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Betwixt & Between — LiveJournal

Date: 2009-01-01 15:58
Subject: BPAL Lab fresh imps
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Tags:bpal, imps, sale, swap/sale
Lab fresh imps:Collapse )
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Date: 2008-10-03 16:12
Subject: BPAL Halloweenies
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Tags:bpal, halloweenies, review, scent notes, testing
Well, all my decants arrived and I've been madly sniffing and testing. Thank goodness I have til the middle of November. What I've ordered so far, and why. I suspect I'll be getting a couple others, but need more testing to be sure.

Huesos de Santo - Orange-glazed cake, dotted with anise seed, and filled with custard, set beside a bouquet of celebratory funeral flowers.
I actually ordered this one (to fill out an another order) even before sniffing the decant. I figured I'm crazy about all their Day of the Dead scents to date, and this one seemed foody enough to be a good bet. And I was right - this is lovely. Orange cake upfront, then a whiff creamy custard and a hint of licorice. The florals are complimentary and muted, yet somehow bright - all marigolds and mums, as might be expected. Am really looking forward to the bottle so I can slather.

To Autumn - Mist and mellow fruitfulness: mist-swirled, moss-covered bark and dry red leaves, apple pulp and knotty galangal, with poppy juice and nutmeat.
Lots of autumny scents in this release, but this was the one I most wanted to try. And its lovely, woody and fruity (though I'd say its more a dried apple scent than pulpy) and the poppy rounds it out and brightens it. Didn't pick up much nuttiness, unless that's the faint creamy note I pick up as it fades.

Michtecacihuatl - Copal, precious woods, South American spices, agave nectar, cigar tobacco, and roses.
Total love. Glorious layered drydown, but not overpowering or dark as some resin blends can be. Sappy woods (there's the copal!) with a hint of spice and tobacco. I didn't immediately ID the floral as roses - only the faintest hint of it and a little dusty. I almost thought it was mums, but it was probably the spices. Terrific last.

Brom Bones - The butchest, manliest of musks covered in well-worn leather.
With a description like that, I was a little wary, but given my love of leather notes I had to try this. It's a must if you like musks and leathers. Reminds me of Krampus (which I also adore) but without the dust and woods, and so it's different enough that I'll be happy to have a bottle of each.

Fearful Pleasure - Dried orange peels floating in simmering cider, roasted apples, smoldering firewood, chimney smoke, sassafras beer, warm hawthorn wood, and oakmoss.
Ah-MAZ-ing. Here's my foody autumn scent - apples and wood smoke and spicy herbs floating through the air on a crisp leaves-crackling-underfoot-is-the-cider-hot-yet? autumn day.

Gunpowder - Carrot peelings, hay, chaff, molasses, maple oats, red apples, stable wood, and musk.
Dry and sweet and oaty-goodness; a warm savory oat-cake eaten from a hay-pricked mitten. I have this odd urge to layer this with Brom Bones. I'm sure Irving would be appalled.

Ichabod Crane - Dusty black wool, tea with cream, black pepper, muguet, and beeswax candle drippings.
Wool, tea and candles - what's not to like? The pepper gives it a bit of an edge, and there's a hint of honey from the beeswax. There's a hint of sour in the cream as it drys, but it disappears by the final dry down which is predominantly wool and spicy tea. I suspect this will age extremely well.
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Date: 2008-08-05 22:20
Subject: ROFLing
Security: Public
Tags:humour, link, politics
Okay, so McCain did that attack ad calling Obama a celebrity a lá Paris Hilton? Here's her response....

See Paris Hilton Responds to McCain Ad and more funny videos on FunnyOrDie.com
See more funny videos at Funny or Die
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Date: 2008-08-01 06:51
Subject: BPAL wants
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, imps, swap/sale, want
What I'm looking for:Collapse )
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Date: 2008-07-31 10:04
Subject: Ancient (or slightly hoary) Humour
Security: Public
Tags:humour, link
The Dave Historical Humour study spent two months trawling the annals of history to produce the first report of its kind into the world's oldest recorded jokes. We reveal the results:


(Is it somewhat telling that what really tickles me about this is that they provided detailed attributations?)
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Date: 2008-07-21 14:31
Subject: BPAL omgs!
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes
The Grindhouse Ladies. At first snif, not a single one that I dislike.

I'm in trouble.

That is all.

Ok, so maybe not all. I'm going to add scent notes here as I get the chance to do wear tests...

The Grindhouse Florentine iris, red musk, mimosa, magnolia, Damascus rose, clove, and vanilla bean. Sweet and spicy, with a hint of musk. Surprisingly light. Mme Moriarty's elegant aunt. ordered 07/29

Aeronwen Fig, dark myrrh, amber, redwood, nutmeg, tarragon, black musk, and sweet orange. Deep earthy fig, with a hint of musk and sweet fruit.

Agrat-Bat-Mahlaht Amber, cream accord, white honey, apple blossom, skin musk, caramel, and teak. Yummy creamy caramel-apple in the imp, and I really wanted to like this, but on my skin it goes off just like O. Not sure if it's the cream accord, or the white honey note that doesn't like me. And it makes me sneeze. Sadly, not for me.

