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.

Limited Edition - Hymn to Fortuna 2018

On doubtful wings flies the inconstant hour, nor does swift Fortuna pledge loyalty to any.

A paean to Fortuna, as we seek blessings to help us navigate the turbulent seas of the new year.

Approach strong Fortune, with propitious mind and rich abundance, to my pray’r inclin’d
Placid, and gentle Trivia, mighty nam’d, imperial Dian, born of Pluto fam’d;
Mankind’s unconquer’d, endless praise is thine, sepulch’ral, widely-wand’ring pow’r divine!
In thee, our various mortal life is found, and some from thee hi copious wealth abound;
While others mourn thy hand averse to bless, in all the bitterness of deep distress.
Be present, Goddess, to thy vot’ry kind, and give abundance with benignant mind.

  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - annonaria

    Fortuna Annonaria

    The Fortunes of the Harvest

    A hymn for increasing fecundity, and to help nurture all the seeds that you plant in the coming year: patchouli, licorice root, tobacco, and sandalwood.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - balnearis

    Fortuna Balnearis

    The Fortunes of Health and Well-Being

    A hymn for good health and protection of the vulnerable: orange blossom honey, vanilla husk, green stem sap, and a drop of King mandarin.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - barbata

    Fortuna Barbata

    The Fortunes of Adolescents

    A hymn to blossoming in wisdom and strength as you come of age: King mandarin and warm vegetal musk.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - bellli

    Fortuna Belli

    The Fortunes of War

    A hymn for triumph for those who do battle, whether it be with fists, ideas, or words: frankincense and dragon’s blood resin, saffron-threaded red musk, tomato leaf, tobacco absolute and tobacco leaf, and leather accord.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - bona

    Fortuna Bona

    Good Fortune Incarnate

    A hymn to the successes, prosperity, good health, and blessings that are drawn to you when you possess honesty, bravery, and good character: Himalayan cedar and honey myrtle, cistus and clary sage, ambergris accord and white oudh.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Conservatrix

    Fortuna Conservatrix

    The Fortunes of Those Who Protect the Defenseless

    A hymn to give strength and good luck to those who safeguard others: black peppercorn, bitter almond, patchouli, and benzoin.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - dubia

    Fortuna Dubia

    Perilous Fortune

    A hymn to avert misfortune and danger: honey infused with protective herbs and hope preserved in pale amber.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - felix

    Fortuna Felix

    The Joys of Good Fortune

    A hymn to laughter, joy, and merriment: blood orange and champaca bubbling with blonde tobacco, osmanthus, sweet clove, and vanilla.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Huiusce Diei

    Fortuna Huiusce Diei

    The Luck of the Day

    A hymn to seizing good fortune in the moment: orange blossom and wild bergamot sweetened with apricot.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - liberum

    Fortuna Liberum

    The Fortunes of Children

    A hymn to the safety and freedom of children that they may prosper in health and wild joy: sweet vanilla tousled with orange blossom, blood orange peel, and a squirt of strawberry juice.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - mala

    Fortuna Mala

    Fickle Fortune

    A hymn to propitiate the gods of misfortune and honor the balance of forces in the universe: vetiver, patchouli, and black clove.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Muliebris

    Fortuna Muliebris

    The Fortunes of Women

    A hymn for stability, health, strength, and fecundity: French lavender, white pear, and patchouli with clary sage, white tea, and sandalwood.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Obsequens

    Fortuna Obsequens

    The Fortunes of Love and Beauty

    A hymn to romance and glamour, passion and virility, seduction and delight: red roses and blood musk enveloped in a haze of blackcurrant, red patchouli, leather accord, and black oudh.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Populi Romani

    Fortuna Populi Romani

    The Fortunes of the People

    A hymn to the fortunes of your community, the blessings of civic duty, and the strength of many voices becoming one.

    Smoked vanilla sandalwood and leather, golden oudh, ambrette seed, caramelized patchouli, a single thread of saffron, and a sprig of crushed juniper.

    Proceeds from the sale of each bottle of Fortuna Ropuli Romani benefit the ACLU, who helps to ensure that the voice of the people is uncensored, unsilenced, and heard.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Primigenia

    Fortuna Primigenia

    The Fortunes that Govern Childbearing, the Fortunes of a Child at the Moment of Their Birth

    A hymn for blessing new mothers and newborn babies: white ambrette seed, motherwort, peony, jasmine tea, green tea leaf, Italian bergamot, and white cedar.

    (If you are pregnant or nursing, please do not use this oil, and please do not use this oil on infants or toddlers. It is best used in a scent locket, or to adorn clothing or amulets.)

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - redux

    Fortuna Redux

    The Fortunes of Returning Home After a Perilous Journey

    A hymn for safety while travelling: tobacco jasmine.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Respiciens

    Fortuna Respiciens

    The Fortune That Changes Bad Luck to Good, Intervention in Times of Need

    A hymn for blessings: pomegranate juice, mint, and juniper berry.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Restitutrix

    Fortuna Restitutrix

    The Fortunes of Warriors: She Who Restores, She Who Brings the Soldiers Home

    A hymn for the safety and good fortune for soldiers, and a prayer to bring them home: leather, sweet clove, and olive blossom.

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  • aspects of fortuna LABEL - Tranquilla

    Fortuna Tranquilla

    The Fortune of the Seas

    A hymn to calming life’s storms and a blessing of serenity and level-headedness: champaca blossom and jasmine with a curl of lavender.

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Limited Edition - Phoenix 2017

++ PHOENIX 2017

Happy fifteenth anniversary, BPAL! YER ALMOST OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE.

Before anything else, I’d like to thank our customers. You are more than clients; you are our friends, our extended family. Thank you for being with us through so much – through bright days and darkness, through sorrow and joy. Thank you for the gift of your friendship, thank you for standing with us through difficult times, thank you for sharing our laughter and the burdens of our grief. The community that has grown around BPAL these past fifteen years is like nothing else in this world, online or off. True, everlasting friendships – the love of family – is evident everywhere I look. Whenever I go onto the forum, I bear witness to incredible acts of love and kindness. We support one another selflessly in times of need, and I hold each and every one of you as models of emotional generosity and true friendship. It is an honor for me to be a part of your lives, and my gratitude is beyond words. Thank you for everything that you have brought to my life, thank you for everything. I know I’ve said it many, many times: the single most important gift that Black Phoenix has given me throughout this decade is the phenomenal, world-encompassing family that I now have because of all of you. You can’t imagine how much you mean to me. Thank you.

With all my love and gratitude…

Thank you, Brian, for being the dearest and truest of friends. You are the spine of this company, its rock-solid foundation. Without you, this company would be a series of abstract ideas without form. You help me manifest my strange daydreams, you always make me laugh, and you never, ever let me down. Thank you for putting up with my shit,  I love you, big brother.

Thank you, Ted, for being my heart’s joy, my true love, my soulmate, my muse, and my strength. You are as vital to me as breath and light, and as much a part of me as the blood that flows through my veins. Thank you for being my Prince Charming, thank you for always being there for me, thank you for your patience, your sober counsel, your laughter, your filthy mind, your sense of humor. Thank you for being you, thank you for being mine.

Lilith, you are my muse and my angel, my little werewolf, my baby bat. You are the light in my heart, you are my joy, and every single day I love you more and more.

Thank you, Jacquelynn, for all of your dedication to the Lab, for your hard work, your dedication, your creativity, your intelligence and wit, and your huge, huge heart. You are such an important, vital part of BPAL, and I love you.

Thank you, Piolet, for your hard work and your strength of character. Thank you for your wisdom and your humor, your optimism, your patience, your commitment, and your friendship. I love you!

Tom, thank you for all that you do. Thank you for all of your help promoting BPAL, thank you for being my Other Voice, thank you for always being there for me, for being a true friend, for listening to my incessant kvetching, and for your huge heart and vast, boundless creativity. Thank you for lending us your talent, thank you for being my friend. I love you.

Thank you, Chrissy, for your passion and drive, your creativity and enthusiasm. I am grateful for you and for all you do, and I love you!

Thank you, Stephanie, for your incredible work ethic, your drive and your patience, and the kindness with which you treat everyone around you. You are a treasure, and I love you!

Cerina and Sabina, thank you for all of the hard work you put into helping us get through both calm work weeks and batshit crazy seasons. We couldn’t do this without you. I love you guys!

Thank you, Claire, for being Ted’s right hand woman! You are amazing. I admire your wit, compassion, and talent, and I am deeply grateful for all you do. I love you!

Thank you, Galen, for the incredible videos that you have been crafting for BPAL. You are exceptionally talented, incredibly sweet, and I love you!

Anne, thank you so much for all you do to help promote BPAL and help us at events! You are a powerhouse, and I am deeply grateful.

Lance and Alejandro! Welcome to the tribe! Thank you both so much for all you do. We are so happy to have you with us!

Thank you, Sara and Viv, for all the love and enthusiasm you put into every Lunacy. Without you, our events would be pale shadows. I love you both very, very much.

Kaitlin, you cannot imagine how grateful I am for your help and for your friendship. Thank you for putting up with our madness, our ridiculous requests, our last-minute panics. Thank you for the gift of your incredible heart, your beautiful Libra charms, and your deep compassion. I love you.

Thank you to Tom, Lisa, Maggie, Ali, Eva, Chris, Eric, Jason, Jared, Galen, Anne, and Sonya for making this year’s #carnylife possible. You were all amazing, and we are deeply grateful for your help. Thank you so much for being there for us, and for giving so much of yourselves to the events!

Thank you, Donna and Jeff, for being our bottle babysitters! You are lifesavers, and we love you so, so much!

Thank you, Em for your wise counsel, for always having my back, for always being there for me, and for always listening. I would be lost without your advice and your friendship. I love you!

Ali, you are and always will be my living Manual of Style! Thank you for unbabbling my babble, re-sensing my nonsense, and letting me bounce ideas off of you incessantly. You are an inspiration always, and I love you.

Thank you, Andra, you are a true friend, a truly amazing human being, and I love you so much!

Thank you to Sue and Del at Dark Delicacies for being such true and wonderful friends, and thank you for being the greatest grandparents a little demoness could ask for! We love you!

Thank you, Courtney and Lisa, for being our extended Lunacy family! Thank you for all the energy and love you put into every event! We are all truly grateful!

Thank you, Sean, for helping us navigate our hiccups with bpal.org. Without your efforts, the forum would have died a horrible, much-lamented death. You have no idea how grateful I am.

Thank you, Cat, for being such an amazing friend. Thank you for being my co-conspirator and confidante, thank you for your kindness. I love you!

Huge amounts of love and huge amounts of gratitude to Laura Hall and all the wonderful people at Laika studios. Your generosity and kindness is beyond measure.

Thank you to Thomas, Chandra, Melissa, Kat, and Tommy at Century Guild. I love you guys!

Thank you, Audra, for giving BPAL a home at Loved to Death! It is a delight working with you, and I am overjoyed by our partnership! Thank you!

Jess, thank you for everything! Your creativity, integrity, and compassion is a ceaseless source of inspiration. I love you!

Samantha, you are a wonderful human being, a fountain of inspiration, and I love you!


Thank you to Neil Gaiman, Guillermo Del Toro, Legendary Pictures, Jim Jarmusch, Peter Beagle, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Terry Pratchett, Terry Moore, Mike and Christine Mignola, George Perez, Peter David, Molly Crabapple, Mark Waid, Thomas Negovan, Matt Wagner, Laika Studios, Jim Henson Productions, Brian Pulido, Joseph Michael Linsner, Gris Grimly, George RR Martin, Clive Barker, Mark Miller, David Mack, Gail Potocki, and Erin Morgenstern for giving Black Phoenix the opportunity to interpret your work.

Thank you to the noble souls at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. You are an inspiration.

Thank you, Charles, for being an inspiration, a true friend, and a partner in occasional French Quarter debauchery!

Thank you, CP, for being an incredible friend. Your kind soul and radiant spirit illuminates everything and everyone you touch.

Love and thanks to the artists that have lent us their talent: Julie Dillon, Drew Rausch, Aristotle Pramagioulis, Alicia Dabney, Emma Rios, Madame Talbot, Quique Alcatena, Jennifer Rodgers, Manda Lander, Emily Wernet, Eric Thurnbeck, Lily Gabrielle Hoyda, Galen Adair, Keri Newton, Robert Kraiza, Tanya Bjork, Andrew Fogel, Brian Kessinger, Abigail Larson, Aidan Casserly, and Sarah Coleman!

Love and thanks to Blood Milk, Gothic Renaissance, Ritualcravt, Think Geek, Century Guild, Loved to Death, the Mütter Museum, Haute Macabre, Heretic Salon, Pretty Indulgent, and Dark Delicacies for giving BPAL a space in your homes.

Love and thanks to the bloggers, journalists, magazines, and other media outlets that taken the time to write about Black Phoenix. Honestly, I cannot thank you enough. Without you, I’d just be screaming into the void.

Heartfelt gratitude to all of the organizations we sponsor. You are a light in the darkness, and it is our honor to support you in your work.

NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
National Center for Transgender Equality
American Civil Liberties Union
The National Park Foundation
The National Parks Conservation Association
The Trevor Project
EMILY’s List
Southern Poverty Law Center
Habitat for Humanity, New Orleans
CBLDF
Orangutan Foundation
Planned Parenthood
UNHCR

And last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank my ancestors, the genius loci of Los Angeles, all friendly spirits that help me out here and there, all the gods (both celestial and infernal), our house ghost, the Lab poltergeist, and anyone else that might be looking out for me.

