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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Nocturne Alchemy: Vampire Vanilla Bat

NAVA Vampire Vanilla Bat

Vanilla Bean fleck, Kobalt, Crystalline, Tahitian Vanilla, French Vanilla and a spot of Vanilla-infused Studio created Patchouli.

Halloween is fast approaching, and that means that many brands are rolling out their Halloween collections. This scent is from NAVA’s Halloween collection, and it is a returning favorite from previous years. Surprisingly, I don’t have very many perfumes that include vanilla and patchouli despite the fact that I love both of those notes. You can purchase this scent on NAVA’s website for $24 US for 5mL.

In the bottle: Lots of vanilla with a touch of earthiness. I want more patchouli!

On the skin: Much better! I would say that the blend is now 50/50 split between vanilla and patchouli. The vanilla is non-gourmand but sweet, and the patch adds that glorious earthy, smoky quality. This is a simple scent, but it’s really stunning! I also feel like people who hate patchouli should try this because it might convince them to like patch.

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Batrritos.

TL;DR: Sweet, smoky vanilla and earthy patch. Beautiful. 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.

Arcana: Sturm und Drang

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Arcana Sturm und Drang

Big bold candy grapes face off with an ecstatic blend of apricot, caramel, sugary coffee, three rich ambers, and a pinch of dark patchouli.

I, like many others, have a weird dislike of all things grape scented. For me, it reminds me too much of cough syrup. Because of that, I was hesitant to try this scent, but the notes sounded so weird that I had to get a sample. Grapes + caramel + coffee? Will it work? You can buy this scent from Arcana’s store when it is open for $19 US, or on Pretty Indulgent’s website for $25 CAD.

In the bottle: Really yummy sweet coffee with a hint of caramel. Not grapes so far, but I’m not mad about that.

On the skin: The coffee and caramel remain the strongest, but I think I can detect some amber and a touch of something fruity. Not sure if that’s the apricot or the grapes. I honestly don’t get any grapes, and that’s okay. I really like this, but it seems to fade very quickly on my skin, which is disappointing.

TL;DR: Sweet coffee and caramel with a little amber and the tiniest hint of someting fruity. Yummy, but does not last long. 3.5/5.

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 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. 

 

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Edith Cushing

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BPAL Edith Cushing

Pearlescent vanilla musk with white sandalwood, grey amber, white patchouli, ambrette seed, and oudh.

There are few BPAL fragrances more coveted than Edith Cushing from the Crimson Peak collection, which was an official collab between the movie and BPAL. Since the Crimson Peak collection is one of those where once an item is out of stock, its gone, Edith is very hard to find and it’s highly sought after. Bottles can go for $80 or more, so I jumped at the chance to try a single imp of it for 1/8 of the usual price. It’s got tons of notes in it that I like: vanilla, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, and amber. But will it live up to the massive hype?

In the bottle: Whoa, hellooo there vanilla! That’s pretty much all I’m getting right now; it’s also a very gourmand, rich, buttery vanilla that reminds me of Arcana Two Finger Ballet. Right now, they smell super similar.

On the skin: The gourmand quality to the vanilla vanishes, and the musk gets a lot stronger. It’s more balanced now, and very feminine. Musk and non-foodie vanilla are still the main notes, but I’m definitely getting a little bit of nuttiness from the ambrette seed. There is also an almost dusty quality to it, which is from either the sandalwood or the oudh. The dustiness really works here; it reminds me of an old Victorian mansion, which is a major plot point in Crimson Peak. Edith is like if Arcana Two Finger Ballet and Solstice Scents Manor had a baby. It’s a really pretty fragrance and I like it a lot. That being said, I don’t think that it’s worth the $80 a bottle that it usually goes for on the second market, but as always, YMMV!

TL;DR: Musky, nutty vanilla with a slight dustiness. Very feminine. 4/5.