Today I present the company that’s mysterious and hilarious, poetical and political. It’s the one that intrigues me the most, a source of endless inspiration, curiousity, and wonderment. This is Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and they make amazing perfumes.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a perfume company from North Hollywood, California. They describe their business and products as “extraordinary scents for extraordinary people”. A short and succinct description, just as most people like it. However, the people behind this four-word brand name (BPAL) aren’t just making perfumes, they create stories based on various pieces of literature or film, combining both classical literature and fantasy novels. Films and paintings.
This post’s focus will be on their Yule 2016 collection that went live on 5 December 2016 and is available until 13 February 2017. This limited edition offers a wide variety of typical Christmassy scents, as well as strange aromas you’ve never dreamt about, at least not in perfume form. Don’t hesitate to check out the shop and pick your new favourite scents!
I’ll be honest, there were too many perfumes to try in one go so I decided to get a few freshly-decanted samples and a half-bottle of the scent that intrigued me the most (they were bought through a not-for-profit decant circle; not directly from BPAL). Without further ado, here’s my rundown of all the scents I’ve bought:
The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.
Rose Red is love on the first sniff. It truly surprised me how fresh and green it smelt. Imagine going to the florist’s to buy some flowers. Imagine seeing that lovely rose bush and desiring one for yourself. Rose Red encompases all this: a freshly-cut red rose, its petals glistening with dew, handed to you by a florist. My words are simple but, trust me, I could get lost in this scent. It’s a very realistic olfactory experience and I might go for a whole bottle next year.
Rose Red is available here for $24.
The Peacock Queen
Haughty and imperious, vain, yet incomparably lovely to the eye, but thick with thorns of jealousy, pride and hatred.
The Peacock Queen, fans’ favourite. People’s description doesn’t go far from the company’s own: they describe it as a luscious rose, crème de la crème in the world of roses. But what do I think of it?
This rose unfurls its velvety petals once it touches my skin, blasting some gentle, green freshness into my nose. It’s not to be mistaken with Rose Red, though, even though they share the same green accord. The Peacock Queen is not as fresh or dewy as it is rich and lush. I could say it’s almost regal. It doesn’t scream in your face because it doesn’t need to. Considering how lush it is, it has a surprisingly low throw but I believe it will change and amplify with age. This one is another keeper, for sure.
The Peacock Queen is available here for $24.
In the Wild North
Snow-draped fir, spruce, and pine.
A blast of evergreen trees hits you as soon as you open the bottle. It’s a surprisingly sweet blend – I can smell a berry-like note, even though it’s not listed in the scent description. As thr fragrance warms up on my skin, fir and spruce come to the fore with pine hanging out in the back, lending the scent its chilly, fresh note. This is lovely. It reminds me of spending the whole day in a spruce forest, playing in the snow. Dry, it reminds me of Bewitched because it’s evergreen and berry-like. I believe it’s a bit colder and less sweet, which I prefer. The (ever)green notes disappear relatively soon – about two to three hours in – but the berries and wood linger on for another hour or so.
In the Wild North is available here for $24.
Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry
Crystalline blue musk arcing over a blanket of snow.
This perfume is rather interesting. Bright blue musk mingles with a mint-like freshness that’s probably meant to be the snow note. I think there is also some crystallised sugar in the mix because the scent is somewhat sweet. Because the blend is rather light, it makes me think of wandering around in a forest, covered in snow. It’s noon so it’s bright outside but it’s still chilly from the wind. The sweetness in it makes me think happy thoughts. 🙂 Another thing to note is that I don’t believe this particular (crystalline blue) musk goes soapy on me, not like it does in Midnight on the Midway.
Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry is available here for $24.
A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.
Wow, this was an unpleasant surprise because the perfume is anything but bright and chilly. It smells creamy but also plasticky. On my skin, however, it’s cooler but it still smells like musty vinyl. Later on, whatever chilliness there was, it disappears and what remains is that weird plastic note. I don’t like it but I’ll let it rest for a month or so and revisit it then. This perfume is another fans’ favourite so I’ll be bummed if it won’t work on my skin once it’s aged a bit.
Snow White is available here for $24.
Winter Landscape with Church
Frankincense, myrrh, and rose resin drifting through a winter wood.
This blend is all about frankincense with some sweetness coming from myrrh or possibly rose resin on a chilly setting. On my skin, the scent becomes drier and woodier. Some people say that frankincense has pine and lemon qualities and I can see that in this fragrance. Myrrh smells spicy in the wet stage, which caught me by surprise. My skin usually doesn’t do well with myrrh but as far as this scent goes, it doesn’t start smelling funky on me. I can’t really detect rose resin but I’d be lying if I said I knew what it smelt like in its natural, physical form.
The scent warms up once it’s dry; the winter wood note disappears but the resin note starts to shine. It has a rather low throw on me so I need to press my nose against my wrist to smell it. It’s aromatic and warm, really pretty considering I’m not a huge fan of frankincense and myrrh. Later on, it starts smelling like vanilla, and I love it! As far as the name of the perfume goes – I don’t really think it smells like a church but then again, I’m not a church goer so I’m not sure.
Winter Landscape with Church is available here for $24.
Which perfume intrigues you the most? Do you prefer winter or spring-like perfumes?