This is what I wrote last year, and it holds even truer now:

“This is a hard anniversary update to write. Every anniversary, I sum up the year and try to give thanks to everyone who enriches our lives. The latter is easy – my life is filled with the kindest, wisest, most compassionate people – but the former is stunningly difficult. 2016 has been cruel. 2016 has seen so much grief and loss, and the year has presented to us a series of breathtakingly devastating events, leaving so many in a mire of fear, uncertainty, and sorrow.

Since 2002, the community that has grown from Black Phoenix has become my family. Our beloved coworkers, our clients, the small companies that we work with, our forum moderators, the wonderful artists, writers, and creators that we are privileged to create for, our media outlets, our retailers, our extended Lunacy event family, our traveling medicine show convention family, the bloggers and journalists who think of us, and the wonderful, generous, kind people at the charitable organizations that we work with.

This is our family. You – if you are reading this – are part of our family, and I am grateful for you.

I know that it is cold comfort, but I want to tell you that we stand with you and you are not alone. We stand with the LGBTQ community, we stand with the disabled community, we stand with our brothers and sisters in every single minority religious, racial, and ethnic group. We stand with the trans community, we stand with immigrants and refugees, we stand with those who would protect our water and our land.

We stand with you against hate. We stand with you against intolerance. We stand with you, and we will do everything within our power to fight with you and for you in this dark, uncertain time. In gratitude and with love…”

Thank you. Thank you so much, everyone, for being with us for the past fifteen years. I truly hope we’ve been able to bring you as much joy as you have brought to us.

Here’s to the next fifteen years.

And without further ado, my annotated retrospective, expressed through scent:

  • cotton phoenix

    2003: Cotton Phoenix

    Our first anniversary! We were still working from the basement at the time, so to speak. (It was actually the spare room at Ted’s place.) In 2003, the scent categories on our site were Bewitching Brews, Funereal Oils, Dark Elements, Sin & Salvation, Love Potions, and Diabolus, and a selection of conjure and hoodoo recipes that I had reformulated for cosmetic use, including #20 Love Oil, All Night Long, Crucible of Courage, High John the Conqueror, and Van Van. Some of the first scents (our original posse!) available on the site were Anathema, Black Rose, Haunted, Darkness, Debauchery, Faustus, Pulse Points, Satyr, Silentium Amoris, Thanatopsis, Venom, Vixen, my interpretation of the four elements (Burial, Inferno, Hurricane, and Undertow) and, of course, Snake Oil. Snake Oil was the first, and Snake Oil will always be part and parcel of who I am.

    At the end of 2003, we offered the first LEs (Samhain and Spooky) and the first LE series ran (“Five fiendishly festive holiday scents!”), limited to one-hundred 5mLs and seventy-five 10mLs of each: Gingerbread Poppet, Midwinter’s Eve, Rose Red, Snow White, and Yuletide.

    Cotton Phoenix has a base of our foundation scent, Snake Oil, with a sliver of Snow White, almond milk, and a pillowy poof of marshmallow layered over a sheer cotton blossom musk.

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  • paper phoenix

    2004: Paper Phoenix

    On our second anniversary, the Lab moved from the Far Land of Spare Oom (gratuitous C.S. Lewis reference) to its first real “location” in Atwater Village. It was small, it was weird, and we all shared one space, but it was home.

    In 2004, our real unreal home, bpal.org, was founded by slythwitch, and later that year, shrieking violet took over the helm. Bpal.org has been the source of so much love and joy in my life since its inception, and because of .org, my family – bound by love and spirit – expanded to include some of the finest human beings I have ever known. The community that grew from .org is incomparable, both on the internet and in the so-called “real” world; it is a safe haven of wise, witty, kind, compassionate souls, and without it and without the people that I met through it, my life would be so much darker.

    2004 also heralded our first press mention (thank you, Bust Magazine!), our first Chaos Theory series, and the first Lunacies. Our first Blue Moon came out in July of 2004, launching the Lunacies that we’ve been doing ever since. Red Moon was our official first Lunacy blend, followed Harvest Moon, Hunter Moon, and a bajillion other Lunacies over the next eleven years!

    (Ok, maybe not a bajillion, but I’m not in the mood to do the math!)

    Prior to September of 2004, we dressed our Imps a bit differently. We wrapped synthetic bull sinew around the vials and used handwritten parchment labels. Honestly, it looked amazing, but it was an incredibly time consuming process, and left me with a couple of imp-related battle scars. As of autumn, we switched to the paper labels you see tody.

    Our first activism scents also debuted in 2004: Cerberus (Animal Assistance League of Orange County), Chiroptera (Bat Conservation International), Corazon (Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land), Oisin (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund), and Thunderbird (the Adopt-a-Native-Elder Program), kicking off over a decade of fundraising, advocacy, and charity work.

    In 2004, Antique Lace first appeared and we introduced our first forum-only blend (Formula 54!). And on December 21, 2004, Dorian – a hymn to my love for Ted – went live.

    A memory of Antique Lace, Formula 54’s pink pepper, and a splash of Dorian’s white tea and lavender fougere.

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  • leather phoenix

    2005: Leather Phoenix

    Our sister shop, Black Phoenix Trading Post, opened its doors on February 13, 2005! On that shiny, fateful day, Teddy opened the shop with one single item: the BPAL-branded “Established 1350AD” shirt.

    Carnaval Noir, the precursor to Carnaval Diabolique, went live in 2005, along with the first 13. In 2005, we hosted our first Los Angeles Lunacy event, and Winter of 2005 brought us Black Phoenix Trading Post’s first Inquisition – Naughty or Nice. This is also the year that I did my first “love potions” class, which was basically a fireside kegger with essential oils.

    We vended at our first convention, Convergence 11: San Diego, and Brian and I drank a lot of gin at our booth. Like, a lot. Lesson learned: don’t drink a shitload of gin while vending.

    A spurt of 13’s omnipresent cocoa staining a Trading Post-inspired leather accord – reminiscent of tight black leather pants – and more than a splash of gin.

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  • fruit phoenix

    2006: Fruit Phoenix

    2006 brought us to New Orleans for Convergence XII, which was an amazing event on so many levels, but also marked the first time we were able to get together with our sisters, the moderators of bpal.org.

    Smut first besmirched the virginal sanctity of our catalogue in Spring, Carnaval Diabolique materialized on August 2nd of 2006, and Black Moon and Schwarzer Mond appeared for the first time over the dark skies of BPAL. That winter, Krampus made himself known in our Yule update for the first time.

    A scent celebrating fifteen years of the FRUITS of our labor. Haaaaaaaaaa…. I sure love my awful Uncle Jokes. Snake Oil with Schwarzer Mond’s terebinth, a swish of Krampus’ switches, black currant, pomelo, and chthonic black pomegranate.

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  • wood phoenix

    2007: Wood Phoenix

    In 2007, I married the great love of my life. Teddy and I had dated since 1998, and it seemed that, at last, it was time for me to make an honest man out of him. I had loved Ted since the first moment I smelled him (truth!), and the night that we married was one of the most wonderful nights of my life. At the Lunacy event before the wedding, I was able to celebrate with my .org and local BPAL family, and I cried like a loon. It is a privilege to be part of this family… the one that BPAL has gifted to me.

    It is one of the great joys and honors of my life to have the opportunity to interpret Neil Gaiman’s stories through scent, and on January 31st of 2007, our first Neil Gaiman scent series debuted: American Gods.

    Neil’s body of work has been a tremendous influence in my life, and in a sea of authors whose stories have moved and shaped me, his words have been some of the most impactful. I admire his kindness and compassion, his wisdom and eloquence, and the tremendous amount of work he has done for the CBLDF and the UN Refugee Agency. His stories have helped shape my worldview and my dreams, and I will always be grateful.

    In 2007, we created the first of many scents in collaboration with our family at Dark Delicacies: the eponymous Dark Delicacies scent. It was soon followed by a series of eerie Lace-inspired perfumes, a scent series dedicated to horror film genres, a celebration of B-movie horror, and a scent series celebrating great duets of horror.

    In June of 2007, we ran the first of our clothing drives benefitting Los Angeles women’s and children’s shelters.

    This Phoenix is a combination of the Snake Oil and Dorian that Teddy and I wore at our wedding, the red wine we bled into and shared during the ceremony, a drop of lucky honey mead, and the heart of Snow Glass Apples lacquered over pale salt-splashed wood, with a hint of the green walnut I could never get quite right. (I’m sorry, Neil! I’m still trying!)

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  • sugar phoenix

    2008: Sugar Phoenix

    On January 7th, I announced that I was preggers to the forum, and pregnancy scents like Irrelevant and Disturbing Surreal Crawdad Dream soon followed. While I was giving birth to Lilith, Brian pulled the trigger on her two birth scents – Lady Lilith and Lilith Victoria – so they could come to life just as she was entering the world. This began our annual tradition of commemorating each year that we spend with Lilith with a scented scrapbook. We love you, Lilith. More than you can possibly know.

    The Shunga debuted for the first time, including Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, Men Ringing Bell With Penises, and Glowing Vulva at Ryogoku Bridge.

    This year also marked the first time that Frederic – inspired by Gilbert & Sullivan – began appearing every February 29th, and he’s been our Leap Year guest ever since!

    At the December Lunacy event, we began the first of our annual toy drives.

    In 2008, Black Phoenix Trading Post hosted the Miskatonic Valley Junior Baseball Association’s Spring Training – Ted’s vision of little league in Lovecraft Country – which ushered in a decade of our ridiculous Lovecraft-meets-Norman Rockwell serials and rotating exhibits in Arkham’s Pickman Gallery. I don’t have words for how much I love working on our campy Miskatonic Valley scents; how else could I experience a life filled with pancake breakfast summoning circles, demonic art openings, pre-pubescent softball-loving fish people, suave cultist tailors, and goat-headed burlesque dancers?

    Lilith’s beloved lavender coated with sugar crystals, crawdad-bright grapefruit, and a pop of iridescent, loathsome Mi-Go musk.

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  • wool phoenix

    2009: Wool Phoenix

    In 2009, Dirty South Will call began (we love you, Lisa!), and we were voted Best Scent Indulgence for Your Inner Goth by the Village Voice. E! filmed at Los Angeles Lunacy for That Morning Show, and now that I think of it, I don’t know that I ever actually saw that episode.

    That year, we commemorated the 200th birthday of the death of Edgar Allan Poe at a Dark Delicacies event with Gris Grimly, and thanks to our Who Killed Amanda Palmer series, I was given the inestimable gift of conceiving of a scent based on cupcake spatter pattern analysis.

    Our Hellboy line premiered in summer of 2009, and not only was the process of translating Hellboy into scent an absolute thrill, I am also now blessed by the inexplicable joy of being able to see a frog in a teacup on our labels every day. I am always deeply moved by Mike Mignola’s art and storytelling, and every year I look forward to his October horror film recommendations.

    The Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire was hosted in Innsmouth that year, and the skies over BPAL were filled with the screeches of magah birds and howling servitors.

    Cigar smoke wafting over Georgia peaches, black goat wool, and a dollop of Mason and Jenkins’ Port jelly.

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  • salt phoenix

    2010: Salt Phoenix

    In 2010, we had the privilege of working with one of the greatest storytellers of the modern era, Peter S. Beagle, and our Last Unicorn series went live. Peter is one of the most kind-hearted, gentlest humans that I’ve ever known, and we bonded over both of us being the children of teachers.

    In February, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with our Lovecraftian tourism campaign, produced by the Arkham Visitors Bureau: The Miskatonic Valley is for Lovers. Los Angeles Lunacy moved to Dark Delicacies at their Grand Reopening in May of 2010, and Umlaut and Victorian Garden went live at the Mütter Museum in August of 2010. This was also the year that I almost keeled over like a wilted cucumber during my panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair, and the heat was so intense that it demolished the entirety of the tester stock that we’d brought with us to vending and our soaps turned to ooze.

    In June, Black Phoenix Trading Post sponsored the Carcosan Interdimensional Football Association Underworld Cup XXI Championship. My money was on the P’nathi Bholes to win, especially after they soundly defeated the Gugs 7-0 in the group phase, securing their position in the knockout round.

    Mist-veiled lilac and salt spray with osmanthus, white jasmine, and icy lavender.

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  • pottery phoenix

    2011: Pottery Phoenix

    One of the most challenging projects that I’ve ever undertaken has been our RPG series. In order to execute the series correctly, every possible combination of classes, races, and ephemera had to work together. Years of research and experimenting went into the RPGs, and it was worth it to see a childhood dream come to fruition.

    Our beloved Courtney brought Vermont Lunacy to (un)life, and our first scents for Pretty Indulgent were introduced. We love you, Courtney and Maggie!

    We hosted a Klimt-inspired benefit for RAINN, and fundraisers to help send food, water, and basic necessities to Occupy Wall Street protesters.

    In August of 2011, it was our honor to host a signing for Peter S. Beagle and a screening of the Last Unicorn.

    Soft brown sandalwood, galbanum, and myrrh.

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  • aluminum phoenix

    2012: Aluminum Phoenix

    This is the year that we first presented our Labyrinth and Fraggle Rock lines! Visiting Henson Studios was one of the greatest thrills of my life. How often do you get to meet a Skeksi in person?

    In 2012, we made our first pilgrimage to DragonCon. While so many incredible memories stand out, the one that is most vivid is us watching in horror as a full-to-capacity elevator (including a Transformer in full-transform) at the Marriott took over two hours to descend 30 floors. It’s a fantastic convention, and we are thrilled to make it our Labor Day weekend home every year.

    A fraggle-shaggy bright scent with a sinister goblin shadow: red currant and King mandarin with a white musk fougere, sweet dried fruits, and smoky myrrh-infused oudh.

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  • steel phoenix

    2013: Steel Phoenix

    On November 22 – thanks to our brilliant, beautiful Web Goddess, Kaitlin – the Thirteenth Labor of Hercules was completed, and we were able to introduce our new web site design. Kaitlin, you are amazing and we love you.

