I’ve been preparing this post about the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloween perfumes and how they will help people with the comedown from the horror-filled sugar high of Halloween. But then our dear leader, Widgett, keeps going on about Second Halloween. Not to mention Third Halloween. Like times before, I spent like a half an hour trying to remind him that it’s actually Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. Seriously, stuffing is not scary (although the Elf on the Shelf is another matter). Over the years, he has taken The Oatmeal’s suggestion and taken it to places that border on cosmic horror. I know the last couple of years haven’t been easy but I am concerned. I hear noises from the TechnoCave that I do not recognize. If he starts talking about summoning The Great Pumpkin in the next week or so, we may need to have an intervention.
I am not without sympathy. Thanksgiving isn’t the easiest of holidays even during the best of times and it has not been the best of times. 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 perfect Norman Rockwell scene and it fails flat on its face. Someone just has to espouse their political views or gripe about a slight suffered twenty years ago or say that when they make the turkey themselves it’s so much moister. So you retreat into your streaming service of choice and try to drown out the screaming from those who follow the sportsball, assuming you find a free socket. 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 visit the dead with All Souls, an incense blend mixed with the sweet soul cakes offered to the dearly departed. From ecclesiastical to pagan, 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. The main candy of the Day of the Dead festival, Sugar Skull, also gets a perfume that is rich with sugars and fruit. Winds of Autumn invokes the gathering around a bonfire with friends (who are vaccinated, of course) smelling the cedar and sandalwood and the amber resin with a hot drink with apple and cinnamon. Something that is sweet and sour is Cranberry Mango Pumpkin Floss, a lovely mix of flavorful scents that would be appropriate on your Thanksgiving table.
If you want pumpkin, you’re getting pumpkin whether you want it or not. Black Phoenix has Pumpkin Patch, where they mix the ubiquitous pumpkin spice into some of their popular oils like Schrodinger’s Cat to create Schrodinger’s Pumpkin, The Antikythera Mechanism to The Antikythera Pumpkin, and their Snake Oil to their version of PSL: Pumpkin Snake Latte. They smell delightful and the names are great to tell people when they ask what you’re wearing.
If pumpkin isn’t your fancy, you can try some perfumes based on another staple of fall, Pile of Leaves. Some of the scents, always with a constant note of dried crinkly leaves, incorporate fall scents like Dead Leaves and Molasses Pumpkin Cookies and Dead Leaves, Peppercorn, and Pumpkins. Others invoke the fall foliage in which the dead leaves reside like Dead Leaves, Vetiver and Hinoki and Dead Leaves, Spruce Boughs, and Ti Leaf. Others still show the bountiful harvest that autumn can bring like Dead Leaves, Roasted Almonds, and Bourbon Cream and Dead Leaves, Honeycomb, and Vanilla Butter. In case you missed it, the theme of that range is Dead Leaves.
I don’t know if this is still A Thing parents worry about, but in my day, there was concern about Halloween candy sabotaged with razor blades, poison, or illicit drugs. The closest thing I’ve heard recently is people accidently handing out marijuana candy. This is probably untrue, like the other rumors before it, because at the prices the candy sells for, people would keep it for themselves. In any case, Black Phoenix plays with the eternal under-legend with Urban Legends: Candy Tampering. You’ve got the perennial Razor Blade Candy Apple, but a few I hadn’t heard of like Mousetrap Nougat Bar, Lye-Filled Bubble Gum and Acid-Laced Butterscotch Lozenge. This one in particular has that wonderful rich butterscotch smell but I get a little tingle from it too. Now I’m not saying the perfume oil is laced with LSD and even anything other that the scent of butterscotch. Maybe it’s just the power of suggestion. So be careful of conspiracies and urban legends.
Black Phoenix is doing something new, but it is based on a old classic: using a bed sheet as a ghost costume. While this costume can seem (and is) very basic, Black Phoenix puts a fascinating twist on it with Freak In The Sheets. You have the standard Traditional Sheet Ghost with its smells of cotton, marshmallow fluff, and lemony Oman frankincense. It’s like a very sophisticated fabric softener. Then you get the variations such as Paisley Sheet Ghost with its aromatic ode to old fashioned pot smokers with weed smoke-infused white sandalwood, wild oakmoss, cannabis flower accord, hash resin accord, tonka bean, lavender bud, champaca flower, and tolu balsam. You can just see the black light posters and bell bottoms. Then there is the Cognac-Stained Sheet where you can smell that this ghost had some fun before the end…or maybe the fun was the reason for the end. Vanilla-infused balsam, white cognac, and tumbleweeds seem to indicate that the ghost’s wandering may be more of a Ghost Walk of Shame.
I am just scratching the surface of the perfumes on offer for their Halloween 2021 collections. If you’re interested, snag yourself some scents to keep the Halloween feeling going even as we slide into the end of the year. And tell them that Need Coffee sent you.