Visit the fab Black Phoenix Trading Post (BPTP) to find non-oil goodies related to (often) the BPAL yumminess. This is a place to find gorgeous scent lockets (for those scents that contain notes you amp, or those that irritate your skin, or just because!). Here also you can find awesome nail polish (called "Claw Polish") with great names like Embalming Fluid, Opium Poppy, and Destroying Angel. So addicted to BPAL that you wish to bathe in their scents? Check the Thermae section of (BPTP) for bath oils; also available: scrubs and massage oils. Buy your Lunacy shirts here, too, as well as cases for your Imps! There's more, too. Lots more! Go. GO! GO TO BPTP and check it out!
My reccs: aside from those gorgeous pendants and scent lockets (I don't have one, but covet them madly!), I highly recommend the nail polishes (look for a review SOON - I ported old posts from earlier versions of this blog, but my nail polish reviews seem to have been lost!). I also really suggest you pick up a room spray! They're in the Atmosphere section, and you can read my review of one of them here. I'll be frank: they're pricey, but worth it, as a little goes a long way. I suggest they go on your next gift wishlist!
But as much as I recommend the things above, and vouch for them, I have one last thing to share: my one true love was found at BPTP!
FLOWER MOON April, too, marks the apex of the year's fertility, expresses the reawakening of the sexuality of the Earth and her inhabitants, and May's full moon celebrates both the fecundity of the creatures and flora of this world and the vibrancy, rejuvenation and life-affirming energy of Spring. Flower Moon embodies the unrestrained bliss, energy and color of the season: a bouquet of vivid, sexy blooms, coated in thick, golden honey... wisteria, swamp jasmine, honeysuckle, daffodil, rhododendron, phlox, and a mix of California wildflowers.
Get your Flower Moon t-shirt (lemony yellow and white shimmer inks on black tee) at The Trading Post:
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has added scents to The Garden area of the general catalog. As always, we only summarize, but you need to check out the site to see the prose and art!
The Apple of Sodom | Native to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, this fruit turns to ashes when plucked as a sign of God’s displeasure.
Bohan Upas | The
Tree of Poisons. Every aspect of this tree is toxic, from the narcotic,
lethal fumes that it emits, to its oozing, poisonous sap.
The Lotus Tree | Honey-sweet and soporific.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil | Whiffs
of cinnamon bark, almond, and spikenard surround a perfect fruit, whose
scent is akin to a tamarind, with the grace of a fine grape, as warm
and rich as a fresh fig, glistening red like pomegranate seeds, and as
crisp as an apple.
YA-TE-VO | Barbed, sanguinary greenery, fleshy and sharp.
The Ziebo Tree | no scent description provided - we'll have to wait and sniff!!!
Welcome to CHAOS THEORY V: RECURSIVE SELF-SIMILARITY! You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. - Friedrich Nietzsche
Below is a note from the Lab, concerning this collection:
A new take on Chaos! For this series, we decided to try a different type of chaotic experimentation. Each CT:5 scent has a base of one of the following scents, in wildly varying proportions:
Dorian O Penitence Snake Oil
From these bases comes a new series of flowing, fragrant fractals that emanate from these four roots. Random combinations of oils have been added to every individual bottle, resulting in a truly unique blend that retains some of the tone, essence, and soul of the original.
This is an exercise in the joy of chance and uncertainty! Each is a one-of-a-kind, utterly random combination of scents, the composition of which is based on whim, mood and gut instinct.
Most common allergens have been omitted from the experiment. No pennyroyal, no nuts, no cinnamon, no cassia. Regardless, if you have any sensitivities, please do not participate in Chaos Theory. The contents of the oils are not recorded [that's the whole point!] and we will not be able to answer questions about specific bottles of CT:5 or guarantee that an allergen is not present in your order.
By purchasing CT:5, you agree to absolve Black Phoenix of any responsibility related to an allergic reaction to one of the oils in this series.
Please make a responsible choice, and use caution and discretion when ordering. This is intended to be a fun, exciting project. Please bear in mind that all Black Phoenix oils are made in an environment that contains nuts, both literally and figuratively.
The Chaos blends were created by m‘self, Doc Constantine, and Mister Teddy from Black Phoenix Trading Post so you get an extra dollop of chaos! We hope that you enjoy these scents as much as we enjoyed creating them!
A portion of all the proceeds from CT:5 will go to United Way.
There have got to be a few BPAL fans hiding around Beauty School! Let's hear what you think. These are some major news items, and I know the boards have been alive with discussion.
But tell us, and the Beauty Schoolers who aren't as familiar with BPAL: what do YOU think?
Nuts for the Gaiman lockets? Psyched for Chaos Theory V? What are you waiting for/decanting/hoarding!?
