Weenies 2017

++ BLACK PHOENIX ALCHEMY LAB: HALLOWEEN 2017

The skies have darkened, and summer’s last bright green leaf has turned. Halloween is here at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

  • halloween 2017 WEB all souls

    All Souls 2017

    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.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB the apparition

    The Apparition

    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.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB day of the skulls

    Day of Skulls

    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.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB dirge

    Dirge

    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.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB hallow-een 1914

    Hallow-e’en, 1914

    “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.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB haunted seas

    Haunted Seas

    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.

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  • 22016309_10155775770068293_464978902_n

    In a Whispering Gallery

    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.

    —Thomas Hardy

    Marbled white iris, white tobacco flower, Italian bergamot, white leather, and Mysore sandalwood.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB la calavera catrina

    La Calavera Catrina

    The Lady of the Graveyard! Autumn leaves, wild roses, bourbon vanilla, dry chamomile, and a bouquet of bright chrysanthemums and Mexican marigolds.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB october

    October

    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.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB sahmain

    Samhain 2017

    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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  • halloween 2017 WEB september midnight

    September Midnight 2017

    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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  • halloween 2017 WEB sugar skull

    Sugar Skull 2017

    Vibrant with the joy and sweetness of life in death! A blend of five sugars, lightly dusted with candied fruits.

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  • halloween 2017 WEB witch bride

    The Witch Bride 2017

    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.

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++ HALLOWEEN 2017: PILE OF LEAVES
Every leaf tells a story.
++ HALLOWEEN 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.

++ HALLOWEEN 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!

  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB CHIROPTOPHOBIA

    Chiroptophobia

    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.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB COIMETROPHOBIA

    Coimetrophobia

    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.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB NEBULAPHOBIA

    Nebulaphobia

    5 out of 5

    Fear of Fog

    Sinuous, suffocating tendrils of grey ambergris, white frankincense, and cade.

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  • samhainophobia 2017 WEB SAMHAINOPHOBIA

    Samhainophobia

    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.

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++Halloween 2017: The Tell-Tale Heart

Story by Edgar Allan Poe, art by Drew Rausch, scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

  • tell tale heart LABEL-i heard many things in hell

    I Heard Many Things in Hell

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - the eye of the vulture

    The Eye of a Vulture

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - you fancy me mad

    You Fancy Me Mad

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - groan of mortal terror

    Groan of Mortal Terror

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - TheMournfulInfluenceOfTheUnperceivedShadow

    The Mournful Influence of the Unperceived Shadow

    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.

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And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror.

  • telltaleheart BPAL web - TheMournfulInfluenceOfTheUnperceivedShadow

    The Mournful Influence of the Unperceived Shadow

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - stealthily stealthily

    Stealthily, Stealthily

    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.

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  • tell tale heart WEB - over acuteness of the sense

    Over-Acuteness of the Senses

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - TheHellishTattooOfTheHeart

    The Hellish Tattoo of The Heart

    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.

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  • telltaleheart BPAL web - suspicion of foul play

    Suspicion of Foul Play

    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.

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  • 22054373_10155775810683293_1900882716_n

    The Wild Audacity of My Perfect Triumph

    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.

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  • tell tale heart WEB - singularly at ease

    Singularly At Ease

    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.

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  • tell tale heart WEB - violent gesticulations

    Violent Gesticulations

    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.

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