Happy Lupercalia, perverts! Winter is here, and weâve got to keep warm somehow! Please note: there are boobs, butts, and all manner of genitalia spattered across the entirety of the Lupercalia series on both Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post â as well as graphic depictions of sex â so be forewarned. This is definitely a NSFW kettle of fish.
Get your plain paper bags ready: weâve brought back Miller vs California.
Body, remember not only how much you were loved,
not only the beds on which you lay,
but also those desires for you
that glowed plainly in the eyes,
and trembled in the voiceâand some
chance obstacle made futile.
Now that all of them belong to the past,
it almost seems as if you had yielded
to those desiresâhow they glowed,
remember, in the eyes gazing at you;
how they trembled in the voice, for you, remember, body.
– Constantine Cavafy translated by Rae Dalven
Profoundly sensual. The echo of caresses: raw black coconut, ambergris accord, ambrette seed, champaca flower, and sugar cane.
Stars, you are unfortunate, I pity you,
Beautiful as you are, shining in your glory,
Who guide seafaring men through stress and peril
And have no recompense from gods or mortals,
Love you do not, nor do you know what love is.
Hours that are aeons urgently conducting
Your figures in a dance through the vast heaven,
What journey have you ended in this moment,
Since lingering in the arms of my beloved
I lost all memory of you and midnight.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Lilac, blue musk, dianthus, cedar, neroli, ozone, and luminous Eastern herbs.
ONE PERFECT DAY
You did not need to creep into my heart
The way you did. You could have smiled
And knowing what you did, you have kept apart
From all my inner soul. But you beguiled
– Alice Dunbar-Nelson
Honeyed tea rose, lavender water, red benzoin, bois de rose, and rose amber.
THE PERFUMED GARDEN
Under her neck my right hand
Has served her for a cushion,
And to draw her to me
I have sent out my left hand,
Which bore her up as a bed.
The Perfumed Garden for the Soul’s Recreation. This scent is based on a venerable Tunisian perfume that was used to excite the senses, inspire sensuality and inflame passion. Myrrh and Moroccan jasmine with apple peel, Indian sandalwood, myrtle, quince, citron, and thyme poured over soft musk.
All the night sleep came not upon my eyelids,
Shed not dew, nor shook nor unclosed a feather,
Yet with lips shut close and with eyes of iron
Stood and beheld me.
Then to me so lying awake a vision
Came without sleep over the seas and touched me,
Softly touched mine eyelids and lips; and I too,
Full of the vision,
Saw the white implacable Aphrodite,
Saw the hair unbound and the feet unsandalled
Shine as fire of sunset on western waters;
Saw the reluctant
Feet, the straining plumes of the doves that drew her,
Looking always, looking with necks reverted,
Back to Lesbos, back to the hills whereunder
Heard the flying feet of the Loves behind her
Make a sudden thunder upon the waters,
As the thunder flung from the strong unclosing
Wings of a great wind.
So the goddess fled from her place, with awful
Sound of feet and thunder of wings around her;
While behind a clamour of singing women
Severed the twilight.
Ah the singing, ah the delight, the passion!
All the Loves wept, listening; sick with anguish,
Stood the crowned nine Muses about Apollo;
Fear was upon them,
While the tenth sang wonderful things they knew not.
Ah the tenth, the Lesbian! the nine were silent,
None endured the sound of her song for weeping;
Laurel by laurel,
Faded all their crowns; but about her forehead,
Round her woven tresses and ashen temples
White as dead snow, paler than grass in summer,
Ravaged with kisses,
Shone a light of fire as a crown for ever.
Yea, almost the implacable Aphrodite
Paused, and almost wept; such a song was that song.
Yea, by her name too
Called her, saying, “Turn to me, O my Sappho;”
Yet she turned her face from the Loves, she saw not
Tears for laughter darken immortal eyelids,
Heard not about her
Fearful fitful wings of the doves departing,
Saw not how the bosom of Aphrodite
Shook with weeping, saw not her shaken raiment,
Saw not her hands wrung;
Saw the Lesbians kissing across their smitten
Lutes with lips more sweet than the sound of lute-strings,
Mouth to mouth and hand upon hand, her chosen,
Fairer than all men;
Only saw the beautiful lips and fingers,
Full of songs and kisses and little whispers,
Full of music; only beheld among them
Soar, as a bird soars
Newly fledged, her visible song, a marvel,
Made of perfect sound and exceeding passion,
Sweetly shapen, terrible, full of thunders,
Clothed with the wind’s wings.
