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BPAL Madness!


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About Failmingo

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    sexy swapper
  • Birthday 04/07/1979


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    Los Angeles
  • Country
    United States

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  • Favorite Scents
    The Great He-GoatBaron SamediKnucklebonesThe Knave of HeartsBlack ForestLeopold Freiherr Von TsemekwesThe Hierophant and The Empress


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  1. We’ve been releasing this special Leap Year scent ever since 2008! But this time we’re going to keep FREDERIC around a little longer than usual, so more of you get to enjoy him. ⚓️ https://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/shop/a-little-lunacy-limited-edition/lunacy/frederic-2024-perfume-oil/ Alas, poor Frederic the Leapling! — bound to the merry Pirates of Penzance until his twenty-first birthday. As his birthday comes around only every four years, so does his scent! “Victorian whimsy and piratical romance: a reluctant seaman’s chypre sloshed with a mix of bay rum, patchouli, amber musk, dark woods, tea rose, and red currant.”
  2. This weekend will be the latest blood milk event at Sphinx & Snakeskin, and they'll be unveiling the following new scent: MIDNIGHT SNOWFALL Frost-dappled night-blooming petals, Oman frankincense, champaca orchid resin, and opium tar accord. Updates and info about the event can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/sphinxandsnakeskin/
  3. Everyone here likely already knows that the Lupers have landed, but here's my belated official post about it! https://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/product-category/lupercalia-2024/ https://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/product-category/novel-ideas-for-secret-amusements-2024/ Here’s a cross-section of the collection's contents: 🫀 Main Category Lupercalia - Reunite with old friends and lovers from Lupers past, or cruise for new ones! Here’s where you’ll find the HEART BEET scent we designed our announcement around: “Raw, wet beets, pulsating blood musk, and raw wild ginger.” 🫀 Box of Chocolates - Our latest sampler full of treats like WHITE CHOCOLATE AND TARO CREAM are so decadent, you’ll be tempted to taste... but these perfume oils are for external enjoyment only! 🫀 The Amphibian’s Lapidary - Five chromatic variations on our fairytale blend ROSES, PEARLS, AND DIAMONDS, inspired by different precious gems. 🫀 Our Lady of Pain - For the first time in over a decade we’re revisiting “Dolores”, Swinburne’s 1866 poem of tormented longing, painstakingly interpreted through scent. 🫀 For Entertainment Purposes Only - This 2018 series inspired by popular grownup novelty items rides again, accompanied by ribald illustrations by Drew Rausch. We’ve even compromised our constant “Perfume, not poppers!” messaging by adding a new fragrance called VIDEO HEAD CLEANER. Please sniff responsibly, ya freaks! 🫀 Shunga 2024: Novel Ideas for Secret Amusements - A shining star among BPAL’s annual collections, this series of perfumes, hair gloss, and atmosphere spray is inspired by Edo-era illustrations of adults enjoying themselves (and each other) very adultly. If all this has left you feeling dirty, please also note that a major Bath Oil restock occurred simultaneously with this update. So get your mind out of the gutter and into a steamy tub where it belongs. Consider inviting a friend! Happy Lupercalia season, everyone! 🔥🫀🔥
  4. It behooves us to inform everyone that we're headed into another round of price increases on the website as we set the stage for Lupercalia. I don't have concrete figures yet, but I'm happy to get out ahead of this change and help explain it. There are two areas where BPAL refuses to cut costs: 1. The quality of our ingredients, since our products are absorbed into the skin. 2. The integrity of our labor practices, which include providing our small crew of employees with a reasonable wage and benefits for those working full-time. As a result, these are our two greatest expenses (and I'll add that they're expenses that many of our competitors are NOT shouldering). Our standards are higher, our operation and output are larger, and we have a much more established reputation to uphold. I'll also tell you this: BPAL's chiefs have avoided adjusting prices fairly for years, fearing it would alienate members of our community -- folks who have gotten used to spending a certain amount to enjoy our products, who have come to evaluate our output through a very specific lens. I've spent years trying to polish that lens, updating everyone on the reality of our situation, highlighting the differences that make our company unique among other indies, and helping guide customers to the most affordable options. But the larger truth is that BPAL's tried-and-true economical model has continued to evolve drastically in recent years, just like that of every other small business. Many of our key ingredients have *doubled* in cost. DOUBLED! These are specialty components with no acceptable substitute. They are what make certain blends