OUR HEARTS CONDEMN US: Keralan teakwood, Bulgarian rose otto, Himalayan cedar, and oudh.

This is a small wooden treasure chest, covered in dark-stained carvings of twining leaves. When you lift the lid, inside are the powdery fragments of dried petals from every rose you ever have and ever will receive.


“I feel like all the sands are at the bottom of the hourglass.”

"Turn it over, then."

The white roses and orange blossoms of hope penetrating despair’s black fog of opoponax, black myrrh, bruised violet, clove, funereal lily, and grief-struck carrot seed.

"Despair’s black fog" is right - the opening of this scent is dark, and evokes the almost giddy-yet-poisonous feeling of giving in to despair and hopelessness. The the roses and orange blossom break through, sweetening the lows. This scent, in a way, smells like hope. It doesn’t ignore or cover up the sadness at its heart, but it doesn’t stay there.

(I wish I could send a bottle of this back to myself in 2011, because it might have made that horrible year a little more bearable.)

IN TEMPLUM DEI: Oman frankincense, cistus labdanum, white sandalwood, and liquidambar.

This is sugared incense. Anoint the hollow of your throat with this, and breathe deep of the sandalwood and frankincense, while the sweetness of the mixture swirls around you like a drop of gold ink in water.

(via blackphoenixalchemylab)


Bite-Sized Book Reviews: The Way of Shadows

QUICK! What’s it about?! Assassins, intrigue, and war. A book by Brent Weeks.

Okay, come again? That really is kind of it. The book follows an assassin protagonist (called a wetboy because of a vague magic system a mundane assassin has no access to) and the shadowy intrigue of the criminal underworld. There’s also a war involved and… Stuff. It’s hard to explain. The main story dips into the subplots regularly but it never feels entirely cohesive. There’s a plot. It’s understandable. But when asked to explain it all I can think of to say is Stuff Happens.

Was it not any good then? It was okay. It’s definitely not going to rank up there as one of my favorites but I got through it without having to quit so it was still readable. I actually really started enjoying it towards the end but the first half and then some of the book could feel like a real slog at times.

What about this magic system you mentioned? It’s not explained, not in detail. There’s a lot of magical bits that are used and referred to but unlike the Lightbringer series that he wrote, this one doesn’t go into any details. When compared to his other series, this one’s writing feels a lot weaker.

Do you recommend it? Eh. Sort of. It wasn’t a bad book despite my criticisms. I’d give it a 5 or a 6 out of 10. If you are a patient reader who doesn’t mind getting through a whole book to finally get to the best bits then yes I recommend it. If you need to get hooked quickly then you’ll probably not enjoy it.


BPAL and Century Guild Reveal The Last 4 Fragmented Alice Oils & A Very Limited Giveaway



Century Guild & Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab present a special Summer Solstice closure to the Gail Potocki FRAGMENTED ALICE series. The last four oils in the series are now available! Each bottle of ANY Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab oil purchased from Century Guild through June 21st earns you a ticket for a very special raffle to be drawn at the Century Guild gallery. The prize? The Queen of Hearts very own OFF, a limited edition of 25 bottles.


White tea and olibanum with tangerine rind, clove bud, white bergamot, and unripe poisonous berries.


A scent that is porcine pink and blood red, with dry woods.


Brown and green musks, dry grey woods, coppery, bloody balsam, and ashes.


Champagne grape, Pink Lady apples, white musk, white rose, and asphalt.


Red, red roses, murky opoponax, drooping vetiver, and myrrh.

You can enter and view the contest details here:

To cut down on overflowing your inbox, we only send certain updates through email. Want to keep up to date on all the BPAL news? Follow us on FacebookTwitterTumblr, the BPAL Forums, or our blog The Black Phoenix Gazette.



People were asking when it would be back, so here’s the PSA: Snake Oil is back in stock.

Although I wasn’t a fan of this one I’m sure some of you are, so here you go!


The New Pretty Deadly Scents Are Live!


Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is proud to announce a new series of scents based on Image Comic’s Pretty Deadly by writer Kelly Sue Deconnick and artist Emma Rios.

The Summary:

PRETTY DEADLY is a mythic western, a tale of retribution and redemption, that begins at the gallows and ends in Death’s domain.  It is a story told by a dead rabbit to a butterfly, that you are invited to quietly overhear.

The Scents:

LILY, The Prostitute

Heady blossoms of jasmine, white gardenia, and magnolia sharpened by neroli, given a voluptuous depth by red patchouli, oakmoss, and cedar.

GINNY, The Reaper of Vengeance

Sharp tobacco flower and white cognac, a thin layer of smoke, and dusty black pepper pierced by the amber of her eyes.

ALICE, The Reaper of Cruelty

Bourbon geranium emboldened by the rich scent of aged patchouli, the sweetness of peach, raspberry leaf, and bourbon vanilla, surrounded by a butterfly swarm of spicy carnation and Italian bergamot.

BEAUTY, The Aggrieved

A white rose draped by a delicate, pale, sheer veil of vanilla, the depth and darkness of her black lace embodied by tobacco absolute, Indonesian patchouli, Bulgarian oakmoss, frankincense, white sandalwood, and myrrh.

