Twelve plus one

Tiny Human is twelve plus one,

His Mummy is a nervous wreck.

She is a ringer for Cleopatra

So deep in de-Nile she went.


Tiny Human is twelve plus one,

Mummy is not ready yet.

For teenage years, and teenage tears

We grownups tried hard to forget.


Tiny Human is twelve plus one,

Oh how the time has flown.

Just yesterday you were a grand newborn

Tomorrow you will tower o’er me.


Tiny Human is twelve plus one,

What parent is ever prepared?

They are not, you will find, real superheroes,

Except in the eyes of their child.


Happy Birthday my Tiny Human,

My little love.

I may not be ready, but…

Your Mom is here.



Holiday-palooza…or What a Haul!

So I got kiddo more of the Gentlemen of Horror scents seeing as how last year he tried to walk off with mine(and managed to get For Vincent “Van Ghoul” Price).  Astrid made an amazing Wintry parcel…He let me try them on too.

For Christopher Lee
Blooddrop Clothing & fineries
Gentlemen of Horror 2017

The scent of a funeral pyre, dragon’s blood, rosewood, grave moss and dirt, olibanum, coffin wood, copal, and cold crypt air.

In the Bottle: Dirty.  Very dirty, and green.  A wee bit sweet.

On My Son: Dragon’s Blood, Smoke, and elegant woods.  Yeah, I think he likes it.

On Me: Dragon’s Blood and Coffee, and a bucket of dirt dumped on me for taking a break.  As it dries, I get the scent of a fire, and dirt and ash.  I kind of love this.  Very different than the gothy Vampire Vibe last years  For Bela Lugosi had.  As it settles more on my skin, I get more of that Vampire vibe.  It morphs rather delightfully.

For Lon Chaney Jr.

Blooddrop Clothing & fineries
Gentlemen of Horror 2017

A swarthy, rugged blend of smooth wood notes, rum, warm spice and sand, dark patchouli, Indian sandalwood, and white grapefruit.

In the Bottle: Why do I think Pirates when I smell this? It’s very boozy, woodsy and beachy.  Mild citrus, so no Scurvy here.

On My Son:  Pirates.  He says he smells like a Pirate, and that she bottled Errol Flynn and Johnny Depp inside.  He likes this.  A lot.

On Me: Very dark and dangerous.  If you know who Lon Chaney Jr. is, you’ll understand the dangerousness of his persona.  Gorgeous.

For Peter Cushing
Blooddrop Clothing & fineries
Gentlemen of Horror 2017

An elegant, noble, and reverent blend of fern, Tibetan amber, rosewood, church incense, and wild lavender.

In the Bottle: It’s a classic Fougere!  *dances*  I LOVE Fougeres!  Just a hint of incense…or maybe it’s to hide the Stake!

On My Son:  The most flawless Lavender Fougere.  Masculine, refined, dapper.  He LOVES it, and I’m not letting him out of the house with it unattended.  Wow.

On Me: Very refined classic Lavender Fougere, subtle hint of Amber, the Rosewood and Incense lend that aura of Macabre(yeah, he’s totally hiding a stake).  It needs a touch of aging to soften and deepen it, but this is absolutely flawless.

Merci No. 134
Thank-You gift 2017
No notes given.

In the Bottle: Dark Chocolate Orange.

On My Son:  Chocolate Oranges.  Yeah, he loves it.
On Me: Dark Chocolate, Mandarin Orange, just a hint of cream swirled in to make it a sweet dreamy treat.

Sueded Leather
Single Note 

In the Bottle: I could huff this bottle all day.  Suede and just a hint of that freshly tanned chemical smell.

On My Son: Mom’s leather jackets hanging up in the closet.  I think she’d like it a lot.

On Me: *unintelligible gibbering*

Crazy Pills
Holiday gift Winter 2017
Created as a fun way to help combat the insanity of the holidays(and is in no way making light of mental illness).
No notes given.

In the Bottle: There was a joke when this scent was announced, and folks joked that she would just slap a ‘Crazy Pills’ label on to mess with folks.  She said the thought hadn’t occurred to her, and would have made it easier.

On My Son:  Declined stating it was very “Mom”, and handed it to me, to a lot of squeeing.

On Me: Unknown what’s actually in it, but I get Bamboo and the same floral vibe that I adore in The Cats Would Eat Her Hair, with a softly spiced milky note in the background. This is Nirvana. Instant bottled Zen.  After sharing that in her forums, others quipped that she was indeed slapping labels on random bottles.  It’s fun.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Stinker managed to get my BPAL “wish cart” off my computer.  They bought me every scent in it but one…and that one arrived in a beautiful box along with a perfect assortment of Incense and incense supplies as a gift from a dear friend.

