Class refers to your character’s choice of adventuring profession.
Illustrations by the inimitable Julie Dillon.
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
Presented in an amber apothecary vial
“You all meet at an inn…”
Pen and paper role-playing games have been a tremendous influence in my life since my formative years. My parents bought me the magenta D&D boxed set back in 1982, along with the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. My lifelong passion for fantasy, science fiction, war games, and mythology was well-channeled through RPGs, and I credit playing D&D with helping me sustain my imagination and sense of wonder through adulthood.
I played with one particular group through the bulk of my late teens and early 20s, and this series — along with the atmosphere tools that Black Phoenix Trading Post has introduced — was inspired, specifically, by the time that we spent campaigning together. Our group was somewhat prop-driven in our gaming: we felt that setting a mood was conducive to our style of gameplay. Little things like changes in lighting, minor sound effects, and music made a world of difference, and we found that utilizing miniatures, model railroad scenery, and other tools in order to physically illustrate strategies and provide visual cues was tremendously useful. How much more immersive would it have been if we’d been able to smell the crypt we were crawling through? Or the stench of steel and blood that permeates a warrior’s cloak? What do the wizard’s spell components smell like? What does winter in the desert smell like? Or spring in a druid’s sanctuary?
Pen and paper role playing games are, to me, dynamic stories that are propelled by the active participation of many individuals. You can’t have a strong storyline without creating characters of some depth. When you create a character, you generally have their personalities, priorities, and history in mind, along with a clear vision of what your character looks and sounds like. But how does she smell? What does the world around her smell like?
In most pen and paper fantasy RPGs, three of the primary attributes that you must choose for your character are race, class, and alignment. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s RPG scent series was designed to emulate the character creation process, and are meant to be layered in order to create a character concept. In short: you layer your class, race, and the two fragrances that compose your alignment to construct your character scent. RPGs in all their myriad forms — CRPGs, MMOs, and old school pen and paper — have brought me immeasurable joy. This is my homage. This series is dedicated to my first DMs — my parents — for laughing off the nutter-perpetuated AD&D Satan Scare of the 80’s. Thanks for taking the time to play with your little girl. I miss you, and I love you.
Ordered with my first big batch of Imps, I like this scent overall. Wet, it’s dominantly pine resin and warm woods. It quickly releases a sweet, almost floral note that I can’t identify. Up close, it’s still a soft but twangy conifer. As it dries and fades, it became even more floral and almost a little powdery on me. I associate this with grounding, protective energy and exploration. It has a very short throw, and seems to fade quickly.
I enjoy this scent, but I don’t know if I will wear it often (since it would need reapplication, and sometimes turns powdery, which I don’t really prefer).
(As a disclaimer, I’ve observed that most scents sweeten on my skin, sometimes drastically, so this might be less sweet on someone else.)
This opened up with a very strong and wild pine, very assertive, but I loved it. It’s the smell of deep dark pine forests and untamed areas, and it’s wonderful to smell. As it dried it took on a lovely warmth and the pine mellowed out… it was almost like I was in the forest in brisk weather, and put on a warm cashmere sweater, a very sweet and gentle odor. It remained pretty unchanging from this for me, just a warm gentle amidst a wild pine forest.
I found that the scent lasted pleasantly long on me, and I will be ordering a full size of this.
This is my first purchase from BPAL and I am absolutely in love with this scent.
Mind you, I’m no connoisseur when it comes to perfume oils, so my palette and descriptions are limited than what most others write about. This is what I noticed throughout the workday for the past few days
In the bottle: I easily smell the hay and juniper berry with a touch of pine and not much else. The hay and berries are very potent in the bottle. I was a little worried for it being a “woodsy” perfume that I would be disappointed with it being a super sweet smell.
Wet on wrist: Stronger hay smell but I pick up the pine and birch a bit more, and something almost sweet underneath it that I didn’t notice before. I can smell the patchouli at the edge of the scent.
30 minutes: The hay and berry smell has easily subsided. What I’m left with is a very strong Pine and Birch wood smell. I’m picking up a grassy, very strong woodsy smell, which I’m guessing is the moss, ironwood and elder bark coming through along with the Pine and Birch.
2 Hours: I’m nearly in the love with this scent at this point. The tree notes are super strong and the patchouli and moss are subtly sweet. Adding a very nice, feminine, note to the stronger masculine tree scents. I’ve been able to still smell the perfume throughout the morning at work. Normally, my sense of smell blocks out other perfumes within minutes, but I still was getting hints of trees and moss while working at my desk job. A few of my co-workers say I smell like I came out of the forest from an afternoon hike. My best friend said I smell like I just came from ren faire, and I would have to agree most with her assessment.
