Limited Edition

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.

  • fakenewsWEB

    Fake News

    5 out of 5

    2016 turned out to be the year of the NASTY WOMAN — and thanks to your purchases, BPAL was able to donate thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List!

    Unfortunately, 2017 is already shaping up to be the year of FAKE NEWS. In anticipation of the upcoming inaugural proceedings — and the months, nay years of high-volume dishonesty that are to follow — we offer the following blend to help penetrate the dense fog of of misinformation that’s already begun settling around Truth, Justice, and other historically celebrated American ideals.

    Wear it in vigilance as you sift through the memes, trolls, clickbait, hate-speech, and outright propaganda that continually threaten to overwhelm all the world’s kindness, wisdom, and informed expertise. Wear it in courage as you refute ignorance and insincerity at every turn — even from our nation’s highest-ranking figures — with indisputable facts from well-researched sources.

    And try not to lose your sense of humor as you fight back, or your own essential humanity. As Anne Lamott once wrote: “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it too.” 

    FAKE NEWS: A scent of misdirection, of 140 frantic characters typed out in spite at 3am, and paranoia-clouded churlish accusations hurled at perceived enemies: crushed pink pepper pod, bitter white tobacco, gnarled patchouli, all covered in glinting, garish slashes of gold.

    Proceeds from FAKE NEWS will go to the American Civil Liberties Union, non-partisan defender of the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

    When purchasing, be sure to include your twitter handle in the Notes section of our order form — for every bottle you buy, we will tweet one fake news headline about you from our Twitter account (@BPAL).

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  • nastywomanweb

    Nasty Woman

    4.42 out of 5

    As you have no doubt heard, during the third presidential debate, Hillary described her plan to raise taxes on the rich in order to fund Social Security. She took a swing at him over him being a tax dodger (which he is).

    “My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s – if he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”

    Trump interrupted her and said, “Such a nasty woman.”

    These are two things uttered by the same man within the same hour:

    “Such a nasty woman.”

    “No one has more respect for women than me.”

    Amazing.

    Let’s put this pussy-grabbing, racist, predatory, misogynistic, hateful, irresponsible, ignorant, immature grotesquerie out of politics for good, and do what we can to ensure that he and his ilk never cast their miserable shadows over our political process again.

    Nasty Woman: black fig and patchouli, filthy bourbon vanilla, honeyed amber oud, and loukhoum.

    Proceeds will be split between Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s list.

    plannedparenthood.org

    emilyslist.org

    Photo: Women marching in national suffrage demonstration in Washington, D.C., May 9, 1914.

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  • Palmyra

    Palmyra

    5 out of 5

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • Seven Word Story: Lust

    Seven Word Story: Lust

    4 out of 5

    Quoth one of the wordiest humans who ever lived: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” 

    This spring we challenged friends and fans to answer that call, baring their souls (and more) in our steamy, Lust-themed #BPAL7wordstory contest.

    “Seduce us in seven!” we demanded, promising the winning story would be enshrined in a Limited Edition fragrance. The response was overwhelming — and downright filthy. Over eight hundred entries later, Lust found its new champion. The winning story, submitted via Twitter by @GeekDame, took flight in our perfumer’s imagination and resulted in the following myth-tinged tryst. 

    Congrats to the winner, and keep your quills sharp! #BPAL7wordstory is only getting started. 

    He breathed smoke across her pomegranate-stained lips.

     Chthonic incense and blood-red pomegranate.

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  • 13492906_10154322658793293_943793616_n

    Seven Word Story: Sloth

    As Baudelaire once wrote, “We revel in the laxness of the path we take.” As such, we weren’t convinced anyone would bother entering the Sloth edition of our #BPAL7wordstory contest.

    Somehow, hundreds of you summoned the strength to string seven words together — plus the dozens who cheekily declined to muster more than six. The winning entry by Amy DeNies epitomizes that (lack of) effort with aplomb.

    Congrats to our winner, and keep those heavy eyelids propped open — #BPAL7wordstory could strike again at any time.

    can’t commit to finishing a whole banana

    The effort is too much: banana weighed down by blackened cacao, bourbon vetiver, and tobacco absolute.

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  • bpal7words-wrathcorrected-lores-1

    Seven Word Story: Wrath

    The subject of our latest #BPAL7wordstory contest was WRATH. The winning entry was submitted by Miss Paulette:

    The poison worked slowly, to her delight.

    Bitter almond swirled into black patchouli, with red amber, rum absolute, and lemon peel.

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  • singlenote-winterjasmineweb
  • webstarstruck2016-aquarius

    Starstruck: Aquarius 2016

    Fixed Air: the essence of knowledge. Not the possession of knowledge, per se, but the desire for knowledge, the path itself, and the drive to seek truth, both personal and universal. This is a scent of progressiveness, modernism and intellectual curiosity, and of unpredictability and independence. This is the perfume of the humanist and inventor, electric with caprice: clove, mastic, and spikenard with benzoin, tonka, sweet vetiver, frankincense, and white pepper.

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Limited Edition - The Song of Creation 2016

  • origin-audumla

    Audumla

    Then said Gangleri: “Where dwelt Ymir, or wherein did he find sustenance?” Hárr answered: “Straightway after the rime dripped, there sprang from it the cow called Audumla; four streams of milk ran from her udders, and she nourished Ymir.” Then asked Gangleri: “Wherewithal was the cow nourished?” And Hárr made answer:

    “She licked the ice-blocks, which were salty; and the first day that she licked the blocks, there came forth from the blocks in the evening a man’s hair; the second day, a man’s head; the third day the whole man was there.”

