Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit

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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.

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.

Jareth

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 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.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Elf

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BPAL Elf

Pale golden musk, honeycomb, amber, parma violet, hawthorne bark, aspen leaf, forest lily, life everlasting, white moss, and a hint of wild berry.

I was raised playing Dungeons and Dragons, and all things Tolkien are very close to my heart. Of all the scents in BPAL’s RPG collection, I’ve been wanting to try this one the most; I love the lore of elves, and the scent sounds so foresty and ethereal. You can buy it on the BPAL website for $17.50 for a full size or $4 for an imp.

In the bottle: Strong woodsy florals. These aren’t your grandma’s florals; they’re very fresh and light and foresty. These are the kinds of the florals that I enjoy, but have a hard time finding.

On the skin: The wildflower florals are still there, but the strength has subsided quite a bit. The base is the musk and some woodsy elements (hawthorne bark?), and I’m getting lots of violet, moss, and berry. It’s very subtly sweet. Once it dries down, the honeycomb blossoms on the skin. It’s a light, ethereal scent that matches the name really well. The florals are very natural and almost refreshing alongside the woodsy elements. I feel like this is a less sweet version of Lady Una. I like it!

TL;DR: Musky woods with light, subtly sweet florals. Very elven. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Steam.Goth

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BPAL Steam.Goth

Oil-spattered brass, engine grease, and a warm splash of Victorian aftershave.

One of my favorite video games of all time is Bioshock Infinite, and my favorite character(s) are by far the Lutece twins. I had to try this scent because the notes made me think that this is what they would smell like. Steam.Goth is part of the Goth line, which were a set of exclusive oils for Bat’s Day 2011; other scents in the line include Romanti.Goth, Vamp.Goth, and Geek.Goth. Because these were event exclusive, they are no longer available.

In the bottle: A blast of aftershave with something very citrus-y. The citrus is definitely from the brass; I find that metallic notes can smell citrus-y. It’s not unpleasant, it’s just strong.

On the skin: The aftershave really blossoms on the skin; it becomes muskier with a touch of bay rum rather than just pure aftershave. It’s musky, yet softly floral, masculine, yet feminine. The industrial elements form the base of it, with the brass, oil, and grease creating a dark, dirty and now only slightly citrus-y base. This is exactly how the Lutece twins from Bioshock Infinite would smell! Unisex, pleasant, but industrial. It’s also strong with a lot of throw. This scent is really unique and I like it a lot.

TL;DR: Musky, gently floral aftershave and dark industrial citrus. Unisex and strong. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Edith Cushing

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BPAL Edith Cushing

Pearlescent vanilla musk with white sandalwood, grey amber, white patchouli, ambrette seed, and oudh.

There are few BPAL fragrances more coveted than Edith Cushing from the Crimson Peak collection, which was an official collab between the movie and BPAL. Since the Crimson Peak collection is one of those where once an item is out of stock, its gone, Edith is very hard to find and it’s highly sought after. Bottles can go for $80 or more, so I jumped at the chance to try a single imp of it for 1/8 of the usual price. It’s got tons of notes in it that I like: vanilla, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and amber. But will it live up to the massive hype?

In the bottle: Whoa, hellooo there vanilla! That’s pretty much all I’m getting right now; it’s also a very gourmand, rich, buttery vanilla that reminds me of Arcana Two Finger Ballet. Right now, they smell super similar.

On the skin: The gourmand quality to the vanilla vanishes, and the musk gets a lot stronger. It’s more balanced now, and very feminine. Musk and non-foodie vanilla are still the main notes, but I’m definitely getting a little bit of nuttiness from the ambrette seed. There is also an almost dusty quality to it, which is from either the sandalwood or the oudh. The dustiness really works here; it reminds me of an old Victorian mansion, which is a major plot point in Crimson Peak. Edith is like if Arcana Two Finger Ballet and Solstice Scents Manor had a baby. It’s a really pretty fragrance and I like it a lot. That being said, I don’t think that it’s worth the $80 a bottle that it usually goes for on the second market, but as always, YMMV!

TL;DR: Musky, nutty vanilla with a slight dustiness. Very feminine. 4/5.