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Ars Moriendi

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Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living: scents of loss, grief, passage, and remembrance.

PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$17.50 per 5ml bottle. Presented in an amber apothecary vial.

  • Dance of Death

    4.00 out of 5

    Carrying bouquet, and handkerchief, and gloves,
    Proud of her height as when she lived, she moves
    With all the careless and high-stepping grace,
    And the extravagant courtesan's thin face.

    Was slimmer waist e'er in a ball-room wooed?
    Her floating robe, in royal amplitude,
    Falls in deep folds around a dry foot, shod
    With a bright flower-like shoe that gems the sod.

    The swarms that hum about her collar-bones
    As the lascivious streams caress the stones,
    Conceal from every scornful jest that flies,
    Her gloomy beauty; and her fathomless eyes

    Are made of shade and void; with flowery sprays
    Her skull is wreathed artistically, and sways,
    Feeble and weak, on her frail vertebrae.
    O charm of nothing decked in folly! they

    Who laugh and name you a Caricature,
    They see not, they whom flesh and blood allure,
    The nameless grace of every bleached, bare bone,
    That is most dear to me, tall skeleton!

    Come you to trouble with your potent sneer
    The feast of Life! or are you driven here,
    To Pleasure's Sabbath, by dead lusts that stir
    And goad your moving corpse on with a spur?

    Or do you hope, when sing the violins,
    And the pale candle-flame lights up our sins,
    To drive some mocking nightmare far apart,
    And cool the flame hell lighted in your heart?

    Fathomless well of fault and foolishness!
    Eternal alembic of antique distress!
    Still o'er the curved, white trellis of your sides
    The sateless, wandering serpent curls and glides.

    And truth to tell, I fear lest you should find,
    Among us here, no lover to your mind;
    Which of these hearts beat for the smile you gave?
    The charms of horror please none but the brave.

    Your eyes' black gulf, where awful broodings stir,
    Brings giddiness; the prudent reveller
    Sees, while a horror grips him from beneath,
    The eternal smile of thirty-two white teeth.

    For he who has not folded in his arms
    A skeleton, nor fed on graveyard charms,
    Recks not of furbelow, or paint, or scent,
    When Horror comes the way that Beauty went.

    O irresistible, with fleshless face,
    Say to these dancers in their dazzled race:
    “Proud lovers with the paint above your bones,
    Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons!

    Withered Antinoüs, dandies with plump faces,
    Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces,
    Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath,
    Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death.

    From Seine's cold quays to Ganges' burning stream,
    The mortal troupes dance onward in a dream;
    They do not see, within the opened sky,
    The Angel's sinister trumpet raised on high.

    In every clime and under every sun,
    Death laughs at ye, mad mortals, as ye run;
    And oft perfumes herself with myrrh, like ye
    And mingles with your madness, irony!

    A gloriously elegant representation of Lady Death. Dry, bone-white orris, black musk, serpentine patchouli and our murkiest myrrh.

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  • Danse Macabre

    3.00 out of 5

    An allegorical expression of the ineffable, indisputable triumph of death, generally expressed in medieval artwork as a violin or flute-wielding skeleton leading a procession of dancers to their graves. Black cypress with oakmoss, frankincense, oude, and a sliver of toasted hazelnut.

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  • Darkness

    4.00 out of 5

    The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
    The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
    The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
    And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
    Of aid from them — She was the Universe.

    Bottled gloom; the essence of oblivion. Blackest opium and narcissus deepened by myrrh.

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  • Deep In Earth

    3.00 out of 5

    Deep in earth my love is lying
    And I must weep alone.

    Rose geranium, Spanish moss, Irish yew, and graveyard dirt.

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  • Embalming Fluid

    A light, pure scent: white musk, green tea, aloe and lemon.

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  • Eternal

    5.00 out of 5

    Though they go mad they shall be sane, 
    Though they sink through the sea
    they shall rise again; 
    Though lovers be lost love shall not; 
    And death shall have no dominion.

    Stephanotis, cyclamen, heliotrope, white rose and gardenia.

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  • Haunted

    5.00 out of 5

    A mournful, poignant scent, thick with foreboding. Soft golden amber darkened with a touch of murky black musk.

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  • Jazz Funeral

    3.50 out of 5

    Considered a great honor, this is one of the most distinguished aspects of New Orleans culture. Its roots lie in the customs of the Dahomeans and Yoruba people, and is a celebration of both the person’s life and the beauty and solemnity of their death. The procession is lead by the Grand Marshal, resplendent in his black tuxedo, white gloves and black hat in hand; almost a vision of the great Baron Samedi himself. The music begins with solemn, tolling dirges, moves into hymns of sorrow, loss and redemption. When the burial site is reached, a two-note preparatory riff is sounded, and the drummers start the second-line beat, heralding the switch in music to joyous, upbeat songs, dancing, and the unfurling of richly decorated umbrellas by the ‘second line’ friends, family, loved ones and stray celebrants. Strutting, bouncing, and festive dance accompanies the upbeat ragtime music that sends the departed soul onto its next journey.

    Didn’t he ramble
    … he rambled
    Rambled all around
    … in and out of town
    Didn’t he ramble
    … didn’t he ramble
    He rambled till the butcher cut him down.

    His feet was in the market place
    his head was in the street
    Lady pass him by, said
    look at the market meat
    He grabbed her pocket book
    and said I wish you well
    She pulled out a forty-five
    said I’m head of personnel.

