Tobi drew my attention to a parfumier called Sucreabeille
. Their approach is the same as BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab)
. Intriguing scents with glorious, mysterious and amusing names, available in samples to suck you into their perfumy Web of Doom ("Come to the dark side. We smell awesome!"
I'd tried BPAL years ago in hopes of finding a good signature scent or two after hearing friends gush about it on LiveJournal. There are tons of online groups dedicated to discussing BPAL and buying / swaping samples
. All but one or two of the samples I ordered ended up smelling like dish soap on me. The one I really liked, Blood Countess
, was discontinued, of course. Womp womp. ("Elizabeth Báthory, also called Erzsébet Báthory in Hungarian and Alžbeta Bátoriová-Nádašdy in Slovak, was the Bloody Lady of Hungary. In order to preserve her youth and loveliness, the brutal and incomparably savage countess captured, tortured and slaughtered innumerable young women and bathed in their blood as part of her beauty regimen. Ah, vanity. Corrupted black plum, smoky opium and crumbling dead roses covered by a deceptive veil of Hungarian lilac, white gardenia and wild berry."
I usually steer clear of vanilla, but I'll make an exception if the mix sounds intriguing. I like it fine in food, but in bath and body products, scented candles, etc, it grosses me out. I usually gravatate to musk, amber and pachouilli, but I have a lot of friends that detest pachouilli. I usually wore it to SCA events, and I'd smell it around occasionally in those days - not enough to get sick of it, so I associate it with some of the best times of my life. I'm also a sucker for gardenia, but in the perfumes I've tried it seems like an old lady smell. Most scents that I've seen with berries tend to have very decadent descriptions, have always gotten my attention - blackcurrant and blackberries. I also love honeysuckle, and sage, sandalwood and jasmine incense, so that will sometimes tip the balance as well.
I only recently discovered my current favourite scent, King's Musk ("Airs of ancient amber with a heady green musk."), by Caravanserai
, of Durham, NC, at the Shakori Hills Festival
Tobi's excitement got my attention, so I visited the Sucreabeille page, which is tricky to navagate, and joined their Facebook group
. Boy howdy, there's a bad formula for self restraint. Lots of useful personal notes about scents from their fans. If you're determined to give it a go, it'll help with your selections. After a week or two of lurking on the Sucreabeille sites, I ordered two sets of five 1ml samples
. They throw in an extra sample of their choosing for each set. The extras are marked with an "*".Overall Verdict:
I'd rather have my money back. Some nice combinations, but all were WEAK. I was afraid I'd get addicted to all of those awesome-sounding concoctions, but no. The scent lasts a few minutes. If you really
slather it on, you'll get the barest hint of it a few hours later if you press your nose right onto the spot.
Bawdy Got Me Laid
Scent Notes: A sultry blend of Amber, real Ylang Ylang essential oil, pure vanilla, and golden honey. ~ Ursula's comment: "Not bad, but Bawdy will not get you laid."Bloodline
Scent notes: Ruby pomegranate seeds, sticky, thick dragon's blood, swirls of red musk and rosewood. ~ Ursula's comment: "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
"By the pricking of our thumbs, something wicked this way comes. Gather ‘round the cauldron, witches, we’re cooking up something special. A smudge of sage; some freshly picked apples; exotic spices; juicy figs; smoky pipe tobacco; wax from the eternal candle; a smattering of other delights. Mmm, doesn’t that smell wonderful? Be careful; potions brewed in cauldrons are particularly potent and delicious. Proceed with caution, pretties. Plus, it’s perfect for witches, wizards, warlocks, alchemists, or anyone who rejects or does not conform to the magical binaries. And don’t mind the dead man’s toe; it’s purely ornamental."
Scent notes: A smudge of sage; some freshly picked apples; exotic spices; juicy figs; smoky pipe tobacco; wax from the eternal candle; a smattering of other Fall delights. This is a perfect fall day full of crisp leaves. ~ Ursula's comment: "Why is this a perfume? This is not something I want on my body."