    2013 ushered in our Dark Crystal Skeksi series, our Gatekeeper scent for Lone Shark’s Maze of Games, the Miskatonic Valley Philharmonic (with special thanks to Erich Zann, Principal Conductor and Music Director, and the illustrious Aylesbury Star Cult Temple Choir), Black Phoenix Trading Post’s sculpture for Neil Gaiman’s All Hallow’s Read, and the Festival, a Yuletide homage to Lovecraft.

    This year also brought BPAL and Haute Macabre together for our first collaboration. Samantha, you are an inspiration, and it is a joy working with you.

    Witching time in the hills of Arkham: patchouli and bourbon vanilla, crumbling autumn leaves, sweet black vetiver, and a thin, grey sliver of bonfire smoke.

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  • silk phoenix

    2014: Silk Phoenix

    In 2014, we had the great pleasure of collaborating with Jim Jarmusch on our line inspired by Only Lovers Left Alive. It is impossible to put into words what a great pleasure it was to translate this film and its soundtrack into scent. In the process of creating the series, I sat behind Henry Rollins at the press screening and, a few nights later, watched as he interviewed Tilda Swinton at the screening at LACMA.

    The first scents in our Kabuki line for David Mack were introduced, and this year gave birth to our Pretty Deadly series for wise, witty, radiant Kelly-Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios, and our first Clive Barker series, the Forbidden.

    Chic vampires, Old West death parables, Moroccan spices, and futuristic assassins: gleaming black leather and dusty brown leather, chthonic smoke, and cold, gleaming metal meandering through a labyrinthine souk.

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  • lace phoenix

    2015: Lace Phoenix

    In 2015, it was our overwhelming honor to interpret Legendary Pictures’ Crimson Peak through scent. The entire process was thrilling, from the first moment we saw concept sketches before production on the film even began, through the crafting of the scents, attending the screening, and finally seeing our Crimson Peak scents and jewelry go out into the world. It was an incredible project that I will never forget.

    After many long years of labor, the sideshow was back! Carnaval Diabolique returned to town with breathtaking artwork by Julie Dillon, and Black Phoenix made its first sojourn to 221B Baker Street.

    Inspired by the Supreme Court’s Sick Burn Champion and his blistering command of the English language, we created a fragrance set – the Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia – whose proceeds benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project, and the National Center for Transgender Equality. In the same year, we created Palmyra, a charity scent benefiting the UNHCR.

    This year, we joined forces with our beloved friend, Audra, at Loved to Death in San Francisco. 

    A cursed carnival camped in the foothills beneath a haunted estate: a curl of fortune teller’s incense and spun sugar drifting past a crumbling manor.

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  • ivory phoenix

    2016: Ivory Phoenix

    The great joy of 2016 was the creation of the first perfumes in our collaborative series with Blood Milk. Jess’s creativity, artistry, immense talent and beautiful soul is a true inspiration, and designing scents based on her jewelry – talismans that inspire me so deeply – was such a profound pleasure.

    2016 is a hard year to talk about, as that year also saw the onset of tremendous darkness in the United States – a brittle victory for hatred, intolerance, and cruelty. We launched our opening volley against it with Nasty Woman, a scent benefitting EMILY’s List and Planned Parenthood.

    A scent of stubborn hope, a light in the dark: golden frankincense and clove, a drop of fiery cinnamon, and white cognac.

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  • crystal phoenix

    2017: Crystal Phoenix

    Fifteen goddamn years. We’re impossible to kill, and we have kept on fighting the good fight with a panoply of scents benefiting environmental, constitutional rights, and reproductive rights causes, including Lordy, Alternative Facts, Fake News, Nevertheless She Persisted, Theoi Nomioi, and Take A Knee. We released several single notes benefiting those affected by 2017’s natural disasters, and introduced Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee and Irish Coffee Buttercream, which benefit the National Center for Transgender Equality.

    To celebrate the premiere of Starz’s American Gods TV series, we revamped and expanded Neil Gaiman’s American Gods perfume line with brand new scents, a range of nail lacquers, and brand new artwork by the inimitable Julie Dillon.

    In June of 2017, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Brian Constantine got hitched! The ceremony and reception were held at the Mountain View Mausoleum, and was the most beautiful wedding that I have ever seen. 

    The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. An earthy scent, with deep, deep roots, bringing stability and security in tumultuous times: 15-year aged patchouli, bourbon vanilla, oakmoss, Himalayan cedar, tobacco leaf, birch tar, tonka bean, and leather accord.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2017

  • YULE 2017 LABEL - angeronalia

    Angeronalia

    Angeronalia, also called Divalia, is a Roman festival that takes place at the Winter Solstice. This celebration honors the Goddess Angerona. The Lady of Silence and Secrets is also She Who Stands As the Protector of Rome, and she is represented with her mouth bound, or with her index finger held over her mouth, commanding silence. On this day, the Goddess was implored to grant her children strength and protection. And, as it was believed that Angerona and Voluptia, the Goddess of Joy and Pleasure, were one and the same, sacrifices were made at the temple to Voluptia in order to drive sorrow, regret, and pain from the hearts of the people. Strength, passion, and the cleansing fire of joy: olive blossom, white nectarine, vibrant blood orange, honey absolute, lemongrass, elemi, sensual patchouli, and the quiet purity of gardenia.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - blackcurrant sufganiyot

    Blackcurrant Sufganiyot

    5 out of 5

    Golden-brown and sugar-dusted, plump with sweet blackcurrant jelly.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - chocolate stout cupcake

    Chocolate Stout Cupcake

    Bittersweet chocolate cupcakes whisked with stout and topped with inky dark chocolate frosting.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - 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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - DIABLE EN BOÎTE

    Diable en Boîte

    The crickets sing, and man’s o’er-labour’d sense
    Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus
    Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken’d
    The chastity he wounded. Cytherea,
    How bravely thou becomest thy bed, fresh lily,
    And whiter than the sheets! That I might touch!
    But kiss; one kiss! Rubies unparagon’d,
    How dearly they do’t! ‘Tis her breathing that
    Perfumes the chamber thus: the flame o’ the taper
    Bows toward her, and would under-peep her lids,
    To see the enclosed lights, now canopied
    Under these windows, white and azure laced
    With blue of heaven’s own tinct. But my design,
    To note the chamber: I will write all down:
    Such and such pictures; there the window; such
    The adornment of her bed; the arras; figures,
    Why, such and such; and the contents o’ the story.
    Ah, but some natural notes about her body,
    Above ten thousand meaner moveables
    Would testify, to enrich mine inventory.
    O sleep, thou ape of death, lie dull upon her!
    And be her sense but as a monument,
    Thus in a chapel lying! Come off, come off:
    As slippery as the Gordian knot was hard!
    ‘Tis mine; and this will witness outwardly,
    As strongly as the conscience does within,
    To the madding of her lord. On her left breast
    A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops
    I’ the bottom of a cowslip: here’s a voucher,
    Stronger than ever law could make: this secret
    Will force him think I have pick’d the lock and ta’en
    The treasure of her honour. No more. To what end?
    Why should I write this down, that’s riveted,
    Screw’d to my memory? She hath been reading late
    The tale of Tereus; here the leaf’s turn’d down
    Where Philomel gave up. I have enough:
    To the trunk again, and shut the spring of it.
    Swift, swift, you dragons of the night, that dawning
    May bare the raven’s eye! I lodge in fear;
    Though this a heavenly angel, hell is here.
    One, two, three: time, time!

    – Iachimo, Cymbeline Act II, Scene 2

    There are few things more disturbing than a Jack in the Box. A strangely sinister, unnerving holiday scent: redwood, bitter clove, tonka, hemp accord, and tobacco with peach blossom, black currant, and red musk.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - egg nog

    Egg Nog

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

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - 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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - hanerot halalu

    Hanerot Halalu

    Hanerot halalu anachnu madlikin
    Al hanissim ve’al haniflaot
    Al hatshu-ot ve’al hamilchamot
    She-asita la’avoteynu
    Bayamim hahem, bazman hazeh
    Al yedey kohanecha hakdoshim.
    Vechol shmonat yemey Chanukah
    Hanerot halalu kodesh hem,
    Ve-ein lanu reshut lehishtamesh bahem
    Ela lirotam bilvad
    Kedai lehodot leshimcha
    Al nissecha veal nifleotecha ve-al yeshuotecha.

    We light these lights
    For the miracles and the wonders,
    For the redemption and the battles
    That you made for our forefathers
    In those days at this season,
    Through your holy priests.
    During all eight days of Chanukah
    These lights are sacred
    And we are not permitted to make
    Ordinary use of them,
    But only to look at them;
    In order to express thanks
    And praise to your great Name
    For your miracles, your wonders
    And your salvations.

    Olive oil, beeswax, and smoke.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - hearth

    Hearth

    5 out of 5

    Sweet pipe tobacco, cherry wood, the warm, worn leather of an easy chair and a pleasant, subtle waft of fireplace smoke.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - honey snowballs

    Honey Snowballs

    A splort of honey in a pile of snow.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - hypothermia

    Hypothermia

    Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,
    That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!
    How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
    Your loop’d and window’d raggedness, defend you
    From seasons such as these?

    Bone-chilling, heart-stopping cold.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - JOULUMUORI

    Joulumuori

    Old Lady Christmas, the sweet, smiling wife of Finland’s Joulupukki. Her scent invokes the comforts of Christmastime and the warmth of love and cheerful companionship: a glowing hearth, luumukiisseli, riisipuuro, and sima.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - krampus 2

    Krampus

    4 out of 5

    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 leather, dusty rags, and wooden switches.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - 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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - LARENTALIA

    Larentalia

    The festival of Roman goddess of death, Larenta, who was also known as Dea Tacita, the Silent Goddess. Spells to silence and bind slanderous enemies were cast on her holy days, as were spells of closure and suppression. During this time, offerings to the dead are left on thresholds, where spirits are said to dwell.

    A Roman funeral garden: cypress, thyme, oleander, crocus, gladiola, amaranth, and myrtle shrouded by herbs and flowers sacred to the Silent One.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - like brooms of steel

    Like Brooms of Steel

    Like brooms of steel
    The Snow and Wind
    Had swept the Winter Street,
    The House was hooked,
    The Sun sent out
    Faint Deputies of heat-
    The Apple in the cellar snug
    Where rode the Bird
    The Silence tied
    His ample, plodding Steed,
    Was all the one that played.

    – Emily Dickinson

    Sharp, metallic slices of snow and freezing wind with a faint hint of cellar dust, burlap, and apple.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - lines the cold earth slept below

    Lines: The Cold Earth Slept Below

    The cold earth slept below,
    Above the cold sky shone;
    And all around, with a chilling sound,
    From caves of ice and fields of snow,
    The breath of night like death did flow
    Beneath the sinking moon.

    The wintry hedge was black,
    The green grass was not seen,
    The birds did rest on the bare thorn’s breast,
    Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
    Had bound their folds o’er many a crack
    Which the frost had made between.

    Thine eyes glowed in the glare
    Of the moon’s dying light;
    As a fen-fire’s beam on a sluggish stream
    Gleams dimly, so the moon shone there,
    And it yellowed the strings of thy raven hair,
    That shook in the wind of night.

    The moon made thy lips pale, beloved—
    The wind made thy bosom chill—
    The night did shed on thy dear head
    Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
    Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
    Might visit thee at will.

    – Percy Bysshe Shelley

    The moon’s dying light: cypress boughs and yew, death-cold beams of white musk, white thyme, marbled orris, Spanish moos, grave soil, and a sprig of rosemary.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - midnight mass

    Midnight Mass

    I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord: That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts.

    But as for me, I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way: in the churches I will bless thee, O Lord.

    In Roman Catholic tradition, the Christmas season begins liturgically on Christmas Eve, though it is forbidden to celebrate the Christmas Mass before midnight. The most devout attend Midnight Mass, celebrating both the Eucharist and the drama of the Nativity.

    This perfume is a traditional Roman Catholic sacramental incense, most often used during a Solemn Mass. Traditionally, five tears of this incense, each encased individually in wax that has been fashioned into the shape of a nail, are inserted into the paschal candle. This is, of course, represents the Five Wounds of Our Risen Savior. Symbolically, the burning of the incense signifies spiritual fervor, the fragrance itself inspires virtue, and the rising smoke carries our prayers to God.

    Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

    Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis.

    Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - NES GADOL HAYA SHAM

    Nes Gadol Haya Sham

    5 out of 5

    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. Naš, 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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - NOCHE BUENA

    Noche Buena

    A celebration of the Nativity: the light, uplifting incense of the Misa de Noche Buena, purple sage, and a vibrant bouquet of plumeria, chrysanthemum, tuberose, Angel’s Trumpet, Mexican tiger lily, dahlia, and azucenas.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - november

    November

    Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
    One mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
    Ere, o’er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran,
    Or snows are sifted o’er the meadows bare.
    One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
    And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
    And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
    Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
    Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
    Shall murmur by the hedge that skim the way,
    The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
    And man delight to linger in thy ray.
    Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
    The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.

    Autumn leaves damp beneath the first snowfall.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - ON SEEING A TUFT OF SNOWDROPS IN A STORM

    On Seeing a Tuft of Snowdrops in a Storm

    When haughty expectations prostrate lie,
    And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
    Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
    Mature release, in fair society
    Survive, and Fortune’s utmost anger try;
    Like these frail snow-drops that together cling,
    And nod their helmets smitten by the wing
    Of many a furious whirlblast sweeping by.
    Observe the faithful flowers! if small to great
    May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to stand
    The Emathian phalanx, nobly obstinate;
    And so the bright immortal Theban band,
    Whom onset, fiercely urged at Jove’s command,
    Might overwhelm, but could not separate!

