Photo by Allan Amato
Neil Gaiman - Limited Edition - Limited Edition: Neil Gaiman
Lemon-Scented Sticky BatAdd to cart
…last week Maddy woke me up early in the morning.
“Daddy,” she said, “There’s a bat on the kitchen window.”
“Grumphle,” I said and went back to sleep.
Soon, she woke me up again. “I did a drawing of the bat on the kitchen window,” she said, and showed me her drawing. For a five year old she’s a very good artist. It was a schematic of the kitchen windows, showing a bat on one of the windows.
“Very nice dear,” I said. Then I went back to sleep.
When I went downstairs…
We have, instead of dangling fly papers, transparent strips of gluey clear plastic, about six inches long and an inch high, stuck to the windows on the ground floor. When they accumulate enough flies, you peel them off the window and throw them away.
There was a bat stuck to one. He was facing out into the room. “I think he’s dead,” said my assistant Lorraine.
I peeled the plastic off the window. The bat hissed at me.
“Nope,” I said. “He’s fine. Just stuck.”
The question then became, how does one get a bat (skin and fur) off a fly-strip. Luckily, I bethought me of the Bram Stoker award. After the door had fallen off (see earler in this topic) I had bought some citrus solvent to take the old glue to reglue the door on.
So I dripped citrus solvent onto the grumpy bat, edging him off the plastic with a twig, until a lemon-scented sticky bat crawled onto a newspaper. Which I put on the top of a high woodpile, and watched the bat crawl into the logs. With any luck he was as right as rain the following night…
Sticky-sweet iced lemon sugar!
Neil Gaiman - 15 Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot
15 PAINTED CARDS FROM A VAMPIRE TAROT
$30.00 per set.
Includes tarot card and 5ml bottle of perfume.
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is proud to present a scent and art series based on Neil Gaiman‘s short story, “15 Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot.”
Each package comes with a 5ml bottle of perfume inspired by the tale and a corresponding tarot card, created by Madame Talbot.
The Fool premiered at San Diego Comic Con 2009 through the CBLDF, along with a Limited Edition variant of the Fool, created by Alicia Dabney.
T-shirts featuring Madame Talbot’s artwork for the series are available through Black Phoenix Trading Post.
This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single set and tee go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve the First Amendment rights of the comic community.
0. The FoolAdd to cart
He had stepped over the precipice. There was no going back. In his imagination, he could already feel the prick of needle-sharp fangs in his neck, a sharp prelude to eternal life.
The sound began. It was low and sad, like the rushing of an underground river. It took him several long seconds to recognize it as laughter.
“This is not life,” said the voice.
It said nothing more, and after a while the young man knew he was alone in the graveyard.
Apple blossom, peppermint, allspice, and yellow sandalwood speckled with grave loam and clods of grave dirt.
I. The MagicianAdd to cart
They asked St. Germain's manservant if his master was truly a thousand years old, as it was rumored he had claimed.
“How would I know?” the man replied. “I have only been in the master's employ for three hundred years.”
Burmese rosewood, olibanum, benzoin, turmeric, currant leaf, and oude.
II. The PriestessAdd to cart
Her skin was pale, and her eyes were dark, and her hair was dyed black. She went on a daytime talk show and proclaimed herself a vampire queen. She showed the cameras her dentally crafted fangs, and brought on ex-lovers who, in various stages of embarrassment, admitted that she had drawn their blood, and that she drank it.
“You can be seen in a mirror, though?” asked the talk show hostess.
She was the richest woman in America, and had got that way by bringing the freaks and the hurt and the lost out in front of her cameras and showing their pain to the world.
The studio audience laughed.
The woman seemed slightly affronted. “Yes. Contrary to what people may think, vampires can be seen in mirrors and on television cameras.”
“Well, that’s one thing you finally got right, honey,” said the hostess of the daytime talk show. But she put her hand over her microphone as she said it, and it was never broadcast.
White sandalwood, life everlasting, nicotiana, iris pallida, and juniper berry.
III. The LoversAdd to cart
After she was dead, she began to come to him in the night. He grew pale, and there were deep circles under his eyes. At first, they thought he was mourning her. And then, one night, he was gone.
It was hard for them to obtain permission to disinter her, but they got it. They hauled up the coffin and unscrewed the lid. Then they prized what they found out of the box. There was six inches of water in the bottom, the iron had colored it a deep, orangish red. There were two bodies in the coffin: hers, of course, and his. He was more decayed than she was.
Later, someone wondered aloud how both of them had fitted in a coffin built for one. Especially given her condition, he said; for she was very obviously very pregnant.
This caused some confusion, for she had not been noticeably pregnant when she was buried.
Still later they dug up her got one last time, at the request of the church authorities, who had heard rumors of what had been found in the grave. Her stomach was flat. The local doctor told them all that it had just been gas and bloating as the stomach swelled, The townsfolk nodded, almost as if they believed him.
Black Phoenix’s most disquieting scent: baby’s breath and upturned soil.
V. The PopeAdd to cart
This is my body, he said, two thousand years ago. This is my blood.
It was the only religion that delivered exactly what it promised: life eternal, for its adherents.
There are some of us alive today who remember him. And some of us claim that he was a messiah, and some think that he was just a man with very special powers. But that misses the point. Whatever he was, he changed the world.
Life everlasting: clove-smoke, benzoin, rose maroc, Jerusalem cedar, cistus, and frankincense.
Neil Gaiman - American Gods
We are marking the ten-year anniversary of our American Gods collaboration with Neil Gaiman by introducing the next installment of scents inspired by his beautiful, harrowing, heart-shredding novel. It is one of my favorite books and Neil is one of my favorite humans, so this project is extremely dear to my heart. In the first installment, we are introducing sixteen new scents: Believe, Black Hats, Coin Trick, Eostre of the Dawn, For the Joy of It, Glass Eye, Laura, Low-Key Lyesmith, Media, Mister Wednesday, Mr. Czernobog, Shadow, Technical Boy, and the Zoryas. Our sister shop, Black Phoenix Trading Post, has launched an American Gods atmosphere spray line, so you can invoke the spilled beer and fries of the Crocodile Bar, the horrors of the Bone Orchard, the Hall of Forgotten Gods’ long-dead incenses, or the biting cold of a Lakeside winter. Nail lacquers will be coming to the Post in future installments!
Your purchase from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab and Black Phoenix Trading Post will help our friends at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund promote and defend First Amendment rights.
The paradigms were shifting. He could feel it. The old world, a world of infinite vastness and illimitable resources and future, was being confronted by something else—a web of energy, of opinions, of gulfs.
People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe. And then they will not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjurations. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe: and it is that belief, that rock-solid belief, that makes things happen.
The mountaintop was an arena; he saw that immediately. And on each side of the arena he could see them arrayed.
They were too big. Everything was too big in that place.
There were old gods in that place: gods with skins the brown of old mushrooms, the pink of chicken flesh, the yellow of autumn leaves. Some were crazy and some were sane. Shadow recognized the old gods. He’d met them already, or he’d met others like them. There were ifrits and piskies, giants and dwarfs. He saw the woman he had met in the darkened bedroom in Rhode Island, saw the writhing green snake-coils of her hair. He saw Mama-ji, from the carousel, and there was blood on her hands and a smile on her face. He knew them all.
He recognized the new ones, too.
Neil Gaiman is the winner of numerous literary honors and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, American Gods, Neverwhere, Stardust and Anansi Boys; the Sandman series of graphic novels; three short story collections and one book of essays, The View From the Cheap Seats.
Neil is the first author to win both the Carnegie Medal and the Newbery Medal for one work, The Graveyard Book. He also writes books for readers of all ages including the novels Fortunately, the Milk and Odd and the Frost Giants and picture books including The Sleeper and the Spindle and the Chu’s Day series. Neil’s most recent publication, Norse Mythology has topped bestseller lists worldwide.
Originally from England, he now lives in the USA. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers, and he says he owes it all to reading the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook as a young man.
This series based on Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, SFX Magazine and Bram Stoker Awards for Best Novel, and now a Starz television series.
This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle go to the CBLDF, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community.
Original American Gods art by Hugo-winner Julie Dillon.
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are not available for any American Gods scents.
BilquisAdd to cart
The Queen of Sheba, half-demon, they said, on her father’s side, witch woman, wise woman, and queen, who ruled Sheba when Sheba was the richest land there ever was, when its spices and its gems and scented woods were taken by boat and camel-back to the corners of the earth, who was worshipped even when she was alive, worshipped as a living goddess by the wisest of kings, stands on the sidewalk of Sunset Boulevard at 2:00 A.M. staring blankly out at traffic like a slutty plastic bride on a black-and-neon wedding cake. She stands as if she owns the sidewalk and the night that surrounds her.
Honey, myrrh, lily of the valley, rose otto, fig leaf, almond, ambrette, red apple, and warm musk.
Mad SweeneyAdd to cart
“Coin tricks is it?” asked Sweeney, his chin raising, his scruffy beard bristling. “Why, if it’s coin tricks we’re doing, watch this.”
He took an empty glass from the table. Then he reached out and took a large coin, golden and shining, from the air. He dropped it into the glass. He took another gold coin from the air and tossed it into the glass, where it clinked against the first. He took a coin from the candle flame of a candle on the wall, another from his beard, a third from Shadow’s empty left hand, and dropped them, one by one, into the glass. Then he curled his fingrs over the glass, and blew hard, and several more golden coins dropped into the glass from his hand. He tipped the glass of sticky coins into his jacket pocket, and then tapped the pocket to show, unmistakably, that it was empty.
“There,” he said. “That’s a coin trick for you.”
Barrel-aged whiskey and oak.
Mama-JiAdd to cart
Shadow saw the old woman, her dark face pinched with age and disapproval, but behind her he saw something huge, a naked woman with skin as black as a new leather jacket, and lips and tongue the bright red of arterial blood. Around her neck were skulls, and her many hands held knives, and swords, and severed heads.
Spices, cardamom, nutmeg, and flowers.
Mr. IbisAdd to cart
The smoke stung Shadow’s eyes. He wiped the tears away with his hand, and, through the smoke, he thought he saw a tall man in a suit, with gold-rimmed spectacles. The smoke cleared and the boatman was once more a half-human creature with the head of a river bird.
Papyrus, vanilla flower, Egyptian musk, African musk, aloe ferox, white sandalwood.
Mr. JacquelAdd to cart
Shadow looked up at the creature. “Mr. Jacquel?” he said.
The hands of Anubis came down, huge dark hands, and they picked Shadow up and brought him close.
The jackal head examined him with bright and glittering eyes; examined him as dispassionately as Mr. Jacquel had examined the dead girl on the slab. Shadow knew that all his faults, all his failings, all his weaknesses were being taken out and weighed and measured; that he was, in some way, being dissected, and sliced, and tasted.
We do not remember the things that do no credit to us. We justify them, cover them in bright lies or with the thick dust of forgetfulness. All of the things that Shadow had done in his life of which he was not proud, all the things he wished he had done otherwise or left undone, came at him then in a swirling storm of guilt and regret and shame, and he had nowhere to hide from them. He was as naked and as open as a corpose on a table, and dark Anubis the jackal god was his prosector and his prosecutor and his persecutor.
“Please,” said Shadow. “Please stop.”
But the examination did not stop. Every lie he had ever told, every object he had stolen, every hurt he had inflicted on another person, all the little crimes and the tiny murders that make up the day, each of these things and more were extracted and held up to the light by the jackal-headed judge of the dead.
