Rejoice! You have survived 2017! All the natural disasters, all the important people whipping their dick out without permission, and all the bat shittiness from the Orange Julius Caesar. You’re still here. So relax, have a glass of eggnog, and watch a holiday classic. Like The Thin Man, Die Hard, or even Batman Returns. I’m currently waiting for Krampus for our usual round of reindeer games. I’m making some birch switches and Krampus is bringing his manacles. He’s a traditionalist but I’m sure he’ll some of the other… devices I have in store. A silver lining to this year being so evil, it gives Krampus more energy and stamina. He likes it when I wear some scent, especially since we get all sweaty from all the naughty naughty things we do. I’d tell you but Widge gets all sensitive and prudish. So I will tell you about the scents that Black Phoenix offering this Yule season for when you kiss (or other amorous act) Santa Claus. He could use some attention too.
I don’t know if I should be worried or impressed that the bunny is scarier
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.)
DragonCon. The convention that is about to take over Atlanta is only a few days away. You know the maniacs of Need Coffee will be there. Presumably, Widge will post some sort of schedule, but honestly when Widge is in pre-DragonCon prep, it’s better to stay away from the screaming. Of course, Need Coffee isn’t the only reason to come to DragonCon. They quite literally have at least one panel track for whatever geeky interest you have. Their Exhibitors and Dealers rooms have taken over the entire AmericasMart building. Speaking of, our friends at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab are also coming to sell wonderful perfumes to tantalize your nose. And they always brew up an exclusive set of perfumes for the con.
This year, we have what Black Phoenix is calling Dragon Marginalia. What is it? Well, dragons are most known for their fire breath, their appetite for destruction, and their antipathy for anyone in armor. But dragons are so much more than the end boss of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Black Phoenix wants to show the dragons’ less… WMD aspects. For instance, there is Badgered By Dragons, a mix of dark chocolate, coffee absolute, sugar cane, caramel, and tobacco. You see, like any pet, a dragon wants a treat and is perfectly willing to pester you until he gets it. Now, a dragon’s taste is a touch more sophisticated so chocolates, coffee, and cigarettes are appropriate instead of jerky or catnip. Then there is Dragon With A Jaunty Cap. Come on, what giant lizard isn’t improved by some haberdashery. Especially cocked at a rakish angle. The scent is a delightful strawberry red musk chypre. Personally, I would have gone with raspberry, but maybe that’s too on the nose. Even more adorable is Dragon Smooch. Can’t you just see Daenerys Targaryen getting sweet little pecks from her dragon brood? [Obligatory Game Of Thrones reference] The scent is just as sweet with honeyed mint and peach marshmallow.
How’s your year been? Hopefully better than 2016. I have several friends who were quite glad when January 1, 2017 arrived. Of course, now everyone I know is getting PTSD from the news and physically jump when they get a notification from CNN or BBC on their phone. There is a metric fuckton of anger out there, mostly justified to be sure. Mostly everyone is channeling their anger into town halls, protests, and of course Facebook posts. No one can live by outrage alone… well maybe a certain President. Self-care is the latest trending term. Take a moment, smell a flower, watch some comedy shows, just avoid politics for a bit before you return to fight the good fight. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, as always, is there to help. They have made a perfume line inspired by the old fashioned practical joke devices. So let’s see what humorous offerings they have with PRANK.
There are some lovely simple light scents to delight during the summer. This corresponds with the simplistic gags that were the inspiration. Squirting Boutonniere is just that, a fake flower that squirts water (or whatever liquid you can get away with) into people’s faces as they try to smell it. The scent is almost literal: a pink rose scent with the aquatic cucumber and water lily. The Joy Buzzer is a venerable gag that simulates getting shocked since battery technology wasn’t as advanced as it is now. This feeling is also simulated with silvered honey and champagne grape leaving a sharp tang but without the ozone. The Snake Can is a mix of BPAL mega hit Snake Oil with a hint of nuts to fool you into thinking you’re getting a tasty treat instead of a long wire spring covered by a vinyl sheath in your face.
Of course, some of the scents are a bit more abstract. Chattering Teeth is more about the color of the teeth, red and white, with the scent of cherry and vanilla. Rubber Poop is also inspired more by its color, fortunately. It’s actually a nice scent of chocolate, caramel, cacao bean and tonka. The Whoopie Cushion is partly inspired by color. The raspberry and orange blossom comes from the balloon itself. The patchouli and red musk are probably reference the product the balloon is suppose to release. Like any good joke, this line doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. It’s gone on June 15th so grab some humorous perfume today lest the joke be on you…
Julius Caesar is one of the major jewels in the Shakespearean crown. “Beware the Ides of March,” “Et Tu, Brute,” “Friends, Romans, Countrymen.” You all know them even if you haven’t read the play in decades or at all. It’s the “Christmas Carol” effect: a work has become so integrated into the collective media subconscious that few people have actually read the original work.
