I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love BPAL’s fragrances. They are inexpensive but masterfully made; the one problem is that they only sell online. There is no flagship store to visit, and we all know how daunting blind-purchase fragrances can be. BPAL offers sample sizes of almost every fragrance [excluding limited editions] for $4 a piece. These are called imp’s ears, or imps on the site. It may seem pricey from a sample, but they last forever, and you can resell them in lots on ebay for almost as much as you spent on them. It’s a great way to find new fragrances without the fear of buying a full bottle of something you hate. So I’ll be making my way through my 16-imp haul to give you guys my opinions on the scents I picked out.
A quick disclaimer- Scents will NOT smell the same on everyone. Try and think about what notes work best on your skin and avoid ones that go bad with your chemistry. For me, a note like rose goes AWFUL on my skin. It just smells wrong. But I can put it on a friend and it’ll smell fabulous. So don’t take my word as law here; I will do my best to give you very detailed descriptions of the fragrances.
SO. Cockaigne. Let me start you off with BPAL’s description:
“”The weather is always mild, the wine flows freely, sex is readily available, and all people enjoy eternal youth.” The Land of Plenty, also called Luilekkerland – the Lazy, Luscious Land: milk and honey, sweet cakes and wine.”
I love gourmand scents. I have since I was a teenager, but I’ve begun losing my taste for syrupy sweet smells like caramels and the like. I’ve been desperately searching for a grown-up gourmand; foodie notes without smelling like a bakery.
Hence my interest in Cockaigne! Milk and honey, sweet cakes and wine. I had high hopes that the wine might provide a spicy, deep background along with the honey. However, milk can easily be a bad note. I’ve tried one other scent with a milk note from BPAL and it went pure play-doh on me. So let’s see how this plays out:
Out of the bottle: Sickly sweet; the scent of sweetened condensed milk hits me first. There is something deeper about it though, something spicy.
Wet: My first impression is Duncan Hine’s white cake mix, but with spices mixed in. A very light coating of cinnamon on a white fondant petit four with red wine filling would be the exact food version of this scent while wet. It’s sickly sweet is a dry sugar sort of way, rather than a deep caramel scent. The red wine is likely the culprit behind the spicy note. The honey has not come forward yet.
Dry: There’s the honey. It’s thick on the skin, but it lacks the floral aspect of real honey. Real honey actually smells light and sugary, so sweet that it stings your nostrils. This honey is warm dark amber. The sweet cake becomes engulfed in it, losing the fresh white sugar. The wine becomes spicier on the skin, but it isn’t sour. It’s like raisins and cinnamon. The dainty petit four has turned into a heavy tres leches cake with honey and cinnamon topping. But where’s the milk? Oh. There it is. The play-doh smell.
I was so happy with this scent until the milk want play-doh on me. It became stronger than the other notes over time and it so ruined my cake experience. I guess I just can’t get along with milk and cream notes as hard as I might try :<< this will not be a full-bottle purchase purely because of the milk. Everything else was good until that point.
However, I would recommend that you at least try this if you like the cake description; the milk notes MIGHT work on your skin, despite it going bad on mine. For $4, it doesn’t hurt to try it.