LIMITED EDITION BLENDS
No imp’s ears are available for Limited Edition scents.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Note: only 5ml bottles are offered in our limited edition scents. Please check the BPAL forum for stock updates. No samples can be requested for any limited edition scents, as they are not taken into consideration or assimilated into stock when the limited edition oils are made. Simply put: there are none to give. If you request a sample of a limited edition scent, we will swap for a random “permanent” scent.
White as hot steel the broad sun mounts the skies,
The burning vapors quivering as they rise.
No beast, no wandering bird, doth hither come,
Not e’en an insect wakes her drowsy hum.
But lo! the hills on which some dark curse rests,
Barren their sides, all rocks their dreary crests,
Approach with frowns, and form a savage dell,
Where snakes retreat, and vultures love to dwell.
Silent and strange along this craggy way,
Rise countless towers that brave thy hand, Decay!
Did busy men once live, and flourish here,
Their palaces yon piles so old and drear?
Draw nearer,—scan each building’s dark recess;
What mean those crumbling bones, that mouldered dress?
Yes, these are tombs, as many a mummy shows,
Where man in distant ages found repose;
The street of graves! where kings laid down their pride,
And many a restless phantom yet may glide:
Murdered Longinus here may wander still,
And she whose dust was laid by Tibur’s hill,
Far-famed Zenobia, for her kingdom wail,
Sweeping with viewless form the desert gale.
Deserted Tadmor! queen of Syria’s wild!
Well mayst thou fill with rapture Fancy’s child;
Yet not by day—too garish, harsh, and rude—
The eye should scan thy fairy solitude;
But when the still moon pours her hallowing beam,
And crumbling shrine and palace whitely gleam,
Then pause beneath the lofty arch, and there
Survey the mouldings rich and sculptures fair;
See how like spectral giants columns stand,
And cast long shadows o’er the yellow sand;
How the soft light on marble tracery plays,
And busts look life-like through that silvery haze!
Tread the long colonnade, where Traffic’s throng,
And chief and sage were wont to sweep along;
Ruin on ruin mouldering, still and lone,
Arch following arch, fane, massy wall o’erthrown,
And still beyond, some line of columns gray,
In long perspective stretching far away,—
These will the stars in desolation show,
Shedding o’er all a soft ethereal glow,
Till beauty scarce of earth around us beams,
And like the home of spirits, Tadmor seems.
And are no dwellers here?—no beings found
Within Palmyra’s wide and haunted bound?
Yes, come and see—where Beauty, in old days,
Touched her sweet harp, and blushed at her own praise;
There rears the desert-bird her callow brood,
And shrieks along the untrodden solitude.
Yes, come and see—where kings in council sate
On ivory thrones, mid all the pomp of state;
There mopes the owl with shining sleepless eye,
And growls the hyena, stealing slowly by.
Commerce in Tadmor fixed her gorgeous seat;
Her voice was heard through every busy street:
The caravan brought gems from Persia’s shore,
Tyre sent her cloths, and Ind her golden store;
And this long ages saw, till Syria’s mart
Drew and poured forth wealth’s streams,—a mighty heart!
Now come and see—within yon pillared walls,
Mid tottering shafts and broken capitals,
Squalid and lorn, cut off from all mankind,
In tattered garbs, to wretchedness consigned,
A few poor Arabs crouch,—with senseless stare
They view the pomp and beauty lingering there,
Tend their lean goats, to Mecca idly bow,
The only merchants, only princes now!
City of Solomon! whose fame and power,
And wondrous wealth, began in earth’s young hour;
How, mid her fallen pomp, thought wanders back
O’er vanished days,—a sad yet dazzling track.
Arabia’s fierce and desolating horde,
Rome’s conquering eagle, Babylonia’s sword,
All we behold, but chief one form appears,
Rising all radiant from the gulf of years:
Proud is her step, her dark eye varying oft,
Now flashing fire, now languishingly soft;
The jewelled crown well suits that brow serene,—
’T is great Zenobia, Tadmor’s glorious queen.
Beauty hath oft put War’s dread helmet on,
Since her who ruled earth-conquering Babylon;
Yet not Semiramis, who boasts her bays,
Nor Gaul’s bold maid, who graced these later days,
Swayed the rough hearts of men with wilder power,
Or met more bravely battle’s dreadful hour,
Than she on whom pleased fame and fortune smiled,
The dark-haired mistress of the Syrian wild.
But now the conqueror’s brighter hour has passed,
And fair Zenobia’s star goes down at last.
The Roman comes,—his legions file around
Doomed Tadmor’s walls, to deafening trumpets’ sound.
Aurelian bids the desert princess yield,
But hark! her answer—clashing sword and shield!
Girt by her chiefs, her proud plumed head she rears,
Defies the foe, and each faint spirit cheers;
Her milk-white courser prances round the wall,
Her gestures, looks, and words inspiring all.
Through opened gates her troops are sallying now,
Still in their front appears that dauntless brow;
Where’er her silver wand is seen to wave,
There rush the boldest, and there fall the brave,
And when borne back by Rome’s immense array,
She fights retreating, pauses still to slay.
But ceaseless war, and famine’s tortures slow,
Wear bravery out, and bring Palmyra low.
’T was then the Queen, to crush the despot’s might,
Passed from the gates beneath the veil of night,
Hers still the hope from Persia aid to call,
Save her loved land, and stay Palmyra’s fall.
With fluttering heart, but calm and fearless eye,
Across the trackless desert see her fly!
On swept the camel with unflagging speed,
As though he knew that hour of deadly need;
Her Syrian guards o’er Arab steeds might lean,
But not keep pace with her, their flying Queen.
What recked she drifting sand or scorching sun?
What recked she pain or toil, that mission done?
Come hunger, thirst,—on, on her course must be,
Each swift-winged hour brought, Tadmor, doom to thee!
Lo! on their track, through clouds of rising sand,
Bright helms were seen, now glittered spear and brand;
Then horsemen forward dashed,—a long-drawn row,—
’T was Rome’s dread troops, the fierce pursuing foe!
They saw, and hailed,—across the waste was borne
The hoarse, deep note of many a trumpet-horn;
And on they came, like winds careering fast,
Not half so fearful sweeps the simoom blast;
They brought for her who scoured those desert plains,
Woe and disgrace, captivity and chains.
But still Zenobia flew; the steeds that bore
Her guards had sunk,—those chiefs could aid no more;
And now that camel shaped his course alone,—
He reared his head as louder blasts were blown,
And strained each nerve, his soft black drooping eye
Telling of suffering, fear, and agony;
Unhappy, faithful thing! that still would brave
Toil, peril, death, his royal charge to save.
’T was vain: as hounds at length chase down the deer,
The Roman horsemen drew more near and near;
Though some fell back, or sank upon the way,
Yet others, slowly gaining, reached the prey.
They halted, wheeled,—their armor’s dazzling sheen
Formed a dread wall round Syria’s fated queen;
Hope fled her breast,—she yielded,—ruined now,
But still majestic shone that high-born brow.
Ah! as they led their prisoner o’er the plain,
No more to rule, but grace a tyrant’s train,
And, exiled, pine where wooded Anio sweeps,
Far from her desert home and palmy steeps,
The sun of Syria’s power went down in night,
On Freedom’s tree there rained a withering blight,
Glory to proud Palmyra sighed adieu,
And o’er her shrines Destruction’s angel flew.
– Nicholas Michell
Golden amber and galbanum with frankincense, myrrh, Balm of Gilead, vanilla-infused sandalwood, sand-smoothed leather, and Ceylon cinnamon.
All proceeds after cost of manufacture benefit the UNHCR’s efforts to aid refugees and meet humanitarian needs.Add to cart
13 is significant, whether you consider it lucky, unlucky or just plain odd. Many believe it to be unfortunate…
…because there were 13 present at the Last Supper.
…Loki crashed a party of 12 at Valhalla, which ended in Baldur’s death.
…Oinomaos killed 13 of Hippodamia’s suitors before Pelops finally, in his own shady way, defeated the jealous king.
…In ancient Rome, Hecate’s witches gathered in groups of 12, the Goddess herself being the 13th in the coven.
Concern over the number thirteen echoes back beyond the Christian era. Line 13 was omitted form the Code of Hammurabi.
The shivers over Friday the 13th also have some interesting origins:
…Christ was allegedly crucified on Friday the 13th.
…On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrests of Jaques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and sixty of his senior knights.
…In British custom, hangings were held on Fridays, and there were 13 steps on the gallows leading to the noose.
To combat the superstition, Robert Ingersoll and the Thirteen Club held thirteen-men dinners during the 19th Century. Successful? Hardly. The number still invokes trepidation to this day. A recent whimsical little serial killer study showed that the following murderers all have names that total thirteen letters:
Albert De Salvo
John Wayne Gacy
And, with a little stretch of the imagination, you can also fit “Jack the Ripper” and “Charles Manson” into that equation.
