Krampus: Black Phoenix 2014

Ah Christmas (or alternative winter festival of your choice) time. An occasion where all are united in that most special and glorious of emotions: Fear.

You thought I was going to say joy or happiness, didn't you? Now, joy is there, don't get me wrong. But if we are honest with ourselves, Christmas is almost as scary as Halloween. Think about it. As a kid, you were terrified that Santa would judge you as naughty and what's worse, now kids have to worry about that fucking Elf On A Shelf. Seriously, why don't they just make the Sugar CCTV Fairy? As an adult, you fear forgetting getting a gift for someone or getting the wrong gift. You're afraid of what the holiday season is doing to your bank balance and credit rating. You're afraid that your aunt will get drunk and try to molest you or your uncle will argue that Obama is a atheist Muslim lizard Illuminatus or whatever he picked up from talk radio.

As always, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is here to help you embrace the festive fear instead of being overwhelmed by it with aromatic perfumes that will help you face your fears and permit it to pass over you and through you. Only you will remain. Well, you and the extra pounds would get from the Christmas spread but you can deal with that in the New Year. But at least you'll smell nice!

First we have the old standbys as welcome as Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song. El Dia De Los Reyes, the Mexican Celebration of the Magi, is always a favorite around the Sleep Deprivation Institute with its heady brew of hot cocoa with cinnamon, brown sugar and--of course--coffee. More sacred offerings include Chanukkiyah with its scents of oil, beeswax and amber with the fruits of the Holy Land and Midnight Mass with its sacred incenses. A mix of the sacred and the profane, there is Haloa. An ancient Greek festival that celebrated both Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and Dionysus, god of wine. So that means the scents of grapes and pomegranates, sacred incenses, and phallus-shaped cakes to thank the gods for a successful harvest. Nope, not a Freudian slip of any kind: seriously, phallus-shaped cakes. What did you expect at a fertility festival?

Moving to the more profane selections, you have Egg Nog. I don't care what people say, it makes me happy. The perfume has that rich scent of thick cream, a spiciness from nutmeg, and of course, brandy and rum. That perennial favorite, the constant yet ever-changing Lick It perfume. This year, BPAL has Lick It With Consent where proceeds from every purchase will go to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). So you still have that wonderful peppermint scent and you've given to a good cause to boot.

Krampus Greetings!

Krampus' popularity is getting bigger and bigger by the year. People seem to love the idea of bratty children getting theirs by a demonic employee of Santa. Of course, there are plenty of naughty adults who find a hairy feral creature with chains and a big black sack who is skilled with both a whip and a rod... exciting. I know I did. You know, now that the bruises and scratches have healed, maybe I need to give him a booty call... but first, we have more perfume to discuss.

One of the most famous ghost stories is also a Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol. It also deals with fear where various otherworldly spirits scare that famous One Percent sociopath Scrooge into giving a care. The supernatural can be quite scary but the Victorians tried to apply scientific principles to the occult. "Try" being the operative word. But Black Phoenix has produced a line called An Evening with the Spirits, celebrating their attempt to classify and clarify the other side.

There is Spirit Board, or more commonly called Ouija. This scent consists of redwood and bois de rose symbolizing the first boards made, with white lilac and dried pink roses symbolizing the respectable ladies who practiced spiritualism at the time, and black tea...which is what respectable ladies drank. As far away as you can get from respectable ladies is Psychodynamic Discharge, the theory that occult phenomena is caused not by the outer dark, but the inner mind and its seething ocean of lusts, rages, and other denizens of the darkness of the soul. Black leather, black patchouli, and red musk gives us the darkness and the black pepper, red ginger, and Haitian vetiver gives us the power of those monsters of the id. Less powerful but no less dark, Gossips of Ghost Land are more imp than demon. Black cedar, patchouli, and tea leaf give the shadows that can hide all sort of things that go bump in the night, with pink peppercorn, mate, and lime rind bringing the child-like naughtiness of poltergeists.

Black Phoenix: Spirit Board

Black Phoenix has something to help you with the specific phobias that hit this holiday season. Think of it as desensitization therapy. Cryophobia: Fear of Extreme Cold is bracing with white eucalyptus, frosted mint, raw frankincense, davana, iris petal, white grapefruit, and wormwood. Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia: Fear of Christmas Trees...yes, apparently it's a thing. The smell of pine pitch, dried fir trees and spruce tar can almost make you see the needles on the floor that you'll have to clean. Deipnophobia: Fear of Dinner Conversations is more sensible since some verbal battles over the gravy are more terrible than the Battle of the Somme. Wine and whiskey propel the troops of passive aggressive conversation, clean table linens form the battlefields, and a floral centerpiece and dinner rolls make for convenient weapons when words are not enough.

The above is merely a small sample of the Christmas banquet Black Phoenix has in store for you. Feel free to peruse and find a scent or two to help you with your own personal aromatherapy. If you find something you want, tell them Needcoffee sent you. We would like some Happy Holidays as well.