By LESS LEE MOORE
It’s that time of year again! When the air grows colder, colorful fall leaves carpet the ground, and candy and costumes dominate our thoughts… not to mention Pumpkin Spice.
Yes, it’s Halloween, and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is back with a new collection of scents to entice you into celebrating the spirit of the season (though you probably didn’t need much enticing). Here are a few of my favorites.
Inspired by John Donne’s poem of the same name, this scent features immortelle, also known as the “everlasting” plant, notable for never fading even after it is picked.
This seems appropriate for a fragrance about a tenacious spirit. True to its namesake, this fragrance gives one a chill, even in the dry down. White sandalwood, zdravetz (geranium), and oudh (the resin of the agarwood tree) add a deceptively lifelike touch to this genuinely haunting scent.
DAY OF THE SKULLS
According to the BPAL site, The Bolivian Fiesta de las Natitas, or Dia de los Natitas, is a “day of honor” for one’s ancestors, whose skulls are kept in the home and “dressed with fragrant blossoms, and offerings of cocoa leaves, alcohol, and cigarettes.”
In this scent, tobacco and cocoa leaves provide a depth and warmth to flowery top notes of hydrangea, rose, and Kantuta blossoms, the national flower of Bolivia. The dry down is quite powdery, featuring frankincense and white sandalwood.
This smells so much like fall you can almost hear the crunch of dead leaves under your feet and feel the cold nipping at your ears and fingers. Basenotes of damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli give this fragrance a robust anchor that’s topped by the soothing spices of pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sweet red apple, and mullein, which has been used for years to appease pain and repel evil spirits.
DEAD LEAVES, BOURBON, BLACK CHERRY, AND AN ORANGE TWIST
This scent is deliciously decadent and forbidden, like sneaking sips from your parents’ liquor cabinet. The orange dominates in the dry down.
DEAD LEAVES, BLACK PLUM, BITTER CLOVE, AND OUDH
Another sinful scent; with this one, the bitter clove and oudh combine to create something heady and quite dangerous.
PUMPKIN SPICE OPIUM POPPY
The BPAL website assures everyone that “we’re going to keep jumpin’ that pumpkin spice shark until there’s no pumpkins left to spice.” This particular blend is perfect for insomniacs. It induces a narcoleptic swoon and might be exactly what the poppies smelled like in THE WIZARD OF OZ.
SINGLE NOTE: BLOOD SQUIB
Here’s a fun fragrance that smells more delightful than the name might imply. It’s redolent with red, perhaps what the set of SUSPIRIA smelled like. Gorehounds will adore this one. By the way, who spiked the fruit punch?
Translated to “Fear of Halloween,” this is yet another deadly scent, like the inside of a hearse… or a coffin. The patchouli, clove, and oakmoss, and balsams are a nefarious combination, while the bourbon geranium adds an earthy touch.
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s beloved “The Tell-Tale Heart,” this fragrance boasts outrageous pomegranate mint, with incredible sillage. As bold and confrontational of a scent as Poe’s prose itself, this one will turn heads when you walk into a room, or maybe if you’re trapped behind a wall. “I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone?”
This is only a selection of the dozens of scents that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has unleashed for Halloween 2017. For a full list, please visit https://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/weenies-2017/.