Please welcome guest blogger Mlle Ghoul from These Unquiet Things and Dirge Magazine! S. Elizabeth is a fancier of fine old things, nostalgic whimsies and magics both macabre and melancholy. She is a shadow seamstress, star stitcher, word witch, and weaver of the weird. Find her on her blog, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

DARKLY DREAMING: BLACK PHOENIX ALCHEMY LAB. Part enthusiast’s memoir and part course guide.

As some people may remember where they were when a momentous, life-changing occasion occurred, perhaps when Kennedy was shot or when the first man walked on the moon, I too remember a rather life altering/defining during my tenure here on earth. And while I suppose I cannot compare it to the assassination of a world leader or journeys to distant worlds, it was a discovery that would change so many things for me, and open so many doors.

In late 2003, early 2004, I was struggling with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder, exacerbated by, or quite possibly directly caused by an abusive, toxic relationship. I often sought refuge online; I loved selling things on eBay, I frequented LiveJournal (didn’t we all?) and I somehow fell into the rabbit hole of reviews on makeupalley.com.

I am not certain how it started. I may have been looking for cheap but popular drugstore finds, and in doing so, I became absolutely enthralled by the fragrance reviews archived on the site. Until that point in time I distinctly recall I had been exclusively wearing Hypnotic Poison, by Christian Dior. I am not certain if I actually liked that sweet, powdery scent, or if I wore it because my lover preferred it, but at that time it was the only perfume on my shelf. In reading these lush, evocative scent descriptions on makeupalley I was reminded of my fascination with fragrance from when I was much younger, and how I would spend hours playing with my mother’s small, but potent, perfume collection.

Snake OIl

It was at this time that I stumbled upon a review for a scent called “Snake Oil” sold by a mysterious, thrillingly dangerous sounding company, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Penned by a user calling herself “shriekingviolet”, she described it as “exotic and unfamiliar, evoking images of bazaars in far-off locales”. So fascinated was I by the description, I read further her reviews for the intriguingly named “Chimera”, “Haunted” and “Hellcat”, growing more and more excited with every fragrant word I devoured.

I sped over to the website, growing more and more excited as I read about the company:

“Inspired by a vast range of influences, from the passion and decadence of the Fin de Siècle movement to the ghastliest of Lovecraftian monstrosities, we specialize in eliciting emotional responses through perfume and creating unique, masterfully molded scent environments that capture legends and folklore, poetry, and the stuff of dreams and nightmares.”

I didn’t know there were people making these kinds of scents! I grew up in a household of ouija boards, meditation circles, tarot cards, and astrologers, I was raised on books of mythology and folklore, fairytales and fables. In my teen years I became obsessed by ghost stories and horror movies, and at the time of my discovery, I was the sole employee at a rare and occult bookstore, surrounded by tomes of magic, significant grimoires, volume upon volume of every sort of esoteric subject you could possibly imagine. From what I was reading in these fragrance reviews, there was a person out there creating perfumes inspired by all of the things I loved best. I was smitten before I even looked through the website.

And the website! Those familiar with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s expansive catalogue know how vast and daunting it can seem at first, and it honestly, it was no less beastly 13 years ago.

For an acolyte on their initial quest for knowledge regarding these fine esoteric goods, perfumes and potions, it can almost seem insurmountable, this navigating amongst hundreds of scent choices to find that perfect, holy grail fragrance. It’s easy to get lost in the lush, poetic scent descriptions and lose time sussing out which you’d like to choose for an introductory order from The Lab. You’ll no doubt have many questions. What notes do you like? What notes smell good on you? Why do you want to smell like a Shoggoth? What the heck *is* a Shoggoth, anyway?

In this vein, I’ve compiled some information that I think will be useful to those new to the experience, and I encourage those well-versed in BPAL lore and knowledge to chime in with their tips and suggestions in the comments!

Please check back next week for Part II of DARKLY DREAMING: BLACK PHOENIX ALCHEMY LAB. Part enthusiast’s memoir and part course guide, for Mlle Ghoul’s BPAL 101.

Haute Macabre’s Exclusive Black Phoenix line is currently available to order for the holiday season.


Black Friday Small Business Advertising Special


Run a Rectangle Ad from Black Friday, November 28,  until New Year’s Eve, including a front page introduction post,  for $100.

Why? Because we’d rather see our readers shopping with you than at the mall.

