Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, an online indie perfumery, is one such business. BPAL is vegan-friendly, hand-made, and tested only on any willing participants. (believe me, there are always willing BPAL testers!) What makes BPAL so wonderful is its huge and varied customer base. They host a web forum with over 16,000 members and are always on the lookout for more ways they can improve their products and please their fans.
A little resistance can come into play when discussing indie perfumes, however. The price point can be a bit of a sore spot for a lot of people (a "general catalog" BPAL, one that is not a special edition, rings up at $16 a pop, plus shipping starting at around $7 depending on how many bottles you are buying). However, when you consider the fact that your perfume is made by hand and is unique, you really are buying something special. The perfumes come in glass 5 mL bottles, and can be decanted into roller bottles, applied with Q-tips or special caps for purchase with glass rods in them called wand caps (my personal favorite). Others still like to tilt the bottle so that the perfume gets on the inside of the lid, and daub that onto their pulse points. The bottles make a great conversation piece anywhere in your home, and are addictive little sons of guns. (Many people collect the empty bottles and display them just for the bottle art!)
|An example of some BPAL bottles, courtesy of fashionablygeek.com|
As many of you might know, I am a fairly frugal shopper. I don't often spend my money on things unless I can seriously justify their cost, and because of this I'm sure many of you are wondering why on earth I am endorsing a product so expensive. It can easily be explained like so: taking the time to do something great for yourself can be worth every penny. I wear drugstore makeup and don't use expensive bath products: my splurges are generally nail polish and sometimes perfumes. I can have a hard day at work, daub on some of my favorite BPAL, and feel the calm seeping into my skin. I'd rather spend $16 on a bottle of perfume I will wear again and again (and really, these bottles last forever) than $30 on a giant bottle of something I know at least 2 other women in my office are wearing.
I'll come back later to highlight the scents of some of my most favorite BPAL blends, along with my #1 favorite, but I wanted to put up a general post about my most favorite perfumery out there, because despite its overwhelming web presence, BPAL can never get enough love.