A special Phoenix and Movie smells

I thought it would be fun to link everything in Beth’s anecdote below that still exists today.

Cotton Phoenix
Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory
BPAL Anniversary 2017

Our first anniversary! We were still working from the basement at the time, so to speak. (It was actually the spare room at Ted’s place.) In 2003, the scent categories on our site were Bewitching Brews, Funereal Oils, Dark Elements, Sin & Salvation, Love Potions, and Diabolus, and a selection of conjure and hoodoo recipes that I had reformulated for cosmetic use, including #20 Love Oil, All Night Long, Crucible of Courage, High John the Conqueror, and Van Van. Some of the first scents (our original posse!) available on the site were Anathema, Black Rose, Haunted, Darkness, Debauchery, Faustus, Pulse Points, Satyr, Silentium Amoris, Thanatopsis, Venom, Vixen, my interpretation of the four elements (Burial, Inferno, Hurricane, and Undertow) and, of course, Snake Oil. Snake Oil was the first, and Snake Oil will always be part and parcel of who I am.

At the end of 2003, we offered the first LEs (Samhain and Spooky) and the first LE series ran (“Five fiendishly festive holiday scents!”), limited to one-hundred 5mLs and seventy-five 10mLs of each: Gingerbread Poppet, Midwinter’s Eve, Rose Red, Snow White, and Yuletide.

Cotton Phoenix has a base of our foundation scent, Snake Oil, with a sliver of Snow White, almond milk, and a pillowy poof of marshmallow layered over a sheer cotton blossom musk.

In the Bottle: Sweet Almonds, grains, and Cream, Dana O’Shee?
On Me: Whee! It’s Dana O’Shee cranked up a couple of notches with added Mallow flower…just a whiff of Cotton Blossom. Dries down to a hint of Snake Charmer(another Snake themed blend from Carnival Noir)  I think it’s the musk mingling with the Snake Oil giving me that impression.
On My Son: He says he’ll try it on later.
I think he’s still mad at me for tricking him into wearing Possets Medusa the other day.


Is it weird to own fragrances based on movies I haven’t seen? I really should see them, but it’s hard for the goth in me to buy, let alone watch a Vampire flick by myself, and my kiddo isn’t the sort to watch the genre, with the exception of the new Castlevania anime. Only Lovers Left Alive is this collections’ inspiration, and Crimson Peak is the other movie I have scents of(and will review here), but haven’t seen(and the content is very grim-dark, gothic horror-romance).

Quintessence of Dust
Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory
Only Lovers Left Alive-Story Points

“What a piece of work is a man!”
“What is this quintessence of dust?”

The passing: beeswax and smoke, yellowed paper and well-worn leather books, droplets of spilled ink, faded incense, blood-tinged salty tears, and the metal of the knife that skewers that illiterate zombie philistine’s portrait.

There are batch variations, so there will be two reviews.

In the Bottle: Pickles and Parchment

On me:  I will admit to this being my favourite batch.  It’s an ancient library, filled with dusty tomes, bookbinding and tanning chemicals, India Ink, soot from a guttered candle, a whiff of incense, and a salty coppery tang.  It’s absolutely divine.

In the Bottle: Leather, Beeswax, Paper
On me:  Leather-bound books and parchment scrolls, melted candlewax lending a honeyed fragrance to the air.  The salty, coppery tang is here, but it’s very faint compared to the other I have.  Also, there’s no tanning and bookbinding supplies, and less dust.

Both are beautiful, but this weirdo needs that pickle note, as it’s magical.

On My Son: Declined both batches…something about too much Leather.

Shelley, Byron, and Keats

Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory
Only Lovers Left Alive-Story Points

Uncompromising idealism, haunted romanticism, fatal ennui, and a heady amount of scandal and vice: red roses and pale carnation with a draught of laudanum, smears of opium tar, a hint of absinthe, and mercury ointment.

In the Bottle: Spiced incense, Green Faerie, a soft sweetness.
On Me: Heady Opium opens this stunner, a sharp, pungent bite of Absinthe splashed into a glass, a hint of sugarcubes in the air…with almost a smoky resinous spiced incense vibe swirling around…then fading to a spicy, languid Carnation and Rose. It’s absolutely beautiful, and unlike any Opium blend I have. Not quite enough to boot any of my top three of:

Carnaval Diabolique
When Nothing Was

But it easily places in the top ten of my favourite Opium blends.
On My Son: Sniffing the Bottle was a “Please not today”.

This is Your Wilderness
Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory
Only Lovers Left Alive-Soundtrack

Honeyed patchouli with cypress, black pine, and tobacco absolute.

In the Bottle: Pine-Sol oh why did I think getting this was a good thing? Oh right, my son likes Evergreen scents.
On Me: No Honey to save me. It’s stupidly thick and sticky with resins. Oh God it smells like Pine-Sol! Forty-five minutes later, it smells like driving through the Great Piney Woods…or pretty much any part of the Northern bits of the MidWest or New England. I’ve had this aging for a year since I bought it and smelled like mawkish hippie Patchouli.  My friends have raved that this is the perfect forest scent. Perfectly insane. It smells like industrial pine cleaner.
On My Son: *backs away slowly* Mom, it smells like that stuff you used to wash the floors back home with.
Me: Pine-Sol? So? You said you liked how it smelled like trees.
My Son: I was five. Besides, Pine cleaner smells way better than flower farts cleaner.
Me: Take that back!