As for me, I've been wanting a BPTP locket for awhile, and I think I'll snag a Gaiman. Not sure which one yet, 'cause I love them all. I'm also going to have to check out Chaos Theory - The O Series, 'cause O is one of my faves. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil sounds good, though I'll be waiting for some reviews to see if folks think it's too grapey (not a scent I'm really fond of).
love! You've come into my life at just the right time, and I intend not
to be separated from you again. My skin is dry, and my heels are
cracked (ew). This is not attractive, but there are no secrets between
us now, are there my dear? I itch, as dry-skinned lassies are prone to
do, especially those who are pregnant.
you -- you've saved me! I received a tester of you and immediately fell
head over heels in love with your lovely, non-scented creaminess. Your
shea butter-packed goodness soothes my itchy skin and softens even the
driest of spots (except my heels, which really need a pedicure - and
then you'll be able to work your magic!).
can almost feel your lovely Vitamin E taking care of my fragile
epidermis! Although I've only had you in my life for a few days, I know
I never want us to be apart. I will be yours, and you will be mine, and
nothing will come between us.
I am completely enamored of Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs and all related companies and products. I'm besotted and will tell anyone and everyone! And I thought I had found my One True Love before: Morocco. And I still love it! Then I thought I found my One True Love again: O. And that is a damn good scent. In fact, I love both of those oils so much I get stressed when they're running low. But now I need to add to the list. I have a new One True Love: TKO.
I don't even really know how to begin, because this is such a lovely blend I doubt I can do it justice (I faced the same problem launching my reviews of Morocco and O.
Basically, I haven't used this as a massage oil, as designed, instead putting it on generously before bed. It is, after all, called "TKO". The implication is that it's good for those headed to Dreamland. In fact, here is the Lab's description of the scent (note that there are no notes annotated):
Many things -- such as loving, going to sleep, or behaving unaffectedly -- are done worst when we try hardest to do them.
And it is true that this helps me sleep. And it helps me stay nice and calm. And I want a vat of it, and another of the perfume oil.
What does it smell like? A gigantic lavender marshmallow, actually. That's the best I can do. It's sweet and it's sugary and it's got a hint of lavender (really, only a hint - I don't love lavender, so I promise it's not much). It's not so foody that it makes me hungry, and not so sweet it makes me sick. It's perfect, actually, and it does exactly what I want it to do, while smelling good at the same time. (sometimes aromatherapy blends or "functional" scents tend to work, but aren't able to pull off a satisfying fragrance while doing it - not so at BPAL)
So, I guess what it boils down to is that I have Three True Loves and a bunch of slightly lesser loves queuing up just behind. Let's just say, I'm eagerly awaiting my next box of preciouses from BPAL, BPTP, or TAL (TAL is my next spree!).
[Editor's Note: I am not affiliated with Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs in any way. They have sent me items to test in the past, but I have also spent a good amount of money there, too. I just talk about them so much because I really do love them that much- not because someone's paying me to. The icons on my blog that lead you to BPAL are also my idea and are not a paid advertisement. I don't even know if anyone at the lab knows they're there, in fact.]"
What does a cathouse smell like? And why does one want to make a room or a linen smell like one? These are questions I asked myself when I unwrapped the package of Cathouse, but I trust Beth (creator and genius at BPAL) completely, so I decided to give it a chance.
(Note: I will give anything Beth sends a chance - if she sent me a baby diaper in a box and told me to try a sniff, I'd probably do it. That's how much I admire her mad fragrancing skills. This is not a far-off proposition, as she's expecting a baby probably this summer)
Apparently, a Cathouse smells delicious. Who knew!? Here's the official scent description:
A nineteenth century Southern bordello: magnolia, jasmine, honey musk, tobacco, vanilla bean, bourbon vanilla, and Spanish moss.
I suppose that you have realized now that this is pure genius? OF COURSE a Cathouse smells of magnolia, jasmine, honey musk, tobacco, vanilla bean, bourbon vanilla, and Spanish moss. And if you're wondering what that smells like, it smells like Heaven. Who knew a Cathouse smelled like Heaven? BPAL did, naturally.
I actually spray my linens with this every night (lightly) before going to bed, and that paired with another Black Phoenix Trading Post item (to be reviewed later) has given me the best sleep I've had in ages.
Now, if you're wondering what the other part of this post's title means ("Why does a Drag Queen like the smell of a Cathouse?"), I can't really answer the question, but I can give you an explanation of why the question exists in the first place. I have taken to popping my bottle of Cathouse in my work bag, and spritzing my office with it from time to time. Every single time I do this, a gentleman I work with (who happens to spend some of his off-time as a very lovely Drag Queen) pops his head in and enthuses about the scent. Every single time. This tickles me to no end, because I figure the last person who should be interested in the smell of a Cathouse is a boy who likes to kiss other boys, though I guess since he likes to dress like a lady it all balances out in the end.
Falling into BPAL is like opening Pandora's Box - you never really know what you're going to get! If you're not familiar with Pandora, here's a brief: she was, according to the Greeks, the first woman. Blessed with curiosity, like most women are, she opened a jar* she was told not to open, unleashing evil** in the form of slander, vanity, greed, envy and pining.
*Yes, I said "jar". The phrase "Pandora's Box" is a hot mess, 'cause linguists tell us that it wasn't a box at all, instead a jar or jug. Blame Erasmus for the linguistic faux pas - it's his fault.
