Next up in our reviews of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s archetypal adventure and tarot-inspired collection: The Emperor, at Haute Macabre today. It’s a bit of a last call, as well, for The Emperor’s stern countenance is only gracing the lab until 11/26/18 before he and his beard and the rams he rode in on rides off into the sunset!
Archive of ‘scents & sensibility’ category
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s new collection, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque Of The Red Death, is live on their site (along with the 2018 weenies, wooooooo!) In a brilliant stroke of genius, to accompany these new scents, they have created a wonderful audiobook recording of this bloody tale, narrated beautifully by Tom Blunt and illustrated with an assembly of reveling phantasms brought to life with label art by the marvelously clever Tenebrous Kate.
If you’ve never read the story –and would you believe I have not?–now is the time to slip on a pair of headphones, darken your chambers, and dream of delirious fancies, and, “much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”
It’s always so thrilling to me to see the artists and artisans I adore collaborate on projects together, so when I saw that Kate was going to be working with BPAL on this collection, my heart exploded with glee (no gore, it’s a metaphorical explosion, of course.)
I asked Kate if she had any thoughts about the collaboration, and she enthused on the following points:
Like many spooky folks, I’m a longtime fan of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, to the point where I own special storage boxes to organize my collection. I’d had the opportunity to create art for BPAL’s inaugural Drag Con scents, and when I was asked to return to illustrate a Halloween collection, I agreed before I even heard the full details of the project. When I learned it was a multi-part Edgar Allan Poe collection, I realized that I’d be adding to the imagery already created by two of my biggest influences, Harry Clarke and Aubrey Beardsley–a daunting but fabulously rewarding prospect! Oozing gore, overblown decadence, and the sinister threat of death–what more can one ask for in a scent collection?
What more can one ask for, indeed! This collection is gonna be fantastic.
At Haute Macabre today we give a glimpse beyond the veil and share a few secrets regarding the hauntingly beautiful fragrances from Seance Perfumes–as well as the collection’s creator, Lacey Walker.
A few mini reviews as well! Did I finally find a rose to love, and which will love me back? Am I late to the love of creamy white florals? Read more to find out, and avail yourself of a discount code to pick up a few of these otherworldly scents for yourself!
Welcome to another installment of Stinkers & Duds, wherein I complain about the products that really gross me out! Don’t expect thoughtful, articulate commentary on these things (I hope you have figured out by now that you should probably shouldn’t ever expect that from me). These are beauty products and cosmetics that usually make me a little bit irate, so it’s basically just a lot of cusses and hate.
Why is it that when someone gifts you with something awful, it’s a jumbo-sized version of that awful thing? Yes, I’m a jerk for complaining about a gift…but…it’s not like I’m complaining to their face, right? Aqua di Gioia from Giorgio Armani was a Christmas present this past year, and I am fairly certain I already knew I would hate it; a very similar scent was gifted to me right after high school, as well. And true, when we are young, we haven’t really developed all of our tastes, we are still trying to figure out what we like, but I can assure you that when it came to fragrance, I knew what I was all about–and it was not “shower fresh”, “soapy clean”, or “the world’s most watery glass of lemonade.”
This is a bland, polite scent whose very inoffensiveness offends me. ALSO, and here is a loathsome confession. I am kind of addicted to the youtube channel of this really horrible celebrity; I don’t know why I continue watching her, but I just cannot look away. There is really nothing at redeeming about this person or her place in the world, including and especially her horrible taste (which I know is so subjective, and I am sorry, but she’s pink and UGGS and spray tan and oh my god why can’t I stop watching her?) Anyway, she bought herself Aqua di Gioia as a Christmas gift and as soon as I saw that this dumb dummy loves it, well, that just summed it all up for me. It’s just a dumb, pointless perfume.
Oh my god, I am such an asshole. This LUSH Shoot For The Stars bath bomb was a gift, too, and even worse, it was a gift that I suggested someone buy for me. It’s beautiful, right? It purports to smell of bergamot which sounds super classy, right? Well, we would be wrong for thinking that. It smells like a peach gummy scented urinal cake. Which is the exact opposite of classy. It also left both the tub, and my post-tub bod, super greasy. I know this for a fact because when I went to bed that night, I snuggled up against my partner, who remarked, “…ugh…you’re super greasy.”
