lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
Michael by Michael Kors

Top notes are freesia, incense, chinese osmanthus and tamarind; middle notes are tuberose, iris, peony, orris root and arum lily; base notes are musk, cashmere wood and vetiver.

This is a very sweet white floral. The tuberose is almost a gardenia dupe. Josh cried almost instant headache, so I didn't leave it on long enough for the dry down, but I could just start to smell the woodiness of the iris start to tamp down the florals before I scrubbed it.

Clean (the original)

This soap-inspired scent combines litsea cubeba, orange, sweet lime, pink grapefruit, passion lily, rose geranium, and white musk and is perfect for women who enjoy crisp, subtly. It opens with a bright burst of freshness and dries down to a simply CLEAN scent.

This does smell fresh and clean. Very bright and citrusy but very sweet (must be the sweet lime). I don't get any orange or grapefruit, but I do smell rose geranium (yummy) and soap. Clean is a good descriptor. I would like to smell this on someone else, but it's not for me. I passed it to a friend.

BPAL Rapunzel

Angel’s trumpet, bois de rose, orris, and wild lettuce.

I really like this. It smells green and sweet and a little of rose. Josh detects a note of ginger. It's a keeper!

lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
I absolutely love this perfume. My dear, dear [personal profile] executrix sent it to me, and I put off trying it because I was afraid from the way the bottle looked that it would smell like a generic old man cologne. OMG, I was so wrong. So so wrong.

Description: Top notes are mint, lavender, tarragon, bergamot and lemon; middle notes are bay leaf, patchouli, jasmine, vetiver, heliotrope, anise, cedar and geranium; base notes are leather, tonka bean, amber, benzoin, oakmoss and vanilla.

This is what Luca Turin led me to believe Hermessence Vetiver Tonka would smell like. Lies, lies. Hermessence Vetiver Tonka was such a disappointment for me. Relax is a beautiful, powerful vetiver that's nicely rounded out by the tonka which gives it a creamy, vanilla underpinning (with none of the candy, sugar, dessert bullshit in Hermessence Vetiver Tonka).

I don't get any of the other notes outside of vetiver, patchouli, and tonka (and the patchouli is very minimal). It reminds me a bit of my beloved Chanel Sycomore, but it's more masculine than Sycomore IMHO. I've worn this constantly since testing it and am so happy that [personal profile] executrix sent me a partial big bottle! Whoooo!


Anybody interested in swapping for any of these, let me know. Any perfume fine to swap; doesn't have to be BPAL.

Armani Code
2 Alien by Thierry Mugler samples
2-3 ml sample Guerlain Angelique Noire
Eau de Cologne Crepe de Chine F. Millot full bottle

Fire for the Step-Mother's Daughters
New Orleans
Incipient Madness
Lexamin de Minuit
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
Incipient Madness

An unwholesome smoky musk, dark and sweet, laced with Virginia tobacco, honeyed black currant, and red patchouli.

This is a limited edition, so I don't know how hard it would be to find, but it's a very good dupe for Comme des Garcons Black. The smokiness is clearly coming from birch tar (so yummy!) which is the main ingredient in Black. I like this more than I thought I would even with the sweetness of the patchouli underpinning it. Black is much nicer; IM is more astringent, not as smooth as Black, but they're very close to each other. I'm going to pass this along because even if I do like it, I'd much rather wear Black.

Fire for Thy Step-Mother's Daughters

Flaming coals, hellfire, and blackened bone.

So Josh's response to this is that it smells like nagchampa which is his response to every BPAL with patchouli or incense in it (and he's not wrong, exactly). Emma thinks it smells bitter and sawdusty. I think it does give a good impression of fire and warmth, but that the dragon's blood smells sweetly mildewy like it always does to me. Definitely not a keeper.

New Orleans

Sweet honeysuckle and jasmine with a hint of lemon and spice.

