Time remains profoundly out of joint for all of us right now, but the fact that you can find the Lupercalia scents still available for purchase at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is no wibbly-wobbly, time-wimey temporal tricksyness! Your eyes do not deceive you and as of this writing, I believe that these scents will indeed remain live on the site, indefinitely.
It is an excellent time, then, to share a few more of my favorites from this collection! (If you missed Part One, you can find it here.)
Bright Red Dildo Hair Gloss (red leather and honey) Glossy leather, not the earthy or worn-in stuff – it’s maybe patent leather or vinyl, even– sharp and shiny and bright, made supple and smooth by sweet, musky honey.
Belgian Chocolate and Scorched Caramel Home & Linen Spray Creamy and decadent and feels like a luxe, grown-up version of a chocolate factory tour but no one is being greedy or harassing any Oompa Loompas because you’re an adult, dammit, and you paid too much money for this tour to get kicked out.
Dalliance With An Amorous Bat Demon (honeyed patchouli, sweet benzoin, smoky labdanum, and white sandalwood) This wafts between a golden, close-to-the-skin scent, veined with sweet smoke and shadows, and also something a bit salty…and musky…and the slightly reminiscent of… chlorine? And something else? I texted Sam the following: “Is it the worst idea to include in one’s perfume review that splooge smells a little bit like chlorine?” Her response: “Is it a Luper? Because if so, splooge is accurate and applicable.” There you have it.
Various Penises Hair Gloss (smoky brown vanilla husk, bourbon vanilla, dark amber, pink oud, and burnt cocoa bean) I’m not a crotch-sniffing pervert, but this is sort of a cool, plastick-y vanilla, and which sort of reminds me of the smooth groin area where a Ken doll’s ding-dong should be?
Pink Love Bird (cotton candy, cardamom, and confetti cake) Before I even read the notes for Pink Love Bird, it conjured a vivid image in my mind: a delightfully kitschy, celebratory, vanilla bean flavored cake, frosted with a rich, rosy pink buttercream and trimmed with an abundance of sugary, multi-colored sprinkles.
Cheerful Oxen (warm brown musk, honey, patchouli, hay absolute, and brown oud) A wonderful, rich, bright fruity-floral drizzly honey. Honey sometimes turns a little strange and screechy on me, but this is a cozy scent that grows warmer and lovelier as it wears, with a subtle sweetness that’s mystifyingly this side of foody.
Blue Curtain at the Brothel Home & Linen Spray (amber musk, crushed violets, red currant, wild peony, plum blossom, and carnation) A marvelous, wild, springy mingling of tangy and verdant and sweet talc-y violet pastilles.
A Prostitute’s Account of Vernal Love (red musk, cherry wood, apricot, and fig) A fruity, candied musk; a translucent confection, vibrant and shimmering where the light shines through.
Womb Furie (Snake Oil and three types of honey) Do you guys ever watch the Bon Appetit test kitchen channel on YouTube? One of their test kitchen chefs, Brad Leone, has a segment called “It’s Alive,” in which he makes all kinds of fermented foods and that sort of thing. On one episode he’s out on Sauvie Island in Oregon with a bunch of “bee whisperers” and they’re showing him how they harvest their honey. There’s a clip where they are wafting smoke near the honeycomb, for the purpose of calming the bees, and it strikes me that Womb Furie initially smells of what I imagine is the scent of sleepy bees drowsing in smoked honey. As it wears, that luscious honey becomes somewhat more intense, but also a bit powdery, as if Brad had taken a viscous slick of the stuff, spread it evenly on a dehydrator tray and let it dry out for 24 hours. Afterward, he ground the resulting sweet shards into a sugary sprinkle. Womb Fury is that honied trajectory of sweet, smoke, and powder.
Happy Couple Reading A Book Together (White tea, Italian bergamot, jasmine sambac, and cucumber) A fetching citrus + saline + dreamy floral scent. Not related to the scent itself, but just now I had to google the name of the fragrance to put the link in the description, and the results produced a great deal of barfy stock images. Don’t get me wrong, happy couples are great, reading is great, happy couples reading together are great, but for the love of God, read your own books! Don’t cramp up in each other’s business reading the SAME book at the SAME time over each other’s shoulders or whathaveyou. Lordy be.
Awake (A sunrise shimmering like abalone, struck through with beams of red musk and amber) Like its evocative and poetic list of notes, this scent is unfathomably pretty. A sugary floral musk.
To Lesbia (a vivacious carnation incense) A bronze offering dish of ashes and spicy blooms, a shifting chiaroscuro of vivid and muted, fluorescent and dusky.
Maraschino Cherry Buttercream Hair Gloss It’s always the ones I am certain that I won’t care for that seem to surprise me most. This is like …Luxardo cherries, in a syrup made from cherry juice, tart and rich and complex, the kind that might go in an expensive craft cocktail made by a man with an elaborate waxed mustache. The buttercream is the sweet, fluffy delicious sort that you eat with your fingers straight out of the can. Together they combine for a delicious scent that speaks more to a…sensory decadence, rather than just straight foody deliciousness.
Green (skin musk and chilled apple wine dappled with a scattering of discarded pale petals) A cool, soapy subtle blossom-type skin musk, not quite otherworldly, but not quite of this one, either. Not exactly apple-y, more like the greenest wisp of an apple fairy’s dream. If a polished chrysoprase stone had a scent, this would be it.
Teppo Hair Gloss (sweet amber, mandarin, and lemon peel) OH MY GAWD. Just buy this. Buy 12 bottles of it. Fantasy lemon spun sugar fairy floss. Weirdly, I get some Antique Lace vibes from this. Maybe if Antique Lace did some sort of crazy manga magical girl transformation into a Havisham-esque Sailor Scout who comes at you with a delicate lemon candy-based attack. Rhapsodic Lemon Tangy Cosmic Kiss!
Pink Cherry And Pink Pepper This is a playful scent that nibbles at the edge of memory…a soft rosy-peppery almond that conjures up the cookies that my late aunt Carla used to give us when we would visit her at her place of work in small-town Ohio when I was a very small child. Wow, I can’t even believe I remember this, I could have only been four or five at the time. She worked at a meat market and I am not sure why we would have been visiting her or why there were treats on hand, but I think these specific treats were a sort of almondy-buttery piped cookie with a solid little button of frosting/icing in the center. Pink Cherry And Pink Pepper smells like those mystery childhood sweets, the sort that you didn’t understand what you did to earn them and later haunt you as an adult because you sometimes, quite frequently, feel that you haven’t quite earned what you’ve gotten.
Fragment 38 (red amber, fig wood, and olive blossom) This is a freaky, fruity, fragrant combo of bitter/sour rhubarb mixed with strawberries, pungent black licorice, and a woody something-or-other, not exactly woods, but more a sticky sap, a viscous resin before it fossilizes. This is a cursed pie that you trick your cheating spouse into eating and then later realize with horror that your daughter gobbled down a juicy wedge of said cursed pastry for breakfast while you were sleeping. In despair, you prepare to face your doom–this pie was prepared for you, after all– and as you spoon the first oozing mouthfuls past your lips, you muse, sadly, “huh…is that tarragon I smell?” /END SCENE.