General catalogue: BPAL Edition-Ars Moriendi Pt. II

Continuing on:

Embalming Fluid

A light, pure scent: white musk, green tea, aloe and lemon.

In the Imp: Lemon slices in Green Tea.
On Me: As above. Oddly enough, Eshe, A Vision of Life-in-Death to me is the perfect Embalming scent. It’s pretty and clean, and while White Musk and I usually have nasty things to say to each other, this one is nicely done.
On My Son: I thought this was supposed to smell like mummies. It smells like the Archaeologists took a tea break minus the biscuits. Still like it though.


Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea
they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Stephanotis, cyclamen, heliotrope, white rose and gardenia.

In the Imp: Smells like a funeral arrangement. Creepy.
On Me: Pretty floral, though the Gardenia overwhelmed the other scents, and the rose never had a chance to lean either way.
On My Son: No flower farts for me thanks.


A mournful, poignant scent, thick with foreboding. Soft golden amber darkened with a touch of murky black musk.

In the Imp: Amber and Musk.
On Me: As simple as listed above.
On My Son: Ditto.

Jazz Funeral

Considered a great honor, this is one of the most distinguished aspects of New Orleans culture. Its roots lie in the customs of the Dahomeans and Yoruba people, and is a celebration of both the person’s life and the beauty and solemnity of their death. The procession is lead by the Grand Marshal, resplendent in his black tuxedo, white gloves and black hat in hand; almost a vision of the great Baron Samedi himself. The music begins with solemn, tolling dirges, moves into hymns of sorrow, loss and redemption. When the burial site is reached, a two-note preparatory riff is sounded, and the drummers start the second-line beat, heralding the switch in music to joyous, upbeat songs, dancing, and the unfurling of richly decorated umbrellas by the ‘second line’ friends, family, loved ones and stray celebrants. Strutting, bouncing, and festive dance accompanies the upbeat ragtime music that sends the departed soul onto its next journey.

Didn’t he ramble
… he rambled
Rambled all around
… in and out of town
Didn’t he ramble
… didn’t he ramble
He rambled till the butcher cut him down.

His feet was in the market place
his head was in the street
Lady pass him by, said
look at the market meat
He grabbed her pocket book
and said I wish you well
She pulled out a forty-five
said I’m head of personnel.

Didn’t he ramble
… he rambled
Rambled all around
… in and out of town
Didn’t he ramble
… didn’t he ramble
He rambled till the butcher cut him down.

He slipped into the cat house
made love to the stable
Madam caught him cold
said I’ll pay you when I be able
Six months had passed
and she stood all she could stand
She said buddy when I’m through with you
Ole groundhog gonna be shakin yo’ hand.

Didn’t he ramble
… he rambled
Rambled all around
… in and out of town
Didn’t he ramble
… didn’t he ramble
He rambled till the butcher cut him down.

I said he rambled
… ’till the butcher shot him down.

Bittersweet bay rum, bourbon, and a host of funeral flowers with a touch of graveyard dirt, magnolia and Spanish Moss.

In the Imp: Booze, Dirt, and Magnolias.
On Me: *grabby hands* Mine. I love Magnolias, and have rarely smelled it so nicely done in a perfume. The Alcoholic dirty aspect is downplayed by the beautiful Magnolia.
On My Son: Pass.


**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by me or our friends.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**



General catalogue: BPAL Edition-Ars Moriendi Pt. I

Ars Moriendi

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living: scents of loss, grief, passage, and remembrance.

Dance of Death

Carrying bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves,
Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves
With all the careless and high-stepping grace,
And the extravagant courtesan’s thin face.

Was slimmer waist e’er in a ball-room wooed?
Her floating robe, in royal amplitude,
Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod
With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod.

The swarms that hum about her collar-bones
As the lascivious streams caress the stones,
Conceal from every scornful jest that flies,
Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes

Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays
Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways,
Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae.
O charm of nothing decked in folly! they

Who laugh and name you a Caricature,
They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure,
The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone,
That is most dear to me, tall skeleton!

Come you to trouble with your potent sneer
The feast of Life! or are you driven here,
To Pleasure’s Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir
And goad your moving corpse on with a spur?

Or do you hope, when sing the violins,
And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins,
To drive some mocking nightmare far apart,
And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart?

Fathomless well of fault and foolishness!
Eternal alembic of antique distress!
Still o’er the curved, white trellis of your sides
The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides.

And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find,
Among us here, no lover to your mind;
Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave?
The charms of horror please none but the brave.

Your eyes’ black gulf, where awful broodings stir,
Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller
Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath,
The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth.

