Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit

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BPAL Destructive Vagina of the Fox Spirit

Vanilla orchid, black amber, coffee bean, labdanum, champaca, and oudh. 

I’m pretty sure that this scent has the greatest name of any perfume ever, and frankly, that’s why I wanted to try it. The notes honestly didn’t draw me in, since incense and I are usually not friends. This scent was from the Lupercalia collection in 2015 I believe, so it is no longer available.

In the bottle: Indistinct warm spices. This is definitely an incense scent.

On the skin: Yeah, incense is definitely the most powerful note in this, but I actually kind of like it! The incense is very specifically nag champa, which is what you smell when you go into the incense aisle of Whole Foods. It’s sweet and spicy and very “red” smelling, and it reminds me of my old martial arts studio. Equally strong in this is creamy vanilla touched coffee that pairs very well with the nag champa. I feel like this will be a good fall fragrance. There is a touch of oudh at the very end that is a bit unpleasant, but not enough to spoil the scent. As a whole, this fragrance smells like a really cozy, secret coffee house where they’re burning sticks of high quality incense. I like this way more than I thought I would and I have nothing else like it in my collection.

TL;DR: Sweetened coffee and nag champa incense. Very unique. 4/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Snake Skin

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BPAL Snake Skin

A sinous, leather variant of BPALs Snake Oil

Despite being a big fan of BPAL’s perfumes, I have never actually tried their famous Snake Oil. Additionally, I have mentioned several times here that I’m a big fan of leather as well. So when I saw a half bottle being sold of a scent that combines Snake Oil with leather, I knew I had to try it. Snake Skin was a Lupercalia scent, so it is no longer available, but there is a chance that it might come back due to it’s popularity.

In the bottle: L E A T H E R. It reminds me of a brand new leather jacket, one that has been broken in yet. I’m not getting any spiciness yet.

On the skin: While leather is still the most prominent note in this, the Snake Oil really comes out of the woodwork. It’s spicy and sweet, almost too sweet for my liking. I can see why people go crazy over Snake Oil, and I can see how it would get better with age. For some reason, this scent reminds me of the American Southwest; like, I could a imagine a character from Westworld smelling like this. It’s definitely a sexy scent, I’m just not sure if it’s “me”.

TL;DR: Spicy, sweet leather. Will probably age beautifully. 3.5/5.

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.

Nocturne Alchemy: Adele

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NAVA Adele

Gold Alexandria Sea salt, Gold Peach Skin, Crystal Vanilla, Kobalt Vanilla and a kiss from Moonstone.

Hello. It’s me.

While this scent review has nothing to do with the fantastic singer-songwriter Adele, it does share the same name. Adele was a limited edition fragrance from NAVA’s Art of Love collection, and it is quite sought after because it is apparently a holy grail peach scent. It took me a while to track a bottle down; will it be worth it? This scent is no longer available, but it could always be brought back during a Resurrection event.

In the bottle: Fragrant vanilla. It’s a lovely vanilla blend, because NAVA does vanilla very well, but where’s the peach?

On the skin: Oh my lord. This is glorious. The peach absolutely blossoms on the skin, and its the most realistic, juicy, ripe peach note I’ve ever smelled. The vanilla forms a sweet base for it, and while I can’t smell the salt itself, I feel like its there to cut some of the sweetness. It’s so creamy and sweet, but not really gourmand; it has this extreme elegance to it. If the Peaches of Immortality from Chinese mythology were a perfume, they would be this.

TL;DR: Juicy peach with soft vanilla. Simple, but done perfectly. Exquisite. 7/5.

Solstice Scents: Smokewood Apiary

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Solstice Scents Smokewood Apiary

Smoked Honey, Creamed Honey, Beeswax, Amber, Wooden Frames, Ginger & Vanilla

Solstice Scents is a brand that I have not delved into too much, so when I had the opportunity to get a sample bundle in a swap, I jumped at the chance. This particular scent is well-loved by fans of honey, which means it is right up my alley. You can find this scent on the Solstice Scents website for $16 for a full size (5mL) or as part of a sample pack.

In the bottle: A lot of smoke and a little honey. That sounds good in theory, but I’m getting barbecue sauce from this.

On the skin: The ginger comes roaring in, and it creates a very sharp mixture with the honey. That, combined with the smoke, creates a very interesting combination. There is also some kind of underlying bitterness to it, as well as a prominent wood note. I’m not really a fan of this and I have other honey scents that I like more.

TL;DR: Smokey honey with ginger and wood. Somewhat barbecue-y. 3/5.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Strawberry Moon 2017

BPAL Strawberry Moon 2017

Wild strawberries, strawberry flower, vanilla-infused sugar, early summer grasses, purple coneflower, white sage, and milky dandelion sap.

Every month, BPAL does an event called Lunacy. It occurs right around the full moon and it is accompanied by a monthly scent. Every month has a different kind of “moon” according to Native American tradition, and June is the Strawberry Moon. Strawberry Moon scents are considered to be some of the best, and 2017’s is apparently really great. I love a nice strawberry scent, so I was happy to try a sample of this. This scent is no longer available.

In the bottle: Very, very strawberry with a touch of greenery in the background. Not really surprising honestly, but the strawberry note is more artificial than expected. It’s a totally different strawberry from the one in Diligent Instruction and Enveloped in Silk hair gloss.

On the skin: It does get less artificial once it’s been applied, but it is still quite sweet thanks to the vanilla-infused sugar. The summer grass and dandelion are a lovely foil to the sweetness and they provide a pretty green note. It’s perfect for summer and it really evokes the image of strawberry picking.

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What I pictured when I heard “Strawberry Moon”.  Photo from the Farmer’s Almanac.

TL;DR: Sugary sweet strawberries with summer greenery. 4/5.