We laughed a long time, and he convinced me to stick it back in the aging box, and also to see if pulling a small amount and diluting it with a light carrier oil might make it less sticky, and less potent.  We’ve learned through trial and error that some of these scents are super concentrated(Like CD Act I: The Phantom Calliope) even though they’re already diluted to skin safe percentages, and diluting it further made it less headachy and very wearable.  Eh, worth a shot.  Will report back later.

Crimson Peak
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab presents:
Crimson Peak

A house that breathes, that bleeds, and remembers.

A house like this, in time can become a living thing with timber for bones and windows for eyes: snow marbled with blood-red clay, frozen over the scent of decayed wood.

In the Bottle: Clay, Splintered Wood, that coppery tang, and pure bone-chilling ice.
On Me: Splintered wood. You know the kind. Not exactly rotted, but it’s soft enough to break if you step wrong. It’s icy cold Terracotta clay. Yes, Red Terracotta it has a different smell than regular greyish clay. Like if you are milling clay in a pug mill. Slowly adding water and milling it to juuuust the perfect consistency. If you pull it from the mill, it’s absolutely freezing even when the mill room is warm.
On My Son: Pass for now.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Crimson Peak

Gleaming black and iridescent green: black patchouli and vetiver with green amber, oudh, tobacco flower, elemi, and champaca.

In the Bottle: Earthy, boozy, woodsy, Tobacco and Amber.
On Me: A hint of the Splintered wood note from Crimson Peak, soft black earth. Pipe Tobacco and Amber. Strangely chaotic, yet wearable.
On My Son: Pass for now.

Firethorn Berry Tea
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Crimson Peak

It’s a little bitter.

I’m afraid nothing gentle ever grows in this land, Edith – You need a measure of bitterness – not to be eaten. To survive…

In the Bottle: Mistletoe, Strong bitter oversteeped bad tea(think it’s a bit brisk, baby!)
On Me: Yeah, Poisonous berries and bitter tea. Dries to a sharp yet smooth tea.
On My Son: Pass for now.

After careful reflection, I think the sporadic, random, stormy weather we’re having lately is making him headachy and not comfortable with strong scents, so I’m going to wash these off me and feed him soup and grilled cheese with mushrooms.  When he feels better, we’ll see if any piques his interest.

(He decided a freshly made hamburger with lemon pepper was what he needed)


**All scents here created lovingly by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post.  Reviews are love.**


Possets and posies.

More Possets reviews…


Roses Are Red
Derry Derry…. …violets are blue, and they are made for each other! Why don’t they bloom at the same time? The idea that they don’t almost makes me cry. It did make me create Roses are Red though, so now you can enjoy this scintillating combination when you please. Flowery and simply fabulous.

In the Bottle: Rose and Violet perfection.

On Me: Rose and Violet perfection.  I love this.  It’s like picking a posie bouquet of these.  I kinda wish Miss Fabienne could’ve seen my new neighbourhood…Roses and Violets do bloom at the same time…though the Violets have a shorter bloom season.

On My Son: (He answered in poem form.)

Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue.

I refuse to try this one,

But I’ll still give a review.

It’s very pretty on my Mom.  Like Hope and Faith, but without the sugar and fluff.


Bouquet in the Snow
Glorious osmanthus tucked away among the primroses paired with the beauty of luan wood and an unusual tea (which is very perfumy).

In the Bottle: Tea and posies.  No snow.

On Me: Pretty florals and tea, with a hint of wood.  No snow though.

On My Son:  I like tea, but the flowers are not for me, so no thank you Mommy(I know you miss me saying that)


The Velvet Riding Habit
A simple and alluring blend of the most beautiful of rose and the most sexy of leather.

In the Bottle: Rosey rosey Rose.

On Me: Roses and Leather.  What I wish BPAL’s Whip was like on me.  It’s the first rose I ever wore that amped throughout the house and turned heads.  Haven’t found anything close to it until Peacock Queen.

On My Son: Rose scents are such a pretty thing for my Mom.  She smells like a regal Lady wearing this.  Oh well, one out of three is progress, right?


**These Possets fragrances were acquired by us or gifted to us by friends.  Reviews are our love and thanks.**






Fortuna, Arcana, Hakuna Matata!

Okay, go ahead and get the groaning out of the way, no worries.



On doubtful wings flies the inconstant hour, nor does swift Fortuna pledge loyalty to any.

A paean to Fortuna, as we seek blessings to help us navigate the turbulent seas of the new year.

Approach strong Fortune, with propitious mind and rich abundance, to my pray’r inclin’d
Placid, and gentle Trivia, mighty nam’d, imperial Dian, born of Pluto fam’d;
Mankind’s unconquer’d, endless praise is thine, sepulch’ral, widely-wand’ring pow’r divine!
In thee, our various mortal life is found, and some from thee hi copious wealth abound;
While others mourn thy hand averse to bless, in all the bitterness of deep distress.
Be present, Goddess, to thy vot’ry kind, and give abundance with benignant mind.