Ashlultum Babylonian musk, vanilla tea, tonka, tobacco, coconut, hyssop, and lilac. Surprisingly light, but with warm depths; the lilac smells more like honeysuckle to me, and the coconut isn't overly sweet. Lovely, with a soft muted finish that doesn't go powdery. Possibly bottle-worthy.

Clémence Patchouli, Kashmiri tea, cardamom, black pepper, carnation, and clove.
Starts with a sharp spicy kiss, but mellows almost immediately into a tango of patchouli and clove. Then the tea starts to comes out - I think this one will be a morpher... oh yes, my wrist now smells like high-quality chai tea. Whiffs of carnation, especially at the end. ordered 07/29

Cytherea White sandalwood, patchouli, white amber, orris, bourbon vanilla, champaca flower, and kush. Lovely light woody resins in the imp, but I'm wary of all those white notes. Very, very dry, subtle and complex scent on, with the champaca and vanilla warming up only at the end, giving a hint of a creamy note to the final drydown.

Dionysia Wild plum, pomegranate, raspberry, Siamese benzoin, plum blossom, patchouli, frankincense, and mahogany. Rich, deep and fruity, but not overly so, thanks to the wood and resin. Luscious. Later the resins rise up and I get a hint of powder with drifts of fruit. Definitely a contender.

Daiyu Moroccan jasmine, chrysanthemum, tea leaf, white musk, and acai berry. While white musk is usually a nemesis, this starts off with the tea leaf predominant, interwoven with the chyrsanthemum, reminiscent of some of the Asian moons... the white musk tickles my nose a bit, but we'll see how this dries down. Later: no soap, no powder, just a soft floral musk. Oh, decisions, decisions!

Eisheth Zenunim Honey, ambergris, neroli, white peach, patchouli, and cocoa absolute. Peach and honey are dominant up front, but it's a warm soft peach, drizzled in honey, with a faint cocoa powder finish. I don't get any patchouli at all. Very light throw and last.

Gwyneth Rose otto, tonka, orchid, Calla lily, skin musk, coconut, and Spanish sage. ROSE! with a sharp edge of sage. Woah. Then it almost immediately goes to soap, the kind of rose figured soap your great aunt or grandmother kept in their lingerie drawers. Not for me.

Inez Golden amber, vanilla musk, myrrh, cedar, carnation, and red sandalwood. Oh this is made of win. Honeyed resined wood. Amazing. ordered 07/29

Marcilla Blue lilac, lily of the valley, golden musk, beeswax, white ginger, bergamot, green tea, and nectarine. Opens with a hit of bergamot, and then the lily of the valley elbowing the lilac out of the way. I'll give it another try, but likely not for me unless the ginger and beeswax decide to put in an appearance.

Marguerite Rose, rose geranium, myrrh, ylang ylang, French gardenia, tuberose, red sandalwood, and palmarosa. A strong rosy blend, with a hint of depth thanks to the myrrh. I suspect this will dry down into something lovely and woody, but as a blend I already have rose scents I like much better. Eek... drydown is NOT nice, turns very sour on me.

Marianne Red musk, bergamot, black currant, mimosa, orchid, patchouli, and lotus root. Red musk and patchouli are dominant on me, with a hint of sweet beneath. Bold and dark. Looking forward to how this drys down.... and it's lovely. I also think this will age very well. A contender.

Parthenope Honeysuckle, orris, moss, musk, benzoin, oakmoss, and star jasmine.
An earthy aquatic, if that makes sense. A tidal river at low tide, its banks overrun with drooping blossoms. Yet it's a rather light scent. Inticing.
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Date: 2008-06-19 12:01
Subject: BPAL CG reviews
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, scent notes
Baron Samedi -- Excolo -- dark, earthy (almost dirty), hint of booze and spice. Niiice. Somewhat musky dry down.

Cairo -- Wanderlust -- Kyphi based.. yeah, can pick out the raisin/berry/resin notes right away. Harder to pin down just what those resin notes are. Very nicely blended. I think I'll want more of this. Sweet, somewhat powdery dry down.

Calico Jack -- Bewitching Brews -- sharp aquatic notes that turn soapy - makes me want to wash it off immediately. Seems to fade quickly, tho, leaving a hint of spice and salty leather that is actually quite nice. Later still, gets more briney. Think this is one to try in a locket, since the initial stages of this on my skin is really ugly.

Cathode - Bewitching Brews -- immediate, sharp lemon-mint that fade quickly when the oakmoss warms up and later becomes the dominant note. Quite unusual.

Florence - Wanderlust - This was way down on my test-list, because I don't consider iris to be a nice smelling flower. But this is lovely - just a hint of floral mixed with berries and amber and spice, beautifully blended. I keep "testing" this again, and again, and each time I like it just as much and want to slather on more. Definitely bottle-worthy.

Helena - Illyria -- woah! hello rose and jasmine. Nothing subtle here. Sharp edge of lily as it dries down; the edge dulls, but the lilies become dominant and a little sour. So not for me.

Herbert West -- Picnic in Arkham -- description sounded rather horrid, so this isn't at all what I imagined. Tea and citrus, but not too sweet; bright and fresh, yet subdued. Finishes like tea with a hint of lemon. Hmm.. the longer this goes, the more I like it.

