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BPAL Redux
Mostly to avoid doing other things, but also because my previous post on the samples I got really needed a followup, due to having played around with them a lot more.

First (since some people asked before), BPAL = Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, who make hand-mixed perfume oils in gothic/dark-fantasy themes. (Also various oils intended for ritual use.) They're sort of a mini-nonfandom-fandom on LJ (and off), with folks collecting, trading, decanting & reselling, etc. It's a pricey kind of fandom to fall into, with the samples (1/32 oz. vials known as 'imps') themselves running $16.00 for a six-vial set, and the full-size bottles of each scent varying between 12 to 16 dollars each, but the draw here is that when they're 'bad,' it seems to be just a matter of taste/body-chemistry, and when they're good, they're really, really good.


Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: this smells like fresh-baked brownies. It makes me want to eat my own skin. In a good way, if such a thing exists. It also, unfortunately, disappears into my skin rapidly. At least to me; maeyan swore she could smell it in the car for a long time after I'd completely lost the ability to detect it. Despite this factor, or maybe because of it, it's going to be the first BPAL scent I purchase a full-size bottle of, because I love it that much.

Bon Vivant

Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: sadly, my initial impression of this hasn't changed, except that on my skin vs. just out of the bottle, the scent goes from 'strawberry incense' to 'strawberry car air freshener.' I really, really wanted to love it, but no. Scent lasts longer than Bliss on me, because the gods like to laugh at me that way.


Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: This is one where my initial impression is totally turned around, due to the trying it on my own skin thing. Initially, in the bottle/on the tester, the smell is very strong and somewhat minty-weird. On (my) skin, it goes (after a few seconds of drying) almost immediately to pure anise. AKA the scent of black licorice. Which I love. (Are we getting the impression that I like foody smells? We are not wrong.) It's still a very strong scent, and not one I'm so crazy head over heels for that I'm ready to order a bottle, but I enjoy it a lot. This one has some decent staying power in terms of (me) still being able to smell it on me a few hours later.


Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: Wow, do I not smell chocolate in this, at all. Other than that, hasn't changed much from my initial impression. It's sweet (in a candy way, not a flower way) and a little odd (recall that I'm not good at identifying scents beyond one major one and general categories like 'flower' 'citrus' 'mint' etc.) and I like it both in the bottle and on my skin. Fades pretty quickly, though not as fast as Bliss.

Blood Kiss

Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: Sweet in the bottle; I can just about pull 'dark (but not black)cherry' from the scent. On my skin, however, it goes to a sort of baby powder scent when it dries. Which is not an unpleasant scent to give off to others, but I'm not a fan of powder scents; even powder-scented deodorants set off a psychosomatic version of my sneezy-watery-eyes reaction to real baby/perfumed powder being in the air. This isn't as extreme as that; it just dries to a scent that I'm mostly neutral on.


Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: This one is still closer to what I think of as "Wow, perfume" when I open the vial, and even on me, it's very strong. Howeve, it dries to something I can handle - not a 'bad' perfume scent; it mixes well with my skin chemistry. (Like with baby powder, I have issues with 'PERFUME!' smells, in this case because my mother used to think it would be a good idea to wait until we got three of us into a non-air-conditioned car, and then over-apply whatever her spray-cologne of the day was. Strong perfumey scents give me a headache to begin with; that experience pushed it into PTSD territory.) Quite long-lasting. I wouldn't order a bottle of it, but I'll probably use up the imp. Slowly.

Marquise de Mertuil

Catalog description and other people's reviews. And I say: This was my freebie; I didn't order it, they added it as an extra in the shipment. I... wouldn't have ordered it. Anything with 'bouquet of...florals' in the description is pretty much a giveaway that it won't be for me - florals give me headaches, and you can probably take 'perfumey' to equal 'unidentifed flower scent' most of the time. Very strong with the perfumeyness, not getting the advertised peach at all, and doesn't appeal as much as Crossroads when dried on my skin, though happily it's not all that strong when dried on my skin either. (Also, unfairly, I tried it while still wearing Absinthe, though in a different spot. I think that's actually working in the other scent's favor, though.) I suspect it would be headache-inducing if I wore it for long or in larger amounts than a single wrist-test.

Generic BPAL thoughts

Want more Bliss now, esp as there's about three drops left of my imp. Though I probably can't afford to order it until October, due to saving funds for Canada trip at the end of this month. Want to try Sugar Skull and/or Dia de Los Muertos (nervous about that one, though, as it seems to mix food scents with possibly planty ones), though I don't know if I want to try them $16.00 worth, since they're both Limited Edition scents - no samples. Other than that... more foody stuff will likely be my next set of imps.


2005-09-09 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)

I think there's a store nearby that sells that brand of oils, but I've never been into perfumes, even the ones that smell like food. :)


2005-09-09 11:01 am (UTC) (Link)

There are two in the US: Alternate Realities in Rhode Island and Black Broom in LA.


2005-09-09 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's probably Alternate Realities, since Bunny & her wife just recently moved from RI to Mass.


2005-09-09 06:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, so that explains why people have to buy them without testing them first.


2005-09-09 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

I haven't been either for the most part (I like scented lotions and body washes, but perfumes have tended to give me headaches, so I more or less stopped wearing them) but curiosity won out, and I ended up really liking some of the ones I've tried.


2005-09-09 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

That sounds like me. I don't wear perfumes often, but I do like to wear pear and red tea, lemongrass or cucumber lotion.

I used to use cocoa butter, but I smelled like chocolate and would spend all day looking for a candy fix.


2005-09-09 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have "Bliss" on the way to me... someday. Hopefully soon. It's shipped. *looks hopeful*


2005-09-09 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

blissblissblissblissblissbliss om......


2005-09-09 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

I may hate you. Now I wanna try a bunch, and I'm trying to narrow down a list of about fourteen to six.


2005-09-09 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hee! Wolfling was like that last night, too. "I... have a list of sixteen. I MUST STOP NOW. But the next one might be THE PERFECT ONE!"


2005-09-10 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm not much into perfume, either. I'm not sure I've ever bought any, though occasionally someone gives it to me, so I've somehow ended up with a lot. I like really simple, clean, one-note kind of scents-- I used a vanilla body spray for a long time, and I've been using Clinique "Happy"-- the orange one, that just smells like orange oil, not the weird pinkish berry/floral one-- since I got it.

So I'm a little bewildered by my sudden interest in these, and kinda worried I won't like any of them. Except maybe Bliss, because I'm pretty sure that can't be bad.


2005-09-12 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

There is NO WRONG with Bliss. Chocolate OMG.



2005-09-12 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

so - who do I contact again to tell them to NOT sell you any of the chocolate brownie scent?

I... I don't think I could survive you having a full decanter of it...

Re: waaah!


2005-09-12 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)