theora: the center of a dark purple tulip (Default)
theora ([personal profile] theora) wrote in [community profile] smellsgood2018-02-23 09:46 pm

Still working through the BPAL backlog

Scarecrow: The scent of a hot wind blowing through desolate, scorched, barren fields.
This is so strange! So, I've been after a hayfield/sweet grass/August meadow scent for a while now. Nothing I've tried captures that smell of sweet dry grasses (spoiler: this doesn't either). Other things I've tried have missed by being too green or smelling (why??) like maple syrup. This one? Actually smells like dry grass...but in a bad way. Like grass that died prematurely and is in the very early stages of decay. Not smoky like a fire, but something else apocalyptic happened to the landscape killing all the plants, then it rained and they started to rot. Oh, and for the first half an hour or so, it smells like that plus strong male cologne. Oof.

Medea: Night-blooming cereus, black orchid, black currant and myrtle leaf enshrouded in the incense of Hecate's cypress and myrrh, and the dark rage of magickal labdanum and intoxicating poppy

I suck at notes other the very obvious ones. So I can't pick out orchid or cereus or myrrh, which might have helped me figure out this scent. Honestly, the only word that comes to mind is perfumey. Perfumey floral and red fruit and something else like incense (the myrrh?), but there's nothing that really catches my attention. It does feel a little unsettling to me, appropriate for Medea. Not disgusting, but didn't enjoy either.

The Season of Ghosts (Yule): A scent created to burn away sorrow: bergamot, frankincense, rose geranium, ginger, lemongrass, and blood orange.
This...I don't know. Citrus and incense (frankincense I guess). I find this compelling to smell, though I don't *enjoy* it as such. I keep sniffing to try and figure it out. Part of me wants to hold onto this, but will I ever wear it? It smells nice, I want to say nostalgic, but it's not me. It's like smelling the church that my Catholic grandmother grew up in (which to my memory I've never been to).

Kumiho: A sharp, biting blend of crisp white tea and ginger.
One of my favorite BPALs is Shanghai (green tea, honeysuckle, and lemon verbena), so I've been trying various of the other tea scents for comparison. Though they mostly smell the same :-/. I need to do a side-by-side, but on first testing this smells just like Shanghai.

Tag-upon-Avon (Lilith): A distant whiff of clove smoke and pipe tobacco, black tea, and crumbs from tiny cakes.
This is a Trading Post scent, if that makes a difference. I like clove and tobacco and tea, so why isn't this working?? Ah: too much cake. I don't do baked goods in fragrance. Still waiting for a black tea scent that works for me, they all seem to have something vanilla/cake-ey :(

Embalming Fluid: white musk, green tea, aloe and lemon
See Kumiho above. Another tea scent that's very similar to Shanghai. Main differences are that the lemon is more astringent and Pledge-y than lemon verbena, and there's a softness that must come from the white musk? I'm going to have to do a tea-off soon to narrow down the differences between these.

Dirty: A fresh, crisp white linen scent: perfectly clean, perfectly breezy.
Gah, dryer sheets. I hate dryer sheets :(. Maybe one day someone will capture the actual smell of sun-warm laundry fresh off the line, but this doesn't (and neither do %^#$%^ dryer sheets).

The Knave of Hearts: Crushed roses and blackcurrant tarts.
Amazingly authentic buttery pie crust smell, if you like that sort of thing (yeah, no). Roses come out eventually and it turns into eating pie after washing your hands with rose soap and rinsing insufficiently.

The Red Queen: Deep mahogany and rich, velvety woods lacquered with sweet, black-red cherries and currant.
Oh, I wanted to like this. It sounded so perfect. I love the cherry in Blood Kiss, I love sweetened woods. I just didn't get the complexity from this that I hoped for. Cherry cough syrup :(.

Grappling Octopus (Luper): Green tea and honey with orange peel, hay absolute, bergamot, and cypress.
Mostly honey and tea with a bit of citrus. By rights I should like this, but I spilled 3/4 of the imp on my bedroom rug the first time I opened it and the smell was overwhelming and lasted for weeks and basically I've had enough of this for one lifetime.

Amsterdam: Tulips, peony, fresh flowing water and crisp green grasses.
I so wanted to like this. This was one of the first BPALs I ordered years ago, and I keep trying it hoping I'll like it better. Nope. Opening 2 minutes are lovely, then the dreaded generic floral soap :(

The Coiled Serpent: A potent yogic oil that stimulates the kundalini, provokes spiritual awakening, and releases the energy seated in your root chakra.
So this was a frimp and has no notes, so I didn't know what I was getting into. It smells to me mostly like patchouli, of the earthy variety, with some other herbal stuff. It smelled okat, but not something I'd wear as a perfume. I can't speak to the yogic properties, though it felt kind of...mentally clarifying? I dunno.
lunabee34: (Default)

[personal profile] lunabee34 2018-02-24 01:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I really do like Kumiho (and Shanghai and Embalming Fluid LOL). I can really smell the ginger in Kumiho and that differentiates it from the others for me. The tea note sets Embalming Fluid apart for me.
bookherd: (Default)

[personal profile] bookherd 2018-02-24 11:35 pm (UTC)(link)
My notes for Scarecrow say: "Masculine cologne with a strong topnote of Sharpie." :( Have you tried Tattie Bogle yet? I haven't, but it sounds closer to what you're looking for. Coyote contains a note of "dry plains grasses" and, though that isn't the most noticeable note, I've found it ages gorgeously!

Kumiho was an experience I'm not anxious to repeat. BPAL ginger often gets out of control on my skin, creating a loud scent that prickles my sinuses uncomfortably. But Embalming Fluid also didn't really appeal to me, so apparently it wasn't just the ginger. I liked Shanghai better, but would still rather have it as a room scent than on my skin.

Red Queen review: "Mild sweet/woody drydown isn't worth that initial blast of maraschino stank." Heh.

I suspect you may lean more toward lighter scents in general than I do. But I'm totally with you on the %^#$%^ dryer sheets!
bookherd: (Default)

[personal profile] bookherd 2018-02-24 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
The official BPAL description for Tattie Bogle is: "Hay, gunpowder, patchouli, a sliver of bark, autumn herbs, and sun-baked wood."