Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: De Vos’ Unicorn

BPAL De Vos’ Unicorn

Sugared peony and rose-tinted vanilla with mallow, white musk, lavender buds, and a touch of apricot.

Last year, BPAL released a special collection called “The Art of the Unicorn”, which was a bunch of scents inspired by different artistic depictions of unicorns in various works. While the collection as a whole was very well received, one particular scent stood out from the rest: De Vos’ Unicorn. I’ve always had a soft spot for unicorns (I still have a plushie of one that I’ve taken with me to college), and this scent, while somewhat floral, had enough notes in it that I liked. This scent is no longer available.

In the bottle: Sweet. I’m definitely getting a lot of vanilla and mallow with the apricot. It’s pretty!

On the skin: It’s glorious. I was afraid that the rose and peony would take over the blend, but they’re so beautifully subtle. The vanilla, peony, and rose are so creamy, and the apricot adds some brightness. The mallow and musk form the base and ground the blend, making it a little less airy. For some reason, it really reminds me of the Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy hair gloss, which is a favorite of mine.  It is a lighter fragrance, but that is to be expected since the notes are all very delicate and ethereal. I can’t stop smelling my wrist.

De Vos' Unicorn

Unicorn by Maerten de Vos, 1572, Oil on oak panel. This is the inspiration for the scent.

TL;DR: Delicate vanilla and peony with musk and apricot. Light and ethereal. If unicorns had a scent, it’s this. 7/5.

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Solstice Scents: Conjure Dark

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Solstice Scents Conjure Dark

Amber, Frankincense, Sweet Incense Smoke, Dried Rose Petals, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Woods, Oud, Vanilla

Okay, this one was a gamble for me. I enjoy the smell of church incense, but I hate anything that smells “headshopy”. This one has that “sweet incense note”, but the kind of incense isn’t exactly specified. But I figured “what the hell, I’m gonna try it.” You can purchase this on Solstice Scents’ website; its currently sold out for the 5mL perfume oil version, but you can still get it in the 60mL EDP version for $90 US. The perfume oil version is still available on the Rhinestone Housewife and Pretty Indulgent.

In the bottle: Oh no. Okay, so I like the smell of frankincense, but HOLY CRAP. It’s a very strong bite of frankincense and something sour in the background. I think that’s the vetiver?

On the skin: I think my fears about incense have been confirmed. It’s very strong incense and with more incense. It’s like a headshop with a church next door. The scent is very strong and it’s kind of burning my nostrils. I don’t like this, but if you love incense, then I think this could be a holy grail.

TL;DR: Incense, incense and more incense. Too strong for me. GET IT OFF OF ME/5

Sixteen92: Theda

Sixteen92 Theda

Tart sangria infused with ripe summer fruits (white peach, nectarine, berries, citrus), dark vanilla, wild vines, rose absolute.

I generally gravitate towards dark, sexy, autumn and winter scents with vanilla, musk and smoke. Basically, I like to smell like an insanely attractive demon on a daily basis. Because of that, I have very few perfumes that would be considered summery; Theda seemed like a good option to try since it sounded sunny and bright without being too floral. It is no longer available from Sixteen92 and I purchased a decant off of a redditor.

In the bottle: I’m gagging. The aroma of the alcohol is so horrifically strong that it could peel paint off the walls. Literally all I’m getting is astringent alcohol.

On the skin: After wearing it for about an hour, the alcohol has toned down a little bit, but it’s still very sharp and acidic because of the citrus. I barely smell any fruit or any of the florals and it’s beginning to give me a headache. Hopefully letting this one age will improve it because I currently hate it. This was a pretty popular scent too, so I’m sad it didn’t work on me.

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TL;DR: Smells like someone spilled a whole bottle of citrus vodka onto my arm. HELL NO/5.

Cocoa Pink: Heavenly Basbousa

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Cocoa Pink Heavenly Basbousa

Almond cake, creamy condensed milk, whipped cream, vanilla extract, strawberry syrup, whispers of sugared lemon and rosewater made with velvety crimson rose petals.

Rose is a weird note for me. While I love the smell of real roses, I find that the rose smell in a lot of perfumes is very artificial and headache inducing. This perfume has rose in it, but it also has a ton of yummy sounding gourmand notes, so I decided to give it a shot. You can buy it on Cocoa Pink’s website for $12.55 US and you get 10mL of perfume.

In the bottle: This is easily the most edible smelling perfume I have ever experienced. It smells so much like strawberry shortcake that it legitimately made my mouth water. Strawberry is the main note here, along with the vanilla, fluffy cake, and whipped cream. Very rich and very sweet. It is the olfactory equivalent of this picture.

On the skin: This one is a morpher. Once applied, the rosewater comes out and it’s very natural and soft. It definitely cuts some of the sweetness. After having it on for about an hour, it now smells like creamy sugary and rosewater. So delicate and feminine. I did not expect to like this one as much as I did.

TL;DR: Morphs from super sweet strawberry shortcake to creamy, sugary rosewater. 3.5/5

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Wicked

Wicked

A sophisticated, womanly scent: rich myrrh and jasmine draped in the subtlest rose.

This little guy was a free sample that I received with a previous order. I was hesitant with this one, since jasmine usually hates me. You can buy it on BPAL’s website. It’s $17.50 US for a 5mL full size or $4 US for a sample Imp.

In the bottle: Oh boy. Okay. Upon smelling the bottle, I was pretty much socked in the jaw by the most powerful jasmine note I have ever smelled. It’s so powerful that I honestly find it to be a little overpowering. The myrrh and the rose were just barely detectable. Even though the rose is faint, it was still enough to give me a headache (rose notes generally do that to me). The scent itself is a little too “grandma’s vanity” for me, way too floral and strong.

On the skin: I couldn’t bring myself to put this on my skin because it just gave me a headache. The jasmine is out for blood and I’m not having it. If you like jasmine, then you might really enjoy this, but this scent is my kryptonite.

TL;DR: Aggressive, angry jasmine. Smells like an evil grandma. HELL NO/5.