Snake Oil $4.50$35.00

Snake Oil


By far, our most popular scent! Magnetic, mysterious, and exceedingly sexual in nature. A blend of exotic Indonesian oils sugared with vanilla.


Presented in an amber apothecary vial.

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Weight N/A


  1. pandosimms

    This scent is by far my favourite of all my fragrances from Bpal. No damn wonder it sells out so fast! It’s mysterious, heady, sensual with a hint of spice. The vanilla warms to the exotic spices and combines with my body chemistry perfectly. It does have a strong throw but no one has ever complained, only compliments! Wearing this makes me feel sexy. I will always have more than 2 bottles of this in my collection. Gets even better with age.

  2. Whitefeather

    This is the first BPAL I ever bought. Most oils work well for me, especially vanillas, so I was surprised that this came out way too powdery for me and just didn’t work. However, I gave it to my best friend and it smells gorgeous on her and is one of her favorite BPALs. If I get more though at some point, I will let it age a while and try it again because I think snake oil gets better and better with age.

  3. Gina

    This is one I’ve been complimented on many times! A little overpowering on my skin, though, so a little goes a long way. I took the advice of some of the other people here and let it age in the bottle for a few days, which seemed to make a (positive) difference. I personally like to bring this one out when I’m already in a good mood and want to keep the rest of the day that way.

  4. Brandon

    This is very sweet on me. Vanilla, with an almost powdery scent. I’m going to let it sit a while and see how it changes.

  5. deathparade7

    I had someone buy me this along time ago and came across the small sample bottle stashed away for years! I love it, I’m also a guy.. I never knew the target audience was for women. Bummer

  6. Destiny

    On me, this is a very powdery and sweet vanilla with a hint of warmth. The more I wear it, the warmer it becomes. It’s very nice and comforting.

  7. roseneurosis

    I’ve been wanting to try this scent for the longest and I’m happy I have! Smells intoxicating when fresh and works well with my skin chemistry, so I can only imagine how good it smells aged.

  8. gmr2broadway

    I really wanted to like Snake Oil. In the forums, I saw it described as “pure vanilla”, and it was always the number one recommendation for people who love Morocco (my personal favorite).
    In the bottle, SO smells like pure incense and “hippie”, which is not a scent I love. Morocco is spicy in a soft, almost sweet way. Snake Oil is overpoweringly “head shop incense” spice. On my skin, it just got stronger. I put a dab on one wrist, and it overtook the whole downstairs of my home. Everyone could smell it, and everyone was overwhelmed by it, even in the next room. Not a scent I could wear to work, or… anywhere.

  9. Kristin

    I’m glad I just kind of forgot about this one for about a year before getting around to trying it. I hate to think that I could have tried a fresh imp, hated it, and given it away, because given time Snake Oil becomes an incredible scent. It’s very spicy, sweet, warm, and almost sultry. It makes me just want to roll around in my own delicious scent. One word of caution, it can be fairly strong, so I’d try it out in one or two spots before deciding whether you want to slather on more or not.

  10. Gloame

    Warm and spicy. Smells very natural, but enhanced. Like being in a tent in the dessert, watching someone work magic.

    Where I’d wear this: Burning Man

  11. Hayden

    This stuff is like a fine wine: the longer you own it, the more developed the scent becomes. I’ve had mine for 4 years now and only wear it on special occasions. It is VERY powerful and VERY potent– you only need 1/4 a drop and everyone within a mile radius will smell you. Please take caution the first time you wear it– I caused an allergic attack in my church the first time I put it on because I put on WAY too much. Very “””exotic””” and spicy, but also sweet and vanilla-esque. Love my bottle, will use for years to come. Might become a family heirloom.

  12. xancanfly

    Unfortunately smells like baby powder on me. A lot of perfumes do– so it must be my body chemistry. However it is a DELICIOUS scent. Smells like I was wearing the most wonderful perfume in the world, then doused myself in baby powder. I wish I could get that scent without the powder. I would reccommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind baby powder or who doesn’t have whatever aspect of my skin makes so many scents powdery. Under the powder it smells like honey and booze, and something mysterious– exactly what I imagine a sultry snake oil sales(wo)man would smell like. Sweet and strange at the same time.

