Snake Oil

  • 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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  • 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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  • Asp Viper

    Asp Viper

    5 out of 5

    Snake Oil with King mandarin, myrrh, and almond.

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  • Australian Copperhead

    Australian Copperhead

    5 out of 5

    Snake Oil with acai berry, amber, cardamom, white sandalwood, neroli, and smoked vanilla.

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  • Banded Sea Snake

    Banded Sea Snake

    Snake Oil with oakmoss, sea moss, white moss, and olive leaf.

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  • Boomslang

    Boomslang

    5 out of 5

    Snake Oil with cocoa, teakwood, and rice milk.

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  • lilith series 2017 WEB - closet raid

    Closet Raid

    5 out of 5

    Funny how much better Lilith looks in my clothes than I do! This is the scent of generations of children raiding their parents’ closets: my grandmother and mother’s Chanel No. 5, my father and grandfather’s Lilac Vegetal, my Snake Oil, and Lilith’s lavender blossoms.

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  • Coral Snake

    Coral Snake

    4.33 out of 5

    Snake Oil with blood orange, blood apple, lemon peel, plumeria, and red gardenia.

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  • Cottonmouth

    Cottonmouth

    5 out of 5

    Snake Oil with linden blossom, calla lily, passion flower, and narcissus.

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  • lilith series 2017 WEB - dancing among the tombs

    Dancing Among the Tombs

    Autumn at Lilith’s favorite cemetery, Lafayette No. 1.

    Osmanthus and jasmine, Spanish moss and dandelion, Snake Oil and Dorian.

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  • Death Adder

    Death Adder

    5 out of 5

    Snake Oil with vetiver, black coconut, vanilla, and opoponax.

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  • Green Tree Viper

    Green Tree Viper

    4 out of 5

    Snake Oil with four mints, bergamot, and green tea.

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  • King Cobra

    King Cobra

    4 out of 5

    Snake Oil with orris, white frankincense, and black copal.

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  • pumpkinspice 2017 WEB snake oil

    Pumpkin Spice Snake Oil

    Pumpkin spice them carnies!

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  • Saw-Scaled Viper

    Saw-Scaled Viper

    5 out of 5

    Snake Oil with cinnamon, cassia, and red ginger.

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  • Snake Oil

    Snake Oil

    4.35 out of 5

    By far, our most popular scent! Magnetic, mysterious, and exceedingly sexual in nature. A blend of exotic Indonesian oils sugared with vanilla.

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  • Temple Viper

    Temple Viper

    Snake Oil with sugar cane, frankincense, champaca, opoponax, labdanum, and hyssop.

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  • Tombeur

    Tombeur

    4.67 out of 5

    There are two types of vampires that humans, and often other vampires, need to be wary of: the Interfectors and the Tombeur.

    The Tombeur, are much more complex in their hunting habits and their perceptions than their Interfector cousins. Like the Interfectors, they perceive their vampirism to be an initiation into a higher state of being and relegate humans to base foodstuffs. Unlike the Interfectors, however, the Tombeur are not straightforward predators, and there is a secondary purpose to their hunt: sexual gratification. They take full advantage of their saliva’s hypnotic and psychotropic effects on humans, the mystique that surrounds vampires, the seemingly unnatural attraction some humans have toward vampires, and the potency of the Tombeurs’ own sexual drive to lure humans into complex carnal relationships that culminate in feeding. They are consummate seducers, and some Tombeur feed, completely and terminally, on their conquests, while others create henchmen that are little more than sex slaves. Neither fate is something we would recommend to any of our readers.

    Deadly and seductive: vanilla-infused sandalwood, blood musk, antique patchouli, vetiver, lavender, bitter almond, amber, and a trickle of Snake Oil.

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  • Western Diamondback

    Western Diamondback

    4.33 out of 5

    Snake Oil with leather, tonka bean, red sandalwood, and sage.

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