Friday, August 31, 2007

BPAL Project: Hecate

In my long journey of perfume sniffing, huffing, inadvertently tasting and, with BPAL, slathering all over myself my dislikes are now overly familiar to me. Cumin? Check. Certain uses of Vetiver? Check. Lily? Sadly, check. Very few surprises with even the most insipid offering having some wearibility provided varying checks aren't there.

Sniffing Hecate from the vial I thought it a less complex version of Bastet with far too foody an almond for my tastes. In the mood for something sweet I almost poured half the vial on but instead just smeared a bit on the back of my hand. This restraint was surely an unsought gift on the part of the divine. For a very tiny span of time Hecate did something quite nice. It was almondy goodness with a smoky curl through it and it was lovely. So short was this phase that had I even been checking my email rather than sniffing my hand I would have missed it. What followed was beyond belief.

Hecate, possessed with murderous cyanide intent was a bitter horror that made me want to vomit. For a panicky moment I actually thought I had poisoned myself. I could see this oil being used to induce spontaneous abortion, violent stomach purging, the expelling of every life force. It is POISON. Hours later my mouth is still full of saliva and nausea. The most visceral reaction I've ever had to a BPAL. Immediately I remembered this painting.

Painting is Judas by Australian artist Albert Tucker, an artist whose works have made me literally step back and avert my eyes.

Transcript of an interview with Albert Tucker in which he discusses the theme of Judas.

Magnificent three-faced Goddess of Magic, the Dark Moon and the Crossroads. She is the Mother of Witches, and the midnight baying of hounds is her paean. Her compassion is evidenced in her role as Psychopomp for Persephone, and her wrath manifests as Medea's revenge. Deep, buttery almond layered over myrrh and dark musk.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

BPAL Project: Bathsheba

"Your faith was strong, but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you.."

Bathsheba has a prettified sensuality that men are wont to paint in broad brushstrokes when attracted to beautiful women, the kind of women that seem a cliché to their own gender but not to the men who pursue them. Bathsheba's eyes are doe-like with mascara smudged vulnerability. She carries her extra poundage like a downy comforter waiting to enfold her admirers. Her mouth.. does she ever close it or is it always open in that half-ready, half-pout expression? She perfumes her hair with highly scented oil and the moonlight is bright in the sheen on her breasts.

Below, in the servants quarters, the maidservants speak her name with derision.

On the roof, a man watches in the shadows.

In the moonlight, she bathes.

Beauty is not always a simple thing.

Photograph "Bathsheba, 2001" by Christopher Braddock

The Seventh Daughter, Daughter of the Oath. She was King David's lover, and the mother of King Solomon. Her scent is breathtakingly lovely, exotic and powerfully sensual in its innocence: carnation, sensual plum, and Arabian musk.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

BPAL Project: Malediction

Malediction: Evil incarnate. Revel in your dark side with this romantically cruel scent. Contains red patchouli and vetivert.

Evil incarnate, Ooooo I'm so scared.. other people's hyperbole is never as interesting as one's own. Malediction is a very masculine and meditative blend of patchouli and vetiver with the vetiver being the dominant note. I'd almost call this combination a poor man's oudh as the effect is the same: powderry darkness. If you are looking for a strongly masculine BPAL this is the one. Lovers of vetiver should beat the lab door down to try this. Wear Malediction when you want to feel silent and powerful.

photo: "Malediction" by Ann Hamilton