The nip of winter wind is in the air, Krampus is dusting off his switches, Befana is polishing her broom, and Miskatonic Valley villagers are preparing for their winter solstice feasts. Blessed Yule, Merry Faunalia, and Happy Christmas and Hanukkah, everyone! Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s 2017 Yule fragrances are here to crown you and your loved ones in holiday radiance, and suffuse your home with the scents of winter celebrations, constellations, and conjurations, and bring joy to even the coldest and darkest of nights.
I have got a flight to catch in a few hours, and so instead of my usual windbaggery, I am succinctly summing up for you a few of my must-haves from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s 2017 Yule collection…and what’s more, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Beth and the folks over at BPAL, we are giving away an aromatic assortment of the fragrances below to one lucky reader. Read on to find your new festive fragrance favorites, and for giveaway details!
On Seeing a Tuft of Snowdrops in a Storm (snowdrop and sweet pea, wintersweet, winter-flowering honeysuckle, and deep purple honeywort) Less a furious whirlblast and more a light zephyr, a gentle breeze laced with delicate florals and a dash of old-fashioned honeysuckle soap.
Claircognizance (rockrose, white amber, Corsican immortelle, Siamese benzoin, white sandalwood) A beautiful caramelized floral; a honeyed, grassy tea.
Diable en Boîte (redwood, bitter clove, tonka, hemp accord, and tobacco with peach blossom, black currant, and red musk) Like its namesake, a tricksy scent… a woodsy, spicy, musky peach. I am not fond of peach-scented things, but the peach is at the very bottom of a curious box, and you only catch subtle whiffs of it between the rickety coiled springs jumps of a sly jumping devil.
Allodoxaphobia (Flecks of cranberry sauce spatter the table as a fist pounds in anger: a boisterous, conflicted, bombastic lather of red pepper, boiled cranberries, and bergamot) The sour tang of red-fruited seasonal candles that dries down to a peppery Earl Grey.
Krampus (Sinister red musk, black leather, dusty rags, and wooden switches.) Buttery soft leather and musk, warm fur. A Krampus plushie.
Hypothermia (no scent notes listed) The scent of bone-chilling, heart-stopping cold opens on a bleak note, that of metallic, mentholated ozone and frosted pine needles. Despite the profusion of mints, (“not a fan” doesn’t even adequately describe my feelings on mint) with time, this chilly whisper of a scent becomes pleasanter and pleasanter, a dreamy combination of icy musks and pale, frosted cream.
The Magi: Melchior of Persia (Sweet oudh, Bulgarian rose, chamomile, and frankincense) This is the Magi who gives the best gifts; I think it’s a gift certificate to a used book store or your favorite New Age shop; he smells of the bricks of a historic building downtown, cool, shadowed corners where the imported goods are stacked, dusty shelves of rocks and minerals and glinting crystals, the beaded curtains you step through to get to the vintage clothing racks, and piles upon piles of old astrology paperbacks. Maybe a little bit of China Rain and Nag Champa, too. This Magi smells like a ticket to your low key favorite place in the world.
Frostbitten Snake Oil is, depending when and where you wear it, either mostly the snowdrift chilly sweetness of Snow White, or the heady, sugared incense of Snake Oil.They never coalesce to create a perfect hybrid of the two, but rather twine their way sinuously about your wrist so that, at some point during your day, you smell one or the other.
Who Would Not Tremble Too (sweet orange blossom, white honey, jasmine tea, white sandalwood, green apple, and lily of the valley) Sunny bright and nectar sweet, this scent of spirit-touched courtship recalls for me something far more innocent and definitely more on the level of this plane of existence: trips to the community swimming pool, the sunlight glinting off the water in a pleasingly blinding sort of way, a bounty of spring flower gardens along the damp walkway, cement not yet hot enough to burn small, tender feet. Chlorine and the smell of wet swimsuits drying in an afternoon breeze.
Noche Buena (purple sage, plumeria, chrysanthemum, tuberose, Angel’s Trumpet, Mexican tiger lily, dahlia, and azucenas). This is a lush, vibrant peacock of plumeria; a gingery, citrusy, syrupy floral, with airy green notes. It is such an apologetically a cheery, joyous fragrance–and why should it be sorry? It’s the holidays, you Grinch! Let people love what they love and find cheer where they may.
Haute Macabre has a set of assorted Yule scents to offer to one reader! To enter to win, just leave a comment below and follow Haute Macabre and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab on Instagram! We’ll pick a winner at random from the comments two weeks from today, on Tuesday, January 2nd!
The BPAL 2017 Yule collection is currently live and available for purchase in 5ml bottles for $23 each. As this is a limited edition series, sample sizes imps are not available for Yule 2017. And though we have sailed past the point where they can guarantee package delivery by Christmas, you can still warm a loved one’s heart–with a BPAL gift certificate!