BPAL Dragon Doodle
A scribble of honey-drenched strawberry and white pear.
Much like Daenerys Targaryen, I have always loved dragons. As you might imagine, I always look forward to BPAL’s Dragon Con scents, since they are themed around my favorite mythological reptile. This was the scent I was most excited for from this year’s collection.
In the bottle: SWEET. Very, very sweet and fruity. I’m not really surprised by that, but I do hope that it softens on the skin.
On the skin: The sweetness becomes more bearable compared to what it was before, but it’s still a very sweet scent. The notes are really balanced: I get an equal amount of each note, and their smell is distinct. They go together very well. But there’s something about the quality of the honey and the way it’s mixing with the sweetness that I don’t like. It’s powdery, but also weirdly pungent. It’s hard to describe. Needless to say, this isn’t a scent for me.
TL;DR: Very sweet honey, strawberry, and pear. Smells weird on the skin. 3/5.
BPAL A View of Cascading Cherry Blossoms
A tumble of cherry blossoms falling into a pool of white musk and crushed strawberries.
Strawberries are an interesting perfume note. On one hand, they can smell extremely sweet and artificial. But on the other hand, if done well, they can be so beautiful and fresh and fruity. BPAL Lupercalia Shunga scents are often my favorites when it comes to their yearly releases, so I knew I had to try this.
In the bottle: Dear Lord, this is one of the best things that I have ever smelled. I’m getting sweet, jammy strawberry with beautiful, gently floral cherry blossoms. I hope it stays this way on the skin.
On the skin: I just love this. It’s a 50/50 split between the cherry blossom and the strawberries, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The strawberries are realistic and sweet, but not candied, and the cherry blossoms are so stunning: floral but not too floral. The musk ties it all together. It’s like a less sweet, more floral version of Diligent Instruction for the Bridal Night.
TL;DR: Sweet, realistic strawberries and cherry blossoms. I love this. 5/5.
Fresh gingerroot with ginger grass, strawberry, satsuma, raspberry, ruby grapefruit, apricot, chai, and green musk.
Summer is fast approaching, and as a result, I’m on the hunt for bright, fruity perfumes that I can wear in the blistering Florida heat. This scent is one I never see for sale, and I haven’t heard anything about it. But it’s got a variety of tart fruits and a splash of ginger, so it sounded perfect for the hot weather. If you’re wondering about the name, it has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland. It’s actually a euphemism for female masturbation, as is the rest of the Meow collection.
In the bottle: I’m immediately hit with a splash of sweet chai and ginger, with a subtle lemon undertone. It smells like walking into a fancy tea store. I’m into it.
On the skin: The ginger and chai are definitely the stars of this blend. Once applied, it morphs a little bit, becoming very warm and spicy, like a fancy cup of chai. Despite the fruits dominating the note list, I don’t really smell any. I like the blend a lot, but it is totally different from what I was expecting based on the note list.
TL;DR: A warm cup of spicy ginger chai. Delicious. 4/5.
Arcana Erzulie’s Soft Kiss
Ripe pink strawberries smeared with honey and bee pollen.
Happy February, everyone! And what better way to start the month than with a scent that reminds me of Valentine’s Day. Now, I am very picky about my strawberry scents. They often turn artificial or grossly sweet and syrupy on my skin. Because of that, I was hesitant to try this scent, but I heard good things about it, so I took the plunge. This scent was a part of the 2014 Valentine’s Collection, in the mini set called the “New Orleans Trio”. Like the other two scents in the trio, this scent is named after a voodoo loa. This particular fragrance is named for Erzulie Freda, who rules over love, beauty, pleasure, and all things feminine and luxurious.
In the bottle: This scent is PINK. It’s sweet strawberries and honey, but not sickeningly sweet or anything like that. There’s a very subtle sharpness to it that I think is from the bee pollen.
