Syndicated from the Web

Post Mortem: October 2018

by on Nov.01, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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Season of the Witch: Miss Havisham’s Curiosities Witch Cup Giveaway (contest closed, but cups are still available to purchase)

An Enigmatic Baroness And Her Collection Of Skulls

In Love and Shadow: Your Guide to Venus Retrograde from Leah Samuels of Moonlight Offerings

New Sponsor: Miss Happy Pink

Tarot and Oracle decks in the The Haute Macabre Shop

Many Moons 2019 Lunar Planner

Timeless Phantom Interludes: The Photography of Jason Blake

Pumpkin Spice Sanguinem Menstruum

Lunation Leathers Crucible Bag Giveaway (giveaway closed)

Darkness Within At The Creeping Museum

Stacked: September 2018

Strange Frequencies: The Extraordinary Story of the Technological Quest for the Supernatural with author Peter Bebergal by Janaka Stucky

New Sponsor: Element Botanicals

We Believe Women: Mary Anne Carter reminds us that the truth is out there

New Sponsor: Five and Diamond

Open Sea Design Co Paper Goods and Stationary Items in the Haute Macabre Shop

Conjured From Obscurity: Lost, Neglected, And Forgotten Literature From Valancourt Books–Interview And Giveaway! (giveaway closed)

Full Moon Survival Spells: Structuring Self Care

Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée in the Haute Macabre Shop + Sabbat Sale

2018 ‘Weenies At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

New Sponsor: Devinto

The Tarot Collages of Ignacio Cobo

New Sponsor: Shire Post Mint

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Pre-Orders Are Open + Shop Restock


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New Sponsor: Shire Post Mint

by on Oct.31, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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Shire Post Mint makes solid metal coins in Arkansas, USA. They use 100+ year old machines to stamp hand-engraved designs into solid metals like copper, brass, iron, bronze, and silver. They have worked with fantasy authors like George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss to create coin artifacts from the most compelling fantasy worlds of our time. In addition to official coins, their lines of Memento Mori, Vegvisir, and Moon coins have been best sellers.

Shire Post Mint is offering one Haute Macabre reader a $100 gift card to ShirePostMint.com! Just follow Shire Post Mint on Instagram and leave a comment here telling us your favorite coin in their shop. We’ll pick a winner one week from today, on Wednesday, November 6!

Find Shire Post Mint on Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

Shop the Shire Post Mint collection online


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2018 ‘Weenies At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

by on Oct.26, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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It’s the most WEENderful time of the year! Yes, here I am with my corny weenie jokes, again. I’m not going anywhere with this comedy gold–and neither should you! Because aside from my dumb wit, I’ve got a massive review post for you today for a vast selection of the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab 2018 annual autumn/Halloween scents.

Once again the skies have darkened, and summer’s last bright green leaf has turned, and the folks at The Lab this year have truly outdone themselves by exploring strange new depths in diablerie, as well as perfumerie. In addition to many classic treats, they’ve got a spooky Chaos Theory, a timely Edgar Allan Poe tale storyboarded in scent, and a ribald new series of blends inspired by goats in classical art.

I have dripped and I have dabbled; I have splashed and I have smeared–and now that I am a dead leaf, maple ghost, pumpkin blood, hag-scented nightmare, I am ready to share my thoughts with you on the stand-out scents from this year’s autumnal BPAL autumn lineup!

Samhainophobia (menacing Haitian vetiver, patchouli, and clove with a shock of bourbon geranium, grim oakmoss, and dread-inspiring balsams pierce the innocuous scent of autumn leaves) Does this smell like a diagnosable condition, an unrelenting escalation of anxiety and even terror, about things related to Halloween? No, it smells like grinding against David S. Pumpkins under black lights in a stranger’s basement while listening to Peter Steele during a sexy murder party and I am INTO IT.

Pumpkin Musk and Black Oudh A “strangely romantic, disturbingly erotic” perfume;  If you’re intrigued by Samhainophobia’s sex appeal but you’re feeling a little trepidation because you’re just “not that kind of pumpkin”, you could consider Pumpkin Musk and Black Oud to be its shy wingman of sorts: a rich oudh buffed and rounded by gentle musks–its attentions softer, sweeter, and utterly sincere. This is a scent that just wants to retreat to a quiet corner and hold your hand and learn all your deepest secrets and take you out for pumpkin pancakes in the morning.

Midnight Bonfire (night-blooming jasmine, smoldering maple leaves, a cluster of patchouli and blackened ti leaf, black sage, and pinewood smoke) Lighting the path between worlds, the beacon at the threshold; leathery autumn leaves and smoke-tinged hair, an unsettling souvenir of the embers and ashes from a towering blaze in what you believed to be a dream, encircled by shadowy celebrants of the midnight hour.

Ghost Music (sheets of white musk and lavender curling around a melancholy song of violet root, iris, neroli, and honeysuckle) One of the eeriest things I have ever smelled, and, ghostly indeed–in the sense that is a nebulous manifestation: there one moment, gone the next.  A visitation by something that was never there. A tremulous puff of ozone, laced with the spirit of lavender and the memory of violets.