    The primordial mother, the first nourisher: four streams of milk, white honey, frankincense, motherwort, and angelica root.

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  • origin-bestla

    Bestla

    The first queen, daughter of giants: radiant amber, black fig, and rose oud.

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  • origin-of-earth

    Of Earth

    Then said Gangleri: These are great tidings which I now hear; that is a wondrous great piece of craftsmanship, and cunningly made. How was the earth contrived?” And Hárr answered: “She is ring-shaped without, and round about her without lieth the deep sea; and along the strand of that sea they gave lands to the races of giants for habitation. But on the inner earth they made a citadel round about the world against the hostility of the giants, and for their citadel they raised up the brows of Ymir the giant, and called that place Midgard. They took also his brain and cast it in the air, and made from it the clouds, as is here said:

    Of Ymir's flesh | the earth was fashioned,
    And of his sweat the sea;
    Crags of his bones, | trees of his hair,
    And of his skull the sky.
    Then of his brows | the blithe gods made
    Midgard for sons of men;
    And of his brain | the bitter-mooded
    Clouds were all created.”

    Flesh into verdant soil. The sweat of the sea. Black pine, oak, and cedar. Bitter clouds fashioned of grey amber, white tobacco, and muguet.

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  • origin-savage-forever

    Savage Forever

    And Thridi said: “Just as cold arose out of Niflheim, and all terrible things, so also all that looked toward Múspellheim became hot and glowing; but Ginnungagap was as mild as windless air, and when the breath of heat met the rime, so that it melted and dripped, life was quickened from the yeast-drops, by the power of that which sent the heat, and became a man's form. And that man is named Ymir, but the Rime-Giants call him Aurgelimir…

    But concerning this says Vafthrúdnir the giant:

    Out of the Ice-waves | issued venom-drops,
    Waxing until | a giant was;
    Thence are our kindred | come all together,–
    So it is | they are savage forever.”

    A giant born of the force of elemental savagery, given form by venom and ice: frozen ambergris and dark, primal musk, molten amber, black cypress, and frost-limned opoponax.

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  • origin-the-deluge-of-blood

    The Deluge of Blood

    Then said Gangleri: “What covenant was between them, or which was the stronger?” And Hárr answered: “The sons of Borr slew Ymir the giant; lo, where he fell there gushed forth so much blood out of his wounds that with it they drowned all the race of the Rime-Giants, save that one, whom giants call Bergelmir, escaped with his household; he went upon his ship, and his wife with him, and they were safe there. And from them are come the races of the Rime-Giants, as is said here:

    Untold ages | ere earth was shapen,
    Then was Bergelmir born;

    That first I recall, | how the famous wise giant
    On the deck of the ship was laid down.”

    A torrent of red musk, Dracaena draco, red pepper, black patchouli, nagarmotha, and red ginger.

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  • origin-the-heavens

    The Heavens

    Then said Gangleri: “What was done then by Borr's sons, if thou believe that they be gods?” Hárr replied: “In this matter there is no little to be said. They took Ymir and bore him into the middle of the Yawning Void, and made of him the earth: of his blood the sea and the waters; the land was made of his flesh, and the crags of his bones; gravel and stones they fashioned from his teeth and his grinders and from those bones that were broken.” And Jafnhárr said: “Of the blood, which ran and welled forth freely out of his wounds, they made the sea, when they had formed and made firm the earth together, and laid the sea in a ring round about her; and it may well seem a hard thing to most men to cross over it.” Then said Thridi: “They took his skull also, and made of it the heaven, and set it up over the earth with four corners; and under each corner they set a dwarf: the names of these are East, West, North, and South. Then they took the glowing embers and sparks that burst forth and had been cast out of Múspellheim, and set them in the midst of the Yawning Void, in the heaven, both above and below, to illumine heaven and earth. They assigned places to all fires: to some in heaven, some wandered free under the heavens; nevertheless, to these also they gave a place, and shaped them courses. It is said in old “songs, that from these the days were reckoned, and the tale of years told, as is said in Völuspá:

    The sun knew not | where she had housing;
    The moon knew not | what Might he had;
    The stars knew not | where stood their places.
    Thus was it ere | the earth was fashioned.”

    The sun knew not, the moon knew not, the stars knew not: the blood of the sea and the firelight of wandering star-sparks beneath the skull-dome of heaven. Salt and wind and the first rains, glittering starlight fashioned of white rose oud, lavender, white musk, champagne grape and petitgrain, and heaven’s vault constructed of bone-white sandalwood and purest frankincense.

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  • origin-the-mist-world

    The Mist-World

    Then said Jafnhárr: “It was many ages before the earth was shaped that the Mist-World was made; and midmost within it lies the well that is called Hvergelmir, from which spring the rivers called Svöl, Gunnthrá, Fjörm, Fimbulthul, Slídr and Hríd, Sylgr and Ylgr, Víd, Leiptr; Gjöll is hard by Hel-gates.”

    The first vision, obfuscated by fog sprung from Hvergelmir: a world within dream, formed of nebulous possibility. Thin strands of white resin-smoke, star jasmine, and white violet.

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  • origin-the-sons-of-buri-the-sons-of-borr

    The Sons of Buri, The Sons of Borr

    He is named Búri: he was fair of feature, great and mighty. He begat a son called Borr, who wedded the woman named Bestla, daughter of Bölthorn the giant; and they had three sons: one was Odin, the second Vili, the third Vé. And this is my belief, that he, Odin, with his brothers, must be ruler of heaven and earth; we hold that he must be so called; so is that man called whom we know to be mightiest and most worthy of honor, and ye do well to let him be so called.”