so beloved, and make exciting new concoctions possible. There is no "reasonable" price increase that could possibly make certain products profitable again, nor can we retire or replace them without losing something essential to our identity -- hence the need to raise prices across the board. We're determined to maintain a stable, continuous scent library while also exploring new vistas in fragrance. I'm sure we'll be exploring income streams that don't rely as heavily on global imports of extremely precious substances. We're daring to be optimistic about our prospects as we continue settling into our roomy new facility in Philly -- thankfully now one of the few variables in this equation that ISN'T bleeding us dry. The cost of BPAL's labor isn't something we consider it tasteful to complain about. We've had meetings with industry professionals who were taken aback by our insistence on producing wares here in the US, under our direct supervision. And as someone who's worked full-time for the Lab since 2016, I'll tell you some things about this aspect of the business that Beth, Brian, and Ted would never think to say: BPAL's ethos is directly drawn from their own personal experience working terrible, labor-exploitative jobs... and also from really great workplaces they were fortunate to be part of. As a worker, this has been a transformative experience for me, and I've seen it have the same effect on my coworkers. We are determined to be the company that folks have always believed we could be. Still, this has often resulted in all of us (including myself) doing the jobs of many more people to offset steadily increasing expenses. The gradual price hikes instituted since 2020 were just band-aids helping to stave off catastrophe. We knew it even then, but Beth has a personal horror of blowback from testing our core customers' loyalty. She wants everyone to get the version of BPAL they love best, and has sacrificed mightily over the years in order to keep everyone as satisfied as possible. She will hate me telling you this! But I can't stress enough what a difference it makes to work for and alongside someone who actually cares this much, even as I worry about the toll this can take on a person. I'm newer around here, which helps in terms of presenting facts a bit more plainly: it's not 2004 anymore. The world has changed, the perfume industry has changed, economic realities are continuing to evolve. The dream of providing a wide range of safe luxury products that satisfy sophisticated palates, obscure tastes, international fandoms, and niche interests doesn't run on dream-dust alone, and we are embarrassingly sans trust fund. Even if we had an angel investor or corporate buyout to fall back on, the very first thing they'd do is look at the books and insist on raising prices AND moving production abroad. I think the best way I can put this to old BPAL heads is: you want more Carnaval Diabolique? You want an exciting range of new licensed products, or expansions of existing ones? You want more deep cuts from past releases to resurface? Reformulations of lost greats? More jewelry? More imp packs? A better website? More original storytelling? The magic key to all of this is Beth regaining the freedom to be a creative dynamo working at the height of her powers. We simply can't get there without hiring more people. We can't hire more people unless we raise prices. I've done my best to encourage Beth and Brian through all this, making a case for what their work is really worth, helping them trust that customers will continue to see the value in it. And of course, it will fall to me to advertise all these qualities which make BPAL so special -- which can sometimes be easier with new folks who are seeing us through fresh eyes. Think about what it means for someone in 2024 to stumble across this resource for the first time... a huge playground of high-quality scent opportunities rooted in something positive. Ethical, inclusiv practices, presided over by actual human beings who have somehow managed to madly pursue their artistry THIS far. We recently found out that we've been nominated for a corporate licensing award for our work on the TOMIE fragrance. We're also going to be featured in an upcoming ELLE. article about the niche perfume boom. As I put it to Beth: these seem like nigh unthinkable career milestones for an old-school goth crew. And we're still gathering steam, capable of so much more. And our products still (and will always) cost far less than those of the brands we consider our worthiest competitors. So with all of this to consider, we urge everyone to keep an open mind as new prices take effect. We've made it this far together, and we're committed to being realistic in our pursuit of keeping the good times rolling.
  5. A new book project called ANIMALIA is being Kickstarted by Century Guild, and we've created a perfume blend that can be added onto any pledge tier for $20/each: DRACO "Come not between the dragon, and his wrath: a rolling crack of Daemonorops draco and red peppercorn, billows of incense smoke, honeyed Cambodian oud, blackened oakmoss, flame-gold amber, a delicate membrane of leather, and a curved, sharp sandalwood claw."
  6. Failmingo

