The Advent of Scent, Week 9

Belated post this time, though the perfume-testing continues apace.

* Phantasm
Described as “green tea, lemon verbena, jasmine and neroli.” That sounded very promising, and I picked up the lemon verbena in the bottle, the neroli as it started to dry. But like so many perfumes with floral elements, it wound up just being . . . generically floral. Which is not a category I like.

* Pumpkin Latte
Described as “espresso, pumpkin syrup, smoky vanilla bean, milk, raw sugar, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.” This is quite nice for what it is; it starts out very strongly coffee, with the smoky vanilla coming out in the wet stages; later on the coffee steps back to allow the cinnamon through quite powerfully. But I’m coming to the conclusion that many of the “foody” scents don’t appeal to me: fruit is okay, but other stuff on the edible side of the perfume spectrum is just not what I want to smell like.

* Midwinter Eve
Described as “the perfume of sugared plums over a breeze of winter flowers.” This is quite nicely balanced! Early on it’s fruity, but a tart fruity rather than sugary-sweet (despite the description); later on the florals of unknown variety show up, but for once they don’t overpower everything else.

* Samhain
Described as “damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, green cardamom, sweet red apple and mullein.” I have no idea what mullein is supposed to smell like, and searching did not enlighten me. Possibly it’s the sort of “middle” note I picked up here during the drydown (she said, making vague gestures as if “middle” is anything resembling a meaningful description). Like many of BPAL’s apple scents, that part shows up quite well when this is wet; unlike some of them, it sticks around later. As does the woodiness and the spice. I’d call this one “interestingly autumnal,” and I’m keeping it for now in the “try again later” pile.

* Good
Described as “shimmering celestial musk with vanilla, white honey, acacia, and sugar cane.” Blech. Hella floral, which I guess is coming from the acacia; it even strong-arms the musk into submission, when that’s usually the part that sticks around on me after everything else is gone. (God only knows what “celestial musk” is, though. I’ve now seen celestial, white, black, red, pink, amber, peach, Egyptian, Chinese, bear, skin, body, and blood musks mentioned in various perfume descriptions, and I have no idea if those terms mean anything at all.)

* Golden Priapus
Described as “vanilla and amber with juniper, rosewood and white pine.” I may at last be starting to get a handle on what is meant by “amber” in perfumery, as this starts out with a warm scent that isn’t the usual things like sandalwood or musk. The evergreen elements cut that a bit, which I find quite nice.

* Hay Moon
I cannot possibly replicate in text format the tone of voice in which my sister and I keep saying “haaaaaay mooooon!” to each other. 😛 Described as “hay absolute, tall grasses, dry honey, mallow, cardamom, amber, oat cakes, and wheat.” Based on comparison to a couple of other perfumes, I think I Do Not Like mallow; something in here and a few other mallow-containing scents starts out hideously cloying and . . . all I can think to do is call it “buttery” or “creamy” even that’s not quite what I mean. Now, in this instance that went away as the perfume dried, leaving behind the amber and the cardamom, followed by the vanilla and the honey. But I can get nice scents in that category without first going through the part that makes me almost sick to my stomach.

* Pomegranates and Date Palm
Described as “pomegranate, dates, and cypress infused with ketoret smoke.” Like some others, this does a swap from bottle to wrist: it starts out tartly fruity, with overtones of woody smoke, then becomes sharpy woody with overtones of fruit. It mellows and balances out as it dries, but my ultimate thought was “I want this as an incense, not as a perfume.”

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