How do you keep up with a company like BPAL without destroying your budget?
The magic of BPAL is the secondary market. People end up collecting and trying things, and then discovering their skin chemistry doesn’t work or they just don’t favor the blends. So they post them on fan forums and people swap back and forth.
For example, my last few trades haven’t cost me more than $2.80 shipping, including delivery confirmation. I throw in a couple pencils or something else cute that I get at the dollar store, so let’s round it up to $3. For $3, I generally get 3-5 new samples-which is less than the cost of 1 imp new. (I do buy new when I can.)
Lately I’ve gotten these in trades-
Third Charm (Halloween series, 2012)
There’s magic afoot: fiery red musk, luminous elemi, East Indian patchouli, champaca flower, cedar incense, ho wood, and hemlock accord sweetened with a peculiar sweet honey.
Reading the note list I was guessing that this would fall somewhere between the coiled serpent and smut [a reoccuring Valentine’s themed blend] on my skin.
in the imp: A bright, sweet red musk. Getting a lot of floral out of this one, but not of the I’m a pretty, pretty flower variety.
wet: Yep.First blast is what I wanted smut to smell like. It’s the berry sweet style red musk, but it’s pretty dirty. It’s not skin style dirty though, just a lot rougher and darker than what smut does on my skin. The head shoppy incense that the patch, champaca, and woods does on my skin is lurking in the background.
dry: Honestly not a lot of throw. And there’s nothing in here that I would call fiery with my skin chemistry. It is a nice blend, even if it does lurk on the backside of powdery-it’s almost going amber on me so I’m guessing that this is a white style honey. Honestly it even shifts towards spanked res [another limited edition] in feel every so often. This one really doesn’t want to settle with my chem right now. I’d actually like the incense to come back more, because right now it’s still a dirtier style smut, but still not as dirty as what I would like it to be. I think I need to just accept that red musk is never going to be ‘sexy’ and will always be ‘preppy’ on my skin.
The Chained Phantoms (Christmas series, 2011-A Christmas Carol)
Purgatorial wretchedness and despair: ice-limned white wine grape, balsam of peru, and chamomile.
In the imp: wine. White wine, actually. A sweet white wine. I guess I’m getting just the grapes.
Wet: This is a very bright, sweet blend. I was thinking white musk, the one white musk I can wear, and the florals in Vampire Tears. In fact, wet, this is Vampire Tears without the citrus notes.
Dry: The woods and herbs pulls this down from boozy into a light green blend. The Vampire Tears parallel is a lot lessened, which is good-because I want to keep this one but I don’t want a box full of twin blends. This is on the strong side in regards to throw on me right now, and I’m not certain this is a ‘winter’ blend, but I can see liking this one a lot when it warms up and gets humid.
Full confession: I wasn’t expecting to like this one. At all.
In the imp: Sweet (as in fruit sweet) red musk. It does feel very…fresh. I didn’t know that red musk could come in fresh.
Wet: The strawberry leaf is reading as berries, but actual berries-sometimes the lab’s strawberry note reads like hard candy on me. This is actually fruit. It smells like I’m canning. I don’t get that much musk out of it, but white musk can do horrible things on my skin and red musk has turned a lot of blends that should have been phenomenal on my skin to meh. “Not much musk” in this case isn’t a bad thing.
Dry: I do in fact like this one. I like it more and more the more I have it on. The red musk comes forward more but the fruit is keeping it in check. I can sense more than smell the white musk, and I think it’s keeping it from being way, way too sweet.
I think this one is actually a keeper-which is actually a suprise. My department tends to lean towards fruit-sweet for perfume, and this one would work without being obvious.
Fallen Angels in Hell (from an art based series)
Fallen Angels In Hell (John Martin)
nfernal red amber, scorched frankincense, damiana, red ginger, bloodroot, cayenne, and sulphur.
Burned fried rice, on my skin. I couldn’t let it go to dry down, the smell was so strong. Oh, and plastic. Burned rice and plastic. I’m guessing this would be great on some people, but there’s something with my chemistry that doesn’t want to play nice with this one.
(I can’t stress enough to you how bad this one was. It was vile. I thought the Oberon incident was bad, but this was in a whole other league of freakish).
Water of Notre Dame
Tanuki No Hikifune-there was a line based on Japanese folklore that came out in 2012. One of my friends is interested in decants, but doesn’t have a swap base of her own. I’m interested in cutting down my imp collection, so I’ve been swapping for them when I see them and pass them along to her.
Pandemonium (from an art based series)
Pandemonium (John Martin)
Smoke-tinged red and black musks, mahogany, ginger grass, black gum leaf, rue, star thistle, tomato leaf, black amber, and mandrake accord.
What a strange little blend. on skin, and close to skin throw, is singed woods. I like it, it reminds me of a much lighter Erich Zahn [My first BPAL love, no longer available]. Far throw is very sweet though, very, very sweet. Almost sugar sweet. The musks make this a very rich sugar, and it’s very slightly green.
La Befana (from a Christmas series)