For he who has not folded in his arms
A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms,
Recks not of furbelow, or paint, or scent,
When Horror comes the way that Beauty went.

O irresistible, with fleshless face,
Say to these dancers in their dazzled race:
“Proud lovers with the paint above your bones,
Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons!

Withered AntinoÃs, dandies with plump faces,
Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces,
Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath,
Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death.

From Seine’s cold quays to Ganges’ burning stream,
The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream;
They do not see, within the opened sky,
The Angel’s sinister trumpet raised on high.

In every clime and under every sun,
Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run;
And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye
And mingles with your madness, irony!

A gloriously elegant representation of Lady Death. Dry, bone-white orris, black musk, serpentine patchouli and our murkiest myrrh.

In the Imp: Dark, dark.  Myrrh swirled into tear/rain-soaked Earth, Musk so very dark.
On Me: Myrrh, and hints of Rain and Earth. Resinous and rich
On My Son: You know what Mom, for such a depressing name, this scent makes me happy.  It reminds me of a fun thing we did when I was little.  There was this place with statues and incense, and a nice guy just talking about “tears of incense used for different occasons”.

Danse Macabre

An allegorical expression of the ineffable, indisputable triumph of death, generally expressed in medieval artwork as a violin or flute-wielding skeleton leading a procession of dancers to their graves. Black cypress with oakmoss, frankincense, oude, and a sliver of toasted hazelnut.

In the Imp: Resinous  and woodsy, with a hint of smoke.
On Me: Full-on creepy here. This scent is so nice in the vial, but the minute it hit my skin, I got that prickly feeling, like hearing ominous music mere moments before the jump scare. A very visceral sensation.
On My Son: Trees. It smells like the dark trees at night. You know, those scary tree shadows that tap at the window and try to scare you because it’s at an unfamiliar place? I don’t know why, but it smells like that. Still like it though.


The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir’d before;
The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them — She was the Universe.

Bottled gloom; the essence of oblivion. Blackest opium and narcissus deepened by myrrh.

In the Imp: A very balanced simple blend, sort of like Anathema, only Narcissus instead of Honeysuckle, and Myrrh instead of Vetiver. Beautiful.
On Me: This is just perfect. A Myrrh and Opium masterpiece, with a bare hint of Narcissus, so unlike in the vial, yet still lovely. If I didn’t have a very large, extremely aged bottle of Anathema, I’d probably get this one. It’s beautiful.
On My Son: Pass, smells like that other one you like, and we all know how that one smells on me, so no thank you.

Deep in Earth

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone.

Rose geranium, Spanish moss, Irish yew, and graveyard dirt.

In the Imp: It’s a shrieky green sort of dirt.
On Me: Spicy(between high-pitched and pungent), woodsy dirt. After a few it turns to this lovely peaty loamy scent.
On My Son: Mud pies, and not the treat. I would probably use it to tone down a too sweet smell, like the bubblegum notes.

**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by me or our friends.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**


Something bold, something new…

…well, new to me anyway.

A few friends sent me some scents and soaps from Haus of Gloi, and here’s a wee review:

Fig & Tobacco

Fig with chewy sweet tobacco.

In the Bottle: Juicy Figs and rich, moist Pipe Tobacco.
On Me: Exactly above, and I love it.
On My Son: More Fig, less Tobacco please.  (He’s not really fond of heavy Tobacco scents, preferring balanced blends that might have it as an accent.  I’m going to have to find more of their fig notes, because he likes it.)

Olde Cider Haus*

Old oak, sweet drying hay fields, crushed apple pulp and vanilla husks.

In the Bottle: Buttery baked apples
On Me: It’s…buttery. More like Brown Sugar Baked Apples than Apple Cider.
I’m thinking this might be one for my candle warmer(which isn’t bad, as I’m wishing for Autumnal weather, so if I at least can smell some of the scents of Autumn, I’ll be content), as straight in the bottle and on my skin it’s strange.
I don’t smell any of the listed notes, other than that strange baked apple note, not even my enemy Vanilla.
On My Son: Baked Apples, less butter than I got.  Usually he gets the refined end of gourmand, but in this case, he got almost identical to my result.


You’ve been bewitched! Brackish amber, aged vanilla bean and three dark fruits, veiled in darkness and otherworldly secrecy.

In the Bottle: Blackberry, Plum, possibly Black Currants and Amber.  Blended with the Vanilla, it sort of reminds me of both BPAL Mme. Moriarty and Penumbra, only that lovely Amber resin drifting through.  This has possibilities.
On Me: Blech!  Why does some Vanilla hate me so much!  It turned into a Vanilla Fields and fruit juice on me.  This is what lockets are for.
On My Son: Lots of really sweet fruit.  Not for me.

