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BPAL Madness!

Shocking Affair at a Séance

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A spectral scandal: thumping heartbeats of coppery clove and red musk abruptly silenced by a cold sliver of eucalyptus, white mint, and davana.

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Does this sound scary? YES. But sometimes we need to be a little scared, especially when we play with spirits.


To no one's surprise, this is a bold and fiercely visceral scent. The red musk and its fiery cousin, coppery clove, are not here to play. They are RED HOT, a deliciously spicy-sweet duo that truly does thump and pulse like a heartbeat at the core of the blend. I love that I can smell the clove that winds all through it, like a warm gothy embrace. I'm also getting something a little...red fruity. More on that later.


The coldness of the eucalyptus and white mint are a powerful shock in contrast to the fire of the first two notes. I think eucalyptus makes most of us think of a strong mentholic essential oil, and I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a player here. Somehow, though, it's in balance, like a Frost Giant standing up to an Asguardian god. The white mint is a beautiful note I recognize from other BPAL releases like Left Ventricle, and it is here to bring a crushed-herb coolness to the blend. I don't know what davana smells like, but a quick search brings up suggestions of an herb with hints of tea and fruit, and that is exactly what I get in the drydown; some kind of dark not-sweet berry and a bit of tannins. 


Shocking Affair at a Seance is so thoroughly BPAL, I am shaken because I am reminded of BPAL so thoroughly and yet of no one single scent in particular. I think it's the clovey red musk that is making me so nostalgic, combined with the herbaceous notes that usually wouldn't be found in a traditional perfume but are more essential oil in nature. I love that combination, and will be seeking out more of this than just my decant. 

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Shocking Affair is a scent of conflict: in one corner of the ring, a fiesty, coppery clove and red musk, and in the far corner, a ghostly, fresh eucalyptus mint. 


They open the match as you might expect. Copper-clove-musk rushes out headlong, swinging wildly, and eucalyptus-mint slithers along the ropes, refusing to engage.


At some length, eucalyptus-mint falls into copper-clove-musk's arms out of sheer boredom and ennui. They start to blend... and, for me at least, the culmination doesn't add any allure or interest. However, this is my friend's decant, and these aren't the sort of contrast notes I'm normally drawn to. So, take this review with that bit o' salt. 🙂

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