I knew this was going to be horrible on me because of the jasmine, but I soldiered on in the name of science! Jasmine just smells like sickly sweet poop to me. I could barely leave it on long enough to get much of a whiff. My friend M liked it and did not scrub hers but she said ten minutes into the drive home, it suddenly amped up to a thousand rather than fading away as it dried down. This will be going to someone who can abide jasmine LOL.


1/4/17 19:56
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
After a bit of a hiatus, I'm getting back into perfume testing again.

BPAL, Tocca, Ralph Lauren, Sex in the City, Estee Lauder, Chanel )
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
Guerlain Champs Elysees: Delicate fruity-floral fragrance. Mimosa, rose, almond, and forest fruits are followed by melon and exotic fruits.

I have found a Guerlain I like. Hallelujah! Normally I am not drawn to florals or fruity scents, but this just smells really nice on me. It's not strong, very close to the skin, with rose predominating (but not in that annoying way that all BPAL roses turn into one note tea-rose on me). There's a hint of apricot that could turn rancid on me the way it does in Tresor, but it turns sweetly fruity instead. Emma thinks it smells bitter, like flowers, and like old ladies. LOL Despite being fruity and floral, she's right that this is not a scent for a teen. Josh is not enthusiastic, but he doesn't dislike it, so score! Luca Turin hates this (like with the passion of a thousand suns), but he loves Hermessence Vetiver Tonka, so what does he know?

Opium Yves Saint Laurent: Top notes are coriander, plum, citruses, mandarin orange, pepper, jasmine, cloves, west indian bay and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, orris root, peach, lily-of-the-valley and rose; base notes are labdanum, tolu balsam, sandalwood, opoponax, musk, coconut, vanilla, benzoin, vetiver, incense, cedar, myrrh, castoreum and amber.

Wow, they put everything but the kitchen sink in this one. LOL This was a Sunday night test, so lots of opinions. C just hated it, absolutely despised it in a way that was very funny. L used to wear it years ago, so she liked it just fine and smelled it with the nose of nostalgia. M didn't really care for it but realized that someone in her family used to wear it years ago, so it brought up memories of her grandmother's house. Josh likes it; he thinks it's a warm scent, smelling of cinnamon, vanilla, and rose. For me, the jasmine initially threatens to make it unwearable. Fortunately, after about ten minutes, the jasmine is completely gone, leaving something really nice: sandalwood, balsam, vanilla, cinnamon, musk.

BPAL Kathmandu: Saffron, blessed sandalwood, Himalayan cedar and the miraculous lotus of the Buddha with chiuri bark and Nepalese spices.

This is another Sunday test, and I don't seem to be having a whole lot of luck with the BPAL we test. No one likes this one. I smell lotus and cedar, no sandalwood (which I love), and a medicinal underpinning. MM smells sweet sandalwood. M thinks it smells like a minty version of Valentine's Day candy hearts. Emma just says no. L thinks it smells like rose and candy and weirdly like Tabu. C smells tea tree oil, and A smells sandalwood.

BPAL Rome: A recipe gleaned from Classical Rome: cypress, juniper, chamomile and rose.

This one turns one-note tea rose on all my Sunday testers. Another dud.

Swaps and Giveaways )
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
I just got a package from [personal profile] executrix filled with gluten free pasta, adorable notebooks, and a book about Victorian ideas of masculinity. Whoooooo! Thank you, sweetie. It was a real pick-me-up. That Kate Spade notebook is to die for.

In perfume news, we've tested three perfumes since the last post.


In a couple of weeks, I'm going to make a swaps/giveaway post, so you might want to check out my Masterlist post to see if there's anything you're interested in swapping for or otherwise taking off my hands. I'll be adding more to the pile, I'm sure, as I continue to test until the end of the month.
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
I promise I will review some perfumes I actually like this round. LOL


I can't wait for September to roll around. I've got so much perfume I want to swap or give away but no money for postage until we finally get paid again. LOL
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
First, an enthusiastic rec for Olay Smooth Finish Facial Hair Removal Duo Fine to Medium Hair. I've spent the past decade or more getting my eyebrows and my upper lip waxed fairly regularly. In the past few months, though, my skin has gotten so dry that waxing my upper lip has been more trouble than it's worth, creating irritation that lasts for much longer than it should. So I tried using this depilatory cream and am extremely pleased. In six minutes, my lip was hair free without an ounce of discomfort. (Of course, I then had to stop myself from slathering my whole face in it because, as I reminded myself, even Eva Green has tiny little baby hairs on her forehead and she is the most beautiful woman in the world.)

