Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab or BPAL is a line of perfume oils with a cult following. This indie brand offers an extensive collection of perfumes with various collections with a “dark, Romantic gothic tones“. Naturally, that’s an aesthetic that I’m drawn too. Les Fleurs du Mal is in the Ars Moriendi collection. And how could I resist a floral perfume inspired by Baudelaire?
This time of the year, I start to crave spring florals. I start with roses and by spring I’m wearing what I call “purple florals” such as lilac. Les Fleurs du Mal is a humid, indolic floral. It opens with a cool, damp breeze of heady wisteria. It then wears as “purple floral soap”- clean lilac and wisteria with a hint of green, dewy lily of the valley. It dries down to a “red rose” soap with a hint of clean, musky dusting powder.
These sort of florals always read sort of vintage-y to me and not Victorian. Les Fleurs du Mal reminds me of a late-1970’s American floral perfume marketed to women (makes me think of perfumes like Lauren by Ralph Lauren and Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose). And something about this reminds me more of Diane Keaton in her Woody Allen roles than it does Baudelaire’s poetry. It’s classically romantic but BPAL eccentric. This isn’t a bad thing but I can see how people may be disappointed by this one as the description reads, “The scents of the blossoms of darkness, condensed into one perfume“. I wouldn’t call this a “dark floral” at all. It’s more like a humid, slightly green but very soapy floral – like rose soap in a steaming shower.
Notes listed include lilac, wisteria and a rose base.
Give Les Fleurs du Mal a try if you like soapy florals. Or perfumes like original Lauren Ralph Lauren, Neil Morris Rainflower, Opus Oils Les Bohemes Speakeasy, Al-Rehab Roses and/or Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose.
Projection and longevity are above average in comparison to other perfumes oils that I’ve used. The notes may read as “wispy” but this fragrance is rather dense. A small amount is all you need!
Another cool thing about BPAL is that you can’t access the site without a “smut-alert”. You at least know those under 18 years of age won’t be wearing what you’re wearing 😉
The 5 ml bottle retails for $17.50 at BPAL. Samples (or as the cool kids call them “Imps”) are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Lilac and rose scented soap – a slightly green “clean” floral. Fleurs du Mal isn’t the lilac that I’m looking for (still on the hunt for my “perfect” lilac). And those looking for a “dark floral” will most likely not be happy with this one. But, if you’re looking for a soapy, retro floral, this is one worth checking out.
BPAL has such a HUGE catalog. For those of you that are more experienced with the brand, which are your favorites? Which should I put on my “must-try” list?
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*Disclaimer – Product provided by the brand. I am not financially compensated for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Photo is mine. Diane Keaton 1975 image from Vanity Fair.