Then rejoiced she, laughing with love, and scattered
Roses, awful roses of holy blossom;
Then the Loves thronged sadly with hidden faces
Then the Muses, stricken at heart, were silent;
Yea, the gods waxed pale; such a song was that song.
All reluctant, all with a fresh repulsion,
Fled from before her.
All withdrew long since, and the land was barren,
Full of fruitless women and music only.
Now perchance, when winds are assuaged at sunset,
Lulled at the dewfall,
By the grey sea-side, unassuaged, unheard of,
Unbeloved, unseen in the ebb of twilight,
Ghosts of outcast women return lamenting,
Purged not in Lethe,
Clothed about with flame and with tears, and singing
Songs that move the heart of the shaken heaven,
Songs that break the heart of the earth with pity,
Hearing, to hear them.
– Algernon Charles Swinburne
Tonka, oakmoss, tolu balsam, grey amber, myrrh, and muguet.
We are the smuttiest, fifteen years runninâ. Three swarthy, smutty musks sweetened with sugar and woozy with dark booze notes.
And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid,
But even so, honoured still more
That he should seek my hospitality
From out the dark door of the secret earth.
Snake Oil with sugar, honeycomb, and thick vanilla cream.
For he seemed to me again like a king,
Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
Now due to be crowned again.
A sinuous leather variant of BPALs Snake Oil.
THE PERFUMED GARDEN
Under her neck my right hand
Has served her for a cushion,
And to draw her to me
I have sent out my left hand,
Which bore her up as a bed.
The Perfumed Garden for the Soulâs Recreation. This scent is based on a venerable Tunisian perfume that was used to excite the senses, inspire sensuality and inflame passion. Myrrh and Moroccan jasmine with apple peel, Indian sandalwood, myrtle, quince, citron, and thyme poured over soft musk.
In the middle of the flanks of women lies the womb, a female viscus, closely resembling an animal; for it is moved of itself hither and thither in the flanks, also upwards in a direct line to below the cartilage of the thorax and also obliquely to the right or to the left, either to the liver or spleen; and it likewise is subject to falling downwards, and, in a word, it is altogether erratic. It delights, also, in fragrant smells, and advances towards them; and it has an aversion to fetid smells, and flees from them; and on the whole the womb is like an animal within an animal.
— Aretaeus the Cappadocian
Oh, that wily womb! Hippocrates and his followers considered the womb a mobile creature, causing mayhem as it writhed its way through a woman’s body. Sometimes this ornery organ, due to lack of sexual activity, would create conflicts within a woman’s system or would become blocked itself, causing anxiety, nervousness, water retention, and sleeplessness. With the assistance of doctors, nursemaids, hand tools, or, occasionally, self-manipulation, this vexing condition could be alleviated through hysterical paroxysms.
Or, as we call it nowadays: orgasm.
An itch that needs to be scratched: Snake Oil and three types of honey.
Get your plain paper bags ready: we’ve brought back Miller vs. California!
In 1974, a court ruling established a litmus test for obscenity in the United States. Does the First Amendment protect dirty birds? Yes, and no; it depends on where you are and what your neighbors perceive as naughty. The Court’s majority opinion stated that material could only be defined as obscene if
“(a) the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; [and] (b) the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value”
If all three conditions are satisfied, voilÃ ! â your work is obscene.
But is it art?
Although a work considered to have literary, artistic, political, or scientific value cannot, in theory, constitutionally be found to be obscene regardless of whether it appeals to prurient interest or is patently offensive, the question lies in how we can possibly determine with certainty whether or not a film, photograph, tale, or limerick has social value when philosophical and moral compasses vary so wildly from person to person and community to community.
