The Song of Creation

In this time of strife and chaos, it seemed fitting to – as warriors all – observe the song of creation.

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  • origin-when-nothing-was

    When Nothing Was

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

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

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

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  • origin-the-mist-world

    The Mist-World

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

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

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  • origin-the-yawning-void

    The Yawning Void

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

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

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  • origin-savage-forever

    Savage Forever

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

    But concerning this says Vafthrúdnir the giant:

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

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

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  • unspecified

    The Sweat of the Rime-Giants

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

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

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  • origin-audumla

    Audumla

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

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

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

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

    The Sons of Buri, The Sons of Borr

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

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

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  • origin-bestla

    Bestla

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

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  • origin-the-deluge-of-blood

    The Deluge of Blood

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

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

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

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

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  • origin-the-heavens

    The Heavens

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

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

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

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  • origin-of-earth

    Of Earth

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

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

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

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Yule 2016

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

SHIPPING INFO:

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

  • black-ice

    Black Ice

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

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  • days-of-winter-sunshine

    Days of Winter Sunshine

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

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

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  • ded-moroz

    Ded Moroz

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

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

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

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  • desert-places

    Desert Places

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

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

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

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

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

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  • dumb-cake

    Dumb Cake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • egg-nog

    Egg Nog

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

    (Now with extra nog!)

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  • el-dia-de-los-reyes

    El Dia de los Reyes

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

    Hot cocoa with cinnamon, coffee, and brown sugar.

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  • faunalia

    Faunalia

    3 out of 5

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

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  • the-first-soft-snow

    The First Soft Snow

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

    Heavy drifts of snow blanketing winter’s narcissus.

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  • gacela-of-the-dark-death

    Gacela of the Dark Death

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Terebinth pine, pitch, and clove.

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  • gelt

    Gelt

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

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

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

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  • it-sifts-from-leaden-sieves

    It Sifts from Leaden Sieves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • jacobs-ladder

    Jacob’s Ladder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • krampus

    Krampus

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

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

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  • la-befana

    La Befana

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

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

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

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

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

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  • le-pere-fouttard

    Le Père Fouettard

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

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

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  • lick-it-with-consent

    Lick It With Consent

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

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

    A sugar-crusted vanilla peppermint stick!

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

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  • 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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  • maison-en-pain-depices

    Maison en Pain d’Épices

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

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  • mari-lwyd

    Mari Lwyd

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

    Welsh cakes and ale with a smattering of dried lavender.

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  • nes-gadol-haya-sham

    Nes Gadol Haya Sham

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    One scent in four parts:

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

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

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

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

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

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  • nuclear-winter

    Nuclear Winter

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

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  • peacock-queen

    The Peacock Queen

    5 out of 5

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

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  • pere-noel

    Père Noël

    3 out of 5

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

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

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  • poor-monkey

    Poor Monkey

    cold first winter rain

    poor monkey, you too could use
    
a woven straw cape

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

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  • the-season-of-ghosts

    The Season of Ghosts

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

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

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  • 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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  • this-worlds-joy

    This World’s Joy

    4 out of 5

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

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

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

    Winter roses, white frankincense, and sweet violet.

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  • winter-my-secret

    Winter: My Secret

    3 out of 5

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

    Sweet labdanum, white myrrh, and bourbon vanilla.

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++ THE ART OF WINTER

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

—William Shakespeare, King Henry VI

  • allegory-of-winter-by-abraham-bloemaert

    Allegory of Winter

    Abraham Blowmaert

    Soft brown leather and glowing embers of amber tinged with blood orange and crimson musk, and flecks of night-black coal dust.

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  • Four Seasons: Winter

    Four Seasons: Winter

    4 out of 5

    Francois Boucher

    A burst of apricot silk, blood orange musk, French lavender, and red benzoin chypre in a gilded sledge of amber.

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  • lhyver-by-jean-audran

    L’Hyver

    Jean Audran

    Grey amber and elemi, white cypress, shadowed musk, guiac, labdanum, and black ti leaf.

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  • the-magpie-by-claude-monet

    The Magpie

    Claude Monet

    A tiny shadow on the snow: black currant, sandalwood, and violet leaf against a white winter backdrop.