    – William Wordsworth

    Observe the faithful flowers: snowdrop and sweet pea, wintersweet, winter-flowering honeysuckle, and deep purple honeywort.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - peacock queen

    Peacock Queen

    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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - peppermint cream cupcake

    Peppermint Cream Cupcake

    Sweet red velvet cupcakes with thick peppermint cream frosting.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - perchta

    Perchta

    Perchta, the Shining One, is the Lady of the Beasts, an incarnation of the goddess Holda. She, too, leads the Wild Hunt, and is the protectress of wild animals, appearing to mortals as either a white-clad, white-skinned, white-haired beauty, or as a brutish, bestial hag. She is called Berhte Mit Dem Fuoze; one of her feet is shaped like a beast’s, which gives away her superhuman nature no matter how she is disguised. She is also called Perchta the Belly-Slitter, for, at Yuletide, she castigates the wicked, slovenly, and idle, and rewards those that are generous, good-natured, and kind. The Belly-Slitter enforced community taboos, punishing those that spun during holy days and those who failed to partake in sacred feasts, thus jeopardizing the next year’s harvest. Her punishments can be a bit over-the-top, though: they include disemboweling the transgressor and filling the empty cavity with refuse.

    Her scent is a blend of wild musk, snow, and alpine flora: Nigritella lithopolitanica, aconite, crocus, touch-me-not, edelweiss, Iris variegate, and violet.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - pink snowballs

    Pink Snowballs

    A lighthearted winter scent: chilly vanilla rose snowballs! Dainty, soft, and certainly unfit for flinging!

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - rose red

    Rose Red

    The perfected winter rose, dew covered and freshly cut.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - 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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - sol invictus

    Sol Invictus

    Sane, sol et in cloacam radios suos defert nec inquinatur.

    A radiant blend of solar oils: golden amber, saffron, heliotrope, hibiscus, citron, frangipani, frankincense, tangerine, mock orange, and orange blossom.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the cracked bell

    The Cracked Bell

    How bittersweet it is, on winter’s night,
    To listen, by the sputtering, smoking fire,
    As distant memories, through the fog-dimmed light,
    Rise, to the muffled chime of churchbell choir.

    Lucky the bell — still full and deep of throat,
    Clear-voiced despite its years, strong, eloquent —
    That rings, with faithful tongue, its pious note
    Like an old soldier, wakeful, in his tent!

    My soul lies cracked; and when, in its despair,
    Pealing, it tries to fill the cold night air
    With its lament, it often sounds, instead,

    Like some poor wounded wretch — long left for dead
    Beneath a pile of corpses, lying massed
    By bloody pool — rattling, gasping his last.

    A winter’s horror: smoke and stillness, faded incense and the metallic tang of blood.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the fruit of paradise

    The Fruit of Paradise

    While Persephone visited the realm of Hades, she tasted one single pomegranate seed, an act which compelled her to remain connected to the Land of the Dead for all eternity. Demeter’s grief over her beloved daughter’s absence that brings on the bleakness and barrenness of the winter months.

    The Fruit of Paradise, the Nectar of Death: bittersweet pomegranate.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the governing darks begun

    The Governing Dark’s Begun

    It freezes – all across a soundless sky
    The birds go home. The governing dark’s begun:
    The steadfast dark that waits not for a sun;
    The ultimate dark wherein the race shall die.

    Death, with his evil finger to his lip,
    Leers in at human windows, turning spy
    To learn the country where his rule shall lie
    When he assumes perpetual generalship.

    The undefeated enemy, the chill
    That shall benumb the voiceful earth at last,
    Is master of our moment, and has bound
    The viewless wind it-self. There is no sound.
    It freezes. Every friendly stream is fast.
    It freezes; and the graven twigs are still.

    – Hilaire Belloc

    The steadfast dark that waits not for a sun: opoponax and myrrh, gum Arabic and frankincense, blackened juniper and bitter agarwood.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the head of holofernes

    The Head of Holofernes

    And when it was grown late, his servants made haste to their lodgings, and Vagao shut the chamber doors, and went his way.

    And they were all overcharged with wine.

    And Judith was alone in the chamber.

    But Holofernes lay on his bed, fast asleep, being exceedingly drunk.

    And Judith spoke to her maid to stand without before the chamber, and to watch:

    And Judith stood before the bed praying with tears, and the motion of her lips in silence,

    Saying: Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, and in this hour look on the works of my hands, that as thou hast promised, thou mayst raise up Jerusalem thy city: and that I may bring to pass that which I have purposed, having a belief that it might be done by thee.

    And when she had said this, she went to the pillar that was at his bed’s head, and loosed his sword that hung tied upon it.

    And when she had drawn it out, she took him by the hair of his head, and said: Strengthen me, O Lord God, at this hour.

    And she struck twice upon his neck, and out off his head, and took off his canopy from the pillars, and rolled away his headless body.

    And after a while she went out, and delivered the head of Holofernes to her maid, and bade her put it into her wallet.

    And they two went out according to their custom, as it were to prayer, and they passed the camp, and having compassed the valley, they came to the gate of the city.

    And Judith from afar off cried to the watchmen upon the walls: Open the gates for God is with us, who hath shewn his power in Israel.

    And it came to pass, when the men had heard her voice, that they called the ancients of the city.

    And all ran to meet her from the least to the greatest: for they now had no hopes that she would come.

    And lighting up lights they all gathered round about her: and she went up to a higher place, and commanded silence to be made. And when all had held their peace,

    Judith said: Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in him.

    And by me his handmaid he hath fulfilled his mercy, which he promised to the house of Israel: and he hath killed the enemy of his people by my hand this night.

    Then she brought forth the head of Holofernes out of the wallet, and shewed it them, saying:

    Behold the head of Holofernes the general of the army of the Assyrians, and behold his canopy, wherein he lay in his drunkenness, where the Lord our God slew him by the hand of a woman.

    Dried blood, boiled wine, leather, galbanum, onycha, tonka bean, and pomegranate.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the magi

    The Magi

    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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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the magi - BALTHASAR OF ARABIA

    The Magi: Balthasar of Arabia

    Copaiba balsam, black oudh, Ceylon cinnamon, vegetal musk, and ambrette seed.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the magi - GASPAR OF INDIA

    The Magi: Gaspar of India

    Laotian oudh, labdanum, bourbon vanilla, red benzoin, and myrrh.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the magi - MELCHIOR OF PERSIA

    The Magi: Melchior of Persia

    Sweet oudh, Bulgarian rose, chamomile, and frankincense.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - the wood pile

    The Wood-Pile

    Out walking in the frozen swamp one grey day
    I paused and said, “I will turn back from here.
    No, I will go on farther—and we shall see.”
    The hard snow held me, save where now and then
    One foot went down. The view was all in lines
    Straight up and down of tall slim trees
    Too much alike to mark or name a place by
    So as to say for certain I was here
    Or somewhere else: I was just far from home.
    A small bird flew before me. He was careful
    To put a tree between us when he lighted,
    And say no word to tell me who he was
    Who was so foolish as to think what he thought.
    He thought that I was after him for a feather—
    The white one in his tail; like one who takes
    Everything said as personal to himself.
    One flight out sideways would have undeceived him.
    And then there was a pile of wood for which
    I forgot him and let his little fear
    Carry him off the way I might have gone,
    Without so much as wishing him good-night.
    He went behind it to make his last stand.
    It was a cord of maple, cut and split
    And piled—and measured, four by four by eight.
    And not another like it could I see.
    No runner tracks in this year’s snow looped near it.
    And it was older sure than this year’s cutting,
    Or even last year’s or the year’s before.
    The wood was grey and the bark warping off it
    And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis
    Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle.
    What held it though on one side was a tree
    Still growing, and on one a stake and prop,
    These latter about to fall. I thought that only
    Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks
    Could so forget his handiwork on which
    He spent himself, the labour of his axe,
    And leave it there far from a useful fireplace
    To warm the frozen swamp as best it could
    With the slow smokeless burning of decay.

    – Robert Frost

    Bald cypress and Spanish moss, spatterdock and sundew.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - THERE’S A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT

    There’s a Certain Slant of Light

    There’s a certain Slant of light,
    Winter Afternoons –
    That oppresses, like the Heft
    Of Cathedral Tunes –

    Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
    We can find no scar,
    But internal difference,
    Where the Meanings, are –

    None may teach it – Any –
    ‘Tis the Seal Despair –
    An imperial affliction
    Sent us of the Air –

    When it comes, the Landscape listens –
    Shadows – hold their breath –
    When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
    On the look of Death –

    Thin, tinny ozone with frankincense, white sandalwood, white amber, hyssop, bitter violet leaf, and shadowy wisps of smoke.

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  • YULE 2017 LABEL - wynter wakeneth al my care

    Wynter Wakeneth Al My Care

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

    Nou hit is, and nou hit nys,
    Also 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 al by dene:
    Jesu, help that hit be sene
    Ant shild us from helle!
    For y not whider y shal, ne hou longe her duelle.

    May we be saved – and save ourselves – from these hard, cruel times, and may we find strength together, for we know not where we go, nor how long we will dwell here. A warming, uplifting, strengthening scent: patchouli and sweet amber with champaca, bourbon vanilla, and frankincense.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2017 - 12 Days of Christmas

  • 12 days BPAL web - golden rings

    Five Golden Rings

    Four Calling Birds
    Three French Hens
    Two Turtle Doves and a
    Partridge in a Pear Tree

    Luminous golden amber, lemon peel, and royal agarwood, tonka bean and bone-white orris, and a splash of blood.

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  • 12 days BPAL web - calling birds

    Four Calling Birds

    Three French Hens
    Two Turtle Doves and a
    Partridge in a Pear Tree

    Screeching pink peppercorn, a squawk of rose geranium, black patchouli, bois de rose, and prune.

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  • 12 days BPAL web - partridge in a pear tree

    Partridge in a Pear Tree

    Eight legs of wild plum and scrabbling black musk fluttering over a sac of lemon sugar eggs.

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  • 12 days BPAL web - geese a laying

    Six Geese-a-Laying

    Five Golden Rings
    Four Calling Birds
    Three French Hens
    Two Turtle Doves and a
    Partridge in a Pear Tree

    A ploop of tentacle-green mint, wet juniper, gum mastic, puckered bergamot, cardamom pod, thyme, and vetiver.

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  • 12 days BPAL web - french hens

    Three French Hens

    Two Turtle Doves and a
    Partridge in a Pear Tree

    Fear not: the hens triumph in the end. Feathery bourbon vanilla, Siamese red benzoin, petitgrain, vengeful red currant, and a drop of vetiver.

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  • 12 days BPAL web - turtle doves

    Two Turtle Doves

    and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

    Pulsating globs of red musk, viscera-thick black vegetal musk and opoponax, with white pepper, tuberose, white lavender, orris butter, and ambergris accord.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2017 - Yule 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.

  • yule phobias WEB ALLODOXAPHOBIA

    Allodoxaphobia

    Fear of Opinions

    The discordant clang of silverware punctuates another heated rant, and Uncle Elliot whips out his phone to underscore his point with a Facebook meme he saw earlier in the day.

    Flecks of cranberry sauce spatter the table as a fist pounds in anger: a boisterous, conflicted, bombastic lather of red pepper, boiled cranberries, and bergamot.

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  • yule phobias WEB AMAXOPHOBIA

    Amaxophobia

    Fear of Riding in Cars

    Encased in a roaring tomb of vinyl siding, strangled by nylon bindings, arms bruised and battered by writhing bodies punching and pummeling—punctuated by wild cries of SLUG BUG and CALL BOX—and endless discordant choruses of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.

    Motor oil, a burst of exhaust, a faded tree-shaped air freshener, and crushed gas station chocolates.

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  • yule phobias WEB CHEROPHOBIA

    Cherophobia

    Fear of Gaiety  

    Clacking white teeth bared in repugnant, feral upturned leers.

    Laughter, hideous laughter: bubbling white ginger gurgling through hot red carnations, shreds of orange peel, and cloying globs of honey.

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  • yule phobias WEB KRIKOPHOBIA

    Krikophobia

    Fear of Religious Services

    Sour wine drying on an ancient ciborium, crumbling pages of a yellowed sacramentary, blinding glints of bitter white sunlight shattering off a tarnished monstrance, and doleful voices droning through a haze of oppressive, smothering incense.

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  • yule phobias WEB SYNGENESOPHOBIA

    Syngenesophobia

    Fear of Relatives and Relations

    God damn it, Uncle Steve. Nobody cares what Hannity has to say about anything.

    Buckets of red wine, a splash of aftershave, and copious amounts of blossoming gin.

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  • yule phobias WEB VISCACAEAPHOBIA

    Viscacaephobia

    Fear of Kissing Under the Mistletoe

    Pale, sickly flaps of vegetation looming over gaping archways, flaccid lips wet with hunger: cucumber and spearmint curling against the edges of dry, crumbling mistletoe.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2017 - The Snowdrift

The chill silence of winter has descended on the Lab, draping icicles have coalesce on the edges of our laboratory tables, and white, blinding white, snow drifts over all.

Limited Edition - Yule 2017 - Winter’s Grand Constellations


I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.

But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.

From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.

Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.

  • auriga

    Auriga

    In the center of the chariot shines Capella’s yellow-white brilliance.

    A deep chthonic, earthy scent, with a glowing core: oakmoss, vetiver root, and patchouli with lemon rind and golden amber.

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  • canis major

    Canis Major

    5 out of 5

    Embracing the brightest fire burning in the canopy of night, Canis Major hunts Lepis eternally as he dances with galactic clusters of his sister stars.

    Star-speckled brown fur and hay.

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  • CASSIOPEIA

    Cassiopeia

    Unbound from her prison-throne, mirror aloft; within her cloak dance the stories of Bathsheba, Deborah, and Mary Magdalene.

