BPAL: Djinn, Egle, Golden Priapus, Great Sword of War, Hamptons, Hellfire, Hig Priest Not To Be…

Part 2 of the recent big order. Djinn, Egle, and The Hamptons were freebies; the others were ordered.
Where there’s smoke…


BPAL: Miskatonic University, Rapture, The Robotic Scarab, Shadow Witch Orchid, Tempest, and Wrath

Rapture, Shadow Witch Orchid, and Tempest were freebies; the others were part of my Big Recent Order.
Whiskey, cinnamon, and other peculiar odors

BPAL: Envy, Havana, Haunted, Incubus, Inferno, Laudanum

Big BPAL order, part 2!

Sometimes we have to suffer for our art, or other people’s

BPAL: Bengal, Black Forest, Caliban, Debauchery, Drink Me, Eclipse

This is part one of a pretty big set of imps I’m working my way through (12 bought, 6 freebies). Drink Me and Eclipse were freebies. The others I selected specifically.

In which our hero smells delicious, which may not be a good thing

BPAL: Loup Garou,Tintagel,Villain,Fenris Wolf,Bow&Crown of Conquest,Absinthe,Faustus,Reaper&Flowers

So a number of my online friends (chiefly of the female persuasion) write about their experiences with the Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs scents. They made it sound interesting enough that, even though I generally eschew perfumes and suchlike, I figured it was worth a try. They’re about 60% attitude and 40% actual competence, I figure, but, hey, it’s still fun. For those who care (and don’t already know) they have roughly ten million different scents, which you can order in either tiny testers (called “imps’ ears” or just “imps”) or somewhat less tiny bottles. For my first foray, I ordered 6 imps, and got two freebies (Tintagel and The Reaper and the Flowers).

For each imp, I’m following my friends’ reviewing standards: including the name and color text, and then indicating perceptions of the scent at key stages of its application and wear, and final analysis.

Loup Garou: The wild, untamed essence of lycanthropy. Primeval in its raw power and insatiable hunger: juniper, cypress and galangal with the barest touch of eucalyptus.
In bottle: spicy! I get a lot of cinnamon and a little bit of clove.
On skin, wet: clove comes to the fore, with a tinge of evergreen (pine and juniper, I think). Distressingly medicinal and antiseptic-smelling.
On skin, drying: the juniper warms and mellows a bit, so it smells a bit more vegetal and earthy. The clove has faded considerably.
Later: considerably sweetened to a kind of spicy floral. It still has a evergreen tone lurking behind.
Verdict: While the initial medicinal odor was a bit alarming, it mellows down to something kinda nice. Still too piney for me, though.

Tintagel: According to legend, the birthplace of King Arthur. The scent of a castle’s great hall in the midst of joyous feasting. Spicy mulled wine flowing through the musky heat, warm leather and bright clash of armor, the damp branches of Cornish hawthorn, blackthorn, juniper, English elm and bayberry, and the magical tingle of dragon’s blood resin.
In bottle: very mild-smelling, a bit woodsy but complex enough that it’s difficult to nail down a particular wood.
On skin, wet: same but a bit smoky and peppery.
On skin, drying: a scent I associate a bit with incense. Sandalwood, perhaps?
Later: the subtleties are largely gone. Smells significantly of incense, not detectably of anything else.
Verdict: pleasant but not very assertive after the first muddle of intriguing scents, and it seems to fade fast.

Villain: A classic Victorian men’s cologne: a lavender fougere, with hints of lilac, lime, and citrus musk.
In bottle: extremely mild. Citric and slightly floral.
On skin, wet: definitely getting a lavender scent.
On skin, drying: Getting a bit sweeter — quite possibly too sweet, really, because together with the citric elements I’m getting a bit of an overripe-fruit vibe.
Later: Still quite sweet but no longer cloying. I’m getting a pleasingly musky-lime scent at this point.
Verdict: it resolves into something I like. It’s definitely satisfactory as a “plain” scent, but I’m not too sold on it, as I’d rather have something with a bit more of an edge.

Fenris Wolf: The raw, untamable power of chaos. Rosewood, amber, red musk and a dribble of red sandalwood.
In bottle: peppery and acrid.
On skin, wet: A spicy, woodsy scent. Pepper and juniper?
On skin, drying: Feeling woodsier, slightly sweeter but still sharp-edged.
Later: Musk and pine, surprisingly sweet.
Verdict: This one has a less piney feel than Loup Garou, and is sweeter, so it satisfies a kind of niche.

The Bow & Crown of Conquest: Nobility and haughtiness befitting the Antichrist: sage, carnation and cedar with lavender, vanilla, white musk and leather.
In bottle: I can barely smell it at all, which seems odd.
On skin, wet: lavender and vanilla, overwhelmingly.
On skin, drying: vanilla still, with something earthier. That’s the “leather”, I suppose.
Later: a sweet blend of vanilla and musk. I think I get the cedar and sage in an undercurrent, but that may be power of suggestion.
Verdict: It’s simple but in a way that I like. A not-overly-sweet vanilla, I think, is good for me.

Absinthe: Fall under the spell of our Green Fairy! An intoxicating blend containing wormwood essence, light mints, cardamom, anise, hyssop, and the barest hint of lemon.
In bottle: mostly anise. Maybe something citric?
On skin, wet: anise still with a strong mint undercurrent. The citric has kind of resolved into lemon.
On skin, drying: eek, it’s gone very soapy. Mint soap. That’s weird and not all that pleasant.
Later: yup, still soapy. Slight fading does not really reduce that peculiar note.
Verdict: The in-bottle scent and color-text/spec suggest it’s something I’d like, but I just can’t get behind something which has such a soapy note on my skin.

Faustus: An infusion of incalculable power and irresistible temptation. Truly an exercise in megalomania and self-gratification: frankincense and cinnamon, darkened by violet.
In bottle: sharp and spicy, with a slight sweetundercurrent. Chiefly cinnamon, as far as I can tell.
On skin, wet: Maybe even sharper. Gone is the sweetness.
On skin, drying: A floral scent is coming out, but not a terribly sweet floral. I’m not tuned enough to the subtleties, but it might be the violet.
Later: slightly sweetened but still a nice sharp one, with the cinnamon and violets still strong.
Verdict: We have a winner! The sharp-and-sweet scent on this one is just about exactly what I want, and it has good staying power.

The Reaper and the Flowers: A funereal bouquet laid on cemetery grass: longiflorum lilies, white rose, chrysanthemum, and carnation.
In bottle: Chiefly chrysanthemum.
On skin, wet: it opens up a little, and now there’s a stronger but more generic floral scent. I think it’s lily, but it’s a bit muddled.
On skin, drying: difficult to smell at all, oddly. It seems to fade completely, but then…
Later: a sweet and fairly undistinguished floral. Mostly lily and carnation, I think.
Verdict: unmixed florals are not really my thing, and this one’s a bit too simple to really get me excited.