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These writeups have been sitting for a couple of months ... kispexi2 and smillaraaq were talking about their favorite BPAL scents and reminded me! Sadly, still no huge winners (and in fact, one huge disappointment).

Amsterdam (9/10)
Tulips, peony, fresh flowing water and crisp green grasses

  • in bottle: lightly floral
  • on skin: sweeter floral, faint water
  • drydown: Gets faint very quickly - still pleasant, fresh floral. But it seems to be giving me a tiny bit of a headache.

Shanghai (8/10)
Green tea, lemon verbena, and honeysuckle

  • in bottle: fake lemon
  • on skin: lemon/herbal - honeysuckle starts coming through
  • drydown: lemon's gone almost entirely

Envy (7/10)
Green herbs, mint, lime, lavender

  • in bottle: tropical greens (!)
  • on skin: plants, plants, plants! Like walking through an overgrown garden and breaking stems all over.
  • drydown: Urrgh, weird. I think it's the lavender and the last of the mint - it makes me think of those odd flower-scented plastic dolls we used to have as little kids.

The Lion (8/10)
golden spiced amber

  • in bottle: generic perfumey smell
  • on skin: spicy, amber
  • drydown: spicy and maybe (?) sandalwood? Something vegetative.

It's nice, but it's not really me ... of course, now I'm remembering an old William Hamilton cartoon, where a Big Business type is shopping for a toupee, and he's looking cross with the one he's currently trying, and the salesman is saying "Of course it's not really you - the real you is bald."

Tenochtitlan (5/10)
Amber, hyssop, coriander, epazote, Mexican sage, prickly pear and Mexican tulip poppy

  • in bottle: sweet and mild spice
  • on skin: the same, but the spiciness is increasing. It's beginning to smell like bayberry candles.
  • drydown: And ... still like candles. Like that store in the malls that sells the things. Meh.

Venice (6/10)
Lemon, red currant, wisteria, red rose petals, heady jasmine, Florentine orris root, waterlily, red sandalwood, violet plum, and violet leaf

  • in bottle: string mixed floral
  • on skin: jasmine coming out
  • drydown: faded to floral soap. sigh.

Mag Mell (4/10)
Amber, white ginger, verbena, with fresh grass, sage and summer rain

  • in bottle: fresh "green" floral
  • on skin: more of the same - almost tangy
  • drydown: Bleah! It went all weird and stinky and too intense. I'd blame the white ginger, which was also in Vampire Tears, which had the same awful delayed reaction, but the white ginger was also in Siren, which didn't.

Such a pity - at first sniff, I thought this would be "the one."


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2008 09:55 am (UTC)
Ah well, at least Shanghai didn't turn completely to soap on you! I'd be a little curious to try a very, very tiny dab of that, to see if it morphs in the same depressing soapy fashion as Embalming Fluid did on me -- if so, that'd be more evidence that it's the lemony note that hates my skin, rather than one of the others...

You didn't get any fruitiness in Tenochtitlan? Interesting. It was so nastily sticky on my friend birdsarecalling that it put her in mind of fruity tropical drinks; it wasn't quite so bad on me once the spices started amping up, but my first dubious impression was of fruity bubble gum...

Envy was pretty much all cool bruised mints on me, with just a hint of bitter green herbal vegetal notes around the edges; my skin seems to sort of mute their lavender note, somehow, and that just faded so quickly on me that it didn't have a chance to go weird. All of the minty scents I've tried so far seem to die very fast on my skin.

The Lion sounds interesting, as amber and spices and woods are all very good notes on me, and it doesn't sound like it's got any nasty sweet stuff to mess with it! Speaking of which, did you ever get a chance to try that LMDLV vial to see if the amber came through on you as well? And I don't know if you saw kispexi2 and I going on about an Issey Miyake scent that seemed it might be your sort of thing -- I sniffed a bit in the bottle yesterday at Sephora, VERY crisply aquatic with a sandalwood base, and there's supposed to be some amber in there as well...I didn't bother testing on skin to see if I could pick out the amber, you know how well I get along with those aquatic fragrances. :)
May. 12th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)

I guess I should have been more explicit than "candles" for Tenochtitlan - yes, I was thinking of fruity candles. Those scented candle shops are the main place I run into that kind of scent. Very fruity, and stinky thereby.

