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After many months of lurking on the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab website, I finally got the courage to send in my order.  It has been a long time coming since I waited 8 weeks for it to get here!  I went nuts and ordered 12 samples!  BPAL is a money pit! It’s easy to go broke because their catalog is massive! They have over 1,300 fragrances all hand blended by the BPAL team and created by founder and master mixtress Elizabeth Barrial.  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is a Los Angeles based independent perfumery that sells high quality perfume oil blends inspired by works of art, literature, history, mythology, superstitions, children’s stories, comic books, video games, voodoo, gods and goddesses, Shakespeare, places, people, religion, love, hate, lust, sin, salvation, disease, death, horror and more!  The list is endless. What I also find unique about BPAL is that each scent has a story to tell with Elizabeth Barrial as the amazing belletrist at the helm.

The Black Rider is from the Märchen line inspired by fairytales and folklores from different cultures.  The mysterious and ominous Black Rider is a character in the Russian folktale, Vasilisa The Beautiful, a story about a girl who was sent out to get fire from the evil witch Baba Yaga.  On her quest, she was helped by a magic wooden doll given by her mother.  The identity of The Black Rider is a mystery until she discovers he was the Night.

Description: His face was black, he was dressed all in black, and the horse he rode was coal-black.  He galloped up to the gate of the hut and disappeared there as if he had sunk through the ground and at that moment the night came and the forest grew dark.

But it was not dark on the green lawn for instantly the eyes of all the skulls on the wall were lighted up and shone till the place was as bright as day.  When she saw this, Vasilisa trembled so with fear that she could not run away.

Notes:  Black leather, oppoponax, tobacco, and black amber

From the vial: Strong sharp leather.  A new leather smell like leather car seats in a Mercedes Benz.  I also detect the scent of a man’s amber cologne. Leather and cologne.  I imagine this man not on a horse but on a motorcycle.  And not just any motorcycle but a Triumph with a rugged denim and leather-clad Marlon Brando straddling the seat.  Damn, was he hot!

         Marlon Brando as Johnny in The Wild One (1954)

 Wet on Skin:  The amber on my skin is amplified.  It smells creamy and sweet, but still dark with a lot of depth.   Johnny is a man of mystery.  A rough, rebel biker.  He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold.

Drydown:  As it dries down the amber gets a bit musky, smelling of sweet skin.  The leather is still there but not as prominent.  The tobacco and oppoponax is starting to peek through, a light smokey billow staining the surface of the leather.  Fantasies running wild at this point.  I imagine Johnny whisking me away somewhere riding pillion on his Triumph, my arms tightly wrapped around his waist, while I rest my head near the nape of his neck drinking in his smells of leather, clean skin, and sweet musky cologne. I just want him to hold me close and tell him my feelings; my deepest secrets and desires.  And for him to just listen empathically because I know underneath Johnny’s hard, angry exterior, is a gentle and caring soul…

Marlon Brando and Mary Murphy in The Wild One (1954)

 Sillage: Average projection, no scent trail.

Longevity:  6 hours

Season and Occasion:  All year round.  Definitely a fragrance for men but can be worn by women if they are daring enough.  This is a great date night perfume for guys.  I guarantee if a man was wearing this, his dinner date would be climbing all over him before the waiter takes their order.  In fact, he’d be so irresistible that he’d be running to the police station to file sexual assault charges.

Would I buy a full bottle? El hubbo says “Aye!” (That’s Yes in Norn Iron speak)

Pricepoint: $

Final verdict:  Smelling this fragrance makes me feel guilty, like I’m cheating on my husband because all I want to do is ride pillion with Johnny. The Black Rider is a warm, embracing, passionate love affair between amber and leather.  Amber and leather melt into each other like long-lost lovers never to be parted again.  It’s smokey, sexy, naughty, dark, and highly erotic!

For men who want to smell like a sexy motorcycle renegade.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab The Black Rider (General Catalog:  Märchen Collection): Available at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Interested in other men’s fragrances?  Check out my reviews here.

Next Up:  For Strange Women November in the Temperate Deciduous Forest