Fortuna Balnearis

The Fortunes of Health and Well-Being



A hymn for good health and protection of the vulnerable: orange blossom honey, vanilla husk, green stem sap, and a drop of King mandarin.


In the Bottle:  This made me cry, as well as remember when I was very young.

Honey straws I used to get when I worked at the Gray Goose Inn.  Also, it reminds me of this tiny Orange tree my Mother had when I was little.  Teeny tiny oranges, barely bigger than a kumquat.  Very bitter to eat, but sliced thinly and canned in honey and simple syrup, it became the best cure for sore throats, she called it Yuja cha.  So pretty much spot-on to the description of the hymn.

On Me:  Orangey Orange Honey…which faded far too quickly.  What was left was a fallen branch, loaded with oranges.

On My Son: Bright Oranges and honey.


Fortuna Felix

The Joys of Good Fortune


A hymn to laughter, joy, and merriment: blood orange and champaca bubbling with blonde tobacco, osmanthus, sweet clove, and vanilla.


In the Bottle: Clove tobacco sweetened with Vanilla and Orange.

On Me: Wow.  It’s like a pipeful of Spiced Orange Vanilla tobacco.  I could imagine Dzia Dzia smoking this in his Amber stemmed pipe after dinner, just before he got his Harmonica off the mantel.  It’s beautiful.

On My Son:  He kept sniffing his wrist as I told him stories about his Great-Great Grandpa.


The Legerdemain
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab:

The Fool’s Journey – The Magician – Faces of the Magician

The twilight in between the stage performer and the Magus; the sleight of hand trick transforms into true sorcerous skill: black silken musk, dark clove, guiac wood, black pepper, frankincense, and cardamom.

In the Bottle: Spicy Clove, Cardamom, Dry Peppery woods…
On Me: Foul. First impression on is it was like a rotting log on tarmac.
I think it’s the Frankincense and Guiac wood resins competing for dominance. I love how Frankincense and Palo Santo are when burned together, so this should be nice, but it’s not now. Setting it aside for now…

((I left the lid off for an afternoon to air it, then recapped and tucked it out of the way a couple of weeks, tried it again.))

It’s now a very resinous clove forward scent, the other spices melting into the resins to make a very spicy sweet incense that I just might need more of. Don’t base judgement of a scent on a single sniff or test.
Indie oils need time to settle, and yes, even age a bit. I see so many people sell them off untested after a sniff, only to buy it again later after it’s aged, sometimes for more than the original release when shipping and sometimes customs fees are calculated(indie perfumes are a worldwide fandom).

I rather like Nocturne Alchemy’s take on waiting. They encourage you to let it sit for a week before even sniffing it for the first time to let everything settle and steep. I personally can’t ever do it, but I do retest it days, weeks, months, even years later before giving up.
Which reminds me, that bottle of NAVA Medusa is about ready to retest(Patchouli is iffy on me, and requires massive amounts of aging before I can wear it.  I have an Imp of BPAL Oblivion I’ve been aging since January.  It’s still too weedy.).
On My Son:  He declined because of how it was on me last time, so I have to get him to smell it when he’s not distracted with his art.

The Magician’s Hands
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab:

The Fool’s Journey – The Magician – Aspects of the Magician

The Magician’s right hand bears the wand of Will aloft, while his left hand points earthward. This is the descent of grace, the act of drawing Divine light and inspiration to the material, mortal realm.

Sweet myrrh, calamus, ambrette seed, and Ceylon cinnamon.

In the Bottle: Sweet, effervescent, warm. I can definitely smell the delicate Ceylon Cinnamon, which is so different from the burning spiciness of Cassia Cinnamon.
On Me: The Ceylon Cinnamon is delicate and warm, lending a sweetness to it.  Myrrh is very warm in this one, as opposed to the drowsy, dark, or masculine slant Myrrh and Opoponox(Sweet Myrrh) usually take. This one is almost Champagne boozy, and teeters between Feminine and Androgynous.
The Ambrette Seed lends hints of the old heavy musky Ambergris scents of ages ago, without the drama that comes from products made from anything Whale related.
I’m not a big fan of Changpomul(Sweet flag-Calamus/Iris) except for rinsing my face or hair with it(especially during Dano–May 5, which is why I usually do so much with my hair on that day, despite fervently wishing nothing occurs to make me have to be out that day due to North American festivities on that same day((Yes Mom, I actually remember you showing us this when we were kids, and I still do it!))), but in this scent it works.
It’s starts off effervescent and sweetly spiced, then turns warmly resinous and musky, with just a hint of floral, but you really have to dig for it. I would’ve missed it had I not been very familiar with Sweet Flag-Calamus/Iris. It’s an absolutely beautiful scent, suitable to those looking for a lighter scent with longevity.
On My Son:  Wow.  It’s very warm and lightly masculine, that Sweet Myrrh is just divine on him…and he’s banished me from his presence because I wanted to sniff it on him…just once, mind you.😹




**All scents here created lovingly by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post.  Reviews are love.**




Possets, Poetry, and memories.

