Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perfume Review: "Headless Marie" from BirdcageandLabyrinth

"Headless Marie" from The Birdcage and Labyrinth Steampunk Perfumerie is a lovely, if morbid, tribute to Marie Antoinette. The perfume description reads: "This is a perfume in honor of that decadent woman, Marie Antoinette, who lost her head because of her expensive tastes. France’s most famous queen, lovely and na├»ve Marie was the toast of Versailles before her unfortunate rendezvous with the guillotine. The luxury of Marie and her king are legendary and have been immortalized in countless novels and movies. The opulence, the palaces, the food, the gardens, the clothes, the jewels… all are again immortalized in this perfume."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Poetry Tuesday: "We Are All Upset and Talented" a collaborative poem

"We Are All Upset and Talented"

Our banner fell from slanted rooftops:
frayed fabric, clay tiles (clothing, lodging).

I guess I like to break stuff—as long as you don’t mind
sexy sista tripping past love(ly) trays, gasps,

flutters, strays, pulls the glass
from her teeth, then shudders, drops in shards

on feet underneath. And away,
away we go to lick

the grease from the deep fryers.
Nothing could ever haunt me—as dangerously,

no, not a form as subtle as the closet’s shadow
but louder than the shouts of July

on that amaranthine summer’s night. Everything’s better
with absinthe (wormwood) twinged

with the value(less) vomit of other people’s words.
Fine then. I can carry the weight (wait!)

of the world’s sarcasm alone.

by the ENG 403 Poetry Class at Chapman University. Lovely job guys!

The Lonely Alchemist

Monday, January 23, 2012

Movie Monday: "What's Up, Tiger Lily?"

So this week's movie review is definitely out of the ordinary. This movie isn't a Rom Com. It isn't Steampunk or Gothic, and it isn't suspense, historical fiction, or sci-fi. This movie is pure cheesy comedy, with an extra side of cheese, topped with more cheese.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Alchemist Files: Part 1

Only a few days ago, a strange collection of papers came into our possession at "The Lonely Alchemist." We have finally broken the code with which the papers were coded (it was a simple alpha-numeric system) and have completely decoded one of the papers. We present it for your perusal here, and hope to decode and post more of this fascinating story soon. (Revisit the beginning of the story here, or click "Madame Yvina" in the tags section to see all related posts.)

Ministry File: Madame Yvina, see also “Bergamot”
Cover: fortune teller
Origin: unknown
Age: unknown
Preferred method of extermination: poison
Current location: unknown, presumed dead
Often wears: sage green and blue colors, as well as black
Known associates: Melchizedek Quinine Aurocross, Captain Victoria Zylphia Potsworth, Elizabeth MacMormont, Belladonna (real name unknown)
Status: level red, report all sightings to Henton Clode, Ministry Office #495, London

Notes: Madame Yvina is just one of many aliases belonging to possibly the most dangerous women of our time.
Our knowledge on the early life of Madame Yvina is scant to say the least.

Perfume Review: "The Goblin's Market" from DeepMidnightPerfumes

One of my greatest passions is perfumes, so it is my pleasure to make my first perfume review on "The Lonely Alchemist." I received this perfume as part of a sampler pack I won in a drawing. I never enter drawings because I never win, but I am so glad I entered this one! The delectable perfumes from DeepMidnightPerfumes are like a bouquet of pungent sweets.

"The Goblin's Market" was one of my favorite perfumes. It is a heady fruity concoction with scents of cherries, pears, and peaches, and chocolatey floral undertones. Definitely not a scent for "delicate" girls, this fragrance is strong and lusty. It belongs perfectly in either a Gothic or Steampunk world, and the rich colors the scent evokes make it appropriate for any decadent occasion. When I wear it I imagine the Goblin's Market from "Hellboy" where you can find all sorts of exotic fruits and scents and bright colors.

The perfume is a perfume oil, blended in a jojoba oil base. Therefore it has no alcohol scent to detract from the scents of the fragrances used. According to the seller's site, her perfumes are pthalate and paraben free (these are two toxic chemicals used in much commercial perfumery) as well as vegan. She also donates some of her profits to animal charities. So if you have a soft spot for furry friends, indulging in some DeepMidnight perfumes definitely won't hurt you! And, at $12.00 a bottle, these perfumes as affordable and delicious!


The Lonely Alchemist

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA!

So this is an unusual post for this blog, but we all feel very strongly that SOPA and PIPA (which will be voted on soon) will spell doom for freedom on the internet. If you have an extra 2 minutes, please visit here and express your displeasure with the bills. If you don't know what they are, please do read up on them. They are scary. Very, very, very scary.

Make your voice heard!