    Plum velvet, red wine, and sweet, dark oudh.

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  • orion

    Orion

    Orion, the Hunter, is the Lord of the Winter Skies. At his left shoulder sits orange-hot Betelgeuse, and in the heart of his sword, he holds a nebula that swirls with the birth of new stars.

    Weathered brown leather, wild fig, Macedonian cedar, fire-red tobacco, pepper, white musk, and cardamom.

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  • winter constellations WEB - perseus

    Perseus

    Sword aloft, eternally resting beside Andromeda, Algol flickering in the gorgon’s head.

    Greek sage and iris, leather, and ambergris, with a dark gleam of patchouli-soaked blackcurrant.

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Limited Edition - Yule 2017 - An Evening with the Spirits

I felt my hair blown and lifted by currents of air, and cool breezes played about my face and hands. Then began a strange sensation, which I had sometimes felt at seances. Frequently I have heard it described by others as of cobwebs being passed over the face, but to me, who watched it curiously, it seemed that I could feel fine threads being drawn out of the pores of my skin.

I experienced none of the fear of the previous evening. At first I had a strange eerie feeling somewhat akin to it, but that passed off, and I became perfectly calm and indisposed to move, or to answer any of the many questions addressed to me by my friends outside. At the same time I took a great interest in analysing my own sensations and wondered as to what would come of the experiment, for that something was about to happen I was certain.

  • evening with the spirits WEB - a hailstorm of knitting needles

    A Hailstorm of Knitting-Needles

    “At a late period in the evening, after nearly three hours of experiment, Mrs Hayden having risen, and talking at another table while taking refreshment, a child suddenly called out, ‘Will all the spirits who have been here this evening rap together?’ The words were no sooner uttered than a hailstorm of knitting-needles was heard, crowded into certainly less than two seconds; the big needle sounds of the men, and the little ones of the women and children, being clearly distinguishable, but perfectly disorderly in their arrival.”

    – Augustus de Morgan

    Polished mahogany and black tea with a clatter of vanilla husk and oak wood.

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  • A Measurement of the Soul

    A Measurement of the Soul

    If then, man, in every act, leaves the impression, or daguerreotype of his mental being upon the scenes of his life and the subjects of his action, we are by this law furnished with a new clue to the history of our race; and I think it highly probable, that, by the application of this principle, the chasms of history may be supplied, and a glimpse may be obtained of unrecorded ages and nations, whose early history is lost in darkness. The ancient manuscripts, paintings, and other works of art, which still exist – the crucifixes, garments, armor, and other ancient relics, still preserved – are doubtless still instinct with the spirit that produced them, and capable of revealing to psychometric exploration, the living realities with which they were once connected. At present, these relics are barren of significance. Their hidden meaning lies waiting the future explorer, as the hieroglyphics of Egypt awaited the arrival of Champillion to interpret their significance. And why should not the world be filled with the monuments and unwritten records of its past history? It would seem, to the superficial thinker, that man was entirely limited to tradition and written records for his knowledge of the past; but physical science proves, that the world possesses, embodied in enduring monuments, the story of its progressive existence. The geologist finds, in the different strata of the earth, in its curiously mingled and irregular structure, and in the fossil remains which it conceals in its bosom, the history of its various changes of surface, and of the antediluvian races of animals which have long been extinct. The huge Saurian monsters, which he portrays from their fossil relics, rise before the eye as incredible chimeras. And over this fertile region, now occupied by prosperous States, he revives, by the magic power of science, the antediluvian seas and their strange inhabitants, unknown to man.

    The Past is entombed in the Present! The world is its own enduring monument; and that which is true of its physical, is likewise true of its mental career. The discoveries of Psychometry will enable us to explore the history of man, as those of geology enable us to explore the history of the earth. There are mental fossils for psychologists as well as mineral fossils for the geologists; and I believe that hereafter the psychologist and the geologist will go hand in hand — the one portraying the earth, its animals and its vegetation, while the other portrays the human beings who have roamed over its surface in the shadows, and the darkness of primeval barbarism! Aye, the mental telescope is now discovered which may pierce the depths of the past and bring us in full view of the grand and tragic passages of ancient history! I know that, to many of my readers, unaccustomed to these investigations, and unacquainted with the first experimental facts of this great science, these anticipations must seem a visionary hope – too grand, too romantic, too transcendently beautiful to be true. But observe, that all is based upon familiar experiments, and these results are but legitimate deductions from familiar facts. As surely as the expansive power of steam gives premonition of the ocean steamship, does the power of Psychometry give promise of all the glorious performance to which I have alluded.

    —Buchanan, 1842

    A tactile scent, groaning under the weight of aeons: wild fig, cedarwood, venerable ti leaf, and white sage.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - a spirit katie

    A Spirit, Katie

    On my arrival (June 5) all appeared fair enough. I found the mediums established on the second floor of a small house in Ninth Street near Arch. There were but two rooms on the floor, a front parlor and a bedroom; the lower floor under both rooms being occupied as a shop for the sale of musical instruments. In a back corner of the parlor was a walnut cabinet, seven feet wide and eight feet high, with a door that opened into the parlor, and two apertures, five and six feet high respectively, both curtained with black cloth. We had lamp-light, shaded but sufficient to enable us to recognize faces and to see everything that passed in the room. After we had examined the cabinet, the medium entered it, closing the door.

    Soon at one of the apertures appeared a fair, thoughtful young face, a girl of eighteen apparently, by whom I was cordially welcomed in a low, pleasant voice. She returned and spoke to us several times. At the close of the sitting she twice appeared, robed in white, just within the cabinet door; not coming out, however, into the room: the first time (so I was told) that she had ever shown herself in full form.

    It was evidently a living, moving, thinking being. Yet I suspended judgment. One of the mediums was out of our sight. Then there was a door — locked, padlocked, and otherwise effectually secured, it seemed, but yet a door — from the cabinet into the bedroom adjoining. The possibility of a confederate suggested itself.

    Forty memorable sittings followed. Gradually test conditions were perfected, and every imaginable ground for suspecting deception was removed; and then, instead of failure, all the phenomena came out in greater perfection than before. I select the more remarkable; to copy my notes in full would involve tedious repetition.

    June 7. Katie allowed Dr. Child to feel her pulse; its beats were distinct, about seventy-two a minute. A lady offered her a gold ring, and asked me to put it on her finger. I did so. The hand, beautifully formed, was like that of a mortal woman, nearly of the same temperature as my own, and slightly moist. At the close of the sitting she advanced into the room, dropped a finger on my head, and touched several other persons.

    June 9. I gave her a long chain, composed of Violet’s hair, a present to myself more than forty-five years ago: hoping, as I told Katie, thereby to attract Violet herself in accordance with her promise. I observed that Katie wore the gold ring. But when, at the close of the sitting, examined with a light every nook and corner in the cabinet, neither ring nor chain was to be found.

    June 10. Katie called me up to the aperture, handed me back the hair chain, and said: “Violet wishes you to keep this, in memory of her, until you are called to meet her in her spirit-home.”

    – Touching Visitants From a Higher Life, Robert Dale Owen

    In memory of her: green cognac, rose water, and Italian bergamot.

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  • Claircognizance

    Claircognizance

    Dr. E. S. Packard, of Corunna, Me., in the Eastern Star, states that Mr. David Prescott, of South Sangerville, over ninety years of age, “wandered away into the woods, and not returning, a crowd of over a hundred men hunted for him nearly two days; the mill pond near his house was drained. Search was made in every direction but to no success.

     “A gentleman of that place decided to call in the aid of Mrs. Stevens; she told him somebody was lost, and not being able to visit the place she drew a map or chart of the locality, giving directions, by which, on his return he was immediately found alive, but died the next day. The day following I was at South Sangerville, and stopping at this gentleman’s house, examined the map, which was perfect in every respect. The house and shed were correctly drawn, the mill and pond near the house were marked, the field and woods, two fences over which Mr. Prescott must climb, even to the swinging of the road by the house was definitely given.

    “The spot where she said he was, was shown by a large black mark, and he was found exactly in that place. When we consider that Mrs. Stevens never saw this place in her normal condition, it is to me a wonderful test of spirit power.”

    Absolute and perfect clarity: rockrose, white amber, Corsican immortelle, Siamese benzoin, white sandalwood, and life everlasting.

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  • Ectoplasm

    Ectoplasm

    In examining and reporting these cases the witnesses averred that certain people, whom they called “materializing mediums,” had the strange physical gift that they could put forth from their bodies a viscous, gelatinous substance which appeared to differ from every known form of matter in that it could solidify and be used for material purposes, and yet could be reabsorbed, leaving absolutely no trace even upon the clothes which it had traversed in leaving the body.

    This substance was actually touched by some enterprising investigators, who reported that it was elastic and appeared to be sensitive, as though it was really an organic extrusion from the medium's body.

    —Arthur Conan Doyle, 1930

    A luminous, viscid blend of white amber, lemongrass, white oakmoss, and davana.

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  • Eusapia

    Eusapia

    “The case I allude to is that of an invalid woman who belongs to the humblest class of society. She is nearly thirty years old and very ignorant; her look is neither fascinating nor endowed with the power which modern criminologists call irresistible; but when she wishes, be it by day or by night, she can divert a curious group for an hour or so with the most surprising phenomena. Either bound to a seat or firmly held by the hands of the curious, she attracts to her the articles of furniture which surround her, lifts them up, holds them suspended in the air like Mahomet’s coffin, and makes them come down again with undulatory movements, as if they were obeying her will. She increases their weight or lessens it according to her pleasure. She raps or taps upon the walls, the ceiling, the floor, with fine rhythm and cadence. In response to the requests of the spectators, something like flashes of electricity shoot forth from her body, and envelop her or enwrap the spectators of these marvellous scenes. She draws upon cards that you hold out, everything that you want – figures, signatures, numbers, sentences – by just stretching out her hand toward the indicated place.

    “If you place in the corner of the room a vessel containing a layer of soft clay, you find after some moments the imprint in it of a small or a large hand, the image of a face (front view or profile) from which a plaster cast can be taken. In this way portraits of a face taken at different angles have been preserved, and those who desire so to do can thus make serious and important studies.

    “This woman rises in the air, no matter what bands tie her down. She seems to lie upon the empty air, as on a couch, contrary to all the laws of gravity; she plays on musical instruments – organs, bells, tambourines – as if they had been touched by her hands or moved by the breath of invisible gnomes… This woman at times can increase her stature by more than four inches.

    —Chiaia, in a letter to Lombroso

    Pale lilacs, white tea, and candle wax.

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  • Gossips of Ghost Land

    Gossips of Ghost Land

    They are imps of the kitchen, or drawing-room at most; and, if any spirit answers to their sphere, it must be those of unclaimed and disaffected ghosts, who, having no substance within themselves, out of which to compound a spiritual body, wander about church-yards, or haunt the localities where they enacted old crimes, or lived frivolous and disjointed lives. … It may be that the spirits called the Rappers… belong to this class. They are in, what Dante would call Limbo, driven to and fro, perturbed and lonely. These eagerly question the finer spirits, who pass through their realm on their way to higher spheres, of all the gossip that used to interest them on earth. But, inasmuch as the companionship of these people was in no way desirable while they lived in this world, they become less so when separated from the body. They are the gossips of ghost land, poor, frivolous, flimsy wretches, who receive the shred of thought here, and the shadows only of through in the spirit world, for all thought has a body and a substance as it were to itself, so that we say a thought may be grasped in anticipation of the fact hereafter; hence, thought finding no lodgment in these thin poor spirits, floats right through them. They have a restless desire for tangibility, and are perpetually trying to command material objects in a way to make themselves known.

    —d’Espérance, 1897

    Idle poltergeists and truant phantoms loitering in darkened corners and shadowed hallways: black cedar, patchouli, and tea leaf spiked with a tittering cackle of pink peppercorn, mate, and lime rind.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - lajos

    Lajos

    A tribute to Lajos Pap, a spiritualist medium whose specialty was apporting snakes, lizards, rats, and frogs – live and dead – during séance.

    A pattering of night-creatures: indigo musk and patchouli croaking with oakmoss and a skittering of gleaming black olibanum.

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  • Luminous Phasmatis

    Luminous Phasmatis

    A peculiar manifestation of light produced by physical mediums during ectoplasmic séances: otherworldly snaps of ozone glowing with unearthly light.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - odic force

    Odic Force

    The desire to inflict a mortal wound on the monster, Superstition, which, from a similar origin, a few centuries ago, inflicted on European society so vast an amount of misery, and by whose influence not hundreds, but thousands, of innocent persons died in tortures, on the rack and at the stake; — the desire made me wish to make the experiment, if possible, of bringing a highly sensitive person, by night, to a churchyard. I thought it possible that they might see, over graves where mouldering bodies lay, something like that which Billing had seen.
    Eucalyptus blossom, lime rind, and white mint coalescing into a green-tinged amber glow.

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  • Practical Occultism

    Practical Occultism

    Practical Occultism consists, first, of a perfect mastery of the individual’s own spirit. No advance whatever can be made in acquiring power over other spirits, such as controlling the lower or  supplicating the higher, until the spirit within has acquired such perfect mastery of itself, that it can never be moved to anger or emotion—realizes no pleasure, cares for no pain; experiences no mortification at insult, loss, or disappointment—in a word, subdues every emotion that stirs common men’s minds.

    To arrive at this state, severe and painful as well as long continued discipline is necessary. Having acquired this perfect equilibrium, the next step is power. The individual must be able to wake when he pleases and sleep when he pleases; go in spirit during bodily sleep where he will, and visit—as well as remember when awake—distant scenes.

    He must be enabled by practice, to telegraph, mentally, with his fellow associates, and present himself, spiritually, in their midst.

