Friday Fripperies, Resistance Edition: Olfactory Activism From Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

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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.”

Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

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.

Nasty Woman: “Such a nasty woman.” black fig and patchouli, filthy bourbon vanilla, honeyed amber oud, and loukhoum. Proceeds will be split between Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s list.

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 KneeThis 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.

Single Note: Flor de Maga The national flower of Puerto Rico. The proceeds of this scent support the Hispanic Federation’s Hurricane Maria relief fund.

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.

Find Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: website // facebook // instagram // twitter

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!

Previous frips for the resistance:
⚔ Resistance Insignia Pin From The Creeping Museum
⚔ “Neo-Nazis Not Welcome” From Cat Coven
⚔ The Watchful Eye Amulet From Chase And Scout

4 Comments on Friday Fripperies, Resistance Edition: Olfactory Activism From Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

  1. Anton
    October 13, 2017 at 6:28 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m thinking about getting Jiggery Pokery or Take a Knee as a gift for a friend – are they sweet?

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      October 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm (2 months ago)

      Take a Knee I have not tried, so I can’t comment on that one, but I found Jiggery Pokery to be both citrusy-peppery bright and just the tiniest bit musty. It *sounds* likes it’s going to be really sweet, but that was not the case for me!

      Reply
  2. Lisa
    October 17, 2017 at 8:34 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m guessing the ones you omitted are ones you haven’t tried yet? if so I HIGHLY recommend Nasty Woman. It’s gorgeous! Nevertheless She Persisted is very nice as well. Hip hip for the Woke BPALs! :)

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      October 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm (2 months ago)

      Oh, that’s weird! I know that I had Nasty Woman and Nevertheless up there. I wonder what happened! Thanks for the head’s up, I will definitely add them back as I have tried both of them. I just dug way back in my facebook posts from nearly a year ago to find my thoughts on Nasty Woman.

      “Like a rum cake with something ancient that’s tunneled through and taken up residence in its innards. Like, this is a rum cake recipe that one of the elder gods use.”
      and “…Smelling patchouli, or at least the one they use for some of their blends, is sort of like staring into the abyss. I can’t even describe it, except to say it conjures up something dark and vast and empty. Nasty Woman smells like that, but like maybe you stuffed that lonely void into some gorgeous dried figs that have been simmered to a syrupy slumping pulp in some rum that you’ve had sitting around for a while and no one was going to drink it anyway, so why not?”

      Reply

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