Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Sir Thomas Sharpe

BPAL Sir Thomas Sharpe

Black amber darkens a pale fougere.

Sometimes the second-hand indie perfume market can be insane. For instance, this particular scent from the limited edition BPAL Crimson Peak collaboration collection usually sells for $80-$100 per bottle. I think that’s kind of crazy, personally. That being said, you’re probably wondering how I have this scent then; I somehow managed to find someone selling a bottle of it for retail price! Of course I had to snap it up to see what all of the fuss is about.

In the bottle: This is a true BPAL fougere! I’m definitely getting some lilac and perhaps some lavender in there as well. It actually reminds me a lot of BPAL Jareth, which is a good thing since I love that scent. I do hope it changes a bit on the skin to become different from Jareth.

On the skin: Oooh, okay, now we’re getting somewhere. It’s definitely warmer and spicier than Jareth, with a very masculine cologne kind of edge. I also feel like I can detect some bay rum and lemon in there, even though it’s not listed. The amber has a distinct powderiness to it that threatens to go into baby powder territory, but it doesn’t. This is a very classic, gentlemanly scent, which fits it’s namesake to a T. I think it smells great on me, but I think it would smell awesome on a dude too. It can also see it layering well with other scents. Bonus: the oil is a deep crimson color, which is perfect for a scent based on Crimson Peak. If you’re a lover of masculine scents, this one might be worth hunting down for a reasonable price. Besides, who doesn’t want to slather themselves in Eau de Tom Hiddleston?

TL;DR: A warm, spicy fougere blend. Classic, gentlemanly, awesome. 4.5/5.

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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: Theodosius, the Legerdemain

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BPAL Theodosius, the Legerdemain

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

Since I was a little kid, I’ve always had a thing for carnival or circus related things. When I saw that BPAL had a collection called “Carnival Diabolique”, you know I immediately checked it out. This particular scent caught my eye because it seems to be in the same scent family of Dorian and Jareth, with the main focus being on the fougere. I was curious to see how this would compare to the other members of this perfume group. You can purchase this on the BPAL website for $24 US.

In the bottle: Very lemon, which is weird because lemon is not listed as a note. Perhaps its there along side the Earl Grey.

On the skin: 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 those 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.

TL;DR: A less sweet version of Dorian with a stronger tea note. Masculine. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Jareth

BPAL Jareth

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

I grew up listening to my parents’ music and one of their favorite artists was David Bowie. He quickly became a favorite of mine as well, and when he passed away last year, I cried for an hour upon hearing the news. While he was most well known as a groundbreaking musician, Bowie was also known for the 1986 film “Labyrinth” where he played Jareth, the Goblin King. That movie made a rather large impact on me, and when I saw that BPAL had a whole fragrance collection based on the movie, I had to check it out. I hoped that this scent would evoke the character of the same name whom I adore.

In the bottle: Beautiful lilac and ti leaf with a hint of musk. It’s very floral; I do hope that changes on the dry down because it’s a little “grandma” right now.

On the skin: Yes. This is stunning. The florals calm down on the skin and the leather and tea from the fougere come out to play. It’s definitely a masculine scent despite the florals; there’s something very “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. Many people compare this to Dorian, but Jareth is less sweet and more floral. I can see the family resemblance though.

TL;DR: Lilac tea, leather and musk. Smells very elven. 6/7.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Dorian

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BPAL Dorian

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

Like Arcana’s Two Finger Ballet, Dorian is one of those indie perfumes that is super popular and everybody knows about it. Unfortunately, it has been out of stock for a while now. Having heard so many rave reviews of this across the internet, I was excited to have a small imp of it to try. It is currently sold out, but rumor has it that its coming back soon; when in stock, it retails for $17.50 US for a 5mL bottle or $4 US for a 1mL Imp.

In the bottle: Lemony, but not like cleaning products lemony. It’s a very natural, soft lemon covered in sugar. There’s also some musk lurking in there.

On the skin: It’s a beautiful sugared tea and lemon scent right now. 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. I can see why this is so popular; it’s GORGEOUS.

TL;DR: Sugared vanilla tea and lemon scent with hot guy musk. I ADORE it. 7/5.