Terra Vigoris & The Bards of Ireland

Cuchulain's Fight with the Sea

March brings a full moon and poetry.

  • Terra Vigoris

    $23

    The Land of Cheerfulness: blood orange and apricot with Chinese geranium, Italian bergamot, langsat pulp, cardamom, white peach, and white sandalwood.

    Out of Stock

The Bards Of Ireland have returned for 2015!

This series is a celebration of Irish poetry, hailing the songs of Ireland throughout the ages.

Bards Of Ireland will be live until May 6th.

  • Cuchulain’s Fight with the Sea

    $24

    A man came slowly from the setting sun,
    To Emer, raddling raiment in her dun,
    And said, ‘I am that swineherd whom you bid
    Go watch the road between the wood and tide,
    But now I have no need to watch it more.’

    Then Emer cast the web upon the floor,
    And raising arms all raddled with the dye,
    Parted her lips with a loud sudden cry.

     That swineherd stared upon her face and said,
    ‘No man alive, no man among the dead,
    Has won the gold his cars of battle bring.’

     ‘But if your master comes home triumphing
    Why must you blench and shake from foot to crown?’ 

    Thereon he shook the more and cast him down
    Upon the web-heaped floor, and cried his word:
    ‘With him is one sweet-throated like a bird.’ 

    ‘You dare me to my face,’ and thereupon
    She smote with raddled fist, and where her son
    Herded the cattle came with stumbling feet,
    And cried with angry voice, ‘It is not meet
    To idle life away, a common herd.’

    ‘I have long waited, mother, for that word:
    But wherefore now?’ 

    ‘There is a man to die;
    You have the heaviest arm under the sky.’ 

    ‘Whether under its daylight or its stars
    My father stands amid his battle-cars.’ 

    ‘But you have grown to be the taller man.’

    ‘Yet somewhere under starlight or the sun
    My father stands.’ 

    ‘Aged, worn out with wars
    On foot, on horseback or in battle-cars.’

    ‘I only ask what way my journey lies,
    For He who made you bitter made you wise.’ 

    ‘The Red Branch camp in a great company
    Between wood’s rim and the horses of the sea.
    Go there, and light a camp-fire at wood’s rim;
    But tell your name and lineage to him
    Whose blade compels, and wait till they have found
    Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’

    Among those feasting men Cuchulain dwelt,
    And his young sweetheart close beside him knelt,
    Stared on the mournful wonder of his eyes,
    Even as Spring upon the ancient skies,
    And pondered on the glory of his days;
    And all around the harp-string told his praise,
    And Conchubar, the Red Branch king of kings,
    With his own fingers touched the brazen strings. 

    At last Cuchulain spake, ‘Some man has made
    His evening fire amid the leafy shade.
    I have often heard him singing to and fro,
    I have often heard the sweet sound of his bow.
    Seek out what man he is.’ 

    One went and came.
    ‘He bade me let all know he gives his name
    At the sword-point, and waits till we have found
    Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ 

    Cuchulain cried, ‘I am the only man
    Of all this host so bound from childhood on. 

    After short fighting in the leafy shade,
    He spake to the young man, ‘Is there no maid
    Who loves you, no white arms to wrap you round,
    Or do you long for the dim sleepy ground,
    That you have come and dared me to my face?’ 

    ‘The dooms of men are in God’s hidden place,’

    ‘Your head a while seemed like a woman’s head
    That I loved once.’ 

    Again the fighting sped,
    But now the war-rage in Cuchulain woke,
    And through that new blade’s guard the old blade
    Broke,
    And pierced him.

     ‘Speak before your breath is done.’

    ‘Cuchulain I, mighty Cuchulain’s son.’

    ‘I put you from your pain.  I can no more.’

    While day its burden on to evening bore,
    With head bowed on his knees Cuchulain stayed;
    Then Conchubar sent that sweet-throated maid,
    And she, to win him, his grey hair caressed;
    In vain her arms, in vain her soft white breast.
    Then Conchubar, the subtlest of all men,
    Ranking his Druids round him ten by ten,
    Spake thus:  ‘Cuchulain will dwell there and brood
    For three days more in dreadful quietude,
    And then arise, and raving slay us all.
    Chaunt in his ear delusions magical,
    That he may fight the horses of the sea.’
    The Druids took them to their mystery,
    And chaunted for three days.

    Cuchulain stirred,
    Stared on the horses of the sea, and heard
    The cars of battle and his own name cried;
    And fought with the invulnerable tide.

    —WB Yeats

    Grief and rage battering upon the waves: salt-crusted clove stem, flayed kelp, juniper, and white patchouli.

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  • Dark Rosaleen

    $24

    O my dark Rosaleen,
    Do not sigh, do not weep!
    The priests are on the ocean green,
    They march along the deep.
    There’s wine from the royal Pope,
    Upon the ocean green;
    And Spanish ale shall give you hope,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    My own Rosaleen!

    Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope,
    Shall give you health, and help, and hope,
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    Over hills, and thro’ dales,
    Have I roam’d for your sake;
    All yesterday I sail’d with sails
    On river and on lake.
    The Erne, at its highest flood,
    I dash’d across unseen,
    For there was lightning in my blood,
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    My own Rosaleen!
    O, there was lightning in my blood,
    Red lighten’d thro’ my blood.
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    All day long, in unrest,
    To and fro, do I move.
    The very soul within my breast
    Is wasted for you, love!
    The heart in my bosom faints
    To think of you, my Queen,
    My life of life, my saint of saints,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    My own Rosaleen!
    To hear your sweet and sad complaints,
    My life, my love, my saint of saints,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    Woe and pain, pain and woe,
    Are my lot, night and noon,
    To see your bright face clouded so,
    Like to the mournful moon.
    But yet will I rear your throne
    Again in golden sheen;

    ‘Tis you shall reign, shall reign alone,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    My own Rosaleen!
    ‘Tis you shall have the golden throne,
    ‘Tis you shall reign, and reign alone,
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    Over dews, over sands,
    Will I fly, for your weal:
    Your holy delicate white hands
    Shall girdle me with steel.
    At home, in your emerald bowers,
    From morning’s dawn till e’en,
    You’ll pray for me, my flower of flowers,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    My fond Rosaleen!
    You’ll think of me through daylight hours
    My virgin flower, my flower of flowers,
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    I could scale the blue air,
    I could plough the high hills,
    Oh, I could kneel all night in prayer,
    To heal your many ills!
    And one beamy smile from you
    Would float like light between
    My toils and me, my own, my true,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    My fond Rosaleen!
    Would give me life and soul anew,
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    O, the Erne shall run red,
    With redundance of blood,
    The earth shall rock beneath our tread,
    And flames wrap hill and wood,

    And gun-peal and slogan-cry
    Wake many a glen serene,
    Ere you shall fade, ere you shall die,
    My Dark Rosaleen!
    My own Rosaleen!
    The Judgement Hour must first be nigh,
    Ere you can fade, ere you can die,
    My Dark Rosaleen!

    —James Clarence Mangan

    Impassioned patriotism cloaked in the guise of a love song: golden frankincense gilding pine pitch, sun-touched amber, and oakmoss resinoid.

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  • Fairy Thorn

    $24

    “Get up, our Anna dear, from the weary spinning-wheel;
    For your father’s on the hill, and your mother is asleep;
    Come up above the crags, and we’ll dance a Highland reel
    Around the Fairy Thorn on the steep.”     

     At Anna Grace’s door ’twas thus the maidens cried,
    Three merry maidens fair in kirtles of the green;
    And Anna laid the rock and the weary wheel aside,
    The fairest of the four, I ween.    