More current-era paranoia: modern schoolchildren stop their memorization of the multiplication tables at 12. There were 13 Plutonium slugs in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. Apollo 13 wasn’t exactly the most successful space mission. All of these are things that modern triskaidekaphobes point to when justifying their fears.
For some, 13 is an extremely fortuitous and auspicious number…
…In Jewish tradition, God has 13 Attributes of Mercy. Also, there were 13 tribes of Israel, 13 principles of Jewish faith, and 13 is considered the age of maturity.
…The ancient Egyptians believed that there were 12 stages of spiritual achievement in this lifetime, and a 13th beyond death.
…The word for thirteen, in Chinese, sounds much like the word which means “must be alive”.
Thirteen, whether you love it or loathe it, is a pretty cool number all around.
…In some theories of relativity, there are 13 dimensions.
…It is a prime number, lucky number, star number, Wilson Prime, and Fibonacci number.
…There are 13 Archimedean solids.
…There were 13 original colonies when the United States were founded.
Says a lot about the US, doesn’t it?
Thirteen sugars, honeys, and vanillas dusted with chocolate to help you combat ill-fortune with the raw power of overwhelming sweetness.Add to cart
++IT’S BPAL’S LUCKY 13!
The Phoenixes will be live until January 6, 2015.
ZUT ALORS! BPAL IS A TEENAGER.
Thirteen years. Thirteen years of bliss and strangeness, thirteen merrily macabre years of creeps, cupcakes, and smut. Thirteen years of family and light and love… thank you all for helping us fill the past thirteen years with poetry, tales, friendship and cheer. Thank you for being with us through births, deaths, unions and rites of passage. Thank you for sharing our joys and our burdens, and for allowing us to be a part of your lives.
In the past thirteen years, you have been with us through so much. Thank you for your kindness, your support, and for your friendship.
With all of my love, and in no particular order…
Thank you, BRIAN, for being the best of friends. Thank you for putting up with my bullshit, thank you for being the Brain to my Pinky, thank you for being my partner in ridiculousness, thank you for everything you do. Here’s to another thirteen (thirty? three-hundred?) years of doing the crazy shit we do. I love you.
I love you, TED. Thank you for being my one true, perfect, eternal love. Thank you for being my Prince Charming, thank you for always being there for me, thank you for your patience, your sober counsel, your laughter, your filthy mind, your sense of humor. Thank you for being you, thank you for being mine.
Thank you, my LILITH, my wee little werewolf. Your laugh makes my heart sparkle, your smile brightens even the most sorrowful day. You are my tiny muse, my joy and my light, and I am very, very grateful to be your mother.
Thank you, CHRISSY, for being an extraordinary assistant and a true friend. Thank you for your patience and diligence, your creativity, and your kindness. Your passion and drive is an inspiration, and I love you!
Thank you, JACQUELYNN, for being a phenomenal general manager and a great friend. Thank you for all your tireless hard work, your dedication, your inventiveness, your sense of humor, and everything you do to keep our rickety wheels turning! You are amazing, and you are such a vital, important part of BPAL. I love you!
Thank you, PIOLET, for your hard work and your friendship, for your optimism, patience, and good humor, and for always being a good friend. You are wonderful, and I’m grateful for all you do!
Thank you, LILY, for your sweetness and your positivity! Your sunny, kind heart is an inspiration, and your cool head and equanimity is truly something to be admired. You roll with life’s hiccups in the road with so much compassion. Thank you for all that you do!
SABINA, CERINA, STACY, and BEN, thank you for the tremendous hard work you put into helping us get through both calm work weeks and batshit crazy seasons. Your work forms the foundation of this company, and we couldn’t do this without you.
Thank you to SUE and DEL at Dark Delicacies for giving us a home away from home for five wonderful years, and for hosting our crazy events! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, thank you for being such wonderful, wonderful friends, and thank you for being the greatest grandparents a little werewolf pup could dream of! I love you!
Thank you, ASHLEY and KAT, for helping so much at Trading Post! You are both amazing, sanity-saving goddesses, and I love you!
Thank you, SARA, for all the dedication, joy, and passion that you pour into every Black Phoenix event. I am grateful for all you do. You are a wonderful person, and a wonderful friend. Thank you!
KAITLIN, there are no words for how grateful I am for all that you do. Thank you for putting up with my demented requests, last-minute groveling, and extraordinarily disorganization! Thank you for your huge heart, your sharp wit, and your boundless compassion. Thank you for putting up with my Pisces’ness. You are the Most Radiant, and I love you.
TOM! Thank you for being my Other Voice! Thank you so much for helping us so much while we’re on the road, and thank you for all that you do to include BPAL in your projects and events! Thank you for your wit and inventiveness. Thank you for your sharing your talent and your time, thank you for always listening when I’m a screeching loon, thank you for being one of my dearest friends.
My love, my gratitude, and my eternal friendship goes out to my sisters, the mods and admins at bpal.org. You have been with me through so much, you are not just a part of my family, you are a part of my heart. Thank you for always being there for me in every possible way. Thank you for being with me through my wedding and my child’s birth, through so many joys and sorrows, through every hill and valley that BPAL has been through… you mean the world to me, and I love you so very much.
Thank you, SHANA, for your kind heart, your buoyant cheer, and effervescent enthusiasm! You are truly a force of nature, and I treasure our friendship!
Thank you, FOREST, for being you. Your compassion and nobility of spirit is an inspiration, and I’m truly thankful for our friendship. I love you, fartface.
Thank you, EM, for always having my back, for always, always being there for me, and for being one of my bestest friends. I value your wisdom and counsel so very much. Thank you for helping me navigate oft-stormy seas. I love you!
You know, ALI… I think I really said it best last year. You are my living, breathing Manual of Style! Thank you for cleaning up my babble, thank you for being a fountain of wit and inspiration, thank you for always being there for me. You are amazing, and I love you.
Thank you, DONNA, for being the bestest BPAL babysitter! You have no idea how much I love you. Thank you for always being there for me, thank you
Thank you, ANDRA, you are a true friend, a wonderful woman, and I love you so much!
Thank you to LISA, TOM, SARA, CHRISSY, MICHAEL, DONNA, ANDRA, EVA, and BERNADETTE for making this year’s travelling Snake Oil show possible. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into the events, and for being there for us. We couldn’t do it without you.
Thank you, LISA T., for being the heart and soul of Dirty South Will Call. You truly are one of the most amazing, strongest women I know, and I love you.
Thank you, SEAN, for helping us with bpal.org. Without your efforts, the forum would have died a horrible, much-lamented death. You have no idea how grateful I am.
Thank you, COURTNEY, for being my New England Sister! Thank you for all of your generosity and kindness! Your love makes Black Phoenix stronger, brighter, and more suffused with joy. I love you!
Thank you, CAT, for being such an amazing friend. Thank you for being my co-conspirator and confidante. Our brunches are too few! I love you!
Huge amounts of love and HUGE amounts of gratitude to LAURA HALL and all the wonderful people at Laika studios. Your generosity and kindness is beyond measure.
Thank you to THOMAS, CHANDRA, MELISSA, KAT (and THOMAS JR!) at Century Guild. I love you guys!
Thank you, MAGGIE, for giving BPAL a home at Pretty Indulgent! Thank you for being such an amazing friend and such a gentle inspiration.
Thank you, AUDRA, for giving BPAL a home at Loved to Death! It is a delight working with you, and I am overjoyed by our partnership! Thank you!
Thank you, JILLIAN, Our Lady of Manners, and SARAH ELIZABETH, for all that you’ve done to help promote Black Phoenix. You are both amazing, radiant women, and I am blessed by our friendship. I love you both!
JESS, thank you! Your artistry, ethics, and joyful darkness is a constant source of inspiration. I love you!
Many thanks and much love to JAMIE and LISA at Legendary Pictures for their patience, indulgence, and kindness! Thank you for putting up with my millions of questions, thank you for all of your help, and thank you for making this year’s Crimson Peak project possible!
Thank you to NEIL GAIMAN, GUILLERMO DEL TORO, LEGENDARY PICTURES, JIM JARMUSCH, PETER S. BEAGLE, KELLY SUE DECONNICK, TERRY PRATCHETT, CAROLYN HENNESY, TERRY MOORE, MIKE AND CHRISTINE MIGNOLA, GEORGE PEREZ, PETER DAVID, MOLLY CRABAPPLE, MARK WAID, THOMAS NEGOVAN, STORM CONSTANTINE, MATT WAGNER, JIM HENSON PRODUCTIONS, BRIAN PULIDO, JOSEPH MICHAEL LINSNER, GRIS GRIMLY, GEORGE RR MARTIN, CLIVE BARKER, MARK MILLER, DAVID MACK, GAIL POTOCKI, ERIN MORGENSTERN, and YSANNE SPEVAK for giving Black Phoenix the opportunity to interpret your work.
