Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - scent reviews (2014)
Butterflies of Louisiana!! What a fun will call night! I love nights like this. Buzzing with energy and smiling faces as so many of us flitted about, comparing smells, joking with each other, and the full compliment of children ran around making a happy din of play time rowdiness. Sue strafing them with bubble wrap explosions made us all jump, then crack up, and was one of the highlights of the night. It even spilled over after 7, to “the after party” at Rocket Fizz down the block, where a bunch of us topped up our sugar highs. A true Hive mind…….
*Disclaimer: my nose and my skin PH are different from everyone else’s. These are my rhapsodic waxings alone and don’t represent the lab, etc., yadda yadda. Now to the things! I almost did a write up on the butterflies last month, but something held me back- they were just prototypes, after all, and I didn’t want to write them up, get people excited, and then find out they’re different at the release. My spider sense was correct - they *did change. Some a little, and some a lot. So it was a whole New adventure in smells to explore them all over again. I took my original notes with me to compare and see how they changed and what stayed the same. To me, they seemed lighter and more playful in proto, and in release, they became more dialed in, deeper, more specific and diverse, and even more insectoid. The creaminess that seemed to weave throughout the protos went away, and new top notes lead the way for each. It’s almost as if she played with us, showing them first as cocoons of what they’d morph into as full blown butterflies! I kind of seriously wish she’d released doubles like that of each of these……cocoon stage (the protos) and the full butterfly scents. And what a cool lesson in scent transformation would that be?! I came home with Question Mark and Eastern Comma. (Once a Lit major……always a Lit. major - punctuation, yo!)
I ADORE how the throw of these, for me, literally hovered over my hands - again, Beth is a magical american.
Licorice bark with freesia, jungle orchids, elemi, Bulgarian rose otto, and jasmine sambac.
I really get the licorice bark first…a bit of licorice and clearly the unusual wood of the bark as well and then the rest is so well blended it was hard for me to pick out notes, but definitely carried a dark color in the scent, but not somber…the orchids and elemi are always a darker color to me in my head. Lush yet light tamber.
Sweet orange with tobacco absolute and hay.
I LOVE this. I get the orange right away, but the tobacco and the hay mellow it perfectly so it’s not at all “ORANGE”. It’s more like light orange sherbet, but without the sweetness. This is so simple, three notes…but so perfect and beautiful. Like the pure freshness of great simple ingredients, or perfect Summer produce…it doesn’t need anything more. The tobacco and the hay mellow this into something golden, amber smelling but the orange takes it away from incense and into it’s own ephemeral place. And it doesn’t morph on me - it stays true through drydown! <3 “Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” I decided to wear it for a day to see how many extra bottles I need. Goatweed Leafwing:
Tonka bean, orange blossom, ambrette seed, and brown sandalwood.
My original note was “light alfalfa” but this has changed…..it’s become more….sun warmed brown…..this is so well blended I couldn’t pick out notes and I can’t wait to read other people’s impressions.
Nagarmotha and sweet musk.
I dont’ think this changed much? I am truly uneducated about nagarmotha……and my notes read “metalic….translucent ….chitinous….” Someone else help me out here…..
Phaon Crescent: (typo on the site- reads Phoen) Italian bergamot and neroli with marigold, white jasmine, Himalayan cedar, lemon peel, and a drop of tobacco absolute. Hello Neroli! Neroli sort of “wears me”, but I tried it! With the neroli now leading the charge in the notes, it has become much more of a floral blend than the creamy lemon green it protoed as. This is amazing, but my skin just amps neroli to the exclusion of all else. I look forward to hearing someone else's notes on this because it’s beautiful! Question Mark: Blackened vanilla absolute with tobacco leaf, Ceylon cinnamon, orange-bark myrrh, and orange blossom. Hey! I love this!! A cinnamon scent I don’t amp to DEFCON 1! (Happy Dance!) Again, this is Blending Mastery. I get the blackened of the vanilla (which takes away the sweetness of the vanilla and deepens it), blending so seamlessly with the tobacco, which tempers the cinnamon…..to sing a soft melody with the orange bark myrrh. It’s warm and comforting, yet still light and breezy….amber gossamer……it makes me smile like a nap in late day sun. This seems like the perfect late Summer- transition to cooler, amber lit, early first Fall days kind of scent. It’s unisex, and I have a feeling it will smell tres sexeh on a man. I need a volunteer……. (My proto note for this was simply a huge heart)
Red Spotted Purple:
White thyme, yuzu fruit, hinoki wood, blue cedar, white carnation, plum rind, white mandarin, and lime-tinted white musk.