Golden amber, hyssop, North African patchouli, and embalming spices.
The IfritAdd to cart
The taxi driver comes out of the shower, wet, with a towel wrapped around his midsection. He is not wearing his sunglasses, and in the dim room his eyes burn with scarlet flames.
Salim blinks back tears. “I wish you could see what I see,” he says.
“I do not grant wishes,” whispers the ifrit, dropping his towel and pushing Salim gently, but irresistibly, down onto the bed.
Desert sand, red musk, blackened ginger, dragon’s blood resin, black pepper, cinnamon, and tobacco.
The Norns’ FarmhouseAdd to cart
The farmhouse was dark and shut up. The meadows were overgrown and seemed abandoned. The farm roof was crumbling at the back; it was covered in black plastic sheeting. They jolted over a ridge and Shadow saw it there.
It was silver-gray and it was higher than the farm-house. It was the most beautiful tree Shadow had ever seen: spectral and yet utterly real and almost perfectly symmetrical. It also looked instantly familiar: he wondered if he had dreamed it, then he realized that no, he had seen it before, or a representation of it man, many times. It was Wednesday’s silver tie pin.
The VW bus jolted and bumped across the meadow, and it came to a stop about twenty feet from the trunk of the tree.
There were three women standing by the tree. At first glance Shadow thought they were the Zorya, but no, they were three women he did not know. They looked tired and bored, as if they had been standing there a long time. Each of them held a wooden ladder. The biggest also carried a brown sack. They looked like a set of Russian dolls: a tall one – she was Shadow’s height, or even taller – a middle-sized one, and a woman so short and hunched that at first glance Shadow wrongly supposed her to be a child. They looked so much alike that Shadow was certain the women must be sisters.
The smallest of the women dropped to a curtsey when the bus drew up. The other two just stared. They were sharing a cigarette, and they smoked it down to the filter before one of them stubbed it out against a root.
Dusty, ancient wood, horehound, and sage, with viper’s bugloss, mugwort, chamomile, nettle, apple blossom, chervil, and ashes.
Neil Gaiman - American Gods - I
BelieveAdd to cart
Shadow was in a dark place, and the thing staring at him wore a buffalo’s head, rank and furry with huge wet eyes. Its body was a man’s body, oiled and slick.
“Changes are coming,” said the buffalo without moving its lips. “There are certain decisions that will have to be made.”
Firelight flickered from wet cave walls.
“Where am I?” Shadow asked.
“In the earth and under the earth,” said the buffalo man. “You are where the forgotten wait.” His eyes were liquid black marbles, and his voice was a rumble from beneath the world. He smelled like wet cow. “Believe,” said the rumbling voice. “If you are to survive, you must believe.”
“Believe what?” asked Shadow. “What should I believe?”
He stared at Shadow, the buffalo man, and he drew himself up huge, and his eyes filled with fire. He opened his spit-flecked buffalo mouth and it was red inside with the flames that burned inside him, under the earth.
“Everything,” roared the buffalo man.
A scent of compression and release, of heat and faith, of plunging through the jet-shadowed darkness of uncertainty. The heart of the land: roots plunging ever deeper into thrumming black soil through the graves of faith, disillusion, and skepticism.
Black HatsAdd to cart
“So who were the guys that grabbed me in the parking lot? Mister Wood and Mister Stone? Who were they?” The lights of the car illuminated the winter landscape. Wednesday had announced that they were not to take freeways because he didn’t know whose side the freeways were on, so Shadow was sticking to back roads. He didn’t mind. He wasn’t even sure that Wednesday was crazy.
Wednesday grunted. “Just spooks. Members of the opposition. Black hats.”
“I think,” said Shadow, “that they think they’re the white hats.”
“Of course they do. There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe that they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.”
“And you?” asked Shadow. “Why are you doing what you’re doing?”
“Because I want to,” said Wednesday. And then he grinned. “So that’s all right.”
Gunpowder residue, patent leather, pomade, and aftershave.
Coin TrickAdd to cart
Shadow had done three years in prison. He was big enough and looked don’t-fuck-with-me enough that his biggest problem was killing time. So he kept himself in shape, and taught himself coin tricks, and thought a lot about how much he loved his wife.
The best thing—in Shadow’s opinion, perhaps the only good thing—about being in prison was a feeling of relief. The feeling that he’d plunged as low as he could plunge and he’d hit bottom. He didn’t worry that the man was going to get him, because the man had got him. He was no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, because yesterday had brought it.
Glittering gold and silver, rolling over knuckles – concealed in palms – and pulled from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Eostre of the DawnAdd to cart
There was a woman sitting on the grass, under a tree, with a paper tablecloth spread in front of her, and a variety of Tupperware dishes on the cloth.
She was—not fat, no, far from fat: what she was, a word that Shadow had never had cause to use until now, was curvaceous. Her hair was so fair that it was white, the kind of platinum-blonde tresses that should have belonged to a long-dead movie starlet, her lips were painted crimson, and she looked to be somewhere between twenty-five and fifty.
As they reached her she was selecting from a plate of deviled eggs. She looked up as Wednesday approached her, put down the egg she had chosen, and wiped her hand. “Hello, you old fraud,” she said, but she smiled as she said it, and Wednesday bowed low, took her hand, and raised it to his lips.
He said, “You look divine.”
“How the hell else should I look?” she demanded, sweetly. “Anyway, you’re a liar. New Orleans was such a mistake—I put on, what, thirty pounds there? I swear. I knew I had to leave when I started to waddle. The tops of my thighs rub together when I walk now, can you believe that?” This last was addressed to Shadow. He had no idea what to say in reply, and felt a hot flush suffuse his face. The woman laughed delightedly. “He’s blushing! Wednesday, my sweet, you brought me a blusher. How perfectly wonderful of you. What’s he called?”
“This is Shadow,” said Wednesday. He seemed to be enjoying Shadow’s discomfort. “Shadow, say hello to Easter.”
Jasmine and honeysuckle, sweet milk and female skin.
For the Joy of ItAdd to cart
In prison Shadow had learned there were two kinds of fights: don’t fuck with me fights, where you made it as showy and impressive as you could, and private fights, real fights, which were fast and hard and nasty, and always over in seconds.
“Hey, Sweeney,” said Shadow, breathless, “why are we fighting?”
“For the joy of it,” said Sweeney, sober now, or at least, no longer visibly drunk. “For the sheer unholy fucken delight of it. Can’t you feel the joy in your own veins, rising like the sap in the springtime?” His lip was bleeding. So was Shadow’s knuckle.
Whiskey, mead, honey, gold, sweat, and blood.
Glass EyeAdd to cart
“How’d you lose your eye?”
Wednesday shoveled half a dozen pieces of bacon into his mouth, chewed, wiped the fat from his lips with the back of his hand. “Didn’t lose it,” he said. “I still know exactly where it is.”
The depths of Mímisbrunnr: mugwort and frankincense, grey amber and ash.
LauraAdd to cart
There was something he wanted to say to Laura, and he was prepared to wait until he knew what it was. The world slowly began to lose light and color. Shadow’s feet were going numb, while his hands and face hurt from the cold. He burrowed his hands into his pockets for warmth, and his fingers closed about the gold coin.
He walked over to the grave.
“This is for you,” he said.
Several shovels of earth had been emptied onto the casket, but the hole was far from full. He threw the gold coin into the grave with Laura, then he pushed more earth into the hole, to hide the coin from acquisitive grave diggers. He brushed the earth from his hands and said, “Good night, Laura.” Then he said, “I’m sorry.”
Violets, upturned earth, mothballs, formaldehyde (mixed with glycerin and lanolin), and the memory of the taste of strawberry daiquiris suspended in twilight.
Low Key LyesmithAdd to cart
“No, thank you.”
“You don’t mind if I do?”
“Go right ahead.”
The driver used a Bic disposable lighter, and it was in the yellow light of the flame that Shadow saw the man’s face, actually saw it for the first time, and recognized him, and began to understand.
Shadow knew that thin face. He knew that there would be close-cropped orange hair beneath the black driver’s cap, cut close to the scalp. He knew that when the man’s lips smiled they would crease into a network of rough scars.
“You’re looking good, big guy,” said the driver.
“Low Key?” Shadow stared at his old cellmate warily.
Prison friendships are good things: they get you through bad places and through dark times. But a prison friendship ends at the prison gates, and a prison friend who reappears in your life is at best a mixed blessing.
“Jesus. Low Key Lyesmith,” said Shadow, and then he heard what he was saying and he understood. “Loki,” he said. “Loki Lie-Smith.”
“You’re slow,” said Loki, “but you get there in the end.” And his lips twisted into a scarred smile and embers danced in the shadows of his eyes.
Black clove and cassia flung onto glowing cinders and mingled with slow-dripping poisons.
MediaAdd to cart
Waiting for them in front of the motel was a woman Shadow did not recognize. She was perfectly made-up, perfectly coiffed. She reminded him of every newscaster he’d ever seen on morning television sitting in a studio that didn’t really resemble a living room.
“Lovely to see you,” she said. “Now, you must be Czernobog. I’ve heard a lot about you. And you’re Anansi, always up to mischief, eh? You jolly old man. And you, you must be Shadow. You’ve certainly led us a merry chase, haven’t you?” A hand took his, pressed it firmly, looked him straight in the eye. “I’m Media. Good to meet you. I hope we can get this evening’s business done as pleasantly as possible.”
A news anchor’s cologne, a soap star’s perfume: perfect, pixelated, and glamorous; aglow with cathodes and anodes, coated with phosphor. “I offered you the world,” she said. “When you’re dying in a gutter, you remember that.”
Mister WednesdayAdd to cart
His hair was a reddish gray; his beard, little more than stubble, was grayish red. A craggy, square face with pale gray eyes. The suit looked expensive, and was the color of melted vanilla ice cream. His tie was dark gray silk, and the tie pin was a tree, worked in silver: trunk, branches, and deep roots.
He held his glass of Jack Daniel’s as they took off, and did not spill a drop.
Sleek cologne, the memory of a Nine Herbs Charm, gallows wood, and a splash of whiskey.
Mr. CzernobogAdd to cart
Shadow saw a gray-haired old Eastern-European immigrant, with a shabby raincoat and one iron-colored tooth, true. But he also saw a squat black thing, darker than the darkness that surrounded them, its eyes two burning coals; and he saw a prince, with long flowing black hair and a long black mustache, blood on his hands and his face, riding, naked but for a bear skin over his shoulder, on a creature half-man, half-beast, his face and torso blue-tattooed with swirls and spirals.
Unfiltered cigarettes, the leather and metal of sledgehammers, aortal blood slowly drying, and black incense.
ShadowAdd to cart
“How the hell did you find me here?” he asked his dead wife.
She shook her head slowly, amused. “You shine like a beacon in a dark world,” she told him. “It wasn’t that hard…”
Grey oudh and bay rum luminous with amber.
Technical BoyAdd to cart
The fat young man at the other end of the stretch limo took a can of diet Coke from the cocktail bar and popped it open. He wore a long black coat, made of some silky material, and he appeared barely out of his teens: a spattering of acne glistened on one cheek. He smiled when he saw that Shadow was awake.
“Hello, Shadow,” he said. “Don’t fuck with me.”
It’s all about the dominant fucking paradigm, Shadow. Nothing else is important: vape smoke and burning electrical parts.
Zorya PolunochnayaAdd to cart
Her hair was pale and colorless in the moon’s thin light. She wore a white cotton nightgown, with a high lace neck and a hem that swept the ground. Shadow sat up, entirely awake. “You are Zorya Polu . . . ,” he hesitated. “The sister who was asleep.”
