Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Testing Day: Blood Moon

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

Blood Moon Full Lunar Eclipse (A Little Lunacy, September 2015) -- Impenetrable, blood-spattered, Martial red musk, fiery pomegranate and black pepper, the splintered woods of uncountable wooden arrow shafts and shields, sharp frankincense and morose myrrh, all smothering the gentler impulses of the moon.

Dead Leaves Frankincense and Copal (Pile of Leaves, Hallowe'enies 2015) -- no description given.

Le Clerc's Phoenix (Anniversaries 2015) -- Assyrian cypress and cedar with cinnamon, black cardamom, cassia, Egyptian balsam, acanthus leaves, and frankincense.

Palmyra (UNHCR benefit scent, 2015) -- Golden amber and galbanum with frankincense, myrrh, Balm of Gilead, vanilla-infused sandalwood, sand-smoothed leather, and Ceylon cinnamon.


Blood Moon Full Lunar Eclipse is a very dark oil, signaling the presence of red musk.  In the vial it is all fruity red musk and resin.   Wet on my skin, it turns even more fruity.  Pomegranate is a good note for me, and this is a happy version of it.  As always, the red musk takes a while to develop.  Meanwhile, there is a sharpish note in it that I can't decide about; I think it is wood but it might be pepper.  On drydown it is still pomegranate first, then red musk a distant second with wood coming in third.  It stays that way through maturity, with not a lot of sillage but a lot of staying power.  I'm fond of red musk plus pomegranate, and this is a well-behaved example of it although I never really got the resins.

Dead Leaves Frankincense and Copal is a deep, slightly tart, resinous leaf note on first sniff.  Wet on my skin, it's a slightly sweet, young green leaf.  It dried down somewhat different:  a light, soft, slightly powdery unidentifiable resin with a leafy overtone.  At maturity it became a very light, soft, slightly sweet woodlike scent.  This one I think would make a good scent for a bath product, in a sugar scrub or an addition to a lotion or bath oil; it's a little unfocused to wear as a perfume.  Very pretty, though, and it gave me the illusion of being thirty years younger for a while there.

Le Clerc's Phoenix is mostly cinnamon/cassia at first sniff, but fresh and green rather than astringent or hurty.  There's some balsam in this that softens and rounds it.  Wet on my skin it turns more toward cassia and wood.  I expected this not to work on me because I'm not good with cassia; I was pinning my hopes to the balsam.  As it dries down the cassia softens but turns more woody, overwhelming the balsam.  Mature, it's a very soft light woody cassia.

Palmyra is dark and deep but smooth in the bottle; I get vanillic amber, something woody, and a touch of leather.  Wet on my skin, the leather bites a little bit and there is a woody/cinnamon note.  This scent could go either way on me, and it went the way I didn't want to.  At drydown the leather had turned a bit tannic and and a dark resin, perhaps the galbanum, moved to the fore.  It's more rooty, or maybe it's more gritty, than frankincense or myrrh.  The vanillic elements are mostly gone now, and so is the cinnamon.  At maturity, it becomes light leather and wood touched with smoke and cinnamon.  It almost has a tobacco tannic element to it, also.

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