lördag 24 juli 2010

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Kubla Khan

After Arams post about 24 The Fragrance, I´ve tought a little about idols. I do belive that you can have idols, even fictive one´s, no matter if you´re grown-up or not. And I´ve also tought a little about the difference between idols and role models, and somehow having role modles feels a little more adult. But, also a little more boring, role moldes are usually people that have achived something that you admire and hope to achive yourself one day, while idols don´t necessary need to have a lot of good feautures that you wish for yourself. Idols are also kind of unattainable. Hey, idols can even be nothing but plain old good looking and strong. Personally I´m a die hard Uruk-Hai fan girl!

An idol that have existed for real, and that I still have some kind of admiration for, is Djengis Khan and also his son Kubla Khan, even though I think Djengis have a much cooler name, I even named my siames cat after him once upon a time. Maybe some of you think that having Djengis and Kubla Khan as idols is as having Hitler or Stalin as idols, but I don´t care that much for their war success (or cruelties). I think it´s the whole thing with men in leather armor on horse back, and the little nerd in my also loves the fact that Djengis is the historical person with most living off-springs! Any of us plain regular citisens can have some drops of diluted Djengis-blood in us! That is sooo cool!

Anyhow, I don´t seem to be the only person with a little father and son-Khan cult. Everyone knows about Serge Lutens famous musc, Muscs Koublai Khan and the scent I´m about reviewin today is inspired by Coleridge´s well-knowned poem, Kubla Khan:

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

I totally agree that this poem is so inspiering. And of course it deserve a scent of it´s own! And I belive that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has manage really, really good. Kubla Khan is a dreamy, subtle scent. It´s obvious that the fact that Coleridge in his turn was inspired by a dreamlike opium fuddle also has inspired the guys at BPAL. There is an all time present smokey note in Kubla Khan, and it is the most subtle, soft and enjoyable smokey note one can imagine. In a very genuin and convincing way it smells like a soft, sweet, sheer and narcotic smoke. I will gladly imagine that this is what opium smoke smells like!

The pleasant opium smoke at first lingers beyond sweet fruits like fresh apples, tropical fruits of all kinds and ripe melons. When the fruits are wearing of, the floral notes are coming up front, and such nice, soft and likeable floral notes. The flowers are gilded with the opium smoke, but also a incense note occurs, making the smoke more spicy and full bodied. The different smoke notes makes me think that Kubla Khan also works really good on men. Eeven tough the floral notes are obvious, even a little powdery, they don´t seem that feminine. The last of the floral notes are a mix between rose and violets that on my skin smells like sweet, creamy lipstick.

After that I can smell warm, golden notes of hay, amber and soft spices. Kubla Khan is a sweet scent, but all the time very dreamy and soft. And it is amazing to sleep on it I´ve discovered! Just before I fell asleep I have no problems imaging that I´m on a soft couch in a golden parlour in a castle in Xanadu. Kubla Khan is extremly soft, caressing and sensual. Together with Bayou, Kubla Khan is one of the scents I´ll have in a bigger bottle eventually.

BPAL is with all it´s different scents and not least, the fab descriptions quite addictive itself, I can easy find about 60-70 different oils that sound interesting enough to give them a try. And that´s a part of the problem, sometimes it feels like not seeing the forrest because of all the trees. It is a little to much of everything, and since i´ve got so many other nice fragarnces I want to test, I can´t really enjoy BPAL as much as their most devoted fans seem to do.

Do you have any favorite from BPAL that you think I need to try? Or don´t you care about them at all, and save your money for proper fumes?

Pic: John Kiraly, Rendezvous at falls head

2 kommentarer:

  1. Thank you for the review - this sounds lovely. You're right that knowing where to begin with BPAL is a little overwhelming. Your reviews are really helpful!

  2. Josephine: BPAL has a very active forum where BPAL fans share their experiences with each other. But, that is a bit to much also if you´re not that in to them. One thing that surprises me a little is that there isn´t any blog dedicated to BPAL, considering how many scents they have and how many that seem to love the brand. (At least I haven´t find any updated blog).