Horn of Plenty -- Bewitching Brews - at first sniff, it reminds me of Voodoo, with that same sweet cola note. Notable throw. After a bit, the sweetness fades and I get a bit of incense, then faintly smoky incense and a hint of bitter almond.

Kurukulla -- Excolo -- ROSE and lotus. Then rose and lotus on a blind date, discovering they've been set up with their ex. Each note somehow makes the other smell bad. Eww. Had to wash this one off.

La Belle Au Bois Dormant - Ars Amatoia Delicate and beautiful florals. Then I leaned in a took a deep snif. And promptly sneezed. Badly. And got stuffed up. the drydown is lovely, but I don't think I could wear this. (Then again, I don't think I have to worry about it as it all but disappears on drydown.)

Machu Picchu - Wanderlust - a blend rich wet fruits and blossoms; I can't pick out any particular note until drydown, when I get hints of bright amber. Nice. But then the florals get too sweet, with a rather 'fake' note. Final drydown is sweet, undefinable powder.

New Orleans - Wanderlust - bold, heady, thick blooms. Only hints of spice at first, and then its all flowers again, with jasmine hollering for attention, egged on by sickly sweet honeysuckle. More spice comes up as it drys down. Don't know how I missed this one on my search for jasmine scents. It *does* remind me of walking through the Garden district.
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Date: 2008-05-29 16:55
Subject: Viking DNA
Security: Public
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Date: 2008-04-25 12:50
Subject: Adorable, deadly potential
Security: Public
Tags:bbc, link, lion
I especially like the cub who investigates - and then tries to eat - the camera.

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Date: 2008-04-25 11:09
Subject: Come to Toronto, please...
Security: Public
Tags:art, links, museum

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Date: 2008-04-17 13:49
Subject: Sword Dance (Romka Troup)
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Date: 2008-04-10 11:09
Subject: Mythic podcasts
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Tags:celtic, links, myth, podcasts
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Date: 2008-03-31 19:05
Subject: Ancient astronomer explains modern conundrum
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Tags:link, news
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Date: 2008-03-23 21:06
Subject: OMGS I must see this movie....
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Tags:links, movies
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Date: 2008-01-30 00:45
Subject: Words for Rice...
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Tags:hunger, links, poverty


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Date: 2008-01-29 10:55
Subject: Red Seas Under Red Skies
Security: Public
Tags:book review
5. Red Seas Under Red Skies, Scott Lynch

This is book two of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence, the first being The Lies of Locke Lamora. And I must say I enjoyed this one as much as the first (and when the first is hailed as the best debut EVAR, that's a hard act to follow).

These books differ, in both tangible and intangible ways, from the typical grand-epic fantasy. Which is not to say they aren't grand or sweeping (the plans and egos of the characters certainly are!) but they are strongest in their dialogue (both witty and vulgar) and convoluted character-driven plots (some of which are ingenious, some of which are contrived and not all of which end in success). Overall, fast paced, kick ass and very, very bloody. Some have found them vulgar and excessive, but hey, the protagonists are thieves and confidence men. (And priests. I'll let you chew on that one.)

Definitely recommended.
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Date: 2008-01-21 11:49
Subject: Feast of Souls
Security: Public
Tags:book review
4. Feast of Souls, C.S. Friedman

The first of a new trilogy, from one of my favourite authors (Friedman is on the short list of those whose books I buy in HC, immediately, the moment I see them). Friedman writes fantasy books about power politics - the relationships between those who have it and those who don't, and the ultimate price and cost of wielding magic. This time it's a twist on the classic vampire trope. The Magisters and Witches of Feast of Souls fuel their magic with life force; Witches with their own, but Magisters steal it from other souls with whom they forge unknowing bonds (they know what they're doing, just not with whom). To live, feeding off another soul, is believed to be an act unique to men; women, as givers of life, are not capable of such. Except now, forged by an abusive childhood and a desperate will to live, there is a female Magister, a woman who having exhausted the strength of her own soul now draws from the soul/life force of others.

Now I must say that this gender-typic premise really stretches it for me, and so I found myself critical of this book, perhaps unduly so. The pacing seemed a tad uneven in spots, but the characters were predominately intriguing (sadly the main one was disappointing) and I do want to see where this is going. I want to see what Friedman plans to do with the underlying premise of the book. As the first book in a trilogy it didn't grab me as others has done, but I will be continuing with it.
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Date: 2008-01-10 15:26
Subject: And there was great rejoicing!!
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, decants
The decants for BPAL's 5th Anniversary scents arrived. I'll make the deadline! Happysmellypagandance!

Watch this space for reviews as soon as they warm up enough to snif/test...

BLOOD PHOENIX Blood: expressing passion, will, and a sensual aesthetic. Dragon's blood resin, helichrysum, burgundy wine grape, red musk, opoponax, red poppy, myrrh, carnation, tonka, almond, mimosa, jonquil, and neroli. I quite like this - it's unusual and definitely does have a blood tinged smell to it. Definitely an iron note. It mellows down into a lovely medly and ends with in dark powdery musk. I think I'll be happy with the partial I ordered of this.

GREEN PHOENIX Green, for growth, expansion, prosperity, and stability. Sage, white mint, grey amber, papaya pulp, crushed grass, cucumber, green musk, green tea, and lime rind. This one smells GREEN the way Purple Phoenix smells PURPLE.