On to perfume! I did a little stats work today and discovered that I have tested 77 BPAL, 17 Chanel, 8 Guerlain, 3 Dior, and 12 assorted scents to date. I'm no Luca Turin, but that seems an impressive number of trials to me.

Three BPAL reviews )
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
Emma and I tested some perfume tonight. I haven't tested anything in quite awhile (despite having an enormous stash), and my nose has atrophied as a result. I had a hard time distinguishing individual notes in what we tested tonight. Oh, well. Only thing to do for it is to practice more often! :)

This is not what we tested tonight but another chip at the backlog of perfumes we tested ages ago.

Multiple BPALs )

Take away musings from tonight's testing session plus typing up these notes:

1. I can almost always tell how much I will like a BPAL by the color of the perfume in the vial. The darker the perfume, the more probable my distaste. I have almost universally liked the lighter colored perfumes we've tried because they are based on white musks, citruses, and teas.

2. I should not despair that my nose is entirely gone. When I went to an upscale shopping area in Atlanta with my friends a few weeks ago, one of the stores was burning a Diptyque candle. I instantly gagged and thought, "That is some jasmine, there," and I was totally right. LOL
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
Have some perfume reviews!

Multiple BPAL )

Comme des Garcons Black: According to Fragrantica, Top notes are black pepper, incense and olibanum; middle notes are leather, licorice, birch and pepperwood or hercules club; base notes are cedar and vetiver.

I love this perfume. It does not smell of licorice at all on me, thank goodness. Most things with an anise or licorice note just go all black jelly beans on me. Black smells like pepper, cedar, salt, vetiver, and leather on me. I wish it was a little more long lasting, but it smells so good while it lasts: warm and spicy and utterly sexy.
lunabee34: (help by jjjean65)
So, I just tested Serge Lutens Miel de Bois. Fragrantica says: Miel De Bois or 'wood honey' is sweet and warm woodsy fragrance. Raw, sweet and heavy white honey allied with dry wood is an unusual combination for women and men seeking for novelties. The top notes are dry wood that breaks and crashes in your hands: Guaiac and oak. Then there comes luscious, sweet and dense white honey. The base is composed of wax, animal notes, iris and hawthorn.

I knew this would be too sweet for Josh before I even tested it, and I wasn't wrong. He smelled oaky woods but said that ultimately it was too sugary sweet; the scent did tamp down and become a bit more palatable for him as time went on, but nothing he'd be able to stand me wearing on a regular basis. Emma was being 12 and told me it smelled like cough syrup and rubbing alcohol which it does not; I can accept that it smells bad to her, but this was just shorthand for yuck without any nuance. LOL

I instantly smelled honey and woods. It's powdery and warm. It smells a bit funky and weird to me in the first few minutes but that quickly burns off. Strongly honey and strongly sweet. The wax comes to the fore as time passes for me. It's not something I really like all that much except that it instantly and viscerally reminded me of this Bath and Body Works product I used to love.

In my memory, this product was sold some time between 1997-2000. It was some kind of lotion that was very thick and as you applied it got thinner and more liquidy. It was honey-scented and it was sexy sexy sexy sexy from the scent on down to the texture, friction making it more pliable and slick. These qualities were not lost on my burgeoning relationship with Josh. It was not packaged in the same packaging as their other products; it was from one of their outside lines.

So I have just spent the last hour down the rabbit hole trying to no avail to find this product. Bath and Body Works did carry Savannah Bee Company stuff in the mid-2000s, but that's too late for my memory. I found this extremely cool blog that is exclusively devoted to vintage B&B stuff. I sent an email asking them for help, so maybe I'll get lucky and solve the mystery.

