Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Spinning on Graves

BPAL Spinning on Graves

Dorian and lavender mist, crushed grass, cypress leaf, and a drop of clove.

Every year, the owners of BPAL and BPTP release a set of perfumes for their daughter Lilith’s birthday. This scent was a part of the BPTP side of that collection. I knew I had a to try it once I saw the notes, since I love the scent Dorian as well as lavender and clove and cypress. This scent can be purchased on the BPTP website for $24 US.

In the bottle: Sugary herbal lavender with green elements! I’m also getting a hint of clove for the spice. It’s really fresh and beautiful.

On the skin: That sweet, herbal lavender is still the most prominent alongside the green notes that lend an almost wet feel to it, like morning dew on a leaf. The Dorian comes out more on the skin, and the black tea and lemon from that are just perfect alongside the green and lavender. It conjures up the image of a misty morning at an old Victorian mansion. I’m so glad I bought a bottle of this!

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“Lavender Sunrise”, UK and France, by Anthony Spencer. Image does not belong to me.

TL;DR: Sweetened herbal lavender with softly wet greenery and Dorian. Misty and calming. 5/5.

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Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Volcano in Springtime

BPAL Volcano in Springtime

Whipped vanilla cream and white sandalwood with a touch of lotus root.

Cream has a bit of an infamous reputation in the indie perfume community, because it has a tendency to turn curdled and spoiled on a lot of people. However, I wanted to try this scent since it was a favorite from that year’s Lupercalia collection. Normally, I also include a photo of the bottle, but I won’t for this one, since it is extremely explicit. This scent is no longer available.

In the bottle: Definitely vanilla, but I’m getting something kind of green and wet. I’m gonna guess that that’s the lotus root. It’s odd, but I kind of like it!

On the skin: The vanilla is kind of dry and a little dusty, which is think is a result of the sandalwood. It’s feminine and delicate, and almost a little woodsy. In the back, I get that same green, slightly wet floral note from the lotus; it’s a great contrast to the dryness of the sandalwood. The blend as a whole is alluring in a very subtle way. This is honestly a really pretty, unique scent, and it reminds me a lot the Monet painting series “Water Lilies”!

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Nympheas by Claude Monet, 1897 or 1898, oil on canvas. This painting in particular reminds me of this scent.

TL;DR: Dry vanilla sandalwood with slightly aquatic, green lotus. Beautiful. 5/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Cave of Treasures

BPAL Cave of Treasures

Sweet amber and golden honey, cream accord, blue lilac, and a drop of cardamom.

I’m not a huge floral person, but I’ve discovered that I really enjoy the smell of lilacs. They’re a big part of one of my favorite scents ever, Jareth, and a friend was kind enough to decant a little bit for me to try. Since this was a BPAL 2017 Lupercalia scent, it is no longer available.

In the bottle: Florals and spices. This actually reminds me of a commercial “oriental floral” type of scent.

On the skin: This scent definitely becomes more nuanced on the skin. The lilacs become more distinct, and I can also smell the cardamom. It’s a delicate cardamom however, not very powerful, but enough to add some spicy dimension. There’s a creamy smoothness to this as well that I think pairs really well with the lilac. I like this!

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Lilac is such a pretty flower. Image does not belong to me.

TL;DR: Lilacs with a soft undercurrent of creamy spices. Very feminine. 3.5/5.

 

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller

BPAL Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller

Red musk, vanilla bean, pomegranate, black currant, patchouli leaf and wild plum.

I think that patchouli gets a bad reputation. Yes, it can smell like a hippie who hasn’t bathed in two weeks, but if blended right, it can be earthy and rich and very sexy. This particular scent is considered one that you need to try if you like patchouli, so a friend sent me a decant of it. Since I love pretty much every note in it, I was very excited to finally try it. You can buy this scent on the BPAL website for $24 US for 5mL.

In the bottle: Mostly patchouli, with a berry undertone. This is a dark, dirty patchouli with a lot of earthiness and I like that.