  13. wingstwospirit

    This is amazing, but not for the faint of heart. It’s very aggressive, mellows a bit once you put it on and the vanilla comes out. People will remark on how…goooood…you smell. Strangers will stand creepily close to you. The vanilla is sensual, but the darkness of the other scents makes it very sexual. I’d feel weird wearing this to a family function, but I’ll wear it everywhere else. It makes me feel like some kind of god of debauchery walking amongst the mortals.

  14. Janice

    I sneeze a lot when I wear this however since I wear most of my BPAL oils as layering oils under perfume I think it’s a little too strong… very strong New Age bookshop smell.

  15. [email protected]

    When I first tried this imp, I was not impressed. It was something that I liked a little, but quickly became annoying and I would wash off after about twenty minutes of wearing it. I put it away for a couple of months, and then decided to try the imps I wasn’t crazy about when I first received them. This is amazing, and I can now believe it is the most popular scent on here. It will be purchased as a full sized bottle on my next order. Like others, I receive complements when wearing this. It is worth getting an imp to try, and then let it set for a while and try again if you don’t love it at first.

  16. Blythe Ford

    I’ve noticed in the previous reviews and in the product description a tendency to describe Snake Oil as very sexual, which originally scared me off trying this scent. For those who, like me, are uncomfortable for one reason or another at the thought of being an object of sexual desire, I thought I should offer my take on why this has become one of my favorites.
    As I said above, I was originally scared off this scent by the description. That changed when I received it as a frimp. It can be acrid and heavy at times, but the vanilla smooths it out as it dries.
    I fell in love with this scent because of the sensations it evokes for me. I would describe this as sensual, rather than sexual. Yes, to me there is a difference between the two terms. Rather than making me feel powerful for the effect this scent and my body have on others, I feel powerful wearing it for the way it both challenges me to leave my comfort zone and makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. To me, it evokes the feeling of slipping into a silky dress, or curling up beneath a soft blanket. It’s simultaneously comforting and emboldening—when I wear Snake Oil, I feel as though my insecurities have been pushed to the side. They’re still there, but I don’t dwell on them because I’m enjoying all of myself.
    If you’re like I was and feeling a little skeptical about trying Snake Oil, you might want to give it a try anyway. It can evoke more than pure sexuality.

  17. lookingglass

    I’ve gone through countless bottles of Snake Oil over the past 12 years and she’s still my favorite perfume of all time. It is that sophisticated and sexy. I feel just as comfortable in it in jeans as I do in fur. It now “smells like me” to those who know and love me. There are other scents in my life, but Snake Oil is the standard. Oh…Never leave me…I may wear others (BPAL addict that I am) but there is always this lingering aroma of Snake Oil all around me.

    Because of Snake Oil: People have thanked me for walking into their office to leave a scent trial. Mother’s thank me for holding their babies and making them smell good. My children’s friends tell their mother’s they want their house to smell like mine. People ask to hug me to get closer to the scent. Clients say the scent in my office reduces their anxiety. Strangers comment to the air that something smells so good, but strange…what is it…DH asks if I need another bottle of Snake Oil in my BPAL orders because it’s my staple. No lie. Magic in a bottle.

  18. Jadeah

    At first I didnot like it that much. But then I followed the advice of other people here and re-tried it 10 days later. It is really amazing! So mysterious, sweet and sophistticated!

  19. karahstokes

    The first thing I opened when my package came, it smelled to me like the local head shop: like STRONG opium incense. And very SWEET. Already, though, it’s mellowing out on my skin, not quite so powerful. I’m not an educated nose, but Vanilla, honey, incense? Whatever the thing is that smells like baby powder, too. Sugary.

    This stuff is definitely complex, and even though it’s *powerful*, I’m not getting a bad reaction to it, or a headache, or the feeling that there’s something really artificial in it, which is how commercial scents [and the incense at the local head shop] affect me.