Joseon Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream was highly recommended to me, first by friends, and secondly by the internet–reddit threads, facebook groups, beauty blogs. It has a cult following, all sorts of heavy-hitter ingredients, and it seems to be everyone’s Holy Grail multifunctional skincare cream. It’s supposed to be brightening, anti-aging, and give you beautiful, bouncy skin. Use it as a face massage, a sleeping pack, with your bb cream, whatever. It was starting to sound like coconut oil, in that regard, right? Like, what can’t this amazing stuff do?
Well, I could not use it long enough to find out. While I didn’t love the powdery-cucumbery scent, it was the slimy, sticky texture that I couldn’t get past. It had a this horrible jellied, stringy consistency (if you are familiar with snail mucin products, you know what I mean), and if I am being honest with you, it looked like someone jizzed all over my face. It was really bad. Like, Faces Of Jizz 18: The Jizzening bad. To add injury (injizzy?) to insult, not only did I look like a glazed fucking donut the few times I used it, it really reddened and inflamed the sensitive areas on my face. Not cool, Joseon Dynasty Cream*. Not cool at all.
To be fair, I purchased this product through amazon. I am aware that purchasing things like this through third party sellers can be risky business, but I truly think I was using the actual product, and it just didn’t work with my skin.
So that’s it for my recents Stinkers and Dud products? What about you? Tell me what you’ve been hating lately!
At Haute Macabre today I review some of my favorite scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s 2017 Yule collection…and there were quite a few! There is also a giveaway for an assortment of the scents mentioned, so be sure to leave a comment on the post to be eligible!
Spoiler alert: my favorites were Diable en Boîte, and Claircognizance! Have you tried any of these seasonal scents and festive fragrances yet? What were your favorites?
YOU GUYS. It’s that time again! The most weenderful time of the year! At Haute Macabre today I share my thoughts on Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s 2017 Weenie collection…take a peek to find out which scent made me weepy, thinking of my dead mom; which scent is precisely perfect to wear with your next gothic romance novel ensemble, and which one made me throw up in my mouth a little (I love you forever BPAL, but there’s always that one in every collection!)
On this week’s Fripperies For The Resistance…!
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab are purveyors of fine esoteric goods, perfumes, and potions–and if you’ve spent any amount of time with me, or reading my blog here, then no doubt you already know all about them. But for those who may be unfamiliar with this marvelous perfumery, here’s the gist: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has mastered the art of encapsulating allegorical ideas into singular olfactory experiences, and they specialize in eliciting emotional responses through perfume and creating unique, masterfully molded scent environments that capture legends and folklore, poetry, and the stuff of dreams and nightmares. TLDR; they make you stink real pretty in the most amazingly creative ways.
And not only do these singular scent slingers work long hours, toiling away to create compelling fragrances inspired by your favorite ghost stories/mythologies/comic books/horror movies/holidays (that would be Halloween, obviously,) for which to make your olfactive aura beautiful! The do-gooders at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab also put in a great deal of time and personal attention in the attempt at making our world a better, more beautiful place, with many years of activism, community involvement, humanitarian work, and ongoing fundraising efforts and events under their belts.
About these efforts, my dear friend Elizabeth Barrial, owner of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, shares:
“Since the day we first opened our doors, helping support and strengthen marginalized communities has been of paramount importance to me. At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, we have never shied away from our civic duty, and since the inception of the company, we have made it a point to do everything within our power to support organizations that provide emergency aid and disaster relief, support environmental and conservation causes, help the homeless, protect civil liberties and reproductive rights, and offer succor to the LGBTQ community and marginalized ethnic, racial, and minority religious groups. It is our way of helping to protect and provide for our communities, and we feel it is our obligation as human beings to help those who may not be empowered to help themselves.”
BPAL currently offers a line up of scents inspired by Nasty Women and those who would persist; by courageous federal employees who risk their careers to ensure that the public is kept informed on issues of climate change; by those ceaselessly fighting injustice and hatred and bigotry. Scents to bolster courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity; scents to encourage kindness and compassion; scents to provide relief and recovery to those imperiled by disastrous circumstances. The proceeds from all of these scents go to such organizations as the ACLU, NCTE, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, NAACP, the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation, as well as hurricane disaster relief efforts, and below you will find the descriptions and links to all of their current philanthropic, fundraising fragrances.
