Black Phoenix Halloween 2015
The new Uber: uncomfortable seating but bypasses all the traffic...

Widge's Note: No idea what Scott's on about here, it's still twelve days until 3rd Halloween. Hope everybody is enjoying decorating their trees with black lights and a magnificent Cthulhu tree topper. Anyway, here's Scott.

I have something to admit. Halloween got away from me. Real life can be relentless. We've had like two or three actually cold days this fall in my part of Florida. I had assignments from a couple of programming courses so my nights were filled with Java not with ghosts and demons; I had a Mickee Faust Club show that ended on Halloween so my costumes were for stage not for a party. And right after I had a chest cold from Hell so I was somewhat occupied. The scariest thing I did was handle a massive prop burger made from dog food, sawdust, and... other things. Long story. But you-know-who helps keep that spirit going long after the Halloween candy on sale has been sold. That's right: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. So come with me as we peruse the perfumes and keep Halloween going for a little while longer.

First we have the perennial classics: All Souls, an incense blend mixed with the sweet soul cakes offered to the dearly departed. From the somber to the festive: Dia de los Muertos is a sampling of the offerings to keep the dead happy and in a party mood. Incense, flowers, chocolate and tobacco dance with the deadly departed along with the heady scents of desert flowers to remind us that death is not the end of fun. The main candy of the festival, Sugar Skull, also gets a perfume that is rich with sugars and fruit. The main pagan revelry of Samhaim blends the autumn treats of pumpkin, apples, and spices to enliven them with the forest primeval where nature holds sway. Just remember, it's pronounced 'sah-win'. I know it doesn't look how it sounds, but correct pronunciation is the least we can do after the whole Salem mess.

Speaking of pumpkin, even Black Phoenix is not immune to the current craze of the Pumpkin Spice Juggernaut. You got Frosted Pumpkin Spice Cookie with cinnamon, nutmeg, browned butter, and cream cheese icing. There's Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcake with even more baked good sweetness. And there's Pumpkin Lager because, to quote Ogden Nash, "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker."

To help with the super-size summer we get in Florida, October gives a vista of the falling leaves, the smoking of chimneys, and the stickiness of sap. Magnificent Autumn is a drier, sharper scent with the leaves crackling and the air giving you a little cold nibble of the winter bite that is to come. However Second Spring reminds us that all is not grey in fall. The bright red of pomegranate and currant, the golds of amber and honey, the russet of myrrh, the green of cypress, and yes, the brown of patchouli shows that autumn can be as vibrant and brilliant as the other seasons.

Let us not forget the reason(s) for the season: fear, terror, and horror. For example, we have The White Witch...and don't be fooled: she is not a good witch. She lures you in with her pale beauty but once she has you, she will burn you up and suck out all the energy you possess. But is it the exquisite pain that keeps you in her embrace? Her scent presents with honeyed amber and bourbon vanilla, along with blood red roses. Underneath is her true dark potent nature: dark red musk, dark patchouli and vetiver, pomegranate rind and blackened violet leaf. This is countered with Le Revenant which tells of the seduction and dark dangerous pleasures of the grave. This is matched by a mixture of sweet yet heavy florals like gardenia, narcissus flower, and ambrette seed. In counterpoint is The Unquiet Grave where the dead tell the living to let go of the grave and enjoy their time in the sunshine. The scent shows the true, cold nature of the dead and bloodless beloved with frozen white roses, white gardenia, white sandalwood, and vanilla orchid.

The good old days were creepy

The good old days were creepy

Perhaps making up for all the pumpkin spiciness, there is Bobbing For Apples, where the scent of apples mix with various concoctions into variations of sweetness, spiciness, and savoriness. Even more whimsical are the Single Notes where you still have the smoky Bonfire, chilly Fog Machine Juice, and sweet Stage Blood. Added to this are the chemical Clown White, the woody Disappointing Pencil, and of course Pumpkin Spice Everything.

The Pickman Gallery, the premier art gallery that is leading the gentrification of Arkham, Massachusetts, has a new exhibition that is appropriate to the holiday as well as some of the darker rumors said about Arkham and the surrounding environs. I'll let the press release enlighten you:

Hecate's Inheritance: Witches, Our Sisters showcases thirteen exquisite depictions of witches and their craft, including the works of Albert-Joseph Pénot, Henry Fuseli, Jean Veber, Frans Francken II, James Gillray, Jan de Bisschop, Jean van der Velde II, Agostino Veneziano, John Nixon, and John William Waterhouse. Sympathy for the Devil: An Intimate Evening With Old Scratch includes a selection of seven visions of He Who Shuns the Light by Jean Miélo, Nikolai Kalmakoff, Louis Boulanger, Micha? Elwiro Andriolli, Paul Mathey, Thomas Stothard, and Henry Fuseli.

The scents run the gambit. From the lightness of A Phantasmagoria: Scene – Conjuring Up an Armed Skeleton by James Gillray which shows seemingly proper ladies that smell of wig powder, amber-perfumed leather gloves, and rose petals summoning something improper with oak bark and magical the dark masculinity of Portrait of an Unidentified Man as Mephistopheles by Paul Mathey with a debonair lavender fougère, cloaked in smoky red musk, red mandarin, and oakmoss, befitting a man of wealth and taste.

If you need some perfume to keep the latter days of the year close to you, especially if global warming has robbed you of that season or you need some Halloween scent to gird you against the enforced joy of Christmas, go now to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Tell them Needcoffee sent you and tell us what perfumes you enjoy. We'd rather not use arcane arts to determine your opinions. It required sacrificing a cat and Widgett is allergic.