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BPAL Imps Cometh

I was mostly going for things that had notes like the mainstream perfumes I like (Calyx, Acqua di Gio, Escape). I have to say that I'm finding the faint smell from the opened shipping box a little obnoxious. I hope that's only one of them.

I requested:

Machu Picchu
Viola
The Rose
Cordelia
51

I also requested Silence, but they said that one wasn't eligible to be an Imp. So I told them what I was trying for, and the following additional things came in the box:

Kyoto
Umbra
Versailles

I don't think I'll even open Umbra - it has patchouli in it and I don't care for that. Kyoto has no fruit notes, which is one of the things I know I like. But I think Versailles was on my short list for this order anyway.

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( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
smillaraaq
May. 10th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Go with that feeling on Umbra -- I was fairly meh about it, and I actually *adore* heavy, murky, woody scents; for someone like you who goes for crisp/astringent stuff, I can't imagine it having any appeal. (Part of the problem for me is that I'm a vetiver fiend, and their vetiver note is often a bit of a disappointment -- it's not so bad when it's way down in a mix, but in the more vetiver-heavy blends its deficiency is notable.)

Here's my old review:

In the bottle: very dark, woody vetiver. Wet: Dark, dark, not-at-all-sweet patchouli and the same woody vetiver note the Lab seems to use in all the vetiver blends I've tested so far.

Drydown: the cedarwood comes out more, but the patchouli and vetiver never really fade into the background, so it's just a merging of dark, dry notes. Can't say that I really notice the cinnamon at all, the cedar and patchouli and vetiver are all too strong for it to assert itself. This one's a bit of a disappointment; it doesn't smell bad, per se, but with those notes I was expecting to adore it, and instead it's just sort of meh. Very dark and dry and woody, I was expecting more spice and a bit more greenness; the Lab's vetiver just does not seem to have the greener, grassier tinge that I'm used to in vetiver notes, it's like it's much more dried out, somehow; not a bad or an unpleasant smell, but it's just not doing anything fabulous on my skin; it might work nicely on a guy, though, as that woodsy heaviness could make for a nice dark masculine scent.


If you want fruit notes, you might find Tenochtitlan interesting. 'Twasn't my sort of thing, but on my skin it at least wasn't the sugary horror I'd feared from a friend's review.

(We should really have a sniff-testing party one of these years! Most of my faves wouldn't really be to your tastes, but I've barely begun to explore that batch I picked up from telophase last year.)
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)

I actually got Tenochtitlan last year (two years ago! Good Lord!) and blogged it earlier ... it turned into Yankee Candle as it dried down on me. Ick.

But thanks for the advice about Umbra.

vom_marlowe
May. 10th, 2010 01:42 am (UTC)
I quite liked Kyoto, and based on what you've said, you might enjoy it. It's not fruity per se, but it's very gentle in a way. The cherry blossoms are not quite floral-floral, but very delicate/sweet.
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)

I have a feeling that I may not be able to get what I want out of BPAL at all because the livelier fruit notes go away too fast without the "unnatural" stuff in mainstream fragrances. But I will try the Kyoto.

andmydog
May. 10th, 2010 02:03 am (UTC)
You might like the pumpkin ones, if you like fruit notes.
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 02:53 am (UTC)

Somehow, fruit is not what I think of for pumpkin! I keep thinking of what jack-o-lanterns smell like when you cut them up. Did you have any particular ones in mind?

I like citrus-y or melon notes, mostly. But I've been amazed at the identity of some of the fruit notes in the perfumes that I like. I think one of them had nectarine.

andmydog
May. 11th, 2010 02:59 am (UTC)
It's actually really sweet! But more of a musky sweetness, like apple cider, or a hayfield in late autumn. You might like Jack: true Halloween pumpkin, spiced with nutmeg, glowing peach and murky clove. The ones I have were the Halloween limited edition ones, so they're mostly pumpkin with some apple and leather and, like, dirt and grave mould and stuff like that.
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 11:15 am (UTC)

That's certainly the most appealing one - the rest seemed like they'd be sticky-sweet, or else they had things like patchouli in them. I'm sort of on the fence about vetiver - it depends what's on top.

telophase
May. 10th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
I like Versailles a lot, and to me it really does match its description - a regal sort of citrus floral underpinned by a warm ambery scent.
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)

That sounds promising! I like citrus. It took a while for me to understand that the "fresh" scents I was smelling in things like Acqua di Gio were considered fruity (that one has bergamot, for example).

smillaraaq
May. 11th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
I hear that -- in my head citrusy notes like bergamot are in a very different sharp/crisp/clean category than the more sweet-and-sugary non-citrus fruits and berries!
sanada
May. 10th, 2010 03:16 am (UTC)
I thought Kyoto was kind of fruity-smelling and candylike? I can't remember. I tend to stick to their woody/herby/leathery scents, so I haven't tried any of the others you got.
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)

It's funny, I would think of a woody scent as something that would go with myself, but it's not what I like to smell! After checking out the writeups for the mainstream scents I like, the structure seemed to be top notes, fruit (citrus, mostly, but also exotics like guava or melon) and light floral; heart notes, classic florals like rose, muguet, or freesia; base notes, musk, woods, or amber.

sanada
May. 11th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Ahh, I've never liked any mainstream perfume. They'll smell really nice for about half a second and then WHAM, that sharp, chemically smell of cheap Bath & Body Works spritzer that makes my eyes water. I don't know what that smell is, but I avoid it at all costs. *laugh*
ethaisa
May. 10th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
I"m not so big on fruity notes myself (berries, yes, citrus, not so much) so let me know what your want list is; I might have some imps around I can pass on for you to try.
chomiji
May. 11th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)

I really wish BPAL would get someone to write them a proper little database, because I have a terrible time sifting through their "ingredient" lists in the descriptions. Some perfumery things gives me horrible headaches, and I'm trying to learn which. And it would be nice to get a dump of, say, all things that had mandarin AND rose AND sandalwood.

Citrus (mandarin, bergamot, tangerine, grapefruit, etc. - lemon and lime, not so much) seems to be one of my main faves, and after that, scents like melon or nectarine (Calyx has guava and mango, of all things).

When I finish with these guys, I'll take another shot at sifting the BPAL list for things I might like. Amsterdam was lovely, but my skin burned it off very quickly. (I just discovered that it's been 2 years since the last time I played with these ... sheesh!)

smillaraaq
May. 11th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
There are a few tricks you can try if a scent you really love doesn't last well on skin -- applying the scent over an unscented lotion or neutral carrier-type oil may help, rubbing a bit through your hair or on a hidden section of clothing, or putting it in a scent locket. Most of the stuff you like is heavy on the sort of light stuff that are traditional top notes, of course, so they'll probably just never have the sort of staying power as the dark-and-heavy base note extravaganzas I favor.
ethaisa
May. 11th, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
Are you familiar with scentscribbles.com? I like their search better than the official lab one.

I have a couple favourite scents that my skin just eats too; I usually wear those either in a locket, or in my hair.

Once you figure out what you're interested in, lmk. I'm a terrible addict, and always have some imps pestering me for new homes :)
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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