    Didn’t he ramble
    … he rambled
    Rambled all around
    … in and out of town
    Didn’t he ramble
    … didn’t he ramble
    He rambled till the butcher cut him down.

    He slipped into the cat house
    made love to the stable
    Madam caught him cold
    said I’ll pay you when I be able
    Six months had passed
    and she stood all she could stand
    She said buddy when I’m through with you
    Ole groundhog gonna be shakin yo’ hand.

    Didn’t he ramble
    … he rambled
    Rambled all around
    … in and out of town
    Didn’t he ramble
    … didn’t he ramble
    He rambled till the butcher cut him down.

    I said he rambled
    lord
    … ’till the butcher shot him down.

    Bittersweet bay rum, bourbon, and a host of funeral flowers with a touch of graveyard dirt, magnolia and Spanish Moss.

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  • Les Fleurs du Mal

    4.00 out of 5

    The scents of the blossoms of darkness, condensed into one perfume. Features a rose base, softened with lilac and wisteria.

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  • Nocturne

    2.00 out of 5

    An olfactory serenede. A somber, contemplative scent — dreamy and subdued. Deepest violet touched with lilac and tuberose.

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  • Sheol

    4.00 out of 5

    The Hebrew Underworld, the Abode of the Dead, the Pit. It is as forbidding as the grave itself: a joyless and dolorous cave deep with the bowels of Earth that every man, saint or sinner, must travel to upon death, where his soul finds rest in the silence and dust.

    For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun. Go your way—eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments be always white, and don’t let your head lack oil. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity: for that is your portion in life, and in your labor in which you labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.
    Ecclesiastes 9:5 – 10

    The final burst of the soul’s light and joy before passing into the depths of the earth, and into the cords of Sheol; Sheol, who is never satisfied, and who makes wide her soul to all. Vibrant gladiola, graceful stargazer lily, triumphant iris and bright heliotrope flare, and is finally made somber by heavy copal, a drop of labdanum, and tonka.

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  • Thanatopsis

    4.50 out of 5

    A meditation upon death. Inspired by William Cullen Bryant’s poem.

    A deep, solomn earthen scent containing pine, juniper and musk.

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  • The Ghost

    Softly as brown-eyed Angels rove
    I will return to thy alcove, 
    And glide upon the night to thee, 
    Treading the shadows silently. 

    And I will give to thee, my own, 
    Kisses as icy as the moon, 
    And the caresses of a snake 
    Cold gliding in the thorny brake. 

    And when returns the livid morn 
    Thou shalt find all my place forlorn 
    And chilly, till the falling night. 

    Others would rule by tenderness 
    Over thy life and youthfulness, 
    But I would conquer thee by fright!

    A thin, sinuous, creeping chill, the scent of glee-filled undeath: white iris, osmanthus, Calla lily, tomb-crawling ivy and a coffin spray of gladiolus, lisianthus and delphinium.

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  • The Phantom Wooer

    A ghost, that loved a lady fair,
    Ever in the starry air
    Of midnight at her pillow stood;
    And, with a sweetness skies above
    The luring words of human love,
    Her soul the phantom wooed.
    Sweet and sweet is their poisoned note,
    The little snakes’ of silver throat,
    In mossy skulls that nest and lie,
    Ever singing “die, oh! die.”

    Young soul, put off your flesh, and come
    With me into the quiet tomb,
    Our bed is lovely, dark, and sweet;
    The earth will swing us, as she goes,
    Beneath our coverlid of snows,
    And the warm leaden sheet.

    Dear and dear is their poisoned note,
    The little snakes’ of silver throat,
    In mossy skulls that nest and lie,
    Ever singing “die, oh! die.”

    A lifeless love song: stargazer lily, bone dust, tomb mosses, buttonweed, moonflower, and honey myrtle.

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  • The Reaper and the Flowers

    There is a Reaper, whose name is Death,
    And, with his sickle keen,
    He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
    And the flowers that grow between.

    “Shall I have naught that is fair?” Saith he;
    “Having naught but the bearded grain?
    Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
    I will give them all back again,”

    He gazed at the flowers with tearful eye,
    He kissed their drooping leaves;
    It was for the Lord of Paradise
    He bound them in his sheaves.

    “My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,”
    The Reaper said, and smiled:
    “Dear tokens of the earth are they,
    Where he was once a child.”

    “They shall all bloom in fields of light,
    Transplanted by my care,
    And saints, upon their garments white,
    These sacred blossoms wear.”

    And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
    The flowers she most did love:
    She knew she should find them all again
    In the fields of light above.

    O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
    The Reaper came that day;
    ‘Twas an angel visited the green earth,
    And took the flowers away.

    A funereal bouquet laid on cemetery grass: longiflorum lilies, white rose, chrysanthemum, and carnation.

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  • Twilight

    An enigmatic, otherworldly scent, brimming with power and mystery.

    Lavender and jasmine, with a touch of glowing honeysuckle.

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  • Wings of Azrael

    3.00 out of 5

    Azrael is the Angel of Death, marked as the last being to die in the Apocalypse. Though a harbinger of doom, his duties are an act of mercy: he curtails human life before world-weariness and despair destroys our spirits. Warm myrrh swirled with a bittersweet blend of violet, Lily of the Valley, juniper, cypess and cajeput.

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  • Zombi

    3.00 out of 5

    Dried roses, rose leaf, Spanish moss, oakmoss and deep brown earth.

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