Tag Archives: BPAL

BPAL Giveaway Winner

After a little consideration (because I want to give ALL of you these samples), I decided the only fair thing to do was write your names down on slips of paper and have a drawing.

And the winner is…….


This is nice, because Becky has never tried BPAL oils before, and it’s always fun to introduce new people to things that you love.  For those who didn’t win, well, I have a new order for BPAL oils going in tonight, so there will probably be another opportunity to win my not-loved imps next month!

And stay tuned, because I’m plotting to give away a couple of really cool things in the near future that aren’t BPAL-related!

BPAL Giveaway!

I first blogged about Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs a while ago, so click here if you don’t know who they are.  Since that post I’ve been collecting a bunch sample perfume “imps”, and now I want to find a new home for some of them.  Some of the fragrances I don’t like on me at all, and others are okay but I just don’t wear them.  These are basically like new imps, still full to the top!

So here’s the giveaway: leave me a comment below with an email or way to contact you, and I’ll pick a winner and mail that person all my unwanted imps.  Talk about a totally free way to try a few new perfumes!

(The imps in the above picture aren’t the ones being given away, btw, just a few random imps to show you what they look like!)

Four Cool Things for Today

First off, just a update on the Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs perfume oil called “Somnus”.  It’s supposed to help you sleep.  I was skeptical, even after reading the rave reviews.

Okay, okay, so after a couple of weeks of testing, I’m forced to admit it does seem to work!  I have this problem occasionally, where I either can’t get to sleep in a reasonable amount of time, or else I wake up in the night and can’t fall back to sleep.  It’s not true insomnia; it’s my own fault.  I get to thinking about a story I’m writing, or a costuming I’m sewing, and then I can’t turn my mind off.  Gads, it’s annoying!  So since I got the perfume oil, I’ve put it beside my bed, and waited for just those occasions.  When I can’t stop thinking, I dab a little under my ears or on my pillow, and voila.  I have just about enough time to think: “This is quite a lovely smell”, and then I wake up again in the morning, fully rested.  I’m definitely getting a full bottle of this stuff.


Maybe as a possible side effect (and I hadn’t considered this until just now), I’ve twice dreamed really good story ideas in the last week.  I don’t normally get much usable material out of dreams – except for little snippets and imagery.  But these two ideas I’ve gotten are full-fledged, fabulous plots.  With characters and everything.  So yay for dreaming!  I’d tell you what these ideas were, but then I’d never actually write them into a story.

Now for something really sad.  I’ve been a tremendous fan of “The Shield” since the very first episode.  There was always something truly original and wonderful about that show.  In fact, I loved it so much that I purposely didn’t watch the last (and final) season as it aired on tv.  I wanted to wait until I could get the dvds and have an advertisement-free marathon.  Just to let myself get completely sucked into the story.

I just watched the final episode the day before yesterday.  I was so shell-shocked by it that I sealed it up in its little red Netflix envelope, hardly knowing what to think of it.  And then yesterday, I unsealed the envelope and watched it again.  It’s a worthy ending, folks.  Completely unlike certain other shows that won’t be mentioned.*cough*sopranos*cough*


Oh my gosh, Shane, what have you done to me? I wanted to hate you after you killed Lem, I truly, honestly did.  I loved Lem.  But I never could hate you.  And even though I was pretty dang positive how you were going to go out, I hoped it wasn’t true, and now I’m all torn up inside grieving for a family that doesn’t even exist.  That’s the power of a show like this.  You care.  You can’t help but care, no matter how flawed the characters were or what horrible things they did.

But what a tragic episode all around.  I really honestly wanted Vic and Shane and Ronnie slip off into the sunset together, even though I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  My guesses as to what was going to happen were pretty spot-on.  I knew Shane would die, and how he would go, and I knew Vic would survive in his own private hell.  I just wasn’t sure about Ronnie, so maybe that’s why it was the hardest of all to see him in handcuffs.


Here’s to the boys of The Shield.  There will never be another show like it.


And now that I’m completely miserable, let’s have something fun.

You can’t miss Darth Vader doing “Thriller”.

And lastly, here’s Ron Paul’s reaction to being punked in Sasha Baron Cohen’s new film Bruno:

He’s such a classy guy (in stark contrast to the idiot that is Sasha Baron Cohen).  And he wants to totally abolish the IRS and taxes. Yes.