“I am Zorya Polunochnaya, yes. And you are called Shadow, yes? That was what Zorya Vechernyaya told me, when I woke.”
“Yes. What were you looking at, out there?”
She looked at him, then she beckoned him to join her by the window. She turned her back while he pulled on his jeans. He walked over to her. It seemed a long walk, for such a small room.
He could not tell her age. Her skin was unlined, her eyes were dark, her lashes were long, her hair was to her waist and white. The moonlight drained colors into ghosts of themselves. She was taller than either of her sisters.
She pointed up into the night sky. “I was looking at that,” she said, pointing to the Big Dipper. “See?”
“Ursa Major,” he said. “The Great Bear.”
“That is one way of looking at it,” she said. “But it is not the way from where I come from. I am going to sit on the roof. Would you like to come with me?”
Pale amber and ambergris, gossamer vanilla, moonflower, and white tobacco petals.
Zorya UtrennyayaAdd to cart
“Why you are standing at the door?” asked a woman’s voice. Shadow looked over Czernobog’s shoulder, at the old woman standing behind him. She was smaller and frailer than her sister, but her hair was long and still golden. “I am Zorya Utrennyaya,” she said. “You must not stand there in the hall. You must go in, sit down. I will bring you coffee.”
Sweet black coffee and a touch of ambrette seed.
Zorya VechernyayaAdd to cart
“You see, I am the only one of us who brings in any money. The other two cannot make money fortune-telling. This is because they only tell the truth, and the truth is not what people want to hear. It is a bad thing, and it troubles people, so they do not come back. But I can lie to them, tell them what they want to hear. So I bring home the bread.”
Red musk and wild plum, orange blossom and jasmine, juniper berries, sweet incense and vetiver-laced sandalwood.
Neil Gaiman - American Gods - II
America’s New GodsAdd to cart
“Now, as all of you will have had reason aplenty to discover for yourselves, there are new gods growing in America, clinging to growing knots of belief: gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon. Proud gods, fat and foolish creatures, puffed up with their own newness and importance.”
Scorched wires, silicone, tar, chlorine, wax, rubber, and exhaust.
Becoming ThunderAdd to cart
“You got to understand the god thing. It’s not magic. It’s about being you, but the you that people believe in. It’s about being the concentrated, magnified, essence of you. It’s about becoming thunder, or the power of a running horse, or wisdom. You take all the belief and become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize.”
This is the scent of the absolute: this is the perfected manifestation of the absolute essence of not who you are, but what you represent to others. This is You as Symbol, your spirit separated and combined, distilled and condensed into one archetype. Skin musk and 20-year aged frankincense, a sprig of asphodel, a splash of soma, a lightning-streak of sharp ozone, and a stream of ambrosia.
Cigarettes and OfferingsAdd to cart
“I think,” he pronounced, gloomily, “that our kind, we like the cigarettes so much because they remind us of the offerings that once they burned for us, the smoke rising up as they sought our approval or our favor.”
Cigarette smoke overlapping with the resonance of long-forgotten incenses.
Take the MoonAdd to cart
She held his hand, with a hand that was icy cold. “You were given protection once. You were given the sun itself. But you lost it already. You gave it away. All I can give you is much weaker protection. The daughter, not the father. But all helps. Yes?” Her white hair blew about her face in the chilly wind.
“Do I have to fight you? Or play checkers?” he asked.
“You do not even have to kiss me,” she told him. “Just take the moon from me.”
“Take the moon.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Watch,” said Zorya Polunochnaya. She raised her left hand and held it in front of the moon, so that her forefinger and thumb seemed to be grasping it. Then, in one smooth movement, she plucked at it. For a moment, it looked like she had taken the moon from the sky, but then Shadow saw that the moon shone still, and Zorya Polunochnaya opened her hand to display a silver Liberty-head dollar resting between finger and thumb.
“That was beautifully done,” said Shadow. “I didn’t see you palm it. And I don’t know how you did that last bit.”
“I did not palm it,” she said. “I took it. And now I give it you, to keep safe. Here. Don’t give this one away.”
Silvered musk and lemon peel, white fir needle, frosted apple blossom, and mugwort.
The Best LiesAdd to cart
“Such a pity,” Zorya Vechernyaya told Shadow. “In my fortune for you, I should have said you would have a long life and a happy one, with many children.”
“That is why you are a good fortune-teller,” said Zorya Utrennyaya. She looked sleepy, as if it were an effort for her to be up so late. “You tell the best lies.”
The melodious sweetness of false fortunes: sugar-swept honey and rose.
The Buffalo ManAdd to cart
Darkness; a sensation of falling—as if he were tumbling down a great hole, like Alice. He fell for a hundred years into darkness. Faces passed him, swimming out of the black, then each face was ripped up and away before he could touch it . . .
Abruptly, and without transition, he was not falling. Now he was in a cave, and he was no longer alone. Shadow stared into familiar eyes: huge, liquid black eyes. They blinked.
Under the earth: yes. He remembered this place. The stink of wet cow. Firelight flickered on the wet cave walls, illuminating the buffalo head, the man’s body, skin the color of brick clay.
“Can’t you people leave me be?” asked Shadow. “I just want to sleep.”
The buffalo man nodded, slowly. His lips did not move, but a voice in Shadow’s head said, “Where are you going, Shadow?”
“Where else have I got to go? It’s where Wednesday wants me to go. I drank his mead.” In Shadow’s dream, with the power of dream logic behind it, the obligation seemed unarguable: he drank Wednesday’s mead three times, and sealed the pact—what other choice of action did he have?
The buffalo-headed man reached a hand into the fire, stirring the embers and the broken branches into a blaze. “The storm is coming,” he said. Now there was ash on his hands, and he wiped it onto his hairless chest, leaving soot-black streaks.
“So you people keep telling me. Can I ask you a question?”
There was a pause. A fly settled on the furry forehead. The buffalo man flicked it away. “Ask.”
“Is this true? Are these people really gods? It’s all so . . .” He paused. Then he said, “impossible,” which was not exactly the word he had been going for but seemed to be the best he could do.
“What are gods?” asked the buffalo man.
“I don’t know,” said Shadow.
Warm dark brown musk, woodsmoke, and deep pools of labdanum.
The Jeweled SpiderAdd to cart
He was looking at Mr. Nancy, an old black man with a pencil mustache, in his check sports jacket and his lemon-yellow gloves, riding a carousel lion as it rose and lowered, high in the air; and, at the same time, in the same place, he saw a jeweled spider as high as a horse, its eyes an emerald nebula, strutting, staring down at him; and simultaneously he was looking at an extraordinarily tall man with teak-colored skin and three sets of arms, wearing a flowing ostrich-feather headdress, his face painted with red stripes, riding an irritated golden lion, two of his six hands holding on tightly to the beast’s mane; and he was also seeing a young black boy, dressed in rags, his left foot all swollen and crawling with blackflies; and last of all, and behind all these things, Shadow was looking at a tiny brown spider, hiding under a withered ocher leaf.
Shadow saw all these things, and he knew they were the same thing.
“If you don’t close your mouth,” said the many things that were Mr. Nancy, “somethin’s goin’ to fly in there.”
Cigarillo smoke, spatters of ice cream sundae, a supersized mug of coffee, a pile of fruit, and a little bit of curried goat.
Neil Gaiman - American Gods - III
All-FatherAdd to cart
Wednesday guided his wolf—now a huge and charcoal-gray beast with green eyes—over to Shadow. Shadow’s mount caracoled away from it, and Shadow stroked its neck and told it not to be afraid. Its tiger tail swished, aggressively. It occurred to Shadow that there was another wolf, a twin to the one that Wednesday was riding, keeping pace with them in the sand dunes, just a moment out of sight.
“Do you know me, Shadow?” said Wednesday. He rode his wolf with his head high. His right eye glittered and flashed, his left eye was dull. He wore a cloak with a deep, monklike cowl, and his face stared out from the shadows. “I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I am called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.” Two ghostly-gray ravens, like transparent skins of birds, landed on Wednesday’s shoulders, pushed their beaks into the side of Wednesday’s head as if tasting his mind, and flapped out into the world once more.
Oak leaves and ash, honey mead, wolf musk, a flutter of black feathers, and bronze fennel.
AlvissAdd to cart
The peculiar-looking man was of average height, but of an odd shape: Shadow had heard of men who were barrel-chested before, but had no image to accompany the metaphor. This man was barrel-chested, and he had legs like, yes, like tree trunks, and hands like, exactly, ham hocks. He wore a black parka with a hood, several sweaters, thick dungarees, and, incongruously, in the winter and with those clothes, a pair of white tennis shoes, which were the same size and shape as shoeboxes. His fingers resembled sausages, with flat, squared-off fingertips.
“That’s some hum you got,” said Shadow from the driver’s seat.
“Sorry,” said the peculiar young man, in a deep, deep voice, embarrassed. He stopped humming.
“No, I enjoyed it,” said Shadow. “Don’t stop.”
The peculiar young man hesitated, then commenced to hum once more, his voice as deep and reverberant as before. This time there were words interspersed in the humming. “Down down down,” he sang, so deeply that the windows rattled. “Down down down, down down, down down.”
Thick, tangled, and strong: ash and oak, elm and pine, reaching down, down, and deeper down into earth.
BastAdd to cart
There was a girl. He had met her somewhere, and now they were walking across a bridge. It spanned a small lake, in the middle of a town. The wind was ruffling the surface of the lake, making waves tipped with whitecaps, which seemed to Shadow to be tiny hands reaching for him.
— Down there, said the woman. She was wearing a leopard-print skirt, which flapped and tossed in the wind, and the flesh between the top of her stockings and her skirt was creamy and soft and in his dream, on the bridge, before God and the world, Shadow went down to his knees in front of her, burying his head in her crotch, drinking in the intoxicating jungle female scent of her. He became aware, in his dream, of his erection in real life, a rigid, pounding, monstrous thing as painful in its hardness as the erections he’d had as a boy, when he was crashing into puberty.
He pulled away and looked upward, and still he could not see her face. But his mouth was seeking hers and her lips were soft against his, and his hands were cupping her breasts, and then they were running across the satin smoothness of her skin, pushing into and parting the furs that hid her waist, sliding into the wonderful cleft of her, which warmed and wetted and parted for him, opening to his hand like a flower.
The woman purred against him ecstatically, her hand moving down to the hardness of him and squeezing it. He pushed the bedsheets away and rolled on top of her, his hand parting her thighs, her hand guiding him between her legs, where one thrust, one magical push . . .
Now he was back in his old prison cell with her, and he was kissing her deeply. She wrapped her arms tightly around him, clamped her legs about his legs to hold him tight, so he could not pull out, not even if he wanted to.
Never had he kissed lips so soft. He had not known that there were lips so soft in the whole world. Her tongue, though, was sandpaper-rough as it slipped against his.
—Who are you? he asked.
She made no answer, just pushed him onto his back and, in one lithe movement, straddled him and began to ride him. No, not to ride him: to insinuate herself against him in series of silken-smooth waves, each more powerful than the one before, strokes and beats and rhythms that crashed against his mind and his body just as the wind-waves on the lake splashed against the shore. Her nails were needle-sharp and they pierced his sides, raking them, but he felt no pain, only pleasure, everything was transmuted by some alchemy into moments of utter pleasure.
He struggled to find himself, struggled to talk, his head now filled with sand dunes and desert winds.