Within are a few reviews where I wax poetic and reminisce about growing up Catholic, and how these scents remind me of all the beauty of it. Apologies in advance.

Also, kiddo says maybe later he will review them, he’s currently enjoying his scent presents.

Single Note: Bluebonnet
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Proceeds from the sale of SN: Bluebonnet will benefit Global Giving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

See also, Global Giving on Charity Navigator.

In the Bottle: The green and floral freshness of Lupines
On Me: If you’ve ever been to Texas during Bluebonnet season as I have, the scent on the air is pretty much this.  Now combine that with greenness of freshly picking a small bouquet of them, and this is pretty much it.  I love this, and the fact that it was created by a woman with such passion, and a beautiful, giving soul.  She’s not profiting on these charity scents, but giving it where it’s needed, and she researches the charities she gives to to make sure it does as listed.

The Goddess of Mischief
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Lilith 2017

Lilith has a ton of empathy for the God of Mischief. I think many kids identify with Loki because they know what it’s like to be passed over, to be ignored in favor of a shinier relative or friend, and what it feels like to not be as strong or powerful as some of your peers. He may be evil(ish), but he has a sense of humor and a grasp of irony that kids relate to, and that’s worth its weight in Alfheimian gold nuggets.
Thor is great and all, but Loki has /gone through some shit/, and Lilith respects that.
But what are the main reasons why Lilith digs Loki? “He looks like me, and he’s really funny.”
Girl!Loki costume by Chrissy Lynn!

White lavender and sweet amber, green oudh, and inky musk.

In the Bottle: A sweeter, lightly musky version of last years Good Morning, London

On Me: The Lavender is less sharp than in GML, the Amber is a bit softer, with the Oudh and Musk making it softer yet.  Good Morning, London is more masculine.  This is the feminine counterpoint.

Little Photojournalist
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Lilith 2017

Lilith Barrial, budding photojournalist, at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, New Orleans, LA. She’s been snapping photos since she was a toddler; we have whole photo albums of blurry photos of shoes and pavers from those days. She loves taking her powder pink instax on trips, and loves to document playdates with her friends.

Cathedral incense and rock candy.

In the Bottle:  It’s…odd. I think because it’s freshly made, it’s different than as it’s warmingnon the skin.  It’s sort of like that sour sugar they toss gummy worms in.  Not at all like rock candy, with the roses in the background.

On Me:  So wet, it’s very sugary. As it begins to warm up, it reminds me of All Souls without the Currant laced Soul cake smell, yet still sweet.

Fully dry, it smells just like Rosicrucian incense from the Catholic Cathedrals I grew up near. When I was older, I used to spend time at St. Michaels basking in the clouds of incense and drinking in the sight of all of that glorious stained glass and gothic architecture.

Very moss, rose, resins, and woods(the incense I’m talking about is made of blocks of moss with the resins and oils blended in, then pressed into form).

I personally adore it, but you have to like Rosicrucian incense.

I know some don’t, but I do, and I need eleventybillion bottles of it so I can walk in a cloud of this.  This would  so be on my families Christmas list material for me if I knew how long they were going to run this for.(And thanks to sneaky friends, I have more.  I’m speechless.)

Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe 
Black Phoenix Trading Post
Fatherhood 2017

Our friend, Lee Moyer, asked if Lilith could be a model for an illustration of Wednesday Addams that he was working on. They wanted a photo of her in a lab and of course I jumped at the chance to take a photo of my baby. I grabbed my camera and we set up a little table. We had so much fun decorating the table. Lilith was running around grabbing things and saying, “Can we use this? Can we use that?” Luckily for her, there’s no shortage of creepy things scattered around her house.

A little kid’s interpretation of a gothy goth perfume: sugared clove and vanilla patchouli with cacao, dried Avignon rose petals, and a bit of black cherry.

In the Bottle:  Cacao and Clove with an undertone of earth and roses.

On Me:  Well, I gotta say Puddin’ and Lilith make Roses that work very well on me.
It’s beautiful.  Gothy and dark, yet girly.  Clove tinged Roses make a grand sweeping opening, with rich, dirty dark Cacao and just a hint of rich, tart Black Cherry.
For a nine-year-old, Lilith sure has Goth down to a science.  For those not in the know, she has already crafted several perfumes with her parents assistance, and inspired many more just by being herself.
It has tremendous staying power, and despite the bold notes, doesn’t drift as far as some of their other Clove-laden scents like last years Fatherhood scent Tag-Upon-Avon(my favourite of them all, with The Serpentine a close second), or the Lab’s Low-Key Lyesmith, which I have to apply hours in advance before going out, or fill the car with an overwhelming amount of scent.
Also, I only apply on my wrists, a single swipe from a glass wand, and one swipe on a poof or pad depending on scent locket or pendant.  I might reapply before bed for an extra whiff of this.

