Monday, October 20, 2008

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Marie, my ‘too-cool-for-me’ friend gave me a bottle of fragrance oil for my birthday. She has no idea what a special gift that was to me (well, she does now) because no one else I know would do that. (edited to add that my friend Nat gave me a bottle too!)

She is big into oils and quite the expert. Last year she let me sniff a scent called 'Nosferatu'.

Raw, wet earth, the coolness of the cement mausoleum, the crispness of the trees and the frigid breeze of the fall. It was crazy and it captured me. It's amazing how scent artists can blend oils to smell like specific things!

I’m what they call a ‘foodie and fruit’ girl, meaning I can’t handle floral scents so she went on the hunt for a scent that would work for me and she ended up getting me a delightful scent called ‘Sticky Pillowcase’ from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL).

Sticky Pillowcase is described as “Terminal sugar rush. A little goblin's candy bag, upended. Smushed candy corn, rock candy dust, marshmallow gunk, strawberry goo, spun blue sugar, globs of salt water taffy, and lint.” And it’s fabulous!

I’m now just getting into the fragrance oil arena and I have a few other friends besides Marie to help me on my journey. Mindy and SuE have been more than generous by sending me little goodie packets with sample vials for me to try. They have all been so great at choosing scents I’d really like.

Fragrance is such an important and personal thing. It can elevate (or even change) your mood and bring you out of a funk. It can evoke good and bad memories and can take you places you've been or wish you could go. Scent can remind you of people you love and people you lost.

There is nothing greater than having someone say 'you smell good!'.

It’s a huge learning curve but it’s fun. It’s also kinda pricey so I’m only going to be able to indulge once in awhile. Marie and I recently went in on a BPAL order to save on shipping and I decided to treat myself to a bottle of what I was pretty sure I’d love, it’s called ‘Butter Rum Cookie’, described as, “a boozy addition to the devil's bake sale! Rum-soaked butter cookies, crusted with sugar, soaked in almond and garnished with orange rind.”

Next month, Marie and I are going to split a bottle of ‘Hellcat’, which is described as “a soft, sensual, luxuriant blend with a wicked bite: hazelnut, butter cream, honey mead, rum and sweet almond.”

I invited Marie to post here about fragrance oils since I don’t know that much.. so here she is:

"To me the difference between BPAL and Commercial perfumes is that Commercial perfumes are designed to evoke a particular sort of person. Really they are playing towards the eventual advertising. You are supposed to desire to be that other person and they can sell you just the expensive bottle of scent to help you on your way.

BPAL's oils are very different in intent. Beth is an artist who paints with scent. Each fragrance is an image, idea, character, archetype, situation, piece of literature, etc. fully realized. The variety is so amazing that there is something for everyone.

Besides just smelling good, and seriously I have never smelled a commercial scent that made my eyelids flutter the way some of my favorite BPAL's do, they educate and explore ideas. That allows the wearer to express who they really are...their loves...their passions...their mild interests...their sense of humor..."

I recommend stopping by BPAL when you have some time to kill and browsing through their site. It's like going to another world!

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