Website / Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
is an online perfume house known for its Goth
aesthetic, large catalog, and devoted fanbase. BPAL bases many of its perfume oils on concepts from the arts, literature, mythology, and various non-mainstream subcultures, which results in the catalog using or referencing many tropes that don't normally show up in perfume advertising
BPAL is also a major Crack Is Cheaper
offender among its devotees. While a single bottle is not particularly expensive by the standards of the perfume industry, the sheer size of its collection and the vast number of Limited Editions (LEs) can make serious collecting an expensive endeavor.
The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab shows examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Stimulating Sassafras Strengthener, The Smilin' Servitors' Hyperdimensional Holiday Hits, and others.
- Bondage Is Bad: Averted. Most of the BDSM-themed scents (Perversion, Wanda and Whip) are in the romance and sexuality collection (Ars Amatoria), rather than the villainy collection (Diabolus).
- Brains and Bondage: They have a few BDSM-themed scents and the company's overall aesthetic is rather cultured and nerdy.
- Character Alignment: Good, Evil, Lawful, and Chaotic are available in perfume oil form!
- Cheerful Child: Lilith, the proprietor's young daughter and occasional muse.
- Circus of Fear: The LE Carnaval Diabolique collection.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Played for Laughs, with the Black Helicopters Over Black Phoenix April Fool's collection.
- Conversational Troping: The Trope Overdosed Fairy Tale Inquisition at the Trading Post.
- Cthulhu Mythos: The Picnic In Arkham scents play this fairly straight, while the Miskatonic Valley seasonal collections are blatant Lovecraft Lite.
- Cute Monster Girl: The Hallowenches from the Trading Post 2013 Halloween collection: Callidora the vampire, Lavina the Creature, and Sylvia the wolf-girl.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deathbringer the Adorable: Some of the perfumes don't smell nearly as intimidating as their names would suggest. This is probably for the best in the case of the Lovecraft collection, since driving your customers mad with the realistically reproduced scent of an Eldritch Abomination would most likely be an unsustainable business model.
- The Monsterbait line as well. Despite being based on Demonic Dummies, Kaiju, and such things, most of them smell rather sweet and foody.
- Description Porn: Part of the catalog's Signature Style, to the point that scents described with nothing but the notes involved are the exception.
- Diamonds in the Buff: The flavor text/inspiration for Les Bijoux is a poem that features this.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: The flavor text for Santa Muerte and Wings of Azrael.
- Double Entendre: The names of the Lick It series of Yule LEs (so called because they smell like candy canes), as a Running Gag.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Averted. The flavor text of the Hades scent describes him in Dark Is Not Evil terms.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Single Notes.
- The Fair Folk: Dana O'Shee and Leanan Sidhe were inspired by old-school folkloric fairies.
- Fantasy Character Classes: Several offerings in the RPG line.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The general catalog alone features vampires (Nosferatu), werwolves (Loup Garou), The Fair Folk (Dana O'Shee), the Tzadikim Nistarim, trolls, goblins, Horny Devils (Incubus), Judeo-Christian angels (Seraphim), kitsune (Kitsune-Tsuki), Santeria orishas, Odin, Baba Yaga, Cthulhu... you get the idea.
- Historical-Domain Character: Several. Marie Antoinette, Oscar Wilde, Anne Bonny, and others get perfumes in their honor.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Two versions, actually: the Biblical version (The Bow and Crown of Conquest, The Great Sword of War, The Scales of Deprivation, and Death On a Pale Horse) in the Sin and Salvation collection; and the three of the Four Horsemen from Good Omens (featuring War, Famine, and Pollution). Poor Pestilence gets no love.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The Ars Draconis collection. The lab's made scents inspired by a range of mythic and fantasy creatures, but only dragons and sexy vampires get their own sub-pages.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: A staple of the Lupercalia (Valentine's Day) limited editions, which often have very sexually suggestive titles, even if the perfume itself is perfectly safe for work.
- The Krampus: Has a seasonal perfume (at Christmas time, of course) named after him.
- Leitmotif: An olfactory variation of this often shows up in scents inspired by the proprietor's real life. Snake Oil represents the proprietor herself, Dorian represents her husband, and, to a lesser extent, lavender is used to evoke their daughter.
- Lighter and Softer: The April Fools Salon A Tremulous Song which features scents inspired by the proprietor's daughter's fridge art.
- Lovecraft Lite: The Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire and Valentine's Day in the Miskatonic Valley seasonal series.
- Monster Clown: The Monsterbait: Coulrophobia LE series.
- No Animals Were Harmed: "With the exception of our honey-based products, everything that comes from BPAL is vegan, and we abhor animal testing. All products are tested on staff, family, and friends."
- Our Vampires Are Different: The Vampires Don't Sleep Alone collection.
- Public Domain Character: There are whole sections devoted to the denizens of Shakespeare's works and Alice in Wonderland. Valmont and Merteuil, Scheherezade, Dorian Gray, and others also get scents of their own.
- Purple Prose: Some scents have entire poems for flavor text.
- Pirate Girl: Anne Bonny and Mary Read both get scents in their honor. Possibly a case of Author Appeal, as pirate scents are a recurring theme in the collection.
- Reference Overdosed: Blatantly so, which is part of the appeal to some of the fanbase.
- Serious Business: "Simply put: this is no ordinary perfume house."
- Seven Deadly Sins
- Small Reference Pools: Averted.
- Snake Oil Salesman: Doc Constantine's Pharmacopoeia, with a supernatural twist. One of the offerings promises to "promote vigor in undeath."
- Steampunk: The Phoenix Steamworks collection.
- Stock Yuck: Vetiver and civet have rather controversial reputations on the forums, although the Lab itself has nothing against them. Both of these notes are very strong, long-lasting, can be difficult to wash off, and civet in particular can be downright stinky with the wrong chemistry.
- Talk Like a Pirate: The descriptive text for Grog.
- Thirteen Is Unlucky: The descriptive text for the 13s (limited edition scents brought out every Friday the 13th) specifically references this.