A few thoughts on presents

In the last few weeks, I have been the recipient of several excellent presents. All of them were very small, yet very potent. One of them was tacked to my door when I got home from work, another arrived in the mail, and another was slipped into my hand on a chilly evening. These presents were little vials with hints of other world–scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, and I’ve been trying out different scents, and now have a few reviews.

It’s hard for me to wear scent. Depending on where I am at work, it may not be appropriate to have any sort of scent at all. As a scent matures on my body, it may change and become distasteful, so I have to be cautious and read the base ingredients carefully. I’ve been trained to apply scent very lightly– if someone can smell me, I’m wearing too much. Indeed, I shouldn’t even be able to smell it, really, unless I’m putting my nose to my wrist. The point of scents is not to overwhelm the people around me, it’s to give a hint of something to someone interacting very closely with me. It’s a whiff of musk to a person leaning in to my throat. It’s a hint of spring flowers to someone kissing my hand. It’s a splash of alchemy in my life.


Dorian was the first scent I tried. It went on very smoothly, with a hint of vanilla, and after a few moments notes of musk emerged. It was a pleasurable scent. It stayed complex and strong without being corrupted all day, which was rather nice. The vanilla notes stayed clear and a sort of lemony scent emerged as the day wore on. It’s a splendid layered scent–like sweet simple vanilla at first whiff, but much more complex than that if you analyze it. Since Dorian has musks, wearer beware.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself. Inspired by and created for my beloved Tedwin: my eternal, beautiful, wicked Dorian Gray. Refined, elegant, and lovely, with a noble bearing and seemingly gentle air. This blend is an artful deception: a sweet gilded blossom lying over a twisted and corrupted core. A Victorian fougere with three pale musks and dark, sugared vanilla tea. ”


I was a bit underwhelmed by Perversion. It reminded me dangerously of the perfume counters at Macys. There was a whole lot going on, and as it matured, it didn’t get much better. I’ll probably give it another shot to confirm, but there was a sour note about it which I profoundly disliked.

“The perfect scent to wear to your next bondage ball, dungeon adventure or sojourn to your favorite pleasure dome. Smoky rum and black tobacco with a whisper of steamy leather with a splash of crystalline chardonnay, layered over a sensual, sweet, and deceptively magnetic base of tonka.”


Whip is awesome. It smells like aging, comfortable leather. It reminds me of curling up on my father’s leather jacket when I was a child, oiling shoes, horses, the loan of a warm jacket at a cold night on the beach, and other sundry night time perversions. It’s a fun smell, a happy smell that makes me smile. Other people might not get it, but if you have an affinity for quality tanned leather, you will dig it.

“Agony and ecstasy: black leather and damp red rose.”


Hellfire reminded me of talc. In fact, when I went to work, my boss said “are you wearing baby powder?” Ooops. I kind of dug it, but that talc scent did stay strong all night long. It’s odd, because their description of Hellfire does not include talc. In fact, their description sounds quite superb. It also kind of reminded me of crayons. Melting.

“A scent celebrating Sir Francis Dashwood’s Order of the Knights of St. Francis of Wycombe, also known as the Hellfire Club. A swirl of pipe tobacco, hot leather, ambergris, dark musk and the lingering incense smoke from their Black Mass.”

Fenris Wolf

I loved this scent. It went on very well and it stayed great. It was rich and musky and there was a hint of mystery about it. Rosewood doors and incense and long corridors and heavy curtains. Old books and nighttime seduction and heavy wax candles. Rich and complex, I thought it was the best scent I’d tried so far, and people around me seemed to agree–everyone was particularly meek and nice with me the day I wore it, and I suspect the subtle scent might have been responsible. It worked very well with my body, and still smelled great the next morning. This scent also contains musks, and so a number of people do complain about it. Musks are tricky. Some people can wear them–others can’t.

“The raw, untamable power of chaos. Rosewood, amber, red musk and a dribble of red sandalwood.”

I’ve got lots more vials to try, so we will probably have another scent roundup in the coming weeks. The Labs have an amazing array of scents for all sorts of occasions. But think ahead–since many are custom formulated, it takes a long time for your order to arrive. I’m going to see if I can get some of the Lupercalia scents, because they look amazing.

[black phoenix alchemy lab]