In 2017, we attended the Gnigler Krampuslauf, and it was life-changing. I can remember every single moment of the experience: the smell of spiced hot wine, sausages, and sleet… the needles of the cold on my hands, the sparkle of rapture on my daughter’s face, the eerie amber light that cascaded down on everything. I can remember the smell of wet fake fur and the sensation of the birch branches on my legs, the tugs on my hair, the otherworldliness of it all. There was something absolutely primal and raw present that night; echoes of a thousand years of ritual trembled in the air, buoyed on the gasps and laughter of the crowd.
2018 marks the twelfth year that we have been creating Krampus-themed perfumes for Yule, and to celebrate, we’re laying out the spanks – one for each year. The photos from this series were taken by Brian ‘Doc’ Constantine during our trip to Austria to attend the Gnigler Krampuslauf – tiny flickers of the passion and the raw, brutal exultation of that night, and all the nights like it that extend back into the darkness of our collective past. Perchta and her beautiful monstrosities are also represented here, as we do equal honor to the Lady of Beasts and her howling host.
During the twelve nights of Christmas, Perchta – the Luminous One, Maiden of the Wagon and Plow, Snow Queen, Iron-Nosed, Guardian of the Beasts and Mother of Spirits, She Who Spins – leads her host of spirits, pixies, ghostly children, beasts, and fiends through the nighttime streets of Alpine villages. With her entourage of schiachperchten and schönperchten, she chastises the shiftless and grants boons to the hardworking.