now is the winter of our discontent

Remember October and the Autumn/Halloween perfume collections? Well, December is not to be outdone, and now we have the Winter/Yule collections to review~

ETA: Completed~ :D

This will eventually be the masterlist of the perfumes that I’m reviewing over the course of December, but for now, since everything is still tentative, all I can say is that I’ll be reviewing perfumes from Sixteen92, Solstice Scents, One Hand Washes the Other, Twyla/Wolfpeach Perfumes and Bath Sabbath. Continue reading


BPAL; Winter Heavens

Last perfume review of the year~ and also for this Yule/Winter Collection series.

Sharp is the night, but stars with frost alive
Leap off the rim of earth across the dome.
It is a night to make the heavens our home
More than the nest whereto apace we strive.
Lengths down our road each fir-tree seems a hive,
In swarms outrushing from the golden comb.
They waken waves of thoughts that burst to foam:
The living throb in me, the dead revive.
Yon mantle clothes us: there, past mortal breath,
Life glistens on the river of the death.
It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt,
Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs
Of radiance, the radiance enrings:
And this is the soul’s haven to have felt.
– George Meredith

Black midnight winter skies glittering with points of light: chill air, champaca flower, white musk, fir needle, papyrus reeds, and grey amber.

Strong dose of champaca blended together with white musk to create a white floral sort of effect, while the fir needle notes add a touch of green to tone down the overall sweetness of this perfume. It does also evoke the idea of chilly winter air, as though fresh snow is starting to fall around you and your breaths are coming out in visible puffs, and when you breathe in the smell of fresh air, it’s soft and clean.

Easy to wear and non-offending with its moderate sillage, this one is a win after yesterday’s fiasco with BPAL’s Snow White.

BPAL; Snow White

Not sure if it makes a difference to note this but my little sample of Snow White is most likely the 2008 version.

a chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.

… Okay wow, when I first applied it on my skin and took a sniff, I had to go back and double check the label on my sample vial, because this was not what I was expecting. What did I get? A mixture of very very weird notes jumbled together: Almond, like the taste you’d get in those Chinese-styled almond tofu dessert, mixed with cat piss, and some sort of weird plasticky smell. Yeah, sounds terrible? I think I know what’s the culprit though – the night blooming flowers. I suspect when they say night blooming flowers, they meant tuberose. Because people have been of divided opinions when it comes to tuberose since ages ago:

The multi-petalled flower is a mix of flower shop freshness and velvety opulence. Which is why it is the perennial polarizing flower note having as many ardent fans as passionate detractors. The Victorians must have been among the latter: they forbade young girls of inhaling the scent of tuberose in the fear they might have a spontaneous orgasm! Roja Dove is right when he says that tuberose is really loose, the “harlot of perfumery”.

Though the scent can be likened to that of orange blossom and gardenia, tuberose has interesting facets of camphor in the opening (comparable to – but not quite that green – as budding gardenias), of dewy mushroom and earth when in bloom and then of rot and bloody meat when browning. Buttery, rubbery and even metallic facets also emerge if one searches for them. (source)

So yes, Snow White is very sweet and creamy, but also… too cat piss-ish for me. Luckily, the sillage is not too overwhelming; no one is going to stand five feet away from you and get knocked out from this scent, unlike some other tuberose perfumes I have tried before. I think I’d like this perfume more if I got more of the winter and snow notes rather than the blast of white floral.

BPAL; The Snow Maiden

The Snow Maiden is the daughter of Spring and Frost: as lovely as the first snowfall, and as striking as a sliver of icicle. Isolated because of her chilly otherworldly nature, and unable to know love, she longed for the companionship and warmth of mortals. One bright, white winter’s day, the Snow Maiden came upon a gentle, handsome shepherd named Lel. She grows fond of him, and beseeches Mother Spring to grant her the ability to feel. Her mother is moved by her daughter’s plight, and blesses her, but the moment the Snow Maiden is struck by the depth of love she feels for Lel, her heart warms, and she melts.

ylang ylang, osmanthus, spring berries, and daffodil cloaked in hoarfrost.