To get started, send an email to  samantha [at] hautemacabre [dot] com containing ::

  • Your shop name and link
  • Your PayPal address
  • A brief bio / description of your shop or service
  • Four 250 x 250 pixel product .JPG shots
  • One 160 pixel wide x 300 pixel long .JPG ad graphic

All information must be received on or before Monday, November 23 to be included.

Shade & Light & Cats

Hey guys! Here’s a quick and easy eye look I wear all the time. I used the Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Palette, which is my absolute go-to palette to create so many different looks. My cats interrupted me a few times while filming, so you get to meet them, too.

Here are the products that I used, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Haute Macabre YouTube Channel!

Kat Von D Shade & Light Palette
Kat Von D Monarch Palette
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
Too Faced Love Flush in Justify My Love
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Sigma E25, E35, and E40 brushes
LA Splash Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in OG Ghoulish & Vindictive

Haute Macabre Holiday Pre-Sale is Open


Inspired by the Hermetic philosophy in which all things, in all reams of heaven and earth and below, work in unison with one another, despite their opposing natures, to achieve one magical goal. With this in mind, the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab fragrances exclusively for Haute Macabre are opposite yet complimentary to each other, sultry and innocent, musky and sweet.

Pre-Orders are currently open for orders to be shipped early December, 2015.

Click here to visit the Haute Macabre Shop


Esbat: The silent rays of the full moon piercing the shadows of an ancient grove: a ragged canopy of moonflower and morning glory, dew-touched mosses creeping over gnarled oak roots, and shimmering beams of mugwort, cuckoo flower, and rose mallow.

So Below BPAL

So Below: Amber and black copal with black coconut, Sumatran red patchouli, green cardamom pod, and golden musk.


As Above: Leather drenched with white patchouli, oak bark, bourbon vanilla, bitter almond, and Moroccan jasmine.


Haute Macabre: Oak leaf, bourbon vanilla, almond husk, and black leather accord darkened by a 13-year aged black patchouli.

Love Makes Monsters of Us All Giveaway Winner

Crimson Peak by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Please congratulate Kaitlyn DuLaney on being selected for our Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Crimson Peak giveaway!! Kaitlyn has been selected via a random number generator as the winner of a set of three scents from the limited edition Crimson Peak collection.

Thank you all so very much for sharing your ghostly encounters with us, these were some of the best ghost stories we have ever heard! Please feel free to add yours to the comments here if you haven’t told us your stories already.

Here are some of our favorites:

Jen says:

I had a wonderful ghostly encounter on Samhain this year – when asking Siri for directions to the city park in an unfamiliar town, it directed me to an out-of-the-way little slave cemetery with one unmarked above ground grave. It was still and beautiful – no breezes, very silent. Well, we all know the veil is thin on Samhain, but I wasn’t thinking about that until my husband noticed two leaves in a nearby tree swinging against one another, like a set of bells chiming – no other movement in the tree to speak of. I got the sensation of air across my neck, and the hairs stood up on my arms. It was not uncomfortable, it was just otherworldly – the leaves stopped “chiming” and then two more started in another tree, then stopped and two more in another. It kept up, moving from tree to tree – there was something playful and child-like about the movements and the atmosphere – like a game of hide and seek or something. I watched this for maybe 10 mins and then tried to video it with my phone. When looking through my phone’s camera, there was no movement in the trees, yet when we looked with our eyes and could plainly see the pairs of large leaves chiming against one another. It was so disorienting. This continued for some time, but we had to get to the original destination, so we decided to leave the cemetery even though I had the most lovely and peaceful feeling there. As I was walking away, there was a line of trees that led to my car – the chiming leaves moved from tree to tree toward my car right next to me, as if walking with me. As I stepped out of the cemetery, it stopped. I turned when I got to the car, and looked again and five or six pairs of leaves in the tree closest to my car, but still in the cemetery, were chiming against one another. My heart felt like it would burst. I would have hugged those little ghost babies if I could have.