Is a perfume inspired by an 18th Century painting of a dildo obscene?
What would your friends and neighbors say?
413 U.S. 15 / MILLER VS CALIFORNIA
Leather, cognac, fig, ripe berry, and cream, stuffed into a plain brown paper bag.
Proceeds from the sale of this scent benefits the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Our annual Shunga series, Novel Ideas for Secret Amusements, is also back for its eleventh year!
++ BPAL: NOVEL IDEAS FOR SECRET AMUSEMENTS XI
A limited edition Salon series celebrating the joy, humor, playfulness, and thrill of sexual intercourse through scent interpretations of Edo era Japanese erotic art.
This is a Limited Edition series that will run through 2 May 2018. No impâs ears are available for this series.
While we have listed the notes of these scents for your edification and convenience, we prefer not to offer any descriptive passages for these scents.
A VIEW OF CASCADING CHERRY BLOSSOMS
A tumble of cherry blossoms falling into a pool of white musk and crushed strawberries.
White amber and sheer vanilla, orris butter, Italian bergamot, and narcissus.
AN ENCOUNTER OF THREE
Caramelized white sandalwood, tonka bean, and cassis liqueur.
AN OIRAN OF THE YOSHIWARA AND HER CUSTOMER
Kadu leaf, white lavender, plum and ume blossom, a drop of pale cedar and crystal musk.
ARISTOCRATIC PROSTITUTES IN LANGUID REPOSE
Poppy smoke, velvet jasmine, sweet three-year aged patchouli, and black plum.
CARESSING THE WILD RABBIT
White tea, honeycomb, vanilla orchid, and a drop of soft sandalwood.
CAT CHASING BUTTERFLIES
Peach blossom and amber with almond cream and sweet musk.
Red orchid, dragonâs blood resin, blood orange, black lily, honey amber, and cacao.
COUPLE ENJOYING A SUMMER BREEZE
White sage and patchouli with Himalayan cedarwood, sweet labdanum, and brown sugar.
COURTESAN WITH SECRET LOVER
Green tea, plum blossom, white musk, jasmine blossom honey, and lemon peel.
DALLIANCES BY CANDLELIGHT
Beeswax, white patchouli, and honey.
Salt-splashed silk, spiced cedar, hinoki wood, sea musk, a strand of kelp and a squeeze of lime.
Red currant and rice milk with almond blossom and white tea.
Demonic black musk, inky myrrh, black coconut, champaca blossom, and smoky clove bud.
Mushroom musk, oakmoss, and rooibos leaf.
KNEE BOLSTER OF ONO
Blue lilac, white sage, orris root, sweet pea, a smear of crushed blueberry, and tobacco leaf.
LOVERS AT THE ENTRANCE TO A HOUSE OF PLEASURE SPIED ON BY A KAMURO THROUGH THE HANGING CURTAIN
White gardenia, oakmoss, champaca blossom, magnolia leaf, vanilla orchid, and tobacco absolute.
MIRROR OF FAMOUS GENERALS OF JAPAN
Leather, black pepper, cassis, khus, and black amber.
MONK AND ACTOR
Soft auburn musk, clove bud, honeyed patchouli, oakmoss absolute, cashmere labdanum, cedar, and mimosa blossom.
MORNING GLORIES IN BLOOM
Bamboo reeds and white chypre against a background of potted blossoms.
NOVEL IDEAS FOR SECRET AMUSEMENTS
Polished tortoiseshell, ivory, and mahogany gleaming with amber cream.
THE PEARL IN THE VOLCANO
Rice milk, warm myrrh, red currant, red amber cream, and a trickle of vetiver.
THE PLEASURE OF ARISTOCRATIC WOMEN
Honeyed amber, teakwood, almond, and coconut.
THE SILK STRINGS OF THE SHAMISEN
Wisteria and white clove, green tea leaf, and frankincense.
SNOW SCENE WITH CHERRY BLOSSOMS BESIDE THE PHALLUS STATUE
Cherry blossoms cascading onto a snowdrift, white wisteria buds, and ume petals.
TWELVE WAYS TO PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
Blue lilac, pink pepper, birch tar, juniper berry, and lemon peel.