Possets Perfume

I cannot review this company without fondly remembering the first time I met the late Fabienne.  My ex had taken me sightseeing in Ohio, where his family had moved to when he was young.  He wasn’t yet an ex, nor even a beau, he was just my childhood friend showing me around.  I had been out of school a very short time, and thanks to an accident, I needed time to heal my soul.  I sometimes wonder if he’d remember silly things like this.

I had forgotten my sunglasses, and was getting the beginnings of a beautiful migraine.  He knew someone who did apothecary oils, and the scents were nothing short of miraculous for me.  She was a vibrant, charismatic elegant Lady, and gently lectured us both–me, on forgetting my sunglasses, him on not getting me a fresh pair.

Sadly, she closed up shortly afterward, and the four bottles of her migraine banishing scent dwindled.

Fast forward to 2006, and a sweet just because gift from his Mother to soothe my aching heart.  Among them was a bottle that said Possets on the label.

I now have a fair collection of  Possets bottles, so I can’t honestly say which one it was with any certainty.

The fact that Fabienne was back creating made me smile, and the hurt of everything else I was dealing with was not as deep.  Every now and again I would snag a bottle when I could afford it, being on a heavy budget.

Many years later I discovered there was a HUGE online fanbase for indie perfumes(not having consistent internet access for a long while kinda made things like that difficult).  I now have regular access to the official site, as well as to fan groups and decant circles where I can replenish my favourites, and try new ones.

In October of 2016, the beautiful Fabienne lost her battle with cancer.  I had lost my brother just in July of that year to an unknown heart condition, so it left me exceedingly emotional.  To say she was extremely loved and grieved by so many is an understatement, she left behind not just family, but a legacy.  The company is being run now by what I would call her apprentices.  Some have said new owners, and not as pleasantly, but having tried batches of my favourites side by side with those made by them, I disagree, and loudly say so.  Her creations live on, and I can wax poetic for days about them.  I’m not going to have any order to what collection or whatnot with these, just how I feel guiding my scent choices.  We may also review other things in-between these as we get them.  Tiny Human might or might not wear them, so here we go.


Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?(Possets 100% Natural) Shakespeare 2013

Genovese basil, the insinuating dark beauty of patchouli, and the actual essence of hay, tagettes (marigold), calendula (European Marigold) all lay out the abundance of the growing season.

In the Bottle:  Green and fresh.

On Me:  It’s really like Summer.  Fresh herbs, marigolds, hay. Breathe it in.

On My Son:  He keeps sniffing his wrist and smiling.  He said it smelled like back home just lazing about laying in the grass under a shady tree.

The Eye of Horus

The eye of the falcon. Very smooth and subtle but with a long lasting edge to it. Starting out with tears of incense combined with a black labdenum and finished with a strong portion of black amber (which I consider a golden sort of black amber). Very beautiful and simple yet exceptionally attractive. Spicy and resinous.

In the Bottle:  Resins and Incense.

On Me:  Breathe in, relax, breathe out.  It’s my meditative incense without burning any.  I use this for meditation.  When I was nearly out, a kind soul on another fandom board sent me a bottle, which I treasure and use in tiny little daubs.

They’ve since brought it back on retour, and I shall have to get a really big bottle.

On My Son: It’s very soft and subtle, an androgynous sort of scent.  He said it would be a good sleep scent for him.


Medusa is a protectoress of Sicily, and her face appears in the middle of the official flag. Few people know that the story of Medusa starts off as her being a young woman, desired by many, who angers Athena to the point where the goddess afflicts Medusa with snakes for hair which is very offputting to gentlemen. She was, through it all, a tender hearted and crushed girl. To celebrate the loveliness which Medusa lost Possets has come up with a coconut fragrance which is latticed throughout with a kiss of olive blossom, a hint of myrtle, and a very small amount of stone.

In the Bottle: Coconut and Olives.  Very Summery, as the friend I got this from said it would be.

On Me: Very fresh Coconut, I would say I can smell the Myrtles if they weren’t presently in bloom everywhere filling the air with scent and pollen, so I’ll say maybe, while loving the heck out of this.   The Olive is so lovely, and I love that you can smell sun-warmed stone.

On My Son:  Too much Coconuts!  Why oh why did I let you talk me into trying this on?  Oh right, because I made you try on that other Medusa that smelled bad on you(NAVA Medusa, and hopefully after a year of aging I might be able to try it and it smell nicer), but awesome on me.  Okay, hahah, you got me back.  Can I scrub it off now?  Please?  (Me:  Did you let me scrub it off right away?)  Him: Fishsticks!


Cri de Coeur (Cry of the Heart)

This fragrance is a real stunner, a true Posset with large lashings of Vanilla, nougat, coconut, sweet musk, tobacco flower,swirling cotton, a drop of nag champa, chypre, black musk and sugar cane. There is the essence of a very good dragon’s blood in it, a small amount of lime, and lime blossom. This is quite a complex beauty. Very sweet without being totally foody, long lasting and strong.

Cri de Coeur was originally created as a fragrance to benefit the victims of the Haitian earthquake and was the most popular Posset in 2010.