The Lonely Alchemist and friends

Word Wednesday: "Charientism"

The word of the day is charientism, derived from the Greek charientismus meaning "gracefulness of style." This is a word used in rhetoric to refer to a thinly veiled insult softened by grace or a taunt softened by a jest. In Greek times, charientismus referred to the response to such an insult, but now the word refers to the insult itself.


The Lonely Alchemist

Monday, January 16, 2012

Movie Monday: "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello"

"The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello" is a 2005 short film. It is the first of four proposed short films (about half-an-hour long each) and is set in an undoubtedly Steampunk world filled with airships and treacherous voyages.

The film is animated in the style of South East Asian Wayang Kulit shadow puppetry. Each character has a distinctive profile shape set against muted sepia toned backgrounds. The rare pale blues and greens as well as the dark crimson of the occasional blood spatter add to the bleak and hopeless mood of the piece. While the animation style is certainly unrealistic, the story and atmosphere are totally believable.

The story begins in the metropolitan city of Gothia, where the young navigator named Jasper Morello reminisces on a miscalculation he made during his last voyage which killed a man.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Madame Yvina, Fortunes Made & Futures Seen, Problems Exterminated & Mysteries Solved

We at "The Lonely Alchemist" have just receive a strange encoded file from someone by the name of Madame Yvina. While we are still working on translating it (it is rather long), we thought we would share with you the rather interesting beginning...

Just visit this treasury here to start your journey into the mysterious world of the Madame.

Be sure to check back in soon for the first translated portion of the files.


The Lonely Alchemist

(lovely artwork is courtesy of

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Word Wednesday: "Ghoul"

The word-of-the-day, ghoul, is relatively new to the English language. It first appears in literature in One Thousand and One Nights as a part of Scheherazade's tales. The word is derived from Arabic ghul, from ghala "to seize" and refers to a devilish undead shape-shifting jinn who lives in the desert. The Arabic ghul lures travelers into the desert and slays and eats them, often taking the form of its last victim.

Ghouls first appeared in Western literature in 1786 in William Beckford's novel Valthek. This Westernized version of the ghoul dwells in graveyards or other sites of death and feeds on the flesh of the recently deceased. They are similar to vampires in that sunlight and artificial light disturb them and can burn them to death.

The meaning of the word ghoul has been extended to refer to those whose vocations deal with death, such as undertakers of gravediggers. In the Victorian era, it was common to call someone of such a macabre profession a ghoul (as an insult). Since the modernization and commercialization of the death industry, the use of this name in reference to a mortician has died out (pun intended), and modern day ghouls stay relegated to works of fiction.

Perhaps the most famous ghoul is the star Algol in the constellation Perseus. It's name is derived from the Arabic ra's al-ghul or "the head of the ogre/demon" and it is colloquially known as the Demon Star. This modern monicker is not alone in its dark nature: in Hebrew, Algol is know as Rosh ha Satan or "Satan's Head," in Latin as Caput Larvae or "Spectre's Head," and in Chinese astronomy it is known as Tseih She or "piled-up corpses."


The Lonely Alchemist

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Poetry Tuesday: "Sonnet 100" by Shakespeare

Where art thou Muse that thou forget'st so long,
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return forgetful Muse, and straight redeem,
In gentle numbers time so idly spent,
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
If time have any wrinkle graven there,
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time's spoils despised everywhere.
Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
So thou prevent'st his scythe, and crooked knife.

By Shakespeare


The Lonely Alchemist

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A new month, a new background

With each new month, I give "The Lonely Alchemist" blog a shiny new background. January's background (with matching header) is "Bohemian" from the fabulous ItkuPilli. I adore all of ItkuPilli's backgrounds and use them exclusively. The digital collages are quaint, fantastic, fairy-like, ghostly, creepy, sexy, spectral, etc... I simply can't say enough good things about these blog backgrounds. If you are a blogger looking for a fresh look for your blog, check them out!

Along with a brand spanking new background, we at "The Lonely Alchemist" blog have a few new resolutions as well. Here they are:

~ post at least 4 times a week

~ post about sustainable or consumer-friendly issues at least 3 times a month

~ blog about every good Steampunk artist we come across

~ review as many Steampunk movies as possible

~ go to a Jane Austen Society of America convention and blog about it

~ go to either an Abney Park or Beats Antique concert (ohhhhh yeah!)

~ make at least 5 posts in foreign languages, just for the heck of it

So now you know a bit of what the next year should look like. If there is anything else you think we should absolutely do in 2012, leave a comment so we can put it on our calenders. And if we fail a little in our resolutions, please do forgive us! Keep your eyes pealed for... for... a lot of awesomeness! Happy New Year!


The Lonely Alchemist

A Steampunk New Year!

Why not ring in the new year with a lovely collection of Steampunk artwork! Here are some beautiful creations from Etsy. Just click on the pictures to see more...


The Lonely Alchemist