TWILIGHT GROOMING SCENE
A vibrant green chypre with orange blossom, pine needles, and violet leaf.
VISITING THE SUMIDA RIVER WITH A GEISHA
Crystalline azure musk, orange blossom, water lily, hinoki wood, Texas cedar, and night-blooming jasmine.
VIVID ENJOYMENT OF THE MEMORY OF RAPTURE
Rice milk, white ginger, oakmoss, ti leaf, and cardamom pod.
WOMAN DRAGGING HER AROUSED LOVER ACROSS A BRIDGE
Sweet amber and rosewood, wet oak beams, smoky vanilla husk, ambrette seed, and hinoki wood.
And over at Black Phoenix Trading Post –
++ BPTP: SHUNGA HAIR GLOSS
Kukui nut, dried mango, hay absolute, and brown sandalwood.
PINNING UP THE SHIMADA
Blue lilac, peach blossom, plumeria, pink rose, and ylang ylang.
PROMISES OF IZUMO
A sea salt chypre with a hint of cucumber.
SIGN OF SEKKUSU
Bourbon vanilla, cardamom, fossilized amber resin, blonde tobacco, tonka bean, and labdanum.
Raw patchouli, oakmoss, cassis bud, bergamot, and blackcurrant.
White sandalwood, peach, and dried red fruits with benzoin, red ginger, and amber.
Black fig and orange blossom with tonka, black vanilla, and a gust of spiced sandalwood incense.
++ BPTP: SHUNGA ATMOSPHERE SPRAY
Sweet pea and vanilla orchid, plum blossom, Aglaia flower, orris root, osmanthus, and violet leaf.
Himalayan cedarwood, tonka bean, cherry blossom, white tea, and clove husk.
THE EMERALD KAYA
Terebinth, hemp, and champaca resin.
MATSUTAKE AND RED CLAM
Mushroom, tomato leaf, brown oakmoss, and pink pepper.
++ BPTP: SHUNGA BATH OIL
THE PEARL SEEKER
Orris root, French lavender, white sandalwood, pink peony, and white honey.
White lavender and blueberry juice with wild bergamot and Roman chamomile.
New this year! We have our paean to sexy mall gag gifts and Valentineâs Day tropes! Scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, art by Drew Rausch!
Safety precaution: The themes are jokes and are NOT to be used for sexytime. Do not drink, do not slather on your junk, do not use in lieu of lube, donât spray on your pubes. Donât do anything crazy with these; theyâre perfumes.
++ BPAL PERFUMES: FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY
New this year! We have our paean to sexy mall gag gifts and Valentineâs Day tropes! Scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, art by Drew Rausch! There’s a companion series of hair gloss over at Black Phoenix Trading PostÂ — French Tickler, Edible Panties, and more!
[Safety precaution: The themes are jokes and are NOT to be used for sexytime. Do not drink, do not slather on your junk, do not use in lieu of lube, donât spray on your pubes. Donât do anything crazy with these; theyâre perfumes.]
ABSURD SUGGESTIVE CARD GAME
When you need a change of pace from Strip Twister: lemon candies, orange suckers, and strawberry sugar.
DUBIOUS GINSENG FORMULA
Results not guaranteed. Ginseng root, crushed ginger, damiana essence, cubeb berries, and horny goat weed accord. [DO NOT DRINK]
Snap! Snap! Sugar crystals and tart candies with a splash of red musk. [DO NOT EAT]
PINK FUZZY HANDCUFFS
Itâs not quite as fun when you lose the key. Pink cotton candy, candied rose, and vanilla sugar.
++ BPTP HAIR GLOSS: FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY
Spiked for your pleasure: protrusions of pomegranate and pink peppercorn.
Basically fruit roll-ups for your naughty bits: wild cherry and sugared up strawberry with hot pink peppercorn.
DO NOT ACTUALLY PUT THIS ON YOUR NAUGHTY BITS
VIBRATING MOTEL BED
Itâll rattle your teeth more than it rattles your junk: fizzy champagne, orange blossom absolute, Italian bergamot, and dry vanilla.