    The bloodline of the first gods: golden mead, white sage, and mugwort.

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  • unspecified

    The Sweat of the Rime-Giants

    Then said Gangleri: “How did the races grow thence, or after what fashion was it brought to pass that more men came into being? Or do ye hold him God, of whom ye but now spake?” And Jafnhárr answered: “By no means do we acknowledge him God; he was evil and all his kindred: we call them Rime-Giants. Now it is said that when he slept, a sweat came upon him, and there grew under his left hand a man and a woman, and one of his feet begat a son with the other; and thus the races are come; these are the Rime-Giants. The old Rime-Giant, him we call Ymir.”

    The first people: mugwort and thyme, fennel and frankincense, honey and myrrh.

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  • origin-the-yawning-void

    The Yawning Void

    Gangleri asked: “How were things wrought, ere the races were and the tribes of men increased?” Then said Hárr: “The streams called Ice-waves, those which were so long come from the fountain-heads that the yeasty venom upon them had hardened like the slag that runs out of the fire,–these then became ice; and when the ice halted and ceased to run, then it froze over above. But the drizzling rain that rose from the venom congealed to rime, and the rime increased, frost over frost, each over the other, even into Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void.” Then spake Jafnhárr: “Ginnungagap, which faced toward the northern quarter, became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Múspellheim.”

    Ice and rime and congealing venom, frost over frost, forever into the void: salt-strange rain and floes of hoarfrost, antediluvian poisons, and radiant sparks from Múspellheim’s furnaces.

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  • origin-when-nothing-was

    When Nothing Was

    Gangleri said: “What was the beginning, or how began it, or what was before it?” Hárr answered: “As is told in Völuspá:

    Erst was the age | when nothing was:
    Nor sand nor sea, | nor chilling stream-waves;
    Earth was not found, | nor Ether-Heaven,–
    A Yawning Gap, | but grass was none.”

    The darkness beyond darkness, nothing before nothing, the time before all: an opium-dark void, lightless in nihility, silent in nonbeing.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2016

Blessed Yule, Merry Faunalia, and Happy Christmas and Hanukkah! We hope this winter season brings you joy, love, and succor in even the coldest and darkest of nights.

SHIPPING INFO…

With the holidays fast approaching, please take note of our shipping cut-off dates to receive items by Christmas. These cut-offs are for shipments you need to receive by Christmas only and do not affect scent availability for purchase: (Please note dates are by 12:01am PST) Dec 14th for domestic orders; December 8th for Australia/New Zealand, Asia/Pacific Rim, and Mexico; December 10th for Canada, Caribbean, Europe, and Middle East; and December 1st for Africa, Central and South America. Gift Certificates are not subject to the same cut-offs as they’re sent by email. Thank you!

  • black-ice

    Black Ice

    Lovely, dangerous, slick, and bitterly cold: chilly white sleet-like notes with a hint of vetiver, a breath of smoky asphalt, and winter wind.

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  • days-of-winter-sunshine

    Days of Winter Sunshine

    “Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”
- Gustave Flaubert

    Rain falling through the heart: carrot seed, frankincense, white jasmine, sea buckthorn berry, and iris.

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  • ded-moroz

    Ded Moroz

    Grandfather Frost! Accompanied by his granddaughter, Snegurochka, the Snow Maiden, he bestows gifts to virtuous and hard-working people, rewarding their decency and integrity, and punishes those who are lazy, shiftless, and unkind, killing their fields with frost, cracking the trunks of their trees, and destroying their homes.

    The first incarnation of Father Frost was not at all benevolent. He was the personification of the darkest aspects of winter, winter’s destruction incarnate. He kidnapped unruly children, and slew people capriciously by freezing them to death.

    Light, darkness, kindness, and malice: golden amber, white amber, redwood, teak, bois du rose, sage, tree moss, and snow.

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  • desert-places

    Desert Places

    Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
    In a field I looked into going past,
    And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
    But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

    The woods around it have it – it is theirs.
    All animals are smothered in their lairs.
    I am too absent-spirited to count;
    The loneliness includes me unawares.

    And lonely as it is, that loneliness
    Will be more lonely ere it will be less –
    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
    WIth no expression, nothing to express.

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars – on stars where no human race is.
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places.
    – Robert Frost

    A blanker whiteness of benighted snow: white sandalwood, dry vanilla, white tea leaf, and orris.

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  • dumb-cake

    Dumb Cake

    What all the ingredients of the cake were I know not, but one principal one was salt. I remember being told some years ago, by an old inhabitant in one of the dales, about the composition of this mystic cake. It was somewhat as follows: In the first place four people had to assist in the making of it, each taking an equal share in the work, adding small portions of its component parts, stirring the pot, and so forth. During the whole time of its manufacture and consumption a strict silence has to be observed. Even when it is being taken out of the oven each of the interested parties must assist in the work. When made it is placed on the table in the middle of the room, and the four persons stand at the four corners of the room. When set on the table the cake is divided into equal portions and put upon four plates or vessels.

    The spirit of the future husband of one of the four would then appear and taste from the plate of his future bride, being only visible to her whose husband he was destined to be. As a preliminary to this, every door of the house had to be thrown open. The traditional hour for making the feast was midnight.