Ghost Puffs*

Orbs of buttery popcorn and marshmallow goo, presented on a wooden stick.

In the Bottle: Popcorn balls!  Hahahahaaa!
On Me: Why does it hate me?  So buttery.  I guess locket or candle warmer for this one.
On My Son:  It sort of reminds me of BPAL’s prototype Boo v3, but with a lot more butter and sugar.

Samhain II*

Freshly turned earth, wet leaves, and a cool specter ridden wind!
In the Bottle: Ooh, this one smells sort of like   BPAL’s Magnificent Autumn, but with dirt.
On Me: High pitched screechy dirt.  Graveyard dirt notes seem to hate me almost universally.  Dangit, I’m wearing it in a Locket.
On My Son: It’s doing what the BPAL Dead Leaves does to you only on me.  Not fair.

Elevenses(soap, also available as a GC perfume)

Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, its the little snack in between. Bring out the old cracked china! Tiny, little, fluffy orange cakes, sugar coated toasty almonds and a wee steaming cup of black tea!

Freshly unwrapped: Tea and cakes.

Of course, being this nice this always means I lose it to Tiny Human.

(Awwww…he cut it in half(and these bars are generously sized)

My son’s review:  Heavily scented, lots of lather.  Cleans very nicely, rinses away with no glitter or grit.  All in all a nice soap.

I might have to jump on a friends group order and snag this one as a perfume, as it’s cheery.  The Soap is nice.  I also like that they’re Vegan, and use sustainable ingredients, and especially like the no hemp oil in these soaps, as my allergies are stupidly touchy.

*Available now in their Fall 2018 release.


**Indulgent soap and scents were acquired from  Haus of Gloi by our friends.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**


General catalogue: BPAL Edition-Ars Draconis Pt. III

Last of the reviews of Ars Draconis.  Enjoy!


The hundred-headed dragon that guards the garden of the Hesperides: dragon’s blood resin, golden apple, apple blossom, white musk and hyacinth.

In the Bottle: Crisp, juicy Apples and Dragon’s Blood
On Me: Apple Apple Apple Flowers, Resin. So fresh and pretty.
On My Son: Apples. I want some. This smells tasty. The Dragon’s Blood is not the main point. There’s a story behind this, isn’t there?
Me: Heracles(Hercules) Labours: The Golden Apples.
Him: Big story?
Me: Kind of? It’s Greek/Roman Mythology.
Him: Okay, big big books. For later.

Dragon’s Eye

(link is to the resurrected scent, which differs slightly from his aged scent)
A piercing, radiant perfume: dragon’s blood resin, lily of the valley, lilac and galbanum.

In the Bottle: Sweetly floral Dragon’s Blood
On Me: As described above. Very floral on me.
On My Son: It’s soft and kind of fluffy? Like a plush toy, but still has that big tough Dragon bit to it.

Dragon’s Reverie

(discontinued due to component issues, my son is ever hopeful for a resurrected version)
Opium-laced dreams of flame, plunder, power and fury: dragon’s blood resin, poppy, amber and ylang ylang.

In the Bottle: I am ever hopeful for a resurrected version. It’s dreamy soft florals and resins.
On Me: (teensy bit because it’s his favourite) It’s ethereal and lovely, the Opium, Ylang Ylang and Amber softening the Dragon’s Blood into a dreamy wistful scent.
On My Son: It’s like floating on a cloud, not too sweet, not too girly, just kind of soft. The Dragon’s daydreaming.


Next up: Ars Moriendi



**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by friends for the Tiny Human.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**


General catalogue: BPAL Edition-Ars Draconis Pt. II

The second of our Ars Draconis reviews.  Enjoy!

Dragon’s Hide

Flame-kissed, warm, smooth, and highly protective. Dragon’s blood, leather and a hint of smoke.

In the Bottle: Smokin’! (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
On Me: It’s less dry than Dragon’s Bone, but still has that smoky quality. The Leather is more of a thought than a scent. That sensation of touching scaly rough and smooth patches. It’s very smoky, the Dragon’s Blood peeking throughout it.
On My Son: Wreathed in fire, enveloped in smoke. It’s smoky and sweet, like if Mom accidentally put too much resin on the charcoal…again.

(Hey, that only happened once…ONCE!)

Dragon’s Milk

A truly fae nectar! Dragon’s blood resin and honeyed vanilla.