Thank you to the noble souls at the COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND. The work you do helps so many, and it is an honor to work with you.
Thank you, CHARLES, for being an inspiration, a true friend, and a partner in occasional French Quarter debauchery!
Thank you, CP, for being an incredible friend. Your kind soul and radiant spirit illuminates everything and everyone you touch.
Love and thanks to the artists that have lent us their talent: ADAM HUGHES, ALICIA DABNEY, JULIE DILLON, EMMA RIOS, MADAME TALBOT, QUIQUE ALCATENA, JENNIFER RODGERS, MANDA LANDER, KERI NEWTON, NICK PAVIK, ROBERT KRAIZA, ARISTOTLE PRAMAGIOULIS, TANYA BJORK, ANDREW FOGEL, BRIAN KESSINGER, ABIGAIL LARSON, AIDAN CASSERLY, and SARAH COLEMAN!
Love and thanks to THINK GEEK, CENTURY GUILD, LOVED TO DEATH, the MÜTTER MUSEUM, HAUTE MACABRE, HERETIC SALON, WHOLE FOODS, PRETTY INDULGENT, HEALTHY LIVING, and DARK DELICACIES for giving our products a home in your stores!
Love and thanks to the bloggers, journalists, magazines, and other media outlets that taken the time to write about Black Phoenix. Honestly, I cannot thank you enough.
And last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank my ANCESTORS, all the GODS (both celestial and infernal), the HOUSE GHOST, and anyone else that might be looking out for me.
I wrote this many years ago, and it’s just as true today as it was then:
‘Thank you for sharing our joy and for standing with us during difficult times. The family that has grown around BPAL is like no other in the world. Every time I wander into the forum, I see people supporting one another in times of need, showing selfless kindness and offering support to one another… to me, you all are models of emotional generosity and true friendship, and it is truly an honor to be a part of your lives. I cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you for celebrating the beauty of living with us, and for holding our hands during times of stress and sorrow. This year has been turbulent for just about everyone we know. It’s been a hard year filled with challenges and hidden lessons, but none of it is insurmountable because we all have this tremendous, genuinely loving family. Thank you.’
Doceat nos igitur hec avis vel exemplo sui resurrectionem credere que et sine exemplo et sine rationis perceptione ip sa sibi insignia resurrectionis instaurat, et utique aves propter hominem sunt non homo propter avem. Sit igitur exemplum nobis quia auctor et creator avium sanctos suos imperpe tuum peri re non pas sus, resur gentem eam sui semine voluit reparari. Quis igitur huic annunti at diem mortis ut faciat sibi thecam et impleat eam bo nis odoribus atqe ingrediatur in eam et moriatur illic, ubi odoribus gratis fetor funeris possit aboleri?
The Phoinix knows how to reckon five hundred years without the aid of arithmetic, for it is a pupil of all-wise nature, so that it has no need of fingers or anything else to aid it in the understanding of numbers. The purpose of this knowledge and the need for it are matters of common report. But hardly a soul among the Aigyptoi knows when the five-hundred-year period is completed; only a very few know, and they belong to the priestly order. But in fact the priests have difficulty in agreeing on these points, and banter one another and maintain that it is not now but at some date later than when it was due that the divine bird will arrive. Meantime while they are vainly squabbling, the bird miraculously guesses the period by signs and appears. And the priests are obliged to give way and confess that thy devote their time ‘to putting the sun to rest with their talk’; but they do not know as much as birds. But, in God’s name, is it not wise to know where Aigyptos is situated, where Heliopolis whither the bird is destined to come, and where it must bury its father and in what kind of coffin?
Golden amber and patchouli with fiery peppercorn, cocoa, white cedar, neroli, vanilla pod, and frankincense.Add to cart
Phoenix is a bird, and there is but one of that kind in all the wide world. Therefore lewd men wonder thereof, and among the Arabs, there this bird is bred, he is called singular–alone. The philosopher speaketh of this bird and saith that phoenix is a bird without make, and liveth three hundred or five hundred years: when the which years are past, and he feeleth his own default and feebleness, he maketh a nest of right sweet-smelling sticks, that are full dry, and in summer when the western wind blows, the sticks and the nest are set on fire with burning heat of the sun, and burn strongly. Then this bird phoenix cometh willfully into the burning nest, and is there burnt to ashes among these burning sticks, and within three days a little worm is gendered of the ashes, and waxeth little and little, and taketh feathers and is shapen and turned to a bird. Ambrose saith the same in the Hexameron: Of the humours or ashes of phoenix ariseth a new bird and waxeth, and in space of time he is clothed with feathers and wings and restored into the kind of a bird, and is the most fairest bird that is, most like to the peacock in feathers, and loveth the wilderness, and gathereth his meat of clean grains and fruits. Alan speaketh of this bird and saith, that when the highest bishop Onyas builded a temple in the city of Heliopolis in Egypt, to the likeness of the temple in Jerusalem, on the first day of Easter, when he had gathered much sweet-smelling wood, and set it on fire upon the altar to offer sacrifice, to all men’s sight such a bird came suddenly, and fell into the middle of the fire, and was burnt anon to ashes in the fire of the sacrifice, and the ashes abode there, and were busily kept and saved by the commandments of the priests, and within three days, of these ashes was bred a little worm, that took the shape of a bird at the last, and flew into the wilderness.
The fire of the sacrifice: scorched, honeyed cedar and carob wood aflame with amber, cinnamon, and red sandalwood.Add to cart
There is a leafy wood fringed by Oceanus’ farthest marge beyond the Indes and the East where Dawn’s panting coursers first seek entrance; it hears the lash close by, what time the watery threshold echoes to the dewy car; and hence comes forth the rosy morn while night, illumined by those far-shining wheels of fire, casts off her sable cloak and broods less darkly. This is the kingdom of the blessèd bird of the sun where it dwells in solitude defended b the inhospitable nature of the land and immune from the ills that befall other living creatures; nor does it suffer infection from the world of men. Equal to the gods is that bird whose life rivals the stars and whose renascent limbs weary the passing centuries. It needs no food to satisfy hunger nor any drink to quench thirst; the sun’s clear beam is its food, the sea’s rare spray its drink–exhalations such as these form its simple nourishment. A mysterious fire flashes from its eyes, and a flaming aureole enriches its head. Its crest shines with the sun’s own light and shatters the darkness with its calm brilliance. Its legs are of Tyrian purple; swifter than those of the Zephyrs are its wings of flower-like blue dappled with rich gold.
Never was this bird conceived nor springs it from any mortal seed, itself is alike its own father and son, and with none to recreate it, it renews its outworn limbs with a rejuvenation of death, and at each decease wins a fresh lease of life. For when a thousand summers have passed far away, a thousand winters gone by, a thousand springs in their course given to the husbandmen that shade of which autumn robbed them, then at last, fordone by the number of its years, it falls a victim to the burden of age; as a tall pine on the summit of Caucasus, wearied with storms, heels over with its weight and threatens at last to crash in ruin; one portion falls by reason of the unceasing winds, another breaks away rotted by the rain, another consumed by the decay of years.
Now the Phoenix’s bright eye grows dim and the pupil becomes palsied by the frost of years, like the moon when she is shrouded in clouds and her horn beings to vanish in the mist. Now his wings, wont to cleave the clouds of heaven, can scarce raise them from the earth. Then, realizing that his span of life is at an end and in preparation for a renewal of his splendour, he gathers dry herbs from the sun-warmed hills, and making an interwoven heap of the branches of the precious tree of Saba he builds that pyre which shall be at once his tomb and his cradle.
On this he takes his seat and as he grows weaker greets the Sun with his sweet voice; offering up prayers and supplications he begs that those fires will give him renewal of strength. Phoebus, on seeing him afar, checks his reins and staying his course consoles his loving child with these words: ‘Thou who art about to leave thy years behind upon yon pyre, who, by this pretence of death, art destined to rediscover life; thou whose decease means but the renewal of existence and who by self-destruction regainest thy lost youth, receive back thy life, quit the body that must die, and by a change of form come forth more beauteous than ever.’
So speaks he, and shaking his head casts one of his golden hairs and smites willing Phoenix with its life-giving effulgence. Now, to ensure his rebirth, he suffers himself to be burned and in his eagerness to be born again meets death with joy. Stricken with the heavenly flame the fragrant pile catches fire and burns the aged body. The moon in amaze checks her milk-white heifers and heaven halts his revolving spheres, while the pyre conceives the new life; Nature takes care that the deathless bird perish not, and calls upon the sun, mindful of his promise, to restore its immortal glory to the world.