HEART-SHAPED HOT TUB
No jokes here: who wouldnât love a heart-shaped hot tub? A bubbling vat of red musk, sweet red wine, benzoin, red oudh, and lush magnolia.
And for those of a more romantic disposition, we present Une Douzaine de Roses. Our bouquet has been split between Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post.
++ BPAL: UNE DOUZAINE DE ROSES PARFUM
Si ta fraÃ®cheur parfois nous Ã©tonne tant,
câest quâen toi-mÃªme, en dedans,
pÃ©tale contre pÃ©tale, tu te reposes.
Ensemble tout Ã©veillÃ©, dont le milieu
dort, pendant quâinnombrables se touchent
les tendresses de ce coeur silencieux
qui aboutissent Ã lâextrÃªme bouche.
– Rainer Maria Wilke
Cherry-dipped rose candy.
Red rose petals dusted with a trove of ancient spices.
White rose, orris root, and ambergris accord.
Cacao-dusted red rose petals.
Tea roses and shortbread.
Red roses, black leather, and toasted almond.
++ BPTP: UNE DOUZAINE DE ROSES HAIR GLOSS
Tout ce qui nous Ã©meut, tu le partages.
Mais ce qui tâarrive, nous lâignorons.
Il faudrait Ãªtre cent papillons
pour lire toutes tes pages.
Il y en dâentre vous qui sont comme des dictionnaires;
ceux qui les cueillent
ont envie de faire relier toutes ces feuilles.
Moi, jâaime les roses Ã©pistolaires.
– Rainer Maria Wilke
Golden rose, frankincense, and vanilla bean.
Black rose, dried apricot, and black fig.
Red roses, agarwood, red patchouli, benzoin, and black currant.
White rose, gilded carnation, brown oakmoss, and velvet oudh.
Red rose, Siamese benzoin, and blood orange.
Tea roses, pink sandalwood, hay absolute, and vanilla orchid.
This year, we have an interactive song to friendship, one of most nurturing and gentle forms of love –
++ BPAL: LIBER AMICORUM
Generally, we focus on sex and camp when we craft our Lupercalia update. This year, we wanted to shift some of our focus to philia: the love between friends, the family bond, and devotion to community. Inspired by Joannes Carolus Erlenweinâs 17th century festschriften and Anne Wagnerâs late-18th-century friendship book, we want to craft not only a scent series based on their charming pages, but also to assemble a Black Phoenix Liber Amicorum of our own.
Friendship books blossomed from 16th century university culture in Germany, and quickly spread. They are a combination of travel journal, scrapbook, sketchbook, autograph book, and yearbook containing a collection of proverbs, poems, mottos, quotes, essays, and notes to friends and loved ones. The pages sometimes honor achievements or events, contain treatises and stories, or scraps of illustration, painting, and collage. They were assembled and kept over the course of decades: a living, breathing testament to friendship, growth, and adventure; a life well-lived, an extended family well-loved.
The Black Phoenix Liber Amicorum is a testament to the worldwide family that surrounds us, that has â for the past fifteen years â become as close to us as blood, and we invite you all to participate with us.
To participate in the Black Phoenix Liber Amicorum, please go to bpliberamicorum.com and submit your contributions. If for some reason the upload will not work, email your contribution to [email protected] If you are sending digital image files, please make sure they are at least 300 dpi in case we have the opportunity to put this in print. If you want to submit something that is text only, you may use the Message field in the form or write us an email. You may also send us hard copies by snail mail, but we cannot be held responsible if anything is lost in transit. Please let us know how you would like to be credited with your piece(s). We will do our best to ensure that all entries are included.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Attn: Amicorum Curator
12120 Sherman Way
North Hollywood, CA 91605
A portion of all fragrance sales from this series will be donated to the American Library Association.
Love and friendship will sustain us through these challenging times. Reach out to those you love with compassion, empathy, and joy, and weâll get through this together.
By submitting to the Black Phoenix friendship book project, you acknowledge and agree that your submission may be used on Black Phoenix related websites, future print publications, and other products without compensation. All reasonable care shall be made to credit all contributions using the name provided at the time of submission.