—Who are you? he asked again, gasping for the words.
She stared at him with eyes the color of dark amber, then lowered her mouth to his and kissed him with a passion, kissed him so completely and so deeply that there, on the bridge over the lake, in his prison cell, in the bed in the Cairo funeral home, he almost came. He rode the sensation like a kite riding a hurricane, willing it not to crest, not to explode, wanting it never to end.
A desert wind alight with myrrh and golden amber, cardamom and honey, bourbon vanilla and cacao.
ChadAdd to cart
“Everything okay here?” said a cop inside.
Shadow’s first, automatic instinct was to say Yup, everything’s just fine and jimdandy thank you officer. But it was too late for that, and he started to say, “I think I’m freezing. I was walking into Lakeside to buy food and clothes, but I underestimated the length of the walk”—he was that far through the sentence in his head, when he realized that all that had came out was “F-f-freezing,” and a chattering noise, and he said, “So s-sorry. Cold. Sorry.”
The cop pulled open the back door of the car and said, “You get in there this moment and warm yourself up, okay?” Shadow climbed in gratefully, and he sat in the back and rubbed his hands together, trying not to worry about frostbitten toes. The cop got back in the driver’s seat. Shadow stared at him through the metal grille. Shadow tried not to think about the last time he’d been in the back of a police car, or to notice that there were no door handles in the back, and to concentrate instead on rubbing life back into his hands. His face hurt and his red fingers hurt, and now, in the warmth, his toes were starting to hurt once more. That was, Shadow figured, a good sign.
The cop put the car in drive and moved off. “You know, that was,” he said, not turning to look at Shadow, just talking a little louder, “if you’ll pardon me saying so, a real stupid thing to do. You didn’t hear any of the weather advisories? It’s minus thirty out there. God alone knows what the windchill is, minus sixty, minus seventy, although I figure when you’re down at minus thirty, windchill’s the least of your worries.”
“Thanks,” said Shadow. “Thanks for stopping. Very, very grateful.”
“Woman in Rhinelander went out this morning to fill her bird feeder in her robe and carpet slippers and she froze, literally froze, to the sidewalk. She’s in intensive care now. It was on the TV this morning. You’re new in town.” It was almost a question, but the man knew the answer already.
“I came in on the Greyhound last night. Figured today I’d buy myself some warm clothes, food, and a car. Wasn’t expecting this cold.”
“Yeah,” said the cop. “It took me by surprise as well. I was too busy worrying about global warming. I’m Chad Mulligan. I’m the chief of police here in Lakeside.”
The scent of a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
Dead Words on a Dead FrequencyAdd to cart
“You’re dead, Mad Sweeney,” said Shadow. “You take what you’re given when you’re dead.”
“Aye, that I shall,” sighed the dead man sitting in the back of the hearse. The junkie whine had vanished from his voice now, replaced with a resigned flatness, as if the words were being broadcast from a long, long way away, dead words being sent out on a dead frequency.
Tinny eucalyptus and elemi against a flat black backdrop of opoponax.
Eat the StrawberriesAdd to cart
Still, there was a tale he had read once, long ago, as a small boy: the story of a traveler who had slipped down a cliff, with man-eating tigers above him and a lethal fall below him, who managed to stop his fall halfway down the side of the cliff, holding on for dear life. There was a clump of strawberries beside him, and certain death above him and below. What should he do? went the question.
And the reply was, Eat the strawberries.
Fuck You, Said the RavenAdd to cart
“Hey,” said Shadow. “Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are.”
The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
“Say ‘Nevermore,'” said Shadow.
“Fuck you,” said the raven.”
Glossy black, rough, and gravelly: violet-gilded opoponax, black patchouli, myrrh, and oak leaf.
God’s Own CountryAdd to cart
“Yes, it’s still God’s Own Country,” said the announcer, a news reporter pronouncing the final tag line. “The only question is, which gods?”
Circuit boards, cathode rays, and exhaust ramming against frankincense, myrrh, soil, and blood.
HinzelmannAdd to cart
Where Hinzelmann had been standing stood a male child, no more than five years old. His hair was dark brown, and long. He was perfectly naked, save for a worn leather band around his neck. He was pierced with two swords, one of them going through his chest, the other entering at his shoulder, with the point coming out beneath the rib-cage. Blood flowed through the wounds without stopping and ran down the child’s body to pool and puddle on the floor. The swords looked unimaginably old.
The little boy stared up at Shadow with eyes that held only pain.
And Shadow thought to himself, of course. That’s as good a way as any other of making a tribal god. He did not have to be told. He knew.
You take a baby and you bring it up in the darkness, letting it see no one, touch no one, and you feed it well as the years pass, feed it better than any of the village’s other children, and then, five winters on, when the night is at its longest, you drag the terrified child out of its hut and into the circle of bonfires, and you pierce it with blades of iron and of bronze. Then you smoke the small body over charcoal fires until it is properly dried, and you wrap it in furs and carry it with you from encampment to encampment, deep in the Black Forest, sacrificing animals and children to it, making it the luck of the tribe. When, eventually, the thing falls apart from age, you place its fragile bones in a box, and you worship the box; until one day the bones are scattered and forgotten, and the tribes who worshipped the child-god of the box are long gone; and the child-god, the luck of the village, will be barely remembered, save as a ghost or a brownie: a kobold.
Shadow wondered which of the people who had come to northern Wisconsin 150 years ago, a woodcutter, perhaps, or a mapmaker, had crossed the Atlantic with Hinzelmann living in his head.
And then the bloody child was gone, and the blood, and there was only an old man with a fluff of white hair and a goblin smile, his sweater-sleeves still soaked from putting Shadow into the bath that had saved his life.
The luck of the tribe: black pine pitch and gouts of blood, darkness and bonfires that cast long shadows.
MithrasAdd to cart
“…You run into Mithras yet? Red cap. Nice kid.”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Well . . . I’ve never seen Mithras around here. He was an army brat. Maybe he’s back in the Middle East, taking it easy, but I expect he’s probably gone by now. It happens. One day every soldier in the empire has to shower in the blood of your sacrificial bull. The next they don’t even remember your birthday.”
Oblations of milk, oil, honey, and blood.
Murder for Murder, Blood for BloodAdd to cart
“So. I got to say it, because nobody else here will. We are at the center of this place: a land that has no time for gods, and here at the center it has less time for us than anywhere. It is a no-man’s-land, a place of truce, and we observe our truces, here. We have no choice. So. You give us the body of our friend. We accept it. You will pay for this, murder for murder, blood for blood.”
Black oudh, patchouli, opoponax, black pepper, and blackened cacao.
Only a SipAdd to cart
Shadow began to feel headachy. There was a pounding quality to the starlight, something that resonated with the pulse in his temples and his chest. At the bottom of the next hill he stumbled, opened his mouth to say something and, without warning, he vomited.
Wednesday reached into an inside pocket, and produced a small hip flask. “Take a sip of this,” he said. “Only a sip.”
The liquid was pungent, and it evaporated in his mouth like a good brandy, although it did not taste like alcohol. Wednesday took the flask away, and pocketed it. “It’s not good for the audience to find themselves walking about backstage. That’s why you’re feeling sick. We need to hurry to get you out of here.”
Orange peel, rosemary oil, peppermint, and cloves.
Roadside AttractionsAdd to cart
“So what is this place?” asked Shadow, as they walked through the parking lot toward a low, unimpressive wooden building.
“This is a roadside attraction,” said Wednesday. “One of the finest. Which means it is a place of power.”
“It’s perfectly simple,” said Wednesday. “In other countries, over the years, people recognized the places of power. Sometimes it would be a natural formation, sometimes it would just be a place that was, somehow, special. They knew that something important was happening there, that there was some focusing point, some channel, some window to the Immanent. And so they would build temples or cathedrals, or erect stone circles, or . . . well, you get the idea.”
“There are churches all across the States, though,” said Shadow.
“In every town. Sometimes on every block. And about as significant, in this context, as dentists’ offices. No, in the USA, people still get the call, or some of them, and they feel themselves being called to from the transcendent void, and they respond to it by building a model out of beer bottles of somewhere they’ve never visited, or by erecting a gigantic bat house in some part of the country that bats have traditionally declined to visit. Roadside attractions: people feel themselves being pulled to places where, in other parts of the world, they would recognize that part of themselves that is truly transcendent, and buy a hot dog and walk around, feeling satisfied on a level they cannot truly describe, and profoundly dissatisfied on a level beneath that.”
Plaster, paint, glass, and plastic surrounding a thrumming core of sacred frankincense.
SamAdd to cart
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Shadow opened his eyes, and, groggily, sat up. He was freezing, and the sky outside the car was the deep luminescent purple that divides the dusk from the night.
Tap. Tap. Someone said, “Hey, mister,” and Shadow turned his head. The someone was standing beside the car, no more than a darker shape against the darkling sky. Shadow reached out a hand and cranked down the window a few inches. He made some waking-up noises, and then he said, “Hi.”
“You all right? You sick? You been drinking?” The voice was high—a woman’s or a boy’s.
“I’m fine,” said Shadow. “Hold on.” He opened the door, and got out, stretching his aching limbs and neck as he did so. Then he rubbed his hands together, to get the blood circulating and to warm them up.
“Whoa. You’re pretty big.”
“That’s what they tell me,” said Shadow.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Sam,” said the voice.
“Boy Sam or girl Sam?”
“Girl Sam. I used to be Sammi with an i, and I’d do a smiley face over the i, but then I got completely sick of it because like absolutely everybody was doing it, so I stopped.”
“Okay, girl Sam. You go over there, and look out at the road.”
“Why? Are you a crazed killer or something?”
“No,” said Shadow, “I need to take a leak and I’d like just the smallest amount of privacy.”
“Oh. Right. Okay. Got it. No problem. I am so with you. I can’t even pee if there’s someone in the next stall. Major shy bladder syndrome.”
Nag champa incense, patchouli, and freshly-soaped skin.
The Blood Must FlowAdd to cart
“It is only a gesture,” he said, turning back to Shadow. “But gestures mean everything. The death of one dog symbolizes the death of all dogs. Nine men they gave to me, but they stood for all the men, all the blood, all the power. It just wasn’t enough. One day, the blood stopped flowing. Belief without blood only takes us so far. The blood must flow.”
“I saw you die,” said Shadow.
“In the god business,” said the figure—and now Shadow was certain it was Wednesday, nobody else had that rasp, that deep cynical joy in words, “it’s not the death that matters. It’s the opportunity for resurrection. And when the blood flows . . .”
Three days on the tree, three days in the underworld, three days to find your way back: ash, oak, and elm; vetiver, dragon’s blood resin, and cypress; frankincense, copal, and chamomile.
The CarouselAdd to cart
Calliope music played: a Strauss waltz, stirring and occasionally discordant. The wall as they entered was hung with antique carousel horses, hundreds of them, some in need of a lick of paint, others in need of a good dusting; above them hung dozens of winged angels constructed rather obviously from female store-window mannequins; some of them bared their sexless breasts; some had lost their wigs and stared baldly and blindly down from the darkness.
And then there was the carousel.
A sign proclaimed it was the largest in the world, said how much it weighed, how many thousand lightbulbs were to be found in the chandeliers that hung from it in Gothic profusion, and forbade anyone from climbing on it or from riding on the animals.