On the skin: To my nose, the scent on the skin smells very similar to the scent in the bottle, with maybe a touch more honey and a hint of powderiness from the pollen. As weird as it sounds, you can also tell that the strawberries in this are pink rather than red. This fragrance is very girly and bright and feminine; it’ll be absolutely perfect for spring!
TL;DR: Honey-dipped pink strawberries with a hint of powdery pollen. A very “pink” scent. 4.5/5
Arcana Strawberries Crave Black Sand
Amber resin with black coconut, coconut husks, smoky vetiver, and a sliver of almost-overripe strawberry.
Arcana recenlty re-opened with a resurrection event where several fragrances that have been out of stock for a while came back. For customers with purchased 3 or more bottles, this was a gift with purchase, available only that way and only as a 3.7mL dram. While I did not make any purchase during Arcana’s re-opening, I managed to find someone who was selling their bottle of it. I was worried about the vetiver in it, everything else sounded so gorgeous that I really wanted to try it. This scent is currently unavailable.
In the bottle: Coconut is the main note here, and its delightfully milky. I get a hint of the famous Arcana strawberry note, and then something very dark in the back, which is that smoky vetiver. So far, the vetiver is working for me; it’s not too bitter or too sour. It’s just dark and smoky and resin-y.
On the skin: This one is a morpher. Once applied to the skin, the coconut retreats into the back and the strawberry gets stronger and sweeter. The vetiver also takes on an almost chocolate-y quality, but it still has that smoke. The amber also gets much more prominent. At this stage, I don’t really like it. Then after about an hour, it morphs again, and it becomes a fruity blend of strawberries and coconut with a touch of smoke in the back. Now I like it again.
TL;DR: Coconut, overripe strawberry, and smoke with a touch of vetiver. Morphs a lot. very unique. 4/5.
BPAL Strawberry Moon 2017
Wild strawberries, strawberry flower, vanilla-infused sugar, early summer grasses, purple coneflower, white sage, and milky dandelion sap.
Every month, BPAL does an event called Lunacy. It occurs right around the full moon and it is accompanied by a monthly scent. Every month has a different kind of “moon” according to Native American tradition, and June is the Strawberry Moon. Strawberry Moon scents are considered to be some of the best, and 2017’s is apparently really great. I love a nice strawberry scent, so I was happy to try a sample of this. This scent is no longer available.
In the bottle: Very, very strawberry with a touch of greenery in the background. Not really surprising honestly, but the strawberry note is more artificial than expected. It’s a totally different strawberry from the one in Diligent Instruction and Enveloped in Silk hair gloss.
On the skin: It does get less artificial once it’s been applied, but it is still quite sweet thanks to the vanilla-infused sugar. The summer grass and dandelion are a lovely foil to the sweetness and they provide a pretty green note. It’s perfect for summer and it really evokes the image of strawberry picking.
TL;DR: Sugary sweet strawberries with summer greenery. 4/5.
BPAL Diligent Instruction for the Bridal Night
Sugar dusted strawberries and mallow blossoms
This scent was part of the 2017 Lupercalia collection, specifically the set that was inspired by Japanese erotic art (“shunga”). Out of the whole collection, this was the one I was most interested in because someone who reviewed it referred to it as “Strawberry Stekkjarstaur.” As with all Lupercalia scents, this one is sold out. However, sometimes popular Lupers get resurrected for the next year, so it is possible that this could come back.
In the bottle: Very strawberry, not artificial at all. BPAL’s strawberry note is honestly masterful. I’m definitely detecting something creamy in the background. It smells super similar to the BPTP Enveloped in Silk hair gloss, actually.
On the skin: This is gorgeous. It now smells like super silky strawberries and cream with marshmallows. It’s extremely feminine and elegant, but still sweet and delicate. Absolutely stunning. My only complaint would be that it is a light fragrance, so you need to apply more for a full effect.
TL;DR: Silken strawberries in cream with marshmallow. Beautiful. 7/5.