Envy was one of those that was very nice until the drydown. I think that one is sanada's favorite. The Lion is telophase's favorite.

L'Eau d'Issey sounds interesting. Sephora has it turn up under Fresh/Water in their Fragrance Finder, even though the notes listed in the description of the perfume itself are only floral. Maybe the Union Station Sephora will have a tester.

I have to dig that vial out and try it again - I don't remember what my reaction was (obviously not horribly negative, therefore). (I'm actually about halfway finished with the beaded bracelet - I need to figure out how to do the loop for the button.)

May. 12th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Pentagon City Sephora definitely has the Issey Miyake, and I wouldn't be surprised if Douglas in Union Station has it; that chain does generally carry the Miyake line. And in the bottle, at least, I can definitely see why they're classing it as fresh/aquatic, the aquatic note was totally dominating and the only other thing I could pick out was the warm sandalwoodish base. Maybe the florals come out more on skin...

The Vanille Fleurie de Tahiti didn't seem like something that would be your thing to wear, since it's a floriental, but it's very very heavy on the amber so I thought it might be interesting to test out for further experimentation with that particular note.
May. 15th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)

Duh, of course I meant Douglas. The perfume-and-makeup thing. They're all called Sephora, right?

The smell was similar enough to Acqua di Gio that I started researching the notes, to see what they had in common ... except I don't have it here with me, drat! I'll have to dig it out at work and post it.

Whole Foods has some single-scent sampler things in their cosmetics section. I tried some white ginger, and it may be what's giving me a headache in some of these. They had amber, too - I'll try that this week.

May. 15th, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
*chuckle* I actually used to shop at Douglas for years before I saw or heard of Sephora -- they hit Philadelphia fairly early on. Both have the same general business model of "whole bunch of upscale/niche cosmetic lines all in the same place, so you can comparison shop without having to go to a million different competing brand counters in a department store". Ulta seems to be doing the same general thing, but I still haven't actually set foot in one -- they just aren't as convenient to any of my usual haunts.

White ginger is one of my favorite soliflores -- it's rather more intensely sweet than I usually go for, but I make an exception for tropical florals that take me back to my old garden in the islands. If it smells enough like the real thing to make me homesick, it's all good. The only problem is there seem to be a lot of really, really *BAD* white ginger scents out there -- I don't know if it's one of those things like gardenia where there is no genuine floral scent and so the perfumers have to resort to synthetics and accords to try to recreate it, or what, but I've noticed that sort of thing with a lot of tropicals, like plumeria -- if you know what it's SUPPOSED to smell like, a lot of the stuff that bears the name is horribly disappointing...

So the Miyake was your sort of thing? Hee, I'm pleased my nose was on that day -- just from the bottle and comparing to the AdG, it really struck me as your kind of thing!

I'm currently working my way through a bunch of little teeny tiny freebie testers I got earlier this year -- Dior Addict Shine is surprising me in a very pleasant way, it's described as a fruity floral which left me very dubious -- overly-sticky fruity-florals seem to be the growth category of recent years; but on my skin, it's dominated by a nice warm cedarwood, with just a hint of sweetness from the raspberry (and barely a hint of gardenia) to feminize it. Not me enough that I'd ever buy it, but surprisingly pleasant for the style and I'll happily use up the tester! Kenzo Flower is the other one I'm playing with -- a floral oriental so unsurprisingly it clicks very nicely: soft and a little powdery with a nice vanilla base. But unlike the typical oriental, it's a little disappointing on the sillage and lasting power -- after an hour or so of drydown it sticks really, really close to the skin. Nice, very much my sort of thing, but not interesting enough to lure me away from my standbys...
May. 17th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)

The thing is, I wear perfumes so seldom! So it was close enough to AdG that I wasn't inclined to buy it (especially at that price ... O.o;   ).

So maybe that was just a cruddy white ginger scent ... but there are complete natural scents (like some lilies) that can also give me headaches. I remember the air smelled delicious in Hawaii, but if we weren't having such flakey weather, it would smell pretty good around here now, too.

Ulta in Silver Spring is where I get my shampoo and conditioner - ARTec Kiwi.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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