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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Arcana: Pirouette

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Arcana Pirouette

Two Finger Ballet, Twirling the Pearl ,deep labdanum, satiny sandalwood, and sugary French lavender absolute.

Arcana is one of my favorite perfume houses, and they recently released their Halloween collection. This scent was not a part of that, but is instead a collaboration with a customer who suggested it and drew the label. It combines two of Arcana’s most beloved scents: Two Finger Ballet and Twirling the Pearl, both of which I have tried and liked. This scent is chock full of notes that I love, so I knew I had to try it. The name is also a bit sentimental, since I’ve danced since the age of 4. This scent will be restocked at Pretty Indulgent, Arcana’s ebay store, and Nui Cobalt Designs and it will cost $20 US for 5mL.

In the bottle: Oooooh this is lovely. It’s mostly Two Finger Ballet, but it’s got that gorgeous Arcana lavender underneath it, plus some honey and then galbanum. The galbanum adds a green scent that cuts the sweetness just enough so that it doesn’t really read as gourmand.

On the skin: The Two Finger Ballet retreats, and the labdanum, sandalwood, galbanum, and lavender come forward. Honey and caramel can be detected as the base. Once it fully dries, the Two Finger Ballet takes the spotlight again, but the labdanum, lavender, and honey are still prominent, with the galbanum in the back adding the tiniest touch of green. It’s sexy but in a very understated, delicate way, like the way a cream lace dress can be sexy. This scent is a serious morpher, but its so unique and stunning.

TL;DR: Two Finger Ballet with labdanum, lavender, and galbanum. Morphs a lot, but is absolutely beautiful. 6/5.

Arcana: Peaches Crave Trance

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Arcana Peaches Crave Trance

Peach creme and honeyed red musk

In the last few years, Arcana has become extremely popular, partially due to their Craves collections, which consist of fruits (strawberry, peach, apple, pumpkin) mixed with other components. While many of the scents in these lines didn’t really appeal to me, this one did, since it has peach, honey, and musk. This scent was not a favorite of the Peaches Crave line making it hard to find, but I managed to snag a bottle.

In the bottle: Syrupy peach and something dark and sexy; that’ll be the red musk. Very promising start.

On the skin: Hell yeah. The peach becomes more of a honeyed peach, and the red musk becomes slightly more prominent that that peach note. What I love about this is it’s simplicity; this has three notes, but it’s executed in exactly the right way. This is just dripping with sensuality and sex appeal; it’s a real grown-up fruit scent.

TL;DR: Honeyed peaches and rich red musk. Sexy as hell. 6/7.

Possets: Jurogumo

Possets Jurogumo

 A powerful vanilla musk the likes of the one used in Dance With Me (VERY seductive yet subtle and cloud-like), and rich cardamom, and finally the nectar of peaches squeezed in the summer sun and concentrated to make a sugary peach liquor.

My reasoning for wanting to try this one is simple: it’s got peach, vanilla, and cardamom to jazz it up. The name was another selling point for me. It refers to a “jorogumo” ( 絡新婦), which is a demon from Japanese folklore that can take the form of a beautiful woman, or a giant spider. This scent was part of the Halloween 2015, so it is no longer available.

In the bottle: Mmmm, I’m getting peach cake with spices and a touch of boozy vanilla. So far, so good.

On the skin: This is really yummy. The peaches are very much candied peaches instead of fresh peaches, but it works with the spicy gourmand vibe. The cardamom adds the right amount of kick to cut the sweetness without being overpowering. The vanilla definintly gets softer on the skin, but it’s still present.

“Jorōgumo” from the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō by Toriyama Sekien.

TL;DR: Candied peach cake spiced with cardamom and drizzled with a little vanilla. A solid gourmand. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Trading Post: Hair Gloss Reviews Pt.2

BPTP Hair Glosses Pt.2

When it comes to BPTP hair glosses, there is a very wide variety of scents. Because of that, I like getting little 5mL decants of a bunch of them so I can test them out. All of these hair gloss decants (except So Below) are from the lovely ladies at Crown and Tulip decants!  I highly recommend them for all your decant needs. They’re really great people, and they’re super professional as well.

Now, on to the hair glosses!

So Below (Haute Macabre collection)

Amber and black copal with black coconut, Sumatran red patchouli, green cardamom pod, and golden musk.

I love this one. It’s a really different take on patchouli; it’s not the dark kind you would expect, it’s much lighter. I get mostly that patch note alongside the coconut, cardamom, and amber. It’s dirty and sexy, but also very tropical.

Sugar Plum Fairy 

Sugar plums, vanilla-infused sugar, tiare, amber musk, apricot peel, and a light dusting of cacao. 

Oh boy, this is sweet. Like really sweet. I primarily smell sugared plums and apricots with a touch of chocolate. I love gourmands, but this is too sweet for me. It’s very candy-like and a bit cloying. If you gravitate towards super sweet/candy scents, you’ll love this.

Mischief (Carnival Diabolique collection)

Blood-spattered cotton candy.

Spun sugar and cinnamon! I’m not getting any actual cotton candy, but I don’t mind that. I find this to be surprisingly autumnal. I would love this, but it unfortunately vanishes from my hair within minutes of application.

Who’s Nibbling at My House? (Carnival Diabolique collection)

Caramel apples, cardamom cakes, hazelnut cream, and butterscotch.

Gourmand heaven. It’s all caramel and butterscotch with a little spice from the cardamom. It’s so warm and gooey and perfect for fall. It actually smells like a richer version of Owl Creek Aleworks. 

 

Arcana: Queen Crossbones

Arcana Queen Crossbones

Creamy Egyptian musk, wild honey, sweet coconut and exotic resins

I’m back! Today I have a review for the recently resurrected Arcana scent Queen Crossbones. While this didn’t initially catch my eye, the rave reviews convinced me to find a decant of it. I love a good honey scent, and musk, resins, and coconut are all notes I enjoy as well. When Arcana re-opens, this scent will be available for $19 US for a 5mL bottle.

In the bottle: Not the Bees, is that you? This smells super similar! I’m hoping it’s different on the skin though.

On the skin: Okay, now we’re talking! The honey is still the most prominent note by far, but its less sweet than the honey in Not the Bees. I think that’s due to the musk and resins; they’re definitely making it darker, richer, and sexier. The resins also add a subtle smoky quality to it that i’m really digging. This is very much Not the Bees’ older, more mature sister who wears lots of leather and lace to the grocery store. It’s really stunning.

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TL;DR: Musky, resinous honey. A much sexier version of Smelly Yeti Not the Bees. 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.