Friday, December 4, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Testing Day: Hallowe'enies I!

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

Satan Starting from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear (Sympathy for the Devil, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015):  Golden amber, carnation, blackcurrant, aged black patchouli, red musk, and vetiver.

Second Spring (Hallowe'enies 2015):  An accolade: drifting leaves tinted in the bold reds of pomegranate and currant, the golds of amber and honey, russet myrrh, a touch of cypress-green, and crisp patchouli-brown.

Sweet William's Ghost  (Hallowe'enies 2015):  A scent of unendurable grief and longing: pale orris root and honeyed white lily chilled by wild carrot and cognac, pulled into a winding sheet of white jasmine, tobacco flower, tuberose, and patchouli.

Witches' Kitchen (Hecate's Inheritance, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015): Belladonna accord, sprigs of rue, crushed hyssop, white sage, beeswax, mandrake leaf, bay rum, black honey, hemp, and myrrh.

Satan Starting from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear is splendid spicy carnation at first sniff, over a well-blended patchouli background. As it dries, the patchouli, musk, and vetiver come up to give a wicked impression without smouldering.  On full drydown it is still a carnation scent (which means smoky on my skin, but others will have better luck); the blackcurrant and red musk work together to give this a a full, dark-fruit feel over a chewy patchouli-resin base.  This scent is old school BPAL blended with more experienced nuance.  If I were even a smidgen better with carnation notes I would hoard the hell out of this one.  And I'm still tempted despite the tendency of the carnation to go to smoke on me.

Second Spring smells like it's going to be a great autumnal take on the fruity-patchouli blend.  It's tart-sweet and patchouli in the bottle; wet, the resin and dried leaf notes appear.  But something weird happened on drydown:  the scent suddenly went very woody, like one of my least good wood notes (probably oak) amping on me.  It's pretty hard to kill a fruity-patchouli scent on my skin, so I'm baffled by this.  But the wood note (could it be the patchouli?) took over the scent and clung to me for many hours.  I was so sure this was going to be my favorite 'Weenie, but alas!  Not to be.

Sweet William's Ghost is very funereal in the bottle; it reads shimmering white and floral without being a lily scent.  Wet on my skin, the tobacco note spikes as expected, but it's a light note so it doesn't overwhelm the scent.  The cognac is the secondary note, and then the unspecified florals.  It dries down very well blended indeed; I can make out patchouli and orris (usually uncooperative, but beautiful in this instance), but everything else is a mystery.  It is dry, white, and mournful.  After a few hours it becomes a very gorgeous soft orris note, buttery rather than powdery, and without that hurty blue-white aura that orris often has for me.  I will definitely be getting a bottle of this.

Witches' Kitchen smells of beeswax, bay rum, and hemp.  On my skin it's suddenly a basket full of greenery, some of it bitter.  A menthol-ish note holds it together over a warm sweet beeswax/bay rum prickliness beneath.  As it dries down it comes even closer to being the scent I dreamed it would be; although I never really get any more of that round hemp note I was expecting, and the myrrh is so mellow as to be unnoticeable.  At maturity, the combination of honey and herbal notes manages to be full and sweet without ever being powdery or foody.

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