A resplendent initiative over two years in the making, BloodMilk’s Exquisite Corpse is an enchanted emporium whose ideals, philosophies, and perhaps even their raison d’être is firmly rooted in the idea of artistic collaboration with an emphasis on independent artists within the handmade community.
Inspired by the name of a surrealist parlor game in which artists would conspire and collude on drawings together, Exquisite Corpse focuses on collaboration with other like-minded brands and artists to create lifestyle goods–objects of ritual and desire that can add to the atmosphere of your personal landscape or become a part of your daily psychic armor– for every day use. Each object is carefully crafted with meticulous detail and attention to quality in limited runs; initially launched in July of 2016, Chapter One items, including candles, tote bags, and fragrances, sold out that very day.
On the evening of December 13th, Chapter Two of BloodMilk Exquisite Corpse was released, offering items from artists & craftspeople such as Aaron Horkey, Bill Crisafi, Darla Jackson, Jeremy Hush, among many other talented artisans. With this new chapter, four additional scents in collaboration with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab became available, and which I had the pleasure to review for Haute Macabre readers, below.
Belonging To The Darkness: Moonstone & Silver (7-year aged patchouli, tuberose, jasmine samba, lily of the valley, opalescent white moss, and white musk) Based on the BloodMilk jewel, Belonging To the Darkness is a glowing, luminous scent, where the velvety opulence of the tuberose, the sultry, narcotic jasmine, and the clean, bright lily of the valley sing, crystalline and delicate, softening the earthy edge of the patchouli. A night-blooming bouquet, wrapped in a gauzy veil, and glimmering with the tears of the moon.
Lydia (opium tar and sweet patchouli with labdanum, awadh, and black myrrh) is inspired by the sparrow claw clasped Lydia cocktail ring and does indeed smell like how you might imagine our beloved goth icon and kindred spirit Lydia Deetz in 2016. Bitter at the onset, with a metallic tang, it swiftly evolves into a rich, leathery, balsamic amber fragrance. Sharp and biting, moody and mercurial, Lydia is indeed strange and unusual.
Djed (white sandalwood & sweetgrass, California white sage, and sand) is inspired by the talismanic rattlesnake spine ring of the same name from the BloodMilk line, and conjures a painful ceremony of transformation; intensely private, personal magics, rites of slithering through dust and grit and shadows and shedding one’s skin. Fiercely peppery upon first sniff, this is a bone-dry, nose-tickling experience that after time, morphs into a pleasantly herbaceous, aromatic sage that straddles the line between sweet and savory. Depending on time of day, temperature, body chemistry, and who knows what else, at this stage in its metamorphosis, it fluctuates between the honeyed haze of a ritualistic smudge and the astringent warmth of that essential herb in your granny’s Thanksgiving stuffing–and sometimes it is both at once.
Silky Bat (“sugared patchouli”) is the only scent in this collaboration not directly inspired by a BloodMilk jewel, but instead comes from a Black Phoenix Trading Post limited edition Hair Gloss. This is patchouli like I have never encountered it; wet, it is straight up patchoulified candy fluff, dirty spun-sugar. Dry, it is more complex, carmelized brown sugar and woodsy musk. I’m not usually one for foody or gourmand scents, but Silky Bat is a delightful, delicious creation.
Each 5ml bottle of fragrance is presented in an amber apothecary glass vial with label artwork by artist Aaron Horkey. These scented treasures arrive nested inside a keepsake box specially designed & engraved with metallic silver ink by local St. Paul, MN company Studio on Fire. The box’s artwork, by Aaron Horkey, features a conjoining of the BPAL heart & three swords brand symbol with BloodMilk’s planchette brand symbol. For more details, please visit .BloodMilk Exquisite Corpse