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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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!)

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart
  • 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.

    Add to cart