MECHANICAL PHOENIX A mechanical construct: illustrating strong work ethic, determination, creativity, and innovation. Copper gears, brass cogs, fused wiring, scorched iron, and motor oil. Unusual and interesting, and I really really wanna like it but it does something funky on my skin. I'll give it another try before deciding.

WHITE PHOENIX White, for acting in good conscience and doing our best to give back to the community. Frangipani, magnolia, cotton flower, osmanthus, crystal musk, ambrette, white orchid, sugar cane, davana, white sandalwood, petitgrain, lavender, and lotus root. Light and high, not really my thing by wanted to try it. We'll see what it does on my skin.. I'm predicting a high chance of soap with scattered powder.

MIDWAY RESURRECTED A bombardment of edible carnival indulgences. Funnel cake, caramel apple, cotton candy, salt water taffy and sugar tart. Having heard wild raves about the original, I had high hopes for this and it does not disappoint. Definitely bottle worthy, likely worth hoarding. Soooo yummy, but not overdone. I get a waft of warm buttery funnel cakes from the bottle and on drydown, with a finish of smooth creamy vanilla dusted with powdered sugar. If a foodie scent could be called "elegant", this one is. This is a delicate extravagance offered on a dainty doily-covered plate.
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Date: 2008-01-08 16:05
Subject: And for the dark of the moon...
Security: Public
Tags:hekate, links


Hmm....the youtube link seems to work better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03xgPtggBg


Temple of Hekate as tourist attraction? Hey, it works for the Parthenon.
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Date: 2008-01-08 11:34
Subject: Undead and Unpopular
Security: Public
Tags:book review
3. Undead and Unpopular, MaryJanice Davidson

So, being very disappointed with the book that follows this one in the series, I thought I'd go back and read the one I missed, in the hope, perhaps, that something would be revealed here that gave some insight or spark to the other. Sadly, no. If anything, it worked the other way; references in Undead and Uneasy to how well Betsy handled the European vampires in this book actually set up some expections - expections that were sadly dashed. This one was... okay. Just. Except that I realize that if I *had* read it first, then some of the actions in Undead and Uneasy would have been even more telegraphed -- I would have known the baddie right from the preface, rather than guessing it in the first third of the book.

I think I need to go reread some Sookie and get the bad book taste out of my mouth.
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Date: 2008-01-07 20:24
Subject: Other People's Dirt
Security: Public
Tags:book review
2. Other People's Dirt: A Housecleaner's Curious Adventures, Louise Rafkin

I saw mention of this on another list, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It's a quirky book, but the start is more interesting than the finish, and the pace uneven in between. I suppose if one didn't already have even a modicum of respect for folks who do this underpaid (and usually under thanked) job, this book might engender some kinder feelings and consideration but me, I'm already singing in that choir. Some amusing moments, though.
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Date: 2008-01-03 14:58
Subject: Imp Report: At first sniff
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, imps, review, test
Newly acquired imps:

Death Cap A lethal poison bundled up in a dainty, innocent little package that was oft times found in ancient witches' flying ointments and astral projection balms. A warm, soft, ruddy scent, earthy and mild.
My project to try all the oils in the Garden continues. This one is light yet earthy with a complex herbal undernote.

Poisoned Apple A perfect, lovely, gleaming red apple whose sweetness masks a swirl of narcotic opium, oleander, and hemlock.
Most apple scents are too sweet for me, but this one has promise. Sweet, but with a hint of tart and a whift of something darker beneath.

Vicomte de Valmont Based on an 18th century gentlemen's cologne: ambergris, white musk, white sandalwood, Spanish Moss, orange blossom, three mints, jasmine, rose geranium and a spike of rosemary.
Can't really pick out the orange blossom, or the jasmine: this is a blend of musky mints pierced through with rosemary. This'll need a wear test.

Desdemona Innocent, soft and pure: sweet pea, carnation and water lily.
This one *smells* powdery and soapy. I'll have to do a wear test when I'm feeling brave.

Also, Voodoo and Oneiroi, because I like'em and wanted more.


from conjureoils.com
North Wind (Boreas Oil)
birch and spruce shake off heavy snow-laden branches as the harsh wind blows in from the cold, dark Northern mountains; the smoky scent of stillness, midnight, earth and winter are thick in the air as a lone owl hoots and packed snow crushes underfoot
snif test: Mostly a pale spruce scent, sweetened by berry; not finding it a cold scent at all.

from sidhe-creations.com
The Unseelie Court
A cold blend of peppermint, strawberry and sugared vanilla
snif test: I love peppermint, but I'm not sure about the addition of what strikes me as a rather artifical strawberry - it's more fruity than berry, but it could just be the juxtaposition. (Then again, these perfumes are blended in an apricot kernal oil, so maybe I'm picking up on that? I've found in the past I can be sensitive to the carrier oils.)
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Date: 2008-01-03 10:07
Subject: The First Book of the Year....
Security: Public
Tags:book review
... was disappointing.

1. Undead and Uneasy, MaryJanice Davidson,

This series can best be described as fizzy vampire chick lit. Which is not necessarily a bad thing -- I love espresso but sometimes I'm in the mood for a pop. I quite enjoyed (and own) the first few books. But this one feels contrived and recycled. Betsy's wit and smart ass mouth have, for the most part, been reduced to shrill vuglarities and whiny tantrums. None of the characters seem to be acting like themselves and most are little more than props punctuating Betsy's selfish tirades. (Now Betsy has always been selfish. It was part of her charm. But she always had heart, but here she - and consequently the book as a whole - doesn't.)