And such animals! Shadow stared, impressed in spite of himself, at the hundreds of full-sized creatures who circled on the platform of the carousel. Real creatures, imaginary creatures, and transformations of the two: each creature was different. He saw mermaid and merman, centaur and unicorn, elephants (one huge, one tiny), bulldog, frog and phoenix, zebra, tiger, manticore and basilisk, swans pulling a carriage, a white ox, a fox, twin walruses, even a sea serpent, all of them brightly colored and more than real: each rode the platform as the waltz came to an end and a new waltz began. The carousel did not even slow down.
“What’s it for?” asked Shadow. “I mean, okay, world’s biggest, hundreds of animals, thousands of lightbulbs, and it goes around all the time, and no one ever rides it.”
“It’s not there to be ridden, not by people,” said Wednesday. “It’s there to be admired. It’s there to be.”
A place of power and possibility, of gods diabolical and celestial: glowing amber and heady cinnamon, the green of growing things and the white of thunderclaps, sweet myrrh and sacred styrax, forest moss and blood-soaked battlefields, papyrus and clay, rose petals, wildflowers, abbatoirs, and honey.
The CenterAdd to cart
“What is the word for it? The opposite of sacred?”
“Profane,” said Shadow, without thinking.
“No,” said Czernobog. “I mean, when a place is less sacred than any other place. Of negative sacredness. Places where they can build no temples. Places where people will not come, and will leave as soon as they can. Places where gods only walk if they are forced to.”
“I don’t know,” said Shadow. “I don’t think there is a word for it.”
“All of America has it, a little,” said Czernobog. “That is why we are not welcome here. But the center,” said Czernobog. “The center is worst. Is like a minefield. We all tread too carefully there to dare break the truce.”
Peeling paint, faded wallpaper and threadbare carpets, flickering neon, candlewax, and a fading whiff of Jack Daniels.
The Drink of Heroes, the Drink of the GodsAdd to cart
The drink was a tawny golden color. Shadow took a sip, tasting an odd blend of sour and sweet on his tongue. He could taste the alcohol underneath, and a strange blend of flavors. It reminded him a little of prison hooch, brewed in a garbage bag from rotten fruit and bread and sugar and water, but it was sweeter, and far stranger.
“Okay,” said Shadow. “I tasted it. What was it?”
“Mead,” said Wednesday. “Honey wine. The drink of heroes. The drink of the gods.”
Shadow took another tentative sip. Yes, he could taste the honey, he decided. That was one of the tastes. “Tastes kinda like pickle juice,” he said. “Sweet pickle-juice wine.”
“Tastes like a drunken diabetic’s piss,” agreed Wednesday. “I hate the stuff.”
Nine glory-twigs dipped in golden mead.
The Drunkard’s DreamAdd to cart
The drunk in the graveyard raised his bottle to his lips. One of the gravestones flipped over, revealing a grasping corpse; a headstone turned around, flowers replaced by a grinning skull. A wraith appeared on the right of the church, while on the left of the church something with a half-glimpsed, pointed, unsettlingly birdlike face, a pale, Boschian nightmare, glided smoothly from a headstone into the shadows and was gone. Then the church door opened, a priest came out, and the ghosts, haunts, and corpses vanished, and only the priest and the drunk were left alone in the graveyard. The priest looked down at the drunk disdainfully, and backed through the open door, which closed behind him, leaving the drunk on his own.
The clockwork story was deeply unsettling. Much more unsettling, thought Shadow, than clockwork has any right to be.
“You know why I show that to you?” asked Czernobog.
“That is the world as it is. That is the real world. It is there, in that box.”
Red currant and labdanum with opoponax, vetiver, grave moss, white sandalwood, and khus.
The Forgettable GodAdd to cart
He had stood beside the man as he got into the car, had opened and closed the door for him, and was unable to remember anything about him. He turned around in the driver’s seat and looked at him, carefully noting his face, his hair, his clothes, making certain he would know him if he met him again, and turned back to start the car, to find that the man had slipped from his mind. An impression of wealth was left behind, but nothing more.
A faint impression of scent, a memory slipping like water through a sieve.
The IntangiblesAdd to cart
“You’ve been troubled?”
“Yes. Good word. Troubled. Yes. Like a home for troubled teens. Funny. Yes.”
“And what exactly is troubling you?”
“Well, we fight, we win.”
“And that is a source of trouble? I find it a matter of triumph and delight, myself.”
“But. They’ll die out anyway. They are passenger pigeons and thylacines. Yes? Who cares? This way, it’s going to be a bloodbath.”
“Ah.” Mr. World nodded.
He was following. That was good. The fat kid said, “Look, I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve checked with the crew at Radio Modern, and they’re all for settling this peacefully; and the intangibles are pretty much in favor of letting market forces take care of it. I’m being. You know. The voice of reason here.”
“You are indeed. Unfortunately, there is information you do not have.” The smile that followed was twisted and scarred.
Gods of the Stock Market, of securities and trades, of trade and upheaval, debt, fortune, and risk: chaotic synthetic notes, bubbling aldehydes, and the electric green of market euphoria.
The Silver DollarAdd to cart
His fingers closed around the Liberty dollar in his pocket, and he remembered Zorya Polunochnaya, and the way she had looked at him in the moonlight. Did you ask her what she wanted? It is the wisest thing to ask the dead. Sometimes they will tell you.
Gilded iris and Siamese benzoin, silvery-white musk, white tea leaf, and bergamot.
The Small Brown CatAdd to cart
The small brown cat opened her eyes and stretched to her feet. She padded across the kitchen floor and pushed at Shadow’s boot with her head. He put down his left hand and scratched her forehead and the back of her ears and the scruff of her neck. She arched, ecstatically, then sprang into his lap, pushed herself up against his chest, and touched her cold nose to his. Then she curled up in his lap and went back to sleep. He put his hand down to stroke her: her fur was soft, and she was warm and pleasant in his lap; she acted like she was in the safest place in the world, and Shadow felt comforted.
Warm brown fur, cardamom-infused bourbon vanilla, and a touch of cedarwood.
The Sun’s TreasureAdd to cart
“Have you remembered how I do my little coin trick?” he asked Shadow with a grin.
“I have not.”
“If you can guess how I did it,” said Mad Sweeney, his lips purple, his blue eyes beclouded, “I’ll tell you if you get warm.”
“It’s not a palm is it?” asked Shadow.
“It is not.”
“Is it a gadget of some kind? Something up your sleeve or elsewhere that shoots the coins up for you to catch?”
“It is not that neither. More whiskey, anybody?”
“I read in a book about a way of doing the miser’s dream with latex covering the palm of your hand, making a skin-colored pouch for the coins to hide behind.”
“This is a sad wake for Great Sweeney who flew like a bird across all of Ireland and ate watercress in his madness: to be dead and unmourned save for a bird, a dog, and an idiot. No, it is not a pouch.”
“Well, that’s pretty much it for ideas,” said Shadow. “I expect you just take them out of nowhere.” It was meant to be sarcasm, but then he saw the expression on Sweeney’s face. “You do,” he said. “You do take them from nowhere.”
“Well, not exactly nowhere,” said Mad Sweeney. “But now you’re getting the idea. You take them from the hoard.”
“The hoard,” said Shadow, starting to remember.
“You just have to hold it in your mind, and it’s yours to take from. The sun’s treasure. It’s there in those moments when the world makes a rainbow. It’s there in the moment of eclipse and the moment of the storm.” And he showed Shadow how to do the thing. This time Shadow got it.
Radiant amber and orange blossom, golden oudh, and saffron-threaded honey.
These Shabby DaysAdd to cart
“…Our kind of people, we are…” He waved the cigarillo about, as if using it to hunt for a word, then stabbing forward with it. “…exclusive. We’re not social. Not even me. Not even Bacchus. Not for long. We walk by ourselves or we stay in our own little groups. We do not play well with others. We like to be adored and respected and worshiped—me, I like them to be tellin’ tales about me, tales showing my cleverness. It’s a fault, I know, but it’s the way I am. We like to be big. Now, in these shabby days, we are small. The new gods rise and fall and rise again. But this is not a country that tolerates gods for long. Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves, Shiva destroys, and the ground is clear for Brahma to create once more.”
Memories of myrrh and gold, and the dying smoke of a snuffed cigarillo.
We Cared About Such Different ThingsAdd to cart
“I have a brother. They say, you put us together, we are like one person, you know? When we are young, his hair, it is very blond, very light, his eyes are blue, and people say, he is the good one. And my hair it is very dark, darker than yours even, and people say I am the rogue, you know? I am the bad one. And now time passes, and my hair is gray. His hair, too, I think, is gray. And you look at us, you would not know who was light, who was dark.”
“Were you close?” asked Shadow.
“Close?” asked Czernobog. “No. How could we be? We cared about such different things.”
You would not know who was light, who was dark: iron and amber, gold-limned white musk and ink-gloomed dark musk.
Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys
Part of the Neil Gaiman Collection.
This series based on Neil Gaiman‘s Locus and British Fantasy Award winning novel, Anansi Boys.
This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community.
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are unavailable.
SpiderAdd to cart
There was a family resemblance between the two men. That was unarguable, although that alone did not explain the intense feeling of familiarity that Fat Charlie felt on seeing Spider. His brother looked like Fat Charlie wished he looked in his mind…Spider was taller, and leaner, and cooler. He was wearing a black-and-scarlet leather jacket, and black leather leggings, and he looked at home in them…There was something larger-than-life about him: simply being on the other side of the table to this man made Fat Charlie feel awkward and badly consructed, and slightly foolish. It wasn’t the clothes Spider wore, but the knowledge that if Fat Charlie put them on he would look as if he were wearing some kind of unconvincing drag. It wasn’t the way Spider smiled–casually, delightedly–but Fat Charlies’s cold, incontrovertible certainty that he himself could practice smiling in front of a mirror from now until the end of time and never manage a single smile one half so charming, so cocky, or so twinklingly debonair.
White ginger, artemesia, vetiver, nutmeg, King mandarin, bergamot, and lime.
Neil Gaiman - Coraline
The Coraline Collection.
This series is based on the characters, locations, and ideas found within the pages of Neil Gaiman’s novel, ‘Coraline’.
This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community.
Artwork on this page by Vera Brosgol!
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are unavailable.
Coraline JonesAdd to cart
“What should I do?” asked Coraline.
“Read a book,” said her mother. “Watch a video. Play with your toys. Go and pester Miss Spink or Miss Forcible, or the crazy old man upstairs.”
“No,” said Coraline. “I don't want to do those things. I want to explore.”
Dry grass, clean skin, and a little bit of mossy berry.
Miss ForcibleAdd to cart
Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived in the flat below Coraline's, on the ground floor. They were both old and round, and they lived in their flat with a number of ageing Highland terriers who had names like Hamish and Andrew and Jock. Once upon a time Miss Spink and Miss Forcible had been actresses, as Miss Spink told Coraline the first time she met her.
“You see, Caroline,” Miss Spink said, getting Coraline's name wrong, “both myself and Miss Forcible were famous actresses, in our time. We trod the boards, luvvy. Oh, don't let Hamish eat the fruitcake, or he'll be up all night with his tummy.”
A classic vintage musk.
Both Miss Spink and Miss Forcible scents have a bit of tea splash and biscuit crumbs.
Miss SpinkAdd to cart
Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived in the flat below Coraline’s, on the ground floor. They were both old and round, and they lived in their flat with a number of ageing Highland terriers who had names like Hamish and Andrew and Jock. Once upon a time Miss Spink and Miss Forcible had been actresses, as Miss Spink told Coraline the first time she met her.
