Ethereal lilac fougere and gleaming leather with ti leaf, tonka absolute, white musk, and oudh.
I grew up listening to my parents’ music and one of their favorite artists was David Bowie. He quickly became a favorite of mine as well, and when he passed away last year, I cried for an hour upon hearing the news. While he was most well known as a groundbreaking musician, Bowie was also known for the 1986 film “Labyrinth” where he played Jareth, the Goblin King. That movie made a rather large impact on me, and when I saw that BPAL had a whole fragrance collection based on the movie, I had to check it out. I hoped that this scent would evoke the character of the same name whom I adore.
In the bottle: Beautiful lilac and ti leaf with a hint of musk. It’s very floral; I do hope that changes on the dry down because it’s a little “grandma” right now.
On the skin: Yes. This is stunning. The florals calm down on the skin and the leather and tea from the fougere come out to play. It’s definitely a masculine scent despite the florals; there’s something very “cologne” about it, but not in a bad way. It’s exactly what you would expect Jareth to smell like: sexy, but also very ethereal and fae. Many people compare this to Dorian, but Jareth is less sweet and more floral. I can see the family resemblance though.
Beautiful. Majestic. Iconic.
TL;DR: Lilac tea, leather and musk. Smells very elven. 6/7.
A beguiling divertissement of piquant clementine, orange blossoms, white orchid, sugared currants, tonka, and vanilla musk whirled with flirtatious teases of billowy cotton candy floss and kisses of saltwater taffy.
I wanted Calliope for two reasons: 1) I loved the name since I love all things carnival and circus and 2) it seemed different from the kind of scents I normally gravitate towards. I generally gravitate towards darker, sexier scents and something light and semi-floral is not my wheelhouse. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store. It’s $12 US for a 5mL full size. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Cotton candy and vanilla. This is very sweet, almost too much so. I think I detect a hint of citrus in there as well from the clementine.
On the skin: I was worried that this was going to be overly sweet, but it’s not in the slightest once applied. It’s an elegant sweet, not ridiculously sugary, thanks to the orange blossoms and orchid. It’s like a more mature, complex version of that Pink Sugar scent that was really popular. The saltwater taffy gives it more depth and adds a smell that reminds me of funnel cake. It’s a perfect summer scent: flirty, fun and bright. However, this is extremely light and it fades within 30 minutes on me, which is very disappointing. I’ll probably destash this one.
TL;DR: Cotton candy, taffy and orange blossom. Vanishes on my skin. 2/5
Smoke and Mirrors
An elusive, smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka.
One of my favorite smells is the scent of burning wood and I really wanted to find a scent that smells true-to-life. Smoke and Mirrors seemed like a good bet. You can find this on Alkemia’s Etsy store; it’s $12 for a full size of 5mL. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Woodsmoke. Pure, unadulterated woodsmoke. I’m not getting much vanilla or tonka at the moment.
On the skin: The smoke note is very clearly woodsmoke and not any other kind; it smells exactly like a campfire. It specifically reminds me of the woodsmoke from the Renaissance faire, which is a good thing. The sweet vanilla and tonka come out within a few minutes of application. It’s just so lovely and rich. What I love about this is that it’s simultaneously really seductive and sexy but also really comforting.
TL;DR: Campfire smoke and vanilla. Very realistic. 5/5.