Scents For The Apocalypse: Black Phoenix Alchemy’s Ragnarok

9 Apr

Ragnarok

Ragnarok has come and gone and, sadly, there were no wolves eating the moon or giants running rampant. I believe I’ve mentioned before on L&L what a mythology geek I am and how much I love anything even vaguely apocalyptic, so it was a bit of a letdown. I mean, there wasn’t even an eclipse or anything. Get it together, Nordic gods. Thankfully Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has a line of Ragnarok-themed blends to ease my apocalypse-less pain. There were a total of ten and I ordered 4 (3 decants, one full bottle) since it’s a… well, controversial mix of scents, with a lot of blood and rocks and death going on. My picks seemed to be the most user-friendly though I do now regret not getting The Battle of Vigridr (it’s got dirt in it, okay!).

The Laughter of Loki: (Serpentine green musk with fiery red ginger, sweet basil, alder leaf, white patchouli, cistus, and mistletoe) Of course I had to get a full bottle of this. It’s Loki. And not “not a trickster” Avengers Loki (I love Joss but not even he could redeem nothing-to-do-with-mythology-Marvel-Loki, okay?), but actual murder-and-mayhem-and-horse-birthing Loki. This is a strange, fickle and interesting scent. At first the patchouli is WAY strong, overpowering really, but it tones down and an odd mix of hot and cool comes into play. A hint of herbs from the mistletoe and sweet basil, heat from the ginger, wisps of floral from the cistus (which is rockrose). It’s very masculine and in-your-face and I looooove it.

The Waters of the Well of Wisdom: (Cool, dark water steeped with mugwort, mayweed, and thyme) This is a soft, murky aquatic with no traces of the saltiness you get in an ocean blend. The herbs give it a soothing tone and this is a… motherly? blend. That’s the best way I can describe it. Like being in the cottage of a grandmotherly witch. I don’t know if it’s particularly wearable outside of the house but I will work through my vial of this for sure.

The Sword of Surtur: (Iron and fire: red-hot ginger, fossilized amber, prickly poppy, red cedar, cubeb, star anise, and scorpion pepper) HOT. My love of Surtur stretches back to his appearance in Shin Megami Tensei; Nocturne (that boss battle), and this is pretty much exactly what I imagine him smelling like. Cedar and pepper are at the forefront with flames of ginger nipping at your nose. The star anise is an almost-licorice note, and there’s a bit of sweetness from the poppy, but this is a dramatic, bold smell that does not hold back.

The Fimbul Winter: (The scent of utter desolation: three long white winters ushering in the end of the world) I was expecting ice-cold, biting wind, but… I guess there are limits to what a perfume can do. I have yet to find a perfect “cold” snow note, though the best one I’ve seen has come from BPAL (in Skadi). But The Fimbul Winter is… bright, slush, and citrus. With a hint of… mint, and ozone. Not at all what I expected! I’m glad I didn’t get a full bottle of this because it’s nice, but I have a similar scent. And on that note…

BONUS ROUND: Fimbul Winter vs Yellow Snowballs (Slushy white mint, vanilla cream, lemon drops, grapefruit, and yuzu!). Fimbul Winter is lemon lemon LEMONNN. Yellow Snowballs is yuzu and grapefruit, my two favorite citrus scents. It also has a hint of cinnamon (??? where is that even from) while Fimbul Winter is more minty. For me, obviously, Yellow Snowballs is the winner. But they both share the same slushy/ice/ozone note, so if you missed Yellow Snowballs and are looking for a replacement this would fit nicely. And, on the flipside, if you have Yellow Snowballs and were looking into getting this… well, you probably don’t need to, unless citrus + snow is your most favorite thing.

This was an odd, fascinating (for me at least) release: many scents that don’t seem at all marketable, but sold well. I think this is probably the best example of BPAL’s ingenuity: their notes capture Ragnarok so perfectly, but still manage to smell interesting and nice. Especially after Lupercalia, which was all flowers and cream and sweetness. The Ragnarok blends were slated to come down on April 1st but they are still up… so if you want one, don’t sit around and wait!

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