radfrac_archive_full: (Default)
And one more BPAL review (forgive the self-indulgence -- I'm trying to avoid real work.)

Peppermint Cream Cupcake )


Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/2491.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (writing)
I don't just write lengthy opinions of books; I write lengthy opinions of perfume oils too, often when I really should be writing something else.

Yet there's something so pleasurably difficult about trying to summarize your sense impressions of something as elusive and under-reported-upon as scent.

I often think I'd like to write short stories in the form of reviews (or other formats I find myself using often), but these are just reviews.

Pognophobia (Fear of Beards) )

Salted Caramel Shortbread )

Socerophobia (Fear of Parents-in-Law) )

A new BPAL perfume oil is like a new poem to read, one in a language I only partly understand. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab was something I heard about on LiveJournal and coveted for years before I took an active role in smelling things with clever names. I keep promising myself I'll retire from buying any more -- save for old age and such instead -- but then the Halloween and Yule releases almost always ensnare me anew.

(Also posted at bpal.org)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/1883.html), where there are comment count unavailable comments. Comments either place are great.
radfrac_archive_full: (dichotomy)
If BPAL had not updated their website I might still be without a PayPal account. I might never have made an eBay purchase. Would my life be worse because I lacked the means to obtain these bewitching scents? Or better because I'd still possess all my longing and my money too? Unanswerable.

The thing I have the least ability to get used to about the Internet is the way it takes longing and seeking after unattainable things and squashes them flat, like cartoon characters stomped by a boot. Fortunately there are still heaps of straight men, so I will never lack for brooding options.

I won my first two eBay bids, despite sneaky last-minute manoeuvering by nefarious strings of asterisks. The bids were for two of my lost loves, Spooky and Mead Moon, both discontinued. I had tiny vials of each — I don't know how they came to be in vials, since limited editions are sold by the bottle — someone must have decanted them, but I don't know when or by what method. I bought them like this, little knowing what I had. The Mead Moon was just a drop of sweet-spicy honey and has long since evaporated into a delicious ghostly residue. The Spooky I've been hoarding for its weird chalky mint with underlying warm magma of coconut and butter rum.

And now I can have them — just like that. While I was waiting to have them and in suspense about whether I would win them at all, I was pretty sure they were the last two things I needed to complete my earthly happiness. Now I am still medium sure, though that small unhappy frown is already forming between my eyebrows — you know it — that frown that says I thought I would be happier about this.

I more or less live as though on an unending treasure hunt, and though I like finding the things, it doesn't do to have that happen too often.

Another ramble today, quite late — the last hour before sunset. I'm much saner if I can get it at least one long walk every weekend. The city smells of smoke and cedar, and the first mown grass is rounding out its particular fougère.

And now my new thermostat is drawing the cold into the room thread by thread to tell me, by the chilling of extremities, that it is time to put myself to bed.

radfrac_archive_full: (oscura)
First proper solitary walk of the season today. I got restless around 11:00, and decided to go for a ramble. Well, first I piled up my shopping bag at BPAL with pleasures I can't afford in order to counteract my malaise. Then I decided I should distract myself with the promise of something less catastrophic for my (currently hypothetical) savings. Say, fancy chocolate.

The sun came out as I was walking towards Oak Bay, and followed me wherever I walked. )
 This is maybe the best thing about living here, the way it is possible to become lost almost immediately, and yet always be able to locate yourself again by finding the sea, which can be sighted or stumbled upon in almost any direction (except true north.) I reached home after five and a half hours or so of walking, sore in the joints but much improved in almost every particular, including the matter of chocolate.

radfrac_archive_full: (ask me ask me ask me)
Once, when I was talking to my doctor about how hard it is for me to give up sugar -- (I think two weeks has been the longest ever, and some astounding apple cake trumped that) -- he asked, almost apologetically -- his expression saying I know this sounds silly, but might there not be something in it? -- "Have you thought about other ways you could bring sweetness into your life?" You will believe me when I tell you that he wears hoop earrings and is absurdly sensitive and kind, and his wife is a TCM doctor.

I thought about that afterwards, and have thought about it since, and I have not been able to think of a way. Not that there aren't things that give sweetness in their own way -- garden clotted with flowers, making art with thick rag paper -- but not that particular sensory delight, taking something in, being inhabited by its texture and its chemistry. A very hot day in a herb garden, or among roses, when the smell becomes very heavy, is an almost tactile pleasure. That is the closest thing I can think of.

About a month ago, someone In The Program -- a mad collector of delightful things (turquoise glass, old autograph books) -- mentioned on FB that she had a few hundred vials of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scents to get rid of. I've always been curious about BPAL, which I think I originally heard about through LJ posts. I was fascinated by the intricate rituals of application and inhalation. I got her to loan me a handful. Then I got her to loan me several dozen so I could invite people over to have a sniffing party.

I am sitting here now typing, and my left wrist smells like (sniff) strawberry sugar*? And my right wrist smells like (sniff) watermelon soap bubbles*? And the crook of my left elbow like a tea in a graveyard*. And it all seems very sweet, in every sense.


*Plastic Pink Flamingo
*Lawn Gnome


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