Orchid - Black

  • Eshe, A Vision of Life-In-Death

    Moving counter-clockwise through the room, you come upon the next stage. The backdrop is shredded, and seems to have been torn in a fury. On the remaining half of the canvas, you can barely make out a faded illustration of the sun setting over a pyramid. On the center of the platform, an elaborate golden sarcophagus has been set upright and propped up towards the edge of the stage. Beside it, upon the ground, sits a hooded lantern. A woman’s image is painted on the front of the sarcophagus, and upon the gold limned body, a tale is being told in hieroglyphics: scenes of murder, carnage, and grotesque, mad passion. Although you do not know the language, the inscription upon the tomb translates within your mind, and the words burn behind your eyes as if they were written in blood and fire: “The Guardian will never part the veil for her soul. Mighty Sutekh, have pity on us all.” A thin, dark-skinned man wearing a linen loincloth climbs onto the stage. His form is frail and withered, he is impossibly old, yet his long, straight hair is as black as the night skies. With solemn, reverential gravity, he slowly moves the casket lid aside. Within the box, you see a skeletal figure wrapped in stained, ragged cloths, draped in a mauve cloth. The dark-skinned man bends low, and lights the lanterna magica. From within the glass, images begin to form, and glowing alchemical symbols cast their eerie light onto the mummy. As the lights touch the creature, the desiccated body swells, and with horrific, agonizing slowness, a woman’s form begins to appear within the wrappings. At her chest, the rotted wrappings burst, exposing sinew and the glinting white bones of her ribs. Her hands reach towards her face, and with a screech of agony and eons-long rage, she tears the gauze from her glittering black eyes.

    The perfume of life-in-death: embalming herbs, black myrrh, white sandalwood, black orchid, paperwhites, olive blossom, tomb dust, and Moroccan jasmine.

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  • Event Horizon

    A disconcerting scent, heavy and oppressive, through which no light, no matter, and no spirit can escape. Black opium, labdanum, opoponax, black orchid, and benzoin.

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  • Le Lèthè

    Viens sur mon coeur, âme cruelle et sourde,
    Tigre adoré, monstre aux airs indolents;
    Je veux longtemps plonger mes doigts tremblants
    Dans l’épaisseur de ta crinière lourde;

    Dans tes jupons remplis de ton parfum
    Ensevelir ma tête endolorie,
    Et respirer, comme une fleur flétrie,
    Le doux relent de mon amour défunt.

    Je veux dormir! dormir plutôt que vivre!
    Dans un sommeil aussi doux que la mort,
    J’étalerai mes baisers sans remords
    Sur ton beau corps poli comme le cuivre.

    Pour engloutir mes sanglots apaisés
    Rien ne me vaut l’abîme de ta couche;
    L’oubli puissant habite sur ta bouche,
    Et le Léthé coule dans tes baisers.

    À mon destin, désormais mon délice,
    J’obéirai comme un prédestiné;
    Martyr docile, innocent condamné,
    Dont la ferveur attise le supplice,

    Je sucerai, pour noyer ma rancoeur,
    Le népenthès et la bonne ciguë
    Aux bouts charmants de cette gorge aiguë
    Qui n’a jamais emprisonné de coeur.

    – – –

    Come, lie upon my breast, cruel, insensitive soul,
    Adored tigress, monster with the indolent air;
    I want to plunge trembling fingers for a long time
    In the thickness of your heavy mane,

    To bury my head, full of pain
    In your skirts redolent of your perfume,
    To inhale, as from a withered flower,
    The moldy sweetness of my defunct love.

    I wish to sleep! to sleep rather than live!
    In a slumber doubtful as death,
    I shall remorselessly cover with my kisses
    Your lovely body polished like copper.

    To bury my subdued sobbing
    Nothing equals the abyss of your bed,
    Potent oblivion dwells upon your lips
    And Lethe flows in your kisses.

    My fate, hereafter my delight,
    I’ll obey like one predestined;
    Docile martyr, innocent man condemned,
    Whose fervor aggravates the punishment.

    I shall suck, to drown my rancor,
    Nepenthe and the good hemlock
    From the charming tips of those pointed breasts
    That have never guarded a heart.

    Red musk and sweat-damp golden skin musk with labdanum, golden amber, nutmeg, tobacco absolute, black orchid, and hemlock accord.

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  • Medea

    Granddaughter of Helios, Hecate’s chosen: Medea was one of the greatest sorceresses of the ancient world. She is the embodiment of ruthless power, indomitable will and furious vengeance. Night-blooming cereus, black orchid, black currant and myrtle leaf enshrouded in the incense of Hecate’s cypress and myrrh, and the dark rage of magickal labdanum and intoxicating poppy.

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