Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloweenies 2010

I have to say I'm getting a little bit tired of BPAL's shipping shenanigans. When the Halloween scents came out I went in on a group order done through the Aussie BPAL livejournal community and it took two months to arrive. TWO MONTHS. It makes me a lot less inclined to bother when I can get gorgeous perfume oils on Etsy that take two or three weeks to arrive, even when they're made to order.

Anyway, for some reason recently I've been completely over foodie scents. They used to be MAH THING, but I'm just not into them now. For this reason I almost didn't bother with the Weenies - after all, Halloween scents by tradition tend to be very foodish. However, Noodles spotted a couple that she liked the sound of, and there was one that really jumped out at me, and it was free shipping because the group order was over $500, so... Let's face it, it doesn't take a whole lot for me to talk myself into buying something.

My two choices were The Shadowy And The Sublime and Boo 2010, and Noodle Arms wanted Pomegranate II and Ghoulish.

Pomegranate II
Pomegranate, white musk, lemon verbena, grapefruit, pink lime.

I hate fruit scents - if you've been reading for a while, you already know that. All fruity perfumes to me smell like cheap supermarket shampoo or bubble bath. I thought for a while that in Pom II I had finally found one I could enjoy. It opens with a sharp but pleasant citrus note, and underneath is a something more perfumy, presumably the blend of pomegranate and white musk. This was what I really liked, and I hoped that once the top citrus note faded, that's what I would be left with. Unfortunately it didn't last, and after 20 minutes or so, this morphed into a generic body wash fruit scent. Disappointing for me, but Noodle Arms loves it so if you're a fan of the fruity fragrances, don't listen to my moaning. I'm obviously in the minority.

This season's Ridiculous Scent! Creepy like Creepy and as spooky as Spooky, this is the scent of a black cherry and coconut amaretto confection gently laced with saffron.

This sounded just hideous to me, but something about it appealed to Noodles, after she asked, "What's amaretto?", so it was her second choice. It's... not my thing. When I first applied this I got a sharp almond note that quickly gave way to a thick, syrupy scent of cherry advocaat. It mellows eventually to a smooth, almondy amaretto fragrance, and man... does it linger. I put it on first thing in the morning and I could still smell it late afternoon. Again, Noodles and Stefanie are both fans, so maybe it's just me being ornery.

Boo 2010
Eerie billows of spun sugar, fluttering white cotton, and sheets of cream.

Thankfully, the cream note in this one doesn't smell "turned" as some of the BPALs can (Diary Of A Lovestruck Teenage Cannibal, for example). However, it's not the gorgeous, warm silky note of say, Love's Philosophy either. It's very sweet and light, and there's a hint of burnt sugar in the background. It's like fairy floss, but fairy floss that's slightly overdone. I used to really love sugary scents, but I'm quite over them lately and this one doesn't really do anything for me at all. It doesn't last terribly long on me, either.

The Shadowy And The Sublime
A sudden and shocking insight into the vast, ineffable, overwhelming power of Nature, stirred by a vision or experience of perfected beauty and perfected terror, that changes the soul irretrievably. An epiphany: Moroccan amber, wisteria, ambergris accord, white rose, magnolia, white mint, angelica, bergamot, and myrrh.

This was the only one I really cared about. Anything that includes wisteria, white rose, magnolia... I'm there. It doesn't disappoint either. This is a gorgeous creamy white floral with no really dominant notes that I could distinguish. It's beautifully blended, with a medium throw and reasonable staying power. I wish BPAL would do more of these gentle florals, because they're obviously really good at it.

I sound a bit Bah Humbug about these, I know, but I think it's just because of the "being over foodies" thing. If you like foodie scents with the notes listed in these perfume oils, you will probably enjoy them. Unfortunately, if you want to buy them you have to spring for the full bottle - BPAL doesn't sell Imps of their Limited Edition scents. They go offline on November 23, I believe, so you don't have much time either.


  1. This is a really interesting post. I'm not much into foody scents either, which can be hard when you're shopping Halloween or 'Holiday' collections. I do like the sound of The Shadowy and the Sublime :)

  2. I still need to get on the BPAL wagon just for a try, maybe after all the xmas madness dies down here. I sometimes like foody scents but not too sweet. The Shadowy and Sublime sounds gorgeous <3

  3. Wow, The Shadowy and The Sublime sounds beautiful! I quite enjoy Boo and Ghoulish, very foodie indeed :)

  4. Although the shipping time totally sucked I reckon these are awesome! Honestly I'd happily buy them just cos the bottles look fab. Ghoulish sounds fantastic... you might not have been too impressed but judging by the description this would be right up my street! :)