Alone (BPAL Review)

Today was a grey day, but rather than being cold it was just on the edge of chilly – the kind of winter day when the thick cloud cover softens the light and warms the temperature, and a storm threatens at the periphery of the sky, but never quite reaches the boiling point.

It didn’t rain, but it was a lovely day anyway. Physically, I was in my studio a lot, writing about cars. Mentally, I was in a garret in Paris, or a beach house on a cliff, and the wind through the trees only enhanced the mood. Outside my bedroom window, earlier, the pool water was choppy, much like the ocean gets on such a blustery day. I amused myself pretending I was on the esplanade of a cold-water beach, and even bundled myself into a cotton blanket and took tea poolside.

The fresh air was what I needed after being sick for a week and a day, though I’m edging into wellness, finally. I’m not yet up to walking round the block – kind of need to breathe for that – but for sitting in the balmy, breezy air, and sipping spicy chai, and watching the dogs root around in the ivy-covered corners of the yard, I was fine. I sat near enough the edge of the pool that my feet were just touching the water – it was cold, but I didn’t care – and had a lovely hour of quiet, even closing my eyes at one point.

I was strongly reminded of all the times I visited the beach in winter with my mother, and all the times we sat at the yacht harbor, after walking to the end of the pier and back. For a moment, the sense memory was strong enough that I could smell sea-salt.

And speaking of scents, the one I’m wearing today is another Black Phoenix offering called Alone.

Here’s what their description says:

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then – in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life – was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

A hectic, frenzied pinpoint in desolation: booming, bleak, and dark with the horror of loneliness and reluctant solitude. Patchouli and cardamom with bright mandarin, labdanum, muguet, red sandalwood, angelica and gardenia.


Here’s my review:

In the Imp:
Chai tea with something darker, that’s the patchouli, and something citrussy – the mandarin.

Wet, on Skin:
Patchouli mostly, with the mandarin and generic spiciness coming through.

Dry, on Skin:
Oh, lovely cardamom, and flowers I can’t identify, and the mandarin is softening a bit, but the patchouli’s backed off, and is a sort of grounding note.

Add this to my “I want a bottle” list, or rather I would, but this was a treat – the last third of an imp as a freebie with a forum order, and the actual scent’s discontinued.