Halloween 2023

There are two main flavors of Halloween spookiness. Firstly there’s the thrill of being shocked, scared, and surprised. Then there’s the pleasure that comes from repeating a familiar experience, revisiting known frights and sharing them with others. Tricks and treats, I guess one could say.

Neither of these require a special effects budget. That’s what the art of storytelling is for, and even the simplest images can end up living in our nightmares rent-free. What could be more human than that? And what are holidays really, except occasions to let imagination run rampant over our everyday existence?

Halloween is truly one of these times; no matter what pops out at us, we’re just as likely to be horrified by everything that goes untold, remains unseen. To quote a famous spiritual seeker and Halloween expert: “That’s the point of the thing, not to know.”

Some of our best scents have been inspired by familiar stories; others are an expression of something original, and hopefully serving as inspiration for fresh tales, a backdrop for real life events to unfold against. What greater honor can there be? But mostly it’s a mixture of both — fragments of the strange and familiar which end up passed from hand to hand, getting all mixed up in the dark. A whisper, an echo, a revelation, a magic spell, a jump scare, a sinister laugh… we feel them, cherish the experience, and then pass them along.

No two retellings are quite the same. Nor are our Halloweens, for that matter. Even the most delicately balanced fragrance can ripen and evolve as years go by, becoming capable of surprising us all over again.

We at BPAL relish these plot twists, and are so proud to be participants in your storytelling. With this, our twentieth seasonal collection, we’re excited to involve you (once again) in ours.

Halloween 2023

There are two main flavors of Halloween spookiness. Firstly there’s the thrill of being shocked, scared, and surprised. Then there’s the pleasure that comes from repeating a familiar experience, revisiting known frights and sharing them with others. Tricks and treats, I guess one could say.

Neither of these require a special effects budget. That’s what the art of storytelling is for, and even the simplest images can end up living in our nightmares rent-free. What could be more human than that? And what are holidays really, except occasions to let imagination run rampant over our everyday existence?

Halloween is truly one of these times; no matter what pops out at us, we’re just as likely to be horrified by everything that goes untold, remains unseen. To quote a famous spiritual seeker and Halloween expert: “That’s the point of the thing, not to know.”

Some of our best scents have been inspired by familiar stories; others are an expression of something original, and hopefully serving as inspiration for fresh tales, a backdrop for real life events to unfold against. What greater honor can there be? But mostly it’s a mixture of both — fragments of the strange and familiar which end up passed from hand to hand, getting all mixed up in the dark. A whisper, an echo, a revelation, a magic spell, a jump scare, a sinister laugh… we feel them, cherish the experience, and then pass them along.

No two retellings are quite the same. Nor are our Halloweens, for that matter. Even the most delicately balanced fragrance can ripen and evolve as years go by, becoming capable of surprising us all over again.

We at BPAL relish these plot twists, and are so proud to be participants in your storytelling. With this, our twentieth seasonal collection, we’re excited to involve you (once again) in ours.

  • ALL OF THEIR HEADS

    All of Their Heads Fell Off Perfume Oil

    So there’s a guy living in a little place that’s in the desert

    And then there’s many, many, many, many, many different bodies

    And then all of them, all of their heads fall off

    all of their heads fall off

    all of their heads fall off

     

    And then, they start going to his house and tearing open the windows and breaking the house and eating the guy.

     

    Oozing cactus flesh, creosote, dusty boards, and gruesome globs of blood musk.

     

    Original story by A.S.H. 

     

    Art by John Herndon

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  • bonfire toffee

    Bonfire Toffee Perfume Oil

    Our spin on a traditional Guy Fawkes Night treat: treacle toffee soaked in rich, dark bourbon.

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  • dia de los muertos

    Dia de los Muertos Perfume Oil

    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.

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  • HAND-KNITTED WITCH GLOVES

    Hand-Knitted Witch Gloves Perfume Oil

    We are gradually adjusting to the fact that in some places, it’s actually cold on Halloween! Wooly and witchy, fuzzy and scuzzy, long green fingers tipped with ruby-red nails: raw wool, sweet oakmoss, and cranberry brandy.

     

    Pictured gloves knitted by Ashton Hansen from a pattern by Kim Hamlin

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  • IS HE, YOU KNOW

    Is He, You Know Perfume Oil

    Fellas, is it gay to have a skeletal system? Short answer: YES! Because the human wrist was undeniably made to flap and go “enh.”

     

    There are many theories about the historical origin of the so-called “limp wrist” gesture, which has bedeviled arbiters of masculine presentation since at least the ancient Roman times. So when we defiantly flop our phalanges, we’re reclaiming a time-honored tradition! And letting our skeletons do what they do most naturally: camp it up.