    They’re glancing through the glimmer of the quiet eve,
    Away in milky wavings of neck and ankle bare;
    The heavy-sliding stream in its sleepy song they leave,
    And the crags in the ghostly air.  

    And linking hand-in-hand, and singing as they go,
    The maids along the hillside have ta’en their fearless way,
    Till they come to where the rowan trees in lonely beauty grow
    Beside the Fairy Hawthorn grey.  

    The Hawthorn stands between the ashes tall and slim,
    Like matron with her twin grand-daughters at her knee;
    The rowan berries cluster o’er her low head grey and dim
    In ruddy kisses sweet to see.             

    The merry maidens four have ranged them in a row,
    Between each lovely couple a stately rowan stem,
    And away in mazes wavy, like skimming birds they go,
    Oh, never carolled bird like them!            

    But solemn is the silence on the silvery haze
    That drinks away their voices in echoless repose,
    And dreamily the evening has stilled the haunted braes,
    And dreamier the gloaming grows.           

    And sinking one by one, like lark-notes from the sky,
    When the falcon’s shadow saileth across the open shaw,
    Are hushed the maidens’ voices, as cowering down they lie
    In the flutter of their sudden awe.           

    For, from the air above and the grassy ground beneath,
    And from the mountain-ashes and the old white-thorn between,
    A power of faint enchantment doth through their beings breathe,
    And they sink down together on the green.           

    They sink together silent, and stealing side to side,
    They fling their lovely arms o’er their drooping necks so fair,
    Then vainly strive again their naked arms to hide,
    For their shrinking necks again are bare.           

    Thus clasped and prostrate all, with their heads together bowed,
    Soft o’er their bosoms beating—the only human sound—
    They hear the silky footsteps of the silent fairy crowd,
    Like a river in the air gliding round.          

    Nor scream can any raise, nor prayer can any say,
    But wild, wild the terror of the speechless three—
    For they feel fair Anna Grace drawn silently away,
    By whom they dare not look to see.         

    They feel their tresses twine with her parting locks of gold,
    And the curls elastic falling, as her head withdraws.
    They feel her sliding arms from their trancèd arms unfold,
    But they dare not look to see the cause;  

    For heavy on their senses the faint enchantment lies
    Through all that night of anguish and perilous amaze
    And neither fear nor wonder can ope their quivering eyes,
    Or their limbs from the cold ground raise; 

    Till out of night the earth has rolled her dewy side,
    With every haunted mountain and streamy vale below;
    When, as the mist dissolves in the yellow morningtide,
    The maiden’s trance dissolveth so.                 

    Then fly the ghastly three as swiftly as they may,
    And tell their tale of sorrow to anxious friends in vain—
    They pined away and died within the year and day,
    And ne’er was Anna Grace seen again.

    —Samuel Ferguson

     Drawn away by the spirits, never to be seen again: an eerie veil of vanilla musk twirled with tuberose, Siamese red benzoin, cassis flower, Irish moss, white sandalwood, plum nectar, violet leaf, and apple petals.

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Lupercalia 2015

Lupercalia

Celebrate the warmth of passion in the dead of winter with our Lupercalia fragrances, scents for the lovelorn and lustful, the depraved and the intemerate. Whether you’re in the mood to scrutinize shadowy, aberrant passions or bask in the rose-tinted warmth of new love, we’ve got something that will be right up your alley.

Blessed Lupercalia to all!

  • Creeper Dragon

    5.00 out of 5
    $24

    This bit of artwork is one of my favorite miniatures simply because it makes me laugh. It is a detail from Roman d’Alexandre, showing Nectanebus all dragon’d up and ready to get busy.

    All this is well and good, medieval Alexander romances are fascinating, but this image will always simply be Creeper Dragon to me.

    Creeper Dragon Musk: daemonorops, green leather, and red musk with dribbles of honey and white cream.

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  • Dolce Stil Nuovo

    $24

    Love always finds shelter in the gentle heart. Dolce Stil Nuovo is a 13th & 14th century Florentine literary style that celebrates love and womanhood through heartfelt, delicate, and melodious sonnets, ballate, and canzones. This is fin'amor, Courtly Love, in its most moving form, and the emotions that these words express reflect love that both spiritual and idealized.

    Within this literary movement, earthly love reaches for the Divine.

    Who is she coming, whom all gaze upon,
    Who makes the air tremulous with light,
    And at whose side is Love himself? that none
    Dare speak, but each man's sighs are infinite.
    Ah me! how she looks round from left to right,
    Let Love discourse: I may not speak thereon.
    Lady she seems of such high benison
    As makes all others graceless in men's sight.
    The honor which is hers cannot be said;
    To whom are subject all things virtuous,
    While all things beauteous own her deity.
    Ne'er was the mind of man so nobly led
    Nor yet was such redemption granted us
    That we should ever know her perfectly.

    Our interpretation of Dolce Stil Nuovo is a blend of rose otto, carnation, vanilla flower, lavender and jasmine with the clarity of crystalline white musk and the warmth of golden amber.

    Out of Stock
  • The Doom of Beauty

    $24

    Choice soul, in whom, as in a glass, we see,
    Mirrored in thy pure form and delicate,
    What beauties heaven and nature can create,
    The paragon of all their works to be!
    Fair soul, in whom love, pity, piety,
    Have found a home, as from thy outward state
    We clearly read, and are so rare and great
    That they adorn none other like to thee!
    Love takes me captive; beauty binds my soul;
    Pity and mercy with their gentle eyes
    Wake in my heart a hope that cannot cheat.
    What law, what destiny, what fell control,
    What cruelty, or late or soon, denies
    That death should spare perfection so complete?
    - Michelangelo Buonarroti

    An opulent, bittersweet Renaissance-inspired fragrance: Hungary water, parma violets, and roseated oil.

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  • For Each Ecstatic Instant

    $24

    For each ecstatic instant
    We must an anguish pay
    In keen and quivering ratio
    To the ecstasy.

    For each beloved hour
    Sharp pittances of years,
    Bitter contested farthings
    And coffers heaped with tears.

    – Emily Dickinson

    Equal parts joy and grief, lust and regret, pain and pleasure: velvet-red roses and sensual aged patchouli with night-blooming jasmine, caramelized bourbon vanilla, labdanum, black amber, and oudh.

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  • Liaison

    $24

    A big bud of moon hangs out of the twilight,
    Star-spiders spinning their thread
    Hang high suspended, withouten respite
    Watching us overhead.

    Come then under the trees, where the leaf-cloths
    Curtain us in so dark
    That here we’re safe from even the ermin-moth’s
    Flitting remark.

    Here in this swarthy, secret tent,
    Where black boughs flap the ground,
    You shall draw the thorn from my discontent,
    Surgeon me sound.

    This rare, rich night! For in here
    Under the yew-tree tent
    The darkness is loveliest where I could sear
    You like frankincense into scent.

    Here not even the stars can spy us,
    Not even the white moths write
    With their little pale signs on the wall, to try us
    And set us affright.

    Kiss but then the dust from off my lips,
    But draw the turgid pain
    From my breast to your bosom, eclipse
    My soul again.

    Waste me not, I beg you, waste
    Not the inner night:
    Taste, oh taste and let me taste
    The core of delight.
    - DH Lawrence

    The loveliest darkness, the core of delight: Moroccan black musk, white tea leaf, Indonesian black sandalwood, frankincense, honeycomb, jonquil, and clove.

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  • Night’s Pavilion

    $24

    I worship you like night’s pavilion,
    O vase of sadness, o great silent one,
    And love you more since you escape from me,
    And since you seem, my night’s sublimity,
    To mock me and increase the leagues that lie
    Between my arms and blue immensity.

    I move to attack, beseige, assail,
    Like eager worms after a funeral.
    I even love, o beast implacable,
    The coldness which makes you more beautiful.