This perfume was based on the Russian folk tale, Snegurochka the Snow Maiden, and you know my soft spot for Russia and fairy tales, so of course I was going to pick this one up and give it a go. But seriously, Mother Spring, you need a dose of common sense.

Right from the bottle, I get a strong dose of sharp pine leaves and cold icicles hanging from the petals of fragrant flowers. This perfume is also soft and gentle, and slightly sweeter than BPAL’s Dust of Snow, in part due to the berries that step in more prominently as the scent starts to dry on my skin.

With a modest sillage, this scent is really quite pretty and it would be great to wear it on a cool, windy day out to meet your own shepherd boy.

BPAL; Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

– Robert Frost

snowflakes and hemlock leaves with snowdrop, iris, and Peruvian lily.

I’d describe this one as coldly sweet, it’s not the bright sweetness of fruits, but something greener, like fresh leaves with soft pale flowers, almost fragile and delicate, if not for the near touch of mint. I’m not sure what hemlock leaves smell like, but I’m pretty sure it’s responsible for the greenness of this scent, just like the soft floral notes could probably be the irises, though I’m not sure if Peruvian lilies smell the same as normal lilies? It’s fresh and airy, very light on the skin, although the sillage is surprisingly quite decent.

As it dries down, the minty/green element softens to almost nothing, leaving behind a softly sweet floral scent, that is subtle in its prettiness.

BPAL; Archangel Winter

Happy Saturday~ One of the rare Saturdays where I don’t have to teach piano! :D I’m still of two minds whether or not to extend my contract, because one of my most promising students just transferred to Sunday because he wants a proper rest day. He’s a good kid, and I will miss his wry humour.

In the dread circle hemmed by glaciers,
Pallid waste where no radiant fathomers,
Columbuses or Gamas, ever pass,
In realms of dingy gloom and deep crevasse
Seized from creation by nonentity,
Beyond ice floe and berg and ice-bound sea,
Deep in the fog that quenches every ray,
In stone waves and rock waters, far from day,
Amid the gloom, there, on the pole, stands black
Archangel Winter, darkness on his back
And trumpet at his lips; nor does he cast
One flash of eye, or blow one clarion-blast;
He never even dreams, being sheer snow;
The winged winds, captives of that age-old foe
Silence, are in his hand-birds in a snare;
His sightless eyes horribly watch the air;
Hoarfrost is in his bones and on his head,
And he is swathed in ever-petrified dread;
He terrifies the Vast, he seems so wild;
He is harsh, dismal, ice-that is, exiled;
The earth beneath his feet, in its dark cape,
Is dumb; he is the mute white stony shape
Set on that tomb in the eternal night;
Never does any motion, sound, or light
Brush the lone giant in that somber pall.
But when, on the timepieces that we call
Stars, the last day, endless and centerless,
Will sound, then the Lord’s face will luminescence
And melt the spirit; his mouth will distend
Suddenly, in a savage, dreadful bend,
And the worlds-skiffs rudderless, rolling on —
Will hear the storm-blast of his clarion.

Crystalline, glassy ice whipped by a snowstorm. Piercing ozone, winter darkness.

… Strangely enough, this one is sweet on my skin, like an aquatic marine sweetness, from an ambergris note, but there’s no mention of ambergris in the listing. Though it also smells vaguely grassy. Idk, I feel cheated, where is my glassy ice and piercing ozone? I wanted a dose of ozone and mint or something, not sweet cloying death. D:

Also, loooong longevity and sillage on this one, which is unfortunate, because this is a totally nope scent on me.

Twyla Perfumes; The Spirit of Christmas Future

Tis Boxing Day~ Though I wish I didn’t have work…
And the last scent in the Christmas Trio appears

The Spirit of Christmas Future (Dark Chocolate Cherry Cognac): rich, dark, deep and deadly blend of cacao absolute, bitter almond, and French green cognac

Dark and deadly? More like dark and delicious. The bitter almond takes centre stage in this perfume, and the cacao absolute is almost imperceptible, probably drowned out by the strong dose of French green cognac. It’s sweet, but not the gourmand way, instead it’s almost green and mossy.