Alternative Facts: The truth hurts — so why tell it? Muffle the blow with Alternative Facts. If you truly want to obfuscate what you really smell like, this is the scent for you! Sugar-crusted vanilla, a firecracker-blast of cherry and sour lemon, a hint of scuttling spiders, encroaching fog, and trumpets of bombast, bluff, and bluster. Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.
Fake News: A scent of misdirection, of 140 frantic characters typed out in spite at 3am, and paranoia-clouded churlish accusations hurled at perceived enemies: crushed pink pepper pod, bitter white tobacco, gnarled patchouli, all covered in glinting, garish slashes of gold. Wear it in vigilance as you sift through the memes, trolls, clickbait, hate-speech, and outright propaganda that continually threaten to overwhelm all the world’s kindness, wisdom, and informed expertise. Wear it in courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity at every turn — even from our nation’s highest-ranking figures — with indisputable facts from well-researched sources. Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.
COVEFE: Is it abstract nonsense poetry? Surrealist performance art? Cryptography so subtle and devious that it would make an Enigma machine blush? This perfume makes no fucking sense: orange marshmallow cream, bitter lemon, black pepper, orange carnation, and gin.
Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.
Nevertheless, She Persisted: A rallying call: golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel. Proceeds from this scent benefit EMILY’s List, an organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.
Irish Coffee Buttercream: Irish whiskey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipped cream, buttercream and coffee, and Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee: Coffee and rum laced with allspice, nutmeg, clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon gently whipped into buttercream. Two cheery, uplifting scents slated for a future, 2018 coffee-theme release which instead became emergency fundraiser scents in order to take an immediate stand to fight the reinstatement of the unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel US military ban on transgender people. Proceeds benefit the National Center for Transgender Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Take a Knee: This is the scent of apple pie, as American as it gets, and a smudged grass stain. Taking a knee…this isn’t a protest of America itself, its flag, or anything that this country stands for. It isn’t disrespectful of the US military. On the contrary, it is the acknowledgement that we as a country can do better, that we must do better, and that we must renew our commitment to fight for equality and justice for all. Proceeds benefit the NAACP.
Theoi Nomioi: The National Park Service refuses to be muzzled. On January 24th, South Dakota’s Badlands National Park social media team defiantly posted a series of climate change facts from the National Wildlife Federation before being shut down. The Theoi Nomioi are the gods and spirits of the wild: the countryside, the pastures, the forests. Under their auspices, untamed nature thrives, the beasts of the wild feast and multiply, the mountains reach to the heavens with their stony, snow-capped fingers, and the forests grow thick and dark with mystery. Proceeds to the benefit National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.
And last but certainly not least, The Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia, the “federal court’s beat poet of indignation and right-wing rage.” We’ve had myriad political figures throughout US history that have possessed acid tongues, but few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as the Sick Burn Champion, the cranky, flamboyant, inimitable Antonin Gregory Scalia.
Proceeds from Ask The Nearest Hippie (patchouli, hemp, smoky vanilla bean, and cannabis accord), Jiggery Pokery (pink pepper cotton candy with a sliver of orange peel and a hint of vanilla cream), Looming Spectre Of Unutterable Horror (raw frankincense and tobacco absolute with Russian leather, blackened champaca, bitter clove, red patchouli, bourbon vanilla and petitgrain), Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages (rosemary water with lavender, blackberry, Italian bergamot, and white musk), Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie (almond fortune cookies and a bit of roadside palm reader-inspired incense), and Pure Applesauce (mashed apples with sugar and honey, slivered with tobacco tar and black tea) are donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
I haven’t sampled all of these scents, and more importantly, I don’t want my opinions on them to overshadow the fact that these scents exist in the world, doing good in the first place, so you won’t find reviews here today… but feel free to ask questions in the comments if you wanted my thoughts on any of them, and I will do my best to fill you in!
Are you a creator who gives a damn? Are you aware of artisans or indie businesses speaking up, reaching out, and creating art or goods to express outrage with injustice, promote anti-hatred, or which encourage safe spaces in their communities? Please let me know about them for future Friday Fripperies!
Peeking in post-storm to share some reviews for the Solstice Scents Later Summer collection that I wrote up for Haute Macabre, as well as the opportunity to win some of these scents for yourselves!
Do you want to smell of an ice cream sundae enjoyed in the murky seaside town of Innsmouth? Or perhaps strange desert visions? Or nostalgic Spring Break make-outs with your high school boyfriend? Leave a comment over at Haute Macabre and tell us which scent you’d most like to try!
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