“You see, Caroline,” Miss Spink said, getting Coraline’s name wrong, “both myself and Miss Forcible were famous actresses, in our time. We trod the boards, luvvy. Oh, don’t let Hamish eat the fruitcake, or he’ll be up all night with his tummy.”
“It’s Coraline. Not Caroline, Coraline,” said Coraline.
A grand, over-the-top tuberose gardenia.
Both Miss Spink and Miss Forcible scents have a bit of tea splash and biscuit crumbs.
Mouse CircusAdd to cart
In the flat above Coraline’s, under the roof, was a crazy old man with a big mustache. He told Coraline that he was training a mouse circus. He wouldn’t let anyone see it.
“One day, little Caroline, when they are all ready, everyone in the whole world will see the wonders of my mouse circus. You ask me why you cannot see it now. Is that what you asked me?”
“No,” said Coraline quietly, “I asked you not to call me Caroline. It’s Coraline.”
“The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,” said the man upstairs, “is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed. Also, they refuse to play the songs I have written for them. All the songs I have written for the mice to play go oompah oompah. But the white mice will only play toodle oodle, like that. I am thinking of trying them on different types of cheese.”
A toodle oodle of pink cotton candy noses, vanilla spun sugar fur, scattered kernels of popcorn, and a touch of polished golden wood.
Mr. BoboAdd to cart
“The man in the top flat. Mister Bobo. Fine old circus family, I believe. Romanian or Slovenian or Livonian, or one of those countries. Bless me, I can never remember them anymore.”
It had never occurred to Coraline that the crazy old man upstairs actually had a name, she realized. If she’d known his name was Mr. Bobo she would have said it every chance she got. How often do you get to say a name like “Mr. Bobo” aloud?
Cooking herbs, pickles, and mouse fur.
The CatAdd to cart
There was a polite noise from behind her.
She turned around. Standing on the wall next to her was a large black cat, identical to the large black cat she'd seen in the grounds at home.
“Good afternoon,” said the cat.
Its voice sounded like the voice at the back of Coraline's head, the voice she thought words in, but a man's voice, not a girl's.
“Hello,” said Coraline. “I saw a cat like you in the garden at home. You must be the other cat.”
The cat shook its head. “No,” it said. “I'm not the other anything. I'm me.” It tipped its head to one side; green eyes glinted. “You people are spread all over the place. Cats, on the other hand, keep ourselves together. If you see what I mean.”
“I suppose. But if you're the same cat I saw at home, how can you talk?”
Cats don't have shoulders, not like people do. But the cat shrugged, in one smooth movement that started at the tip of its tail and ended in a raised movement of its whiskers. “I can talk.”
“Cats don't talk at home.”
“No?” said the cat.
“No,” said Coraline.
The cat leaped smoothly from the wall to the grass near Coraline's feet. It stared up at her.
“Well, you're the expert on these things,” said the cat dryly. “After all, what would I know? I'm only a cat.”
Sleek, black, dark, and clever: benzoin, honey, cedar, and dark musk.
The Other Hot ChocolateOut of Stock
The other mother took the bacon from under the grill and put it on a plate. Then she slipped the cheese omelette from the pan onto the plate, flipping it as she did so, letting it fold itself into a perfect omelette shape.
She placed the breakfast plate in front of Coraline, along with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a mug of frothy hot chocolate.
“Yes,” she said. “I think I like this game. But what kind of game shall it be? A riddle game? A test of knowledge or of skill?
“An exploring game,” suggested Coraline. “A finding-things game.”
“And what is it you think you should be finding in this hide-and-go-seek game, Coraline Jones?”
Coraline hesitated. Then, “My parents,” said Coraline. “And the souls of the children behind the mirror.”
The other mother smiled at this, triumphantly, and Coraline wondered if she had made the right choice. Still, it was too late to change her mind now.
“A deal,” said the other mother. “Now eat up your breakfast, my sweet. Don’t worry-it won’t hurt you.”
Coraline stared at the breakfast, hating herself for giving in so easily, but she was starving.
“How do I know you’ll keep your word?” asked Coraline.
“I swear it,” said the other mother. “I swear it on my own mother’s grave.”
“Does she have a grave?” asked Coraline.
“Oh yes,” said the other mother. “I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.”
“Swear on something else. So I can trust you to keep your word.”
“My right hand,” said the other mother, holding it up. She waggled the long fingers slowly, displaying the clawlike nails. “I swear on that.”
Coraline shrugged. “Okay,” she said. “It’s a deal.” She ate the breakfast, trying not to wolf it down. She was hungrier than she had thought.
As she ate, her other mother stared at her. It was hard to read expressions into those black button eyes, but Coraline thought that her other mother looked hungry, too.
She drank the orange juice, but even though she knew she would like it she could not bring herself to taste the hot chocolate.
The Other Mother’s Right HandAdd to cart
Coraline opened the front door and looked at the gray sky. She wondered how long it would be until the sun came up, wondered whether her dream had been a true thing while knowing in her heart that it had been. Something she had taken to be part of the shadows under the hall couch detached itself from beneath the couch and made a mad, scrabbling rush on its long white legs, heading for the front door.
Coraline's mouth dropped open in horror and she stepped out of the way as the thing clicked and scuttled past her and out of the house, running crablike on its too-many tapping, clicking, scurrying feet.
She knew what it was, and she knew what it was after. She had seen it too many times in the last few days, reaching and clutching and snatching and popping blackbeetles obediently into the other mother's mouth. Five-footed, crimson-nailed, the color of bone.
It was the other mother's right hand.
It wanted the black key.
A scrabbling, skittering, clacking scent: white as bone, black as a beetle, and red as blood – orris root, vetiver, and daemonorops.
The Silver StreamAdd to cart
The boy with the dirty face stood up and hugged Coraline tightly. “Take comfort in this,” he whispered. “Th'art alive. Thou livest.”
And in her dream Coraline saw that the sun had set and the stars were twinkling in the darkening sky.
Coraline stood in the meadow, and she watched as the three children (two of them walking, one flying) went away from her across the grass, silver in the light of the huge moon.
The three of them came to a small wooden bridge over a stream. They stopped there and turned and waved, and Coraline waved back.
And what came after was darkness.
Bittersweet: the scent of forgetfulness, peace, and oblivion. Like asphodel petals on moonlit water.
The SnowglobeAdd to cart
She looked around the room. It was so familiar-that was what made it feel so truly strange. Everything was exactly the same as she remembered: there was all her grandmother’s strange-smelling furniture, there was the painting of the bowl of fruit (a bunch of grapes, two plums, a peach and an apple) hanging on the wall, there was the low wooden table with the lion’s feet, and the empty fireplace which seemed to suck heat from the room.
But there was something else, something she did not remember seeing before. A ball of glass, up on the mantelpiece.
She went over to the fireplace, went up on tiptoes, and lifted it down. It was a snow globe, with two little people in it. Coraline shook it and set the snow flying, white snow that glittered as it tumbled through the water.
Then she put the snow globe back on the mantelpiece, and carried on looking for her true parents and for a way out.
Cold leaded glass, bone chip snow, and glycerin.
The Three Ghost ChildrenAdd to cart
“What happened to you all?” asked Coraline. “How did you come here?”
“She left us here,” said one of the voices. “She stole our hearts, and she stole our souls, and she took our lives away, and she left us here, and she forgot about us in the dark.”
“You poor things,” said Coraline. “How long have you been here?”
“So very long a time,” said a voice.
“Aye. Time beyond reckoning,” said another voice.
“I walked through the scullery door,” said the voice of the one that thought it might be a boy, “and I found myself back in the parlor. But she was waiting for me. She told me she was my other mamma, but I never saw my true mamma again.”
“Flee!” said the very first of the voices-another girl, Coraline fancied. “Flee, while there's still air in your lungs and blood in your veins and warmth in your heart. Flee while you still have your mind and your soul.”
“I'm not running away,” said Coraline. “She has my parents. I came to get them back.”
“Ah, but she'll keep you here while the days turn to dust and the leaves fall and the years pass one after the next like the tick-tick-ticking of a clock.”
“No,” said Coraline. “She won't.”
There was silence then in the room behind the mirror.
“Peradventure,” said a voice in the darkness, “if you could win your mamma and your papa back from the beldam, you could also win free our souls.” “Has she taken them?” asked Coraline, shocked.
“Aye. And hidden them.”
“That is why we could not leave here, when we died. She kept us, and she fed on us, until now we've nothing left of ourselves, only snakeskins and spider husks. Find our secret hearts, young mistress.”
“And what will happen to you if I do?” asked Coraline.
The voices said nothing.
“And what is she going to do to me?” she said.
The pale figures pulsed faintly; she could imagine that they were nothing more than afterimages, like the glow left by a bright light in your eyes, after the lights go out.
“It doth not hurt,” whispered one faint voice.
“She will take your life and all you are and all you care'st for, and she will leave you with nothing but mist and fog. She'll take your joy. And one day you'll awake and your heart and your soul will have gone. A husk you'll be, a wisp you'll be, and a thing no more than a dream on waking, or a memory of something forgotten.”
“Hollow,” whispered the third voice. “Hollow, hollow, hollow, hollow, hollow.”
I based the scent on a description of the characters that Neil sent to me in an email:
“Well, I like the idea that it would contain flowers and flame and fairy things… but from so long ago that they've almost forgotten who they are. So it would be a ghost perfume….”
In the perfume, I also tried to capture the blue-violet-white of an afterimage and the silence of a snuffed candle. The scent is dry with age, taut with loss, grief, and heartbreak, and sorrowful in the unspeakable desolation of simply being forgotten.
Neil Gaiman - Good Omens
The Good Omens Collection.
This series is based on the characters, locations, and concepts squished within the pages of ‘Good Omens’, an apocalyptic comedy by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman! A million thanks to Messrs. Pratchett and Gaiman for giving us this project their blessing!
This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle are split between the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community, and the Orangutan Foundation UK, which works to actively preserve orangutan habitats while supporting long-term research projects that benefit orangutans.
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are not available for any Good Omens scents.
Agnes NutterAdd to cart
The mind of Agnes Nutter was so far adrift in Time that she was considered pretty mad even by the standards of seventeenth-century Lancashire, where mad prophetesses were a growth industry.
Gunpowder, charred wood, smoke, and rusty nails.
AziraphaleAdd to cart
Many people, meeting Aziraphale for the first time, formed three impressions: that he was English, that he was intelligent, and that he was gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide. Two of these were wrong; Heaven is not England, whatever certain poets may have thought, and angels are sexless unless they really want to make an effort.
Ethereal musk, blonde woods, and dusty Bible accord.
CrowleyAdd to cart
Nothing about him looked particularly demonic, at least by classical standards. No horns, no wings. Admittedly he was listening to a Best of Queen tape, but no conclusions should be drawn from this because all tapes left in a car for more than a fortnights metamorphose into Best of Queen albums. No particularly demonic thoughts were going through his head. In fact, he was wondering vaguely who Moey and Chandon were.
Crowley had dark hair, and good cheekbones, and he was wearing snakeskin shoes, or at least presumably he was wearing shoes, and he could do really weird things with his tongue. And, whenever he forgot himself, he had a tendency to hiss.
Infernal musk, red patchouli, lilac cologne, mahogany, lemon rind, oakmoss, leather, and vanilla husk.
FamineAdd to cart
It was not surprising that she had recognized him, for his dark grey eyes stared out from his photo on the foil-embossed cover. Foodless Dieting: Slim Yourself Beautiful, the book was called; The Diet Book of the Century!