    Not the desperation, desolation and anguish of unrequited love, but the distant, chill and pitiless scent of the object of that doomed desire. White musk, osmanthus, Nile lily and frankincense.

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  • Olisbos

    $24

    As for old flames and lovers-they’re none left.
    And since Milesians went against us,
    I’ve not seen a decent eight-fingered dildo.
    Yes, it’s just leather, but it helps us out.

    The ancient Greeks sure weren’t shy about taking care of business. The port city of Miletus was once famed throughout the Mediterranean as a source of excellent stone, wood, and padded leather dildos. This scent is the celebration of an age-old pastime: polished wood, well-loved leather, and olive oil.

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  • Red Lantern

    5.00 out of 5
    $24

    A tribute to the opium den cum bawdyhouses of Shanghai in the 1930’s. Golden amber, blonde tobacco, Sudanese black coconut, rich caramel, black currant, white opium and delphinium laced with a sensual blend of Asian spice.

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  • Sic Erit

    $24

    Esse quid hoc dicam, quod tam mihi dura videntur
    strata, neque in lecto pallia nostra sedent,
    vacuus somno noctem, quam longa, peregi,
    lassaque versati corporis ossa dolent?
    nam, puto, sentirem, siquo temptarer amore.
    an subit et tecta callidus arte nocet?
    sic erit; haeserunt tenues in corde sagittae,
    et possessa ferus pectora versat Amor.
    Cedimus, an subitum luctando accendimus ignem?
    cedamus! leve fit, quod bene fertur, onus.
    vidi ego iactatas mota face crescere flammas
    et rursus nullo concutiente mori.
    verbera plura ferunt, quam quos iuvat usus aratri,
    detractant prensi dum iuga prima boves.
    asper equus duris contunditur ora lupatis,
    frena minus sentit, quisquis ad arma facit.
    acrius invitos multoque ferocius urget
    quam qui servitium ferre fatentur Amor.
    En ego confiteor! tua sum nova praeda, Cupido;
    porrigimus victas ad tua iura manus.
    nil opus est bello–veniam pacemque rogamus;
    nec tibi laus armis victus inermis ero.
    necte comam myrto, maternas iunge columbas;
    qui deceat, currum vitricus ipse dabit,
    inque dato curru, populo clamante triumphum,
    stabis et adiunctas arte movebis aves.
    ducentur capti iuvenes captaeque puellae;
    haec tibi magnificus pompa triumphus erit.
    ipse ego, praeda recens, factum modo vulnus habebo
    et nova captiva vincula mente feram.
    Mens Bona ducetur manibus post terga retortis,
    et Pudor, et castris quidquid Amoris obest.
    omnia te metuent; ad te sua bracchia tendens
    vulgus ‘io’ magna voce ‘triumphe!’ canet.
    blanditiae comites tibi erunt Errorque Furorque,
    adsidue partes turba secuta tuas.
    his tu militibus superas hominesque deosque;
    haec tibi si demas commoda, nudus eris.
    Laeta triumphanti de summo mater Olympo
    plaudet et adpositas sparget in ora rosas.
    tu pinnas gemma, gemma variante capillos
    ibis in auratis aureus ipse rotis.
    tunc quoque non paucos, si te bene novimus, ures;
    tunc quoque praeteriens vulnera multa dabis.
    non possunt, licet ipse velis, cessare sagittae;
    fervida vicino flamma vapore nocet.
    talis erat domita Bacchus Gangetide terra;
    tu gravis alitibus, tigribus ille fuit.
    Ergo cum possim sacri pars esse triumphi,
    parce tuas in me perdere, victor, opes!
    adspice cognati felicia Caesaris arma–
    qua vicit, victos protegit ille manu.

    WHO is it that can tell me why my bed seems so is hard and why the bedclothes will not stay upon it? Wherefore has this night–and oh, how long it was!–dragged on, bringing no sleep to my eyes? Why are my weary limbs visited with restlessness and pain? If it were Love that had come to make me suffer, surely I should know it. Or stay, what if he slips in like a thief, what if he comes, without a word of warning, to wound me with his cruel arts? Yes, ’tis he! His slender arrows have pierced my heart, and fell Love holds it like a conquered land. Shall I yield me to him? Or shall I strive against him, and so add fuel to this sudden flame? Well, I will yield; burdens willingly borne do lighter weigh. I know that the flames will leap from the shaken torch and die away in the one you leave alone. The young oxen which rebel against the yoke are more often beaten than those which willingly submit. And if a horse be fiery, harsh is the bit that tames him. When he takes to -the fray with a will, he feels the curb less galling. And so it is with Love; for hearts that struggle and rebel against him, he is more implacable and stern than for such as willingly confess his sway.

    Ah well, be it so, Cupid; thy prey am I. I am a poor captive kneeling with suppliant hands before my conqueror. What is the use of fighting? Pardon and peace is what I ask. And little, I trow, would it redound to your glory, armed as you are, to strike down a defenceless man. Crown thy brows with myrtle and thy mother’s doves yoke to thy car. Thy step-father will give thee the chariot that befits thee, and upon that chariot, amid the acclamations of the throng, thou shalt stand a conqueror, guiding with skill thy harnessed birds. Captives in thy train, youths and maidens shall follow, and splendid shall be thy triumph. And I, thy latest victim, shall be there with my fresh wound, and with submissive mien I will bear my new-wrought fetters. Prudence shall be led captive with hands bound behind her back, and Modesty, and whatsoever else is an obstacle to Love. All things shall be in awe of thee, and stretching forth their arms towards thee the throng with mighty voice shall thunder “Io Triumphe!” Caresses shall be thy escort, and Illusion and Madness, a troop that ever follows in thy train. With these fighting on thy side, nor men nor gods shall stand against thee; but if their aid be lacking, naked shalt thou be. Proud to behold thy triumph, thy mother will applaud thee from High Olympus and scatter roses on thy upturned face. Thy wings and thy locks shall be adorned with precious stones, and all with gold resplendent shalt thou drive thy golden car. Then too, if I know thee well, thou wilt set countless other hearts on fire, and many a wound shalt deal as thou passest on thy way. Repose, even when thou art fain to rest, cometh not to thine arrows. Thy ardent flame turns water itself to vapour. Such was Bacchus when he triumphed over the land of the Ganges. Thou art drawn along by doves; his car was drawn by tigers. Since, then, I am to have a part in thy godlike triumph, lose not the rights which thy victory gives thee over me. Bethink thee of the victories of thy kinsman Cæsar; he shields the conquered with the very hand that conquers them.

    – – –

    Thus it will be; slender arrows are lodged in my heart,
    and Love vexes the chest that it has seized.
    Should I surrender or stir up the sudden flame by battling it?
    I will surrender; a burden becomes light when it is carried willingly.
    - Ovid, translation by J. Lewis May

    Slender arrows lodged in my heart: red amber, benzoin, red musk, bourbon geranium, oak bark, Atlas cedar, and 13-year aged Sumatran patchouli.

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  • Signior Dildo

    $24

    With thanks to Sir John Wilmot.

    This signior is sound, safe, ready, and dumb
    As ever was candle, carrot, or thumb;
    Then away with these nasty devices, and show
    How you rate the just merit of Signior Dildo.

     

    Count Cazzo, who carries his nose very high,
    In passion he swore his rival should die;
    Then shut himself up to let the world know
    Flesh and blood could not bear it from Signior Dildo.

    A rabble of pricks who were welcome before,
    Now finding the porter denied them the door,
    Maliciously waited his coming below
    And inhumanly fell on Signior Dildo.

    Nigh wearied out, the poor stranger did fly,
    And along the Pall Mall they followed full cry;
    The women concerned from every window
    Cried, ‘For heaven’s sake, save Signior Dildo.’

