(For values of an eight-day “week” again.)
All scents from BPAL unless otherwise specified.
* O, Unknown! (Imaginary Authors)
Probably the current leader in the “fascinating but also NO” sweepstakes. Described as “black tea, lapsang souchong tincture, orris butter, Kyoto moss, musk balsam, and sandalwood.” Because Imaginary Authors sell their samples in tiny spray bottles, I learned the valuable lesson that I should not sniff immediately after application; all I will get is a snootful of alcohol fumes. 😛 After a brief flirtation with spiciness, it settled down into something firmly earthy and smoky (I’m guessing that’s mostly the moss and the lapsang souchong) — and also OVERPOWERING. I tried taking it off with acetone, which didn’t work, and then with olive oil, which did, unlike my previous removal experiment with it. Seriously, though, after a couple of hours this had gone from “this is interestingly different but not for me” to “oh god is it actually getting stronger with time?”
* Caramel Apple Pops (House of Gloi)
Initially the sweetness of this was really reminiscent of maple more than caramel. Eventually it settled into exactly what it says on the tin, which was fine, but I don’t like it quite as much as BPAL’s Honeyed Apple.
* Flesh of My Flesh
Described as “bitter almond, amber, champak, labdanum, musk, black orchid, and vanilla.” I’ve got champak-based incense, so that part of the scent was very recognizable. Especially in the early stages, though . . . the only way I can describe it is that something smelled cold. I have no idea what that is!
* Où Sont les Jouets, S’il Vous Plait?
Exactly what the description says: strawberries, raspberries, and French vanilla. Didn’t change noticeably at any point in the process. In fact, y’all, I still smell like fruity vanilla on my right wrist FOUR DAYS LATER. What the &#@$!%? Is this normal???
Described as “A blend of ritual herbs and dark resins, shot through with three gingers and aphrodisiacal spices.” In the bottle this had a faintly musty tinge, which fortunately didn’t come through in application. However, it was also strong enough that the traces I spilled on myself in opening the vial were sufficient. (Any advice for getting those tiny ampoules open without spilling them on yourself?) It starts out as ginger, transitions to spices, and then the resin comes through. It was vivid, but almost too strong for me.
* Cardamom Cream Pumpkin Cake
Starts out very buttery/creamy; the spices come through later, but at no point did I get much pumpkin from it. Overall it was nice, but not distinctive. Also, I still smelled like cardamom a day later — which, given that my other wrist still smelled of fruit from two days before this, meant that for the following day, I had to spray the inside of my forearm to avoid layering scents.
* Memoirs of a Trespasser (Imaginary Authors)
Described as “Madagascar vanilla, guaiacwood, myrrh, benzoin resin, ambrette seeds, and oak barrels.” Initially there was a sort of green note to it; I’m not familiar enough yet with perfume components to know if that was the guaiac or what. Over time the myrrh came out, along with something sort of warm that I think might be the benzoin, the ambrette, or both? I didn’t mind this one, though I don’t know if I’d wear it very often. Like O, Unknown!, it was quite strong.
* A Cozy Sweater & an Apple Cider
Started off promisingly enough with some faintly apple-y cider . . . but then it straight up turned into soap. Oh well.
Bonus coda: I mentioned before that I was curious how BPAL’s Wolf’s Heart (which on me was “horrific quantities of laundry detergent” followed by “baby powder”) would behave with different skin chemistry. My sister agreed to play guinea pig — and hey, on her we can actually pick up the lilac! It’s still definitely floral, and I can see how it gets from that to what happened on me, but on her it’s a much more tolerable scent (even if it’s not what either of us would choose). So, yes, skin chemistry: it’s a thing. Her skin also ate Memoirs of a Trespasser in about an hour flat; it wasn’t nearly as strong and lasting on her.