Michelle U says:

As I tend to be a believer in all things super natural, I tend to chalk most of my experiences up to simple paranoia. However, there is one encounter that even just thinking about sends chills down my spine. I’m not able to explain it, nor do I care to even venture to do so. When I was younger, my parents had decided to buy another house in South Dakota. They had decided that we would fix the house up and such before eventually moving there. So we made the road trip to it and upon seeing it, I immediately knew something was wrong. It just felt off. My parents said that it was normal because it was an old boarding house from 1884. They said that it should creak and things but little did they know that it wasn’t the creaks that would keep me up at night. Everywhere you looked the house was just wrong, there were items and decorations from every era in it. Old magazines, newspapers even gardening tools. It looked like every owner of it had just abruptly left. The last owner we were told, just suddenly left one winter as well just a few months before we bought it. He had been doing a great deal of renovations and no one knew why he had left. Some speculated that it had grown to cold for him there or that the house was uninhabitable. It was nearly uninhabitable, the upstairs was a great hazard with holes in the floor and rot in places but I don’t think that’s why he left. Since the upstairs was in such poor condition, I slept in the kitchen right by the door to the basement while my parents were in the living room a few rooms down from where I was. That first night there, I fell into an exhausted sleep from the 36 hour drive it took to get to South Dakota. At three am like clockwork, I hear a thump thump thump coming from the basement. It sounded like footsteps on the stairs. Of course, I had already high tailed it out of that room as fast as I could screaming bloody murder, scaring my parents half to death. Like any dead tired parents would say to their teenage daughter, they told me that it was just my imagination. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep the rest of that night. My turn him in in effort to make me feel better have gotten really smart heard fro in effort to make me feel better head gotten anointing oil from a local priest and anointed/prayed over every door in the house. It didn’t do anything. In fact, it made it worse. Now I wasn’t only hearing footsteps from the basement at night but also from upstairs when my parents were not there. I knew that no one was up there because they would fall through the floor. I was so scared at this point but my parents had me convinced that it was just my imagination because I was so bored. Whenever they tell the story about their terrified daughter, they neglect to mention the part that had scared even them. After a particularly violent night of booming foot steps and flickering lights, I heard a strange groaning noise. Suddenly then the sound of a door slamming above me resounded throughout the house. It even woke my parents up ( which is unheard of for me because they’ll sleep through a strong earthquake!). They ran into the room to check if I was there and not upstairs. They had joined me in the kitchen and only a few moments later the double paned window above the sink had splintered and shattered. A whooshing noise accompanied this with a groaning that sounded like a breathy “noooo” repeated over and over again and finally a last violent thump from above, like that of a body hitting the floor. Everything was quiet after that. With fright, I looked to the clock on the stove and realized that it had just turned four am. That haunting hour of three o clock had ended. My parents were white faced and just as frightened as I. However being “respectable” Christians they told me that it was just the wind and the cold weather. I know that it wasn’t. I think that deep down they knew too because we left the next day earlier than we had planned and neither them nor I have returned to the house since that night. I don’t know what happened at that house, but I know that whatever it was, it wasn’t wholesome. Something is there in that house, something that should have left a long time ago. It’s not evil. It never did us any physical harm but simply being confronted by it was terrifying. I hope to never experience anything like that ever again. This one was relatively benign, I can only imagine how terrifying an evil ghost would be.

Oldblackgoat Says:

Being a hospice care nurse in a long term care facility has prepared me for death. I work alongside death, when I hold the lives of my patients in my hands. An older nurse once said to me that babies need midwives to come into this world and so do the dying, the elderly and the infirm need them to leave. In private, the nurses and I joke about being death’s handmaidens and in a way, we are. They don’t tell you this in the shows like ER or Grey’s Anatomy that 4:30am is when most people die. It’s quiet at 4:30am and in the stillness of the late night you can almost hear death slip in to guide the skinny night gown clad souls to the after, promises of freedom from pain on his lips. In my line of work, death is the final dream date for my patients. We, the hand maidens, are left to make final arrangements, dress the body, and phone the funeral home, and we do. You would think that my place of work would be a haunted place, a sad place, but it isn’t. Or wasn’t. Not until the night I worked alone on a small ward with mostly elderly ladies. Cancer, emphysema, advanced Alzheimer’s, their tiny frail bodies tucked warmly into their beds and I was up at the nurses station reading. A few days previous I had said a late night goodbye to Therese, a favorite patient of mine who had been diagnosed with liver failure. When the liver doesn’t work, it deposits bile salts and bilirubin into the skin turning it yellow, a condition called jaundice. Before her passing, Therese had been the brightest shade of yellow I had ever seen. She was a feisty little lady and even in her final days she made jokes at her own expense calling herself the “little canary”. She would call out at night, lonely and itchy and ask for tea. I would sit up with her and visit, or gossip or often just sit in silence. The night that she didn’t call for her tea, the night that the little canary stopping singing, I knew even before I opened the door that she was gone. And she was. Her little yellow limbs curled into her thin chest like a tiny perfect little baby bird. I did not cry for her. Therese was not a woman who believed in weeping. “I’ve had a damn good life,” she said as I took her out for her cigarettes. They don’t tell you this, but deaths happen in threes at my line of work. I think death has OCD because it never failed that we would experience a lull and then, falling like pawns on a chessboard, three souls would return home. Therese was number three. So I worked my night shift, expecting that lull, glad for it. Nursing is hard work and though the hospital managers are hard ass bosses, death is even harder to work for. Working for death isn’t felt in sore feet and tired backs, but in the blase nature I have now to seeing a corpse, and the acceptance I have for it all. The first time I saw someone die it was spiritual to me to watch the life fade and what was once an animated being become a shell, empty, a husk. The night shift I worked after Therese’s death was the last one I had before a much needed vacation. At 2:30am I heard a loud noise and took my flashlight and went to investigate. Grace’s room. I opened the door, my sympathetic nervous system engaging my body to go into fight or flight mode, epinephrine binding to receptors in my lungs and heart engaging my muscles to spring into action to help my patient, to help Grace. I turned on the light and found Grace giggling, out of bed, all 73 pounds of her supported by her tiny nightstand on which she sat. Grace was 96, advanced Dementia, and she rarely left her wheelchair. How she had gotten out of bed and was standing remains a mystery to me to this day. Grace was also blind, both of her eyes that milky baby blue like two robin’s eggs. She looked at me and smiled. She was still giggling even after I knelt in front of her to ask if she was okay. She smiled and said, “the lady”. I nodded and told her that yes I was a lady, a nurse and asked again if she was alright. I asked her what she was doing out of bed. “The lady,” she said, “the lady was here.” Grace was prone to hallucinations due to her dementia and I smiled and helped her back to bed. Her legs were freezing. How long she had been out of bed is anyone’s guess. As I leaned in to kiss Grace good night on her paper thin cheek, she said so clearly, “the lady behind you.” I smiled at her and said “oh! Who’s behind me Gracie?” And as I pulled away I looked at Grace and my blood ran cold. She was almost as white as her bedsheets and she lifted her bony hand, hobbled with arthritis and pointed behind me, “the yellow lady. Therese. She’s behind you.” My blood was ice water in my veins and I turned and felt a wet claustrophobic gush of cold air envelope my body and momentarily I saw stars. I don’t know if I lost consciousness for a few minutes but when I finally gasped for air, I saw Gracie, tucked right in bed like a snug little bug and she had the biggest smile on her face. Towards the door of her room, she was waving. “Bye bye” she murmured and closed her eyes. I staggered out of her room and back to my post and my scientific mind began rationalizing. Grace had dementia. She hallucinated. I knew this. Within an hour I was laughing at myself for being a jackass. Come morning, I was business as usual and when I handed off my nightly report to my coworkers in the morning I even told them the story. Amanda, my friend and coworker was nodding and as I picked up my bag to leave she said, “hey do you believe in ghosts?” I laughed, “of course not!” And Amanda smiled and said, “you know Gracie’s been blind for twenty years right? How could she have known Therese was yellow?” Horrified, I drove home. Therese hasn’t been back and Grace is still with us. Sometimes at night I can hear her murmuring, “the yellow lady, the yellow lady..” And if I walk briskly past her room, I almost convince myself that I don’t REALLY believe in ghosts.


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Raincoat, $99 at Goodwill Boutique

Thanks to a lucky find at Goodwill, I’m reminded of how very much I love Rundholz. It’s normally out of my price range, of course, but that doesn’t stop me from oogling basically everything they make. Any yes, I spend a lot of time in thrift shops…

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.00.03 AMRed cotton mesh shirt with tails, $332.92

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.03.06 AMLong Sleeved Tee, $190.52

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Black Label Sweater, $254 $177

The Haute List: Winter Boots


Joe Boot, $298  +  Jestyne Boot, $209.95  + Jesse Boot, $328

Yu Aura Boots$118 $68  +  Killjoy Boot, $108 +  Roundabout Boot, $90

Ygot Boot, $229.95  +  Jitermacho Boot, $535 $268 +  Audrey Boot$295 $236

Witch Camp


Holy crap California has WITCH CAMP! OK, it looks a little hippy-dippy, and the people in many of the pictures are wearing a lot more color than I am generally comfortable with in my witches. But some of them seem to have proper hats, and there’s definitely witchy stuff going on.

Witch Camp is for grownups only, which on the one hand is a little sad because I would totally send my Fairy Gothchild to Witch Camp, but at least it means that us grownups can go if we want.




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