Straightway the life spirit surges through his scattered limbs; the renovated blood floods his veins. The ashes show signs of life; they begin to move though there is none to move them, and feathers clothe the mass of cinders. He who was but now the sire comes forth from the pyre the son and successor; between life and life lay but that brief space wherein the pyre burned.
His first delight is to consecrate his father’s spirit by the banks of the Nile and to carry to the land of Aegyptus the burned mass from which he was born. With all speed he wings his way to that foreign strand, carrying the remains in a covering of grass. Birds innumerable accompany him, and whole flocks thereof throng in airy flight. Their mighty host shuts out the sky where’er it passes. But from among so vast an assemblage none dares outstrip the leader; all follow respectfully in the balmy wake of their king. Neither the fierce hawk nor the eagle, Jove’s own armour-bearer, fall to fighting; in honour of their common master a truce is observed by all. Thus the Parthian monarch leads his barbarous hosts by yellow Tigris’ banks, all glorious with jewels and rich ornament and decks his tiara with royal garlands; his horse’s bridle is of gold, Assyrian embroidery embellishes his scarlet robes, and proud with sovereignty he lords it o’er his numberless slaves.
There is in Aegyptus a well-known city celebrated for its pious sacrifices and dedicated to the worship of Ra. Its temples rest on a hundred columns hewn from the quarries of Thebes. Here, as the story tells, the Phoenix is wont to store his father’s ashes and, adoring the image of the god, his master, to entrust his precious burden to the flames. He places on the altar that from which he is sprung and that which remains of himself. Bright shines the wondrous threshold; the fragrant shrine is filled with the holy smoke of the altar and the odour of Indian incense, penetrating even as far as the Pelusiac marshes, fills the nostrils of men, flooding them with its kindly influence and with a scent sweeter than that of nectar perfumes the seven mouths of the dark Nile.
Happy bird, heir to thine own self! Death which proves our undoing restores thy strength. Thine ashes give thee life and though thou perish not thine old age dies. Thou hast beheld all that has been, hast witnessed the passing of the ages. Thou knowest when it was that the waves of the sea rose and o’erflowed the rocks, what year it was that Phaëthon’s error devoted to the flames. Yet did no destruction overwhelm thee; sole survivor thou livest to see the earth subdued; against thee the Fates gather not up their threads, powerless to do thee harm.
Sole survivor thou livest to see the earth subdued; against thee the Fates gather not up their threads, powerless to do thee harm: red patchouli, sweet frankincense, and the figs and pomegranates of the seven mouths of the dark Nile.Add to cart
Let us consider the strange sign which takes place in the East, that is in the districts near Arabia. There is a bird which is called the Phoenix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives 500 years; and when the time of its dissolution in death is at hand, it makes itself a sepulchre of frankincense and myrrh and other spices, and when the time is fulfilled it enters into it and dies. Now, from the corruption of its flesh there springs a worm, which is nourished by the juices of the dead bird, and puts forth wings. Then, when it has become strong, it takes up that sepulchre, in which are the bones of its predecessor, and carries them from the country of Arabia as far as Egypt until it reaches the city called Heliopolis, and in the daylight in the sight of all it flies to the altar of the Sun, places them there, and then starts back to its former home. Then the priests inspect the registers of dates, and they find that it has come at the fulfilment of the 500th year.
A sepulchre of frankincense and caramelized myrrh.Add to cart
The phoenix is a bird of Arabia, which gets its name from its purple color; or because it is singular and unique in the world and the Arabs call singular and unique phoenix. It lives for 500 years or more. When it sees that it has grown old it builds a pyre for itself from spices and twigs, and facing the rays of the rising sun ignites a fire and fans it with its wings, and rises again from its own ashes.
Feathers of deep plum and wild violet darkly gleaming with myrrh, black amber, and benzoin.Add to cart
There is a bird named the phoenix, which dwells in India and is never found elsewhere. This bird is always alone and without companion, for its like cannot be found, and there is no other bird which resembles it in habits or appearance. At the end of five hundred years it feels that it has grown old, and loads itself with many rare and precious spices, and flies from the desert away to the city of Leopolis. There, by some sign or other, the coming of the bird is announced to a priest of that city, who causes fagots to be gathered and placed upon a beautiful altar, erected for the bird. And so, as I have said, the bird, laden with spices, comes to the altar, and smiting upon the hard stone with its beak, it causes the flame to leap forth and set fire to the wood and the spices. When the fire is burning brightly, the phoenix lays itself upon the altar and is burned to dust and ashes. Then comes the priest and finds the ashes piled up, and separating them softly he finds within a little worm, which gives forth an odor sweeter than that of roses or of any other flower. The next day and the next the priest comes again, and on the third day he finds that the worm has become a full-grown and full-fledged bird, which bows low before him and flies away, glad and joyous, nor returns again before five hundred years.
Assyrian cypress and cedar with cinnamon, black cardamom, cassia, Egyptian balsam, acanthus leaves, and frankincense.Add to cart
Then copious poisons from the moon distils
Mixed with all monstrous things which Nature’s pangs
Bring to untimely birth; the froth from dogs
Stricken with madness foaming at the stream;
A lynx’s entrails and the knot that grows
Upon the fell hyaena; flesh of stags
Fed upon serpents and the sucking fish
Which holds the vessel back though eastern winds
Make bend the canvas; dragon’s eyes; and stones
That sound beneath the brooding eagle’s wings.
Nor Araby’s viper, nor the ocean snake
Who in the Red Sea waters guards the shell,
Are wanting; nor the slough on Libyan sands
By horned reptile cast nor ashes fail
Snatched from an altar where the Phoenix died
Copious poisons from the moon distils: frankincense, mugwort, toxic moonseed, lemon balm, pale yellow musk seed, and elemi.Add to cart
In Egypt is the city of Heliopolis, that is to say, the city of the Sun. In that city there is a temple, made round after the shape of the Temple of Jerusalem. The priests of that temple have all their writings, under the date of the fowl that is clept phoenix; and there is none but one in all the world. And he cometh to burn himself upon the altar of that temple at the end of five hundred year; for so long he liveth. And at the five hundred years’ end, the priests array their altar honestly, and put thereupon spices and sulphur vif and other things that will burn lightly; and then the bird phoenix cometh and burneth himself to ashes. And the first day next after, men find in the ashes a worm; and the second day next after, men find a bird quick and perfect; and the third day next after, he flieth his way. And so there is no more birds of that kind in all the world, but it alone, and truly that is a great miracle of God. And men may well liken that bird unto God, because that there ne is no God but one; and also, that our Lord arose from death to life the third day. This bird men see often-time fly in those countries; and he is not mickle more than an eagle. And he hath a crest of feathers upon his head more great than the peacock hath; and is neck his yellow after colour of an oriel that is a stone well shining, and his beak is coloured blue as ind; and his wings be of purple colour, and his tail is barred overthwart with green and yellow and red. And he is a full fair bird to look upon, against the sun, for he shineth full gloriously and nobly.
Sulphur and myrrh crackling with clove, Himalayan cedar, and red sandalwood.Add to cart
‘And the Phoinix,’ Iarkhas said, ‘is the bird which visits Aigyptos every five hundred years, but the rest of that time it flies about in India; and it is unique in that it gives out rays of sunlight and shines with gold, in size and appearance like an eagle; and it sits upon the nest; which is made by it at the springs of the Nile out of spices. The story of the Aigyptoi about it, that it comes to Aigyptos, is testified to by the Indians also, but the latter add this touch to the story, that the Phoinix which is being consumed in its nest sings funeral strains for itself. And this is also done by the swans according to the account of those who have the wit to hear them.’
Rays of sunlight, shining with gold: amber glittering with orange blossom, Calabrian lemon, warm saffron, golden vegetal musk, and honeyed incense.Add to cart
Isis, once stalled in Phoroneus’ caves, now queen of Pharos and a deity of the breathless East, welcome with sound of many a sistrum the Mareotic bark, and gently with thine own hand lead the peerless youth, on whom the Latian prince hath bestowed the standards of the East and the bridling of the cohorts of Palestine, through festal gate and sacred haven and the cities of thy land. Under thy protection may he learn whence comes the fruitful license of marshy Nile, why the waters abate and are hemmed within the banks that the Cecropian bird has coated with clay, why Memphis is jealous, why the shore of Therapnean Canopus makes wanton revel, why the warden of Lethe guards the Pharian shrines, why vile beasts are held equal to mighty gods; what altars the long-lived Phoenix prepares for his own death, what fields Apis, adored by trembling shepherds, deigns to graze, and in what waters of Nile he bathes.
