And a review of some of their scents…
“Have you ever heard of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab? Get to your computer immediately“. That’s how it all began so long ago for Christy and I, BPAL super fans. Since then, we’ve been just a tad bit obsessed. But can you blame us? Where else can you get a dark, romantic perfume for under $20? They are unlike anything on the market today. (And if you haven’t already, make sure to read our interview with Beth, the mastermind behind the line.)
I’ve heard mutters of those new to the line being confused by their site. It’s understandable, with over 600 oils produced, it can be a bit daunting to navigate. But once you know a few tips, you’ve unlocked the door to a really spectacular fragrance experience.
For a newbie, I suggest your first stop should be their search page. Here you can enter an oil’s name (if you know it) or a fragrance note. For example, entering “strawberry” results in 4 oils that contain that note (though that number changes as new oils are introduced). If you click on the name itself, you will be redirected to the BPAL forums (more on that in a moment), but if you click on the purchase link, you will be brought to the category page that it’s a part of and this is where the oil can be bought.
From the search page, if you want to know a bit more about a particular scent, click on the name to visit the Forum. At this very dedicated and active BPAL fan community, you can get real life descriptions and reviews (and a whole lot more!) from forum members.
Getting the hang of it? Ok, see that giant list on the left side of their home page? These are direct links to their fragrance categories. Peruse them, it’s fun! One of my favorites is Carnaval Diabolique, fragrances inspired by a twisted, dark and haunting circus.
Still not ready to take the plunge and purchase a 5ml bottle? You can order a 1/32oz sample vile in almost any non-limited edition scent the Lab carries. They call them Imps Ears and they are a mere $4 each, or six for $22. It’s a great way to sample a batch and find your own signature scent.
That’s it; the basic knowledge needed to explore the exciting world of BPAL. Of course, as you become more familiar with the line, you can delve into all of their special limited editions. Like their Lunacies, special oils available with every new moon. Right now, I recommend a look at Halloweenie 2009 (for example Trick or Treat 2009 is the scent of Candy Corn!) and Pa-Pow, an oil dedicated to Lab team member Ted’s dog, his best friend and companion for 17 years who recently passed away. It’s the scent of “evocative of bright days running through the grass and sun-warmed puppy fur dusted with California wildflowers” and proceeds from the sale of will go to the Pasadena Humane Society.
And the Yuletide 2009’s were just released this morning! 38 limited edition holiday oils. I can’t even list all the ones I’m excited about. Just. Go. Look!
We received a range of ten classic oils to test. I’ll let our review team fill you in on the details of all the scents. But a few of my personal favorites from the package…
• Snake oil – the lab’s most popular scent. Magnetic, mysterious, and exceedingly sexual in nature. A blend of exotic Indonesian oils sugared with vanilla.
• The Antikythera Mechanism – This is my new favorite. Every time I wear it my hubby says “you smell soooo good” (usually followed by neck nuzzling). Teakwood, oak, black vanilla, and tobacco.
• Alice – As sweet and beautiful as it sounds. Milk and honey with rose, carnation and bergamot.
Review Team, let us know your thoughts on the oil your received. And other Bpal super fans, tell us what’s your all time favorite oil?