Halloween is here! Spooky by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (a perfume review)

This delightfully SPOOKY image is courtesy of
Danille Tunstall, a horror photographer.
She's featured on my other blog today - so be sure to come on over and it out!
I love Halloween. Do you?

I love the crisp air of Fall. The leaves crunching underfoot. The sounds of kids laughing. The excitement over choosing a costume - and then executing it perfectly. If we're lucky, the smells of fireplaces burning and, of course, of candy.

So... why not celebrate this week with a series. The first series on This Blog Really Stinks! And no one does Halloween better than Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL), so that's where we'll start and that's where we'll stay. A week of Halloween. A week of BPAL!

All of my BPAL Halloweenies are "vintage" because I just couldn't swing a purchase this Fall - and that's majorly disappointing because I love Love LOVE BPAL Halloween. Sigh...

Anyway, vintage is good, too. And The Lab often re-releases scents of the same name so you can collect various vintages - like wine!

Today, there's no better place to start than SPOOKY (a spooky scent for a spooky day!). This is BPAL fan fave -a scent that many clamor for when it's released. But does it live up to the hype?

From what I can gather, Spooky was originally released in 2003. It went over well for many - love at first sniff! BPAL fans waited for a reappearance... They got one in 2005, then again in 2009 when the scent was "resurrected" for BPAL's anniversary celebration. I am reviewing the 2009 version today and can't speak to the difference between it and the earlier version - if there is one.

A maddeningly festive blend of warm, buttery rum,
cocoa, coconut, vanilla and a jolt of peppermint. It’s a sweet, decadent, slightly silly scent, reminiscent of rum-laced holiday cookies.

OK. I have to admit: that sounds weird. "Slightly silly". Yup. But it's also delightful, and my choice for today.

I never recommend sniffing straight from the bottle when dealing with --- well, with any scent, but especially BPAL. The genius of the scents usually needs skin to help it unfold. This bottle is all peppermint. A good start, but it doesn't really tell the whole story.

While peppermint is the first thing you smell when this oil hits your skin, it's not sharp or sweet. It's quite herbal, actually, like crushing the leaf of a peppermint plant between your fingers.

Then, moments later, a beautiful sweet and boozy smell swirls around, as if you were sucking on a butter rum candy when sniffing that peppermint plant. It sounds strange. It is. But it's also really, really beautiful. These odd combinations swirl and become a surprising melange of yum. Yes, you may quote me on that - and feel free to borrow that phrase. Let's make it a new thing, mkay?

Shortly, the coconut comes into play. The result, on my skin at least, is a strange cilantro-like smell! I happen to love cilantro, so this is great. The perfume actually wavers a bit, like a flame in a slow breeze. It changes softly from this cilantro feeling to fleshy coconut to a light peppermint, then back again to cilantro. After the initial few minutes, for me the butter rum is gone. I enjoyed it greatly while it was there, but don't miss it. The flickering candle flame is enough for me.

From the reviews I've read, most folks seem to concur with my description - well, maybe not the cilantro thing, but the peppermint-coconut description. Some people associate a little more strongly with Thin Mints (of Girl Scout cookie fame). What I noticed most clearly, though, is that this is one of those scents that must seems to be highly influenced by skin chemistry. It seems to be a love it or hate it scent with some complaining of the smell of plastic or suntan lotion gone bad. The rest are swooning.

I, for one, love Spooky.
I love Halloween. Do you?

What are you wearing for Halloween? Do you like cilantro? Which are your favorite Girl Scout cookies? Are you dressing up for Halloween? Are you hyped up on sugar? Let me know in the comments! 


  1. WOW...this Spooky sounds great! Too bad I missed out on it since I am a semi new fan of BPAL (since July 11) and so after doing research and finding there are hundreds of BPAL scents, I saved and waited for the Halloweenies...I only got a couple but I LOVE THEM!! This is great info here, and very true...so now, even though I am a huge fan of Halloween, I am now saving my pennies for the Yule scents!!! Happy BPAL Halloween to everyone!!
    ~Numanoid (my BPAL.org name!)

  2. Yule is my 2nd favorite BPAL time of year! I think Beth is a genius, personally. Soooo talented. Welcome to BPAL fandom, numanoid1!

  3. Spooky is one of my favorites!! I have a bottle of '05 and it's sooooo beautiful! LOVE BPAL <3


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