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Scent Name: Herodotus’ Phoenix

Manufacturer:  Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab –  BPAL Anniversary 2013: 11th anniversary: Visions of the Phoenix throughout History

Scent Description and Notes: “HERODOTUS’ PHOENIX
They have also another sacred bird called the phoenix which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it is a great rarity, even in Egypt, only coming there (according to the accounts of the people of Heliopolis) once in five hundred years, when the old phoenix dies. Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow:- The plumage is partly red, partly golden, while the general make and size are almost exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does, which does not seem to me to be credible: that he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows out the ball, and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun. Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird.
– Herodotus, Histories

A fragrant shroud: myrrh from Yemen, Oman, and West Africa with a touch of copal and frankincense. -BPAL

Oil Color: – I cannot tell the color of the oil by looking into the brown apothecary bottle.

Bottle Design and Artwork:  This is a 5ml standard brown apothecary bottle.  The label extends just under halfway around the bottom. The image is of a stylized phoenix with swirling fail feathers spiraling on either side of its body, set against a golden illuminated background.  The name of the scent is in a heavily medieval style font in white, just above the company name, which is in standard black block font.


  • ITB:  Sweet myrrh, frankincense, and copal.  It smells like Christmas Mass, but a bit heavier on the copal.
  • Wet:  The myrrh has quite a bit of depth to this scent once on the skin. There is a lovely woodsiness to this, especially when combined with the frankincense and copal.  It’s round, resinous, sweet, and rich.  Brilliant!
  • Dry:  It’s gets a little creamier and sweeter…and faintly floral as it dries.  It is still absolutely brilliant and I know it will age very, very well.
Other Impressions: “It smells like a cross between a Chinese incense shop and church.  I can’t identify which of the resins it is,, but it also smells like there might be ylang-ylang there too.” -Tony