Pomegranate root, honey, white cedar, and frankincense.Add to cart
As you approach an enormous patchwork tent, a curious sound catches your attention: the rattle of bones and the tinkling of tiny bells heralds the arrival of a gaunt and ghastly creature. An animated skeleton dressed in a jester’s motley saunters towards the front of the tent, waving an orange and black striped cane at the crowd in an effort to clear a path. The jester makes his way past the fog-shrouded, faded, colossal posters that adorn the tent to a platform in front of the massive tent’s entrance. His ivory smile frozen in a gleeful rictus grin, he steps up onto the platform, taps the cane three times, and the jester costume vanishes. Suddenly dark eyes appear in the empty sockets, bones are wrapped in muscle, sinew grows over the bones, blood fills rapidly appearing veins. Before your eyes, the skeletal jester has become a dapper, handsome man, dressed in black and orange, with a skull-ornamented straw hat tilted jauntily upon his shining black hair.
His smile is slick and conspiratorial. With a flourish and arcing wave of his cane, he booms:
“Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! This is Carnaval Diabolique’s notorious 13-In-1: the finest freak show in all the Hells! What marvels await you, you ask? Simply the strangest and most fantastic creatures, human and inhuman, gathered for your entertainment, enlightenment and erudition!”
With the cane, he gestures at the gigantic posters that adorn the tent. The images, once hazy, suddenly come into focus.
“From the depths of the Black Forest: Arachnina, the Spider Girl! From the rain-swept streets of London: Hope and Faith, the Siamese Twins! From ruins of old Aquae Sextia: Wulric, the Wolf Man!
“Thalassa, the Galapagos Mermaid! A vision of life-in-death, Eshe!
“All in all, THIRTEEN anatomical curiosities, miracles of genetics, magick and science, masters of marvels, ALIVE ON THE INSIDE!”
White musk, wild plum, vetiver, black coconut, verbena, fig, and lavender.Add to cart
Straight from the twisted alleys of Dis, by way of the City of Angels: opium smoke, lemon flower, heliotrope, tuberose, black musk, vanilla, coconut, apricot flower.Add to cart
As you pass the tiny stage, you come across a large canvas tent, illuminated within, the exterior dotted with odd splatters. In front of the tent stands a scorched wooden cart covered in a jumble of bottles, jars, vials and twisted steel implements, and an elaborate, gold-gilded sign reads:
“Doc Constantine Cures What Ails Ye!
Liniments, salves, potions and elixirs for every malady of the body and spirit!”
A scream splits the air, jarring you. You see shadows move jaggedly within the tent, there is another scream, and all is suddenly still and silent. After a long heartbeat, the door flap opens. A man steps out wearing a crystal-eyed schnabel mask in the style of medieval plague doctors, carmine streaking his sleeves, vest, and the blonde hair that crowns him. He pulls off the mask, and you see a handsome figure, almost beatific. He rolls a cigarette, lights it, takes a deep pull, and winks at you slyly as he gestures at the multitude of concoctions he has for sale. A bent crone, her body as bowed and knotty as an ancient oak, shuffles up to the wagon with rosy-cheeked, tow-headed maiden following her at a small distance. As she approaches the doctor, the crone gestures at herself, running a gnarled hand down her body in a sweeping movement, and casting a sideways glance at her grandchild. Smiling an angel’s smile, Doc Constantine hands the old woman a potion the color of cold, congealed blood. She drinks it quickly, gasping. Before your eyes her body shimmers and blurs, and a shower of dark sparks seems to engulf her. Where the crone stood, there is now a voluptuous, raven-haired vixen, vibrant, sensual, at the prime of her life and sexual vitality. Her shriek of joy is interrupted by another’s scream of shock: the rigors of age have not vanished; they have moved aside, and the young woman has aged horribly, taking on the crone’s burden.
Sheer musk, cedar smoke, fir needle, chaparral, black amber and leather.Add to cart
A chittering buzz rises from a small crowd that has gathered around an opulent velvet-draped tent. Some are fidgeting impatiently; others try in vain to peep within the tent. Within moments, a slim, stunningly handsome man emerges from the entryway to the sound of gasps and scattered applause. His face is lit with fierce joy, and he bows almost smugly to the assemblage. Grabbing a flirtatious blonde from the mob, he kisses her in a rush of mad passion, his arm encircles her waist, and he leads her directly to a nearby opium den. The crowd disperses, and curiosity pulls you forward. You push open the fringed, beaded tent-flap and enter the dimly-lit room. A lovely, voluptuous redhead stands before an ornate antique easel. Her luminous alabaster skin and the phosphorescence emanating from her paintbrush seem to be the only source of light. As you adjust to the gloom, you see that the walls are covered with atrocities: an exhibit of dissolution. The myriad canvases show men and women in various stages of rot and decay, a panoply of indulgence, teeth set in fury, mouths leering in lust, hands grasping greedily.
The scarlet woman turns her gleaming sightless eyes towards you and, in a husky, compelling voice, she speaks:
“Why let the years tear at your youthful splendor? Why let the mark of your sins stain your fine features? Will you let the cold, creeping grasp of time and the toil of temptation mar your visage? Why should the pleasures of our flesh wreak such havoc?”
She leans in close to you and whispers, “Let me capture your soul on this canvas in oil and blood, and you will be beautiful forever.”
White tea, sugar cane, orange blossom, rockrose, lemon balm, white mint, and honey.Add to cart
Behind the diminutive stage, the puppet mistress stands, a pale and grinning Professor, the Lady of Chaos. Her hands are tangled in web-like strings; a swazzle peeks through her violet lips. Behind her, you see a wavering image, with all the vague haziness of a mirage: a leaping coyote, a flame-haired and scarred Norseman, a glittering golden spider, a laughing monkey, a leering satyr, a shadowy flutist, and an African youth dressed in black and red.
Jasmine sambac, dark musk, violet water, vanilla bean and mimosa.Add to cart
Lightning splits the sky, illuminating the skeletal skyline of the carnival rides: sugared incense, flickering blue musk, and night-blooming flowers.Add to cart
A colorless woman bursts from an elaborate gold and ruby tent and faints dead at your feet. Soft laughter emits from the dark entrance to the tent, and the scent of musk, black fruits and incense touches your senses. Looking up, you see that the sign hovering above the unconscious woman is adorned with images of the Major Arcana’s Tower and reads:
“Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller.
No fate too grim, no future too bleak.”
A tiny woman with floor-length black dreadlocks walks out of the tent, stepping over the prone body. She is clothed in deep red wrappings, and is bedecked in golden ornaments bearing alchemical symbols and charms representing eternity, chance, and wisdom. She pauses, looks you over slowly, and then flicks a tarot card at your feet.
Red musk, vanilla bean, pomegranate, black currant, patchouli leaf and wild plum.Add to cart
Your eyes are drawn to a gilded miniature stage whose sign reads: “All Praises to the Lord of Misrule!” Upon the platform, a sneering wooden jester waltzes with a hollow-eyed and bleeding wooden maiden, while a wooden devil floats above them.
Labdanum, cedar, teak and red rose.Add to cart
An exquisite, enigmatic woman sidles up to you, bearing a tray of strange, dusty curios, chocolate creatures, serpentine taffy, and candied skulls. Her skin is dusky, her eyes are heavy-lidded and sensual, her hair is the fine, soft white of spun sugar, and her skin is softly scented with cocoa. She holds a shrunken head aloft, and beckons.
Bittersweet chocolate with a heavy cream undertone.Add to cart
A handsome, dark-skinned man weaves and dances his way through the crowd. Veves have been burned into the face of his old acoustic guitar, which he strums casually as he strolls though the crowd. A winged Capuchin monkey is balanced on his shoulder, holding out a rusty metal cup. The guitar player’s melancholy chords begin to mingle strangely with a cacophonous jangling sound. The discordant symphony grows and swells as he moves toward a cloaked and hooded figure; this spectre’s skeletal hands operate a dilapidated barrel organ that stands at a crossroads in the midway. As they come together, the music hits a nightmarish crescendo; your heart heaves with longings unfulfilled, your vision swims, and your head is filled with whispered incantations and gallows secrets. In that instant, you suddenly understand the profundity of deals made in Heaven and Hell, and the price of desire.
Almond milk, sarsaparilla, tobacco smoke, High John the Conqueror root, coconut hull, black patchouli and white pine bark.Add to cart
Ghostly, glowing, sweet and dark: black cherry, patchouli, cassis, cardamom and verbena.Add to cart
A flash of light and the smell of sulfur seize your attention. A vast black tent stands before you, subtly glowing with an unnatural, almost phosphorescent light. This tent has no pennants, no ornamentation, save for a carved ebony sign, lettered in silver:
Legerdemain, Medium, Conjurer
One thousand years of marvels.