In the Bottle: Very pretty.  Dragon’s Blood threaded through a beautiful coconut sweet scent, threaded through Tobacco and Musk.

On Me:  Wow.  It starts off Coconut nougat, then the Dragon’s Blood and Tobacco kicks in. Musk and Citrus slither in with a soft Cotton Blossom.  It’s very complex, yet heartbreakingly beautiful scent.

On My Son: Dragon’s Blood, Citrus, and Sugar cane.  The Tobacco, Musk, and Coconut are very subtle.  I can smell the Cotton Blossom, and he had to have me explain it as the scent he identified as a puffball plant.  I think he likes it, as he’s not asked me to scrub it off.


**These Possets fragrances were acquired by us or gifted to us by friends.  Reviews are our love and thanks.**


Even more Lunacy

Realised all of my Lunacy reviews together are quite larger than I thought, so here’s another one, this one for the Trading Post offerings:


Sin Perfume, Hair Gloss
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
General Catalogue
Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2014                  

Thoroughly corrupted: amber, sandalwood, black patchouli and cinnamon.

In the Bottle:  Earthy Sandalwood and Cinnamon.

The Hair Gloss is the perfume ramped to a thousand.  It’s almost too much, and yet not enough.

On Me:  The perfume is Earthy, spicy, woodsy perfection.

The Hair Gloss is very understated. Golden Amber warm and glowing.  The Sandalwood and Patchouli are softer.  The Cinnamon is spicy, yet soft.  It makes this glorious halo of scent.  I might have spritzed it on my arm a time or two to get the beautiful way the scent morphs in this format.


Zombie Moon Atmosphere Spray
Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2015

Homemade blood clot-and-cherry ice cream plopping onto moonlit sand.

In the Bottle: Tart Cherries and Bloody Coppery tang.  Oh God yes.
As it settled onto my warmed bedding, it got a bit earthy and musky, like wet beach sand.  I really like it, but I have to be really careful because it’s stupidly strong.


Spooky Hair Gloss
Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2016

A maddeningly festive blend of warm, buttery rum, cocoa, coconut, vanilla and a jolt of peppermint. It’s a sweet, decadent, slightly silly scent, reminicent of rum-laced holiday cookies.

In the Bottle: Vanilla Mint heaven.

On Me: I keep a mini of this Hair Gloss in my purse, and freely admit to spritzing it with wild abandon like one would an alcohol perfume(without the bad things that happen on my skin when using an alcohol perfume due to my wonky chemistry) on miserably hot days.

I don’t even care that I don’t get Rum and Coconut.  It’s a gloriously wearable Vanilla Mint.


Kill-Devil Perfume, Hair Gloss
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
General Catalogue
Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2016

Rum punch is not improperly called Kill-Devil; for thousands lose their lives by its means. When newcomers use it to the least excess, they expose themselves to imminent peril, for it heats the blood and brings on fevers, which in a very few hours send them to their graves.

Sugar cane, molasses, oak wood, and honey.

In the Bottle: The Perfume is very sweet, boozy, Woodsy, and a bit Sulfurous.

The Hair Gloss is more boozy, less sweet, and very strong.

On Me: The Perfume fades so quickly, but while it’s there, it’s Oaken casks filled with deep dark Rum.

The Hair Gloss is the same, and fades far too quickly.  I adore it though.  I’ve used it as a quick-dry for manicures, and as a treatment for my cuticles, and love how the scent lingers.


Teatime in Roswell Atmosphere Spray, Hair Gloss
Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2016

Weather balloon? No.
An alien autopsy,
A cover story.

In July of 1947, the US Air Force recovered the crash debris of multiple alien spacecrafts from a ranch close to Roswell, NM. Several aliens survived, but many perished. Both the living and the dead extraterrestrials were transported, in secret, to Hangar 18 at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with the flying saucer wreckage. The US government performed a quick, efficient cover-up: witnesses were silenced, and a press release was issued the next day claiming that the fallen craft was a weather balloon.
Aliens at high tea: Earl Grey, biscuits, Battenberg cake, and strangely-glowing cucumber sandwiches.

In the Bottle:  The Hair Gloss is really strong, all hot Earl Grey and refreshingly cool petite Cucumber sandwiches.

The Atmosphere Spray is super strong Earl Grey, the plain but delicious Wholemeal Biccies, and refreshing petite Cucumber Sandwiches…you know the ones.

On Me:  The Atmosphere Spray is the same as in the bottle, I love it.

Sprayed into hands and dispersed on the ends of my hair, Cucumber Cake.  Where’s my cuppa?  Whoa, go away cake, I want some tea! Just to see if it was my chemistry, I tried it again later, and spritzed it on my brush.  I got that same peculiar Tea-less Cucumber Cake.  Spritzed on my shirt, it was the bottle scent.  Guess the aliens stole my tea and biccies.


 Dee Hair Gloss
Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2018

John Dee: master of science, alchemy and magic, Hermetic philosopher in the schools of Rosicrucian Christian Mysticism and Platonic-Pythagorean doctrine, and Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, advisor, cryptologist and spy. With Edward Kelly, he created a field of study and work in Angelic Evocation, and isolated the Angelic language: Enochian. His scent is soft English leather, rosewood and tonka with a hint of incense, parchment and soft woods.


