April 9, 2010

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Part Two, Trading Post

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has evolved dramatically over the years. In 2002 it was a fledgeling site offering a small selection of perfumes in just seven categories, as well as incense and soap hand-made by Beth herself. In the nearly eight years since, BPAL has become a truly extraordinary experience - the catalogue itself has grown into something that takes days to peruse, not to mention the various limited edition items and charity projects featured throughout. (I can't even link to all the pages for these charity projects - there are that many!) To say Beth is a prolific, genius artist is an understatement.

I will discuss the details of all the general catalogue categories in an upcoming post - I wanted to take a moment here to introduce you to BPAL's sister site - Black Phoenix Trading Post. The Trading Post emerged in 2005, as an extension of the Lab. It began, like these things tend to do, humbly, by offering a tiny selection of thematic t-shirts. Now we have a bounty of offerings: As part of the regular catalogue bath and body catalogue, we have bath oils, atmosphere sprays, massage oils and soaps. The soaps are a collaboration with Brooke from Villainess, and are beyond delightful!

If things of a smelly nature are not your bag (the very idea of which boggles my mind), you can take your pick from nail polishes, scent lockets, i.d. cases, imps cases, leather goods, statuary, glassware, pouches and BPAL couture. If you are feeling charitable, take your pick from Neil Gaiman inspired scent lockets, t-shirts imprinted with artwork tying in with the Lab's Neil Gaiman perfume tarot series, or atmosphere sprays featuring artwork by Molly Crabapple (which correspond to the perfume series at the Lab).

On a less permanent basis, they have a few other goodies. On a monthly basis, to coincide with the Lunacy (Full Moon) updates at BPAL, the Trading Post offers up a limited edition t-shirt that mirrors the Lunacy oil for that month. The artwork featured on the shirt echos that of the perfume bottle - and like the perfume, it is available to order for only a few days, to celebrate that coming month's moon.

The Trading Post also, obviously, features limited edition perfumes and bath products - the most famous of these are the periodical Inquisitions, which allow you to "plead your case" for a particular perfume blend, which usually comes paired with a t-shirt or bath product. Aside from the Inquisitions, there are also seasonal editions of bath oils and atmosphere sprays, as well as perfume series or pairings devoted to a particular theme: for example, the current "Great Loves and Tragedies of Ancient Greece". Such is my brief introduction to the Black Phoenix Trading Post. I will be posting reviews for individual products and vintage limited edition sets shortly.

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