: Unsubtle euphemism (looks like it's a Luper that's still up there, it's wonderful, it's like fresh foccacia to me). Last year's Lilith: Loaf is a must try.
  10. Bakery, tarts: Knave of Hearts (GC)
  11. Chocolate: Vice (GC)
  12. Coconut: Blood Pearl (GC)
  13. Apple: The Poisoned Apple (GC)
  14. Strawberry: Any of the Strawberry Moons
  15. Spice Rack: I've yet to find anything that is heavy on Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, or Basil. They are usually paired with cucumber or tomato, and have a strong "green" quality that doesn't work for me. Or maybe heavy on the orris and are too dry or dark for me, or heavy on the dirt note or moss. I haven't done enough digging in the recommendation forum to look for these notes specifically. You can find lots of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Star anise, nutmeg, and caraway are harder to come by. The holidays are great for new releases including these. Definitely try different things with clove. It's not the same in all the blends. And, pepper, figure out which you like. White pepper does amazing things on my skin (Xanthe, the Weeping Clown or White Chocolate, Strawberry, and White Pepper Truffle). Salt, surprising, smells nice as well. There is an LE (Aegir), which I love, but you can't find anymore. I haven't tried this, but I bet it's nice: Lavender, Sea Salt, and Rain (as long as the rain doesn't do the soapy thing), which is probably easier to come across decants.
  16. I have a hard time recommending woods because I'm very specific about which I like. I'm a rosewood fan, and I adore King of Hearts (GC).


ETA: Sorry, this turned more into a recommendation post, than a Starter pack. I do believe in trying everything because you never know what will work with your skin, but I think that would turn this into a "starter box", and nobody wants to pay for that.

Edited by torikitty

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Note: There's a similar topic here:

As for my list...:

  1. Snake Oil (not a personal fav, but it's such a crowd favorite and in so many other blends, it def deserves the top spot)
  2. Dorian (again, not a personal fav thanks to skin chemistry issues, but it seems like everybody loves it)
  3. O (unffy amber, and a good sexalicous alternative for those that snake oil doesn't work out for)
  4. Tavern of Hell (a complex, sophisticated, dark gardenia scent that is truly one of a kind)
  5. Port Royal (a spicy, woody aquatic, yum!)
  6. Morocco (another crowd favorite, softly creamy, exotic, and stunning)
  7. Wilde (a dapper, herbal, manly-yet-light-and-androgynous scent)
  8. Fae (a truly beguiling and fairly popular peach scent)
  9. Bon Vivant or the fizzy version of Gnome (because everybody should experience the scent of bubbles captured in a bottle)
  10. Cordelia (such a pretty, and well-balanced lilac blend)
  11. Snooty Rose (the only Rose blend that works on me, which must mean it's pretty damn good!)
  12. Sea of Glass (it's just so very clean and clear, definitely a good one to show the wide array that is possible with BPAL)
  13. Voodoo (this one is just, perhaps unsurprisingly, magic)
  14. Dracul (smoky and minty, at the same time? yes please!)
  15. Lyonesse (beachy vanilla, another crowd fav)
Edited by BoneBone24
added one more

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