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.

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Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Fuck You, Said the Raven

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BPAL Fuck You, Said the Raven

Glossy black, rough, and gravelly: violet-gilded opoponax, black patchouli, myrrh, and oak leaf.

As I have mentioned, I love Neil Gaiman; he’s one of my favorite authors. Recently, his name has been in the news because of the television adaptation of one of his books, American Gods. The show has received rave reviews and the book itself is fantastic. BPAL has been making a whole line of perfumes inspired by the book and the show, with over 60 scents in the current lineup. Of all the scents, this is the one I wanted the most, because of both the name of the fragrance and the notes. It sounded like would be a very dark, atmospheric scent. I make it a rule to not blind buy scents, but I broke that rule for this one; I purchased a half bottle from Crown and Tulip decants. If you ever want indie decants, specifically for BPAL or NAVA, this is the place to go. You can now buy this on BPAL’s website for $26 US.

“Say ‘Nevermore,’” said Shadow.

“Fuck you,” said the raven.”

In the bottle: DARK. Very opoponax and myrrh heavy. It really smells glossy and black, like the description says, but there’s something else almost mystical about it.

On the skin: The myrrh retreats to the back, but you can still smell it and it continues to lend a sort of magical/otherwordly smell. The violet and oak leaf come forward, creating a dark forest kind of fragrance. The opoponax and patchouli are forming the base, so they’re not as powerful as one might expect. There is also something almost “perfume-y” about it. This scent really evoked the image of a massive, magical forest at night, rustling trees and night-blooming flowers. Be careful in applying it though, because it is STRONG and I can see it easily causing headaches if too much is used.

*NOTE: Now that this has rested from travel, I like it a lot more. It’s much less floral and more “dark, magical forest” now.*

TL;DR: Violet and oak with dark, swirling resins. Dark and woodsy. 3.5-4/5.