Perfumers are not all sugar violets and sunshine. The darker aspects of nature have inspired these alchemists to create some of the most beautiful scents. Here are a few fragrances that celebrate doom and gloom and add the final touch to the perfect costume.
The Hippy Witch
Costume: Gossamer dresses, loose cascading waves ala Stevie Nicks, floral headdress, lots of amulets, pentagrams, and bangles.
Party: Halloween bonfire and drum circle.
Fragrance: Momento Mori by Aftelier, Mandy Aftel’s latest creation in natural perfume is the memory of a loved one’s skin.
Smells Like: A buttery salty floral, deeply entrenched with meaning and longing.
The Down on Your Luck Vampire
Costume: A discordant mishmash of styles from as many decades as you own, fake blood, fangs.
Party: The party you forgot about and need to throw something together quickly, but you will rely on your charm and an old pair of fangs to pull it off.
Fragrance: Death & Decay by Lush, a rather bold departure from the happy hippie goodness of Lush, but with excellent results.
Smells Like: Old lady face powder and bright white lilies trying to cover clammy skin underneath.
Costume: Flowing white gown, veil, bloody tear stained cheeks, white-out sclera contacts.
Party: When you’re on candy duty for trick-or-treaters and would like to make the parent’s a little uncomfortable.
Fragrance: Mojave Ghost by Byredo, a scent to invoke a hostile but beautiful world that is slipping into obscurity.
Smells Like: A pairing of sadness and beauty, dark ambrette and the oddly appealing fruitiness of sapodilla; weepy violet and fleshy magnolia; eternal ambergris and desolate cedar.
The Moth Mother
Costume: Black leggings and top, moth cape, moth antennae.
Party: Helping out at your kids’ class party.
Fragrance: Crushed No 32 by Tokyo Milk Dark, Margot Elena balances darkness and light in her surprisingly cheerful olfactory creations. Perfect for the not too scary costume of Moth Mother.
Smells Like: A clump of Autumn earth in your hand, water, grass, dirt, moss, and herbs.
Costume: Glitter tap shoes, ankle socks, fishnets tights, striped sequin shorts, multicolour sequin bustier, gold crop sequin jacket, red sequin bow tie, gold sequin top hat, red bob wig, heavy 1920s makeup.
Party: Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.
Fragrance: Wicked by Sixteen92, Claire Baxter over at Sixtteen92 made this wicked little number which always delights and surprises, just like our girl Columbia
Smells Like: A rowdy good time of wicked and sweet. Vanilla and sweet almond collide with aged patchouli and a touch of bitterness.
The Vegan Zombie
Costume: Zombie makeup and prosthetics, ragged clothes, a large bundle of grains, propensity for puns.
Party: The Walking Dead-themed block party.
Fragrance: Mushroom by Demeter, a weird but wonderful scent based around the boletus edulis mushroom.
Smells Like: It smells like earthy musty mushroomy goodness that would be the perfect fragrance for a mouldering zombie in search of gluten.
The 9 Month Fortune Teller
Costume: Comfortable flouncy skirts, flouncy comfortable crop top, bangles, beads, earrings, scarves, skin safe body paint.
Party: The Halloween baby shower.
Fragrance: Snake Oil by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, this popular scent created by BPAL’s resident alchemist Elizabeth Barrial would be the perfect accompaniment for a fortune teller that wanted a beautiful scent but with the more subtle and sensual appeal of a perfume oil.
Smells Like: A mysterious circus rolls into town, and one tent strangely calls to you more than the others as tendrils of vanilla exude from within. You enter to see an ominous woman sitting before a glass orb and exotic resins smouldering in a braiser.
The Basic Breakfast
Costume: Black sleeveless dress, black opera gloves, four strain pearls, diamond brooch, diamond hair comb, black sunglasses, take away coffee, croissant, understated makeup.
Party: The office Halloween party, it’s all a bit pedestrian, but you can’t go wrong with classics.
Fragrance: Magie Noire by Lancome, this 1978 classic oriental by Gerard Goupy can still weave a spell in its long-lasting embrace; giving a rather safe costume a slight edge of mystery.
Smells Like: A spiced mix of oakmoss, galbanum, and ambergris on a bed of opulent red roses and hyacinth. Creating a blend that is both bright and lovely but alludes to a darker and deeper soul.
The Campy Vampy
Costume: Black wiggle gown with plunging neckline, black beehive wig, false lashes, goth makeup.
Party: There will be lots of red Solo cups and a kiddy pool full of jello, it may not be high-end, but it’s going to be a good time.
Fragrance: Elvira’s Zombie by Demeter, a sultry little scent that embraces the camp and humour of a sexy Halloween costume.
Smells Like: A surprisingly lovely mix of cannabis funk and indolic ylang-ylang with a touch of musky tobacco and pretty poppy. This perfume knows how to have fun.
The Unfortunate Cake Eater
Costume: Pastel ball gown, powdered wig, gauze, ghost makeup.
Party: A Halloween party at your Parisian intellectual salon where you will be discussing the meaning of life, mortality, and existential dread.
Fragrance: De Profundis by Serge Luten, a profound olfactive meditation on death and beauty by the indomitable Christopher Sheldrake. A superb fragrance for the wistful souls of the beautiful creatures that found themselves on the wrong side of The Revolution and a guillotine.
Smells Like: The violets of bygone eras, the immortal chrysanthemum, grave dirt, thick damp foliage about to turn to rot.