I’m getting worried about our dear leader, Widgett Walls. I sent him a email saying my post about the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloween perfumes would be late, he said I have pretty of time because we’re coming up on Second Halloween. I spent like a half an hour trying to remind him that it’s actually Thanksgiving. He has taken The Oatmeal’s suggestion WAY too seriously. I know the last couple of years haven’t been easy but I am concerned. Mostly that I might have to take over if Widge “takes a vacation” and I don’t need that kind of pressure.
(Widge’s Note: Too Seriously? He has NO idea… Moohoohahaha.)
I do understand. Thanksgiving isn’t the easiest of holidays. You either spend hours in the car wondering when the hell self-driving cars will become a thing or spend hours dealing with the airport and also wondering when self-driving cars will become a thing. Then you try to invoke the whole Norman Rockwell sort of scene and it fails when someone espouses their political views or gripes about a slight suffered twenty years ago or says that when they make the turkey themselves it’s so much moister. And of course those of you who follow the sportsball, all you have to do is find a socket to plug your charger in so you can escape into your smartphone. So maybe having these scents will help you escape the familial horrors of Thanksgivings present and past and remember the more festive horrors of Halloween.
First we remember the dead with All Souls, an incense blend mixed with the sweet soul cakes offered to the dearly departed. Also for the somber contemplation of the dead, there is Hallow-e’en, 1914, for those first dead on the blasted fields of Europe during the so-called Great War. You smell the withered ivy, dark cypress, and the grave dirt of the cemetery plus maple leaf with honeyed fig to remind you that their suffering has ended. Fall is suited for this contemplation since it lacks the frenetic energy of summer and the tempo slows as a chill fills the air. October gives a vista of the falling leaves, the smoking of chimneys, and the stickiness of sap. Samhain, the Celtic festival that celebrates the season, blends the autumn treats of pumpkin, apples, and spices to enliven them with the damp woods and fir needles of the forest primeval where nature holds sway.
Of course, since this is Halloween, we must have a variety of pumpkin delivery systems. So much pumpkin. You got Pumpkin Brownies, Pumpkin Chypre, and Pumpkin Sugar. Black Phoenix has even mixed pumpkin into some of their popular mainstays like Pumpkin Spice Harlot, Pumpkin Spice Perversion, and Pumpkin Spice Cathedral to name a few. It’s not all pumpkin, though. There are Cinnamon Chai Cupcake, Apple Butter Rum, and Chocolate Blood…the last of which smells like it came out of the jar of Bosco Chocolate Syrup and onto Janet Leigh in the shower. I prefer Hershey’s myself.
There are also the the Halloween Single Notes such as Blood Squib and Unsettling Clear Plastic Mask, the Dead Leaves mixtures like Dead Leaves and Squished Candy Corn and Dead Leaves, Lemon Verbena, and Cedar, and the Halloween Phobias with Coimetrophobia (Fear of Cemeteries) and Nebulaphobia (Fear of Fog), but I saved the best for last. Black Phoenix made a perfume line based on the Edgar Allen Poe story, The Tell Tale Heart. If you are not familiar, here is our own Widge, in one of his saner moments, reading the story.
With wild and fantastical illustrations by Drew Rausch, each scent reflects a pivotal passage in the tale of murder, madness, and the meter of a heartbeat. An example is You Fancy Me Mad where the narrator explains how his meticulous planning in killing the old man is proof that he is quite sane. The hit of bright orange blossom, neroli, lemon, and bitter clove give the enthusiasm he gives to his grisly plot and opoponax, patchouli, and black vetiver under it is his darkness underlying his industriousness. The Wild Audacity of My Perfect Triumph is where the narrator’s plan has gone off seemingly flawlessly. He has perfect answers for every question of the police, the house is well ordered and perfect, and his manner is beyond suspicion. The scent is a lime absinthe, something that a perfect gentleman of the time would wear. But as the sound of the beating of his hideous heart grows, so does the narrator’s efforts to cover it with high speed pratter and Violent Gesticulations. The pomegranate mint and eucalyptus represent the mania of the narrator trying to hide his crime but the black musk is the evil wanting out and wanting everyone to see the terrible deed.
You must hurry and get these scents from Black Phoenix because you know who is coming. That’s right, Krampus! He told me he has some new switches that he is dying to try out. And do I have something for him. It’s a leather… hold on, Widge is trying to make a Jack-o’-lantern out of the pumpkin pie. Again.