    The good Lady Sandys burst into a laughter
    To see how the ballocks came wobbling after,
    And had not their weight retarded the foe,
    Indeed’t had gone hard with Signior Dildo.

     

    A scent of pearls and ivory: orris, violet leaf, narcissus, and Madagascar vanilla.

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  • Smut

    $24

    Quintessential BPAL filth. Three swarthy, smutty musks sweetened with sugar and woozy with dark booze notes.

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This year’s Box of Bonbons is particularly peculiar –

++BOX OF BONBONS 2015

  • Desire Bonbon

    4.00 out of 5
    $24

    Belgian chocolate with neroli, black patchouli and black musk, gilded by apple, bergamot, blood red rose, teak, and vanilla.

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While I would dearly love to share artwork here for the following three Lupercalia subsets, in the interest of protecting those that are underage or possess delicate sensibilities, I’ll only be listing the notes here. Please refer to our web site for the naughty bits.

++ ODE TO VENUS

A line inspired by the timeless beauty of vintage nude postcard photography; in our vision, each of these women illustrates a facet of the splendor of the Roman goddess of love.

Venus, bright Goddess of the skies,
To whom unnumbered temples rise,
Jove’s daughter fair, whose wily arts
Delude fond lovers of their hearts;
Oh, listen gracious to my prayer,
And free my mind from anxious care.

If e’er you heard my ardent vow,
Propitious goddess, hear me now!
And oft my ardent vow you’ve heard,
By Cupid’s friendly aid preferred,
Oft left the golden courts of Jove
To listen to my tales of love.

The radiant car your sparrows drew;
You gave the word, and swift they flew,
Through liquid air they winged their way,
I saw their quivering pinions play:
To my plain roof they bore their queen,
Of aspect mild and look serene.

Soon as you came by your command,
Back flew the wantoned, feathered band,
Then, with a sweet enchanting look,
Divinely smiling, thus you spoke;
“Why didst thou call me to thy cell?
Tell me, my gentle Sappho, tell.

“What healing medicine shall I find
To cure thy love-distempered mind?
Say, shall I lend thee all my charms
To win young Phaon to thy arms?
Or does some other swain subdue
Thy heart? my Sappho, tell me, who?

“Though now, averse, thy charms he slight,
He soon shall view thee with delight:
Though now he scorns thy gifts to take,
He soon to thee shall offerings make;
Though now thy beauties fail to move,
He soon shall melt with equal love.”

Once more, O Venus! hear my prayer,
And ease my mind of anxious care;
Again vouchsafe to be my guest,
And calm this tempest in my breast!
To thee, bright queen, my vows aspire;
O grant me all my heart’s desire!

  • Alma Venus

    $24

    Mother Venus

    Amber-infused blood orange with Italian neroli, ambergris, orange flower absolute, French beeswax, tuberose, Himalayan cedar, and honey.

    Add to cart

++ ODE TO MARS

To strike a balance with this year’s Ode to Venus, we present an Ode the God of War and Agriculture: a series of six emboldening, strengthening, fertile scents that embody dominance, power, vitality, and sexual potency.

Magnanimous, unconquer’d, boistrous Mars,
In darts rejoicing, and in bloody wars
Fierce and untam’d, whose mighty pow’r can make
The strongest walls from their foundations shake:
Mortal destroying king, defil’d with gore, 5
Pleas’d with war’s dreadful and tumultuous roar:
Thee, human blood, and swords, and spears delight,
And the dire ruin of mad savage fight.
Stay, furious contests, and avenging strife,
Whose works with woe, embitter human life; 10
To lovely Venus, and to Bacchus yield,
To Ceres give the weapons of the field;
Encourage peace, to gentle works inclin’d,
And give abundance, with benignant mind.

It wouldn’t be Lupercalia without our Shunga series, would it?

A limited edition Salon series celebrating the joy, humor, playfulness, and thrill of sexual intercourse through scent interpretations of Edo era Japanese erotic art.

++SHUNGA

221B Baker Street & First Lunacy of 2015!

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Happy New Year, all! I hope your 2014 was joy-filled and bright, but if that wasn’t quite the case, we present Lacus Oblivionis, the latest installment in our Map o’the Moon series…

  • Lacus Oblivionis

    $23

    The Lake of Forgetfulness: a deep, still pool of lavender, aged benzoin and patchouli, frankincense, and sorrow-honeyed ylang ylang.  Deep beneath, there is a touch of fig’s sweetness and amber’s golden light.

    Out of Stock

This month, we are thrilled to introduce our Sherlock Holmes line, 221B Baker Street. This series has been almost a decade in the making, and technically began the day I first read the Hound of the Baskervilles in third grade.

221B is a project that will overlap between Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post. Many members of the dramatis personæ will be available in perpetuity through the general catalogue, while the stories themselves will manifest as limited edition runs.

Sherlock Holmes has been a source of inspiration and pleasure for me, spanning almost my entire life, and helped me, as a child and as an adult, to understand the merits of critical thinking, the value of a potent imagination, and the necessity of observation.

++ 221B BAKER STREET

It was on a bitterly cold and frosty morning during the winter of ‘97 that I was awakened by a tugging at my shoulder. It was Holmes. The candle in his hand shone upon his eager, stooping face and told me at a glance that something was amiss.

“Come, Watson, come!” he cried. “The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”

  • Sherlock Holmes

    5.00 out of 5

    My name is Sherlock Holmes.  It is my business to know what other people don't know.

    A fastidiously clean scent, with a dash of pipe and cigarette tobacco. Faintly beneath, you catch the fragrance of a smear of greasepaint, a stray horsehair, and a whisper of Moroccan leather and rosin.

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  • John Watson

    I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of everyday life.

    Tweed and crisp linen, lime-tinged aftershave, the sleek steel and oil of a well-cared for service revolver, and the echo of a Jezail bullet shell.

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Label artwork for this line was created by Julie Dillon and Abigail Larson.

Yule 2014

Yule 3

The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab winter scents are live!

The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab winter scents will be live until 5 February 2015. Black Phoenix Trading Post’s winter update will be live soon!

First, we present the Yule fragrances.

++ YULE 2014:

  • Chanukkiyah

    $23

    Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, Asher kid’shanu b’mitzvosav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Chanukah.

    Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, She’asah nisim la’avoseinu, bayamim ha’hem baz’man hazeh.

    Baruch ata Ado-nai, Elo-heinu Melech ha’olam, She’hecheyanu, vekiyemanu vehigi’anu laz’man hazeh.

    Olive oil, beeswax, glowing amber, sweet sufganiyot, pomegranate, and fig.

    Ha’Neiros halalu anachnu madlikin al hanisim ve’al hanifla’os, ve’al hat’shu’os ve’al hamilchamos, sh’asisa la’avoseinu bayamim hahem baz’man hazeh, al yedei kohaneicha hakedoshim. Vechol sh’monas yemei Chanukah, haneiros halalu kodesh hem. Ve’ein lanu reshus le’hishtamesh ba’hem, eh’la lir’osam bilvad, ke’dei le’hodos u’lehalel leshimcha hagadol al nisecha ve’al nifle’osecha ve’al yeshu’oshecha.

    Ma’oz tzur yeshu’asi
    Lecha na’eh leshabe’ach
    Tikone bais tefilasi
    Ve’sham todah nezabe’ach
    Le’es Tachin Mabe’ach
    Mitzar ham’nabe’ach
    Az egmor beshir mizmor
    Chanukas hamizbe’ach.

