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.


Andrea said...

I am a big fan of BPAL! I'm so glad you have found oils that compare to vintage scents. Have you found anything that compares to Evening in Paris?

Miss Emmi said...

Thank you for this post! Like you pointed out in your negatives section, it is so easy to get overwhelmed by shopping there, and I've never purchased from them for the reason that it is just too daunting to pick one! I'm going to make a point to look at that forum to see if it helps my decision making process.

Isis said...

Andrea: I'm currently sorting out a lot of samples to any friend who are interetsed and quite a few have fallen for them :) I haven't seen ant comparisions to Evening in Paris, but if I find one, I will tell you. :)

Miss Emmi: I have found the forum very helpful- there are recomendation thread if you like, for example, vanilla, or rose, or some other note you already know you like. :)

Solander said...

BPAL var min inkörsport till parfymnörderiet men nu använder jag aldrig mina prover längre, utom möjligen för att piffa till oparfymerat sköljmedel. De står sig bara inte i konkurrensen mot "riktig" parfym, jag har börjat tycka att de luktar kväljande kvalmigt överlag. Men jämfört med generiskt, fränt "fräscha" eller supersliskigt godisfruktiga mainstreamparfymer har de förstås sina poänger!
Tack för en bra, informativ och inspirerande vintageblogg, den ger mig lust att börja blogga igen fast mer allmänt om smink, hår, hattar, skor etc och inte bara om parfym.

Isis said...

Solander: Jag har en del favoriter från BPAL som jag använder, men har rensat, och rensar fortfarande, ut mina impar. Det är något med moderna parfymer som gör att de ofta får en bidoft av gammalt blomvatten på mig- jag misstänker att det är något syntetiskt doftämne som reherar så med min kroppskemi. Vintageparfymer och BPAL får aldrig den otrevliga effekten och eftersom jag har en kollega som är parfymkänslig, men inte har några problem med BPAL så är det mina "jobbparfymer". Men jag tycker att mina vintage parfymer är mycket mer komplexa och intressanta. Antagligen bra för min ekonomi att jag inte kan bära dem dagligen...

Kul att du uppskattade mitt inlägg!

Louise said...

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