My Dad Reviews Indie Perfume!

Today I have a special post for you all!

My father knows nothing about perfume. He doesn’t even wear cologne, except for an imp of BPAL Odin that I got him for Father’s Day that he wears on special occasions. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting and fun to have him review a bunch of my scents.

  • NAVA Adele
    • Gold Alexandria Sea salt, Gold Peach Skin, Crystal Vanilla, Kobalt Vanilla and a kiss from Moonstone.

“Sweet, light. Unoffensive. I like it.”

  • BPAL Crowley
    • Infernal musk, red patchouli, lilac cologne, mahogany, lemon rind, oakmoss, leather, and vanilla husk.

“Very masculine. Kind of reminds me of a fancy aftershave.”

  • Sixteen92 Keres
    • Blood orange, black iris, metallic accord, vetiver, sun-warmed musk, and iso e super.

“I have no idea what this is, but I like it.”

  • BPAL Dorian
    • A Victorian fougere with three pale musks and dark, sugared vanilla tea.

“Bergamot, bergamot, bergamot, some other stuff, and bergamot. Masculine.”

  • Solstice Scents Snowshoe Pass
    • White Amber, White Musk, Vanilla Accord, Peppermint Cream, Cold Winds

“Very musky with a little mint. I don’t find it cold at all.”

  • BPAL Jack
    • True Halloween pumpkin, spiced with nutmeg, glowing peach and murky clove.

“Peaches! And clove. I love clove. It’s a very warm scent.”

  • Solstice Scents Cenobite
    • A deep Vanilla Bean which has a slight boozy liqueur note on application mixed with a pile of fresh vanilla beans and a sultry, smooth, rich and creamy French Vanilla.

“It’s just vanilla, right? Regardless, I really like it.”

  • BPAL Mary Read
    • Salt air, ocean mist, aged patchouli, sarsaparilla, watered-down rum, leather-tinged musk, and a spray of gunpowder.

“I smelled it before you even put it near my face! It’s really strong and spicy too. This smells like a pirate who won’t hesitate to run you through with a sword.”

  • BPAL The Lights of Men’s Lives
    • The wax and smoke of millions upon millions of candles illuminating the walls of Death’s shadowy cave.

“Baby powder? It smells like little kids, but maybe I just saw the name and thought that.”

  • Arcana Strawberries Crave Black Sand
    • The richest amber resin with black coconut, coconut husks, smoky vetiver, and a sliver of almost-overripe strawberry.

“Fruity and beachy! Mostly coconut, and burnt driftwood. Smells like Miami Beach.”

  • BPAL Stekkjarstaur
    • Wooly sugared marshmallow root.

“Sugar? Butterscotch? I was close to marshmallow! It’s very light though.”

He did pretty well for the most part!

Of all the perfumes he smelled, Alkemia Smoke and Mirrors was his favorite, since “it smells like a campfire!”. I then asked him what he would want in a perfume and he said that he loves the smell of cloves, a warm cup of spiced chai, or a Philly cheesesteak.

I hope you all enjoyed! If you did, let me know and I’ll do another one of these in the future!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit


BPAL Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit

Vanilla orchid, black amber, coffee bean, labdanum, champaca, and oudh. 

I’m pretty sure that this scent has the greatest name of any perfume ever, and frankly, that’s why I wanted to try it. The notes honestly didn’t draw me in, since incense and I are usually not friends. This scent was from the Lupercalia collection in 2015 I believe, so it is no longer available.

In the bottle: Indistinct warm spices. This is definitely an incense scent.

On the skin: Yeah, incense is definitely the most powerful note in this, but I actually kind of like it! The incense is very specifically nag champa, which is what you smell when you go into the incense aisle of Whole Foods. It’s sweet and spicy and very “red” smelling, and it reminds me of my old martial arts studio. Equally strong in this is creamy vanilla touched coffee that pairs very well with the nag champa. I feel like this will be a good fall fragrance. There is a touch of oudh at the very end that is a bit unpleasant, but not enough to spoil the scent. As a whole, this fragrance smells like a really cozy, secret coffee house where they’re burning sticks of high quality incense. I like this way more than I thought I would and I have nothing else like it in my collection.