And while I generally dislike books that telegraph the action, ones that utter stern warnings up front (in the guise of dear reader, it's going to be big and dire and we won't all make it out alive) really grate. But ones that warn and then don't follow through! just piss me off.

Meh. Very glad I got this one from the library. It's going back asap.
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Date: 2007-12-18 14:11
Subject: To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield
Security: Public
Tags:family, poetry, quotes
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Mov’d earth and heaven, that which we are, we are:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

-- Ulysses, Tennyson
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Date: 2007-12-17 00:33
Subject: Stuff
Security: Public
Tags:activism, enviro, links, stuff
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Date: 2007-12-11 15:26
Subject: Awash in scent...
Security: Public
So, in between chores and prep and cooking and a gazillion other little things, I'm trying to figure out which ones of the Yule scents I love enough to slap down my bucks and get bottles. So right now I've got Black Forest (my default foresty scent) on the inside of one arm, and Mistletoe on the other and Snow Storm on the back of my hand. So it's spicy forest scent versus berry foresty scent versus cold herby forest scent. And I like them all!! Wahhhh! This isn't exactly bad thing. But it's certainly not helping my decision making process!!

And I'm certainly regretting that we didn't drag a tree home last night, too!
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Date: 2007-12-03 12:30
Subject: BPAL Scent Notes: YULE
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, review, scent notes, testing
.... olive blossom, white nectarine, vibrant blood orange, honey absolute, lemongrass, elemi, sensual patchouli, and the quiet purity of gardenia.
-wet: sharp, strong, almost overwhelming
-dry: still a sharpish floral, olive and gardenia, with an underlying green note (probably the elemi) and lemongrass
-later: the florals have calmed down and the patchouli risen
Overall: I quite like the later stages, the patchouli with a spice of orange beneath the olive. But getting there.... the lemongrass kills it. I'll try it again before really deciding for sure, but as it stands now, not a favourite.

Lotus root, mogra, mango, tamarind, cardamom, clove, almond milk, cashew, rice flower, coconut, supari, raisins, and incense crafted from aloeswood, red sandalwood, cedar, and spikenard
-wet: starts off fruity, with a hint of light cream
-dry: incense and wood, with a hint of spice
-later: delicate cream and spice
Overall: I thought this would be rather foody, but it really isn't. A light, complex blend.

Noche Buena
A celebration of the Nativity: the light, uplifting incense of the Misa de Noche Buena, purple sage, and a vibrant bouquet of plumeria, chrysanthemum, tuberose, Angel's Trumpet, Mexican tiger lily, dahlia, and azucenas.
-wet: strong herby floral
-dry: quieter floral with tuberose and chrysanthemum predominate, tingued with incense
-late: lovely floral incense
Overall: this was a bit of a surprise - I was worried about the trumpet and the lily but this is very well blended.
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Date: 2007-11-30 15:39
Subject: BPAL Scent Notes: YULE
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, review, scent notes, testing
Rose Red
The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.
-wet: as the description promises: a strong, perfect mature red rose fresh from the garden, complete with watery dew and cut green stem.
-dry: the dew is gone and that perfect rose sits in a cut crystal vase; the scent quiets and warms a little but is still perfection.
-later: a perfect balance of velvety petals and glossy green leaves
Overall: I'm picky about my rose scents, thanks to my mother's garden. Very picky. Most (even bpal) smell way too artificial or chemical for my tastes. This is ridiculously perfect. The only way it could be more perfectly perfect would be if it lasted longer. Must. Have.

Snow White
A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.
-wet: hint of sweet berries swimming in almond milk
-dry: almond milk; develops a slightly 'plastic' edge (is this what some call the playdoh smell?)
-later: mellows out into sweet almond milk - much more like the 05 version. Terrific last; it's there even after I do dishes...
Overall: I really, really want to like this, but am not super fond of how it smells on me in the middle stages. It smells much nicer on J the vanilla-girl. May still get a bottle for her to wear now, and age some of it for me.

La Befana
Candy charcoal, winter lilies, parma violet, a sprig of cypress, a poof of chimney dust, and holiday sweets.
-wet: smoke and caramel with a hint of green and lily (which quickly vanishes)
-dry: the smoke and caramel remains, but the violets peek through with sweetness
-later: dark caramel with a hint of bitter chocolate and dusty smoke
Overall: What's not to love? Only the lily, and that barely puts in an appearance. Definitely want a bottle of this.
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Date: 2007-11-29 16:08
Subject: BPAL Scent Notes: Moriendi
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, review, scent notes, testing
I was going to finish the whole set before posting, but my Yule decants arrived today so this project is being temporarily bumped.

