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
Charity

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, bpal.org, was founded by slythwitch, and later that year, shrieking violet took over the helm. Bpal.org 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.**

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