    A method of divination, the Dumb Cake was employed on auspicious evenings – Midwinter, Midsummer Eve, All Hallows, New Year’s, St. Mark’s Eve, St. Agnes’ Eve – so that single women would be able to divine the identity of their future husbands. The cakes were to be baked in silence, and “two must make it, two must bake it, and two must break it, and the third put it under each of their pillows.”

    The two must go to the larder and jointly get the various ingredients. First they get a bowl, each holding it and wash and dry it together. Then each gets a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of water and a little salt. When making the cake they must stand on something they have never stood on before. They must mix it together and roll it. Then they draw a line across the middle of the cake and each girl cuts her initials each on opposite sides of the line. Then both put it into the oven and bake it. The two take it out of the oven, and break it across the line and the two pieces are given to the third girl who places a piece under each pillow and they will dream of their future.

    Not a word must be spoken and the two girls after giving the pieces to the third girl have to walk backwards to bed and get into bed backwards. One word or exclamation by either of the three girls will break the charm.

    The cake was to be left by the fireplace overnight, and the door was to be left open. While the querant slept, her future husband’s double would creep into the house and prick her future husband’s initials into the cake pieces. If the door swung shut by accident, the spirit double would be trapped and the maiden cursed.

    This is the scent of an awkward encounter with a Yule-evoked doppelgänger mate: spectral cologne, blurry herbs, fireplace ash, and a dusting of crumbs.

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  • egg-nog

    Egg Nog

    Sweet brandy, dark rum, heavy cream, sugar, and a dash of nutmeg.

    (Now with extra nog!)

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  • el-dia-de-los-reyes

    El Dia de los Reyes

    The Day of Kings, the Celebration of the Magi. In Mexico, on January 6th, children place their shoes by their windows. If they have been good during the previous year, the Wise Men tuck gifts into their shoes during the night.

    Hot cocoa with cinnamon, coffee, and brown sugar.

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  • faunalia

    Faunalia

    Held on December 5th, this is the festival of the Horned God of the Forest, one of the di indigetes of Rome, god of cattle, fertility, wild, untamed nature, and prophecy through dreams. The scent of a thick, starlit, unspoiled forest, with a burst of wild musk, opobalsamum, black bryony, mandragora, and hemlock.

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  • gacela-of-the-dark-death

    Gacela of the Dark Death

    I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
    I want to get far away from the busyness of the cemeteries.
    I want to sleep the sleep of that child
    who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

    I don’t want them to tell me again how the corpse keeps all its blood,
    how the decaying mouth goes on begging for water.
    I’d rather not hear about the torture sessions the grass arranges for
    nor about how the moon does all its work before dawn
    with its snakelike nose.

    I want to sleep for half a second,
    a second, a minute, a century,
    but I want everyone to know that I am still alive,
    that I have a golden manger inside my lips,

    that I am the little friend of the west wind,
    that I am the elephantine shadow of my own tears.

    When it’s dawn just throw some sort of cloth over me
    because I know dawn will toss fistfuls of ants at me,
    and pour a little hard water over my shoes
    so that the scorpion claws of the dawn will slip off.

    Because I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
    and learn a mournful song that will clean all earth away from me,
    because I want to live with that shadowy child
    who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

    Terebinth pine, pitch, and clove.

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  • gelt

    Gelt

    Sevivon, sov, sov, sov
    Chanukah, hu chag tov
    Chanukah, hu chag tov
    Sevivon, sov, sov, sov!

    Chag simcha hu la-am
    Nes gadol haya sham
    Nes gadol haya sham
    Chag simcha hu la-am.

    A bounty of chocolate coins! Dry cocoa and golden amber!

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  • hot-buttered-whiskey

    Hot Buttered Whiskey

    With any luck, you won’t even remember the holiday season’s awkward family gatherings.

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  • it-sifts-from-leaden-sieves

    It Sifts from Leaden Sieves

    It sifts from Leaden Sieves –
    It powders all the Wood.
    It fills with Alabaster Wool
    The Wrinkles of the Road –

    It makes an even Face
    Of Mountain, and of Plain –
    Unbroken Forehead from the East
    Unto the East again –

    It reaches to the Fence –
    It wraps it Rail by Rail
    Till it is lost in Fleeces –
    It deals Celestial Vail

    To Stump, and Stack – and Stem –
    A Summer’s empty Room –
    Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
    Recordless, but for them –

    It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
    As Ankles of a Queen –
    Then stills it’s Artisans – like Ghosts –
    Denying they have been –

    White frankincense, pale dry patchouli, white sandalwood, and a tuft of coconut-white snow.

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  • jacobs-ladder

    Jacob’s Ladder

    And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

    And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

    And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

    And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

    And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

    And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

    And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

    And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

    The meeting of Heaven and Earth: golden amber, galbanum, benzoin, ambrette, rockrose, costus and tonka.

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  • krampus

    Krampus

    Anything BUT jolly! Draped with chains and bells, wielding both whip and rod, this rag-clad, horned, red-skinned, soot-covered leering creature is both the companion and the antithesis of rosy-cheeked and ebullient Kris Kringle. He is called by many names, and, in a myriad of cultures, he is seen with different robes and faces, but he is nevertheless always a sinister and fearsome instrument of Santa’s wrath: he wields a switch on all irredeemably naughty children before tossing them into his large black sack and whisking them away.

    Be good, or Krampus will toss you in a river! Sinister red musk, black and rust-brown leathers, dusty rags, and wooden switches.

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  • la-befana

    La Befana

    On the night of the Epiphany, a joyful, broomstick-riding hag clad in a tattered shawl drops into chimneys all over Italy, bestowing gifts to good children, and dropping coal into the stockings of naughty kiddies.