Yipe (sweet bloody black cherry cream and crushed dried blackberries) This is one of those scents that most definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone, but I am happy to report that this smells exactly like one of those delicious cherry danishes that are shrink wrapped in crinkly plastic and stacked in a basket at your morning meeting, where all of these C-level corporate dildos are spouting gibberish about holistically evolving vortals, and robust synergies in the cloudification of benchmarks, or how to objectively synthesize high-payoff human capital. You just bite into your pre-packaged cherry danish, discreetly lick the glaze from your fingers, suck the crumbs from your hair, and think to yourself, “wow, this danish is the best thing that will happen to me all day.”

Inside the Golden Amber of Her Eyeballs (sleek black fur and gleaming amber shining in the shadows, a rumble of myrrh, and claws as sharp as ti leaf.) A massively fruity amber. I wanted to love this one more than all of the Weenies put together (if solely because of the marvelous label art, and the accompanying poem) but alas, on me this smells less of sweet, furry feline companions, and more like the mixed berry yogurt/gummy bear-scented version of them.

Pumpkin Dust (shavings of white pumpkin rind and honey powder) Dessicated dumplings flavored with pumpkin puree and autumn wildflower honey, crumbled to dust and scattered to the October winds.

Feeding the Dead (a barrel of beer, a pyramid of cakes, and three sticks of incense.) This is an awfully lovely chocolate scent for a fragrance which contains no chocolate notes. It’s not necessarily boozy, but definitely malty, with nuances of popcorn and darkness.  Incidentally, “Popcorn and Darkness” is also my Midwestern death metal/campy horror movie parody band.

The Hag (black musk, bay leaves, galangal, bourbon vetiver, blackcurrant, and rum) is a wonderfully aromatic scent, that of dust darkened, woodsy bramble berries, and the zing of black pepper and pine needles.

Scarecrow Turned Philosopher (corn husks waving on an autumn breeze, beams of amber sunlight, hay bales, and late summer wildflowers) A peppery, honied flurry of dried blossoms whirling across your path like so many fiery autumn leaves. A stray petal, smelling of the dream of nectar and summer’s golden pollen, briefly tickles your nostrils before it lightly lands on the surface of a drying puddle and, floats undisturbed, alongside the sodden remnants of a waxen candy wrapper.

Huesos de Santo (orange-glazed cake, dotted with anise seed, and filled with custard, set beside a bouquet of celebratory funeral flowers) A wonderfully rich, but perfectly balanced pound cake–not too buttery, not too sweet–with a dense vanilla crumb, packed with a creamy custard center and anointed with the barest drizzle of orange syrup. The florals are sheer, anonymous blooms and the anise (for those with concerns re: its medicinal bite) is, at least for me, baked so well into this cake as to be nonexistent.

Jupiter Nourished by the Goat Amalthea (goat’s milk, nectar, ambrosia, and honey) Imagine the perfumed components of this scent burnt as a sacrificial offering, and you will glean an understanding of how this opens, initially. Goat’s milk and honey, purified by fire, with only a scant scattering of ashes to indicate it ever existed. Pause. Rewind. See how it began its life as a milky cold foam latte, whipped to a frothy fluff, drizzled with golden bee butt-juice (how many different ways can you say honey, anyway? I’m giving “bee butt juice” a go to see if it catches on.)

Beloved combinations from the Pomegranate Grove: Promegranate Grove: Snake Oil Is a scent that I know lots of folks are dying to hear about, and I wish I had more insight for you, but it’s a very subtle fragrance (which is weird because Pomegranate is always so loud on me, and Snake Oil can be very intense!) The pomegranate is fleeting, sort of like a beaded curtain made of sweet-tart candies, through which the sugared vanilla of Snake Oil surreptitiously peeks its head and disappears. It’s okay, Snake Oil, we love you! Come hang out for a while! I might almost recommend this to someone in search of “Snake Oil lite”. Though I love Snake Oil, I think Pomegranate Grove: Embalming Fluid is more my speed; the dark fruit mingles with the green tea, aloe, and lemon to create a lightly musky spritzer that is wonderfully wearable and absolutely divine. As in, were I serving cocktails to goddesses, I might base them on this scent. Maybe not Persephone. That would be a little gauche. If you are a sweet + fruity scent lover, then Pomegranate Grove: Alice may be your jam, so to speak. To be specific, a dollop of ripe, jammy preserves spooned over a bowl of honey-sweetened cream and sprinkled with a generous handful of red rose petals.

Dead Leaves And Maple Sap Opens with a brief blast of those dead leaves, that damp, slightly sour and musty vegetal scent, but is quickly engulfed by the most glorious treacly, sticky ooze of dark amber maple syrup. After a moment, it’s apparent that the leaves are quietly rustling in the background, calming that maple sap screechy sweetness and providing a wonderful earthy balance to what otherwise might be too cloying, and not nearly as huff-able as it truly is. This is a perfect Dead Leaves scent.