    He must, by practice, acquire psychological control over the minds of any persons—not his associates—beneath his own calibre of mind. He must be able to still a crying infant, subdue fierce animals or angry men, and by will, transfer his thought without speech or outward sign to any person of a mental calibre below himself; he must be enabled to summon to his presence elementary spirits, and if he desires to do so (knowing the penalties attached), to make them serve him in the special departments of Nature to which they belong.

    He must, by virtue of complete subjugation of his earthly nature, be able to invoke Planetary and even Solar Spirits, and commune with them to a certain degree.

    To attain these degrees of power the processes are so difficult that a thorough practical occultist can scarcely become one and yet continue his relations with his fellow-men.

    He must continue, from the first to the last degree, a long series of exercises, each one of which must be perfected before another is undertaken.

    A practical occultist may be of either sex, but must observe as the first law inviolable chastity—and that with a view of conserving all the virile powers of the organism. No aged person, especially one who has not lived the life of strict chastity, can acquire the full sum of the powers above named. It is better to commence practice in early youth, for after the meridian of life, when the processes of waste prevail over repair, few of the powers above described can be attained; the full sum never.

    Strict abstinence from animal food and all stimulants is necessary. Frequent ablutions and long periods of silent contemplation are essential. Codes of exercises for the attainment of these powers can be prescribed, but few, if any, of the self-indulgent livers of modern times can perform their routine.

    The arts necessary for study to the practical occultist are, in addition to those prescribed in speculative occultism, a knowledge of the qualities of drugs, vapors, minerals, electricity, perfumes, fumigations, and all kinds of anæsthetics.

    And now, having given in brief as much as is consistent with my position—as the former associate of a secret society—I have simply  to add, that, whilst there are, as in Masonry, certain preliminary degrees to pass through, there are numerous others to which a thoroughly well organized and faithful association might advance. In each degree there are some valuable elements of practical occultism demanded, whilst the teachings conveyed are essential preliminaries. In a word, speculative occultism must precede practical occultism; the former is love and wisdom, the latter, simply power.

    A Victorian occultist’s incense, invoking the Four Archangels: precious wildcrafted Indian frankincense with myrrh, cassia, sandarac, palmarosa, white sage, red sandalwood, elemi, and drops of star anise bound with grains of kyphi.

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  • Psychodynamic Discharge

    Psychodynamic Discharge

    5 out of 5

    In certain cases, emotionally charged complexes of representation, which have become autonomous and dissociated, seem to automatically and compulsively press for discharge and realisation through haunting phenomena…. Hence, the so-called haunting occurs in place of a neurosis.

    —Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

    Repressed rage, terror, and subjugated sexuality erupting through fierce bursts of uncontrollable psychic phenomena: black leather and red musk with aged black patchouli, Chinese rose, black pepper, coconut meat, Haitian vetiver, and igneous red ginger.

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  • Spirit Board

    Spirit Board

    CRAZED THROUGH “OUIJA”
    Neglected by Her Lover She Seeks Comfort of a Fortune-Telling Device

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Nov. 20.— Mrs. Eugenia Carpenter, a young woman living at 221 Myrtle, av., has been receiving attention from a young man who very recently ceased to call upon her.

    Mrs. Carpenter bought a fortune-telling board called “ouija,” and from it received the prediction that her suitor would not return to her.

    Last night she was found wandering almost nude in the streets.

    Her reason was gone and at intervals she cried out “Ouija said so and I knew it was true.”

    November 21st 1891
    Boston Daily Globe

    Redwood and bois de rose with white lilac, dried pink roses, and black tea.

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  • Table-Turning

    Table-Turning

    5 out of 5

    In the month of December, another fair American medium arrived in England. This lady and her husband, Dr. Roberts, attended a course of lectures I was then delivering in Providence Chapel, upon Mesmerism and Animal Magnetism. They introduced themselves to me, and invited me to visit them. I did so, many times; and to them do I owe much; for, through the information I received from them, I have been enabled to inquire more fully into this soul-stirring, and very important subject, after several Seances at Mrs. Roberts's in Dyer's Buildings, Holborn [MD: original], where I witnessed the moving of the table in various directions. This is what is called “Table-turning,” and which has been attributed to Electricity or Animal Magnetism, by many intelligent and scientific persons… I have seen a loo-table suspended in the air, at least six inches from the ground, without anyone in the body touching it.

    —Hardinge, 1854

    A heavy, tactile scent that thrums with voices from beyond: black polished teakwood, gullies of ectoplasm, and ghostly white musk.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - the air and the ether

    The Air and the Ether

    But on what could an impression be left? An impression of such a nature becomes a material thing and implies a material nexus, however subtle. So far as we know there are only two things there, the air and the ether. The air is a mobile thing and could not carry a permanent impression. But is the ether a mobile thing? It is pictured as a most delicate medium with vibrating currents flowing in it, but it seems to me that a most tenuous jelly with quivers and thrills would be a closer analogy. We could conceive the whole material universe embedded in and interpenetrated by this subtle material, which would not necessarily change its position since it is too fine for wind or any coarser material to influence it. I feel that I am rushing in where even Lodges fear to tread, but if it should prove to be as I suggest then we should have that permanent screen on which shadows are thrown. The block of ether upon the stairs is the same that it always was, and so conveys the impression from the past.

    the Edge of the Unknown, Arthur Conan Doyle

    Gentle, almost imperceptible, permeating all things: pale amber vibrating with ambergris and a thread of lavender.

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  • The Fox Sisters

    The Fox Sisters

    For the sake of continuity the subsequent history of the Fox sisters will now be given after the events at Hydesville. It is a remarkable, and to Spiritualists a painful, story, but it bears its own lesson and should be faithfully recorded. When men have an honest and whole-hearted aspiration for truth there is no development which can ever leave them abashed or find no place in their scheme.

    For some years the two younger sisters, Kate and Margaret, gave séances at New York and other places, successfully meeting every test which was applied to them. Horace Greeley, afterwards a candidate for the United States presidency, was, as already shown, deeply interested in them and convinced of their entire honesty. He is said to have furnished the funds by which the younger girl completed her very imperfect education.

    During these years of public mediumship, when the girls were all the rage among those who had no conception of the religious significance of this new revelation, and who concerned themselves with it purely in the hope of worldly advantage, the sisters exposed themselves to the enervating influences of promiscuous séances in a way which no earnest Spiritualist could justify. The dangers of such practices were not then so clearly realized as now, nor had it occurred to people that it is unlikely that high spirits would descend to earth in order to advise as to the state of railway stocks or the issue of love affairs. The ignorance was universal, and there was no wise mentor at the elbow of these poor pioneers to point the higher and the safer path. Worst of all, their jaded energies were renewed by the offer of wine at a time when one at least of them was hardly more than a child. It is said that there was some family predisposition towards alcoholism, but even without such a taint their whole procedure and mode of life were rash to the last degree. Against their moral character there has never been a breath of suspicion, but they had taken a road which leads to degeneration of mind and character, though it was many years before the more serious effects were manifest.

    Some idea of the pressure upon the Fox girls at this time may be gathered from Mrs. Hardinge Britten's* description from her own observation. She talks of “pausing on the first floor to hear poor patient Kate Fox, in the midst of a captious, grumbling crowd of investigators, repeating hour after hour the letters of the alphabet, while the no less poor, patient spirits rapped out names, ages and dates to suit all comers.” Can one wonder that the girls, with vitality sapped, the beautiful, watchful influence of the mother removed, and harassed by enemies, succumbed to a gradually increasing temptation in the direction of stimulants?

    —Arthur Conan Doyle

    Deception and despair: rose geranium and tea roses with mahogany wood, bourbon vanilla, and apple peel.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - the naturally possible and impossible

    The Naturally Possible and Impossible

    This has occurred in my presence on four occasions in darkness. The test conditions under which they took place were quite satisfactory, so far as the judgment was concerned; but ocular demonstration of such a fact is so necessary to disturb our pre-formed opinions as to “the naturally possible and impossible,” that I will here only mention cases in which the deductions of reason were confirmed by the sense of sight.

    On one occasion I witnessed a chair, with a lady sitting on it, rise several inches from the ground. On another occasion, to avoid the suspicion of this being in some way performed by herself, the lady knelt on the chair in such a manner that its four feet were visible to us. It then rose about three inches, remained suspended for about ten seconds, and then slowly descended. At another time two children, on separate occasions, rose from the floor with their chairs, in full daylight, under (to me) most satisfactory conditions; for I was kneeling and keeping close watch upon the feet of the chair, and observing that no one might touch them.

    The most striking cases of levitation which I have witnessed have been with Mr. Home, on three separate occasions have I seen him raised completely from the floor of the room. Once sitting in an easy chair, once kneeling on his chair, and once standing up. On each occasion I had full opportunity of watching the occurrence as it was taking place.

    There are at least a hundred recorded instances of Mr. Home’s rising from the ground, in the presence of as many separate persons, and I have heard from the lips of the three witnesses to the most striking occurrence of this kind – the Earl of Dunraven, Lord Lindsay, and Captain C. Wynne – their own most minute accounts of what took place. To reject the recorded evidence on this subject is to reject all human testimony whatever; for no fact in sacred or profane history is supported by a stronger array of proofs

    The accumulated testimony establishing Mr. Homes levitations is overwhelming. It is greatly to be desired that some person, whose evidence would be accepted as conclusive by the scientific world – if indeed there lives a person whose testimony in favour of such phenomena would be taken – would seriously and patiently examine the alleged facts. Most of the eyewitnesses to these levitations are now living, and would, doubtless, be willing to give their evidence. But, in a few years, such direct evidence will be difficult, if not impossible, to be obtained.

    – Notes of an Enquiry into the Phenomena called Spiritual during the years 1870-1873, William Crookes

    Well-worn leather, bay rum, vetiver, cigar smoke, and amber oudh.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - spirit bridegroom

    The Spirit Bridegroom

    UNCANNY STORY FROM THE ONSET SPIRITUALISTS
    Wealthy Widow Becomes a Ghost’s Bride

    The Bangs Sisters, May and Lizzie, Continue to Startle the Peaceful Residents of a Massachusetts Town – the Spirit Bridegroom

    Charming May Bands and her sister, the great spiritualists, who, when at home, reside in Chicago, have lately startled the natives of Onset, Mass. This statement means more than might appear on the surface when it is added that that little town is almost wholly made up of spiritualists. Thither the Bangs sisters hied themselves some weeks ago to take part in the summer assembly of the eastern societies. They made their headquarters at Happy Home cottage, where they were daily visited by pilgrims in search of friends and relatives long since in the “other world.” Among those visitors was a rich widow from the far west, who wanted to see her lover, who had been a captain in the United States army. The captain, who came from Maryland, died on the eve of his marriage to the rich widow. For a year she has worn widows’ weeds and longed for even a visit from the spirit of her departed lover. Miss Bangs informed her that she could not only produce the captain’s spirit, but that the marriage ceremony that had been cut off by death would be performed in Happy Home cottage. A few days ago an item was given out for publication to the effect that the ceremony had been effectually performed some days before. In speaking of it May Bangs said:

    “I materialized the form and the lover came out of the cabinet attired in the uniform of an army officer. The premises had been previously examined to prove that there was no mortal about. The materialized spirit asked that the curtains be drawn for a while to shut off the front parlor. The bride wanted him to put on her slipper, and he did.

    “Only a faint light shone through the room where the minister and others were waiting. He kissed her numerous times. The bride was in a new wedding dress. Then the materialized spirit lover requested that the marriage ceremony be performed, and the request was granted. He placed a ring on her finger. They were together a long time that evening.”

    – Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 10, 1894
    Misted roses and the memory of cologne, salt-wet and bittersweet.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - the writing on the slate

    The Writing on the Slate

    My most remarkable experience has been with Dr. H. Slade of New York, for whom I have formed a high regard. I first met him at his residence last November, when, without announcing my name, in three consecutive sittings, at eleven o’clock in the morning, seated at a small, bare table in the centre of a light room, there written on the under side of a slate placed on the table, several communications addressed to me, purporting to come from my deceased friends. I pass over the other manifestations – such as the movement of heavy articles of furniture in plain view, without visible contact – and confine myself to the writing on the slate, which I regarded with most interest…

    – Thos. W. Waterman, Binghamton, NY, July 14, 1873

    The result of a physical law which is not yet understood, and the existence of which has hitherto scarcely been suspected: beeswax candles, chalk, and dust.

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  • evening with the spirits WEB - who would not tremble too

    Who Would Not Tremble Too?

    The new discovery of “Table Moving,” by means of an unseen power from the human hand, has only been introduced into England within the last few weeks; but it would be difficult to dingle out any scientific subject which has with such rapidity, taken so extensive a hold of the popular mind. If we travel by railway carriage, steamboat, or omnibus, this is the universal topic of conversation. From the aristocratic saloons of Belgravia to the “Parlours” of Whitechapel – the Green Park to the Cat and Mutton Fields, “table moving” is all the rage. From the Royal Institution, where the secretary pokes his head through a forest of electrical apparatus, to inform the audience that the facts are established, down to the humblest Mechanics’ Institute, all are full of it, and the tables, to quote the words of the old song – “are all a moving, move, move, moving,” – Every evening party must of course have its experiments; accordingly, gentlemen come provided with very elegant chapeaux for the occasion, and many an innocent flirtation occurs consequent on the proper arrangement of the little fingers of some of the fair operators. As “sweet eighteen,” with her blue eyes and golden locks, gracefully links her little finger with Charles’s, in a retired corner, what wonder if the hat should tremble? And Charles, being of course fond of poetry (his very name is a guarantee for that), cannot resist softly breathing into Lucy’s ear, that exquisite line from Waller, on his fair one’s harp –

    “Touched by that hand – who would not tremble too?”