ZOMG…..this is SO GOOD. So good. Before I learned it was the yuzu, I swore up and down it was passion fruit or guava because it was just so delicious and wonderful. Maybe it’s the lime and plum rind and carnation that blends to fool my brain. I have loved this from the first moment I smelled it a couple months ago. This is pure fun and delight in a bottle! It’s bright and playful and a bit juicy, without truly being “fruity”, but it’s definitely purple and red. (but not grapey!)
This is one of those bottles that you just pass around and watch people break into smiles and happy murmurs of “so good….”. it makes me smile to see so many people smell it and smile. My oddball skin morphs yuzu, so I couldn’t take this beauty home, which makes me sad. (lip wibble)
Southern Cloudywing: Cardamom tea, orange peel, mate, oakmoss, tonka bean, sweet cedar, and costus.
Happy inhale and exhale…… I. love. this. I adore all Beth’s tea notes and I always stop and oo ahhh over them. Or if I smell a bottle and say, “what’s in this?” chances are high there’s tea in there that’s grabbed my attention. Again, this is blended so well and so perfectly balanced that the story of the scent wends it’s way through your senses, and you sort of…..see them pass by as different notes, but the melody together is it’s own, lovely, fascinating, creation. I get the beautiful cardamom tea right away, blended with yellow green, light umber, sunlight and oakmoss. This reminds me of The Hamptons …..…..luxe…..heady…..sophisticated yet blousy and relaxed while still being totally organic with just a hint of chic. If Seurat was a perfumer….he’d be jealous. (I was so smelled out, I only had room for so much…..but I must go back and get a bottle of this <3 It smelled great on Ted, too.)
Wild Indigo Duskywing:
Black saffron, frankincense, Florentine iris, blackcurrant, white pepper, black clove, vetiver, and smoky honey.
I get the smokey right away, but didn’t place honey…..and also leading the way is the frankincense and iris. It’s dusky, a bit smokey in an ephemeral way (that word again, but it fits) and I think the vetiver winds through the rest, blending notes until they as a whole are different than their individual notes.
I need a better scent education to really describe some of these better, so I’m looking forward to reading about this from others as well!
Yucca Giant Skipper: White patchouli, oudh, vanilla absolute, copaiba balsam, pepperwood, and champaca flower.
I could have sworn there was warm, light raw leather in this originally…..but I had no scent notes to go by. Maybe it was the pepperwood? (What did you call me?!) This incarnation changed from it’s proto, and again, I’d love so much to learn how scents coalesce from beginning to release. It’s gorgeous alchemy. I need to go back and re-test this……my nose was done and I think I’ve never smelled copaiba balsam so couldn’t make sense of it in my brain? Moar reviewers! Moar notes to read from others! NOW……let’s talk the wonderful world of GC’s for a sec…… Even after 9 years of exploring BPAL, I found two new GC’s that I’d never smelled before, never read about before, and fell in LOVE WITH….. Ravenous: red patchouli and orange blossom Can I just…..I can’t even….it’s so quietly glorious!!! I love orange blossom but it’s not in many scents or I can’t find it in the blends it may be in very often. This is softly front and center and couched perfectly with red patchouli. It’s a soft throw that just makes me smile. It reminds me of open windows in the evenings, when the orange groves are in bloom…… Nosferatu: desiccated herbs and gritty earth brought to life with a swell of robust and sanguineous red wines. Wear it with ALL the Things!!! Yes, seriously, all the things….and alone…..it is sexy, gorgeous, hedonistic, sanguinous perfection! ZOMG…..where has this been all these years?! My Zod! I love rich earth smells, but have never chosen to wear them, but this….THIS…..the herbs mix slyly with the earth to make it alluring and the deep, sweet red wine beckons you in to enthrall you. This is a mood scent as well as a place/ environment scent and it’s all kinds of deliciously dangerous. “Oooh I shouldn’t be doing this…..but I absolutely cannot stop doing this.” It’s like that…… I. Can’t. Stop. Huffing. Maud Ruthyn: Fresh wheat, honeycomb, rosehips, nectarine, climbing roses, and myrrh
This is from Great Duets in Horror 2009 It is still in stock at Dark Delicacies….. and it is Divine! (hint hint…..still in stock…..go get some!) Soft honeycomb and roses tempered with the wheat, nectarine and myrrh. I love finding rose blends that bloom into a good balance on my skin. I amp rose until it, sometimes can become strident, depending on which rose note it is. This is gorgeous, well rounded, soft and so beautifully balanced with the hint of warmth and grounding from the honeycomb, wheat and myrrh. This is like the perfect summer sundress. Innocent yet worldly…..graceful and womanly. I haven’t read the story…..more for the reading list!