Bittersweet

  • Aizen-Myoo

    A bright, bittersweet scent honoring the Japanese Deity of Love and Passion. Aizen-Myoo is one of the vidyarajas, the Shingon’s Radiant Kings of Wisdom. Though Aizen-Myoo possesses the lust, grace and passion of both genders, he most often appears to his followers as male. His face is screwed into a fearsome demonic mask, but this is only the wrathful, fierce countenance he places over himself to guide and empower his children. Aizen-Myoo is the patron of prostitutes, of joyous, unbridled sexuality and of all forms of erotic love and is worshipped by all those in the sex industry, musicians, and – oddly – landlords.

    Yuzu, kaki, and mikan with cherry blossom and black tea.

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  • The Silver Stream

    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.

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  • The Spirit Bridegroom

    UNCANNY STORY FROM THE ONSET SPIRITUALISTS
    Wealthy Widow Becomes a Ghost’s Bride

    The Bangs Sisters, May and Lizzie, Continue to Startle the Peaceful Residents of a Massachusetts Town – the Spirit Bridegroom

    Charming May Bands and her sister, the great spiritualists, who, when at home, reside in Chicago, have lately startled the natives of Onset, Mass. This statement means more than might appear on the surface when it is added that that little town is almost wholly made up of spiritualists. Thither the Bangs sisters hied themselves some weeks ago to take part in the summer assembly of the eastern societies. They made their headquarters at Happy Home cottage, where they were daily visited by pilgrims in search of friends and relatives long since in the “other world.” Among those visitors was a rich widow from the far west, who wanted to see her lover, who had been a captain in the United States army. The captain, who came from Maryland, died on the eve of his marriage to the rich widow. For a year she has worn widows’ weeds and longed for even a visit from the spirit of her departed lover. Miss Bangs informed her that she could not only produce the captain’s spirit, but that the marriage ceremony that had been cut off by death would be performed in Happy Home cottage. A few days ago an item was given out for publication to the effect that the ceremony had been effectually performed some days before. In speaking of it May Bangs said:

    “I materialized the form and the lover came out of the cabinet attired in the uniform of an army officer. The premises had been previously examined to prove that there was no mortal about. The materialized spirit asked that the curtains be drawn for a while to shut off the front parlor. The bride wanted him to put on her slipper, and he did.

    “Only a faint light shone through the room where the minister and others were waiting. He kissed her numerous times. The bride was in a new wedding dress. Then the materialized spirit lover requested that the marriage ceremony be performed, and the request was granted. He placed a ring on her finger. They were together a long time that evening.”

    – Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 10, 1894
    Misted roses and the memory of cologne, salt-wet and bittersweet.

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  • Tiresias, The Androgyne

    Upon the next stage, a spotlight is focused on a mammoth bronze sculpture of two snakes entwined. Their bodies are wrapped around each other in an intimate embrace, and their tongues touch suggestively. The deep, somber boom of a standing bass leads into a twelve-string guitar’s plaintive moan, and as the music swells, a stunning, statuesque woman steps out from behind the statue, her fierce and regal face in profile. The spotlight dims to a deep amber-red, and shines a dark, sanguine light onto her, tinting her long, wild hair the color of blood. She sings:

    Sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless.
    Dearest, the shadows I live with are numberless.
    Little white flowers will never awaken you,
    Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you.
    Angels have no thought of ever returning you.
    Would they be angry if I thought of joining you?
    Gloomy Sunday.

    She turns, and abruptly faces left. Her features are coarser, more masculine, and you notice the rough, dusky shadow of an evening beard on the singer’s face. On this side, the hair is cropped short, and as s/he sighs and begins the next verse, you hear the voice deepen to a weathered, sorrowful baritone.

    Gloomy is Sunday; with shadows I spend it all.
    My heart and I have decided to end it all.
    Soon there’ll be candles and prayers that are sad, I know.
    Death is no dream, for in death I’m caressing you.
    With the last breath of my soul I’ll be blessing you.
    Gloomy Sunday.

    The singer turns to face the audience, and your senses reel. On the left side, the features are sharp, but feminine. You can see the curve of her breast, the soft fullness of her hips, the arch of her fine brow. On the right, it is the body of an Adonis, muscular and commanding. You see that a thick seam runs down the center of the body, stitched roughly.

    Though the vision is disconcerting, the warmth and passion in the singer’s voice swells inside your heart, and you are spellbound. Enraptured, you realize that though the gender is opposed on either side, one soul binds the whole.

    Dark, moody, and bittersweet: black currant, patchouli, tobacco, cinnamon leaf, caramel, muguet, and red sandalwood.

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