Pumpkin Spice Everything
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Weenies 2017

Pumpkin Spice the f#@k outta everything!

In the Bottle: Pumpkin Spice Nirvana

On Me: I’ve tried previous offerings of this, and this year it doesn’t go high-pitched spice candy.  It’s hints of the delicious squishy gourd, the decadent spices you use before baking it…it’s perfect, and I’m going to have fun  cheating(They have a Pumpkin Spice Whatever collection this year where they blend this single note with GC smells, but I want to layer it with absolutely EVERYTHING)…I mean layering it with my favourite blends.  Viva la Pumpkin Spice!

Paper Phoenix
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Anniversary 2017

On our second anniversary, the Lab moved from the Far Land of Spare Oom (gratuitous C.S. Lewis reference) to its first real “location” in Atwater Village. It was small, it was weird, and we all shared one space, but it was home.

In 2004, our real unreal home,, was founded by slythwitch, and later that year, shrieking violet took over the helm. has been the source of so much love and joy in my life since its inception, and because of .org, my family – bound by love and spirit – expanded to include some of the finest human beings I have ever known. The community that grew from .org is incomparable, both on the internet and in the so-called “real” world; it is a safe haven of wise, witty, kind, compassionate souls, and without it and without the people that I met through it, my life would be so much darker.

2004 also heralded our first press mention (thank you, Bust Magazine!), our first Chaos Theory series, and the first Lunacies. Our first Blue Moon came out in July of 2004, launching the Lunacies that we’ve been doing ever since. Red Moon was our official first Lunacy blend, followed Harvest Moon, Hunter Moon, and a bajillion other Lunacies over the next eleven years!

(Ok, maybe not a bajillion, but I’m not in the mood to do the math!)

Prior to September of 2004, we dressed our Imps a bit differently. We wrapped synthetic bull sinew around the vials and used handwritten parchment labels. Honestly, it looked amazing, but it was an incredibly time consuming process, and left me with a couple of imp-related battle scars. As of autumn, we switched to the paper labels you see tody.

Our first activism scents also debuted in 2004: Cerberus (Animal Assistance League of Orange County), Chiroptera (Bat Conservation International), Corazon (Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land), Oisin (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), and Thunderbird (the Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program), kicking off over a decade of fundraising, advocacy, and charity work.

In 2004, Antique Lace first appeared and we introduced our first forum-only blend (Formula 54!). And on December 21, 2004, Dorian – a hymn to my love for Ted – went live.

A memory of Antique Lace, Formula 54’s pink pepper, and a splash of Dorian’s white tea and lavender fougere.

In the Bottle:  Dorian pimped out with very lacy sleeves(think Goblin King overdone lace) and a hint of spice to his usual swagger.

On Me:  It’s Dorian, crisp and lightly spicy from the pepper, as well as that elegant starched lace scent from all the Lace collections over the years.

Blackcurrant Sufganiyot
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Yule 2017

Golden-brown and sugar-dusted, plump with sweet blackcurrant jelly.

In the Bottle: Blackcurrants squished into the bottle, and a bit of oversugared pastry.

On Me: Much like last years Raspberry Sufganiyot, once it dries, it smells like a Jammie Dodger, all crisp, sweet shortbread. I’m gonna have to watch it wearing this, lest I gnaw my arm in my sleep.

Midnight Mass

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Yule 2017

I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord: That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts.

But as for me, I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way: in the churches I will bless thee, O Lord.

In Roman Catholic tradition, the Christmas season begins liturgically on Christmas Eve, though it is forbidden to celebrate the Christmas Mass before midnight. The most devout attend Midnight Mass, celebrating both the Eucharist and the drama of the Nativity.

This perfume is a traditional Roman Catholic sacramental incense, most often used during a Solemn Mass. Traditionally, five tears of this incense, each encased individually in wax that has been fashioned into the shape of a nail, are inserted into the paschal candle. This is, of course, represents the Five Wounds of Our Risen Savior. Symbolically, the burning of the incense signifies spiritual fervor, the fragrance itself inspires virtue, and the rising smoke carries our prayers to God.

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

In the Bottle:  I’m Catholic, during a time when it is not popular to be one.  It is hard to joyfully express how much the scent of the incense wafting from the censers in the old Cathedrals means to me, or how it was to smell it burning in a relatives home made me so happy and at peace.  This is joy in a bottle.

On Me:  The main difference between the one I grew up with and this is roses, and that was easily remedied by adding a drop of Peacock Queen, but that’s a personal feeling.  If you love the drier Cathedral incenses, you’ll adore this.

The Magi
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Yule 2017

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

An offering of frankincense, gold, and myrrh, with coriander, cumin, ambergris, white wine grape, and vanilla bean.

Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

In the Bottle:  Remember the Carol of ‘We Three Kings’?  It smells of the Gifts of the Magi, utterly magical.  There is also wine and exotic spices.

On Me:  It begins warmly golden and sparkling, but not effervescent like Champagne, the gold to me is the molten gold of the forge(having gone through part of an apprenticeship, the scent is unmistakeable, and it has been masterfully captured here.) the spices gently wafting in the air, and the exotic tears of Frankincense and Myrrh, the traditional pairing of the Church and home for the season singing joyfully.  This is a masterpiece.

The Magi: Balthasar of Arabia
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Yule 2017

Copaiba balsam, black oudh, Ceylon cinnamon, vegetal musk, and ambrette seed.

In the Bottle: It begins with Balsam, and sweet, yet delicate true Cinnamon.

On Me: The molten gold of the forge from the previous scent has been isolated, with only a bare hint of the cinnamon.  This, by the way, is real Cinnamon, not the sharp spice known as Cassia, that is used because of the similar spicy profile.  True Cinnamon is crumbly, delicate, and sweetly spicy, where Cassia is sharp, hard, and boldly spicy.  It translates to Gold, pure rich, heavy, regal gold, worthy to crown Him.

It wears well, and the woodsy notes make a warm halo of softness while still being golden.

The Magi: Gaspar of India
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Yule 2017

Laotian oudh, labdanum, bourbon vanilla, red benzoin, and myrrh.

In the Bottle:  Hazy sweetness, surrounded by a richly alcohol-soaked Myrrh.

On Me: Myrrh is one of my favourite resins, followed by Frankincense, due to growing up Catholic and celebrating the holiday in the Church.  This one is absolutely stunning, and perfectly captures the gift of Myrrh for the Christ child.  The Oudh, Labdanum, Benzoin and Vanilla all work together to create the most perfect foreshadowing of His future.

The Magi: Melchior of Persia
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Yule 2017

Sweet oudh, Bulgarian rose, chamomile, and frankincense.

In the Bottle: Roses and Frankincense.  I love this already!

On Me: Freshly applied, it’s exotic Frankincense, grounded by gently sweetened Oudh, which is the essence taken from Aquilaria(called Agarwood when the trees are infected and producing resin, and the resin itself called Oudh).  Chamomile gentles it further, so when the Rose makes its appearance, it is rich and grand and exotic.  This is breathtaking, I cannot begin to explain how perfect the imagery is, with gifts so rich and exquisitely perfect to give to the King of Kings.


** I acquired these insanely indulgent treats from Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and Trading Post.  The opinions are my own, and once I truly experienced them, I absolutely had to spread the love.**


Imagination and creative thinking for a better future.

A dear friend sent me this video…

It reminded me of my brother, and reduced me to tears.

This was Chris’fer in a nutshell.

He’d ‘BAH, HUMBUG!’ his way through the living room whenever I asked him for help putting up the tree while I went and got the ornaments down, instead offering to watch his Nephew while pointing and laughing at me as I struggled with the tree.

When I’d go angrily scrambling for the ornaments hidden away in the attic to ‘just get it over with'(I later learned he moved them on purpose, with a purpose), he’d set that tree up and tell his tiny toddler Nephew how to calculate the number of string lights needed for an eight foot tall tree to give it maximum twinkle…mathematically.

Fast forward many years, and see my son struggle with higher end math, not because he’s no good at that, but because the educational systems they teach in limit what a student can use as compared to long ago when I was in school.
He usually has three to four other ways to solve a problem, but none but what they’re required to teach them is correct(even if the required method never gets the right answer). He’s frustrated, but keeps pushing forward.

He believes eventually SOMEONE will understand why 96x+12=twinkle.

I miss my brother and his Grinch-ly humbug attitude that fooled only me.


Happy Holidays, whatever, whenever you celebrate.  Make the brightest, shiniest memories.


For the benefit of the Lone Star: Blue Bonnet edition

Posting for the benefit of all Texans caught up in the Hurricane Harvey disaster:

So, many folks are watching closely the news broadcasts of the recent Hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast, most notably in Texas.

So many want to help, but are unaware of what it takes to do so safely without overburdening the already overburdened rescue staff that are waiting for the go-ahead to do more than just get people and animals out of the heavily flooded areas in-between pauses.

The most important thing to do is raise funds for those that are experts in the field so they can more effectvely help those in the greatest need.  Also donating blood for the most extreme issues is vital.  That said, I’ll post this with little of my usual cheek.