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  • winter-landscape-by-edvard-munch

    Winter Landscape

    Edvard Munch

    A snow-thick scent, chalky with sandalwood and clove, streaked iron-orange and tonka-brown.

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++ YULE PHOBIAS 2016

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

For others, it is a source of pure terror.

  • auroraphobia

    Auroraphobia

    Fear of the Aurora Borealis

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

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  • cherophobia

    Cherophobia

    Fear of Happiness

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

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  • christougenniatiko-dentrophobia

    Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia

    Fear of Christmas Trees

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

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  • cryophobia

    Cryophobia

    Fear of Extreme Cold

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

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  • deipnophobia

    Deipnophobia

    Fear of Dinner Conversations

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

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  • ecclesiophobia

    Ecclesiophobia

    Fear of Church

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

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  • pediophobia

    Pediophobia

    Fear of Dolls

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

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  • pognophobia

    Pognophobia

    Fear of Beards

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

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  • soceraphobia

    Soceraphobia

    Fear of Parents-in-Law

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

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  • tyrranophobia

    Tyrannophobia

    Fear of Tyrants

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

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++ YULE SINGLE NOTES

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

++ GINGERBREAD COTILLION 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I can run away from you, I can!

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

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

  • gingerbread-red-fruits-and-sweet-jam

    Gingerbread, Red Fruits, and Sweet Jam

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

    Oh dear! I’m quarter gone!

    Oh, I’m half gone!

    I’m three-quarters gone!

    I’m all gone!

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Halloween 2016

  • devils-night

    Devil’s Night 2016

    5 out of 5

    Devil’s Eve, Devil’s Night, Gate Night, Trick Night, Mischief Night; whatever your name for it might be, the chaos is still the same. Contrary to popular belief, this festival of pandemonium isn’t unique to Detroit. Falling on October 30th, it is an evening of mayhem and destruction. On the gentler side, it may be celebrated by practical jokes, an egging, Ding-Dong-Ditch, or enthusiastic TP’ing of your most hated neighbor’s trees, and on the more violent side, arson and vandalism. This is the scent of autumn night, fires in the distance, with a touch of boozy swoon, playful sugar and soot-crusted musk.

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  • her-strong-enchantments-failing

    Her Strong Enchantments Failing

    Her strong enchantments failing,
    Her towers of fear in wreck,
    Her limbecks dried of poisons
    And the knife at her neck,

    The Queen of air and darkness
    Begins to shrill and cry,
    “O young man, O my slayer,
    To-morrow you shall die.”

    O Queen of air and darkness,
    I think ‘tis truth you say,
    And I shall die tomorrow;
    But you will die to-day.
    – AE Houseman

    A final confrontation, alight with black fire and poisonous smoke: incense and bruise-purple toxins, a tangle of thorny blackberries, and pale rage.

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  • fizzy-jack-o-lantern

    Fizzy Jack O’Lantern 2016

    1.5 oz gin
    ½ oz dry sherry
    ½ oz lemon juice
    1 tsp pumpkin butter
    2 dashes of Averna amaro

    Pour the gin, sherry, lemon juice, pumpkin butter, and liqueur to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake that mofo and strain it into a rocks glass filled with ice and a strong, spicy ginger ale. Stir gently, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or human finger bone.

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  • samhain

    Samhain 2016

    5 out of 5

    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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  • samhainophobia

    Samhnainophobia 2016

    The fear of Halloween. Menacing Haitian 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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  • september-midnight

    September Midnight 2016

    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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  • spiced-autumn-cider

    Spiced Autumn Cider

    5 out of 5

    Apple cider and dry red wine with a glug of maple syrup and a generous scattering of ginger, clove, and cinnamon, garnished with apple and tangerine slices, and dotted with black peppercorns for warmth.

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  • third-charm

    Third Charm 2016

    5 out of 5

    The owl is abroad, the bat, and the toad,
    And so is the cat-a-mountain,
    The ant and the mole sit both in a hole,
    And the frog peeps out o’ the fountain;
    The dogs they do bay, and the timbrels play,
    The spindle is now a turning;
    The moon it is red, and the stars are fled,
    But all the sky is a-burning:

    The ditch is made, and our nails the spade,
    With pictures full, of wax and of wool;
    Their livers I stick, with needles quick;
    There lacks but the blood, to make up the flood.
    Quickly, Dame, then bring your part in,
    Spur, spur upon little Martin,
    Merrily, merrily, make him fail,
    A worm in his mouth, and a thorn in his tail,
    Fire above, and fire below,
    With a whip in your hand, to make him go.