Zombi - Dried roses, rose leaf, Spanish moss, oakmoss and deep brown earth.
- wet: reminds me strongly of freshly pulled beets, with dirt still clinging to them
- dry: spicy beets, with a hint of rose
- later: finally the beets recede, leaving a lovely vintage-evoking dusty rose
Overall: nice scent, intriguing

Thanatopsis - A deep, solomn earthen scent containing pine, juniper and musk.
- wet: a freshly cut tree, pine/fir, that intensifies as it dries, with a faint hint of musk
- dry: fir seems dominant to the pine (which is nice) and more musk
- later: musky powder with a hint of fir
Overall: really like the early stages, but the notes I like best fade too quickly; I'd need to reapply frequently - it might be worth it. Let's see how long the powder stage lasts.... oh, it lingers... 6 hrs and counting...

Dance of Death - A gloriously elegant representation of Lady Death. Dry, bone-white orris, black musk, serpentine patchouli and our murkiest myrrh.
- wet: dusty musk (must be the orris leaping out)
- dry: dry, dry orris and here comes the patchouli, dark green and earthy, with a sweet hint of myrrh
- later: the patchouli goes a little sour, but later still: lovely powdery musk and myrrh
Overall: Very nice - I'll likely wear this again, even though I'm not happy with the mid patchouli note; the rest is worth it

Dance Macabre - Black cypress with oakmoss, frankincense, oude, and a sliver of toasted hazelnut.
- wet: the cypress dominates, a hint of frankincense and the hazelnut is gone in a nanosecond
- dry: the oude comes up, balancing the cypress
- later: floaty resinous spice, like the frankincense grabbed the oude and the cypress and its up, up and away; a faint tickle to my nose
Overall: Despite the sharp start the drydown is quite lovely. Definitely would wear this again, especially in the winter when I'm looking for spicy green warmth.

Sheol - Vibrant gladiola, graceful stargazer lily, triumphant iris and bright heliotrope flare, and is finally made somber by heavy copal, a drop of labdanum, and tonka.
- wet: heavy floral; individual notes quickly fade/blend into resinous undertones
- dry: mostly just resins left, with the barest hint of florals
- later: very faint, no last to speak off
Overall: nice, but wearable?? No staying power. Slathering may be require, but I'm not sure its worth it considering what my skin tends to with lily and iris.

Haunted - Soft golden amber darkened with a touch of murky black musk.
- wet: light musk with a hint of powder (amber??); very soft, suits its name
- dry: powder is still there, but now its darker, and spicy, and there's a green note beneath it all (fresh green peas? really?)
- later: the green note is gone, leaving powdery (is this is amber?) musk with a faint hint of vanilla
Overall: wearable scent with an appealing finish; it's nice, but not noteworthy.

Shroud - Dry white sandalwood wrapped in thin woods, soft grasses and the lightest white flowers layered over cajeput and the warm, deep scent of embalming herbs.
- wet: cool, dry, light floral with a narrow sharp edge (ok, so that's what Cajeput is)
- dry: dances on the soap edge, but the woods come out
- later: fine, faint soap
Overall: Nothing deep or warm about this. Evocative, but the soap note kills it for me.

House of Night - A sorrowful graveyard bouquet of somber blooms, funereal boughs, dismal green and laden with grief.
- wet: sharp green floral, hint of soap; makes me sneeze, wish I knew what to blame...
- dry: dries quickly, getting roses, lily (boo, hiss) and maybe violet along with the greens (cypress? predominate)
- later: ok, it's calming down, no greens, all floral... ah, there's the soap, again
Overall: Bleh. Not for me.

0 - get it off me!
1 - bleh, not for me
2 - ok, with nice bits
3 - noteworthy, would wear again
4 - bottle-worthy
5 - hoard the precious!
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Date: 2007-11-07 12:10
Subject: New Thing: Parkour
Security: Public
Tags:links, new thing, writing
Something I never knew existed before seeing a passing mention to it here, which is itself a most intriguing column on writing (by Elizabeth Bear).
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Date: 2007-11-05 12:25
Subject: BPAL GC swap list
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, swap/sale
What I have to swap:Collapse )
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Date: 2007-10-10 15:49
Subject: Voting...
Security: Public
So. I celebrated my civic duty today and went off to vote. Not only had I not gotten a voter card, I found out that I can no longer vote at the school/community center at the foot of our street. I checked in with the poll officer and found that while I and my address were on their rolls (confirmation of my existance, YAY!), poll 116 was no longer there. 117, 118, 119 etc etc all were, but no 116. Poll 116 had been moved away from all its friends.

So off I went to visit the next station, which was in a school I had no idea existed (and I've been in this neighbourhood 7+ years). It wasn't well marked (except on the doors, and inside, where I counted EIGHT signs inside the same room. Guys, I know enough to look around a free standing blackboard. Honest.) There I found poll 116. Not with polls 113, 114, 115 as I was kinda expecting. Along with polls 136, 137, 138... WTF?

People, next time you redraw the polling grid, maybe take things like BIG BLOODY RAVINES into account? The extra hike was no biggie, a minor annoyance really, but what really tweaked my shorts was the lack of signage. Nothing on the major street, and the school holding the polling station was on a no exit side street and up a big hill and out of sight around a curve. I can't help but wonder how many people either got lost or gave up. How many other individual polls got orphaned and shuffled about?
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Date: 2007-10-10 10:32
Subject: Autumn/Halloweenie Scents
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, decants, halloween, review
My decants arrived! I'll add to this over the next little bit as I try things out and try to decide whether I want to order anything before the Nov 15 cutoff.

