BPAL The Bow and Crown of Conquest
Sage, carnation, and cedar with lavender, vanilla, white musk, and leather
This perfume was pretty much marketed as “smell like the Antichrist”. With a description like that, I knew I had to smell it for myself. When it’s in stock, you can buy it on the BPAL website for $17.50 US for a full size or $4 US for an imp.
In the bottle: There are a lot of things happening and I’m having a hard time picking out notes. It’s quite spicy, but also floral as well. I think I can detect the sage.
On the skin: It doesn’t really change much from what’s in the bottle. Its very much a spicy floral along the lines of Alice, Reaper of Cruelty. Sage is by far the most prominent note, followed by the carnation and lavender. The leather lurks in the back grounding everything. It’s quite nice, but its not something I would wear. If you like spicy florals though, you’re gonna really like this.
TL;DR: A spicy blend of sage and carnation with a touch of lavender and leather. 3.5/5.
Smelly Yeti Bee Tsar
Tobacco and Russian leather drip with honeyed vanilla.
Tobacco is usually a death note for me; for some reason, it turns into an ashtray on my skin. Despite that, I really wanted to try this fragrance because A) I’m Russian B) Bees. Also the art for it made me laugh (see below). You can buy this on Smelly Yeti’s website for $3 US for a sample or $15 for a full size. You can also find it on Femme Fatale.
In the bottle: Dark, very masculine honey. Totally different from Not the Bees. So far, I really like this.
On the skin: The honeyed sweetness is gone and the tobacco comes out much more. It’s bordering on ash tray and I’m not a fan. I don’t know what it is about my skin chemistry and tobacco, but they do not get along. That being said, if tobacco works on you and you like honey, this is gonna be a winner. But for me, it’s a “нет”.
TL;DR: Strong tobacco with a touch of honey. Turns into an ash tray on me. 2/5.
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.
BPAL Mary Read
Salt air, ocean mist, aged patchouli, sarsaparilla, watered-down rum, leather-tinged musk, and a spray of gunpowder.
You know what’s better than a regular pirate? A badass lady pirate. Mary Read was just that, and she pillaged and plundered during the golden age of piracy along side another famous female pirate, Anne Bonny. The scent really sounded evocative of piracy and the Caribbean, so I was happy when an imp of it came along. You can find this scent on the BPAL website for $17.50 US for a full size and $4 US for an imp.
In the bottle: Spicy! I’m getting a lot of sarsaparilla, patchouli. and musk.
On the skin: This is a very strong scent with a lot of throw. The salt and musk really ramp up once applied and you can definitely smell the gunpowder and the leather. The spices tone down a little bit, but they’re still there. This really encapsulates the scent of a pirate without all the sweat and dirt. Jack Sparrow probably smells like this.
TL;DR: A strong mix of salt, spice, musky leather, and gunpowder. Very pirate-y. 4/5.
A diabolically seductive blend of elegant dark leathers, wild black currants and forest blackberries soaked in blood-red merlot wine, mahogany wood, and brooding musk with a whiff of carnal patchouli and the faintest whisper of brimstone.
I had to try this when I saw that one of the notes was brimstone; that just seemed so odd for a perfume since brimstone/sulfur smells pretty bad. You can buy it from Alkemia’s Etsy store. It’s $12 US for a 5mL full size. You can also buy it as part of an Alkemia sample set, where it will be 1mL
In the bottle: Oh boy, this is sour, like really unripe berries. It’s very alcoholic too, and strong. I hope this mellows out.
On the skin: Thankfully, this scents calms the heck down. It’s now a really interesting mix of the currants, blackberries and mahogany wood. The brimstone is subtle but definitely there; it makes the scent more masculine. Somehow, it smells sweeter on me than in the bottle. It’s a scent that creates an image of an old Victorian study with dark wood furniture where someone spilled a bottle of sweet, fruity wine on the desk. It’s nice, but it’s not my favorite.
TL;DR: Berry wine and mahongany wood. 3.5/5.
Infernal musk, red patchouli, lilac cologne, mahogany, lemon rind, oakmoss, leather, and vanilla husk.
We will begin with a scent from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Crowley. Crowley is part of BPAL’s Good Omens collection, which is based upon the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (I highly recommend the novel). This particular fragrance was inspired by the character of Crowley, a demon who is described as “An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards”. Because this is a special collections scent, it does not come in samples (or “imps”, as BPAL calls them). You can purchase it from the BPAL shop for $26 US.
In the bottle: The patchouli is very strong here and it dominates at first sniff. I was definitely wary to try it based on that first whiff.
On the skin: I find it very sensual, masculine and just a little sinister. Right off the bat, I smell the patchouli and the leather, which is a really cool combo; very rich and strong. The musk and vanilla come in more after that. In about 30 minutes, it mellows out to a leathery, musky vanilla with just a hint of the lilac cologne. The patchouli is still there, but it’s much softer now. It’s gorgeously sexy.
TL;DR: Musky vanilla with leather and patchouli. Sexy as all hell. 5/5.