    There’s magic afoot: fiery red musk, luminous elemi, East Indian patchouli, champaca flower, cedar incense, ho wood, and hemlock accord sweetened with a peculiar sweet honey.

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  • the-unquiet-grave

    The Unquiet Grave 2016

    5 out of 5

    “The wind doth blow today, my love,
    And a few small drops of rain;
    I never had but one true-love,
    In cold grave she was lain.”

    “I’ll do as much for my true-love
    As any young man may;
    I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave
    For a twelvemonth and a day.”

    The twelvemonth and a day being up,
    The dead began to speak:
    “Oh who sits weeping on my grave,
    And will not let me sleep?”

    “’T is I, my love, sits on your grave,
    And will not let you sleep;
    For I crave one kiss of your clay-cold lips,
    And that is all I seek.”

    “You crave one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
    But my breath smells earthy strong;
    If you have one kiss of my clay-cold lips,
    Your time will not be long.

    “’Tis down in yonder garden green,
    Love, where we used to walk,
    The finest flower that e’re was seen
    Is withered to a stalk.

    “The stalk is withered dry, my love,
    So will our hearts decay;
    So make yourself content, my love,
    Till God calls you away.”

    One kiss of clay-cold lips: frozen white roses, frankincense, white gardenia, white sandalwood, and vanilla orchid.

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  • the-witch-bride

    The Witch-Bride 2016

    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.

    Out of Stock
  • witch-dance

    Witch Dance 2016

    5 out of 5

    As in the Sabatt’s ancient round
    With strange and subtle steps you went:
    And toward the heaven and toward the ground
    Your steeple shapen hat was bent
    As in the sabbat’s ancient round.

    Between the windy, swirling fire
    And all the stillness of Ihe moon.
    Sweet witch, you danced at my desire,
    Turning some weird and lovely tune
    To paces like the swirling fire.
    Your supple youth and loveliness

    A glamor left upon the air:
    Whether to curse, whether to bless,
    You wove a stronger magic there
    With your lithe youth and loveliness.
    Upon the earth your paces wrought

    A circle such as magicians made…
    And still some hidden thing you sought
    With hands desirous, half afraid,
    Beyond the ring your paces wrought.

    Your fingers, on the smoke and flame,
    Moved in mysterious conjuring,
    You seemed to call a silent Name,
    And lifted like an outstretched wing
    Your somber gown against the flame.

    What darkling and demonian Lord,
    In fear or triumph, did you call?
    Ah! was it then that you implored,
    With secret signs equivocal,
    The coming of the covens’ Lord?

    Sweet witch, you conjured forth my heart
    To answer always at your will!
    Like Merlin, in some place apart,
    It lies enthralled and captive still:
    Sweet witch, you conjured thus my heart!
    – Clark Ashton Smith

    Bonfire smoke rising through a cloud of ceremonial incense, encircled by swirling autumn leaves and a dribble of blood red musk.

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  • yipe

    Yipe!

    4.5 out of 5

    In the vein (GET IT) of Boo, Suck It, and Spooky, this is a gushing font of sweet bloody black cherry cream and crushed dried blackberries.

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++ HALLOWEEN 2016: PILE OF LEAVES

Every leaf tells a story.

++ HALLOWEEN 2016: 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.

++ HALLOWEEN 2016: BOBBING FOR APPLES

A pastime thought to have its roots in fertility and mate-hunting divination. Presented, for your pleasure, a selection of apples to bob for.

  • bobbing-10

    Apple X

    Red apple and patchouli with vanilla cream, white musk, red musk, and teakwood.

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++ HALLOWEEN 2016: ALL SOULS

Poem by Edith Wharton, scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

  • the-dead-can-hear-and-the-dead-have-sight

    The Dead Can Hear and the Dead Have Sight

    4.5 out of 5

    A thin moon faints in the sky o’erhead,
    And dumb in the churchyard lie the dead.
    Walk we not, Sweet, by garden ways,
    Where the late rose hangs and the phlox delays,
    But forth of the gate and down the road,
    Past the church and the yews, to their dim abode.
    For it’s turn of the year and All Souls’ night,
    When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.

