Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Mary Read

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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.

Alkemia: Devil’s Dandy

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Devil’s Dandy

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.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Crowley

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BPAL Crowley

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.