Saturday, 15 October 2011
An alternative to classic perfume
Before I realized there were such a thing as vintage perfume- or rather that it was possible to actually get your mitts on them, I hadn’t used ordinary perfume for years, but solely purchased my scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, or BPAL. For some reason modern perfumes gives me headaches and I very, very often find that they have a slightly nasty smell underneath the other notes, something that most of all reminds me of water from a vase where flowers has stood too long- rancid and flowery at the same time. And though I have fallen hard for vintage perfumes, I still wear my BPAL scents when I work, so I have done a little research to see if there are any of those that evokes the same scent ideas that my vintage perfume does.
First a few reasons to why I recommend these perfume oil that are completely modern, after all. There can be many reasons for not wearing classic perfume, one of those ethical. BPAL don’t do any animal testing and apart from their honey-based scent, everything is vegan. Their perfume are really oils with very high % of perfume and for some reason people who are scent sensitive often don’t have problems with BPAL perfume oils. I’m sure it’s not true for everyone who is allergic and I still think you should use perfume very sparingly. Another factor that may be important is price. Vintage perfume IS expensive, well, good modern perfumes aren’t exactly cheap either, while a 5 ml bottle from BPAL’s general catalogue costs $17.50- and a little goes a long way here. You can also order samples from the general catalogue to try scents out and a sample containing 1/32oz costs $4, or if you buy six of them, $22. As BPAL is a very nice place to shop from, there are always some free samples in on every order.
Let’s have some reasons to why you wouldn’t want a BPAL perfume oil. There are hundreds of them. I’m not exactly sure on how many there are, but there are many. Apart from the very well stocked general catalogue there is also large selection of limited editions oils, available for a few days up to years. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed and end up with nothing. And with so many scents available and constantly arriving, well, of course not every single scent is a hit, even if I have found the quality being very good considering the volume. Another aspect that may daunt you is the inspiration for the scents. Personally I love it, my inner Goth truly enjoy exploring the various categories, but there are explicit references to death and sex, so if you don’t like that, thread with care. The sections Ars Amatoria, Ars Moriendi, Bewitching Brews, Diabolus, A Picnic in Arkham and Sin 6 Salvation are the ones where you are most likely to find something naughty. On the other hand you can feel quite safe in Mad Tea Party (Alice In Wonderland-inspired scents), Illyria (Shakespeare ditto) and Marchen (Fairy tales).
Anyhow, with the help of the excellent forum BPAL Madness, I have found a few BPAL scents that could work for a more vintage feel. They don’t do actually dupes of other brands, so the suggestions here probably range from “giving a suggestion” to “dead ringer”. As BPAL don’t have scent stabilizators in their perfumes, a scent can smell very different from person to person.
If you like Shalimar from Guerlain, try Haunted “A mournful, poignant scent, thick with foreboding. Soft golden amber darkened with a touch of murky black musk.”. I think this is one of those who evoke more the feel of a perfume than a small-alike. Anyway, I hated Shalimar and I hated Haunted too…
For Vol de Nuit, also from Guerlain, perhaps this one will do; And Then There Was A Great Cry In Egypt “Dark myrrh, white sandalwood, amber, hyssop, frankincense, honey, cypress, red musk, cardamom and saffron.”
Misouko, Guerlain have been compared to The Caterpillar. “Heavy incense notes waft lazily through a mix of carnation, jasmine, bergamot, and neroli over a lush bed of dark mosses, iris blossom, deep patchouli and indolent vetiver.”
Chanel No 5 seems to me a perfume that would be very hard to find something similar to, but several reviews compare Ozymandias (no notes available) to it. There are some who thinks Dance of Death “A gloriously elegant representation of Lady Death. Dry, bone-white orris, black musk, serpentine patchouli and our murkiest myrrh.” Is somewhat likes this classic too.
Dior’s Diorissimo may smell like Sea of Glass, which is described as aquatic and floral
Angelique Encens from Creed have been compared to Unseelie “misty, otherworldly scent laced with ethereal florals, crushed herbs and soft, dew-covered grasses.” I really need to try this one, as I love Angelique Encens.
Lots of Guerlain comparisons, evidently, here is L’Heure Bleu. I Died For Beauty, may work well here: “The Venusian splendor of ylang ylang and violet stirred by hyssop, frankincense, and grave loam.”
And Jicky which is compared to Casanova “A rakish blend of leather, anise, lavender, bergamot and amber with tonka, lemon peel and lusty patchouli.” My darling use Casanova and I agree that even it is a men’s perfume (which Jicky originally was), it could work very well on a woman.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoy my perfume posts- I still have a heap of vintage ones I need to try out.