Samhain 07 ... damp woods, fir needle and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sweet red apple and mullein.
In the bottle/imp, a noticeable difference between this and 06, too much I thought to be simple aging (the spices in the 06 are a lovely mellow blend, and the pine note in the 07 is way sharper). On the skin and comparing wrists, the difference fades, though the patchouli seems much softer in the 07, and the apple blends almost indistinguishably with the pumpkin. Super throw, and last - I could still catch hints of it in the morning after an evening application. Enough to warrant getting a new bottle? I don't mind the extra patchouli in the 06 at all. But I do like the extra pine note in the 07... oh, decisions, decisions. Lovely scent, but I think I can resist.

The Lurid Library The incense-tinged scent of forbidden tomes and the musk-laden remnants of infernal servants.
I was looking forward to this scent, and it doesn't disappoint. Nothing Lurid about it, though -- it's papery soft and the incense is indeed tinged; very subtle with a faint creamy edge where it blends with the musk. Looks like its going to have a short last, though.

The Perilous Parlour ...the scent of soft white pear and sweet vanilla.
The pear is dominant in the imp, reminding me of the pear note in Thalia, with just a hint of vanilla. On drydown, the vanilla amps up and the pear receeds, unfortunately. I'll try this again in a few days.
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Date: 2007-09-27 13:25
Subject: Silly English Sport
Security: Public
Tags:cheese, humour, youtube

But it's TRADITION!!

Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling 2007
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Date: 2007-09-11 11:59
Subject: Market Day
Security: Public
Tags:food, market
We got up early today and went to market. Local produce, yum! This is what we got....

I see potato leek soup in my future! Heirloom tomato sandwiches! Time for lunch...
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Date: 2007-07-31 10:00
Subject: Book List
Security: Public
Tags:books, mla
So I've got a new project for myself. Below is a list from a MLA (Museum, Libraries and Archives Council) poll answering "Which book should every adult read before they die?". It's an interesting list, with the usual classical suspects, many of which I've already read (but should probably read again, and marked with *) but a number I haven't. So I'll start with those, and since I've already got a copy of The Lovely Bones I'll start with it.

*To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
*The Bible
*The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
*1984 by George Orwell
*A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
*All Quite on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
*The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
*The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
*Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
*Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
*Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
*The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
*Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
*Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
*The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
*David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
*A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn
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Date: 2007-07-21 04:00
Subject: Harry Potter
Security: Public
There. The deed is done. I've read it, and all I'm going to say about it while I wait for my friends to finish is that I'm glad I stood in line 'til 1am to get one of the last remaining copies. A wonderful distraction.

Now, back to real life and its realities....

(Oh, and I'm screening all comments to avoid spoilage.)
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Date: 2007-07-11 11:39
Subject: Thunder Moon Order
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, lunacy, review
Selkie The chill waters of the Orkney coast, tea-leaved willow, honey-touched Grass-of-Parnassus, sea aster, and Scottish Primrose. An aquatic that I actually like. Hurrah! Well, just a hint of aquatic, really, it's a gentle scent - honey(suckle) with a hint of brine and overall a cool flowly scent. Flowers thrown on an outgoing tide.

Thunder Moon This is the scent of a summer storm: thick black clouds pass over this full moon, the Goddess roars, and Her Beloved hurls his forked bolts of lightning in the distant sky. Ozone deepened by liquid amber, and a spray of hot nighttime rain mingled with the scent of lightning-struck wood, water-soaked summer blooms, and sun-scorched grass. Wet and stormy, definitely. An interesting scent with a faint bitterness in the high notes that I find unappealing in a wearable scent. (I can see it being very evocative as a working scent, however.) I'm usually wary of the ozone scents, and maybe its the amber, but once this dries down, it works for me. I suspect this one might age well.

Cancer 2007 Cardinal Water: the essence of feeling. Wild lettuce, wild pear, chamomile, germanica orris, sweet pea, and mallow. I can barely smell this one in the bottle; very watery and delicate and I'm not sure its at all what I was expecting. (I was worried about a wear-test, because of the chamomile, but no reaction so far.) This starts off sweet and mellows into watery herbs - seems to have great last.

Mr. Jacquel Golden amber, hyssop, North African patchouli, and embalming spices. Just lovely. It starts off deep and earthy with the patchouli but the amber brightens it up and it gets all warm and spicy, but with a dry, papery dustiness weaving through it. Maybe a hint of herbs, but old, dry, dusty herbs that have been sealed in a clay pot for centuries. And nothing of that sweetness that I get from the gc Anubis. So glad I got this.
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Date: 2007-07-10 23:00
Subject: Busy Weekend
Security: Public
Tags:polaris, update, weekend
Lots of running around, but overall a fun weekend at Polaris. Sold five pieces in the art show, got to a few panels, met with friends, did Masquerade stuff... it was even easy to keep up on my water intake, what with the dry air in the hotel and water service outside every door.

M&L also gave me a lovely bday bag of goodies that included a wonderful selection of organic teas and honey. I can report that the lemon honey goes wonderfully with the orange spice white tea and the little green tea lemongrass mints are amazing. (And so pretty!!)