Longest longevity and sillage out of the trio, I love all three of the scents in this collection, but if I had to pick one, my favourite might actually be The Spirit of Christmas Past, for it’s delicate white floral and creamy blend.

Things I Love Thursday

Ah, Christmas, a wonderful holiday about materialism and consumerism, excessive consumption of rich food and overindulgence of good things. But hey, it’s a public holiday which means no work! Plus being the Christmas week, people are definitely more relaxed at work, kind of :D I’d love to have more public holidays and less working days, Santa, see to it, brah.

So Christmas and presents, irrevocably linked because I’m a godless heathen and a product of my generation~ My bounty is actually quite low, since I’m now too old to receive presents from my relatives… >.> thankfully I’m not too old to receive red packets yet.

On a bed of feathers, my Secret Santa gave to me, 1 pair of earrings and a trio of silver rings. I got this from Sofia, who was my Secret Santa when we did a small gift exchange with Faza and gang, and interestingly enough I was her Secret Santa as well. No wonder she’s my right hand woman, you know? It’s like, totally meant to be *valley girl accent*

Do I really need another Chopper figurine? When I already have a Chopper soft toy and a Chopper mug? Nooooo, but why not, right? :D I am however, really running out of space to put things already. I will have to toss away some stuff sooner or later. (Mainly or later.)

Plus I got a pen from my cousin… which is pretty enough, what with the case and shiny top part, but… it’s a ballpoint pen, which means my handwriting gets really ugly when I use these kinds of pens. But still, shiny pen.

Oh and I got a bunch of biscuits from my workplace. I got a tin of Crabtree & Evelyn shortbread in the gift exchange, which was meh, but at least I won’t starve at work, I guess. Pretty much everyone was fighting to get the power bank, the computer mouse or remote control car in the gift exchange.

And the big boss also gave us all a box of biscuits from Marks & Spencer, which was really nice of him. Because I wasn’t expecting anything at all.

 Probably should have gotten Pokemon Y instead, because it feels like the whole world has Pokemon X, but the Charizard’s Mega Evolution for Pokemon X looks way cooler.

X and Y version of Charizard respectively.

So far, I’ve logged in at least 12 hours of gameplay, and there’s still quite a way to go because there’s just quite a lot to explore. I haven’t played any Pokemon games since Pokemon Red and Blue, so there’s quite a lot of me to learn, I expect. Also, idk, but why does it feel as though my character is like the Chosen One?

Managed to meet up with a bunch of friends lately, did the Christmas gift exchange with Sofia and the others plus we also watched The Hobbit~

And though where the road then takes me,
I cannot tell
We came all this way
But now comes the day
To bid you farewell

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies wasn’t the most fantastic movie in The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings franchise, but it is the last and… let’s just say that I have a lot of bittersweet feelings for this series. I think LotR was probably the first epic fantasy film series that made it cool for people to like epic fantasy, and people don’t look at you like you’re some unwashed nerd when you say that you like LotR.

Not saying that the film was flawless, because it wasn’t, like the extra insertion of characters plus too much walking scenes, though I admit I love the talking, especially in the first one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, where the dwarves basically made a mess out of Bilbo’s house, that part was so fun.

I also caught up with the clique, where we went to Brew Maison, one of them hipster cafes that they like to frequent. I’m pretty meh about these things actually. *gasp* Yes, I’m so boring, please take back my young person cred.

Went to watch Paddington on a whim, and it was actually pretty good. I enjoyed it quite a fair bit. The villain was really cliched but it is a kids’ film. Also whut, spotted Peter Capaldi as the weird neighbour, which was totally not what I was expecting. And hello Ben Whishaw’s voice as Paddington~ :D So cute~ I have had a soft spot for Whishaw ever since Skyfall and Cloud Atlas. Plus, he was so broken and vulnerable looking in Richard II. I wanted to pat his hair and say ‘there, there’ to him on separate occasions, haha.