Inspired by characters, places, and dances in "The Graveyard Book," the latest collection includes such scents as Eau de Ghoul (a dirty, bloody, and leathery number) and the Macabray (a ghostly white floral).
"I'm always baffled and delighted and thrilled when something of mine spins off and gets its own life in some other medium," Gaiman told us. "For me, the thrill of doing stuff with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, who are just amazing and their perfumes are gorgeous, is that they give the money to the Comic Books Legal Defense Fund. These are people who've raised over $15,000 by selling the Neil Gaiman perfumes, which is fighting for First Amendment freedoms for comics, which is just so cool! I just love to get to be a part of that."
When the topic of doing "Graveyard" scents came up, Gaiman said that the only thing he asked was if they could try to come up with a Silas scent -- since the last vampire scent for "Snow, Glass, Apples" was so perfect.
"They have this wonderful Oscar Wilde scent and a wonderful Marquis de Sade scent, and they're vaguely masculine and they smell like sort of illicit things happening in libraries," Gaiman said. "And I thought it'd be really nice if Silas was part of that scent, only instead it would be more like illicit vampire things happening in graveyards. How they did 'Snow, Glass, Apples,' I don't know, but I figure if they can do that, they can do anything."
So far, no Silas yet (it's coming later, Black Phoenix promises, along with one or two others). But there are scents for characters such as the Lady On The Grey ("each of us encounters the lady on the grey at the end of our days"), which has notes of pearly sandlewood, white amber, tobacco flower, orris, castoreum bouquet, soft resins, and pale petals; Miss Lupescu (an animalic musk, with strange spices); the Convocation (like a melange of swanky men's colognes), and the aforementioned Eau de Ghoul, a smoky, glowing red scent, with notes of dessicated skin, blackened ginger, cinnamon, mold-flecked dirt, cumin, bitter clove, leather, and dried blood.
Accordingly, a scent for Gholheim, the Ghoul city (also glowing and smoky and red) is dark and disjoined, with smoke and black musk, bladderwrack, opopponax, galangal, and pepper. It's a little grittier that Eau de Ghoul.
"Most of the scents smell wonderful," Gaiman said, "and the ones that don't are not meant to smell wonderful."
Then there's the place-and-thing inspired scents, such as Banana Peel in a Graveyard (what it sounds like); The Owens' Tomb (marble and dust, burdock, knotweed, dandelions, daffodils, and long-dead calla lilies); The Potter's Field (rich loam, fragrant grasses, wild herbs, and dry cedar bark); and the Macabray, as in the danse macabre. It's white winter flowers plucked from a snow-covered graveyard, and if it's anything like in the story, it will make you dance the night away.
Now that you've heard all about Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's "Graveyard Book" perfume, check out Jennifer Rodgers' art from the line, posted here:
Have you smelled any of the Neil Gaiman scents (either from "American Gods," "Anansi Boys," "Good Omens," "Stardust," or anything else? What did you think? What characters would you like to smell next?