The Scent of Salvation: A Guide to Buying from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

That Scent Offers Salvation
Written by: Jessica Moore

“Black Phoenix Alchemical Laboratory; Purveyors of Fine Esoteric Goods, Perfumes and Potions.” The opening page of the website beckoned to me and I clicked the black and white depictions of magical creatures and macabre designs. It was everything I’d heard it was. A perfumery based on the stories of Neil Gaiman and H.P. Lovecraft. An apothecary of scents created to smell like Ghosts and Spirits. All that was mythological or arcane is done here in the form of highly condensed body oil.
I am a person who has an addiction and it’s to perfumes from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I have tried other varieties but none have come close to the grandeur that “BPAL”; as it’s fondly called, makes me feel. Perfume oil is over 90% scent; the other 10% being a base of vegetable or olive oil. It lasts longer than regular perfume which is mostly alcohol because it absorbs into the skin more naturally.
I hate to smell; I simply hate it. I do not wish for people to walk by me and think; “Oh god that girl smells like a chicken wing” or someone who is sweaty and grimy. I prefer to smell like the “Singing Moon” which is a limited edition scent that BPAL offered that has a blend of herbs including meadowsweet and Irish moss. It makes me smell like the woods in the dark of evening; cool, sweet and fresh.
The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has over three hundred scents and offers Limited Edition blends on holidays and on the days of full moons. Each scent is hand blended to order. They are never made up ahead of time. And sport names that make even the most hardened perfume shopper laugh with a feeling of sheer ridiculousness. For example “BANANA PEEL IN A GRAVEYARD” a scent based off of Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” that has *gasp* banana as the strongest element. Or try “MME. MORIARTY, MISFORTUNE TELLER “ which comes from the Lab’s specialty Carnaval Diabolique line and has pomegranate and vanilla as head ingredients.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has offered to me choices of a huge variety. I have over fifteen large bottles; large size being a glass 5ml bottle from $15 dollars to $25.50, depending on which section of the site you purchase from. And over forty little bottles; those being 2ml size for $3.50 excluding Limited Editions. I tend to purchase scents heavy with herbs and fruit as those last longest with my chemistry. Such as “BEWITCHED” described by The Lab as Deep, luscious green and berry scents that evoke images of woodland witchcraft and the raw power of nature: blackberry, sage, green tea, wild berries and dark musk. And “LADY UNA” from Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” story described as having Honey musk, green tea leaf, blackberry leaf, vanilla bean, and fae spices.{Just to note that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab takes great pride in their perfume descriptions and most are very long, incorporating the use of the stories that the scents are created from.}
Perfume oils work very different on people than regular perfume. They interact with each person’s signature body chemistry which makes a scent all their own. I have an example to explain. One afternoon I decided I wanted to try a more flowery blend of perfume. My best friend Katie; whom also enjoys BPAL perfume handed me her bottle of “Dragon’s Blood” which is a blend of flowers like lilacs and tuberose. On her skin it smells like an bright spring flower garden. So I placed some at the pulse points of my wrists. And this is what she says, “Hey Jessica, do you smell something burning?” My reply, “No, well, yeah maybe.” It turns out that lilac doesn’t just not work with my body chemistry it makes me smell like a burning tire. On the contrary, Katie has attempted to use some of my more food like scents such as “JACK” which is described as The scent of warm, glowing jack o'lanterns on a warm autumn night: true Halloween pumpkin, spiced with nutmeg, glowing peach and murky clove. And ended up smelling like a rotten pumpkin while I will smell like sweet homemade pie. It’s all in the body’s makeup. You never know how something will smell on you.
It’s bit like playing Russian roulette with a loaded squirt gun. It’s going to be on you but you just cannot know if it will smell right until it is. I’ve only ended up with a couple bad blends for both Katie and I. An example being “AZATHOTH” from the H.P. Lovecraft line; it has a blend of darker herbs like vetiver and smells to Katie and I like blackened charcoal. The blends that do not work out go on and get sold to people who enjoy those darker scents. Which in turns supplies us with money to purchase new and hopefully better attuned for our chemistry scents.
So to end this article I will say that if you have an obsession with not smelling like old gym shoes and sweat socks, you should look into the Lab as a place to find scent salvation. It’s a refuge of perfumes that strike the senses and make you entice the crowds around you. I’ve had people tell me I smell “like tasty candy” or even better “you smell like something magical; it’s wonderful.” That’s what I want to hear.

You can help yourself by heading over to and searching through the many categories and blends. And if you are nervous about a blend not working for you try heading to and looking up the scent. All members have detailed scent reactions to a variety of body chemistries. I found that out after that one rare bad scent occurrence. As for me, I’ve already made my next purchase and I am happily awaiting it’s arrival. Let’s have a round of applause for being able to smell like magic; how many of you can say that you do?