TL;DR: Sweetened coffee and nag champa incense. Very unique. 4/5.

BPAL’s “Dorian Family”: An Analysis

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If you are familiar with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, then you have probably heard of Dorian. Dorian is an extremely popular GC scent that only became more popular since it has been out of stock for over six months. However, BPAL has two other scents that are known to be very similar: Jareth from the Labyrinth Collection and Theodosius, The Legerdemain from the Carnival Diabolique Collection. All of those scents contain a fougere, which is a blend of florals like lavender, bergamot, and geranium mixed with earthier elements like oakmoss. It’s a popular base for men’s fragrances.

Since I have all three scents, I decided to really analyze them to see how similar they are to Dorian.


A Victorian fougere with three pale musks and dark, sugared vanilla tea.

It’s a beautiful sugared tea and lemon scent. Not sour at all. In the back is the musk which adds this masculine edge to it. It smells like a cup of sugary black tea with vanilla cream and a lemon wedge being eaten in the presence of a super-hot Victorian dude who smells awesome.


Ethereal lilac fougere and gleaming leather with ti leaf, tonka absolute, white musk, and oudh.

The florals are very prominent, and the leather adds a sexy edge. You can definietly tell that this has a similar base to Dorian. It’s a masculine scent despite the florals; there’s something rather “cologne” about it, but not in a bad way. It’s exactly what you would expect Jareth to smell like: sexy, but also very ethereal and fae. Jareth is less sweet and more floral compared to Dorian.

Theodosisus, The Legerdemain

Earl Grey tea leaves, a white fougere, jasmine leaf, pearlescent white musk, and vanilla bean.

The Earl Grey tea is quite strong in this blend, alongside the prominent lemon. It’s less sweet than Dorian and less floral than Jareth. Its definitely the most masculine smelling of the three though. I can detect some jasmine leaf, but it isn’t overwhelming for once. Its more similar to Dorian than it is to Jareth; in fact, the drydown is almost identical.

So, what are the differences?

Dorian is the sweetest of the bunch as the sugar note is more prominent. Jareth is the most floral due to the lilac fougere, and probably the most feminine of the three. Theodosius is the most masculine of the bunch, and is both less sweet than Dorian (until the drydown) and less floral than Jareth.

Final Thoughts

The closest match to Dorian to my nose is definitely Theodosius. That being said, all three scents are certainly different, and it all depends on what you want in a fragrance. So, if you want Dorian but don’t want to pay markup prices, Theodosisus, the Legerdemain is a really good, very similar scent.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Snake Skin

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BPAL Snake Skin

A sinous, leather variant of BPALs Snake Oil

Despite being a big fan of BPAL’s perfumes, I have never actually tried their famous Snake Oil. Additionally, I have mentioned several times here that I’m a big fan of leather as well. So when I saw a half bottle being sold of a scent that combines Snake Oil with leather, I knew I had to try it. Snake Skin was a Lupercalia scent, so it is no longer available, but there is a chance that it might come back due to it’s popularity.

In the bottle: L E A T H E R. It reminds me of a brand new leather jacket, one that has been broken in yet. I’m not getting any spiciness yet.

On the skin: While leather is still the most prominent note in this, the Snake Oil really comes out of the woodwork. It’s spicy and sweet, almost too sweet for my liking. I can see why people go crazy over Snake Oil, and I can see how it would get better with age. For some reason, this scent reminds me of the American Southwest; like, I could a imagine a character from Westworld smelling like this. It’s definitely a sexy scent, I’m just not sure if it’s “me”.

TL;DR: Spicy, sweet leather. Will probably age beautifully. 3.5/5.