  20. a89bluefire

    This is what vanilla perfume is supposed to smell like, and it gets even better with age (the other reviews really aren’t kidding). Whenever I smell this scent, I imagine an old temple (or brothel, it’s that sensual!) filled with incense and vanilla. It’s a smokey, incense, vanilla smell that really stands out. It smells amazing and sultry, but in a classy enough way to wear it anywhere. It’s definitely vanilla based, but not the sickly sweet most are. It’s as if this is the adult version of the cupcake body spray everyone tried out in high school. I highly recommend!

  21. Irina

    After having Snake Oil for a few months, I decided it was finally time to give it a review.

    In the bottle, it smells… almost of folk medicine that was based heavily on spices. Not the most pleasant.
    On my skin, it’s less of a medicinal aroma and more of an exotic one. It might be what your sweater would smell like after coming out of an incense shop.
    After a while, it ceases to roar and starts to smell a bit more natural as it mixes with the skin’s inherent scent.

    Ultimately, Snake Oil was much too sharp for me. It contrasted the atmosphere of nearly everywhere I went, making it feel out of place. Mixing Snake Oil with Drink Me, however, increases its sweetness and transforms it into a softer scent. I recommend trying it out.

  22. serenitea

    Snake Oil is definitely a body chemistry dependent smell. When I read all the reviews stating that it smelled like vanilla incense/or the like, I was definitely excited about purchasing an imp to try it out.
    I received the imp, and let it age for the last 3 weeks(I read that it became better with age).
    When I put it on, all I could smell was the overwhelming smell of baby powder. No lie, it was like I had been doused with an entire bottle of baby powder. (I do not like the smell of baby powder. The smell usually starts a migraine with me.)
    I took a shower, washed it off and thought, “I wonder…”

    I had read that this was a good unisex oil, and called my husband and asked him to put it on.
    OF COURSE he smelled all sorts of yummy, and that vanilla incense smell that people had left good reviews of this oil, were on point.

    It just depends on body chemistry. Thankfully, my husband loves it, and I love it on him!!!

  23. carolyn r

    Snake Oil was my first BPAL scent. And it’s standing the test of time as the leader of my pack. I haven’t tried any I don’t like yet, I will say that. But Snake Oil is absolutely sense-a-riffic! It’s my number 1, go-to scent on the planet. How’s that for fab?

  24. Min

    I adore Snake Oil! The description is perfect, it’s like donning an air of mystery as soon as you apply it. I find it quite strong and intense, a little goes a very long way, so if subtlety is your thing then maybe give it a miss-but that said, I do think it’s a scent you grow to love regardless of initial reservations. It just has an effect on people, it seems!

  25. Danielle

    I didn’t get it at first. I really didn’t. It wasn’t offensive but it wasn’t as magical as the forums and reviews made it seem like it would be. I let my bottle age for a while and reapplied. It had gotten decidedly better, but it still didn’t rock my socks off when I applied it. It smelled medicinal when I sniffed my wrist and the vanilla just didn’t stand out.

    Then I went out with it on. I had one man follow me in the grocery store until he finally approached to tell me I smelled incredible. I went to work and had to help a woman with a broken arm zip her jacket up — she gasped when I got close and told me I smelled like a dream. Throughout the day people complimented me. I hugged a friend and he didn’t let me go right away, inhaled deeply, stepped back, and told me I smelled beautiful and politely asked if he could sniff my neck again.

    Up close the medicinal note really kicks MY nose, but apparently the perfume also envelops me in an intoxicating smokey vanilla cloud that has proven to be a real crowd pleaser. The throw is strong and the longevity is incredible. Apply carefully — it can fill a room if you’re overzealous. Best when aged for few months to a year.

  26. Margot

    Musky and warm, somewhat overpowering and something you’d expect to smell in Arabian Nights. However it fades out nicely.

