Some of you know that one of my Christmas gifts was from Bryan: bottles of all 6 anniversary Phoenix scents! So without further ado, Big Fat Review Time!

Note: I wrote the reviews before looking at the lab descriptions. Interesting how some of them are so different from what's really in them!

Fire Phoenix
Lab description: Enterprise, adventure, restlessness, impulsiveness, and dynamism: Chinese musk and red musk with hyacinth, cactus flower, cubeb berry, galangal, tobacco, pink pepper, and sarsaparilla.
Wet: juicy, sort of citrusy. Very warm. Makes me think of what it would be like to drink orange juice with the spices of apple cider.
Dry: Citrus comes on very strong, and this turns almost lemony. The spices are still there, though, and they really do save this. The nutmeg is the most pronounced to me. The end result is one of my favorite things in a scent: a bright citrus with some warm spices over the top. It has none of the mellowness of Bakeneko, however, or even Fire Pig. This is embers with a bright, flickering flame over the top. This is less "warmth" and more "bright light, sharp heat". It's a good one to wear on a cold day.
After reading description: The "brightness" I smell in this is the pink pepper, I think. I'm absolutely getting the sarsparilla note; I didn't know what to call it. Possibly the citrus I smell is cactus flower or cubeb berry? I don't think I've sniffed those in anything before.

Water Phoenix
Lab description: Compassion, eloquence, introspection: Chinese musk and rain, with salty oceanic notes, frankincense, juniper berry, lily of the valley, lavender, cinquefoil, and sweet pea.
Wet: surprise! This is an aquatic. It's a spicy aquatic, though.
Dry: This actually was a surprise--it's rather masculine. There's a sharp, clean note common to most men's scents I love, almost an herbal floral, and this has it. Villain has it too, and Vicomte de Valmont. I don't want to say that the note is in a lot of aftershaves because that makes it sound like it might smell cheap, and this absolutely does not. It's like a men's scent soap or shampoo, only a very high-end expensive one. Like what I think a man might smell like after he gets a $200 haircut. This will work very well in the summer months when I have to be dressy.
After reading description: JUNIPER. That's what the "masculine" scent is. Lily of the valley & lavender are favorites of mine on men as well, and while I hate "rain" as a scent for most other things, whatever it is that BPAL uses for the rain note is phenomenal.

Wood Phoenix
Lab description: Flexibility, cooperation, expansiveness, and altruism: Chinese musk and five woods with newly budding bamboo shoots, hyssop, chamomile, pink clove, magnolia, walnut, and fig.
Wet: Smells interesting in the bottle. There's a lot of resin going on here, & I wondered how that was going to do on my skin.
Dry: The answer to that is "not well". If resins smell good on you, then by all means get a bottle of this. If they don't, AVOID AT ALL COSTS. This is almost all resins, and they're sharp & sweet on my skin. This almost smells like some sort of sweet pancake syrup with a few harsh, dark undertones. In fact, we've had trees on the farm hit by lightning or blown down by wind. This smells like those trees smell as they decay.
After reading description: I definitely smell the fig. I adore figs to eat...I do not adore figs in my perfume. FIG is what I was interpreting as a sweet, syrupy resin. My skin brings out sweetness in things, and in this that is NOT a good thing.

Earth Phoenix
Lab description: Hard work, patience, and harmony: Chinese musk, dark musk, and moist soil with black cherry, opopponax, night-blooming jasmine, plum, woodland tobacco, snakeweed, and cypress.
Wet: Much, much brighter than I expected Earth to smell. Where's the musty dirt? Not that I miss it, but this is surprising.
Dry: I get it now. This is not "dirt"--this is stone. It's dry but clean and it smells OLD. It smells like warmth & strength & something ancient. It's dry, but there's a sharp tang in it, maybe like salt? Almost a sweet salt. It smells like a clean, dry desert with a background hint of desert plants baking in the sun. If you watch Heroes, you know the scenes where Parkman ends up in the desert with the man who paints the future? This smells the way I would think those scenes smell.
After reading description: And not a single "stone" note at all. I can see why this would smell clean to me, though; black cherry & night-blooming jasmine always do. I'm surprised that I'm not getting the "moist soil" except in a small, sharp almost-note. When I keep "soil" in my mind and smell this, THEN I can smell something like it. It's like fresh, black soil; the kind you want to plant a garden in. Hard work & patience...I might use this one a lot for school. ^o^

Metal Phoenix
Lab description: Tenacity, force, strength, stability, and determination: Chinese musk and gleaming white metal with honeysuckle, rose mallow, verbena, and carnation.
Wet: GUH. OMG GUH. Clean, strong, shiny, polished so clear you can see yourself in it.
Dry: A little citrusy or fruity or juicy or SOMETHING, but in this blend it gives the impression of SHINE. This is sleek, glossy metal. Gunmetal polished so hard it glitters in the light. Chrome on an expensive car under street lights. It's sophisticated and sleek and intimidating. If I had to make an impression at a fancy-pants cocktail party, this is the scent I'd wear. It's elegant & powerful. My favorite of the bunch.
After reading description: The juicy smell...honeysuckle? They name one of the notes "gleaming white metal", and they certainly succeeded with that, as I smell glittering, high polish metal.

Candy Phoenix
Lab description: A dusky, yet effervescent mix of pomegranate and black currant candies, with a dusting of sugared pear and white apple.
Wet: OH HAI THEY MELTED SOURPATCH KIDS IN THIS BOTTLE
Dry: It calms down but it's still definitely candy. Bryan & Courtney (my sister) eat those Sour Straws things that are almost like licorice sticks, but they come in fruit flavors & are coated with sour sugar. This smells just like those. I can't pin down a flavor, but it's fun & bright & happy & delicious. I didn't expect to like this one at all, much less LOVE it! In fact, I almost didn't order it until Bryan told me it would be cool to get the whole set. I'm so happy I did! This is going to be a BIG favorite summer scent for me.
After reading description: Wow. Looking at the description again it's no wonder I almost didn't order this. This doesn't smell NEARLY as overpoweringly sweet as it seems like it would. I think I know why this sweet, foody scent isn't bad on me as so many are: it's the absence of anything CREAMY. Creamy, sweet food scents go AWFUL on me. Make me smell like cheap Twinkie cream or something. This lacks that cream note, and so while it's sweet, it has some form of "clarity". This is precisely the type of candy Bryan loves to eat. Which sounds terribly suggestive and is not at all what I meant.