    La Befana vien di notte
    Con le scarpe tutte rotte
    Col vestito alla Romana
    Viva, Viva La Befana!

    As the Three Wise Men searched for the house of the Christ child, they found themselves lost. Eventually, they stopped at a small house and knocked on the door. A small, wizened woman opened the door, holding a broom in her hand. The Astrologers asked the woman if she knew the location of the child, but, unfortunately, she did not know who these men were looking for, and could not aid them in their search. It was deep into the night, and the air was chilly, so the kindly woman offered the three men her hospitality. They spent the night in her warm, comfortable home, and shared bread and stories with one another. The Astrologers explained to the woman why they were looking for this blessed infant, and invited her to join them in their search come morning. Though she was touched by their tale, she declined, as she had a great deal of housework to do. At daybreak, the Astrologers awoke. They thanked the woman for her generosity, gathered their things, and prepared to leave. Before they departed, they, again, asked the old woman if she would like to join them on their journey. Again, she declined, and sent them on their way. After they had left, she regretted her decision, and she set off to find the Three Wise Men. After many long and frustrating hours of searching, she still could not find them. Saddened, yet still filled with hope, she stopped to give a gift to every good child she passed.

    La Befana comes by night
    With her shoes old and broken
    She comes dressed in the Roman way
    Long life to the Befana!

    Candy charcoal, winter lilies, parma violet, a sprig of cypress, a poof of chimney dust, and holiday sweets.

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  • le-pere-fouttard

    Le Père Fouettard

    Once upon a time, there lived a stone-hearted, evil butcher and his grasping, covetous wife. Their shop was located near a parochial boarding school in a small village in eastern France. One day, three little boys passed the butcher’s shop. Their clothes were neat and starched, and the wicked couple fancied that they could see gold stitching on the little boys’ shirtcuffs. The butcher’s eyes gleamed with avarice, and he hatched an evil plan to rob the children. His wife enticed the little boys into the shop and fed them poisoned sweets. Her husband then slit their throats, chopped their little bodies into pieces, and put the pieces into barrels. Good Saint Nicholas discovered the monstrous crime, and, through God’s grace, resurrected the little boys. He confronted the vile butcher and forced him to atone for his crime. The butcher became Le Père Fouettard, Saint Nicholas’ partner on his Christmas travels. Dressed in a soot-covered black suit that mirrors Father Christmas’ suit of red and white, he travels with Saint Nick and dispenses coal and floggings to naughty children.

    Whip leather, coal dust, gaufrette, and black licorice.

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  • lick-it-with-consent

    Lick It With Consent

    5 out of 5

    Considering the current sociopolitical climate, I felt it was important to bring back this specific incarnation of Lick It. Proceeds from Lick It With Consent will be donated to RAINN.

    (For a spot-on dissertation on what consent entails, please visit Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan’s VERY NSFW infographic. Oh Joy Sex Toy is not a sponsor of Black Phoenix, or the other way around. Er, whichever. This is just a damn good link, and I wanted to pass it on!)

    A sugar-crusted vanilla peppermint stick!

    (As always, we have to state: don’t lick perfume. Don’t eat it, drink it, cook with it, or use it in any strange and unforeseen way. Black Phoenix is not responsible for that sort of irresponsible funny business.)

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  • maison-en-pain-depices

    Maison en Pain d’Épices

    This is the scent of a freshly assembled gingerbread house, with swirls of multicolored icing, spice drop lights, meringue snow, pinwheel mint accents, chocolate roof tiles, candy wafer pavers, and jelly candy stained glass. We used a French translation for ‘gingerbread house’ as the name to make it sound fancier. French adds +40% Fancy!

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  • mari-lwyd

    Mari Lwyd

    An echo of the rites of Rhiannon, the Great Queen and Mother of Horses, the Mari Lwyd is a Midwinter tradition in Wales. The beribboned Grey Mare travels door to door with her entourage, seeking permission to wassail and initiate a contest of wit: the pwnco, a battle of improvised verses filled with good-natured ridicule set to song. If the Mari party were victorious, they were invited into the home to partake of ale and cakes and provide entertainment for the family.

    Welsh cakes and ale with a smattering of dried lavender.

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  • nes-gadol-haya-sham

    Nes Gadol Haya Sham

    But not long after the king sent a certain old man of Antioch, to compel the Jews to depart from the laws of their fathers and of God:

    And to defile the temple that was in Jerusalem, and to call it the temple of Jupiter Olympius: and that in Gazarim of Jupiter Hospitalis, according as they were that inhabited the place.

    And very bad was this invasion of evils and grievous to all.

    For the temple was full of the riot and reveling of the Gentiles: and of men lying with lewd women. And women thrust themselves of their accord into the holy places, and brought in things that were not lawful.

    The altar also was filled with unlawful things, which were forbidden by the laws.

    And neither were the sabbaths kept, nor the solemn days of the fathers observed, neither did any man plainly profess himself to be a Jew.

    But they were led by bitter constraint on the king’s birthday to the sacrifices: and when the feast of Bacchus was kept, they wore compelled to go about crowned with ivy in honour of Bacchus.

    And there went out a decree into the neighboring cities of the Gentiles, by the suggestion of the Ptolemeans, that they also should act in like manner against the Jews, to oblige them to sacrifice:

    And whosoever would not conform themselves to the ways of the Gentiles, should be put to death: then was misery to be seen.