Enter at your peril.”
Another flash blinds you, and from a swirl of smoke a rakish, devilishly handsome man appears, long black hair falling down halfway to his waist, elegant and sinister in an inky silk tuxedo and a voluminous cape. The shadow he casts against the tent, oddly, seems to be that of an enormous corvus, and his eyes radiate a deep azure light. Staring fixedly at you, he snaps his fingers, and two bolts of violet lightning strike the ground on either side of him, blinding you momentarily. As your eyes adjust, you see that two lovely, slender, waiflike women now stand upon the scarred ground beside him, dressed in tattered ballerina costumes the nebulous color of smoke. Turning to his right, he touches the woman’s lips and says, “Seachd seachd uair!” She opens her mouth, and a flock of diminutive bats fly forth from her throat. Turning to his left, he touches the other woman’s hair and repeats, “Seachd seachd uair!” What once was a gleaming mane of stark white hair is now a nest of writhing vipers. She opens her mouth, baring fangs, and spits forth a thin stream of venom. The Master swirls his cape, which suddenly seems to grow and twist like a living shadow, and in a final flash of red lightning and a deafening thunderclap, he and both his assistants vanish.
Earl Grey tea leaves, a white fougere, jasmine leaf, pearlescent white musk, and vanilla bean.Add to cart
From the corner of your eye, you see what seems to be a swirl of pale, translucent spirits. Ghostly in form, their faces are masks of pain and fury. Their insubstantial bodies churn and roil around a hissing, wailing clown. Her greasepaint is smeared with tears, and her fanged crimson mouth is turned down in a vicious scowl while blood drips from her lips. Her costume is torn and threadbare, and a steel-bright glint around her waist draws your eyes to an arsenal of razors, knives, and cleavers hanging from her belt. She swats futilely at the spirits as she shoves and scratches her way through the crowd.
Guava, orange peel, white pepper, spun sugar and apple blossom.Add to cart
The skies have darkened, and summer’s last bright green leaf has turned. Halloween is here at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.
The Halloween sets, including the Pickman Gallery, will be live until December 28th.
A day of remembrance and intercession. Without the prayers and sacrifices of their families and loved ones, the faithful departed may not be cleansed of their venal sins, and thereby cannot attain beatific vision. On November 2nd, prayers are sung and offerings are made to aid lost souls in transcending purgatory. An incense blend that invokes the higher qualities of mercy and compassion, mingled with the soft, sugared currant scent of offertory soul cakes.Add to cart
A joyous celebration of La Catarina, La Flaca, La Muerte… Glorious, Beautiful Death. In Mexico, death is not something to be feared or hated; She is embraced, loved, and adored. La Muerte is fêted, as the celebrant “…chases after it, mocks it, courts it, hugs it, sleeps with it; it is his favorite plaything and his most lasting love.” This is a Mexican paean to La Huesuda: dry, crackling leaves, the incense smoke of altars honoring Death and the Dead, funeral bouquets, the candies, chocolates, foods and tobacco of the ofrenda, amaranth, sweet cactus blossom and desert cereus.Add to cart
A barrel of beer, a pyramid of cakes, and three sticks of incense.Add to cart
With cinnamon, nutmeg, browned butter, and cream cheese icing.Add to cart
Comme les anges à l'oeil fauve,
Je reviendrai dans ton alcôve
Et vers toi glisserai sans bruit
Avec les ombres de la nuit;
Et je te donnerai, ma brune,
Des baisers froids comme la lune
Et des caresses de serpent
Autour d'une fosse rampant.
Quand viendra le matin livide,
Tu trouveras ma place vide,
OÃ¹ jusqu'au soir il fera froid.
Comme d'autres par la tendresse,
Sur ta vie et sur ta jeunesse,
Moi, je veux régner par l'effroi.
– – –
Like angels with wild beast's eyes
I shall return to your bedroom
And silently glide toward you
With the shadows of the night;
And, dark beauty, I shall give you
Kisses cold as the moon
And the caresses of a snake
That crawls around a grave.
When the livid morning comes,
You'll find my place empty,
And it will be cold there till night.
I wish to hold sway over
Your life and youth by fear,
As others do by tenderness.
— Charles Baudelaire, translation by William Aggeler.
A shroud of gardenia, narcissus, and sandalwood with ambrette seed, white cognac, muguet, davana, and white musk.Add to cart
By what a subtle alchemy the green leaves are transmuted into gold, as if molten by the fiery blaze of the hot sun! A magic covering spreads over the whole forest, and brightens into more gorgeous hues. The tree-tops seem bathed with the gold and crimson of an Italian sunset. Here and there a shade of green, here and there a tinge of purple, and a stain of scarlet so deep and rich, that the most cunning artifice of man is pale beside it. A thousand delicate shades melt into each other. They blend fantastically into one deep mass. They spread over the forest like a tapestry woven with a thousand hues.
Magnificent Autumn! He comes not like a pilgrim, clad in russet weeds. He comes not like a hermit, clad in gray. But he comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent. His scarlet banner drips with gore. His step is like a flail upon the threshing floor.
The scene changes.
It is the Indian summer. The rising sun blazes through the misty air like a conflagration. A yellowish, smoky haze fills the atmosphere; and
–A filmy mist,
Lies like a silver lining on the sky.
The wind is soft and low. It wafts to us the odor of forest leaves, that hang wilted on the dripping branches, or drop into the stream. Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out. Orange, yellow, and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue. The birds, too, have taken wing, and have left their roofless dwellings. Not the whistle of a robin, not the twitter of an eavesdropping swallow, not the carol of one sweet, familiar voice! All gone. Only the dismal cawing of a crow, as he sits and curses, that the harvest is over, – or the chit-chat of an idle squirrel, – the noisy denizen of a hollow tree, – the mendicant friar of a large parish, – the absolute monarch of a dozen acorns!
The wind sweeps through the forest with a sound like the blast of a trumpet. The dry leaves whirl in eddies through the air. A fret-work of hoar-frost covers the plain. The stagnant water in the pools and ditches is frozen into fantastic figures. Nature ceases from her labors, and prepares for the great change. In the low-hanging clouds, the sharp air, like a busy shuttle, weaves her shroud of snow. There is a melancholy and continual roar in the tops of the tall pines, like the roar of a cataract. It is the funeral anthem of the dying year.
A scent that wanders through the Ages of Autumn, from the last green leaf to the first breath of winter.Add to cart
Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, ‘mid bowers and brooks
And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
Dry, cold autumn wind. A rustle of red leaves, a touch of smoke and sap in the air.Add to cart
Because this is all that I’ve wanted out of life for months.Add to cart
A peculiar point of contention: you either love it or hate it, and however you feel, it’s passionate.Add to cart
Truly the scent of autumn itself — damp woods, fir needle, and black patchouli with the gentlest touches of warm pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sweet red apple and mullein.Add to cart
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
– Albert Camus
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.Add to cart
Ils me disent, tes yeux, clairs comme le cristal:
“Pour toi, bizarre amant, quel est donc mon mérite?”
– Sois charmante et tais-toi! Mon coeur, que tout irrite,
Excepté la candeur de l’antique animal,
Ne veut pas te montrer son secret infernal,
Berceuse dont la main aux longs sommeils m’invite,
Ni sa noire légende avec la flamme écrite.
Je hais la passion et l’esprit me fait mal!
Aimons-nous doucement. L’Amour dans sa guérite,
Ténébreux, embusqué, bande son arc fatal.
Je connais les engins de son vieil arsenal:
Crime, horreur et folie! – Ô pâle marguerite!
Comme moi n’es-tu pas un soleil automnal,
Ô ma si blanche, ô ma si froide Marguerite?
They say to me, your eyes, clear as crystal:
“For you, bizarre lover, what is my merit then?”
– Be charming and be still! My heart, which all things irk,
Except the candor of the animals of old,
Does not wish to reveal its black secret to you,
Whose lulling hands invite me to long sleep,
Nor its somber legend written with flame.
I hate passion; intelligence makes me suffer!
Let us love each other sweetly. Tenebrous Love,
Ambushed in his shelter, stretches his fatal bow.
I know all the weapons of his old arsenal:
Crime, horror, and madness! – pale marguerite!
Are you not, like me, an autumnal sun,
O my Marguerite, so white and so cold?
– Charles Baudelaire, translated by William Aggeler
Tenebrous Love: a shivering white musk with vanilla-infused white cocoa, amber incense, and dead, dry leaves.Add to cart
Vibrant with the joy and sweetness of life in death! A blend of five sugars, lightly dusted with candied fruits.Add to cart
There came a ghost to Margret’s door,
With many a grievous groan,
And ay he tirled at the pin,
But answer made she none.