    Out of Stock

  • Christmas Pudding

    $23

    Black Phoenix’s Christmas Pudding is loosely based on a medieval recipe, and is crafted, as tradition dictates, from thirteen ingredients (representing Christ and his apostles, natch). Thick with treacle, smoky with suet (suet accord, sillies – there’s no mutton fat in this perfume!), and sweet with stirred custard.

    Out of Stock

  • Dumb Cake

    $23

    What all the ingredients of the cake were I know not, but one principal one was salt. I remember being told some years ago, by an old inhabitant in one of the dales, about the composition of this mystic cake. It was somewhat as follows: In the first place four people had to assist in the making of it, each taking an equal share in the work, adding small portions of its component parts, stirring the pot, and so forth. During the whole time of its manufacture and consumption a strict silence has to be observed. Even when it is being taken out of the oven each of the interested parties must assist in the work. When made it is placed on the table in the middle of the room, and the four persons stand at the four corners of the room. When set on the table the cake is divided into equal portions and put upon four plates or vessels.

    The spirit of the future husband of one of the four would then appear and taste from the plate of his future bride, being only visible to her whose husband he was destined to be. As a preliminary to this, every door of the house had to be thrown open. The traditional hour for making the feast was midnight.

    A method of divination, the Dumb Cake was employed on auspicious evenings – Midwinter, Midsummer Eve, All Hallows, New Year’s, St. Mark’s Eve, St. Agnes’ Eve – so that single women would be able to divine the identity of their future husbands. The cakes were to be baked in silence, and “two must make it, two must bake it, and two must break it, and the third put it under each of their pillows.”

    The two must go to the larder and jointly get the various ingredients. First they get a bowl, each holding it and wash and dry it together. Then each gets a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of water and a little salt. When making the cake they must stand on something they have never stood on before. They must mix it together and roll it. Then they draw a line across the middle of the cake and each girl cuts her initials each on opposite sides of the line. Then both put it into the oven and bake it. The two take it out of the oven, and break it across the line and the two pieces are given to the third girl who places a piece under each pillow and they will dream of their future.

    Not a word must be spoken and the two girls after giving the pieces to the third girl have to walk backwards to bed and get into bed backwards. One word or exclamation by either of the three girls will break the charm.

    The cake was to be left by the fireplace overnight, and the door was to be left open. While the querant slept, her future husband’s double would creep into the house and prick her future husband’s initials into the cake pieces. If the door swung shut by accident, the spirit double would be trapped and the maiden cursed.

    This is the scent of an awkward encounter with a Yule-evoked doppelgänger mate: spectral cologne, blurry herbs, fireplace ash, and a dusting of crumbs.

    Out of Stock

  • El Dia de los Reyes

    4.00 out of 5
    $23

    The Day of Kings, the Celebration of the Magi. In Mexico, on January 6th, children place their shoes by their windows. If they have been good during the previous year, the Wise Men tuck gifts into their shoes during the night.

    Hot cocoa with cinnamon, coffee, and brown sugar.

    Out of Stock

  • Faunalia

    $23

    Held on December 5th, this is the festival of the Horned God of the Forest, one of the di indigetes of Rome, god of cattle, fertility, wild, untamed nature, and prophecy through dreams. The scent of a thick, starlit, unspoiled forest, with a burst of wild musk, opobalsamum, black bryony, mandragora, and hemlock.

    Out of Stock

  • The Fruit of Paradise

    $23

    While Persephone visited the realm of Hades, she tasted one single pomegranate seed, an act which compelled her to remain connected to the Land of the Dead for all eternity. Demeter’s grief over her beloved daughter’s absence that brings on the bleakness and barrenness of the winter months.

    The Fruit of Paradise, the Nectar of Death: bittersweet pomegranate.

    Illustration by Abigail Larson!

    Out of Stock

  • Gacela of the Dark Death

    $23

    I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
    I want to get far away from the busyness of the cemeteries.
    I want to sleep the sleep of that child
    who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

    I don’t want them to tell me again how the corpse keeps all its blood,
    how the decaying mouth goes on begging for water.
    I’d rather not hear about the torture sessions the grass arranges for
    nor about how the moon does all its work before dawn
    with its snakelike nose.

    I want to sleep for half a second,
    a second, a minute, a century,
    but I want everyone to know that I am still alive,
    that I have a golden manger inside my lips,

    that I am the little friend of the west wind,
    that I am the elephantine shadow of my own tears.

    When it’s dawn just throw some sort of cloth over me
    because I know dawn will toss fistfuls of ants at me,
    and pour a little hard water over my shoes
    so that the scorpion claws of the dawn will slip off.

    Because I want to sleep the sleep of the apples,
    and learn a mournful song that will clean all earth away from me,
    because I want to live with that shadowy child
    who longed to cut his heart open far out at sea.

    Terebinth pine, pitch, and clove.

    Out of Stock

  • Gelt

    $23

    Sevivon, sov, sov, sov
    Chanukah, hu chag tov
    Chanukah, hu chag tov
    Sevivon, sov, sov, sov!

    Chag simcha hu la-am
    Nes gadol haya sham
    Nes gadol haya sham
    Chag simcha hu la-am.

    A bounty of chocolate coins! Dry cocoa and golden amber!

    Out of Stock

  • Haloa

    $23

    Sacred to both Demeter and Dionysus, this is a celebration of the of the pruning of the vines, the first fermentation of the year’s wine, and of the consecration of the next year’s planting. The service was lead by the heterai and the Eleusinian Arkhontes, and began with the preparation of a banquet that honors Demeter’s bounty and the fertility aspect of Dionysus with pudenda- and phallus-shaped cakes. After the preliminary feast, the magistrates departed, and the heterai held a second rite that consisted of copious wine consumption, ritual symbolic fornication, and formal offerings of incense, grain, and cakes to sacred statues of the deities and to clay images of genitalia. Finally, the magistrates and priests were permitted to rejoin the ritual. A Priest and Priestess bore torches that symbolizes Demeter and her daughter Persephone presided over the final ceremony, which culminated in the ultimate celebration of fertility: an orgy that lasted til dawn.

    Wine grapes, pomegranate, myrrh, frankincense and olive leaf, and the warm scent of offertory cakes.

    Out of Stock

  • Hans Trapp

    $23

    Schoi, do kummt d’r Hans Trapp.
    Ar het a scheni Zepfelkapp’
    Un a Bart wiss wie a Schimmel.
    Ar kummt vum schena Starnehimmel
    Un bringt da Kinder a Ruada,
    Wu net dien singe un bata.
    Schoi, Hans Trapp, mir sin so klein
    Un brav un folje d’heim.
    Müesch net kumme mit dim Stacka,
    Denn mir kenne singe un oi bata.
     

    A legend born of the life of Hans von Trotha and his wars with the Papacy, this restless spirit terrorizes the disobedient children of France and Germany at Christmastime. This cannibalistic demon lives in a hut high up in the mountains of Bavaria disguised as a scarecrow, gnashing his teeth as he plots his Yuletide punishments.

    Tattered leather, dry straw, matted hair, sharpened sticks, and a bundle of switches.

    Out of Stock

  • Krampus

    5.00 out of 5
    $23

    Anything BUT jolly! Draped with chains and bells, wielding both whip and rod, this rag-clad, horned, red-skinned, soot-covered leering creature is both the companion and the antithesis of rosy-cheeked and ebullient Kris Kringle. He is called by many names, and, in a myriad of cultures, he is seen with different robes and faces, but he is nevertheless always a sinister and fearsome instrument of Santa’s wrath: he wields a switch on all irredeemably naughty children before tossing them into his large black sack and whisking them away.

    Be good, or Krampus will toss you in a river! Sinister red musk, black and rust-brown leathers, dusty rags, and wooden switches.

