Thursday, August 13, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller (Carnival Diabolique, Act II)

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Scent of the Day:   Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller (Carnival Diabolique, Act II):  Red musk, vanilla bean, pomegranate, patchouli leaf and wild plum.

Judging from the number of reviews left for it at, this is presumably the most popular scent in the Carnaval Diabolique line.  I certainly know a lot of people who are really passionate about it -- and I'm one of them.

In the bottle La Madame smells like tart fruit and very light patchouli.  On my skin it turns smoky-pungent right away.  There is definitely some overlap in ingredients between this and Snake Oil, presumably in the strong vanilla-musk axis around which the rest of the scent is built.  But there's concentrated dark fruit as well, and just enough patchouli to let you know it's there.  This is a very rich, enticing scent.

As it matures the concentrated dark fruit notes continue to entice; they're smoky-syrupy without being sugary.  The vanilla-musk continues to develop much like Snake Oil, while the patchouli slowly becomes more noticeable.

The resurrected version of La Madame that's currently live at the Lab website lists "black currant" as an ingredient.  I wouldn't be surprised to discover that it's exactly the same scent as the original version; rich black currant could easily be part of what I'm noticing in the dark fruit notes.  But it's not the jammy dark currant of, say, Crumpet Rebellion or The Knave of Hearts.  It's closer to the black currant note in Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse or Lunar Eclipse 2013, more like a dried fruit or a concentrated juice syrup than something with sugar in it.

At any rate, this is an arresting scent that always makes me feel mysterious and special when I wear it.  The two times I bought it from the Lab, the Tarot cards that came with it proved to be highly relevant to my life, which just makes the scent that much more fun.  I look forward to my forthcoming bottle of La Madame Resurrected and the Tarot card that comes with it, to see what the future holds for this beloved scent.

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