So I’ve worn four of my new perfume oil samples so far, and I have to say I did a much better job choosing them this time.  There are none so far I absolutely hate.  🙂

Snake Oil.  It’s a nice smell.  I like it, but it’s very muted.  I put some on my wrists and behind my ears, and normally when I do this with perfume, I can catch whiffs of it whenever I turn my head.  I couldn’t smell Snake Oil unless I sniffed my wrist.  Maybe I just have to put alot more on?  I don’t know, this one requires more wearing.

Lyonesse.  I really quite like this one, enough so that I may consider buying a bottle, if I’m still loving it by the time my sample runs out.  I don’t normally care for floral scents, but this one is mixed with some darker notes.

Blood Countess.   This one is kind of odd.  Fruity-floral, with incense.  I have to wear it again.  Not what I was expecting at all, based on the description.  (Countess Bathory smelled of…fruit?)

Antikythera Mechanism.  This one is the “steampunk” one, and so I was really hoping to love it.  It would have been nice to wear with my steampunk costume this October.  Wet and in the bottle, it’s pretty…strident.  As soon as I put it on, I sneezed twice!  Hmmm.  It seems to be mellowing down as I type this, but it’s definitely on probation at this point!


So it’s that time again…when I could resist no longer ordering a new sample set of six new fragrances.  And also, I had to order an entire bottle of “Hollywood Babylon”, because I ran out of my sample some days ago, and was fairly much in a wicked withdrawal.

So here’s the samples I ordered:

Bronze gears spin inside a polished wooden case, and an entire universe dances within.
Teakwood, oak, black vanilla, and tobacco.

Steampunk, yay!!!

VENICE A complex, voluptuous scent that captures the robust beauty and of the Italian Renaissance: lemon, red currant, wisteria, red rose petals, heady jasmine, Florentine orris root, waterlily, red sandalwood, violet plum, and violet leaf.

Then rose the King and moved his host by night
And ever pushed Sir Mordred, league by league,
Back to the sunset bound of Lyonesse —
A land of old upheaven from the abyss
By fire, to sink into the abyss again;
Where fragments of forgotten peoples dwelt,
And the long mountains ended in a coast
Of ever-shifting sand, and far away
The phantom circle of a moaning sea.

Golden vanilla and gilded musk, stargazer lily, white sandalwood, grey amber, elemi, orris root, ambergris and sea moss.

The vanilla and stargazer lily hooked me with this one.  I love those scents.

The intoxicating perfume of exotic incenses wafting on warm desert breezes. Arabian spices wind through a blend of warm musk, carnation, red sandalwood and cassia.

Elizabeth Báthory, also called Erzsébet Báthory in Hungarian and Alžbeta Bátoriová-Nádašdy in Slovak, was the Bloody Lady of Hungary. In order to preserve her youth and loveliness, the brutal and incomparably savage countess captured, tortured and slaughtered innumerable young women and bathed in their blood as part of her beauty regimen. Ah, vanity. Corrupted black plum, smoky opium and crumbling dead roses covered by a deceptive veil of Hungarian lilac, white gardenia and wild berry.

Gardenia.  Lilac.  Black plum.  Yum.

By far, our most popular scent! Magnetic, mysterious, and exceedingly sexual in nature. A blend of exotic Indonesian oils sugared with vanilla.

And then, they were kind enough to send me four free samples!!! I’m thrilled.  Here’s what they sent:

A gentlemen’s lavender-citron cologne unhinged by the feral pungence of black musk and a paroxysm of pennyroyal.

Lustrous, sanguine, soft and lavish: soft orris, blood musk, and coconut.

Named after the Roman God of Sleep. This blend helps bring on deep, restful, natural sleep.

And then one called “Hi’iaka”, which I can’t seem to find anywhere on their site.  A true mystery scent, I guess.  If I like this one, I may have just a bit of trouble re-ordering!

The scent tests begin.  First off, I’m wearing “Snake Oil”.  Everyone raves about this one, but in the bottle, I wasn’t too sure.  Kind of woody and sharp.  Not at all what comes to my mind when I consider the name.  However, once I put it on, the sharpness fades immediately to a soft vanilla, candy smell with a hint of something deeper and muskier that I can’t identify.  Still not at all what I would have imagined, based on the name, but nice.  It just may be too sugary for me, though.

BPAL Update – Psyche & Masabakes

These were my two free samples that Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs threw in with my order.  I’m not a fan of either; on me, they both have a strong, cheap ‘perfume’ smell.

