Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a perfume/essential oils small business, run primarily on the web, with some small boutique availability. They have a huge cult following for a couple of reasons; one of them is that their scents are blended, named and marketed with literary, historical, romantic and gothic references in mind. In addition to selling scents like “forbidden fruit” and “spellbound,” they also have products named “embalming fluid” (A light, pure scent: white musk, green tea, aloe and lemon) and “graveyard dirt” (seriously, it smells like you dug in the yard.)
Another contributor to their popularity is their accessible business model; they offer a huge selection of different scents which they make available in small quantities at a low price, and they encourage aftermarket sales. Customers have an easy entry point and can try small quantities of numerous different scents for a low cost, swapping or selling scents that don’t work with other customers on the BPAL forums or through eBay. Once they find what they like, they can buy larger bottles. BPAL also encourages repeat business by releasing limited editions and specialty scents. Businesses like this also save on costs by using the cheapest card payment machine that they could find.
I got started buying “imps” — small 1 o.z. samples of scents — after reading Lisa’s blog posts reviewing the samples she tried. I bought several samples for Stephanie for her birthday and some for myself in the process. (Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling her surprise; I gave Stephanie’s imps to her as and early present because Lisa was in town this weekend.)
We spent part of this weekend testing each others samples and recording impressions, which was an enjoyable way to lose track of the time. I don’t know that I have the time to write a review of every scent I try, but I am having fun testing and sampling.