Apple Blossom

  • 0. The Fool

    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.

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  • Agrat-Bat-Mahlaht

    Amber, cream accord, white honey, apple blossom, skin musk, caramel, and teak.

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  • Baobhan Sith

    The ghostly White Women of the Scottish highlands. They seduce unwary travelers by night with their unearthly beauty and mesmerizing dancing. They engage their victims in a wild, hypnotic dance, and once they reach exhaustion, exsanguinate their partners with their vampiric kiss. Grapefruit, white tea, apple blossom and ginger.

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  • Brisingamen

    The amber necklace of Freyja, Norse Goddess of Love, Sex, Attraction and Fruitfulness. Her magnificent necklace was bough from four Dwarves [Alfrik, Berling, Dvalin and Grer] at the price of four nights of her passion. When Brisingamen graces your throat, no man can resist your charms. A glittering mantle of rich golden notes: five ambers, soft myrtle, apple blossom and carnation.

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  • Heroine

    Heroine is the first scent created specifically for The Hero Initiative, and the label art is by the fabulous Adam Hughes!

    Nepalese amber, East African patchouli, dark musk, apple blossom, petitgrain, aged leather, skin musk, and rhubarb.

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  • Ladon

    The hundred-headed dragon that guards the garden of the Hesperides: dragon’s blood resin, golden apple, apple blossom, white musk and hyacinth.

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  • Sjöfn

    Seventh is Sjofn. She is much concerned to direct people’s minds to love, both women and men. Our song to the Norse Goddess of Love is scented with apples and birch and bound with apple blossoms.

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  • Take the Moon

    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.”

    “How?”

    “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.

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  • The Norns’ Farmhouse

    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.

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  • Xanthe, the Weeping Clown

    From the corner of your eye, you see what seems to be a swirl of pale, translucent spirits. Ghostly in form, their faces are masks of pain and fury. Their insubstantial bodies churn and roil around a hissing, wailing clown. Her greasepaint is smeared with tears, and her fanged crimson mouth is turned down in a vicious scowl while blood drips from her lips. Her costume is torn and threadbare, and a steel-bright glint around her waist draws your eyes to an arsenal of razors, knives, and cleavers hanging from her belt. She swats futilely at the spirits as she shoves and scratches her way through the crowd.

    Guava, orange peel, white pepper, spun sugar and apple blossom.

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