The imps from The Last Unicorn line are always a draw for me, both because of their notes and because of my positive association with the movie and novel from my childhood.
Scent Name: The Harpy Celaeno
Manufacturer: Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab – The Last Unicorn
Scent Description and Notes: “The unicorn began to walk toward the harpy’s cage. Schmendrick the Magician, tiny and pale, kept opening and closing his mouth at her, and she knew what he was shrieking, though she could not hear him. “She will kill you, she will kill you! Run, you fool, while she’s still a prisoner! She will kill you if you set her free!” But the unicorn walked on, following the light of her horn, until she stood before Celaeno, the Dark One.
For an instant the icy wings hung silent in the air, like clouds, and the harpy’s old yellow eyes sank into the unicorn’s heart and drew her close. “I will kill you if you set me free,” the eyes said. “Set me free.”
The unicorn lowered her head until her horn touched the lock of the harpy’s cage. The door did not swing open, and the iron bars did not thaw into starlight. But the harpy lifted her wings, and the four sides of the cage fell slowly away and down, like the petals of some great flower waking at night. And out of the wreckage the harpy bloomed, terrible and free, screaming, her hair swinging like a sword. The moon withered and fled.
The unicorn heard herself cry out, not in terror but in wonder, “Oh, you are like me!” She reared joyously to meet the harpy’s stoop, and her horn leaped up into the wicked wind. The harpy struck once, missed, and swung away, her wings clanging and her breath warm and stinking. She burned overhead, and the unicorn saw herself reflected on the harpy’s bronze breast and felt the monster shining from her own body. So they circled one another like a double star, and under the shrunken sky there was nothing real but the two of them. The harpy laughed with delight, and her eyes turned the color of honey. The unicorn knew that she was going to strike again.
Clanging metal, smouldering hatred, and terror: vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, tolu balsam, black clove, bergamot, orange flower, and horseradish.” -BPAL
Oil Color: A dark honey color.
Bottle Design and Artwork: This is a standard vial / imp size (1/32 oz). The label wrapped around the bottle features an Art-Deco inspired Phoenix with the the name of the company at the right-hand side of the label. The other side is a bit different since this is an imp specifically from a special collection. It features the words in a grey color that read “Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn” at the very top. Just below that in a warm mandarin orange field box is white text that features the name of the scent. Along the outermost side, written down the side is the web address of BPAL. The image is a beautifully rendered drawing of an off-centered harpy with wing outstretched.
- Label art was created for us by Renae De Liz, the artist on IDW Publishing’s six-issue comic miniseries of The Last Unicorn. Renae worked on The Last Unicorn comic with her husband, colorist Ray Dillon.
- In the Imp (ITI): Ooh, that’s horseradish right there. It reminds me a little of the wasabi scent in Velvet Cthulhu, which is one of my all-time favorite scents. There is also a lovely greenness underneath (from the vetiver I imagine) that makes me think of a jungle for some reason (or Lush’s Jungle)
- Wet: I get chills when I sniff this. I think The Harpy Calaeno is the first scent since I started testing 149 days ago that has evoked a visceral, positive response such as this. The spiciness of the horseradish and the wonderful combination of bergamot, vetiver, and orange I guess make my nose extraordinarily happy. I tested out the wet scent again, and yes, I’m still getting chills every time
- Dry: Yum! Spicy horseradish, patchouli, balsam, and clove-infused orange. After a couple hours, the horseradish calms down and I’m left with a wonderfully resiny scent of patchouli, clove, orange, and just a little vetiver.
Other Impressions: This is lovely and I’m contemplating purchasing a bottle.