Like perfume or know a gal who does? Want to help with relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Harvey, but don’t know what to do?  Support relief efforts and smell nice/make that special gal smell nice at the same time.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab  has released

Single Note: Blue Bonnet

Proceeds to benefit disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Elizabeth Barrial and her husband Ted “Puddin” Barrial of Black Phoenix Trading Post are well known for their charitable works, releasing scents whose proceeds go to various causes that benefit so many.

If you weren’t aware, the deep Blue Lupines that grow in Texas are known as Blue Bonnets and are the Texas state flower.
They cover the beautiful curving, winding roads and pathways every Spring with a gorgeous blanket of blue that has to be seen…and smelled to believe.

Stay safe everyone!



Rest and relaxation is apparently for the birds.

So my wonderful readers, I’m back.  Still a bit shaky, but ready to get this show on the road.

Since my Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory order is MIA, I cannot give you my planned American Gods review, so I will dive into all of the other lovelies I have tried recently.

First up is Bosie, from ZOMG Smells.  It’s a general catalogue scent, and thank goodness, because I love it about as much as Earth and Heaven(and I’ll need more of that soon).

Bosie                                                                      ZOMG Smells                                                  General Catalogue

Lord Alfred Douglas is best remembered as Bosie, Oscar Wilde’s famously terrible boyfriend and almost certainly the beautiful, unreliable model for Dorian Grey. When Bosie caught the flu, Wilde nursed him back to health; once recovered, Bosie went off to enjoy life. Wilde came down with it next; instead of returning the favor, Bosie sent his hotel bill on Wilde’s birthday. They fought and parted several times, but Wilde kept coming back. 

What did Wilde see in him?
Part of the attraction was probably the challenge of winning Bosie’s attention. He was not a caretaker type, and his was not an unconditional love. It had to be attracted, must be enticed, and it could not be caught and held– it could only be enjoyed while it lasted. 
This is a fresh, enticing scent that makes you want to inhale a little more deeply and try to catch the elusive hint of formal gardens, romantic hedge mazes, the old-fashioned masculine of lavender, the palest of musks, and a sharp, spicy green galbanum that hints at an untamed heart beneath the lightly sugared surface. 

In the Bottle: Lavender Lavender Lavender green!

On Me: This reminds me a bit of the classic Fougere Royale(that I was fortunate enough to be able to smell and try), with just a pale hint of musk.  It also reminds me a bit of BPAL’s Wilde(review below), but without the busyness the heady notes of Jasmine and grounding Patchouli bring, with it’s Lavender, Tonka, Moss, and Bergamot evoking the classic fougeres, and yet not.  It’s the uniquely Lavendery sweetness and sharp green that oddly enough ties them together, with the musk playing very light and subtle…and sexy.

It’s clean and simple, yet wild and profoundly complex like the man it was named for, and I’m endlessly amused that Wilde and Bosie probably will be my go-to scent pairing for a while.

On my Son:  Very similar, but more masculine.  He also has paired it with Wilde, and I’ve taken to walking with a walking stick because of the heads he’s turning.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory
General Catalogue-Bewitching Brews
To stab my youth with desperate knives, to wear
This paltry age’s gaudy livery,
To let each base hand filch my treasury,
To mesh my soul within a woman’s hair,
And be mere Fortune’s lackeyed groom, — I swear
I love it not! these things are less to me
Than the thin foam that frets upon the sea,
Less than the thistle-down of summer air
Which hath no seed: better to stand aloof
Far from these slanderous fools who mock my life
Knowing me not, better the lowliest roof
Fit for the meanest hind to sojourn in,
Than to go back to that hoarse cave of strife
Where my white soul first kissed the mouth of sin.A sophisticated traditional gentleman’s cologne, with just the slightest taint of patchouli’s passion, tonka bean’s decadence, the philanthropy of bergamot, moss’ cynicism, the sharp wit of lavender, and the hopeless romantic longing of jasmine and thyme.
In the Bottle:  A haunting classic gentlemens scent, with an exquisite hint of Earl Grey tea and earthy mildly herbal Jasmine.
On Me:  I did a double-take, because it was almost like Fougere Royale on, instead of the cologne undertones I was expecting from the description.   Lavender and Bergamot, heady Jasmine, grounding Patchouli, and the moss evoking that classic fougere profile.
On my Son:  Very similar to mine, but more masculine.
Next up, we have possibly the cutest perfume since ZOMG Smells created Marmalade Tabby.
Blooddrop perfumes creator in addition to making beautiful scents and sewn lovelies, is very wonderfully into animal rescue, and has frequently posted about the cute and furry she tends to.  Recently, she posted a series of adorable photographs about a cute little troublemaker that’s been following her around.  Not long after, many of us asked her when she was going to make a perfume inspired by said troublemaker.
After seeing a particularly cute picture of him holding a can with his hind paws while scooping out portions with his front paws, I remarked:
“Is it bad that I now want a fluffy foodie raccoon themed perfume with this exact picture on the bottle?”
Her response:  “But what do I do with the scent of 9 Lives Salmon Supper?!?”
I responded with, “Well, you know there will always be that one person…(just look at all the folks who bought BPAL’s Gore Shock)…”
And others…well, you’ll see:
Surprise! A Baby Raccoon!
Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries
Limited Edition