* Don't Be a Lady Be a Legend
"Now, we’re not saying you can’t be a lady AND a legend. In fact, that’s absolutely possible! But sometimes, circumstances call for one or the other, and in those times, we implore you to be legendary. Being a lady usually involves abiding by the rules, following along with what is expected of you, and going with the status quo. Being a legend means not letting anything stand in your way so you can do what is right, no matter what anyone else thinks. Break all the rules. Define your own path. Don’t let the bastards get you down, and Don’t Be a Lady, Be a Legend." Scent notes: Raspberry lambic with elderberry syrup, thick, resinous dragon's blood, and elegant amber spheres. ~ Ursula's comment: "Why is this a perfume? This is not something I want on my body."
"Queen of the comebacks and quick quips, Dorothy Zbornak is the hero of all the awkward, tall girls who stayed home and wrote poetry in high school, rather than going out on dates. Her ex was so stupid he had to get naked to count to 21, and we definitely understand that. Dorothy is the patron saint of sarcasm, the definition of a tough woman, but deep down she’s a total softie. She’s loyal and wicked smart, and will pick you up when you’re down (or kick you if you deserve to be there). We love Dorothy forever." Scent notes: Rosewood and amber with a blend of cedarwood, cypress and blackberry sage. A dash of scotch whiskey, Egyptian musk and black tea. ~ Ursula's comment: "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
Goth as Fuck
Scent Notes: A totally unapologetic haunted cathedral. Rich, dark resins, thick incense, beeswax candles, frankincense and myrrh. Cool stone floors and cloves, red musk and sassafras. Clary sage and wormwood. Guiac wood and patchouli, and a whisper of black jasmine. ~ Ursula's comment: "I really wanted to like it. The name alone probably sells a bunch of these. They really put the kitchen sink in there. I find one or more of the elements downright repulsive. It's a mess."
.Here's The Thing: Fuck Everyone
Scent notes: Bourbon, Rich chocolate, Dark amber, touch of dirt. ~ Ursula's comment: "I was expecting this to be great, but it's not. Maybe it's the touch of dirt." Something in there is not scent that I'd want on my body. If you want not to be alluring, this scent is for you"The Librarian
Scent notes: A library full of all the books in the world. The Librarian takes notes and catalogues while sipping a large mug of hot buttered rum laced with espresso. A whisper of patchouli follows her through the stacks. ~ Ursula's comment: "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
Their Master Catalog is here
"Working a minimum wage job after graduating with a master’s degree is demoralizing on its own. But working at the same minimum wage job, at a coffee shop, on-campus at the very place you got said degree? Humiliating. At least it was for her, " Scent notes: A funereal wreath of white lilies and black orchids sprinkled with a dusting of graveyard dirt. A somber wake feast of dark chocolate drenched raspberries and a shot of dark rum. ~ Ursula's comment: "Why is this a perfume? This is not something I want on my body."
* Ruthless B-Word
"Chances are high that, at some point in your life, someone has called you the b-word. They meant it as an insult. They thought you were too bossy, or demanding, or angry, or uncompromising. Maybe you didn’t return their unwanted advances. Maybe they didn’t have a reason; they just said it unprompted and out of the blue. But, anyone who calls you that doesn’t understand the power that word holds. Take that insult and turn it into a badge of honor; wear it proudly at all times, confident in the fact that you’d rather be a ruthless bitch than a spineless coward. In the wise words of Tina Fey, “Bitches get stuff done.” Do we ever!" Scent Notes: An unbelievably juicy blend of blood oranges and lychees. White amber and ginger lilies blend to give a sophisticated presence. ~ Ursula's comment: "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."
Scent notes: Oud wood, smoked patchouli, coal, freshly paved tar, cedarwood. ~ Ursula's comment: "Re-reading the description, I'm not sure what made me choose this one. Possibly it was because someone raved about it on Facebook. Another reason to uninstall.")
Wayward Soul Sister
"Life is weird right now. We’re all socially isolated while remaining globally connected, for better or for worse. We have all the terrible and wonderful pieces of the world at our fingertips 24 hours a day. But here at Sucreabeille, we are most grateful for our ever-expanding Facebook group full of sisters (and brothers and siblings) who feel like family, even if we’ve never gotten a chance to meet IRL. It's our own little community of kindred spirits gone awry, of people who basically should be family, or are family in everything but name or blood relation. Anyone who has ever met their soul twin, especially if it's someone you only know via the internet, knows what we are talking about. We love you all. And we are grateful for you and your sense of community now more than ever." Scent Notes: Blood red cherries covered in dark chocolate, exotic spices, a dash of patchouli. ~ Ursula's comment: "VERY Nice. Too bad it's so weak."