     

    Did you know the human wrist is made up of eight small bones, plus the forearm’s radius and ulna? Factor in the four small ones that comprise that lightly extended pinkie finger, and the number of bones required to execute this delicate maneuver add up to FOURTEEN. No wonder we’re always so tired.

    So defy nature if you truly must, but never forget: when bones are all that’s left of you, the wrists will be extra floppy. And we think that’s worth celebrating while you’re still alive!

    Sweet 13-year aged patchouli, peru balsam, white oakmoss, French lavender, spikenard, bourbon vanilla, and sugar cane.

    Art by Drew Rausch

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  • october

    October Perfume Oil

    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.
    – William Cullen Bryant

    Dry, cold autumn wind. A rustle of red leaves, a touch of smoke and sap in the air.

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  • pumpkin latte

    Pumpkin Latte Perfume Oil

    Espresso, pumpkin syrup, smoky vanilla bean, milk, raw sugar, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.

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  • pumpkin spice everything

    Pumpkin Spice Everything Perfume Oil

    Literally everything. Pumpkin spice it all. A rich blend of traditional spices: cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and clove.

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  • PUMPKIN TRASH BAG

    Pumpkin Trash Bag Perfume Oil

    A crinkly, crunchy, cartoony jack-o-lantern scent, stuffed full of leaves and eager to please: orange blossom, blood orange, and orange hard candy with pumpkin pulp and smushed leaves.

    Art by Ashton Hansen

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  • samhain

    Samhain Perfume Oil

    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.

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  • sugar skull

    Sugar Skull Perfume Oil

    Vibrant with the joy and sweetness of life in death! A blend of five sugars, lightly dusted with candied fruits.

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  • things are fine

    Things are Fine Perfume Oil

    As they are,
    Things are fine,
    Sweeping fallen leaves.
    – Santoka


    Label artwork: Sakai Hoitsu

     

    The blissful contentment of committing to exist in the moment: white sandalwood smoke, hinoki, white tea, and falling leaves.

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  • VINTAGE FRANKENSTEIN BLOW MOLD

    Vintage Frankenstein Blow Mold Perfume Oil

    A shell of milky plastic surrounding a puff of mint chocolate chip-scented air, illuminated from within by 40 watts of glowing amber.

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  • VINTAGE GHOST BLOW MOLD

    Vintage Ghost Blow Mold Perfume Oil

    Milky-white plastic and a hollow gasp of candy-corn breath, illuminated from within by 40 watts of glowing amber.

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Halloween 2023 - Dusk in Autumn

Dusk in Autumn

The moon is like a scimitar,
A little silver scimitar,
A-drifting down the sky.
And near beside it is a star,
A timid twinkling golden star,
That watches likes an eye.

And thro’ the nursery window-pane
The witches have a fire again,
Just like the ones we make,—
And now I know they’re having tea,
I wish they’d give a cup to me,
With witches’ currant cake.

— Sara Teasdale

Illustrations by Jenny Harbour for My Book of Favorite Fairy Tales

Halloween 2023 - Halloween Atmosphere and Linen Sprays 2023

Halloween Atmosphere and Linen Sprays 2023

These limited edition 4oz sprays are perfect for sending your autumn mood aloft on the air, setting the stage for spooky experiences, or scenting the surfaces where you intend to snuggle down.

Please exercise common sense, good judgment, and moral virtue when using these alcohol-based fragrance blends: do not use near open flame or heated surfaces. Avoid direct contact with skin, eyes, mouth, or other sensitive areas. Please spray responsibly!

Vegan and environmentally responsible. Black Phoenix abhors animal testing, and all Black Phoenix products are tested on friends and family — and in this case, the linens and atmospheres of our friends and family.

These mists may stain pale and delicate fabrics.

Halloween 2023 - Halloween Bath Oil 2023

Halloween Bath Oil 2023

It’s bad form to trick someone when they’re in the tub, so here’s a treat instead!

Our blend of softening and replenishing oils — with rosehip, shea, evening primrose, fractionated coconut, and vitamin E — will ensure that you experience the utmost in sublime (or fiendish!) pleasure this spooky season.

Superbly moisturizing without being greasy, lushly scented without being heavy-handed.

Paraben & formaldehyde free. No sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfate.

Black Phoenix, Inc. does not test on animals. All of our products are tested on friends and family.

Halloween 2023 - Halloween Hair Gloss 2023

Halloween Hair Gloss 2023

Gloss ‘em if you got ‘em! The Trading Post segment of our seasonal updates is roaring back to life, and we’re very excited to present this range of five, count ‘em FIVE Hair Gloss blends to bless your autumn ‘do with scent and shine anew.

BPAL’s Hair Gloss is paraben and sulfate free, and contains no petro-chemicals, no GMOs, and no triclosan.

Our hair gloss has a six-month shelf life.