Anybody else remember the product I'm talking about here?
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)

Fragrantica: Top notes are lavender, sage and bergamot; middle notes are iris, amber and cacao; base notes are vetiver, patchouli and leather.

Emma smells sage, lavender, amber, orange, and something floral (the iris maybe?). I smell lavender, sage and amber. This lavender isn't sharp and camphorous but soft. Josh primarily smells the bergamot. We all liked this well enough, but I didn't like it so much that I want to wear it.

Eau Sauvage

Fragrantica: The fragrance incorporates the following accords: lemon, basil, bergamot, cumin, lavender and fruit. A heart blooms with jasmine, rose, carnation, iris root, coriander, patchouli and sandalwood. Base notes bring us oak moss, vetiver, musk and amber.

Emma thinks this smells lemony and smooth; she thinks the sourness makes it smell bad. I smell lemon, vetiver, bergamot, coriander, and lavender--no flowers whatsoever. Here's another fragrance with jasmine as a listed note where the jasmine does not bother me. There's a similarity here to Chanel Eau de Cologne although I vastly prefer the Chanel. I like this well enough to wear the imp I have but enough to buy more.


Fragrantica: Top notes are lavender, mandarin orange, hawthorn, nutmeg flower, cedar, bergamot, chamomile and lemon; middle notes are nutmeg, honeysuckle, carnation, sandalwood, violet leaf, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and cedar; base notes are leather, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk and vetiver.

While I must add the data point that my friend Michelle really liked this, it was not a hit with everyone else. I think it smells like Irish Spring mixed with lavender, white florals, and cedar. Emma only smells soap. Josh and his mom can't get past the cloying honeysuckle to smell anything else.

Only the rare white floral can work in this house. So far, the only white floral I've found that I like and that Josh can abide is Chanel Beige. Even then, for the first 30 seconds, I'm fighting against the whole FLOWERS FLOWERS FLOWERS OMG I'M MADE OF FLOWERS DID YOU KNOW THAT FLOWERS that threatens to overwhelm me. Then it mercifully dries down into something beautiful and slightly green with that gorgeous Chanel powder. (I wore Beige yesterday, hence the waxing rhapsodic).

Swaps )
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
I fell out of the habit of testing perfumes (although not of wearing them, thank goodness) this past spring when Fi got ill and stayed that way for so long. It wasn't any direct consequence of her illness; I think I just got depressed. My arm also started bothering me during that time period, and some other health issues were manifesting, and I stopped doing a lot of things that I enjoy (like reading books, wtf; I legit quit reading books I wasn't teaching for a whole semester; I don't think I've ever gone so long without reading a book in my life; I usually read at least one, sometimes 2-3 books a week).

But I've made a BPAL order, I've got a fair amount of scents still waiting to be tested, and a huge backload of write-ups to post. So . . .

chips away )

I've got like a bajillion imps I'd like to swap, so my next project is to get that together for my next review post.
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
[personal profile] executrix sent me back-to-back packages of clothes and perfume. I am thrilled!

On the clothes front, almost everything she sent me worked: an adorable tan jacket, a beautiful pashmina, a sex-ass black wrap dress that I wore to teach today with a big chunky necklace my mom made (I had to wear a tank top underneath so as not to detract from the majesty of Achilles' love for Patroclus, but that's pretty standard for wrap dresses anyway; I meant to take a picture to post and forgot, but I will the next time I wear it), and a purple cardigan that's a little too long in the sleeve but looks nice with the sleeves cuffed.

And on the perfume front, my friends, Exec sent me a full bottle of Tom Ford Santal Blush. A. Full. Bottle. Of. Tom. Ford. Santal. Blush.

Let that sink in.

I have been wearing it every day since it arrived.

perfume blathering )

I also put in another BPAL order, so that will be fun when it arrives. I'm looking forward to getting back into perfume testing.
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
It's a meme. [personal profile] rydra_wong says so.

So I'm contributing Five Perfumes to Wear While Watching Star Trek. (I'm confining this to perfumes I have actually smelled rather than perfumes whose descriptions seem apt.)

