One of the author Jasper Fforde’s more interesting concepts from his Thursday Next books is the Church of the Global Standard Deity–a melange of religions that most people can mostly agree on. While it is supposed to alleviate the conflicts that differences in religious doctrine can cause, you have to wonder how satisfying the services are. Speaking of satisfying, have you ever bought a tomato or strawberry that looks ripe and colorful, then found it had no taste? That is Permanent Global Summertime, where grocers make sure that produce is available for the consumer, no matter the time of year or the lack of flavor. Of course, we are in the midst of Global Standard Winter Holiday, or as it is colloquially known, Christmas. And as businesses attempt to include everyone in the Holiday Season, a lot of traditions, variations, and uniqueness find themselves stripped away. That is why I enjoy the Yule perfume line from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It shows the many rich facets of the holiday season, far beyond the standard Mall Santa, Muzak’ed carols, and supermarket holiday cookies.
[ad#longpost]First, we must remember that this time of year has many spiritual connections. There is Chanukkiyah with its scents of oil, beeswax and amber with the fruits of the Holy Land and Yule with its sacred hunt and the fragrances of the forest where the beast is hunted, the spices of the feast afterwards, and the incenses to honor its spirit. Nocha Buena, the Hispanic celebration of the Nativity, combines the incenses of the traditional mass, the Misa de Noche Buena and tropical flowers like plumeria, Angel’s Trumpet, dahlia. Haloa is 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 cakes to thank the gods for a successful harvest.
Of course, for every Nice list, there must be a Naughty list. For example, you have Diable En BoÃ®te, which is French for Jack In A Box. Or literally translated: boxed devil. But it’s not a devil that pops out, but a clown. These are like My First Lament Configuration. So you have a perfume of redwood for the box, hemp accord and tobacco for the infernal smoke, and bitter clove and red musk–suggesting that something dark and dangerous wants out of the box. Next up is JÃ³lasveinar, named after a brood of children even more massive than the Duggars. Even worse, they’re orge children which means they run around causing mayhem, raising a ruckus, and generally being royal pains in the ass during the holiday season in Iceland. Their scent is mix of mosses, tramped on flowers, and stolen pastries. And speaking of children, we have Lick It Discreetly, a wonderful scent of peppermint and vanilla that makes you want to suck on a delicious hard candy cane. But not in front of the children, unless you are ready to answer some rather pointed questions.
Speaking of yummy things to put in your mouth, this is the season to pig out on cookies, cakes, and confections until you’re in a sugar coma. One of my favorites is Egg Nog. It has that wonderful rich scent of thick cream, a slight spiciness from nutmeg, and of course, delicious brandy and rum. Then there is the perennial favorite, Maison En Pain D’epices, or gingerbread house, with tons of ginger, sugar, vanilla, mint, and chocolate. In keeping with the Nice and Naughty theme, we have Pink Snowballs with a lovely light scent of vanilla and rose, definitely nice. In the Naughty column, there is Yellow Snowballs. Yes, they went there. However, the scent is NOT the obvious, but a nice mix of mint, lemon, vanilla, and yuzu.
Remember this is merely a sample of what is on offer at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Check out their full Yule collections or any of the myriad of perfumes and other fine products. Just because holidays leave you cold instead festive…you can still smell festive.
In addition to the new Snow White and Rose Red (my two perennial classic scents) and Pink Snowball, which is sweet and girly and fun, I also am really liking Cloth of Gold from this year’s Yule collection.
For those who are familiar with it, Pink Snowball is very similar to the Hope scent from the Carnival Diabolique, but with a cooler twist.