‘Is that my father Philip,
Or is’t my brother John?
Or is’t my true-love, Willy,
From Scotland new come home?’
‘’Tis not thy father Philip,
Nor yet thy brother John;
But ’tis thy true-love, Willy,
From Scotland new come home.
‘O sweet Margret, O dear Margret,
I pray thee speak to me;
Give me my faith and troth, Margret,
As I gave it to thee.’
‘Thy faith and troth thou’s never get,
Nor yet will I thee lend,
Till that thou come within my bower,
And kiss my cheek and chin.’
‘If I shoud come within thy bower,
I am no earthly man;
And shoud I kiss thy rosy lips,
Thy days will not be lang.
‘O sweet Margret, O dear Margret,
I pray thee speak to me;
Give me my faith and troth, Margret,
As I gave it to thee.’
‘Thy faith and troth thou’s never get,
Nor yet will I thee lend,
Till you take me to yon kirk,
And wed me with a ring.’
‘My bones are buried in yon kirk-yard,
Afar beyond the sea,
And it is but my spirit, Margret,
That’s now speaking to thee.’
She stretchd out her lilly-white hand,
And, for to do her best,
‘Hae, there’s your faith and troth, Willy,
God send your soul good rest.’
Now she has kilted her robes of green
A piece below her knee,
And a’ the live-lang winter night
The dead corp followed she.
‘Is there any room at your head, Willy?
Or any room at your feet?
Or any room at your side, Willy,
Wherein that I may creep?’
‘There’s no room at my head, Margret,
There’s no room at my feet;
There’s no room at my side, Margret,
My coffin’s made so meet.’
Then up and crew the red, red cock,
And up then crew the gray:
‘Tis time, tis time, my dear Margret,
That you were going away.’
No more the ghost to Margret said,
But, with a grievous groan,
Evanishd in a cloud of mist,
And left her all alone.
‘O stay, my only true-love, stay,’
The constant Margret cry’d;
Wan grew her cheeks, she closd her een,
Stretchd her soft limbs, and dy’d.
Is there any room at your head, Willy? Or any room at your feet? Or any room at your side, Willy, wherein that I may creep? 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.Add to cart
“The wind doth blow today, my love,
And a few small drops of rain;
I never had but one true-love,
In cold grave she was lain.”
“I’ll do as much for my true-love
As any young man may;
I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave
For a twelvemonth and a day.”
The twelvemonth and a day being up,
The dead began to speak:
“Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
And will not let me sleep?”
“’T is I, my love, sits on your grave,
And will not let you sleep;
For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
And that is all I seek.”
“You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
But my breath smells earthy strong;
If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
Your time will not be long.
“’Tis down in yonder garden green,
Love, where we used to walk,
The finest flower that e’re was seen
Is withered to a stalk.
“The stalk is withered dry, my love,
So will our hearts decay;
So make yourself content, my love,
Till God calls you away.”
One kiss of clay-cold lips: frozen white roses, frankincense, white gardenia, white sandalwood, and vanilla orchid.Add to cart
“I am come-I am come! once again from the tomb,
In return for the ring which you gave;
That I am thine, and that thou art mine,
This nuptial pledge receive.”
He lay like a corse ‘neath the Demon’s force,
And she wrapp’d him in a shroud;
And she fixed her teeth his heart beneath,
And she drank of the warm life-blood!
And ever and anon murmur’d the lips of stone,
“Soft and warm is this couch of thine,
Thou’lt to-morrow be laid on a colder bed-
Albert! that bed will be mine!”
– Henry Thomas Liddell
Icy skin touched by a perfume of violet leaf, white tea, olibanum, elemi, myrrh, wormwood, crypt dust, and saffron with a dribble of blood red musk.Add to cart
O brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
Trust not your prowess nor your strength,
Your only safety lies in flight;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight.
The great white witch you have not seen?
Then, younger brothers mine, forsooth,
Like nursery children you have looked
For ancient hag and snaggle-tooth;
But no, not so; the witch appears
In all the glowing charms of youth.
Her lips are like carnations, red,
Her face like new-born lilies, fair,
Her eyes like ocean waters, blue,
She moves with subtle grace and air,
And all about her head there floats
The golden glory of her hair.
But though she always thus appears
In form of youth and mood of mirth,
Unnumbered centuries are hers,
The infant planets saw her birth;
The child of throbbing Life is she,
Twin sister to the greedy earth.
And back behind those smiling lips,
And down within those laughing eyes,
And underneath the soft caress
Of hand and voice and purring sighs,
The shadow of the panther lurks,
The spirit of the vampire lies.
For I have seen the great white witch,
And she has led me to her lair,
And I have kissed her red, red lips
And cruel face so white and fair;
Around me she has twined her arms,
And bound me with her yellow hair.
I felt those red lips burn and sear
My body like a living coal;
Obeyed the power of those eyes
As the needle trembles to the pole;
And did not care although I felt
The strength go ebbing from my soul.
Oh! she has seen your strong young limbs,
And heard your laughter loud and gay,
And in your voices she has caught
The echo of a far-off day,
When man was closer to the earth;
And she has marked you for her prey.
She feels the old Antaean strength
In you, the great dynamic beat
Of primal passions, and she sees
In you the last besieged retreat
Of love relentless, lusty, fierce,
Love pain-ecstatic, cruel-sweet.
O, brothers mine, take care! Take care!
The great white witch rides out to-night.
O, younger brothers mine, beware!
Look not upon her beauty bright;
For in her glance there is a snare,
And in her smile there is a blight.
Love pain-ecstatic, cruel-sweet: gold-flecked honey amber pulsating with red musk, patchouli coeur, bourbon vanilla, inky vetiver, pomegranate rind, myrrh, blackened violet leaf, and blood red rose petals.Add to cart
A pastime thought to have its roots in fertility and mate-hunting divination. Presented, for your pleasure, a selection of apples to bob for.
Apple with hay absolute, oats, honey, cream vanilla, and goat’s milk accord.Add to cart
Green apple with pink pepper, Himalayan cedar, juniper berries, and lemon rind.Add to cart
Appalachian black apple with sweet tobacco and patchouli, orange blossom, vanilla champaca, lavender, and white honey.Add to cart
Red apple with blackcurrant bud, black clove, and vanilla bourbon.Add to cart
Apple with white coconut, fig, and tiare.Add to cart
Black Phoenix’s cheeky interpretation of the iconic scents of the season. No actual single notes – or clowns – were harmed during the creation of these blends.
Wig powder, amber-perfumed leather gloves, and rose petals with a sliver of oak bark and cauldron smoke.
Jan de Bisschop
Blackened tonka, patchouli, dragon’s blood resin, and scorched oak.
Honey, cream and white rose petals buffeted by toadstools, creeping moss, bog cypress, and myrrh.
Bourbon vanilla, sweet red patchouli, oudh, goat’s milk accord, and white honey.
Honey, rose petals, and carnations – a drop of blood – red clover, cubeb berries, and vanilla cream.
John William Waterhouse
Vanilla-infused frankincense and clary sage with 7-year aged patchouli, jasmine sambac, honey myrtle, and oudh.
Jean van der Velde II
An evocation incense of frankincense, styrax, lavender buds, mastic, and white sandalwood mingled with moonflower, violet absolute, tuberose, and dark musk.
Mandrake root, apple blossom, dusty brown sandalwood, coconut milk, woodmusk, and soft leather.
Pumpkin cream, honey, vanilla sugar, and smoked vanilla bean.
White sandalwood, opoponax, shriveled black plum, and vetiver.
Frans Francken II
Burgundy and champaca resin with immortelle, leather accord, wine-soaked red fruits, rose geranium petals, red patchouli, guttering candles, and smoke.
Attributed to Luis Paret y Alcaza
Black lily and black pepper with narcissus, white musk, and white sandalwood.
Frans Francken II
Belladonna accord, sprigs of rue, crushed hyssop, white sage, beeswax, mandrake leaf, bay rum, black honey, hemp, and myrrh.
White musk, tobacco flower, white tea, Tunisian neroli, and blonde leather.
Red musk and cacao with clove, caramelized tobacco, aged patchouli, red currant, black leather, and vanilla-infused amber.
Oman frankincense, black clove, and tobacco tar.
Michał Elwiro Andriolli
Brown leather, bay leaf, tobacco leaf, lavender, and oudh.
A debonair lavender fougere cloaked in smoky red musk, red mandarin, and oakmoss.
Golden amber, carnation, blackcurrant, aged black patchouli, red musk, and vetiver.
White leather and cypress-tinged white musk with cardamom, smouldering incense, Ceylon cinnamon and white sandalwood.
Truly, to me you are the Gladdener of All Hearts.