Dead Leaves, Green Cognac, Iris, and White Leather This is a cool, powdery, rooty incense; unlit, and nestled on a small metal dish, it gives the impression of linens dampened with a spritz of violet water.

Dead Leaves, Sweet Myrrh, Leather, Green Pomelo, and Red Currant zooms right out of the gate with zingy, almost effervescent, bittersweet citrus peel, and softly dries to a light, lemony resin. Hours later it’s slightly reminiscent of a classic eau de cologne…but created from a base of sunshiney shards of crushed lemon candies.

Dead Leaves, Apricot, Ambergris And Tobacco I was expecting an overripe fruit bowl of a scent, but this is a lightly sweet/sour, apricot/lychee scent, ginger-tinged, with a core of salty musk. It’s very pretty, and don’t get any manky, dead leaves from this at all!

Dead Leaves and Warm Sugar Cookies I thought Dead Leaves And Maple Sap was my favorite until I tried this variant. Every leaf tells a story, and this is the story of the time you sat on that park bench in the center of town on a drizzly October evening, half-drowned leaves at your feet, dripping foliage just overhead, and you in between them both, desperately trying to keep your oversized, fresh-from-the- oven, vanilla bean-flecked, caramel-edged browned butter and brown sugar cookie warm. There’s probably more to this story, but do you care? You’ve got an amazing cookie. The End.

?

…and finally! Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s new collection, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque Of The Red Death, is comprised of seventeen fabulously sinister scents, accompanied by a wonderful audiobook recording of this bloody tale, narrated beautifully by Tom Blunt and illustrated with an assembly of reveling phantasms brought to life with label art by the marvelously clever Tenebrous Kate.

If you’ve never read the story, now is the time to slip on a pair of headphones, darken your chambers, dream of delirious fancies, and, “much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”

Should you require voluptuous olfactory companions (yes, you should!) for this magnificent auditory hallucination, I have shared fleeting impressions of several favorite fragrances from The Masque Of The Red Death collection, below.

A Multitude of Dreams is the wanton, bizarre lavender + licorice pairing you never knew you needed; All Is Silent Save The Voice Of The Clock gorgeously swells and swaggers with merrily burbling pink pepper, writhing, sultry jasmine and velvety red musk; The Scarlet Horror, listing only notes of blood musk and vetiver is a chilling, yet utterly intoxicating blend that conjures visions of nag champa-saturated grave wrappings; The Tastes Of The Duke Were Peculiar, a lustrous, luminous intoxicant, an exquisitely wicked delicacy, all bitter wormwood, glittering lime-soaked sugar cubes, and a barbarous spike of mandarin; Illimitable Dominion Over All is an addictive cypress/birch/tobacco hybrid– a dangerous draught, a toxic tonic, a sharply herbaceous/coniferous pill of the most bitter variety, stirred into a leathery, swampy tar. It sounds miserable but it’s strangely habit-forming.  A Certain Nameless Awe is a soft jasmine snuggie of a scent and The Red Death is a study in gorgeousness, all smoky, dusky woods and a bruised violet heart. And lastly, here’s a secret about me. When I die, I want you to prop up my corpse with a jumbo-sized margarita clutched in my dead fist because margaritas are the best cocktails and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. Lime is basically the best flavor. Neon green squeezy popsicles and green sour patch kids forever, is what I’m saying here! I had highest hopes for A Group of Pale Courtiers because of that lime note, and though its a shy one, and you might have to wait through a powdery musk, and a bit of spectral cologne, I promise your patience will pay off. It is the softest, glowing ghost of a lime, it is a little lime-y, close-kept secret, and it is all mine.

The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloween 2018 collection is currently live and available for purchase in 5ml bottles for $26 each. As this is a limited edition series, sample sizes imps are not available for Weenie 2018.

Are you new to one of our very favorite indie perfumers, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab? See my three part primer herehere, and here. Curious about our thoughts on last years weenies? Peep here! How about a mini-review of the 2016 weenies? We’ve got that covered, too

What are your favorites from this years Weenie collection? Which scents are you dying to try? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

 

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2018 ‘Weenies At Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

by on Oct.26, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

It’s the most WEENderful time of the year! Yes, here I am with my corny weenie jokes, again. I’m not going anywhere with this comedy gold–and neither should you! Because aside from my dumb wit, I’ve got a massive review post for you today for a vast selection of the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab 2018 annual autumn/Halloween scents.

Once again the skies have darkened, and summer’s last bright green leaf has turned, and the folks at The Lab this year have truly outdone themselves by exploring strange new depths in diablerie, as well as perfumerie. In addition to many classic treats, they’ve got a spooky Chaos Theory, a timely Edgar Allan Poe tale storyboarded in scent, and a ribald new series of blends inspired by goats in classical art.

I have dripped and I have dabbled; I have splashed and I have smeared–and now that I am a dead leaf, maple ghost, pumpkin blood, hag-scented nightmare, I am ready to share my thoughts with you on the stand-out scents from this year’s autumnal BPAL autumn lineup!