Dana O’Shee Perfume, Hair Gloss, Atmosphere Spray, Bath Oil,
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
General Catalogue

Black Phoenix Trading Post
A Little Lunacy 2018

In Irish folklore the Dana O’Shee are a fae, elven people that live in a realm of beauty, their nobility akin to our that own Age of Chivalry, eternally beautiful and eternally young. They surround themselves with the pleasures of the Arts, they live for the hunt, and to this day can be seen riding in procession through the Irish countryside at twilight, led by their King and Queen. However, the Dana OShee are not benevolent creatures, despite what their unearthly beauty may imply. They are vengeful and treacherous and possess a streak of mischievous malice, and many have whispered that their true home lies deep in the shadowed groves of the Realm of the Dead. Hearing even a single chord of their otherworldly music leaves one stunned and lost to the mortal realms for ever, finding themselves prey to the Dana OShees hunt or enslaved in their Court as servants or playthings.
Offerings of milk, honey and sweet grains were made to placate these creatures, and it is that the basis of the scent created in their name.

In the Bottle: The perfume is sweet and comforting, very much like Oats, Honey and sweet heavy Cream.

On Me:  Usually Honey blends fade quickly.  This one clings to me like a hug or a favourite sweater, and lasts most of the day.  It’s Honey and Sweet Cream and Oats, and yet it’s not a gourmand scent to me.

On My Son:  Same as the Bottle. It’s very cosy.

(The bottle I have of this and another called Ode on Melancholy was a sweet gift given to us during a very tough time, and I credit that as the reason the scent works so well, as she literally gave us that warm and cosy feeling and sent it along as part of the magic that the creators at BPAL put into it.)

The Hair Gloss is very subtle, and very Honeyed.  I shook it like mad and sprayed a generous amount into my hands to work into the ends of my hair, but it was very faint.  This is not usually the case with Hair Gloss.  It also faded rather quickly.  I was a pretty sad Dinky.

The Atmosphere Spray is very strong, every component magnified until almost too much, though once it dries, it’s more like the perfume.  I really like it to freshen up my blankets.

The Bath Oil is fairly strong.  As a bath soak, it filled the room with its relaxing fragrance.  As an after shower oil, it’s subtle until I get warm, and I absolutely love how soft my skin feels after using it like this.  I have a dropper bottle I decanted some into for this purpose, and it’s pure decadence.


**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Trading Post by me, or by special event faeries or friends for me.  Reviews for the love of it**


I’m not kitten around, this is cute!

So Miss Astrid, as I’ve mentioned before, is an absolute sweetheart, and takes care of all the wildlife and strays she finds near her.  She has a lovely sense of humour to go with her big heart, and here’s the story of Thurston in her own words:


A few months ago, a long-haired, mangey looking tom cat started hanging out around my barn. He would travel between here and the house across the street. He was shy and warrisome, but would meow to me when I would talk to him. I fed him (well, he helped himself to the cat food to my other barn cats) and we carried on like that for several weeks. I once accidentally caught him in a trap I set up for a possum, but then let him go. A few weeks ago, I went out late one night to walk my dog and he was out by the garage. So, I talked to him as I usually do and he seemed more interested and braver than usual. I put the dog back in the house and came back out to talk with him some more. He let me pet him. He was more than mangey that I could have ever imagined. His entire coat, all the way to the base of his skin was entirely matted and filled with burdock burrs. I knew that when the good weather rolled around, I would have to try to shave him because he was obviously in a lot of discomfort and super itchy. I also warned him that I would neuter him (kiss those jewels goodbye, buddy!). Fast forward to a little less than two weeks ago and I notice he has a closed and weepy eye. Everyday it seemed to worsen and I felt like I really needed to help him. I called my vet to ask if I could trap him, and if could I bring him over and they would just keep him and look at him when they had a moment. They said yes. I managed to get him that same day and took him over.

Well, I am now in the process of incurring quite a significant vet bill for a cat that I am going to release back outside (we have a dozen in the house and another dozen in the barn, so we have no vacancy! I really mean it!) and who will probably thank me by getting hit by a car or just take off for somewhere else! But, I felt compelled to help him. His expenses are really outside of my budget right now, so the proceeds from this collection are going to directly pay his medical and boarding costs. He has been fully shaved, neutered, and his eye, which has a nasty ulcer, has been sewn shut to heal and he has to wear a cone for about 10 days. I absolutely cannot bring him in my house to care for him or I will get too attached and not put him back out (See the Calico story from Winter 2016/2017)! I’ve already named him, which is a major no-no if you don’t want to have teh feelz for an animal.

I’ve been calling him Thurston. I’ve written about him and posted pictures on Facebook, too.

I know I could have made this collection without making it a kitty benefit, but I know some of you like to help animals in need, so it gives these perfumes a bit more of a purpose.

If I can find someone to give him a good home, I will, but I haven’t had much luck over the years placing cats. Only 3, in 17 years. They usually end up staying here. Just ask my husband. 

On behalf of Thurston, thank you.



