Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s Plagues of Egypt

4 May

Perfume and makeup, especially of the indie variety, are one of those interests where you’re likely to get spillover from all your other hobbies. There are enough fandom themed collections to please almost anyone, and I think we’ve all fallen prey to the “oh my god I love this book/movie/show, therefor I must buy all the things!” But I never thought I’d be sitting at the computer, lusting after perfume based on… the biblical plagues of Egypt. I’m a mythology geek and Egypt is one of my areas of interest, so of course I absolutely had to have some. Thankfully, my rational brain kicked in before I ordered a full set and I managed to narrow it down to three scents. And instead of getting decants I just jumped on full sizes, because I like to live dangerously (and, you know, I’ve never blind-bought a BPAL scent and been disappointed).


Smite All Thy Borders with Frogges (Amphibious green musk with bog moss, benzoin, Mountain sage, Brazilian vetiver, tomato leaf, cucumber pulp, and unripe squash): I have a thing for wet, dirty scents, so I knew that if I only got one bottle, this would be it. I mean, the name alone was worth the purchase. Frogges! I was hoping for something similar to their Shanghai Tunnel, one of my favorite dirt scents. And this is definitely in that same family: less wet for sure, as the only aquatic element here is from the green musk. That might be my favorite BPAL note, and it’s used so infrequently that I get giddy when I see it on a list. Frogges smells like someone dumped Laughter of Loki on a vegetable garden: cucumber and squash are the first thing you smell, very green and fresh but with that tart, unripe edge. On drydown the vetiver and musk peek through, adding a lot of depth and that “dirty” smoke feeling that vetiver often adds. This is a smokey, musky green scent, different from anything I’ve tried so far, and I love it. Obviously this is not a scent for everyone, but if you like vegetal notes or enjoy BPAL’s other Frog-themed scents, this is an absolute must-have.

They Shall Eate the Residue of that which is Escaped (Dry vanilla mint with rosewood, balsam, green sandalwood, green mate absolute, and sage): This is the bottle I almost didn’t get, mostly because the notes seem pretty tame compared to everything else I was interested in. But mint + vanilla is one of my favorite combinations, so I had to test it out. At first this is deliciously sweet and edible-tasting: if you’ve tried any of their Lick It perfumes, it’s very similar at first sniff. Almost candy-like, but after a quick drydown the wood and herbal elements come into play. It mellows down into a beautifully sophisticated woody vanilla scent, with the mint more of a background note. There’s a hint of spice too (cinnamon? nutmeg?) that blends perfectly. I think this is the best-mixed of the Plagues I tried, it’s sophisticated and bold without being in-your-face, and very wearable.

Fire Mingled with the Haile (Fields smashed by torrential rain, seared by gouts of celestial fire): Given the insanely vague description, this was definitely a gamble of a scent. Fire? Rain? I had no idea what to expect. In the bottle it’s bizarrely sweet, almost buttery, but it morphs on application. The sweetness lingers, but it’s faint and in the background. This is a very hard scent to describe, but the word that fits it most is “cold.” My nose tingles if I sniff it for too long. It’s not minty, the note usually used to make things seem chilly, but just… cold and sharp. Numbing. Like you just got smacked in the face with a brisk winter breeze. There’s something almost soapy that hits you after the chill, but in a pleasant way–not the usual powdery thing some notes do, but a damp, clean ocean note. It becomes more and more aquatic as it dries down, leaving a salty, ashy finish. Absolutely bizarre, but that’s kind of what you want from a Plagues line.

Though I only got 3 scents, this is everything I want from a Plague line: bizarre, wearable, and one that’s absolutely conceptual. Of course now I want to grab a few more (especially A Grievous Swarm), but I’m content with the scents I selected. Especially They Shall Eate, which I honestly thought would be my least-favorite of the three. Not… that I have a least-favorite. I love them all!

The Plagues of Egypt line can be found here, and will be live until June 4th–plenty of time to smite all your collection with frogges.


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