my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


A Bouquet of BPAL Roses

Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory is a goth-capitalist's dream ... specializing in exotic perfume oil combinations, BPAL enjoys intense if not vast popularity in perfume-crazies-land.

As I told my friend Michelle, I have the sense that there is art here, but I can't always appreciate it. It's art that often isn't speaking my language.

A typical review should go "This [fill in the blank ] BPAL oil combination elicits smell of a New Orleans cemetery, macabre characters in the dark of night ... a perfumed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Maybe a scented Thriller when MJ was still hip."

Um, ok. Sometimes it's all just too hardworking for me. I like pretty. I like feminine. I especially like sensual. But I don't always need a Beardsley/Wilde/Baudelaire combo wafting around me. Sometimes a girl just wants to smell good, you know?

And that is possible with BPAL ... you just need to choose the right fragrance from what seems like thousands. Here's notes on my bouquet of BPAL roses:

Zombi: Dried roses, rose leaf, Spanish moss, oakmoss and deep brown earth. The moss -- whether Spanish or oak -- is apparent. There's a depravity about this aged rose. As with most BPALs on me, there's an initially offputting strong scent ... but drydown is rich, producing soft, ancient roses with an old-attic touch of must.
London: "Venerable Victorian Tea Roseā€¦ twisted, blackened and emboldened with wickedness." Predominant rose in a dark mood. There's something with depth underneath there that I can't determine (no notes on site), something sharply herbal that I like.
Seraglio: From BPAL: "Sweet almond and Mysor sandalwood enveloped by a heady veil of Bulgarian Rose, neroli, nutmeg, clove and orange peel." This is very interesting, with the citrus of the neroli and orange peel peeking from under the predominant almond. I don't get a lot of rose with this.
Alice: Milk and honey with rose, carnation and bergamot. On me, cinnamony sweet. In fact, a lot like redhot candies. Ick. Time takes down some of this sweet sharpness and, although it takes a while to get there, it does become a soft, pretty fragrance. Never did find much rose, though.
Persephone: "Beautiful, radiant daughter of Demeter... her loveliness was so exquisite that even Hell itself could not resist her. Pomegranate and rose." Fruit! I hate Fruit! Grape kool-aid with a powder drydown.
Empress: Rose, sandalwood, maybe amber. I couldn't isolate specific notes on the site for this one, but it is my favorite of the six I tested. The rose and sandalwood/amber are balanced and calm from the beginning. A dignified fragrance that doesn't try to shock. Subtle. Here, too, I get slight powder at drydown. Elegance in understatement, which I think is a rarity in this line.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Laboratory is an entertaining labyrinth. I give them high points for their Flowers of Evil copywriting and Beardsleyesque graphics. If you'd like to explore the site, the address is:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love knowing all of these descriptions Mireille. Thank you so much. I think I shall avoid the famous Alice.


9:16 AM

Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

I have never tried any of the BPALS, but your comments and picture make them seem ever so enticing!

Thanks for the beautiful post.

9:19 AM

Blogger Kyahgirl said...

I'm way to lazy and impatient to wade my way through all their stuff. Thanks for the descriptions though, you've piqued my interest.

9:23 AM

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

I just can't get serious enough to TRY to understand this stuff. But I'm with you: I like pretty. I like feminine.

10:29 AM

Blogger briefcandle said...

very enticing...well, Empress sounds lovely. I know rose and wood are notes you have been marrying for some time now. So, if you say this is nice, I just know it is worth trying.


5:48 PM

Anonymous janey said...

Zombi and London sound enticing and so is their site. Their inspiration page is wonderful - full of beautiful poetry. It just might entice me buy something beside Gap perfume (don't laugh - it comes in pretty colors and color is important). Oh, and I'm going to link to you too.

7:41 PM

Blogger Atreau said...

Whip is one I fell in love with, rose and leather. For a girl who can't really wear leather it comes across really nicely. I ordered in late April and it's yet to arrive - trying hard to be patient.

I must seek out more of their rose fragrances!

8:07 PM

Anonymous janey said...

Since you asked, here are my favorite colors - azure and limepeel green and sea mist and misty lavender and blush pink and I think I used them all on my last drawing.

5:44 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home