Black Phoenix Trading Post: Hair Gloss Reviews Pt.2

BPTP Hair Glosses Pt.2

When it comes to BPTP hair glosses, there is a very wide variety of scents. Because of that, I like getting little 5mL decants of a bunch of them so I can test them out. All of these hair gloss decants (except So Below) are from the lovely ladies at Crown and Tulip decants!  I highly recommend them for all your decant needs. They’re really great people, and they’re super professional as well.

Now, on to the hair glosses!

So Below (Haute Macabre collection)

Amber and black copal with black coconut, Sumatran red patchouli, green cardamom pod, and golden musk.

I love this one. It’s a really different take on patchouli; it’s not the dark kind you would expect, it’s much lighter. I get mostly that patch note alongside the coconut, cardamom, and amber. It’s dirty and sexy, but also very tropical.

Sugar Plum Fairy 

Sugar plums, vanilla-infused sugar, tiare, amber musk, apricot peel, and a light dusting of cacao. 

Oh boy, this is sweet. Like really sweet. I primarily smell sugared plums and apricots with a touch of chocolate. I love gourmands, but this is too sweet for me. It’s very candy-like and a bit cloying. If you gravitate towards super sweet/candy scents, you’ll love this.

Mischief (Carnival Diabolique collection)

Blood-spattered cotton candy.

Spun sugar and cinnamon! I’m not getting any actual cotton candy, but I don’t mind that. I find this to be surprisingly autumnal. I would love this, but it unfortunately vanishes from my hair within minutes of application.

Who’s Nibbling at My House? (Carnival Diabolique collection)

Caramel apples, cardamom cakes, hazelnut cream, and butterscotch.

Gourmand heaven. It’s all caramel and butterscotch with a little spice from the cardamom. It’s so warm and gooey and perfect for fall. It actually smells like a richer version of Owl Creek Aleworks. 


Arcana: Queen Crossbones

Arcana Queen Crossbones

Creamy Egyptian musk, wild honey, sweet coconut and exotic resins

I’m back! Today I have a review for the recently resurrected Arcana scent Queen Crossbones. While this didn’t initially catch my eye, the rave reviews convinced me to find a decant of it. I love a good honey scent, and musk, resins, and coconut are all notes I enjoy as well. When Arcana re-opens, this scent will be available for $19 US for a 5mL bottle.

In the bottle: Not the Bees, is that you? This smells super similar! I’m hoping it’s different on the skin though.

On the skin: Okay, now we’re talking! The honey is still the most prominent note by far, but its less sweet than the honey in Not the Bees. I think that’s due to the musk and resins; they’re definitely making it darker, richer, and sexier. The resins also add a subtle smoky quality to it that i’m really digging. This is very much Not the Bees’ older, more mature sister who wears lots of leather and lace to the grocery store. It’s really stunning.

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TL;DR: Musky, resinous honey. A much sexier version of Smelly Yeti Not the Bees. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Raspberry Sufganiyot

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BPAL Raspberry Sufganiyot

Sugar-sprinkled sufganiyot filled with sweet raspberry jelly.

I’m Jewish, and Jewish tradition has many incredible foods. One of my personal favorites is sufganiyot, which is a jelly-filled doughnut traditionally served during Hanukkah. When I heard that BPAL created a scent that is supposed to smell of this delicious treat, I had to try it to see if it really does smell like raspberry filled sufganiyot, as that smell so so nostalgic and comforting for me. As this is a recurring scent from the Yule collection, it is only available during certain times of the year.

In the bottle: Sweet raspberry jelly! It’s very realistic and not overly artificial. It really makes your mouth water. I’m not getting much dough or powdered sugar yet.

On the skin: The fried dough definitely becomes more apparent, but the jelly still rules the blend. It honestly does smell like a jelly doughnut! I could also see this being a good summer scent since the fried dough gives that that “fair/carnival food” vibe. My one complaint with this is that after a couple of hours, the jelly gets a little plastic-y smelling.

TL;DR: Jelly doughnut. A solid pastry gourmand. 4/5.