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I have always loved fairy tales. Whether classic or modern, I adore them all. When I was younger, my mother’s book shelves were my library, and over the years a couple of books migrated from her shelves to mine. One of those is The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle. A modern fairy tale disguised as a classic one, it’s sold more then 5 million copies in its 40 years in print. So popular in fact, that when I recently decided to purchase a new copy I had to go to four different stores before I was able to find one.
It really seems to be the perfect story to be interpreted into scent by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I think one of the things that make this story so original is the authors ability to describe things in unexpected and unique ways (much like they do with their scents). I can only imagine what an treasure trove of scent inspiration the folks at BPAL found when reading this. I’m surprised they were able to limit the first series of the collection to just 7 oils!
I was excited to test The Butterfly, a minor but pivotal character in the book who is described as being “velvet all over, dark and dusty” and who speaks by reciting poetry and in songs that it’s overheard in its travels. Found inside BPAL’s signature brown vial is a lush oil with notes of brown tonka bean, golden amber, bergamot and petitgrain.
This oil starts out as a warm vanilla when first applied, but soon the amber and bergamot come alive. It’s like being wrapped in a warm and cozy blanket, a great scent for a chilly winter day. It perfectly embodies the idea of brown velvet and poetry, and somehow manages to have just a tiny bit of whimsy. And it lasts. The first time I put this on in the morning, I brought the bottle with me expecting to reapply about noon. But it stayed with me all through the day.
There are six additional scents in the collection, and they are definitely on my wishlist right now. Lilac Wood is a woodsy floral, which surprisingly doesn’t list lilac in the description. The Last Unicorn does contain lilac, as well as iris root, violet leaf, white chocolate and plenty more. A sophisticated scent for a complicated character. The Midnight Carnival, with teak, myrrh, cacao, lavender and neroli among others, is full of darkness and spice with little bits of sweet, just as it’s described in the book.
I can’t wait to read my fellow reviewers opinion of The Ninth Cage, described as iron and oak, and Mommy Fortuna, the first villain of the story. The final scent is the one that tempts me the most, Arachne of Lydia, with notes of dusty clove and blackcurrant. She’s a character lost in her own story, who wont accept the help of our heroine the Unicorn, because she doesn’t realize she needs it.
So we heartsters and Team, what do you think of this fairy tale inspired collection? Do we have another modern classic in our hands?