Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scents By Alexis- Requiem For The Immortal

When I think of the various immortals and undead beings in Buffy The Vampire Slayer (still my favorite supernatural/superhero show of all time), I doubt any of them smelled that great. I mean, just look at this guy:

Mark Metcalf as The Master, Buffy Season 1. Copyright Mutant Enemy.

 Glory (Clare Kramer) and minions on season 5 of Buffy. Copyright Mutant Enemy.

Of course, there was also Glory, a straight up deity, but you know she must have had some kind of  a sinister arrangement with Roja Dove:

Roja Dove via rojadove.com
All kidding aside, we all have different ideas of immortal beings, good and bad. Perfumer and artist Alexis Karl created her Requiem For The Immortal based on  artist Ken Weaver's painting of the same name, and his take on Faust's Mephistopheles in all his dark seduction. The painting may be viewed here, but I want to talk about the perfume as a standalone work of art, its honesty, and , yes: its dark seduction.

Alexis Karl is a Brooklyn-based perfumer, artists, and teacher (you can read more about her on IndiePerfumes). Her perfume sensibility goes beyond the goth aesthetics. These are raw, rich with life and emotion fragrances. The austere bottles almost feel like they're pulsating in your hand, mostly thanks to the materials used in creating them. Alexis sources her ingredients from all over the world, buying them in small amounts and creates small (often limited) batches of perfumes that smell like nothing else one comes across. The uncompromising vision of exactly how each particle needs to smell and behave in the final blend can cause frustrations. Body Made Luminous, the perfume I consider as the best chocolate fragrance I've ever smelled, is on hold until Ms. Karl can get her hands on the next shipment of a very specific fossilized amber she uses in Body. The wait list for that one is getting longer, and with a good reason. It's that brilliant.

But we're here to talk about Requiem For The Immortal, a perfume that represents the allure of darkness. On my skin it's mainly a honey perfume, but with a dangerous edge. The temptation starts from the very first whiff. It projects to high heavens and down towards the inferno, announcing its intentions without masking them with any light or airy top notes. You are encircled with dark and raw honey, unpasteurized yet warm. My skin amplifies this effect to the n-th degree, allowing me to revel in its shocking sensuality. Each and every one of my nearest and dearest who got to smell Requiem For The Immortal on my skin had to comment on its sexy vibe. I guess I'm not wearing it to the next family Seder, but who knows?

But Requiem is not all debauchery. It might be made mainly of base notes, but they do develop and create their own dance routine on skin. The fossilized amber is black, brown, and red, very dense and otherworldly good. It's a gift to even be able to smell it and of it. The fragrance is obviously sweet, though not in a commercial sugary way. The immortal flower is less pancaked than one might expect. The syrupy aspect is confined to the trickling  honey, while everything else moves between light to dark: the white batiste cotton of the maiden woken up at night because of a suspicious noise. She walks into the darkness, holding a small beeswax candle that's flickering in the drafty air and almost disappears in the dark room she enters. The girl smells of fresh flowers and the fragrant sachets hidden between her linens; she's ripe and bursting with youth, completely irresistible to the creature lurking in the shadow, waiting to embrace her, seduce her with his powers and show her what lies ahead, if she only says "yes".

Notes: fossilized amber, dragon's blood, honey, frankincense, myrrh ,immortelle.

Scents By Alexis- Requiem For The Immortal is available from the perfumer's Etsy store. A generous 1 dram roll-on tester costs $25, while a 2 oz full bottle is priced at $200. Smaller bottles may still be available, but you'll need to inquire with Alexis.
The link above is provided solely for your convenience. I'm not affiliated with the perfumer in any way.

Top artwork: Illustration by Harry Clarke for Goethe's Faust, 1925.


  1. That sounds like an intriguing fragrance! And perfect for the Fall weather (when SF does decide to cool down, eventually).
    The bottle Roja Dove is holding looks like the Lubin L' Ocean Blue (kissing Dolphins) bottle. Just gorgeous.

  2. Just ordered a tester - sort of wondering why I did, since the mention of honey as a dominant note is like a clarion call for me always and I have absolutely loved her perfumes for so many years now (still have multiple bottles I bought at least 8 years ago in those fantastic gilded bottles). Am fairly certain I'll be wanting a full bottle, but have *got* to watch the budget and not put my poor DH into financial shock zone - too many other very unfun expenses these days. Oh, but also wanted to mention how much I appreciate her obvious commitment to high quality ingredients and that is one of the main reasons (budget concerns aside - I seriously prioritize perfumes) I've never regretted stockpiling her scents or those from perfumers like her who won't compromise on their insistence for using only the best ingredients - am always concerned they will end up d/cing certain scents for which they can no longer get the ingredients they want or, as she is doing with Body Made Luminous, put them on hold.
    And the photo of Roja Dove - completely cracks me up. Perfect. :-)


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