Most people love perfumes. Most people probably love unicorns. What wouldn’t we give in order to see one? Who wouldn’t want to see this magical creature? What if I told you that while unicorns might not exist, their idea has been encapsulated in perfume oils?
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, a brand I have already introduced over here, released a special collection in the summer of 2016. They called it Art of the Unicorn and dedicated it to eternal hope that doesn’t fade even during the darkest times. We all need a reminder that not everything is violent, dark, confusing, and these perfumes serve as a delightful manner to counteract all the negativity.
So far, two parts of this series have been released so far and the third one is still waiting in the Lab for its time to come forth and shine. There can never be enough hope.
Abduction of Prosperine on a Unicorn*
White sandalwood, black currant, and pomegranate.
As far as first impressions go, this perfume is very straightforward. I can basically smell all three notes from the get-go. Sandalwood acts like a nice woody, incensy base. This is a bright, playful scent but not in your face and not “young”. I imagine an elegant grown-up wearing it.
As it touches the skin, sandalwood is the first to take the stage but it is quickly joined by blackcurrant. Pomegranate is the shiest of the bunch, just occasionally peeking through. During the wet stage, the scent reminds me of coffee for some reason. It makes me think of a slice of blackcurrant and pomegranate cake that actually avoids being foody because of the sharp sandalwood.
Later, pomegranate is finally in full bloom and it smells so lovely. The other two notes are hidden somewhere, letting pomegranate shine through. Sandalwood comes out again but this time, it smells slightly like pencil shavings on me.
The throw of this scent isn’t something to write home about but it’s potent enough. I can smell it around me for a while but then it transforms into a skin scent. I reapplied it during the day but I can safely say it lasts for more than 6 hours. Awesome.
Bestiaire du Moyen-Âge
Watery cerulean musk winding through crushed grass, apple blossom, wild mint, and pine needles.
Bestiaire was a complete surprise. Blue musks usually turn to soap on my skin and pine sometimes means the perfume will smell like a bathroom cleaner. Not the case here, thankfully! Bestiaire smells very fresh and green, the apple blossom lends it some fruity, floral sweetness while a scattering of pine needles makes it fresh.
Upon application, the apple blossoms give way to the freshly cut, dewy grass. It reminds me of fresh summer mornings when you’re on holiday somewhere in the mountains: breathing in fresh air – its refreshing qualities enhanced by tall pine trees – sitting on the ground, about to eat a green apple. It doesn’t smell acidic at all, just fresh and green and juicy with barely a hint of sweetness coming from the apple blossom.
As the perfume dries down, the freshness and greenness transform into a water-like floral scent. Perhaps it’s the apple blossom getting rid of its almost fruity scent, transforming into a fully-fledged floral smell. The cerulean musk verges on being almost soapy, as blue musk tends to do for some reason, but it successfully stays “watery”.
Initially, the throw is good but the fragrance quickly becomes more or less a skin scent, not easily detectable unless I press my nose against my wrist. However, as if by some sort of Unicorn magic, this perfume lingers on until the next morning.
Allegory of Chastity
Blushing rosehips, pink rose petals, and vanilla cream with white jasmine and a drop of bergamot.
Allegory of Chastity smells very pink; like sweet, creamy rose petals carried on a wisp of bergamot, which makes the fragrance fresher and not gourmand. Jasmine is surprisingly tame and blends really well with the fragrance; it’s not overpowering at all. After the dry-down, I honestly smell sugary sweets but also some vanilla cream, and it’s this note that remains on my skin the longest.
The throw is, for me, way above average. I can smell it all around me and even others have asked me about it. It doesn’t last too long (around 4 hours) but the throw makes up for it. It’s such an uplifting scent – it’s bright and girly, sometimes it can be a bit too much to bear if you slather it on, but otherwise it’s a great choice for whenever you need a pick-me-up bottled as a perfume.
De Vos’ Unicorn*
Sugared peony and rose-tinted vanilla with mallow, white musk, lavender buds, and a touch of apricot.
This perfume opens up with an accord of a fresh rose and vanilla. It’s creamier and now elegant than Allegory of Chastity. Later on, peony appears, joined by apricot. This scent actually remids me of some weird, creamy thing. I’m not sure what it is but it could very well be mallow.
Upon dry-down, it evolves into lavender and rose. I know this will sound funny but it reminds me of a Silan clothes detergent in the best possible way. It’s a very soft, clean fragrance at this point.
I can still smell it around me 2 hours after application. That’s why I would say it has an average throw. Overall, it lasts about 4 hours, which is good enough.
White sandalwood and tonka with sweet tobacco incense, vanilla-infused mahogany, rum absolute, and golden oudh.
St. Clare is mostly white sandalwood that is sweetened by tonka. Sweet tobacco incense is also prominent but it’s not jarring. Rum absolute comes out just a bit later. Overall, this fragrance has a surprising smoky quality – not something I’d expect to get out of it. Perhaps that is the oudh note – one I’m not fully acquainted with yet.
As the pefume dries down, white sandalwood becomes more prominent but it’s not as sharp as in Abduction of Prosperine on a Unicorn. Mahogany and oudh finally show up, making the scent woodier.
This perfume has an average throw but it does stay on for quite a while. What I like the most about it is the imagery – it makes me think of a church, where someone (perhaps a naughty monk :)) likes to drink some rum and smoke a cigar from time to time.
Which perfume makes you feel good? Or should I put it this way: which scent is your unicorn?
*These perfumes were either used up or swapped by the time this post went live.