    For two women were accused to have circumcised their children: whom, when they had openly led about through the city with the infants hanging at their breasts, they threw down headlong from the walls.

    And others that had met together in caves that were near, and were keeping the sabbath day privately, being discovered by Philip, were burnt with fire, because they made a conscience to help themselves with their hands, by reason of the religious observance of the day.
    – The Second Book of the Maccabees, 6:1-11

    In order to consolidate his power in Jerusalem and Hellenize the area, the Greek king Antiochus IV Epiphanes outlawed Judaism and ordered the population to worship Zeus and the Hellenic pantheon. As this was anathema to the Jews, they refused, and Antiochus moved to enforce his religious decree by extreme force.

    Some origin tales say that the dreidel was used at this time as a method by which the Jewish people were able to continue to study the Talmud in secret under the guise of gambling. Now, in addition to being a light gambling game, the dreidel is also a reminder of the strength, devotion, and perseverance of the Jewish people and the mercy of God.

    One scent in four parts:

    Nun, the Snake: nuun, nothing. Naḥš, in modern Arabic, means bad luck. Represented by scents of loss and remembrance: opoponax and lemon verbena.

    Gimel, the Camel: the Ship of the Desert. Represented by scents of abundance, fortitude, and determination: patchouli, heliotrope, pomegranate, and almond.

    He, the Window: sometimes used to represent the Unutterable Name of God, this is the window in our souls through which God’s light touches us. Represented by scents of clarity and piety: frankincense, myrtle, and hyssop.

    Shin, the Tooth: also stands for Shaddai, one of the names of God. The hand formed into shin acts as a priestly blessing. Represented by scents of strength, generosity, kindness, and benediction: carnation, myrrh, red poppy, and hibiscus.

    The essences of Nun, Gimel, He, and Shin are blended to become Nes Gadol Haya Sham.

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  • nuclear-winter

    Nuclear Winter

    Annihilation. The ice, desolation and barrenness of nuclear devastation shot through by a beam of radioactive mints.

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  • peppermint-cream-cupcakes

    Peppermint Cream Cupcake

    Sweet red velvet cupcakes with thick peppermint cream frosting.

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  • pere-noel

    Père Noël

    3 out of 5

    On Christmas Eve, French children leave shoes filled with carrots by their fireplaces as a treat for Gui, Père Noël’s donkey. If the child has been good, Père Noël takes Gui’s offering and fills the child’s shoes with sweet fruits, candies, and small toys.

    Bright Sicilian oranges and sweet tangerines with a clink of lavender candy and a drop of anise.

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  • poor-monkey

    Poor Monkey

    cold first winter rain

    poor monkey, you too could use
    
a woven straw cape

    Compassion: pink lotus root and fig milk with ylang ylang, bourbon vanilla, soft myrrh, fir, khus, and sandalwood incense.

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  • raspberry-sufganiyot

    Raspberry Sufganiyot

    5 out of 5

    Sugar-sprinkled sufganiyot filled with sweet raspberry jelly.

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  • rose-red

    Rose Red

    The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

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  • salted-caramel-shortbread

    Salted Caramel Shortbread

    Dusted with cocoa and crushed nuts.

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  • snow-white

    Snow White

    A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.

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  • the-bear-prince

    The Bear Prince

    Shaggy fur, snow-flecked and rose-touched.

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  • the-first-soft-snow

    The First Soft Snow

    The first soft snow!
    Enough to bend the leaves
    Of the jonquil low.

    Heavy drifts of snow blanketing winter’s narcissus.

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  • the-magi

    The Magi

    5 out of 5

    Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

    Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

    When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

    And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

    And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

    And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

    Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

    And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

    When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

    When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

    And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

    And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

    And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

    When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

    And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

    Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

    Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,

    In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

    But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

    Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

    And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

    But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

    And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

    An offering of frankincense, gold, and myrrh, with coriander, cumin, ambergris, white wine grape, and vanilla bean.

    Now as at all times I can see in the mind’s eye,
    In their stiff, painted clothes, the pale unsatisfied ones
    Appear and disappear in the blue depth of the sky
    With all their ancient faces like rain-beaten stones,
    And all their helms of silver hovering side by side,
    And all their eyes still fixed, hoping to find once more,
    Being by Calvary’s turbulence unsatisfied,
    The uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor.

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  • peacock-queen

    The Peacock Queen

    5 out of 5

    In dramatic contrast to the soft innocence of Snow White and the dew-kissed freshness of her sister, Rose Red, this is a blood red, voluptuous rose, velvet-petaled, at the height of bloom. Haughty and imperious, vain, yet incomparably lovely to the eye, but thick with thorns of jealousy, pride and hatred.

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  • the-season-of-ghosts

    The Season of Ghosts

    In Latvia, the Ziemassvetki, or Winter Party, is a celebration of the birth of Dievs, the Sky God and Supreme Ruler of the Latvian pantheon. The two weeks prior to the Ziemassvetki is the Season of Ghosts. Candles are lit to honor the gods and a fire is kept burning throughout the Season, burning away the unhappiness of the previous year so men’s spirits can be renewed. At the feast of the Ziemassvetki, places are left as a courtesy to the ghosts, who arrive by sleigh.

    A scent created to burn away sorrow: bergamot, frankincense, rose geranium, ginger, lemongrass, and blood orange.

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  • this-worlds-joy

    This World’s Joy

    4 out of 5

    Wynter wakeneth al my care,
    Nou this leves waxeth bare;
    Ofte I sike ant mourne sare
    When hit cometh in my thoht
    Of this worldes joie, hou hit goth al to noht.

