BPAL Update – “Highwayman” and “Bess”

So Highwayman was my ‘novelty’ sample. A number of people who’ve tried it say it really does smell like leather. Leather? I love the smell of leather!

Here’s the description:

“Stand and deliver! Vetiver with gardenia, blood red rose, night-blooming jasmine, a dash of cinnamon and a faint hint of leather.”

How can you not love this?

Well, as it turns out, quite easily not. I’m not sure what it smells like, but it isn’t leather, and it isn’t very good – at least not with my skin chemistry.

But…I now am a devotee of Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, because it’s definitely true that you only have to find the right sample vial, and you’re theirs for life. I am absolutely in love with “Hollywood Babylon” and “Bess”.

Bess wasn’t even supposed to be for me! My mom bought a sample of it, wooed by this description:

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
Since from myself another self I turned.
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.
Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

Inspired by the tragic, ill-fated love of Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester. This is our modernization of a 17th-century perfume blend favored by British aristocracy: rosemary, orange flower, grape spirit, five rose variants, lemon peel, and mint.

First off, while I love good queen Bess, I don’t like citrus scents, rosemary, or mint particularly much. Citrus scents often give me a headache. But my mom didn’t like the sample, and gave it to me. I tried it with extreme trepidation, and….I adore it. Oddly, it’s musky, but it’s a ‘clean’ musk that’s sort of hard to describe. When I’m wearing it, I’m driven to keep sniffing my wrists – which I tried to do in a stealthy manner while at work. They already know I’m crazy; they don’t need to add wrist-sniffing to my list of odd behaviors! 😆 And it’s really cool that it’s based on an actual 17th century perfume blend.

So I’m definitely buying a full-size bottle of Bess, plus one of Hollywood Babylon, because I’m pretty much loving that one just as much.

Two more fragrances left in my sample pack. I’m reluctantly wearing Masabakes right now (reluctantly because I really want to put on more Bess!) and I’ll reserve judgment until a bit later. I didn’t think I’d like it at all when I first put it on, but now it’s beginning to smell a bit like cinnamon and spice, so…

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