    Out of Stock

  • Lick It with Consent

    5.00 out of 5
    $23

    Lick It is back, as minty and sweet as ever, and now you can lick it for a good cause: proceeds from every sale of Lick It With Consent will be donated to RAINN.

    (For a spot-on dissertation on what consent entails, please visit Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan’s VERY NSFW infographic. Oh Joy Sex Toy is not a sponsor of Black Phoenix, or the other way around. Er, whichever. This is just a damn good link, and I wanted to pass it on!)

    Out of Stock

  • Mari Lwyd

    4.00 out of 5
    $23

    An echo of the rites of Rhiannon, the Great Queen and Mother of Horses, the Mari Lwyd is a Midwinter tradition in Wales. The beribboned Grey Mare travels door to door with her entourage, seeking permission to wassail and initiate a contest of wit: the pwnco, a battle of improvised verses filled with good-natured ridicule set to song. If the Mari party were victorious, they were invited into the home to partake of ale and cakes and provide entertainment for the family.

    Welsh cakes and ale with a smattering of dried lavender.

    Out of Stock

  • Midnight Mass

    4.00 out of 5
    $23

    I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord: That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked: nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts.

    But as for me, I have walked in my innocence: redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the direct way: in the churches I will bless thee, O Lord.

    In Roman Catholic tradition, the Christmas season begins liturgically on Christmas Eve, though it is forbidden to celebrate the Christmas Mass before midnight. The most devout attend Midnight Mass, celebrating both the Eucharist and the drama of the Nativity.

    This perfume is a traditional Roman Catholic sacramental incense, most often used during a Solemn Mass. Traditionally, five tears of this incense, each encased individually in wax that has been fashioned into the shape of a nail, are inserted into the paschal candle. This is, of course, represents the Five Wounds of Our Risen Savior. Symbolically, the burning of the incense signifies spiritual fervor, the fragrance itself inspires virtue, and the rising smoke carries our prayers to God.

    Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

    Et in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, Lumen de Lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero, genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri; per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis. 

    Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

    Out of Stock

  • Winter-Time

    $23

    Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,

    A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
    Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
    A blood-red orange, sets again.

    Before the stars have left the skies,
    At morning in the dark I rise;
    And shivering in my nakedness,
    By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

    Close by the jolly fire I sit
    To warm my frozen bones a bit;
    Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
    The colder countries round the door.

    When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
    Me in my comforter and cap;
    The cold wind burns my face, and blows
    Its frosty pepper up my nose.

    Black are my steps on silver sod;
    Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
    And tree and house, and hill and lake,
    Are frosted like a wedding cake.

    Sweet, soft snow.

    Out of Stock

++ YULE 2014: THE PHOBIAS

The holiday season is a source of joy for many – frolicking in the snow, decking the halls, stringin’ up lights, belting out carols. It is a time for family and good cheer, jolly men in furry red suits, and tales of merriment and miracles.

For others, it is a source of pure terror.

  • Cryophobia

    $23

    Fear of Extreme Cold

    Cold – unending, heart-piercing cold – that slices through skin and muscle like a gleaming, razor-edged dagger until it penetrates bone and fills your marrow: white eucalyptus, frosted mint, raw frankincense, davana, iris petal, white grapefruit, and wormwood.

    Out of Stock

  • Christougenniatiko Dentrophobia

    $23

    Fear of Christmas Trees

    Ghastly misshapen branches casting long, twisted shadows and clutching at you with prickly needle-like fingers: pine pitch, bone-white dried fir, and spruce tar with opoponax and blackened tobacco.

    Out of Stock

  • Deipnophobia

    $23

    Fear of Dinner Conversations

    Wine spilled across freshly pressed table linens, a wilted holiday bouquet, and a furtive hint of whiskey and baked bread.

    Out of Stock

  • Hagiophobia

    $23

    Fear of Saints and Holy Things

    The scent of mad piety, blood and martyrdom, soul-crushing guilt, and frenzied devotion: frankincense and myrrh disoriented by labdanum, unsteady yuzu, shredded ginger, black cypress, and Aleppo Pine wood thickened with dragon’s blood resin.

    Out of Stock

And then a long-awaited liaison with the restless spirits of the 19th century –

++ YULE 2014: AN EVENING WITH THE SPIRITS

I felt my hair blown and lifted by currents of air, and cool breezes played about my face and hands. Then began a strange sensation, which I had sometimes felt at seances. Frequently I have heard it described by others as of cobwebs being passed over the face, but to me, who watched it curiously, it seemed that I could feel fine threads being drawn out of the pores of my skin.

I experienced none of the fear of the previous evening. At first I had a strange eerie feeling somewhat akin to it, but that passed off, and I became perfectly calm and indisposed to move, or to answer any of the many questions addressed to me by my friends outside. At the same time I took a great interest in analysing my own sensations and wondered as to what would come of the experiment, for that something was about to happen I was certain.

  • A Measurement of the Soul

    $23

    If then, man, in every act, leaves the impression, or daguerreotype of his mental being upon the scenes of his life and the subjects of his action, we are by this law furnished with a new clue to the history of our race; and I think it highly probable, that, by the application of this principle, the chasms of history may be supplied, and a glimpse may be obtained of unrecorded ages and nations, whose early history is lost in darkness. The ancient manuscripts, paintings, and other works of art, which still exist – the crucifixes, garments, armor, and other ancient relics, still preserved – are doubtless still instinct with the spirit that produced them, and capable of revealing to psychometric exploration, the living realities with which they were once connected. At present, these relics are barren of significance. Their hidden meaning lies waiting the future explorer, as the hieroglyphics of Egypt awaited the arrival of Champillion to interpret their significance. And why should not the world be filled with the monuments and unwritten records of its past history? It would seem, to the superficial thinker, that man was entirely limited to tradition and written records for his knowledge of the past; but physical science proves, that the world possesses, embodied in enduring monuments, the story of its progressive existence. The geologist finds, in the different strata of the earth, in its curiously mingled and irregular structure, and in the fossil remains which it conceals in its bosom, the history of its various changes of surface, and of the antediluvian races of animals which have long been extinct. The huge Saurian monsters, which he portrays from their fossil relics, rise before the eye as incredible chimeras. And over this fertile region, now occupied by prosperous States, he revives, by the magic power of science, the antediluvian seas and their strange inhabitants, unknown to man.

    The Past is entombed in the Present! The world is its own enduring monument; and that which is true of its physical, is likewise true of its mental career. The discoveries of Psychometry will enable us to explore the history of man, as those of geology enable us to explore the history of the earth. There are mental fossils for psychologists as well as mineral fossils for the geologists; and I believe that hereafter the psychologist and the geologist will go hand in hand — the one portraying the earth, its animals and its vegetation, while the other portrays the human beings who have roamed over its surface in the shadows, and the darkness of primeval barbarism! Aye, the mental telescope is now discovered which may pierce the depths of the past and bring us in full view of the grand and tragic passages of ancient history! I know that, to many of my readers, unaccustomed to these investigations, and unacquainted with the first experimental facts of this great science, these anticipations must seem a visionary hope – too grand, too romantic, too transcendently beautiful to be true. But observe, that all is based upon familiar experiments, and these results are but legitimate deductions from familiar facts. As surely as the expansive power of steam gives premonition of the ocean steamship, does the power of Psychometry give promise of all the glorious performance to which I have alluded.

    —Buchanan, 1842

    A tactile scent, groaning under the weight of aeons: wild fig, cedarwood, venerable ti leaf, and white sage.

    Out of Stock
  • Claircognizance

    4.00 out of 5
    $23

    Dr. E. S. Packard, of Corunna, Me., in the Eastern Star, states that Mr. David Prescott, of South Sangerville, over ninety years of age, “wandered away into the woods, and not returning, a crowd of over a hundred men hunted for him nearly two days; the mill pond near his house was drained. Search was made in every direction but to no success.