    Nou hit is, and nou hit nys,
    Al so hit ner nere, ywys;
    That moni mon seith, soth hit ys:
    Al goth bote Godes wille:
    Alle we shule deye, thah us like ylle.

    Al that gren me graueth grene,
    Nou hit faleweth albydene:
    Jesu, help that hit be sene
    Ant shild us from helle!
    For y not whider y shal, ne hou longe her
    duelle.

    Winter roses, white frankincense, and sweet violet.

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  • winter-my-secret

    Winter: My Secret

    Perhaps some day, who knows?
    But not today; it froze, and blows and snows,
    And you’re too curious: fie!
    You want to hear it? well:
    Only, my secret’s mine, and I won’t tell.
    Or, after all, perhaps there’s none:
    Suppose there is no secret after all,
    But only just my fun.
    Today’s a nipping day, a biting day;
    In which one wants a shawl,
    A veil, a cloak, and other wraps:
    I cannot ope to everyone who taps,
    And let the draughts come whistling thro’ my hall;
    Come bounding and surrounding me,
    Come buffeting, astounding me,
    Nipping and clipping thro’ my wraps and all.
    I wear my mask for warmth: who ever shows
    His nose to Russian snows
    To be pecked at by every wind that blows?
    You would not peck? I thank you for good will,
    Believe, but leave the truth untested still.
    Spring’s an expansive time: yet I don’t trust
    March with its peck of dust,
    Nor April with its rainbow-crowned brief showers,
    Nor even May, whose flowers
    One frost may wither thro’ the sunless hours.
    Perhaps some languid summer day,
    When drowsy birds sing less and less,
    And golden fruit is ripening to excess,
    If there’s not too much sun nor too much cloud,
    And the warm wind is neither still nor loud,
    Perhaps my secret I may say,
    Or you may guess.
    – Christina Rossetti

    Sweet labdanum, white myrrh, and bourbon vanilla.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2016 - The Art of Winter

Thus sometimes hath the brightest Day a Cloud;
And after Summer, evermore succeeds
Barren Winter, with his wrathful nipping Cold…

—William Shakespeare, King Henry VI

Limited Edition - Yule 2016 - Phobias

The holiday season is a source of joy for many – frolicking in the snow, decking the halls, stringin’ up lights, belting out carols. It is a time for family and good cheer, jolly men in furry red suits, and tales of merriment and miracles.

For others, it is a source of pure terror.

  • auroraphobia

    Auroraphobia

    Fear of the Aurora Borealis

    Hellish shimmering streaks of unholy, alien light: electrically-charged lavender, yellow bergamot, agarwood, blue plum, and a peculiar, discomfiting green musk.

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  • cherophobia

    Cherophobia

    Fear of Happiness

    Gibbering chitters of laughter, gleaming grinning mouths peeling open like a knife-slash: high-pitched lemon peel and pink pepper, white orris, and garish tangerine.

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  • christougenniatiko-dentrophobia

    Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia

    Fear of Christmas Trees

    Ghastly misshapen branches casting long, twisted shadows and clutching at you with prickly needle-like fingers: pine pitch, bone-white dried fir, and spruce tar with opoponax and blackened tobacco.

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  • cryophobia

    Cryophobia

    Fear of Extreme Cold

    Cold – unending, heart-piercing cold – that slices through skin and muscle like a gleaming, razor-edged dagger until it penetrates bone and fills your marrow: white eucalyptus, frosted mint, raw frankincense, davana, iris petal, white grapefruit, and wormwood.

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  • deipnophobia

    Deipnophobia

    Fear of Dinner Conversations

    Wine spilled across freshly pressed table linens, a wilted holiday bouquet, and a furtive hint of whiskey and baked bread.

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  • ecclesiophobia

    Ecclesiophobia

    Fear of Church

    Suffocating clouds of shroud-thick frankincense and myrrh, sepulchral tolu balsam, black labdanum, and a sin-sick thread of jasmine sambac.

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  • pediophobia

    Pediophobia

    Fear of Dolls

    (But not ventriloquist dummies. That’s an entire phobia unto itself.)
    White porcelain cracked by white tobacco, threads of brittle cognac, and vanilla filigree.

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  • pognophobia

    Pognophobia

    Fear of Beards

    Definitely bad news if you live in Silverlake, Williamsburg, or the Mission. A tangle of patchouli, upcycled leather, artisanal honey, and a couple of oils you’ve probably never heard of.

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  • soceraphobia

    Soceraphobia

    Fear of Parents-in-Law

    A scent of judgement and scorn: blackened vetiver, smug vanilla, and a dismissive, sneering dribble of black coffee.

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  • tyrranophobia

    Tyrannophobia

    Fear of Tyrants

    This has jack all to do with Yule or winter, but it sure does apply to current events. Proceeds from Tyrannophobia benefit the ACLU, thereby helping stem the imminent assault on civil rights. Birch tar, tea leaf, and black raspberry strangled in an iron fist.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2016 - Single Notes

Ah, the scents of the season! Mix and match to create the perfect perfume to accompany any awkward family gatherings!

Limited Edition - Yule 2016 - Gingerbread Cotillion

Now you shall hear a story that somebody’s great-great-grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago:

There was once a little old man and a little old woman, who lived in a little old house in the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing — they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it into the oven.

Presently she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as he could go.

The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the barn full of threshers set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him. And he ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn’t catch him. And he ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn’t catch him. And soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But the pig ran, and couldn’t catch him. And he ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow and a pig,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up.