On the skin: The patchouli is…gone? Despite being a very powerful note, I can’t smell the patch anymore and it’s really weird. Instead, I’m getting tart pomegranate and a very red wine kind of smell, possibly from the currant. I’m really disappointed by this! I wanted a fruit and patch blend and I’m not getting that at all. It’s just boozy and sour on me.

Mme. Moriarty

Art belongs to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

TL;DR: Tart pomegranate and red wine. No patch when on the skin. Disappointing. 3/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Mouse Circus

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BPAL Mouse Circus

A toodle oodle of pink cotton candy noses, vanilla spun sugar fur, scattered kernels of popcorn, and a touch of polished golden wood.

I’ve always loved carnival and circus themed things, and I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect carnival/circus scent for a while now. Most of those kinds of fragrances are too sweet for me. However, I heard that this one is a good balance of sweet and not-sweet, so I had to give it a try. I will also be wearing this scent for Halloween, as it matches my costume (2017 version of Pennywise the Dancing Clown.) You can buy this on BPAL’s website for $26 US for 5mL.

In the bottle: Mostly cotton candy and spun sugar with some popcorn. Thankfully, it’s not overly sweet.

On the skin: The popcorn and cotton candy switch; the popcorn becomes the main note and the cotton candy becomes secondary. It’s a perfect mix of sweet and salty. I feel like the polished wood is the base that prevents any of the notes from going too sweet or too salty. It’s also a very realistic popcorn note, but the scent as a whole is surprisingly wearable! I think I’ve finally found my perfect circus/carnival scent!

TL;DR: Popcorn with cotton candy and spun sugar. The perfect circus scent! 5/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Blóðughadda

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BPAL Blóðughadda

Crushed Baltic amber, golden fig, oud wood, red patchouli, white clove, and saffron.

When the new set of Carnival Diabolique scents dropped in June of this year, this one immedietly caught my eye, but not for the notes. Rather, I wanted to try it for the label art for a rather selfish reason: the woman on the label resembles a much buffer version of myself! The notes did sound rather interesting as well. I hadn’t actually purchased the scent, but a good friend of mine in the indie community sent me a partial bottle of it as a gift. You can buy this scent on BPAL’s website for $24 US for a 5mL bottle.

In the bottle: It’s weird. I’m getting prominent oud and powdery amber with a sweet undertone from the fig. Oud can be a tricky note, but it’s behaving so far.

On the skin: The oud takes center stage, but luckily it doesn’t turn into that almost fecal smell that oud can have. Rather, it’s a dusty, woodsy scent. The saffron then comes out to play, while the amber retreats. The fig also gets stronger, but its not really a sweet fig scent. This does not smell at all how I expected, but I quite like it so far!

TL;DR: Woodsy oud with saffron and fig. Weird, but I’m into it. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Impressions of the Floating World

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BPAL Impressions of the Floating World

Vanilla silk, patchouli leaf, sweet benzoin, and smoked honey. 

This scent was one I recently discovered, and the notes instantly pulled me in, since I like all of them. After it received rave reviews from a friend of mine, I knew I had to try it out. Since this is part of BPAL’s 2016 Lupercalia collection, it is no longer available.

In the bottle: Resins. The benzoin is clearly king here, but I do get that beautiful earthy patchouli too. I detect some smoky honey in the background.

On the skin: It starts out with lots ofpatch and resins and it reminds me of Fuck You Said the Raven a little bit. As it evolves, it is still very benzoin-heavy, but the smoky honey comes out more, alongside a very subtle, powdery, non-foodie vanilla. Not sure where the patchouli went. There’s an extreme elegance to this scent; it smells expensive. There is something a bit perfume-y about it at first, but it goes away after about an hour. Something about this scent (probably the powderiness from the vanilla silk) reminds me of luxurious lingerie. It’s very sensual and feminine and elegant.

TL;DR: Deep resins and smoky honey with a touch of powdery vanilla. Silky, sensual and feminine. 4/5.