    Twisted creepers of dying ivy, winter roses, shadow musk, and black moss.

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  • the-dead-can-yearn-and-the-dead-can-smite

    The Dead Can Yearn and the Dead Can Smite

    Fear not that sound like wind in the trees:
    It is only their call that comes on the breeze;
    Fear not the shudder that seems to pass:
    It is only the tread of their feet on the grass;
    Fear not the drip of the bough as you stoop:
    It is only the touch of their hands that grope –
    For the year’s on the turn, and it’s All Souls’ night,
    When the dead can yearn and the dead can smite.

    Agarwood, black musk, grave moss, and yew berries.

    Out of Stock

  • the-dead-lips-that-thirst-to-kiss

    The Dead Lips That Thirst to Kiss

    3 out of 5

    And where should a man bring his sweet to woo
    But here, where such hundreds were lovers too?
    Where lie the dead lips that thirst to kiss,
    The empty hands that their fellows miss,
    Where the maid and her lover, from sere to green,
    Sleep bed by bed, with the worm between?
    For it’s turn of the year and All Souls’ night,
    When the dead can hear and the dead have sight.

    Cold white iris, benzoin, and bitter frozen aldehydes.

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  • now-that-they-rise-and-walk-in-the-cold

    Now That They Rise and Walk in the Cold

    And now that they rise and walk in the cold,
    Let us warm their blood and give youth to the old.
    Let them see us and hear us, and say: “Ah, thus
    In the prime of the year it went with us!”
    Till their lips drawn close, and so long unkist,
    Forget they are mist that mingles with mist!
    For the year’s on the turn, and it’s All Souls’ night,
    When the dead can burn and the dead can smite.

    Bruised violets chilled by eucalyptus blossom, ice musk, and black cypress tar.

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  • to-kindle-a-flame-in-our-frozen-veins

    To Kindle a Flame in Our Frozen Veins

    5 out of 5

    Till they say, as they hear us — poor dead, poor dead! —
    “Just an hour of this, and our age-long bed —
    Just a thrill of the old remembered pains
    To kindle a flame in our frozen veins,
    Just a touch, and a sight, and a floating apart,
    As the chill of dawn strikes each phantom heart —
    For it’s turn of the year and All Souls’ night,
    When the dead can hear, and the dead have sight.”

    The dead’s cold black flame: opoponax, elemi, juniper, black musk, leather, and wilted mint.

    Add to cart

  • this-wan-white-humming-hive

    This Wan White Humming Hive

    5 out of 5

    And where should the living feel alive
    But here in this wan white humming hive,
    As the moon wastes down, and the dawn turns cold,
    And one by one they creep back to the fold?
    And where should a man hold his mate and say:
    “One more, one more, ere we go their way”?
    For the year’s on the turn, and it’s All Souls’ night,
    When the living can learn by the churchyard light.

    White patchouli leaf, beeswax, ambergris, and pale incense.

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  • they-lie-thus-chambered-and-cold-to-the-moon

    They Lie Thus Chambered and Cold to the Moon

    And how should we break faith who have seen
    Those dead lips plight with the mist between,
    And how forget, who have seen how soon
    They lie thus chambered and cold to the moon?
    How scorn, how hate, how strive, we too,
    Who must do so soon as those others do?
    For it’s All Souls’ night, and break of the day,
    And behold, with the light the dead are away.

    Cedar coffinwood, davana, tobacco flower, and white rose.

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++ THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN 2016: A Black Phoenix Salon Series

Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.

—Arthur C. Clark

  • die-nacht

    Die Nacht

    Askel Waldemar Johannessen

    A haze of verbena, lemon rind, transparent amber, ectoplasmic green musk, ti leaf, and bamboo.

    Out of Stock

  • Date of Scan: 9/27/06
Technician: Benjamin Cline
Scanner: Howtek HiResolve 8000
Software: Trident

    The Gambols of Ghosts

    Illustration for Robert Blair’s The Grave

    Rivulets of beeswax and amber flame illuminating a pale blue midnight, eddying with phantom violets, olive blossom, and moss.