Sleek black tea, tobacco leaf, frankincense, lilac, and white musk.
HasturAdd to cart
It wasn’t a dark and stormy night.
It should have been, but that’s the weather for you. For every mad scientist who’s had a convienient thunderstorm just on the night his Great Work is finished and lying on the slab, there have been dozens who’ve sat around aimlessly under the peaceful stars while Igor racks up the overtime.
But don’t let the fog (with rain later, temperatures dropping to around forty-five degrees) give anyone a false sense of security. Just because it’s a mild night doesn’t mean that dark forces aren’t abroad. They’re abroad all the time. They’re everywhere.
They always are. That’s the whole point.
Two of them lurked in a ruined graveyard. Two shadowy figures, one hunched and squat, the other lean and menacing, both of them Olympic-grade lurkers. If Bruce Springsteen had ever recorded “Born to Lurk,” these two would have been on the album cover. They had been lurking in the fog for over an hour now, but they had been pacing themselves and could lurk for the rest of the night if necessary, with still enough sullen menace left for a final burst of lurking around dawn.
Finally, after another twenty minutes, one of them said: “Bugger this for a lark. He should have been here hours ago.”
The speaker’s name was Hastur. He was a Duke of Hell.
Smoky-sour labdanum, black patchouli, wet tobacco, and brimstone.
Jasmine CottageAdd to cart
She’d rented the cottage furnished, which meant that the actual furniture was the special sort you find in these circumstances and had probably been left out for the dustmen by the local War on Want shop. It didn’t matter. She didn’t expect to be here long.
If Agnes was right, she wouldn’t be anywhere long. Nor would anyone else.
Camellia, jasmine, heather, orange blossom, osmanthus, wisteria, thyme, angelica, freesia, granny’s nightcap, and English wildflowers.
LigurAdd to cart
“What's this Crowley like?” said Ligur.
Hastur spat. “He's been up here too long,” he said. “Right from the Start. Gone native, if you ask me. Drives a car with a telephone in it.”
Ligur pondered this. Like most demons, he had a very limited grasp of technology, and so he was just about to say something like, I bet it needs a lot of wire, when the Bentley rolled to a halt at the cemetery gate.
Dry olibanum, black moss, soggy ti, khus, and opoponax.
Madame TracyAdd to cart
Newt had been amazed to find that Madam Tracy was a middle-aged, motherly soul, whose gentleman callers called as much for a cup of tea and a nice chat as for what little discipline she was still able to exact.
A coquettish blend of tea rose, ume blossom, geranium, lily of the valley, violet, and heliotrope.
Nanny AshtorethAdd to cart
She wore a knit tweed suit and discreet pearl earrings. Something about her might have said nanny, but it said it in an undertone of the sort employed by British butlers in a certain type of American film. It also coughed discreetly and muttered that she could well be the sort of nanny who advertises unspecified but strangely explicit services in certain magazines.
Middle Eastern flowers, amber, honey, blood red-berries, whip leather, and polished paddle wood.
PepperAdd to cart
She herself had short red hair and a face which was not so much freckled as one big freckle with occasional areas of skin.
Pepper's given first names were Pippin Galadriel Moonchild. She had been given them in a naming ceremony in a muddy valley field that contained three sick sheep and a number of leaky polythene teepees. Her mother had chosen the Welsh valley of Pant y Gyrdl as the ideal site to Return to Nature. (Six months later, sick of the rain, the mosquitoes, the men, the tent trampling sheep who ate first the whole commune's marijuana crop and then its antique minibus, and by now beginning to glimpse why almost the entire drive of human history has been an attempt to get as far away from Nature as possible, Pepper's mother returned to Pepper's surprised grandparents in Tadfield, bought a bra, and enrolled in a sociology course with a deep sigh of relief.)
There are only two ways a child can go with a name like Pippin Galadriel Moonchild, and Pepper had chosen the other one: the three male Them had learned this on their first day of school, in the playground, at the age of four.
They had asked her her name, and, all innocent, she had told them.
Subsequently a bucket of water had been needed to separate Pippin Galadriel Moonchild's teeth from Adam's shoe. Wensleydale's first pair of spectacles had been broken, and Brian's sweater needed five stitches.
The Them were together from then on, and Pepper was Pepper forever, except to her mother, and (when they were feeling especially courageous, and the Them were almost out of earshot) Greasy Johnson and the Johnsonites, the village's only other gang.
Wild English roses, French gardenia, vanilla, honey, golden ginger, blood orange, pine resin, pink pepper, crushed berries, tuberose, bergamot, and geranium.
ShadwellAdd to cart
Shadwell had turned out to be about five feet high and wore clothes which, no matter what they actually were, always turned up in your short-term memory as an old mackintosh. The old man may have all his own teeth, but only because no-one else could possibly have wanted them; just one of them, placed under the pillow, would have made the Tooth Fairy hand in its wand.
He appeared to live entirely on sweet tea, condensed milk, hand-rolled cigarettes, and a sort of sullen internal energy. Shadwell had a Cause, while he followed with the full resources of his soul and his Pensioner’s Concessionary Travel Pass. He believed in it. It powered him like a turbine.
Roll-ups, mildewed raincoat, sweet tea, and condensed milk.
The Buggre Alle This BibleAdd to cart
The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible. The lengthy compositor’s error, if such it may be called, occurs in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse five:
2. And bye the border of Dan, fromme the east side to the west side, a portion for Afher.
3. And bye the border of Afhter, fromme the east side even untoe the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
4. And bye the border of Naphtali, from the east side untoe the west side, a portion for Manaffeh.
5. Buggre all this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typefettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tighte fisted Southwarke Knobbefticke. I telle you, onne a daye laike thif Ennywone half an oz. of Sense should bee oute in the Sunneshain, ane nott Stucke here alle the liuelong daie inn thif mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workefhoppe.
6 And bye the border of Ephraim, from the east fide even untoe the west fide, a portion for Reuben.
[The Buggre Alle This Bible was also noteworthy for having twenty seven verses in the third chapter of Genesis, instead of the more usual twenty four.
They followed verse 24, which in the King James version reads:
“So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life,” and read:
25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?
26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
27 And the Lord did not ask him again.
It appears that these verses were inserted during the proof stage. In those days it was common practice for printers to hang proof sheets to the wooden beams outside their shops, for the edification of the populace and some free proofreading, and since the whole print run was subsequently burned anyway, no one bothered to take up this matter with the nice Mr. A. Ziraphale, who ran the bookshop two doors along and was always so helpful with the translations, and whose handwriting was instantly recognizable.]
Crumbling paper and ancient cracked leather with a touch of tobacco leaf and incense.
WarAdd to cart
She finished the drink, hefted the sword over one shoulder, and looked around at the puzzled factions, who now encircled her completely. ‘Sorry to run out on you, chaps,’ she said. ‘Would love to stay and get to know you better.’
The men in the room suddenly realized they didn’t want to know her better. She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, but not up close.
And she held her sword, and she smiled like a knife.
Red ginger, black spices, patchouli, honeysuckle, and three blood-soaked red musks.
WensleydaleAdd to cart
“My father says there’s no such thing as witches,” said Wensleydale, who had fair, wavy hair, and peered seriously out at life through thick black rimmed spectacles. It was widely believed that he had once been christened Jeremy, but no one ever used the name, not even his parents, who called him Youngster. They did this in the subconscious hope that he might take the hint; Wensleydale gave the impression of having been born with a mental age of forty seven.
An immaculately clean scent: well-scrubbed soapy skin and fresh cotton.
Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book Collection.
This series is based on the characters, locations, and ideas found within the pages of Neil Gaiman’s novel, ‘the Graveyard Book’.
This is a charitable, not-for-profit venture: proceeds from every single bottle go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, which works to preserve and protect the First Amendment rights of the comics community.
Artwork on this page by Jennifer Rodgers!
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26..00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are not available.
Eau de GhoulAdd to cart
They all started telling stories, then, of how fine and wonderful a thing it was to be a ghoul, of all the things they had crunched up and swallowed down with their powerful teeth. Impervious they were to disease or illness, said one of them. Why, it didn't matter what their dinner had died of, they could just chomp it down. They told of the places they had been, which mostly seemed to be catacombs and plague-pits (“Plague Pits is good eatin',” said the Emperor of China, and everyone agreed.) They told Bod how they had got their names and how he, in his turn, once he had become a nameless ghoul, would be named, as they had been.
“But I don't want to become one of you,” said Bod.
“One way or another,” said the Bishop of Bath and Wells, cheerily, “you'll become one of us. The other way is messier, involves being digested, and you're not really around very long to enjoy it.”
“But that's not a good thing to talk about,” said the Emperor of China.”Best to be a Ghoul. We're afraid of nuffink!”
And all the ghouls around the coffin-wood fire howled at this statement, and growled and sang and exclaimed at how wise they were, and how mighty, and how fine it was to be scared of nothing.
Dessicated skin coated in blackened ginger, cinnamon, and mold-flecked dirt, with cumin, bitter clove, leather, and dried blood.
GhûlheimAdd to cart
Ghouls do not build. They are parasites and scavengers, eaters of carrion. The city they call Ghûlheim is something they found, long ago, but did not make. No one they call knows (if anyone human ever knew) what kind of creatures it was that made those buildings, who honeycombed the rock with tunnels and towers, but it is certain that no-one but the ghoul-folk could have wanted to stay there, or even to approach that place.
Even from the path below Ghûlheim, even from miles away, Bod could see that all of the angles were wrong — that the walls sloped crazily, that it was every nightmare he had ever endured made into a place, like a huge mouth of jutting teeth. It was a city that had been built just to be abandoned, in which all the fears and madnesses and revulsions of the creatures who built it were made into stone. The ghoul folk had found it and delighted in it and called it home.
A dark and disjointed scent: smoke and black musk, bladderwrack, opopponax, galangal, and pepper.
Miss LupescuAdd to cart
“Bod,” said Silas. “This is Miss Lupescu.”
Miss Lupescu was not pretty. Her face was pinched and her expression was disapproving. Her hair was grey, although her face seemed too young for grey hair. Her front teeth were slightly crooked. She wore a bulky mackintosh, and a man's tie around her neck.
“How do you do, Miss Lupescu?” said Bod.
Miss Lupescu said nothing. She sniffed. Then she looked at Silas and said, “So. This is the boy.” She got up from her seat and walked all around Bod, nostrils flared, as if she were sniffing him. When she had made a complete circuit, she said, “You will report to me on waking, and before you go to sleep. I have rented a room in a house over there.” She pointed to a roof just visible from where they stood. “However, I shall spend my time in this graveyard. I am here as a historian, researching the history of old graves. You understand, boy? Da?”
“Bod,” said Bod. “It's Bod. Not boy.”
“Short for Nobody,” she said. “A foolish name. Also, Bod is a pet name. A nickname. I do not approve. I will call you 'boy'. You will call me 'Miss Lupescu'.”
Bod looked up at Silas, pleadingly, but there was no sympathy on Silas's face. He picked up his bag and said, “You will be in good hands with Miss Lupescu, Bod. I am sure that the two of you will get on.”
“We won't!” said Bod. “She's horrible!”
“That,” said Silas, “Was a very rude thing to say. I think you should apologise, don't you?”
Bod didn't, but Silas was looking at him and he was carrying his black bag, and about to leave for no-one knew how long, so he said, “I'm sorry Miss Lupescu.”
At first she said nothing in reply. She merely sniffed. Then she said, “I have come a long way to look after you, boy. I hope you are worth it.”