Samhainophobia (menacing Haitian vetiver, patchouli, and clove with a shock of bourbon geranium, grim oakmoss, and dread-inspiring balsams pierce the innocuous scent of autumn leaves) Does this smell like a diagnosable condition, an unrelenting escalation of anxiety and even terror, about things related to Halloween? No, it smells like grinding against David S. Pumpkins under black lights in a stranger’s basement while listening to Peter Steele during a sexy murder party and I am INTO IT.

Pumpkin Musk and Black Oudh A “strangely romantic, disturbingly erotic” perfume;  If you’re intrigued by Samhainophobia’s sex appeal but you’re feeling a little trepidation because you’re just “not that kind of pumpkin”, you could consider Pumpkin Musk and Black Oud to be its shy wingman of sorts: a rich oudh buffed and rounded by gentle musks–its attentions softer, sweeter, and utterly sincere. This is a scent that just wants to retreat to a quiet corner and hold your hand and learn all your deepest secrets and take you out for pumpkin pancakes in the morning.

Midnight Bonfire (night-blooming jasmine, smoldering maple leaves, a cluster of patchouli and blackened ti leaf, black sage, and pinewood smoke) Lighting the path between worlds, the beacon at the threshold; leathery autumn leaves and smoke-tinged hair, an unsettling souvenir of the embers and ashes from a towering blaze in what you believed to be a dream, encircled by shadowy celebrants of the midnight hour.

Ghost Music (sheets of white musk and lavender curling around a melancholy song of violet root, iris, neroli, and honeysuckle) One of the eeriest things I have ever smelled, and, ghostly indeed–in the sense that is a nebulous manifestation: there one moment, gone the next.  A visitation by something that was never there. A tremulous puff of ozone, laced with the spirit of lavender and the memory of violets.

Yipe (sweet bloody black cherry cream and crushed dried blackberries) This is one of those scents that most definitely pushes me out of my comfort zone, but I am happy to report that this smells exactly like one of those delicious cherry danishes that are shrink wrapped in crinkly plastic and stacked in a basket at your morning meeting, where all of these C-level corporate dildos are spouting gibberish about holistically evolving vortals, and robust synergies in the cloudification of benchmarks, or how to objectively synthesize high-payoff human capital. You just bite into your pre-packaged cherry danish, discreetly lick the glaze from your fingers, suck the crumbs from your hair, and think to yourself, “wow, this danish is the best thing that will happen to me all day.”

Inside the Golden Amber of Her Eyeballs (sleek black fur and gleaming amber shining in the shadows, a rumble of myrrh, and claws as sharp as ti leaf.) A massively fruity amber. I wanted to love this one more than all of the Weenies put together (if solely because of the marvelous label art, and the accompanying poem) but alas, on me this smells less of sweet, furry feline companions, and more like the mixed berry yogurt/gummy bear-scented version of them.

Pumpkin Dust (shavings of white pumpkin rind and honey powder) Dessicated dumplings flavored with pumpkin puree and autumn wildflower honey, crumbled to dust and scattered to the October winds.

Feeding the Dead (a barrel of beer, a pyramid of cakes, and three sticks of incense.) This is an awfully lovely chocolate scent for a fragrance which contains no chocolate notes. It’s not necessarily boozy, but definitely malty, with nuances of popcorn and darkness.  Incidentally, “Popcorn and Darkness” is also my Midwestern death metal/campy horror movie parody band.

The Hag (black musk, bay leaves, galangal, bourbon vetiver, blackcurrant, and rum) is a wonderfully aromatic scent, that of dust darkened, woodsy bramble berries, and the zing of black pepper and pine needles.

Scarecrow Turned Philosopher (corn husks waving on an autumn breeze, beams of amber sunlight, hay bales, and late summer wildflowers) A peppery, honied flurry of dried blossoms whirling across your path like so many fiery autumn leaves. A stray petal, smelling of the dream of nectar and summer’s golden pollen, briefly tickles your nostrils before it lightly lands on the surface of a drying puddle and, floats undisturbed, alongside the sodden remnants of a waxen candy wrapper.

Huesos de Santo (orange-glazed cake, dotted with anise seed, and filled with custard, set beside a bouquet of celebratory funeral flowers) A wonderfully rich, but perfectly balanced pound cake–not too buttery, not too sweet–with a dense vanilla crumb, packed with a creamy custard center and anointed with the barest drizzle of orange syrup. The florals are sheer, anonymous blooms and the anise (for those with concerns re: its medicinal bite) is, at least for me, baked so well into this cake as to be nonexistent.

Jupiter Nourished by the Goat Amalthea (goat’s milk, nectar, ambrosia, and honey) Imagine the perfumed components of this scent burnt as a sacrificial offering, and you will glean an understanding of how this opens, initially. Goat’s milk and honey, purified by fire, with only a scant scattering of ashes to indicate it ever existed. Pause. Rewind. See how it began its life as a milky cold foam latte, whipped to a frothy fluff, drizzled with golden bee butt-juice (how many different ways can you say honey, anyway? I’m giving “bee butt juice” a go to see if it catches on.)