Soooo, I befriended a baby raccoon a few weeks ago and, of course, having spoken about it on Facebook, some of you said, “And there will be a baby raccoon perfume, right?!” And I was like, “What?! Make a scent that smells of cat food and ham and cheese omelettes?!” to which Brooke of Doctor Teef and of Villainess says, “I demand cat food!” and I was like, “Gurl, of course you do, but no!” So, here it is, a baby raccoon perfume that smells nothing of can cat food or omelettes, but of sweets and woods and just straight up hella cuteness.

Animal crackers, vanillaed sandalwood, nutmeg, soft woodsy sticks, thyme, and a little buttercream frosting.

Let me just say when I saw her post of this, I squee’d, rushed over to the website still giggling like a loon, it jumped into the cart and then to checkout so fast I nearly gave myself whiplash.  I missed the Calico Kitten benefit scent she made earlier, and I was not about to do that again with this cutie, especially since I was one of the ones that asked for it.

In the Bottle: Frosted Animal Crackers

On Me: Frosted Animal crackers and warm spices drifting through the woods the cute furry bandit is hiding in with his cuteness-purloined goods. It lasted all day and well into the next. Very soft and gourmand.

On My Son: This stinker always smells delicious with gourmands…far better than it smelled on me. He chased me away half the time he was wearing it.

I also received a lovely Demi sample of Cicada…

(Cicadidae Magicicada)
The Entomology of Miss Amnesty Mapleleaf, Revisited
Glittering, chirping, zzzzing, sweltering iridescence. Blackberries, honeydew, white grapefruit, lime, geranium, raspberries and candied ginger.
In the Bottle: Fizzy gingered fruit punch.
On Me: Started off as a riot of overly sweet melon with loads of sugared blackberries and raspberries. I let it settle and it softened into a gingered citrus berry punch with a backdrop of green, very deliciously Summery. Makes me want to collect said fruits to steep in a bowl of ginger beer and listen to the Cicadas chatting away in the Summer night.
On my Son:  Did I mention he smells amazing while wearing gourmands?  Yeah, he chased me away…again.
Next up, ancient history:
Nocturne Alchemy is not one I usually review, as most of the ones that have the wow factor and longevity I crave are budget busters(but are oh so worth the money).
Nocturne Alchemy
Prehistoria Limited Collection 2017

Resinous Amber Accord, Limestone Amber, East African Copal, Copal Incense Resin of Mexico, Frankincense and ICON Oudh. 

*tiny bits of resin may occur in the Dino blends, these will only enrich the blend even more with aging! I’d like to dedicate CamaRAsaurus to Jennifer, DJ and William Johnstone #HeyWhatDoYouDoWithADinosaur????????? (that’s the title of the book by William Johnstone).

This is a really cute concept for perfumes, encouraging you to create your own unique scent:

PREHISTORIA is a set of concept perfume. They are meant to be ‘hatched’ with any other perfume from Nocturne Alchemy, this makes great use of your Studio Limited Collections. Of course, they are beautiful on their own, but the Dinosaur doesn’t truly hatch until you layer it with a little something else.

Seth’s instructions: Apply the perfume on wrist and inner elbow and allow the scent to bind with your chemistry. Once this has occurred, inhale. This conceptually, is the egg. To allow the dinosaur to hatch, we wanted you to go to your Studio Limited Library and pull as many as you want, especially your favorites. The magic in layering the dino’s with your Studio Limited Library will give your library a new NAVAlchemy aspect of layering and creating your own personal Dino scent. The fun in NAVAlchemy and hatching the dino eggs is all up to you!

In the Bottle: Sweet, creamy, and citrusy, with a smoky woodsy undertone.
On Me: Lime curd with a hint of Amber, and smoky Oud. About twenty minutes later, the resins slink in, transforming into this complex smoky, sweet citrus Lapsang Souchong scent(Aw man, I should’ve bought two!).

On my Son: Lightly citrusy, creamy, smoky tea. Very soft, yet masculine. Yes, he loves it.  They sent as a gift for being a part of their reopening, a dram of a permanent blend to tag along with the Dinosaur.