  27. [email protected]

    GIVE THIS OIL A LITTLE TIME TO AGE! Ok, with that established…SO was the first scent I tried from BPAL, and I felt a little let down when I first opened the bottle, and when I first put a dab on my skin. Hard to describe why, but it almost smelled too acrid at first. I put it away and went back to my usual Villainess for a week or so, then gave it another try. I couldn’t believe how much it improved in just that time! So trust me, I MEAN those five stars for this one. If you don’t like it at first, just put it away and forget about it for a week or two, and then give it another try. This oil ages so beautifully. On me it’s a kind of smokey, sultry vanilla, with just a hint of spice lurking around the edges. It’s seriously wonderful. It makes me feel so sensual and powerful every time I put it on, or catch a whiff of it during my day. I’m going to try the hair gloss in the same scent because I love it so much and consider it such a go-to. Also agree with the comments saying that while not all BPAL scents smell like this, if you’re new here, this is a great scent to try if you want to get a feel for the quality and sorta “vibe” of this company.

  28. Jennifer

    When I first read the description I decided I just wouldn’t like it in this lifetime. But smelling it in person when I got it as a freebie made me re-think my decision. Popping the imp open, a strong incense scent leaped out at me, but on my skin it quickly coiled back into this sweet, warm and tame creature. Its dry down smells exactly like crushed porcelain, not that I ever crush porcelains on the regular, but if Mr. Croup from Neverwhere were a nicer, cleaner gentleman with that craving for T’ang Dynasty pottery, then this is the scent he would wear.

  29. jasmindreams2010

    I’m definitely in the camp of those who didn’t like snake oil when they first tried it. That said, I gave it a second chance and I’m so glad I did. It’s spicy/vanilla/comfort. For me it’s in that cozy sweater day category. There’s something sexy about it too, and smells a little different on everyone. I’m getting a soft patchouli/musk base note hiding under the vanilla that’s very pretty and subtle. I can kind of picture Stevie Nicks liking this. I gave it four of five because I would love it if it had a little more throw!

  30. Heather

    I can’t wear this to work anymore because my male coworkers get their creep on when I do . It’s as versatile as it is sultry and seducing. I get a vanilla, smoky and almost baby powder scent.

  31. Qooqie

    First off, if it doesn’t smell good on you when you first try it on, don’t give up! This oil needs to age for some.

    This oil is sultry, spicy, smoky, vanilla. It lasts on my skin, but isn’t overpowering.

    I’m not exaggerating when I say that men will follow me around when I wear this. There is a very adult tone to it that I can’t put my finger on, but it smells amazing. A must have for any BPAL user.

  32. [email protected]

    On me, this is a lovely vanilla spice that is slightly tropical. Warm and compelling, it stays close to the skin but potent. Even after 12 hours on a hot day the scent still lingers. Though not complex it has depth, and is very comfortable to wear on any occasion.

  33. killersandliars

    Everyone needs to try Snake Oil. It is a delicious, deep, layered scent that is dynamic and irresistible. There’s some vanilla, there’s some spice, there’s something else. Also, Snake Oil tends to get better with age. You typically need a very small amount, and depending on your body chemistry it could go full-on sexy or just a little sultry. It is a truly unique scent, and since it is BPAL’s most-known oil, anyone who is new to the brand would do well to smell it. Not all of BPAL’s oils smell like Snake Oil, but Snake Oil definitely gives you a great feel for what the brand is all about.

  34. drapelex

    Thank you for this fragrance! It’s a smokey, spicy vanilla. The imp is big enough for several uses, but I imagine I’ll go through it quickly. I’m looking forward to getting a full size Snake Oil next time.

  35. Sara

    Spicy, incense-y vanilla – gorgeous and lasts a long time.

  36. Nuri

    I was not crazy about SO when I first got it. Of the 5 full sized bottles I got it was my least favorite and the last one I test ran. I did not respond well to the scent in the bottle but after I had it on and it warmed up on my skin it was a sexy, earthy, and hard to pin point scent that felt like slipping on a warm, comfortable, sexy sweater. Its still not the first of my BPALs I reach for but it is in regular rotation.

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