    Out of Stock

  • the-ghosts-high-noon

    The Ghosts’ High Noon

    Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

    A swank affair: moss and dead leaves – amber-gilded, wrapped in balsam and cracked leather – crowned with mums, with a shard of gleaming, bone-white orris root.

    Out of Stock

  • Speak! Speak! 1895 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1895 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N01584

    Speak! Speak!

    J.E. Millais

    Brown leather, tonka bean, guiac wood, and brown musk chilled by white frankincense, eucalyptus, and calla lily.

    Out of Stock

  • waterghost

    Water Ghost

    Alfred Kubin

    Brown kelp and red algae streaked with black vetiver, driftwood, and sea moss.

    Out of Stock

Unicorns pt II, Unicorns at BPTP, and Living Deliciously for Emily’s List!

We continue our pushback against the darkness of recent events with the second set in Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Art of the Unicorn series, and with Black Phoenix Trading Post’s unicorn-inspired glosses and atmosphere sprays.

Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.

++ BLACK PHOENIX ALCHEMY LAB: ART OF THE UNICORN, PART II

  • The Creation

    The Creation

    5 out of 5

    From Paulus Orosius’s Histoire Ancienne

    Gilded amber saffron, indigo chypre, pearled gardenia, blackcurrant, ylang ylang, frankincense, fir needle, and white patchouli.

    Out of Stock

  • The Silence of the Woods

    The Silence of the Woods

    5 out of 5

    Arnold Böcklin

    Red soil and scattered pine needles, acorn husks and pine cones, burgundy pitch and oak leaves, drooping black cedar branches, woodmoss, and a cluster of pale, poisonous berries.

    Out of Stock

++ BLACK PHOENIX TRADING POST: THE ART OF THE UNICORN ATMOSPHERE SPRAYS

Get ’em all here!

JEUNE FEMME NOURRISSANT UNE LICORNE
Armand Point
White amber and pale blossoms with white ginger, green apple, and tonka.

LA DAME À LA LICORNE
Armand Point
Dried patchouli leaf, brown amber, woodmoss, red currant, labdanum, khus, and wild plum.

TRIUMPH OF CHASTITY
White musk, cypress, Italian bergamot, pink peppercorn, clary sage, white sandalwood, and terebinth.

++ BLACK PHOENIX TRADING POST: THE ART OF THE UNICORN HAIR GLOSS

ALLEGORY OF PURITY
Marcantonio Franceschini
White tea and gardenia softly glowing with opal iris, white musk, and lavender.

CHASTITY WITH THE UNICORN
Francesco di Giorgio Martini
Strawberries, crimson musk, and red oudh.

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG WOMAN WITH UNICORN
Raphael
Vanilla crepe de chine, ruby musk, golden amber, frankincense, honeyed saffron, smoked cardamom, sweet orange, star anise, and bronze fennel.

SAINT JUSTINA WITH THE UNICORN
Moretto da Brescia
Golden amber, leather, and tonka with Ceylon cinnamon bark, clove, myrrh, cacao, and star anise.

THE SHARING OF THE CAKE BETWEEN THE LION AND THE UNICORN
Sir John Tenniel
Honey cake hair gloss.

Bitches Love UnicornsWe have a bpal.org unicorn-inspired forum scent, available exclusively to bpal.org forum members. See our announcements section there for details and the link to purchase! Please add your forum name to the notes when ordering.

BITCHES LOVE UNICORNS
BPAL.org Exclusive
A sugared rainbow: strawberry, blood orange, lemon peel, lime, blueberry, raspberry, and blackcurrant.

IMG_2231Also at BPTP, there’s a new tee!

MAKE AMERICA LIVE DELICIOUSLY AGAIN TEE
A million thanks to Aristotle for the art, to Sarah Elizabeth and her wonderful friends for the inspiration, and to Black Phillip, without whom our lives would be bereft of both joy and deliciousness. Proceeds from this parody tee will benefit Emily’s List, a wonderful organization that supports electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. Learn more here!

And, of course, there’s Trading Post’s Lunacy poll winner! Kill-Devil!