Moral Hymnody and Nonsense

Lewis Carroll used the Looking Glasses and Rabbit Holes of his fantasy world to mock many contemporary conventions and demonstrate, through nonsense, the strangeness of the human condition. The madness of Wonderland illustrated the absurdities he perceived in the strict, orderly world he lived in.

In the first perfumes of this subseries, our scents parallel the poetic parodies: Lewis Carroll versus Isaac Watts.

  • ‘Tis the Voice of the Lobster

    ‘Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
    ‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.’
    As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
    Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
    When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
    And will talk in contemptuous tones of the shark;
    But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
    His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

    I passed by his garden and marked, with one eye,
    How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
    The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
    While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
    When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
    Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon:
    While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
    And concluded the banquet by —

    A woody, musky-weird base glooping over with blackberry preserves, a twist of mandarin, strawberry juice, pulverized watermelon, and a handful of smushed gardenia petals.

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  • Against Idleness and Mischief

    How doth the little busy bee
    Improve each shining hour
    And gather honey all the day
    From every opening flower!

    How skilfully she builds her cell!
    How neat she spreads the wax!
    And labours hard to store it well
    With the sweet food she makes.

    In works of labour or of skill,
    I would be busy too;
    For Satan finds some mischief still
    For idle hands to do.

    In books, or work, or healthful play,
    Let my first years be passed,
    That I may give for every day
    Some good account at last.

    Pollen-dusted honey, diligent tonka, steadfast chamomile, and goodly hyssop.

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  • How Doth the Little Crocodile

    How doth the little crocodile
    Improve his shining tail,
    And pour the waters of the Nile
    On every golden scale!

    How cheerfully he seems to grin,
    How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in
    With gently smiling jaws!

    Chocolate peppermint, mint-soaked vanilla, pistachio, oakmoss, and green cedar.

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