BPAL: Bengal, Black Forest, Caliban, Debauchery, Drink Me, Eclipse

This is part one of a pretty big set of imps I’m working my way through (12 bought, 6 freebies). Drink Me and Eclipse were freebies. The others I selected specifically.


Bengal: A sultry and unruly blend that emulates the ambient scent of the markets in ancient Bengal: skin musk with honey, peppers, clove, cinnamon bark and ginger.
In bottle: Cinnamon candy, specifically Atomic Fireballs. It’as actually unnerving how very close it is, scentwise, to the flavor of an Atomic Fireball.
On skin, wet: A bit more like sweet cloves. Something of a cider-mulling-spices scent now.
On skin, drying: Mostly a cleanly musky sweet scent, with lingering spiciness, chiefly of cinnamon.
Later: Still musky, in a damp kinda way. The clove and cinnamon have muddled into a general wintry-spice mix (some allspice in there too, perhaps?).
Verdict: I like the idea of a sweet musk with spicy notes, but I get a synthetic-flavor vibe off of this one that makes it hard to love.

Black Forest: This is the captured scent of a cold, moonless night, lost deep within the darkest wood. Haunting and desolate, this scent evokes images of fairy tale tragedy and half-remembered nightmares. Thick, viscous pine with ambergris, black musk, juniper and cypress.
In bottle: Woodsy. Notably but not overwhelmingly pine.
On skin, wet: Still predominantly wood, but sweeter and more prominently junipery.
On skin, drying: Somewhat smoky, over a continuation of a very-slightly sweet woodsiness.
Later: It gets a little bit sweeter as the other notes fade somewhat, but not by much.
Verdict: It’s quite unusual and in some ways an aggressive scent. It lacks the predictable and friendly perfume elements of a floral, a sweet spice (e.g. vanilla) or a sweet musk. To that end it is intriguing and somewhat alluring, but maybe not something I’d wear often.

Caliban: The scent of the salty seas, bittersweet wine, palm and tropical ferns.
In bottle: Fruity, predominantly grape, and a bit “grassy”, like a fresh-mown lawn.
On skin, wet: The fruitiness opens up with some sharper notes I can’t quite identify. Mango, perhaps?
On skin, drying: The fruits open up into a tropical-fruit-salad; I think I can identify longan and pineapple in the scent.
Later: The scent diminishes considerably, to the point where it feels somewhat “generically fresh”, vaguely aquatic but mostly kinda like ozone.
Verdict: It never acquires the pure sweetness of florals or a musk, and the over-reliance on fruity flavors means that, to the extent it is sweet and has throw, it’s something of an over-ripe vibe. Not really my thing, I’m afraid.

Debauchery: A sinful, licentious scent: self-indulgent and luxurious. Mingled heady civet and red Egyptian musk, thickened with opium.
In bottle: Spicy. Definitely nutmeg, cinnamon, and perhaps a hint of clove? It has a musky sort of sweetness carrying it as well.
On skin, wet: Peppery, and peculiarly less sweet than it seemed in the bottle. There’s a bit more cinnamon, a bit less nutmeg than before, and a mildly citrus tang.
On skin, drying: The spices take a background role, and the light musk takes the fore. Unfortunately, it’s not a very assertive musk, so as this dries it has a much weaker scent.
Later: Unfortunately, this seems to fade pretty fast. There’s a lingering sweetness with a bit of spice, but not much.
Verdict: It establishes a nice spicy space I’ve been looking for a scent to fill, but it doesn’t have the staying power to become a favorite.

Drink Me: However, this bottle was not marked ‘poison,’ so Alice ventured to taste it, and finding it very nice, (it had, in fact, a sort of mixed flavour of cherry-tart, custard, pine-apple, roast turkey, toffee, and hot buttered toast,) she very soon finished it off.
In bottle: Strongly caramelly, with a hint of apple, vanilla, and pineapple.
On skin, wet: It gets considerably fruitier, retaining the caramel flavor and getting a lot pineapplier.
On skin, drying: The caramel is the note which persists. It acquires a vaguely hazelnutty undertone, and something of a burnt edge, but a good creme-brulee burnt, not a this-pan-will-never-be-usable-again burnt. The fruits are still there, but below the surface.
Later: This lasts and lasts, and stays caramel-intensive throughout.
Verdict: I like smelling this — it’s the smell of a patisserie with particularly fresh-baked treats — but it’s a kinda odd scent to have on my skin. Is smelling like a sweetshop actually a good thing? While this is an assertive scent, and one of the few assertive scents which retains its most distinctive notes for a long time, I’m not sure it’s something I should be wearing.

Eclipse: All the glory, warmth and majesty of the sun — darkened. A delicious blend of bitter almond, vanilla, frankincense and heliotrope, with a drop of cinnamon.
In bottle: Cinnamon and almond with a syrupy-thick earthy sweetness, like molasses or perhaps sorghum. The sweetened almond reminds me a little of marzipan.
On skin, wet: A lot more like marzipan, with a spicy undercurrent. I detect chiefly vanilla under the almond, but the cinnamon is still there.
On skin, drying: Fading to a rather cleaner and somewhat woodsier scent. There’s still noticable almond and cinnamon, but they’re no longer the overwhelming aspect they were.
Later: Still sweet and warm and, to a certain extent, toasty.
Verdict: I like this. It’s a bit foodier than I really feel comfortable wearing, but it has a lot of notes which work on my skin. I’ll definitely do a fe w more trial applications after I give every scent a go, because I bet it’ll grow on me.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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