    And after a little more conversation of a strictly scientific character, they feel quite satisfied with the success of the experiment. Mamma, who has been watching the progress of the magnetic influence at a distance, “has no patience with such nonsense, and wonders young men and young women cannot find something better to do.” She forgets that there was a magnetic influence at work about twenty years since, and what little trifles served as conductors then.

    – Table Moving, its causes and phenomena: with directions how to experiment

    A spirit-touched courtship: sweet orange blossom, white honey, jasmine tea, white sandalwood, green apple, and lily of the valley.

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Limited Edition - Weenies 2017

The skies have darkened, and summer’s last bright green leaf has turned. Halloween is here at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

  • halloween 2017 WEB all souls

    All Souls 2017

    A day of remembrance and intercession. Without the prayers and sacrifices of their families and loved ones, the faithful departed may not be cleansed of their venal sins, and thereby cannot attain beatific vision. On November 2nd, prayers are sung and offerings are made to aid lost souls in transcending purgatory. An incense blend that invokes the higher qualities of mercy and compassion, mingled with the soft, sugared currant scent of offertory soul cakes.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB apple butter rum

    Apple Butter Rum

    3 out of 5

    Spiced rum with cinnamon, apple butter, nutmeg, and thick vanilla cream.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB cardamom cream pumpkin cake

    Cardamom Cream Pumpkin Cake

    Thick lumps of pumpkin cake with cardamom-cream frosting and a dusting of cinnamon.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB chocolate blood

    Chocolate Blood

    A sideways ode to Hitchcock’s Psycho, by way of Bosco Chocolate Syrup.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB cinnamon chai cupcake

    Cinnamon Chai Cupcake

    A cozy accompaniment on chilly autumn nights.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB day of the skulls

    Day of Skulls

    In Bolivia, many people hold to the tradition of keeping the skulls of their ancestors with them in their homes, caring for their remains. It is believed that each person has seven souls, and one of those souls stays with the skull after death, enabling a spirit to grant protection and prophetic dreams to their descendants, and to bless their families with good health and prosperity.

    The Bolivian Fiesta de las Natitas, or Dia de los Natitas, is a day of honor for these ancestors. Their skulls are dressed with fragrant blossoms, and offerings of cocoa leaves, alcohol, and cigarettes are made.

    White sandalwood, beeswax, and frankincense crowned by hydrangea, rose, and kantuta blossoms, dressed with tobacco, cocoa leaves and flowers from the sacred Cactus of the Four Winds.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB dirge

    Dirge

    We do lie beneath the grass
    In the moonlight, in the shade
    Of the yew-tree. They that pass
    Hear us not. We are afraid
    They would envy our delight,
    In our graves by glow-worm night.
    Come follow us, and smile as we;
    We sail to the rock in the ancient waves,
    Where the snow falls by thousands into the sea,
    And the drown’d and the shipwreck’d have happy graves.

    —Thomas Lovell Beddoes

    Yew berries and cypress boughs, ropes of kelp and sea spray.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB feeding the dead

    Feeding the Dead

    5 out of 5

    A barrel of beer, a pyramid of cakes, and three sticks of incense.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB hallow-een 1914

    Hallow-e’en, 1914

    5 out of 5

    “Why do you wait at your door, woman,
    Alone in the night?”
    “I am waiting for one who will come, stranger,
    To show him a light.
    He will see me afar on the road
    And be glad at the sight.”

    “Have you no fear in your heart, woman,
    To stand there alone?
    There is comfort for you and kindly content
    Beside the hearthstone.”
    But she answered, “No rest can I have
    Till I welcome my own.”
    “Is it far he must travel to-night,
    This man of your heart?”
    “Strange lands that I know not and pitiless seas
    Have kept us apart,
    And he travels this night to his home
    Without guide, without chart.”

    “And has he companions to cheer him?”
    “Aye, many,” she said.
    “The candles are lighted, the hearthstones are swept,
    The fires glow red.
    We shall welcome them out of the night—
    Our home-coming dead.”
    —Winifred M. Letts

    A welcome for the home-coming dead: an incense of dried ivy and maple leaf with honeyed fig, black cypress, and grave dirt.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB haunted seas

    Haunted Seas

    A gleaming glassy ocean
    Under a sky of grey;
    A tide that dreams of motion,
    Or moves, as the dead may;
    A bird that dips and wavers
    Over lone waters round,
    Then with a cry that quavers
    Is gone—a spectral sound.

    The brown sad sea-weed drifting
    Far from the land, and lost;
    The faint warm fog unlifting,
    The derelict long tossed,
    But now at rest—though haunted
    By the death-scenting shark,
    Whose prey no more undaunted
    Slips from it, spent and stark.
    —Cale Young Rice

    Seaspray and flecks of foam welling with opoponax and labdanum’s sepulchral moans.

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  • 22016309_10155775770068293_464978902_n

    In a Whispering Gallery

    That whisper takes the voice
    Of a Spirit, speaking to me,
    Close, but invisible,
    And throws me under a spell
    At the kindling vision it brings;
    And for a moment I rejoice,
    And believe in transcendent things
    That would make of this muddy earth
    A spot for the splendid birth
    Of everlasting lives,
    Whereto no night arrives;
    And this gaunt gray gallery
    A tabernacle of worth
    On this drab-aired afternoon,
    When you can barely see
    Across its hazed lacune
    If opposite aught there be
    Of fleshed humanity
    Wherewith I may commune;
    Or if the voice so near
    Be a soul’s voice floating here.

    —Thomas Hardy

    Marbled white iris, white tobacco flower, Italian bergamot, white leather, and Mysore sandalwood.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB la calavera catrina

    La Calavera Catrina

    4.67 out of 5

    The Lady of the Graveyard! Autumn leaves, wild roses, bourbon vanilla, dry chamomile, and a bouquet of bright chrysanthemums and Mexican marigolds.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB october

    October

    5 out of 5

    Ay, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath!
    When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
    And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
    And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
    Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
    In the gay woods and in the golden air,
    Like to a good old age released from care,
    Journeying, in long serenity, away.
    In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
    Might wear out life like thee, ‘mid bowers and brooks
    And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
    And music of kind voices ever nigh;
    And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
    Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.

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

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  • halloween 2017 WEB pumpkin brownie

    Pumpkin Brownies

    4 out of 5

    Swirled with caramel and topped with sour cream frosting.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB pumpkin chypre

    Pumpkin Chypre

    A gleaming auburn chypre shot through with streaks of pumpkin.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB pumpkin sugar

    Pumpkin Sugar 2017

    5 out of 5

    Crystallized glittering shards of lightly spiced pumpkin sugar.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB sahmain

    Samhain 2017

    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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  • halloween 2017 WEB september midnight

    September Midnight 2017

    4 out of 5

    Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
    Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
    Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
    Ceaseless, insistent.

    The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
    The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
    Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
    Tired with summer.

    Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
    Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
    Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
    Snow-hushed and heavy.

    Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
    While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
    As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
    Lest they forget them.
    —Sara Teasdale

    A myrrh-darkened amber chypre sweetened by newly-ripened black pomegranate.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB sugar skull

    Sugar Skull 2017

    5 out of 5

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

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  • halloween 2017 WEB the apparition

    The Apparition

    When by thy scorne, O murdresse, I am dead,
    And that thou thinkst thee free
    From all solicitation from mee,
    Then shall my ghost come to thy bed,
    And thee, fain’d vestall, in worse armes shall see;
    Then thy sicke taper will begin to winke,
    And he,whose thou art then, being tyr’d before,
    Will, if thou stirre, or pinch to wake him, thinke
    Thou call’st for more,
    And in false sleepe will from thee shrinke,
    And then poore Aspen wretch, neglected thou
    Bath’d in a cold quicksilver swear wilt lye
    A veryer ghost than I;
    What I will say, I will not tell thee now,
    Lest that preserve thee; and since my love is spent,
    I’had rather thou shouldst painfully repent,
    Than by my threatenings rest still innocent.

    Quicksilver-cold and heartless: white sandalwood, immortelle, zdravetz, and oudh.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB witch bride

    The Witch Bride 2017

    A fair witch crept to a young man’s side,
    And he kiss’d her and took her for his bride.

    But a Shape came in at the dead of night,
    And fill’d the room with snowy light.

    And he saw how in his arms there lay
    A thing more frightful than mouth may say.

    And he rose in haste, and follow’d the Shape
    Till morning crown’d an eastern cape.

    And he girded himself, and follow’d still
    When sunset sainted the western hill.

    But, mocking and thwarting, clung to his side,
    Weary day!-the foul Witch-Bride.

    (Aw, c’mon, Allingham. Foul is a pretty strong choice of words, dontcha think?)

    Pale and lovely, with eyes belladonna-wide: hemlock blossoms and ghostly nightshade veiled by wisteria, white frankincense, black amber, and narcissus resin.

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Limited Edition - Weenies 2017 - Pile of Leaves

Every leaf tells a story.

Limited Edition - Weenies 2017 - Pumpkin Spice Whatever

We’re going to keep jumpin’ that pumpkin spice shark until there’s no pumpkins left to spice. Prime motivation: this is hella funny. Illustration by Drew Rausch!

Limited Edition - Weenies 2017 - Samhainophobia

A celebration of the terrors of the season.

  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB CHIROPTOPHOBIA

    Chiroptophobia

    Fear of Bats


    A flutter of leather becomes a swarm of buffeting musks, tangled with a white flash of sandalwood and near-inaudible shrieks of eucalyptus and elemi.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB COIMETROPHOBIA

    Coimetrophobia

    Fear of Cemeteries


    Upturned earth, moss-damp and thick with creeping things. A shard of mahogany from a broken casket. Creaking marble doors pushing open under moonlit skies.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB HEMOPHOBIA

    Hemophobia

    Fear of Blood


    Crimson splatter, pulsating with blackened vetiver.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB NEBULAPHOBIA

    Nebulaphobia

    5 out of 5

    Fear of Fog

    Sinuous, suffocating tendrils of grey ambergris, white frankincense, and cade.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB SAMHAINOPHOBIA

    Samhainophobia

    Fear of Halloween

    Menacing vetiver, patchouli, and clove with a shock of bourbon geranium, grim oakmoss, and dread-inspiring balsams pierce the innocuous scent of autumn leaves.

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Limited Edition - Weenies 2017 - Single Notes

Black Phoenix’s cheeky interpretation of the iconic scents of the season. No actual single notes – or hags – were harmed during the creation of these blends.

Limited Edition - Weenies 2017 - The Tell-Tale Heart

Story by Edgar Allan Poe, art by Drew Rausch, scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

  • telltaleheart BPAL web - groan of mortal terror

    Groan of Mortal Terror

    Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief — oh, no! — it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well.



    Opaque grey amber and opoponax swelling up like thick smoke, pressed under the weight of baleful tobacco.

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  • tell tale heart LABEL-i heard many things in hell

    I Heard Many Things in Hell

    The disease had sharpened my senses — not destroyed — not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily — how calmly I can tell you the whole story.

    Hearken and observe: black iris, French lavender, Roman chamomile, and frankincense.

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  • tell tale heart WEB - over acuteness of the sense

    Over-Acuteness of the Senses

    And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? — now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.



    Hyper-aware, swirling with delusions: orange blossom, lemon balm, and clove.

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  • tell tale heart WEB - singularly at ease

    Singularly At Ease

    The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat, and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still chatted.

    Rum cakes and black tea, blueberry scones and biscuits.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - stealthily stealthily

    Stealthily, Stealthily

    When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little — a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it — you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily — until, at length a simple dim ray, like the thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.

    It was open — wide, wide open — and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness — all a dull blue, with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones; but I could see nothing else of the old man’s face or person: for I had directed the ray as if by instinct, precisely upon the damned spot.



    A dim ray upon the vulture eye: smoked violets and bulbous orris, threads of crumbling lavender, and wet iris butter.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - suspicion of foul play

    Suspicion of Foul Play

    If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.

    I then took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly, so cunningly, that no human eye — not even his — could have detected any thing wrong. There was nothing to wash out — no stain of any kind — no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that. A tub had caught all — ha! ha!

    When I had made an end of these labors, it was four o’clock — still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, — for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

    Clean wood floors, a clean tub, clean, clean, clean, with no stain of any kind, no blood-spot whatsoever.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - the dead hour of the night

    The Dead Hour of the Night

    5 out of 5

    Mist-shrouded pine and moonflower creeping over flaccid opium poppies.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - the dreadful silence of that old house

    The Dreadful Silence of That Old House

    Polished mahogany blanketed by myrrh.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - the eye of the vulture

    The Eye of a Vulture

    It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.



    Milky white fluid obfuscating a pale, lilac-blue iris.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - TheHellishTattooOfTheHeart

    The Hellish Tattoo of The Heart

    But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eve. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder every instant. The old man’s terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! — do you mark me well I have told you that I am nervous: so I am.

    Blood musk and pulsating black pepper, a throb of bitter almond, and cracked pimento.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - TheMournfulInfluenceOfTheUnperceivedShadow

    The Mournful Influence of the Unperceived Shadow

    I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him, although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise, when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself — “It is nothing but the wind in the chimney — it is only a mouse crossing the floor,” or “It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp.” Yes, he had been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions: but he had found all in vain. All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel — although he neither saw nor heard — to feel the presence of my head within the room.



    Unutterable dread: thick black patchouli, shadow musk, myrrh, and threads of hot saffron mired in sweet, viscous labdanum.

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  • 22054373_10155775810683293_1900882716_n

    The Wild Audacity of My Perfect Triumph

    I smiled, — for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search — search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.



    A jubilant and deranged lime absinthe.

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  • tell tale heart WEB - violent gesticulations

    Violent Gesticulations

    No doubt I now grew very pale; — but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased — and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound — much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I gasped for breath –and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly — more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone?