Animalic musk, with amber, patchouli, ho wood, cypress, almond blossom, golden sandalwood, and strange spices.
The ConvocationAdd to cart
A small sign in the hotel lobby announced that the Washington Room was taken that night by a private function, although there was no information as to what kind of function this might be. Truthfully, if you were to look at the inhabitants of the Washington Room that night, you would have no clearer idea of what was happening, although a rapid glance would tell you that there were no women in there. They were all men, that much was clear, and they sat at round dinner tables, and they were finishing their dessert.
There were about a hundred of them, all in sober black suits, but the suits were all they had in common. They had white hair or dark hair or fair hair or red hair or no hair at all. They had friendly faces or unfriendly, helpful or sullen, open or secretive, brutish or sensitive. The majority of them were pink-skinned, but there were black-skinned men and brown-skinned. They were European, African, Indian, Chinese, South American, Filipino, American. They all spoke English when they talked to each other, or to the waiters, but the accents were as diverse as the gentlemen. They came from all across Europe and from all over the world.
A macabre mélange of swanky men’s colognes.
The Owens’ TombAdd to cart
“I'll do no such thing, with Owens and me having a lovely little tomb over by the daffodil patch. Plenty of room in there for a little one.”
Marble and dust surrounded by burdock, knotweed, dandelions, daffodils, and long-dead calla lilies.
The Potter’s FieldAdd to cart
Silas walked across the path without disturbing a fallen leaf, and sat down on the bench, beside Bod. “There are those,” he said, in his silken voice, “who believe that all land is sacred. That it is sacred before we come to it, and sacred after. But here, in your land, they blessed the churches and the ground they set aside to bury people in, to make it holy. But they left land unconsecrated beside the sacred ground, potter's fields to bury the criminals and the suicides or those who were not of the faith.”
“So the people buried in the ground on the other side of the fence are bad people?”
Silas raised one perfect eyebrow. “Mm? Oh, not at all. Let's see, it's been a while since I've been down that way. But I don't remember anyone particularly evil. Remember, in days gone by you could be hanged for stealing a shilling. And there are always people who find their lives have become so unsupportable they believe the best thing they could do would be to hasten their transition to another plane of existence.”
Rich loam, fragrant grasses, murky vetiver, wild herbs, and dry cedar bark.
Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
The Neverwhere Collection.
This series is based on the characters, locations, and ideas found within the pages of Neil Gaiman’s novel, ‘Neverwhere’.
Artwork on this page by Enrique Alcatena!
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are not available for any Neverwhere scents.
AnesthesiaAdd to cart
‘Ratty!’ said the girl in something between a squeak and a horrified swallow. She had a large, water-stained red button pinned to her ragged clothes, the kind that comes attached to birthday cards. It said, in yellow letters, I AM 11.
A scent that slips through the cracks: peppermint, lavender, bergamot, and mandrake.
DoorAdd to cart
She was dressed in a variety of clothes thrown over each other: odd clothes, dirty velvets, muddy lace, rips and holes through which other layers and styles could be seen. She looked, Richard thought, as if she’d done a midnight raid on the History of Fashion section of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and was still wearing everything she had taken. Her short hair was filthy, but looked like it might have been a dark reddish color under the dirt.
Golden honey, nicotiana, blue chamomile, and cistu
HunterAdd to cart
He turned, and standing there was a tall woman, with long, tawny hair, and skin the color of burnt caramel. She wore dappled leather clothes, mottled in shades of gray and brown. She had a battered leather duffel bag over her shoulder. She was carrying a staff, and she had a knife at her belt and an electric flashlight strapped to her wrist. She was also, without question, the most beautiful woman that Richard had ever seen.
Leonine amber, tanned hides, clove, and clary sage.
LamiaAdd to cart
‘And you said you’d pay me for being your guide. And it’s what I want, as my payment. Warmth. Can I have some?’ Anything she wanted. Anything. The honeysuckle and the lily of the valley wrapped around him, and his eyes saw nothing but her pale skin and her dark plum-bloom lips and her jet black hair.
Deadly elegance: pale orchid, vanilla amber, black currant, white peach, champaca, coconut, Arabian myrrh, Burmese vetiver, and oude.
Mr. CroupAdd to cart
‘A fox and a wolf’, thought Richard, involuntarily. The man in front, the fox, was a little shorter than Richard. He had lank, greasy hair, of an unlikely orange color, and a pallid complexion; as Richard opened the door, he smiled, widely, and just a fraction too late, with teeth that looked like an accident in a graveyard.
Pompous and predatory: tonka bean, black musk, bourbon geranium, and crushed porcelain.
Night’s BridgeAdd to cart
And then they turned a corner, and saw the bridge. It could have been one of the bridges over the Thames, five hundred years ago, thought Richard; a huge stone bridge spanning out over a vast black chasm, into the night. But there was no sky above it, no water below. It rose into darkness.
Stone and darkness.
The Floating MarketAdd to cart
It was loud, and brash, and insane, and it was, in many ways, quite wonderful. People argued, haggled, shouted, sang. They hawked and touted their wares, and loudly declaimed the superiority of their merchandise. Music was playing—a dozen different kinds of music, being played a dozen different ways on a score of different instruments, most of them improvised, improved, improbable. Richard could smell food. All kinds of food—the smells of curries and spices seemed to predominate, with, beneath them, the smells of grilling meats and mushrooms. Stalls had been set up all throughout the shop, next to or even on, counters that, during the day, had sold perfume, or watches, or amber, or silk scarves.
A cacophony of curious scents: copaiba balsam, petitgrain, citrus rind, sinicuichi accord, betel nut, wasabi root, coconut palm, and wattleseed layered atop innumerable strange herbs, spices, and woods.
The Marquis De CarabasAdd to cart
He wore a huge dandyish black coat that was not quite a frock coat nor exactly a trench coat, and high black boots, and, beneath his coat, raggedy clothes. His eyes burned white in an extremely dark face. And he grinned whie teeth, momentarily, as if at a private joke of his own, and bowed to Richard, and said, “De Carabas, at your service, and you are…?”
A splash of bay rum, leather, dusty black wool, massoia bark, and opium residue.
The Rat SpeakersAdd to cart
For a moment, Richard was blinded by the sudden light. He was standing in a huge, vaulted room, and underground hall, filled with firelight and smoke. Small fires burned around the room. Shadowy people stood by the flames, roasting small animals on spits. People scurried from fire to fire. It reminded him of hell—or rather, the way that he had thought of Hell as a schoolboy. The smoke irritated his lungs, and he coughed. A hundred eyes turned, then, and stared at him; a hundred eyes, unblinking and unfriendly.
A snuffling, brown scent: earthy patchouli, sage, russet sandalwood, grimy leather, fig leaf, and lemongrass.
The VelvetsAdd to cart
Five almost identically dressed, pale young women walked past him. They wore long dresses made of velvet, each dress as dark as night, one each of dark green, dark chocolate, royal blue, dark blood, and pure black. Each woman had black hair and wore silver jewelry; each was perfectly coifed, perfectly made up. They moved silently: Richard was only aware of a swish of heavy velvet as they went past, a swish that sounded almost like a sigh.
Smooth inky musk, cathedral incense, ylang ylang, violet leaf, rose-infused amber, red sandalwood, and iris.
Neil Gaiman - Stardust
The Stardust Collection.
This series is based on the characters, locations, ideas, and dreams found within the pages of Neil Gaiman’s extraordinary, haunting fairy tale, ‘Stardust’.
Stardust, the motion picture based on Mr. Gaiman’s story, was directed by Matthew Vaughn and features Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, and Charlie Cox.
A heartfelt thanks to Neil, and to the kind folks at Paramount, for giving us the opportunity to create these scents!
Artwork on this page by the lovely Sarah Coleman!
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
$26.00 per 5ml bottle.
Presented in an amber apothecary glass vial.
Because of the nature of this project, imps are not available for any Stardust scents.
Fairy WineAdd to cart
Mr. Bromios had set up a wine-tent and was selling wines and pasties to the village folk, who were often tempted by the foods being sold by the folk from Beyond the Wall but had been told by their grandparents, who had got it from their grandparents, that it was deeply, utterly wrong to eat fairy food, to drink fairy water and sip fairy wine.
An ethereal vintage, steeped with dandelion, honey, and red currants.
Lady UnaAdd to cart
“Why, you are crying.”
She said nothing. Dunstan pulled her toward him, wiping ineffectually at her face with his big hand; and then he leaned into her sobbing face, and, tentatively, uncertain of whether or not he was doing the correct thing given the circumstances, he kissed her, full upon the burning lips.
There was a moment of hesitation, and then her mouth opened against his, and her tongue slid into his mouth, and he was, under the strange stars, utterly, irrevocably, lost.
Honey musk, green tea leaf, blackberry leaf, vanilla bean, and fae spices.
The EastAdd to cart
But there were times when the wind blew from beyond the wall, bringing with it the smell of mint and thyme and redcurrants, and at those times there were strange colors seen in the flames in the fireplaces in the village.
The scent of the winds beyond the wall: bluebonnet, passion flower, freesia, jasmine tea, mint, thyme, and redcurrant.
The StormholdAdd to cart
The Stormhold had been carved out of the peak of Mount Huon by the first lord of Stormhold, who reigned at the end of the First Age and into the beginning of the Second. It had been expanded, improved upon, excavated and tunneled into by successive Masters of Stormhold, until the original mountain peak now raked the sky like the ornately carved tusk of some great, grey, granite beast. The Stormhold itself was perched high in the sky, where the thunder clouds gathered before they went down to the lower air, spilling rain and lightning and devastation upon the place beneath.
Creeping moss, slick granite, murky vetiver, lightning-charged ozone, and icy rain.
The Witch QueenAdd to cart
On a rocky mountain pass, on the southernmost slopes of Mount Belly, the witch-queen reined in her goat-drawn chariot and stopped and sniffed the chilly air.
The myriad stars hung cold in the sky above her.
Her red, red lips curved up into a smile of such beauty, such brilliance, such pure and perfect happiness that it would have frozen your blood in your veins to have seen it. “There,” she said. “She is coming to me.”
And the wind of the mountain pass howled about her triumphantly, as if in answer.
Wild plum, red musk, tuberose, calla lily, heliotrope, pimento, ylang ylang and beeswax beneath a dark haze of sinister purple-hued incense smoke.
TristranAdd to cart
Tristran put down his wooden cup of tea, and stood up, offended.
“What,” he asked, in what he was certain were lofty and scornful tones, “would possibly make you imagine that my lady-love would have sent me on some foolish errand?”
The little man stared up at him with eyes like beads of jet. “Because that’s the only reason a lad like you would be stupid enough to cross the border into Faerie. The only ones who ever come here from your lands are the minstrels, and the lovers, and the mad. And you don’t look like much of a minstrel, and you’re – pardon me saying so, lad, but it’s true – ordinary as cheese-crumbs. So it’s love, if you ask me.”
“Because,” announces Tristran, “every lover is in his heart a madman, and in his head a minstrel.”
Dust on your trousers, mud on your boots, and stars in your eyes: redwood, tonka bean, white sandalwood, lemon peel, patchouli, rosewood, coriander, and crushed mint.
VictoriaAdd to cart
Every boy in the village was in love with Victoria Forester. And many a sedate gentleman, quietly married with grey in his beard, would stare at her as she walked down the street, becoming, for a few moments, a boy once more, in the spring of his years with a spring in his step.
Graceful vanilla musk, tea rose, and stargazer lily.