5 hours: The tree notes have lessened a bit. It now seems the patchouli and the moss is now the main note and the tree scents are the support. I still enjoy the scent, and it still smells nice and inoffensive – although the overall potency is a bit less powerful than in the morning hours.
8 hours: The scents have nearly dissipated at this point. Almost like I’m just wearing a basic perfume. My sense of smell isn’t picking up much of anything, unless my wrists are right near my nose. I’m almost picking up the Juniper berries again with the patchouli and moss lingering. The tree scents have mostly mellowed out to nothing.
Overall, I’m very happy with this scent. I definitely plan on wearing this at the office, and especially at the D&D table when I play my ranger – It totally fits the class!
If you’re into woodsy scents, you’ll love this one. It’s like walking through a pine forest. It has a medium throw and lasts, unchanging, throughout the day. It actually reminds me a lot of Thanatopsis. Both are tree blends. The difference is that underneath the trees Thanatopsis has a stronger perfume note, while this one has a spicy undertone. Both are nice, depending on what you’re going for.
In the bottle: Regal Juniper and Pine scents come off the bottle from the moment it opens. This is definitely a scent of the forest. I get an herbal scent that creates the idea of a mammal, not just a tree, but rather a creature that live in the forest.
Wet on Skin: Strong pine and juniper scents, but it isn’t as strong as it was in the bottle. There is a green scent, quite possibly the Spanish Moss. Now there is a sweetness that might be from the hay or Elder bark. It is less of a creature of the forest and more Spirit of the Trees. It is a very clear and fresh scent.
Worn 30+ mins: All the pine and juniper has blended into a soothing, tree scent. The hay is sweet without affecting my allergies at all. I can finally smell the patchouli. Now I’m getting a “ranger” impression from this scent.
Worn 3+ hours: The scent hasn’t changed, only faded in certain elements. I’m still getting a sweetness that I can’t identify. Only a small variance in scents: the patchouli is stronger than the moss. The juniper mixed with the wood scents perfectly.
Sweet pine, dry wood and hints of patchouli and woodsmoke. Light, simple and inoffensive.
An intriguing scent that is indeed reminiscent of the RPG class of Ranger. Upon application, I was immediately immersed in what smelled like the deep woods. All of the wood notes dominated my senses. After about 15 minutes, the wood notes faded into the background and all I could smell was the strong scent of leather. Perhaps the buckskin accord or Russian birch? This leather smell was cloying and strong but after about 30 minutes the scent faded into the background to be replaced by the sweet woody note of the cabreuva accentuated with the galangal root and armoise with just a hint of juniper. Overall, a very delightful blend of different woods and roots. This smells amazing in a diffuser and would make a perfect deep winter perfume. The only drawback to this scent is the very short but intense musty leather note that could turn quite a few people off if they are not patient to wait for the wonderful woody sweetness that follows shortly after.
You meet the Ranger in the woods. Or rather, you almost don’t meet him at all. You stepped into one of his snares and he happened to come to check it. When he first approached, you didn’t even see him among the trees. His slight form and dark clothes blend seamlessly into the pines and birches and elders and junipers, and you only know he’s there when he touches your trapped ankle. He’s masked, almost a non-presence in the forest.
Once the indignity of being untangled is over, he beckons you to follow. You’re loud and clumsy beside his grace, but you go anyway. Something about this silent figure intrigues you.
Suddenly, the forest opens up into a meadow, part of it cut for hay by some enterprising farmer and part still standing, drying grasses and herbs and buttery yellow wildflowers. The sun that had been hidden by the dense trees bursts down on you in full late summer glory, and the wind carries the heat and scent of childhood’s lazy afternoons into your face.
You almost stagger back, stunned by the sudden beauty tucked into the heart of this dark wilderness. Then there’s a delighted giggle from beside you, and you look over to see the Ranger laughing in pure joy. What you took for a slight man is actually a young woman. She pulls back her hood and mask and shakes short brownish hair loose, grinning.
Then, with a glee that is utterly at odds with her silent demeanor in the forest, she starts taking things off. First her weapons, then her boots, then her clothes, until she runs off into the meadow, delighting in the touch of the flowers on her bare skin. She dances around, spinning in delight, before finally collapsing in a particularly thick patch of sweet herbs. You can just see her looking at you through them, eyes brown and dancing. Whether or not you follow is up to you…
And that is Ranger: Mysterious and evergreen woods while in the bottle, but drying down very fast on the skin into the sweetest, most buttery herbal-floral scent I could have imagined. It’s a lovely winter scent on me (it can be a bit overwhelming in the summer heat) and evokes warmth and comfort anytime I smell it. And my father, a man who has always let it be known that he much prefers the scent of clean skin and hair on his wife and daughters, actually said he liked it on me. Which is about the highest praise I can give it. 5 of 5. (Bought on ThinkGeek when they still offered the RPG scents.)