Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

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Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, also known as BPAL, is an online retailer selling perfume oils. BPAL is owned by Elizabeth Moriarty Barrial and Brian Constantine, and is based in Los Angeles, California, United States.

Ethics[edit]

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab does not test their products on animals. Their perfume oils are blended by hand, using sustainably sourced essential oils and absolutes, with synthetics to replace substances such as civet and ambergris. With the exception of blends containing honey and beeswax, the oils are vegan-friendly.[1]

Influences and inspirations[edit]

The blends are inspired by works of art, mythology, folk superstitions, voodoo, classical literature, historical figures, pirates,[2] and carnivals. Themes include aromatherapy, locations both real and fictional, devilish garden plantings, role playing games, fairy tales, vampire lore, gothic and pagan themes, Lovecraftian mythos, Japanese "Shunga" artwork and deities and concepts from a variety of pantheons.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has also worked with and licensed the rights to create products based on popular and cult favorites such as Guillermo del Toro's film, Crimson Peak.,[3] Pretty Deadly,[4] Only Lovers Left Alive,[5] Sherlock Holmes,[6] Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, Paranorman, The Last Unicorn, Hellboy, Witchblade, David Mack's Kabuki, and numerous other lines inspired by classic literature and comics.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab maintains a gothic aesthetic of its website, framing product descriptions with snippets of poetry and category art (monochrome drawings or etchings) by Aubrey Beardsley, Beresford Egan, Felicien Rops, Harry Clarke, Albrecht Dürer, John Tenniel, Andreas Vesalius, Jennifer Williamson, Julie Dillon, Sarah Coleman, Alicia Dabney, Madame Talbot, and others.

Elizabeth Barrial's daughter Lilith with her husband, Ted Barrial (who runs BPAL's sister company, Black Phoenix Trading Post) has also been an inspiration for scents since her birth in 2008. Elizabeth has said that the scents inspired by her daughter are some of her favorites to create, and there is an annual Lilith update that coincides with her birthday.

Social causes and compassionate consumerism[edit]

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab practices compassionate consumerism, with a goal to give back to the community through charitable contributions, volunteer work, and by supporting fair trade and self-sustaining growers whenever possible. They have participated in fundraisers for many organizations, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund ("CBLDF"), Hero Initiative, the Orangutan Foundation UK, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Covenant House, the Red Cross, UNICEF, the SPCA, and the Humane Society.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab also participates in the Green Power For A Green L.A. program.[7]

In 2007 Black Phoenix announced a series of perfumes based on the works of Neil Gaiman inspired by, among others, the novels American Gods, Stardust, The Graveyard Book, Coraline and Anansi Boys. All profits from the Neil Gaiman-inspired scents go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.[8]

Black Phoenix also released a collection of perfumes based on Good Omens (co-authored by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) and sales went to benefit the CBLDF and the Orangutan Foundation UK.[9] By the end of the first week of July 2007, Neil Gaiman announced on his blog that they had raised $1,500 for the Orangutan Foundation UK and the year-to-date fundraising for the CBLDF had raised over $15,000.[10] By 2010, the CBLDF reported that BPAL's Neil Gaiman line of fragrances had raised over $50,000 for the organization.[11]

In 2012, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab became a corporate member of the CBLDF[12] and they continue to sponsor the CBLDF's Welcome Party each year at the San Diego Comic Con.[13]

In July 2015, a line called The Collected Poetic Works of Antonin Scalia debuted, based on the Supreme Court Justice's "colorfully vitriolic superlatives."[14] A portion from the sale of every bottle is donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Trevor Project and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

In November 2015, BPAL released a scent called Palmyra.[15] All proceeds after the cost of manufacture went to benefit the UNHCR’s efforts to aid refugees and meet humanitarian needs.

In October 2016, BPAL released a scent based on Donald Trump's unprecedented remark directed at Hillary Clinton during the third Presidential debate, Nasty Woman.[16] Proceeds from this fragrance were split between Planned Parenthood and Emily's list.

Products[edit]

Scents are unique to Black Phoenix and are created and hand blended in-house by Elizabeth Barrial or Brian Constantine.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab currently produces and sells perfume oils in two sizes: 1/32 oz sample vials called Imp's Ears (or "Imps"), and 5-mL glass bottles.