Nocturne Alchemy
Permanent Collection-VApothecary

Gorgon Black Patchouli, Incense of Ambar, Lemongrass E/O, Mandarin Zest, Pine Sap and Vanilla Musk.
In the Bottle:  Dirty Hippie Pine-Sol(I really don’t want to try this one on…I think I’ll give it a hard pass.)
On Me: Yanno what? Yeah, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY didn’t want to try this on*.  I REALLY wish I hadn’t tried this on(Read: My son is very persuasive with the cute, and oh sweet merciful God where the bloody hell is my tomato juice!?!!).

On my Son:  Cuties/Halos(mini oranges) and freshly planted in rich dark soil baby Christmas Trees.  *wails*  I’m so jelly he smells so good!

*Patchouli has a tendency to be funky on me until aged properly, so if I sniff it in the bottle and get Dirty Hippie, I usually don’t even try it, until it sits for a couple…six months…heck with it, I’ll age it a year before I even sniff it again.

Prior to Ariel of ZOMG Smells telling me the secret to getting my Patchouli to be earthier, I wouldn’t even consider it, and would get rid of any samples containing Patchouli.
I’ll give it a couple of months and see if it settles the heck down, then I’ll give it another go, but this was so very horribad on me, instant Nope.  Yeah, I REALLY hate dirty hippie style Patchouli.  I’m so spoiled from ZOMG Smells and BPAL’s Black Patchouli’s being aged before they use it in their blends.
(After I told folks in one of the perfume forums I belong to about this, someone sent me a very old Scarab of this, and I love it.  So it definitely needs aging before I can wear it.)
And now for something completely different:
So I am a indie bath and body junkie.  I love small batch beauty products with simple clean ingredients.  Anyone that knows me has done the glazed eyes look as I chatter on for hours about my fave soaps, scrubs, masks, and lip balms.
If you ask my son about me and lip balms, he will sneak out as fast as humanly possible. It’s like he’s afraid to tell them I might be addicted to them or something…
“No Mom, it’s just because I didn’t want to tell everyone that I could buy you a case of EoS lip balms, and you would derp and lose them in a week.  With the cute tins and jars, they will be heavy enough to sit in the bottom of your purse so you actually have them when you need them!”
I belong to a ridiculous amount of forums on different topics.  I inevitably sniff out(punintentional) members that make amazing goods, and try each and every one, and go back for more.
This time the spotlight is on Fari Beauty.
After putting everything in my cart, I valiantly refrained from throwing a tantrum like four year old because I needed to save money fir those adult responsibilitiesrealised that adulting really stinksresisted the urge to swear enough to embarrass a USMC Drill Instructor…again…I cut it down to trying a couple of items from here every month until I’ve tried them all.
Pixie-sized perfection

Seriously, how cute is this?

 Like the caption says, seriously, how cute is this?  From the perfect little glass containers to the adorable gift boxes with crinkle paper filler(that I am totally repurposing because they’re far too cute to recycle), it’s clean, simple, and natural.
Now to the lip balms themselves.  I hesitate to call them lip balms, because they’re so rich and nourishing like the overpriced tinted lip butters I’ve bought an embarrassingly large amount of in the department stores.
I got Lavender Mint, & Kukui and Passionfruit.
Dummy me has been running errands in the stupid blazing heat all week, and as my son pointed out, derpy me is always losing those stupid EoS balms because I’d set it down and forget where, or TROLLCAT would go, “New Tooooooy!” and bat it somewhere.  As such, my poor pout has been neglected, and was very unhappy with me.
I’ve been tearing stuff apart in my house as well, and remembered to check the post as an afterthought, and limped back inside with parcel in hand.
These are a Godsend.
Immediately stuck on Lavender Mint, and was was rewarded with a cooling*, soothing, refreshing blast of moisture.  I just can’t class this as a lip balm.  It’s so creamy, rich, and nourishing, my dry lips felt instantly a million times better.
*I love Altoids and other extremely strong mints, but it may be a bit much if you’re not a fan of that.
Once that soaked in, I opened the Kukui and Passionfruit.  The juicy sweet scent has made me crave the real deal.  These are so very decadent.
Again, it’s too rich for a lip balm.
I’m absolutely smitten with these, and will be buying the third one I missed, which I will review when I get it, and other things from this amazing little shop.
Answer:  Yes, yes you need them.
It’s slow going, but I’ll do my best to get back to this.  Thanks for being there.
** I received these insanely indulgent treats from ZOMG Smells, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Blooddrop, Nocturne Alchemy, and Fari Beauty.  The opinions are my own, because I’m so crazy about them I just need to spread the love.**

One year…

One year without you little brother, without your brand of…well, you being you.  One year of remembering everything you were, every silly prank you pulled, every sweet thing you did, every day you reminded me of how fully you lived your life.  I remember too when once you believed you couldn’t have a good life because of things like a seizure disorder, or those insane bloody noses.  Our Dad, our Mom, our Sister and I fought daily with whoever we had to to reassure you you could and would.  So eventually, you did.  You grew to be such a wonderful son, brother, husband, and father.