     “A gentleman of that place decided to call in the aid of Mrs. Stevens; she told him somebody was lost, and not being able to visit the place she drew a map or chart of the locality, giving directions, by which, on his return he was immediately found alive, but died the next day. The day following I was at South Sangerville, and stopping at this gentleman’s house, examined the map, which was perfect in every respect. The house and shed were correctly drawn, the mill and pond near the house were marked, the field and woods, two fences over which Mr. Prescott must climb, even to the swinging of the road by the house was definitely given.

    “The spot where she said he was, was shown by a large black mark, and he was found exactly in that place. When we consider that Mrs. Stevens never saw this place in her normal condition, it is to me a wonderful test of spirit power.”

    Absolute and perfect clarity: rockrose, white amber, Corsican immortelle, Siamese benzoin, white sandalwood, and life everlasting.

    Out of Stock
  • Ectoplasm

    $23

    In examining and reporting these cases the witnesses averred that certain people, whom they called “materializing mediums,” had the strange physical gift that they could put forth from their bodies a viscous, gelatinous substance which appeared to differ from every known form of matter in that it could solidify and be used for material purposes, and yet could be reabsorbed, leaving absolutely no trace even upon the clothes which it had traversed in leaving the body.

    This substance was actually touched by some enterprising investigators, who reported that it was elastic and appeared to be sensitive, as though it was really an organic extrusion from the medium’s body.

    —Arthur Conan Doyle, 1930

    A luminous, viscid blend of white amber, lemongrass, white oakmoss, and davana.

    Out of Stock
  • Eusapia

    4.00 out of 5
    $23

    “The case I allude to is that of an invalid woman who belongs to the humblest class of society. She is nearly thirty years old and very ignorant; her look is neither fascinating nor endowed with the power which modern criminologists call irresistible; but when she wishes, be it by day or by night, she can divert a curious group for an hour or so with the most surprising phenomena. Either bound to a seat or firmly held by the hands of the curious, she attracts to her the articles of furniture which surround her, lifts them up, holds them suspended in the air like Mahomet’s coffin, and makes them come down again with undulatory movements, as if they were obeying her will. She increases their weight or lessens it according to her pleasure. She raps or taps upon the walls, the ceiling, the floor, with fine rhythm and cadence. In response to the requests of the spectators, something like flashes of electricity shoot forth from her body, and envelop her or enwrap the spectators of these marvellous scenes. She draws upon cards that you hold out, everything that you want – figures, signatures, numbers, sentences – by just stretching out her hand toward the indicated place.

    “If you place in the corner of the room a vessel containing a layer of soft clay, you find after some moments the imprint in it of a small or a large hand, the image of a face (front view or profile) from which a plaster cast can be taken. In this way portraits of a face taken at different angles have been preserved, and those who desire so to do can thus make serious and important studies.

    “This woman rises in the air, no matter what bands tie her down. She seems to lie upon the empty air, as on a couch, contrary to all the laws of gravity; she plays on musical instruments – organs, bells, tambourines – as if they had been touched by her hands or moved by the breath of invisible gnomes… This woman at times can increase her stature by more than four inches.

    —Chiaia, in a letter to Lombroso

    Pale lilacs, white tea, and candle wax.

    Out of Stock
  • The Fox Sisters

    $23

    For the sake of continuity the subsequent history of the Fox sisters will now be given after the events at Hydesville. It is a remarkable, and to Spiritualists a painful, story, but it bears its own lesson and should be faithfully recorded. When men have an honest and whole-hearted aspiration for truth there is no development which can ever leave them abashed or find no place in their scheme.

    For some years the two younger sisters, Kate and Margaret, gave séances at New York and other places, successfully meeting every test which was applied to them. Horace Greeley, afterwards a candidate for the United States presidency, was, as already shown, deeply interested in them and convinced of their entire honesty. He is said to have furnished the funds by which the younger girl completed her very imperfect education.

    During these years of public mediumship, when the girls were all the rage among those who had no conception of the religious significance of this new revelation, and who concerned themselves with it purely in the hope of worldly advantage, the sisters exposed themselves to the enervating influences of promiscuous séances in a way which no earnest Spiritualist could justify. The dangers of such practices were not then so clearly realized as now, nor had it occurred to people that it is unlikely that high spirits would descend to earth in order to advise as to the state of railway stocks or the issue of love affairs. The ignorance was universal, and there was no wise mentor at the elbow of these poor pioneers to point the higher and the safer path. Worst of all, their jaded energies were renewed by the offer of wine at a time when one at least of them was hardly more than a child. It is said that there was some family predisposition towards alcoholism, but even without such a taint their whole procedure and mode of life were rash to the last degree. Against their moral character there has never been a breath of suspicion, but they had taken a road which leads to degeneration of mind and character, though it was many years before the more serious effects were manifest.

    Some idea of the pressure upon the Fox girls at this time may be gathered from Mrs. Hardinge Britten’s* description from her own observation. She talks of “pausing on the first floor to hear poor patient Kate Fox, in the midst of a captious, grumbling crowd of investigators, repeating hour after hour the letters of the alphabet, while the no less poor, patient spirits rapped out names, ages and dates to suit all comers.” Can one wonder that the girls, with vitality sapped, the beautiful, watchful influence of the mother removed, and harassed by enemies, succumbed to a gradually increasing temptation in the direction of stimulants?

    —Arthur Conan Doyle

    Deception and despair: rose geranium and tea roses with mahogany wood, bourbon vanilla, and apple peel.

    Out of Stock
  • Gossips of Ghost Land

    $23

    They are imps of the kitchen, or drawing-room at most; and, if any spirit answers to their sphere, it must be those of unclaimed and disaffected ghosts, who, having no substance within themselves, out of which to compound a spiritual body, wander about church-yards, or haunt the localities where they enacted old crimes, or lived frivolous and disjointed lives. … It may be that the spirits called the Rappers… belong to this class. They are in, what Dante would call Limbo, driven to and fro, perturbed and lonely. These eagerly question the finer spirits, who pass through their realm on their way to higher spheres, of all the gossip that used to interest them on earth. But, inasmuch as the companionship of these people was in no way desirable while they lived in this world, they become less so when separated from the body. They are the gossips of ghost land, poor, frivolous, flimsy wretches, who receive the shred of thought here, and the shadows only of through in the spirit world, for all thought has a body and a substance as it were to itself, so that we say a thought may be grasped in anticipation of the fact hereafter; hence, thought finding no lodgment in these thin poor spirits, floats right through them. They have a restless desire for tangibility, and are perpetually trying to command material objects in a way to make themselves known.

    —d’Espérance, 1897

    Idle poltergeists and truant phantoms loitering in darkened corners and shadowed hallways: black cedar, patchouli, and tea leaf spiked with a tittering cackle of pink peppercorn, mate, and lime rind.

    Out of Stock
  • Practical Occultism

    $23

    Practical Occultism consists, first, of a perfect mastery of the individual’s own spirit. No advance whatever can be made in acquiring power over other spirits, such as controlling the lower or  supplicating the higher, until the spirit within has acquired such perfect mastery of itself, that it can never be moved to anger or emotion—realizes no pleasure, cares for no pain; experiences no mortification at insult, loss, or disappointment—in a word, subdues every emotion that stirs common men’s minds.

    To arrive at this state, severe and painful as well as long continued discipline is necessary. Having acquired this perfect equilibrium, the next step is power. The individual must be able to wake when he pleases and sleep when he pleases; go in spirit during bodily sleep where he will, and visit—as well as remember when awake—distant scenes.

    He must be enabled by practice, to telegraph, mentally, with his fellow associates, and present himself, spiritually, in their midst.