In the Bottle:
On Me: Sweet and creamy, and lightly resinous…ooooh, I like it. Dagnabit! BPAL Honey never lasts on me, and this one is no exception. Once it faded after an hour, the Vanilla went way too sweet, and five minutes later, I layered Arachnina, The Spider Girl over it so I wouldn’t have to scrub my wrist.
On My Son: It’s like the Dragon took a bath in Dana O’Shee Bath Oil(Pretty spot-on description for how it smells on him).

Dragon’s Musk

Dominant, passionate, devastating. Dragon’s blood and five deep musks.

In the Bottle: Like the description.
On Me: Deep Muskiness, with a resinous sweetness to it, and a light coppery tang.
On My Son: This is a gentleman dragon. He needs a suit, tie, pocket square, and a really snappy fedora(he flips his new fedora at a rakish angle and winks).

(After kiddo said the above, my inner five-year-old pictured a dragon in a Zoot Suit with a “Chicago Typewriter”.)

Dragon’s Tears

Bittersweet yet powerful: salty aquatic notes and bursting with dragon’s blood.

In the Bottle: Sea salt and Dragon’s Blood
On Me: It’s like standing in the sand,a warm ocean breeze caressing your cheek, the scent of saltwater mingling with Dragon’s Blood.
On My Son: It’s salty and sweet…and I still want to know what made the Dragon cry!
(Voyage of the Dawn Treader reference)

Me: He was crying because his greedy thoughts had turned him into a dragon.
Him: Why though?
Me: The island was cursed. His greed and selfishness manifested physically as a Dragon.
Him: So he did it to himself?
Me: Yes. When he understood and learned his lesson and asked for help and forgiveness, Aslan freed him from the curse. Why are you asking me about a story I read to you when you were very young?
Him: Dragon’s Tears made me think of that story.
Me: It’s a really good set of stories. We should revisit them later.
Him: Will you read them to me?
Me(melts): Always.


**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by friends for the Tiny Human.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**


General catalogue: BPAL Edition-Ars Draconis Pt. I

So my son likes Dragons. Growing up, I read him many tales of dragons up to and including Jane and the Dragon and The Dragonriders of Pern books. BPAL has a collection of draconic scents called collectively, “Ars Draconis”. So of course, friends made sure he has them all.  This set of reviews is for all of them as thanks.


“And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet would I remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.”
– Ursula K. LeGuin, the Farthest Shore

A veritable den of draconic blends.


Dragon’s Blood

Powerful, commanding, blazing with strength.

In the Bottle: Probably the best Dragon’s Blood I’ve ever tried.
On Me: Rich, regal red, blood red. It’s fire and raw power tempered with wisdom. It’s not a scent, but a feeling you get with it. The scent is sweet, spicy, woodsy, resinous, dry; it skirts being pungent, but rather than associating it with scent notes, it’s a feeling. I get this every time with my ZOMG Smells perfumes, but not as often with BPAL, so it was a pleasant surprise.
On My Son: Hard to describe. Spicy, sweet, incense-like, and Red. How does one smell like the colour red? How does someone smell fearless or confident. I guess I smell like a Dragon. Roar?

Dragon’s Bone

The dry, thin scent of a draconic ossuary. Dragon’s blood resin with white sandalwood, dusty orris and crisp blondewood.

In the Bottle: It’s very dry, like being in Field of Bone. I could see this used as a visceral cue in DnD to describe the scent of a Dragolich. It’s magnificent.
On Me: The wood notes are crisp yet charred, solemn echoing emptiness, quietly dusty and something akin to brimstone as a lingering undertone. The Resin adds a light ruddiness to it. The first time we wore this one, we visited my Father. He had commented on it, and asked what it was. When kiddo told him, he said it was a very unsettling scent until he tried it on, then actually liked it. We left that imp with him, and got more. It’s probably my favourite Dragon’s Blood scent ever.
On My Son: It smells like a campfire burned down to the coals, with just a hint of sweetness. It’s a quiet sort of smell if that makes any sense.

Dragon’s Claw

Smooth, polished and lethally sharp: dragon’s blood resin and three sandalwoods.

In the Bottle: We each have a bottle, and his is very aged, so it’s got a smoother almost incense tone to it, where my bottle has a fresh, sharpness, and that peculiar chemical “pickles” note I got in Quintessence of Dust. We will be trying on each.
On Me: Wow. Aged it has an almost boozy sweetness to it, and the woods are lustrous and glowing. Dries to a smooth wine-like incense. Fresh, it’s sharp, like well, claws. The resin flows into this, turning it into a gloriously woodsy incense with hints of resin dancing in the flames.
On My Son: Sweet and incense don’t seem to work, but that’s it. The other one is more like a lit incense drifting smoke in the air. I like them both.

