Friday, May 20, 2016

BPAL imps

Just thoughts on the other Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab imps so I can keep track of them.

Follow Me Boy - this is another one where the notes are not listed. And here is why I hate that. When wet this is very, VERY heavy on the jasmine and I hate jasmine notes. My skin amps it and it smells like sickly flowers.I washed my wrists shortly after the initial application, which helped some in dampening the smell but not all of it. The jasmine dissipated after the dry down and it became less prominent, but was still there. The dry down scent was very powdery, and it wasn't bad but the overwhelming jasmine in the beginning means that this one isn't just a no, it's a hell no.

Baobhan Sith-Grapefruit, white tea, apple blossom and ginger- This was in the Citrus Imp pack and the grapefruit is very prominent. However the scent goes very, very sweet on me. Sickly sweet. And I'm not fond of the effect. I think I might have ordered it anyway, given the notes in it but it's not a good scent for me. It's a shame because when I think of those individual notes, I really like the idea, but this badly needs the sharpness of ginger to balance it out and either that note isn't sharp enough or my skin just negates it. The sweetness mellows a bit after the dry down, but I'm not really fond of it.

Xiuhtecuhtli-Copal, plumeria and sweet orange and the smoke of South American incense and crushed jungle blooms- This was in the Citrus Imp Pack I ordered so I had no real idea what to expect, but wow do I love this one. So much. It's rich and slightly smoky, warm and comforting and just really lovely. It's a bit more of a winter scent I think, but boy do I love it a lot. I would wear the crap out of this one. However, it does smell very similar to Elizabeth and James Black on my skin if slightly more green and woodsy. I already have a small roller ball of Elizabeth and James Black, so the question is, do I need two scents that smell very similar? Yes, of course I do. I have since ordered a full size of this one and I love it.

Night-Gaunt -  yuzu, white grapefruit, and kumquat mixed with the snow-dusted flowers of Mount Ngranek - And this confirms that grapefruit just goes to sugar on my skin. Bleh.This came as part of the Citrus Imp Pack. It smells very similar to Baobhan Sith, because of the grapefruit, though it's just different enough that I can tell it's not the same scent. However, I think I'll be avoiding any scent with grapefruit in it, as it dominates and becomes a sugar fest. It's a shame, I like the sharp citrus smell of grapefruit peel, but for whatever reason that sharpness is lost on my skin.

Voodoo - myrrh, patchouli, vetiver, lime, vanilla, pine, almond and clove- The patchouli is strong with this one, especially when wet. However as it dies down the patchouli goes into the background and the vanilla and something spicy comes to the forefront. I get a faint hint of almond and the briefest bits of lime. I'm not especially fond of this scent while its wet, but it is delicious given time to wear down on the skin.

Akuma - blood orange, neroli, and raspberry - The blood orange is very strong, giving the scent a sharp bite. I like it, but it dissipates very quickly leaving a faint, almost imperceptible fruity scent.

Cordelia - lilac, lemon, green tea, wisteria, osmanthus, white cedar, and Chinese musk - The wisteria is probably the strongest scent when it's wet. Dry, I definitely get cedar. Sadly, I don't really get any lilac or lemon, which is a shame as those are two of my favorite scents. This one is ok. I don't love it, but I might wear it every once in a while.

Venice -  lemon, red currant, wisteria, red rose petals, heady jasmine, Florentine orris root, waterlily, red sandalwood, violet plum, and violet leaf - The jasmine is the strongest scent out of the gate. And as I don't like jasmine I had resigned myself to hating the way I smell all day. However after the perfume died down the jasmine dissipated slightly and I was left with a very floral perfumy smell. I liked it, and out of all the oils I've tried from BPAL so far, this one reminded me the strongest of an expensive commercial perfume. However, I cannot for the life of me remember which perfume, just that it's one that a woman (not my mom) wore frequently around me when I was a child. Decent smell, I'll keep the imp around for a while.
I have a ton more, including new ones that came with my full size order of Xiuhtecuhtli and Embalming Fluid, but for right now I'm just enjoying the perfumes I have and haven't wanted to test out any of the imps. As this has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few weeks now, I'm going to post it and maybe come back to this idea later.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finding a replacement scent

Perfume is such a personal thing, and I think that finding the perfect scent can be one of the more difficult things in the beauty world. Part of that is because perfumes change over time as they wear and interact with your body chemistry, and part of it is how the scents in the perfume interact with your body chemistry.

I had a summer scent that I adored but it went off recently and they company no longer makes it. It was The Body Shop's perfume oil in Lemon Tea, which I think might have been a one off scent and it was all the way back when they were doing perfume oils. But I loved it, it was light and lemony, sweet with a little acid to tame the sweet, and a touch of green to round it all out. When summer came around it was my 'I don't want to think scent'. But time (and probably the sun) are not kind to perfumes (even in oil form) and this one is old and the scent has faded and it not longer smells of anything.

Which leaves me with a gap in my perfume collection.

I mean, I have tons of winter perfumes. Most of them with some sort of vanilla base, and I have them in all forms; sprays, roll-ons, oils, etc. But when it comes to summer my collection is significantly smaller. I tend to prefer lighter scents in summer and prefer them to have a citrus base. I've got a couple, but while they're nice they're not quite the same.

So I decided to try and dip my toes into the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab waters. Those are some intimidating waters, and I've mostly stayed away because I've always been just a little unsure of where to start. I do have one vial of Edith Cushing from the Crimson Peak limited edition set because I read a review that gave it pretty high remarks, and mentioned it was vanilla based so I bought it on a whim. It's a good scent and it has strong staying power, so armed with that I went back to the webpage to look for a replacement sent for my beloved Lemon Tea.

Fortunately for me PBAL has this awesome directory where you can click on a scent note and it will list all of the oils that use that note. Which makes dipping into their oils so much less intimidating.  I clicked on Lemon and ordered an imp, which is their small sample size, of every scent available plus the Citrus Collection that was also listed in that selection. So, now I am going through the process of trying on the scents to see if one can replace Lemon Tea, if not completely then at least occupy that spot in my collection.

Embalming Fluid - white musk, green tea, aloe and lemon - Right off the bat, this is an exact dupe. I almost went straight to the BPAL website to order a full size after my first application. I'm glad I waited though, because after the dry down, the bitterness of the aloe comes to the forefront. While it's still a very clean scent and I can smell the lemon and the greenness I desire, I don't love the aloe. It's a possibility though.

Delirium - apple, rose, and lemon - Mostly from this I get apples. But not like an apple from a fruit stand, apple from a bottle. I don't get the rose or lemon at all, and the apple scent just smells fake to me. I don't like this one at all. I may give it a second go just to be sure, but I had to hold my hand away from my face after application because the scent just did not appeal.

Horn of Plenty-???? something something prosperity and nothing about notes. (I do not like that. I get that it's in keeping with their brand, but UGH what if a particular note is annoying, or I'm allergic to it?)- This one is an imp they threw in as a bonus (which is awesome), because nothing about it is citrusy or lemony. It's not a bad scent, but I don't think I love it. There are definitely vanilla notes in it, which is one reason why I like it. I also get a hint of chocolate, which I don't generally like in my perfumes. But other then that I have no idea. I think I'll enjoy the imp while I have it, but I won't put this on a wish list.

As an update: I still have a ton of imps that I haven't even sniffed yet but I think I'm going to go ahead and get a full sized bottle of Embalming Fluid. I somehow got a bit of it on my sheets when I first applied it and last night I could smell the sweet, fresh lemon goodness and I wants it. I think it's as close as I'm going to get, and I really do enjoy it.