Presently the gingerbread boy said, “Oh dear! I’m quarter gone!” And then, “Oh, I’m half gone!” And soon, “I’m three-quarters gone!” And at last, “I’m all gone!” and never spoke again.

Limited Edition - Aros Morbus: Mors Nigra

O happy posterity, who will not experience such abysmal woe and will look upon our testimony as a fable.

On the 20th of Mach, 1345, it is believed that a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in Aquarius harbingered one of the most catastrophic pandemics in all of human history, resulting in the deaths of between 75 and 200 million people in Eurasia, and initiating a death culture that would last well into our time.

Austin Coppock – one of the most talented, eloquent astrologers of our age – shares his insight:

It is a contemporary conceit to believe that plague is no longer with us. The post WWII years saw the humans triumph over a host of age-old afflictions. Polio, whooping cough tuberculosis and more fell one-by-one to the scalpel of modern science. Yet these gains, taken for granted, grow smaller every year. Long slumbering diseases have been roused, and those which were scheduled for elimination have shown dogged resistance to humanity’s best efforts. Plague is thus not a thing of the past, but an everpresent horseman, keeping pace with human progress. Though we may have pulled into a small lead, we have by no means outrun this dark rider.

12421778_10154071916988293_41845864_nThose who came before us knew well that this rider was forever at their back, and thus lived in anticipation of his terrible arrival. It should thus be in no way shocking to find that astrologers throughout history have done their very best to predict the times at which the waves of pestilence would crash against our shore. In a report commissioned by King Phillip VI from the University of Paris’ Medical Faculty in 1348, the fault of the great plague was thought to lie in a rare conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in Aquarius which had occurred some years earlier, in 1345. The report pointed to the malefic nature of the Great Conjunction which had occurred those few years earlier, and how it augured a disease both swift and terrible. But Medical Faculty of the University of Paris had the benefit of hindsight, and their retrospective spared no one.

Several hundred years later, in 17th century England, lived an astrologer somewhat more prescient. William Lilly, the “English Merlin” wrote in his 1665 Almanac “Here is approaching great fatality unto mankind…there may be feared some dangerous mortality, or plague to be at hand, inflicting destruction.” Furthermore, he wrote of “a sickly summer…during June, July or August..” Accompanied by the macabre illustration seen below, Mr. Lilly’s prediction was more than satisfied, for a plague swept the city of London at the appointed time, claiming one in six of its inhabitants.

Though rarely regarded with much reverence, the configuration of the heavens still proclaims the coming of afflictions terrible and cruel. When in August of 2014, Mars the Lesser Malefic and Saturn the Greater Malefic made their conjunction in the tropical sign of the Scorpio, a plague of sanguine horror spread about the lands of western Africa— Ebola.

Yet the planets did not speak of these terrible genesis, but instead their climax. Perhaps it is not the dire conjunctions which bring about such sicknesses, but instead merely direct our awareness to them. The sinister red light of Mars and the dull grave dirt glow of Saturn may indeed only seem evil to us in that they serve to illuminate the work of the horseman forever at our side.

One must wonder, then, what the heavens of this year are trying to communicate, for Mars and Saturn spend an unusual amount of together in 2016. They flirt for all of April, and then separate, only to be joined bodily over the Summer. They will do so against the red backdrop of Antares- the Heart of the Scorpio. Three eyed, like the oni of Japanese folkore, one can only wonder what this trio of eyes sees in our spring and summer months.

The Plagues will be expanded with a study of the art and cultural impact of the Black Death this spring.

  • Conjunction of Mars and Saturn

    Conjunction of Mars and Saturn

    Daemonorops, star thistle, wild tobacco, and asafoetida intensified by hemlock accord, black musk seed, mortuary cypress, and black gum leaf.

    [Label illustration: Adolf Vogel]

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  • In Time of Plague

    In Time of Plague

    Adieu, farewell earth’s bliss!
    This world uncertain is:
    Fond are life’s lustful joys,
    Death proves them all but toys.
    None from his darts can fly;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Rich men, trust not in wealth,
    Gold cannot buy you health;
    Physic himself must fade;
    All things to end are made;
    The plague full swift goes by;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Beauty is but a flower
    Which wrinkles will devour;
    Brightness falls from the air;
    Queens have died young and fair;
    Dust hath closed Helen’s eye;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Strength stoops unto the grave,
    Worms feed on Hector brave;
    Swords may not fight with fate;
    Earth still holds ope her gate;
    Come, come! the bells do cry;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Wit with his wantonness
    Tasteth death’s bitterness;
    Hell’s executioner
    Hath no ears for to hear
    What vain art can reply:
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Haste therefore each degree
    To welcome destiny;
    Heaven is our heritage,
    Earth but a player’s stage.
    Mount we unto the sky;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!
    – Thomas Nashe

    Blackened roses against a backdrop of velvet opoponax, bitter clove, and tobacco abosolute.

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Limited Edition - The Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia

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.

  • Ask the Nearest Hippie

    Ask the Nearest Hippie

    5 out of 5

    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.)

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  • Jiggery Pokery

    Jiggery Pokery

    5 out of 5

    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.

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  • Looming Spectre of Inutterable Horror

    Looming Spectre of Inutterable Horror

    4.5 out of 5

    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.

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  • Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages

    Mummeries and Straining-to-be Memorable Passages

    5 out of 5

    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.

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  • Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie

    Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie

    5 out of 5

    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.

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  • Pure Applesauce

    Pure Applesauce

    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.

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