BPAL Yule 2016 review

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BPAL Yule 2016 review press sample

Want to keep the holiday spirit forever? Not Christmas songs and forced cheer, the good parts of the holidays like the scents and the memories they evoke. The BPAL Yule 2016 collection can help you do just that.

The Yule launch is one of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s limited edition annual collections, much like Valentine’s Day Lupercalia and the favorite of every foodie scent lover; the Halloweenies. Traditionalists will be happy with scents like Egg Nog and a candy cane classic called Lick It (this year they added “with Consent” to the title, which is brilliant.) And for those who the holidays bring out a special kind of horror, there’s the Phobias, a group of scents based on fears.

Can I just take a minute to say how much I love this company?

Ok, let’s get into it…

Closer look of BPAL Yule

Falling within the largest Yule category, you’ll find scents that appear each year like the rose-based The Peacock Queen and Snow White. Roses can take on so many characteristics and I think BPAL really nails that here. Snow White is a “chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.” It has a soft, aquatic note to it. Its opposite is The Peacock Queen “a blood red, voluptuous rose, velvet-petaled, at the height of bloom.” This is pure rose in all its heady loveliness, like when you bury your nose deep in the petals of perfectly formed blossom. It’s heavenly.

There are also a lot of foodie scents in the Yule grouping too, because hello, holiday eating! In addition to the ones I listed above there’s Salted Caramel Shortbread, Peppermint Cream Cupcake and the delight in a bottle that is Raspberry Sufganiyot. The description is a “sugar-sprinkled sufganiyot filled with sweet raspberry jelly.” This was the scent I was most excited for and it didn’t let me down. It’s not as sweet as sounds, in fact I don’t get a ton of sugar from it at all. But I do get a raspberry jam that layers beautifully with richer scents like Snake Oil and Amber. Yum.


There’s a whole category of Single Notes within Yule that really allow the Lab to play. How can you not be intrigued (and entertained) by scents like Community Church Manager Hay or Drunk Uncle?

There’s not even scent descriptions on these because they’re so obvious. I got to take Actual Lump of Coal and Rapidly Solidifying Mashed Potato Lump for a sniff.

I’m not sure who would want to smell like Mashed Potatoes, but for that person there’s Rapidly Solidifying Mashed Potato Lump. It’s SO spot on, lots of salt and garlic. It makes me hungry!

Fans of smokey scents may dig Actual Lump of Coal, which smells like, you guessed it, and actual lump of coal. When I was growing up we had a coal cellar in our basement. It was a little room at the far end of our basement where coal was dumped from a shoot on the street before the old house was converted to electric heat. It terrified me to no end. Basements are creepy enough, what with their dark, dampness. But imagine having a room in yours that you were told to NEVER PLAY IN? (I think my mom always feared I’d somehow get buried in the remnants.) I was convinced it was haunted. So yeah, Actual Lump of Coal may as well be in the Phobia category for me!


Speaking of Phobias, I got to try Pognophobia; the fear of beards. Described as “a tangle of patchouli, upcycled leather, artisanal honey, and a couple of oils you’ve probably never heard of” I really like this. It’s really masculine, all patchouli and leather for me. If you like super earthy scents, you’ll love it. I’m trying to get my bearded husband to wear it. I’m not in love with his beard, but I think this would help!

Falling within The Art of Winter group is Winter Landscape. It’s “a snow-thick scent, chalky with sandalwood and clove, streaked iron-orange and tonka-brown”, but all I get is the heavy aquatic notes of the snow. If you love a good water scent, you’ll be pleased.

Finally, there’s the Gingerbread Cotillion; gingerbread parings that go way beyond traditional icing and candy. I am absolutely delighted by Gingerbread, Matcha Tea, and Raw Mint, which mixes the sweetness of the cookie, with the bitterness of matcha and what seems to be a single mint leaf floating on top of it all. It’s complex and delicious, and Imma bite the head right off that lil’ man!


BPAL tells me you have until “two days after February’s full moon” to order these. (That’s February 12, 2017 by my account, but order ASAP just to be safe.) Each bottle sells for $24.

we heartsters – which holiday scent would you like to bottle?

Stef is many things. Amongst them: editor-in-chief of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie.
skin tone: NC 25/30
skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea
favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products


  • Stef Andrews

    Stef is a plethora of things. Amongst them: co-founder of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She also has a touch of wanderlust and, arguably, the cutest dog in the whole world... skin tone: NC 25/30 skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products

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  1. Omg BPAL is the best. I need to get my hands on the Gingerbread Matcha Tea with Raw Mint! If I could bottle a holiday scent, hmmm—maybe a spiced red wine laced with vanilla and a top note of irritability/grouchiness?

  2. Oh, so many of these sound so good! Peacock Queen sounds like the perfect scent for a rose-lover like myself.

  3. I never would have known about BPAL if it weren’t for you! They are RAD.

  4. Gingerbread, Matcha Tea, and Raw Mint and Winter Landscape both sound really nice!

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