Beloved combinations from the Pomegranate Grove: Promegranate Grove: Snake Oil Is a scent that I know lots of folks are dying to hear about, and I wish I had more insight for you, but it’s a very subtle fragrance (which is weird because Pomegranate is always so loud on me, and Snake Oil can be very intense!) The pomegranate is fleeting, sort of like a beaded curtain made of sweet-tart candies, through which the sugared vanilla of Snake Oil surreptitiously peeks its head and disappears. It’s okay, Snake Oil, we love you! Come hang out for a while! I might almost recommend this to someone in search of “Snake Oil lite”. Though I love Snake Oil, I think Pomegranate Grove: Embalming Fluid is more my speed; the dark fruit mingles with the green tea, aloe, and lemon to create a lightly musky spritzer that is wonderfully wearable and absolutely divine. As in, were I serving cocktails to goddesses, I might base them on this scent. Maybe not Persephone. That would be a little gauche. If you are a sweet + fruity scent lover, then Pomegranate Grove: Alice may be your jam, so to speak. To be specific, a dollop of ripe, jammy preserves spooned over a bowl of honey-sweetened cream and sprinkled with a generous handful of red rose petals.

Dead Leaves And Maple Sap Opens with a brief blast of those dead leaves, that damp, slightly sour and musty vegetal scent, but is quickly engulfed by the most glorious treacly, sticky ooze of dark amber maple syrup. After a moment, it’s apparent that the leaves are quietly rustling in the background, calming that maple sap screechy sweetness and providing a wonderful earthy balance to what otherwise might be too cloying, and not nearly as huff-able as it truly is. This is a perfect Dead Leaves scent.

Dead Leaves, Green Cognac, Iris, and White Leather This is a cool, powdery, rooty incense; unlit, and nestled on a small metal dish, it gives the impression of linens dampened with a spritz of violet water.

Dead Leaves, Sweet Myrrh, Leather, Green Pomelo, and Red Currant zooms right out of the gate with zingy, almost effervescent, bittersweet citrus peel, and softly dries to a light, lemony resin. Hours later it’s slightly reminiscent of a classic eau de cologne…but created from a base of sunshiney shards of crushed lemon candies.

Dead Leaves, Apricot, Ambergris And Tobacco I was expecting an overripe fruit bowl of a scent, but this is a lightly sweet/sour, apricot/lychee scent, ginger-tinged, with a core of salty musk. It’s very pretty, and don’t get any manky, dead leaves from this at all!

Dead Leaves and Warm Sugar Cookies I thought Dead Leaves And Maple Sap was my favorite until I tried this variant. Every leaf tells a story, and this is the story of the time you sat on that park bench in the center of town on a drizzly October evening, half-drowned leaves at your feet, dripping foliage just overhead, and you in between them both, desperately trying to keep your oversized, fresh-from-the- oven, vanilla bean-flecked, caramel-edged browned butter and brown sugar cookie warm. There’s probably more to this story, but do you care? You’ve got an amazing cookie. The End.

?

…and finally! Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s new collection, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque Of The Red Death, is comprised of seventeen fabulously sinister scents, accompanied by a wonderful audiobook recording of this bloody tale, narrated beautifully by Tom Blunt and illustrated with an assembly of reveling phantasms brought to life with label art by the marvelously clever Tenebrous Kate.

If you’ve never read the story, now is the time to slip on a pair of headphones, darken your chambers, dream of delirious fancies, and, “much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.”

Should you require voluptuous olfactory companions (yes, you should!) for this magnificent auditory hallucination, I have shared fleeting impressions of several favorite fragrances from The Masque Of The Red Death collection, below.

A Multitude of Dreams is the wanton, bizarre lavender + licorice pairing you never knew you needed; All Is Silent Save The Voice Of The Clock gorgeously swells and swaggers with merrily burbling pink pepper, writhing, sultry jasmine and velvety red musk; The Scarlet Horror, listing only notes of blood musk and vetiver is a chilling, yet utterly intoxicating blend that conjures visions of nag champa-saturated grave wrappings; The Tastes Of The Duke Were Peculiar, a lustrous, luminous intoxicant, an exquisitely wicked delicacy, all bitter wormwood, glittering lime-soaked sugar cubes, and a barbarous spike of mandarin; Illimitable Dominion Over All is an addictive cypress/birch/tobacco hybrid– a dangerous draught, a toxic tonic, a sharply herbaceous/coniferous pill of the most bitter variety, stirred into a leathery, swampy tar. It sounds miserable but it’s strangely habit-forming.  A Certain Nameless Awe is a soft jasmine snuggie of a scent and The Red Death is a study in gorgeousness, all smoky, dusky woods and a bruised violet heart. And lastly, here’s a secret about me. When I die, I want you to prop up my corpse with a jumbo-sized margarita clutched in my dead fist because margaritas are the best cocktails and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. Lime is basically the best flavor. Neon green squeezy popsicles and green sour patch kids forever, is what I’m saying here! I had highest hopes for A Group of Pale Courtiers because of that lime note, and though its a shy one, and you might have to wait through a powdery musk, and a bit of spectral cologne, I promise your patience will pay off. It is the softest, glowing ghost of a lime, it is a little lime-y, close-kept secret, and it is all mine.