So she created this set of four perfumes as a benefit to gather funds for kitty supplies, grooming and vet bills.  They’re loosely based off of her wildly popular Springtime collection, “Whinnies“, that she has lovingly titled, “Meowies“.  By the time I was able to order them, all but Meowies no.2 was sold out, while disappointed I couldn’t get them all, if I’m at all honest with myself, this was the one I most wanted to try, so a bit of pure serendipity there.

(This one is still available folks, so get it while it lasts, it’s purrfect!  I’m not kitten around, you’ll love it!)


Meowies no.2

Kitten Benefit 

Marshmallow, sweet clover, violet, lettuce, Egyptian rose, and a whisper of spearmint.

In the Bottle:  Althea Blossoms(the plant where marshmallows originated from).  There is nothing quite like smelling Marshmallow flowers, and it’s so soft and sweet. It’s very minty in the bottle too.  Just a slight whiff of wild Clover, Roses, and Violets.

On Me:  The scent is soft and sweet like the scent of kitty fur that’s rolled around in Althea blossoms.  As it warms up, it’s very softly minty, you can smell that he’s also rolled around in sweet Clover and Violets.  The Roses are on the windowsill, perfuming the warm Summery breezes.  It’s so soft and sweet.  I could imagine this sweet and fluffy kitty doing just that.

On My Son:  The same soft kitty fur and Althea blossom sweetness on me, but he got soft minty early on, with a bit of Clover and Violets to lend it just a bit of gentlemen-like airs as it warmed.  Very lovely on him.  I’m really not tempted in the slightest to follow him around and sniff him all day.

Of course you guys all know I’m lying through my teeth…

In many updates, she informed everyone that Thurston had been shaved and groomed because of the extensive matting in his beautiful fur(and was not a-mew-sed about it), that his health issues were resolved thanks to the wonderful vets, that he’d been fixed, and in the last update about him, most happily, was that she found him a fur-ever home, and even showed pictures of his new fur-family(she actually said he’s got a girlfriend–their other cat), and that he’s adjusting well.  It was very lovely to see this as it happened, and I’m so glad he has a home.



Anyway, along with the lovely kitty benefit bottle, she also sent me the most adorably tiny amber bottle with a darling handwritten label of a permanent collection scent titled Unlikely.




Permanent Collection

Moonflower, cucumber, lily asiatique, fig and wisteria. Gentle and fresh.

In the Bottle:  Very fresh with the Summery scent of Cucumber and Tea.

On Me:  It reminds me of going to my Grandparents house in the Summer, and the tea and tiny cucumber sandwiches they had after church, and the Moonflowers and Morning Glories that grew up the brickwork.

Many years later, my son made me tea and cucumber sandwiches as a surprise picnic, and his accidental Morning Glory in a pot that climbed up and filled the kitchen window. It smells like this too. So beautiful.

An hour later, and was still very refreshing Cucumber and Tea.  A tiny whiff of Stargazers and Wisteria peeked out, and a touch of sweetness I attribute to the fig.  I know Tea isn’t listed, but my skin translates this scent as Tea and dainty little Cucumber sandwiches.  It’s stunning.

My son declined, as he wasn’t sure if the florals would work on him.  Might be able to have him try it later, and will update here if so.


**Scents acquired from Blooddrop, reviews for the love of it.**


A Little (more) Lunacy

Wow, this is only what we’ve recently acquired, and not even all they’ve released for Lunacy this year.

Vexed and Aggrieved
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A Little Lunacy Charity Event 2018

*snip three page poetica*

(I’ll put it in if you really want to see it, let me know.)

Now, we make no claims that this perfume has any medical or recuperative powers whatsoever, but if you’d like to experience the scents of a bit of Egyptian medicine, we’ve got the cure for what ails you: an incense of cassia and myrrh with opium tar accord, peony seed, honey water, a pinch of pitch, the smoke of burning wool, a handful of dried squill petals, castoreum accord, and pessaries of rose perfume and bitter almond oil.

In the Bottle: Almonds and Peonies.

On Me: Wow.  This morphs a lot. Cinnamonesque notes drift through Myrrh, then hints of Smoke and Rosewater soaked Almonds, transforming into heady Opium, and gentle Peony, then cycling through repeatedly.

My son said it was very delicate and girly, and so vetoed it.  I don’t mind, because I love it.


Blue, Bloody Supermoon: Lunar Eclipse
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A Little Lunacy 2018

This month, an extraordinarily rare Blue Supermoon will rise and pass through the Earth’s shadow. During the full lunar eclipse, Luna will take on a blood red veil. This is the first time in 150 years that this triumvirate of Lunar phenomena will be visible in the Americas, and those in North America’s northern West Coast will have the best seats in the house for this show.

Crystalline blue musk, juniper berry, white tea leaf, and mugwort veiled by wild plum, shadow-dark vegetal musk, black sage, tobacco absolute, and a shroud of blood musk.

In the Bottle: Go ahead and laugh, it smells like a fresh pack of Fruit Stripes Gum.

On me: It starts out bright, freshly green and sharp, the Juniper and Sage has a glorious bite, with strong hot Tea, then it cools down to a delightfully cool juicy Plum scent, then goes very dark with the rich sweet pipe Tobacco and Dark Musk, and ends with the coppery tang of blood.