    An erratic pomegranate mint, high-pitched and flailing with eucalyptus, above a throbbing core of black musk.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - you fancy me mad

    You Fancy Me Mad

    Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight — with what dissimulation I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.

    Percolating with derangement: flashing spikes of orange blossom, neroli, lemon, and bitter clove in a bubbling mass of opoponax, patchouli, and thick, black vetiver.

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Limited Edition - Activism

  • 28345535 - two men reading newspaper

    Alternative Facts

    4.5 out of 5

    The truth hurts — so why tell it? Muffle the blow with Alternative Facts.

    For example:

    FACT: Following White House advisor Kellyanne Conway’s January 22 appearance on “Meet The Press,” sales of George Orwell’s 1984 skyrocketed, making it the fifth-best selling book on Amazon.com.

    ALTERNATIVE FACT: In under a week, President Trump’s administration has already managed to improve literacy, reflecting the public’s renewed interest in privatized education, as well as its rejection of the mainstream media in favor of more “traditional” forms of information-gathering.

    See how easy that is? With the help of Alternative Facts, even the most unpalatable among us can preside over a gallery of glittering, candy-coated delusions — one in which reality itself conforms to our beliefs, sincerely-held or otherwise.

    ALTERNATIVE FACTS: If you truly want to obfuscate what you really smell like, this is the scent for you! Sugar-crusted vanilla, a firecracker-blast of cherry and sour lemon, a hint of scuttling spiders, encroaching fog, and trumpets of bombast, bluff, and bluster.

    Like its companion scent Fake News, proceeds from Alternative Facts will benefit the ACLU.

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  • fakenewsWEB

    Fake News

    4.88 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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  • irish coffee buttercream WEB

    Irish Coffee Buttercream

    4.75 out of 5

    Today, the Trump administration announced that they will be reinstating the US military ban on transgender people. This policy not only affects the livelihoods of thousands upon thousands of transgender military personnel, but also paves the way for further acts of bigotry and hate in our government and communities.

    We are hosting an emergency fundraiser for our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality and for the American Civil Liberties Union. The two scents that are going live are being pulled from a future coffee-themed update that was slated for 2018. I specifically chose these scents because they are cheery and uplifting – without the usual highly-specific socio-political context that we attached to many of our fundraiser scents – in the hopes that it will sell well and sell quickly so that we can be as effective as possible in helping out. Help us take an immediate stand to fight this unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel ban.

    Even if you choose not to make a purchase, please consider donating to or volunteering with the NCTE and / or ACLU. Stand with the transgender community, and be a compassionate and hard-working ally to all marginalized groups whose civil rights, livelihood, happiness, health and well-being are being trampled by this administration.

     

    Irish whiskey, granulated sugar, brown sugar, whipped cream, buttercream and coffee.

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  • lordy lo res

    LORDY

    For the folksy FBI agent in your life. Reminiscent of a classic 1950’s men’s cologne with a shuffle of paper, a briefcase-snap of black leather, and yesterday’s cold coffee.

    Proceeds benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

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  • nastywomanweb

    Nasty Woman

    4.69 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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  • neverthelessWEB

    Nevertheless, She Persisted

    3.8 out of 5

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

    A rallying call: golden oudh, frankincense, iris, and steel. Proceeds from this scent benefit EMILY’s List, an organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office.

    Jeanne d’Arc, Albert Lynch

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  • bluebonnet WEB

    Single Note: Bluebonnet

    5 out of 5

    Proceeds from the sale of SN: Bluebonnet will benefit Global Giving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

    See also, Global Giving on Charity Navigator.

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  • single note DOUGLAS IRIS web

    Single Note: Douglas Iris

    Proceeds from the sale of this California wildflower single note will benefit those affected by the Tubbs Fire through this GoFundMe. Funds gathered by this GoFundMe will be distributed to the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority, Napa County Fire Department, Lake County Fire and Rescue, Santa Rosa Fire Department, and the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Recovery Fund.

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  • single note flor de maga WEB

    Single Note: Flor de Maga

    The national flower of Puerto Rico. The proceeds of this scent support the Hispanic Federation’s Hurricane Maria relief fund. They have a stellar four-star rating on Charity Navigator, and one-hundred percent of the money that they receive go towards relief and recovery for people imperiled by Hurricane Maria.

    If you would like to donate on your own, please visit the Hispanic Federation’s website, go to the pull-down menu, and select “hurricane relief effort” (or click here).

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  • spiced rum buttercream WEB

    Spiced Rum Buttercream Coffee

    4.8 out of 5

    Today, the Trump administration announced that they will be reinstating the US military ban on transgender people. This policy not only affects the livelihoods of thousands upon thousands of transgender military personnel, but also paves the way for further acts of bigotry and hate in our government and communities.

    We are hosting an emergency fundraiser for our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality and for the American Civil Liberties Union. The two scents that are going live are being pulled from a future coffee-themed update that was slated for 2018. I specifically chose these scents because they are cheery and uplifting – without the usual highly-specific socio-political context that we attached to many of our fundraiser scents – in the hopes that it will sell well and sell quickly so that we can be as effective as possible in helping out. Help us take an immediate stand to fight this unconstitutional, immoral, and unnecessarily cruel ban.

    Even if you choose not to make a purchase, please consider donating to or volunteering with the NCTE and / or ACLU. Stand with the transgender community, and be a compassionate and hard-working ally to all marginalized groups whose civil rights, livelihood, happiness, health and well-being are being trampled by this administration.

    Coffee and rum laced with allspice, nutmeg, clove, star anise, cardamom, and cinnamon gently whipped into buttercream.

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  • take a knee WEB

    Take a Knee

    4.5 out of 5

    This weekend, Trump attacked the US Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech and took aim at the football players who are peacefully protesting police brutality, inequality, bigotry, and racism. He’s calling for a boycott of an entire sports league to force the firing of African American athletes and their allies for speaking out about racial injustice.

    Taking a knee…this isn’t a protest of America itself, its flag, or anything that this country stands for. It isn’t disrespectful of the US military. On the contrary, it is the acknowledgement that we as a country can do better, that we must do better, and that we must renew our commitment to fight for equality and justice for all. By speaking out against institutional racism and racial injustice, against violence and bigotry, whether it be by taking a knee, locking arms with teammates, refusing to walk out onto a playing field until after the National Anthem has been sung, editorializing on social media, or making protest perfumes, we are honoring our communities, our neighbors, and our nation by attempting to amplify the voices of those who are often not empowered to speak.

    It is possible and necessary to love this country and also expect—and demand—that we do better…that we recognize injustice when we see it, and do what we can to fight it. That’s real patriotism.

    “We have fought for America with all of her imperfections. Not so much for what she is but for what we know she can be.” – Mary Bethune

    This is the scent of apple pie, as American as it gets, and a smudged grass stain. The proceeds from every single sale of this scent will benefit the NAACP.

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  • NPSfundraiserWEB01

    Theoi Nomioi

    4.6 out of 5

    In response to the National Park Service retweeting a New York Times piece on Trump’s Inauguration numbers, Trump’s fragile ego demanded that his administration order the NPS to stop all tweets.

    The National Park Service refuses to be muzzled. On January 24th, South Dakota’s Badlands National Park social media team defiantly posted a series of climate change facts from the National Wildlife Federation before being shut down. Since then, anonymous employees from the National Park Service started a rogue twitter account:

    https://twitter.com/AltNatParkSer

    These courageous federal employees are risking their careers to ensure that the public is kept informed on issues of climate change. They are fighting for transparency, truth, and science, and they deserve every ounce of support we can offer them. Tweet, email, FB, and phone in your support. Visit your local National Parks and thank the employees there in person. Donate to the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.

    For them, for us, for the sake of the First Amendment, the environment, our state parks, and our future, we honor the bravery and chutzpah of these NPS employees with a scent that benefits the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation.

    THEOI NOMIOI
    The Theoi Nomioi are the gods and spirits of the wild: the countryside, the pastures, the forests. Under their auspices, untamed nature thrives, the beasts of the wild feast and multiply, the mountains reach to the heavens with their stony, snow-capped fingers, and the forests grow thick and dark with mystery.

    The National Parks Conservation Association
    “Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in the fight to safeguard the scenic beauty, wildlife, and historic and cultural treasures of the largest and most diverse park system in the world. Help us assure the future of our beloved national parks.”

    The National Park Foundation
    “The National Park Foundation protects America’s special places, connects people to nature and inspires the next generation of park stewards.”

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Limited Edition - Activism - I know words, I have the best words.

Where the best words go.

“….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..”

“….to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

All your worries about the president’s political acuity, state of mind, and fitness for office should be put to rest. What else is there to say? All the assurance you need is right there in a dazzling stream of prolific 280-character bursts of brilliance.

  • being like really smart WEB

    BEING, LIKE, REALLY SMART

    Soothe your cares with a blend of dull, dolorous, soporific lavender, weighed down with opoponax and thick labdanum, spiked by an unpredictable, unsettling slash of black pepper.

    Proceeds from the sale of this scent benefits the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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  • COVFEFE72

    COVFEFE

    5 out of 5

    Is it abstract nonsense poetry? Surrealist performance art? Cryptography so subtle and devious that it would make an Enigma machine blush? The verbal component of whatever spell that orb casts? Safe word? A typo fueled by cheap hooch, NoDoz, and poor impulse control? Is negative press covfefe anything like French press covfefe?

     

    This perfume makes no fucking sense: orange marshmallow cream, bitter lemon, black pepper, orange carnation, and gin.

     

    Proceeds from this late-night nonsense benefit the ACLU, which has been working overtime to defend the rights and liberties guaranteed to everyone in this country by the laws and Constitution of the United States.

     

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  • very stable genius WEB

    VERY STABLE GENIUS

    A scent straight out of a deep-fryer: scorched, lard-addled potatoes, beef gristle, and a bit of bacon.

    Proceeds from the sale of this scent benefits the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Limited Edition - 7 Word Story

  • BPAL7words-ENVY web

    Seven Word Story: Envy

    The subject of our latest #BPAL7wordstory contest was Envy. The winning entry was submitted by Tyler Butler:

    Galatea wept as Pygmalion carved new statues

    Marble-white sandalwood, vanilla blossom, and orris root veined with whorls of ambergris accord, rose-touched with life, slowly shattering tears of bitter carrot seed and cistus.

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  • BPAL7wordsWEB-gluttony (1)

    Seven Word Story: Gluttony

    The subject of our latest #BPAL7wordstory contest was Gluttony. The winning entry was submitted by Crystal Rose-Thompson:

    The Sirens Eagerly Beckoned the Approaching Ship

    Sea splash on murky labdanum and gleaming olibanum, veiled in lavender, diaphanous osmanthus, gilded saffron, and honey incense.

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  • 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

    5 out of 5

    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

    4 out of 5

    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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Limited Edition - The Nobodies

The Nobodies (1)The Nobodies are New York City’s least favorite nightlife weirdos, a supergroup composed of Ariel Italic, Lady Bearica Andrews, and DJ Accident Report.

Thanks to their negligible income and short attention spans, you’ll find them hosting a plethora of different events, including RuPaul’s Drag Race viewings, dance parties, variety shows, and movie screenings. You may even have caught them working at BPAL’s booth at various conventions.

In addition to being nominated for a 2016 GLAM Award for Best Duo or Group, they have taken over as producers and hosts of the Slam Awards (the NYC nightlife equivalent of the Razzies, which has absolutely nothing to do with the WWE’s Slammy Awards).

As the main sponsor of their annual Mx. Nobody drag pageant (technically an un-pageant, which judges contestants of all genders on the basis of Newness, Outlook, Passion, and Eugh), Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is proud to participate in The Nobodies‘ ongoing experiments testing the limits of audience tolerance and plain old common decency.

Blessed few may have what it takes to be a real Nobody — but now anybody can smell like one.

(Logo artwork by Lily Gabrielle Hoyda.)
19403662_10155247176780575_1773909622_o (1) (1)

  • IMG_2345

    Nobodies Watching Wrestling

    Who better to comment on the flips, throws, and visible panty-lines of the pro-wrestling world than a bunch of drag queens? The Nobodies’ ongoing video series maps out this cultural terrain for anyone who might not have otherwise clocked the generous overlap between wrestling and drag.

    Black Leather and strawberry lip gloss

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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

    3 out of 5

    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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Limited Edition - A Little Lunacy

Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless
Among the stars that have a different birth,
And ever changing, like a Joyless eye
That finds no object worth its constancy?

Every month we offer a unique, limited edition lunacy scent, corresponding to the following month’s moon. It is available on the website for 72 hours, and then available once again at the following month’s Will Call.

  • blue moon web CORRECTED

    Blue Moon 2018

    The spirit of the full moon is capricious, intense and passionate, yet still distant, aloof and cold. Luna herself governs glamours, bewitchments and dream-work, innocent wonder, transient pleasure and delight, the Moment, impulse, mystery and veils. The Blue Moon is one of her rarest manifestations, and this scent is formulated to encapsulate her most complex and profound nature:

    Mugwort and bay, for psychic sensitivity…
    Juniper, for divination through dreams…
    Orchid and galbanum, for complexity, wisdom and noscere…

    … with a potent lunar-charged blend of exquisite Asian woods, moonflower, Madagascan ylang ylang, Florentine iris, wild juniper, starry bergamot, elemi, green tea absolute, palmarosa, cucumber, Clary sage, lettuce leaf, melilot trefoils, wood aloes, and pale creeping buttercup.

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  • luna azul web CORRECTED

    Luna Azul 2018

    Ted’s interpretation.

    The ephemeral romance, the fleeting affair: frankincense and blackcurrant, caramelized black amber, and motia attar.

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