You touched so many lives just being yourself.  It’s so hard without you here because every day something reminds us all of the love, kindness, sarcasm, generosity, refreshing…wit that was all you.

Every day I try to remember all the happy times and treasure the little things we did, even if they annoyed me like the time you sang “The Song that has No End” for Eight hours, twenty-two minutes, and thirty seconds, to try to convince me to take you to get something when I had no gas, and if you gave me gas money, you wouldn’t have enough to get the thing you wanted.  It was one of the little things that made me realise what it would be like to be a parent, and that I might actually not suck at it.  My son is now the exact age you were when you did that to me.  I wonder when he’s going to open up his bag of “Uncles tricks for winning grownups over”.

Here’s a pic of the first day they met(he used to hate getting pictures taken):

World's Best Uncle

He really walked out the door with him. He did not want to put him down.

I was so overwhelmed at just how many people were so greatly affected by your passing, that I let it get away from me, my sorrow just held fast.

I’ve not been just idly moping, however. I was working.  I learned what happens when I discovered the smeghead that thought he was an interior decoratorgloriously idiotic genius…former property owner put flat primer over a high gloss wall…er, basically it meant tons of rage cleaning and deglazing painted surfaces to properly prime and paint rooms and decluttering others, trying to do something positive instead of dwelling on the grief.  It nearly worked, but for one tiny, yet important thing.  

My son reminded me of something I forgot that my Grandmother, his beloved G.G.O. had told me many times.  I forgot to take time for my family, let alone myself, so busy was I trying to run away from things like my sorrow and depression. 

It’s really selfish.  

Grief…well, the grief is normal, but covering the grief up by working myself exhausted and being upset at everything was not doing anyone any favours, especially for my wonderful son, who has tried his best to be a joy amidst all of this, especially since the last of the friends he’s made since moving here just moved away three weeks ago.  It’s a great disservice to everyone.  That ugly depression tried to pull a fast one, and nearly succeeded.  I owe him apology race cars, ice cream, and ice cream scented smellies I think, as well as as many hugs as he can stand, along with me giving him a marathon of some sort, be it gaming, silly TV shows, or kicking the soccer ball around.

To the folks who usually come here for perfume reviews, I’m sorry for the absence.  I have not been quite in the mood for the wide array of beautiful scents that I have gotten, as I would rather they be fair and accurate, and not layered with my sorrow.

I will return soon.


It was thirty-six years ago today…

…and that is as close as you’re going to get to me singing Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

So let me instead tell you a little story.

It was thirty six years ago today that a miracle happened, and one of the most epic of journeys began.

In a sleepy little town in the great MidWest, there was a Mother-to-be heading to the hospital.  That in itself wasn’t miraculous, nor was giving birth.  That happens every day.  The fact that she was told she couldn’t, and shouldn’t, yet did it anyway wasn’t miraculous either.  That also happens frequently.  The C-section delivery due to prior C-section deliveries was fairly typical of the times, and the amazing doctor that did the delivery had as big of a heart as well as a very skilled and steady hand.  When he was finished with the delivery, he told the Mother, “It’s a Boy,” as tears rolled down his face.

She didn’t respond.

In the waiting room, a sleepy two year-old girl and an eight-year old trying to play ‘big sister’ were told they had a baby brother.  They each got to see this wonderful baby, head full of thick, dark, black hair, and tiny long fingernails.  Despite the protestations of the hospital staff, they also got to hold him and tell him how loved he was.  They were told their Mother was very tired and needed rest, and so off they went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a Holiday.

For two weeks they played and talked about their new baby brother, and how much fun they would have when he finally got to come home.  Of course, all of the adults had to remind them that it would be some time before he would be big enough to play with them proper!

When Mother and baby came home…well, came to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a bit before the family came home, everyone was excited and happy and made so many plans.  The sisters didn’t complain about the extra fun and festivities.  Grandma and the girls helped embroider their brothers name and birthday to a huge tablecloth…the birthday tablecloth which was in fact, a sort of family tree made festive, which was taken out and placed on the kitchen table whenever there was a birthday, and not just when the parties were held at their place either.

It would be another decade before the sisters learned the truth–Mother had had a very high-risk pregnancy, had complications with the anaesthesia, and after the delivery had been on life support, and they hadn’t expected her to wake up.   Oh, and that Grandma had gone there and slapped her awake the day they decided to end life support because the children needed their Mother.

That was the miracle.  Against all the odds, the strength of family prevailed.


Happy Birthday Chris’fer.  I miss you more than words could possibly convey.


P.S.–Many apologies to friends and family.  I truly stink at telling stories.