Frostbitten Dorian by BPAL

Okay, okay. If you’re a fan of BPAL and follow any of the social media outlets that BPAL has a presence on, then you probably know about the Great Dorian Debacle of 2017 [read here for more drama].

If you don’t then my best summary of this is as follows: Dorian is a much-beloved blend from BPAL’s general catalog; its notes are a Victorian fougere with three pale musks and a dark, sugared vanilla tea. By definition, fougere usually contains lavender, if you are wondering. Anyway, it went out of stock in roughly October of 2016 or so, and so naturally due to a combination of hype, consumerism, and FOMO, people snatched up any remaining bottles from destashes and any reselling started to see rising prices, sometimes to absurd levels ($50+ for a bottle; more for “aged” Dorian). Then the Lab came back with a restock of Dorian, which fans were quick to admit was off; there seemed to be something missing from the blend, specifically the fougere part. The response from the lab was “soil variations” which supposedly affected one of the components, but it seemed that some believe this was not GC Dorian, but perhaps a blend that had a component missing and had slipped through any kind of quality control. It is not uncommon to see sale posts separting “original” Dorian from 2017 Dorian, both nominally and in price.

So when Yules 2017 were released, the Lab announced Frostbitten Dorian, which is supposed to be Dorian plus Snow White. Full disclaimer: I have never smelled any version of Snow White, so judgments on this portion of the notes are ‘blind.’ Anyway, one of the theories floating around is that 2017 Dorian is perhaps (accidentally or not) Frostbitten Dorian. I do not have a bottle of 2017 Dorian to confirm this for myself, but I can tell you that compared to Original Dorian, Frostbitten Dorian is not very similar. If that is what 2017 Dorian smells like then, it is not the same at all (and shouldn’t be, right?).

I digress. Edit: As of January 2018, another batch of Dorian has been released and I ordered a bottle. I plan to review it against GC Dorian (pre-2017) someday after it has had some time to arrive and get settled.

Anyway, here we go with the actual review…

In the bottle: A pleasant lemon/vanilla musk, with a bit of something that, in stretching my imagination, could be considered “cold.”

Wet: The same as above. A nice, lemony vanilla musk. The “cold” note isn’t so much cold as powdery though right now.

Drydown: Pretty quickly (as in, less than five minutes after application), the muskiness disappears some. It goes a bit powdery and amps more of the lemon note in kind of a one-dimensional way. It is very faint. About twenty minutes later, as it’s warmed up to my skin, it’s a bit stronger. It’s still mostly a light, sugared lemon with a slight tinge of vanilla to sweeten it further. I suppose the “cold” part makes it lean very light, almost powdery. Around the two hour mark, this has finally dried down enough that I can smell the sugared vanilla base.

Sillage/Longevity: This isn’t very strong, and sometimes is too light for me to detect as it dries down. It doesn’t project much, but just kind of stays where you put it. This lasted three or four hours on me.

Verdict: Generally, it’s a nice, sugared, lemon musk. I get vanilla much later during the dry down phase. Occasionally in the early part of the dry down, this leans very lemon Pledge. In fact, I was worried that it would lean entirely lemon Pledge and my partner would ask who smells like cleaner? But that didn’t happen, and luckily this stayed just very lemony-sweet.


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