++ Joannes Carolus Erlenweinâs Liber Amicorum
AN EXCERPT FROM SPECULUM HEROICUM PRINCIPIS OMNIUM TEMPORUM POÃTARUM HOMERI
Brazilian vetiver, dark myrrh, peru balsam, laurel leaf, white sage, and cedar.
Star jasmine, oppoponax, sweet oudh, tuberose absolute, ambrette seed, and oakmoss.
SCRAPS OF POETRY
A citrus chypre with French lavender, yellow bergamot, and clove bud.
Black leather accord, Australian sandalwood, ambrette seed, incense ash, and tobacco absolute.
SWANS ON THE RIVER
Honeysuckle, white tuberose, gardenia petals, and wet green leaves.
Crushed grass, dandelion sap, green oakmoss, lettuce leaf, and white pepper.
++ Anne Wagnerâs Liber Amicorum
Yellowing parchment and lampblack, a drop of lilac, a smear of labdanum, and a splash of white musk.
THE BIRD OF PREY
Feathery brown musk and hay absolute with orris and leather.
A russet chypre slathered in vintage patchouli and black tea with golden amber, hiba wood, and iris root.
LâINTENTION FAIT VALOIR LES BAGATELLES
Black tea, lavender buds, Italian bergamot, and Siamese benzoin.
HOPE / AUSPICIO
Black oudh and carnation.
MEMORIALS OF FRIENDSHIP
Peach-tinted pale musk with neroli, ambergris accord, and champaca absolute.
WE BELIEVE THAT DEATH IS NOT THE END OF MAN
Black terebinth, tamil nadu sandalwood, frankincense, black chestnut, and myrrh.
Weâre celebrating Mardi Gras with a new scent!
A sweet brioche cake with a hint of almond, glazed with cream cheese frosting and gleaming with purple, green, and gold sugar.
Some bottles will be shipped â randomly â with a tiny king cake trinket.
Illustration: Krewe of Comus, 1869.
…and our annual wishes for a bright, beautiful, prosperous, and healthy new year!
A new year’s blessing! Peony, China’s national flower, with bamboo for flexibility, plum blossom for perseverance, courage, and hope, tangerine for wealth, red sandalwood and blue lotus for purity, orange for happiness, lychee for household peace, pine resin for constancy, golden kumquat for prosperity, red mandarin for good fortune, peach blossom for longevity, a touch of patchouli to bring it all down to earth, with a splash of blazing red of dragon’s blood… to help you scare away the rampaging Nian.
In 2012, Black Phoenix Trading Post launched the Eros Inquisition. In response to numerous requests, we are bringing back this Inquisitionâs five primary perfume essences in hair gloss format for this Lupercalia.
Illustrations by Julie Dillon, scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.
++ BPTP: THE FACES OF EROS HAIR GLOSS
Waster of rich men, keeper
Of warm lights and all-night vigil
In the soft face of a girl:
Even the pure immortals cannot escape you,
And mortal man, in his one day’s dusk,
Trembles before your glory.
L’ESSENCE DE L’ENGOUEMENT
Intoxication of the First Kiss
French vanilla, pink candies, strawberry sugar, and orange blossom.
L’ESSENCE DE L’ARDEUR
The Radiant Glory of Love: Devotion, Understanding, and Unity
Centifolia rose absolute, tea rose, bourbon vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, champaca resinoid, myrrh, nutmeg, pomegranate, and benzoin.
L’ESSENCE DE LA PASSION
The All-Consuming Flames of Passion
Red musk, carnation, myrrh, and honey.
L’ESSENCE DU CHAGRIN
The Depths of Despair
White chypre, French lavender, rose geranium, opopponax, Peru balsam, bois de rose, lime, and vanilla absolute.
L’ESSENCE DE LA FOLIE
The Cacophony of Madness
Pink pepper, black pepper, clove, myrrh, dark chocolate, labdanum, and Daemonorops draco.
And that, friends and neighbors, is all the filth thatâs fit to print. May your 2018 be filled with passion, romance, and friendship!