1. I have already waxed poetic about how Jean Luc Picard wears Chanel Eau de Cologne, but it bears repeating. You, too, can douse yourself in this citrus scent and smell like a very expensive cuppa Earl Grey.

2. I haven't reviewed this yet, but Worf smells like Comme de Garcons Black--spicy and woody, like the leather of armor and the peppery bite of blood wine, and the glorious glorious birch tar scent that I am convinced is the primary component of Klingon sweat. Oh, man, now I am going down the rabbit hole of B'Elanna Torres also smelling like birch tar and incense and vetiver. *sighs dreamily*

3. Lwaxanna Troi wears Chanel Coromandel, and so should you if you want to smell dangerous and expensive and like you expect every damn body to want to cram a nose into your neck because you smell that fabulous, yes, you do. And you do what you want and you take no prisoners and you do this while wearing space haute couture but you could just as easily be wearing nothing but Coromandel and owning the whole galaxy. Eat your heart out, Picard.

4. Nurse Chapel wears BPAL Embalming Fluid on her down time (never when she's on duty). It's clean and citrusy and innocuous, the perfect scent for someone whose line of work forces her to be very conscious of how intrusive scent can be. Plus, it seems to ping Spock's interest. He raises an eyebrow when she sits by him in the mess, says, "Aloe and lemon. Fascinating."

5. Kai Winn wears BPAL Anubis and smells of incense and honey and the wood she uses to make fires when she's on retreat. It's sweet (though she is not) and is holy (though she is not, she bitterly learns). It's a good shield, a good mask, part of the persona she constructs (as much for herself as for others) when the Prophets have forsaken her.
lunabee34: (true blood: jessica by whenitsquiet)
1. I was supposed to up my daily step count to 13,000 on the 9th, but that was our spring break, so I only managed to meet that goal for the first three days of the week. I decided not to worry so much about my count for the remainder of the week because I wanted to actually enjoy being on spring break (which for me involves a great deal of lounging around). I did manage to walk 10,000 steps or more the rest of the week, though, so win! CUT FOR TALK OF WEIGHT LOSS )

2. My perfume samples have arrived from Surrender to Chance! Emma and I have a pact that I won’t test scents without her, so I have resorted to uncapping the vial of Comme des Garcons Black every chance I get and sniffing my fingers surreptitiously for hours afterwards. OMG, y’all, I can’t wait to get this on my skin. On my fingers, at least, it smells like salt and vetiver and the most amazing incense and leather like I’ve always wanted a “leather” perfume to smell like but never has before. I haven’t been this excited about a perfume since I uncapped Chanel Sycomore. I really, really hope this smells as amazing on me as I want it to. *glee glee glee*

3. Josh and I are coordinating a conference and we rock. We are doing amazing work, my friends, which we are cementing by hand writing thank you notes to everyone who helps us because Lorraine is no fool. :) We also each got glowing work evaluations and today received notice that our institution will be upgraded to university status come July. In a few months, I will be a tenured Associate Professor of English at a four year research institution! Keep your fingers crossed for Josh as he’ll go up for tenure in the fall. I think things are looking good, but it’s always nerve wracking.

4. Today, Fiona and I were playing outside and she started petting this cat statue we have on the doorstep. And then she said while grinning like a loon (OMG, if I had gotten a video, we’d be internet famous right now): Soft kitty, warm kitty, wittle ball fur, happy kitty, seepy kitty, purr purr purr purr purr (lots of purrs).
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
I am still a little besotted with the idea that BPAL can make a perfume that smells like dirt, but I no longer want to wear it. I was head over heels for Thanatopsis when I first smelled it, and then as I went through more perfumes, I chose it less and less until I realized I just didn't want to smell like dirt anymore. This was pretty much my reaction to Yorick.

Reviews of Yorick, Dragon's Musk, Centzon Totochtin, Coraline Jones I and II prototypes )

I got rid of most my unwanted imps, but I do have a few things for swaps; let me know if you're interested.

Eau de Rochas
Strangler Fig


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