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Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs has strong toy scents, all nauseating and awful. I left the scent strips and imps outside. Bleach them.  I regret writing such a disdainful article about them, but they really are off-putting.

  • Black Rider sharp, barbershoppy, cheap. “Leather, opoponax.”
  • Redoul Honey – acrid, nasty.
  • Vam Vam artificial, gross, annoying. “Voodoo?” Doo-Doo.
  • Whitechapelclean, Comet-y, but vile. “white musk, lilac, lime”
  • Obatala-mix Black Rider and Re Honey. Not a good one. “Milk, coconut meat, Shea butter
  • AntikytheraEau de Raid -“teakwood, oak, tobacco”
  • Learwintergreen cleanser. “White cedarwood, blue spruce”
  • Athensgarish, vile. “Myrrh, honey, wine & flowers

All scents hideous- scrubbies all. It pains me to make such a small-minded condemnation of the BPAL line, but I feel no sophistication or even much effort exerted in their manufacture.  The blurbs offer decently crafted concepts; none of them measure up to the quality of their ad content.  They tell us what they wish to convey – they do not convey it.  

They have an artificial, cheap chemical feeling when applied.  “Look, I can make a scent!”  That, to me, is mere primitive art form, like refrigerator art.  “Look, I can do this!” Yes, you can.  It’s the difference between hearing a radio ad about Spooky Hallowe’en Savings in one’s AM market, and listening to Night on Bald Mountain. One requires the recruitment of active, energetic fantasy by the consumer to the extent that it overwhelms the shoddiness of the ad content.  THe latter can be experienced – the former must be made by the listener.

I think that BPAL has touched on a wide and rich potential, Gothic Fragrance.  But unlike the Goth-y offerings of Gorilla/Lush Perfumes, such as Death and Decay, I do not see the work behind the BPAL line.

I have not tried D&D, but have tried the surprising The Bug, which makes good on its offering of discord but does through through complexity, rather than “Wham! Bam! Now smell this, ma’am!

Save all your money from BPAL and try The Bug from Gorilla/Lush.  It’s worth the effort.

PS:  I’ve gone back to sniff the fragrance strips – they’re every bit as unchanged and bad as the first sniffs.  Lear and The Black Rider are less ghastly than they others.  They are not ghastly in a Hallowe’en sense, just awful.  They all have a horrid, cloying reek of deep-discount knockoff dryer fragrance strips.  I would use them to de-scent smoke-damaged cheap fluffy toys or in decontaminating crime scenes sustaining a lot of decomposition.  One sniff, and one sees no reason for these scents to exist.  What are they trying to accomplish?  I will go on to the topic of Quality after this horrific experience – excuse me, but I’m actually a bit nauseous after sniffing them. I don’t mean to whine, but I get “scent echoes” or memories of how certain ones smelled – not the good ones, either.  If I were to search for them in an empty warehouse, I could find them; and long before getting within arm’s length I could name them.  They are vile.

I’ve learned a bit about scents. They must be subtle and congruent with their environment. At most, adverbs in comparison to grammar; not nouns, never imperatives. “Why?” Is a condemnation of a scent. When one asks “why do you smell like detergent?” one should never wear that  scent again.