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Clarimonde

BPAL description: Pallid skin musk, white roses, and a languorous vapor of Oriental perfume.

Sniffed: Soft, slightly sour, lots of skin musk and definitely some roses, and something a little cologney. Also maybe a hint of smoke, like candles blown out?

Wet: Much more floral, soapier, with a minty note of some sort (?). Turning quickly powdery, too - definitely some violets in here. I get an old lady talcum powder sort of feel. The rose note is still a little sour - I'm not crazy about white roses. The hefty dose of skin musk helps me tolerate this blend, at least.

Dry: Yechhhhh. Floral powder/soap. There has GOT to be some orris in here as well as a sour, dried, soapy sort of rose. This is really nasty generic old lady perfume gone evilly stale.

Summary: It definitely conveys decay and revulsion - but even the strong skin musk presence can't make this bearable. Sink. Good throw and moderate longevity.

Lilith vs the Giant Crab

BPAL description: Tangerine cream, benzoin, white sandalwood, white pear, tonka, and ambergris accord.

Sniffed: This reminds me a lot of Lovers' Parodies of Sumo holds - the tangerine note is the same, very lovely. I also get a little pear and a little richness (but not so much creaminess) from the cream, and definitely the lightly sweet tonka and benzoin that this blend also shares with Lovers'. But I get the sandalwood (a tad dry & perfumey) and slightly waxy ambergris, too.

Wet: Much more sandalwood and ambergris, more cologney and masculine, although also a little sweeter - the tonka is amped and so is the benzoin to a slightly lesser degree. Still, tangerine is holding nicely and the cream note, while a little buttery, is more present. The pear is buried under everything else.

Dry: Sweeter. The pear is actually coming out a bit, and it's that 'baked pear' note from the Perilous Parlor. Tonka continues to amp as does the ambergris, which is taking on a salty/beachy aspect. Still, this blend feels overly heavy and rich - too much. It's not the light sort of citrus blend I was hoping for.

Later: The sandalwood has amped completely up, becoming very dry and woody, and combined with the salty, waxy, and now musky ambergris, this is a very masculine blend. The tangerine has faded and the pear is completely gone, but there's still a little too-rich cream and plenty of tonka. This has really turned into a cologney sort of scent, but sadly not the type I like.

Summary: Manly, but oddly perfumey woody sandalwood and musky ambergris sweetened by sickly tonka and enriched by that odd buttery creamy note. All fruit gone. Unfortunately this really amps on my skin throw-wise to the point of nauseating me. Strong throw in the later stages (yet light in the more pleasant early stages when there was still fruit, of course!), and good longevity.

Pumpkin Patch III 2009

BPAL description: Pumpkin, fir needle, pitch, rosemary, and tomato.

Sniffed: Pale yellow oil. Green and herbal and fresh! I don't get any of the buttery note that pumpkin usually registers as, but I get everything else, and some mint that adds a bit of sweetness. Shockingly lovely.

Wet: A little more rosemary and a bit more pitch (now it has a resiny sort of base), but still loads of tomato leaf and sweet spearmint and fir leading the way. I do get maybe a suggestion of raw pumpkin flesh, but it could be my imagination. I would never have guessed this to be a PP blend.

Dry: So fresh and green! This is not morphing on me, other than all the notes blending together beautifully, integrating fully. I find this invigorating, mood-lifting - like it could be a Panacea blend, used therapeutically. It's both very outdoorsy and very wearable.

Later: It has gone the teensiest bit soapy, and the fir is a tiny bit potpourri-ish, but otherwise this morphs very little and remains lovely as well as totally unique from any other BPAL blend I've tested.

Summary: Spearmint, tomato leaf, and rosemary with a hint of depth from the pine pitch and a bit of soapy sweetness from the fir. Unisex, though probably ideal for a man. Good throw and longevity.

Tattie Bogle

BPAL description: Hay, gunpowder, patchouli, autumn herbs, and sun-baked wood.

Sniffed: Golden oil. Sharp, herbal, biting. I get gunpowder, metallic and harsh, first.Then a bit of sour hay and dry warm wood and general herbal greenery. Definitely masculine.

Wet: Still very harsh and almost - chemical, or like leather - I presume that's the gunpowder. This reminds me a lot of Hessian of the Hollow. It literally burns my nose when I sniff closely. A little more sour hay and I get the patchouli now, it's strong and masculine but without being dirty/rooty/hippieish.

Dry: A lot drier and smoother and much more integrated. That bite has worn off, and now it's like old gunpowder, a sort of rusted metal note, or like old farm machinery - quite evocative. The hay has softened too, less sour and sharp, more dry, warm, and a tad dusty. The wood (sandalwood is definitely present) has gone a bit a dusty and amped up overall, and is *almost* too dry/dusty, but not quite.

Later: Patchouli has amped, but like everything else, has become smoother, almost refined, though it remains very masculine. While I still get the herbs, they aren't the bitter raw greenery they were in the wet and early dry stages, but drier and more muted.