Handmade by Black Phoenix. As always, no animals were harmed during the creation of this product, and all products were tested on friends and family.

Please exercise common sense when using our Hair Gloss: do not eat, do not snort, do not drink, do not pour into eyes, etc. If irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.

Cyclomethicone, botanisil, Vitamin E, argan oil, Tahitian monoi oil, camelina oil, and karanja oil.

Halloween 2023 - Heloise & Abelard’s Spooky Duets

Heloise & Abelard's Spooky Duets

For many, Halloween is a year-round affair — that’s certainly the case for Heloise and Abelard, the stars of last year’s Halloween announcement video.

This year we asked the witch and clown puppet duo to collaborate with the Lab on a series of Duet fragrances that will entice and terrify revelers year round, and… well, we were unprepared for how vigorously they’d rise to this challenge.

But don’t be too afraid, the resulting scents are (in the words of our perfumer) “actually quite nice.”

Halloween 2023 - Human Animals

Human Animals

Changes may be voluntary or involuntary, self-transformation belonging more frequently to the former class and transformation by sorcery, witchcraft or black magic more often to the latter class. The motives of a human being who wishes to change into an animal are naturally regarded with suspicion. Greed, cruelty, and cannibalism are accusations brought against those who were tried in the Middle Ages for the crime of lycanthropy, the transformation into a wolf or other wild beast. The desire to taste human flesh is a horrible but not improbable reason for the offence. The wish to inspire fear or to gain personal power over others are motives for impersonating wild and fearsome animals, as effective where superstitious people are concerned as the less common faculty of transforming actual flesh.
— Frank Hamel, 1915

The following fragrances are drawn from colorful passages in Human Animals, a 1915 compendium of folklore about humans transforming into animals, or encounters with animals which were presumed to be supernatural entities in disguise.

  • BRINGER OF EVIL

    Bringer of Evil Perfume Oil

    In one case a blue butterfly was seen to flutter over a certain farm, and as affairs there had not been going at all well, it was looked upon with dread and suspicion as the bringer of evil. For three weeks the insect hovered about and during that period ‘no butter came.’ Then the farmer decided to take steps to break the enchantment. Armed with a wet towel he sallied forth to chase the alleged familiar and, cleverly flapping his cloth, he brought down the butterfly at a swoop. Precisely at that moment a woman, who was suspected of being a witch, was found lying dead outside the door of her house close by, and after the double event there was no further trouble with the churning.

     

    A foreboding tremble of poppy leaf, cerulean musk, violet grapefruit, mimosa, orris butter, and benzoin.

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  • Elimanzer Perfume Oil

    Another woman suspected of witchcraft was Helen Clark who confessed on April 11th that the devil had appeared to her in the likeness of a white dog, and that she called her familiar Elimanzer and that she fed him with milk-pottage and that he spoke to her audibly and bade her deny Christ.

     

    Strangely sinister frumenty: oatmeal, heavy cream, butter, salt, and a whiff of brimstone.

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  • Elizabeth’s Imps Perfume Oil

    Coming later into his own yard, the informant saw a black thing proportioned like a cat, only that it was thrice as big, sitting on a strawberry bed and fixing its luminous eyes on him. But when he ran towards it, it suddenly leaped over the palings and ran towards the informant as he thought, but instead, it fled through the yard with his greyhound in hot pursuit after it to a great gate which was ‘underset with a pair of tumbrell strings,’ and it did throw the said gate wide open and then vanished. And the said greyhound returned to the informant shaking and trembling exceedingly.

     

    Sterne gave evidence on the same day, and much to the same effect, but said that the white imp was like a cat but not so big, and when he asked Elizabeth whether she was not afraid of her imps she answered, “What! Do you think I am afraid of my children?” and she called the imp Jarmara as having red spots, and spoke of two more called Sack and Sugar. Four other witnesses confirmed the story practically in its entirety.

     

    Elizabeth Clarke herself gave evidence of them, and said Anne West had sent her a ‘thing like a little kitlyn,’ which would obtain food for her. Two or three nights after this promise, a white thing came to her in the night, and the night after a grey one spoke to her and said it would do her no hurt and would help her to get a husband.

     

    A promise in the shadows: black molasses, cinnamon bark, and glowing amber.

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  • Lady of Saintonge Perfume Oil

    Another story in which the human being suffers from the wound inflicted on the wer-wolf concerns a fine lady of Saintonge, who used to wander at night in the forests in the shape of a wolf. One day she caught her paw in a trap set by the hunters. This put an end to her nocturnal wanderings, and afterwards she had to keep a glove on the hand that had been trapped, to conceal the mutilation of two of her fingers.

     

    Perfumed black silk encasing a mangled, blood-spattered talon of white sandalwood, ivory accord, and inky fur.