They have an extensive General Catalog of scents and several times a year they release themed Limited Edition oils to coincide with Halloween, Yule, Lupercalia, and other calendar-based holidays and events.

BPAL also releases one new monthly scent which coincides with the full moon. These scents are different each month, following themes established by various mythological and lunar calendars, and they are only available for a few days. While most selling is done online, The Lab does host monthly "Lunacy" (Will Call) events in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Vermont to allow people to purchase oils in person and interact with the staff and owners. Additionally, they often make scents available for giveaway as part of food drives or other charitable events at these times.

BPAL has two sister companies which focus more specifically on certain customer needs: Twilight Alchemy Lab offers ritual oils for spiritual purposes, and Black Phoenix Trading Post sells officially licensed BPAL-related garments, jewelry, home items, and bath and beauty products, as well as offering limited edition and special release oils.

In addition to their retail products, BPAL has also created unique scents for companies in the creative field to use as event gifts, such as the bottles of Nocturnus given out by Thrillbent Comics at the 2012 San Diego ComicCon.

Collaborations and use by other artists[edit]

In 2013 BPAL created a perfume called The Gatekeeper which was inspired by The Maze of Games, an interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker and illustrated by Pete Venters. The scent was offered as a Kickstarter perk and then became part of the catalog.[17]

Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, named "the olfactory geniuses of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab" in the book's Acknowledgments.[18]

In April 2007, Weird Tales published a piece of original fiction entitled "Six Scents" by Lisa Mantchev, which drew its inspiration from six BPAL fragrances.[19]

In 2005, the Lab was named as The Village Voice's Best of New York: Best Scent Indulgence for Your Inner Goth.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sammy, Marissa (February 2007), "The Empress of Scent: A Story of Imps and Customer Obsession", Sequential Tart 
  2. ^ "Bilge Monkey's "Black Phoenix Alchemy" Review". 2007-02-23. 
  3. ^ Langsworthy, Billy (June 5, 2015). "VEGAS 2015: Legendary details partners for Crimson Peak, Warcraft and Krampus". 
  4. ^ Wakelin, Nicole. "Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Takes On Kelly Sue DeConnick's Pretty Deadly". GeekMom. 
  5. ^ Ratcliffe, Amy. "Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Only Lovers Left Alive Perfume Oils". geek with curves. 
  6. ^ http://bust.com/our-current-obsession-black-phoenix-alchemy-lab.html
  7. ^ Banks, Dawnielle. "Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Comic Book Scents Review". Makeup By Siryn: Geek Talk/Scents. 
  8. ^ "Smell the Neil Gaiman Collection" (Press release). Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. 2007-02-01. 
  9. ^ Gaiman, Neil (2007-02-24), Smelling For Good 
  10. ^ Gaiman, Neil (2007-07-07), Blueberry Girls 
  11. ^ Brownstein, Charles. "BPAL Debuts Neverwhere Fragrances!". CBLDF. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ Brownstein, Charles (October 19, 2012). "Be Counted: BPAL Creates Exclusive CBLDF Member Fragrance! Becomes Corporate Member!". CBLDF. 
  13. ^ Gomez, Betsy. "Start SDCC With CBLDF's Comic-Con Welcome Party!". CBLDF. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  14. ^ Krupnick, Ellie (July 30, 2015). "Antonin Scalia-Inspired Perfume Is as Awesome as We Could Have Hoped For". Style.Mic. 
  15. ^ Kiki, Butterfly (November 17, 2015). "Join BPAL In Supporting UNHCR's Refugee Relief Efforts". tumblr. 
  16. ^ Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia (October 21, 2016). "Nasty Woman Perfume Sends Proceeds To Planned Parenthood and Emily's List". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 2016-01-14. 
  17. ^ "Lone Shark Games' The Maze of Games". 2014. 
  18. ^ Morgenstern, Erin (2011). The Night Circus (HC ed.). Doubleday. p. 391. ISBN 9780385534635. 
  19. ^ Mantchev, Lisa (2007), "Six Scents", Weird Tales Magazine 
  20. ^ Gandin, Jennifer (2005), "Best of New York 2005: Best Scent Indulgence for Your Inner Goth", The Village Voice 

External links[edit]