Fans of Neil Gaiman’s celebrated novel American Gods have embraced the STARZ television adaptation by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, for all its tall tales, legends, and bonkers imagery – even when characters and storylines deviate, it captures the novel so well.
Capturing a mood or evoking a feeling is something that the wizards at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have been doing for years, with their acclaimed line of perfume oils and scents. For the past several years, they’ve built upon their general catalogue into licensed collections featuring collaborations with everyone from Guillermo Del Toro (Crimson Peak) to the Henson Company (Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal).
One of BPAL’s earliest collaborators and champions, of course, was Gaiman – they’ve created numerous lines around his indelible creations, including Stardust, The Graveyard Book, Coraline and more – and their American Gods line kicked off sometime ago. Just in time to celebrate Shadow Moon’s odyssey on the small screen, however, they’ve expanded it into quite a wide-ranging collection.
Encompassing well over two dozen different scents based on characters and scenes in the book (All of BPAL’s Gaiman lines are based on the source material, though some have nods to filmic interpration), the American Gods scents are also a terrific charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community.
The scents are also now complimented by atmopshere sprays and a killer line of nail lacquers, too. In the image below, I’m wearing Mr. Wednesday (on the right), a prism-like shimmer that catches all the colors in the rainbow in sunlight. Dani Bullis (left) is wearing Mad Sweeney, a tip of the hat to the leprechaun with gold coin-like flecks within the Emerald Isle green.
Recently Dani and I got together to sniff this entire, holy-rollin’ collection and offer our impressions:
Nicole: Okay, so…. the American Gods BPAL line! What are your favorite things about it?
Dani: I love that there’s a scent for every character, haha.
N: There is! Well, almost every… there are a few supporting folks missing but I hear tell that BPAL are working on those. One of the things I love about Beth’s scents is she thinks so carefully about who those characters are, and about setting a mood.
D: Definitely! I love that “Zorya Utrennyaya” smells like perfume and coffee. And it smells goooood.
N: The Zoryas are all different and all wonderful! “Laura” is the most odd and remarkable, because it’s an uncanny mix of floral sweetness and decaying earth. NAILED IT. Do you think they work for both fans of the book and of the series?
D: Oh for sure. The show has some plot differences but the characters are essentially the same. “Bilquis” smells sexy, Easter (“Eostre of the Dawn”) smells like spring, and “Mad Sweeney” smells like whiskey. It’s perfect.
N: Yep. And the few concessions to the series that she made in the most recent addition of scents are great. “Technical Boy” in the book was from an era before vaping, but “vape smoke and burning electrical parts” is the ideal scent notes for him.
D: Now thanks to the show, I wish the “Media” one smelled like potato chips and champagne.
N: Ha! That would be hilarious. She actually smells like really classy, expensive perfume, which seems kind of perfect in its own way too. The atmospheric ones are amazing too – “Becoming Thunder”, that first smell of rain.
D: I love “Coin Trick”, I’m wearing it now. It’s just lovely and light. I can’t put my finger on the specific scent, but it’s good.
N: Nice! Yeah, I’m still loving “Mr. Czernobog.” The notes are all “cigarettes and blood!” and yet I want to dive into that bottle and swim in it. What’s that say about me?
D: You’re weird.
There are just two episodes of American Gods Season One left and we can’t wait to see how the first season ends! Meanwhile, as pictured we have one full set of every Neil Gaiman’s American Gods scent that BPAL has released so far – 30 in all, a nearly $700 value! – and one person will win them ALL.
Enter below, and good luck!