Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab • Magdalene • Fragrances
|Would buy this product again.||62%|
Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Blue
In the bottle, what first strikes my nose is a sharp, green rose note. BPAL roses are really unpredictable, though- they can range from absurdly stuffy to hysterically shrill to utterly deranged. This is an unexpected BPAL rose, with a pleasant, rather "normal" floral roundness, a reasonable, refreshing greenness, and an unusual depth.
On first application, Magdalene has a burnt note that reminds me of the off top notes of my vintage Le Galion Snob. There is something about these burnt chemicals hovering over an otherwise pleasant floral that I really love. It's like a synthetic rebelliousness, a shabby chic dress, the chaotic beauty of imperfection.
Magdalene then settles down into one of my favorite BPAL rose scents. Everything about the description is true: roses, orchids, labdanum; stirring yet gentle; love and devotion mingled with heart wrenching sorrow. The order of words is important here- it is first, love and devotion, then sorrow. The sweet, gorgeous floral notes are grounded by the labdanum, and it is the conflict between them that makes the emotion of this perfume so expansive.
It reminds me of a more gothic take on the same expansive conflict present in Guerlain's Après L'ondée. Après L'ondée is a play between wet, tearful florals: rose, iris, and heliotrope; and the grounding bouquet de Provence: thyme, rosemary, and sage. The result is revelatory: it is the shift from rain to sunlight, from tears to a smile.
Whereas Après L'ondée has a holy, transcendent quality to it, what I love about Magdalene is its shift, not to clarity, but to darkness. Après L'ondée's play between sorrow and hope seems to pray that hope will conquer. Magdalene, on the other hand, lets the darkness in, and the play between love and sorrow suggests that sorrow will win. The scent passively, but seductively, accepts this idea, and dries to a dark, rosy labdanum. The entire experience is sexy, complicated, emotional and beautiful.
Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Cool Hair: Brown, Curly Eyes: Blue
This is a lovely sweet white floral. It is very strong and perfumey in the vial, and at first on the skin it smells overwhelmingly of tears, like the bitter herbs at Passover, appropriate given that it's Magdalene and in the penitence section. I joked with my friend that it smells like Biblical tears. It's kind of too girly and innocent for me to wear on its own so I like to pair it with Highwayman for a truly sexy combination that I can actually pull off. The bitter tears fades out within a few minutes, btw. You just have to put this on a few minutes before you go anywhere unless you like smelling like vinegar. I wouldn't buy this again except with highwayman. That combination might become my signature everyday scent.
Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown
sin and salvation
notes: white roses, labdanum, and wild orchid.
in the vial: popcicle sticks 'n' roses.
wet on skin: i couldnt tell you what labdanum smells like, but according to the internet, its reminiscent of ambergris. i dont get a bit of that. hmm. the popcicle stick wood note fades immediately after application. im starting to wonder if its an olfactory hallucination on my part, but it does happen fairly regularly. sigh. anyway, delicate yet powerful rose with a slightly spicy kick.
dry down: maybe i do like labdanum! there something going on here that is indescribable because i cant definitively name what im sniffing. this smells like a fancy schmancy rose parfum, and if you told me it was form les parfums de rosine, i wouldnt doubt it. very sexy and not overly floral or sweet. i couldnt tell you where the wild orchid fits in.
verdict: is this supposed to smell like a foot washing whore? i like it.
Age: 30-35 Skin: Very Oily, Fair Hair: Brown Eyes: Blue
When I first opened the imp of Magdalene, I was disgusted. It smelled like something had died in the bottle. But, I've tried enough BPAL to know that just because it smells bad in the bottle doesn't mean it'll smell bad on my skin (or just because it smells luscious in the bottle doesn't mean I won't end up smelling like a bum's toe cheese when I put it on!) So I tried it. And wow, am I ever glad it did. As soon as it dried down, it turned into a really lovely, white floral that is just so delicate and soft. As I went about my day, I would occasionally catch the scent wafting around me, but it wasn't overwhelming or powerful. It was soft, subtle, and really ... well, dainty. Just a lovely scent. I don't know if I'll use it enough to buy a full size bottle, but I will probably always keep an imp of this on hand.
Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone Hair: Brunette Eyes: Brown
I ordered Magdalene unsniffed because my middle/confirmation name just happens to be Magdalena..nuff said.
Sniffed wet from bottle: I get a sharpness/woodiness that I assume must be the labdanum..following closely is some sort of floral..but all I get is the blast of the sharpness...
Applied wet on skin: Again..it is the sharpness..along with the floral..which I can now discern is more rose-like.
I don't know..but the sharpness reminds me of the pain of loss...and the rose/orchid reminds me of the love for a person one might lose..
Dry on skin: Basically the labdanum has softened a bit...somehow the sharp *woody-ness* sort of transitioned to a bit of a more herbal sharpness...with a really soft trickle/hint of mint..and the rose/orchid still blended. I can only smell the mint if I inhale deeply..it is like a faint tickle of it at the back of my throat.
The times I have worn this, the throw has been pretty good along with the lasting power; I only re-applied at the 6 hour mark.
Bottom line: This is a very evocative floral. Another reveiwer described this floral as not *girly*-I agree completely. It is a bit of a somber floral...beautiful in a bit of a sorrowful way..if that makes sense. I am very happy that I bought a 5ml of this. Funny...I wouldn't say Magdalene would be for everybody..but she is so compelling to me...I have to say I didn't want to stop wearing her.
Age: Unknown Skin: Other Hair: Other Eyes: Other
A powdery floral; I don't smell any roses.
Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown
In the imp and upon application, this had a really strong, kinda weird smell about it that I am guessing is the labdanum. However, as it dries down it becomes a beautiful orchid scent. The roses are there, but they are in the background for me. A lovely, soft, sad white floral.
Age: 19-24 Skin: Normal Hair: Black Eyes: Brown
A stirring yet gentle perfume. The scent of love and devotion mingled with an undercurrent of heart-rending sorrow. A bouquet of white roses, labdanum, and wild orchid.
A slightly powdery, slightly perfumey white floral that is not entirely unpleasant for some reason. Not to my tastes, but still...not horrible (for me to say this about a white floral fragrance is no small feat btw). Worth a try if your tastes run in this direction.