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.

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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.

 

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.