April 25, 2010

BPAL - Four Seasons Inquisition (vintage)

As promised in BPTP intro post, I will be reviewing some of the products from the Trading Post, as well as vintage collections that are no longer currently available, but that give you an idea of what BPAL is about. This is a review of a past Inquisition.

The Inquisition is a BPAL/BPTP tradition where sets of products (usually a perfume and a corresponding shirt) are available for sale, but the trick is that you have to submit a plea for which version you want and the Trading Post 'imps' decide which one you will receive. (Though of course they will honor outright requests. They're not mean, those imps.) In the case of the Four Seasons Inquisition, the sets included a perfume, an atmosphere spray and a bath oil - by far my favorite out of all the combinations.

The labels were all absolutely gorgeous and of course the scents themselves were divine. They were not identical across the pray, bath oil and perfume versions, but rather each set contained scent blends that were truly evocative of the season and suited to their medium. 

ATMOSPHERIC SPRAY - Tuberose, linden blossom, jasmine, rosehip, oakmoss, pink heather, white rose, and sugar cane, with plum, lemon tree, and orange blossoms.
BATH OIL - Lemon peel, tuberose, sugar cane, plum blossom, white gardenia, dandelion, violet leaf, jonquil, iris, sandalwood, Damascus rose, white grapefruit, mint, and sweet orange.
PERFUME - Plum blossom, tuberose, oakmoss, violet leaf, jasmine, ylang ylang, lemon peel, orange blossom, and lemon peel.

ATMOSPHERIC SPRAY - Nepalese amber, vanilla infused amber, golden musk,

sandalwood, orange rind, ginger, frankincense, and cardamom.
BATH OIL - Carnation, golden amber, honey myrtle, beeswax absolute, summer peach,

cardamom, and vanilla orchid.
PERFUME - Nepalese amber, vanilla infused amber, golden musk, sandalwood, golden lily, sunflower, and honey myrtle.

ATMOSPHERIC SPRAY - Fig leaf, patchouli, black tea, and bonfire smoke.
BATH OIL - Sage, myrrh, patchouli, molasses, sweetgrass, cedar, and cinnamon sugar.
PERFUME - Hawthorn, fig, myrrh, carnation, toasted almond, red and green apple, patchouli, wood smoke, and Indian musk.

ATMOSPHERIC SPRAY - Snow-laden pine boughs, sleet, white sandalwood, cedar, winter orchid, and honeysuckle.
BATH OIL - Stargazer lily, white musk, winter orchid, white grapefruit, fir needle, star jasmine, citron, and mint.
PERFUME - White musk, winter plum, pine wood, benzoin, orchid, and stargazer lily.
The Primavera scents are a riotous explosion of florals - but a field full of flowers, not a hothouse, in that the air is rich with the scent of dozens of blooms, but there is a breeze throughout. Floral, sweet, with a faint underlay of greenery and fresh citrus top notes, but not cloying or overwhelming. These are still not blends suited to anyone who does not appreciate florals, but for someone who does - pure gorgeousness.

L'Estate are all sensual, languid scents. They are evocative of sultry summer evening, the air hot and humid, the light deeply golden. Ambers and resins dominate these blends, with the perfume having the most mellow character, the spray and oil spicier in nature. I think some people would be fearful of wearing such heavy, oriental-style scents in the summer, but I think they deserve to be appreciated in their full glory, as they expand in the deep, permeating heat. These are very sexual scents, and I greatly favor wearing the bath oil to bed as a post-shower moisturizer.

L'Autunno sound like more masculine-friendly blends, and indeed they can be appreciated most readily by menfolk for their smoky, earthy character. But unless you aggressively dislike wood notes or patchouli, I think they are universal fragrances. They are all balanced very well between the sweeter notes we associate with fall (be it the harvest fruit notes of the perfume, or the molasses and cinnamon sugar of the bath oil) and those deeper, darker notes that are so central to a season that sees the light dwindle and the earth fall into repose. They smell like the best pies, the best walks in the woods, the best gleeful leaps into leaf piles you can remember from childhood.

L'Inverno features some of the most delicately pretty and ephemeral scents yet, with pale musks, dainty florals and cool notes of pine and snow. I don't know how a blend with pine can smell so feminine and lovely, but there you go. The atmosphere spray is perhaps the heaviest on those wintry wood notes, green and crackly and perfect for my home at the Holidays, since I can't have a real tree.

I absolutely adore these blends, and only regret not getting doubles.

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