    He must, by practice, acquire psychological control over the minds of any persons—not his associates—beneath his own calibre of mind. He must be able to still a crying infant, subdue fierce animals or angry men, and by will, transfer his thought without speech or outward sign to any person of a mental calibre below himself; he must be enabled to summon to his presence elementary spirits, and if he desires to do so (knowing the penalties attached), to make them serve him in the special departments of Nature to which they belong.

    He must, by virtue of complete subjugation of his earthly nature, be able to invoke Planetary and even Solar Spirits, and commune with them to a certain degree.

    To attain these degrees of power the processes are so difficult that a thorough practical occultist can scarcely become one and yet continue his relations with his fellow-men.

    He must continue, from the first to the last degree, a long series of exercises, each one of which must be perfected before another is undertaken.

    A practical occultist may be of either sex, but must observe as the first law inviolable chastity—and that with a view of conserving all the virile powers of the organism. No aged person, especially one who has not lived the life of strict chastity, can acquire the full sum of the powers above named. It is better to commence practice in early youth, for after the meridian of life, when the processes of waste prevail over repair, few of the powers above described can be attained; the full sum never.

    Strict abstinence from animal food and all stimulants is necessary. Frequent ablutions and long periods of silent contemplation are essential. Codes of exercises for the attainment of these powers can be prescribed, but few, if any, of the self-indulgent livers of modern times can perform their routine.

    The arts necessary for study to the practical occultist are, in addition to those prescribed in speculative occultism, a knowledge of the qualities of drugs, vapors, minerals, electricity, perfumes, fumigations, and all kinds of anæsthetics.

    And now, having given in brief as much as is consistent with my position—as the former associate of a secret society—I have simply  to add, that, whilst there are, as in Masonry, certain preliminary degrees to pass through, there are numerous others to which a thoroughly well organized and faithful association might advance. In each degree there are some valuable elements of practical occultism demanded, whilst the teachings conveyed are essential preliminaries. In a word, speculative occultism must precede practical occultism; the former is love and wisdom, the latter, simply power.

    A Victorian occultist’s incense, invoking the Four Archangels: precious wildcrafted Indian frankincense with myrrh, cassia, sandarac, palmarosa, white sage, red sandalwood, elemi, and drops of star anise bound with grains of kyphi.

    Out of Stock
  • Psychodynamic Discharge

    5.00 out of 5
    $23

    In certain cases, emotionally charged complexes of representation, which have become autonomous and dissociated, seem to automatically and compulsively press for discharge and realisation through haunting phenomena…. Hence, the so-called haunting occurs in place of a neurosis.

    —Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

    Repressed rage, terror, and subjugated sexuality erupting through fierce bursts of uncontrollable psychic phenomena: black leather and red musk with aged black patchouli, Chinese rose, black pepper, coconut meat, Haitian vetiver, and igneous red ginger.

    Out of Stock
  • Spirit Board

    $23

    CRAZED THROUGH “OUIJA”
    Neglected by Her Lover She Seeks Comfort of a Fortune-Telling Device

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Nov. 20.— Mrs. Eugenia Carpenter, a young woman living at 221 Myrtle, av., has been receiving attention from a young man who very recently ceased to call upon her.

    Mrs. Carpenter bought a fortune-telling board called “ouija,” and from it received the prediction that her suitor would not return to her.

    Last night she was found wandering almost nude in the streets.

    Her reason was gone and at intervals she cried out “Ouija said so and I knew it was true.”

    November 21st 1891
    Boston Daily Globe

    Redwood and bois de rose with white lilac, dried pink roses, and black tea.

    Out of Stock
  • Table-Turning

    $23

    In the month of December, another fair American medium arrived in England. This lady and her husband, Dr. Roberts, attended a course of lectures I was then delivering in Providence Chapel, upon Mesmerism and Animal Magnetism. They introduced themselves to me, and invited me to visit them. I did so, many times; and to them do I owe much; for, through the information I received from them, I have been enabled to inquire more fully into this soul-stirring, and very important subject, after several Seances at Mrs. Roberts’s in Dyer’s Buildings, Holborn [MD: original], where I witnessed the moving of the table in various directions. This is what is called “Table-turning,” and which has been attributed to Electricity or Animal Magnetism, by many intelligent and scientific persons… I have seen a loo-table suspended in the air, at least six inches from the ground, without anyone in the body touching it.

    —Hardinge, 1854

    A heavy, tactile scent that thrums with voices from beyond: black polished teakwood, gullies of ectoplasm, and ghostly white musk.

    Out of Stock
  • Vital Fluid

    $23

    Modern philosophy has admitted a plenum or universal principle of fluid matter, which occupies all space; and that as all bodies moving in the world, abound with pores, this fluid matter introduces itself through the interstices and returns backwards and forwards, flowing through one body by the currents which issue therefrom to another, as in a magnet, which produces that phenomenon which we call Animal Magnetism. This fluid consists of fire, air and spirit, and like all other fluids tends to an equilibrium, therefore it is easy to conceive how the efforts which the bodies make towards each other produce animal electricity, which in fact is no more than the effect produced between two bodies, one of which has more motion than the other; a phenomenon serving to prove that the body which has most motion communicates it to the other, until the medium of motion becomes an equilibrium between the two bodies, and then this equality of motion produces animal electricity.

    —Wonders and mysteries of animal magnetism displayed; or the history, art, practice, and progress of that useful science, from its first rise in the city of Paris, to the present time. With several Curious Cases and new Anecdotes of the Principal Professors, 1791.

    The breath and tears and pulse of all life; the fluid that flows through all creation, permeating space and time and spirit: olibanum, red benzoin absolute, labdanum, betel leaf, galbanum, mastic, and angelica.

    Out of Stock

Last, but not least, we revisit the Gingerbread Cotillion.

++ YULE 2014: GINGERBREAD COTILLION II

Now you shall hear a story that somebody’s great-great-grandmother told a little girl ever so many years ago:

There was once a little old man and a little old woman, who lived in a little old house in the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing — they had no little child, and they wished for one very much. One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy, and put it into the oven.

Presently she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little gingerbread boy jumped out, and began to run away as fast as he could go.

The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him. And soon the gingerbread boy came to a barn full of threshers. He called out to them as he went by, saying:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the barn full of threshers set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him. And he ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn’t catch him. And he ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But, though the cow started at once, she couldn’t catch him. And soon he came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow,
And I can run away from you, I can!

But the pig ran, and couldn’t catch him. And he ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow and a pig,
And I can run away from you, I can!

Then the fox set out to run. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the gingerbread boy and began to eat him up.

Presently the gingerbread boy said, “Oh dear! I’m quarter gone!” And then, “Oh, I’m half gone!” And soon, “I’m three-quarters gone!” And at last, “I’m all gone!” and never spoke again.

  • Gingerbread Cathedral

    $23

    I’ve run away from a little old woman,
    A little old man,
    A barn full of threshers,
    A field full of mowers,
    A cow and a pig,
    And I can run away from you, I can!

    Gingerbread with olibanum, Oman myrrh, Damascus rose resin, and cassia.

    Out of Stock

++Please take note the Lab’s shipping cutoff dates to receive items by Christmas.

These cut offs are for shipments you need to receive by Christmas only and do not affect scent availability for purchase.

Saturday Nov. 29th 12:01am PST for international orders.

Sunday, Dec 7 12:01am PST for domestic orders.

Gift Certificates are not subject to the same cut offs as they’re sent by email, so you can also get those for BPAL and for the Trading Post.

These dates apply to the Lab only. BPTP cutoffs will be posted separately.

Happy Holidays, all! May you outwit the Mari Lwyd, and may Krampus go easy on you with the switches!

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