And yesterday the Thunder moon bpal order arrived: woohoo! More on that, later.
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Date: 2007-07-09 13:37
Subject: Service and Loss
Security: Public
Tags:service and loss
I'm posting this link because it touched my heart, made me proud and sad at the same time, and because more people need to know of it:


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Date: 2007-06-28 20:41
Subject: Ok, completely love this...
Security: Public
Tags:art, links, ursulav

Ninja Frogs
by *ursulav on deviantART

Good thing I'm not going to be anywhere near this art show auction.
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Date: 2007-06-20 10:24
Subject: Wow
Security: Public
Tags:art, links
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Date: 2007-06-14 14:37
Subject: Ok, so its been awhile...
Security: Public
Tags:bpal, lunacy, review
Not entirely sure why, other than busy life and a curious lack of motivation. I even let my BPAL records slip. But no more! We got our huge Blue Moon order yesterday, so in no particular order:Collapse )
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Date: 2007-06-01 00:18
Subject: Women In Western Art
Security: Public

I'm feeling torn: I both love this, and am disappointed by its lack of ethnic diversity...
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Date: 2007-05-03 02:07
Subject: Edinburgh Beltane
Security: Public
Tags:beltane, link
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Date: 2007-04-26 20:41
Subject: like a lemming....
Security: Public
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Date: 2007-03-30 12:38
Subject: I'm not dead...
Security: Public
Music:Sand in My Shoes - Dido
Tags:book review, life
... just busy juggling life. I've spent much time and money at the chiro lately (there's not "too" about it, when it comes to quality of life/mobility issues, and thankfully our health plan covers some of it.) I keep telling myself not to feel like an idiot for falling on the stairs and starting this whole mess, but let's just say it's a work in process. I've been feeling a wee frustrated because it's spring, and and the cleaning bug has set in, but I'm having to ice and elevate alot lately, so I've got a major case of the fidgets.

Bright side: I've been able to do a bit more reading. I just finished The Birth House by Ami McKay. I've read alot of books that are really invested in the evil modern patriarchal medicine squashed the old women's wisdom/magic flat theme but this book isn't that sort of polemic. It's the story of a life, one with perhaps a few too many coincidental collisions with real-world historical events, but it's so warmly written, the narrative so engaging, that such things are easily forgiven. This isn't a book that overly romances the past; it pokes those of us in the present and reminds us of just how recently the standards of women's rights, modern conveniences and medical practices were established. Set in Nova Scotia in the early 20th C its language and characters give us a peephole into another time and place; full of folklore and flowing descriptives, it's a enthralling read - I was hooked from the first pages. I got this one from the library but now it's out in paperback, I think I'll be picking up a copy of my own.

I've just started Alexander at the World's End by Tom Holt. He's a hysterical, historical writer who knows his stuff (he read Ancient History at Oxford) and I've found a few other of his books (like Who's Afraid of Beowulf) thoroughly giggle-worth. I'm barely into this one and I'm already snickering. A sample of Holt's Euxenus' opening words....

Consider Alexander, and consider me. Both of us came a long way to die, but my journey wasn't like his; mine led me out of vast tracts of folly and into a small village on the borders of wisdom.
Once, when I was young, I believed in democracy. When I was a little older, I believed in oligarchy, government by the enlightened few; after that, in monarchy, the rule of the philosopher-king. Now I believe only in drainage, public sanitation and clean water.
Oh yes; I've come a lot further than Alexander.

I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of the book!
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Date: 2007-03-15 10:55
Subject: Mathematical Pi(e)
Security: Public
Tags:humour, links, music, pi
This is popping up all over, but I'm posting it here 'cause I don't want to lose it. Enjoy!


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Date: 2007-03-12 16:47
Subject: Happy Equinox?
Security: Public
Music:Abilene - Sheryl Crow
Tags:humour, onion
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Date: 2007-03-10 10:54
Subject: BPAL rare aquisitions
Security: Public
Music:Somethin' 'bout 'Cha - the Nylons
Tags:bpal, lunacy, review
Blood Moon 05
In October, the crop harvest has past, and all hands turn to the Hunt: the third and final harvest before winter. Blood Moon shines over huntsmen as they ride over reaped grain in pursuit of their prey. The feral scent of the heat of the chase, deep woods, undulating musks, brushed by forest herbs, crushed grains, and touched by blood-dimmed lunar oils.

One of the early lunacies. Some of the original reviews speak of strong cinnamon and dragonsblood but while I get that, they’ve mellowed and aged into the musk, making a subdued spicy base; the herbals remain higher, but not sharp and there’s just a hint of foresty goodness. A lovely warm, dark scent. I’m really happy I spurged and got this.

The Sleeper
Night-blooming jasmine, opium poppy, wild rosemary, Calla lily, oakmoss and crypt musk.

Originally A Demon in My View. The poetic inspiration for this scent was Poe’s The Sleeper, an old favourite of mine. And with night-blooming jasmine, my second-favourite jasmine varietal, rosemary and poppy, how could I resist? I tried this as a sleep aid last night, and while it didn’t send me tumbling into the land of nod, I found it very relaxing and soothing. (And I swear I can smell lavender in there but perhaps I associate lavender so much with sleep that I’m imagining it.) The lily is very, very subdued and the hint of moss and musk is just enough to make me want to burrow deeply into the blankets. Original reviews speak of this blend as being quite sharp; it's mellowed beautifully. I’ll be using this a lot, methinks.
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my journal
April 2012