But overall, I’m eager to order more samples from BPAL.  I’ve discovered two samples I really love (Hollywood Babylon & Bess) so I consider that a good return, especially since the International Wenches Guild has a BPAL sample trading forum, and I’ll hopefully be able to trade the samples I don’t like for new ones.

Yes, I am a licensed wench.  You know what a wench is, right?

A Woman Entitled to Nothing but Complete Happiness


BPAL Update – “Highwayman” and “Bess”

So Highwayman was my ‘novelty’ sample. A number of people who’ve tried it say it really does smell like leather. Leather? I love the smell of leather!

Here’s the description:

“Stand and deliver! Vetiver with gardenia, blood red rose, night-blooming jasmine, a dash of cinnamon and a faint hint of leather.”

How can you not love this?

Well, as it turns out, quite easily not. I’m not sure what it smells like, but it isn’t leather, and it isn’t very good – at least not with my skin chemistry.

But…I now am a devotee of Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, because it’s definitely true that you only have to find the right sample vial, and you’re theirs for life. I am absolutely in love with “Hollywood Babylon” and “Bess”.

Bess wasn’t even supposed to be for me! My mom bought a sample of it, wooed by this description:

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
Since from myself another self I turned.
My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.
Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

Inspired by the tragic, ill-fated love of Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester. This is our modernization of a 17th-century perfume blend favored by British aristocracy: rosemary, orange flower, grape spirit, five rose variants, lemon peel, and mint.

First off, while I love good queen Bess, I don’t like citrus scents, rosemary, or mint particularly much. Citrus scents often give me a headache. But my mom didn’t like the sample, and gave it to me. I tried it with extreme trepidation, and….I adore it. Oddly, it’s musky, but it’s a ‘clean’ musk that’s sort of hard to describe. When I’m wearing it, I’m driven to keep sniffing my wrists – which I tried to do in a stealthy manner while at work. They already know I’m crazy; they don’t need to add wrist-sniffing to my list of odd behaviors! 😆 And it’s really cool that it’s based on an actual 17th century perfume blend.

So I’m definitely buying a full-size bottle of Bess, plus one of Hollywood Babylon, because I’m pretty much loving that one just as much.

Two more fragrances left in my sample pack. I’m reluctantly wearing Masabakes right now (reluctantly because I really want to put on more Bess!) and I’ll reserve judgment until a bit later. I didn’t think I’d like it at all when I first put it on, but now it’s beginning to smell a bit like cinnamon and spice, so…

BPAL – Update: “Harlot” and “Hollywood Babylon”

Finally! Two scents I like!

I put Harlot on before I left for church in the morning, (good thing no one asked the name of my fragrance!).  It’s another vanilla scent, this one crossed with roses.  The only flaw was that it’s delicate enough to be worn off by 1pm when I went to work.  My friend tried to catch a whiff, and said she could only smell my gum!  When I wear it again, I may have to bring the bottle with me, and replenish it mid-day.

Since Harlot was gone, when I got home, I tried a little Hollywood Babylon.  So far, I’m loving this one.  It’s more robust, so I think it will stay with me longer, and it smells like really juicy cherries and musk.  Sort of candy-like, but without the annoyingly sweetness of Bordello.

BPAL Update – “London” and “Blood Kiss”

I put on a little Blood Kiss this morning, and ew, hated it. On my skin, at least, it had a very harsh, cheap-perfume smell. I suffered with it for a couple of hours, and it didn’t improve. Scratch this one way off my list!

So next I put on London. This one was a very nice rose scent, but it was only a rose scent. No undertones, nothing but rose. I doubt I’ll buy a full sized bottle of this, since there was nothing unique about it, but I’ll keep my little imp. Possibly I’ll layer it with one of the other scents – it might even smell nice with Bordello…

BPAL Update – “Bordello”

My samples from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab are finally here! See my previous post:


And they threw in two extras: ‘Psyche’ and ‘Masabakes’. After I opened all the teeny bottles and gave them a sniff, I decided to give Bordello the first trial wear.

My first impression was that I liked it quite a lot. In the beginning, it had a very vanilla-y scent, which I love. A half hour later, it smelled more strongly of fruit, kind of a plum scent. Now, several hours later, I’m not quite so enthralled. If I had to describe it, I’d come up with “candy sweet”…very, very sweet, full of vanilla and marshmallow. It’s lovely, but it’s not really me. And also, since it’s quite a delicate scent, I had to put on a lot in order to smell it at all. Not my description of a ‘bordello’, unless it’s also a candy factory. 😆

Tomorrow I’ll test-wear a different one.