At dawn on November 1st, an explosion goes off in stores across America. Not a chemical or nuclear bomb: a festive bomb. Yes, retailers in their greed and desperation start those jingles and deck the aisles with holly, mistletoe, and every bit of Christmas crap their perverse consumer product researchers can envision. I don’t care what the “official” story is, The Elf On The Shelf was imagined by a toy executive after a 72-hour Hunter S. Thompson-inspired drug and hooker binge. This holiday madness has overrun Thanksgiving or The Day Before Black Friday (or Mauve Thursday or whatever the hell it’s called). It is only the dark occult power of Halloween that has stopped its advance. Speaking of Halloween, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab gives you the scented tools to grab a little territory from the Kringle-Industrial Complex. Follow us as we peruse the aromatic armory from Black Phoenix. Because Halloween is always in our hearts. It can also be in our noses.
[ad#longpost]First we have the classics: All Saints, that wonderful blend of incense and flowers, chilled by the fall weather. All Souls is also a incense blend but mixed with the sweet soul cakes offered to the dearly departed. For something a little less reverent, there’s Devil’s Night, with its scents of sugar and booze suggesting revelry, but a hint of wood smoke from arson and musk from the exertion of violence. Even the month itself, October, gets a scent that recalls the falling leaves, the smoking of chimneys, and the stickiness of sap. And for many pagans, the reason for the season, Samhain, blends the autumn treats of pumpkin, apples, and spices to enliven them with the forest primeval where nature holds sway. Another autumn revel, the Hispanic festival The Day of the Dead delivers Sugar Skull, this perfume being rich with sugars and fruit.
We have some new entries to this year’s Halloween collection. For the celebratory, we have Autumn Cider, a potent mix of fermented apple juice and butterscotch liquor mixed with brown sugar, spice, lemon zest, and orange slices. This is probably one of those drinks that’s so tasty that it’s not until your third cup you notice the room spinning and you decide that lampshade would look good on you. For fear and terror, we have The White Witch…and don’t be fooled: she is not a good witch. She lures you in with her pale beauty but once she has you, she will burn you up and suck out all the energy you possess. Her scent presents with honey amber and bourbon vanilla, along with red roses. Underneath is her true nature: red musk, dark patchouli and vetiver, pomegranate rind and blackened violet leaf. For the somber contemplation of the dead, there is Hallow-eâ€™en 1914, for those first dead on the blasted fields of Europe during the so-called Great War. You smell the withered ivy, dark cypress, and the grave dirt of the cemetery with maple leaf with honeyed fig to remind you that their suffering has ended.
With autumn, you get get pumpkin everything. BPAL is no different with their Pumpkin Patch. You get a variety of variation of pumpkin from a pumpkin tea with cardamom, allspice, and ginger milk to charred pumpkin with clove, tobacco absolute, aged patchouli, and oakmoss. For a scent of the season, you can sample Seven Visions of Autumn. These scents are a bit more free form, open to interpretation for your personal conception of fall. For me, Visions of Autumn I with its white cedar, black pepper, golden amber, bay leaf, and four-year aged oudh gives a idea of firewood, seasoned and ready for the fireplace. Visions of Autumn V gives more of a bakery smell, making cookies and cakes with spices and dried fruits. The Single Notes for Halloween are quite witty. Instead of a specific ingredient like White Sage or Rose, you get notes of the season like smoky Bonfire, chilly Fog Machine Juice, and sweet Stage Blood.
Black Phoenix has plenty to give a protective personal shield against way too early carols and those insensate ringing bells. But hurry and get your perfumes now, autumn is drawing to a close and Santa Claus will be here in full force. But check this space for what Black Phoenix has to help you through the mandatory festivities.