Friday, February 26, 2010

consumerism wow: smelly stuff

At some point in my early 20s, I decided that some girly things -- such as the color pink (especially on Xbox controllers), glitter (especially on stickers that you put on Xbox controllers), and froofy bath products (entirely unrelated to Xbox controllers) -- actually are awesome. This decision extended to perfume once I discovered that some perfumes don't smell like old ladies and won't ever be forcibly applied to my eyeballs by helpful saleswomen in department stores. Soon after, I discovered that some perfumes are made by geeks, for geeks, and I was done for. Guys, I have a perfume stash. And I want more. Right now, specifically:

The limited edition perfume oil Smut 2010 by Elizabeth Barrial at the goth/dork-chic Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL). Beth puts out several sets of limited edition scents every year, in addition to the several hundred general catalog scents she sells at BPAL (and Twilight Alchemy Lab, Dark Delicacies, the CBLDF, and etc.). Smut is from her Lupercalia line, which will be available until March 31st this year. She does a Lupercalia line every year, but hasn't put out a version of Smut for the past two or three, and I was starting to panic that she'd gotten bored with it and wasn't going to bring it back. Because it smells like sugar & musk and everything nice naughty, and I need it for life. Though it's way too powerful for day wear, it's my favorite scent to wear at night with something slinky if I'm heading to a bar or out dancing. A 5 ml bottle runs $17.50 and should be used so, so sparingly that it'll last for years. (Though BPAL does offer samples -- imp's ears -- of its general catalog for $3.50 apiece or 6 for $19.50, no such thing is available for limited edition scents. But you can find fan-decanted samples on ebay & etc., and if you're in the Atlanta or LA/Burbank areas, you can sniff & sample everything at monthly Will Calls, on or near the full moon, of course. [Hint: The next full moon is this weekend, folks.]) Ordering from the website will garner a couple random imp's ears per bottle purchased, and shipping (via USPS) will run you a flat $6.50 and may take a few weeks, as they hand-blend everything fresh and always have orders in queue.

Okay, I sorta cheated the concept of Consumerism Wow with that last one 'cause I've sampled previous versions of Smut, but here's a thing I've been properly admiring from afar: the entire line of Brooke's Villainess scents, though perhaps particularly Blood, Villainess, Shanghaied, Ginger Snapped, Dulces en Fuego, Jai Mahal, Pearl Diver, and Silk & Cyanide. Also falling under the category of goth/dork-chic, the inspirations for the Villainess line are a wee bit less esoteric than BPAL's tend to be, but, y'know, I'm not always looking for my perfumes to challenge my vocabulary and reading level. And they offer a good bit of their general catalog not only as $16-a-pop perfume oils in holy-whoa-kickass apothecary bottles, but also as bars of soap (hiIhaveasoapfetish), and jars of soft soap, body scrub, lotion, and masque. They also do limited edition thingies, and offer samples of their scents in soap format for a buck apiece (and two come free with every order). Shipping (via USPS) should run you the actual cost of shipping an item of the weight of your order to the address where you want to receive it.

bottles of scent from CB I Hate PerfumeMy third, incongruously ungothy scent desire is a great deal of what Christopher Brosius creates for his CB I Hate Perfume line (mostly Russian Caravan Tea, Memory of Kindness, and November, but really I want to sniff them all). Brosius is also the dude responsible for my-favorite-person-ever-Alan Cumming's tongue-so-much-in-cheek-it-looks-like-a-rude-gesture scent line, Cumming [video link to hilarious adorable commercial], which is how I heard of CB I Hate Perfume a couple years back. (Cumming seems to be out of scent-print now, though is still available if you poke around for it.) And THAT is how I came to spend perhaps a few hours obsessively clicking through every scent note on the CB site. If I had a time-traveling pogo stick and whole moneypile sitting around that I had nothing in particular planned for, I'd so totally pogo up to New York and buy myself a custom-blended scent as of a couple years ago, and it'd smell like cookies baking + scotch + earl grey tea + sexylady. But lacking such a moneypile (and the skills necessary to pogo 878 miles and through time), I'll merely consider ordering one each (over the course of, say, the next 50 years) of his 2-ml "travel size" perfume samples, which run $12-$21 and ship via UPS.


Melissa Dominic said...

this entire post made me wanna spend all my money

the grammar monkey said...

I KNOW. I need to find retailers that sell Villainess and CB stuff, 'cause I can't order samples of everything I wanna try and perfume is so fickle.

mommaruth said...

Wow. I admit, I kind of got lost and had to reread a couple times. I suck at being a girl!

I'm still using a bottle of Mary Kate & Ashley perfume I got in like 8th grade - no idea what it is but it smells nice.

I guess maybe it's time for me to reinvest in something else, eh?

the grammar monkey said...

I MAY have been geeking out and therefore babbling just a bit, here, so it was probably more my fault than your if you got lost. ^_^

If you find a scent you like, I say stick with it! Though there's certainly no harm in trying out new ones, too. (Except possibly harm to your wallet.)

TheLadysRevenge said...

The wallet harm is pretty much why I've never ventured up to Burbank for BPAL's will calls. But I'm on the email list so I get helpful reminders that I could be spending my money on things that smell good.

One of these days I'll get a real job and then watch out Venice. I'm gonna be the best smelling girl by the beach. Course, that's not really hard to do with all of the unwashed hordes living in motor homes around here... Yeah...

My point is that I will eventually buy perfume.

Perfume Bottles said...

Nice post, finding a good perfume is not a difficult job, but finding a perfume in antique bottle is quite difficult.

the grammar monkey said...

@TheLady'sRevenge The best thing about Will Calls is that, with the proper amount of restraint (like, say, psychic Hannibal Lecter treatment) you can go & sniff for free! And just take a notebook with you, to write down things that work so that you can consider purchases later, when money is less nonexistant. I usually have to label my arms 'cause I dab so many different scents on myself.

@PerfumeBottles Thanks for reading! I'm glad if I introduced you to something new... if you try any of the Villainess scents and write about them, post a link and let me know!