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August 6, 2014

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Review

I've mentioned before that I've been getting more into Indie makeup and cosmetic brands, and one I was recently recommended was Black Phoenix Alcehmy Lab. BPAL specializes in high quality perfume oils which can be purchased in Imps ($4 1/32 oz vials) or full sized (~$18 5ml bottles). A recent Indie compadre shared with me some of her BPAL favorites, and I bought a few Imps!

Shipping is a little deterring, it's $6.99 flat rate no matter what you order. But if you get lots of Imps to try it's not that bad. And they always include samples, so you'll get a little something extra. And it's sent USPS Priority 2-day, so you'll get it in two days after it ships, which can take a little while as everything is made to order.

BPAL also has a Los Angeles store, which I may have to visit someday on the way to or back from San Diego.

BPAL doesn't use perfumer's alcohol which is why these oils last all day on the skin. It's a common practice among Indie perfumes, and perfumes can change on the skin immediately, over a few hours, over the whole day, and some hardcore fans even "age" their bottles and they change over years. It's a very interesting a dedicated community BPAL has amassed, and many fans have hundreds of full size bottles. I'm going to have to find a good storage solution for my small perfume collection.

I'm not an expert scent describer, so bear with my descriptions of the scents. Once I read the scent notes, I can pick out certain notes, but I would have a hard time describing what's in it on my own.

Magus - "An ancient blend, swollen with arcane power: galangal, high john essence, frankincense, cedar, and sandalwood." This was my free sample Imp, and it's probably not something I would have picked out on my own. It smells mostly like cedar to me, but it's quite a nice woodsy scent on the skin. It smells a little manly in the bottle, but on my skin it mellows out quite nicely.

Dorian - "A Victorian fougere with three pale musks and dark, sugared vanilla tea." This may be my favorite of the bunch, even though I love them all really. But on my skin, this smells mostly of vanilla with a faint hint of the musk and tea.

Dragon's Milk - "Dragon's blood resin and honeyed vanilla." If you know what Dragon's Blood smells like you'll recognize this scent, it's definitely a sweeter version of it. Dragon's Blood is so unique, but such a beautiful scent.

Elf - "Pale golden musk, honeycomb, amber, parma violet, hawthorne bark, aspen leaf, forest lily, life everlasting, white moss, and a hint of wild berry." I had to get this as part of the RPG series BPAL has. I used to play ungodly amounts of World of Warcraft and I always played a Druid Night Elf. The Druid scent is next on my list, but this smells very woodsy just as I would have expected for an Elf scent.

Snake Oil - "A blend of exotic Indonesian oils sugared with vanilla." This is one of their most popular scents, so I figured I should try it. It smells very exotic with hints of vanilla. 

Overall, I love my Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfumes, and I can't wait to order more. I would have to really love one of the sample vials to order a full size, but I can see why so many people go gaga over them. They're so unique, and so different from any other kinds of perfume you've probably smelled. They're almost heavy smelling because they lack any thing to "water" them down with. But after applying them, I find myself smelling it throughout the day because they smell so good!


  1. I am a big fan of their Morocco. A few years ago they made a unique scent for each version of the full moon, June's is the Strawberry Moon, and it is the most amazing strawberry smell. I love how quirky they are.

    1. Oooh that sounds good. I just don't know if I want to go down the limited edition rabbit hole. But I'm definitely going to get more of the regular edition scents.

  2. Been following your blog for a while (found you through the Julep Swap FB group), but I have to break my lurking to say thank you for introducing me to BPAL (and of course all the other info that you provide)! Was super excited to find perfumes based off of my favorite Neil Gaiman books!! My wallet is happily several perfumes lighter now. :)

    1. You're welcome! Let me know how you like them when they arrive, they are so unique and different, I think you'll love them!

    2. My bpal order came in, and omg I love it!!! Even got a couple of free imps that were amazing as well! Most of them last all day on me, with decent throw, and my BF is happy that they don't start off smelling of alcohol. Thank you for inspiring another addiction!

    3. You're welcome, yay I'm glad you like it! Next check out Haus of Gloi, they have their new fall perfumes and bath and body stuff releasing August 24th :D


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