Happy birthday, kiddo.
On the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of the future.
A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.
Eternally lapping ocean waves at sunset, touched by the pale pinkish amber of the setting sun.Add to cart
Lilith loves her kung fu classes. She loves her sifu, she loves the exercises, she loves practicing her forms. (She’s alright with the meditation aspect, but let’s be real: she’s a kid, and would rather be doing somersaults.) This year, she attained her blue belt, and this scent was created to commemorate her achievement. Baby, I am so proud of you. You worked so hard, and it paid off. I am always, always proud of you.
This Battle Fairy smells like blue cotton candy, strawberries, a plop of vanilla icing and a bit of crushed peppermint candy.Add to cart
This year, Lilith started cultivating a love of Shakespeare, especially Hamlet. Man, this kid loves that play. I assumed, when we started talking about Shakespeare’s works, that she’d love the comedies, particularly Midsummer Night’s Dream and all its attendant fairies. Nope; it’s all about the mopey Prince of Denmark and his teen angst.
When she started at her Shakespeare summer camp this year, one of her teachers asked which characters she liked best. She replied, “Horatio.”
“Horatio? But he doesn’t have many lines, does he? Why do you like him so much?”
“He’s Hamlet’s best friend, he’s always there for Hamlet, and he’s the only one that doesn’t die.”
Wise words, kiddo!
This is a photo that I took of her watching Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet with her trusty sidekick, Wednesday. The dog, for her part, is a huge fan of the Two Gentlemen of Verona.
A little kid’s interpretation of Hamlet’s BFF. A scent of kindness and devotion, friendship and loyalty: soft brown leather and brushed suede with bourbon vanilla, toasted almond, tonka bean, and amber.Add to cart
While we were at Kensal Green in March, Lilith began knocking on all the crypts to wake the ghosts. In her estimation, they were likely bored and lonely, and a party would do them some good. Lil is always very concerned about everyone’s happiness, both the living and the dead.
A spectral shindig: damp mosses, fallen leaves, and soft woods swirled with an ethereal mist of white sandalwood, lilac, orris root, and moonflower.Add to cart
“Give me thy breath, my sister,” exclaimed Beatrice; “for I am faint with common air! And give me this flower of thine, which I separate with gentlest fingers from the stem, and place it close beside my heart.”
Lilith absolutely adores her carnivorous plants. She is doting and gentle… decidedly loving… and tends them with all of her precise, attentive Virgo care. She has a small pot of scarlet pink pitcher plants that are all her own, and two bogs that she shares with mom and dad.
Rosy snap-traps, syrupy mucilage, and pink, ballooning bladders: a scent like honey cotton candy, with hints of mint, sugar crystals, and a hint of crisp, bog-moist greenery.Add to cart
“Lady Macbeth should have Macbeth and the king just play rock paper scissors to see who gets to be king. And then whoever wins has to play against her and if she wins, she gets to be king.”
– Lilith coming up with solutions as we begin reading the Scottish Play.
A Lilith’ized take on our Lady Macbeth scent, wherein ambition, covetousness, and manipulation are transformed into fairmindedness, equity, and a willingness to sometimes leave things to chance: sugared red currant and honey cake.Add to cart
When our tarantula, Pinky, died, Lilith buried her. She cradled Pinky’s little body and placed her in a special box. She dug the grave with her own hands. She composed a memorial for Pinky, and spoke at her funeral. She laid a heart-shaped stone that she had found at the beach on her grave, and many months later, she still does what she can to tend Pinky’s grave.
She has a reverence and respect for both life and death that is as beautiful to me as it is uncanny. Just recently, Lilith asked Ted and I to compose eulogies for our Soccer Mom Car, which was recently totaled, so we could share our memories of the car and let the car know how much she meant to us, thanking our poor, unfortunate SUV for keeping us safe for so many years.
I love and treasure many things about my daughter, but to me, her big heart is her most beautiful aspect. She seems to love everyone and everything, she forgives all, and she truly values other people’s feelings. Lilith, you are a good person. You are a better person than I, I suspect, and it is an honor to be your mother.
A cotton candy-suffused blend of Snake Oil and Dorian, touched by earthy green moss and raiz de moras, hope-filled vanilla bean, sweet honey, and joyous carnation. The scent has roots in her bloodline and has been touched by the world, but is entirely her own. She is entirely her own.Add to cart
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o’er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
Lilith performed this prologue with her Shakespeare camp this summer. It gave me chills every time I heard her practice her lines, and forevermore she will be my Muse of Fire.
The image accompanying this scent is from the morning of her performance. Lilith, you inspire me every day. Your love of Shakespeare has reinvigorated my own, and it means the world to me that we have this to share with one another.
My little Muse of Fire: an explosion of rainbow-hued flower petals dusted in sugar.
[Seriously… you have no idea how to made me feel to hear Lilith recite lines from Henry V. I still choke up every time I think on it too long, and when this prologue comes to mind, I hear it in her voice.]Add to cart
Look, I just wanted to make a scent for Lilith and this baby goat. Because it makes me happy and BECAUSE LOOK AT IT. LOOK AT THAT BABY GOAT.
Fuzzy baby goat musk, goat’s milk accord, wild rice flower, and a little bit of farmer’s market honey.Add to cart
While in London this year, Lilith learned how to blow bubbles with her bubblegum. It may not sound like a big deal, but I really do think that blowing bubbles is one of childhood’s great milestones. It’s a momentous occasion to a 6-year old, and is certainly deserving of commemoration!
This is the scent of the bubbles that she popped all over the city: strawberry bubblegum against a backdrop of chilly wind.Add to cart
Last year, Lilith helped us set up one of the maze rooms for her school’s Halloween party. Not only did she help prep prop guts, but during the event, she spent some time assisting us by hiding in front of a glass window and throwing eyeballs, dismembered rubber fingers, and entrails at passers-by.
I love my kid.
Sticky white glops of marshmallow and clotted cream with ropes of sinewy strawberry licorice whips and oozing pink jelly.Add to cart
This is the scent of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich on a cold, stormy day in March: ancient oaks and deep green mosses dampened by rain and sea salt.Add to cart
We’ve had myriad political figures throughout US history that have possessed acid tongues, but few in the modern era have provided such a constant stream of colorfully vitriolic superlatives as Antonin Scalia.
He is the federal court’s beat poet of indignation and right-wing rage.
For your pleasure, we present a line dedicated to SCOTUS’ reigning Sick Burn Champion, the cranky, flamboyant, inimitable Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia. Proceeds from every single bottle will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Obergefell vs Hodges
Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.
An olfactory guide, created to assist you in locating nearby hippies: patchouli, hemp, smoky vanilla bean, and cannabis accord.
(No, there is no actual weed in this perfume, silly.)Add to cart
King vs Burwell
The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. Ante, at 13–14.
I dunno. “Jiggery Pokery” just felt like it needed a whimsical scent attached to it, so here’s some pink pepper cotton candy with a sliver of orange peel and a hint of vanilla cream.Add to cart
Arizona vs United States
We are not talking here about a federal law prohibiting the States from regulating bubble-gum advertising, or even the construction of nuclear plants. We are talking about a federal law going to the core of state sovereignty: the power to exclude.
The Court opinion’s looming specter of inutterable horror—“[i]f §3 of the Arizona statute were valid, every State could give itself independent authority to prosecute federal registration violations”—seems to me not so horrible and even less looming.
If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.
Wherein Scalia channels Lovecraft: raw frankincense and tobacco absolute with Russian leather, blackened champaca, bitter clove, red patchouli, bourbon vanilla and petitgrain.Add to cart
Obergefell vs Hodges
Buried beneath the mummeries and straining-to-be-memorable passages of the opinion is a candid and startling assertion: No matter what it was the People ratified, the Fourteenth Amendment protects those rights that the Judiciary, in its ‘reasoned judgment,’ thinks the Fourteenth Amendment ought to protect.
Rosemary is for remembrance: rosemary water with lavender, blackberry, Italian bergamot, and white musk.Add to cart
Obergefell vs Hodges
If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.
Almond fortune cookies and a bit of roadside palm reader-inspired incense.Add to cart
King vs Burwell
The Court claims that the Act must equate federal and state establishment of Exchanges when it defines a qualified individual as someone who (among other things) lives in the “State that established the Exchange,” 42 U. S. C. §18032(f )(1)(A). Otherwise, the Court says, there would be no qualified individuals on federal Exchanges, contradicting (for example) the provision requiring every Exchange to takethe “ ‘interests of qualified individuals’ ” into accountwhen selecting health plans. Ante, at 11 (quoting §18031(e)(1)(b)). Pure applesauce.
Our applesauce is decidedly impure: mashed apples with sugar and honey, slivered with tobacco tar and black tea.Add to cart