I love this.

On My Son:  It’s very clean and masculine, and suits him well.  It’s completely different than on me, and for a moment I wasn’t sure it was the same scent until I caught a barely there whiff of Plum.


Blue Unicorn Moon
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A Little Lunacy 2018

Lilith’s interpretation.

From the Littlest Perfumer: “It’s a happy moon. It is beautiful, shiny and it makes me think of magical blueberries. It makes wishes come true, and puts a smile on your face.”

Vanilla blueberry bubblegum.

In the Bottle:  This has an adorable label of a design hand-drawn by Lilith.  Tempted to collect all the designs, but I don’t think I need that many bottles of this.  It’s a Sour Blueberry gum Lolly.

Um, well…I got bubblegum, lots of bubblegum.   Sour Blueberry drops at about the five minute mark.  Later wears have it less bubblegum, so it just needed to settle.

On My Son:  Juicy Blueberries like in MonsterBait: Courophobia-Bones Trombone.  Bubblegum is less pronounced, almost like the Harry Potter inspired Droobles Gum, very Blueberry.  I loved it on him, he said it was too sweet, personally I think he was smelling how it was on me, so I’m going to try to convince him to try it again, and have me not wear it that day for contrast.


Luna Azul
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A Little Lunacy 2018

Ted’s interpretation.

The ephemeral romance, the fleeting affair: frankincense and blackcurrant, caramelized black amber, and motia attar.

In the Bottle: Sweet, intoxicatingly fresh Night-blooming Jasmine.

On Me: A Jasmine nosegay in my hand, and warm breezes bringing the sweet juicy scent of ripe currants. As it dries, there’s a hint of Frankincense burning in a censer carried along that same breeze.
A half hour later, and the Amber peeks in, transforming it into a sweet, floral, resinous smoky scent.  I’m glad I got this one.
It’s almost identical to the scent of a friend’s Mothers garden in the California Summer. Only English Roses and Salt spray would be needed to complete it, but it’s hauntingly close. It arrived in time to wear it for the Lunar Eclipse.  I was excited.  Okay, straight on waking up, I got this amazing Salted Caramel scent and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.

The Luna Azul was fading, and there’s a bare hint of Jasmine to go with the sweetness.

Very fitting finish.

My Son vetoed this as in the bottle, it smelled too girly and sweet for him.


Wander Darkling, in the Eternal Space
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A Little Lunacy 2018

This February, darkness will reign as we experience a month without a full moon: the velvet darkness of sweet myrrh and vetiver-laced patchouli, Madagascar vanilla, smoked ambrette seed, and blackened rose petals.

In the Bottle:  Very much like the American Gods release #@$! You, Said the Raven, only with Roses.

On Me:  Exactly the above.  It’s stunning.

On My Son:  While not usually one for Rose scents, he wanted to try this.  It’s dark, resinous, and earthy on him, the Rose very subtle, unlike the Violets of the AG Raven.  He’s uncertain, so he will revisit it later.

Because I mentioned it, here’s the comparison:

#@$! You, Said the Raven
Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory
American Gods Tenth Anniversary

Glossy black, rough, and gravelly: violet-gilded opoponax, black patchouli, myrrh, and oak leaf.
In the Bottle: Violets, and resins, and earthy woods oh my!
On me: I tried this on still warm from the Post, so I knew it would change. Standard is to wait two days for it to settle, but I could not wait at all.  Can you blame me? Violets and soft earth, and trees. The Opoponax and Myrrh is in the background, subtle, but present. I had suspected it would change in a couple of days, and it did.  The Myrrh is in the foreground with oak and patchouli grounding it, allowing the Violet to swirl around, almost like flapping wings.  It’s a favourite scent, even if my son is not fond of the name.  Eventually I need to post reviews of the AG scents we have, as well as the other book scents because I love the fact they make these with Neil Gaiman’s approval, and all the proceeds of his book scents go to the CBLDF(Comic Book Legal Defense Fund).
On My Son: Breathtakingly gorgeous masculine, Gentlemanly Violet swirling around Myrrh and earthy woods.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
A Little Lunacy 2018

Traditionally, Beaver Moon is named thus for a very obvious reason: during this time of year, beavers are hard at work building their dams and preparing for the onset of winter. Not here at BPAL, though! It’s our semi-annual opportunity for absurdity and campiness. This year’s cheesecake is a werebeaver’s indulgence: chocolate espresso bean cheesecake with a chipotle caramel cocoa drizzle.
Artwork by Aristotle Pramagioulis

In the Bottle: It smells like a freshly baked cheesecake, with an espresso laced chocolate cookie crust, and I personally imagine them to dust a fine Belgian cocoa over it before the spicy Chipotle pepper caramel drizzle adorns the top.

On Me:  This cheesecake exactly.  Oh my stars I want cheesecake now.  I want THIS cheesecake.

On My Son:  Chipotle pepper chocolate covered espresso beans, and a sliver of cheesecake.  It’s less sweet on him, but so decadent.

This is not the first time they’ve done cheesecake for this moon…(and I’m debating on a separate post of the ones we do own).


**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by me, or by special event faeries or friends for me.  Reviews for the love of it**