The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloween 2018 collection is currently live and available for purchase in 5ml bottles for $26 each. As this is a limited edition series, sample sizes imps are not available for Weenie 2018.

Are you new to one of our very favorite indie perfumers, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab? See my three part primer herehere, and here. Curious about our thoughts on last years weenies? Peep here! How about a mini-review of the 2016 weenies? We’ve got that covered, too

What are your favorites from this years Weenie collection? Which scents are you dying to try? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

 

 

 

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Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée in the Haute Macabre Shop + Sabbat Sale

by on Oct.25, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Newly added to the Haute Macabre Shop is the stunning Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée, a limited edition deck of the Major Arcana by Sabat Magazine. Illustrated by Elisa Seitzinger and inspired by the Tarot de Marseille, Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée echoes ancient divination practices as well as the instant nature of millennial Witchcraft, encouraging you to follow your inner Star. The deck includes a special Major Arcana guide by Witchy writer and magical podcaster Pam Grossman, and is printed in shimmery silver on heavy black stock.

Today’s shop update also includes a special discount code for our beautiful poster sized Sabbat print: use code “Scorpio” for a 20% discount throughout this weekend on the 18″ x 24″ 3 color silkscreened poster of the original illustration “Sabbat” by Jordan Barlow for Haute Macabre.


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Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée in the Haute Macabre Shop + Sabbat Sale

by on Oct.25, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Newly added to the Haute Macabre Shop is the stunning Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée, a limited edition deck of the Major Arcana by Sabat Magazine. Illustrated by Elisa Seitzinger and inspired by the Tarot de Marseille, Le Tarot de L’étoile Cachée echoes ancient divination practices as well as the instant nature of millennial Witchcraft, encouraging you to follow your inner Star. The deck includes a special Major Arcana guide by Witchy writer and magical podcaster Pam Grossman, and is printed in shimmery silver on heavy black stock.

Today’s shop update also includes a special discount code for our beautiful poster sized Sabbat print: use code “Scorpio” for a 20% discount throughout this weekend on the 18″ x 24″ 3 color silkscreened poster of the original illustration “Sabbat” by Jordan Barlow for Haute Macabre.


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Full Moon Survival Spells: Structuring Self Care

by on Oct.24, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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Our friend and contributor Sarah Faith Gottesdiener was unable to complete the monthly Full Moon Tarotscopes for the October Full Moon in Taurus due to an ongoing injury, so we are sending her all of the speedy recovery vibes we can muster. In lieu of this month’s Tarotscopes, here is a self-care excerpt from the Many Moons 2018 volume 2 book, available at Lulu.com.

While in recent years self-care has become trendy, implementing and structuring self-care into our lives is imperative. The fact of the matter is that many of us are running on fumes. For years. Decades. The fact of the matter is that many of us have been running on fumes for hundreds, if not thousands, of years: the exhaustion of invisible labor and exploited labor and emotional labor passed down from generation to generation to generation. Many of us are so tired that we don’t even know how tired we really are. There are no words to describe this type of exhaustion. Self-care can be defined as caring for oneself—with one person’s care techniques and behaviors looking drastically different from another’s. Self-care is what we do to take care of our emotional, mental, and physical health. For me, self-care is tied to spiritual work is tied to survival, and ultimately going past survival to arrival: taking up all of the space one needs in one’s own life in order to enact our spiritual purpose.

Self-care is survival is staying alive is ultimately thriving. Because when we are taking care of ourselves, we can care for others in a more authentic way. Because when we are taking care of ourselves, we are ultimately taking care of others: those that need us literally to live (if we are caregivers and family members) and the greater collective that needs our energy, our efforts, our genius, and our brilliance that lights up rooms, inspires communities, and changes the world for the better. It all starts with knowing what we need and giving that to ourselves, consistently and resolutely. Survival spells look all different kinds of ways.

A survival spell could be blocking that caller. A survival spell could be praying for the healing of your former stalker, but distancing yourself from all of the mutual friends who still hang out with them. A survival spell could be working out a payment plan. A survival spell could be advocating at the doctors to try a new study or procedure. A survival spell could be reminders on your phone to take your meds, cancel that unnecessary obligation, make that therapy appointment, put an auto-responder on your email, call your bestie. A survival spell could be a manicure that reads “B-A-C-K O-F-F.” A survival spell could be eight glasses of water and a magnesium supplement. A survival spell is speaking, screaming, repeating your story come hell or high water, for yourself, your dreams, for others like you to see and to feel less alone. A survival spell could be slipping a piece of paper in your shoe that says, “Moving forward with protection.” Slipping that black tourmaline into your bra. Lighting that red candle with three dimes and a sliver of hematite inside it, this or better, so it is. A survival spell could be praying for your friends, praying for your community, praying for the Earth. A survival spell could be your donation, your petition, your protest. Making sure your friend gets home safe by giving them a ride. A survival spell is an ask for help, asking for a loved one to come over with soup and face masks. A survival spell could be a salt bath every day for the next few days, no guilt, no judgment, just you, your blank mind submerged in the heat and the quiet, the salt drawing out the stress.