But what were Shakespeare’s original works? I mean, where did Shakespeare do his research? It’s not like he had Wikipedia during the Elizabethan Era. The Encyclopedia Britannia was a couple centuries off in the horizons. So old Will had to go to primary sources. No handy summaries for him. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has honored those works that informed and inspired Julius Caesar with perfumes that show how those historians used turns of phrase to express this historical event.
After every Halloween, we here at Needcoffee have a ritual. It’s called the Post-Halloween Crash. Yes, the aftereffects of zombies, pumpkin spice everything, and way too much chocolate can lead to one hell of a November hangover. It’s really hard on Widgett. You think the wailing of a child being made to leave a playground is pitiful. You have never heard our Dear Leader screaming to the heavens “Why?! Why is it over!? Why have you forsaken me, O Flying Spaghetti Monster?!” Every damn year.
One method we use to bring Widge back to his senses is the Halloween scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It’s like smelling salts for the spooky set. Let us describe the fragrances that will help all of us, especially Widge, bid adieu to our Samhain ennui.
I listen to a lot of podcasts. A lot of podcasts. Looking at my podcatcher, I have over sixty on there. I can also say, going total hipster, that I was into podcasts way before Serial. I listen to podcasts, I’ve been on podcasts, I am organizing a podcast (albeit slowly). I thought I’d share some of the podcasts I listen to and share some of the ones that may have passed you by with the current glut out there.
Spring has arrived or, as Robin Williams aptly put it, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'” You can see the grass thrusting out of the ground, flowers spreading their pollen so indiscriminately, and animals in heat putting out their scent. Many members of the animal kingdom use pheromones to signal their intent, to perpetuate their genetic code, or stated simply, to fuck. While there is some debate about the existence of human pheromones, most biologists say that if they exist, they really aren’t that influential. Being human, if nature didn’t provide, we provide for ourselves with Science! Chemistry, botany, zoology mixed together with creativity and an understanding of passion. Some of the best people in the perfume business who understand this mad dance of heady science and base desire are Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It is in their Lupercalia release that they let their freak flag fly and have perfumes to attract the interest and inflame the passion of the object of your desire. What you do after that is your own affair but let me just say that sweat does intensify the effect.
(Widge’s Note: Scott turned it in late and life fell on me and I made it more late. So it’s on me. But regardless, some people want to celebrate Xmas year-round, so I guess this is for them. I celebrate Halloween year-round so I can’t judge. Much. Weirdos.)
Yeah I know, the Christmas Black Phoenix post is late. First off, it does celebrate all of winter, not just Christmas and since’s it’s still winter, it’s not really late. Second… yeah Krampus. Knowing it was that time again, I had scheduled a few days for our usual carnal extravaganza. The thing I didn’t account for is Krampus’ increased popularity. Krampus festivals have increased in the U.S. and of course there’s the recent movie. So Krampus awareness is on a all-time high. It seems that with anthropomorphic representations, more belief doesn’t just give them more power, it gives them more stamina, if you know what I mean. I knew with that special glint in his eye and the suggestive way he was flicking his tongue that I was in for a wild ride. He took me to places that I didn’t know existed, it was like being on LSD and Viagra at the same thing. First he (WIDGE: this is where you can put something about having to edit my long winded and pornographic description because of length and you’re a prude. Just kidding). Widge’s Note: Nah, it’s much funnier to leave your note in as it stands. So it took me a while longer to recover than from the usual cuts and bruises.
But I have recovered and I’m ready to tell you about Black Phoenix’s Yule perfumes. Since I’ve been back in my right mind, I realize that Christmas has always been weird around here… I mean besides Krampus. When you can be out in shorts and a T-shirt on Christmas Day, your festive spirit can get a little confused. It always doesn’t help that ‘Christmas’ items have been available on store selves since before Halloween. I’m not wanting a Burl Ives/Norman Rockwell fantasy, but maybe I want something with a bit more heft than the Steam Christmas game sale. Maybe that’s why I like the Yule perfume lines, you can connect to different winter traditions and even experience the aroma of a winter wonderland. The perfumers manage to give us equal parts reverence for the season and a knowing sense of the ridiculous. So let us enter that landscape that Black Phoenix conjures with its quiet snow, decorated trees and the sound of sleigh bells in the distance.
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.