    New Year, New Lunacy!

    As we set out into 2024, there are some updates to how we'll be conducting ourselves, Lunacy-wise. This year, the Lunacy perfume oil will be accompanied by series of Duets which are connected to that scent. So, Wolf Moon means.... wolfy-moony Duets! And also a corresponding Hair Gloss -- that's right, every month! And also a collectible sticker drawn from Drew Rausch's label artwork. (This month there's a Lunar New Year scent as well: WOODEN DRAGON.) The monthly classical art fragrance series returns as well, and we've dubbed it ARS ANNI and made it handier to find and browse via the "A Little Lunacy" category page, like so: https://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/product-category/a-little-lunacy-limited-edition/ We're still reformatting the way this category looks and functions, so it may change a bit yet. And as you can see, the remaining 2023 stuff is still hanging around there, but will be phased out by and by. SPEAKING OF! You have a week left to acquire all the Blue Moon Lunacy scents from 2023, as well as the Sept/October Lunacy products found here. That's Harvest Moon, Hunter Moon, and all the attending Menage and Duets. Is this all clear? Clear as mud? Thanks for hangin' in there while we get it all sorted out.
  7. A note to our LA peeps! I will personally be at Cantiq Los Angeles on Feb 10, offering tester strips for TOMIE, POMEGRANATE INK, and MILLENNIAL PINK to anyone who happens along. Cantiq is celebrating their 9th anniversary that evening; they specialize in size- and gender- inclusive lingerie designs, and their shop is stocked with all kinds of other luxury and beauty items. BPAL isn't selling anything there, just showing face and serving up sniffs of these three LE's which have aroused so much curiosity in the past year. Come by, say hi! It will be a great opportunity to hunt for interesting Valentine's Day gifts. ❤️
  8. We’re very happy to announce a new collaboration, RITUAL SPIRIT, available only via Jamie Draven's store: https://endlessnightstudio.com/ "RITUAL SPIRIT is inspired by the collections and ghosts that gather in the corners of the studio. All the stories in the walls, that come together to make us feel less alone during this ceremony, of remembering, honoring and holding this life that can feel so monstrous, and so beautiful. The healing that comes with the winds and waters as seasons change. That we want for ourselves, and we want for others." RITUAL SPIRIT Amber beeswax, champaca absolute, and 7-year aged black patchouli dribbling over Victorian oak panels and web-dusted bones. A perfumed meditation for your body, and your personal altar space- that which might be as simple as smell, a calming moment, the stillness of the woods or standing in a window -- whatever it is, it is enough.
  9. Failmingo

    Elizabeth’s Imps

    I got BURIED in Halloweenies and enjoyed SO many of them that it's taken some time to retrace my steps and actually sit with them for a while. I remember loving this but then getting distracted by all the ghosts n' ghouls and such. In the bottle it smells sticky, and in fact the oil does feel ever so slightly gummy when you touch it. The molasses reminds me of Bonfire Toffee, another Halloween favorite, but the cinnamon has been made nearly inseparable from it, giving off a kind of ominous smoldering heat. Potent! The warmth and relative sweetness of the amber are trackable, and definitely pull this back from a purely foodie fantasy. It's... overtly seductive. It's intense. I dunno if it was psychosomatic, but I felt certain I was going to get a skin reaction from that much cinnamon. Just a little extra warmth, that's it. The whole thing roars to life on the skin, and there are interesting layers in there: one moment the scent seems sticky/humid, but inhaled more deeply it's dry/crumbly, like bits of bark and squished incense granules. Flickering sparks but also darker and darker depths. It's so much fun to wear this -- it's pretty conspicuous for a while while also having a secretive vibe, and I really like that combo of being extra but also shy. Toward the end it's just a faintly spicy amber sweetness and I've certainly got no problem with smelling like that.
  10. Our latest collaboration with Century Guild is available via their kickstarter for this stunning Alphonse Mucha print 💐 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/centuryguild/princess-hyacinth-rare-vintage-1911-mucha-art-nouveau-poster PRINCESS HYACINTH “Regal balsamic amber teeming with hyacinth petals, narcissus, Siam benzoin, white amber, sweet oakmoss, and pearlescent orchid.”
  11. Failmingo