**Evil, eh? See how apropos "Pandora's Box" is for a discourse on BPAL? A quick walk through BPAL shows you the true meanings of vanity (want to smell good, attract a mate, look and feel gorgeous?), greed (ok, well maybe I'll just 6 more imps to this order!), envy (how did she get an aged bottle of Spooky 06!?), and pining (oh, I can't wait for my next order of the precious arrives! i can't sleep, I'm so excited!). I think the only thing BPAL didn't get from Pandora's box is slander, which is currently being monopolized by the presidential candidates.
Now look what you've done, you've distracted me, and I was attempting to explain something.
What I was saying was this: falling into BPAL is like opening Pandora's Jar. You never know what you're going to get. Just when you think you've gotten acclimated to the site - the general catalog and it's kazillion amazing oils, the poetry and prose, the art, the wit, the history lessons; just when you've picked your first imps and ordered your first bottle - BAM!: you discover The Forum! You dive in, hungrily reading review after review, delighting in the imagery (and the clever screen names). After some time, you come out of your self-imposed hibernation, feeling satisfied you've poked and prodded every little corner of the boards and learned everything you can about your fellow BPAL addicts, discontinued scents, and aging Snake Oil - BAM!: someone mentions The Trading Post.
Back it up a second... what's that? "The Trading Post"!?
Yup. There's more. The Black Phoenix Trading Post. It's where you go to spend even more money experience even more BPALy goodness, of the non-perfume oil variety. There you will find:
This post is late, but to my defense I already told you my muse went missing for a little while. And I feel like this was fate, because now I can write this post and it's not going to get buried in the onslaught of information being thrown at your during Earth Week.
Basically, since I love BPAL so much I decided to ask Beth (founder, perfumer, Nose, perfume czar, genius) how they were helping the earth. This was a challenge I was fairly certain BPAL was up to , but would have posted the answers regardless. So, on to the official answer from Beth Moriarty on BPAL's commitment to keeping it real:
We believe in compassionate consumerism, and in giving as much back to the community as we can through charitable contributions, volunteer work, and by supporting fair trade and self-sustaining growers whenever possible. We participate in the Green Power for a Green LA program at work and in our homes, and have participated in fundraisers for many fine organizations, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the Orangutan Foundation UK, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Animal Assistance League of Orange County, Bat Conservation International, Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land, Midway City, United Hope For Animals, the International Bird Rescue Research Center, the Red Cross, the Humane Society, and local women’s shelters.
Our bath and massage oils are paraben and formaldehyde free, and do not contain sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfate. With the exception of any formula that contains honey or beeswax, they are vegan, and are blissfully lacking in harsh chemicals or unwholesome fillers.
Our soaps were created with the finest environmentally-responsible ingredients, including Palm Kernel oil farmed from organic, fair-trade farms in Brazil (on reclaimed, replanted mixed-use rainforest) and organic Jojoba Oil grown in Arizona. They are completely free of artificial colors or preservatives, and are blissfully lacking in petroleum, silicone, or other unwholesome fillers.
BPAL’s Atmosphere Blends are non-aerosol, and our nail polish formula is free of toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde.
With the exception of our honey-based products and our bath products that contain goat’s milk, everything that comes from Black Phoenix is vegan, and we abhor animal testing.
And last, but not least… Black Phoenix Trading Post’s labels are printed on an Earth-friendly corn biopolymer.
Beth has given us lots of food for thought- this is not new, as just browsing her site makes on want to educate oneself (and slather on great-smelling products!). Please follow the links below to fall in line behind Beth and the BPAL gang and make the world you live in just a little bit better...
Learn more about veganism here. Find out what fair trade really is - and then seek out companies that use fair trade ingredients, please!
What does it mean to be paraben free? The debate rages on over this issue, but read up about the basics, here. Formaldehyde is natural, but undesirable in high quantities. Read more here. Depending on who you hear it from, sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfate aren't so good for you. For example, read this. My feeling on this and parabens is: if the jury is still out, I'll avoid these when I can! Why avoid products with petroleum in them? Oil harvesting can be damaging to the earth and wildlife, it's clearly getting more expensive, and burning oil is probably contributing to global warming. Besides, the oil the earth has left to share is dwindling fast, so why use it up when there are alternatives?! I happen to like a lot of topical makeup products with silicones, but many folks avoid them. Read why, here. Most of us don't use aerosols the way we used to when I was a kid (walking through 8 feet of snow, barefoot, to get to school- but I digress). Learn why, here, and be glad BPAL doesn't use them. BPAL polishes are "Big-Three Free" which means--- well, read about it here. I must admit, I only use "big-three free" polishes now. Go on, investigate biopolymers. I did, and I feel so much smarter now - and I know what to look for when shopping, now, too!
Take a look around this place and you'll see that here at FCH, we love us some BPAL (that's Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab in case you're new here). And I recently got some goodies from their affiliated site, Black Phoenix Trading Post, a great place to get non-perfume oil BPAL goodness. I want to tell you about them today, but I'll do so in separate posts. And I will probably get so in-the-mood for BPAL that I'll also post a review or two on some of my favorite oils.
So buckle yourself in, 'cause today is BLACK PHOENIX DAY here at Fifty-Cent Head!