Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and How to Smell Like a Gothic Book

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

This is kind of incredible. There is a place that hand-crafts perfume based on the characters, locations, and ideas found within the pages of Neil Gaiman novels (and also other fantasy/sci-fi comics and books). I shit you not. Seriously,¬†@neilhimself tweeted it today. So, in addition to me, some 1,639,104 followers whose idea of body scent may be “Mitchum” just got schooled.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab specializes in “formulating body and household blends with a dark, romantic Gothic tone…scents run the aesthetic gamut of magickal, pagan and mythological blends, Renaissance, Medieval and Victorian formulas, and horror / Gothic-themed scents.” What an interesting niche.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

I found a review on FashionablyGeek covering the four scents pictured above. “The Macabray” from Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is described by BPAL as “White winter flowers plucked from a snow-covered graveyard.” The FashionableGeek reviewer adds “It made me smile for no apparent reason.” RESULT!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has been keeping goths from smelling too undead for years. The Sleepy Hollow collection above dates back to 2008. BPAL cites inspiration from a range of influences such as “the passion and decadence of the Fin de siecle movement to the ghastliest of Lovecraftian monstrosities.” Their “one true goal” is:

moving the soul and spirit through the unbridled artistry of scent, and remaining unbound by conventional fashion

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Since I tend to prefer nonsense, I responded more to the bottle art than the scent descriptions. The artists contributing work to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s packaging include:¬†Beresford Egan, Aubrey Beardsley, Felicien Rops, Harry Clarke, Albrecht Durer, John Tenniel, Andreas Vesalius, Jennifer Williamson, Julie Dillon, Sarah Coleman, Alicia Dabney and Madame Talbot. It suddenly occurs to me that BPAL should conjure up some oils for Junko Mizuno’s Pure Trance!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Even when BPAL goes off-label, the photography is compelling. They offer a variety of prototypes and trunk sale items via an etsy shop. BPAL’s website, in accordance with the whole goth thing, is suitably weblike, so expect to spend some time weaving your way around. Despite reading the FAQ (thereby knowing the answer to “Can I request a free Imp’s ear?”), I still feel a bit confused. Perhaps the scent of The Floating Market from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere will perk me up? Check here for a list of BPAL retailers. You can also follow them on twitter @bpal.

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