Summary: This scent feels warm, autumnal, outdoorsy, manly - it's a roll in the hay with a tractor farmhand on a golden October afternoon. I wouldn't call it sexy, but it's extremely evocative, nostalgic, and comforting. I shall be seeking out more. Good throw and longevity.

I really wish I could get a bottle of this, and covet more greatly!

Lord Ruthven

BPAL description: The father of all dandy aristocrat vampires: Aqua Admirabilis with polished boot leather and blood.

Sniffed: Light golden oil. Strongly herbal (lavender and basil?) cologne with some chemically slick leather and the rusty-iron sort of blood note. Potent and a little disturbing. Absolutely masculine but with a hint of sweetness that's slightly sickly.

Wet: More leather - brutally sharp - on my skin and the cologne/herbs are a bit soapy. I think the sweetness is from the basil note and a little bit of fennel - it reminds me of this ayuverdic tea I drink with both those. I imagine Le Pere Fouettard lovers would enjoy this, maybe? Irony-blood note holding, going a bit to nutmeg as that note does on my skin.

Dry: Increasingly sharp and soapy. It's like De Sade mixed with a really nasty cologne. The cologne part reminds me greatly of another BPAL scent - oh I know! - the Mr. Hyde/Dr. Jekyll DD scents. Especially Hyde as it has that blood note too. I'm pretty sure there is cumin as well in this. And all 3 scents have the sickly sweet herbal cologne base. Ugh.

Summary: Chemically-powdery leather, sickly sweet, herbal, and soapy cologne, with a hint of nutmeg-rust. It does fade in throw over time but it starts out very potently and has good longevity. Really not my sort of thing at all.

Air & Mephitic Vapors

Air
"Spike lavender, sage, lemon, gingergrass, cedarwood."

Air is very spring-like. There's sage and cedar with a fresh grass note. The grass quality dies down quickly and the peppery lavender comes out. Unfortunately, Air disappears in under three hours.

Mephitic Vapors
"Black oak, peat moss, graveyard loam, headstones, and damp air."

The moss and cool air are the initial notes I get. It's almost crisp. There is something like stone in the background. It has a fantastic throw too. The wood note gets stronger as the perfume ages.

These vapors are surprisingly complex. There's lightness, yet a deep earthy quality as well. It's such a great juxtaposition and wonderfully unisex. I'm really glad I gave this one a chance!

Bite Me, The Girl, & Julia Stone

Bite Me

BPAL description: Croquembouche with almond silk and a drizzle of caramel.

Sniffed: Golden oil. A little bit of cake, a distinct burnt sugar, dark caramel note that is unlike other caramel notes in BPAL - much less sweet, much more aromatic, and really delicious. Then the almond is the strongest note, and it's almost perfumey, like an amber or something, but I like that part. There's also a strong benzaldehyde-fake cherry aspect to the almond that I don't like.

Wet: On my skin, much the same, although maybe the cherry-almond extract note is amper? It's a little less sweet. I really wish I got more cake or any sort of a creamy type of note, but I don't at all - this is not a creamy scent in the least.

Dry: The perfuminess of this strongly reminds me of another BPAL scent - I THINK Cleopatra Testing Poisons. I get a strong feeling of sweet resiny & syrupy warmth. It reminds of a non-aquatic Thalassa & the Queen of Sheba too. If it weren't for the softly lingering deep caramel note, I wouldn't even call this foody.

Later: Okay, now there is a definitely rose note. WTF. It's like almond extract and rose with a hint of dark caramel, but not foody anymore with the emergence of the rose. It is however, a really nice fresh, fruity rose note like in The Rose - in fact, I'm almost positive they share some of the same notes, maybe even some freesia too.

Summary: What a morpher! Rose-scented almond extract-flavoured dark caramel.Quite 'perfumey' and I don't think a man could pull this off. Strange and not actually foody in the final drydown.. Good throw & longevity.

The Girl

BPAL description: A seductive, serpentine white scent, elusive, crystalline, and spellbinding: white amber, silver birch, immortelle, davana, pale musk, star jasmine, and ylang ylang.

Sniffed: Pale yellow oil. Perfumey, musky, sweet, feminine. Stronger/more intense than anticipated. I definitely get the heavier floral notes, white amber, and sweet-soda quality of the birch. But it's not overwhelming.

Wet: More davana (rather 'pink' and almost like lotus, almost fruity here) and more birch; sweeter. Less of the perfumey heavy florals. I also get a lot of white amber which freshens this, gives it a more 'cologney' feel as well as more depth and certain richness/heaviness. The birch is slightly mentholic in a gorgeous, almost wintry way - it's almost bubbly, and really shines here. There's an almost candy (almost, but not quite) feel, but soft. The immortelle adds a bit of sharpness, a pleasant almost-herbal edge that cuts the sweeter and heavier elements.

Dry: This is reminding me strongly of something, and I can't place it. I am, unfortunately, a little more aware now of the ylang ylang and jasmine notes, which though bearable, do make this slightly heady and IMO, make this an 'older' feeling scent.