Dragon’s Heart

A scent pulsing with vitality, warmth and insurmountable strength: dragon’s blood resin, red and black musks, a throb of fig and a sliver of black currant.

In the Bottle: Fruity and smoky resins.
On Me: It reminds me of the unsettling heartbeat sensation I got from The Tell-Tale Heart(Into the Maelström version), minus the chocolate and pepper notes. Very neat how she does this in scent.
On My Son: It’s sweet and fruity, but dry and I guess grownup?


**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by friends for the Tiny Human.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**


General catalogue: BPAL Edition-Ars Amatoria Pt. V


Vicomte de Valmont

I promised her my eternal love, and I actually thought that for a couple of hours.

Rake, scoundrel, demon in a frock coat. Devilishly seductive, ultimately tragic; a villain undone and redeemed by love. Based on an 18th century gentlemen’s cologne: ambergris, white musk, white sandalwood, Spanish Moss, orange blossom, three mints, jasmine, rose geranium and a spike of rosemary.

In the Imp: A masterful sultry Fougere, in the same vein as Dorian
On Me: Close to Theodosius, the Legerdemain, with a twist of Citrus and mint(reminds me of when I layered it with Iulia, L’Artiste du Diable)
On My Son: *cue up the music*
Me: Review it so I can quit chasing you!  You can have the Imp too!
Him: You’re going to keep sniffing me.
Me: Not more than once if you just give me the review to type out!
Him: It’s a citrus-minty scent, almost like a Theodosius and Iulia hybrid, but this probably came first.
Me:  Yes.  Now, can I sniff it on you just once before you run off?
Him: …
Me: Well?
Him: I’m thinking!
Me:  No respect!
Him: *hugs*


Lascivious, flirtatious, and vampy as hell. A true heartbreaker’s perfume. The innocence of orange blossom tainted by the beguiling scents of ginger and patchouli

In the Imp: Earthy Ginger and Orange flower water
On Me: Spicy, Earthy, Sweetly floral.  This is a perfect pick-me-up.
On My Son: Like the Imp, but earthier.  He says it’s very refreshing and Summery.


“And yet a restless, always unsatisfied craving for the nudity of paganism,” she interrupted, “but that love, which is the highest joy, which is divine simplicity itself, is not for you moderns, you children of reflection. It works only evil in you. As soon as you wish to be natural, you become common. To you nature seems something hostile; you have made devils out of the smiling gods of Greece, and out of me a demon. You can only exorcise and curse me, or slay yourselves in bacchantic madness before my altar. And if ever one of you has had the courage to kiss my red mouth, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome in penitential robes and expects flowers to grow from his withered staff, while under my feet roses, violets, and myrtles spring up every hour, but their fragrance does not agree with you. Stay among your northern fogs and Christian incense; let us pagans remain under the debris, beneath the lava; do not disinter us. Pompeii was not built for you, nor our villas, our baths, our temples. You do not require gods. We are chilled in your world.”

Along with Loviatar, she has become something of a Patron Goddess of all Dominatrixes, Wanda is the breathtakingly beautiful sable-wrapped marble queen of Sacher-Masoch’s fantasies. Her scent is a deep red merlot with a faint hint of leather, sexual musk and body heat over crushed roses, violets and myrtle.

In the Imp: Wine drenched Flowers
On Me: MLP Butt Rose strikes again!  After a while, the Wine and Violets get some play.  Leather very faint.  I have an aged Imp of this that’s a bit stronger in the Leather note.
On My Son: Rich Wine grapes, Violets, and Leather.
Mom, This is a very weird scent.
Me: I think it’s quite refined on you.
Him:  Aww phooey, I’m sorry. Pony Rose?
Me:  *sighs* Yeah.
Him:  I don’t get any Rose.  There’s Rose in this?
Me:  Yes.
Him:  I kinda like it, even though it smells like Wine and flowers.  How weird.


Agony and ecstasy: black leather and damp red rose.

In the Imp:  Perfection.  The perfect blend of Roses and Leather.
On Me:  Noooooo!  It was perfect!  Why does my chemistry hate this?
On My Son:  It’s…different.  Not a big fan of hot Leather jackets, but okaaaay.  It makes the Rose decent.
Poor you Mom.  Another Pony Rose?
Me:  Yes. *facepalm*
Him: Locket this, and wear Peacock Queen, and it should be perfect.
Me: …  You’re a genius.
Him: Learned from the best.
Me:  Flattery will get you Chocolate chip cookies and tea.
Him: You’re the best.


Next up: Ars Draconis



**Indulgent scents were acquired from  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab by me, or were gifts with purchase.  Reviews are thanks and appreciation.**