The skies have darkened, and summer’s last bright green leaf has turned. Halloween is here at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.
All Souls 2017Add to cart
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.
Apple Butter RumAdd to cart
Spiced rum with cinnamon, apple butter, nutmeg, and thick vanilla cream.
Cardamom Cream Pumpkin CakeAdd to cart
Thick lumps of pumpkin cake with cardamom-cream frosting and a dusting of cinnamon.
Chocolate BloodAdd to cart
A sideways ode to Hitchcock’s Psycho, by way of Bosco Chocolate Syrup.
Cinnamon Chai CupcakeAdd to cart
A cozy accompaniment on chilly autumn nights.
Day of SkullsAdd to cart
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.
DirgeAdd to cart
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.
Feeding the DeadAdd to cart
A barrel of beer, a pyramid of cakes, and three sticks of incense.
Hallow-e’en, 1914Add to cart
“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.
Haunted SeasAdd to cart
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.
In a Whispering GalleryAdd to cart
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.
Marbled white iris, white tobacco flower, Italian bergamot, white leather, and Mysore sandalwood.
La Calavera CatrinaAdd to cart
The Lady of the Graveyard! Autumn leaves, wild roses, bourbon vanilla, dry chamomile, and a bouquet of bright chrysanthemums and Mexican marigolds.
OctoberAdd to cart
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.
Pumpkin BrowniesAdd to cart
Swirled with caramel and topped with sour cream frosting.
Pumpkin ChypreAdd to cart
A gleaming auburn chypre shot through with streaks of pumpkin.
Pumpkin Sugar 2017Add to cart
Crystallized glittering shards of lightly spiced pumpkin sugar.
Samhain 2017Add to cart
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.
September Midnight 2017Add to cart
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,
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.
A myrrh-darkened amber chypre sweetened by newly-ripened black pomegranate.
Sugar Skull 2017Add to cart
Vibrant with the joy and sweetness of life in death! A blend of five sugars, lightly dusted with candied fruits.
The ApparitionAdd to cart
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.
The Witch Bride 2017Add to cart
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.
Weenies 2017 - Pile of Leaves
Every leaf tells a story.
Dead Leaves and Pink PeppercornAdd to cart
Dead Leaves and Squished Candy CornAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Black Plum, Bitter Clove, and OudhAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Bourbon, Black Cherry, and an Orange TwistAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Coconut, and Champaca BlossomAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Hemp, Mossy Soil, Frankincense, and OudhAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Lemon Verbena, and CedarAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Pineapple, Patchouli, and VetiverAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Tuscan Leather, White Amber, and Mimosa BlossomAdd to cart
Dead Leaves, Violet Candy, and Sugar CrystalsAdd to cart
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!
Pumpkin Spice CathedralAdd to cart
Pumpkin spiced incense smoke!
Pumpkin Spice Embalming FluidAdd to cart
Pumpkin spice that funeral home!
Pumpkin Spice HarlotAdd to cart
Pumpkin spice that brothel!
Pumpkin Spice Opium PoppyAdd to cart
Pumpkin spiced euphoria!
Pumpkin Spice PerversionAdd to cart
You dirty bird.
Pumpkin Spice ShoggothAdd to cart
Bursting bubbles of self-luminous pumpkin spice!
Pumpkin Spice Snake OilAdd to cart
Pumpkin spice them carnies!
Weenies 2017 - Samhainophobia
A celebration of the terrors of the season.
ChiroptophobiaAdd to cart
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.
CoimetrophobiaAdd to cart
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.
HemophobiaAdd to cart
Fear of Blood
Crimson splatter, pulsating with blackened vetiver.
NebulaphobiaAdd to cart
Fear of Fog
Sinuous, suffocating tendrils of grey ambergris, white frankincense, and cade.
SamhainophobiaAdd to cart
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.
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.
Blood SquibAdd to cart
Bobbing for ApplesAdd to cart
Graveyard DirtAdd to cart
Papier-Mâché GhostAdd to cart
Plastic Pumpkin Candy TubAdd to cart
Pumpkin Spice EverythingAdd to cart
Unsettling Clear Plastic MaskAdd to cart
Weenies 2017 - The Tell-Tale Heart
Story by Edgar Allan Poe, art by Drew Rausch, scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.
Groan of Mortal TerrorAdd to cart
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.
I Heard Many Things in HellAdd to cart
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.
Over-Acuteness of the SensesAdd to cart
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.
Singularly At EaseAdd to cart
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.
Stealthily, StealthilyAdd to cart
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.
Suspicion of Foul PlayAdd to cart
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.
The Dead Hour of the NightAdd to cart
Mist-shrouded pine and moonflower creeping over flaccid opium poppies.
The Dreadful Silence of That Old HouseAdd to cart
Polished mahogany blanketed by myrrh.
The Eye of a VultureAdd to cart
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.
The Hellish Tattoo of The HeartAdd to cart
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.
The Mournful Influence of the Unperceived ShadowAdd to cart
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.
The Wild Audacity of My Perfect TriumphAdd to cart
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.
Violent GesticulationsAdd to cart
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.
You Fancy Me MadAdd to cart
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.