I’ve been testing some of my new BPAL/Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab samples. A few thoughts –
1. Lampades – candied cranberry, great for the holidays but I don’t think I’d wear it all the time. It is very cranberry; red, bitter and sweet. A little bit like wearing the scent of a Christmas candle. Coming originally from New Jersey where we have cranberry bogs, I felt a twinge of homesickness when I tried this. I found it slightly overpowering initially but it mellowed over time and had great lasting power. I think my sister would really like this and I might pass it on to her.
2. Empyreal Mist – I love this scent. Like Lampades, I find its fruity note uncomfortable for the first 20 minutes or so. It has a green fruit smell that blasts out when I apply it – I thought it smelled of green apple candy, though some people on BPAL Madness! described this note as tart or white pear. I like it much better as this fades out (fairly quickly) and leaves me for the rest of the day with a gorgeous, close skin scent that smells so luxurious. I happened to be wearing a white cashmere jumper that day, and if white cashmere had a smell it would be this. Misty, ethereal, sweet petal-scented musk… something angels would smell of if they got caught in a summer rain storm. Totally gorgeous.
3. Marie – One of my gift samples which sadly didn’t work on me at all. It’s meant to be tea rose and violet. I’m not sure what tea rose smells like, and at first I caught a tiny whiff of violet like a much less sweet version of Gorilla’s Tuca Tuca, but then it started metamorphosing like a big bad tissue paper-wrapped monster into a horrid soapy rose scent that got worse and worse until I couldn’t even bear it any more. I’ve read that people seem to have certain BPAL fragrances turning soapy (obviously this was the case with this one for me) or powdery, and assuming this comes down to body chemistry. I tried a few drops on fabric and that seems to be smelling better, so maybe I’ll just drip this over clothes and enjoy it that way. It’s meant to be Marie Antoinette-inspired… cake anyone?
4. Pride – Another love. This is narcissus and Moroccan rose. Beautiful, strong. When I first put it on I thought I almost smelled lemon, maybe this was the narcissus as I don’t know what that smells of. Then rose, rose, radiating incense rose, really did remind me of a trip to Morocco where I spent some time being washed and oiled in sumptuous tiled baths. The smell of this perfume took me back to the day I floated out of the bath, massaged and oiled, and wandered around the markets smelling like incense burning in a garden of antique roses in full bloom.
5. Malediction – My boyfriend nabbed this off me, as he loved it so much when I tried it. It has vetivert and red patchouli in it, and he keeps saying it smells of cedarwood oil. It is very masculine smelling but I’d happily wear it with a cosy wool sweater by a fireside, though even happier to smell it on him. Conjures up viking heroes returning from hunting deep in the forest.
6. Hurricane – I tried this quickly and again my boyfriend suggested it was more one for him than me – but that never stops me! I have to give this another go as I didn’t take it all in. Some other reviews are suggesting a tangy scent that develops either into the smell of rain/after a storm or rotten wood. I didn’t notice anything rotten about it (maybe that’s a body chemistry thing), more of an increasingly warm, woody scent. This one is described as light China rain and vetivert. Will try again and report back.
Still more to explore, what fun! I really want to try BPAL’s famous Snake Oil as well, when I save up some more for my scent fund, that’s on my list. The list is so long! I have just been reading about Onda by Vero Profumo and Chambre Noir by Olfactive Studio on olfactorialist.com, and o how I desire them!