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  • THE CORN SPIRIT

    The Corn Spirit Perfume Oil

    The Corn Spirit is supposed to take the form of a cat, and in some places in Germany children have been warned not to go into the corn-fields because ‘The cat sits there.’ In Silesia the reaper who cuts the last corn is called the ‘Tom-cat’ and is dressed up in rye-stalks, wearing a long plaited tail.

     

    Rye stalks, corn husks, hay absolute, tilled soil, and German chamomile.

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  • THE HOUND AND THE MILK WHITE DOE

    The Hound and the Milk-White Doe Perfume Oil

    The Lady Sybil of Bernshaw Tower, a fair maid of high rank but evil repute, turned into a white doe after making a strange compact with the devil. Rich, young, and beautiful, her desires were still unsatisfied and she longed for supernatural powers, so that she might take part in the witches’ Sabbath. At this time, Lord William of Hapton Tower (a member of the Townley family) was a suitor for Lady Sybil’s hand, but his proposals did not meet with her approval. In despair, he decided to consult a famous Lancashire witch called Mother Helston, who promised him success on All Halloween. In accordance with her instructions he went hunting and at a short distance from the Eagle’s Crag, a milk-white doe started from behind the thicket, and he found it impossible to capture the animal. His hounds were wearied and he returned to the Crag, almost determined to give up the chase, when a strange hound joined his pack. Then a fresh start was made, and the strange hound, Mother Helston’s familiar, captured the white doe. That night an earthquake shook Hapton Tower to its foundations and in the morning the white doe appeared as the fair Lady Sybil, who had been fleeing from her suitor in animal shape. Thus Lord William married the heiress of Bernshaw Tower, but a year later she renewed her diabolical practices and not until she lay near death was it possible for Lord William to have the devil’s bond cancelled, which he did by enlisting the holy offices of a neighboring priest. After her death Bernshaw Tower was deserted and tradition says that on All Halloween, the hound and the milk-white doe meet on the Eagle’s Crag, where Lady Sybil lies buried, and are pursued by a spectre huntsman in full chase.

     

    Graceful, regal, elegant, and cursed: golden sandalwood and liquidambar, cardamom, coconut milk, jasmine sambac, white petal rosewater, and labdanum.

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  • WITCH BIRDS

    Witch-Birds Perfume Oil

    In Sweden tradition says that sorcerers  on Walpurgis night ride to Blocula and there turn into magpies. A lady at Carlstadt in that country was haunted by witch-birds in a very unpleasant manner. Having insulted a Finn woman who had begged food of her she told her to take a magpie that was hanging in a cage and eat it if she was hungry. The Finn cast an ‘evil eye’ on the lady for this insult but took the bird away with her. Some time after the Swedish lady noticed that whenever she went out a magpie came hopping in front of her. This happened for some days running, and then the magpie was joined by a companion bird, and presently by a number. The lady began to get frightened, but the more she tried to get rid of these strange companions the more numerous they became. They perched on her shoulders, tugged at her dress, and pecked at her ankles. In despair she shut herself up indoors, but they remained outside, and as soon as the door was open in they hopped. At last she went to bed and had the shutters closed, and the magpies kept on tapping outside till she died.

     

    Blinding-white mallow and vanilla sandalwood streaked with indigo opium pod accord, velvet black violet petals, wild plum, and opoponax.

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Halloween 2023 - Monster Milk

Monster Milk

For Yule 2021 we dreamed up Ghost Milk as the perfect beverage to dunk your Monster Gingerbread Cookies into. But since then we’ve found ourselves wondering: presuming they could be ethically derived, what other Monster Milks might one find at a supernatural supermarket? And what unholy combinations might be created by layering them with different Monster Cookies or other BPAL goodies?

The mind reels, the stomach tilts… but the imagination simply will not be deterred.

(These fragrances are vegan, and no monsters were harmed in their creation!)

Illustrations by Drew Rausch!

Halloween 2023 - Nightmare Novellas

Nightmare Novellas

Put down your tablets and gather ‘round the campfire, kiddies! We have an entire evening’s worth of Nightmare Novellas lined up to pluck at your nerves and pique the imagination. You can always reach out for a hand to hold if you get scared… just check to make sure it’s actually attached to the person next to you!

We’re pleased as punch to present the following Drew Rausch illustrations for spooky stories that never were, in hopes that they might serve as story prompts during the long, dark nights ahead. Who are these creeps, and what do they want? Where do they go when the Halloween season ends and everyone’s rotted pumpkins are turned to compost?

That’s for you to know, and for us to find out!

Halloween 2023 - Pumpkin Patch Happy Hour

Pumpkin Patch Happy Hour

And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for the winepress, say in your heart,
‘I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,
And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels.’
And in winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;
And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.

— Kahlil Gibran

I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.
— Dorothy Parker

Label art by John Herndon