A quick way to change your mindset is to rearrange your space. Put up new colorful pictures that remind you of what you want to see in your life. Change which way your sofa faces or add a couple of pillows to your bed. Buy a plant or two, name them, talk to them, give them enough light. Donate items you do not need, or that remind you of a less than shitty time in your life.

An easy way to change your energy levels is to rearrange your schedule. Put you first. Block off time for that 40 minutes of yoga. That 30 minutes to research therapists. That 20 minutes to experiment with new makeup. That 10 minutes to read. That 3 minutes to journal. Get used to saying “No,” or “Not now,” or “Can we touch base in a day or a week?” or “I’m sorry, I’m not available for that right now, but here are a few options for you to look into that I can think of in the meantime.” Put the activities that fill you up— rituals, spell work, friend dates, naps, walks—in your schedule, along with your obligations, and live your life around that.

A survival spell is self-care, and self-care relies on our intuition. Structure intuitive practices throughout your day. Normalize the clear connection and the channel you have to yourself as you wake up, as you wait in line at the grocery store, as you sit down to work and you ask for a gentle morning, or for the solutions to come easily and joyfully. Schedule your intuition check-ins throughout the day, whether that be meditation, journaling, or speaking to your guides as you do the dishes.

Ask your intuition to show up in the form of synchronicities, signs, and symbols. Listen to the radio, open a random book, and see what the universe wishes to present to us. Trust your intuition. Trust your Self. Make decisions based upon your intuition. Trust your decisions. Just because the answers are coming from inside of you doesn’t make it not real. BECAUSE it is coming from inside of you should make it even MORE real and potent! We can ask for help and pay attention when our solace shows up. We can ask for help from Spirit, our guides, our friends, and our community.

We can choose to make our process hard, or make it easier. We can choose love, or choose fear. It is up to you.

Darling reader, allow yourself to thrive, wherever you are. You’ve worked through and breathed through and moved through so much to get to this point. If you need to rest, use this week to rest. If you need this week to really zero in on what your body needs in terms of sleep, hydration, food, or supplements, focus on that. If you are being pulled to finish that first draft, stay up that extra hour to redesign your résumé, put you first, no matter what that is, do it. There is a driving force within you that knows who you are and what you wish to achieve. There is a strong, clear messenger inside of all of us that knows what we are capable of and how we must move forward. Listen to your intuition and give yourself what you need. Take all the space you need; save some energy for your wonderful self. Structure in your self-care and step into your arrival.


Sign up for a reading with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener here.
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Conjured From Obscurity: Lost, Neglected, And Forgotten Literature From Valancourt Books–Interview And Giveaway!

by on Oct.23, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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As the mornings grow chilled, and the days shorter; when the nights are impossibly dark and very possibly haunted–we must acknowledge that the time has come to pack away our blithe, breezy summer beach reads in favor of material more in keeping with the pall of gloom that has been cast by the season’s brittle, dying days. I know that none of us are particularly unhappy about this.

We yearn for those books whose spines hint at an eerie atmosphere of mystery, and titles encompassing all the metonymy of melancholy and strangeness and horror! Pages upon pages encrypted with ancient prophecies, ominous portents, infernal curses! Ghosts, phantoms, and strange sinister spirits! Abandoned monasteries, isolated castles, unquiet graves! Dreams, illusions, obsessions, and murders! And if the book’s cover art  features ridiculously over-the-top visions of fiendishly cavorting ghouls and disembodied eyeballs glowing with hellfire and horror…all the better.

The good news for us is that we can find all of these tales and more at within the cobwebbed, crumbling vaults of Valancourt Books. An independent small press located in Richmond, VA, Valancourt specializes in the rediscovery of rare, neglected, and out-of-print fiction, and I am over the (skull-faced, grinning maniacally, and dripping with blood) moon to share our interview with publisher, general editor, and co-founder James D. Jenkins of Valancourt Books. See below for a glimpse into what makes a title worthy of the Valancourt catalog, our enthusiasms regarding favorite authors and crazy book cover art, and to learn more about their current collaboration with the publishers of PAPERBACKS FROM HELL!

Valancourt Books is generously giving away a copy of highly anticipated Valancourt Book of Horror Stories Volume Three! Read on to find out more about this spooky anthology, and leave us a comment sharing your favorite strange book of tales, for the opportunity to win! This giveaway is open to our U.S. readers.