    Carved Wooden Bawdy House

    I reviewed this in an Instagram video not long after receiving it in the mail. Happy to post a written review update to say: I have NOT stopped wearing it since then. In the bottle this is a gleaming wet cherry doused in sap -- not overtly maple-y like the finished product we buy in the store, but the raw stuff from the tree itself -- with some dark, polished woody undertones. It doesn't smell foodie per se, more like a posh atmosphere where delicious treats are served. On the skin each of these notes bursts forth and becomes richer, more complex. I don't know what the "perfumes" might refer to, but I can tell it's contributing to the "warm, lusty, strange, or musky" mentioned upthread. If it was JUST "wooden maple cherry" I'd probably still be so down, but the overall combination of notes (specifically mentioned and otherwise) really does give this a seductive, otherworldly glow. Something to taste, not to eat. Something to kiss and hold, but not to love. Warmth, but no light. Amazing! On me it's just *this* side of femme, which I love, but on someone else's skin it could be extremely va-va-voom. Like I'm truly getting burlesque show backstage vibes from it, which is where I truly feel at home. Over time the fruit dries out a bit and it's a gently sticky/tart, woody scent oozing with mystery.
  12. Nearly 200 writers entered our Nightmare Novellas One-Page Story contest, hence our delay in announcing a winner. Illustrator Drew Rausch joined our judging team made up of Lab staff, and the results are finally in! We must preface this with a mighty thanks to everyone who submitted: you made this extremely difficult! Even the top fifty-or-so stories were a real NIGHTMARE to choose between. We’ll release a mighty tome of them online in weeks to come. And without further ado: 🏆 WINNER: PATISSERIE by Maggie House (Make A Face) 🏅 Runners-Up (in no particular order): STICKY by Cleolinda Jones (Butterscotch and Gummy Candy Witch) GOOD BONES STILL DECAY by CharLee Toth (Man With A Haunted House For A Head) DEVIL’S CHERRIES by Desiree Powell (Wayfaring Stranger) THE OTHER END by Chia-Hua M. Chu (Wayfaring Stranger) A BOY AND HIS ZOMBIE by Jess Mann 🎖️Honorable Mention: CAT TALE by Mister Sister (Halloween Cat) BUTTERSCOTCH AND GUMMY CANDY WITCH by Kyle Wright JONAS IN THE BELLY by Percy Shaffer (A Boy And His Zombie) AN AUTUMN STROLL FOR A PUMPKIN MAN by Ashley Everhart MARSHMALLOW BLACK by Shane Robinson (Butterscotch And Gummy Candy Witch) HEADLESS by Anton Prosser Thank you, one and all, for helping keep the Halloween spirit alive! Or at least, very undead. 💀
  13. Failmingo

    Witch Birds

    I agreed with pretty much everything here as I read these reviews: a soft, dusky, fruity floral (I get both the violet AND the plum) with gently dark undertones. Sitting with this one was important because I wanted to figure out what connected the notes to the story of the woman harassed to death by magpies -- it wasn't readily apparent from the notes. In the bottle I get plum rather strongly, or perhaps it just stands out because I've been wearing SANTA DOESN'T NEED YOUR HELP, and it seems like the same note. It's mysterious and melancholic, and then on the skin the violets come creeping out and it really does seem like the scent of a woman in a fancy dress sitting at home in the dark, too afraid to leave the house. Galen thought it was soapy at first which tracks with the Mr. Bubble mentioned earlier; that seems apt, since the Demeter fragrance inspired by the Mr. Bubble product is described as "a combination of coconut, banana, peach, jasmine, balsamic vanilla, and raspberry notes." It's not much of a leap from peach/jasmine/vanilla to plum/violet/vanilla, if you think about it. WITCH-BIRDS pulls out of that race as it begins to dry, with very recognizable (to me) mallow and opium notes. It's purple from so many different directions! I tend not to wear violet so I was apprehensive at first, but there's plenty going on here to keep it from being distracting. I love the way mallow rounds out a scent -- even the darker, more resinous parts -- with foamy sweetness. I have to lean in and breathe deep to explore those spookier recesses; overall it's a relaxing, gentle scent which hangs around for quite a long time.
  14. Failmingo

    Pomegranate Ink

    Pomegranate is present as an accent in some of my favorite BPAL scents, but I can't think of a pom-forward one I've ever reached for regularly, purely based on personal taste. This one broke through! In the bottle, the juicy sweetness of the pomegranate has the legs effectively swept out from under it by an undercurrent of inky darkness. It is actually reminiscent of ink, as in an industrial product, dry and almost clinical. That was exciting to me, since it's not the fruit juice blast I'm chasing here. So, on the skin it goes! Immediately this becomes a rumbling, deep stormcloud of scent, bleeding purple and red around the edges. The dark side of this scent opens up, revealing several thick resinous layers... but I can understand why folks might have a hard time naming them or teasing them apart. Frankincense? Opoponax? Opium? Black amber? I have no receipts. Whatever it is, it continues holding back the sweetness and juiciness throughout the drydown, keeping the scent heavy and dramatic but allowing just a bit of razzle dazzle -- like rubies TRYING to sparkle against black velvet. Surprisingly mellow underneath the forbidding exterior, like most things goth. I've been wearing it all week! I can't stop.
  15. Failmingo

    Ho Ho Ho, and Happy New Year!

    One last bit of 2023 Lunacy and a sprinkle of NYE magic for ya: https://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/product-tag/november-december-2023