SISSY, The Ascendant

Sassafras and smoke for black vulture feathers, and King mandarin and red musk for the deep red-orange of the vulture’s face. Blue lilac and chamomile / opoponax and vetiver for the blue and black of her eyes. Vanilla bean and fig represent her innate goodness and instinctive kindness.

SARAH, The Mother Bear

Practical scents - warm, nurturing, wise, and strong: tonka bean, soft brown leather, myrrh, white sage, gurjum balsam, Ceylon cinnamon bark, red sandalwood, sweet tobacco, and a touch of gunsmoke.

MOLLY, The Reaper of Justice

White lime with lily of the valley, oudh, Himalayan cedar, nagarmotha, and tobacco for the sheen of raven feathers, and saffron, white honey, and amber for her fierceness, strength, and courage.

Perfume oil blends, $26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are unavailable.

Where You Can Read More About Pretty Deadly:

Visit the Pretty Deadly website.

Buy Pretty Deadly on Amazon or through Image Comics.


Bite Size Book Reviews: The Black Prism

QUICK! What’s it about?! Fantasy by Brent Weeks where the magic is that casters (drafters as they’re called) are able to create things out of light, specifically the colors reflected from light. There are monochromes (uses one color), bichromes (two colors), polychromes (3 colors), and the single prism (able to use all the colors + white light.)

Is it a difficult read? Not at all. The magic system might take a little while to wrap your head around but the mechanics get explained multiple times in varying levels of detail to help you grasp it better.

Anything else unique or is it pretty generic? The setting is rife with political intrigue and twists. Oh my. So many twists. If you’re a fan of the unreliable narrator you’ll enjoy this book, even if that’s not quite the device being used. It is similar though. If you don’t care for either of those things you’ll probably be bored.

So it’s a fantasy setting with a lot of politics and that’s all? No, there’s action too and some romance. It’s got it all. The main character isn’t entirely sympathetic as he’s very whiny but he has his moments so that the reader’s opinion of him rises and falls which can be an entertaining ride for the duration of the book.

Any negatives? Just one, and it wasn’t even a negative for me. This book doesn’t hold back with the imagery. If you don’t like gore or other gross things you’ll probably be a bit turned off. The author doesn’t spare the details on several accounts. If you like a good, gritty read you’ll just be all the more entertained. This book definitely gets my recommendation.


I keep getting followers. Why??? I almost never post on this blog unless I buy perfume or finish a book or feel like being critical of something. o.O Where are you people coming from and why are you staying?

(please don’t gooo)



Bibliophilicwitch Book Club // May Book
Book the first! xD
I’m quite excited to reread this book! My excitement is so akin to the excitement when I first read it. I’m just sitting here happily looking at it which is exactly what I did the first time. I can’t with this book.

It is really as amazing as you’d think.

Reblogging this because I did read this and quite enjoyed it. You should read it too!



Bibliophilicwitch Book Club // May Book

Book the first! xD

I’m quite excited to reread this book! My excitement is so akin to the excitement when I first read it. I’m just sitting here happily looking at it which is exactly what I did the first time. I can’t with this book.

It is really as amazing as you’d think.

Reblogging this because I did read this and quite enjoyed it. You should read it too!


Bite Size Book Reviews: Eve & Adam

QUICK! What’s it about?! Mild sci-fi young adult by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate. The book summary is basically ‘Girl is tasked with creating a perfect boy.’ That’s not spot on but it is the biggest draw of the book.

How is it not spot on? That’s in there. But a lot of the book is more about the relationships between the two main characters, Eve and Solo, and the relationship between them and Eve’s mother. That’s what most of the book boils down to: relationships. And in a young adult novel you know what that probably means…

What? Romance. The book could have gone deep into questions of morality, of god, of what does it mean to be human, and can humans play god? There’s a great big smorgasbord of good, philosophical topics to pick from and most of the book is ‘Eve hates her mom. Solo hates Eve’s mom. Eve and Solo will probably get together or something.’ It’s extremely disappointing. Every single point of the book that could have opened up a great expansive dialogue between author and reader about anything remotely interesting was shunted aside for this.

Harsh. So was there any sci-fi? Sort of? There was but it was so glossed over, given such a trivial role, that it hardly counts. I can’t say too much without spoilering the book, but don’t go into this expecting a sci-fi. Go into this expecting a hastily executed young adult drama with a bit of ‘biotech’ thrown in as an afterthought because you gotta come back to the tagline somehow.

So that’s a no on the recommendation? Yeah, stay away from this one. It’s short and it still managed to be a big waste of time.


cosimasass said: i'd like a book rec :)


I recommend Animist by Eve Forward. Animist is kind of an unusual story involving a slave-servant to the animist school where beings learn to bond with animal spirits. The idea is you bond to a particularly useful animal and go on to do great things or, in his hopes, earn a lot of money. Unfortunately, Alex, the main character, winds up bonding to a little mouse. What follows are his tales of misadventure with his unlikely companion.

Young Alex is a slave. But recognized for his potential as an Animist, he is bought by his college and begins rigorous training. Now, Alex must begin his quest for his Anim-the animal with whom he will bond.

Alex hopes it will be an extraordinary creature that will help him earn the money he needs to buy his freedom. Unfortunately, his Anim turns out to be … well, not nearly what he had hoped. But as Alex finds himself caught in one misadventure after another, he will learn-and learn to appreciate-that there is more to his Anim than meets the eye.

Annnd I forgot the link. I apologize!