Haute Macabre:  Valancourt’s beginnings focused on bringing forgotten, neglected, and overlooked 18th and 19th century gothic fiction back into the light, in a cost effective sort of way… which eventually led to unearthing the titles from the Victorian era — penny dreadfuls and the like, before moving onto excavating works of 20th century fiction. Most of these titles are works of horror or weird fiction, but other than classifications of genre, what is that special something a work must possess to capture your attention and cause you to exclaim, “ah, this is one for our catalog!” And is there any sort of common thread that you feel runs through the crusty titles that you exhume and bring to life again?

James: One common thread that runs through most of the books we republish is that they were once either very highly regarded by critics or else very popular with readers but nevertheless somehow mysteriously fell out of print at some point over the years. These days, we’re focusing mostly on horror/supernatural/weird fiction, although we also have a secondary focus on LGBT-interest literature, and we also reprint a small number of great books that don’t fit in either of those categories.

In terms of more recent authors, I think we share some beloved favorites! I adore both the strange, disquieting writings of Robert Aickman, as well as Michael McDowell’s unpretentious but thoroughly imaginative and sharply-crafted stories. What is it about these author’s works that resonates with you? And if one admires the works of Aickman/McDowell, what else from Valancourt’s catalogue might you suggest along those lines?

Aickman and McDowell are obviously very different sorts of writers, but one thing they have in common is that their reputations have been kept alive over the decades by a group of devoted fans, even when their books were long out of print or, in Aickman’s case, only available as expensive collector’s editions. I think you put it well: Aickman’s works are strange and disquieting, oddly unsettling even if sometimes their precise “meaning” seems to elude us. McDowell, on the other hand, said he never aspired to posthumous fame or to be considered a “literary” writer: his only aim was to entertain and frighten readers, and judging from the responses we’ve gotten to our reissues, it’s pretty clear he succeeded!

Those who enjoy Aickman’s more literary style might want to give our reissues of Forrest Reid’s subtle supernatural fiction a try, or possibly David Case’s books, which are not as subtle as Aickman’s but are written in a traditional, more literary style with vocabulary that will have you frequently reaching for a dictionary. And, obviously, you’ll want to read the Victorian-era horror fiction we’ve published by Richard Marsh, who was Aickman’s grandfather! Fans of McDowell’s fiction should find our reissues of Ken Greenhall, Bernard Taylor, Michael Talbot, and Alan Ryan — all of them (like McDowell) neglected masters of ’80s paperback horror fiction — to their liking.

You recently signed a deal with the publishers of PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, [reviewed in our September 2017 installment of Stacked!] to publish a PFH series of reissues of titles featured in the book, which I believe will be edited by Grady Hendrix and Will Errickson? You guys + those guys is the dreamiest dream team I could ever imagine! Can you share how this came about? How did you go about selecting the titles you’ll be reissuing? And I have to ask…what are you going to do about the cover art? Because some of those covers are bananas!

That’s definitely a project we are really excited about! Grady has written introductions to a couple of our books (HELL HOUND, THE AUCTIONEER), and we’re longtime followers of Will’s TOO MUCH HORROR FICTION blog, where we’ve discovered a few books that we went on to republish, so it was sort of natural that we’d team up. As far as how the series came about, I think we here at Valancourt, like everybody else who bought PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, were flipping through the book and thinking how great some of those out-of-print horror novels looked and what a shame it was some of them were unavailable!

When we teased the series on social media, the response was huge, and as far as the cover art goes it was unanimous: people want the original covers! So we’re going to do everything we can to use the original cover paintings. For the first book in the series, Elizabeth Engstrom’s WHEN DARKNESS LOVES US, the original cover painter, Jill Bauman, has kindly allowed us to reuse the art, and we’re hoping to be able to get permission to reuse others. There may be some cases where we can’t locate the original artist or otherwise can’t get the rights (and at least one of the titles we’re planning for the series didn’t have an interesting cover the first time around), so in those cases we’ll be coming up with something new that hopefully retains an ’80s feel.

What can you tell us about our giveaway title, Valancourt Book of Horror Stories Volume Three?

We’re giving away a copy of our new Valancourt Book of Horror Stories because the series has been one of the most popular things we’ve done over the past few years. The mix of rare and seldom-reprinted older stories with some new and unpublished material has gotten a great response from readers, and, above all, the books are a great introduction to Valancourt and what we publish. For readers who are just discovering us and wondering where to start with the 400+ books in our catalogue, our Valancourt Books of Horror Stories are the perfect place to start: Volume 3, for example, includes contributions by 16 different Valancourt authors, so you can sample a lot of different writers to see whose works you might like to read more of. One thing that’s great about our Horror Stories books is that many of the authors featured aren’t typically thought of as horror authors and aren’t often featured in horror anthologies, so you’ll find tales by literary and mainstream authors like Christopher Priest, Isabel Colegate, and Nevil Shute alongside contributions by well-known horror writers like Michael McDowell and Bernard Taylor.

Thanks very much to James and Valancourt Books, and please be certain to leave a comment below in order to be entered into the giveaway! A winner will be chosen in one week’s time. This giveaway is open to our U.S. readers

Find Valancourt Books: website // instagram // twitter // facebook


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