Later: The birch is holding strongly - after Talvikuu, this has the strongest birch note I've noticed - but unfortunately those heady florals have amped further, to the point that they are almost bothering me, especially with the amping of the musk too which makes this a more heavy scent overall.

Summary: Musk, musk, delicious musk dominates by miles after a few hours, with birch and white amber just below. Pretty much everything else has faded to the point that I cannot pick the notes out individually, happily in the case of those nemesis florals. It's a sweet, slightly rich, skin/musk blend but still somewhat 'bubbly' feeling, very feminine, and I can see why it's so popular. Very strong throw and longevity.

Julia Stone

BPAL description: Rotting once-white fabric, spotted with mold.

Sniffed: Deep golden oil. Clean and light, almost grassy in its freshness, almost but not quite cologney. I don't really get a linen note, but there is a definite greenness, a slight sappiness like crushed new green leaves, as well as an underlying 'whiteness' that strikes me as pure and innocent.

Wet: A little more sharply green, with a slightly spicy/bright floral note that I'm almost positive is daisy. It feels brighter, whiter, maybe a little more 'yellow' as well as white and green. I'm still not getting any sort of distinct linen note or other 'fabric'-evoking aspect, but this does smells clean and fresh and like laundry drying in the sun - without being soapy or generic in the least.

Dry: Wow, it's almost completely gone. I was busy for 30 minutes and now it's fully dry and faded tremendously. However, all the sharpness has worn off and the notes have melded - it's a very soft, light, clean scent. It does remind me of linen and laundry now but not in a way that's like any other BPAL or other brands' attempt at a clean/linen/laundry scent. It's delicate, feminine, and very subtle and I adore it, and am so thrilled that something with my first name is so very lovely.

Later: Now in the final later drydown I get a crushed stone note; literally, like someone took granite and smashed it. It's a beautiful mineral element, to me very reminiscent of the finest stone/mineral notes in crisp white wines, so it evokes both that association and a feeling of being in an old granite quarry.

Summary: Clean, outdoorsy, a sense of purity (for me, always associated with nature) but also a sense of age, of the ancient. This scent expresses perfectly the paradox of ancient, immortal youth. I also get a sweet muskiness now, extremely light, perhaps a faint vanilla musk? It evokes that white girliness, and the feel at this point is one of grey-white pearlescence, or maybe moonstone, or age-polished, worn grey granite or marble. Very low throw and it fades tremendously at first, but after the initial fade it has good longevity on my skin, and thus slathering should be ideal.

Bread Pudding & Negligee

Bread Pudding
"Warm bread soaked in milk and eggs and spices. Baked golden bubbly and served drenched in an ooey-gooey vanilla rum sauce."

Bread Pudding is eggy like french toast and creamy with golden, boozy vanilla. Utterly delicious. It stays that way for three hours and then dies down to almost nothing but a faint, buttery vanilla.

Negligee
"Silk and lace, complimented by a sheer mélange of coconut, strawberry, vanilla, and butter cream."

The coconut and strawberry are blended so well I can't tell them apart. It's exotic and juicy. There is something that is reading like a floral too. I can't put my finger on it, though. The vanilla gets stronger after an hour. Despite all that, Negligee isn't foody. It feels French and very girly. The throw weakens after three or so hours. However, I think it could be worth another slather. ;)

Turn Me Out & Harmony

Turn Me Out
"Delicate French lavender, citron, sweet almond, honeyed jasmine, chamomile."

Powdery, sweet jasmine with a hint of the almond is what I get during drydown. I almost need to sneeze when smelling it. That powdery aspect dies down quickly and is replaced by the citron. The lavender gets stronger too, but it's not peppery at all. It's very light. I think this would be a better linen spray than perfume. It doesn't feel very perfume-y to me.

Harmony
"Peru balsam, white grapefruit, spiced amber, African musk."

The grapefruit is the strongest note for drydown. It's so juicy. After drying, I get the balsam note. There is a mellow spice lingering in the background. After about an hour and a half the amber and musk take over. The balsam is still there, but the grapefruit is completely gone. :( After three hours, Harmony is barely hanging on. Meh.

Pookie & Raven Moon

Good Judy's Pookie
"Pookie is the remnants of a half-asleep, self-pleasuring, salty dream. Pookie is as soft as lilacs and sweetgrass. As masculine as musk and hemp. As sweet as brown sugar. Artistic. Profound. 420 smoke. Earthy. Golden. True."

Sweet, herbal and a little smoky is drydown. The musk really leaps out once dry. It's sharp--almost to the point of aggressive. The aggressiveness dies down and the sweetgrass takes over. I'm not crazy about this. It's a little too much on the hippie-dippie-trippie side.

Velvet Moon's Raven Moon
"Blueberry, sandalwood, vanilla and a touch of mint..."

Blueberry with a mellow sandalwood is initially what I smell. It's pleasant and reminds me of soap. The soapy quality dies down and blueberry gets much stronger. However, this perfume's life is about an hour and a half.

Foraging Apparatus

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